VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Local Jewish communities are reacting after Israel was hit with a deadly surprise attack Saturday morning.
Around 6:30 a.m., militant Hamas groups invaded parts of the country, firing thousands of rockets which killed hundreds of people.
Rabbi Israel Zoberman, founder of Temple Lev Tikvah in Virginia Beach, said he immediately called his sisters who live in the country.
While they’re OK, he still worries for those that are in the direct line of violence.
“To see these terrifying scenes of how these Hamas terrorists who penetrated through the Gaza Strip and slaughtering human beings and taking hostage women,” he said, “the elderly, babies with no regard whatsoever to standards of civilized lives, is terrifying and Israel will have to do what it has to do to defend its citizens.”
He told 10 On Your Side that the attack couldn’t have come at a worse time for the country.
“It happens to be the end of our second season that began with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, which is a season of deep introspection, how to have peace within ourselves and with those who surround us.”
The ambush came in the middle of peace talks between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which Zoberman said was no coincidence.
“I dare say that what we see right now is an attempt to block it because those Hamas people that oppose other Palestinians on the West Bank want some accommodation with Israel. They’re not interested to see how the Muslim Arab world is coming closer to Israel in peace arrangements.”
Lawmakers across the United States made statements in support of the country.
“Hamas’ acts of terror against Israeli civilians are sickening,” said Sen. Tim Kaine.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin tweeted in part, ” We stand with Israel on this tragic day … We pray for the victims of these terror attacks and their families.”
Zoberman said the support is something Israel desperately needs right now.
“It needs the friendship of great nations, especially the United States of America where we’re unite with our values and our love for freedom and humanity,” he said.
He also told 10 On our Side that local Jewish communities are ready, and more than willing, to provide aid to Israel during this tragic time.