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IMAGO / Jürgen Held

Attack on Israel

Attack on Israel

Caesura in the Middle East Conflict


Right now, everything must be done to protect and care for innocent people - Palestinians and Israelis alike - in the best possible way. Every life counts equally and every human sacrifice is one too many. This is the foundation of the concept of human rights. That is why it is necessary and must be possible to lament the pain of both sides without justifying or equating anything.

Norbert Lammert, Chairman of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

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At a glance

  • During a surprise attack on Israel on 7 October 2023, the terror organisation Hamas killed more than 1,200 Israelis and abducted more than 200 hostages in the Gaza Strip.
  • Israel’s response was prompt: a declaration of a state of war, bombing of Hamas positions, and since November the Israeli army has been advancing into the Gaza Strip with a ground offensive.
  • The situation in the Gaza Strip has culminated into a humanitarian emergency. Israel’s attacks have killed thousands of Palestinian civilians and triggered massive refugee movements.
  • The security situation in Israel and the entire region has massively deteriorated. Attacks on Israel come from various directions, for example by Hezbollah or Islamist militias.
  • Germany is irrevocably on the side of Israel, since its security is Germany’s raison d'état. What is more, Germany will continue to advocate for peace peace based on a conflict resolution between Israel and the Palestinians.



1. Brutal terrorist attack

2. The Israeli response

3. Situation in the Gaza Strip

4. Tense security situation

5. Solidarity in action

6. Publications, events and media contributions on the topic


Brutal terrorist attack: massacre and hostage-taking by Hamas on October 7, 2023

On October 7th 2023, the terrorist organization Hamas launched a large-scale surprise attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip. Under the fire of thousands of rockets, over 1,500 terrorists infiltrated numerous Israeli settlements and towns. Over 1200 Israelis were murdered in brutal massacres. Over 250 people were killed at a music festival near the border alone. The terrorists also abducted over two hundred Israelis - including women, children and elderly people - as hostages into the Gaza Strip. They are being used as human shields against Israeli counter-attacks.


The Israeli response: a comprehensive ground offensive

In response, Israel has declared a state of war and formed a war cabinet with the participation of one of the strongest opposition parties. Initially, over 300,000 reservists were called up, the Gaza Strip was completely sealed off and Hamas positions were extensively bombed. Nevertheless, Hamas was able to fire rockets far into Israeli heartland for weeks. In November 2023, the Israeli army (IDF) began a large-scale ground offensive and quickly made progress. The Gaza Strip was divided in a pincer movement and Gaza City, where Hamas command structures and rocket-launching bases are located, was isolated. Since then, the IDF has been trying to achieve its declared war goal of destroying Hamas in a dangerous and costly urban battle.


Situation in the Gaza Strip: refugee movements and humanitarian emergency

Thousands of Palestinian civilians have been killed in the IDF attacks and massive refugee movements have been triggered within the Gaza Strip. A humanitarian crisis is looming. In the end of November, a ceasefire under the mediation of Qatar and Egypt, lasted several days. In return for the release of hostages by Hamas, Israel allowed several aid shipments into the Gaza Strip and released hundreds of Palestinians imprisoned in Israel.


Tense security situation: attacks on Israel in the north and south

At the same time, the security situation in other parts of the country is also extremely tense. In the north of the country, on the borders with Lebanon and Syria, constant attacks by Hezbollah and other Islamist militias are occurring. In the south of the country, around the port city of Eilat, there have been repeated rocket and drone attacks from Yemen. Fearing a further escalation and in order to protect Israel, the USA has deployed additional forces - including two aircraft carriers - to the region. In the West Bank, where the security situation was already tense before the Hamas attack, the situation continues to deteriorate. Security incidents and terrorist attacks occur almost daily.


Solidarity in action: Germany at Israel´s side

People in the Middle East, as well as in Germany and Europe, are concerned about the risk of escalation of an impending regional conflagration, the outbreak of which cannot be ruled out. Germany stands irrevocably on Israel's side. Israel's security is a German reason of state. German solidarity in the wake of the brutal attacks is just as much a matter of course as Israel's right under international law to defend itself against all attacks. Germany will also continue to work for a lasting peace based on a joint solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

On this topic page you will find information from the Foundation's offices abroad, analyses and publications as well as assessments by our experts in Germany and abroad, which are updated and supplemented on an ongoing basis.

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Dr. Canan Atilgan

Dr. Canan Atilgan

Head of the Department Middle East and North Africa +49 30 26996-3201

Dr. Thomas Volk


Director KAS office Israel

Simon Engelkes

Simon Engelkes bild

Head of the Ramallah office +972 2 240 4305 +972 2 240 4307
pexels / cottonbro studio
July 25, 2023
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Publications, events and media contributions on the topic

Our contributions are as wide-ranging and multifaceted as the topic itself!

Whether it's an expert interview, specialist publication or hot debate - click through and you're guaranteed to find the right format for you!

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Publications to the topic

Iranian attack on Israel

A turning point with unforeseeable consequences

Third-Person-Perspektive einer blonden Frau auf einem Universitätscampus Adobe Stock / TensorSpark

Forced exmatriculation against anti-Semitism

Between academic freedom and security concerns: anti-Semitism and the response of German universities

Sendker Naumann2

75 Jahre NATO: Zerreißprobe für das Atlantische Bündnis am Beginn einer neuen Weltordnung?

Eine Bilanz des 45. #HessenKAS Facebook-Live in Kooperation mit der Deutschen Atlantischen Gesellschaft am 10. April 2024

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Sei a Mensch!

Fotografien aus Israel nach dem 7. Oktober 2023

Sendker - Levy

"Kein anderes Land": Wo sind Juden wirklich sicher?

Eine Bilanz des 44. #HessenKAS Facebook-Live vom 31.01.2024

100 Tage Angriff auf Israel

Eine Solidaritätsveranstaltung mit Israel

Bild 1

Athens Security Forum

The New Europe Facing the challenges of multiple crises

David Ben-Gurion, 1960 Fritz Cohen creator QS:P170,Q45269077, David Ben-Gurion (D597-087), als gemeinfrei gekennzeichnet

„Ein Strahl der Hoffnung“

Zum 50. Todestag des israelischen Staatsgründers David Ben-Gurion


Are bullets or information more likely to win wars?

How media information works in wartime conflits

Gruppenfoto der Preisträger und Preisträgerinnen. Ulf Dahl/Kieler Nachrichten

" For mind and heart to recognise, understand and learn"

The winners of the German Local Journalism Award 2022 were honoured in Kiel

Norbert Lammert während einem Gespräch, mit einem Foto von Konrad Adenauer im Hintergrund Marco Urban

75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The 1948 Declaration formulated a claim, but it is by no means the end of the matter.

Pressegespräch Geiselangehörige

„Free the Children Now!“

On November 15 and 16, 2023, a group of relatives of hostages abducted in the Gaza Strip visited Germany.

Macron und Netanyahu Treffen in Israel am 24 Oktober 2023 Imago / ABACAPRESS

France and the war in the Middle East

A country in worry

Flagge Israels und Deutschlands während eines Pressetermins mit dem israelischen Premierminister und dem deutschen Bundeskanzler am 6. März 2023 in Berlin. Stefan Boness/IPON/Süddeutsche Zeitung Photo

Sie verstehen einander nicht

Die „Bewältigung“ der Vergangenheit trennt Opfer und Täter.

Joe Biden IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

Ukraine and Israel: International Crises in the Election Campaign of a War-Weary USA

An Analysis One Year Ahead of the Election in November 2024

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Events on the topic



fully booked
Frankfurt am Main
Krieg in der Ukraine, im Nahen und Mittleren Osten –
das Spannungsverhältnis zwischen den USA, China, Russland und die Auswirkungen auf Europa, EU, NATO



"Wir sollten auch für die beten, die uns hassen."
Christen im Heiligen Land

Event Reports on the topic


Media library

No relativisation! Hamas is an extremist terrorist organisation.
The reality is clear: the Hamas charter made it clear as early as 1988 that Israel's right to exist was denied and that armed jihad was being pursued.
Stand up against fear and terror
Antisemitic acts are on the rise in Germany. What can I do about it?
We can all support our Jewish fellow citizens. Now it's not just words that count, but actions.
We must not remain silent!
Stand up against antisemitism too!
Since the Hamas attacks on Israel, the number of antisemitic incidents in Germany has risen significantly. We must stand up against fear and terror.
Let us together send a strong signal for peace, justice and that terror has no place in a democratic society.
Angriff auf Israel
Terror der Hamas und ihre Drohungen - Sei Du kein Teil davon!
Mehreren Berichten zufolge droht die Hamas nun Folter- und Hinrichtungsvideos zu posten.
Auslandsinfo Spotlight Podcast
Caesura in the Middle East: Hamas' Terror in Israel and its Consequences
A conversation with Dr. Beatrice Gorawantschy (Head of KAS Israel Office) and Steven Höfner (Head of KAS Ramallah Office).