Daily Brief Special: Hamas Attack on Israel - October 7, 2023

The Palestinian militant group Hamas launched thousands of rockets at Israel and mounted both ground and air armed incursions into Israel today from Gaza, carrying out shooting and explosive attacks in numerous Israeli cities and settlements. Reports say at least 70 people in Israel have been killed, and hundreds of others have been wounded, in the attacks, and that at least 200 Palestinians have been killed, and more than 1,600 wounded, in the Israeli responses, so far. Additionally, there have been reports of multiple Israeli civilians and military troops having been abducted and taken to the Gaza Strip.

  • Fighting is ongoing in more than 20 locations in Israel, according to officials, and the Israeli military has been fully mobilized, with tens of thousands of Israeli reserve troops being called up to active duty.
  • The Hamas attack prompted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to tell Israeli citizens that the country is currently in a state of war, and reports say the Israeli security cabinet is currently considering a formal declaration of war.
  • Analysts and international government officials say the ongoing violence has raised serious concerns of significant escalation and expansion of the violence, with specific concerns about potential involvement of Palestinian militants in the West Bank, Lebanon, and Syria, among others.
  • International responses have largely consisted of condemnations of the Hamas attacks as acts of terrorism and calls for de-escalation, but multiple, mostly Muslim-majority, nations have also suggested that the violence was prompted by years of mistreatment of Palestinians and non-recognition of the right for an independent Palestinian state to exist by Israel.

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