War Summary, Day Seventy Four: Ashkelon city got the green light- all the restrictions were lifted in workplaces and educational activities, the Gazan city of Beit Hanoun was fully captured, and the government warns not to watch the video of hostages that was released: psychological terror.
By Mrs. Bruria Efune
War Summary, Day Seventy Four:
129 held captive in Gaza.
110 hostages freed.
11 hostage bodies rescued.
20 hostages confirmed murdered in Gaza.
1,300+ Israelis murdered.
129 fallen soldiers since entering Gaza.
11,580 rockets fired at Israel.
187,533 Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.
According to an Egyptian report, the head of the Mossad will meet with the Prime Minister of Qatar in Europe to discuss another hostage deal.
19:35: Hamas released new documentation of adult male abductees in captivity.
Today Hamas released a propaganda video of three elderly Israeli hostages: Chaim Peri, 79, Yoram Metzger, 80, and Amiram Cooper, 85, from Kibbutz Nir Oz. In the video, the hostages reportedly plea to be freed, at all costs. The IDF requests that these videos not be viewed, as they are a form of psychological terror.
In his statement this evening, IDF spokesman Brigadier General Daniel Hagari referred to the video released by Hamas, and said, “Hamas published a criminal terrorist video, our hearts are with all the abductees every moment.” Addressing the hostages, he said: “We are doing everything to return you safely.”
Gaza Front Updates:
Hamas only launched one rocket onto Israeli civilians today, to the town of Kissufim, on the Gaza border. No hits reported.
The IDF announced the names of seven heroes who fell in battle in Gaza:
- Sgt. First Class Urija Bayer, 20, from Ma’alot-Tarshiha
- Sgt. First Class Liav Aloush, 21, from Gedera.
- Master Sgt. (res.) Etan Naeh, 26, from Sde Eliyahu.
- Master Sgt. (res.) Tal Filiba, 23, from Rehovot.
- Sgt. First Class (res.) Lidor Yosef Karavani, 23, from Eilat.
- Cpt. Yarin Gahali, 22, from Rehovot.
- Cpt. (res.) Netanel Silberg, 33, from Na’ama.
The last couple days had fierce battles, with difficult casualties, but at the same time, significant advances were made.
The IDF attacked over 150 terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip in the last day from the air, sea, and land.
The capture of the Beit Hanoun neighborhood of Gaza City is complete! The IDF’s 252nd Division completed operations, gained full control, and handed responsibiility over to the Gaza Division for patrol. The 252nd Division battled the Beit Hanoun battalion, and captured all their strongholds, most of which were inside schools and other public buildings. The battalion eliminated many terrorists, and destroyed huge stockpiles of weapons, rockets, and launchers. They also uncovered a significant amount of tunnels and underground networks, the main of which went from the Beit Hanoun city hall, through a mosque, a soccer court, and a daycare center.
In the Shejaiya neighborhood, the fighting continued in full intensity. Hamas terrorists have been hiding in civilian buildings, from where they open fire, launch RPGs and set off explosives on IDF troops. According to the IDF, so far 600 Hamas terrorists were eliminated in Shejaiya over the past two weeks alone. The Golan troops also located and destroyed more than ten tunnel shafts in the neighborhood, and seized intelligence materials and weapons in the homes of Hamas terrorists. Combat engineers also destroyed dozens of rocket launchers, some of which were found near schools and cemeteries.
In Shejaiya, troops captured the “Palestine Square” and destroyed a monument made by Hamas to commemorate a deadly attack on an IDF armored personnel carrier during the 2014 Operation Protective Edge.
In Jabaliya, fighters of the Multidomain Unit (aka the Ghost Unit) raided the home of a senior Hamas member, and found five million ILS in cash, and many weapons.
In Khan Younis, a sniper and terror unit threatened IDF troops, who in turn directed an air strike to eliminate them. The troops found and destroyed large caches of rockets and rocket launchers, amongst other weapons.
During questioning of Hamas terrorists who surrendered on Friday in a school building in Gaza City’s Ramal neighborhood, two were found to have participated no the October 7th attack, one of which was from Hamas’s elite Nukhba forces.
The IDF released footage showing recent aborted airstrikes in the southern Gaza Strip due to the presence of civilians.
The Prime Minister’s Office on behalf of the Mossad for Intelligence and Special Tasks announced: Contrary to claims, the Mossad has always acted under the Prime Minister’s direction to thwart the transfer of terrorist funds to Hamas in any way, and any other claim has no basis.
Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:
191 humanitarian aid trucks were inspected and transferred to the Gaza Strip today.
Hundreds of tents were set up in the Al-Muasi shelter area by Rahma Worldwide, and coordinated by the IDF’s COGAT division, along with a supply of mattresses and blankets to those sheltering in the area. Hundreds more tents are expected to arrive this week, addressing the necessary shelter needs of thousands of Gaza civilians.
The IDF is enabling tactical pauses for humanitarian purposes to allow civilians to replenish stocks such as food and water. Today, the pause was in the Rafah Camp, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Northern Front Updates:
Hezbollah launched multiple barrages of missiles at Israel today, and three separate “suspicious aerial targets” likely attack drones. Sirens were triggered in many far north towns, missiles landed in the city of Kiryat Shmona—including in the backyard of a private home, and as far as Amuka, near Tzfat (Sefad). No injuries were reported.
The Syrian Army also fired rockets at northern Israel.
The IDF attacked Hezbollah positions both with shelling and air strikes. Targets struck in southern Lebanon include rocket launchers, a military building, and Hezbollah terrorists in an area from where they have frequently carried out attacks.
The IDF also shelled a Syrian Army outpost in southern Syria.
Houthi War Fronts Updates
The IDF announced that since the beginning of the war, the IAF’s air traffic control has identified and thwarted more than 100 aerial threats, including drones and cruise missiles, primarily from Hezbollah and the Houthis. The threats were downed using fighter jets and other air defenses.
The Houthis in Yemen made multiple attacks on at least three ships in the Red Sea today, by drone, missile, and even with armed boats of terrorists. All attacks were thwarted by coalition forces.
A spokesperson for the Houthis said that they will continue to attack all ships that intend to dock in Israel. However, the Houthis have not been great at identifying which ships intend to dock in Israel, and have attacked a wide range that were headed elsewhere.
Euronav, a Belgium shipping company, announced that it is stopping sailing in the Red Sea until further notice. In doing so, it joins six other companies that shut down their operations in the Bab al-Mandab area.
Sources told Saudi media that the US told Israel not to intervene in the conflict with the Houthis in the Red Sea.
Judea and Samaria Updates:
A terrorist fired at an Israeli vehicle near Ateret in the Binyamin area. A Jewish mother who was holding her baby in the backseat was hit on her shoulder, and suffered mild injuries. Her husband was in the driver’s seat, armed, and fired back at the terrorist, who then drove off. IDF forces are in pursuit of the terrorist.
The IDF is continuing counter-terrorism activities in Judea and Samaria.
IDF forces confiscated over 50 illegal vehicles, of which over 40 were confiscated in the village of Beit Awa. An airsoft gun was found in the Elaida, and two wanted persons were arrested in the village of Aqaba.
During operations in the city of Jericho, terrorists shot and threw Molotov cocktails at the forces, who responded by shooting. One terrorist was injured.
In Farah, IDF forces arrested a wanted man and confiscated a Carlo type rifle. During the operation terrorists shot and threw explosives at the forces, who responded by firing, four terrorists were eliminated with no injuries to our forces.
The UN is preparing a proposal that would require both Israel and Hamas to allow aid access to the Gaza Strip.
American Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Israel, and met with the Israeli defense establishment.
According to Politico, Dan Shapiro, who previously served as the US ambassador to Israel, will be appointed to the position of Senior Pentagon official for Middle East policy.
The Home Front Command is further relaxing restrictions. As of today, all the restrictions in the city of Ashkelon will be lifted in workplaces and educational activities. Additionally, in cities marked as “green,” gatherings will be allowed in groups of up to 5,000, an increase from the previous 1,000.
Lots of people have been asking what my husband and I have been up to—why we went into Gaza, why we went into a tunnel, and why we’ve been visiting top secret IDF bases.
I’m going to share with you what I can, because in the backlight of Friday’s devastating news, this is something practical that everyone can help with to ensure better outcomes for both our hostages and soldiers.
G-d has a strange way of doing things, and through an odd series of events, we were connected with a brilliant group of tech professionals from the south who had set up a team called “Gderot for Soldiers.”
There’s a type of people who I have the deepest respect for. It’s the ones who do a lot, say a little. They don’t care for getting credit or attention—these people just see what needs to be done, and do what it takes to accomplish it. When my husband and I met Alice, Avigur, and Guy, we immediately knew that these were those people. The depths of what they were doing seemed endless, but they were so profoundly humble about it, and just razor focused on the goal; bringing the hostages and our soldiers home safely, and bringing lasting security to Israel.
At the surface level, they were doing great stuff. Elite units who had been amongst the first to enter Gaza would send them lists of vital tactical gear that they needed, and the Gderot for Soldiers team would get it to them within hours. The team gave us a tour of all that activity in their Gderot headquarters. But then the next day they asked us to meet them at the Gaza border, and that’s when we started to get the first glimpse of what was really going on.
We arrived at a big muddy field filled with tanks, armored personnel carriers, and D9 military bulldozers, which were all preparing to enter the battle in Gaza. On top of one tank sat four busy mechanics. Avigur explained that they were solving a problem that had come up in the first weeks of battle.
Armored vehicles (except for the newest Merkava 5) have blind spots and a weak spot. Hamas terrorists were sneaking up to the tanks and attaching magnetic explosives to the weak spot, where it would fill the inside of the vehicle with smoke, causing casualties to our men inside. Avigur and his friends adapted a durable security surveillance system to provide the soldiers inside the vehicles with a 360 degree view around the outside of the tank—night vision included.
It only took one day on the field for soldiers to report back that the new systems were saving their lives, and helping eliminate many more terrorists who could no longer sneak up unseen.
On the bulldozers the problem was slightly different—the monstrously huge machines aren’t designed for combat zones, and have very limited fields of visibility. To make things worse, infantry were walking very closely to the dozers in order to shield themselves from Hamas sniper fire, but the drivers couldn’t see them, so every week several soldiers were seriously injured, or even killed, because they were accidentally driven over. The moment surveillance systems were installed, D9-related casualties dropped to zero. Yes, zero.
After Avigur and his friends developed the idea with the support of high-ranking commanders, the Israeli magic went to work. A Jewish manufacturer supplied the equipment for less than it cost him to produce—just $750 each, instead of $3,000. El Al pilots were importing them in their own suitcases, and civilian engineers, mechanics, and electricians were volunteering twelve hours a day to install them.
By the time we first visited, the team had installed 150 systems, and had 550 more to go—but they were short on funding. This was an urgent lifesaving need, so of course my husband and I jumped on board and began to speak with prospective donors. Everyone we spoke to agreed on the urgency, and now we’re up to the last hundred units—and our volunteer mechanics are being kept very busy.
Ok, remember I said the depths of what they’re doing seemed endless? So it didn’t stop with armored vehicles, but here’s where I’m going to have to be more vague, and invite you to use more imagination.
Let’s start over the ground. Gaza is heavily booby-trapped and full of snipers. Together with genius developers who are on reserve duty at the Yahalom HQ, a new system was developed, and is now being implemented on ground in several locations to give combat soldiers a better view of the battlefield, both day and night. We still need to fund a lot more of these.
Now for underground. Did you see the newly released documentation about the massive tunnel system under Gaza? The tunnels reach up to 50 meters below ground, and are wide enough to comfortably drive a car through. That’s what we were learning about when we visited Gaza a few weeks ago. Much of the battle will be—and already is, under ground.
It’s a whole new field, that needs a whole new level of equipment, some being invented and improved on right now. This is new tech that is keeping our soldiers safe, being used to rescue hostages, and helping win the battle against Hamas.
It’s been a wild ride, working with the Gderot for Soldiers team. But likely the most rewarding thing I’ve ever been fortunate enough to do. Seeing the IDF casualties listed almost every morning is heartbreaking, but we know that we brought it down significantly. Every day we receive messages from commanders that we saved their soldier’s lives.
The thing is that this is war, and every minute wasted is a mortal danger to someone’s son or father. Unfortunately, large armies are slowed by logistics and bureaucracy—but we civilians can bypass that and speed things up enough to bring more of our men home safely.
I’m inviting you to join us on this mission to win the war and bring security to Israel.
I set up a campaign page to purchase surveillance systems for the last 100 armored vehicles. Each system guards at least four soldiers. Some of the funds might also be used for tunnels, in equally, if not more important needs that I can’t explain here.
Every donation of any size saves lives.
If you are interested in giving a significant contribution of $10k or more, please contact me, and I’m happy to explain further, provide documentation, or show you the systems up close.
If you know someone who is very passionate about winning this war, and is looking for the right place to contribute a large donation to make this happen, please connect them to me.
Donations via the campaign page are tax deductible in the US.