War Day 234: Advancements in Jabaliya, Crossfire with Egypt

War Summary, Day Two Hundred and Thirty Four: Advancements in Jabaliya, large tunnel destroyed in Gaza City, fire in Rafah under investigation, crossfire with Egypt with an Egyptian soldier killed, Egypt begins transferring aid to Israel for Gaza, and the Spanish Consulate is banned from servicing residents of the Palestinian Authority.

By Mrs. Bruria Efune

125 held captive in Gaza.
41 hostages confirmed murdered in Gaza.
112 hostages freed.
19 hostage bodies rescued.
1,525 Israelis killed.
287 fallen soldiers in the battle in Gaza.
14 fallen soldiers in Northern Israel.
5 fallen soldiers in Judea & Samaria.
14,100 estimated rockets fired at Israel.
90,000 Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.

Top Headlines:

  • Advancements in Jabaliya
  • Large tunnel destroyed in Gaza City
  • Fire in Rafah under investigation
  • Crossfire with Egypt with an Egyptian soldier killed
  • Egypt begins transferring aid to Israel for Gaza
  • Spanish Consulate is banned from servicing residents of the Palestinian Authority

Hostage Updates:

Following attempts by Israel, the U.S., Qatar, and Egypt, to renew negotiations, Hamas has said that they will not come to the table due to “the massacre in Rafah.”

Gaza Front Updates:

Hamas fired one round of rockets at Kibbutz Nachal Oz and Sa’ad, both civilian communities near the Gaza border. The communities have between 7-15 seconds to get to shelter. Kibbutz Nachal Oz remains mostly evacuated, but residents of Sa’ad have begun returning home. No physical injuries were reported.

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

Four divisions of IDF troops are currently operating in Gaza: the 98th Division in Northern Gaza’s Jabaliya, the Gaza Division in limited pinpoint operations, the 99th Division along the Netzarim Corridor and Central Gaza, and the 162nd Division in Rafah. Over the last day, the Israeli Air Force struck over 75 terror targets in Gaza, including a number of terrorist cells, rocket launchers, weapons depots, and buildings used by terrorists.

In Jabaliya, troops advanced to the eastern part of the city, and eliminated a large number of armed Hamas terrorists while doing so. A terrorist who surrendered gave away the location of a weapons cache, which the troops then raided, and found in it communications equipment, explosive material, grenades, and guns. The Military Intelligence Directorate’s Unit 504 has lately adopted a new strategy for quick interrogations on site, which has been leading to more finds, and at a faster pace.

In Gaza City, troops carried out a pinpoint raid based on new intelligence findings, and demolished an 800 meter long tunnel, which ran 18 meters deep, and emerged near the Netzarim Corridor, where IDF troops are stationed.

IDF troops continue to hold the Netzarim Corridor, which cuts through Gaza, separating the North and South, and is now home to three IDF bases, and complete with paved roads. The corridor allows troops to carry out quick pinpoint operations in strategic locations. Hamas continues to fire at troops on the corridor, and today the IDF eliminated several terrorists with sniper fire and tank shelling.

Despite calls for an IDF withdrawal from Rafah, heavy airstrikes were reported late at night in the center and west of the city. Gazans on site reported tank shelling in a “belt of fire” pattern which the IDF usually does before advancing—the reports are however unverified.

After Hamas’s Ministry of Health last night claimed that the IDF struck a humanitarian zone and caused a large fire, the IDF issued clarifications. The airstrike was in the Tel Sultan area of western Rafah, and not in the al-Mawasi humanitarian zone, which is a few kilometers away. The airstrike, which eliminated two senior Hamas terrorists, was carried out using precise intelligence, and precise munitions with limited warheads. Based on the precautions taken, the IDF did not expect harm done to uninvolved civilians.

According to reports from Gazans who witnessed the fire, it started with a Hamas jeep near a tent encampment, which was loaded with explosives or weapons. They say it’s possible that shrapnel from the airstrike hit the jeep and triggered the fire. Hamas claims that the fire killed 45 civilians.

The IDF has launched a probe at the highest level, with the General Staff Fact-Finding Assessment Mechanism.

In a concerning event, an exchange of fire took place between the IDF and Egyptian forces on the other side of the Rafah Crossing. An Egyptian soldier was killed in the incident, with no casualties to Israeli forces. The IDF says that the incident is under investigation, and there is dialogue with the Egyptian side.

A senior Egyptian source told Egyptian media that investigative committees have been established to find out the circumstances and take the necessary steps to prevent the recurrence of such events in the future. According to him, a preliminary investigation shows that IDF forces exchanged fire with Hamas terrorists in the area of the border fence, which led to shooting in several directions. An Egyptian “security guard” took measures to deal with the source of the shooting.

Egyptians are angry that their military and government are referring to the soldier as a mere “security guard,” though this can be seen as a strong signal that Egypt is looking to deescalate and bury the story. Egyptian commentator Muhammad Saad Khirallah told Israel Hayom that amidst the war in Gaza unprecedented tensions arose, as Egyptian soldiers at the border who go on vacation at home and return, absorb a toxic and hostile atmosphere towards Israel. Additionally, he says that tensions are doubled by Israel finding the smuggling tunnels, through which Egyptian officials have made a lot of money.

War Cabinet Minister Gadi Eisenkot discussed the state of the war, and explained that while the IDF’s achievements are extremely impressive, the overall strategic goals have not been achieved, and may take years to completely do so, as Hamas continues to renew strength, and will need ongoing force to finally squash them.

Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:

In coordination with the United States and Egypt, Egyptian aid trucks from the El Arish port began to arrive at the Kerem Shalom Crossing for inspection and transfer into the Gaza Strip, instead of entering via Rafah, which Egypt has refused to allow since the IDF took over the Rafah Crossing.

The U.S. Army’s floating pier, which they constructed off he coast of Gaza at the cost of $320 million has been facing challenges, and appears to be breaking apart. Today a large chunk with several vehicles on top was seen floating along the Netzarim beach in Gaza, and looked like it might flip over.

On Sunday May 26th:

360 aid trucks were transferred into Gaza.
300 aid trucks are awaiting pick up by UN agencies
6 tankers of fuel designated for the operation of essential infrastructure in Gaza, entered Gaza
37 pallets containing tens of thousands of packages of aid were airdropped into Gaza
56 trucks were coordinated and transferred to Northern Gaza
There are 8 operational field hospitals in Gaza, with an additional 3 hospital initiatives being reviewed
So far, 3,272 sick and injured individuals and 725 escorts left Gaza for medical treatment abroad

Today a citizen of Gaza, who was evacuated a few days ago to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon where he underwent surgery, assaulted a female member of the medical staff. The hospital spokesperson said: “We immediately involved the person responsible for gender complaints, and the general nurse and the security team, while treating and calming the doctor.”

Northern Front Updates:

Hezbollah continued to fire heavily on Israel’s far north, including a barrage of 25 rockets at Kiryat Shemona, and a barrage of 35 at the Mount Meron area. While most rockets, anti-tank missiles, and attack drones were intercepted, several still made it through, and major damage was caused to a few buildings in Kiryat Shemona, a public building in Margaliot was hit, and a home in Metula was hit. Rockets also caused fires in the areas of Safsufa and Kfar Yuval.

The IDF retaliated with airstrikes against Hezbollah positions in Southern Lebanon, including a number of strikes on buildings and a vehicle with Hezbollah terrorists inside. Hezbollah positions along the border were shelled.

The IDF’s 146th Division carried out a drill simulating rapid deployment of forces on ground in case of an offensive in Lebanon.

Houthi & Iraqi War Front Updates

Air-raid sirens were activated in Eilat after the the Iran-backed Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed to have launched three attack drones at Israel. The IDF says that two drones were intercepted by air-defense systems and a fighter jet, before reaching Israeli airspace. There was no mention or sighting of a third drone.

The Iraqi militia have been launching occasional attacks towards Israel over the last few months, initially rarely nearing Israel without the drones failing on their own. Since the IDF entered Rafah, the militia significantly raised the frequency of attacks, and while they still haven’t caused any harm, they seem to have figured out better launching techniques.

The US Central Command intercepted a drone launched by the Houthis over the Red Sea. The Houthis claim to have attacked an “Israeli” ship.

Judea and Samaria Updates:

The IDF Shin Bet and Border Police arrested six wanted persons throughout Judea and Samaria, two of whom are associated with Hamas, and the remaining four with other terror groups. In addition, a vehicle containing terror cargo was located and destroyed in an operation near Jenin. Palestinian media reports that amid the operation, the IDF confiscated several vehicles in Jenin, and several cars caught fire.

Late at night, there were reports of clashes in Chevron (Hebron) between Palestinians and the IDF, in which tear gas was used.

International Updates:

At the direction of Foreign Minister Israel Katz, after Spain unilaterally recognized a Palestinian State, a diplomatic note was sent that forbids the Spanish Consulate in Jerusalem from providing consular services to the residents of the Palestinian Authority. “Whoever harms us, we will harm him – the days of the [Spanish] Inquisition are over,” Katz said.

EU Foreign Minister Joseph Borrell accused Israel of “continuing the military action that was required to be stopped in Rafah – despite the ruling of the International Court of Justice in The Hague.” He added that Israel must implement the ruling, and that the European Union will discuss the implementation of the decision.

Israel has adopted the interpretation that the ruling only requires withdrawal of forces “which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.” Which the IDF says is not happening in any case.

Following Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates issued a statement condemning the “Israeli violations in the Gaza Strip, the latest of which is the attack on a camp of displaced persons in Rafah. It is important to oblige the implementation of the decision of the International Court of Justice which demands that Israel immediately stop the operation in the Rafah district.”

French President Emmanuel Macron also commented on the attacks in Rafah last night, and said that he was “outraged. A lot of people displaced from the city were killed, the operation must stop.” Macron added that he “calls for full respect of international law and an immediate ceasefire.”

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Troops bring a Torah scroll into Jabaliya, “this is what safeguarded us for thousands of years.”

Barrages from Hezbollah on the northern border today

Interception over the seas of Eilat

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