Hamas militants launched coordinated attacks on as many as 22 locations situated outside the Gaza Strip on Saturday. The attack occurred on a major Jewish holiday. At least 700 people have been killed since the attacks began and several women and children were held hostage.
The echoes of gunfire persisted well into the night, as intense gun battles raged on, and in two separate towns, militants took hostages, plunging those communities into tense standoffs. In a third town, militants successfully occupied a police station, prompting Israeli forces to engage in a protracted struggle that extended into the early hours of Sunday morning before they could ultimately regain control of the facility. These targeted areas included towns and communities located up to 15 miles (24 kilometers) away from the Gaza border. In the midst of this onslaught, civilians and soldiers were tragically caught in the crossfire, while Israel’s military raced to assemble a response.
Following news of the Hamas attacks, West Hollywood community leaders expressed their support for Israel:
“I condemn the attacks by Hamas and the terror groups from Gaza on Israel and her people,” wrote West Hollywood Mayor Sepi Shyne. “The United States stands with the people of Israel as they once again bravely face horrific violence. As someone who has experienced this kind of terror and violence, these actions never lead to peace and my heart goes out to both the Israeli and Palestinian civilians caught in this horrible conflict.
Israel has the right to defend itself and this violence must be universally condemned.”
“I’m horrified by the terrorist attack by Hamas and stand strongly with Israel,” wrote Mayor Pro Tem John Erickson. “I believe Israel has the right to defend itself. The U.S. must do all it can to assist Israel as it protects its citizens. My thoughts and prayers go out to all the families of everyone impacted.”
“Not a fan of Netanyahu,” wrote council member Lauren Meister referring to Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel. “but I stand with Israel. To my friends in Israel, stay safe.”
“I strongly condemn the attacks on Israel by Hamas, and stand in solidarity with the Israeli people at this painful and traumatic time,” wrote Los Angeles County Supervisor, Third District, and former WeHo Council member and Mayor, Lindsey Horvath. “All responsible for this attack must be held to account. I pray for strength and safety in Israel.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu said the country is now at war with Hamas and vowed to inflict an “unprecedented price.”