Statement Regarding This Weekend’s Attack on Israel

TO: The Gonzaga University Community
FROM: Thayne M. McCulloh, D.Phil., President
SUBJ: Statement Regarding This Weekend’s Attack on Israel
DATE: October 9, 2023

This past Saturday, militants from the Hamas-governed Gaza Strip launched a surprise dawn attack on the nation of Israel, firing thousands of missiles, breaching border fences that separate Gaza and Israel in many places, killing and maiming Israeli soldiers, civilians, and tourists. In a long-planned operation, the militants attacked military installations, towns and civilian locations, including a music festival at which hundreds of young people were killed. The government of Israel immediately responded with military force, declaring the attack an act of war and moving swiftly to reclaim areas that had been targeted by the militants. News reports indicate that more than 1,100 people have been killed in Israel and Gaza, with Hamas militants claiming that they have taken hundreds of hostages.

Many of us have been watching these events unfold with horror and dismay, as scenes of fear, death and destruction have dominated the media. Without question, this marks a significant moment in the history of Israel and the peoples of the region.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have been killed and affected by these devastating attacks. Members of our Jewish community have been deeply impacted by these events, and I know that many in our Gonzaga family join with our Jewish sisters and brothers in their sadness and grief. We condemn in the strongest possible terms the violence and terrorism that has been perpetrated in this brutal attack. Through this message I want to reach out to members of our Gonzaga community who have been affected by these events, who have family in the region, or who are concerned about the safety and well-being of others. If you would like to speak with someone about your concerns, please consider accessing one of the resources available via this LINK.