War Summary, Day Eighty Two: Overnight, the Israeli Air Force struck over 100 Hamas targets in the southern Gaza Strip, a shul in the Sdot Negev region of the Gaza Envelope was hit and significantly damaged, and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi announces that war will “last many more months”.
By Mrs. Bruria Efune
War Summary, Day Eighty Two:
128 held captive in Gaza.
110 hostages freed.
11 hostage bodies rescued.
32 hostages confirmed murdered in Gaza.
1,300+ Israelis murdered.
161 fallen soldiers in the battle in Gaza.
5 fallen soldiers in Northern Israel.
12,500 rockets fired at Israel.
187,533 Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.
The Emir of Qatar and US President Biden spoke on the phone, among other things, about a permanent ceasefire deal in the fighting in Gaza.
Gaza Front Updates:
Hamas missiles are still at a significant low. Five rounds were fired in the Gaza Envelope areas, and one at Ashkelon. A synagogue in the Sdot Negev region of the Gaza Envelope was hit and significantly damaged, no injuries were reported.
The IDF announced the names of five heroes who fell in battle in Gaza:
Staff Sgt. (res.) Elisha Yehonatan Lober, 24, from Yitzhar
Sgt. First Class (res.) Joseph Yosef Gitarts, 25, from Tel Aviv
Master Sgt. (res.) Maor Lavi, 33, from Susya
Cpt. Shay Shamriz, 26, from Merkaz Shapira
Cpt. (res.) Shaul Greenglick, 26, from Raanana
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi entered Gaza to assess the battlefront. Here are a few of the points he mentioned to the public:
- The war will last “many more months.”
- The achievements of the troops in Gaza are impressive; many tunnels were found and destroyed, and many terrorists eliminated or captured.
- The IDF is very close to dismantling all of Hamas’s battalions in the northern part of Gaza—but the terrorists dress as civilians, which means that in dense urban areas they can hide easily, and it is likely that there are a few still around. The IDF troops will remain in the areas and continue to search for them in “a variety of ways.”
- The IDF is now concentrating efforts on the south of the Gaza Strip, including the “camps” area, Khan Younis, and beyond.
- The Air Force is working to eliminate targets non stop. If they take out a building it is because it was identified as an enemy target and a threat to our forces. Despite the caution for Gaza civilians, the IDF troops on ground are given full backup support, from air, sea, and land. They receive the best cover they need.
- There is Hamas infrastructure that cannot be destroyed from air, and that it why the troops need to enter battles on ground.
- The IDF is constantly learning and adapting its methods in each area of Gaza that it operates in.
- The IDF will reach Hamas leadership, “whether it takes a week or whether it takes months.”
- Powerful military pressure will bring about the goals of the war, which remain: the elimination of Hamas, and the return of the hostages. We are very stubborn and determined in these goals.
- The IDF “will not allow a return to the security reality before October 7th, and we will not allow such an event to be repeated.”
- When the IDF is able to, a thorough and transparent investigation will be carried out to understand what went wrong on October 7th, and the lessons we need to learn.
In a meeting with the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Minister of Defense, Yoav Gallant, said that Israel is being attacked from seven separate fronts in conjunction with the war in Gaza, and the IDF has so far responded in six of them. He listed the attacks as coming from Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, [Palestinian terror groups in] Judea & Samaria, Iraq, Yemen, and Iran, and emphasized that Israel will respond to anyone who acts as a potential threat.
IDF Troops remain in the north of Gaza where most areas are in full IDF control, but the troops still face dangers from hidden terrorists and threats. They’re continuing to search the area to clear out any remaining Hamas infrastructure. The main remaining battlegrounds in the the north are in Jabaliya, and the Daraj and Tuffah neighborhoods of Gaza City—where today troops found a large cache of weapons inside a home, along with an Israeli license plate found inside the children’s room.
Overnight, the Israeli Air Force struck over 100 Hamas targets in the southern Gaza Strip, to prepare for the ground operations to expand in the area. The targets included tunnel shafts, military sites, and other Hamas infrastructure used in battles against Israeli forces.
The urban area in Central Gaza, which is the newest battlefront, is often called “the central camps,” and has a Hamas brigade with four battalions: al-Bureij, Deir al-Balah, Maghazi, and Nuseirat. They’ve all taken some hits from the IDF, but are still largely alive and kicking. The commander of the brigade, Ayman Nofel, was eliminated in an IDF strike last month.
The IDF moved the 36th Division from Gaza City and into battle with Hamas’s al-Bureij battalion, which consists of around 1,000 Hamas terrorists. In the very first hours of battle with al-Bureij, the IDF troops located a tunnel shaft, which lead to a large underground Hamas tunnel network, as well as a training ground. (Surveillance equipment that readers donated towards may or may not have been used in protecting our soldiers while they raided this tunnel ;))
In Khan Younis today, troops called in 10 airstrikes against Hamas terrorists, with response times within short minutes. Palestinian sources report that Hamas member of parliament, Hamis al-Najr, was killed in an Air Force attack on his house in Khan Yunis.
Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:
The IDF announced the opening of a humanitarian corridor for four hours in two neighborhoods in Deir al-Balah. The goal was to allow Gazan civilians to move south to get away from combat zones. In response to this, masses of residents were recorded leaving the area.
Northern Front Updates:
The IDF announced the name of a hero who fell in battle in northern Israel:
Staff Sgt. Daniel Nachmani, 21, from Kfar Saba
Daniel was stationed near Shula, where he was severely injured in an attack from Hezbollah in Lebanon on December 22nd, and later succumbed to his wounds.
Hezbollah fired several missiles from Lebanon into Israel today, as well as a surface-to-air missile at an Israeli military aircraft, which it did not hit.
A large commercial chicken coop belonging to the Atton family in Moshav Dovov sustained significant damage. The owner of the chicken coop was miraculously saved after he went out to prepare lunch for the soldiers serving in the area right before the missile hit.
Hezbollah claimed to have targeted an IDF position in the north, near Shomera, but actually hit a Greek Orthodox church in Iqrit, an an evacuated Christian Arab village. A male civilian in his 80s, who had remained to guard the church, was moderately wounded in the attack. When troops and medical services arrived to evacuated the wounded, another missile was fired at them, wounding nine soldiers, one of them seriously.
The IDF shelled Hezbollah positions along the Lebanon border, to remove threats, and also attacked Hezbollah sites in Lebanon, including the building where the terrorist who fired at the church fled into, and the building he fired from. The missile was fired from a building right next to a mosque, in the common terrorist practice of using civilians as human shields.
Hezbollah announced two terrorists killed today, making a total of 128 Hezbollah deaths since the start of the war, but Israel’s security establishment estimates that the number is higher.
There are unconfirmed reports of an Israeli attack on an Iranian position in Syria, close to the town of Arana, in the western area of Damascus.
Houthi and Other War Fronts Updates:
The Houthis in Yemen claim to have fired several attack drones at Eilat today. No sirens were triggered in Eilat, and the Israeli Air Force reported to have shot down a “hostile aerial target” headed towards Eilat, while it was over the Red Sea.
Another drone was intercepted by Egypt in the Sinai area.
The British Maritime Trade Center reported two attacks on ships today—one in Bab al-Mandab near the port of Hodeidah, which is under the control of the Houthis, and one near the city of Hudaydah.
The Central Command of the American Defense Department announced that 12 drones and five missiles fired by the Houthis were intercepted over the Red Sea.
A report by the International Atomic Energy Agency reveals that Iran tripled the rate of uranium enrichment from the estimated 3 kg per month at the 60% enrichment level six months ago, to 9 kg per month now.
Judea and Samaria Updates:
Since the beginning of the war, more than 290 Palestinians have been killed, almost all of them terrorists who were eliminated when violently resisting arrest by the IDF, or in street battles during IDF operations. In addition, over 2,500 Palestinians were arrested, of which approximately 1,300 are Hamas operatives, and the rest are associated with other Palestinian terror groups. Approximately 1,700 administrative arrest warrants were issued, and not yet fulfilled.
The IDF and Magav Border Police operated overnight in Nur Shams, near Tulkarem, where they detained at least eight wanted Palestinians and seized weapons. During the operation, Palestinian terrorists opened fire and launched explosives at the troops, lightly injuring one soldier.
In Nir Shams, troops located an explosives lab, with dozens of primed IEDs, explosive equipment, 34 firearms, and makeshift rockets.
One suspect living in the building was detained, after which it was destroyed in a controlled manner by combat engineers.
Mohammad Abbas, chairman of the Palestinian Authority, was interviewed by the main Egyptian channel and in reference to the day after the war, said, “No one thinks that we will ‘return’ to Gaza, we are already there.”
An explosion was reported near the Israeli embassy in India. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that there were no casualties, and the circumstances of the incident are under investigation by the local authorities, in full cooperation with the Israeli security forces.
Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eli Cohen, announced:
“We will no longer remain silent in the face of the UN’s hypocrisy!
I instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs not to extend the visa of one of the organization’s employees in Israel, and to deny the visa request of another employee.”
The IDF takes down a Houthi attack drone over the Red Sea.