Echoes of Yom Kippur War as Hamas launches surprise offensive

Palestinians wave their national flag and celebrate atop a destroyed tank at the Gaza Strip fence.
Hamas militants shocked Israel with a surprise attack on Saturday. Credit: AP

Amid all the talk of peace, it's war.

In recent weeks speculation has been building about the possibility of Saudi Arabia and Israel reaching an historic peace agreement, brokered by the Americans.

It was being heralded as momentous, the end of hostilities between the Arab world and the Jewish state.

Then, suddenly this morning, Hamas began yet another war.  

Fifty years ago yesterday Israel was caught napping by its neighbours when they started what would become known as the Yom Kippur War.

This morning, on the last day of another holiday, Sukkot, an Arab army of sorts invaded part of southern Israel. Might this become known as the Sukkot War?

Israel has been caught napping again and what's happened with Hamas' takeover of several communities, and doubtless, the taking of many hostages, is nothing short of the Israeli nightmare.

The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) have had many successes when it comes to detecting tunnels into Israel, dug by Hamas out of Gaza and by Hezbollah out of southern Lebanon.

Missiles are fired towards Israel from Gaza. Credit: AP

But Hamas didn't need tunnels this time. It seems they came through a gap in the border fence. This is a colossal intelligence failure for the most powerful military in the Middle East.

Their options for retaliation may be tempered by a hostage situation in Gaza.

And what of Jerusalem and the West Bank, where it has been the most deadly year in two decades. Hamas and other terror groups have a big foothold on the West Bank, and Israel could soon find itself fighting on several fronts.

There's not much talk of peace today.

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