Harlow MP Robert Halfon issues statement after Hamas attack on Israel kills hundreds

News / Mon 9th Oct 2023 at 11:25am

HARLOW MP Robert Halfon has issued a statement after terror organisation Hamas killed hundreds in a surprise attack on Israel.

Rt Hon Robert Halfon said: The scenes we are witnessing in Israel following the appalling attacks are horrifying. 

“Terrorism will not prevail and I am grateful to see the strong support for Israel from our Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, and our Government.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the families affected, and with the Jewish community.”

The Conservative Friends of Israel have issued the following press release:

Hamas launched a surprise attack against Israel in the early hours of Saturday morning, infiltrating Israel whilst simultaneously firing thousands of rockets towards the Jewish State.

At the time of writing, it has been confirmed that 300 Israelis have been killed and over 1,452 Israelis injured.

The attack came on the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur war, whilst Israel was celebrating its Sabbath and the Jewish festival Simchat Torah.

This morning saw over 2,200 rockets launched into Israel – by Iranian-backed, UK proscribed terror group, Hamas – with continuous missiles fired throughout the day and an evening barrage on central Israel including Tel Aviv.

As well as infiltration by land, there were also infiltration attempts by air and sea, with the IDF intercepting at least four boats, including two speedboats – with dozens of terrorists onboard.

Residents of Kibbutzim (communities) Ein HaShlosha and Nir Yitzhak have said terrorists were still active inside at mid-afternoon on Saturday. “Send police or troops to help us, please”, were messages received by reporters. “I am in the safe room, with a knife”.

IDF military bases were overtaken and Israeli communities were taken under siege. This evening Hamas reportedly hijacked the Israeli Police Station in Sderot, killing 20 police officers. 

An unconfirmed number of hostages have been kidnapped and dragged into Gaza, with explicit footage of Hamas standing on dead Israeli soldiers, stripping and spitting on their victims including children. Several vehicles including an IDF tank and two ambulances have also been seized by Hamas. 

Israeli citizens have been evacuated and are fleeing homes close to the border as air strikes and gun battles continue.

Hamas has labelled their attack “Operation Al-Aqsa Deluge”, claiming it is in response to Israeli “desecration” of Al Aqsa Mosque. They have called for “Islamic resistance” in “Iraq, Syria and Lebanon” to “merge (…) with that of the Palestinians” and “start marching”. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared in a televised statement that “Israel is at war”, ordering an “extensive mobilisation of the reserves to fight back on a scale and intensity that the enemy has so far not experienced”.

“Operation Iron Swords” has been launched by the Israel Defence Force (IDF) in response, calling up reservists including former Prime Minister Naftali Bennet who has arrived at base for service.  

Israel has struck a number of targets inside the Gaza Strip today including the Hamas base “Palestine Tower” in Gaza City, warning civilians beforehand. 

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, ran by Hamas, over 160 Palestinians have been killed. There is currently no figure of combatants and non-combatants. 

Israel’s Energy Minister Israel Katz has made an unprecedented decision to cut the power supply to Gaza.

This evening it has been confirmed that the IDF has reclaimed its Re’im military base, home to its Gaza Division in Southern Israel, which was seized by Hamas earlier today.

Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has declared a state of emergency across the entire state of Israel. Schools are cancelled and gatherings are restricted. 

Israeli President Isaac Herzog, released a statement saying: 
“Today we saw the true face of Hamas. A terrorist army whose only goal is the cold-blooded murder of innocent men, women, and children. Supported and directed by their proxy commanders in Iran, they carried out an unprovoked, heinous attack against the Jewish state on a Jewish holy day. Innocent civilians were massacred and wounded, and many are still under attack. The State of Israel will take all measures necessary to eliminate this clear and immediate danger to our citizens. Israel will overcome in the face of all challenges. I call upon the family of nations – this war waged against us marks a line in the sand. Now is the time to hear clear, unequivocal condemnation of Hamas, its allies, and its backers in Iran. Now is the time to stand firm with Israel in support of its just and moral battle in the face of an abhorrent enemy”.

Israeli Opposition leaders have all given their support to Prime Minister Netanyahu to defend Israel. Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid), Benny Gantz (National Unity), Avigdor Leiberman (Yisrael Beitenu) and Merav Michaeli (Labour) released a joint statement stating that “In days like these there is no opposition and no coalition in Israel”. 

Opposition leader Yair Lapid, also offered an “emergency, narrow, professional [unity] government” alongside Benny Gantz for the duration of the war.

In a show of unity, protestors who have previously demonstrated against the Government’s judicial reform, have said they “stand with the residents of Israel and give full support to the IDF and the security forces”. The Brothers and Sisters in Arms, have urged all called up to report for duty “without hesitation”. 

Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, criticised Israel and urged Palestinian “steadfastness”. Street celebrations of Israeli deaths occurred across West Bank cities and Gaza. Social media footage has also shown gatherings in support of the terror attacks in London. Cars have been seen honking, flying Palestinian flags in Jewish areas of London. The Metropolitan Police have released a statement, stating that “The Met has increased policing patrols across parts of London in order to provide a visible presence and reassurance to our communities.” “We remain in contact with partners and community leaders to listen to any concerns”, they added. 

Yahya Rahim Safavi, senior adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader, said that “we support the commendable operation (…) until the liberation of Palestine and Al-Quds.”

Iranian lawmakers chanted “Down with Israel”, “Down with America”, and “Welcome Palestine”, in a Parliamentary sitting according to a video published by Tasnim news agency.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) gives funding to Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as well as other terror networks within the West Bank.
Condemnation of Hamas’ attack has come from the international community. In an online statement, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that “I am shocked by this morning’s attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israeli citizens. Israel has an absolute right to defend itself”.  

The Prime Minister released a further statement this evening expressing that “as the barbarity of today’s atrocities becomes clearer, we stand unequivocally with Israel. This attack by Hamas is cowardly and depraved. We have expressed our full solidarity to Prime Minister Netanyahu and will work with international partners in the next 24 hours to co-ordinate support”.

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly also stated that “the UK unequivocally condemns the horrific attacks by Hamas on Israeli civilians”, adding that “the UK will always support Israel’s right to defend itself.” 

Security Minister, Rt. Hon. Tom Tugendhat MBE MP reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself, calling the Hamas attacks “murderous” and “horrific”. 

American President Joe Biden in an online statement offered “support” and “reiterated [his] unwavering commitment to Israel’s security”. He also expressed “heartfelt condolences to the families who have lost loved ones”.

The President released a further statement in a news conference at the White House, stating “Israel has the right to defend itself and its people, full stop”. 

Biden reaffirmed that U.S. support for Israel is “rock solid and unwavering”.

“This is not a moment for any party hostile to Israel to exploit these attacks, to seek an advantage,” he said. “The world is watching”.

E.U. President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, conveyed “full support to Israel in the face of today’s terrorist attack by Hamas.  I reiterate that Israel has the right to self-defence”. “The EU mourns the victims of these senseless attacks and stands by Israel today and in the next weeks”, she added.
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2 Comments for Harlow MP Robert Halfon issues statement after Hamas attack on Israel kills hundreds:

2023-10-09 14:17:24

You sentence 2 million innocent people in an open prison called Gaza city. I wouldn’t expect less from them, we turn a blind eye when Palestinian children and journalists get head shot but when they fight back we condemn their actions

Mark Gough
2023-10-15 12:13:53

There is a massive difference between fighting your corner, and the unprovoked slaughter of innocent men, women, children and babies by terrorists. I see the Green Party's Chairman of East Herts has made some pretty vile tweets about this terrorist attack, and resigned! I wonder what Harlow Greens and the left over Corbinistas of Harlow Labour think of that!

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