In X, ex-Twitter, o Ragip Soyluhead of his office Middle East Eye, an independently funded digital news organization with stories from the Middle East and North Africa, publishes a video with very harsh images. Armored Palestinians in bulletproof vests enter the Erez border crossing, kill unsuspecting Israeli soldiers almost in their sleep, and enter the Israeli side. On Israeli television, frightened residents of the villages on the border with Gaza describe the events while crying. One sees with terror painted in the eyes, Hamas fighters marching uncontrollably through the streets and shooting everything they see around them. Others run to save themselves.

“Shame on the Israeli army”

A woman cries, she saw Palestinian Hamas gunmen enter her grandparents’ house and says she hasn’t been able to contact them since. And almost all express outrage that even hours after the Islamists’ surprise attack there are no soldiers to defend them. Even journalists are outraged. The international media talk about a reporter who during the live report gets angry and asks why no one from the country’s leadership appears to give courage to the people characterizing this absence as a sign of hopelessness. No one can understand what is going on, how it is possible that hundreds of Hamas fighters have advanced so deep into the country and there is no army to stop them. “The fact that the Israeli army is forced to announce early in the morning that the cities on the border with Gaza are in the hands of Hamas is an incredible shame for the most powerful army in the Middle East,” notes a Spiegel columnist. “No one in Israel could imagine such a situation, and certainly not on the border with Gaza.” And the Israeli Haaretz expresses it more clearly: “The victory of Hamas is a failure of Israel on a massive scale.”

Hamas fired more than 2,200 rockets in the morning hours alone. In the 2014 Gaza war, which lasted 51 days, the total number was just over 4500 rockets. The danger over the years has been downplayed and the Islamists of Hamas have managed to strengthen themselves despite the many military conflicts they have had with the Israelis. Analysts estimate that their potential to become dangerous and threaten Israel’s existence is rather limited compared to the Shiite Hezbollah in Lebanon. But this time things are very different. The war, as Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu called it, which started so suddenly, will not have a quick end and the effects will go beyond the geographical boundaries of the conflict.

Multiple crisis under Netanyahu

All these gruesome videos circulating on X with gruesome images and a lot of blood are part of the psychological warfare of the Islamists of the organization and are intended to intimidate Israeli society, which for the first time feels so unprotected. Israel has appeared weaker than ever in recent weeks and months. The internal crisis over the planned judicial reform, which aims to end the separation of powers, has torn Israeli society apart. In recent weeks hundreds of thousands of citizens have taken to the streets to resist one of the most conservative governments in the history of the Jewish state.

The effects are seen not only in social cohesion and the economy but also in the security of the state. Recent press reports indicate that many reservists, including pilots, have refused to serve in anger at the government’s actions. The morale of the army has fallen, as has the fighting spirit. And there is also Iran in the background, which not only finances the Palestinian Jihad and the powerful Shiite Hezbollah in Lebanon, but also partly Hamas. In recent weeks Tehran has repeatedly spoken of the collapsing “Zionist entity”, saying Israel’s death is obvious. It will be very difficult tonight on all levels. Mainly for the ordinary citizens on either side of the wire border of two peoples who are doomed to live side by side.