Day 40: IDF Enters Gaza’s Shifa Hospital

Daily war summary from Eretz Yisroel: IDF have commenced operations in Gaza’s largest hospital; rumors of an imminent hostage deal; 2 IDF soldiers killed – Hashem Yikom Damam!

By Mrs. Bruria Efune

War Summary, Day Forty

239 confirmed kidnapped.
5 hostages freed.
1,200+ Israelis murdered.
48 fallen soldiers since entering Gaza.
7,262 injured.
10,000+ rockets fired at Israel.
500,000+ Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.

Hostage & Injured Updates:

According to a Reuters report, and confirmation from Israeli officials, Qatar is brokering a deal to release 50 female and child hostages in exchange for Palestinian female prisoners and minor terrorists. It appears that the Israeli war cabinet opposes this deal.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Galant spoke to reservists who fought in Gaza, and strongly hinted that he is not in favor of any deal. “We are going to carry out any action that can bring about the rescue of our hostages. When I say the rescue, it can mean a ground operation or it can come from another place. Only the effort in fighting from the air and of course from the ground, together with the pressure it creates on them, is what advances the issue of the captives and the missing forward.”

Sara Netanyahu, the Prime Minister’s wife, sent a letter to America’s First Lady, Jill Biden, in which, among other things, she confirmed that one of the abductees gave birth in Hamas captivity.

Professor Hagai Levin, head of the medical department at the abductees families’ headquarters, spoke at a joint press conference about the health of the captives. “Among the abductees are babies, children, women, elderly men, the sick, the injured, the disabled and those with special needs. Where are they? Who takes care of them? These are people in urgent need. They can die without medical treatment. There is an immediate threat to their lives. Everyone needs medical treatment, sunlight, vitamins, food, and more. They need their doctors. The captives cannot speak, so we must make their voices heard.”

Levin gave an example of an 84 year old captive named Alma Avraham, who was kidnapped from Nachal Oz. She needs several medications to keep her heart pumping. He pleaded for doctors in Gaza and around the world to do what they can for her and all the hostages.

Gaza Front Updates:

Rocketfire was again at a reduced rate today, with sirens only triggered in the south five times, four in the Gaza envelope communities, and once in Ashkelon—where a fall caused damage but no injuries.

The IDF announced the names of two soldiers who fell in combat in Gaza yesterday:

Captain (res.) Omri Yosef David, 27 years old, from Karmiel

Captain Yedidiya Asher Lev, 26 years old, from Tel Menashe

In a statement to the media, Minister Benny Gantz said: “Yahia Sinwar thought he would dismantle Israeli society—and when he sees what is happening, he realizes that he is not only losing battles, but that he and Hamas will lose the war. Whoever thought they could crush us, is only destroying Hamas. Every time we prove our strength, Sinwar and Hamas break even more.”

He added: “The IDF soldiers continue to operate in the depths of Gaza City against those who have turned the hospitals into military bases from which war crimes are committed. There will be no cities of refuge, there will be no shelters. We will go anywhere we need to eradicate the murderers of children; above and below before the ground, in Gaza and in the entire world. We will reach the heads of [Hamas] government the same way we reached the centers of power, and what we do effectively in the south can work even better in the north, as needed.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today mirrored the same sentiment when he told soldiers at the Home Front, “There is no place in Gaza that we will not reach. There is no hiding place, no shelter – no shelter for the murderers of Hamas.”

After taking a historic photo, the Golan IDF soldiers blew up the Hamas Parliament building.

Last night, after many warnings and attempts to evacuate patients, the IDF entered Shifa Hospital, which is also home to Hamas Headquarters. The IDF announced, “The IDF forces include medical teams and Arabic speakers, who have undergone specific training for this complex and sensitive environment, with the intention that no harm will be caused to civilians who are used by Hamas as human shields.”

While entering the hospital, IDF soldiers encountered several Hamas terrorists, and eliminated them.

The soldiers searched one of the hospital wards and found combat and military equipment belonging to Hamas, including weapons, uniforms, and unique technological means. Several worn uniforms were found hastily put away, which is possible evidence that Hamas terrorists quickly changed into civilian clothing in order to escape.

As part of their mission, the IDF also delivered humanitarian needs to the hospital. According to the IDF, there is no friction between the IDF and medical staff in the hospital.

The IDF are now carrying out well planned missions to slowly and cautiously clear out the entire hospital of terrorists, above and below ground. A source inside the hospital told the Russian media, Sputnik, that the IDF forces are carrying out digging operations inside the compound. While not confirmed by the IDF, this sounds like a tactical method to reach the tunnels safely, avoiding boob-traps.

The IDF emphasized that there is no concrete information about the presence of abductees currently inside the hospital.

The White House relayed support for the operation in the hospital, but without attack from air, and stressed that they don’t want to see shootouts inside the hospital amongst innocent patients and medical staff.

(Side note: The U.S. has a history of bombing hospitals which contained terrorists, without second thought. Most recently, in 2016, the U.S. bombed Al-Salam Hospital in Mosul, Iraq, with no warning, while patients were still inside. ISIS had taken over the top floors of the hospital, and was attacking allied-Iraqi forces from their positions. Few patients survived the bombing.)

Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:

The IDF continues to provide two humanitarian corridors for Gaza civilians to move from the north to the south. The corridors are guarded by IDF soldiers, to prevent Hamas from shooting at the evacuating civilians. The IDF also gave civilians a phone number and Telegram channel with which to contact them for help if Hamas terrorists block their paths to the south.

Dozens of UN trucks are carrying aid into the south of Gaza on a daily bases, and refuel at the Rafah crossing. Videos coming out of Gaza show Hamas taking the aid for themselves and beating civilians who attempt to take.

Despite the Israeli government saying they would not allow it, a Reuters report today indicated that a truck with fuel entered the Gaza Strip from Egypt through the Rafah crossing. Hamas uses fuel to fire rockets at Israel, and keep their terror tunnels ventilated.

Northern Front Updates:

There was a moderate amount of fire from Hezbollah today. One barrage resulted in about 10 falls in the far northern city of Kiryat Shmona. No damage or casualties were reported.

The IDF retaliated both by air and artillery fire, to the sources of Hezbollah fire.

Sirens warning of a hostile aircraft in the south was announced to be a false alarm. It’s unclear why there have been so many false alarms for hostile aircraft—whether it means that the aircraft didn’t enter Israeli airspace, or was a false identification.

According to Reuters, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei told Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh that the Islamic Republic will not intervene in the war, because Hamas did not inform Iran in advance about the planned massacre. This is an interesting report, since it indicates that Iran is hesitant to join in the war. However, it is known that several elite Hamas terrorist units who attacked on October 7th had received training in Iran. In addition, Hezbollah and the Houthis in Yemen are supported by Iran, and have been attacking.

Hamas denied the report that Khamenei told Haniyeh that he would not enter the war.

Additional War Fronts Updates

One or two drones launched from Yemen were intercepted over the Red Sea by an American ship.

According to a report in Bloomberg, the US is secretly sending more ammunition and missiles to Israel, on an “almost daily” basis.

Judea and Samaria Updates:

The IDF announced that last night the security forces destroyed an illegal house in the Palestinian village of Shukba belonging to a terrorist associated with Hamas, and detained about 28 Hamas terrorists for questioning, including Muhammad Abu Quick, a senior member of the terrorist organization’s leadership.

International Updates:

The UN Security Council approved a proposal for humanitarian truces in Gaza for the release of the kidnapped. The council calls for prolonged pauses in fighting for a few days. The USA did not veto the proposal.

Ambassador Erdan in response, wrote “The decision is disconnected from reality and will have no meaning. Israel is acting according to international law anyway, while the Hamas terrorists will not read the decision at all and will not act on it. It is unfortunate that the Council continues to ignore, not condemn or even mention, the massacre committed by Hamas on 7/10 and which led to the war in Gaza. It’s shameful.”

The relationship between Turkey and Israel is continuing to deteriorate. Edroegn, the President of Turkey, said “Israel is committing genocide in Gaza, we will act in the international arena to prevent it.”

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen wrote in response, “Those who host arch-terrorists and encourage terrorist organizations will not preach morality to the State of Israel. The Turkish president distorts reality and is once again on the wrong side of history, next to the glories of the massacres in Iran, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen. The State of Israel is a state of law, operating according to international law, and will continue its war against the terrorist organization Hamas, which is worse than ISIS.”

General Updates:

During the State Audit Committee of the Knesset, it was announced that 80,000 people have been put on temporary leave from their jobs since the war broke out last month.

After appalling statements from MKs Iman Khatib-Yasin (Ra’am) and Aida Toma-Soliman (Joint List), in connection to the October 7th massacre, the Knesset’s Ethics Committee decided to impose sanctions on them in the form of exclusion from Knesset committee meetings and the plenary for a period of one and two months, respectively, and denial of salary for two weeks. Of 120 seats in the Israeli Knesset (Parliament), 10 are held by Arab-Israeli parties. Most of the Arab Israeli parties have clearly condemned Hamas’s horrific massacre.

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