Photo Credit: Chaim Goldberg / Flash 90
A child's room in Nir Oz following the Hamas massacre on Oct. 7, 2023

Sunday, April 7, 2024 is the six-month anniversary of the start of the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, perpetrated by hate-filled terrorists who had promised for years to annihilate the State of Israel and its Jews.

It began with the wail of the Red Alert air raid siren at a crazy hour of the morning, on the most unbelievable of days: Shabbat Simchat Torah.


At 6:35 am Israelis across the country — including this writer — were awakened by that siren. Most thought at first that there was some mistake; it had been quiet for quite a while.

“Probably someone hit the wrong button or pulled a wire at Home Front Command,” I thought, but when the siren kept going, on and on, it occurred to me that it might NOT be a mistake.

Like Israelis around the country, I dragged myself out of bed, grumbling, and sleep-walked across the hall into the safe room of my home in the Negev. Again, the siren wailed.

That morning — that day — became indelibly etched on the minds of us all, as it became increasingly clear that this was not the usual Hamas rocket barrage.

The true horror did not become clear until nightfall and in the days to follow, when the details began to emerge about what had happened in nearly two dozen towns and IDF bases along the Gaza border.

For the sake of those reading these words, I will refrain from going into the specific details of what took place that day. But here are the numbers from the IDF; they’re important.

The Numbers
On that morning, some 3,000 Hamas-led terrorists and their civilian followers invaded Israel from Gaza. They tortured and slaughtered more than 1,200 people, mostly civilians and including several hundred young people who were at a nearby music festival.

Thousands more were wounded, and 253 were abducted and dragged into Gaza captivity.

That same day, 300,000 reservists were called up by the IDF for active duty.

Since that day, 604 IDF soldiers have been killed in action and 3,188 more have been wounded in the war that was named “Iron Swords” by the Israeli government, and “Al Aqsa Flood” by the barbarians who invaded Israel.

Since Oct. 7, approximately 9,100 rockets and missiles have entered Israeli territory from Gaza, fired by the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups, both of them Iranian proxies.

At least 3,100 rockets and missiles — many of them advanced precision-guided munitions — have crossed the Lebanese border into Israel, fired by Hezbollah, another Iranian proxy.

More than 12,000 terrorists have been eliminated by Israeli forces in Gaza and 32,000 targets have been struck by Israeli aircraft.

More than 20,742 aid trucks have brought food, medicine, water and medical supplies into Gaza.

On Oct. 19, Iran’s proxy in Yemen, the Houthis joined the war, launching missiles and suicide drones at Israel and most vessels transiting the Red Sea, Bab El Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Aden.

The IDF has eliminated 19 of the 24 Hamas battalions that controlled Gaza and ruled its people with an iron fist. They have destroyed a large number of the approximately 300 to 500 miles of terror tunnels, the “Gaza Metro” as some call it, but there are still many miles yet to go.

Of the 253 hostages dragged into Gaza on that awful day, 133 remain in captivity, although 34 have been confirmed dead by Israeli intelligence, murdered by their captors.

More than 100 hostages were released in a November 2023 temporary ceasefire and hostage deal brokered with Hamas by the United States, Qatar and Egypt — but as usual, Hamas violated the ceasefire and ended the deal, just as it had violated the ceasefire that preceded Oct. 7.

Israeli leaders have vowed to eliminate the Hamas leadership and the military and governing capability of its terror group. They have pledged to rescue the remaining hostages, alive and deceased, and to ensure that Gaza can never again become a threat to the Jewish State.

The remaining five Hamas battalions are in Rafah, a town in Gaza on the border with Egypt. Hamas tunnels that cross under the Egyptian border have for years enabled the terrorists to import advanced weapons and military technology from Iran — and until the IDF enters Rafah, they are likely continuing to do so, with Egypt turning a blind eye and reaping a tidy profit from the taxes imposed on the imports.

The IDF must enter Rafah and eliminate the remaining five Hamas battalions, along with the terror group’s leadership, once and for all; Israelis are no longer willing to live with a constant existential threat on its borders.

May the memories of the fallen be forever a blessing; may their blood be avenged.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.