The Nightmare Started at 7 in the Morning

Foreign Policy Brief #95 | By: Yelena Korshunov | October 19, 2023

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“The nightmare started at 7 in the morning,” say the parents of Itai (18) and Mia Regev (21), who attended the nature party in Reim that ended in disaster. The siblings were among the more than 150 kidnapped in Gaza in recent days. Ilan and Mirit Regev, the parents of Itai and Mia, recreate the moments of horror to a correspondent of Israeli news portal According to them, after 43 hours of hell, they finally were able to find out that their two children were among the abductees in Gaza, and they smiled for the first time, “Now the war begins, we will bring them back alive.”

“I got a call from my 14-year-old son, he asked if I heard the alarms,” ​​shared Ilan Regev. “We have 3 children, we are divorced and I don’t live with them at home. At 8:01 I get a call from my daughter saying, ‘Dad, there are missiles here, we’re fine, don’t worry, we’ll wait for it to calm down and go home’’ I didn’t even know the location of the party, they also knew at the last minute, I asked her to send me a location just to be aware and she sent it along with a picture of the party, and everything looked fine. Just before she hung up, she said, ‘Dad, I love you very much, I’ll be back in a moment, I’ll call from the road.’ An hour passed. An hour and a half later, she doesn’t call, I try to call but she doesn’t answer. I try again and she doesn’t answer. I’m worried but I couldn’t imagine something like this would happen. At 8:58 I get a call from Mia screaming, ‘Dad they are shooting at us, they shoot at me, I’m dead. Help!’ And then hell began…”

The festival took place in the kibbutz Reim which is located near the border of the Gaza Strip. On the morning of October 7, Hamas militants broke into Israeli territory and attacked people at the event, mostly youth. The bodies of about 260 people were found at the site.

Kfar Aza is a kibbutz located two kilometers from the Gaza Strip, near the city of Sderot. On October 7 the kibbutz was attacked by Hamas militants. Many residents, including about 40 women and children, were killed, the rest were taken hostage to the Gaza Strip. It took the Israeli military more than 24 hours to drive the terrorists out of the kibbutz.

According to the latest data, more than 1,200 Israelis, including 155 soldiers, were killed and another 2,400 were injured. It is believed that about 150 people were taken hostage. Among them are children, women, elderly people, and Holocaust survivors.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on opposition parties to join a unity government, as they did 50 years ago during the Yom Kippur War. He said the future of the nation was at stake in the war against Hamas. Both the Israel Defense Forces and the country’s air force announced the start of the operation immediately after Hamas attack. The same evening the Israeli military said that the Israeli Air Force had carried out one of the “most powerful air strikes in history against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.” During the retaliatory bombing of the Gaza Strip by the Israeli army, at least 1,055 Palestinians were killed and more than 5,180 were injured. Israel reports hundreds of Hamas fighters are among them. The Israel Defense Forces said at least 2,400 Hamas targets were hit on Monday alone. In the north, the Israeli army is also conducting an operation against Hezbollah on Lebanese territory.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant had ordered a complete blockade of the Gaza Strip. “I gave the order that Gaza will be under complete siege,” he said. “There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel [in Gaza]. We are fighting barbaric [terrorists] and will respond accordingly.”

In addition to the Israelis and Palestinians, citizens of at least 25 other countries were killed or injured. There is still no exact data on those murdered, wounded, and taken hostage. The Israel Defense Forces, as well as governments of other countries, regularly update the lists of victims of the attack by Hamas terrorists. “This attack was a campaign of pure cruelty – not just hate, but cruelty against the Jewish people, “said president Biden, “and I would argue it’s the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust. /…/ I refuse to be silent, and I know you refuse to be silent as well.”  Pro-Israel rallies are taking place all over the world these days supporting human’s right to be free and safe on their land.

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