War Day 257: Israel Braces for Possible Power Outages, Elderly Man Attacked and Killed

War Summary, Day Two Hundred and Fifty Seven: Two fallen soldiers in Gaza, Israel braces for possible extended power outages in war with Hezbollah, spat continues between Netanyahu and Biden administration over withheld ammunition shipments, and an elderly Israeli man was killed by Palestinian thieves.

By Mrs. Bruria Efune

120 held captive in Gaza.
45 hostages confirmed murdered in Gaza.
116 hostages freed.
19 hostage bodies rescued.
1,548 Israelis killed.
314 fallen soldiers and police in the battle in Gaza.
15 fallen soldiers in Northern Israel.
7 fallen soldiers in Judea & Samaria.
19,600 estimated rockets fired at Israel.
90,000 Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.

Top Headlines:

  • Two fallen soldiers in Gaza
  • Israel braces for possible extended power outages in war with Hezbollah
  • Spat continues between Netanyahu and Biden administration over withheld ammunition shipments
  • Elderly Israeli man killed by Palestinian thieves

Hostage Updates:

The IDF clarified that rumors on social media in recent hours about an operation to rescue hostages in Gaza are unfounded.

Prime Minister Netanyahu met with families of hostages today, and reassured them: “We are committed to returning everyone, all 120 hostages—the living and the victims alike. Even if it is in stages, we will not give up on anyone. When we are inside Gaza, the pressure changes, our activity creates opportunities to return the hostages. We will not leave the Gaza Strip until all the hostages are returned, and we will not leave until we eliminate the military and governmental capabilities of Hamas. We have no option to give up on victory.”

Gaza Front Updates:

Hamas fired rockets at the border community of Ein Hashlosha today, the rockets landed in open fields, no damage or physical injuries were reported.

The IDF announced the names of two heroes who fell in battle in Gaza:

Sgt. First Class (res.) Omer Smadga, 25, from Genot Hadar
Sgt. First Class (res.) Saadia Yaakov Dery, 27, from Tel Aviv

Three divisions of IDF troops are currently operating in Gaza: the 99th Division along the Netzarim Corridor, and in select neighborhoods of Gaza City and Central Gaza—including Nuseirat; The Gaza Division in various areas in Gaza on pinpoint operations, and in the buffer zone; and the 162nd Division in Rafah and along the Philadelphi Corridor.

In Northern Gaza’s Beit Hanoun, the IDF eliminated Ahmed Hassan Salameh a-Swarkeh in an airstrike. A-Swarkeh was a squad commander in Hamas’s elite Nukhba forces, and had participated in the October 7th massacre, in which he invaded Israeli towns and murdered civilians. He later attacked IDF forces as a sniper inside Beit Hanoun, The IDF had been tracking a-Swarkeh for a long time, and finally troops spotted him in a good position for an airstrike. The IDF emphasizes that they took steps to prevent harm to civilians, and no civilians were harmed in the strike.

The IDF remains active in the Nuseirat area, where Hamas is still largely in control. Troops are locating important Hamas infrastructure and rocket launchers. Sadly, two reservists were killed by Hamas mortar fire yesterday.

Gazans sheltering in the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis say that the IDF gave them warnings to evacuate last night. Later, they reported hearing tank fire in East Khan Younis.

In Rafah, troops are carrying out thorough sweeps, based on intelligence, but finding that almost every building has been used by Hamas, both for tunnel shafts and for hiding weapons—meaning, most buildings need to be destroyed. The IDF released (civilian-sponsored) drone footage from inside Rafah homes, showing a tunnel shaft in a child’s bedroom, and weapons caches—including RPGs and grenades. The video also shows a hole made in the wall for Hamas members to move between buildings without being spotted on the main road.

Two IDF soldiers were seriously injured by anti-tank fire in Southern Rafah.

Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:

Dennis Ross, former United States Director of Policy Planning who served as an envoy to the Middle East for various Democrat administrations, said that the vast majority of aid flowing to Gaza goes to Hamas or the mafia there. On the X network (formerly Twitter) he wrote: “A UN official told me that recently, 80 percent of the humanitarian aid that entered Gaza was looted by criminal gangs or Hamas. This must stop; There must be security for distribution. Either Israel will do it, or Egypt, or contractors. But someone has to do it.”

According to a report from CNN, the American JLOTS naval pier has been installed and reconnected to the Gaza coast. The pier was dismantled earlier due to sea and weather conditions and it was reported at the time that the White House was considering the possibility that it would no longer be connected and the idea would be abandoned.

Northern Front Updates:

Hezbollah fired a few barrages of 20-25 rockets at a time at Israel’s far north. Several buildings were hit, including a home in Even Menachem.

The IDF carried out extensive airstrikes against Hezbollah positions in Southern Lebanon, and eliminated several terrorists. One airstrike eliminated Hezbollah commander Fadl Ibrahim, who the IDF says “advanced the entrenchment of Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, while attempting to improve the organization’s ground combat.” Ibrahim is the 349th terrorist death announced by Hezbollah.

Another IDF airstrike his a Hezbollah surface-to-air launcher, which had posed a threat to IDF aircraft.

The IDF is continuing to prepare for a wider war with Hezbollah, especially for the threat of drone warfare, which is a new challenge that the IDF never faced from up close and at this level before October 7th. Preparations are both for the offensive in Lebanon—including moving troops and heavy equipment towards the north, and for the defense of the Homefront.

Shaul Goldstein, the CEO of Noga – Israel Independent System Operator Ltd. (a government owned company established in 2018 to reform the electricity sector) caused some panic on Thursday, when he said that there’s no guarantee that there will be electricity in Israel, in the event of a war with Hezbollah. Goldstein said that Hezbollah—or anyone—can easily find the critical locations of Israel’s power grid, to be able to attack them.

Eli Cohen, Israel’s Energy Minister, responded sharply, saying that the ministry has been working tirelessly to prepare for all extreme scenarios and possible supply disruptions, and the state of Israel’s energy is “robust and ready to deal with all possible scenarios.”

Cohen added that “there are several scenarios, including the “blackout” scenario, in which over 60% of households may be left without electricity for up to 72 hours—which is an extreme scenario with low probability. However, the ministry continuously works to reduce the likelihood of this scenario and to prepare for a swift recovery from a blackout, should it occur.”

The IDF has also been preparing for the scenario, adding extra defenses around all sensitive locations, and preparing alternative emergency power supplies in unlisted locations.

While earlier sources indicated that a war with Hezbollah wasn’t likely to start before August, it seems that the IDF is now preparing for a possible earlier start.

Addressing Netanyahu’s claims against US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, White House spokesman, John Kirby, said “It was embarrassing to say the least, certainly disappointing, especially in light of the fact that no other country is doing more to help Israel defend itself against the threat from Hamas.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu responded by posting on X/Twitter: “I am ready to suffer personal attacks provided that Israel receives from the US the ammunition it needs in the war for its existence.

Inside sources say that the US is in fact unofficially holding back several ammunition shipments to Israel, in order to delay, or attempt to prevent, a war with Hezbollah. After extensive diplomatic attempts, behind closed doors, to get the shipments moving, Netanyahu and his advisors decided that it’s necessary to make the issue public. Israel currently has a shortage of ammunition, especially guided bombs, and will have a far more challenging time in Lebanon without the US shipment.

The battle in Lebanon will be different from in Gaza in many ways. One primary reason, is because it will be easier to evacuate civilians. Unlike in Gaza, most civilians in Southern Lebanon have no interest in acting as human shields for Hezbollah, and will most likely evacuate when instructed. The war will likely only take place in Southern Lebanon, up until the Litany River (with some exceptions for targeted airstrikes against Hezbollah ammunition supply), leaving plenty space for civilians to evacuate to, under non-war conditions. This means that there will be more bombing of Hezbollah positions, with less fear of hitting civilians, in order to protect IDF troops from traps on ground. That is, unless the Biden administration continues to withhold ammunition shipments.

The administration is reportedly also making moves to prevent the IDF purchase of DJI drones, and civilian donations from the U.S. for military uses. More information on this soon.

If the shipments do not come, Israel might consider delaying the war further, until it can secure ammunition from another source, or produce it locally—an initiative which is in progress, but may take a year at the fastest.

Houthi & Iraqi War Front Updates

US Central Command forces (CENTCOM) reported that they successfully destroyed four unmanned Houthi vessels and two unmanned aerial systems over the Red Sea.

Judea and Samaria Updates:

A 70-year-old Israeli was attacked and beaten to death at the Eliyahu Crossing by Palestinians who robbed is car. The perpetrators fled to Qalqilya, where the IDF is searching for them.

Earlier in the day, the IDF carried out counterterrorism operation in various areas throughout Judea and Samaria, arresting a total of 9 terror suspects. In Zurif, a village with a high concentration of Hamas terrorists. IDF forces interrogated many suspects, arrested two wanted persons, and confiscated illegal and around 50 illegal vehicles. In Barta, five weapons were confiscated in a drug lab. In Beit Sira, four suspects were arrested, and 15 others were interrogated.


Many Israelis and concerned relatives are asking how to prepare for a possible extended power outage. I’m no expert on this, and the IDF has asked people not to panic. I can assure you that I’ve seen some of the extensive preparations the IDF has done in case of Hezbollah attacks on Israeli power stations. However, here are some common tips:

  • People in the north of Israel are far more likely to be affected by power outages, for longer amounts of time. Those in the south have less to worry about this time around, though still have some risk.
  • Generators can be purchased in most camping and sports stores, as well as electric and industrial shops. You can price compare at websites like zap.co.il to find the best one.
  • If you’re able to, it’s much better to get a solar-powered generator than one powered by gas. The gas ones smell awful, are terrible for the environment, noisy, and more risky to use.
  • Easier than generators, invest in high-capacity charger banks (portable battery chargers for phones and other devices). You can even buy some that recharge with solar power.
  • Keep several packs of large water bottles in your home, along with at least 3-days-worth of non-perishable food which can be prepared without power.
  • Things can change quickly, but for now it seems like we still have at least a few more weeks to prepare, until the end of July.

Most importantly, don’t panic. Make sure to talk with friends and stay social. Remember that we have G-d on our side, protecting us and guiding our incredibly brave soldiers.

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