War Day 214: IDF Conquers Rafah Crossing, Blocks Gaza from Egypt

War Summary, Day Two Hundred and Fourteen: Details of Hamas’s “accepted” ceasefire deal revealed, IDF conquers the Rafah crossing, two fallen soldiers in the north from Hezbollah fire, and the Iranian-backed militia in Iraq escalated their attempted attacks.

By Mrs. Bruria Efune

132 held captive in Gaza.
112 hostages freed.
12 hostage bodies rescued.
39 hostages confirmed murdered in Gaza.
1,501 Israelis murdered.
267 fallen soldiers in the battle in Gaza.
13 fallen soldiers in Northern Israel.
4 fallen soldiers in Judea & Samaria.
11,600+ injured.
13,640 estimated rockets fired at Israel.
90,000 Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.

Top Headlines:

  • Details of Hamas’s “accepted” ceasefire deal
  • The IDF took the Rafah crossing
  • Two fallen soldiers in the north
  • The Iranian-backed militia in Iraq escalated their attempted attacks

Hostage Updates:

New evidence determined that Lior Rudaif, 61 years old, from Kibbutz Nir Yitzchak, was killed by Hamas on October 7th before his body was taken hostage to Gaza. Lior was a member of the kibbutz stand-by security unit, and fell while protecting the community.

Details of Hamas’s alternative ceasefire and hostage release deal emerged, and show a picture of just how far removed it is from the Egyptian-proposed deal which Israel accepted, and how far-fetched it is to imagine that Israel would accept it.

Where Israel accepted a deal which would release 33 alive humanitarian hostages in a period of 33 days, Hamas agreed to release 18 hostages alive, over a period of six weeks (3 per week), and the remaining 15 humanitarian hostages would then be released “dead or alive.”

Where Israel accepted to release 20 terror prisoners for every “humanitarian” hostage, and 40 for every female soldier hostage, Hamas demanded 30 per “humanitarian” hostage, and 50 heavy terror prisoners for every female soldier hostage. Hamas’s version also demands a complete say in which terror prisoners are released, with no veto rights to Israel.

Where Israel accepted to allow civilians to return to the north of Gaza, Hamas demanded that everyone, including armed Hamas terrorists be allowed to return. While Israel insisted that there be no end to the war until Hamas is defeated or surrenders, Hamas demanded that the war end and a complete ceasefire be declared before any hostages are released.

In addition to Hamas’s terms being impossible for Israel to accept, The New York Times reported that Biden administration officials are deeply disappointed with Hamas’ conduct and its response to the proposed ceasefire agreement put forth by Egypt. Despite this, Israel is still continuing to take part in ongoing negotiations and has reportedly entered Rafah at a slower rate than otherwise planned, in order to allow negotiations to continue.

Gaza Front Updates:

Hamas fired three barrages of rockets at civilian communities along the Southern Gaza border today, including at the Kerem Shalom crossing, from where aid is transferred. Most rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome, and the others fell in empty spaces. No injuries were reported.

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

In Northern Gaza’s Beit Hanoun, troops demolished two Hamas tunnels. The tunnels were known to the IDF for a while, and were under constant surveillance. While at work in Beit Hanoun, troops spotted an armed Hamas cell, and called an airstrike to take them out. The Air Force also struck multiple buildings used by Hamas in Northern Gaza, as well as sites from where rockets had been launched at Sderot the day before.

In Central Gaza, troops on the Netzarim Corridor spotted a group of armed terrorists in a building known to be used by Hamas, and called an airstrike to take them out.

In Southern Gaza, the IDF confirmed that overnight (Monday-Tuesday) the 401st Armored Brigade captured the Gazan side of the Rafah crossing into Egypt. Videos released show the Israeli flag over the crossing. The IDF now controls all known above-ground crossings from Gaza to Egypt—a significant accomplishment, since Hamas is known to use the crossing for terror purposes, primarily smuggling in weapons and equipment, and controlling humanitarian aid.

The crossing is now disconnected from the Salah a-Din road (Gaza’s main south-north road) which, according to some reports, was simultaneously captured by the Givati Brigade. While the IDF has captured the crossings, it has not yet taken over the entire the entire 14 kilometer (8.7 mile) Philedalphi Route which makes the border between Gaza and Egypt, and which Netanyahu promised would be captured.

During the overnight operation, 20 terrorists were eliminated, three significant tunnel shafts were located, an explosive-laden car which was driving towards an IDF tank was destroyed, and than 50 Hamas targets were struck by the Air Force throughout Rafah. Additional airstrikes were carried out in Rafah on Tuesday, including against rocket launchers that fired onto Israeli civilians.

The operation to take over the crossing went extremely well, some say masterfully. After the IDF ordered civilian evacuation from Eastern Rafah, Hamas wasn’t sure if the IDF would be going to the crossing, or to East Rafah to face down the battalion—so they split. Their forces, and some fled the city. The IDF’s path to the crossing was almost entirely cleared, but for a mere 20 terrorists who were easily overtaken.

Despite the quick and significant success, an Israeli official told the Times of Israel that the Rafah incursion is a “limited operation” design to put pressure on Hamas to release the hostages.

John Kirby, the spokesman for the US National Security Council, said that Israel made it clear to the Americans that the operation in Rafah is “limited, and designed to cut off Hamas’ ability to smuggle weapons and money.” According to him, “our position regarding Rafah remains the same, and we expressed our concern about activities in a crowded area that would endanger civilians. We will monitor the situation to see how it develops.”

The Qatari newspaper “Al-Arabi Al-Jadid” (which is not always reliable) reported according to their sources that the Rafah operation only happened after Israel got a green light from the U.S. and Egypt to do limited action for just a few days. The goal is reportedly to draw a picture of victory and appease right-wing ministers so that they agree to a hostage-release deal which includes a full ceasefire. According to the report, if the IDF violates the agreement and goes beyond the limited operation plans, the American administration will ban further transfers of ammunition and military equipment to Israel.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant visited IDF troops on the Southern Gaza border, and promised them that the operation in Rafah against Hamas will persist until the group is eliminated in the region or until the return of the first hostage to Israel. He emphasized a willingness to negotiate for hostages but stated that if negotiations fail, operations will escalate across Gaza, focusing on pressuring Hamas through military action to dismantle the organization.

Speaking about the hostage release negotiations, War Cabinet Minister Benny Gants said, “ We will never despair and we will never allow political considerations to be brought into this sacred issue. We are waging a war of revival and the return of our abductees is the first strategic goal.”

Based on these, and various other statements from Gallant and Gantz, it seems they made a shift from giving equal priority to returning the hostages and defeating Hamas as war goals, to prioritizing returning the hostages—even if it comes at a cost of not defeating Hamas.

Intense exchanges of fire and airstrikes were reported in Rafah late into Tuesday night.

Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:

Due to Hamas’s continued rocket fire targeting the Kerem Shalom crossing, it remains closed for the third day in a row. The White House says that Israel committed to reopening it tomorrow.

On Monday, June 6th:
94 pallets containing tens of thousands of packages of food aid were airdropped, in coordination with partner countries over northern Gaza.
46 aid trucks were coordinated to northern Gaza.
35 trucks were coordinated via the Ashdod port through the Erez Crossing
26 bakeries are currently operational in Gaza, providing close to 5 million breads, rolls, and pita breads daily.
The northern water pipeline from Israel is now fully operational, providing an average of 50 liters per person a day from Israel’s water faciilities.

Northern Front Updates:

Hezbollah in Lebanon fired very heavily into Israel’s far northern communities. Most high-risk fire was intercepted by Israeli air defenses, but not all. In one instance and attack drone hit and caused a fire near Yiftach, and other drones and rockets caused damage to homes in various areas. No injuries were reported.

The IDF announced the names of two heroes who fell while defending the Northern border yesterday:

Master Sgt. (res.) Dan Kamkagi, 31, from Kfar Ha-Oranim
Master Sgt. (res.) Nahman Natan Hertz, 31, from Elazar

The two were killed by a Hezbollah attack drone near Metula, which the IDF attempted but failed to intercept.

The IDF struck a large number of Hezbollah sites in Southern Lebanon, and shelled positions along the border.

Houthi & Other War Front Updates

The U.S. Army says they intercepted an attack drone over the Red Sea, which had been launched by the Houthis.

As promised, Iran’s proxy militia in Iraq escalated their attempted attacks against Israel after the IDF entered Rafah. Today they attempted to launch two attack drones into Israel, aiming at the IDF’s bases in Eilat. Both were tracked by the IDF during their entire flight period. One did not make it into Israeli territory, and one was intercepted just before reaching Eilat.

Judea and Samaria Updates:

The IDF and Border Police have concluded a 20-hour operation in Tulkarem—a Palestinian Authority city known to be a terror hotbed. During the operation, soldiers eliminated a gunman, apprehended six sought-after Palestinians, confiscated weapons, and dismantled three bomb-making facilities. Additionally, combat engineers cleared roads of planted explosive devices and traps.

International Updates:

Zev Keifer, Jewish Israeli-Canadian businessman was murdered in Alexandria, Egypt.
Israeli tourists in Greece were forced to hide in their hotel rooms while a mob of violent Pro-Palestinian migrants searched for them.

This update is sponsored by Melanie and Hilton Efune and their children, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren, in honor of the heroic IDF and the resilient people of Israel. With thanks to Mendy and Bruria for all you do and your comforting words that inspire us and help us remain connected to Israel.

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  1. What is going on is meshuge
    They should enter Rafah and do what they have to do, stop worrying about the USA they’ll be there anyway, do what you need to do
    This kratz is costing hundreds of soldiers lives and the most pathetic and weak thing EY could be doing, literally dancing around these negotiations, which aren’t going to lead anywhere at this point, forget about it, conquer Rafah now!!!!!!!!

  2. The Reshaim will respond when there is serious pressure on them, and you go full force and start fully attacking, that’s the only way to get any hostages at this point

  3. We thought the first hostage deal was dangerous and bad!

    Notice how almost no one calls this a hostage deal. It’s called a ceasefire deal” because that’s what it is. It doesn’t even account for 100 hostages.

    It’s frightening to see Israel dangerously cave to such pressures. Even now, it’s not too late. They are fire at the Kerem Shalom crossing? Close it. No more aid. Your hurting “innocent Gaza civilians”? Too bad. you are killing our soldiers and they come first.

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