Day Fourteen Of Swords Of Iron
Terrorists must pay a price for their terror, Biden vows.
Palestine Red Crescent claims Israel's army is demanding evacuation of Al-Quds hospital in Gaza, saying the facility faces an “imminent threat.” The PRCS made an “urgent appeal” to social media saying that the hospital is “a sanctuary for over 400 patients and around 12,000 displaced civilians”. "We call the international community to act urgently, averting another catastrophe like Al-Ahli hospital," said the PRCS in a reference to the explosion at the Baptist Hospital in Gaza, which has been attributed to Hamas.
Two American-Israeli hostages held by Hamas since Oct. 7 were freed to the Red Cross, acccording to the Jerusalem Post. Reportedly, there are ongoing negotiations over the release of other hostages. American citizens, mother Judith Raanan and daughter Natalie Raanan are “on their way out”, the paper said.
Activist Greta Thunberg (20) of Sweden has been criticized for showing support for Gaza on social media without making a counter-balancing statement about murders Hamas committed in Israel on Oct. 7. In a photo, Thunberg holds a placard reading: "Stand with Gaza." Others bore placards saying “Free Palestine”, “Climate Justice Now” and “This Jew stands with Gaza”. Alongside the photo, Thunberg wrote: "Today we strike in solidarity with Palestine and Gaza. The world needs to speak up and call for an immediate ceasefire, justice and freedom for Palestinians and all civilians affected."
Accoriding to Politico, an IDF spokesperson observed, "Whoever identifies with Greta in any way in the future, in my view, is a terror supporter." The spokesperson continued, "Because what Greta is doing, that she is now showing solidarity with Gaza while not saying a word about the massacres of Israelis, shows that she is actually not in favour of the Palestinians, but that she is sweeping the terror of the Palestinians or Hamas and Islamic Jihad under the table as if it did not exist." Thunberg, who has been celebrated by environmentalists and the international left since her teenage years, was accused of antisemitism after she appeared in a photo with a blue stuffed octopus toy. A blue octopus with a Star of David above its head and its tentacles encircling the globe was a motif used in a German propaganda cartoon invoking racist claims of a worldwide Jewish conspiracy. Thunberg claimed subsequently that she was unaware of the antisemitic trope and that the octopus was “a tool often used by autistic people as a way to communicate feelings.”
The Israel Air Force is striking Hamas terror assets in the Gaza Strip “at a rate not seen in decades,” an IDF official said on Friday. IDF Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said the strikes were preparing the way for an expected ground assault to destroy Hamas’s capabilities.
IDF troops have arrested 584 Palestinians across the West Bank, including more than 375 affiliated with Hamas, since the war began on Oct. 7. Overnight, 47 Hamas members were detained. Also overnight, IDF troops also demolished the home of Hamas terrorist Khaled Mustafa Sabah, one of the perpetrators of the Eli gas station shooting in June.
Thousands of Jordanians marched in Amman and elsewhere in the country, denouncing Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza. 6000+ people turned out in Amman, encouraged by opposition parties and tribal leaders. “Oh Hamas, hit them with al-Qassam rockets ... Bring the suicide bombers to Tel Aviv,” they chanted. Also, thousands assembled near Israel's embassy. Some shouted “No Jewish embassy on Arab land!” Police in riot gear blocked access to the fortified embassy, keeping back protesters who thronged around the Kaloti mosque nearby. Authorities said they will not tolerate mobs seeking to exploit anti-Jewish sentiment. Outside Amman, hundreds of anti-riot police blocked all roads leading to the Jordan Valley opposite the West Bank, where activists had called for large protests. Authorities prevented 2000+ protesters from accessing the border; the protester called on the government to allow them to fight alongside Hamas.
In the southern city of Karak, protesters gathered at a checkpoint on a highway leading to the border chanting pro-Hamas slogans. There are 10 million residents of Jordan, many of whom say they are descended from people expelled or who fled the war that led to Israeli independence in 1948. Many have relatives in Israel and the West Bank.
On the social media site X, the Egyptian foreign minister said western media were “Promoting displacement scenario, holding Egypt responsible for the Crossing closure despite Israeli targeted attacks and refusal of aid entry and recently insinuating Egypt responsibility for obstructing third-country nationals exit.” It added: “Rafah crossing is open and Egypt is not responsible for obstructing third-country nationals exit.” A subsequent tweet said: “The opportunity is available tomorrow to change course and awaken the conscience.”
Russia is urging its citizens to avoid travel to Israel, Palestinian territories, Jordan, and Lebanon. The foreign ministry stated: "We continue to work closely with the Egyptian and Israeli authorities to ensure the exit from the Gaza Strip of Russian citizens who have asked for assistance in evacuating."
French President Macron told family members of French hostages held by Hamas that he and the entire French state are mobilizing to free the hostages. The French foreign ministry stated: “Everything will be done for them to come back safe and sound to France.”
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told lawmakers that once Israel destroys Hamas, the IDF has no plans to control “life in the Gaza Strip”. He expects there will be three phases to its war on Hamas. 1) attack Hamas with air and ground operations, 2) defeat pockets of resistance, 3) cease its
Defense minister Yoav Gallant’s comments to lawmakers were the first time an Israeli leader discussed its “responsibility for life in the Gaza Strip.” (Via AP)
The IDF stated, “The majority of the [200+} hostages are alive. There were also dead bodies that were taken … to the Gaza Strip,” adding that 20 of them are children, while as many as 20 are over the age of 60. There are also between 100 and 200 people considered missing since the Hamas attacks, the army added.
The Guardian reports that fear is growing among the Jewish communities in Europe, including France, which has the largest Jewish community in the EU. The usually busy restaurants in Sarcelles, the 'Little Jerusalem" north of paris, are "eerily quiet." out of fear of anti-Semitic attacks. Europe's Jews, the report said, are experiencing a "lot of pain."
UN Secretary-general, António Guterres visited the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip as the UN prepares to deliver aid to Gaza. Trucks and cargo planes are delivering aid near the crossing, but deliveries have yet to be made because Egypt is keeping the border closed. “We are actively engaging with all the parties, with Egypt, Israel, the United States... in order to have these trucks moving as soon as possible,” Guterres said/ Rafah is the only crossing into the blockaded Palestinian territory that is not controlled by Israel, which agreed to allow aid to enter after a request from the US.
UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said the first aid delivery via the Rafah crossing should take place “in the next day or so”. Guterres said there was an “absolute need to have these trucks moving as soon as possible and as many as necessary”, adding that “this must be a sustained effort”. “We are not looking for one convoy to come but we are looking for convoys to be authorised in a meaningful number to have enough trucks to provide support to Gaza’s people,” the UN chief said.
The UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, says two more staff members have been killed in Gaza, bringing the total number to 16 since the war began.
The IDF is investigating reports by Palestinians that an Israeli airstrike caused destruction at the Greek Orthodox parish church of St. Porhyphoros in Gaza. According to Palestinians, the blast caused 18+ deaths among the people sheltered at the church compound. It is one of the oldest churches in the world.
Palestinian sources claim 13 people, including five children, were killed after an Israeli air assault on the Nur Shams refugee camp in the West Bank.
The Israeli military says it attacked more than 100 operational targets in the Gaza Strip last night.
Israel has evacuated communities near Gaza and Lebanon and announced plans to evacuate Kiryat Shmona, a town of more than 20,000 residents near its border with Lebanon.
The first delivery of aid to the besieged Gaza Strip via the Rafah border crossing with Egypt should take place “in the next day or so”, the UN announced.
The UN warned that any escalation of strikes in Gaza would be “catastrophic” for people there.
The government of The Netherlands joined the US and countries in advising against any travel to Lebanon and urged those still in the country “to leave Lebanon as soon as possible”.
In a televised address to the American people on the evening of Oct. 19, President Biden made the case for aiding both Ukraine and Israel in their current wars. A $100 billion funding package will be sent to Congress. $8 billion is earmarked for the Department of Homeland Security and billions more for agencies with a role in immigration, $60 billion for Ukraine and $10 billion for Israel. There is also funding for Taiwan.
"I know the conflicts can seem far away and it's natural to ask: Why does this matter to America?" Biden said from the Oval Office at the White House. "So let me share with you why making sure Israel and Ukraine succeed is vital for America's national security. You know, history has taught us that when terrorists don't pay a price for their terror, when dictators don't pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos and death and more destruction."
Biden addressed what he described as the American "beacon to the world, still," as fighting continues between Russia and Ukraine, Hamas terrorists and Israel. He said that he will submit a funding request today to Congress for additional millions of dollars in defense aid to both Ukaine and Israel to protect US security interests.
October 20, 2023