War Day 240: Heavy Fire in the N., Stabbing and Shooting Prevented

War Summary, Day Two Hundred and Forty: Hostage deal on shaky grounds, most Israelis support the deal if Hamas is removed, heavy fire in the north, attack drone crashed onto the coast of Nahariya, stabbing and shooting attacks prevented, and two-thirds of Palestinians think the October 7th attack was correct and brought good results.

By Mrs. Bruria Efune

125 held captive in Gaza.
41 hostages confirmed murdered in Gaza.
112 hostages freed.
19 hostage bodies rescued.
1,533 Israelis killed.
294 fallen soldiers in the battle in Gaza.
14 fallen soldiers in Northern Israel.
7 fallen soldiers in Judea & Samaria.
14,250 estimated rockets fired at Israel.
90,000 Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.

Top Headlines:

  • Deal on shaky grounds
  • Most Israelis support the deal, if it doesn’t leave Hamas still standing
  • Small IDF advancement in Rafah
  • Very heavy fire in the north
  • Attack drone crashed onto the coast of Nahariya
  • Sirens in Akko
  • Stabbing and shooting attacks prevented
  • Two thirds of Palestinians think the October 7th attack was correct and brought good results

Hostage Updates:

Hamas has not yet given a response to the ceasefire proposal which Biden announced, though senior Hamas official, Sami Abu Zahari, told the Al-Arabi news channel: “Hamas agreed to what was included in the American president’s speech, Israel is the one that rejects it. We will seriously deal with the lines of the proposal from Biden’s speech. Our demands are an end to the war, Israel’s withdrawal, and the restoration of the [Gaza] Strip. It is impossible [for us to] withdraw from [these conditions]. It is impossible to reach an agreement that does not meet the conditions of the Palestinian resistance.”

Meanwhile, Israel’s War Cabinet appears ready to accept the deal, while emphasizing that Israel reserves the right to halt and resume the war at any point, if Hamas s not keeping their part of the deal, and that Phase Two of the deal will only begin after an agreement is drawn which will complete the goal of the war to totally dismantle Hamas’s military and governing capabilities.

After Ministers Smotrich and Ben Gvir threatened to collapse the government coalition if the deal goes ahead, it seems that PM Netanyahu is attempting to reassure them that Phase Two of the deal, with the complete withdrawal from Gaza, is unlikely to come about, due to the irreconcilable differences between Israel’s goal to destroy Hamas, and Hamas’s goal to continue ruling Gaza and attacking Israel.

It remains to be seen if Hamas will agree to the deal, knowing that it’s likely to fail after Phase One. (For review, the first phase includes: a complete ceasefire, an IDF withdrawal from populated areas, the release of hundreds of terrorists from Israeli prisons, Gazans returning to their homes anywhere in Gaza, 600 trucks of humanitarian aid daily, and the release of the “humanitarian” hostages.)

Knowing this, a recent poll in Israel’s Kann News found that 40% of Israelis support the deal, 27% are against it, and 33% don’t know. The Forum of Hostages Families is campaigning heavily in support of the deal. The Tikva Forum, which represents a smaller number of hostage families, did not come out for or against the deal but stated that before any deal goes through, Hamas must supply a list of each hostage and their current condition, and during the deal the hostages must be held by a third party, such as the Red Cross. This, because Hamas cannot be trusted to keep the hostages alive and well once an agreement is made, and the hostages are no longer as “valuable” to them.

Gaza Front Updates:

Hamas did not successfully fire on Israeli civilians today.

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

Three divisions of IDF troops are currently operating in Gaza: the 99th Division along the Netzarim Corridor, Central Gaza, and in Gaza City; The Gaza Division in various areas in Gaza on pinpoint operations; and the 162nd Division in Rafah. The Israeli Air Force struck over 30 Hamas targets across Gaza throughout the day, including terrorist squads, weapons depots, and other Hamas infrastructure.

The IDF is advancing in Rafah at a very slow and cautious rate, primarily focusing on finding and destroying Hamas tunnels and rockets, with reduced firepower. According to inside sources, the original plan for Rafah was of much higher intensity, but it has been reduced in order to keep the Biden administration’s approval.

Troops in Rafah recently advanced into the Yabna “camp,” which is in the central part of the city closer to the Egyptian border, and riddled with tunnels and rocket launchers. Amongst the many weapons found by the soldiers today were anti0aircraft machines. The Air Force assisted troops on ground with airstrikes against terrorist squads who were firing at IDF troops, and removing Hamas infrastructure ahead of infantry advancements.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant presented his plan for “the day after” in Gaza, in which Hamas will need to be replaced by an alternative governing body in order to prevent their resurgence. According to Gallant’s plan, Israel “will isolate areas, remove the Hamas members, and bring in other forces that will enable a different government.”

Israel’s Ian challenge will be in finding capable alternatives who are string enough to stand up against Hamas, but not militant enough to become the next terrorists. So far, Hamas has been assassinating anyone in Gaza who they suspect Israel sees as an alternative—such as the heads of tribal clans (particularly the Doughmush clan), and some Palestinian Authority workers.

Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:

On Shabbat, June 1st, in line with the agreement reached with the US, Egypt and the UN, the crossings were closed. This was to facilitate the UN’s distribution of the goods on the Gazan side of Kerem Shalom Crossing.
Throughout the day, 187 trucks of aid were picked up on the Gazan side of Kerem Shalom by UN bodies.
450 aid trucks remained waiting for the UN organizations to pick them up.
40 humanitarian aid trucks were transferred to northern Gaza.

Over the last week, 1,858 trucks entered via the Kerem Shalom and Erez West Crossings, including 312 trucks of flour, and 13 tankers carrying over half a million liters of fuel.

Northern Front Updates:

Hezbollah rained rockets, missiles, and attack drones on Israel’s far north today, reaching past Nahariya and into Akko (Acre), in what may be their heaviest fire since the start of the war. While the majority of projectiles aimed at populated areas were intercepted, several hits were made, and for the first time since the start of the war, the IDF failed at attempts to intercept a Hezbollah attack drone. The drone crashed near the coast of Nahariya, causing a fire, but no casualties.
At least thirteen brigades of firefighters worked to put out three fires started by the attacks.
Two men were injured in Kiryat Shemona.

The IDF confirmed that overnight the Air Force struck a Hezbollah compound in Baalbek, northeastern Lebanon. The IDF attacked many more Hamas targets in Southern Lebanon, including munitions storages—which were confirmed by secondary explosions.

Late night reports in Syria indicate that the IDF may have struck several sites in the Aleppo area, including a copper factory in San area ruled by pro-Iranian militias.

The IDF carried out another larger war simulation exercise last week, in which troops in the north prepared for “many scenarios that simulate the expansion of the war in the northern arena, and multi-front war scenarios.”

It is unlikely that Israel will launch a wider war against Hezbollah until the current proposed deal with Hamas collapses. Hezbollah has said that they’ll stop firing when Israel withdraws from Gaza, and Biden is pushing for that to happen as part of the deal.

Houthi & Iraqi War Front Updates

The pro-Iranian Islamic Resistance in Iraq claims to have launched a drone towards “a vital target in Eilat” last night. There were no sightings of said drone, indicating that either it was never launched, or it failed to reach Israel’s vicinity.

Judea and Samaria Updates:

A Palestinian terrorist who planned a stabbing attack in the area of the Old City of Jerusalem was arrested in possession of a knife. The terrorist, who was in Israel illegally, turned himself in to police officers. Following an investigation it was found that he had an accomplice who planned a shooting attack. The accomplice was arrested before he could do any harm.

In the last day, Israeli security forces arrested six wanted persons for their associations with terror organizations, including two who threw Molotov cocktails at Israeli forces during an operation. Since the beginning of the war, th eIDF arrested around 4,000 wanted people in the Judea and Samaria, of which around 1,700 are associated with Hamas, and the others are associated with various terror groups, such as the PIJ and ISIS.

A new poll from the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR), found that overall 72% of Palestinians still think that the October 7th attack was a correct decision. Since March there is a slight decrease in Gazans who believe so, but a rise in Judea & Samaria Palestinians who believe so.

The poll also found that three quarters of Palestinians believe that the attack has revived international attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that it could lead to increased recognition of Palestinian statehood.

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