English LCCC Newsbulletin For Lebanese, Lebanese Related, Global News & Editorials
For October 11/2023
Compiled & Prepared by: Elias Bejjani

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Bible Quotations For today
You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich towards God
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 12/16-21: ‘Then he told them a parable: ‘The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, “What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?” Then he said, “I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich towards God.’

Titles For The Latest English LCCC Lebanese & Lebanese Related News & Editorials published on October 10-11/2023
Thanks Giving Day: Pray & Be Grateful To Almighty God/Elias Bejjani/October 09/2023
Israel on high alert after rocket exchanges at Lebanon border
Israel says reports of drone infiltration from Lebanon or Syria are false
Israel fires four shells at south Lebanon at dawn
Israel, Hezbollah exchange fire for 3rd day after Hamas fires rockets from Lebanon
Continued School Closures Near Southern Borders: Minister Halabi Cites Safety Concerns
Hezbollah Responds to Israeli Attacks with Precision Strike on Military Vehicle
Outskirts of Qlaileh and Dahira subjected to Israeli artillery shelling: LAF
UNIFIL Urges Restraint in Tense Situation
US warns Hezbollah not to open new front against Israel
Reports: Hezbollah to respond to Israel's killing of its members
Hamas official says Iran, Hezbollah had no role but will help if needed
UK advises against non-essential travel to Lebanon, all travel to south
British ambassador calls for keeping Lebanon out of conflict
Mikati asks Cabinet to convene over security situation and Syrian refugees
'Spirit of resistance': Lebanese, Arab support for Palestinians swells
Jumblat urges Hezbollah to keep situation in south 'under control'

Titles For The Latest English LCCC Miscellaneous Reports And News published on October 10-11/2023
Biden calls Hamas attack 'sheer evil,' throws full support behind Israel
Palestinians scramble for safety as Israel pounds sealed-off Gaza Strip to punish Hamas
Hamas leader: No prisoner swap before end of war
Israel strikes Gaza, mobilizes 300,000 reservists as war enters fourth day
More than 1,200 Israelis feared dead in Hamas attack, officials estimate
Airstrikes hammer Gaza as death toll from Hamas war passes 3,000
Gaza bombardment continues into 4th day as Israel forces find 1,500 bodies of Hamas militants
Canada's Trudeau condemns pro-Hamas rallies
Palestinians in Gaza move from place to place, only to discover nowhere is safe
Macron condemns ‘unacceptable blackmail’ by Hamas with Gaza hostages
A CNN correspondent choked up on air describing the bloodstained walls and floors of a bunker where people were shot 'in calculated, cold blood' by Hamas militants
Do not get involved in Israel crisis, top U.S. general warns Iran
Canada, Netherlands take Syria to top UN court over widespread torture
Zelensky visits neighboring Romania to discuss security and boost ties
As Republicans split over next speaker, McCarthy positions himself as de facto leader

Titles For The Latest English LCCC  analysis & editorials from miscellaneous sources published on October 10-11/2023
Five Lessons for the U.S. and the World From the Hamas Invasion of Israel/Jeffrey Sonnenfeld/Times/October 10, 2023
Jihad on Israel: Where Does Turkey Stand?/Burak Bekdil/Gatestone Institute/October 10, 2023
IDF: 1,500 Hamas terrorists killed inside Israel/JNS/October 10, 2023
Today in History: Christians Save Western Civilization from Islam—to Hitler’s Regret/Raymond Ibrahim/October 10, 2023
The Savage Nihilism of ‘Free Palestine’/Hussein Aboubakr Mansour/The Tablet/October 10/2023
The War After The Hamas War/Amb. Alberto M. Fernandez/October 10/ 2023
Arab Peace Initiative the only way to end the bloodshed/Dr. Dania Koleilat Khatib/Arab News/October 10, 2023
Conflict inevitable in the absence of a Palestinian state/Ghassan Charbel/Arab News/October 10, 2023

Latest English LCCC Lebanese & Lebanese Related News & Editorials published on October 10-11/2023
Thanks Giving Day: Pray & Be Grateful To Almighty God

Elias Bejjani/October 09/2023
Today while in Canada we are celebrating the Thanks Giving Day, gratitude and faith necessitates that each and every one of us with humility and faith thank Almighty God for all that we have no matter what.
To appreciate what we have it is a must to look wisely around and observe the millions and millions of people all over the world who are totally deprived from almost every thing that is basic and needed for securing a descent life.
Let us be grateful and thank Almighty God genuinely and with full reverence.
On this special day we have to focus on praying and combine both faith and acts together.
We need to train ourselves to witness for the truth and to be humble and generous in giving what we can to all those who are in need.
We must recognize and understand with no shed of doubt that the only weapons that a peaceful believer can use to fight hardships of all sorts are faith, honesty, self trust, righteousness and praying.
Let us all pray and ask Almighty God for what ever we are in need for ourselves, for others and for our beloved both countries, Canada and Lebanon.
Almighty God definitely will hear and respond in case we are genuine in our prayers and praying with confidence, faith and trust, but His responses shall be mostly beyond our understanding or grasping.
Let us Pray for on going peace and prosperity in the hospitable and great Canada that gave us a home when we needed it.
Let us pray for peace in our beloved original country, Lebanon and for freedom of its persecuted and impoverished people.
Let us pray for the souls of Lebanon's martyrs that fell on October 13/1990 while defending Lebanon's dignity and independence.
Let us pray that Jesus Christ shall grant, our mother country, Lebanon, the Land Of the Holy Cedars with faithful clergymen and brave political leaders who fear him and count for His Day Of Judgment.
Let us pray for peace and tranquility all over the world.

Israel on high alert after rocket exchanges at Lebanon border
Arab News/October 10/2023
BEIRUT: The UN force in Lebanon conducted intensive patrols along the southern border of the country on Tuesday, following hours of rocket exchanges between Israeli forces and Hezbollah fighters. Correspondents in the southern region reported “Israeli soldiers on high alert on the other side of the border and the deployment of the Lebanese army from the Lebanese side.” The tensions led to the displacement of more people from the border area toward the cities of Sidon, Beirut and the Bekaa region, amid intense Israeli jet intrusions in Lebanese airspace. All public and private schools located south of the Litani Line, especially in the districts of Tyre and Bint Jbeil, were closed. The Lebanese University announced the closure of all its branches in the south, in Nabatieh, Tyre and Bint Jbeil, “due to the tense security situation on the southern border.”Hezbollah officially mourned the loss of three of its members who were killed in an Israeli airstrike on the outskirts of Marwahin, Boustane, az Zallutiyya, Yarine and Naqoura, and the town of Ayta ash Shab in the Bint Jbeil district. This came after a group from Hezbollah launched an attack on Monday afternoon on the Israeli Pranit barracks, which serves as the command center of the Galilee Division, and the Avivim barracks, a command center of a battalion affiliated with the Western Brigade, with guided missiles and mortar shells. The party reported “inflicting human losses on the Israeli army.”Lebanese regions saw a rush of residents to gas stations for the second consecutive day, as well as to shopping centers and warehouses, to stock up on supplies, amid fears that the confrontations on the border would escalate into a battle that spilled over into the Lebanese interior. In the context of containing any repercussions from the events in the Gaza Strip, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri held a meeting with caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati. Berri also met US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea. Mikati called for a Cabinet session on Thursday “to discuss the security situation in the country and the measures taken,” and held talks with the country’s top military officials. The British Foreign Ministry, through its embassy in Lebanon, “advised travel to Lebanon only when necessary and not to go to certain areas south of the Litani River, which include the Naqoura-Tyre-Sidon-Beirut Highway and the areas west of it.”It also warned “against going to the Hermel area, including the cities of Arsal, Ras Baalbek, Qaa, Labweh, and Nahle, and the Palestinian refugee camps, or within five kilometers of the border with Syria.” British Ambassador Hamish Cowell stressed “the importance of Lebanon not being drawn into the conflict and remaining distant from it.”
A political observer told Arab News: “Lebanon and its economy cannot bear the repercussions of any new war with Israel that breaks out in the south and extends to the rest of the country. “The tensions on the southern Lebanese border have not yet reached the point of opening a war front with Israel, and their objective seems to be to alleviate pressure on the Gaza front. “The cost of the war on Lebanon is exorbitant, and it has previously gone through the experience. Lebanon’s infrastructure is run down, and it faces a monetary collapse if it gets involved in the war. Massive chaos with dangerous social repercussions might ensue, especially if Israel strikes vital facilities and ports.”The Lebanese Kataeb Party warned, after a meeting of its political council, against Lebanon sliding into a new war “that is unnecessary and serves a plan aimed at stabilizing power equations in the region and prioritizing foreign interests over Lebanese interest.” It added: “The use of Lebanese territory and linking it to the Palestinian arena is unacceptable, and Hezbollah or any of the Palestinian factions cannot speak on behalf of Lebanon, whether in war or peace, because this decision belongs to the Lebanese state and all its institutions.”The party condemned “Israel resorting to the logic of force and violence that has brought nothing but destruction for 75 years, displacing the Palestinian people and leaving them at the mercy of agreements that have remained ink on paper.”
The Lebanese Press Editors Syndicate on Tuesday condemned “the attack on Al Arabiya reporter Mahmoud Shukr while he was covering the events in southern Lebanon.” He sustained injuries that required hospitalization. The syndicate also condemned “the targeting of journalists, media personnel, and photographers as they perform their professional duty in covering the events of the Gaza Strip, which has led to the martyrdom of some of them and the destruction of press institutions, news agencies, and Radio Gaza.”

Israel says reports of drone infiltration from Lebanon or Syria are false
Naharnet/October 10/2023
Reports that a drone may have crossed into Israel from Lebanon or Syria turned out to be "false," the Israeli army said on Tuesday. “There are reports of a suspected aerial violation over the Golan and the Upper Galilee and our aircraft are monitoring the area,” the army had said earlier. “The Israeli army said there is suspicion of a security incident in the Golan and on the eastern sector facing Lebanon, asking residents to enter shelters,” Al-Jazeera television reported. Hezbollah's al-Manar television meanwhile said that the alert was triggered by a small drone launched by an Israeli.

Israel fires four shells at south Lebanon at dawn
Naharnet/October 10/2023
Israeli forces shelled the southern Lebanese border towns of Blida and Mays al-Jabal at dawn Tuesday, Lebanon’s National News Agency said. The agency said the Israeli army fired four artillery shells after suspecting the presence of a cross-border infiltration attempt.
The bombardment came after a day of deadly cross-border exchanges between Israel, the Islamic Jihad Palestinian movement and Hezbollah. Those clashes continued until late Monday. The flare-up started after four Islamic Jihad militants killed three Israeli soldiers and wounded several others in an infiltration attack. The four militants were killed in the clash. Israel later shelled southern border areas as well as three Hezbollah posts, killing three Hezbollah members and eventually drawing retaliatory shelling by the Lebanese group against two barracks in northern Israel. Hezbollah described its attack as an “initial response” as media reports said the group intends to stage another retaliatory attack.

Israel, Hezbollah exchange fire for 3rd day after Hamas fires rockets from Lebanon
Agence France Presse/October 10/2023
A fresh salvo of rockets was fired from south Lebanon towards Israel on Tuesday, prompting Israeli attacks on positions belonging to Hezbollah and retaliatory fire, in the third consecutive day of cross-border tensions. The rocket launch, which was claimed by Hamas' armed wing, comes amid a raging war between Israel and the Hamas in and around the Gaza Strip. "Rockets were fired from... southern Lebanon towards the Galilee" region in northern Israel, Lebanon's official National News Agency (NNA) said. A Lebanese military source, requesting anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media, said the rockets were fired from the town of Qlayleh, located in the south Lebanon district of Tyre. "In response to the launches identified from Lebanese territory toward Israeli territory, IDF (Israeli army) soldiers are currently responding with artillery fire," Israeli forces said. Israeli army tanks bombed Hezbollah "two observation posts" in response to the rocket fire, the military added on X, formerly Twitter, adding that Israel is ready "for all scenarios in all arenas."The Israeli army also said one of its helicopters struck another Hezbollah observation post in response to an "anti-tank missile launched from Lebanon toward a military vehicle." Hezbollah said in a statement that "in response to Israeli attacks" on a number of the group's observation points, its fighters targeted an Israeli armored personnel carrier (APC) in the Avivim settlement "with two guided missiles." The group said the APC was "totally destroyed."Tuesday's exchange of fire comes a day after Israeli strikes on Lebanon killed three Hezbollah members. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which acts as a buffer between Lebanon and Israel, said it was in contact with both sides "to de-escalate this very dangerous situation."There were no immediate reports of casualties on the Lebanese side, according to the NNA, which said areas targeted included the village of Dhayra near the border.An AFP photographer said Israeli fire also struck areas further west in Kfarshouba and near the occupied Shebaa Farms.
Hours earlier, AFP correspondents in the Goren area in northern Israel saw soldiers moving tanks and manning roadblocks. "Things are tense here. The atmosphere is bad, it's like a war situation," said Yaakov Regev, 67, a resident of Kalanit in northern Israel. "We are not afraid," said Aharon Hillel, 62, from the community of Alma, close to the border. "We don't care about (Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan) Nasrallah or Hezbollah or anything," he said. "To us, they are dust, insignificant," he added. On Monday, Hezbollah said it retaliated to Israeli strikes that killed three of its members by striking two Israeli barracks. Also Monday, Israel's army said its soldiers had "killed a number of armed suspects" who had crossed the frontier from Lebanon. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad group's armed wing, which claims to be fighting Israel alongside Hamas, said it was behind the thwarted infiltration bid. On Sunday, Hezbollah said it had fired artillery shells and guided missiles at Israel, "in solidarity" with attacks launched from Gaza by its ally Hamas. Israel's army said it hit back with artillery into southern Lebanon. In 2006 Hezbollah and Israel fought a 34-day war that left more than 1,200 dead in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and 160 in Israel, mostly soldiers. The two sides remain technically at war. Israel and the U.S. have warned Hezbollah against involvement in the war with Gaza.

Continued School Closures Near Southern Borders: Minister Halabi Cites Safety Concerns
LBCI/October 10/2023
Caretaker Minister of Education Abbas Halabi announced on Tuesday the continuation of the closure of official and private schools secondary schools tomorrow, Wednesday, in the districts adjacent to the international southern borders. This decision comes as a result of the tension in the villages located in the mentioned districts, with concerns about the safety of teachers, students, and residents. Halabi urged monitoring the ministry's statements daily to track field developments and ensure the start of the academic year.

Hezbollah Responds to Israeli Attacks with Precision Strike on Military Vehicle

LBCI/October 10/2023
Hezbollah issued on Tuesday the following statement: In response to the Israeli attacks targeting several observation points belonging to the Islamic Resistance, our fighters this evening targeted an Israeli military vehicle of the Zelda type at the Sadah site west of the town of Salha (the colony called Avievim) with two guided missiles, hitting and completely destroying it.

Outskirts of Qlaileh and Dahira subjected to Israeli artillery shelling: LAF

LBCI/October 10/2023
The army command - Directorate of Guidance announced in a statement that on 10/10/2023, the outskirts of the areas of Qlaileh and Dahira, as well as other border areas in the district of Tyre, were subjected to artillery shelling by the Israeli enemy, following the launch of rockets from the Qlaileh plain towards the occupied Palestinian territories.

UNIFIL Urges Restraint in Tense Situation
LBCI/October 10/2023
UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti said on Tuesday that UNIFIL detected the firing of rockets from the south of the city of Tyre at around 5:30 in the evening. 'We continue our contacts with authorities on both sides of the Blue Line to calm this extremely dangerous situation, urging everyone to exercise restraint in this critical time,' he added.

US warns Hezbollah not to open new front against Israel
Agence France Presse/October 10/2023
Hezbollah should not make the "wrong decision" of opening a second front against Israel as it battles attacks by Hamas, a senior U.S. defense official warned Monday. "We are deeply concerned about Hezbollah making the wrong decision and choosing to open a second front to this conflict," the official told journalists. One of the reasons Washington is deploying a carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean is to signal that Iran-backed groups such as Hezbollah should not "question the commitment of the U.S. government to support the defense of Israel," the official said.
The U.S. announced the decision on the strike group, which includes an aircraft carrier and other warships, on Sunday -- a day after Hamas militants launched an unprecedented multi-pronged attack on Israel's southern flank from the blockaded Gaza Strip, leaving hundreds of people dead. Israel and Hezbollah have already traded fire this week, but have stopped short of the devastating full-scale war they fought in 2006 -- a repeat of which would force Israel's military to fight on two fronts, stretching its forces thin. Hezbollah said Israeli strikes killed three of its members on Monday, after which it targeted two Israeli barracks. The senior defense official likened the weekend attacks by Hamas to the notorious brutality of the Islamic State jihadist group, which is known by the acronym ISIS. "This is ISIS-level savagery that we have seen committed against Israeli civilians -- houses burned to the ground, young people massacred at music festivals," the official said.

Reports: Hezbollah to respond to Israel's killing of its members
Naharnet/October 10/2023
Hezbollah will “certainly respond” to the Israeli shelling that killed three of its members in south Lebanon on Monday, Hezbollah sources told al-Joumhouria newspaper in remarks published Tuesday. Sources close to the group meanwhile told the daily that Hezbollah is maintaining the highest level of preparedness for any development, while denying the reports about Hezbollah “messages” sent to Israel through Arab sides. “Hezbollah is not concerned with any baseless fabrications and is not concerned with messaging anyone about what the resistance might do, seeing as the resistance’s steps speak for themselves,” the sources added. The reports had said that Hezbollah had threatened to intervene in the war should Israel stage a land invasion in Gaza. Diplomatic sources meanwhile told the Nidaa al-Watan newspaper that “there is a U.S. and European cover for Israel on the border with Lebanon, similar to the cover it has in the Gaza war.”“Lebanon will be left to its fate should Hezbollah carry out any military act on the southern border,” the sources added. In a statement issued Monday, Hezbollah described its shelling of two military barracks in northern Israel as an "initial" retaliation to the killing of its three members. The Israeli attack, accompanied by intensive bombardment of Lebanese border areas, followed a deadly infiltration attack by Palestinian militants that was carried out from south Lebanon against the Israeli army.

Hamas official says Iran, Hezbollah had no role but will help if needed

Associated Press/October 10/2023
A senior Hamas official has said only a small number of top commanders inside Gaza knew about the wide-ranging incursion launched into Israel, but that allies like Iran and Hezbollah "will join the battle if Gaza is subjected to a war of annihilation." Ali Barakeh, a member of Hamas' exiled leadership, spoke to The Associated Press in his Beirut office as Israel bombarded Gaza and vowed a total blockade of the Hamas-ruled territory. The surprise attack on Saturday caught Israel's vaunted military and intelligence services completely off guard, as hundreds of Hamas gunmen poured through holes blown in the border fence and rampaged through several towns, killing hundreds of soldiers and civilians, and capturing scores of others. Barakeh said the attack was planned by around a half dozen top Hamas commanders in Gaza and that even the group's closest allies were not informed in advance about the timing. He denied reports that Iranian security officials helped plan the attack or gave the go-ahead at a meeting last week in Beirut.
"Only a handful of Hamas commanders knew about the zero hour," Barakeh said, adding that no one from the central command or the political bureau of Hamas was in the Lebanese capital last week. He acknowledged that Iran and Hezbollah have helped Hamas in the past, but said that since the 2014 Gaza war Hamas has been producing its own rockets and training its own fighters. Asked whether the U.S. has seen evidence of Iranian involvement, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby at the White House noted "there's a degree of complicity" from Iran due to its years of support for Hamas, however, the U.S. hasn't "seen hard, tangible, evidence that Iran was directly involved in participating in or resourcing, planning these sets of complex attacks that Hamas pulled off over the weekend."Barakeh also denied speculation that the attack, which had been planned for more than a year, was aimed at derailing U.S. efforts to convince Saudi Arabia to normalize ties with Israel. Instead, he said it was driven by a range of actions taken by Israel's far-right government over the past year, including provocative visits to a flashpoint Jerusalem holy site and increased pressure on Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. He also said Hamas believed Israel had plans to kill its top leaders. He said even Hamas was shocked by the extent of the operation, dubbed "Operation Al-Aqsa Storm," saying it had expected Israel to prevent or limit the attack.
"We were surprised by this great collapse," Barakeh said. "We were planning to make some gains and take prisoners to exchange them. This army was a paper tiger."
His claim that Hamas has only planned a small operation is belied by the fact that an estimated 1,000 fighters took part in the incursion, attacking by land, sea and even motorized paragliders. Israel has declared all-out war and vowed to punish Hamas like never before, and the mobilization of 300,000 Israeli reserves has raised the prospect of a ground invasion or even a reoccupation of Gaza. The Israeli military says it has already killed hundreds of militants and bombed numerous Hamas targets.
Barakeh said Hamas has so far employed only a small number of its own forces. He said nearly 2,000 Hamas fighters have taken part in the latest fighting, out of an army of 40,000 in Gaza alone. Hamas may also be able to count on its allies if it faces a major setback. On Sunday, Hezbollah fired several rockets and shells at three Israeli positions in a disputed area. On Monday, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group claimed it sent four gunmen across Lebanon's border into Israel. The militants said they had wounded seven Israeli soldiers. Israel said its own forces shot and killed several gunmen who crossed into the country from Lebanon. It also shelled southern Lebanon in response. Barakeh, who was Hamas' representative in Lebanon for years and is now in charge of coordinating with other Palestinian factions, said his group will use the scores of Israelis it captured in the raid to secure the release of all Arabs detained in Israeli jails and even some Palestinians imprisoned in the United States on charges of funding Hamas. "There are Palestinians held in America. We will ask for their release," he said, without specifying who he was referring to. In 2009, a court in Dallas sentenced two founding members of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, once the largest U.S. Muslim charity, to 65 years in prison for funneling millions of dollars to Hamas. Three other men were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 15 to 20 years for conspiracy. Barakeh said Hamas is ready to fight a long war with Israel, saying it has an arsenal of rockets that will last a long time. "We have prepared well for this war and to deal with all scenarios, even the scenario of the long war," he added. "We will bring life to a stop in the Zionist entity if the aggression does not stop on Gaza."

UK advises against non-essential travel to Lebanon, all travel to south
Naharnet/October 10/2023
The British Embassy in Beirut has announced updated Travel Advice for Lebanon. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office advised Tuesday against non-essential travel to Lebanon and against all travel to some areas in the south of the country. This means that British nationals should only travel to Lebanon if their travel is essential. "We now advise against all travel to the area south of the Litani river which includes the main Naqoura-Tyre-Saida-Beirut highway and areas to the west of it," the embassy said in a statement. "In addition, we continue to advise against all travel to the Hermel Area, including the towns of Arsal, Ras Baalbek, Qaa, Laboué and Nahlé, Palestinian refugee camps or within 5km of the border with Syria."The British Embassy said that its Travel Advice is under constant review, as "the situation is unpredictable and could deteriorate without warning."

British ambassador calls for keeping Lebanon out of conflict
Naharnet/October 10/2023
British Ambassador to Lebanon Hamish Cowell on Tuesday met with caretaker Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib and discussed with him the developments in Gaza and Lebanon. The National News Agency said Cowell stressed the importance of keeping Lebanon out of the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. The talks also tackled several issues of common interest. U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea meanwhile held a meeting in Ain el-Tineh with Speaker Nabih Berri.

Mikati asks Cabinet to convene over security situation and Syrian refugees
Naharnet/October 10/2023
Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati has scheduled a caretaker Cabinet session for this Thursday. A statement issued by Cabinet’s secretary-general said the session will tackle “the current developments at all levels,” in reference to the Israel-Gaza war and the latest military developments in south Lebanon. Cabinet will also discuss a periodic report related to following up on the measures taken to confront the Syrian refugee crisis, the statement said. Mikati also appeared to urge the boycotting Free Patriotic Movement ministers to attend the session. “Mr. Prime Minister Najib Mikati calls on all ministers to take part in the scheduled session to fulfill the national duty that they are keen on, especially amid the critical circumstances that the country is going through,” the statement added.

'Spirit of resistance': Lebanese, Arab support for Palestinians swells
Agence France Presse/October 10/2023
In mosques, football stadiums and towns across the Arab world, pro-Palestinian sentiment has surged after a shock Hamas attack on Israel, sparking a groundswell of solidarity for the Palestinians. From Ramallah to Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and Cairo, people have distributed sweets, danced and chanted prayers in support of the "resistance" to Israel's long-standing occupation of Palestinian land. The Hamas assault has killed at least 900 Israelis and wounded hundreds more, while the militants have taken around 150 hostages, the Israeli government has said. Israeli retaliatory strikes on the Gaza Strip targets have killed 765 people and also wounded hundreds, according to the Hamas-controlled health ministry in the blockaded enclave. Hours after the shock operation began on Saturday, Palestinian supporters distributed sweets in south Lebanon and the capital Beirut.
Israel and Lebanon are still technically at war and Israeli troops occupied the country's south for 22 years. Residents of the southern port city of Sidon set off fire crackers and gathered in public squares as mosques blasted chants praising "Palestinian resistance fighters who are writing the most wonderful, heroic epic".A rally was held at the American University of Beirut, where 18-year-old Palestinian student Reem Sobh said: "We are unable to carry weapons but at least, we are able to support them."On Instagram, Lebanese comedian Shaden Fakih explained the wave of support widely condemned in the West. "What do you expect from Palestinians? To get killed every day and not do anything about it... to die silently?" she said in a video. "They will carry arms and fight back. This is their right," she added, noting that she "can be against Hamas and still support any armed resistance against the oppressor, against (Israeli) apartheid". In the Tunisian capital, schools raised Palestinian flags and a coalition of organisations and political parties have called for massive solidarity rallies. The presidency declared its "full and unconditional support of the Palestinian people" and of their right to resist occupation.

Jumblat urges Hezbollah to keep situation in south 'under control'
Naharnet/October 10/2023
Former Progressive Socialist party leader Walid Jumblat has urged Hezbollah to keep the situation in the South under control, after Palestinian militants tried to infiltrate into Israel from Lebanon. Hezbollah has to control the situation in the south more than any time before especially against infiltration attempts, Jubmlat said, warning against a "Jewish-Islamic conflict." "The Palestinians are resisting the occupation, but I don't understand some Lebanese who want to 'destroy' Israel," he said, as he criticized a statement by Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad. "What Raad said is useless," Jumblat told MTV, vowing to talks to Hezbollah about the border situation. Heavy Israeli strikes on south Lebanon killed three Hezbollah members Monday and "slightly wounded" a Lebanese officer, as tensions surged after Palestinian militants tried to infiltrate into Israel from Lebanon. Hezbollah retaliated by striking two Israeli barracks, "in an initial response." Hezbollah, whose arch-foe is Israel, had earlier denied any involvement in the infiltration border clashes. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad group's armed wing, Al-Quds Brigades, claimed responsibility. On Sunday, Hezbollah fired artillery shells and guided missiles at the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms, "in solidarity" with attacks launched from Gaza by its ally Hamas. Israel's army hit back with artillery into southern Lebanon.

Latest English LCCC Miscellaneous Reports And News published on October 10-11/2023
Biden calls Hamas attack 'sheer evil,' throws full support behind Israel
Ynetnews/October 10/2023
U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday evening called the Hamas attack on Israel "an act of sheer evil" and announced that Washington would send military aid so that the Jewish state will "have what it needs to defend its cities and citizens."
In a statement delivered from the White House, Biden said that Hamas' "sole purpose is to kill Jews." He also announced that the United States would send Israel ammunition and replenish its Iron Dome missile defense system interceptors.
The Democratic president confirmed that at least 14 Americans were killed in Saturday's surprise attack and that others are among the hostages being held captive by Hamas in Gaza. "Sadly, for the Jewish people this is not new," Biden said of the attack, noting that the Jewish people suffer from the "scars left by a millennium of antisemitism and genocide."Biden stressed that Israel will "have what it needs" and that "We are going to make sure Israel does not run out of these critical assets to protect its cities and its citizens." This includes sending more ammunition and interceptors for the Iron Dome missile defense system, which shoots most of the rockets fired from Gaza that head for populated areas. "We stand ready to move additional assets on as needed," he also said, adding that, "Like every nation in the world, Israel has a right to respond, a duty to respond."Biden noted that he had spoken earlier on Tuesday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the third conversation between the two leaders since the Hamas attack. He said he is also working with several European countries to formulate a unified response. Biden said he would ask Congress to take "urgent action" to help fund Israel's efforts to help its citizens in the wake of the attack now that it has reconvened, though the recent ouster of U.S. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy could present hurdles in the way. According to Biden, U.S. experts are consulting with and advising Israel on hostage recovery. The U.S. president also said that throughout the United States, "Police departments have stepped up security around Jewish centers of life." "Let there be no doubt, the United States has Israel's back," Biden said, warning any adversary of Israel that is considering taking advantage of the current war in Israel, "I have one word, Don't. Our hearts may be broken but our resolve is clear. We reject indiscriminate evil, just as we have always done."

Palestinians scramble for safety as Israel pounds sealed-off Gaza Strip to punish Hamas
JERUSALEM (AP)/October 10, 2023
Israeli warplanes hammered the Gaza Strip neighborhood by neighborhood Tuesday, reducing buildings to rubble and sending people scrambling to find safety in the tiny, sealed-off territory now suffering severe retaliation for the deadly weekend attack by Hamas militants.
Humanitarian groups pleaded for the creation of corridors to get aid into Gaza and warned that hospitals overwhelmed with wounded people were running out of supplies. Israel has stopped entry of food, fuel and medicines into Gaza, and the sole remaining access from Egypt shut down Tuesday after airstrikes hit near the border crossing.
The war, which has claimed at least 1,900 lives on both sides, is expected to escalate. The weekend attack that Hamas said was retribution for worsening conditions for Palestinians under Israeli occupation has fired Israel's determination to crush the group's hold in Gaza. New exchanges of fire over Israel's northern borders with militants in Lebanon and Syria on Tuesday pointed to the risk of an expanded regional conflict. Hamas militants stormed into Israel on Saturday morning, slaying hundreds of residents in homes and streets near the Gaza border and bringing gunbattles to Israeli towns for the first time in decades. Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza hold about 150 soldiers and civilians hostage, according to Israel. Israel stepped up its offensive on Tuesday, expanding the mobilization of reservists to 360,000. Israel’s military said it had regained effective control over areas Hamas attacked in its south, and of the Gaza border. A looming question is whether Israel will launch a ground assault into Gaza — a 40-kilometer-long (25-mile) strip of land wedged among Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea that is home to 2.3 million people and has been governed by Hamas since 2007.
Rescue officials in Gaza said “large numbers” of people were still trapped under the remnants of leveled buildings, with rescue equipment and ambulances unable to reach the area. On Tuesday, a large part of Gaza City’s Rimal neighborhood was reduced to rubble after hours of airstrikes the night before. Residents found buildings torn in half or demolished to mounds of concrete and rebar. Cars were flattened and trees burned out on residential streets transformed into moonscapes.
Palestinian Civil Defense forces pulled Abdullah Musleh out of his basement together with 30 others after their apartment building was flattened.
“I sell toys, not missiles,’’ the 46-year-old said, weeping. “I want to leave Gaza. Why do I have to stay here? I lost my home and my job."
The Israeli military said it struck hundreds of targets in Rimal, an upscale district home to ministries of the Hamas-run government, universities, media organizations and the aid agency offices. In a new tactic, Israel is warning civilians to evacuate neighborhood after neighborhood, and then inflicting devastation, in what could be a prelude to a ground offensive. On Tuesday, the military told residents of the nearby al-Daraj neighborhood to evacuate, and soon after new explosions rocked it and other areas, continuing into the night. One blast hit Gaza City's seaport, setting fishing boats aflame.
“There is no safe place in Gaza right now. You see decent people being killed every day,” Hasan Jabar, a Gaza journalist, said after three Palestinian journalists were killed in the Rimal bombardment. “I am genuinely afraid for my life.”
Tuesday afternoon, Hamas fired barrages of rockets toward the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon and Tel Aviv. There were no immediate reports of casualties. On Tuesday night, a group of militants entered an industrial zone in Ashkelon, sparking a gunbattle with Israeli troops, the military said. Three militants were killed, and troops were searching the area for others. Israel's new tactics could point to its new objective. Four previous rounds of Israel-Hamas fighting between 2008 and 2021 all ended inconclusively, with Hamas battered but still in control. This time, Israel’s government is under intense pressure from the public to topple Hamas, a goal considered unachievable in the past because it would require a reoccupation of the Gaza Strip, at least temporarily.
“The objective is for this war to end very differently from all of the previous rounds. There has to be a clear victory,” said Chuck Freilich, a former deputy national security adviser in Israel. "Whatever has to be done to fundamentally change the situation will have to be done,” he said.
The devastation also sharpened questions about Hamas' strategy and objectives. Hamas officials have said they planned for all possibilities, including a punishing Israeli escalation. Desperation has grown among Palestinians, many of whom see nothing to lose under unending Israeli control and increasing settlements in the West Bank, a 16-year-long blockade in Gaza and what they see as the world’s apathy.
Hamas may have been counting on the fight to spread to the West Bank and possibly for Lebanon’s Hezbollah to open a front in the north. Days of clashes between rock-throwing Palestinians and Israeli forces in the West Bank have left 15 Palestinians dead, but Israel has clamped down heavily on the territory, preventing movement between communities. The violence also spread into east Jerusalem, where Israeli police said they killed two Palestinians who hurled stones at police late Tuesday. Brief exchanges of fire across Israel's northern border have taken place nearly daily. Palestinian militants fired rockets into northern Israel from Lebanon and from Syria on Tuesday, each bringing Israeli artillery and mortar fire in return. But so far they have not escalated. In hopes of blunting the bombardment in Gaza, Hamas has threatened to kill one Israeli civilian captive any time Israel targets civilians in their homes in Gaza “without prior warning.” The militants’ attack stunned Israel with a death toll unseen since the 1973 war with Egypt and Syria — and those deaths happened over a longer period of time. It brought horrific scenes of Hamas militants gunning down civilians in their homes, on streets and at a mass outdoor music festival, while dragging men, women and children into captivity.
The Israeli military said more than 1,000 people, including 155 soldiers, have been killed in Israel. In Gaza, 900 people have been killed, including 260 children and 230 women, according to authorities there; Israel says hundreds of Hamas fighters are among them. Thousands have been wounded on both sides.
U.S. President Joe Biden said Tuesday at least 14 U.S. citizens were killed in Hamas’ attack and that Americans are among those being held hostage in Gaza. Biden, who spoke earlier in the day with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said “there is no justification for terrorism.”
Biden added an apparent warning to Hezbollah, saying, “To any country, any organization, anyone thinking of taking advantage of the situation, I have one word: Don’t." The State Department announced that Secretary of State Antony Blinken would travel in the coming days to Israel to deliver a message of solidarity and support. Hamas responded to Biden, saying his administration should “review its biased position" and "move away from the policy of double standards” over Palestinian rights to defend themselves against Israeli occupation.
The bodies of roughly 1,500 Hamas militants were found on Israeli territory, the military said. It wasn’t clear whether those numbers overlapped with deaths reported by Palestinian authorities. Tens of thousands of people in southern Israel have been evacuated since Sunday.In Gaza, more than 200,000 people have fled their homes, the U.N. said, the most since a 2014 air and ground offensive by Israel uprooted about 400,000. The vast majority are sheltering in schools run by the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees. Damage to three water and sanitation sites have cut off services to 400,000 people, the U.N. said.
The U.N.’s World Health Organization said that supplies it had pre-positioned for seven hospitals in Gaza have already run out amid the flood of wounded. The head of the medical aid group Doctors Without Borders said surgical equipment, antibiotics, fuel and other supplies were running out at two hospitals it runs in Gaza.

Hamas leader: No prisoner swap before end of war
Israel times/October 10/2023
Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh says that the issue of prisoner exchanges will only be tackled after the end of the war. In a statement, the terror group leader says that “parties that have contacted us” offering mediation for a hostage release through a prisoner swap have been informed of the decision.Haniyeh also praises Gazans’ endurance and willingness to sacrifice themselves for the Palestinian cause, and says that the “destruction” currently carried out by the Israeli army in Gaza in retaliation strikes is a reflection of the “shame of its defeat.” The death toll since Hamas launched its devastating cross-border attack on Saturday has risen to over 900, with some 150 people kidnapped to Gaza, according to reports.

Israel strikes Gaza, mobilizes 300,000 reservists as war enters fourth day
Associated Press/October 10/2023
Israeli warplanes pounded downtown Gaza City, home to Hamas' centers of government, with relentless bombardments into early Tuesday, after Israel's prime minister vowed retaliation against the Islamic militant group that would "reverberate for generations."
The 4-day-old war has already claimed at least 1,600 lives, as Israel saw gun battles in the streets of its own towns for the first time in decades and neighborhoods in Gaza were reduced to rubble. Hamas also escalated the conflict, pledging to kill captured Israelis if strikes targeted civilians without warning. Israel's military said it had found the bodies of roughly 1,500 Hamas militants in Israeli territory as it gained effective control in the south and "restored full control" over the border. It was not immediately clear if those numbers overlapped with deaths previously reported by Palestinian authorities.
Israel said that Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza are holding more than 150 soldiers and civilians snatched from inside Israel after the attack caught its vaunted military and intelligence apparatus completely off guard.
As the Israeli military activated 300,000 reservists in a massive mobilization, a major question was whether it will launch a ground assault into the tiny Mediterranean coastal territory. The last ground assault was in 2014.
The moves, along with Israel's formal declaration of war on Sunday, pointed to Israel increasingly shifting to the offensive against Hamas, threatening greater destruction in the densely populated, impoverished Gaza Strip.
"We have only started striking Hamas," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a nationally televised address. "What we will do to our enemies in the coming days will reverberate with them for generations."
The Israeli military said it struck hundreds of Hamas targets in Gaza's City Rimal densely populated neighborhood, an upscale district of Gaza City that's home to Hamas ministries, as well as universities, media organizations and the offices of aid organizations.
After hours of nonstop strikes overnight, some Rimal residents left their homes at daybreak to find some buildings torn in half by strikes, while others were reduced to mounds of concrete and rebar. Cars were flattened and trees burned out in moonscapes that had been residential streets. The devastation in Rimal signaled what could be a new Israeli tactic: warning civilians to leave certain areas and then hitting those areas with airstrikes of unprecedented intensity. The heavy bombardment began in areas of Gaza bordering Israel over the weekend, and overnight shifted to the center of Gaza City. If these types of bombardments continue, Gaza civilians will have fewer and fewer places to shelter as more neighborhoods become uninhabitable.
The U.N. said Tuesday that more than 187,000 of Gaza's 2.3 million people have left their homes — the most since a 2014 air and ground offensive by Israel uprooted about 400,000. UNRWA, the U.N. agencies for Palestinian refugees, is sheltering more than 137,000 people in schools across the territory. Families have taken in some 41,000 others.
In a briefing Tuesday, Hecht suggested Palestinians should try to leave through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. A short while later, the Israeli military said the Rafah crossing was closed, but Hamas officials later said Palestinians who had previously registered to enter Egypt would be able to do so. Asked if Israel considered Hamas' civil government, such as parliament and ministries, legitimate targets, Hecht said "if there's a gunman firing rockets from there, it turns into a military target."
In response to Israel's aerial attacks, the spokesman of Hamas' armed wing, Abu Obeida, said Monday night that the group will kill one Israeli civilian captive any time Israel targets civilians in their homes in Gaza "without prior warning."
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen warned Hamas against harming any of the hostages, saying, "This war crime will not be forgiven." Netanyahu appointed a former military commander to manage the hostage and missing persons crisis.
The Israeli military said more than 900 people already have been killed in Israel. In Gaza and the West Bank, 704 people have been killed, according to authorities there; Israel says hundreds of Hamas fighters are among them. Thousands have been wounded on both sides. The surprise weekend attack by Hamas left a death toll unseen since the 1973 war with Egypt and Syria. That fomented calls to crush Hamas no matter the cost, rather than continuing to try to bottle it up in Gaza. Israel is run by its most hard-right government ever, dominated by ministers who adamantly reject Palestinian statehood.
Hamas, in turn, says it is ready for a long battle to end an Israeli occupation it says is no longer tolerable. Desperation has grown among Palestinians, many of whom see nothing to lose under unending Israeli control and increasing settler depredations in the West Bank, the blockade in Gaza and what they see as the world's apathy.
Israeli airstrikes on Gaza have razed 790 housing units and severely damaged 5,330, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said early Tuesday. Damage to three water and sanitation sites have cut off services to 400,000.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant ordered a "complete siege" on Gaza, saying authorities would cut electricity and block the entry of food and fuel.
Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council aid group, warned that Israel's siege would spell "utter disaster" for Gazans.
"There is no doubt that collective punishment is in violation of international law," he told The Associated Press. "If and when it would lead to wounded children dying in hospitals because of lack of energy, electricity and supplies, it could amount to war crimes."
The Israeli siege will leave Gaza almost entirely dependent on its crossing into neighboring Egypt at Rafah, where cargo capacities are lower than other crossings into Israel.
An Egyptian military official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the press, said more than 2 tons of medical supplies from the Egyptian Red Crescent were sent to Gaza and efforts were underway to organize food and other deliveries. Hamas has ruled Gaza since driving out forces loyal to the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority in 2007, and its rule has gone unchallenged through the blockade and four previous wars with Israel. Meanwhile in the West Bank, Palestinians entered a fourth day under severe movement restrictions. Israeli authorities have sealed off crossings to the occupied territory and closed checkpoints, blocking movement between cities and towns. Clashes between rock-throwing Palestinians and Israeli forces in the territory since the start of the incursion have left 15 Palestinians dead, according to the U.N.

More than 1,200 Israelis feared dead in Hamas attack, officials estimate
Ynetnews/October 10, 2023
DM: 'You saw firsthand what we are fighting against, human beasts, Islamic State of Gaza'; Crossborder fire on northern front as Hezbollah looks to avenge slain operatives; Two senior Hamas officials killed in Gaza air raids; Israel counts more than 1,000 dead since start of war
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant toured the Gaza border region Tuesday evening and spoke with soldiers in the field. Gallant to the soldiers: "I have lifted all restrictions; we have taken control of the sector and are moving to a full-scale attack. Hamas wanted a change in Gaza, you will have the honor to turn the tables on its head." "You stood bravely on the front line, struck many terrorists, and saved lives. You saw firsthand what we are fighting against - human beasts – the Islamic State of Gaza. Thanks to your heroic action in this defense mission, you will have the honor of changing the reality here. You saw the costs, and you will witness the turnaround,” he told troops in the field.
"Hamas wanted a change in Gaza, it will change 180 degrees from what they thought. They will regret this moment - Gaza will not return to what it was." The defense minister added, "There will be no situation where Israeli children are murdered in the fields, and Hamas continues to exist. I have lifted all restrictions - we will kill everyone who fights us, using all means. Whoever comes to behead, to murder women, Holocaust survivors – we will annihilate them."
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry reported that as of Tuesday 7pm, 535 people were hospitalized across Israel with injuries sustained in Hamas’s attack.
One of them was reportedly in critical condition, 105 in serious condition, 262 in moderate condition and 167 in light condition. So far, 2,901 have been admitted to hospitals across the country with injuries sustained in the attack.
Earlier, fourteen rockets were fired from Lebanon into northern Israel - triggering air raid sirens in the Western Galilee region, four of which were intercepted by Israeli air defense systems and ten others crashed in unpopulated areas, the IDF reported Tuesday evening.
The military said it responded with artillery fire, hitting two Hezbollah observation posts. Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese TV channel Al-Mayadin reported that three rocket volleys were fired into northern Israel.
The Municipality of Ma'alot-Tarshiha in the Upper Galilee has instructed its residents to stay near protected spaces following "impacts in the Goren, Shlomi, Liman and Hanita areas." An anti-tank missile was then fired from Lebanese territory toward an Israeli armored army vehicle near the Avivim military base. An Israeli attack helicopter struck another Hezbollah post in retaliation.
The attack came a day after a series of Israeli strikes on Hezbollah outposts along the border killed at least three members of the Iranian-backed terrorist group. The Israeli offensive came in response to a border incursion by armed terrorists in which 300th Brigade Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Alim Abdullah was killed. Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the assault.
The IDF released Tuesday evening the names of two additional Israeli soldiers who were killed in the clash. The fallen soldiers are Sergeant First Class Joad Aamar, 23, from Hurfeish and Sergeant First Class (res.) Gilad Molkho, 33, from Tel Aviv, an Egoz soldier.
Meanwhile, Two foreign workers were killed in the Eshkol region near the Gaza border Tuesday afternoon by a rocket fired from the Palestinian enclave. First responders provided first aid to another foreign worker in his 30s who was seriously injured and airlifted him to a hospital.
The police said that several impact sites have been detected throughout the southern city of Ashkelon, as well as unexploded ordnance and shrapnel, some of which are intact and fell without interception, and there is concern that they might still detonate or explode.
A woman in her 50s was moderately injured by shattered glass and debris that fell on her after one of the rockets directly hit her Ashkelon home. The Magen David Adom ambulance service transported her to the southern city's Barzilai Medical Center.
Civilians were instructed to stay away from suspicious items and report them. Firefighting and rescue teams are operating in the city. Some of the hits were in open areas, and a vehicle was damaged in the city.
Gaza terrorists also fired several heavy rocket salvos at central Israeli cities, with rockets reaching as far as Wadi Ara, the northernmost point targeted since the beginning of hostilities on Saturday. It was later reported that a Palestinian man was killed in the West Bank city of Baqa al-Sharqiya in the Wadi Ara region by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip.
Hamas claimed to have targeted Ben Gurion Airport, however, Israeli authorities have denied the claims and said that operations were running as usual. One rocket also crashed in the central city of Rishon LeZion. There were no reports of injuries.
Earlier, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit reported that Israeli aircraft eliminated Hamas' Economy Minister Jouad Abu Shamala overnight. As part of his role, Abu Shamala managed the organization's finances and allocated funds to finance and direct terror within and outside the Gaza Strip. In the past, he held security roles in the terror organization and, as part of his responsibilities, led several operations aimed at harming Israeli civilians. Earlier, Hamas announced that he and another senior official in the organization's politburo, Zakaria Muamar, were killed in an Israeli bombing.
Earlier on Tuesday, the scope of the atrocities carried out by Hamas terrorists on Saturday continued to come to light in security footage from border communities and by media invited by the IDF to observe the scene on the ground after residents were evacuated and terrorists removed.
The Washington Post showed footage of hostages who were taken by Hamas and who were seen in subsequent clips, killed after a Hamas official told Sky News that the terrorists did not kill civilians.
Josh Wander, the international spokesman with the Israeli search and rescue service ZAKA, told the Post that “large teams cleared bodies all day from Kibbutz Be’eri,” and that his group had found at least 108 bodies thus far. “We’ve recovered bodies [of] dozens of men, women and children,” Wander said. “It’s clear to us that when [Hamas] went in [to the area], they just basically mowed down and murdered anyone that they found however they found them — in their cars and their houses.”
While rocket fire to the south continued through the morning hours and into the early afternoon, journalists were allowed to enter the communities overrun by the Hamas terrorists to see the carnage left there.
Germany announced an investigation into Hamas for suspected murder, manslaughter and hostage-taking, a spokesperson for the federal public prosecutor said The Foreign Ministry in Berlin confirmed that its citizens were among the hostages held in Gaza.
President Issac Herzog visited residents of the south in a hotel outside Jerusalem, where they were taken after their communities were evacuated. He was confronted by angry calls from residents who demanded the establishment of a unity government.
Talks to form such a government continued on Tuesday supported by all members of the Likud and other coalition partners. Itamar Ben-Gvir, leader of Otzma Yehudit, added his voice to the move after opposing any formation of a limited security panel of ministers, without him, to decide matters of security.
Civilians took it upon themselves to respond to the needs of residents of the Gaza border for emotional support as well as items of clothing, toys and other essential supplies, which the government had not stepped in to address
Earlier, the government approved the call-up of a further 360,000 reservists on Tuesday, doubling the number currently deployed. The Air Force will be dispatching planes to locations in Europe to provide transport for Israelis serving in the military reserves who are attempting to return and join the fighting.
The military spokesperson said 123 members of the IDF have been confirmed dead since Saturday's murderous Hamas assault and that the families of 50 confirmed captives in Gaza have been informed thus far.
He said Israel had full control of the Gaza border area although encounters with infiltrating terrorists may still occur. "This is a war zone," he said. "We are building a wall made of tanks, planes and choppers to prevent incursions and our policy of engagement there is to shoot and kill anyone approaching the border," RAdm. Daniel Hagari said adding that all civilians in the communities on the border have been evacuated.
In an earlier briefing, Hagari said that the military is receiving assistance from the U.S. CENTCOM including coordination of intelligence and operations. "The Americans stations assets with naval vessels that can help protect Israel," he said. IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi spoke with his U.S. counterpart for the first time overnight and was assured of total support.
Forces killed a terrorist in the Gaza border area overnight while more than 100 airstrikes were carried out in Gaza overnight as bombing sorties continued.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed U.S. support for Israel in a call with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, the State Department said in a statement early Tuesday. Blinken "reaffirmed our efforts to secure the immediate release of all hostages," the statement said. Blinken also spoke with French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, reiterating their condemnation of Hamas' attacks on Israel, the department said in a separate statement.
Israel named 300th Brigade Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Alim Abdullah as the IDF officer who died in a clash with Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorists at the Lebanon border Monday afternoon. Abdullah, 40, was a resident of the Druze town of Yanuh-Jat and was scheduled to conclude his military service this coming Sunday. Six of his nephews received emergency military call-up orders, but returned home following his fall in battle. Abdullah's funeral was held on Tuesday evening.
His family has been notified of his death and a mourning tent was established in his community Monday night. The IDF said, "We share in the family's grief and will continue to support them."
Abdullah and his soldiers responded to an alert about a border breach. They encountered four suspects, engaged in a confrontation and neutralized two, while the third suspect fled back to Lebanon.
Six Israeli soldiers were injured in the ensuing shootout to varying degrees, including Abdullah, who was critically wounded and subsequently succumbed to his injuries. Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah denied involvement in the attack, while Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for it.
In response to the border clash, Israel launched a series of retaliatory strikes on Hezbollah military posts in Southern Lebanon, including airstrikes and artillery shelling, killing three of the organization's operatives there.
Israel has reportedly mobilized some 300,000 troops in recent days following Hamas's devastating incursion into southern Israel, amassing significant forces on the Lebanese border as well for fear that Iranian-backed Hezbollah might exploit the disarray to open an additional front in the north.
Meanwhile, rocket sirens sounded again in Gaza border towns overnight Tuesday after several hours of relative calm.

Airstrikes hammer Gaza as death toll from Hamas war passes 3,000
Arab News/October 10, 2023
JEDDAH: Israel hammered the Gaza Strip on Tuesday with the fiercest air strikes in its 75-year history as the death toll on both sides from the surprise offensive by Hamas passed 3,000. More than 1,000 Israelis are now known to have died when militant fighters swarmed across the border from Gaza, at least 830 Palestinians have been killed in four days of retaliatory Israeli airstrikes, and the Israeli military claimed to have killed 1,500 Hamas attackers. Across the barrier wall separating Israel from Gaza, Israeli soldiers collected the last of the dead and restored their control of the border. In the skies above Gaza, Israeli airstrikes intensified, shaking the ground and sending columns of smoke and flames into the sky. More than 180,000 Gazans have been made homeless, many huddling on streets or in schools. Israeli strikes since Saturday have destroyed more than 22,600 homes and 10 health facilities, and damaged 48 schools. At the morgue in Khan Younis hospital in southern Gaza, bodies were laid on the ground on stretchers with names written on their stomachs. Doctors called for relatives to pick up bodies quickly because there was no more space. A municipal building was hit while being used as an emergency shelter. Survivors spoke of many dead. “No place is safe in Gaza, as you see they hit everywhere,” said Ala Abu Tair, 35, who had sought shelter there with his family after fleeing Abassan Al-Kabira near the border. Radwan Abu Al-Kass, a father of three, was one of the last to leave his five-story building in Al-Rimal district after the area came under attack. A missile hit the building, which was destroyed by a bigger strike after he got out. “The whole district was just erased,” he said. Two members of Hamas’s political office, Jawad Abu Shammala and Zakaria Abu Maamar, were killed in an air strike in Khan Younis, the first Hamas officials killed since the airstrikes began. Israel’s next move is widely expected to be a ground offensive into Gaza, territory it left in 2005 after 38 years of occupation and has kept under blockade since Hamas seized power there in 2007. However, Israeli leaders must decide whether to rein in their retaliation to safeguard up to 150 hostages abducted during the Hamas attack and now hidden in Gaza. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman spoke by phone with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and told him the Kingdom was working to ensure the conflict did not spread across the region.

Gaza bombardment continues into 4th day as Israel forces find 1,500 bodies of Hamas militants
Arab News/October 10, 2023
JERUSALEM: The bodies of about 1,500 Hamas fighters have been found in Israeli territory, an Israeli military spokesman said, adding that it had largely gained control of the country’s south and “restored full control” across the border. Speaking on the fourth day of fighting spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Hecht said no Hamas fighters had crossed into Israel since Monday night, although the risk of infiltrations was still possible. Israel has previously reported that 900 of its soldiers and civilians had been killed. Meanwhile Palestinian authorities say about 700 people have been killedin Gaza and the West Bank.
Hundreds killed in fourth day
Israeli forces continued to bombard downtown Gaza City, home to Hamas’ centers of government into the early hours of Tuesday, after Israel’s prime minister vowed retaliation against the Islamic militant group that would “reverberate for generations.”The 4-day-old siege has already claimed 1,600 lives, as Israel saw gunbattles in the streets of its own towns for the first time in decades and neighborhoods in Gaza were reduced to rubble. Hamas also escalated the conflict, pledging to kill captured Israelis if strikes targeted civilians without warning. Israel said Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza were holding more than 150 soldiers and civilians snatched from inside Israel after the attack caught its military and intelligence apparatus completely off guard. The Israeli military said it had largely gained control in the south and “restored full control” over the border. Spokesman Lt Col Hecht said 300,000 reservists had been mobilized, prompting speculation that the Israelis were planning a ground assault into the Mediterranean coastal territory.
The last ground assault was in 2014.
Thousands of Israelis were evacuated from more than a dozen towns near Gaza. Elsewhere tanks and drones were deployed to guard against breaches at the Gaza border fence. In Gaza, tens of thousands fled their homes as airstrikes continued to level buildings. Speculation over possible Israeli ground assault.The Israeli military revised on Tuesday a recommendation by one of its spokespeople that Palestinians fleeing its air strikes in the Gaza Strip should head to Egypt, saying in a follow-up statement that the main crossing on that border was currently closed. Briefing foreign reporters, Lt Col Hecht advised Palestinian refugees to “get out” through the Rafah crossing on Gaza's southern border with Egypt. But his office later issued a statement that read: “Clarification: The Rafah crossing was open yesterday, but now it is closed”.The Israeli military said it had largely gained control in the south and “restored full control” over the border. Spokesman Lt Col Hecht said 300,000 reservists had been mobilized, prompting speculation that the Israelis were planning a ground assault into the Mediterranean coastal territory. The last ground assault was in 2014. Thousands of Israelis were evacuated from more than a dozen towns near Gaza. Elsewhere tanks and drones were deployed to guard against breaches at the Gaza border fence. In Gaza, tens of thousands fled their homes as airstrikes continued to level buildings.
Egypt border closed
The Israeli military revised on Tuesday a recommendation by one of its spokespeople that Palestinians fleeing its air strikes in the Gaza Strip should head to Egypt, saying in a follow-up statement that the main crossing on that border was currently closed. Briefing foreign reporters, Lt Col Hecht advised Palestinian refugees to “get out” through the Rafah crossing on Gaza's southern border with Egypt. But his office later issued a statement that read: “Clarification: The Rafah crossing was open yesterday, but now it is closed”.

Canada's Trudeau condemns pro-Hamas rallies
Reuters/October 10, 2023
Trudeau attended a solidarity gathering for Israel in Ottawa, where he condemned Hamas' attack in his address and said Canada supported Israel's right to defend itself. Political leaders from across the spectrum in Canada have also expressed support for Israel. There were competing demonstrations and rallies through Monday by different groups across Canada, including in Toronto, where some 1,000 protesters gathered in a demonstration organized by a group called Palestinian Youth Movement.
Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on Saturday (October 7) killing hundreds of Israelis and seizing dozens of hostages.

Palestinians in Gaza move from place to place, only to discover nowhere is safe
Associated Press/October 10, 2023
Over 180,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are packed into United Nations shelters as Israeli warplanes pound the tiny territory of 2.3 million people after their Hamas militant rulers launched an unprecedented weekend attack on Israel.
Among them is 27-year-old Sabreen al-Attar. She sprang into action when she heard rocket after rocket whoosh over her farmland in Beit Lahiya just north of the Israeli border on Saturday. She knew from experience that Israeli retaliation would be swift and severe.
Grabbing her children, al-Attar rushed to one of the dozens of shelters set up in schools run by the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees in Gaza City. There, blasts of unprecedented intensity punctuated hours of steadily declining conditions Monday as food and water ran out. "When I escape, I do it for my children," she said, her hands trembling. "Their lives rest on my shoulders." But residents say there is no real escape in Gaza, which has been under a suffocating 16-year blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt. When war breaks out, as it has four times since the Hamas militant group seized power in 2007, even United Nations facilities that are supposed to be safe zones risk becoming engulfed in the fighting. The U.N. said that an airstrike directly hit one of its shelters Sunday and damaged five other schools-turned-shelters on Monday. There was no immediate word of casualties.
In the downtown Rimal area, Gaza City's bustling commercial district with high-rises home to international media and aid organizations, al-Attar hoped she would be safe. Rimal had until then not been an immediate Israeli target, unlike border towns or densely populated refugee camps.
But as the Israeli military went neighborhood to neighborhood with rapid and intensifying airstrikes, the heavy bombardments reached the heart of Gaza City, transforming the affluent neighborhood into an uninhabitable desert of craters. Rimal was also hit by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza's bloody 2021 war, but not to this extent.
Israeli bombs that struck Gaza's flagship Islamic University, government ministries and high-rises in Rimal, starting Monday afternoon, also blew out the windows of al-Attar's shelter, shattering glass everywhere, she said. Life there, crammed with 1,500 other families, was full of danger and deprivation but Al-Attar said she had no choice but to stay, telling her boys — 2-year-old Mohammed and 7-year-old Nabil — to keep away from the windows. "The night was very, very difficult," she said Tuesday. "We have nowhere else to go." The bombing in Rimal and the potential risks of sheltering in U.N. schools highlighted the desperate search by Gaza civilians for refuge, with the territory's safe spaces rapidly shrinking. Ahead of the Israeli military's warning to civilians on Monday that Rimal would be hit, families staggered into the streets with whatever belongings they could carry and without a destination. In a briefing Tuesday, Israeli army spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht suggested Palestinians should try to leave through the Gaza border crossing with Egypt — a seemingly impractical suggestion. While Hamas officials operating the Gaza side of the Rafah crossing said Tuesday that Gazans who had registered in advance could cross into Egypt, the number of those allowed to travel has typically been small. That has led to backlogs and waiting times of days or weeks, even in calm times.
"There is never a Plan B here," said 31-year-old Maha Hussaini, as she watched terrified Rimal residents flood her Gaza City neighborhood further south just as bombs began to fall there, too. So far, the Gaza toll stands at about 700 dead and thousands wounded, according to Gaza health officials, a punishing response to the militant group's attack that has killed over 900 Israelis. More than 150 Israeli civilians and soldiers have been taken captive. Israel says it takes pains to avoid civilian casualties as it targets Hamas sites in Gaza. But the military long has carried out airstrikes in crowded residential neighborhoods, inevitably harming civilians and civilian infrastructure. Hamas authorities on Monday reported the destruction of seven mosques and 15 civilian homes that killed many members of the same family. The Israeli defense minister also has ordered a "complete siege" on the already blockaded Gaza Strip, vowing to block food, water and fuel from the territory.
"None of us even know what 'safe' means in Gaza," said 28-year-old Hind Khoudary, who was hunkered down in the upscale Roots Hotel as deafening explosions thundered.
"These are not people with (militant) affiliations, these are people from higher classes, foreign organizations and media," she said of those around her. "But on days like this, there is zero difference." Residents described a dangerous dance around the heavy Israeli bombing — fleeing home, crashing at relatives' apartments, fleeing again to U.N. schools and then starting all over again in an attempt to find some sense of safety. "It is better than dying," said 37-year-old Muhammad al-Bishawi, exhausted as he hustled between a U.N. shelter in Gaza City and his home in Beit Lahiya to secure food and other supplies before returning. On Saturday after the massive Hamas attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Gaza civilians of the horrors to come, promising to unleash the full force of the Israeli military on the strip. "Get out now," he said, addressing Palestinians in Gaza. "Because we will operate everywhere." Khoudary was listening to him as the airstrikes intensified, trapped in her home with nowhere to run. "Why didn't he tell us where to flee?" she asked. "Because we'd really like to know."

Macron condemns ‘unacceptable blackmail’ by Hamas with Gaza hostages

AFP/October 10, 2023
HAMBURG, Germany: French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday denounced “unacceptable blackmail” by Hamas after the Palestinian militant group threatened to execute some of the around 150 hostages it abducted in a weekend assault. “The blackmail by Hamas after its terrorist acts is odious and unacceptable,” Macron told reporters on a visit to Germany. The French president added that he considered it “likely” that Hamas had received outside “help” in its attack against Israel. But he stressed there was “no formal trace” of any “direct involvement” by Iran, at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Scholz said Berlin was working “intensively” with Israel to learn the fate of German nationals among the hostages, “how many people it is and what we can do to secure their freedom.” Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei earlier on Tuesday denied any Iranian involvement in Hamas’s shock weekend attack on Israel despite its strong support for the Palestinian militant group. Hamas said on Monday that Israeli air strikes had killed four of its hostages, and later warned it could start killing them itself. “Every targeting of our people without warning will be met with the execution of one of the civilian hostages,” said Hamas armed wing, the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades.

A CNN correspondent choked up on air describing the bloodstained walls and floors of a bunker where people were shot 'in calculated, cold blood' by Hamas militants
Kwan Wei Kevin Tan/Business Insider/October 10, 2023
Nic Robertson was visibly emotional while describing a bloodstained bunker he visited in Israel. The bunker was located near the music festival that was attacked by Hamas on Saturday. Robertson said militants had killed those hiding in the bunker "in calculated, cold blood." CNN correspondent Nic Robertson choked up on air while recounting a harrowing experience visiting a bloodstained bunker in Israel amid the nation's ongoing war with Hamas. Robertson told CNN's Jake Tapper in an interview that aired on Monday about his visit to a rocket shelter near the music festival that Hamas attacked.
The Palestinian militant group launched a surprise attack on Israel on Saturday, firing thousands of rockets from Gaza. Fighters from Hamas massacred civilians attending the Tribe of Nova Music Festival on the same day. At least 260 bodies have been recovered from the music festival attack.
"The smell when you step into a shelter is kind of what hits you first," Robertson told Tapper, adding that people had sought refuge in these shelters when Hamas attacked. "And you realize that this stuff on the floor is what you fear it is," Robertson added. "It's blood, and you realize in an instant, looking at the strewn shell casings on the floor, looking at the bullet holes in the concrete in front of you, and you can understand what happened.""Hamas had gone in there with guns and quite literally shot them in calculated, cold blood as they were cowering there on the floor," Robertson said. "And the blood's on the wall, and the blood's on the ceiling, and the bullet holes are in the concrete wall." Robertson was not the only one who got emotional on live TV while discussing the attacks. White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby also choked up when he spoke to CNN's Tapper about the grisly images being circulated online. "Sorry. It's very, excuse me, very difficult to look at these images and the human cost. These are human beings, they're family members, they're friends, they're loved ones, cousins, brothers, sisters," Kirby told Tapper while holding back tears.
Israel declared a state of war on Sunday, with officials saying their goal was to vanquish Hamas and take complete control of Gaza. Civilian deaths and injuries have been reported on both sides. Israeli authorities said that more than 900 Israelis have been killed. According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, the war has claimed at least 687 lives in Gaza, with thousands more injured.

Do not get involved in Israel crisis, top U.S. general warns Iran
ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters)/October 10/ 2023
The United States' top general on Monday warned Iran not to get involved in the crisis in Israel and said he did not want the conflict to the broaden, as Lebanese armed group Hezbollah fired a salvo of rockets onto northern Israel The White House earlier on Monday said that Iran was complicit even though the United States has no intelligence or evidence that points to Iran's direct participation in attacks in Israel by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas. Asked what his message for Iran was, General Charles Q. Brown, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: "Not to get involved."
Israeli shelling on Lebanon killed at least three Hezbollah militants on Monday, and Israel said one of its officers was killed during an earlier cross-border raid claimed by Palestinians in Lebanon. The cross-border violence marked a significant expansion of a conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza to the Israeli-Lebanese border further north. Iran-backed Hezbollah and Israel fought a brutal month-long war in 2006. "We want to send a pretty strong message. We do not want this to broaden and the idea is for Iran to get that message loud and clear," Brown told a small group of reporters traveling with him to Brussels, in his first public comments since being confirmed to the job last month. The U.S. military is "surging" fresh supplies of air defenses, munitions and other security assistance to Israel to help it respond to an unprecedented weekend attack by Hamas. On Sunday, the Pentagon announced that it was sending an aircraft carrier strike group closer to Israel. "It sends a very strong message of support for Israel. But it's also to send a strong message of deterrence to contain broadening this particular conflict," Brown said. He compared Hamas' actions to those of Islamic State militants.
Brown has been the deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, and oversaw coalition air operations against Islamic State.

Canada, Netherlands take Syria to top UN court over widespread torture
Associated Press/October 10/ 2023
Syria boycotted a hearing at the United Nations' top court on Tuesday where the Netherlands and Canada accused Damascus of a years-long campaign of "institutionalized" torture against its own people.
The hearing was focused on a preliminary Dutch and Canadian request for the court to impose orders — known as provisional measures — on Syria to halt torture immediately to protect potential victims while their case accusing Damascus of breaching the torture convention proceeds through the International Court of Justice. "Every day counts," said Dutch government lawyer René Lefeber. "The persistent and recurring practice of torture in Syria only serves to underscore the pressing need for the court to indicate provisional measures to manifest threats to life and bodily and psychological integrity," Lefeber said.
Syria's conflict started with peaceful protests against President Bashar Assad's government in March 2011 but quickly morphed into a full-blown civil war after the government's brutal crackdown on protesters. The tide turned in Assad's favor against rebel groups in 2015, when Russia provided key military backing to Syria, as well as Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. Canadian government lawyer Teresa Crockett underscored the request's urgency, saying that "Syria has systematically committed torture and subjected its population to other ill treatment on a massive scale. Since 2011, tens of thousands of have died while in Syrian custody.""If left unchecked, Syria will continue its violations," she added.
As the case opened in the court's Great Hall of Justice, the 15-judge panel was faced by a row of empty white seats reserved for Syria's delegation. "The court regrets the non-appearance of the Syrian Arab Republic," the court's president, Joan E. Donoghue said. The head of Canada's legal team, Alan Kessel, told judges that "Syria's decision not to participate in today's proceedings does not shield it from the court's directives.""We have given Syria an opportunity to be here today. They chose, regrettably, to be absent," Kessel told reporters outside the court. "This doesn't mean that the world is absent."Both Canada and the Netherlands "are of the view that the Assad government must respond and stop the torture that is rampant in that country," he added. A group of Syrians gathered outside the court ahead of the hearing, carrying photos of people they claim are victims of torture and enforced disappearance, and holding banners emblazoned with the text "End torture now!" and "Where are they." Among them was 43-year-old Yasmen Almashan, who said she lost five brothers in Syria.
"We just asked for freedom," she said. "Assad's regime is criminal. This trial maybe (will) bring a little bit of justice." In a written filing to the court in June, the Netherlands and Canada said torture in Syria includes "severe beatings and whippings, including with fists, electric cables, metal and wooden sticks, chains and rifle butts; administering electric shocks; burning body parts; pulling out nails and teeth; mock executions; and simulated drownings." Lefeber highlighted another torture method known as "dulab," in which a victim is forced into an car tire and beaten, sometimes for hours. He also noted the use of sexual and gender-based violence as an instrument of torture targeting women, girls, men and boys. Balkees Jarrah, associate international justice director at Human Rights Watch, said the case "provides an important opportunity to scrutinize Syria's long-standing heinous torture of countless civilians."
Lefeber said that "the institutionalized nature" of torture in Syria was clear from the number of victims and the "striking consistency of the methods of torture" throughout Syria. "In view of the country-wide patterns of recurrent torture and other ill treatment, there can be no question that this practice extends from the highest levels of the Syrian government." Orders by the court are legally binding, but are not always adhered to by countries involved in proceedings. Last year, the judges issued such an order in another case calling on Moscow to cease hostilities in Ukraine.
Canada and the Netherlands are accusing Assad's administration of breaching the United Nations Convention Against Torture and argue that the convention's conflict resolution mechanism gives the Hague-based court jurisdiction to hear the case.
The war in Syria has so far killed half a million people, wounded hundreds of thousands and destroyed many parts of the country. It has displaced half of Syria's prewar population of 23 million, including more than 5 million who are refugees outside Syria.

Zelensky visits neighboring Romania to discuss security and boost ties
Associated Press/October 10, 2023
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky traveled to neighboring Romania on Tuesday for talks with his counterpart on regional security and strengthening bilateral ties against the backdrop of Russia's invasion of his country. Zelensky met with President Klaus Iohannis in the capital, Bucharest. The two are also expected to discuss security cooperation in the Black Sea region, Zelensky said on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. After he arrived in Romania, Zelensky described the NATO and European Union member country as "a friend who came to our help on our darkest day and whose support gets stronger with time." In recent weeks, Russia has carried out sustained attacks on Ukraine's Danube River ports — located just across the river from Romania — as Moscow aims to disrupt Ukraine's ability to export grain to world markets. Romania has confirmed drone fragment findings on its territory, the type used by the Russian army near its border with Ukraine. Ukraine and Romania signed an agreement in August to try and boost Kyiv's grain exports through Romania after Russia withdrew from a wartime agreement a month earlier that ensured safe passage through the Black Sea. Romania's Black Sea port of Constanta has become a key transport route for the war-torn nation's grain amid the war. "Ukraine is grateful for Romania's support, which strengthens our state, as well as its constructive solidarity, which enables our nations to be security donors for the world, notably in food security," Zelensky said on Tuesday. Ukraine is a major global supplier of wheat, barley, corn and vegetable oil and has struggled since Russia's invasion to get its food products to parts of the world in need. After Russia blocked the grain's Black Sea passage, that left more expensive overland routes through Europe as the main path for Ukraine's exports. The Ukrainian president's trip to Romania is his first official visit since Russia launched its full-scale invasion last year. In the wake of the invasion, millions of Ukrainian refugees fled to Romania before moving on to other countries.
Around 85,000 Ukrainian refugees are currently registered in Romania, under the EU's temporary protection scheme.

As Republicans split over next speaker, McCarthy positions himself as de facto leader
Associated Press/October 10, 2023
Republicans have no clear idea who will be the next U.S. House speaker, leaving an unprecedented power vacuum in Congress and severely limiting America's ability to quickly respond to the crisis in Israel — or any number of other problems at home and abroad.
On Monday, the ousted former speaker, Kevin McCarthy, quickly jumped into the void, bitterly criticizing President Joe Biden's administration over the strength of its defense of Israel and positioning himself as a de facto Republican leader even though his colleagues toppled him from power. But it's not at all clear if McCarthy could seriously make a comeback — or if one of the other Republicans seeking the gavel, Steve Scalise or Jim Jordan, can be elected speaker as their majority stumbles into infighting. House Republicans met behind closed doors for hours Monday evening as anger and blame spilled out, with no clear path forward. "Whether I'm speaker or not ... I can lead in any position I'm in," McCarthy, R-Calif., said earlier at the Capitol. The upheaval in the House puts the U.S. Congress at a crossroads during a moment of crisis, the first time in history it has booted a speaker from power, operating without a constitutional officer, second in line to the presidency. House business, and with it most congressional action, has come to a standstill. There are unanswered questions about what, if anything, the Congress can do with only an interim speaker pro tempore, a position created to ensure the continuity of government after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. At risk is immediate aid to Israel along with passage of a resolution that would show U.S. support for Israel and condemnation of Hamas for the attack as the region is now engulfed in war.
And there are broader demands on Congress, including Ukraine's requests for aid as it fights Russia and the need to fund the U.S. government again by Nov. 17 or risk a federal shutdown. The Senate meanwhile is also out of session, on recess until next week. "The world is watching," Rep. Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican who chairs the House Foreign Relations, said he told the meeting. "They are seeing a dysfunctional democracy." Republicans are planning to vote as soon as Wednesday, first in private balloting and later on the House floor, where a majority would be needed to choose the next speaker after McCarthy's historic ouster by a handful of hardline Republicans led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. Asked if McCarthy could make a comeback, Gaetz said, "I wouldn't bet on it." Any speaker's vote by midweek seems aspirational rather than realistic. Neither Scalise, the majority leader who is the second-ranking Republican in the House, nor Jordan, who is the chairman of the Judiciary Committee and backed by Donald Trump, appears to have the votes needed to secure the majority vote. "Does anybody have the votes? No," said Rep. Mike Lawler of New York, a centrist Republican pushing for McCarthy to be reinstated as speaker. Both Scalise and Jordan have eyed the speaker's gavel for some time and come with political strengths, but also baggage that leaves colleagues split and skeptical.Scalise is battling blood cancer, and is seen by a hero among colleagues for having survived severe injuries from a mass shooting during a congressional baseball game practice in 2017. But the Louisiana Republican had apologized in 2014 after he was found to have addressed a white supremacist group in 2002 founded by a former Ku Klux Klan leader. Scalise said he didn't know of the group's racial views.
"The House needs to get back to work," Scalise said he told his colleagues.
Jordan is a high-profile political firebrand known for his close alliance with Trump, particularly when the then-president was working to overturn the results of the 2020 election, leading to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.
Some years ago, Jordan and his office denied allegations from former wrestlers during his time as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University who accused him of knowing about claims they were inappropriately groped by an Ohio doctor. Jordan and his office have said he was never aware of any abuse.
The House Republicans hold just a slim majority and they are considering rules changes to avoid another spectacle electing a new speaker, like the 15 rounds it took McCarthy in January to seize the gavel. While the full House, including Democrats and Republicans, ultimately votes on the new speaker, the position usually falls to a person from the party with the House majority. One idea is to require the candidate for House speaker to reach the 218 majority threshold during internal voting behind closed doors before the Republicans bring the vote up publicly on the House floor. Another idea is to change the rule that allows a single lawmaker to make a "motion to vacate" the office — which is the rare procedural tool Gaetz used to force a vote that ousted McCarthy. In previous years, it required more the one lawmaker to make the motion. But lawmakers exiting the evening meeting came to the understanding that such changes might not be achievable in time for a speaker's vote as Republicans try to move on from the chaos that has thrown their majority into turmoil.
Republican Rep. Max Miller of Ohio said he is for Jordan, but he wants to take another week to sort through all the leadership positions, adding there were a lot of "broken" personalities in the room. "People are going to be upset," he said. "We will find a way forward."
Democrats so far reject both Scalise and Jordan, and are almost certain to vote against either Republican. McCarthy's ouster came with the help of Democrats, who voiced their disdain for the speaker and joined with eight Republicans to oust him.
For now, no consensus candidate who could bridge both parties seems at all within reach. Meantime, Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., has been named as speaker pro tempore, and brushed back questions late Monday about staying in the job longer. Asked about a House vote Wednesday on a new speaker, he said, "That's my goal."The rules around the temporary speaker position have been untested before, though they appear to indicate the main power in the role is to ensure the election of a new speaker. But if House Republicans are unable to quickly agree on a speaker, McHenry could be in the position for some time. Any moves McHenry makes in the temporary position have the potential to become precedent-setting for the House. McHenry is viewed as a serious legislator, with nearly 20 years in office, even though his first act was to boot Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi from her private office at the Capitol.

Latest English LCCC  analysis & editorials from miscellaneous sources published on October 10-11/2023
Five Lessons for the U.S. and the World From the Hamas Invasion of Israel
Jeffrey Sonnenfeld/Times/October 10, 2023
While the immediate focus is on how Israel will survive this gravest existential threat in its 75 year history, we examine five lessons that the U.S. and the world should learn from this conflagration.
1. The dangers of domestic disunity
By Hamas’s own admission, domestic disunity in Israel contributed to the timing of Hamas’s invasion—with the Israeli government distracted by fierce political battles and daily protests arising from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s effort to undermine bribery and corruption charges against him, while placating far-right elements focused on expanding Israeli settlements on the West Bank. Israel’s own defense minister warned that Hamas was poised to exploit Israel’s domestic disunity, but his counsel was ignored in the lead-up to the invasion.
2. Overconfidence breeds complacency
Just last week, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan declared “the Middle East region is quieter today than it has been in two decades,” merely days before the Hamas attack. Similarly, it appears the Israelis fell for their own myth of military invincibility—not just superiority—which was meant to deter aggressors but ended up lulling Israel into a false sense of complacency. Former Mossad espionage chief Efraim Halevy told CNN, an attack from Hamas of this scale was “beyond our imagination.”
Now that invincibility has been shattered. It was the most hardline government in Israel’s history that failed to prepare for the first invasion of Israeli soil since the War of Independence in 1948. Even in the Six Day War of 1967, enemy armies did not advance into Israeli territory while Israel captured the huge Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights. And in the Yom Kippur War, exactly 50 years ago, the enemy armies only briefly seized pieces of the territories Israel had captured in 1967.
This is particularly galling given the context of the disputed territories Israel held after 1967. Just after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon withdrew all Israeli settlers and soldiers from the Gaza Strip in 2005, new Israeli towns were built nearby—inside pre-1967 Israel. The region was named Otef Aza, which is Hebrew for “Gaza Wrap,” referring to the areas within 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) of the Gaza Strip border. The 70,000 Israeli citizens living in the Otef Aza became accustomed to mortar shells and cheaply made rockets launched from the Gaza Strip, but now we see there was no plan to repel a land invasion by Hamas.
Israeli overconfidence led to oversights and mistakes which were easily avoidable in hindsight. Technology was not a shield from danger. The unique Iron Dome missile-defense system has worked very well, taking out 90% to 95% of Gaza-based rocket attacks on Israel, according to Israel Defense Forces (IDF) estimates. But despite that, and spending over $1 billion to build a high-tech security fence and wall sealing Gaza, the insufficient number of Israeli soldiers stationed there were unable to stop rudimentary Hamas bulldozers from ramming right through. Likewise, despite sophisticated hi-tech intelligence systems, Hamas planners somehow evaded all Israeli detection.
3. Isolationism is not a choice in today’s world
In the days before Hamas’s invasion, there was a fresh surge of isolationism among U.S. politicians on both the extreme left and especially the extreme right. The dangerous forays into isolationism ignore the fact that, whether we like it or not, there are foreign adversaries seeking to harm the U.S. and our allies, and our withdrawal would only embolden their aggression, whether in the Middle East, Central Europe, or anywhere else.
Perhaps today’s isolationists ought to learn from one of their ideological predecessors. Republican Senator Arthur Vandenberg arrived in the Senate in 1929 as one of the most fervent isolationists in the lead-up to World War II. But not only did he reverse his own positions after the outbreak of war, he used his perch as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to lead his caucus away from isolationism, shepherding the Marshall Plan, NATO, and funding for the Cold War through the Senate. Half the Republican-controlled House, or at least Jim Jordan, needs the same epiphany in realizing that America First does not mean America alone.
4. Warfare messaging rivals military might
Through artful propaganda and intensive use of media, villains can conflate their identities with the genuine victims. For now, a strong bipartisan consensus has emerged in the U.S., supporting Israel and its right to respond mightily, with some voices calling for the full-scale destruction of Hamas.
This remarkable bipartisan unity was driven in part by the horrific pictures and videos of slaughtered civilians, kidnapped grandmas, panicked toddlers, and highways strewn with corpses, just as how the horrific pictures of dead Ukrainians in Kyiv and Bucha helped catalyze western support for Ukraine 18 months ago. Military campaigns are never purely military, as they depend on the building and sustaining of popular support over long periods of time. Moving forward, it is likely that the messaging war will be as important as the military war, especially since, as Prime Minister Netanyahu has warned, Israel is preparing for a “long and challenging” conflict with no easy solutions to the future of Gaza even if Hamas is destroyed.
5. The historic quicksand of lineage and land battles
Despite Hamas’s transitory adrenaline boost, with the streets of Gaza full of celebration that the “Zionist enemy has been humiliated,” glorification of violence is now giving way to the hard reality of massive destruction. The cost to Gazans immediately includes hundreds of thousands of them displaced or fleeing, and the loss of thousands of work permits for higher paying jobs in Israel and border-crossing papers for excellent medical care. This is just the latest in a long string of self-destructive decisions by Hamas, whose leaders have thrust Gaza deeper into poverty since their takeover in 2007, while destroying infrastructure ranging from power plants to greenhouses that Israel had handed over when it withdrew two years earlier. This drew criticism from even the Palestinian Authority, but the Fatah-led PA lost a civil war with Hamas and was ejected.
Hamas’s exploitation of historical and territorial grievances—plunging Palestinian society backwards—stands in stark contrast to how other groups and nations have forged more forward-looking postures from the crucible of grievances: balancing aggrievement, however well or ill justified, with a heavier dose of pragmatism. In Hamas’s own backyard, there are key elements in the rival Palestinian Authority that are embracing the potential fruits of Saudi-Israel normalization that Hamas opposes. Yes, we are not unaware that the P.A. has their own challenges but they do not normalize terrorism.
The lost opportunity from potential normalization hurts the Palestinian people the most. At an opening summit for the Abraham Accords in Bahrain, the heads of all Gulf states alongside Palestinian businessmen discussed 190 specific projects aiming to increase Palestinian export revenue from 17% to 40% of GDP; ensure reliable electricity; double the drinkable water supply; connect more schools to high-speed data services; increase women’s participation in the work force; and generate a 500% increase in foreign direct investment in key industries such as tourism, agriculture, digital services, housing, and manufacturing, in addition to significant infrastructure enhancements. All these projects were contingent upon diplomatic normalization and now seem less likely to happen.
Jews and Palestinians are equal descendants genetically of the 15 ancient tribes that roamed this contested land. At some point, boundaries are drawn and sovereignty declared. Fully 18 million Indians and Pakistanis were displaced when those lands were divided in 1947, a year before more than 1 million Jews and Palestinians were displaced in the region following Israel’s creation, but persistent bitterness has not normalized barbaric kidnappings of grandmas from their homes and slaughter of teenagers at music concerts. For centuries, until the end of World War II, half today’s Ukraine was part of Poland, but no one disputes those borders now. So how far must we go to adjudicate potentially rightful claims? When wars end, treaties can be settled, boundaries drawn, and life can go forward.
Contact us at letters@time.com.

Jihad on Israel: Where Does Turkey Stand?
Burak Bekdil/Gatestone Institute/October 10, 2023
When, on October 7, the terrorist group Hamas launched a barbaric attack on Israel, killing more than 900 Israeli men, women and children (and wounding thousands more), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, instead of his usual inflammatory anti-Israel rants, uncharacteristically advised restraint to both sides. The rise of political Islam in Turkey in the past two decades, however, and Erdoğan's inherent anti-Zionism -- he once called Zionism a crime against humanity -- have apparently left an indelible mark on the Turkish psyche.
The militant Islamist newspaper Yeni Akit called the Hamas terror campaign a "historic victory." Its story went on to detail, "here is how many Zionists have been killed." Presumably, the more Zionist bodies, the better. This newspaper's journalists are regular guests on Erdoğan's private jet. Turkish Islamists are accusing Israel of not helping Hamas by refusing to give it electricity, money, weapons, equipment and training to Gaza residents to kill more Israelis.
There is fragile peace between Ankara and Jerusalem. In theory, Erdoğan reconciled with Israel, but diplomatic relations were fully restored only after his vow to isolate Israel internationally had brought Turkey a heavy geopolitical cost. The fanatical anti-Israeli legacy of Erdoğan has "successfully" poisoned an already xenophobic society; it will probably take generations to clean up. The fanatical anti-Israeli legacy of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has "successfully" poisoned an already xenophobic society; it will probably take generations to clean up.
When, on October 7, the terrorist group Hamas launched a barbaric attack on Israel, killing more than 900 Israeli men, women and children (and wounding thousands more), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, instead of his usual inflammatory anti-Israel rants, uncharacteristically advised restraint to both sides. The rise of political Islam in Turkey in the past two decades, however, and Erdoğan's inherent anti-Zionism -- he once called Zionism a crime against humanity -- have apparently left an indelible mark on the Turkish psyche. In addition to his balanced, ostensibly unbiased, advice for restraint, Erdoğan has also said that a Palestinian state is a requirement that cannot be delayed.
Turkey's top Muslim cleric, Professor Ali Erbaş, who answers directly to Erdoğan, was less unbiased. Erbaş, president of Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), a government office that commands a budget more than 12 ministries combined, said that Israel should "withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories," adding that "we stand by the oppressed Palestinian people and the struggle for freedom of Al-Aqsa Mosque..."
"Palestinians' struggle for resistance is legitimate," commented Erdogan's coalition partner Zekeriya Yapıcıoğlu, leader of the HUDA-PAR party.
The murderous attack by Hamas, which the group named "Operation Al-Aqsa Storm," has once again unveiled the dominant Turkish sentiment on the Arab-Israeli conflict. How bizarre that Turkey, a nation that has suffered in the past 40 years from terrorist attacks that resulted in 50,000 killed, can so radically lack slightest hint of empathy in the face of unspeakable terror attacks on another nation. But then, empathy is not one of Turkish outstanding qualities.
The militant Islamist newspaper Yeni Akit called the Hamas terror campaign a "historic victory." Its story went on to detail, "here is how many Zionists have been killed." Presumably, the more Zionist bodies, the better. This newspaper's journalists are regular guests on Erdoğan's private jet. When a local Kurdish politician referred to the Palestinians as the "children of a tribe that buried alive newborn baby girls," Yeni Akit attacked the man by calling him "Israeli trash."
Pro-Erdoğan daily newspaper Yeni Şafak wrote that the "terror state Israel is targeting civilians." What?! "Post-truth" reaches new heights.
Another pro-Erdoğan daily, Star, tagged the entire spiral of violence "Israeli oppression." As Hamas murdered hundreds of Israeli civilians and took hostage at least 100 men, women and children, a Star headline read: "Israel attacks a 14-story building in Gaza."
Sabah, another staunchly pro-Erdoğan daily, happily announced that "Israeli crowds are fleeing the country." Yeni Akit claimed that the "Zionists targeted journalists... [it] is not only a violation of human rights, but also an attempt to censor the press and a betrayal of universal law." Seriously? You guys respect human rights by rubbing your hands and counting the Israeli death toll.
Meanwhile, crowds organized by three Turkish Islamist NGOs gathered at Istanbul's Fatih Mosque in show of solidarity with the "al-Aqsa heroes." Prayers for the terrorists were said. Yeni Akit heralded that "jihadists who broke the siege are in Istanbul." Its headline said: "Zionism stabbed in the heart."
According to this newspaper, what has happened starting October 7 is "another wave of Israeli terror." And according to another pro-government daily, Türkiye, "Israel is massacring people by land and air."
Turkey's state broadcaster TRT explained in a news article why this all had to happen: "... after a Palestinian was killed during clashes with illegal settlers in the occupied West Bank town of Huwara." And a quote: "An attack was launched to make Israel accountable for its aggression."Yeni Akit complained that the Zionists cut power to Gaza. It said Hamas's attack was "jihad against terror state Israel." Turkish Islamists are accusing Israel of not helping Hamas by refusing to give it electricity, money, weapons, equipment and training to Gaza residents to kill more Israelis.
Amid all that nonsense, a news channel, HaberTürk , broadcast a live interview with Irit Lillian, Israel's Ambassador to Turkey. Islamist Milli Gazete reacted: "How dare you! While freedom fighters of Hamas are sending scores of occupiers to hell..." According to Milli Gazete, this is an "apocalypse for Israel," and the Palestinian casualties are "martyrs."
There is fragile peace between Ankara and Jerusalem. In theory, Erdoğan reconciled with Israel, but diplomatic relations were fully restored only after his vow to isolate Israel internationally had brought Turkey a heavy geopolitical cost.
The fanatical anti-Israeli legacy of Erdoğan has "successfully" poisoned an already xenophobic society; it will probably take generations to clean up.
*Burak Bekdil, one of Turkey's leading journalists, was recently fired from the country's most noted newspaper after 29 years, for writing in Gatestone what is taking place in Turkey. He is a Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
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IDF: 1,500 Hamas terrorists killed inside Israel
JNS/October 10, 2023
Some 1,500 Palestinian terrorists have been killed in Israeli territory since Hamas launched its cross-border assault on Oct. 7, the Israel Defense Forces revealed on Tuesday morning. IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht added that security forces had “more or less” regained control over the Gaza border.
No Palestinian terrorists have crossed into Israel from Gaza since Monday night, said Hecht, who nevertheless warned of possible future infiltrations. He also urged Gazans to leave the Strip immediately amid the intensifying war with Hamas. “The Rafah crossing [with Egypt] is still open. Anyone who can get out, I would advise them to do so,” said Hecht. However, The IDF subsequently issued a revised directive. “Clarification: The Rafah crossing was open yesterday, but now it is closed.”
“In recent days, the IDF has been instructing the population inside of the Gaza Strip to distance themselves from designated areas. We emphasize that there is no official call by Israel for residents of the Gaza Strip to exit into Egypt,” the IDF said.
Reuters reported on Tuesday that operations at Rafah have been disrupted by the ongoing conflict. The IDF continued to pound Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, as the war sparked by the Palestinian terrorist group’s brutal attack on the Jewish state entered its fourth day.
The military said it struck the shaft of an underground tunnel and other assets used by Hamas to penetrate Israeli territory on Saturday and indiscriminately butcher at least 900 Israeli men, women and children.
Israeli Air Force fighter jets also struck a mosque containing a Hamas operations and command center used to coordinate this weekend’s Iran-backed attack, in addition to “widespread” strikes against weapons depots and other terror infrastructure.
Israeli forces on Monday regained control of all the communities near the Gaza Strip after two days of fighting, according to IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari. He warned, however, that there were still terrorists in the area, and Israel remains concerned over possible infiltration attempts via tunnels emanating in Gaza. Hagari added that the military had called up 300,000 reservists during the past 48 hours.
On Tuesday, Hagari said the military had regained control of the Gaza border, after Palestinian terrorists blew up sections of the security fence during the invasion Saturday morning. Meanwhile, the Israel Police released video footage showing the moment Border Police officers engaged Palestinian terrorists in Kibbutz Nir Am on Saturday. “Under heavy fire and while eliminating many terrorists in the area, the fighters of the undercover unit of the tactical brigade rescued the wounded soldiers and took them to receive medical treatment,” said the police.

Today in History: Christians Save Western Civilization from Islam—to Hitler’s Regret

Raymond Ibrahim/October 10, 2023 
Today in history, on October 10, 732, one of world history’s most decisive battles saved Europe from becoming Islamic. Interestingly, none other than Adolf Hitler regretted this development. Why—and why his assessment was wrong—is discussed below.
Precisely one hundred years after the death of Islam’s prophet Muhammad in 632 — a century which had seen the conquest of thousands of square miles of formerly Christian lands, including Syria, Egypt, North Africa, and Spain — the scimitar of Islam found itself in the heart of Europe in 732, facing that continent’s chief military power, the Franks. After the Muslim hordes, which reportedly numbered 80,000 men, had ravaged most of southwestern France, slaughtering and enslaving countless victims, they met and clashed with 30,000 Frankish infantrymen under the leadership of Charles Martel, on October 10, somewhere between Poitiers and Tours. An anonymous medieval Arab chronicler describes the battle as follows:
Near the river Owar [Loire], the two great hosts of the two languages [Arabic and Latin] and the two creeds [Islam and Christianity] were set in array against each other. The hearts of Abd al-Rahman, his captains and his men were filled with wrath and pride, and they were the first to begin to fight. The Muslim horsemen dashed fierce and frequent forward against the battalions of the Franks, who resisted manfully, and many fell dead on either side, until the going down of the sun.
Entirely consisting of wild headlong charges, the Muslim attack proved ineffective, for “the men of the north stood as motionless as a wall, they were like a belt of ice frozen together, and not to be dissolved, as they slew the Arab with the sword. The Austrasians [eastern Franks], vast of limb, and iron of hand, hewed on bravely in the thick of the fight,” writes one chronicler. The Franks refused to break ranks and allow successive horsemen to gallop through the gaps, which Arab cavalry tactics relied on. Instead, they tightened their ranks and, “drawn up in a band around their chief [Charles], the people of the Austrasians carried all before them. Their tireless hands drove their swords down to the breasts [of the foe].”
At one point, Allah’s warriors surrounded and trapped Charles, but “he fought as fiercely as the hungry wolf falls upon the stag. By the grace of Our Lord, he wrought a great slaughter upon the enemies of Christian faith,” writes Denis the chronicler. “Then was he first called ‘Martel,’ for as a hammer of iron, of steel, and of every other metal, even so he dashed and smote in the battle all his enemies.”
As night descended on the field of carnage, the two bloodied armies disengaged and withdrew to their camps. At the crack of dawn, the Franks prepared to resume battle, only to discover that the Muslims had all fled under the cover of darkness. Their master, Abdul, had been killed in fighting the day before, and the Berbers — freed of his whip and having tasted Frankish mettle — apparently preferred life and some plunder over martyrdom. They all fled back south — still looting, burning, and enslaving all and sundry as they went. Aware that his strength lay in his “wall of ice,” Charles did not give chase.
The aftermath “was, as all cavalry battles, a gory mess, strewn with thousands of wounded or dying horses, abandoned plunder, and dead and wounded Arabs. Few of the wounded were taken prisoner — given their previous record of murder and pillage.” The oldest sources give astronomical numbers of slain Muslims, with only a small fraction of slain Franks. Whatever the true numbers, significantly fewer numbers of Franks than Muslims fell in that battle. Even Arab chronicles refer to the engagement as the “Pavement of Martyrs,” suggesting that the earth was littered with Muslim corpses.
“The joyful tidings were soon diffused over the Catholic world” and the surviving chronicles of the day — including that of the aforesaid and anonymous Arab — portray this victory in epic if not apocalyptic terms.
Indeed, of all the many battles between Islam and Christendom, Tours has, beginning with the contemporary chronicles up until the modern era, been one of if not the most celebrated in the West. For although the Mediterranean was lost, and although raids on the European coastline became a permanent feature, Islam was confined to the Iberian Peninsula, leaving Western Europe to develop organically.
It is for this reason that, well into the twentieth century, leading Western historians, such as Godefroid Kurth (d. 1916), still saw Tours as “one of the great events in the history of the world, as upon its issue depended whether Christian Civilization should continue or Islam prevail throughout Europe.”
It is also precisely because of this outcome that the leader of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler, once reportedly lamented,
Had Charles Martel not been victorious at Poitiers — already, you see, the world had fallen into the hands of the Jews, so gutless a thing was Christianity! — then we should in all probability have been converted to Mohammedanism, that cult which glorifies heroism and which opens the seventh Heaven to the bold warrior alone. Then the Germanic races would have conquered the world. Christianity alone prevented them from doing so.
In other words, the führer—who further accused Christianity of promoting “meekness and flabbiness”—believed what many in the West continue to believe, particularly those whose worldview is colored by Hollywood: that, historically, Christianity only bred weak and feeble men, especially when compared to more “robust” peoples, in this case, Muslims.
What this popular view fails to answer is the simple observation: if Medieval Christians were weak and feeble, especially in comparison to Muslims, why did they, not only defeat their jihadist enemies in hand-to-hand combat, but ensure that Western civilization flourish, as amply demonstrated in Defenders of the West: The Christian Heroes Who Stood Against Islam?
Historical quotes in this article were excerpted from the author’s Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West

The Savage Nihilism of ‘Free Palestine’

Hussein Aboubakr Mansour/The Tablet/October 10/2023
“Free Palestine”—the slogan, the fantasy, and the policy—has always consciously implied the mass murder of Jews in their towns, streets, shops, and living rooms. Few are willing to say so openly, but in many intellectual, professional, and popular circles in the Middle East and the West, the idea of Palestinian national liberation has long been framed in terms that condone or necessitate the indiscriminate killing of Jews. For more unambiguous actors such as Hamas and the Islamic Republic of Iran, freeing Palestine simply means the total eradication of Israel without qualification. This is not a polemical point, but a basic reality and fact of our lives that demands scrutiny.
Consider the ideological milieu in which many Arabs and Muslims have been raised, including me. Growing up as a Muslim in Egypt, the concept of Palestine was never a geopolitical issue; it was a deeply ingrained part of our collective moral identity, the unifying element of both our religious and secular Arab nationalism. It was, and remains, a cause that resonated with us politically, socially, and spiritually, often approaching a fervor that defies rationality. This emotional charge, embedded in the political and religious narratives of much of the Arab Muslim world, has made rubbish of the idea that the Palestinian cause is merely based on anti-Zionism rather than antisemitism.
This milieu, however, is not in any way essential to what it means to be Arab or Muslim—it is a thoroughly modern phenomenon shaped largely by the influence of European revolutionary ideologies on Arab intellectuals and political activists. Among these imported systems of thought is a strain of revolutionary antisemitism that casts Jews as the eternal enemy not just of Arabs but of all human beings. Not every Arab or Muslim subscribes to these views, of course, but when fused with preexisting religious and cultural biases, they have infected almost every institution, pattern of thought, and aspect of life in the Arab Muslim world. Modern Arab political and religious literature is filled with the claim that Jews are hostis humani generis, the enemies of mankind—a classical European libel, and a French revolutionary cry.
A few years back you were a bunch of activists. Now Jews are being murdered in cold blood and you haven’t said a word.
The problems of this poisonous strain of thought are compounded by the concept that “freeing Palestine” is a species of resistance against foreign settler colonialists, a Fanonian revolution in which violence against civilians is defended as a legitimate means of achieving racial justice. The wholesale labeling of Israeli Jews—the vast majority of whom are refugees or descendants of refugees from Arab Muslim dictatorships and Soviet totalitarianism—as colonizers, settlers, and imperialists is in fact a type of collective ethnic punishment, nonsensical even on its own twisted terms, which recalls the medieval Christian denunciation of Jews as moral abominations, as a group and as individuals. You might have noticed in the last few days that those committed to liberating Palestine can’t seem to avoid the abject dehumanization of the Jews as a people—and that their aim is not for Palestinians to simply live in peace, dignity, and freedom alongside Israelis, but a state that is necessarily established upon the ruins of Israel. Hamas is explicit in its intention to murder the Jewish population of Israel and enslave any survivors; its partisans in the Middle East and the West are coyer on this point.
Islamists articulate the fantasy of Jewish eradication in the language of jihad, framed in eschatological terms, and imbued with a sense of divine justice and cosmic warfare—what Westerners would ordinarily recognize as a type of religious fascism. But while the Islamist version of this idea is potent for the purposes of mobilizing the impoverished and uneducated masses, the “left-wing” or secular version—couched in the language of Fanon and Karl Marx, of human emancipation, equality, anti-capitalism, and social justice—is the more effective means of mobilizing opinion among the Western intelligentsia. The point is that they are two sides of the same coin, the value of which is set in Jewish blood.
For those who are shaped by such a worldview—whether the “right-wing” or the “left-wing” version, the religious or the atheistic—celebrating the murder of innocent Israeli civilians, including children, women, and the elderly, is an expression of the partial fulfillment of a moral vision. As a teenager in Egypt, I recall nearly all the adults around me expressing such feelings when following the news of suicide bombings targeting Israeli civilians during the Second Intifada. Egypt’s most prominent religious authorities declared the perpetrators to be martyrs and saints. In a way, it was not unlike the valorization and even canonization of those who destroyed livelihoods, burned property, and targeted police officers during the protests in America in the summer of 2020. I do not mean to inject American domestic politics where they do not belong, or to suggest a perfect moral equivalence, but there is a reason that leaders of Hamas and the Islamic Republic of Iran themselves insist that they are engaged in the same struggle against racism.
Almost every Arab Muslim knows that what I’m describing is not a personal opinion but objective reality. We may try to belittle these facts, or dismiss them as the delusional daydreams of uneducated know-nothings under the influence of religious and populist fanatics. But we should not deny that they are true.
My fear is that the impulse to dismiss and belittle is the byproduct not of sincere belief but of a deep sense of helplessness. After many recent conversations with the rising generation of young, intelligent, Westernized, and highly educated Arab professionals and diplomats, I have witnessed a strong urge not to confront this reality. Even among those who genuinely accept the legitimacy of Israel in a way their parents would have never been capable of, I almost always hear them describe the deaths of innocent Israelis as somehow being their own fault, or at least the fault of the Israeli government for not unilaterally making peace and ending the conflict. There is nothing more depressing than the surrender of the young to a problem they see as too big to solve.
My fear is that the impulse to dismiss and belittle is the byproduct not of sincere belief but of a deep sense of helplessness.
Those of us who belong to the cosmopolitan professional class of Arabs, who jump from country to country and from one lifestyle to another, benefiting from foreign cultures that live on the moral currency of liberalism and tolerance, are in many cases secretly ashamed. We see the antisemitism, the bloodlust, the insanity, and we cringe—but we hope it goes away. It’s easier for us to look forward to a hypothetical future where things are otherwise. It’s easier to ingratiate ourselves to the new social world where we want to belong, rather than grapple with the failures of the one we’ve left behind. We dismiss, we belitte, we explain away, we say, “What about Shireen Abu Akleh?”—and we go on pretending.
But even we are not as fresh or youthful as we like to think. We are walking in the footsteps of previous generations of modernizing, secular, intellectual Arabs. They too wanted nothing to do with their native lands, which they saw as having none of the power, prestige, or respect they craved. In their egotism and intellectual narcissism, they didn’t want to belong to “backward” societies. So they sought in foreign, mostly Western ideologies a refuge and a hiding place from backwardness. They joined the progressive secular movements and trendy revolutions because they offered an escape hatch from the drudgery of slow, marginal, local change. They became revolutionaries because they were afraid and insecure. Like Edward Said, they were anti-Zionist and anti-American “humanists” because they did not want to be, or could not be, “Arabs.” Their obvious cultural chauvinism was simply an urge to self-annihilate, to disappear into universalism. Their lives were a hopeless quest to shed their own skin.
To the Arabs of my own generation, I say we need a truly different approach. I’m not asking you to love Israel or Zionism, or to hang a poster of hipster Herzl in your bedroom. If you are critical of Israel and think there should be a Palestine, continue to do so. All I ask is for you to be authentically courageous, to admit that the murder we all witnessed in the last few days is an accurate representation and logical consequence of a catastrophic moral system, the one we all know intimately. This is a moment for collective introspection. It’s time to confront the darker corners of our ideological heritage, and question the ideas and beliefs we may have uncritically absorbed. Only by doing so can we hope to contribute to a more constructive and humane world for ourselves.
*Hussein Aboubakr Mansour is the Director of EMET’s Program for Emerging Democratic Voices from the Middle East.

The War After The Hamas War
Amb. Alberto M. Fernandez*/October 10/ 2023

Palestine | MEMRI Daily Brief No. 530
Wars have a way of beginning as one thing and ending as another. The American Civil War began to preserve the Union and ended in eliminating slavery. The First World War began over Serbia and ended as the "War To End All Wars." The Second World War began as Poland's allies in France and Britain being compelled to respond to a Nazi invasion. It ended with the United Nations and a new world order.
Whatever the war begun by Hamas against Israel on October 7, 2023 was, it does not mean it will end that way. The brutal initial blow, meticulously planned to be sure, was a massive "success" for Hamas in terms of the sheer slaughter of Israelis and the damage inflicted on Israel in such a short time span. The last time so many Jews died in one day would go back to 1945.
So, if the war was to end today, it would be a stunning, unprecedented victory for the Palestinian terrorist group and its patrons in Iran, Turkey, and Qatar. But war did not end on September 12, 2001, or December 8, 1941. If it ended now, there would be no need whatsoever for Hezbollah or Iran to intervene directly or to do more than what they have already accomplished. The deed was done and the gains secured. The consequences of such a scenario would be massive.
The question is not so much what happens immediately but what happens later. As Israel responds and retaliates to this deadly operation, the murmurs will eventually start in the West: Israel is too harsh, this is not proportionate, enough is enough, think of the children, etc. What seemed like rock-solid support will weaken. This narrative will sound jarring to some having seen the Biden Administration assure Ukraine that it will support it as long as needed against a massive nuclear power in Russia. The same West that was silent for nine months as Armenian Christians in Karabakh were starved by Azerbaijan have already begun to complain about Israel cutting off electricity, food, and fuel to Hamas-ruled Gaza. Initial solidarity with Israel is strong but sooner or later pressure will be exerted on Israel to stop its retaliation. Hamas and the Palestinians have a much larger and more influential crowd of sympathizers than those forlorn Karabakh Armenians.
But while the steps and reactions in the West are very predictable, what happens in the East is less so. Iran has achieved a great initial victory through one of its (several) proxies but how valuable is it to preserve the viability of that proxy? While all of Iran's public narrative in the region and against Israel is tied up with the Cause of Palestine and the "Axis of Resistance," how valuable will it be to preserve the Hamas Card from destruction? Of course, proxies are, by their very nature, disposable but Iran and, to a lesser extent, Turkey and Qatar, have invested a lot in the Hamas project.
If – God forbid – Israel does poorly in the upcoming campaign against Hamas, if it is somehow stymied by stiff Hamas resistance in densely populated urban Gaza or if it is immobilized by a lengthy hostage crisis, then Hezbollah and Iran will do nothing because the victory has been assured and the damage is done. The prestige or awe of the state of Israel, what Arabs call Haybat Al-Dawlah, will have been fatally punctured.
The more successful the Israeli operation against Hamas, the more complete it seems to be to the outside world, the greater the possibility of Hamas rule coming to an end, the more likely the chance that Iran and Hezbollah will escalate. Such an escalation will, at least initially, not involve Iran directly at all but would be led by Iran's surrogates in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and even Yemen. Of course, this will all be directed by Iran but an effort will be made to try to keep the parameters of the conflict limited to between Israel and Iran's many cutouts.
Hezbollah hegemony in Lebanon is relatively unpopular (especially among the non-Shia majority – Christians, Sunni Muslims, and Druze) but, of course, the group is even stronger, better armed and battle hardened, than Hamas. According to the pro-Hezbollah daily Al-Akhbar, Hezbollah and Hamas have had a joint operations center in Beirut since at least 2021. It is likely that the initial war has been run to some extent from Lebanese soil since the beginning.
Because I expect Israel to be successful against Hamas in Gaza, indeed it must do so to restore the strength of its deterrence, I do expect that – at the very least – a wider conflict involving several or all of Iran's militia/terrorist proxies will take place. How far it will go once it starts is unpredictable. It is quite likely that Washington will do all it can to prevent Hezbollah and Iran from entering the war. Indirect messages are already being sent. The Biden Administration has been nothing if not deeply solicitous toward both Iran and its main Lebanese proxy since day one in 2021, continuing a pattern started under President Obama. And a broader war would be deeply embarrassing to an American government that has repeatedly tried to play down the importance of the Middle East.
But whatever the Western pressure will eventually be, it is likely not going to be enough to stop Israel to put its own survival first by aiming forcefully at an end state intended to produce, at least, a demilitarized Gaza if not the total end of Hamas rule in that unhappy plot of land.
*Ambassador Alberto M. Fernandez is Vice President of MEMRI.

Arab Peace Initiative the only way to end the bloodshed
Dr. Dania Koleilat Khatib/Arab News/October 10, 2023
The world was taken by surprise by the Hamas attack on Israel. No one was expecting this level of sophistication from the militant group. We still do not know how events will unfold, but we know one thing — the status quo that existed before the operation is not sustainable anymore.
Former US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster tweeted that Israel should use the occasion to “crush” Hamas. Supposing that this was executable, what would happen next? New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman spoke of the need for Israel to restore its deterrence. Again, supposing this was feasible, what would come next? Going back to the situation prior to the operation does not look possible.
If anything, “Al-Aqsa Flood” has shown us that Israeli policies are not sustainable. The expansion of settlements, the occupation, the daily subjugation of Palestinians and the provocations at sacred sites do not work. The former head of Dubai police Dhahi Khalfan posted on his X account a video of a Palestinian child being brutalized by Israeli soldiers. He commented: “What do you expect from these children when they become young men?”Israel’s goal has been to maintain the status quo, the occupation. Israel is not ready to accept a Palestinian state or to recognize the Palestinian right to statehood. At the same time, it does not want to give them citizenship. This would mean that Israel would lose its Jewish majority. These options represent tough choices for Israel — renouncing the land that many Israelis perceive was given to them by God or losing the Jewish character of the state.
To escape this dilemma, the safest political choice was to maintain the status quo, the occupation, while sweet-talking the international community about its intention to eventually accept the two-state solution. People blame Benjamin Netanyahu for expanding the settlements; however, settlements have expanded under every single Israeli government, even during the Oslo process. Though Netanyahu has been more vocal and his government more racist, his policies are merely a continuation of previous governments’ policies.
However, the Hamas operation has now broken that status quo. Israel needs to face reality — its policies have not worked. The other fact that this operation has revealed is that Israel is vulnerable and its enemies are beefing up their capabilities. The “edge,” whether military or technological, that we used to hear about is no longer as obvious as it was before. And we are talking here about Hamas, not Hezbollah, which is far more sophisticated.
Does Israel want to try its luck? This might have the opposite effect to what is intended. While Israel wants to reestablish deterrence and show the Palestinians who is the boss, it might expose its vulnerability as well as its brutality. We have to remember the war on Lebanon in 2006. Initially, the international community stood with Israel and its “right to defend itself” following the kidnapping of two soldiers on the Blue Line. However, after civilian casualties started amassing on the Lebanese side, international opinion changed and people started asking for a ceasefire.
International support for Israel is likely to erode once Netanyahu executes his ‘vengeance’ and turns Gaza into ‘rubble.
So, although the international community is currently supporting Israel, this support is likely to erode once Netanyahu executes his “vengeance” and turns Gaza into “rubble.” Unlike before, when Palestinians were unequivocally accused of terrorism, today the mainstream media features pro-Palestinian commentators who are speaking about the root cause of the problem — illegal occupation.
Also, Israel should not underestimate the Palestinian people’s resilience. I spoke to my Gazan friend following the Hamas operation and she told me that even she was shocked by her family’s determination. She told me they are not afraid. They know they could be bombed at any time, so why would a new Israeli assault be any different? Hence, continuing the military operation would not really be in Israel’s interest, especially now that the country is more fractured than ever before.
To save his skin, Netanyahu would need to give his people something, but a total victory is not possible. For the Palestinians, it is do or die and they will not give up easily. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has already spoken about the “battle” extending to the West Bank and Jerusalem. Does Israel want a situation it cannot control?
Now is the time to relaunch the Arab Peace Initiative. The Arab League, under the leadership of Saudi Arabia, should do so. Inside Israel, it is the time to rally round the flag, but the average Israeli can see that there is no end to this mess. This is the time to avert all-out war in the region, in which Israel would ultimately not be a winner. The Arab Peace Initiative should be promoted extensively to the Israeli public. In parallel, the Arab League should lobby for it with the UN, EU, NATO, the US and in capitals around the world.
Of course, Israel will have its reservations and concerns, particularly regarding Iranian support for Palestinian factions. This is where the current rapprochement with Iran can be used to discuss the matter. However, it is important for Arab states to push for the Arab peace plan. Now is the time that the idea can capture the attention of the world. It should be presented as the solution that will end these periodic confrontations, which are getting bloodier with every new episode.
Despite the narrative, the US knows that Israel is vulnerable and is facing grave threats that will not be extinguished by a land operation or by “obliterating Hamas’ terror infrastructure,” as some have suggested. The Arab Peace Initiative is the only viable endgame for everyone.
• Dr. Dania Koleilat Khatib is a specialist in US-Arab relations with a focus on lobbying. She is president of the Research Center for Cooperation and Peace Building, a Lebanese nongovernmental organization focused on Track II.

Conflict inevitable in the absence of a Palestinian state
Ghassan Charbel/Arab News/October 10, 2023
It is too soon to wonder what the Israeli political, military and security institutions will conclude from the current developments. It is also too soon to wonder what Hamas will conclude.
Will the Israeli institutions view the developments as a terrible setback that must be overcome by making Hamas and Gaza pay a price equal to the damage they have dealt the image of the Israeli army and its deterrence power? Will it preoccupy itself with punishing those whom it deems responsible while still preparing for the next war?
One must await the end of the war, which may spiral out of control if it stretches on and witnesses even greater violence than we have seen so far.
What about Hamas? What will it conclude? Will it consolidate its conviction that there can be no other solution than war and prepare for more wars to come? In this case, what about the West Bank and the simmering tensions there in the wake of the current fighting?
What about the Lebanese-Israeli border, where the embers lie in wait for the possible expansion of the war? What about the Lebanese-Syrian border? Will the war spread across it in spite of Russia’s presence in Syria? What about the entire region? What of the allies of the warring parties, namely the US and Iran?
What is taking place is greater than just a war between Israel and the Gaza Strip. It is a new crossroads in a long and bitter conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians.
It is no exaggeration to say that the new images are unprecedented. It is no simple feat for the Qassam Brigades to attack Israel by land, sea and air. It is no simple feat to confuse the Israeli army like this. It is no simple feat to reach such heavy death tolls, cause this many injuries and take so many people captive. It is no simple feat to prepare for such a war and to take Israeli intelligence by surprise. We are speaking here about Gaza, which the Israeli army believed it was besieging and keeping a close eye on.
The scenes are indeed unprecedented. It is no simple feat for Hamas fighters to enter the settlements around Gaza and take several residents hostage. It is also no simple feat for the Qassam Brigades to shower Israel with thousands of rockets.
The battle on the first day was that of optics above anything else. The regular Israeli army was incapable of immediately retaliating and addressing the loopholes that were exploited. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself was forced to acknowledge that Israel was at war and that he had to call up the reservists. The memories of the people of the Middle East are full of long and bitter conflicts. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is at the forefront. One of the many chapters of this long lesson is that the conflict cannot be resolved through war, and it also cannot be resolved through a settlement.
The current Israeli government includes figures who make provocations on a daily basis. The result is the situation we have now.
The Israeli army achieved a resounding victory in 1967. It broke the Arab armies and occupied more territories. But the war did not force the losers to surrender. Instead, they retaliated hard in 1973. Israel was taken by surprise, but American support prevented an Arab victory. The shock of the war did not persuade Israel to opt for peace as a way to end the conflict. It only agreed to enough points that would see Egypt quit Gaza. Israel was deluded into thinking that Egypt’s departure would bring an end to the wars and that the Palestinian cause would eventually be forgotten.
In the 1970s, Beirut became the capital of the Palestinian cause. The clashes on the Lebanese-Israeli border were heated messages. The Palestinians were underscoring their demand for their rights. Israel was trying to deprive them of these rights. In 1982, Israel concluded that it should uproot the Palestine Liberation Organization from its last remaining foothold on the Arab-Israeli front line. The Israeli army invaded Lebanon and besieged Beirut, forcing the PLO to withdraw from the country. Israel believed at the time that the Palestinian cause would be defeated in exile.
Neutral observers believe that Israel lost major opportunities to guide the conflict toward a settlement that would stop the cycle of wars. It lost the opportunity presented by Yasser Arafat’s handshake with Yitzhak Rabin at the White House. It was a handshake between two warriors who each enjoyed full legitimacy in their own environment. Israel underestimated the importance of Arafat’s political and military legitimacy and his Palestinian, Arab and Islamic legitimacy. Ariel Sharon was deluded in believing that a “boycott” of Arafat would destroy the Palestinians’ dream of the establishment of their own state.
Israel also wasted the opportunity presented by the Arab Peace Initiative, which was declared at the Arab League Summit in Beirut in 2002. The initiative was the product of arduous efforts to resolve the conflict in a way that would guarantee the establishment of a Palestinian state side by side with Israel. The latter was promised that it would be included in the region should it be receptive to the proposal.
Israel’s sense of superiority and power led it to waste more opportunities. It believed that the post-9/11 world and the US invasion of Iraq offered a golden opportunity to impose a status quo that disregards the essence of the Palestinian conflict. It took away all hope from the Palestinians and its behavior weakened the position of moderates, who were banking on reaching a negotiated settlement. Israeli society slipped further toward the right. The current Israeli government includes figures who make provocations on a daily basis. The result is the situation we have now.
The embers of war could be blown in more than one direction. But the expansion of destruction and the war will not eliminate the extraordinary scenes that unfolded on that first day, when Israel witnessed the unexpected.
This conflict can only be resolved through deriving some lessons. The first is acknowledging the Palestinians’ right to have their own independent state. Any other option means merely biding time until another, even fiercer, war claims more lives, especially among civilians, and causes massive economic losses.
The question remains: What will the fighters conclude when the fighting stops? They cannot emerge from this chronic conflict without carrying out a deep review and taking painful decisions. The formation of a Palestinian state is the first step toward establishing stability in the region. Without it, we will witness more conflicts like the one unfolding right now.
• Ghassan Charbel is editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.