Major Moishi Grunberg, an officer in the IDF's Combat Engineering Battalion, spoke to Arutz Sheva-Israel National News about his experiences fighting the war in Gaza.

"On Simchat Torah (October 7), I found myself in Kfar Chabad by my in-laws," Major Grunberg explained. "I went to sleep 2:30 in the morning, and I was drunk. The next thing I know, my mother-in-law is knocking on the door, and she's like, 'Moishi, Devori - my wife - wake up, wake up, there's sirens!' And I hear the sirens, and it's 6:30, 6:35."

He recounted that he initially thought the alarms were the result of a malfunction, possibly due to the holiday, until they saw the rockets being intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.

"We ran to the bomb shelter. I opened up my phone, and I saw the first video footage of what's going on in Sderot and the Gaza [periphery] settlements. I knew, this is it."

He serves in the tank corps of the 14th Division. Later that morning, he was contacted by his superiors, who told him to go with the rest of his force to Kibbutz Tze'elim, a small town about 20 miles south of Gaza.

"The first week, we were assisting with all the bodies, all the bodies of our brothers and sisters and the fallen soldiers in the kibbutzim. We were cleaning out the kibbutzim and cleaning out all the cars. Because as combat engineers, we had all the equipment to do so," he said.

His division then received its orders to go into Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza, though the IDF would not launch a ground operation in Gaza for several more weeks, time that would be spent training and preparing for ground combat in Gaza.

Grunberg noted that Beit Hanoun was of key strategic importance because it is the highest part of the Gaza Strip by elevation. "It's located in a very strategic position. You're able to see with your naked eye in Beit Hanoun the Rutenberg electricity plant on the sea, you're able to see the outskirts of Ashkelon, Kibbutz Erez, the new neighborhoods of Sderot."

"You're able to see the Israeli villages" from Beit Hanoun, he said. "And they're just there. And you realize how easy it was for them just to cross the fence. And everything we've built up over the years, all these defense systems, just crashed."

He called the amount of ammunition they found in Beit Hanoun "mind-boggling."

"In every home, I'm talking about the outskirts, we found motorcycles that were part of the invasion on the 7th of October. We found cars," he said, noting that these were not found in the homes of Hamas members, but in the homes of ordinary Gazans. "In every other home, practically speaking, there's ammunition, Kalashnikov, Dragunov - the sniper guns. We found grenades, thousands of grenades, side bombs, booby traps; everywhere."

He described the extent of the terror tunnel network constructed just in Beit Hanoun. "We found tunnels under kids' beds. We found tunnels underneath schools, [such as] the UNRWA school in Beit Hanoun. We found tunnels underneath mosques. Terrorist infrastructure everywhere."

"We found Mein Kampf books," he added. "If we talk about what they're standing up for, the Hamas, it's not just anti-Zionist, it's not just anti-Israel; we're talking about anti-Jews. This is antisemitism in the most pure way."

"This what they're taught at such a young age," he said.

The civilians of Beit Hanoun had evacuated in the weeks before the IDF went in. But Grunberg's forces were met with gunfire, missile, and RPG attacks from Hamas terrorists as soon as they crossed into Gaza.

"They're hiding in the houses, in the mosque, in the hospitals, and the schools," he recalled. "In the hospital in Beit Hanoun, there was a huge fight. There were terrorists in the hospital waiting for us."

Most of the terrorists they encountered "were hiding behind either civilians or in homes or schools or underground. We're the only army in the world that is waging war with an enemy that's 360 degrees. There's no other army that fights such a war, because you're fighting with an enemy that comes from underground, from aboveground, from every direction.

Grunberg became something of an internet celebrity due to videos posted of his demolishing buildings containing terrorist infrastructure, leading to Hamas, leading to false reports that he had been killed when another soldier in his battalion was killed by a sniper.

"It went viral, and it went on Al Jazeera and it was on Kuwait News and all these different websites," he said. "I have to say, it was an experience to 'die.'"

"I know, at the end of the day, we're doing the right thing," Grunberg said. "The most important thing is that at the end of the day, we're the insurance policy for worldwide Jewry. Because Jews around the world know, if worse comes to worse, and we're seeing it now, in Europe, in parts of the States, in Canada, Australia, that if they cannot live there as free Jews anymore, they can always come there to Israel."