War Summary, Day Fifty Seven: While US Vice President Harris is speaking about the “day after the war”, Arab states are asking Israel to continue the war until Hamas is destroyed.
By Mrs. Bruria Efune
War Summary, Day Fifty Seven
137 held captive in Gaza.
110 hostages freed.
4 hostage bodies rescued.
1,200+ Israelis murdered.
70 fallen soldiers since entering Gaza.
10,600+ rockets fired at Israel.
187,533 Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.
Hostage & Injured Updates:
137 people remain captive in Gaza. Of them, two are minors, ten are over the age of 75, twenty are female, and eleven are foreign citizens.
In recent days, the IDF recovered the body of Ofir Tzarfati, who was taken hostage by Hamas on October 7, and brought his body back to Israel for burial.
The IDF announced that Col. Assaf Hammi, 41 years old from Kiryat Ono, is confirmed to have been killed in battle on October 7. His body is being held hostage in Gaza. Hamami was the commander of the southern brigade of the Gaza division in the IDF, and is the most senior officer to have been taken hostage by Hamas.
Based on information from hostages who have been released, the IDF also announced the likely death of four hostages:
Guy Ilouz, 26, who was abducted from Re’im, was a music and sound technician who had been a participant at the Nova Music Festival.
Aryeh Zalmanovich, 85, from Kibbutz Nir Oz. Aryeh was one of the founders of the kibbutz, and was a farmer who woke up at 4:30 a.m. every morning up until he was taken hostage.
Mia Goren, 57, from Kibbutz Nir Oz. Mia was a legendary kindergarten who lovingly cared for the children of the kibbutz for many years. Her husband, Avner Goren, was murdered by Hamas on the 7th of October.
Eliyahu Margalit, 75, from Kibbutz Nir Oz, was taken hostage together with his horses, who he was tending to in their stable on the morning of October 7th. His daughter, Lili Margalit, was amongst the last hostages to be freed on Thursday night.
Ofra Kidar, 70, from Kibbutz Be’eri. Ofra was kidnapped while she was taking a morning walk in the kibbutz. Her husband, Sammy, who was a Parkinson’s patient, was killed in their home on the 7th. Their daughter, who has special needs, miraculously survived by hiding in a closet.
In addition, Ronen Engel, 54, from Kibbutz Nir Oz, who was thought to have been held hostage, was reported to have been killed, two days after his wife and children were released from Hamas captivity. Ronen was a photographer and MDA paramedic volunteer.
The Bibas family is still being held in Gaza, and it is unknown if Shiri and the babies are alive, or if Hamas is telling the truth that they were killed. Yifat Zeller, Shiri’s cousin, begged Israelis, “We don’t let headwinds break us. Terrible months have passed and two more exhausting weeks—we too deserve to be hugged. We ask, don’t forget us, don’t forget that we feel the love in the people, we feel the embrace. Keep going. They will all come home.”
The Prime Minister’s Office announced that hostage negotiations have completely broken up, and the Mossad team was returned to Israel. Hamas did not fulfill the agreement to release all the women and children according to the list agreed upon. The head of the Mossad thanked the head of the CIA, the Egyptian Minister of Intelligence, and the Prime Minister of Qatar for their partnership in the mediation efforts that led to the release of 84 children and women from the Gaza Strip, in addition to 24 foreign citizens.
The deputy head of the political bureau of Hamas, Salah al-Aaruri, claimed to Al-Jazeera that the abductees remaining with him are soldiers. However, contrary to his claim, the IDF does not employ 10 month old babies, nor 75 year old grandmothers, as soldiers.
Hamas is now demanding a ceasefire in order to return to negotiations. Israel will not accept that. It appears that Hamas, and possibly Qatar too, had been hoping that the temporary ceasefire would turn into a long-term one.
IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, and the head of the Shin Bet, held a situation assessment and approval of plans for the continuation of fighting in the Southern Command. Halevi announced that they are focused on dismantling Hamas and creating conditions for the return of additional hostages. These conditions may mean negotiations, or rescue missions.
The British Ministry of Defense announced that they will conduct surveillance flights over Israel and Gaza to search for hostages held by Hamas. These will be unarmed flights used solely for intelligence gathering, and only information that may be connected to the whereabouts of hostages will be shared with the IDF. Five British nationals are suspected to be held hostage by Hamas.
Gaza Front Updates:
Hamas and their terrorist affiliated have renewed rocket and missile fire on Israeli civilians. The rate has been higher than the weeks before the ceasefire, showing that they did use the time to reorganize, but not too high, and with worse aim. Hamas and the PIJ claimed that they fired on Be’er Sheva and Jerusalem, but neither landed in those cities.
Large barrages did trigger sirens in Tel Aviv and the surrounding areas, with two falls. One man was lightly injured. Other barrages set off sirens in the Gaza Envelope communities where a direct hit was made on a farmer’s van, as well as in Ashekelon, Netivot, and Ashdod, and others.
Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Galant spoke to the Israeli press and emphasized that the war against Hamas has returned at full force.
From when Hamas broke the ceasefire on Friday morning until Saturday night, the IDF attacked some 600 Hamas terror targets in the Gaza Strip, including over 50 in Khan Yunis.
IDF spokesman Brigadier General Hagari announced the assassination of Hamas arch-terrorist, Wissam Farhat, who, in 2014 during Operation Protective Edge, was responsible for killing Oren Shaul and five other soldiers from his armored personnel carrier, and taking Shaul’s body hostage. He also killed a child in Nachal Oz during a ceasefire in the same operation, and was one of the planners of the October 7th attack.
The IDF spent the first two days back at war destroying new booby-traps and explosives, as well as new rocket launchers set up by Hamas during the ceasefire.
The reserve fighters of the 551st Brigade Combat Team completed their mission in the area surrounding Jabaliya. During the operation, which began before the temporary ceasefire, the soldiers located and destroyed a shaft tens of meters deep in the courtyard of a school complex and another operational shaft in the home of the Hamas naval force operative. As part of the operation, the forces eliminated terrorists, destroyed enemy capabilities and terrorist targets, and captured many weapons, including grenades, charges, launchers, and ammunition. The brigade also eliminated terrorists and Hamas infrastructure in the area of Beit Lahia, with both artillery fire and by directing aircraft to attack from the air.
During the activity of the fighters of the 261st brigade’s combat team, dozens of rockets and Grad missiles were found hidden under UNRWA boxes in the north of the Gaza Strip.
The IDF now added Khan Yunis to the areas of operation, with targeted strikes. Khan Yunis is in Southern Gaza, and area the IDF has not yet entered by foot. Defense Minister Galant warned, “We will adapt ourselves to the conditions of the terrain in which we will fight – there will be precise and accurate shooting. The generals in Khan Yunis understand what happened to their counterparts in the north of the Gaza Strip.”
The IDF distributed a new map to Gaza civilians, which divides Gaza into precise neighborhoods. Using this map, the IDF is now instructing civilians on where to evacuate from and to. Residents of Khan Yunis, as well as Jabaliya and other neighborhoods of Gaza City, were asked to evacuate to absorption centers and schools.
The IDF spokesman in the Arabic language, Lt. Col. Avihai Adrei, posted a video on his Twitter account in which he asks what happened to senior Hamas officials who dissapeared from Gaza and the public eye, and why the terrorist organization is silent about them.
Residents of Gaza are showing increasing signs of rebellion against Hamas. In a live interview with Al Jazeera, and Gaza civilian asked about the bombing responded ”may God take Qatar and Turkey into account,” before the reporter quickly pulled the microphone away. There are also a few unverified reports of Gaza civilians chasing Hamas terrorists out of their shops.
Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:
Two fuel trucks and another 50 trucks with humanitarian aid entered the Gaza Strip on Shabbat, through the Rafah crossing from Egypt.
The IDF is instructing Gaza civilians on evacuating, and provide a safe humanitarian corridor for movement from the north towards the quieter south of Gaza.
Northern Front Updates:
Hezbollah fire returned in the north, to the same levels as pre-ceasefire, or less.
An anti-tank missile fired at the Moshav Dovev hit a farmhouse structure directly, no injuries were reported.
Sirens were activated in Afula and the Lower Galilee area as a result of an IDF combat helicopter intercepting an IDF remote aircraft that was malfunctioning.
The IDF returned fire to every source, and also attacked a few Hezbollah military targets, as well as eliminated a Hezbollah cell who were preparing to launch an attack on the town of Malkiya.
Hezbollah announced that three of their terrorists have been killed since the temporary ceasefire ended. They’ve lost over 100 since the start of the war.
The Revolutionary Guards announced the death of two advisors of the organization in Syria. The announcement did not specify the circumstances of the death, but it comes after Syrian reports of an Israeli attack in the Damascus area. From photos of the two Iranian officers published on social media, it appears that the two dead, Mohammad Ali Attai and Panaa Taqa Zadeh, were senior officers in the Revolutionary Guards, with ranks equivalent to lieutenant colonel. The statement of the Revolutionary Guards states that the two carried out their “advisory mission” on the Syrian front, and were killed by Israel.
Additional War Fronts Updates
IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari hinted that Israel was not behind the blast in Yemen, which some media reports claimed was a strike on a Houthi weapons depot.
In response to questioning, he said “Yemen and the Houthis keep the whole region busy, not just Israel, also the U.S. and other Arab countries. Regarding strikes, I can only comment on things related to the IDF, and I will not comment on what the IDF hasn’t done. There are other players in the area.”
The Houthis haven’t launched an attack on Eilat for a week now.
Judea and Samaria Updates:
There was an attempted terror attack at a checkpoint near Shechem (Nablus). The soldiers eliminated the terrorist as he attempted to stab them.
US Vice President Kamala Harris spoke about “the day after the war.” In her words, Harris emphasized that “the international community must devote significant resources to support a strong recovery the day after. We will work with Israel and the Palestinian Authority, but there should be extensive regional support for the move.”
Sources told Haaretz that almost every Arab leader, including several in Gulf States, have asked the IDF not to end the war on Hamas, until the terrorist organization is completely eliminated. The Gulf States also see Hamas as an Iran-funded enemy, and appear to be concerned of uprisings directed by Hamas in their own territories, similar to how Saddam used Palestinian expats to seize Kuwait in 1990.