War Day 209: Hostage Confirmed Killed, Alleged IDF Attack in Syria

The IDF use a crane to safely remove the remains of an intercepted Iranian ballistic missile, found in the desert area near Arad. It is one of 120 such missiles fired at Israel on April 14th.

War Summary, Day Two Hundred and Nine: New terrorist bodycam confirms that hostage Dror Or was confirmed killed by Hamas on Simchas Torah before his body was taken to Gaza, Syria’s broadcaster reported that an alleged Israeli airstrike near Damascus wounded eight Syrian soldiers, and Saudi Arabian authorities have begun arresting citizens who criticize or speak about Israel’s war online.

By Mrs. Bruria Efune

War Summary, Day Two Hundred and Nine:

133 held captive in Gaza.
112 hostages freed.
12 hostage bodies rescued.
38 hostages confirmed murdered in Gaza.
1,495 Israelis murdered.
263 fallen soldiers in the battle in Gaza.
7 fallen soldiers in Northern Israel.
4 fallen soldiers in Judea & Samaria.
11,600+ injured.
13,560 estimated rockets fired at Israel.
90,000 Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.

Top Headlines:

  • Hostage Dror Or confirmed killed
  • Hamas hasn’t yet given an answer
  • Alleged IDF attack in Syria
  • The Shin Bet foiled a potentially massive attack
  • The Saudis are arresting people who write anti-Israel content

Hostage Updates:

Kibbutz Be’eri announced that hostage Dror Or was killed by Hamas on October 7th, before his body was taken to Gaza. This comes after bodycam footage from a Hamas terrorist provided new evidence to his circumstances. Dror’s wife, Yonat, was also murdered in the attack, before their two children were taken hostage. The children, Noam, 17, and Alma, 13, who are now confirmed to be orphans, were released in November.

Hamas appears to have trapped Israel into slow-as-snails negotiations, likely in an effort to delay a Rafah operation for as long as possible. While Hamas has not yet delivered their response to the current offer, they sent signals and indirect messages that they are considering it, and it is a start—but also, they won’t accept any deal that doesn’t lead to a complete ceasefire and IDF withdrawal—something Israel made clear will not happen until Hamas is defeated or surrenders.

Israel’s War Cabinet seems desperate to demonstrate that it is Hamas who turned down the very generous ceasefire offer, and Hamas is not allowing them to show that clearly. Instead, Hamas is saying that negotiations will end if the IDF begins with the Rafah operation, and the blame for a failed agreement will be on Israel.

It is now estimated that the pointless negotiations will continue for several more days, and Rafah will be delayed for yet another week. Veteran and respected military correspondent, Ron Ben-Yishai, reported dangerous levels of frustration in the IDF upper brass with the government due to the situation. Many in the IDF feel that they are being made to fight with one hand tied behind their back, and want the government to be decisive whether it is going for a hostage deal on Hamas’s terms, or immediately going to Rafah.

Gaza Front Updates:

Hamas did not succeed at firing at Israeli civilians today.

Thank G-d, and miraculously, the IDF did not announce any fallen heroes today.

In Northern Gaza, IDF troops are carrying out pinpoint operations in various locations, but the IDF is not releasing information about it.

In Central Gaza, IDF troops continue to operate and hold bases along the Netzarim Corridor, which divides the north and south of Gaza. Troops have been both carrying out pinpoint operations, and eliminating Hamas and PIJ terrorists who attack the IDF position (Hamas really hates the large and proud IDF bases right in the middle of Gaza). The soldiers called a number of airstrikes over the last day, including against a building from where Hamas were firing at them, and a launching pad from which Hamas was launching mortars at soldiers.

While no IDF troops were injured by Hamas’s latest barrages of mortars, their use of the difficult to aim projectile in populated areas poses a huge danger to civilians, and may well be causing civilian casualties.

IDF soldiers have increasingly been using drones to search buildings for terrorists and avoid entering by foot, or sending a canine into a high-risk situation. When an armed terrorist is spotted in a building or other hiding spot, the soldiers call an airstrike to take him and his position out. Multiple terrorists are now found and eliminated daily with this method.

Several more airstrikes were carried out against Hamas targets across Gaza over the last day, including on tunnels.

Without giving a date, Prime Minister Netanyahu promised that the IDF will fight in Rafah in order to bring a complete victory over Israel’s enemies.

Late Thursday night, Gazans in Rafah reported a “belt of fire”—a method in which the Israeli Air Force fires heavily on targets in one specific area, preventing terrorist escape.

Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:

On May 1st:

406 aid trucks were inspected and transferred to the Gaza Strip,
173 pallets containing tens of thousands of packages of food aid were airdropped over northern Gaza
88 aid trucks were coordinated to northern Gaza
4 tankers of cooking gas and 2 tankers of fuel designated for the operation of essential infrastructure in Gaza, entered Gaza
28 trucks of flour were coordinated via the Ashdod port program
76 aid trucks were coordinated via the Jordanian Route
26 bakeries are currently operational in Gaza, providing close to 5 million breads, rolls, and pitas daily.

The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) reported that the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry cannot provide names for over 10,000 of the 34,596 they claim were killed over the last six months. The number includes 13,000 terrorists killed by the IDF, and all deaths in Gaza since October 7th—including those of natural causes.

Northern Front Updates:

Hezbollah in Lebanon mostly fired short-range anti-tank missiles which did not trigger any sirens, three missiles were intercepted over Mount Dov. A home in Shtula was damaged, but no injuries were reported. 70,000 Israeli residents of the far north remain evacuated from their homes due to the danger.

The IDF used airstrikes to attack several Hezbollah positions in Southern Lebanon, including a large building from which a Hezbollah terrorist was preparing to attack Israeli communities.

Syria’s state-run SANA broadcaster reported that an alleged Israeli airstrike near Damascus caused “material losses,” and wounded eight Syrian soldiers. If true, this would be the first “alleged” Israeli airstrike on Syria since the attack which eliminated IRGC generals next to the consulate. The strike appears to have destroyed a Hezbollah asset.

Houthi & Other War Front Updates:

The US and UK attacked the airport in the Houthi-controlled city of Hodeidah. 

The “Islamic Resistance in Iraq” claims that they fired ballistic missiles at Tel Aviv and Be’er Sheva on Wednesday. No such attack happened.

The Shia terror group “Al-Ashtar Brigades” in Bahrain announced today that they launched an attack drone toward Eilat. Whether true or not, the drone did not make it to Eilat.

Judea and Samaria Updates:

The Shin Bet security agency announced that they had arrested three PIJ terrorists in Yabed back in January. The three were working in coordination with the PIJ headquarters in Lebanon, preparing to carry out significant attacks against Israeli civilians and IDF troops using remotely detonated explosives. When arresting the three, IDF troops also confiscated several primed explosives. The PIJ in Lebanon funded the development of the explosives using crypto-currency.

International Updates:

In an unusual move, the IDF Home Front Command is issuing guidelines through its mobile app for Israelis in Malmö during the Eurovision Song Contest, due to significant security concerns. The app, typically used for emergencies in Israel, will provide instructions for behavior and alerts in case of an emergency during the Eurovision event (from May 2-12 only). Israel’s National Security Council has updated its travel warning for Malmö, citing fears of potential terrorist attacks targeting Israelis during the event.

YNet reported an unreal development in Saudi Arabia: Authorities have begun arresting citizens who criticize or speak about Israel’s war online. Some were even arrested for criticizing Israel over ten years ago. This may be an attempt to suppress any movement which would cause unrest if the Saudis do go ahead with normalization with Israel.

Turkey has quietly stopped all its trade relations with Israel without any official announcement.

Foreign Minister Israel Katz heavily criticized Turkish President Erdogan for breaking trade agreements, but said that the Foreign Ministry is working on replacing Turkish imports with agreements with other countries, and that ultimately, the economic loss will be Turkey’s.

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