War Summary, Day One Hundred and Twenty-Seven: No new IDF deaths announced since Wednesday – Baruch Hashem! – no Hamas rockets since Thursday night, and UNRWA’s covering for Hamas is finally being displayed to the world.
By Mrs. Bruria Efune
War Summary, Day One Hundred and Twenty-Seven
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.
13,300 rockets fired at Israel.
186,000 Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.
While negotiations for a hostage release deal continue, the talks are moving very slowly. One problem is Hamas not agreeing to any realistic deal which Israel will agree to. Another major challenge, is that Hamas’s military head, Yahya Sinwar, has not been heard from in almost two weeks.
Hamas’s negotiators come from its political leadership who are sitting in Qatar, and feel far less pressure than Sinwar does from his hole under Khan Younis. Sinwar was reportedly willing to give in to much more agreeable terms in a hope to save himself. While it seems like Hamas’s leadership in Qatar are happy to keep Sinwar out of the talks, sources say they’re claiming that the IDF is blocking Sinwar from communication because no deal can be approved without a signature from Hamas’s leadership inside Gaza.
Gaza Front Updates:
Hamas has not fired any rockets onto Israeli civilians since Thursday night.
Thank G-d, the IDF did not announce the names of any heroes who fell in battle in Gaza since Wednesday.
IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, Shin Bet head Ronen Bar, and additional IDF senior staff held a meeting today in Khan Younis. This is a significant display of accomplishment and control over the city which was a Hamas and Islamic Jihad stronghold, at a time where other world experts are claiming that the IDF will not be able to get rid of Hamas. Only weeks ago, the IDF had to airdrop food and supplies to the troops in the area, due to the difficulties in safely accessing them. Halevi emphasized that the fighting in Khan Younis is not yet over, and more Hamas commanders first need to be eliminated.
This IDF is continuing to advance both west and south in Khan Younis with intensive fighting, and is also closing in on the centers. IDF findings in Khan Younis since Thursday include rocket launchers next to a children’s daycare and a mosque, and a Hamas tunnel under a water facility–complete with two Hamas terrorists who were promptly eliminated.
The IDF is also continuing with clearing out remaining Hamas infrastructure and terrorist holdouts in North and Central Gaza, where they have eliminate more terrorists over the past day.
In Southern Gaza’s Rafah, the IDF carried out an airstrike eliminating Ahmed Al-Yaaqoubi, a senior officer in Rafah’s secret police, and the Hamas member responsible for the security arrangements of senior Hamas officials. Two other senior members of Hamas’s secret police were also eliminated in the airstrike.
Despite international pressure not to, and threats from Egypt about “serious consequences,” the IDF is expected any day now to move forward into Rafah, and the entire Philedelphi Corridor area. On the one had, this will be a very difficult maneuver, due to the huge amount of displaced Gaza civilians (and Hamas terrorists) who moved into the area, but on the other, it is impossible for the IDF to get rid of Hamas without entering.
The Philadelphi Corridor lines the Gaza-Egypt border, and is full of underground tunnels from Gaza into the Sinai desert, from where much of their weapons are smuggled. There are also fears of Hamas leaders sneaking out into the Sinai through those tunnels, or, G-d forbid, taking hostages out from there. The Sinai desert is an expansive area where it is easy to hide from the Egyptian forces, and it is extremely unlikely that Egypt will allow the IDF to operate there.
The al-Arabiya news channel reported that the Egyptian army moved tanks and armored personnel carriers to the border with Gaza and thickened the border with the Gaza Strip, partly using sand piles. It was also reported that the army also increased surveillance measures in the area. This is either in fear of IDF action, or the results—which may include breaches of the border by Gaza civilians (overground) or terrorists (under and overground).
According to rumors, Prime Minister Netanyahu believes that Israel has one month to complete the maneuver in Rafah, before international pressure becomes too suffocating.
The UNRWA Fiasco Updates:
The IDF found one of Hamas’s most important tunnels—right underneath UNRWA’s Gaza headquarters, in the Remal neighborhood of Gaza City. The tunnel contained a data center used by Hamas for intelligence and communications, complete with a server farm, electric room, and living quarters for Hamas IT staff. The tunnel entrance was down the road in an UNRWA school, but had been blocked off by Hamas, and so, based on intelligence reports, the IDF dug up the UNRWA HQ courtyard to access the tunnel.
Directly upstairs from the Hamas data center, was an UNRWA data center. The two most notable finds in UNRWA’s data center are the power cables that lead below ground to power Hamas’s center, and the fact that all the UNRWA computers and hard drives are missing—as if they have something to hide. Also in the UNRWA HQ were significant amounts of weapons and rockets stored in most rooms, including the office of the director.
The IDF took hard drives and other items from the Hamas data center and gave a tour to several journalists before blowing it up.
Philippe Lazzarini, the Commissioner-General of UNRWA wrote a post on Twitter/X claiming that he knew nothing about the tunnel and only found out about it from the news reports today. In his statement, he did not condemn Hamas for digging a tunnel under the UNRWA headquarters.
The IDF’s COGAT account responded to Lazzarini, “Oh, you knew. Digging a tunnel takes longer than 4 months.
We invited senior UN officials to see, and during past meetings with you and other UN officials, we stated Hamas’s use of UNRWA’s headquarters. You chose to ignore the facts so you can later try and deny them.”
Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Israel Katz, responded to Lazzarini, “The exposure of UNRWA’s Gaza headquarters’ deep involvement with Hamas, including its use for terror activities and as an access point to terror tunnels, requires immediate action. Lazzarini’s claim of unawareness is not only absurd but also an affront to common sense. His prompt resignation is imperative.”
In the meantime, UNRWA has been crying that the IDF has not been allowing humanitarian aid into Gaza. The IDF clarified that this is not true, Israel is allowing an unlimited amount of aid into Gaza—just not through UNRWA. Instead, most aid is now being transferred through the World Food Program (WFP).
Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:
Israeli government spokesperson, Eylon Levy, says that Israeli intelligence estimates that up to 60% of aid entering the Gaza Strip is being hijacked by Hamas. Despite this, the IDF is still facilitating increasing amounts of aid into Gaza.
Today the IDF facilitated the delivery of more than 20 oxygen tanks and other medical equipment to Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis. The hospital is being used by Hamas terrorists as an “operational hideout.” The IDF says that due to Hamas’s presence and ongoing shooting in the area, the troops carried out the delivery in coordination with an anonymous international aid organization, and local officials.
Fifteen bakeries are now operational in Gaza, providing over 2 million breads, rolls, and pita breads a day for the local population. Over the last 2 weeks, the number of operational bakeries went up from 10, to 12 and now to 15, following the IDF’s COGAT division’s facilitation.
Northern Front Updates:
While Hezbollah fire has intensified, it is still largely restricted to Israel’s far north. In one instance today, a Hezbollah anti-tank missile struck an apartment building in Kiryat Shemona without setting off any alarms in the city. Fortunately, despite the extensive damage, no injuries were reported. The 23,000 residents of Kiryat Shemona have been evacuated from their homes since October 7th, due to the dangers.
IDF retaliation was also at a higher pace today, and included strikes on multiple Hezbollah command centers, but also restricted only to Southern Lebanon.
Lebanese media reported an Israeli airstrike on a vehicle 60 kilometers from the Israeli border, in the village of Jadra, eliminating or severely injuring three Hamas terrorists. Chief amongst the was Basel Salah, whose job was recruiting and managing members of Hamas in Lebanon and Judea and Samaria.
The Iranian Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, visited Lebanon today, and claimed, “Lebanon and Iran confirm that war is not the solution, and we were not looking to expand its scope.” Iran the funder of Hezbollah, who is firing from Lebanon territory, and who the Lebanon government is unable to control.
On Thursday night, Syrian media reported an Israeli airstrike on headquarters belonging to a pro-Iranian militia.
Houthi War Front Updates
A member of the Supreme Council of the Houthis, Muhammad Ali al-Houthi threatened, “We say to Israel, any escalation in Rafah or Gaza will bring us to escalation.”
Judea and Samaria Updates:
The IDF carried out counter-terrorism operations in Chevron (Hebron) and Kfar Kadum last night, and arrested Palestinians who were wanted for their ties to terror groups.
Israeli Knesset Speaker, Amir Ohana, wrote that he canceled his planned meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Ohana wrote that the cancellation “did not come in a vacuum,” referencing Guterres’s horrific comments defending Hamas for their actions on October 7th.
Ohana wrote, “I intended to try and convince, as well as hand him a book we prepared in the Knesset, documenting the 7th of October with photographs. But yesterday he again called on the State of Israel to stop fighting, criticizing it “even if Hamas uses human shields.” There are also lost cases and red lines. I will not clear Guterres.”
The US ratings agency Moody’s downgraded Israel’s credit rating from A1 to A2 due to the ongoing conflict with Hamas in Gaza, citing increased political risk, weakened institutions, and fiscal challenges. Moody’s also lowered the outlook for Israel’s debt to “negative” because of the potential escalation of tensions with Hezbollah along its northern border. This is the first downgrade for Israel since 1995.
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said that the new rating is not based in reality, and “The Israeli economy is strong by all measures. It is capable of sustaining all war efforts, on the front line and home front, until, with God’s help, victory is achieved. Moody’s announcement on the downgrade does not include serious economic arguments and is entirely a political manifesto based on a pessimistic and unfounded geopolitical worldview, which reflects a lack of confidence in Israel’s security and national resilience, as well as an apparent lack of confidence in the righteousness of its path in the face of enemies.”