CHARLES PAYNE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: You’re looking live at the Israel-Gaza
border, where the situation remains tense, as the violence over there
Hello, everyone. I’m Charles Payne, in Neil Cavuto. And this is “Your
I want to get straight to Trey Yingst in Israel with continuing coverage —
TREY YINGST, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Charles, early this evening, rocket
fire was continuing into Israel.
And then a very important moment happened. It was a change in escalation.
We saw factions inside Gaza fired dozens of rockets towards Israel’s second
largest city, Tel Aviv. This sent millions of people running for shelters,
as alerts came in and sirens were blaring. We were here along the border
watching efforts by Israel’s missile defense system, the Iron Dome, to
intercept some of these rockets.
But Hamas, the group in control of Gaza, is firing barrages throughout the
day. We know that, according to the Israeli chief of staff of, Aviv
Kochavi, 500 targets were selected by Israel and already hit today in
response to the rocket fire that started yesterday.
To give you a sense, though, of where all of this is headed, we heard just
in the past 20 minutes from Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and
the defense minister, Benny Gantz. They made very clear that Israel will
act decisively against Hamas, the group that controls Gaza, that is, from
their perspective, the sole organization behind the rocket fire.
When you get down to it, there are a lot of factions inside Gaza. But
Israel holds Hamas responsible. And they say this is just the beginning of
what is turning into a very large round of conflict in the region, more
than 500 rockets fired into Southern Israel.
Inside Gaza, we do have updated numbers from the Palestinian Health
Ministry, who say that 30 people have been killed in Israeli retaliation
strikes. Inside Israel, three people are dead from rocket fire that has
happened throughout today.
Lots of injuries all over the region. And they’re really — Israel is
bracing for what the night will bring, because there has been a red line
drawn and crossed on each side of this conflict. And the latest red line
has to do with towers and infrastructure inside Gaza, factions there
threatening more rocket fire towards Tel Aviv if Israel decides to take out
any of the large buildings inside the Gaza Strip.
We do know at this hour, according to Palestinian media, that the Israelis
are warning people inside these tall buildings, some of which hold military
infrastructure, to get out. This is an indication they plan on striking
these towers and an indication that Hamas and Islamic Jihad will respond
with more rocket fire — Charles.
PAYNE: Trey, thank you very much.
And, folks, we may go back to Trey later in the show.
In the meantime, I want to get the read from Hudson’s Institute’s Rebeccah
Rebeccah, these provocations, for us in America, they seemed to come out of
left field. And it’s always a curiosity as to what sparked it. What’s
sparking this round of exchange?
REBECCAH HEINRICHS, THE HUDSON INSTITUTE: Well, it’s hard to know exactly
what was the thing specifically that’s the pretext for these Hamas terror
attacks against Israel.
But they are the worst that we have seen in a decade. I heard one quotation
it’s not — it hasn’t been since not even just since 2016 or 2017, but in a
decade. And it’s important to remember Charles that Hamas is aiming for
civilians, and then they are using civilians for shields.
And so, when the Israelis defend themselves and retaliate against Hamas
militant targets, when civilians are killed, Hamas tries to make it seem as
though the Israelis have done that. You might even hear some of that from
some members of Congress who are more sympathetic to Hamas.
But this is — this is what Hamas does to try to earn favor from the world
stage. But this is a terrible thing. And it’s only going to get worse as
the Hamas barrage of rockets continue to fall on Israel.
PAYNE: To that point, Prime Minister Netanyahu has said that we’re going
to see an increase in both the intensity and the rate of attacks.
And, to your point, Israel has already warned that they know there are
civilians in these buildings where weapons are being housed. They’re giving
them plenty of time to get out. But it sounds, according to Trey, at least,
that those will be targeted. So, to your point, this escalation continues.
HEINRICHS: Well, if the — I saw recent, just — reporting maybe just 30
minutes ago the Ashkelon oil pipeline was attacked by Hamas, attacked in
Israel. If that’s true, that is a significant escalation.
Keep in mind, when you see this Iron Dome missile defense system amazingly
intercepting these rockets that are coming in, this is — this enables the
Israelis to not only protect their own citizens, which they’re doing. It
also helps them to have the ability to exercise restraint against the
Palestinians, because, if they weren’t able to absorb some of these attacks
with this missile defense system, it would require a much stronger, more
robust, offensive retaliation against the Palestinians.
So, the Israelis are demonstrating restraint with this missile defense
system, but it cannot continue. If they’re going to have infrastructure,
energy infrastructure, and civilians being attacked, there’s going to have
to be stronger retaliation against the Hamas militants on the part of
PAYNE: Yes, Rebeccah, that civility that you’re talking about, that
restraint that you’re talking about, the warning of folks and buildings
that, hey, these are going to be attacked at some point, and, still, Israel
has a tough public relations battle, particularly here at home.
You mentioned members of Congress sympathetic to Hamas. Isn’t Hamas seen as
a terror organization by both Israel and America? And if so, should we be
HEINRICHS: It is a terrorist organization.
And not only is it a terrorist organization. It’s directly funded by the
largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world. And that’s Iran, Charles.
Iran gives Hamas $30 million a month, funds them. And all of that is going
towards their weaponry.
And so when you hear Democratic members of Congress and the Biden
administration eager to undo the progress of the previous administration
towards Middle East, and to reenter the Iran deal, just keep in mind that
this money does not go towards the citizens of Iran. It does not go towards
peace. It does not go towards anything that’s productive.
It funds terrorists. And until the Iran regime changes, this will continue.
And so yes, this is — Hamas is a terrorist organization. These are the
militants, and all of this money is coming from Iran, and that’s who’s
funding the attacks against Israel.
PAYNE: Rebeccah, Israel has been in the midst of a really divisive
presidential, prime minister election.
And it feels like maybe they’re going to finally get to a conclusion. Does
that play a role in this at all? Does Hamas sense some sort of fragility
within the country of Israel in a way to exploit that?
HEINRICHS: That’s an important point, Charles.
Not everything is about the United States of America. We have our own
politics that obviously affect world affairs. But then there’s also
domestic politics. But you can’t help but notice the combination of all of
these factors that are happening at once. Nothing like this happened over
the last several years.
This really is a new thing. It’s unprecedented. And whenever you have seen
the Abraham Accords and progress made towards the region over the last
several years, and you see something like this, it’s hard to get around the
fact that it is the Biden administration coming on the stage that is
perhaps emboldening different toxic combination of things to take place
that’s providing the context for increased violence.
So, we certainly hope that we can find some sort of de-escalation solution
to this problem. But when everybody on the world stage is calling for this
both sides thing, for both sides to step back from the edge, just keep in
mind that it is Israel that is responding defensively to protect
And it is Hamas militants that are the aggressors here. And this is bad for
Palestinians. It’s bad for Israel. And it’s bad for peace in the Middle
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