Israel-Hamas war: Kfar Aza kibbutz massacre and Hezbollah missile attack

The conflict between Israel and Hamas has escalated in the past week, with reports of a horrific massacre at an Israeli border community and a missile attack from Lebanon by Hezbollah.


Kfar Aza Kibbutz Massacre

On Saturday, October 7, 2023, Hamas militants launched a surprise attack on Kibbutz Kfar Aza, a community of 750 people in southern Israel near the border with Gaza. The attackers breached the border fence and entered the kibbutz, killing and mutilating dozens of civilians, including infants and children.

The Israeli army took 12 hours to reach the kibbutz, and the fighting continued there for three days. Maj Gen Itai Veruv of the Israel Defence Forces told the BBC that it was not a war, but a massacre. He said that Hamas gunmen killed families in their beds, in the protection room, in the dining room, and in their garden. Some of the victims were burned by Molotov cocktails. He described the attackers as “just a jihad machine to kill everybody, [people] without weapons, without nothing, just normal citizens that want to take their breakfast and that’s all”.

Journalists from the BBC and the New York Times were allowed to visit the kibbutz on Wednesday, October 11, 2023. They saw bullet holes in the walls, blood stains on the floors, and personal belongings scattered around. They also witnessed the recovery of bodies from the rubble.

The kibbutz massacre was one of the deadliest incidents in the conflict that has claimed more than 1,200 Israeli lives and more than 10,000 Palestinian lives since it began on October 2, 2023.

Hezbollah missile attack

On Wednesday, October 11, 2023, Hezbollah, a Lebanese militant group and ally of Hamas, claimed responsibility for firing precision missiles at Israel. The group said it was in response to Israeli attacks this week that left three of its fighters dead.

The Israeli military said it had been targeted with anti-tank fire on Wednesday and had begun attacking Lebanon in return. It also said it had intercepted some of the missiles fired by Hezbollah.

The missile attack from Lebanon added another dimension to the conflict that has already involved Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iran, and Turkey. The United Nations Security Council has failed to reach a consensus on how to end the violence and restore peace in the region.

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