War Summary, Day Sixty Four: Seven IDF soldiers killed, bringing total up to 96 hy”d. Freed hostages describe terror of their ordeal, Hamas terrorists begin surrendering en masse.
By Mrs. Bruria Efune
War Summary, Day Sixty Four
138 held captive in Gaza.
110 hostages freed.
4 hostage bodies rescued.
1,200+ Israelis murdered.
96 fallen soldiers since entering Gaza.
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:
Hamas released a propaganda video showing the body of civilian hostage Sahar Baruch, 25. His community in Kibbutz Be’eri announced that he was killed in Hamas captivity. The IDF is investigating.
Margalit Mozes, who was released as part of the abductees’ deal, spoke for the first time at a rally in the “Hostages Square” in Tel Aviv. She said, “On October 7, they took me down to the tunnel, I use a breathing apparatus at night, and I took it with me so I could sleep and the one who was there got angry at me, and took the device—it was a very difficult moment. I told him it was my oxygen, and I spoke to him in Arabic. He understood me very well, but he didn’t care. A doctor who saw me at first told me to lean my head against the wall like this, and that I could breathe like this. I could breathe like this but not fall asleep. I didn’t sleep for 49 days.”
Gaza Front Updates:
Over the last two days, Hamas fired on the Gaza Envelope, and once each to the Ashkelon and Tel Aviv areas—not their slowest days, but very far from their best. Not falls or injuries were reported.
According to the IDF spokesman in Arabic, the launches to the Tel Aviv area yesterday were carried out from the civilian humanitarian zone in the south of Gaza, about 20 meters from a school building.
The IDF announced the names of seven heroes who died in battle against Hamas terrorists in Gaza since Thursday:
Master Sgt. (res.) Naftali Yonah Gordon, 32, from Jerusalem.
Sgt. First Class (res.) Omri Rot, 25, from Katzrin
Master Sgt. (res.) Liav Atiya, 25, from Be’er Sheva
Master Sgt. (res.) Omri Ben Shachar, 25, from Givatayim
Staff Sgt. Jonathan Dean Jr Haim, 25, from Ramat Gan
Sgt. Maor Cohen Eisenkot, 19, from Eilat, a nephew of forrmer Chief of Staff, and current member of the War Cabinet, Gadi Eisenkot.
Staff Sgt. Haim Meir Edan, 20, from Rehovot, was wounded on October 7, and succumbed to his injuries today
Another 12 soldiers from several units were seriously wounded during fighting in Gaza on Friday and Saturday.
The Spokesman announced that two soldiers were seriously wounded during an operation to rescue hostages in the Gaza Strip overnight. Unfortunately, no hostages were rescued.
The troops raided a Hamas site and killed terrorists who had abducted and were holding Israeli hostages.
The condition of the two soldiers has reportedly improved slightly.
After videos spread across social media of even more Hamas terrorists surrendering and handing over their weapons, IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari confirmed that several dozen terrorists have surrendered to IDF troops in both Shejaya and Jabaliya in northern Gaza over the last couple days. Hagari says that the surrendered terrorists have revealed intelligence information on the terror group’s operational systems during the ground offensive, helping the IDF identify Hamas military targets.
The surrendered terrorists told IDF intelligence officers that the Hamas leadership, led by Sinwar, are hiding in tunnels and remain in complete denial of the reality on ground, despite receiving regular updates indicating that Hamas fighters are no match for the IDF and are losing the battle.
Hagari says there is a “widespread feeling that the Hamas leadership underground does not care about the public in Gaza who are above ground,” and that this also worries the Hamas operatives.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi lit Chanukah candles with soldiers from the Nachal Brigade, and told them that the military is beginning to see the collapse of Hamas. “We see terrorists surrendering, a sign of the disintegration of the system, a sign that we need to push harder,” he said to the soldiers.
Defense Minister Yoav Galant entered the northern Gaza Strip today, where he met with reservists operating in the Beit Hanun area. Gallant told them, “There is nothing that can stop the IDF, and this can already be seen in the north of the Gaza Strip.”
The IDF forces in Gaza continue to find huge evidence of Hamas using humanitarian aid, particularly UNRWA aid, as a cover for their terror activities. In one instance inside a school this weekend, the soldiers found a jumbo teddy bear with a sniper rifle and ammunition hiding inside, and UNRWA bags with weapons inside. The terrorists also fired from an URWA school and mosque—both regular occurrences. Intelligence also revealed that at the beginning of the ground offensive, Hamas leader, Yahya Sinwar, escaped to the south inside a humanitarian vehicle, although the IDF didn’t specify what vehicle.
Fighting continues to advance in the north of Gaza, primarily in clearing out Beit Hanoun, Jabaliya, and Shejaya, as troops on ground are assisted by the Air Force and Navy.
Troops found many tunnel shafts, including one which led to a wide network of tunnels, and had an elevator. The IDF strategically destroyed a number of them.
In the south, the 98th Division is continuing battles in Khan Younis, as the Air Force carries out strikes of identified terror targets. There are also reports of air strikes all the way south in Rafah.
The elite Maglan unit identified three Hamas terrorists coming out of a tunnel shaft in Khan Younis while firing RPGs at the troops, who returned fire, and eliminated the gunmen.
Additionally, the elite Duvdevan unit located a Hamas command room which was being used by operatives to ambush the troops. The Duvdevan soldiers carried out an assault on the building, with assistance from the Air Force.
Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:
Today, following a request from the Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza, the IDF coordinated an ambulance convoy to assist in the voluntary evacuation of patients to the UAE Field Hospital in Rafah.
Humanitarian Aid continues to pour into Gaza every day, and according to stats from the IDF today, 62,870 tons of aid entered the strip since the beginning of the war.
The IDF shared a video in which Hamas terrorists are seen beating Gaza civilians and stealing the humanitarian aid they received from international organizations, which was facilitated by Israel.
Northern Front Updates:
Hezbollah and other terror groups in Lebanon continued to fire on Israel’s far northern cities. The IDF responded as usual by firing at the source of the fire, and also made preemptive attacks to remove threats in advance.
Al Jazeera reported that the IAF carried out two attacks in the area of the town of Ita al-Sha’ab in the central sector of southern Lebanon.
Additional War Fronts Updates
The Houthis announced that they will prevent the passage of ships towards Israel from all countries. “If the necessary food and medicine do not enter the Gaza Strip, the ships will become a legitimate target for our forces,” the terrorist organization said in a statement.
According to Israel Hayom, the US is discussing with Gulf leaders a potential operation against the Houthi terrorist group in Yemen, in response to their attacks against ships in the Red Sea. However, at the moment the preference is to avoid an operation.
Iranian Foreign Minister, Amir Hossein Abdel-Lahyan, said today that “the Americans demanded that we inform the resistance factions to stop their attacks against their bases in the region. We confirmed to the Americans that the resistance factions are acting independently and we respect their decisions.” The words were said on Friday, when Fox News reported on ten cases of attacks against strongholds of American forces in Syria and Iraq, though it’s also possible the Americans were talking about the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen.
Judea and Samaria Updates:
Last night, IDF forces operated in Jenin, and arrested wanted persons. During the operation, the troops were forced to open fire on some of the wanted persons.
According to Arab reports, IDF forces arrested a number of terrorists in Dora, south of Hebron, after they clashed with the forces.
According to a Reuters report, the Biden administration is putting pressure on the US Congress to approve the transfer of tank shells to Israel.
The UN Security Council put forward a resolution calling for an immediate “humanitarian” cease-fire in Gaza. The vote in the 15-member council was 13-1, with the United Kingdom abstaining, and the USA vetoing it. France and Japan were amongst those supporting it.
Israeli Foreign Minister, Eli Cohen, responded on his X/Twitter account, and attacked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
“Guterres’ request to side with Hamas and ask for a ceasefire shames his role and is a disgrace to the UN,” Cohen wrote. “The use of Article 99, after not using it in the war in Ukraine and the civil war in Syria, is another example of his biased and one-sided position.”
The USA explained their position that a ceasefire would only help Hamas continue their reign of terror, and ignores the fact that they still hold 138 Israeli hostages.