ISRAEL UNDER ATTACK: Palestinian terrorist organisation Hamas fires 2200 rockets into Israel in unprovoked attack, massacring Jewish civilians in streets of southern Israel, multiple abductions taking place.

Note to Editors: This press statement contains all relevant information available from the IDF at time of print, on 07 October 2023 at 11:00 am. The statement will be updated and re-circulated as the death toll and rocket fire increases. Relevant updates will be shared with members of the media in South Africa every 6 hours. For access to a file with video footage and images of the massacres taking place, please click link below (warning: not for sensitive viewers, graphic violence depicted). For a soundbite from Rolene Marks, please see below. For a live interview with Rolene Marks, stationed in Israel at present, kindly contact Omnia Strategic Counsel & Communications.

This morning, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) declared a state of alert for war after Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist organisation in Gaza, fired over 2’200 rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, and infiltrated the world’s only Jewish State from land, sea and air, slaughtering civilians, injuring hundreds and taking numerous hostages.

Footage of Israeli citizens being massacred in their homes, streets and neighbourhoods are being circulated by Palestinian terrorists in celebration of this unprovoked attack on the Jewish State. Rockets have exploded in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Sderot and Ashkelon. Several population centres are under Hamas attack. A number of reports indicate that over 35 Israeli civilians have been killed, while several Israeli soldiers and civilians have been taken hostage by the internationally-designated terrorist organisation.

Hamas’ wide-scale operation took place on the Shabbat which also marks the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah. National Spokesperson of the South African Zionist Federation, Rolene Marks, is currently in Israel and bearing witness to the disturbing events taking place on the ground.

She states, “this unprecedented attack by Hamas, deliberately executed during a Jewish holiday and Shabbat, shows the world once again that its modus operandi is to murder innocent Jews, stoke fear, and attempt to destroy the State of the Jews. Perhaps now the world will see what happens when Israeli forces are unable to preempt and prevent Palestinian terrorist attacks. A number of civilian buildings have been hit by rockets as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and innocent people are being slaughtered in their homes and neighbourhoods. Each attack is a war crime and gross violation of human rights, and must be universally condemned.”

The South African Government and Minister Naledi Pandor, are quick to condemn Israel at every opportunity, particularly when the Jewish State defends herself, but remains deafeningly silent when Israelis are being targeted and murdered.

The SAZF calls on the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to condemn this behaviour immediately and unconditionally, and urgently intervene to save Jewish, Arab and Christian lives in Israel today. The SAZF also calls on the University of Cape Town to immediately condemn the UCT Palestine Solidarity Forum for abhorrently shocking social media posts indicating their support of this violence, with Instagram stories saying “the time has come”.

Israel remains the only democracy in the Middle East where the rights of all religions, minorities, ethnicities and beliefs are protected. It is home to some of the world’s holiest sites that hold religious and spiritual reverence for Christians, Muslims and Jews. The SAZF calls on the ANC government to end its hostility towards the state of Israel, and condemn the violence of Hamas militants and Palestinian terrorists responsible for the massacre taking place at present.

The Hamas terrorist organisation Gaza Strip is responsible for this attack. Israel has a right and obligation to defend herself and her civilians and stamp out Palestinian terror. The IDF have launched operation “Swords of Iron” in response.