War Day 156: USA Building Aid Pier in Gaza, 100 Rockets Hit the N.

War Summary, Day One Hundred and Fifty Six: The US is building a humanitarian aid pier in Gaza and air-dropping food, the Hezbollah fired over 100 rockets and missiles in the north- miraculously there were no injuries reported from any attacks, and 13 Arab Israelis from Northern Israel are being charged for collaborating with Hamas and planning large-scale terror attacks on their behalf.

By Mrs. Bruria Efune

War Summary, Day One Hundred and Fifty Six:

134 held captive in Gaza.
112 hostages freed.
11 hostage bodies rescued.
33 hostages confirmed murdered in Gaza.
1,400+ Israelis murdered.
249 fallen soldiers in the battle in Gaza.
6 fallen soldiers in Northern Israel.
3 fallen soldiers in Judea & Samaria.
14,900 injured.
13,770 rockets fired at Israel.
160,000 Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.

Hostage Updates:

Hostage negotiations are ongoing, but seeing no progress. Hamas is continuing to make demands that are far beyond Israel’s red line.

Hamas’s political leader who lives in Qatar, Ismail Haniyeh, gave a speech, in which he said, “We emphasized that the most important principles for reaching an agreement are a comprehensive ceasefire, a complete withdrawal of the army from the entire territory of the Gaza Strip, and a full and unconditional return of the displaced. Hours before this speech, I was in contact with the mediators and we did not receive any commitment to a ceasefire.”

Israeli political commentator, Lahav Harkov, pointed out, “The US is building a humanitarian aid pier in Gaza and air-dropping food. The US is pressuring Israel not to enter Hamas’s last stronghold in Rafah during Ramadan or ever. Is it any wonder that Hamas rejected a hostage deal? They’re getting most of what they want without one.”

The president of the Red Cross, Miriana Spoliarich, visited Qatar and met with Haniyeh and Qatari officials. The organization’s statement stated that it calls for the transfer of humanitarian aid to Gaza and the release of the hostages, and is ready to assist in this. The Red Cross has not yet even visited the hostages in Gaza.

Gaza Front Updates:

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

The IDF announced the name of one hero who fell in battle in Gaza:
Sgt. First Class (res.) Michael Gal, 29, of the Bislamach Brigade, from Jerusalem

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview with the German “Bild” newspaper that “among the dead in the IDF strikes in the Gaza Strip were at least 13,000 terrorists.” He also said that, “the key to defeating Hamas is a military operation in Rafah. We are close to victory, it’s just a matter of weeks.”

Axios reported that a military source told them that Israel may be holding off the maneuver into Rafah until April. This would be in response to the U.S. pressure to hold off until after Ramadan. Other sources say that the Rafah operation is imminent, and day now. The maneuver into Rafah is expected to be extremely challenging, since there are 2 million people currently in the small city, and four Hamas battalions, amongst them many additional fighters who fled from other areas in Gaza. Hamas knows that Rafah is their last stand for survival.

The last five months of war have given the IDF strong experience with warfare from the air, at unprecedented levels. The vast majority of terrorists are now eliminated after being spotted either by troops on ground, or soldiers at base monitoring surveillance drones, who then call in airstrikes. This greatly improves the safety and efficiency of IDF soldiers.

Battles are ongoing in Northern Gaza in Jabaliya and Beit Hanoun; in Central Gaza bordering al-Bureij and Nuseirat; and in Southern Gaza in Hamad, Qarara, and Khan Younis. At least 40 terrorists were eliminated across Gaza over the last day.

The battle in Hamad has been particularly intense, with a lot of close-quarters combat inside apartments. Troops also found a large cache of weapons, and in one apartment, two terrorists surrendered. In Khan Younis, where the IDF is being very thorough, 17 active terrorists were eliminated, amongst them 4 who had taken part in the October 7th massacre in Israel.

The IDF is investigating footage published by Al Jazeera, in which IDF troops are seen talking about killing a Palestinian who was unarmed in Gaza City, in November. The IDF says that the video is edited, and that the man had charged towards the troops. Hamas terrorists frequently hide their weapons so that they can claim to be civilians. The IDF also says that the video was taken in Shati, where terrorists hid inside civilian homes and fired on IDF troops from behind the civilians.

Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:

225 trucks carrying humanitarian aid were inspected in Israel and transferred to Gaza today; 134 of the trucks carried food, and the rest carried water, medical supplies, and shelter equipment.

Over 120 aid trucks were coordinated to northern Gaza over the last week, all private sector, none from UNRWA.
The U.S. and Jordanian Air Force, in coordination with the IDF, dropped over 11,500 meal equivalents, as well as other food including rice, flour, pasta, and canned food, providing life-saving humanitarian assistance in Northern Gaza. According to information from the Pentagon, the US dropped about 135,000 food parcels into the Gaza Strip over the last month.

The first ship with engineering equipment for the construction of the pier in Gaza left the US military base in Virginia, less than 36 hours after President Biden announced that the US would provide humanitarian aid to Gaza by sea.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant toured the future area of the pier today, by boat, and said that providing aid via the new port will “advance the collapse of Hamas’s rule.”

Gallant explained, “The process is designed to bring aid directly to the residents and thus continue the collapse of Hamas’s rule in Gaza. We will bring the aid through a maritime route that is coordinated with the US on the security and humanitarian side, together with the assistance of the Emirates on the civil side, and appropriate inspection in Cyprus, we will bring goods imported by international organizations with American assistance. We will ensure that supplies reach here for those who need them and not for those who don’t.”

Former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on NBC responded U.S. President Biden’s criticism in his State of the Union speech, “I do not accept Biden’s words. The problem is not a lack of food in Gaza, but that Hamas steals the food that comes in, sells it on the black market, and thus the food does not reach the needy.”

Northern Front Updates:

Hezbollah rained heavy barrages on Israel’s north today, especially on Meron, and with rockets reaching as far as Kfar Shamai south-west of Tzfat (Sefad). It’s estimated that they fired over 100 rockets and missiles, and at least three attack drones. Miraculously, there were no injuries reported from any attack, with most missiles hitting empty areas—or in once instance, hitting a military vehicle near Malkiya, causing damage but no injuries.

Hezbollah attacks escalated after the IDF struck a building in Southern Lebanon, where a family of five was killed—three of which were active Hezbollah terrorists.

The IDF carried out further airstrikes on Hezbollah positions in Southern Lebanon, and eliminated at least 8 Hezbollah terrorists total today, likely more. In one instance, IDF soldiers monitoring surveillance cameras spotted a Hezbollah cell about to carry out an attack, and called an airstrike to eliminate them before they could.

Last week, the IDF conducted a logistics supply drill in preparation for a possible ground offensive in Lebanon. The exercise involved delivering equipment, water, fuel, and ammunition to simulated frontline forces amidst fighting. The IDF has gained extensive practice with this in Gaza, where the Israeli Air Force has carried out airdrops of around 110 tons of equipment to troops in tough-to-reach places.

Houthi War Front Updates:

Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, one of the leaders of the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen, announced on Thursday that the terror group had carried out 96 missile and drone attacks over the past five months, targeting 61 ships in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. 

Judea and Samaria and Terrorism Updates:

Overnight, three wanted persons were arrested in an operation by the IDF’s Shin Bet and Border Police in the villages of Silat a Dahar and Pendakumia, in the area of the attack in which a terrorist detonated an explosive device last Friday. 

Thirteen Arab Israelis from Northern Israel, mostly from Sakhnin, are being charged for collaborating with Hamas and planning large-scale terror attacks on their behalf. The suspects purchased weapons from terrorists in Judea and Samaria. One of the group kept in close contact with Hamas terrorists in Gaza, from whom he received detailed instructions on how to manufacture explosives, and directives to recruit more members. The Israeli police arrested the group in coordination with the Shin Bet, and confiscated four illegal firearms, ammunition, and other illegal weapons equipment found in the suspects belongings. Some of the suspects were involved in the riots during the 2021 Gaza war.

War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz addressed the Muslim citizens of Israel ahead of the month of Ramadan, saying that “the war is not against Islam, but against those who have harmed the values of Islam. Against those who committed crimes against humanity, and also sought to tear apart Israeli society and our common future.” He added: “The killers of Hamas want to see the month of Ramadan turn from a month of prayers, to a month of blood. But this is not our way. I know they do not represent the absolute majority of Arab Israeli citizens. Don’t listen to the extremists who try to incite and hurt us.”

IDF soldiers welcomed a Torah to their base in Netzarim, Gaza, today. Netzarim was previously a Jewish community before the evacuation in 2005.

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