Nazih Khatatba is a General Director at Meshwar Media and the publisher and editor of Mississauga-based Meshwar magazine.
On October 7, 2023, Nazih Khatatba posted on Facebook (originally in Arabic):
Thousand congratulations Operation Al-Aqsa Flood [Hamas attack on Israel] and everyone who believes in the idea of resistance.
Khatatba’s post contained a photo of Knafeh, a traditional Middle Eastern dessert. It is customary for Palestinians to celebrate attacks resulting in Jewish casualties by giving out sweets.
War in the South – Hamas’ Attack on Israel – background information
Excerpts from a report published by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (updated on November 1, 2023):
On Saturday 7 October 2023, the religious holiday of Simhat Torah, in an act of war, over a thousand terrorists from Gaza Strip infiltrated Israel by land, sea and air at several locations and advanced towards Israeli communities and population centers. This was carried out in conjunction with indiscriminate rocket fire targeting towns and cities in the south, the center of the country, and Jerusalem (more than 6,600 rockets and missiles have been launched so far) with the intent of maximizing harm to civilians.
The terrorists penetrated several southern settlements and began a murderous killing spree of families and individuals in their homes, in the streets and at a music festival that was being held in the area. The terrorists rampaged throughout the region for many hours, during which time they committed atrocities on a scale that have not been seen since the events of the ISIS massacre in Sinjar in 2014.
The evidence found on the ground, the documentation caught on camera by the terrorists themselves and by security cameras, survivors and other sources, as well as survivors’ testimonies, document a horrendous story of attackers devoid of any shred of humanity. Families were slaughtered in their beds, women were viciously raped, and innocent civilians were maimed, killed and in some instances beheaded. In addition, civilians were burnt alive, babies were butchered, and hundreds of men and women were viciously gunned down while simply dancing at a music festival. Upon their return to the Gaza Strip, the terrorists abducted everyone they happened upon – with an emphasis on families, women and children.
In the aftermath of these events, the extent of Israeli casualties was found to be staggering. The casualty toll in Israel currently stands at approximately 1,400 people murdered and 5,400 wounded. Over 240 people are missing or have been abducted to the Gaza Strip. There are 283 foreign nationals among the murdered people, as well as 26 among the missing and kidnapped (including holders of dual citizenship). Thirty-five children – 10 of whom are under the age of 5, as well as 18 elderly people over 75, are among the abducted. In addition, over 8,500 missiles and rockets have been fired so far at the settlements of the south, the center, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem. It should be noted that to date over 600 rockets launched from Gaza have fallen inside the Gaza Strip, often resulting in injuries to Gazan residents.
Over two hundred Israeli citizens have been abducted and are being held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, including small children, women and the elderly. Many of the abductees were injured by Hamas terrorists, many of them need medical treatment and medication, and the condition of many of the abductees is unknown. This is a serious humanitarian crisis and a very fundamental violation of international law, and Israel expects the international community to act in every possible way to protect the rights of the abductees, to ensure proper medical treatment and to provide humanitarian aid to the abductees and their families..
Over the past few days, anti-tank missiles and mortar shells were fired from Lebanese territory at IDF positions on the Lebanese border while terrorists, under the auspices of Hezbollah, attempted to infiltrate Israel.
This means that Israel is at war against the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip. Israel security forces are determined to protect the citizens of Israel on all fronts. The IDF will protect the residents of the State of Israel; the Hamas terror organization and all the terrorists involved in harming the citizens of Israel will pay a very heavy price.
The displacement of tens of thousands of Israelis from their homes in the communities around the Gaza Strip in the wake of the terrorist attack that destroyed their homes and the ongoing rocket fire, and from the northern border communities following the ongoing attacks by Hezbollah on border villages, is posing a significant challenge to Israel. This displacement has intensified the challenging situation in which the survivors of the Hamas massacre in the villages and towns surrounding the Gaza Strip find themselves.
Iran bears direct responsibility for the capabilities of its proxies in the region and therefore also for the use they make of these capabilities.
Additionally, Iran promotes attacks on Israel form other fronts – Lebanon and Syria to the north, using Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations, and from the south using the Houthis, Iran’s proxy in Yemen. This is reflected in the firing of missiles, rockets and mortar shells from the north and the launching of missiles and UAVs towards Israel from the south.