War Day 149: Sderot Schools Reopen, Drones Reach the Galilee

War Summary, Day One Hundred and Forty-Nine: Muhammad Abed Khad, who was responsible for recruiting new Hamas terrorists was eliminated, schools reopened in Sderot today for the first time since before the Simchas Torah attack, and Hezbollah fire continued on Israel’s far north, including two attack drones in the upper Galilee that triggered air-raid sirens as far as Amuka.

By Mrs. Bruria Efune

War Summary, Day One Hundred and Forty-Nine:

134 held captive in Gaza.
112 hostages freed.
11 hostage bodies rescued.
33 hostages confirmed murdered in Gaza.
1,400+ Israelis murdered.
246 fallen soldiers in the battle in Gaza.
6 fallen soldiers in Northern Israel.
3 fallen soldiers in Judea & Samaria.
14,900 injured.
13,500 rockets fired at Israel.
160,000 Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.

Hostage Updates:

According to U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, there is a temporary truce deal on the table, which both the negotiators and Israel have agreed to, and it’s only waiting for Hamas to agree. The truce would bring a 6 weeks pause to the fighting, the release of the hostages, and the ability to bring humanitarian aid to civilians across Gaza.

The audience cheered loudly when Kamala spoke about the need for a ceasefire, but didn’t pay much attention when she stressed that “the threat that Hamas poses to the people of Israel must be eliminated.”

While there are many contradictory rumors about how the negotiations are going, we know that Hamas has been refusing to provide Israel with a list of which hostages are still alive, and Israel is using increased military pressure in Gaza to push for the release of the hostages—and last night’s surge attack in Khan Younis should be a fair warning as to what’s to come in Rafah.

Gaza Front Updates:

Hamas fired one rocket into a civilian community in the Gaza Envelope area at midnight. No injuries were reported.

The IDF announced the name of one hero who fell in battle in Gaza:

Sgt. Maj. (res.) Dennis Yekimov, 33, from Beersheba

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant visited the Gaza border, and spoke to troops of the 98th Division. He reassured them that their efforts wouldn’t be for nothing—Hamas will be defeated. “We will not end this war without eliminating Hamas” he said. “There will be no such situation. There will be no Hamas as a ruling organization, it will take the time it takes.”

In Northern Gaza, the IDF announced the completion of the operation in Zeitoun, Gaza City. The IDF had previously fought in the area, and dismantled the Hamas military framework, which the terrorists in the area were now operating without, in small uncoordinated cells hidden between the buildings and tunnels.

During the operation, IDF troops eliminated at least 113 Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorists, and located and destroyed 35 terror sites, including weapons depots and factories, rocket launching sites with supplies in the hundreds, and tunnel infrastructure. The operation included many dangerous building-to-building searches, and close-quarters-combat. Sadly, four IDF soldiers fell in these battles.

In Central Gaza, IDF soldiers eliminated dozens of terrorists over the past day, and located many weapons. The IDF and Shin Bet collaborated on a targeted airstrike to eliminate Senior Hamas terrorist, Muhammad Abed Khad, who was responsible for recruiting new Hamas terrorists, and raising funds for Hamas’s military.

In Southern Gaza, the IDF launched a sudden surprise attack before advancing into key areas where they weren’t expected. The attack came with a wave of airstrikes in western Khan Younis on over 50 Hamas targets within just six minutes. These targets included tunnel infrastructure, residential buildings used by Hamas, anti-tank launch positions, booby-trapped buildings, and staging grounds where Hamas terrorists were gathering. The shock of the airstrikes allowed the IDF troops to maneuver into new locations which had been heavily guarded.

While not yet reported by the IDF, reports in ground say that the IDF entered al-Qarara and Hamad in the north of Khan Younis, and covered more ground in the Abasan area, east of Khan Younis. It was largely speculated that the IDF would not enter Hamad, since it is a neighborhood built by the Emir of Qatar, but footage from Gaza shows a strong sudden ambush, and evacuation of civilians.

Amongst the hundreds of airstrikes across Gaza last night, some were reported in Rafah too.

Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:

277 trucks carrying humanitarian aid were inspected and transferred to Gaza for the civilian population today,
a convoy of 26 trucks carrying food was coordinated to the northern Gaza Strip. Over the last few days, over 100 trucks were transferred to the northern Gaza Strip. Yesterday, (Mar. 2) 4 tankers of cooking gas and 2 tankers of fuel designated for the operation of essential infrastructure in Gaza, entered the Gaza Strip.

Israel has not only been facilitating aid into Gaza since the beginning of the war—but has increased! Today’s was the largest number of trucks thus far.

Unfortunately, many of the trucks are welcomed by Gaza civilians pelting them with rocks, in an attempt to stop the drivers and loot the contents.

The IDF says it has coordinated a total of 21 airdrops in the Gaza Strip in recent weeks, by the United States, Jordan, France, the UAE and Egypt, with more than 450 packages of food and medical aid distributed for Palestinian civilians.

50 incubators designated for hospitals in northern and southern Gaza Strip have entered Gaza this morning. List of hospitals these incubators will be delivered to: Shifa Hospital, Kamal Adwan, Hospital, European Hospital, Nasser Hospital, and Aqsa Hospital.

The construction of the Egyptian shelter complex in West Khan Yunis was completed. The complex contains about 300 tents and residents have already started moving in. The complex will be able to accommodate about 3,000 residents in total.

20 bakeries are operational in Gaza, providing over 2.5 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, to 15 and now to 20, following COGAT’s facilitation. 

Northern Front Updates:

Hezbollah fire continued on Israel’s far north, including two attack drones in the upper Galilee that triggered air-raid sirens as far as Amuka. The drone and other attacks were intercepted by the iron dome, and no injuries were reported.

The IDF attacked back, in the continued tit-for-tat method, with airstrikes on Hezbollah targets in Southern Lebanon only.

According to Syrian reports, the leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah’s grandson was eliminated yesterday by the IDF in a vehicle attack in southern Lebanon.

Houthi War Front Updates:

The American military published documentation of the British ship that was sunk in the Red Sea by the Houthis. The ship had about 21,000 tons of fertilizers, which are extremely harmful to the sea environment.

Last night, the Italian Navy reported the interception of an attack drone (UAV) that was launched from areas under the control of the Houthis in Yemen.

Judea and Samaria Updates:

The IDF has been seen operating in areas including Tulkarm and Shechem (Nablus).

This afternoon, terrorists opened fire from a vehicle towards the Salem base in Samaria. There were no casualties to the IDF forces. A Border Police force returned fire at the vehicle, which fled the scene. IDF forces then chased it towards Jenin.

General Updates:

The Israel National Council for the Child published data on the state of Israeli children since October 7th. 19,407 children have been recognized by the state as suffering from physical injuries or psychological trauma, with 37% of those children being under the age of six.

84% of Israeli parents report that that their children are experiencing emotional distress, with fear and anxiety being prevalent emotions.

At the end of December, there were approximately 48,000 displaced children residing in hotels and other temporary locations, and outside of their regular school framework.

While the data is disturbing, it also comes with an increased awareness about PTSD treatment and prevention, with many hotlines open, and added guidance counselors in health clinics, as well as therapeutic programming in schools to help the children regulate.

Schools reopened in Sderot today, for the first time since before the October 7th attack. In a surprisingly high turnout, over 55% of children arrived for class. Most of the 30,000 residents of Sderot have been evacuated since the start of the war, and residents have very recently begun to return.

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