War Summary, Day One Hundred and Twenty-Four: A Palestinian attempted to stab Israeli border police in al-Eizariya but was eliminated before he hurt anyone, in an operation lasting four hours, the IDF eliminated senior terror operative Moatasem Ali, and Israel rejected Hamas’s latest hostage deal.
By Mrs. Bruria Efune
War Summary, Day One Hundred and Twenty-Four:
136 held captive in Gaza.
110 hostages freed.
11 hostage bodies rescued.
34 hostages confirmed murdered in Gaza.
1,400+ Israelis murdered.
227 fallen soldiers in the battle in Gaza.
5 fallen soldiers in Northern Israel.
3 fallen soldiers in Judea & Samaria.
13,200 rockets fired at Israel.
186,000 Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.
In response to the hostage release deal proposed by Egypt and Qatar, and backed by the US and Israel, Hamas proposed their own. Below is the outline according to Reuters:
The proposal has three primary factors: The first is three stages of release, each with 45 days of ceasefire. The second is the release of 1,500 Palestinian terrorists from Israeli prisons—according to Hamas’s choosing, and including terrorists serving multiple life sentences for terror attacks that murdered numerous Israelis. The third is 500 trucks of food and “other” humanitarian aid per day.
During each of the three stages, Israeli hostages will be released. In the first stage, Hamas demands that the IDF withdraw from populated areas—which includes most of Khan Younis, and much of Central Gaza. In exchange, they will release all the female soldiers and males under 18.
In the second stage they will release the male hostages who are alive. Before the third stage they demand an end to the war and complete withdrawal, and only then will release the bodies of murdered hostages.
Hamas included many more demands, including the free movement of Hamas terrorists in Gaza, and the resumption of UNRWA activity everywhere in the Strip.
Israel will not agree to such a deal, and is expected to send a counter proposal.
Defense Minister Gallant told Antony Blinken, the American Secretary of State: “Hamas’ answer was formulated so that Israel would refuse it. Their position will lead to the continuation of the war, and our forces to additional places in Gaza, soon.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the nation at a press conference and said: “We are before a historic turning point, we are close to a complete victory over Hamas in Gaza. The military pressure will bring the release of the hostages closer. “
Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi spoke similarly to Netanyahu and said: “We are trying very hard to return the hostages – it will not happen without military pressure.”
In address to the reports of 32 hostages confirmed to have been killed in captivity—this is unfortunately not new information. The new information is the possible identification of an additional 20 hostages who have been sadly killed in captivity. If this is confirmed, it will be reported when the families of those hostages are made aware and are ready to share with the public.
Gaza Front Updates:
Hamas rocket fire on Israeli civilians has significantly decreased. The last sirens were late Sunday night.
The IDF announced the names of two heroes who fell in battle in Gaza since Monday:
Maj. David Shakuri, 30, from Rehovot
Staff Sgt. (res.) Hanan Drori, 26, from Jerusalem
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed that the war won’t end until Hamas leadership is gone: “Our goal is a complete victory over Hamas. We will kill the Hamas leadership, therefore we must continue to act in all areas of the Gaza Strip. The war must not end before then. It will take time, months not years.”
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant reported significant progress in the IDF’s ground operation in Gaza, with about half of Hamas fighters killed or seriously wounded. He emphasized the dismantling of 18 Hamas battalions and warned remaining terrorists in southern Gaza’s Rafah and the remaining part of Central Gaza that they’re next—the IDF is coming for them. Galant also highlighted the isolation and pursuit of Hamas leader Sinwar and noted serious internal discord within Hamas, signaling panic mostly on Sinwar’s part.
The IDF spokesperson, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, revealed that the military uncovered documents in a Gaza Strip tunnel showing direct coordination between Hamas and Iran, including the transfer of over $150 million from Iran to Hamas between 2014 and 2020. Hagari emphasized Iran’s role in spreading terrorism globally and stated that the intelligence gathered is shared with Israel’s allies. Additionally, troops discovered a safe containing over NIS 20 million in cash in a tunnel nearby, and found millions more dollars in Hamas sites across Gaza since the beginning of the war.
The IDF is continuing to advance through Western Khan Younis, in intense battle with frequent close-quarter combat, eliminating dozens of terrorists daily.
On Wednesday the IDF arrested around 50 Hamas terrorists in Khan Younis, including at least two who had participated in the October 7th massacre.
In the heart of the civilian area of Khan Younis, IDF forces found and released footage of a tunnel which had recently held 12 hostages, including three who had already been released in November. The tunnel, which was fully equipped with holding cells, a bathroom, and a kitchen, is one kilometer long and connected to a wider labyrinth of tunnels.
The IDF is also working to eliminate the remaining Hamas holdouts in Northern Gaza, as well as many who attempt to return, primarily in Gaza City and Shati. In a tedious job, the IDF troops need to search every single building to find and remove hidden weapons caches and destroy rocket launchers and tunnel shafts. There also remains a possibility of finding hostages in one of the yet to be searched buildings.
The IDF dropped leaflets in southern Gaza warning civilians not to return to the north.
Palestinian media reported that a senior Hamas police commander was eliminated in an air strike while in his car in Rafah, the far south of Gaza.
Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:
During a meeting between the American Secretary of State and PM Netanyahu, Blinken was shown photos of a huge tunnel that was uncovered in recent days under UNRWA’s central headquarters in the Rimal neighborhood in Gaza. According to the IDF, this was one of Hamas’ main strategic tunnels.
Despite significant evidence pointing to UNRWA working together with Hamas, humanitarian aid continues to flow into the Gaza Strip.
- 203 trucks carrying humanitarian aid were transferred to the Gaza Strip on February 5th, many of which still wait in line for UNRWA to accept.
- 8 trucks were successfully coordinated to reach shelters in northern Gaza.
- On February 6th, 4 tankers of cooking gas designated for the operation of essential infrastructure in Gaza, entered the Gaza Strip.
- 548 foreign nationals were coordinated to exit the Gaza Strip today.
- The second waterline from the Egyptian side of Rafah to the Gazan side of Rafah was successfully connected. This is a project done by the United Arab Emirates and is expected to supply water to residents of the southern part of Gaza.
- 12 bakeries, providing 2 million pita breads a day are operational with additional ones in the planning process.
- 12 packages of medical supplies were airdropped by Jordan and the Netherlands over the last couple of days, designated for medical facilities in the Gaza Strip.
- The coordination of the repair of vital infrastructure was successfully completed.
- Today, between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm, the IDF paused operations in the western neighborhood, in the town of Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, in order to enable movement of humanitarian aid.
Northern Front Updates:
Two IDF soldiers were lightly wounded by an anti-tank missile attack from Lebanon near the northern town of Margaliot on Tuesday.
Despite passing Israel’s deadline for a “diplomatic solution” in the north, the fire in the area continues mostly as usual; Hezbollah is firing on Israeli communities and IDF bases in the far north, and the IDF is responding by attacking Hezbollah targets in Southern Lebanon by air.
The IDF eliminated at least 200 terrorists in Lebanon since October 7th, most of them from Hezbollah.
On Tuesday, Syrian media reported an IDF air strike over Homs.
The Lebanese newspaper “Al-Jamahoriya” reported a secret conversation held by the French foreign minister with senior Lebanese officials. According to the paper, the minister warned Lebanon against allowing the expansion of the war and made proposals to reduce tensions with Israel. The proposal put forward would remove Hezbollah forces from the border to a range of between 6 and 10 kilometers to the north. Lebanese army forces will be stationed in their place and the UNIFIL’s deployment will be expanded. Also, France informed Lebanese officials that they are willing to assist the Lebanese army with equipment and financial support.
Houthi War Front Updates:
According to various reports, US Navy Ships are coming under repeated Houthi ballistic missile fire in the last couple days.
The Yemeni government thanked the British and American Armed Forces for their work in degrading the Iranian-backed Houthi’s capabilities.
Judea and Samaria Updates:
On Monday a Palestinian attempted to stab Israeli border police in al-Eizariya, on the outskirts of East Jerusalem. Police eliminated him before he managed to hurt anyone.
On Tuesday, Palestinian gunmen fired from Judea and Samaria into Kibbutz Meirav in Northern Israel. Thank G-d there no one was injured in the attack, but damage was caused to a home. IDF troops returned fire and launched a search for the terrorist.
On Wednesday, in an operation lasting four hours, the IDF eliminated Moatasem Ali—a senior terror operative, and two other terrorists in Nur Shams, near Tulkarem. No IDF soldiers were injured in the operation.
The IDF also operated in Jenin and arrested 21 Palestinians who were wanted for ties to terror groups.
In response to international pressure, the Knesset intends to hold a debate on the recognition of a Palestinian state. MK Ze’ev Elkin commented, “This means opening to the danger of [a massacre like] October 7th in the entire country.”
President Yitzhak Herzog met with Secretary of State Blinken, and said: “I hope that there is indeed a glimmer of hope for an opportunity to promote normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and for the return of the hostages.”
In preparation for a longer war ahead, the IDF is planning to increase the mandatory conscription time and reservist serving period in a plan that will increase the number of active-duty reservists five fold.
In this plan, male IDF conscripts and females in combat and other special roles will serve a full three years, instead of the current 32 or 24 months.
Reserve duty obligations will be raised by up to five years, meaning that soldiers will continue to serve until the age of 45, officers until 50, and special roles until 52.
The amount of days served per year for reservists will also increase by nearly three-fold, to 42 days.