War Day 155: Heavy Fire in N., IDF Build Road Dividing N. and S. Gaza

Satellite imagery reveals that the IDF is completing construction of the "Netzarim Corridor," road which divides the north of Gaza from the south. The road will facilitate troop movement, logistical operations, and establish a strategic presence in the area.

War Summary, Day One Hundred and Fifty Five: Qatar has threatened to expel Hamas leaders who are staying in Qatar if they cannot convince the Hamas military leaders inside Gaza to agree to a hostage release deal, the IDF is completing construction of the “Netzarim Corridor,” road which divides the north of Gaza from the south, and heavy Hezbollah fire continued on Israel’s far north.

By Mrs. Bruria Efune

War Summary, Day One Hundred and Fifty Five:

134 held captive in Gaza.
112 hostages freed.
11 hostage bodies rescued.
33 hostages confirmed murdered in Gaza.
1,400+ Israelis murdered.
248 fallen soldiers in the battle in Gaza.
6 fallen soldiers in Northern Israel.
3 fallen soldiers in Judea & Samaria.
14,900 injured.
13,670 rockets fired at Israel.
160,000 Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.

Hostage Updates:

In a rare public statement, the Mossad announced that Mossad Director David Barnea met on Friday with CIA Director William Burns to discuss the negotiations for a hostage deal. In the Mossad’s words: “At this stage, Hamas is holding to its position as if it was uninterested in a deal and is striving to ignite the region during Ramadan at the expense of the Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip. It should be emphasized that the contacts and cooperation with the mediators are ongoing in an effort to narrow the gaps and advance agreements.”

The Wall Street Journal quotes unnamed Egyptian officials and a Hamas official as saying that Qatar has threatened to expel Hamas leaders who are staying in Qatar if they cannot convince the Hamas military leaders inside Gaza to agree to a hostage release deal.

Husam Badran, a senior Hamas official residing in Qatar, denies this, and claims that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is to blame for not accepting Hamas’s demands. Hamas’s demand, according to Badran, include a permanent ceasefire, complete withdrawal of Israeli troops, and return of residents to Northern Gaza.

Badran also claimed that many hostages are being held by other terrorist organizations inside Gaza, such as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and this makes it difficult to locate them.

Gaza Front Updates:

Hamas has not successfully fired rockets at Israeli civilians since Thursday.

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

Maj. (res.) Amishar Ben David, 43, from Eli

In a briefing, IDF spokesman, Brigadier General Daniel Hagari said, “Hamas is preventing an agreement and its leaders are only concerned with their survival. According to intelligence information, Hamas is stockpiling food for its own people, and continues to increase the suffering of the civilians.”

War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz met with Canada’s Prime Minister, and says, “I reiterated the imperative of completing the war’s just and necessary objectives of dismantling Hamas, including in Rafah, subsequent to a viable and sustainable humanitarian solution safeguarding the lives of civilians and added that a mechanism overseeing the distribution of humanitarian aid must be contingent on aid reaching civilians and not Hamas.”

Satellite imagery reveals that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is completing construction of the “Netzarim Corridor,” road which divides the north of Gaza from the south, and stretches a total of 6.5 kilometers from the border with Israel all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. The road will facilitate troop movement, logistical operations, and establish a strategic presence in the area, as stated by the IDF.

The past two days saw heavy activity onground and in airstrikes across the Gaza Strip. According to reports inside, the IDF has greatly improved drone capabilities, and is now much quicker at spotting Hamas terrorists on the run and eliminating them within minutes—all from the unmanned vehicles in the sky. This brings a significant lifesaving advantage to IDF troops on ground, and makes it extremely dangerous for Hamas terrorists to pop up outside their tunnels and hideouts, and especially to launch rockets at Israel. The last few times rockets were launched at Israel from Gaza, the terrorists involved were eliminated within 30 minutes.

The IDF announced that for the past week, the Kfir Brigade’s Netzach Yehuda Battalion operated in Beit Hanoun, Northern Gaza. Netzach Yehuda is a primarily Charedi Battalion which normally operates in Judea and Samaria. In Beit Hanoun, which was one of the first cities to be taken by the IDF at a very high speed, the troops searched for, and eliminated, remaining Hamas holdouts. They also found and destroyed multiple tunnel shafts, anti-tank missile launching positions, and observation posts.

According to Palestinian reports, the IDF was also active today in Zeitoun, Gaza City, with heavy airstrikes.

In Central Gaza, airstrikes and artillery fire were reported on the outskirts of Nuseirat, an area which was not yet taken by the IDF. The IDF has been active in other areas of Central Gaza, which has been the source of the last few rocket launches on Israel.

In Southern Gaza, the operation in the small town of Hamad (north of Khan Younis) is ongoing, with at least 10 more terrorists eliminated today. In Khan Younis, IDF troops on ground are continuing with a very thorough job, and have eliminated at least 20 terrorists today. In both areas, troops also found weapons and other Hamas infrastructure, which they either confiscated or destroyed.

Overnight, the IDF carried out an airstrike on a building in Rafah, in Gaza’s far south. The IDF says that the building was a Hamas military asset, from where acts of terror were planned and directed. Before striking the building, the IDF warned all the residents, and ensured that they evacuated in time.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi and the head of the Shin Bet Ronen Bar met today and approved battle plans for the continuation of the war in Gaza. It is not yet known if this plans include the anticipated maneuver into Rafah.

Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:

Over the last day, a 28 truck convoy carrying food coordinated to northern Gaza. UNICEF and WHO missions coordinated to northern Gaza to refuel the Al Ahali hospital and water pumping facilities. And 288 packages of humanitarian aid was airdropped.

On Friday, 237 trucks of humanitarian aid were delivered to Gaza.

Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder explained further about the new humanitarian floating dock which the U.S. plans to build on the coast of Gaza. Among other things, he said that it will include a pier that will connect to a large ship which will receive and the distribute the aid to smaller ships which will then dock at the pier on the Gaza coast. The pier will be about 550 meters long. U.S. troops are not expected to step foot in or near, Gaza. Ryder expected the construction of the pier to take between one to two months.

The port is being built with approval and cooperation with Israel, and any goods delivered through it will first be inspected by Israel, possibly in nearby Cyprus.

Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Eli Cohen, who first initiated the idea of a maritime corridor between Cyprus and Gaza, told Israel Hayom that “any entry into Gaza by sea must be coordinated with Israel and undergo a full security check from the point of departure. Also, of course, aid should be humanitarian only. The creation of the humanitarian maritime corridor under Israeli security control will help to completely disconnect Israel economically from Gaza. The corridor, which will be subject to Israeli security inspection, will allow the continuation of the military operation until the complete collapse of the Hamas regime.” 

The US military dropped humanitarian aid in northern Gaza at noon, which included 41,000 meals and 23,000 bottles of water. According to the American Central Command, this is the largest drop carried out so far. According to Patrick Ryder, the American goal is to supply 2 million aid meals to the residents of Gaza every day. 

In Friday, in an airdrop mission of Gaza several parachuted failed to deploy, resulting in the crash landing of some boxes, which killed a few Gazans. The Central Command of the U.S. Army claims that it was not U.S. drops that resulted in the deaths.

In a rare admission, the UN’s OCHA division was forced to report that “In February, there was a significant scale-up in humanitarian efforts… a 48% increase in the overall number of coordinated humanitarian missions facilitated by the Israeli authorities across Gaza.”

Northern Front Updates:

Heavy Hezbollah fire continued on Israel’s far north. In once instance, Hezbollah claimed to have directly hit an army base in the area near Yiftah with a heavy Burkan rocket. The IDF says that the rocket his an empty open area.

The IDF once again responded by striking Hezbollah positions in Southern Lebanon, including on buildings to which terrorists were seen entering. The IDF also shelled new Hezbollah positions along the border. According to Hezbollah, the IDF eliminated 241 of their terrorists since October 7th. The IDF estimates this number to be much higher.

IDF Spokesman Hagari says that the IDF “will continue to attack Hezbollah’s positions and all infrastructures. We also continue to speed up our war machines. We are ready to launch a wider campaign.”

Commander of the Northern Command, Major General Uri Gordin, told the security coordinators of the Western Galilee settlements: “We are constantly strengthening our readiness to launch an attack in Lebanon. Our commitment, mine, is to change the security situation in order to return the residents home.”

According to an AP report, a senior official in the US Treasury Department visited Lebanon this week and pressured the country’s authorities to prevent the continued transfer of funds to Hamas through Lebanon. He also shared with senior officials in Lebanon the American concerns regarding the transfer of funding to Hamas through the state, and the transfer of funding from Iran for Hezbollah in Lebanon, which also goes from there to other areas. 

Houthi War Front Updates:

According to the U.S. Central Command, the U.S. military and coalition forces downed at least 28 Houthi attack drones over Shabbat day alone.

Judea and Samaria Updates:

During a counter-terrorism operation in Silat ad-Dhahr on Friday, local terrorists fired at IDF troops, and then set off an explosive, which left three soldiers hospitalized in moderate condition. The PIJ division in Jenin took credit for the attack.

On Friday night, IDF and Border Police soldiers operated based in intelligence from the Shin Bet, to arrest arch-terrorists Muhammad Shalabi. Shalabi was involved in advancing significant terror activity, including shooting attacks, preparing explosives, and delivering funds for terrorism, for the local PIJ branch. Shalabi was eliminated after choosing to open fire rather than to be arrested.

Today the IDF carried out counter-terrorism operations in Nur Shams (near Tulkarm), where arrests were made, and IDF bulldozers removed terrorist infrastructure.

Later at night, the IDF also operated in Al-Samo, south of Hebron, and in Tulkarm proper.

Israel’s security establishments are preparing to be on high alert with the start of Ramadan on Sunday night.

International Updates:

The Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, announced this evening that he will raise a proposal in the parliament for the recognition of a Palestinian state. According to him, this is a just and moral goal, so that the two countries, Israel and Palestine, can live together in peace.

Canada and Sweden have decided to renew their funding to UNRWA, despite the hundreds of Hamas terrorists revealed to be on their payroll. Israeli government spokesperson, Eylon Levy, wrote, “Canada and Sweden are making a big mistake by restoring funding to Hamas front UNRWA. They’ve seen intel-based information about staff who took part in 10/7 and are turning a blind eye to UNRWA employing hundreds of Hamas operatives. Cut the cash. UNRWA is part of the problem.”

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