War Day 181: IDF Jams GPS to Block Missiles, Biden Demands Ceasefire

War Summary, Day One Hundred and Eighty One: Israel prepares for a possible Iranian attack, IDF jams GPS across the country to block GPS-guided missiles, President Biden demands a ceasefire, and a huge terrorist cell in Israel foiled.

By Mrs. Bruria Efune

134 held captive in Gaza.
112 hostages freed.
11 hostage bodies rescued.
36 hostages confirmed murdered in Gaza.
1,483 Israelis murdered.
256 fallen soldiers in the battle in Gaza.
6 fallen soldiers in Northern Israel.
4 fallen soldiers in Judea & Samaria.
11,549 injured.
14,530 estimated rockets fired at Israel.
102,100 Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.

Top Headlines:

  • Israel prepares for a possible Iranian attack
  • GPS jammed across Israel
  • Boarding schools send students home for Shabbat
  • Hamas and PIJ fire multiple rounds of rockets
  • For the first time: President Biden demands a ceasefire
  • Israel to open Erez crossing
  • Victim of terror attack succumbs to wounds
  • Huge terrorist cell in Israel foiled
  • Families of fallen soldiers call for unity between Israelis

Hostage Updates:

Hostage negotiations have completely stalled, as Hamas is insisting on nothing less than a complete ceasefire and Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. Today President Biden has given Hamas reason to believe that they will get their demands.

Preparations for Iranian Response:

Israel is gearing up for a possible attack from Iran in response to the elimination of top IRGC commanders while they were in Syria. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, has threatened that Israel will face severe consequences.

Iran doesn’t typically carry out attacks on their own, rather, they use proxies based in other countries, and in this case, Israel is preparing for a very wide range of possibilities, including local Palestinian terror attacks, as well as an escalation in missile and drone attacks by Iran-backed groups in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, or something which Israel hasn’t faced yet—ballistic missile attacks directly from Iran.

Many analysts say that Iran does not want a full out war with Israel at the moment, and definitely not in its own territory, and therefore expect only a symbolic response as a “deterrence” to Israel. The IDF is however on full-alert and high preparation level, both to be prepared, and as a deterrence back to Iran.

Alert level will be particularly high on Friday, since Ramadan Fridays are a favored time for attacks by Islamic terror groups.

Amongst preparations today:

  • Defense Minister Yoav Gallant conducted a “multi-front situational assessment” with all the top defense and military officials—from the IDF, Shin Bet, and Mossad.
  • The IDF has cancelled weekend home leave for all combat soldiers.
  • The IDF increased air defenses and called up reservists to do so.
  • The IDF jammed GPS signals across Israel, especially in high population and sensitive areas, in order to reduce the ability of enemy guided missiles and drones. (This was already in place up in the north and down by Eilat.)
  • Air Force planes are on the ready.
  • The director general of the Ministry of Health held a preparation discussion with the hospital managers, instructing them to prepare for a mass casualty event, and ensure there are enough medical teams available.
  • Under Ministry of Education recommendations, many boarding schools sent students home for the weekend on Thursday afternoon.
  • Many cities and towns in the lower north which has not been under threat until now, have opened their bomb shelters. This was done according to local authority decision, and not IDF instruction.
  • Israeli embassies around the world have either been temporarily closed, or restricted activity.

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari stressed that while Israel is taking threats seriously, there is no need to panic, and Homefront Command instructions have not changed. However, the IDF did suggest that Israelis manually set their location in the Homefront Command app, since the GPS locater may not work. The Homefront Command app issues security alerts and instructions to Israelis according to their current location.

After emphasizing that the IDF is ready for a wide-range of scenarios, Hagari told Israelis, “Your responsible behavior on the home front saves lives. My only recommendation is to be vigilant and stay tuned for updates.”

(Personally, over Shabbat I plan to leave my phone in my bomb shelter, plugged in, and open to the Homefront Command app. We also keep water and snacks in our bomb shelter, and have a small backup battery, but don’t plan to stress any more than that.)

In remarks released by the IDF, Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva, the chief of the Military Intelligence Directorate told his subordinate officers: “I have told you more than once that it is not certain that the worst is behind us, and we are ahead of complex days.”

Gaza Front Updates:

Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) fired multiple times from Northern Gaza today, at the Gaza Envelope area (including Kfar Aza, Shuva, Sderot, and more), Ashkelon, and—for the first time since January—Netivot. Most rockets were either intercepted or landed in open areas. One rocket landed in Sderot, causing minimal damage to a roadside. No injuries were reported.

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

In Northern Gaza, the Haredi Netzach Yehuda battalion has been operating in Beit Hanoun over the last week, where they’ve been locating terrorist infrastructure and terror cells, and destroying them. Hamas and the PIJ have hid weapons and rocket launchers in almost every building and field, which allows them to walk around unarmed, posing as civilians, and then lift a weapon or fire a rocket at any moment. In areas taken over by the IDF, troops need to do the tedious job of locating every remnant of Hamas so that they can no longer fight. This is something that could take a few years to accomplish once the war is over.

During the search in Beit Hanoun this week, the troops destroyed dozens of terror sites, located a tunnel with a cell of terrorists hiding inside—who were promptly eliminated, eliminated a Hamas commander, and several more.

In Central Gaza, troops continue to battle on ground, although the IDF doesn’t release much information about where they are operating. The IDF released footage of an airstrike which eliminated an armed terror cell after they were spotted by nearby troops.

In Southern Gaza the IDF is operating in Qarara, Khan Younis—primarily in the al-Amal neighborhood, and in the Abasan area right outside Khan Younis. The IDF also carried out airstrikes in Rafah.

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari announced that the military’s probe into the tragic strike on a World Central Kitchen (WCK) aid convoy has been completed, and reviewed by senior defense officials. It will be shown to the ambassadors of the relevant countries and the people of the WCK, before being published for the public.

Prime Minister Netanyahu had a tense 30 minute phone conversation with US President Biden.

According to the U.S. report, the two leaders discussed the situation in Gaza. Biden stated that the overall humanitarian situation is unacceptable. He clarified the need for Israel to announce and implement a series of specific, concrete and measurable measures to address harm to civilians, humanitarian suffering, and the safety of aid workers. Biden made it clear that US policy regarding Gaza will be determined according to the US assessment of Israel’s immediate action in these steps. He emphasized that an immediate ceasefire is essential to stabilize and improve the humanitarian situation and protect innocent civilians, and he urged the Prime Minister to authorize his negotiators to conclude without delay a deal for the return of the abductees. The two leaders also discussed public Iranian threats against Israel and the Israeli people. President Biden made it clear that the United States strongly supports Israel in the face of these threats.

According to an NBC report, Biden hinted in his conversation with Netanyahu that the US may condition military aid to Israel on measures regarding humanitarian aid in Gaza.

Biden’s call for Israel to agree to a ceasefire was not conditioned on the release of the hostages, and indicated that he expects Israel to cede to Hamas’s demands. This is the first time he has called for a ceasefire since the start of the war, and gives a clear signal to Hamas that they have free range to demand whatever they want in hostage negotiations.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported that on the same day as the WCK aid workers were killed in Gaza, the Biden administration approved the transfer of thousands more bombs to Israel. According to the report, the transfer reflects the administration’s determination to continue the flow of aid despite the incident, indicating that the administration may be acting with two faces, to appease voters ahead of elections.

Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:

217 humanitarian aid trucks were inspected and transferred to the Gaza Strip yesterday (Apr. 3).
126 trucks were distributed within the Gaza Strip by UN aid agencies.
179 packages with hundreds and thousands of meals were airdropped over northern Gaza yesterday (Apr. 3).
25 trucks carrying food aid by the private sector were coordinated to northern Gaza.
4 tankers of cooking gas and 3 tankers of fuel designated for the operation of essential infrastructure in Gaza entered the Gaza Strip.
24 WFP trucks carrying food were transferred to Gaza yesterday via the Jordanian channel.
21 bakeries are operational in Gaza, providing over 2 million breads, rolls, and pita breads a day for the local population.

Under international pressure, the war cabinet has decided to open the Erez Crossing to Northern Gaza.

In the current system for aid distribution, aid is brought to the Nitzana Crossing where it is inspected. From there it’s sent either to the Rafah Crossing in Egypt, or Kerem Shalom Crossing in Israel, near Egypt—from where it’s delivered into Gaza. The Erez Crossing will add a third entry location for aid, which will go directly into the north of Gaza.

Northern Front Updates:

Hezbollah fired lightly on communities in Israel’s far north. A home in Shlomi was hit, but no physical injuries were reported, thank G-d.

The IDF attacked several Hezbollah terror cells and other targets in Southern Lebanon, and shelled Hezbollah positions along the border.

Houthi War Front Updates

The US military successfully destroyed an incoming anti-ship ballistic missile and two Houthi drones.

Abdel-Malik Al-Houthi, the leader of the Houthis, claimed that over the last few months they attacked 90 ships. He also claimed that 37 people were killed and 30 were injured in the 424 bombings by the US and Britain.

Judea and Samaria and Palestinian Terrorism Updates:

A victim of the stabbing terror attack which occurred on Sunday in Gan Yavne has succumbed to his wounds. He is named as:

Lidor Levi, 34.

Lior is survived by his pregnant wife, six-month-old daughter, parents, and two siblings.

Gan Yavne is near Ashdod, not in Judea and Samaria, however the terrorist was a Palestinian who was in Israel legally with a work permit.

The Shin Bet security agency has thwarted plans by a group of Palestinians and Arab Israelis to carry out major terror attacks in Israel. The group, consisting of seven Arab Israelis and four Palestinians from Judea and Samaria, intended to attack IDF bases, Ben Gurion Airport, the government complex in Jerusalem, and the settlement of Kiryat Arba. They also planned to assassinate National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir and kidnap IDF soldiers. According to the Shin Bet, the cell planned to rent a plot of land in southern Israel’s Rahat or an area in Judea and Samaria, to establish a factory with an underground complex where they would manufacture weapons and train. The group sought funding and instructions from Hamas officials in Gaza, with one detainee in contact with a Hamas operative. Indictments have been filed against ten suspects in the Be’er Sheva District Court.

The Israeli terrorists in the cell came from Rahat, Lod, and Maale Iron (Haifa District).

International Updates:

PM Netanyahu held a meeting with a delegation of Republican members of Congress on behalf of AIPAC, at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem. The Prime Minister answered congress members’ questions about Hamas, the hostages, and humanitarian aid. He also addressed the issue of the two-state, and said, “There is an attempt to shove down our throats a Palestinian State that will serve as another haven for terrorism.”

General Updates:

A group of bereaved families of fallen soldiers in the October 7th war held a press conference on Mount Herzl, where IDF heroes are buries. The family members addressed recent discord coming from minority groups in Israel who have been leading protests calling for the resignation of the government and a hostage deal at all costs. The families called for unity, and appealed to the sacrifices of their loved ones.

Itzik Buntzel, the father of First Sergeant Amit Buntzel who fell in battle in Gaza, said “We, the bereaved families, came today to Mount Herzl, the holy mountain, the mountain of heroes, to visit the graves of our sons who fell defending the land. We came today to stand before them and promise them a second time that we will continue the war for the land they loved so much. We came here to promise them that we will do everything for the unity of our people.”

Today’s update is sponsored by Jonathan Hirsch in honor of the birthday of his father, Shalom Ben Leib zt”l.

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  1. Enough with giving Israeli citizenship to liars and work permits to those of whom the majority will only take advantage of that privilege and repay evil for good. Stop the reckless nonsense.

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