War Summary, Day One Hundred and Twenty-Nine: France has presented Lebanon with an outline for a ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs have blocked the entry of the special envoy to the Palestinian territories on behalf of the UN Human Rights Council, IDF air strikes at the Aleppo airport, which is a known location for the transfer of terror weapons.
By Mrs. Bruria Efune
War Summary, Day One Hundred and Twenty-Nine:
134 held captive in Gaza.
112 hostages freed.
11 hostage bodies rescued.
34 hostages confirmed murdered in Gaza.
1,400+ Israelis murdered.
229 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.
The IDF shared footage from the rescue operation last night, in which Fernando and Louis were rescued from Rafah, including inside the armored vehicle where the hostages were first brought to, and rode to a makeshift helipad in a secured area.
In the video, the IDF commandos are seen asking Fernando and Louis how they are.
“In shock,” one of them replied.
“Do you feel good?” an officer asked Louis, who responded with a big smile: “Excellent.”
The commandos give the pair coats to wear before they headed out to the helipad, and one of the soldiers noticed that Louis was barefoot, and gave him his own shoes. In the video, the soldier is seen tying the shoelaces for him. The soldiers also offered the pair water bottles and asked if they need a blanket for warmth.
Dr. Yael Frankel-Nir, deputy director of Sheba, updated that the condition of the two returnees remains stable, but you can see the signs of their prolonged captivity and the lack of medical treatment. According to her, “We expect continued follow-up and investigation with us. We feel the embrace of the entire people of Israel.”
Israeli sources say medicine was never delivered to Fernando and Louis, as agreed upon in the France-Qatar brokered deal. Other sources say that the two, who are in their 60s and 70s, lost half their body weight.
Netanyahu spoke to some of the commando soldiers who carried out the rescue mission and told them: “This is one of the most successful rescue operations in the history of the State of Israel – you eliminated the kidnappers, the terrorists, you made your way back to Israel unscathed – a perfect operation, a perfect execution.”
Defense Minister Yoav Galant visited the Yamam officers who were involved in the mission, and received an overview of the operation from them. He told them that the operation represents a turning point in the campaign against Hamas, who is now vulnerable and penetrable. He also noted that the officers brought a new level of trust in the Israeli forces, and that there may be more similar rescues of hostages soon to come, but most are expected to be rescued through an exchange agreement.
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby says that the White House is “pleased” to hear about the successful rescue operation, and that US President Joe Biden will continue working to secure the release of the remaining 134 hostages. Kirby also lamented the civilian casualties in Rafah, and said, “I can’t confirm those reports, but as we have said many times, the proper number of civilian casualties is zero.”
At least 9,000 civilians were killed in Mosul, Iraq, during the US-led operation to take out ISIS, who did not have 500km of tunnels under civilian homes.
Kirby added, “We want to make sure that Israel can continue to defend itself. We want to make sure that humanitarian aid continues to flow to the residents of Gaza – there was not enough, there should be more. And we want all the hostages to return home. We believe that the best way to achieve these three goals is to reach a long-term ceasefire, lower the level of violence, and get the people out – and that’s what we’re focusing on.”
Negotiations for a new hostage agreement are ongoing, and today Netanyahu decided that Israel will send representatives to negotiate the deal in Cairo tomorrow (Tuesday).
Gaza Front Updates:
For the first time in four days, Hamas fired one rocket into the Gaza Envelope. Normally after an operation like last night, a huge salvo of rockets was to be expected.
The IDF announced the names of two heroes who fell in battle in Gaza yesterday:
Sgt. First Class Adi Eldor, 21, from Haifa
Sgt. First Class (res.) Alon Kleinman, 21, from Tel Aviv
No soldiers fell in the hostage rescue mission; only one was lightly injured.
The IDF primarily carried out clearing operations in Gaza City and Khan Younis today.
Reports indicate that residents of Rafah have begun moving into IDF-designated humanitarian zones.
Amidst rumors of thinly-veiled threats, Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sameh Shoukry said that Egypt won’t withdraw from its 1979 peace treaty with Israel regardless of whether the Israeli Army launches an assault on the city of Rafah or not.
Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:
214 trucks carrying humanitarian aid were inspected and transferred to the Gaza Strip Yesterday. 57 trucks were inspected at Nitzana, and 157 were inspected and transferred via Kerem Shalom.
In addition, 4 tankers of cooking gas and 2 tankers of fuel designated for the operation of essential infrastructure in Gaza, were transferred into the Gaza Strip.
After being removed from the Kerem Shalom crossing yesterday, activists from the “Tzav 9” group arrived at the Nitzana crossing today to block the aid trucks from being transferring into Gaza. The protesters demand that aid be withheld until the hostages are all returned home, and Hamas surrenders. The IDF estimates that at least 60% of humanitarian aid delivered to Gaza is taken by Hamas terrorists.
Tedros Ghebreyesus, who is the Director-General of the World Health Organization, a UN agency, wrote: “Yesterday’s WHO mission to Nasser hospital — which is now minimally functional — was denied. We’re deeply concerned about the safety of patients and health personnel due to the intensifying hostilities in the vicinity of the hospital. We repeat: health MUST be protected at all times.”
The IDF’s COGAT division, who is responsible for transferring aid to Gaza, responded: “Just a little fact check here: WHO has never submitted a coordination request to the Nasser hospital on the date you mentioned. Perhaps next time a better communication with your team on the ground before baselessly accusing us would be wise.”
Nasser hospital has been at the center of fighting in Khan Younis, with Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants firing at IDF troops—even launching a rocket—from within the hospital campus. The WHO has not issued any complaints about the terrorist group’s actions which bring the hospital staff and patients under direct threat.
Hillel Neuer, Director of the UN Watch announced: “As Antonio Guterres and foreign ministers from around the world gather in Geneva on Feb 26 to open the 2024 UNHRC, we will be there to host the first International Summit for a Future Beyond UNRWA. Political leaders, aid officials & experts will transform crisis into opportunity.”
The UN Watch has been one of the leaders in uncovering UNRWA’s cooperation with Hamas, and UNRWA’s perpetration of Gaza’s refugee and corruption crisis.
Northern Front Updates:
Hezbollah fired several missiles and rockets at Israel’s far north today, no injuries were reported.
The IDF attacked multiple Hezbollah targets in Lebanon’s south, and shelled Hezbollah positions on the border.
The IDF also struck a car in which “a number of” Hezbollah terrorists were traveling.
Syrian sources report IDF air strikes at the Aleppo airport, which is a known location for the transfer of terror weapons.
Reuters reported that France has presented Lebanon with an outline for a ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah. According to the outline, Hezbollah will withdraw its forces to a distance of 10 km from the border, and after that the Lebanese army will station up to 15,000 soldiers in the south of the country. In response to the proposal, a senior member of Hezbollah told Reuters that “we will not discuss this until the war in Gaza is over, and Israel is not in a position where it can to set conditions.”
Houthi War Front Updates:
The Iranian backed Houthis in Yemen launched two missiles at a vessel en route to an Iranian port, resulting in minor damage but no injuries to its crew. Aside from their stupidity, this attack demonstrates the Houthis widening area of operation, as they are now targeting ships in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, which links these two maritime routes.
Judea and Samaria Updates:
In an overnight counter-terrorism operation, IDF forces arrested 17 Palestinians who were wanted for association with terror groups. The forces also interrogated suspected and located illegal weapons and military equipment.
In Jenin today, the Palestinian Authority’s security forces dispersed a demonstration organized in support of Hamas in Gaza. This was after the participants called for the ouster of PA Chairman, Mahmoud Abbas, and shouted: “The people want the overthrow of the President.”
Israel’s Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Foreign Affairs have decided to block the entry into Israel of Francesca Albanza, who is the special envoy to the Palestinian territories on behalf of the UN Human Rights Council.
This move comes after Albania’s statement that “the victims of the October 7th massacre were not murdered because of their Jewishness, but in response to Israeli oppression.”
Foreign Minister Katz and Interior Minister Arbel explained: “The era of Jews being silent is over. If the UN wants to return to being a relevant body, its leaders must publicly disavow the antisemitic remarks of the ‘Special Envoy’ – and fire her immediately.”
Britain imposed sanctions on four residents of Judea and Samaria: Moshe Sharvit, Yanon Levy, Zvi Bar Yosef and Eli Pederman. Among the four are a brother who died in the war, and one who was wounded in Gaza. The sanctions include economic and travel restrictions.
According to the announcement issued from London, “the measures announced today are part of a wider effort by the United Kingdom to support the stabilization of the West Bank.”
In the first reported act of “settler violence” since the outbreak of the war, Palestinian sources reported today that Israeli youth damaged property in Shechem (Nablus), and set a vehicle on fire in Huwara. They also reported two Palestinians lightly injured. While no evidence has yet been supplied as to the identity of the “settlers,” the IDF will be investigating these claims, and perpetrators will be arrested.
The first delegation of the victims of the October 7 atrocities gave testimony to the prosecutor’s investigators in The Hague. This is the second stage of the criminal prosecution process filed by attorney Yael Vias Gebirtzman, at the end of October. Gebirtzman is an expert in international criminal law and representation of victims of international crimes.
The Dutch court ordered the government to halt to the export of F-35 aircraft parts to Israel, on the basis that it may “be used in serious violations of international humanitarian law.”
The Netherlands government plans to oppose the decision at the court of The Hague. The current government in the Netherlands is considered a supporter of Israel.
Lockheed Martin Israel, the local division of the US aerospace giant that manufactures the F-35, says it is evaluating the impact of a Dutch court decision ruling.
“We’re working closely with the F-35 Joint Program Office to evaluate the impacts the recent Dutch court ruling will have on our supply chain,” the company says.
“We stand ready to support the US government and allies as needed,” it adds.
The Al Jazeera law was approved by the government – this is a step to move forward with an emergency regulation set up at the beginning of the war. The law will allow Israel’s cabinet to order the end of the official presence of the Qatari channel in Israel.