Caroline Baudry, special correspondent in Jaffa (Israel) / Photo credit: MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP 16:20 p.m., October 16, 2023

While the IDF's ground offensive against Hamas is still being prepared, nearly ten days after the terrorist attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement, Europe 1 went to Jaffa, very close to Tel Aviv, where the Israeli Arab community, which rubs shoulders with the Jewish community, affirms its support for the Jewish state.

More than a million displaced people in Gaza, more than 1,400 victims on the Israeli side... The death toll from the Hamas terror attack on 7 October continues to rise. And yet, in Jaffa, the former southern part of the city of Tel Aviv, Jews and Arabs live side by side. In the neighborhood, which is predominantly populated by Israeli Arabs, the population even affirms its support for the Jewish state, while the IDF, the Israeli defense forces, is actively preparing its offensive on the Gaza Strip.

In front of a mosque, a vendor nervously packs the chicken he serves to the few customers in this deserted neighborhood. Shaken by the war, this man affirms his solidarity with the victims of the bloodbath carried out by Hamas. "When they come to attack the Israelis, it's like they're attacking another Arab people," he said. Ahmed initially refuses to testify and says that he lives with his head down and has become very small since the attacks.

"Let's destroy Hamas and then we'll see"

The events sent shockwaves through his community. "I think it woke up a lot of Arabs who normally would say 'Freedom, Palestine' and so on. Now they first say, 'Let's destroy Hamas and then we'll see,'" he said.


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For the 25-year-old Muslim, the first and foremost is an end to terrorism. In support, an Israeli flag flies from the windows of his dilapidated building. "I see on Facebook and Instagram that because we are Arabs, Jews think we are with Hamas. But that's not the case. We are against Hamas," she said as she climbed the stairs up the steps where the entire building took refuge when the sirens wailed. There are no missile shelters here to protect against Hamas' killer rockets.