“Some of these stories are just horrific—things that you would think would have been from the Holocaust or from ISIS. That’s the level of barbarity that we’re speaking about in terms of assault, rape, torture, kidnapping, murdering people, and murdering parents in front of their children—just absolutely shocking cruelty. That’s what we saw.”
On Oct. 7, one day after the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, hundreds of members of the Iran-based Hamas terrorist group, which rules over the Gaza Strip, invaded southern Israel by land, air, and sea, in an unprecedented attack. The infiltrators brutally slaughtered nearly 1,000 civilians and took hundreds hostage.
“At first, I just thought it would be like another wave of fighting for a couple of days, as we have seen occur a couple of times. But then, when I realized what was happening in almost all of the communities on the Gaza border, I realized this was something much, much more severe,” says Emily Schrader, an Israel-based journalist and commentator.
We discuss the background and timeline of events that led to the attack, the genocidal goals of Hamas and Iran, and what could account for the massive intelligence failure on the part of Israel’s security establishment.
“There are theories that there was a cyberattack by Iran on the army’s infrastructure. There’s also a theory that there was someone within the army who betrayed. It could be both. It could be neither. We just don’t know at this point,” says Ms. Schrader.

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