War Day 48: Hostage Deal Expected, Hezbollah Fires Heavy Barrage

War Summary, Day Forty Eight: No IDF casualties, Hezbollah fired heavily into northern Israel today, 40 arrests in Judea and Samaria.

War Summary, Day Forty Eight

236 held captive by Hamas.
5 hostages freed.
3 hostage bodies rescued.
1,200+ Israelis murdered.
70 fallen soldiers since entering Gaza.
7,771 injured.
10,500+ rockets fired at Israel.
187,533 Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.

Hostage & Injured Updates:

The hostage deal is set to begin at 7 a.m. Friday morning, with the hostages handed over to Israel at 4 p.m. Israel is expecting to receive 13 hostages on Friday.

On Thursday afternoon, IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, wanted the public that Hamas will take advantage of the deal to wage “psychological terror,” against the Israeli public. Hagari said that officers contacted the hostages families and notified them of who will be released—but warned them to keep reservations, in case Hamas doesn’t pull through.

“It is important to note that Hamas is a ruthless enemy. Difficult days are ahead of us, we will experience joy mixed with sadness,” he told Israelis. “Hamas will try to use the quiet days of the deal and pause in fighting to spread fear, disinformation, and psychological terror.”

The Qatari newspaper, “Al-Arabi Al-Jadid” reported based on its sources that Iran passed information to the Thai government about 23 Thai workers who were kidnapped to Gaza. According to the report, Hamas has confirmed that it will release them following Iranian mediation without conditions. The news has no confirmation from another source and should be treated with limited liability.

Late night unconfirmed reports from Gaza claim that Hamas will not allow the Red Crescent to visit the hostages, as is stipulated in the agreement. Instead, they insist they will just tell the Red Crescent by word of mouth how the hostages are doing.

Gaza Front Updates:

Rocket fire was at a low today, with only five fired into the Gaza Envelope communities, and one towards Ashkelon. No damage or physical injuries were reported.

Thank God, the IDF did not announce any casualties to our soldiers today.

Defense Minister Yoav Galant visited the Shayetet 13 (marine commando) base, for a review of the unit’s activities in the war together with the commander of the Navy, Major General David Sa’ar Selma. Gallant commented on the upcoming temporary pause in fire, and said, “This will be a short respite, at the end of which the fighting will continue with intensity, and pressure will be created to bring back more abductees. At least two months more of fighting is expected.”

David Cameron, the new Foreign Secretary of the UK, came on a visit to Israel, and toured Kibbutz Be’eri. Later, standing next to Cameron, PM Netanyahu said, “We hope we will get our abductees out, there are many challenges along the way. We hope to take out the first group, and after that, we are committed to taking out all of them. We will continue with the goals of the war and to destroy Hamas, because Hamas has already promised that they will do the same thing again and again and again. This is a sect that advocates genocide. There is no hope for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and between Israel and the Arab countries, if we do not eradicate this murderous movement, which threatens the future of all of us.”

IDF spokesman, Brigadier General Daniel Hagari, was asked how the ceasefire would affect the army’s activities at Shifa Hospital, and he replied that the IDF intends to destroy the terrorist infrastructure located there, and then leave the place. He warned that Hamas will take advantage of the temporary ceasefire for “psychological warfare,” and to manipulate the truth and spread propaganda.

The IDF unveiled even more Hamas tunnel infrastructure under Shifa Hospital, demonstrating the extent to which the hospital supplied Hamas with utilities, and provided a cover for Hamas headquarters with full knowledge.

In accordance with their findings, the IDF and Shin Bet arrested the director of Shifa Hospital, and transferred him for interrogation.

Gaza’s (Hamas-run) Ministry of Health announced that it will “stop full coordination with the World Health Organization,” in response to the arrest of the hospital director.

Over the last day, the Air Force attacked 300 targets in Gaza, and the ground forces destroyed dozens of tunnels.

In advance of the ceasefire, the IDF troops in Gaza focused on securing their positions, and completing missions, particularly in the Gaza City area neighborhoods of Jabaliya, Rimal, and Zeytun. At the same time, Mossad personnel focused on clarifying the terms of the ceasefire agreement, and where the IDF’s line would stand.

The 401st brigade battled Hamas in an area dubbed “Rocket Valley,” for the amount of missile fire launched from its quarters. After capturing the area, the soldiers located four tunnel shafts that were extremely deep, and connected to electrical grids of residential buildings, and still in use.

The IDF and the Shin Bet eliminated the commander of Hamas’s Khan Yunis’ naval force, Amr Abu Jallah, and another naval terrorist.

Hamas’s propaganda wing took a big hit, with the assassination of Ezz al-Din Balusha, who directed the Gaza Now network, and managed a Telegram account with two million followers. The account hasn’t been updated since.

Hamas announced that during the four days of the ceasefire, “the military operations of the military arm of Hamas will be stopped, and 200 trucks with humanitarian aid, and four trucks with diesel and cooking gas, will be brought in every day, to be supplied all over the Gaza Strip.”

Gaza civilians who evacuated from the north of Gaza to the south, announced that they would return to the north on Friday afternoon. The IDF Spokesman in Arabic announced, “Tomorrow after the pause begins, only north-to-south movement of residents will be allowed.”

Northern Front Updates:

Hezbollah fired heavily into northern Israel today, including a barrage of 48 missiles which reached just short of Tzfas (Sefad). There were no reports of damage or physical injury today.

The IDF retaliated on Hezbollah in Lebanon, attacking Hezbollah terror targets from air, artillery, and even using the new “Iron Sting.”

Hezbollah announces the death of another terrorist, number 86, according to them, since the beginning of the fighting with Israel.

US President Joe Biden spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu and requested that Israel work for calm in the northern region as well during the ceasefire. Netanyahu ended the conversation without giving a concrete commitment one way or the other.

Additional War Fronts Updates:

A U.S. destroyer intercepted a Houthi drone attack against it from Yemen in the Red Sea.

Judea and Samaria Updates:

In a joint operation by the IDF and Shin Bet, about 40 wanted persons were arrested tonight throughout Judea and Samaria. Three of them are associated with Hamas.

A channel affiliated with Hamas reported that its members today fired a “Qassam 1” rocket at the Shaked crossing. The report states that the shooting was carried out from Jenin and that it comes in response to the “occupation crimes against Gaza and the West Bank.”

A situation assessment was completed by the Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben Gvir, with the Police Commissioner, Chief Superintendent Kobi Shabtai, and the Sheriff’s Commissioner, Chief Gondar Kati Perry, and other senior officials from the internal security organizations. They discussed the expected release of the terrorists in the hostage release deal. At the end of the assessment of the situation, Minister Ben Gvit instructed the Police Commissioner to completely prevent any attempt at celebrations by the terrorists in the prisons.

General Updates:

The municipality of Ashkelon announced a new outline for the return to in-person studies in kindergartens, elementary, and high schools starting this coming Sunday, assuming there will be no change in the security situation.

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