20 November, 2023 Hotel Attacks
On 7 October, over 1,500 gunmen (some sources estimate 3,000) from the terror group Hamas (the Islamic Resistance Movement) attacked more than 20 towns and a handful of security posts in Israel. Hamas was aided and abetted by Iran, say multiple intelligence agencies. At the same time, Hamas showered Israel with thousands of rockets. Reuters cites Israeli sources that says the attackers slaughtered, in heinous, serial killer-like fashion, over 1,300 civilians and scores of security personnel. It was the largest loss of Jewish life since the Holocaust.
The attackers moreover kidnapped more than 200 people, absconding with them into Gaza, where they are being held hostage and/or being gradually executed. Over 100 have been released.
Hamas says its attack was in self-defense for being occupied and oppressed by Israel. Additionally, Hamas’ government charter calls for the eradication of all Jews worldwide and the destruction of the state of Israel. It is also an Islamist jihadist charter, which is the same ideology of al Qaeda, ISIS, and other like groups. There is speculation the attack was motivated by a looming Israel-Saudi Arabia diplomatic breakthrough that was capitalizing on the historic Abraham Accords.
Senior Hamas leader Ghazi Hamad announced they would continue to attack Israel using 7 October tactics over and over again, reports The Times of Israel. Hamad also said every act of violence Hamas carries out is completely justified.
As if to drive Hamad’s point home, on 15 November, Israeli police shot dead three gunmen in a car who pulled up to a security checkpoint and opened fire, says The Telegraph. The gunmen wounded six Israeli security personnel before being dispatched. The culprits so far have been identified as Hamas operatives coming from the West Bank.
Arab News says Chairman of Hamas’ Political Bureau, Khaled Mashal, told the press their 7 October attack on Israel was “ingenious,” that they were “aware of the ramifications” of the onslaught (Israel’s retaliation), but that it was necessary to sacrifice Gazan civilians to achieve “liberation.”
Israel retaliated. It vowed to destroy Hamas’ network in Gaza and staged air and artillery attacks against specific Hamas targets. It then launched a ground invasion of Gaza on 28 October.
Also, since 7 October, Lebanon-based Hezbollah, pro-Hamas forces in the West Bank, and Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen all launched attacks against Israel (or on Israeli assets in the case of the West Bank).
Adding to the fracas, Iranian surrogate organizations have attacked over 70 US military targets in the region (mostly Iraq and Syria) with either rockets, missiles, or drones. Scores of US service personnel have been wounded. As a result, the US moved military forces into the area to help defend its bases and Israel. US assets have since destroyed a handful of Iranian surrogate targets.
Internationally, Hamas has expertly co-opted the Palestinian human rights movement as its chief ally, casting itself as a victim of colonization, apartheid, and brutal oppression. Hamas has further rallied international Marxists, global Jew and Israel-haters, Islamist jihadists, and a wide array of left-wing extremists, including radical members of the LGBT community, Black Lives Matter, various student groups at Ivey League universities and others, and members of the US Democratic Party, including legislators. Local and federal government personnel in the US have also been accused of supporting Hamas, including an employee of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), says the Daily Mail. The Daily Mail also says a United Airlines pilot was accused of the same and removed from his job.
This pro-Hamas/pro-Palestinian united front has staged multiple protests all over the world, including in the UK, the US, Germany, France, Nigeria, and Australia, to name a few.
Some of these protests have included calls for violence, citing global intifada, plus the eradication of Jews and the state of Israel. Beatings and harassment of Jews have occurred as well, along with street clashes with police.
The anger of some of these rallies intensified when Israel invaded Gaza, which has resulted in thousands of both Hamas fighters and civilians killed, so says Hamas and various press sources inside Gaza. While civilian casualties are occurring, confirmation of the exact numbers is needed, especially in the wake of Hamas’ hospital bombing hoax.
Israel says collateral damage is impossible to avoid since Hamas has embedded its military assets throughout Gaza’s civilian population, effectively using them as cover and concealment (camouflage and human shields).
The situation is fluid and highly volatile.
Several US agencies recently detected increased threats against Jews, Israel, and its supporters, including the US and its citizenry. This prompted domestic and international threat warnings from the US Department of State, the DHS, and the FBI.
The DHS said, “We have seen an increase in reports of threats against Jewish, Muslim, and Arab communities and institutions. Lone offenders, motivated by a range of violent ideologies, pose the most likely threat.”
The FBI, in press releases and Congressional testimony, said the threat, which had reached “historic levels,” came from organized groups such as, but not restricted to, al Qaeda, ISIS, Hamas, and Hezbollah, plus lone actors that are inspired by, and/or encouraged by, Islamist jihadism and antisemitism. FBI Director Wray said while all Americans, including Muslims, were in peril, Jews remained the main target so far. He told Congress that while Jews made up 2.4 % of the US population, they accounted for “60 percent of all religious-based hate crimes, and so they need our help,” said The Hill.
Fox News says on 5 November in Thousand Oaks, CA, a pro-Hamas/pro-Palestinian protester was charged with manslaughter and could be facing hate crime charges after he smashed a Jewish man with a megaphone, causing him to fall and hit the street. The fall resulted in additional head injuries that killed him.
Jewish students and teachers have reportedly been assaulted and/or threatened with murder on campuses at Ohio State, Columbia (NYC), Cornell (NYC), and Amherst, just to name four. Four hundred students mob harassed a teacher at Hillcrest High School in Queens, NYC, after they discovered she had been to a pro-Israel rally. There have been scores of other such threats/attacks at universities all over the US.
The AP reports that on 25 November in Burlington, Vermont, a lone gunman shot and wounded three Palestinians who were walking down the street. They were wearing Palestinian keffiyeh scarves at the time. The perpetrator pleaded not guilty and might be charged with a hate crime.
Internationally, terror plots against Jews have already blossomed. Reuters reported on 8 November that Brazilian authorities, aided by Israel’s Mossad, foiled a Hezbollah terror plot to murder Jews in the city of Sao Paulo and the states of Brasilia and Minas Gerais.
The totality of this violence has impacted hotels, as demonstrated below. Muir Analytics expects these hotel violence trends to continue, and more damaging attacks are certainly possible.
On 11 October, The Global Herald says the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) targeted multiple Hamas assets in Gaza via airstrikes, which resulted in at least one massive explosion outside the Roots Hotel. According to video analysis, the hotel did not appear to have suffered damage.
On 10-12 October, Yahoo News reports the Israeli Air Force (IAF) struck Hamas targets just outside the Ayan Hotel where Gazans had sought refuge. The 10 October blast appears to have occurred approximately 200 meters southwest of the hotel in-between several high-rise buildings. It caused no damage to the hotel.
The 12 October blasts – audio/video analysis suggests four – happened in the same area but about 100 meters from the hotel. These explosions reverberated throughout the property, shattered front lobby glass doors, and caused damage to ceiling panels in the hotel’s valet entrance.
On or before 22 October, video on social media shows that the IDF appears to have fired ordnance at the Commodore Hotel Gaza, reportedly owned by Abdelaziz al-Khaldi, a Hamas financier. Imagery analysis indicates there was an explosion inside the hotel that blew out multiple windows. Copious scorching demonstrates a fire burned out the inside of the property.
The Financial Times reports that on or about 28 October, Israeli Ground Forces (IGF) forces took over a beachfront hotel in north Gaza, al Tanani Chalet. Video of the aftermath of the takeover from The Times and The Sunday Times shows IGF troops waving the Israeli flag on top of the hotel that appears to have been pockmarked by combat, indicating Hamas used the building as a defensive position. This assault was part of the IDF’s initial penetration into northern Gaza.
On the evening of 10 October, NDTV says a Hamas rocket hit the parking lot of the Regina Goren Hotel in Ashkelon. Video of the attack shows first responders putting out fires that had engulfed several cars. It also shows a damaged lobby, broken railings, shattered glass panels, and smoke inundating the hotel. Guests left for safer locations. Ashkelon was one of Hamas’ key targets on 7 October and was subject to multiple rocket attacks, most of which were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system.
Also, on 10 October, The Limited Times says as the 7 October attack was being mopped up, there was a bizarre shooting at the Leonardo Hotel in Ashod, where Hamas was initially suspected as the culprit. The press later hinted that it might have been a non-terrorist, “friendly fire” incident. No details have been released on the shooting, but video posted on social media shows hotel guests peering down at the street below, listening to what sounds like a staccato of gunfire. Another video shows five males under arrest being marched into a police vehicle. Two people were reported wounded.
On 27 October, a social media post by India TV News reporter Amit Palit said a Hamas rocket hit an apartment building near his hotel. The rocket explosion set the apartment on fire. Palit said if it was not for the Iron Dome system, because of the thousands of rockets being fired by Hamas, destruction in Israel would be massive.
Thousands of Israeli war refugees have taken refuge in hotels in parts of Israel far from Gaza, says the Jerusalem Post. Many of these people had their homes destroyed and relatives murdered by Hamas. A few of the hotels that have taken on refugees include, but are not limited to, the Ramada by Wyndham Jerusalem Hotels, the Leonardo Plaza Hotel Jerusalem (in Ein Bokek, Dead Sea southern basin, and part of the Fattal chain), Ein Gedi Kibbutz Hotel (in Ein Gedi, on the Dead Sea). Hotels in Eilat, a Red Sea resort city, have taken in at least 60,000 war refugees.
On 3 November, social media said the IDF discovered what appeared to be an explosive device of some kind in the ocean off the beach in front of the Leonardo Hotel Haifa (formerly the Meridien Hotel and referred to as such in the press). There was video of the object being destroyed by an explosive charge planted by IDF ordnance disposal, which sent a geyser of water soaring upwards over 100 feet. The Jerusalem Post later indicated it was Hamas rocket debris, presumably from an intercepted or faulty launch.
The Diplomat and Catalan News report that on mid-day on 21 October, 90-100 pro-Hamas/pro-Palestine protesters massed at Hotel Cortes in Barcelona, taunting the hotel and those in it with pro-Hamas/anti-Israel genocide slogans. They climbed the outside of the hotel, ripped down the hotel’s flags – those of the EU, the UK, Germany, and Italy – and replaced them with a Palestinian flag. They also penetrated and occupied the hotel’s lobby for an hour. The protesters targeted the hotel because it is owned by the Israeli investment group, Nitsba.
Hours after the hotel harassment, says Catalan News, 19,000 pro-Hamas/pro-Palestine protesters – this number according to the police – gathered on main streets near the hotel and staged a “free Palestine” march.
As an aside, some social media posted video of protesters clashing with Spanish police, saying it was part of the hotel protest, but it was not. It was a protest from years prior.
On 2 November, pro-Hamas/pro-Palestine protesters stormed into and occupied the Clarence Hotel in Dublin, Ireland, says Anti Imperialist Action Ireland (AIAI). AIAI is a radical socialist and anti-Israel group dedicated to what it says is “Palestine resistance.” AIAI targeted the Clarence Hotel because the owners, the Dean Hotel Group, purchased it from U2 rock group frontman Bono and guitarist The Edge via a loan from Israel’s largest bank, Bank Leumi. Photos of the action show 11 protesters, faces covered, holding placards and flags, outside the hotel, blocking the entrance. They also stormed the lobby, but for how long is not known.
The BBC reports that on the evening of 28 October (some sources say 29 October), a crowd of more than 100 men gathered outside the Flamingo Hotel in Khasavyurt, Dagestan, a republic of Russia, hunting Jews that were rumored to have arrived in country seeking respite from Hamas’ attacks on Israel.
The crowd, which was organized via the Telegram app, threw stones at the hotel’s windows and placed a sign on the hotel asserting, “Entrance strictly forbidden to citizens of Israel… (Jews).” A social media post said the crowd shouted to the alleged Jews inside, “Show your face, or we will come into the hotel and pull you out of there!” Eventually, the police arrived and convinced the crowd there were no Jews on the property. They allowed the mob’s leadership to enter the hotel and go door to door inspecting guests’ citizenship documents. The crowd eventually disbanded.
Social media says that a similar hunt for Jews happened the same day at the “Kiev hotel” in Khasavyurt, presumably, the Hotel Kiev, but no other information was available on this alleged incident.
It is noteworthy to state that, following the Flamingo Hotel incident, The Guardian says a mob of several hundred Dagestani men stormed the Makhachkala airport on the evening of 30 October, hunting for Jews that were rumored to have been sent to Russia seeking shelter from Hamas’ war. The mob shouted, “Allahu Akbar!” (God is great!) and announced they were there to stab and shoot Jews. They penetrated and occupied every part of the airport, including the runway and adjoining roads. Twenty people were injured.
On 28 October (other sources say 30 and 31 October), T-Online and social media said that approximately 500 pro-Hamas/pro-Palestine protesters, all males, battled police in Hamburg, Germany, directly in front of Hotel Niu Fusion (aka, the Novum Style Hotel Hamburg-Centrum). Five other hotels within 50-150 meters of the Niu Fusion witnessed the street chaos. They were:
Reuters reports that Germany outlawed the group that helped organize the Hamburg protest, Samidoun, because it promotes Islamist jihadist and anti-Jewish propaganda. Berlin sees these groups and the Nazi party – which is also banned – as the same.
Protesters hurled bottles and stones at police and made violent threats. Video on social media shows the crowd shouting “Allahu Akbar!” and other slogans, exercising the one-finger salute (adopted by ISIS), brandishing protest signs, and waving several Taliban and Jabhat al-Nusra flags (the latter generally referred to as al Qaeda in Syria). German police fought back using physical force and an irritant crowd control spray.
Hotels indirectly impacted by such violence cannot operate soundly, their revenues and reputations can suffer, and the threat of hotel damage and/or angry mob penetration is always possible.
The Associated Press (AP) says on 20 October, there were both civil complaints and threats of violence against two US hotels that were supposed to host pro-Hamas/pro-Palestinian conferences. The first was the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Crystal City, Virginia. It was going to host the annual meeting of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The AP says CAIR announced it was canceling its annual meeting agenda and replacing it with a Gaza-support rally. The AP says the hotel then received thousands of protest calls, some of which said they were going to throw Molotov cocktails at the hotel or plant bombs in its garage. The Marriott Crystal Gateway then canceled CAIR’s conference.
The second was the Hilton Houston Post Oak by the Galleria. It canceled an event by the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights for undisclosed security concerns. Like the Marriott Crystal Gateway, the Hilton Houston received scores of complaints, but it was unclear if there were threats of violence. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on Twitter/X that he agreed with the Hilton Houston’s decision. He said Texas had no tolerance for Hamas supporters and their hatred for Jews.
There are nine takeaways. First, as many of the aforementioned cases demonstrate, terrorists and politically violent protesters frequently see hotels as viable and attractive targets. In other cases, such as Hamburg, hotels just happen to be caught up in the politically violent chaos. In any case, these broad trends are expected to continue on a global scale regarding the fallout from the Hamas-Israel war.
Second, Hamas can be expected to continue its attacks on Israel, and some of these operations are likely to impact hotels.
Third, because Hamas has embedded itself in and amongst Gaza’s civilian population, and because its politico-military system uses hotels, Israel can be expected to continue targeting Hamas-linked hotels in Gaza and possibly the West Bank and Lebanon.
Fourth, to garner more international support and to increase its civilian casualties – this latter strategy expressed by Hamas’ top leadership – tricking Israel into attacking a hotel packed with human shields is a real possibility.
Fifth, because the war has expanded to include surrounding countries via regional missile strikes, etc., it is possible that hotels in these locations will suffer violence. This includes, but is not limited to, Lebanon, the West Bank, Iraq, Yemen, and Syria. If the conflict expands even more, hotels in Jordan, Egypt, and GCC countries might come under threat.
Sixth, internationally, Hamas’ highly effective protest-riot network will continue to apply political violence. As demonstrated above, this will happen at hotels with both strong and vague connections to Jews and Israel.
Seventh, the poignant US government threat warnings about Hamas and its supporters carrying out attacks in the US and internationally definitely include hotels.
Eighth, the large, diverse hodgepodge of Hamas supporters, many camouflaged as Palestinian human rights supporters, indicates that anti-Jewish/anti-Israel violence could come from a wide array of personnel, and it could happen in nearly any place. This complicates narrowing down precise threat warnings and indicators, which then taxes security preparedness, especially at hotels.
Ninth, anti-Hamas/anti-Palestinian violence at hotels is also possible, as suggested by threats against CAIR and the shooting of Palestinians in Vermont.
“Queens high school chaos: Safety officer attacked, teacher targeted in separate incidents,” NBC New York, 27 November 2023.
“Suspect in shooting of 3 men of Palestinian descent near the University of Vermont pleads not guilty,” Associated Press, 27 November 2023.
“United Airlines removes pilot Ibrahim Mossallam from service amid anti-Semitic claims after he posted messages supporting terror group Hamas’ vile slaughter of 1,200 Israelis hours after the Oct 7 invasion, calling it ‘resistance by brave people’,” Daily Mail, 21 November 2023.
StopAntisemitism, @StopAntisemites, “Ibrahim R Mossallam is a United Airlines pilot who stated on an October 7th Facebook post the massacre in Israel that left 1400 people dead, women raped, and babies burned alive was “resistance by brave people,” 20 November 2023, https://twitter.com/StopAntisemites/status/1726667473431191671.
“Pro-Palestinian protester charged in Jewish man Paul Kessler’s death could face hate crime as DA probes speech,” Fox News, 17 November 2023.
“Axe-wielding Palestinian gunmen shot dead after Israeli police stop ‘planned massacre’,” The Telegraph, 16 November 2023.
“Director Wray’s Opening Statement to the House Committee on Homeland Security,” Christopher A. Wray, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 15 November 2023.
“Worldwide Caution,” US Department of State, 15 November 2023.
“NYPD reports 214-percent increase in anti-Jewish hate crimes amid Israel-Hamas war,” The Hill, 11 November 2023.
“2 Ohio college students attacked in alleged hate crime, Jewish student center near campus vandalized,” WHIO TV, 10 November 2023.
“Israel helps Brazil thwart domestic attack by Hezbollah cell,” Reuters, 8 November 2023.
“Jewish student speaks out after being attacked on UMass Amherst campus,” 7 News Boston, 6 November 2023.
Culture War, @CultureWar2020, “Hamburg Germany Pro Palestine protests seem to be ramping up, 4 November 2023, https://twitter.com/CultureWar2020/status/1720908290320658888.
Code Artisan, @ codeartisan, “Haifa police officers were called today to the beach near the Meridian Hotel upon receiving a report regarding the location of a large IED item in the water, 3 November 2023, https://twitter.com/__codeartisan/status/1720519806821003355.
“Rocket debris found in water along Haifa beach – police,” Jerusalem Post, 3 November 2023.
Anti-Imperialist Action Ireland, @AIAIreland, “The Clarence hotel in Temple Bar, Dublin was occupied today by AlA and Palestine solidarity activists. The Clarence, formally owned by Bono and the Edge of U2, was recently bought by the Dean Hotel Group with a 43 million euro loan from Bank Leumi, the largest bank in ‘Israel,” 2 November 2023, https://twitter.com/AIAIreland/status/1720174811685535913.
“Cornell student accused of threatening to kill Jewish students will remain behind bars,” CNN, 1 November 2023.
“Hamas official says group aims to repeat Oct. 7 onslaught many times to destroy Israel,” The Times of Israel, 1 November 2023.
“FBI director warns of ‘historic’ antisemitism levels,” The Hill, 31 October 2023.
“Dagestan: Mob storms Russian airport in search of Jews,” BBC, 30 October 2023.
“Israel’s hotels choose solidarity over profit as they house refugees,” Jerusalem Post, 30 October 2023.
“Israeli soldiers ‘wave flag from Gaza City hotel,” The Times and The Sunday Times, posted on YouTube, 29 October 2023.
“Mob storms Dagestan airport in search of Jewish passengers from Israel,” The Guardian, 29 October 2023.
“The tactics behind Israel’s ground offensive,” Financial Times, 29 October 2023.
Visegrad 24 %, @visegrad24, “A Jewish man checked into the Flamingo Hotel in Khasavyurt, Dagestan in Russia today. Quickly a crowd gathered in front of the hotel and started shouting: “Show your face, or we will come into the hotel and pull you out of there!,” 29 October 2023 https://twitter.com/visegrad24/status/1718732443925053779.
“Assembly in St. Georg pro-Palestine demo: Protesters attack; The police,” T-online – Nachrichten für Deutschland, 28 October 2023.
Markus Haintz, @Haintz Media, “That video is from saturday, 28 th. of october. It is in the city of Hamburg (St. Georg, Steindamm 68-70 is the Hotel Niu Fusion, left side), 28 October 2023, https://twitter.com/Haintz_Media/status/1718457000219009458.
The Informant, @theinformantofc, “A %= – Residents of #Khasavyurt (#Dagestan) check hotels where immigrants from #IsraelHamasWar allegedly settled. According to the public “Emergency Caucasus”, in the Flamingo and Kiev hotels, local residents “carried out an inspection” for the presence of immigrants from…” 28 October 2023, https://twitter.com/theinformantofc/status/1718329014916391321.
Amit Palit INDIATV, @AmitKPalit, “Rocket fired by #Hamas fell over a neighbourhood close to my hotel. Every day people in #Israel cheat death every day. Only defense weapon iron dome is saving us. Else hamas rocket will destroy everything here.” 27 October 2023, https://twitter.com/AmitKPalit/status/1717913610800841203.
“Fact Check: Video does not show 2023 pro-Palestinian protests in Barcelona,” Reuters, 26 October 2023.
“Pro-Palestine protesters occupy Barcelona’s Cortés hotel, owner is Israeli tycoon,” Catalan News, 23 October 2023.
“Israeli Embassy calls occupation of Israeli-linked Barcelona hotel ‘brutal and anti-Semitic’,” The Diplomat in Spain, 22 October 2023.
Twitter, @imshin, “Interestingly, the only damage in this seafront hotels area of Gaza City appears to be a fire in the Commodore Hotel, owned by Hamas terror financier, Abdelaziz al-Khaldi,” 22 October 2023, https://twitter.com/imshin/status/1715818615516139566.
“Ocupen l’hotel d’un magnat Israelià a Barcelona per protestar contra els atacs a Gaza,” La Cadena SER, 21 October 2023.
“Explosion interrupts woman’s interview from Gaza,” Yahoo News, 20 October 2023.
“Violent threats from Virginia to Texas disrupt Muslim groups raising support for Palestinians,” Associated Press, 20 October 2023.
“DHS worker and former Palestinian Liberation spokeswoman Nejwa Ali is put on leave after praising Hamas terrorist attacks and saying ‘F*** Israel…we are ready for your downfall’,” Daily Mail, 19 October 2023.
“Hamas official says group ‘well aware’ of consequences of attack on Israel, Palestinian liberation comes with ‘sacrifices’,” Arab News, 19 October 2023.
“DHS Statement on Israel-Hamas conflict,” US Department of Homeland Security, 18 October 2023.
“Israeli forensic teams describe signs of torture, abuse,” Reuters, 15 October 2023.
“Escalating violence draws concerns of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” CHCH News, 12 October 2023.
“Germany bans pro-Palestinian group Samidoun,” Reuters, 12 October 2023.
“Glass litters hotel lobby as explosions ring out in Gaza,” Yahoo News, 12 October 2023.
“Israeli student attacked with a stick outside Columbia University library: cops,” New York Post, 12 October 2023.
“Israel airstrikes hit near Gaza City hotel,” The Global Herald, 11 October 2023.
Mario NawfalO B, @MarioNawfa, “BREAKING: ASHDOD SHOOTING OVER | COULD BE FRIENDLY FIRE, The shooting incident in Ashdod, in the Leonardo Hotel, is under control and there are reports it may not be related to Hamas. Channels 14 states the incident was ‘Friendly Fire’ with one person injured,” 10 October 2023, https://twitter.com/MarioNawfal/status/1711821859816112620 and https://twitter.com/MarioNawfal/status/1711823026545676427.
“Two seriously injured in shooting incident in Ashdod,” The Limited Times, 10 October 2023.
“Video: NDTV journalists safe after rocket hits their hotel in Israel,” NDTV, 10 October 2022.
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