War Summary, Day One Hundred and Three: The IDF confirmed that Itay Svirsky and Yossi Sharabi from Kibbutz Be’eri were killed by Hamas in captivity, Hamas fired a huge barrage of an estimated 50 rockets from Northern Gaza after the IDF removed troops from the area, and a deal was brokered to bring medicine to 40 of the hostages.
By Mrs. Bruria Efune
War Summary, Day One Hundred and Three:
136 held captive in Gaza.
110 hostages freed.
11 hostage bodies rescued.
33 hostages confirmed murdered in Gaza.
1,300+ Israelis murdered.
190 fallen soldiers in the battle in Gaza.
5 fallen soldiers in Northern Israel.
2 fallen soldiers in Judea & Samaria.
12,900 rockets fired at Israel.
187,533 Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.
The IDF confirmed that Itay Svirsky and Yossi Sharabi from Kibbutz Be’eri were killed by Hamas in captivity. The two were seen in a cruel video released by Hamas this week.
After a deal was brokered, on Prime Minister Netanyahu instructions, two Qatari Air Force planes are expected to fly tomorrow to Egypt with medicines purchased in France, according to a list compiled in Israel based on the medical needs of the hostages trapped in Gaza.
After the planes land, the medicines will be transferred by Qatari representatives to their final destination inside the Gaza Strip. Israel insists that all the medicines reach their destination: the surviving hostages trapped in the Hamas tunnels.
According to some reports from France, only 45 hostages will receive medicine, and only medicine for chronic diseases.
Gaza Front Updates:
Hamas fired rockets at the Gaza Envelope communities, and one huge barrage of an estimated 50 rockets at the city of Netivot and the area. One hit was made on a storefront in Netivot, causing significant damage, another in nearby Moshav Givolim, and a third narrowly missed a group of workers right outside the city. Miraculously, no injuries were reported.
Many Israeli political commentators and politicians were quick to point out that the huge barrage was fired from the north of Gaza right after the IDF significantly reduced presence in the area by withdrawing the 36th Division.
Minister Gideon Sa’ar demanded an immediate meeting of the War Cabinet to discuss the continuation of the offensive in Gaza. He stated: “Decreasing the intensity of IDF activity and reducing the size of the forces—is wrong. The Cabinet must make a decision on increasing military pressure immediately. Changes in the nature of the campaign should be based on an examination of progress and not according to schedules.”
“Schedules” was likely in reference to the U.S. demands to provide a schedule of de-escalation in Gaza.
The IDF announced the names of two heroes who fell in battle in the Gaza Strip:
Sgt. First Class (res.) Nitzan Schessler, 21, from Hadera
Sgt. Maj. (res.) Noam Ashram, 37, from Kfar Saba
Ashram was critically wounded at the end of December, and today succumbed to his injuries in the hospital.
Prime Minister Netanyahu met today with the IDF’s Southern Command at the command center, and said that the goal remains to be the complete dissolution of Hamas—and that goal has not changed.
After a rocket was fired from within Khan Younis at IDF troops in Gaza, the IDF conducted an investigation and found that the the rocket was fired from Nasser Hospital. “Hamas operates systematically in the hospitals in the Gaza Strip and in the areas adjacent to them, using the civilian population as a human shield and exploiting the hospital infrastructure,” the IDF said in a statement.
In Northern Gaza, during the clean-up operations in Beit Lahiya, the IDF located around 100 rocket launchers with at least 60 rockets inside, prepared for launch into Israel. Troops also battled and eliminated dozens of Hamas holdouts in the area. Troops also found and called in an airstrike to eliminate Hamas terrorists in Shati, a neighborhood in Gaza City.
In Khan Younis, where battles remain in high intensity, the IDF troops eliminated many more Hamas terrorists, and raided several dozen offices of several senior Hamas commanders in two parts of the city, including that of a battalion commander. The soldiers seized many weapons from the offices, and destroyed surveillance cameras used by Hamas to guard the area.
The IDF expanded further into Khan Younis, with a large offensive on Hamas infrastructure in the area including many air strikes before the troops moved in on ground. The strikes targeted Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) headquarters, as well as several Hamas sites.
The IDF published information about a strategic Hamas tunnel found under the Gaza Strip’s main north-south highway in Nuseirat. The tunnel is hundreds of meters long and around nine meters deep. It crosses Wadi Gaza, also known as the Besor Stream, and was used by Hamas terrorists to travel between north and south Gaza unseen.
The IDF published a video of a captured PIJ terrorist platoon commander in an interrogation with the Shin Bet. In the video, the terrorist describes how he and other Gaza terrorists were sent to Iran for advanced military training.
After defending the south of Israel on October 7th, and carrying out extensive offensives inside Gaza, the elite Divdevan unit will soon be withdrawn from Gaza and sent to Judea and Samaria for various counter-terrorism operations.
Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:
218 humanitarian aid trucks were inspected and transferred to Gaza today.
A political official told Israel Hayom that Israel is examining new requests from the American administration for humanitarian gestures towards the residents of Gaza. He refused to specify what the requests were.
Northern Front Updates:
Rockets, missiles, and attack drones were launched at a number of Israeli towns in the far north, and IDF positions along the border. No injuries were reported. The funeral of Mira and Yuval Ayalon was done in haste, in complete darkness in the middle of the night, in order to avoid being targeted by Hezbollah fire. The north remains mostly evacuated of civilians, as Hezbollah fire makes it completely unlivable.
The IDF attacked multiple Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon, including at a missile launcher, observation posts, military buildings, and other Hezbollah infrastructure.
Maj. Gen. Ori Gordin, who is chief of the IDF’s Northern Command, says the military is more prepared than ever for a potential further escalation in fighting on the Lebanese border—even for tonight. He says the IDF is carrying out strikes to push Hezbollah away from the border, and return Israeli residents back to their homes safely—but adds “there is still much to do in order to succeed in bringing about the desired result of improved security so that we can bring the residents of the north back to their homes.”
According to Lebanese reports, during the meeting held by the American envoy, Amos Hochstein, and the the Prime Minister of the Transitional Government, Najib Mikati in Beirut, Hochstein asked that his government keep Hezbollah operatives at a distance of seven kilometers beyond the Blue Line. This is in line with Israel’s minimal diplomatic line in order to prevent a full-scale operation with a ground offensive. The Lebanese government has little to no control over Hezbollah.
Lebanese media reports that the IDF dropped leaflets in Arabic warning the local residents against cooperating with Hezbollah. “Residents of South Lebanon, Hezbollah is firing rockets from this area. Such actions will result in a brutal response. For your own good, do not be dragged into acts of terrorism in the territory of your homes.”
Houthi War Front Updates:
A Greek ship flying the flag of Malta was hit by a missile fired by the Houthis near the Bab al-Mandab strait.
The Central Command of the United States Army announced that the Navy Seals forces captured a shipping vessel which was transporting significant weapons from Iran to the Houthis in Yemen.
The Reuters news agency reports that the US military carried out a new attack today in Yemen against a stockpile of anti-ship ballistic missiles. According to two American sources, the attack was carried out in territory controlled by the Houthis.
Judea and Samaria Updates:
The soldiers arrested tonight 27 wanted people throughout Judea and Samaria and in the Bekaa and Valleys Brigade. So far, since the beginning of the war, about – 2,700 wanted across the Judea and Samaria Division and the Bekaa and Valleys Division, about 1,300 of whom are associated with the terrorist organization Hamas.
Palestinian sources on social media reported that Palestinian Authority security forces neutralized a suspected IED in the eastern neighborhood of Negin. Clashes broke out on the spot, during which the forces threw tear gas grenades at the rioters.
The European Union imposed economic sanctions on Sinwar and put him on the list of terrorist operatives.
President Yitzhak Herzog and his wife Michal are headed to the World Economic Forum for a series of policy meetings. The president and his wife will also be joined by representatives of the hostages families.
The Prime Minister of Jordan, Bishar Al Hassouna said that “peace with Israel is a ‘strategic choice,” but the mass displacement of Palestinians will be an “existential threat” to the country. He also officially announced that his country will participate in the hearings regarding South Africa’s lawsuit against Israel at the Hague Tribunal.