War Day 163: Israel Vows Not to Buckle to World, Hamas Number 3 Eliminated

War Summary, Day One Hundred and Sixty Three: Prime Minister Netanyahu says Israel will not buckle to international pressure, Hamas number three confirmed eliminated, and a drone crashed just north of Eilat.

By Mrs. Bruria Efune

134 held captive in Gaza.
112 hostages freed.
11 hostage bodies rescued.
35 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.
14,000 rockets fired at Israel.
102,100 Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.

Top Headlines:

  • Prime Minister Netanyahu says Israel will not buckle to international pressure.
  • Hamas number three confirmed eliminated.
  • Drone crashed just north of Eilat.

Hostage Updates:

The IDF formally announced the death of Cpt. Daniel Perez, 22, who was killed and taken hostage by Hamas on October 7th. Daniel was a platoon commander in the IDF, and his body was taken from the Gaza border. The announcement comes after the Military Rabbinate confirmed his death according to Jewish law based on new findings and intelligence information. While Perez’s body is still being held hostage, this confirmation allows the family to mourn.

Daniel Perez was a person full of energy who was always surrounded by friends. He had an adventurous spirit and loved extreme sports, especially wakeboarding. In his personal journal, Daniel wrote: “How can I function better every day as a human being, soldier, crew member, and commander?” – a sentence that truly captured his character. Yesterday at the rally supporting families of the hostages, his father Rabbi Doron Perez, took the stage tearfully to deliver a prayer for the safety of the hostages and soldiers.

The war cabinet approved the mandate to return the Negotiation team to Doha, Qatar tomorrow, in light of Hamas slightly lowering their demands, particularly in the number of terrorists they want released for every hostage.

Gaza Front Updates:

Hamas has not successfully fired rockets onto Israeli civilians today.

Thank G-d, the IDF did not announce the names of any fallen soldiers today, marking one week without any fallen soldiers in Gaza.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shared strong words at the beginning of the government meeting today, stating that Israel would defy international pressure, and do what’s necessary to complete the goals of the war. Netanyahu stressed that the only way to fully dismantle Hamas is with an operation in Rafah—Gaza’s southernmost city where four Hamas battalions still stand. Netanyahu closed with sharp words to the international community:

“Therefore, I reiterate: We will operate in Rafah. This will take several weeks, and it will happen.
To our friends in the international community, I say: Are your memories that short? Have you so quickly forgotten October 7, the most horrific massacre of Jews since the Holocaust? Are you so quick to deny Israel the right to defend itself against the Hamas monsters? Have you so quickly lost your moral consciences?
Instead of pressuring Israel, which is fighting a war, the justice of which is unparalleled, against an enemy of unparalleled brutality, apply your pressure to Hamas and its patron – Iran. It is they who constitute a danger to the region and to the entire world.
In any case, we will withstand any pressure and with G-d’s help, we will continue to fight together until total victory.”

In a press statement, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi also emphasized that Israel will continue with the goals of the war, stressing, “We are determined to act wherever Hamas is building its strength. It is wrong to leave Hamas brigades and Hamas battalions functioning,”

Halevi added that “Hamas can lay down its weapons and surrender, otherwise, we will continue with great force, until the complete dissolution of Hamas, until the hostages are returned to their homes. The return of the hostages is one of the goals of the war, and the IDF will do everything to realize it.”

Hamas has confirmed that Marwan Issa was eliminated by an IDF airstrike last week on the tunnel in which he was hiding in Nuseirat, Central Gaza. Issa is a Hamas co-founder and the deputy head of its military wing under Muhammad Dief, and was the IDF’s number three most wanted in Gaza.

Meanwhile, in Northern Gaza, Halevi explains that the IDF is, “returning and raiding areas where we operated, with new intelligence, using different methods, expanding the damage to Hamas, killing operatives and destroying infrastructure in a targeted and high-quality manner.”

According to reports on ground, the IDF is currently carrying out one such raid in Shifa Hospital, Gaza City. where intelligence points to Hamas terrorists using the hospital as a cover all over again.

The IDF announced that combat engineering troops recently destroyed part of the longest Hamas tunnel network in Northern Gaza, demolishing around 2.5 kilometers of underground infrastructure.

In contrast to other areas in the Gaza Strip, the IDF explains very little about operations in Central Gaza where two Hamas battalions remain intact, and are the last ones standing outside of Rafah. Today the IDF announced that the Nachal brigade eliminated at least 18 Hamas terrorists in the Central Gaza area today, via sniper fire, and targeted tank shelling and airstrikes, but as in previous reports, didn’t specify where. According to Palestinian reports, airstrikes were seen in Deir al-Balah and Nusirat. The IDF operated heavily in Shati in the past.

Central Gaza is also called the “camps” area, since it’s where many refugees were settled in apartment buildings and homes in 1947. The “camps,” like other areas like it, are more radical and aligned with terror groups than average, making it the perfect place for high profile terrorists like Marwan Issa to hide, and possibly also for hostages to be hidden. It’s possible that the IDF is acting with extra caution here for these reasons.

In Southern Gaza’s Khan Younis, IDF troops are still locating terrorists, and arresting many, who have been providing helpful intelligence.

Targeted airstrikes were reported in Rafah.

Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:

239 humanitarian aid trucks entered Gaza via the Kerem Shalom and Nitzana crossings, of which 70% contained food.
179 food packages were airdropped over northern Gaza.
5 water pumping facilities supplying water to over 200,000 residents in northern Gaza were refueled yesterday (Mar. 16), following coordination.

Northern Front Updates:

Hezbollah fired at a heavy but reduced rate missiles on communities in Israel’s far north. No injuries were reported. Overnight, the IDF’s air defense intercepted a “suspicious aerial target” over the sea near Acre. No sirens sounded.

The IDF responded with airstrikes on Hezbollah targets in Southern Lebanon.

IDF Chief of Staff Halevi says the military will continue to damage Hezbollah’s capabilities, and emphasized that “Hezbollah started with strikes, and is paying a heavy, ever-increasing price.”

Late at night, pro-Iranian militias in Iraq claimed that they launched a drone towards a base in the Golan Heights.

Houthi War Front Updates

Following an explosion heard in the Be’er Ora area, just north of Eilat, the IDF spokesman confirmed that a “suspicious aerial target” (which often implies an attack drone) crossed into Israeli territory from the Red Sea area and fell in an open area north of Eilat a short time ago. The target was being monitored by Air Force forces, no damage was caused and there were no casualties.

Judea and Samaria Updates:

Overnight, IDF soldiers tonight arrested seven wanted persons throughout Judea and Samaria. In an operation in Hebron the forces arrested three wanted persons and found parts of a bomb. In the village of Yavd, the forces arrested three more wanted persons. So far, since the beginning of the war, approximately 3,500 wanted persons have been arrested throughout Judea and Samaria Division, over 1,500 of whom are associated with Hamas, and the others with other terror groups.

General Updates:

The Israeli government unanimously approved that every year in the 24th of Tishrei, a national day of remembrance will be observed to mark the disaster of October 7th and the following Iron Swords War. Also that in the first year, on a one-time basis, a ceremony will also be held on the secular calendar date on October 7.

In keeping in line with the Rabbonim's policies for websites, we do not allow comments. However, our Rabbonim have approved of including input on articles of substance (Torah, history, memories etc.)

We appreciate your feedback. If you have any additional information to contribute to this article, it will be added below.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

advertise package