War Day 61: Intense Fighting in Khan Yunis in South Gaza

War Summary, Day Sixty One: Hints of schisms between Israel and the USA political echelon are beginning to show, Hamas, Hezbollah and Houthis continue to fire missiles at Israel, with little response to the latter two.

By Mrs. Bruria Efune

War Summary, Day Sixty One

138 held captive in Gaza.
110 hostages freed.
4 hostage bodies rescued.
1,200+ Israelis murdered.
85 fallen soldiers since entering Gaza.
7,771 injured.
11,490 rockets fired at Israel.
187,533 Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.

Hostage & Injured Updates:

Some of the female hostages who have been released reported that many of the men still being held captive are not doing well, by any measure, and beg the IDF and the world to hurry up to rescue them.

Additionally, at least ten of the released hostages, both male and female, report being violated by the Hamas captors.

Gaza Front Political Updates:

Following American pressure to bring more aid into Gaza, the political and security government cabinets met for discussions. It was decided to allow an increase of fuel into Gaza, to prevent a “humanitarian collapse and outbreak of epidemics in the southern Gaza Strip.”

Hints of schisms between Israel and the USA political echelon are beginning to show. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller, said that the US would object to any proposed buffer zone inside the Gaza Strip as it would violate Washington’s position that the size of the territory in the Palestinian Strip should not be reduced in the current conflict. At the beginning of the war, the Israeli government cabinet reassured Israelis that a buffer zone will be established in order to protect the towns that are right next to the current Gaza border, and experienced significant massacres on October 7th.

In response to the Secretary-General’s appeal to the Security Council to call for a “humanitarian” cease-fire in Gaza, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, said, “The Secretary-General has reached a new moral low: he is proud that he is invoking Article 99 of the UN Charter today for the first time in relation to the war in Gaza – a clause that can only be invoked in a situation where there is a danger to global peace and security.”

The Sky News network in Arabic reported that, according to their sources, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is readying himself to gain control over the Gaza Strip as well as the West Bank, aka, Judea and Samaria.

Gaza Front Updates:

Hamas rocket fire was concentrated today on the Gaza Envelope, and Ashkelon and Be’er Sheva areas. A man in his 60s was lightly hurt by shrapnel near the Gaza border. During a particularly large barrage on Be’er Sheva, a rocket landed in the industrial neighborhood, causing damage to infrastructure and many vehicles, but thank God, no injuries were reported.

The IDF announced the names of two heroes who died in battle against Hamas terrorists in Gaza:

Sgt. Maj. (res.) Adi Shani, 39 years old, from Tzur Yitzhak
Sgt. First Class (res.) Yehonatan Malka, 23, from Be’er Sheva

In addition, they announced the death of Lt. Col. (res.) Yochai Gur Hershberg, 52, from Chevat Philip. Hershberg was the commander of a unit tasked with locating missing persons, and was killed in a military-related car crash in southern Israel.

Monday through Tuesday had seen the most intensive battles in Jabaliya, Sajaya, and Khan Yunis, both with intense street fighting, and over 250 Air Force strikes on Tuesday alone. On Wednesday, the IDF announced that the worst is over, and the forces have successfully broken through Hamas defense lines.

Once past the defense lines, the troops work on clearing out terrorists, tunnels, and their ammunition stockpiles. The danger still lurks, and the troops are facing many street battles, and today killed many Hamas terrorists from on the ground.

Amongst the locations the IDF found tunnels and weapons—including sniper rifles, explosives, anti-tank missiles, rockets, and drones—are schools, health clinics, and mosques. One of the largest caches of weapons so far was discovered between a health clinic and school. Most weapons were destroyed, some were taken to Israel for further investigation.

There are now four divisions operating in Gaza: 62nd, 36th, 252nd, and the newest—the 98th Division, which is operating in Khan Yunis and will lead the battles in the south of Gaza. Each division is made up of a strategic combination of units, from infantry and intelligence, to engineering and artillery.

The IDF reported that the 98th Division successfully surrounded Khan Yunis, broke through its defense lines, and now is operating within. They have already eliminated many Hamas terrorists, and located and destroyed 30 tunnel shafts.

Khan Yunis is one of the top Hamas hotspots, and is where many of the terror organization’s leadership grew up, including Yahya Sinwar, Muhammad Sinwar, and Mohammed Deif. The city became the hideout for many Hamas leaders after the IDF encircled Northern Gaza.

Prime Minister Netanyahu warned Sinwar that the IDF is surrounding his “house,” referring to Khan Yunis. Sinwar is known to be hiding underground, and the IDF has hinted that they know where.

There are rumors that the IDF has already begun to flood Hamas tunnels with seawater—these are unverified. The videos being spread may be from other incidents.

Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:

AT least 50 trucks of aid, including one of fuel, were reported to have lined up to deliver to Gaza.

UNRWA reports difficulties giving out the aid, and residents in Gaza report that Hamas is keeping most of it for themselves, and their families. A video uploaded to social media showed Gaza civilians breaking into a massive UNRWA storage, and taking the packages of food.

Northern Front Updates:

Hezbollah fired from Lebanon into the far northern communities of Israel a few times today, and the IDF retaliated by striking the sources of fire. The IDF has also been shelling Hezbollah sites in southern Lebanon with artillery and tank fire since this morning, and an IDF drone attacked a Hezbollah command room.

Defense Minister Galant met with reservists on the northern border, and pointed out that the attacks on Hezbollah have been strong, and over 100 Hezbollah terrorists have already been eliminated.

Addressing plans to ensure the area is safe for residents to return, Galant said, “We are determined to eliminate Hamas and create a different reality in the north. There is the possibility of settlement with Hezbollah, and there is the possibility of war, and it seems that Nasrallah [the head of Hezbollah] is choosing the second option.”

He added that the IDF first needs to focus its energy on Gaza, and will take care of Hezbollah after Hamas. “The more successful we are in the achievement in Gaza, the better things will be are clear here,” he said. “Every person in Lebanon can take the map, the aerial photograph of Gaza, put it on top of the aerial photograph of Beirut and ask themselves if this is what they want to happen there. The clearer the achievement, the clearer it will be.”

Galant did indicate that the IDF is still attempting for quiet via negotiating an agreement with Hezbollah, “There is one possibility that we reach a different agreement, which could be similar to the 1701 [UN disarmament] agreement, mediated by international parties. They will respect our presence, our existence, and our security and we will respect the other side. The second possibility is that we are forced to do this thing by force. We do not want war, but if we reach a situation where we need to establish security here, we will not hesitate – just as we did not hesitate in the south.”

Additional War Fronts Updates

Sirens went of in Eilat today, as the IDF intercepted a missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen. The missile was intercepted using the Arrow air defense system, before it entered Israeli airspace.

A senior Pentagon official said that the US intercepted a drone that took off from Yemen.

Judea and Samaria Updates:

IDF elite units and border police operated overnight in Jenin last night, and detained 10 wanted Palestinians. They also located two tunnel shafts and three bomb-making labs. Several firearms, weapons, and other equipment were seized. During the operation, the troops clashed with Palestinian gunmen in the area, one soldier was lightly hurt.

Another 16 suspects were detained in other areas of Judea and Samaria.

Jewish Humanitarian Aid Efforts:

70,000 people displaced by the war are currently in Eilat, where the situation is not good. Most of the displaced Israelis come with PTSD from the events of October 7th. The majority have family or friends who have either been killed or kidnapped. They were brought to Eilat, both because of the many vacant hotels, and also because it was assumed that Eilat would be quiet from sirens. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been so, and they’ve already experienced many sirens due to Houthi missiles, each siren sending people into panic attacks and PTSD memories of October 7th.

Chabad of Eilat is working tirelessly to bring steady programs for the displaced children and adults, and bringing smiles to their faces for the first time in 61 days. They need you help!

I’ve made a personal goal to raise $75,000 to help the displaced families, and G-d willing, will soon be traveling back down to Eilat with my family for our 4th visit since the start of the war, to help however we can.

So far, 409 people who read these daily summaries have donated $59,803!

Please join us, and either donate to the campaign, or ask a friend to:

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