On Saturday, The Times of Israel published a report saying that preparations for the ground operation were already over. It is to be attended by the Israeli army and hundreds of thousands of reservists, who are quickly receiving the necessary equipment and weapons.
The fact that the ground operation can begin in the coming days, maybe even hours, is also confirmed by Seznam Zpráv reporter Jan Novák, who has been reporting on the situation in Israel since Tuesday. During his stay, he visited several places where Hamas murdered civilians. In addition to the abandoned Supernova compound, he also reached Kibbutz Be’eri, where terrorists killed 125 people last Saturday.
“The places I’ve been to are mostly empty now. Now they are bases and serve as posts for soldiers in the area who are combing the area looking for possible Hamas terrorists who might still be in Israeli territory. Besides, the troops are preparing for a ground operation there,” he says.
I am currently in Jerusalem, where I have been collecting my journalistic accreditation. Before that, I was in Ramallah, which is in the Palestinian territory, where I actually came from a few minutes ago.
According to the latest information I receive from the Israeli government, the evacuation of the city of Sderot began at eleven o’clock. The New York Times then writes that the operation in Gaza was moved because of the weather, which I can confirm, because it is raining in Jerusalem right now. So that’s probably why the conditions weren’t the most suitable for the operation to start.
Did you see the signs that the operation was originally supposed to start?
I was in Palestine yesterday so I don’t know much about the last day. But yesterday morning and the night before yesterday, when I was leaving Palestine for Israel, I saw a huge amount of military equipment all along the Gaza Strip, especially around the Gaza-Israel crossing in the north. There are hundreds to thousands of tanks and other equipment. The kibbutzim that line the Gaza Strip are full of soldiers. The commitment is huge.
You said that you were also in the Palestinian territory. How do the local residents perceive the situation?
That’s what I wanted to find out in Ramallah, the capital of the West Bank. The situation there is basically calm except for the fact that there are demonstrations every evening. I joined the one yesterday. But the participation was quite small and dozens, at most, hundreds of people came. They gathered in the main square and then went to the center of the city.
These are not only demonstrations in support of Palestine, but also for the Hamas movement. So the people in the procession typically wore green Hamas flags and headbands. It was quite difficult to talk to them because the information that I read or the things that I saw, they do not perceive in the same way and do not consider it to be true.
Did you also talk to ordinary Palestinians? How do they approach the situation?
I have spoken to a few Palestinians, but the opinions are quite diverse, which is probably to be expected. I talked the most with the protesters. Of course they support Gaza and Hamas. When I asked them about the events of Saturday morning, they claimed that it was Israeli propaganda. “We do not believe that women and children were killed during that massacre, because that is against Islam. We don’t believe they were kibbutz residents, but soldiers,” they claimed.
They also told me that I should not utter the word attack against Israelis in this context at all. According to them, it is a justifiable act against what has been happening to the Palestinians as such for the past 70 years. This is how they see it and the overwhelming majority accepted the attack by Hamas terrorists against the Jewish population.
Reporter in Israel
Seznam Zpráv special correspondent Jan Novák went to Israel to report on the horrors committed there by Hamas terrorists.
How does it look now in the attacked kibbutzim?
There were no survivors in the most affected ones, such as Be´eri. Now they are bases and serve as posts for soldiers in the area who comb the surroundings and look for possible terrorists from Hamas who could still be in Israeli territory. In addition, the troops are preparing for a ground operation there.
Evacuation is already underway in Sderot. Do the locals know about it? Are they planning to evacuate?
Yes, already when I was there a few days ago, the city was practically half empty. Most of the people moved because there were sirens going off several times a day because of rockets from the Gaza Strip. Now it’s official. At eleven o’clock Israeli time, i.e. ten o’clock Czech time, the government called for the entire city to be evacuated. This means that the ground operation will begin in the next hours or days.
I’m thinking whether to go to Sderot again and see the evacuation or go to Tel Aviv since I’m leaving for home tomorrow.