By Saturday afternoon (local time), some 200 Palestinians have been killed, with over 1600 wounded as the Israeli military begins its response to the 'invasion' of southern Israel launched by Hamas.
After about ten hours of fighting, over 40 Israelis have been reported killed, and over 800 wounded. Hamas also has captured possibly scores of Israeli soldiers and civilians, including what it says are IDF military commanders.
What's becoming clear given the shocking scenes currently coming out of southern Israel, is that this is set to be the biggest, most devastating Israeli-Palestinian in decades.
It appears at the very least, we are in the midst of a third intifada. But one big question will linger in the coming days and weeks as Israel is sure to escalate its response into a ground invasion Gaza: will the war escalate beyond Gaza and southern Israel?
Already both Hezbollah and the Islamic Republic of Iran have sent "congratulations" messages to Hamas and the Palestinians. Hezbollah's statement in particular condemned Arab states who have normalized relations with the Jewish state.
The Wall Street Journal reports on Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah's statement as follows:
Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which like Palestinian militant groups also vows Israel’s destruction, praised the operation by Hamas inside Israel, according to Arab media.
Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah said it served as a warning against recognizing Israel.
"It sends a message to the Arab and Islamic world, and the international community as a whole, especially those seeking normalization with this enemy, that the Palestinian cause is an everlasting one, alive until victory and liberation," Nasrallah said in a statement.
At the moment Israel's northern border with Hezbollah remains quiet, but if a shooting war starts out of southern Lebanon, Israel will find itself in a war on two fronts.
Already there are allegations from Western pundits that Iran is financing this expanded Hamas operation...
A lot happening right now, but Hamas couldn't have conducted this complex an operation without serious planning and intelligence assistance from Iran. The response from Israel won't be—and can't be—the limited, restrained operations people are used to seeing.— James Hasson (@JamesHasson20) October 7, 2023
Below: while we couldn't make out any Farsi in the audio of the below disturbing footage, allegations like IRGC operatives being involved will only grow...
You could hear Farsi being spoken in the background, which is proof of #IRGCterrorists being present. In order to bring peace to the region, The Islamic Republic must go!#IsraelUnderAttack— 𝐵𝑜𝒷𝒷𝓎 𝒜𝒻𝓇𝑜𝑜𝓏 (@DDSBobby) October 7, 2023
A potential broader war could also draw in Syria, given already Israeli jets have struck the country almost on a weekly basis. Israel has long said it is attacking Iranian targets and assets inside Syria.
If Hezbollah and Israel enter a war, this would increase the likelihood of it expanding into already war-torn Syria.