War Day 169: 40 Airstrikes in Gaza, Sniper Strikes Israeli Civilians

War Summary, Day One Hundred and Sixty Nine: 40 airstrikes carried out across Gaza to assist ground troops in battle, terrorist sniper opened fire on civilians and soldiers near Dolev killing one and injuring 7, and Defense Minister Yoav Galant will head tomorrow for an official visit to Washington.

By Mrs. Bruria Efune

War Summary, Day One Hundred and Sixty Nine:

134 held captive in Gaza.
112 hostages freed.
11 hostage bodies rescued.
35 hostages confirmed murdered in Gaza.
1,400+ Israelis murdered.
251 fallen soldiers in the battle in Gaza.
6 fallen soldiers in Northern Israel.
4 fallen soldiers in Judea & Samaria.
14,900 injured.
14,190 estimated rockets fired at Israel.
102,100 Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.

Hostage Updates:

On Shabbat, Hamas claimed that Yagev Buchshtav, 34, has died in Hamas captivity “as a result of a lack of medicine and food.” The claim is unverified, as Hamas frequently uses psychological terror as a war tactic. If a hostage has died of hunger or lack of medicine, the blame is purely on Hamas for killing them.

The U.S., with the backing of Qatar and Egypt, proposed a compromise deal, halfway between Israel and Hamas’s expectations. The deal appears to have increased the number of terrorists to be released for each hostage, and allows a limited return of civilians to Northern Gaza. Israel agreed to the deal. According to early reports, it seems that Hamas will be rejecting it.

Gaza Front Updates:

Late on Purim night, Haas fired a rocket at Kibbutz Nachal Oz. No physical injuries were reported.

Thank G-d, the IDF did not announce the names of any fallen soldiers in Gaza today.

The raid at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City is ongoing. The IDF troops have eliminated over 170 terrorists in and around the hospital, and nearly 400 have been brought to Israel for interrogations. There remain a number of more terrorists, including some who are on Israel’s wanted list, hiding between the patients in emergency rooms. The IDF set up a new treatment are in the hospital, with complete capabilities, and has began extracting patients from the areas in the hospital where terrorists are hiding, and bringing the patients to treatment in the new safe area.

The raid at the Shifa Hospital began after the IDF observed Hamas and PIJ terrorists to regroup in the hospital over a period of several weeks. The IDF waited for the right moment to suddenly sweep in and siege them. The operation is so far seen as a huge success in capturing so many terrorists at once—especially since these are terrorists who were otherwise very dispersed throughout Northern Gaza, and would have been extremely difficult to find them all.

In Central Gaza, the IDF struck a building used by Hamas, which was discovered after terrorists used it to launch a missile towards Israeli civilian communities. IDF troops are also active on ground in areas around Central Gaza.

In Southern Gaza’s al-Qarara, IDF troops are fighting on ground and eliminated several terrorists in close-combat, and also used airstrikes to destroy Hamas buildings, including two of which were booby-trapped.

Around 40 airstrikes were carried out across Gaza over the last day, most of which were to assist ground troops in battle. Airstrikes were also carried out in Rafah, in the far south of Gaza, where the IDF has not yet entered on ground.

The Al-Akhbar newspaper reported that during American Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s visit to Egypt, he made several proposals regarding Rafah, which would allow Israel to operate militarily in the city in the southern Gaza Strip, after the population has been evacuated from it to other areas. Egypt has been vehemently against the IDF’s entry to Rafah, largely because they are concerned about refugees from Gaza breaking into Egypt. Egyptian sources told the newspaper that Cairo rejected these proposals, partly because they would take a long time to implement. The conversation is interesting because it shows that the U.S. may be conceding, after Netanyahu has made it clear that Israel will not back down from entering Rafah to completely dismantle Hamas.

Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:

On Friday, the IDF coordinated trucks filled with medical supplies, food, and water, to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. Amongst the supplies were 10k+ units of medication, pain relievers, infusions, and hospital furniture.

Hundreds of crates of supplies are waiting on Gaza’s side of the border for UN organizations to deliver it.

Hamas once again is claiming that the IDF opened fire on civilians in Gaza while they were waiting to receive aid, killing 19. The IDF said that this is again a false accusation, and there was no IDF fire in the area—rather towards the end of the route of a convoy of aid trucks, hundreds of civilians stopped the trucks and looted them.

U.S. congress passed a bill to defund UNRWA at least until 2025, and President Biden signed it.

Northern Front Updates:

Hezbollah fired very heavily on communities in Israel’s far north. They also claim to have targeted an Iron Dome battery near Kfar Blum with two attack drones. While local authorities say the drones caused a fire, the IDF says that no damage or injuries were caused.

In addition to the usual airstrikes in Southern Lebanon, including a building which a Hezbollah terrorist was seen entering, the IDF carried out an airstrike in Baalbek, Northeast Lebanon, on a building containing Hezbollah weapons.

According to reports in Syria, the IDF struck a weapons depot in Syria, which was used by Iran for smuggling.

Houthi War Front Updates:

The U.S. Army Central Command announced that it attacked three underground weapons depots belonging to the Houthis in Yemen, which contained means used by them to attack vessels in the Red Sea. The Houthis also launched four anti-ship ballistic missiles towards the sea, which did not hit any vessels. It was also reported that in another attack, the command destroyed four Houthi drones.

Judea and Samaria Updates:

On Friday, a terrorist sniper opened fire on civilians and soldiers near Dolev, killing one, and injuring 7 others—two of whom are in serious condition. The Palestinian terrorist also targeted an ambulance, causing damage but no injuries. The terrorist was located and eliminated in an airstrike by a combat helicopter.

The IDF named the fallen soldier as:
Sgt. First Class Ilay David Garfinkel, 21, of the Commando Duvdevan unit, from Sitria.

On Friday, two illegally armed Palestinians were arrested.

On the second Friday of Ramadan, despite Hamas calls for violence, 120,000 Muslims prayed peacefully on Temple Mount, with Israeli security.

International Updates:

Defense Minister Yoav Galant will take off tomorrow for an official visit to Washington. During the visit, the minister is expected to meet with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and other government officials. They are expected to discuss the progress of the war, the dismantling of Hamas, the efforts to recover the abductees, the humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip, and the actions to improve regional stability. Also high on the agenda will be the arms deals and keeping the IDF equipped to maintain a qualitative military advantage in the region.

Wishing you a happy Purim, full of miracles! Please remember to take the time to pray for the safe return of all the hostages, and the safety and success of our soldiers. Purim is considered the holiest day of the year for prayers to be heard and answered—the ideal time for us to all storm the heavens.

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