War Day 243: Tunnels Found Into Egypt, Hezbollah Mass Attack

War Summary, Day Two Hundred and Forty Three: Hamas is stalling negotiations, increased operations in Central Gaza, large tunnel found in Rafah, IDF raises max reservist call limit, mass casualty event in the north from Hezbollah fire, Liberman gives dire warning about Iran, and a terror attack prevented in Chevron.

By Mrs. Bruria Efune

124 held captive in Gaza.
45 hostages confirmed murdered in Gaza.
112 hostages freed.
19 hostage bodies rescued.
1,538 Israelis killed.
294 fallen soldiers in the battle in Gaza.
14 fallen soldiers in Northern Israel.
7 fallen soldiers in Judea & Samaria.
14,390 estimated rockets fired at Israel.
90,000 Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.

Top Headlines:

  • Hamas is stalling negotiations
  • Increased operations in Central Gaza
  • Large tunnel found in Rafah
  • IDF raises max reservist call limit
  • Mass casualty event in the north, due to Hezbollah fire
  • New threats from the IRGC
  • Liberman gives dire warning about Iran
  • Terror attack prevented in Chevron (Hebron)

Hostage Updates:

Hamas is continuing to drag out their response and hasn’t yet sent a delegation to the negotiations, while giving mixed responses of yes and no. Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh (who lives in Qatar) said, “The movement and factions of the resistance will treat positively and seriously any agreement based on a complete cessation of aggression, a complete withdrawal from the [Gaza] Strip and an exchange of prisoners.”

Unlike previous rounds of negotiations, Israel has not stalled operations in Gaza. Defense Minister Gallant took a flight over Gaza and the northern border, and said that negotiations with Hamas will “only be conducted under fire” as part of a process to “wear down the enemy.”

It is looking unlikely that any deal will go forward, but the US has not given up on it yet.

Gaza Front Updates:

Hamas did not successfully fire on Israeli civilians today but there were false alarm sirens in Kibbutz Nachal Oz.

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

Four divisions of IDF troops are currently operating in Gaza: the 98th in al-Bureij and Deir al-Balah, the 99th Division along the Netzarim Corridor, and in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City; The Gaza Division in various areas in Gaza on pinpoint operations in areas such as Beit Hanoun and the buffer zone; and the 162nd Division in Rafah and along the Philadelphi Corridor.

The 99th Division’s operation in east al-Bureij was expanded to include east Deir al-Balah, with an additional brigade joining in. The IDF says that the operation is based on intelligence of Hamas terrorists operating above and below ground in the area. Troops eliminated several terrorists today, and began locating and destroying Hamas infrastructure, with the assistance of heavy airstrikes. Amongst the IDF finds was a mortar launcher disguised under a structure with a United Nations logo on it.

Troops continue to move forward in Rafah, and are optimistic about successes in cutting off Hamas’s supply line. The IDF revealed further information about a 2-kilometer-long tunnel with several branches, found by troops along the Philadelphi Corridor, which was full of weapons, and valuable intelligence materials. The IDF didn’t outright say that the tunnel reached into the Sinai, but it is apparent that it does. The IDF earlier announced that 20 cross-border tunnels were found, in addition to 82 tunnel shafts in the border area. Egypt continues to deny any knowledge of the tunnels.

The IDF has made a request to raise the maximum number of reservists allowed to be called up from 300,000 to 350,000, saying that more troops are needed for the Rafah operation. The cap had been temporarily raised to 360,000 during the first months of the war, before being reduced.

An Egyptian source in the “Al-Akhbar” newspaper claimed that Cairo is waiting for a detailed American proposal regarding a new mechanism to operate the Rafah crossing. According to the source, France is participating in the discussions. Hamas refuses any discussion at the Rafah crossing before the IDF withdraws from the place.

A new counter-terrorism unit was established, made up of reservists who live in the Gaza border communities and served in special forces units. The unit is named LOTAR Otef, and will soon begin special training to combat the challenges of the area.

Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:

On Tuesday, June 4th:
263 humanitarian aid trucks were transferred to Gaza
181 trucks via the Kerem Shalom crossing, and 82 trucks via the Erez crossing
8 tankers of fuel designated for the operation of essential infrastructure in Gaza, entered Gaza .
27 pallets containing tens of thousands of packages of aid were airdropped into Gaza
82 trucks were coordinated to northern Gaza

The Gazan side of Kerem Shalom is still at full capacity, with the content of over 1,000 aid trucks waiting to be picked up by UN aid agencies.

The ICRC joined in the false claims, and wrote on Twitter/X: “In Gaza, even the 840+ tons of medical supplies donated to 15 health-care facilities barely scratches the surface of needs.”

The IDF’s COGAT unit responded: “Over 24,000 tons of medical supplies went in since the start of the war, and on an ongoing basis. The ICRC itself brought in over 840 tons. Most of the aid comes from other organizations. But why share the full picture with the world?”

Northern Front Updates:

Hezbollah continued with escalated fire on Israel’s far north, with one serious incident leading to 11 casualties. Hatzallah declared it a mass casualty event. According to eyewitnesses, a rocket struck a soccer field on the outskirts of Hurfeish, a Druze town 4 km from the border. When first responders arrived on the scene, two Hezbollah drones struck without warning. One of the victims is in serious condition. The IDF is investigating why there were no warning sirens for the drones, though Hezbollah has been getting increasingly good at flying the small attack drones below the radar. Some suspect that Hezbollah also used a local Arab-Israeli spy to tell them when the first responders arrived on the scene.

There were also reports inside Lebanon of shooting at the US embassy, and one person killed in the incident.

Israel responded to Hezbollah’s attacks with airstrikes against Hezbollah positions in Southern Lebanon, including targeted hits on terrorist squads.

Likud Minister Miki Zohar summed up how many in Israel are feeling now, stating: “The time has come to say clearly: The postponement of the campaign to destroy Hamas brought us the disaster of October 7th. The postponement of the campaign to destroy Hezbollah’s capabilities will bring us a greater and more terrible disaster, and we are already paying heavy prices with the climax still ahead of us. Postponing the campaign against Iran and the destruction of its nuclear capabilities could, G-d forbid, lead to the destruction of Israel.”

While many voices in Israel are calling for a wider war with Hezbollah, to stop them from firing at Israel, it is unlikely to happen until the majority of the Rafah operation is done, and the current negotiations with Hamas are officially recognized as over. This is because Rafah is using up a large amount of troops and resources, and the negotiators are calling that the deal with Hamas will silence Hezbollah as well.

Iranian Front Updates:

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) are threatening to retaliate for the elimination of one of their senior advisors Syria, in an attack at the beginning of the week in the northern province of Aleppo. IRGC commander General Hussein Salami threatened that “the Zionists must wait for a response to the assassination of the military adviser in Syria, Said Aviar.” This was the first assassination of a high ranking Iranian terrorist since April.

Opposition MK Avigdor Liberman caused an uproar today, when he said on Israel’s Army Radio that Iran plans a repeat of the April 13 drone and missile attack on Israel, but at a much larger scale, and with nuclear weapons. He said, “Israel will be attacked with the aim of destroying it from several fronts with tens of thousands of missiles at the same time. They are planning a holocaust for us in the next two years.” Liberman was previously Minister of Defense from 2016-2018, and resigned from his position after strong disagreements about the handling of Hamas in Gaza, and is known for warning that Hamas was not deterred, and was preparing something no good.

The Board of Governors of the Atomic Energy Agency approved a resolution condemning Iran’s conduct regarding its nuclear program. The resolution was promoted by Great Britain, Germany and France. Earlier it was reported that the US asked the countries to refrain from such a move due to the possibility that this would lead to an escalation in tensions with the Islamic Republic.

Judea and Samaria Updates:

The IDF arrested a Palestinian in the Avraham Avinu neighborhood in Hebron, after he was behaving suspiciously. A knife was found in his possession, and was handed over for questioning.

At a Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) event, Internal Security Minister Ben Gvir gave a speech and said, “Today, according to my policy, Jews entered the Old City in free movement. And on the Temple Mount, Jews prayed freely. We say in the simplest way, it’s ours.”

His statements caused ire, due to a longstanding peace agreement with Jordan, which maintains a “status quo” allowing only Muslims to pray and roam around freely on Temple Mount.

To quell political panic, Prime Minister Netanyahu responds to Ben Gvir’s speech and said: “The status quo on the Temple Mount has not changed and will not change.”

International Updates:

The American House of Representatives voted in favor of passing a bill to impose sanctions on senior officials of the International Criminal Court in response to the arrest warrant request issued for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. Despite Biden’s support for Israel after the order was issued, and his statement that Hamas should not be compared to Israel, the Senate is not expected to accept the sanctions bill. The House passed the bill by a vote of 247 to 155, with 42 Democrats joining the Republicans in support.

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