War Summary, Day Forty Five: President Biden claimed that a deal to release the hostages is close, Hezbollah continues to fire rockets with minimal Israeli response, and Israel recalled the ambassador from South Africa.
By Mrs. Bruria Efune
War Summary, Day Forty Five
236 held captive by Hamas.
5 hostages freed.
3 hostage bodies rescued.
1,200+ Israelis murdered.
66 fallen soldiers since entering Gaza.
10,000+ rockets fired at Israel.
187,540 Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.
Hostage & Injured Updates:
Six weeks after Hamas took 240 Israeli hostages, Mirjana Spoljaric, the president of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, met with Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the political bureau of Hamas, in Qatar. Spoljaric called for access to the abductees in Gaza and to pass information to the families. However, in a statement quoted by a Reuters reporter, it was made clear that the organization will not take part in negotiations to release the hostages.
US President Joe Biden again claimed that a deal to release the hostages is close, but Israeli officials say there is no new progress in negotiations, and if there will be, the first update will be given to the families of the hostages.
War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz again emphasized that there will be no complete ceasefire, but “even if there is a truce to return our hostages, we will return and strike the enemy with all our strength. Currently, the campaign is expanding, intensifying and deepening.”
Hamas has reportedly lowered their demands significantly. Their initial goal was to exchange the captives for the release of all Hamas security prisoners from Israel. As they’re getting completely crushed in Gaza, their expectations have now been lowered, and negotiations are only for the release of female and juvenile security prisoners who are not members of Hamas.
The Israeli War cabinet met with the families of the hostages, explained the political, intelligence, and operational efforts to release the hostages, and assured them that rescuing the hostages and eliminating Hamas are the top priority, and on their minds 24/7.
A representative of the families expressed that they are not satisfied, and expressed, “At the moment, what we have heard is that the answer of the other members of the cabinet – the goals of the war – the defeat of Hamas and the return of the abductees are the same in importance. The second goal has a time limit. The sick who depend on medicine die, the mortally wounded die. We do not know what happens while bombing around them. A big disappointment. The main goal should be the return of the abductees and nothing else.”
Gaza Front Updates:
There was a slight uptick in rocket and missile fire over the last few days, with barrages to the Gaza envelope communities, Ashkelon, Ashdod, and the Tel Aviv area.
After air-raid sirens were triggered across all of central Israel, the IDF explained that only two missiles had been fired, and both were taken down—by the Iron Dome, and by the David’s Sling air defense systems, and that the widespread sirens were triggered out of caution of shrapnel falling. The use of David’s Sling indicates a larger than usual missile, and the shrapnel from the interception could be larger, and harder to predict. A large piece of shrapnel did fall and cause damage in Holon. No injuries were reported.
The IDF announced the names of three soldiers who fell in combat in Gaza:
Sergeant Eitan Dishon, 21-year-old, from Jerusalem
Sergeant Dvir Barzani, 20-years-old, from Jerusalem
Sergeant Yanon Tamir, 20-years-old, from Pardes Chana
The IDF released for publication that two weeks ago two Hamas terrorists who had participated in the October 7th massacre, were found hiding in the Bedouin town of Rahat. They were arrested, along with a suspect accused of harboring them. Rahat is home to many Bedouin heroes of October 7th, as well as victims, including a family of three who were taken hostage to Gaza.
A Hamas prisoner interrogated by Unit 504 of the IDF intelligence claimed that Hamas operated from inside the Red Crescent (ICRC) facilities in Gaza. This is the first time that such claims have been made against the Red Crescent, which is supposed to maintain neutrality.
In response, the ICRC said, “These are serious allegations, which could have serious consequences for humanitarian workers who risk their lives to help others. These claims should not be made lightly.
The Palestinian Red Crescent is part of the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement and is committed to the core principles of neutrality and impartiality. The compounds and their vehicles must not be used for military purposes.”
The IDF continues to advance inside Gaza City, where each neighborhood has another Hamas terrorist brigade embedded into the civilian infrastructure.
The IDF Spokesman, Brigadier General Daniel Hagari, explained that the infantry forces, tanks, and combat engineers of the 36th Division are currently working to defeat Hamas’s Zeitoun battalion, operating in the neighborhood of the same name in Gaza City.
The military has so far eliminated hundreds of Hamas operatives in Zeitoun, though with heavy fighting, as the terrorists work in groups of five to ten gunmen and hide between residential homes, hospitals, schools, and other civilian infrastructure. The IDF forces found a mosque in the Zeitoun neighborhood that was being used as a laboratory for combat weapons production.
The IDF believes the fighting in Zeitoun will last at least another 72 hours, and when it ends, the IDF will continue to work to demolish all of the terror group’s infrastructure in the neighborhood.
IDF soldiers also operated around the Indonesian hospital, and in eliminating Hamas observation posts and missile launchers. The Air Force, guided by Shin Bet intelligence, eliminated three Hamas commanders, and a weapons warehouse.
Nahal soldiers took over the Hamas court palace in Gaza.
The Air Force also carried out precocious strikes in Khan Yunis, in the south of Gaza. Reports indicate that the IDF will be carrying out “focused” operations in southern Gaza. Battles in the south will be extremely challenging, as there are nearly 2 million civilians in the region, after most evacuated the north.
The IDF spokesman also indicated that we are entering a new stage of the war, in which it’s time to allow many reserve soldiers (of those who are not stationed for combat in Gaza) to return home to recuperate, and return to work so that the economy may function.
Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:
Over 100 daily trucks of humanitarian aid entered southern Gaza, reports indicate that there is enough food, clean water, and medicine in supply.
The IDF again opened the daily humanitarian corridor for civilians who haven’t yet left northern Gaza for the humanitarian zones in the south. The IDF guards the pathways from Hamas terrorists who try to prevent civilians from evacuating.
Arabic speaking IDF soldiers stand by to assist evacuees, and listen out for suspicious activity, or signs of hostages being smuggled out between the crowds.
Northern Front Updates:
There were significant escalations in the north, although still confined to the far northern areas. Hezbollah repeatedly fired barrages of grenades, missiles, and sent terror squads and explosive drones towards civilians and an IDF army base. Three explosive drones hit near an IDF post, causing extensive damage—no injuries were reported. A direct hit from a rocket was made on a family home in Margaliot—also with no injuries reported.
Hezbollah in Lebanon has even more, and bigger, weapons than Hamas, and can cause much more damage with each missile or explosive drones. Many of their missiles were taken down with the David’s Slingshot aerial defense system.
The IDF responded to Hezbollah attacks with heavy bombing of Hezbollah military infrastructure in Lebanon, as well as the home of a high-ranking Hezbollah official.
Since the start of the war, Hezbollah has announced 77 terrorists killed in southern Lebanon. According to IDF estimations, the number is much higher.
Additional War Fronts Updates
The Houthis in Yemen continue to hold onto a hijacked cargo ship called “Galaxy Leader,” which has no Israelis on board. The Houthis tweeted out a list of names of “Israeli captives” they claim to have captured on the ship. Much to the amusement of Israelis and Hebrew speakers everywhere, the list of names are actually ridiculous puns that the Houthis must have found in a Google search, thinking they were real Israeli names.
The people on board the ship are not Israeli, but sadly, they are still being held hostage.
A spokesman for the Japanese government confirmed that the ship had been hijacked, said that there were no Japanese citizens on board and appealed to Yemen, as well as Saudi Arabia, Oman and Iran, to act to free the ship and the crew members on board.
The US State Department said: “We demand the release of the ship that was hijacked in the Red Sea by the Houthis, and we will consult with our allies regarding the next steps.”
A member of the Supreme Council of the Houthi terrorist movement, Muhammad Ali al-Houthi, said that it will only be possible to talk about the release of the ship if the U.S. and Israel stop the attacks in Gaza.
Judea and Samaria Updates:
Last night the IDF, Shin Bet, and Magav forces arrested 16 wanted persons during an operational activity throughout Judea and Samaria, two of them belong to Hamas. The arrested wanted persons were transferred for further treatment by the security forces. There were no casualties to our forces.
According to Palestinian reports, IDF forces operated in Tulkarm and arrested several workers from Gaza who were hiding in the city since before October 7th.
Israel recalled the ambassador from South Africa for discussions, after hostile remarks from South Africa,
White House spokesperson, John Kirby, responded stringily to the use of the word “genocide” in connection to Israel, and said, “Israel is not trying to wipe the Palestinian people off the map. Israel is trying to defend itself against a genocidal terrorist threat. If we’re going to start using that word, fine. Let’s use it appropriately. What Hamas wants is genocide.”
Kirby then delved into Hamas’s genocidal attempts against Israel and the Jewish people, and their expressed wish to commit hours of October 7th over and over again.
The film of horrors from October 7th, which was compiled by the IDF using footage taken by Hamas body cams and local surveillance footage, was screened for UN ambassadors, Jewish leaders and senior officials of the U.N., at U.N. headquarters in New York. The screening took place against the backdrop of controversial statements of the UN’s Secretary General, Antonio, which blame Israel and excuse Hamas actions.
At the opening, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, expressed: “From the point of view of the UN, our abductees have become a footnote. How is it possible that this organization and its bodies did not unite – even once – to unequivocally condemn the cruel atrocities of Hamas?”
Eilat Mayor Eli Lankeri put out an urgent call for help as the city, whose economy runs on tourism, is at crisis level unemployment, all while hosting the bulk of displaced families from Gaza envelope and far north communities.
The members of Kibbutz Nirim, who are currently in Eilat, decided to move to live in Be’er Sheva for the duration of their interim and rehabilitation period until Nirim is rebuilt. The move is expected to happen in a month’s time, and they will live together in a new apartment complex. The Be’er Sheva municipality stated that over a thousand additional residents from the Western Negev arrived in the city in the last month and “everyone is welcomed with a warm and loving heart.”