Editorial with Sujit Nair: “This is not a revenge war; this is a war for survival” | Israel | Hamas

4 months ago
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In this editorial episode, Mr. Sujit Nair conducts a conversation with Yoni Leviatan, a Jewish writer and musician, focusing on the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. On October 7, militants from Gaza launched numerous rockets at Israeli towns, breached the heavily fortified border fence with Israel, and sent militants deep into Israeli territory. In this incursion, Hamas gunmen killed over 1,400 individuals, including civilians and soldiers, while also taking more than 200 hostages, as reported by Israeli authorities. This event has been described as the most significant Jewish massacre since the Holocaust.

The tactics and scale of these attacks were unprecedented, marking the first time Israel had encountered such a street battle on its own soil since the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. It was also the first time the nation faced a terror attack of this magnitude, claiming numerous civilian lives. Although Hamas had kidnapped Israelis in the past, they had never taken dozens of hostages at once, including children and the elderly. Hamas referred to this operation as the ""Al-Aqsa Storm,"" citing it as a response to what they perceived as Israeli attacks on women, the desecration of the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, and the ongoing Gaza siege.

In response to the attack, Israel declared war and initiated ""Operation Swords of Iron,"" targeting what it identified as Hamas and Islamic Jihad facilities in Gaza. Additionally, Israel blocked supply lines for basic necessities, including fuel and water, to the Gaza population. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) advised Gaza civilians to leave their residential areas immediately for their safety, although some residents argued that there were no safe places to go. Gaza's border crossings were sealed.

Complicating Israel's response is the issue of the hostages held by Hamas. Hamas claimed that some hostages were killed due to Israeli airstrikes in the enclave, though Israel has neither confirmed nor denied this claim. Recently, Hamas released a video featuring one of the hostages, Schem, a 21-year-old French-Israeli woman, who stated that she was injured and taken to Gaza, pleading to be reunited with her family.

Hamas has called on Gazans not to abandon their homes, accusing Israel of using ""psychological warfare"" by urging Palestinians to evacuate to the south, asserting that displacement and exile are not options for them.

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