War Day 183: Jordanian Shot at Soldier, Hostage Body Rescued

A Hamas weapons depot with more than 40 explosive devices and a ton of explosive material, found in Khan Younis. Hamas and PIJ weapons are spread throughout several thousands of urban locations in Gaza.

War Summary, Day One Hundred and Eighty Three: In Yerushalayim today, a 17-year-old was caught walking around with a large knife hiding under his clothing and confessed that he was looking for someone to stab, IDF soldiers rescued the body of Elad Katzir, 47, who was taken hostage on Simchas Torah, and IDF troops in an army vehicle came under fire from a gunman in Jordan.

By Mrs. Bruria Efune

War Summary, Day One Hundred and Eighty Three:

133 held captive in Gaza.
112 hostages freed.
12 hostage bodies rescued.
37 hostages confirmed murdered in Gaza.
1,485 Israelis murdered.
257 fallen soldiers in the battle in Gaza.
6 fallen soldiers in Northern Israel.
4 fallen soldiers in Judea & Samaria.
11,600+ injured.
14,600 estimated rockets fired at Israel.
102,100 Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.

Top Headlines:

  • Body of hostage rescued
  • Iran continues with threats of retaliation
  • Senior Hamas commander eliminated
  • IDF drone downed over Lebanon
  • IDF strikes deep into Lebanon
  • Jordanian fired at IDF troops from over the border

Hostage Updates:

IDF commando soldiers rescued the body of Elad Katzir, 47, who was taken hostage by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) from his home in Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7th. The operation to rescue his body was carried out based on intelligence received about the burial location in Khan Younis, immediately after the accuracy was confirmed. There were no injuries to troops during the operation, as no fighting occurred at the burial site, only in the surrounding areas.

Elad was seen in two PIJ propaganda videos, the last one in December. The IDF estimates that the terrorist captors murdered him in mid-January. Elad’s father, Avraham, was murdered in the kibbutz on October 7th. His elderly mother Chana Katzir was taken hostage and released on November 24th.

Glad was a farmer and primary caregiver to his parents. He was known for his good cheer and care for everyone around him.

According to Hamas, Israel has made some new concessions in the hostage negotiations, but “it is not enough.” Hamas continues to demand a complete IDF withdrawal, ceasefire, and unchecked freedom of movement for everyone in Gaza.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Biden administration is pressuring Israel to agree to allow limited numbers of Gazans to return to the northern Gaza Strip. The Journal quotes Arab mediators involved in the talks saying that Israel is open to allowing the return of 2,000 Gazans a day to Northern Gaza, most of them women and children, and up to a total of 60,000.

According to the report, the return of the Gazans would begin between ten to fourteen days after the implementation of the six-week ceasefire. They will have to go through security barriers. These conditions were not accepted by Hamas, which demands the return of entire families—men included. “They insist on a complete return to the north of the Strip,” said an Israeli source, “They want free passage – that everyone can move north and that’s it.” 

Allowing all Gazans to move back unchecked would undo the IDF work of clearing out Hamas and the PIJ from Northern Gaza.

According to an AP report, Biden wrote to the leaders of Egypt and Qatar requesting that they pressure Hamas to reach a hostage deal. According to a senior US administration official, Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan will meet on Monday with relatives of some of the hostages in Gaza.

Preparations for Iranian Response:

Iran is continuing with the threats of retaliation for the strike in Syria that killed senior IRGC commanders. Today, Iranian Chief of Staff Mohammad Bakri threatened, “The revenge for the killing of a Zahidi will be at the appropriate time and place. We will determine the way of revenge. We will make Israel regret its actions.” 

Analysts expect Iran to carry out some sort of attack before the end of Ramadan on Tuesday night. The attack is expected to be strong enough for Iran to save face and deter Israel from further attacks, while also keeping themselves safe from full war with Israel. Ayatollah Khomeini is already facing insurgency from within Iran, and a war would motivate them further to unseat him.

The New York Times reports that the Iranian army has been put on high alert by the regime. Two official Iranian sources told the newspaper that all of Iran’s military forces have been put on high alert and a decision to react directly has already been made.

In Syria, local reports indicate that pro-Iranian militia forces and a large military reinforcement have begun to move from northern Damascus towards western Damascus.

The NBC network reports that officials in the Biden administration are concerned that Iran is planning to hit targets inside Israel. CNN reported that the US is immediately preparing for a “significant” retaliatory attack and a senior official said to the American network that an attack by Iran is “inevitable.”

The US Navy in the Persian Sea area has also raised alertness to the highest level.

Homefront Command instructions in Israel have not changed. School will open as usual on Sunday. It is yet to be seen if and where Iran will fire missiles from. In case they fire from Iran, Israelis have an estimated seven to eleven minutes to reach shelter—much longer than the usual 15 seconds to two minutes from closer enemies.

28 Israeli embassies and consulates remain temporarily closed in a precaution against possible attacks. Iran is known in the past to attack Israeli offices worldwide.

Gaza Front Updates:

Hamas did not successfully launch any rockets at Israeli civilians today.

The IDF did not yet release the name of a soldier who fell in battle today, but his community did:

Sergeant Ilai Zair, 20, of the Egoz unit, from Kidar in Gush Etzion

Two soldiers were seriously injured this morning in Central Gaza. Since the beginning of the ground offensive in Gaza over 1,550 soldiers have been wounded, including 317 seriously.

The IDF and Shin Bet announced that Akram Abd al-Rahman Husein Salama, a senior Hamas terrorist, was eliminated in an airstrike in Khan Younis on Wednesday. Salama held “several key positions” in Hamas, including deputy head of internal security in Khan Younis, and as part of his role, “was involved in the advancing of major terror operations in the Gaza Strip, with the aim of harming the activities of the IDF, and was responsible for the planning and execution of significant terror attacks in Israel.”

Also in Khan Younis, in the al-Amal neighborhood, troops located and destroyed a significant weapons depot, in which more than 40 explosive devices and a ton of explosive material were found. Troops also eliminated numerous terrorists in the area, some in difficult face-to-face battles.

The IDF destroyed three major tunnels in the Khan Younis area this week, all of which the IDF had known about for a long time. The first tunnel was initially uncovered a decade ago and was targeted during the 2021 Gaza war, resulting in the deaths of several Hamas terrorists. It was struck again at the beginning of the ongoing conflict, preventing its use, and was finally blown up in recent weeks. The second tunnel was discovered in 2014, and crossed into Israeli territory. It was mostly destroyed and blocked up then, and although Hamas made no effort to repair it, the IDF blew up another section of it inside Gaza. The third tunnel was first found in 2019, and partially entered several hundred meters into Israeli territory. It remained under surveillance and control by the IDF, with sensors and explosives placed inside. The tunnel was targeted multiple times during the war, with the part entering Israeli territory rendered inoperable. The rest of the tunnel was also destroyed in recent weeks.

The IDF maintains that no Hamas tunnels have entered Israeli territory since the construction of the underground barrier, completed in 2021.

The investigation into the incident involving a strike on World Central Kitchen (WCK) vehicles found that IDF troops identified a gunman on top of one of the trucks and believed there was a second gunman in the area. When several vehicles left the warehouse where aid was being unloaded, one commander mistakenly thought the armed men were in the escort vehicles and believed they were Hamas terrorists. This misidentification led to the decision to carry out airstrikes against three of the vehicles, resulting in the deaths of seven WCK workers. The IDF acknowledges this as a serious mistake and a failure in decision-making and orders, expressing regret for the loss and committing to learning from the incident to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

Two Senior commanders were removed from their position over the incident: the chief of staff of the Nachal Infantry Brigade during the war—who holds the rank of (reserve) colonel, and the brigade’s firepower coordination officer, who holds the rank of major.

According to the New York Times, the phone call between Biden and Netanyahu on Thursday was, in fact, a warning call, in which the American president defined to the prime minister actions that he must take in order to continue winning his support, in some sort of “trial period.”

Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:

While the UN and other international bodies claim that Gaza is on the verge of starvation, people all over Gaza continue to upload videos to social media showing full markets and dinner tables. (In one video by Karim.alking, where he advertises tahini for 23 shekel down from 35, an angry customer complains that he paid 27 shekel just moments ago. Another video shows a large Iftar feast in a displacement camp, with no signs of lacking.)

As part of an agreement with the UN, and at the UN’s request, the IDF does not transfer food trucks into Gaza on Shabbat, to allow the UN time to catch up in distributing aid that piled up over the week.

Since Thursday:

240 humanitarian aid trucks were inspected and transferred to the Gaza Strip
83 trucks were distributed within the Gaza Strip by UN aid agencies on Friday
250 packages with hundreds and thousands of meals were airdropped over northern Gaza
16 trucks carrying food aid by the private sector were coordinated to northern Gaza.
24 World Food Program (WFP) trucks carrying food were transferred to Gaza via the Jordanian channel.
10 WFP trucks made their way directly to northern Gaza via a designated delivery route.
4 tankers of cooking gas designated for the operation of essential infrastructure in Gaza entered the Gaza Strip.

On Friday the IDF coordinated a WHO mission for the refuel and restock with medical supplies to the Al Ahali hospital and the Sabaa Health Center in northern Gaza. Patients were also transferred for better care to the south of Gaza. A total of 36 movements were coordinated, 8 of them to northern Gaza.

35 water pumping facilities in northern Gaza were refueled following coordination. These water pumping facilities supply water to hundreds of thousands of residents in northern Gaza.

21 bakeries are operational in Gaza, providing over 2 million breads, rolls, and pita breads a day for the local population.

Contrary to reports, the Erez Crossing to Northern Gaza has not yet been opened, but preparations are underway.

Northern Front Updates:

Over the last two days, Hezbollah fired heavily on civilian communities in Israel’s far north, causing damage to homes and community buildings. On Friday a soldier was lightly injured by an anti-tank missile.

On Friday the IDF, in addition to Hezbollah targets, the IDF conducted airstrikes on multiple buildings and other terrorist infrastructure belonging to the Amal Movement in Southern Lebanon, in one instance targeting a gathering of at least three Amal terrorists. Amal is a Lebanese political party and militia founded during the Lebanese Civil War, primarily representing the Shia Muslim community. It has close ties with Hezbollah, sharing similar goals and ideologies, and has been allied with them in targeting Israel during the war.

The IDF confirmed reports that an IDF drone was downed over Lebanon on Shabbat day. Hezbollah claims they shot down an Elbit Hermes 450 UAV with a ground-to-air missile.

Later at night, reports from Lebanon indicated IDF retaliation strikes on Hezbollah targets deep into the northeast of Lebanon.

Houthi & Other War Front Updates:

In an unusual situation, IDF troops in an army vehicle came under fire from a gunman in Jordan. The troops were on patrol at the Jordan River Crossing near the northern town of Beit Shean. After firing at the IDF vehicle, the gunman fled back into Jordan. There were no injuries in the attack.

This attack comes as tensions are rising in Jordan with violent protests in support of Hamas and Gaza. While the Jordanian authorities have made statements of support for Gaza, and delivery aid to Gaza, Jordan largely depends on trade with Israel, and has had issues with Palestinian terrorists in the past. In an interview on a Jordanian news channel, former Jordanian Information Minister, Samih Al-Maaytah, said that “Hamas leaders in Qatar are stirring unrest in Jordan, trying to tell us that they “own” the Jordanian public; we should seriously consider revoking their Jordanian citizenship.”

The European Union’s naval mission in the southern Red Sea intercepted a Houthi missile aimed at merchant ships today.

Judea and Samaria Updates:

In Jerusalem today, a 17-year-old was caught walking around with a large knife hiding under his clothing, and confessed that he was looking for someone to stab.

In an overnight operation, the police of the Jerusalem district and the security forces arrested 16 suspects in the Temple Mount area for inciting terrorism and supporting terrorists. Most of them are residents of East Jerusalem, some are residents of the north, and one suspect is a resident of Shechem (Nablus), the group are aged 14-19. All the arrested suspects were transferred for investigation in Merhav David.

Late Saturday night there were Palestinian reports of young people rioting near the separation fence in Shoafat, East Jerusalem. Fireworks were fired at the wall.

On the last Friday of Ramadan, 65,000 Muslims prayed peacefully on Temple Mount. In contrast to most years, and much to the frustration of Hamas, there were no Ramadan riots on Temple Mount.

International Updates:

In Turkey (which is no friend of Israel, but where trade with Israel is estimated at $1B annually), Turkish police arrested about 40 protesters who marched on Alastekalal Street in Istanbul, and chanted slogans against Turkish companies that conduct trade with Israel and thus, according to them, “betray the Palestinians.”

According to an AP report, more than 600 British judges and jurists, including three retired Supreme Court justices, are calling on British Prime Minister Rishi Sonk to suspend arms sales to Israel. In response, former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it would be “madness” to stop selling arms to Israel. Senior officials in the government expressed positions similar to Johnson’s, according to a report in the Telegraph.

The AFP news agency reported that Australia’s foreign minister, Penny Wong, said that the information provided by Israel regarding the death of the Australian citizen in an attack against aid workers of the WCK organization “is not sufficient.” Wong said that “we made it clear to Israel that we did not receive enough information that met our expectations.”

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), wrote that WHO and partners managed to reach Shifa Hospital, and describes the destruction, largely placing the blame on Israel without once mentioning that 1,000 Hamas terrorists took over the hospital and made it their base.

Dozens of members of the American Congress, including former Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, signed a letter sent to US President Joe Biden, in which they demand an end to the supply of weapons to Israel.

While the Israeli war cabinet says they will continue with the mission to free the hostages and defeat Hamas, even without support, Israel relies on the ability to purchase weapons from foreign coutures, especially the US. Losing the PR war has a significant effect on this, and therefore Jews and Israel’s supporters in countries abroad are able, and needed, to play an important part in winning this war by spreading accurate information and petitioning their governments to continue supporting Israel.

This update is sponsored by anonymous, in hopes that the next one be the Geula announcement!

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  1. “and therefore Jews and Israel’s supporters in countries abroad are able, and needed, to play an important part in winning this war by spreading accurate information and petitioning their governments to continue supporting Israel.”

    We need to daven, say more tehillim, fulfill Mitzvos b’hidur. We will ONLY win the war, with the Eibeshter, and Brachos of the Rebbe. NOT with public support.

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