War Day 55: Terror in Yerushalayim, Negotiations in Gaza

The first Chanukiah is set up in Gaza

War Summary, Day Fifty Five: US Secretary of State Blinken is starting to put heavy pressure on Israel, IDF prepares to resume fighting in Gaza as ceasefire extension are in doubt.

By Mrs. Bruria Efune

War Summary, Day Fifty Five

135 held captive in Gaza.
110 hostages freed.
3 hostage bodies rescued.
1,200+ Israelis murdered.
70 fallen soldiers since entering Gaza.
7,779 injured.
10,500+ rockets fired at Israel.
187,533 Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.

Hostages Freed:

The hostages returned today include two teens, and six women:

Siblings, Aisha al-Ziadna, 17, and Bilal al-Ziadna, 18, from the Ramat area
The teens were kidnapped from from Holit, where they were helping their father work on a farm. Their father, Yosef, 49, and brother, Hamza, 21, are still being held in captivity by Hamas. The al-Ziadna family are amongst many Muslim Bedouins who were victims of Hamas atrocities on October 7th.

Maya Shem, 21, from Shoham
Maya was kidnapped from the Supernova music festival. During the massacre, she called her family and told them she had injured her leg, and then they lost contact. A few days after her abduction, in an act of psychological terror, Hamas published a video in which she appeared with an injured hand, and said she received medical treatment. When she arrived in Israel on Thursday, she told her mother that she was operated on by a veterinarian.

Sapir Cohen, 26, from Kiryat Ata
Sapir was kidnapped together with her boyfriend, Sasha Trupanov, and his family members who they were visiting in Kibbutz Nir Oz. Sasha’s father was killed in the attack, his grandmother and mother were freed a day before Sapir, but he remains in Hamas captivity.

Amit Sousana, 40, from Kibbutz Kfar Aza
Amit was home alone and sick with the flu on October 7th. She texted her family that she would hide in the closet, and that was the last they heard of her until her release.

Shani Goren, 29, from Kibbutz Nir Oz
Shani hid in her safe room when Hamas terrorists broke into her kibbutz on October 7th. She called a family member who was helping her do calming breathing exercises when the terrorists broke into the room. The family heard shouts in Arabic and realized she was being kidnapped. When 12-year-old Eitan Yahami was released, he told his family that for the last few weeks he was together with Shani, and she took care of him and gave him her food.

Ilana Gritsevski, 30, from Kibbutz Nir Oz
Ilana moved to Israel from Mexico at 14 years old, ahead of her parents. She was kidnapped together with her spouse, Matan Tsengaoker, from their safe room. The last message Mattan sent to his family, was, “They’re here in the house. I love you, don’t cry.” Matan is still in captivity.

Nili Margalit 41, from Kibbutz Nir Oz
Nili is a pediatric nurse who worked in Soroka hospital in Be’er Sheva. A few released hostages reported tat she treated them, without any equipment, while they were in captivity. For a while after October 7th, it was unknown if Nili was killed or kidnapped.

Hostage & Injured Updates:

The family of Ofir Srafati, who was kidnapped to Gaza from the Supernova musical festival on October 7th, was informed of his murder.

The family of Aviv Atzili, 49, who was kidnapped with his wife Liat from Kibbutz Nir Oz, was informed of his death. Liat was returned home just one day earlier. The couple has three children.

The hostages released yesterday were announced to be in “stable” condition, but with a lot of healing ahead. More very disturbing information about how they were treated in captivity is starting to come out, although the children mostly don’t talk about it, and tell their parents that the terrorists promised to come kill them if they tell anyone what happened in captivity.

Thursday was the seventh day of the hostage return agreement. At this stage, the ceasefire continues for each day that Hamas can return 10 hostages. As part of the agreement, Israel also releases three security prisoners per released Israeli hostage, many of who are convicted of attempted murder, and is allowing fuel and huge amounts of humanitarian aid into southern Gaza.

Hamas only released 8 hostages today. At last minute they said that the two extra Israeli-Russian citizens who were released yesterday would be counted as new releases for today. Hamas has not yet provided a list of 10 hostages to be released on Friday—if they don’t then the fighting will resume in the morning. If Hamas does still return hostages the agreement can last for up until 10 days, and then any continuation would need to be voted in by the Israeli government cabinet.

Hamas has been making bargaining attempts at returning bodies instead of alive hostages, in negotiations, and the IDF is wisely not accepting.

Hamas released a cruel video of Yarden Bibas, in which they tell him that his wife and two children were killed, and he begs that they should be buried in Israel. The video is psychological warfare, and the IDF recommends against sharing it. The IDF has not yet verified the truth of Hamas’s claims that baby Kfar, Ariel, and Shiri Bibas were killed.

Gaza Front Updates:

At 7:30 p.m. there was an Iron Dome interception in an open area near Netivot. It is unclear if the interception was a rocket or drone from Gaza, violating the ceasefire, or something else.

US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, came to Israel today to talk with officials. While he showed support for Israel getting rid of Hamas, he also made statements limiting Israel’s action.

When Defense Minister Gallant said that the military maneuver would last months, Blinken responded “I don’t think you have the credit for that.”

Blinken also expressed that he wanted less bombing action ahead, and no displacement of Gaza civilians in the south. Blinken is aware that there are many Hamas terrorist bases in Khan Younis, in southern Gaza, and the IDF will have to destroy them and eliminate the terrorists. Entering without first bombing from above is extremely dangerous for IDF soldiers, and something the U.S. would never do in their own wars against ISIS and Al Queda.

The Israeli officials pushed back at Blinken’s words, and Netanyahu stressed that Israel would continue forward forcefully with the goals of the war—to return the hostages and eliminate Hamas in entirety.

Defense Minister Yoav Galant told Blinken, “We greatly appreciate your personal commitment to the State of Israel in the just war against Hamas. We appreciate the commitment of US President Biden, to the aid of Israel. We will continue this war until we win it, until we destroy the Hamas organization, deprive it of all its governmental capabilities and return all the abductees, I repeat, all the abductees back to their homes. We will fight Hamas until we win, no matter how long it takes. We know that for the purposes of the operation we are united with the U.S. and we appreciate it very much, thank you very much Mr. Secretary of State.’

On the other hand, the spokesman for the National Security Council of the United States, John Kirby, said “When Israel decides to act again against Hamas, it will continue to receive support from us.”

IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari in a statement to the media stressed that the IDF is in full preparedness to resume attacking at any moment.

President Yitzhak Herzog landed in Dubai and met with the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahia. The President of the United Arab Emirates emphasized the obligation and the need to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza. He also thanked President Herzog for the cooperation between Israel and the United Arab Emirates that made possible the increase in humanitarian aid, the construction of a field hospital at the stadium in Rafah, as well as the removal of injured children for treatment in the Emirates.

Defense Minister Yoav Galant visited the Air Force’s operations pit tonight and said: “When we resume fighting, we will do so with full force – this is the only way we will continue to hit Hamas, and lead to the release of more hostages.”

Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:

Jordan dropped a third shipment of medical aid at the Jordanian hospital in the northern Gaza Strip. A Jordanian military official said that a plane of the Jordanian Royal Air Force dropped a shipment of equipment, including medical equipment, at the direction of the royal house.

Four diesel fuel tanks and four cooking gas tanks were transferred from Egypt to UN humanitarian aid organizations in the Gaza Strip, through the Rafah crossing. In addition, about 200 trucks of food and medical supplies were transferred to the international aid organizations in Gaza. Multiple Field Hospitals are being set up in Southern Gaza.

Northern Front Updates:

Sirens were triggered by an explosive drone over the far north of Israel, in a breach of the ceasefire agreement. Reports in Lebanon claim that the IDF responded by attacking Hezbollah positions in Lebanon; the IDF denied it.

Additional War Fronts Updates

Arab media reported explosions in Yemen’s capital Sana’a, which is controlled by the Houthis. The reasons for the incident are still unknown. The Saudi Al-Hadth network reports from eyewitnesses that the explosion took place in one of the weapons depots in Sana’a.

The Houthi terrorist organization threatened to resume military operations if fighting resumes in the Gaza Strip. The organization’s spokesperson also claimed that if the war ends then they will stop preventing Israeli ships from passing through the Red Sea.

The pro-Iranian militias in Iraq have announced that they will escalate their military operations in the country and abroad, if the war in the Gaza Strip is renewed.

Judea and Samaria Updates:

A terror attack at the entrance of Jerusalem was carried out by two Hamas members from East Jerusalem. Four Israelis were killed: Rabbi Elimelech Wasserman, 73, Chana Ifergan, 60s, Livia Dickman, 24 and pregnant, and Yuval Doron Castleman, 38.

Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the attack, and added “This is the same Hamas that carried out the terrible massacre on October 7, the same Hamas that tries to murder us everywhere. We swore, and I swore, to eliminate Hamas. Nothing will stop us.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu held a discussion with the participation of the Minister of Defense, the Minister of Finance, the Commissioner, and the head of the Shin Bet, and ordered to seal and destroy the homes of the terrorists who carried out today’s attack in Jerusalem, to carry out extensive arrests against their supporters and couriers, to collect illegal weapons legal, and implement targeted and operational actions against the terrorists’ support circles, including economic actions against violations of the law on their part.

Another terror attack was attempted, this time at the Bekaot checkpoint a terrorist ran over two people and slightly wounded them.

Lat night the IDF, Shin Bet, and Magav soldiers arrested 23 wanted people throughout Judea and Samaria, about ten of them Hamas operatives. Four wanted people were arrested in Tulkarm. During activities in the Etzion and Yehuda brigades, about 250,000 shekels earmarked for terrorism were confiscated.

International Updates:

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, at the conference of Foreign Ministers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe: “We are fighting Iran – this is what connects Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and the Houthis. This is a global war that if we don’t stop it will reach Europe.”

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