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Facts and context about the war launched by Hamas against Israel

​As of March 13, 2024:


  • On October 7th, with funding and support from Iran’s regime, Hamas and other Islamist extremist terror groups that control Gaza launched a war by brutally massacring, torturing, raping, and kidnapping civilians in Israel. After reviewing the evidence, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said, “I know a lot about ISIS, and [the Hamas massacre] is worse than what I saw with ISIS.”

  • Over 1,200 people in Israel have been murdered and over 14,900 wounded by terrorists invading Israel and firing over 13,000 rockets across the country. The vast majority of Israeli casualties are civilians. They include women, children, the elderly, paramedics, firefighters, and security forces. For the stories of those murdered and kidnapped, click here and here.

  • If the U.S. lost the same percentage of its population as Israel did since October 7th, it would mean terrorists murdered over 44,000 Americans.

  • While Hamas’s primary target was Israeli Jews, Hamas also murdered 9 Bedouin Israelis, including six children, when Hamas rockets fell on their house in Rahat. There are also reportedly people from 42 other countries around the world who were either murdered or kidnapped during the Hamas massacre.

  • 22 towns in the south of Israel were infiltrated, with terrorists setting homes on fire to force families to come out and be kidnapped or murdered. 364 civilians were massacred at a music festival. 250+ Israelis and people from other countries, including the elderly, disabled, women, and children, were kidnapped and held hostage in Gaza on October 7th. Since then, 121 hostages were released, but over 136 hostages still remain in Hamas captivity of which 26+ are bodies of the deceased. Nearly 120,000 Israelis in southern Israel are still displaced from their homes.

  • As a result of this terrorist onslaught, Israel is at war. Israel’s army, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), first had to fight off all the terrorists who invaded on October 7th, and then launched extensive airstrikes against Hamas targets in Gaza. On October 29th, Israeli ground forces began military operations in northern Gaza.


  • After the October 7th massacre, Iran’s regime quickly announced its support of Hamas and called for Israel’s destruction.


  • The Iran-backed terrorist group Hezbollah has also launched over 2,000 rockets and anti-tank missiles from Lebanon, targeting at civilian and military sites in northern Israel. These attacks have killed dozens of Israeli civilians and soldiers, and displaced 80,000 Israelis from their homes in 40 cities and towns. Israel has responded with targeted strikes and artillery fire of its own, but these clashes have not yet escalated to a full blown war.


  • The Iran-backed Houthi terrorist group in Yemen has also attacked Israel and international shipping in the Red Sea. Iran’s regime itself has threatened to expand the war against Israel, resulting in the U.S. stationing aircraft carriers in the region.

  • The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed and over 69,000 wounded in the October 7th War. These figures do not differentiate between armed terrorists and civilians, including minors recruited by Hamas to fight as child soldiers. They also do not say how many civilians have been killed by the estimated 1,200 Hamas and Islamic Jihad rockets that have fallen short in Gaza.


  • The IDF says it has killed more than 13,000 terrorists in Gaza, in addition to some 1,000 terrorists inside Israel on October 7.


  • The real numbers will likely remain unclear for some time, due to misinformation spread by Hamas and other factors.

  • The goal of Hamas is not to oppose any specific Israeli policy or action. Hamas is an internationally recognized terrorist group driven by Islamist extremism and genocidal racism against Jews. It seeks to destroy Israel and replace it with a brutal regime of religious supremacy (see quotes from Hamas below).

  • Hamas tried to justify this war by falsely claiming that Israelis were threatening Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. This is untrue. A senior Hamas official publicly admitted that they planned the October 7th massacre for two years.

  • Hamas launched this war for a variety of reasons: to stop Israel from making peace with Saudi Arabia and other Arab states; internal Palestinian politics where Hamas is positioning itself to be the unquestioned leader of the Palestinians after PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who is 88, dies; and underestimating the resolve of the Israeli people (as Islamic Jihad spokesman Abu Hamza put it: Israel is an “illusion made of dust and capable of being defeated and broken”).

  • Hamas was named the third richest terror group in the world by Forbes Magazine. It is heavily funded by Iran’s regime, which often makes genocidal threats to destroy Israel. It also receives support from Turkey and Qatar, and is reportedly using major banks in South Africa to raise funds. It uses all of this international support to brutally oppress Palestinians in Gaza and fuel its endless war against Israel, instead of making peace and building a better future for its people.

  • In 2005, Israel unilaterally and unconditionally withdrew all its citizens and military forces from Gaza in the hope of making peace with the Palestinian people. The Palestinian Authority (PA) began to govern the territory.

  • In 2006, Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections, while Mahmoud Abbas of the rival Fatah party remained the President of the PA. In 2007, Hamas violently took over Gaza from the PA and has ruled it since. Once this terror group took over Gaza, Israel and Egypt — with international support — put a land and sea blockade in place to prevent Hamas from smuggling arms from Iran and other sources.

  • Until the October 7th massacre by Hamas, Israel delivered thousands of tons of food, water, medicine, aid, fuel, and other materials to the people of Gaza every single week. This included providing 50% of Gaza’s electricity for free, according to the Begin-Sadat Center. However, Palestinian civilians living there still suffered tremendous hardships, mainly due to hostilities between Hamas and Israel.

  • In response to Hamas launching an all-out war and kidnapping civilians, Israel initially stopped its deliveries of fuel and water to Gaza and said they would resume only when all Israeli hostages are released. On October 15th, Israel began supplying water to southern Gaza, after encouraging civilians from northern Gaza to temporarily evacuate to the south.

  • Israeli deliveries of water represent a very small portion of Gaza's total water supply, according to EcoPeace Middle East. However, Gaza’s water infrastructure has been severely harmed by Hamas mismanagement, their endless war against Israel, and their terrorists digging up water pipes and using them to build rockets.

  • The Egyptian government initially stated that its border crossings with Gaza remained open for deliveries of humanitarian aid to civilians, and numerous countries have sent this aid. However, delivery trucks were not allowed to enter Gaza until negotiations were completed between Israel, Egypt, the U.S., and others.

  • On October 18th, Israel announced it will not prevent food, water, or medicine from being delivered to civilians via Egypt, “as long as these supplies do not reach Hamas.” Since October 21st, over 10,000 trucks carrying 186,540 tons of food, water, medicine, and shelter equipment have been delivered to civilians in Gaza. Since December 15th, Israel has also been helping deliver aid to Gaza’s civilians via Israeli territory.

  • The New York Times reported that Hamas is hoarding hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel and other supplies for its terrorist campaign, instead of using it for urgent civilian needs in Gaza. Israel approved the first delivery of fuel to Gaza since the war began on November 15th.


  • Hamas has dragged Israel into a long and horrific war. Israel has a right and duty to defend its people against genocidal terrorist groups and has said its goal is to destroy the “military and governmental capabilities of Hamas.”

  • This war is a tragedy that has already caused horrific suffering on both sides because Hamas is murdering Israelis and at the same time using innocent Palestinians as human shields. Hamas and other terrorists have militarized civilian areas in Gaza. Their leaders and militants hide, store weapons, and fire rockets at Israel from homes, schools, hospitals, and mosques. These are war crimes against Israelis and Palestinians alike.

  • The IDF code of ethics requires Israeli soldiers to do everything they can to protect innocent life. Numerous legal and military experts have documented how the IDF does not intentionally target civilians as a matter of policy and goes beyond what the law requires by warning civilians before striking military targets. Nevertheless, it has proven impossible to stop terrorists in Gaza from attacking innocent Israelis without harming innocent Palestinians in the process. This is mainly because Hamas and its allies intentionally put civilians directly in harm’s way, and even actively encourage them to ignore Israeli warnings.

  • The IDF has been widely criticized for conducting military operations near or inside Al-Shifa and other hospitals in Gaza. In response, Israel has released a steady stream of evidence that terrorists are using these hospitals for military purposes and to hold hostages. It has also helped evacuate premature babies and other patients to safer areas and provided other aid.

  • On October 20, Hamas released four hostages — an Israeli American mother and daughter and two elderly Israelis. On October 30th, a fifth hostage was rescued during the IDF ground operation in Gaza.

  • Between November 24 and November 30, as part of a temporary ceasefire deal brokered by the U.S., Qatar, and other governments, 81 Israeli women and children were released from Hamas captivity, along with one Russian-Israeli man let go at Putin’s request. Also released were 23 people from Thailand and one from the Philippines. In return, over 230 Palestinian prisoners convicted or accused of terrorist offenses were released by Israel,. In total, 121 hostages have returned thus far to Israel, including the foreign nationals and 11 bodies.

  • On December 1st, the fighting resumed after Hamas violated terms of the temporary ceasefire deal with Israel, launched a rocket at Israel, and took credit for the brutal murder of three civilians in Jerusalem the previous day.

  • The U.S., Canada, UK, EU, India, Australia, Iranian opposition leaders, and others have said they stand with Israel after October 7th. At least 84 countries have reportedly expressed their support for Israel and its people.

  • The U.S. has called on the world to pressure Hamas to release all the hostages who remain in Gaza (over 130 people) and surrender, in order to end this horrific war as soon as possible.

  • Israel is a very small country with a population of only 9 million. Everyone knows someone who lost a family member. The whole country is grieving, even as they fight Hamas. 


The people of Israel are resilient and will overcome the Hamas massacre. While we hope this war ends as soon as possible, we call on the international community to fully support Israelis in their fight against genocidal terrorism.

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