OCTOBER 17, 2023
South African and British tourists were killed along with their Ugandan tour guide by suspected Islamic State (IS)-linked Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) who ambushed and burned the four-wheel-drive vehicle in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The ADF made of mostly Muslims from the Baganda and Basoga ethnic groups was pushed out of Uganda into neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo in the late 1990s. The group pledged allegiance to Islamic State in mid-2019 and is behind the killing thousands of villagers over the past decade.
OCTOBER 16, 2023
At around 7:15 pm local time, an assailant armed with an assault-style rifle opened fire at the intersection of Boulevard d'Ypres and Ieperlaan and Square Sainctelette. Two Swedish nationals—who were on their way to the Euro 2024 qualifier soccer game between Belgium and Sweden-- were killed and a local taxi driver was injured. The search for the suspect who fled the scene on a scooter is ongoing. A video posted on social media, showed a Tunisian identified as Abdesalem L., 45, who pledged alliance to the Islamic State and claimed he carried out the attack in the name of God. The Federal Prosecutor's office has confirmed it has seen the video but cannot confirm that he is the gunman. The attack came on the 10th day of the war between Israel and the Gaza based Hamas and three days after a stabbing attack in France. Following the attack, the government raised the nation’s threat level to 4, the highest of four level threat scale.
OCTOBER 13, 2023
At around 11:00 am local time, a man armed with knives entered the Lycée Gambetta-Carnot school in the town of Arras and while shouting “Allah hu Akbar” attacked staffers. One teacher was killed in the attack while another teacher and a security guard were wounded. The assailant in his 20’s was identified as a Russian national from the republic of Chechnya and a former student of the school, was arrested. Other schools in the town of Arras, which is close to the Belgian border, were placed on locked down. The attack, which came as the war between Israel and Gaza entered its seventh day led the government to raise the national security threat level to “attack emergency,” the highest level of alert. The government also ordered the deployment of about 7,000 military personnel nationwide to increase security measures.
OCTOBER 07, 2023
ONGOING: At around 6:30 am local time, the Gaza-based Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist groups launched their biggest attack ever on Israel during the Jewish high holiday of Simchat Torah, exposing a major military intelligence and strategic readiness failure.
The initial attack consisted of over 3000 rockets fired into cities and towns nationwide, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Following the initial barrage, the terrorists overran 11 military bases on the border and used a bulldozer to tear down several sections of security fencing after which estimated 2000 terrorists aboard pickup trucks, motorcycles, boats, foot and several paragliders, infiltrated towns and kibbutzim along the border of Gaza strip. The terrorists indiscriminately fired at residents in their homes, as well as first responders.
In response, Israeli special forces units were deployed into the 22 towns and kibbutzim that were captured by the terrorists where they carried out hostage rescue operations. At the same time, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched aerial counter attacks on Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) infrastructure inside Gaza. Due to fear that the Iranian-backed Hizballah militant group will open a northern front from Lebanon while Hamas and PIJ and the Lion Dan cells carry attacks in the West Bank, the Israeli government declared a “state of war” and ordered a massive reservists recruit.
The Hamas claimed that the attack was in response to the Israeli government allowing Jews to pray on Temple Mount where the al-Aqsa mosque compound is located, but the complexity of the attack suggest that it was likely planned months in advance, taking advantage of the political crisis in Israel.
At least 1400 people--mostly civilians—were killed in the unprecedented attack, and over 3000 were wounded. The militants also kidnapping nearly 200 people including several soldiers and civilians, including women and children, who were all taken into Gaza.
While Israel’s Ben Gurion International airport is reportedly open, numerous flight cancellations have also been reported. The Allenby border crossing with Jordan is reportedly closed, but the Taba border crossing between Israel and Egypt was still open.
OCTOBER 20, 2023
The Hamas terrorist organization have released two kidnapped females holding dual American and Israel citizenship. According to the al-Qassam Brigades--the Hamas' military wing—spokesman, the move was made due to "humanitarian reasons” and thanks to efforts made by Qatar. The Red Cross confirmed that the two were handed over to its representatives. Israel confirmed the reports. According to an unnamed political source, the release as part of the move to introduce humanitarian aid from Egypt. The two, Yehudit Raanan (59) and her daughter Natalie (18) are residents of Chicago, Illinois and visited relatives in kibbutz Nahal Oz when they were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists and taken to Gaza. Ten of their family members are still being held by the terrorists. (mako.co.il, 20 October 2023)
The Israeli Defense Forced (IDF) spokesman updated the numbers of Israeli kidnapped nationals and soldiers taken into Gaza Strip by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist groups. According to the official 203 families were informed that their loved ones were kidnapped. Among the abductees are 30 children and between 10 and 20 elderly individuals. The faith of 100 t0 200 individuals remain unknown. On October 21 the IDF updated the number of abductees to 210.
As part of its psychological warfare, at around 10 pm local time the Hamas terrorist organization released a video clip showing a wounded Israeli captive ten days after they kidnapped over 200 people, mostly Israelis citizens. The abductee, Mia Shem, a 21-year-old from the town of Shoham, was kidnapped from the nature party near Kibbutz Ra'im. In the video, Mia—who holds dual Israeli and French citizenship--is seen receiving medical treatment and say "they took me to Gaza and operated on my hand in a hospital for three hours”. “They take care of me, take care of me, give me medicine. Everything is fine, I just ask that they bring me back home as soon as possible to my family, my parents, my brothers”.
Security personnel searching for missing people following the Hamas terrorist attack on border kibbutzim and towns, located the bodies of Tomer Eliaz, 17, hours after locating the body of his mother Dikla Arava Eliaz, 50,. The two appeared alive on video streamed live on Facebook by Hamas terrorist along with the mother’s boyfriend, Noam Elyakim, 48, --who was shot in the leg--and his two young daughters, Dafna, 15, and Ella, 8, after they took the family hostage in their house in Kibbutz Nahal Oz. According to the massacre survivors, the terrorists used Tomer as a pawn to lure out residents in Hebrew out of their houses and executed them. Noam was also murdered by the terrorists but his daughters are believed to have been taken to Gaza.
On October 16 the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) announced that 199 people were kidnapped or unaccounted for following the October 7 surprise Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorists attack. The terrorists overrun 11 military posts and bases after which they reached and massacred civilians at 22 kibbutzim and towns, some as far as 25Km/ 16 miles from the common border with Gaza Strip. The terrorists also attacked a nature party music festival near Kibbutz Re'im killing over 260 participants and kidnapped others. Several soldiers and officers are also known to have been kidnapped from the military posts and bases, but the IDF did not identified them publicly. The victims age range from 9-months-old baby to 84-year-old man. Several of the abductees who initially appeared alive and well in footage loaded by Hamas terrorists on social media were later murdered and their bodies retrieved by Israeli soldiers.