War Day 88: Hamas Commander Killed, No New Rockets Launched

War Summary, Day Eighty Eight: The IDF eliminated Adel Msammah, the company commander of Hamas’s elite Nukhba force, Hamas didn’t manage to fire any rockets onto Israel today, Gaza border communities that are in the area between four to seven kilometers away from Gaza will soon begin to return home.

By Mrs. Bruria Efune

War Summary, Day Eighty Eight:

128 held captive in Gaza.
110 hostages freed.
11 hostage bodies rescued.
33 hostages confirmed murdered in Gaza.
1,300+ Israelis murdered.
173 fallen soldiers in the battle in Gaza.
5 fallen soldiers in Northern Israel.
8,000 injured.
12,500 rockets fired at Israel.
187,533 Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.

Hostage Updates:

Egypt and Qatar each continue to try and broker a hostage release deal. Hamas claims they’re open to the idea of a deal in stages, but will only agree to something that completely ends the IDF operations in Gaza, with a complete ceasefire. This is not something the IDF will agree to.

Gaza Front Updates:

After the midnight barrage heralding in 2024, Hamas didn’t manage to fire any more rockets onto Israel today.

The IDF announced the names of one hero who fell in battle in Gaza:

Sgt. First Class (res.) Amichai Yisrael Yehoshua Oster, 24, from Karnei Shomron

Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman, the Chief of the IDF’s Southern Command, visited the Daraj and Tuffah area in Gaza City, and discussed the next phase of the war. Unlike earlier phases, the IDF is now keeping a lot more surprises for Hamas terrorists in Gaza, in a strategy to catch the last holdouts and top command.

Finklelman commented that the IDF “will continue in a variety of methods, in a variety of intensities, and in varying forms,” and that the new fighting methods will make it “difficult for the enemy to locate them and understand them.”

Last night, amidst heavy overnight airstrikes, the IDF eliminated Adel Msammah, the company commander of Hamas’s elite Nukhba force in Deir al Balah, Central Gaza. Msammah commanded the Nukhba terrorists as they broke into Kissufim on October 7th, and took down the communication tower, and he directed more terrorists to attack Kibbutz Be’eri and Nirim.

While the IDF (Division 162) battle against the Daraj and Tuffah battalion in Gaza City continues, the IDF published body cam footage from a Hamas terrorist of the battalion who had been eliminated. The footage demonstrated very clearly how the terrorists use civilian sites to launch attacks.

South of Gaza City, the 99th Division expanded operation grounds further, and are establishing operational control over the area. Control of this area is essential to ensure that Hamas doesn’t send more terrorists back to the Northern Gaza areas already captured by the IDF.

The IDF says that so far, in the area south of Gaza, the division has eliminated many Hamas terrorists, destroyed over 100 tunnel shafts, located multiple weapons caches (including in a daycare), and directed the IAF in dozens of airstrikes on Hamas infrastructure.

Reports from inside Gaza indicate that the 98th Division has expanded operations in Khan Younis, and is heavily bombarding the Hamas forces in the area.

The Qatari newspaper, Al-Arabi Al-Jadid, reported that officials in Israel have in recent days tried to convince Egypt to agree to the entry of IDF forces into the Philadelphi Corridor area. This is the area along the border strip between Gaza and Egypt, and was controlled by Israel until the disengagement in 2005. A source told the newspaper that Egypt would find it difficult to accept this, despite Israeli expectations that Cairo would show flexibility on the issue. According to the sources, Israel is trying to use the economic card to convince the Egyptians in light of the crisis in the country.

Hamas has tunnels underneath the corridor that lead into the Sinai Desert. While Egypt tries to block all the tunnels, it’s assumed that there are several still open, and being used by Hamas for smuggling purposes.

Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:

163 humanitarian aid trucks were transferred to Gaza, of which over 50% carried food, the rest had water, medical supplies and shelter equipment.

Northern Front Updates:

Hezbollah fired several rounds of missiles and attack drones at Northern Israel today. Hezbollah fire on the Adamit area lightly injured five IDF reservists, who were taken to the hospital for treatment.

Five rockets were also launched from Syria, all of which landed in open areas in the Golan Heights.

The IDF eliminated a terrorist squad on the Lebanon border while they were preparing to fire at Israel. Hezbollah named three dead.

Hezbollah has been firing many of their missiles and drones from civilian areas in Southern Lebanon, such as the village of Maroun el-Ras.

The IDF carried out heavy strikes against Hezbollah infrastructure, particularly military sites and rocket launch positions. Strikes were also carried out against Syrian positions.

Additional War Fronts Updates:

Iran’s warship, the Alborz, has entered the Red Sea together with it’s supporting ship, the Bushehr, through the strategic Bab el-Mandeb strait. Iran claims this is to “help maintain stability in the area,” and that they’ve patrolled to protect ships from pirates in the area before.

Meanwhile, in the Mediterranean Sea, the USS Gerald R. Ford and its strike group are returning home to Norfolk after an extended deployment. According to American reports, the Hampton Roads-based USS Bataan, USS Mesa Verde, and USS Carter Hall, will take their place.

International Updates:

The New York Times reported tense talks between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and US President Biden. While the US is pressuring Israel to narrow down attacks in Gaza to be more precision-based focused on Hamas leaders and tunnels, and begin to plan “the day after,” there maintains a mutual understanding of the two parties. The US continues to understand Israel’s position, and the importance of eliminating Hamas, and reinstating the invincible reputation. While some in the White House might consider it, it’s understood that Biden would not agree to withdraw US weapon supply to Israel.

General Updates:

Home Front Command announced that Gaza border communities that are in the area between four to seven kilometers away from Gaza will soon begin to return home. While an exact timeline wasn’t yet given, residents of Mavki’im, Gvar’am, Dorot, Yachini, and Bror Hayil will be the first to return, along with Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, which requested to return even though they are only three kilometers from Gaza.

Some communities, the city of Sderot in particular, plan to refuse to return until specific security measures are put in place. Communities that sit closer to the border will have a longer time until they return, some of the worst hit, which are currently uninhabitable, estimate up to five years.

The Knesset plenum approved the postponement of Israel’s local elections to February 27. Many of the representatives running for local councils are currently on reserve duty, fighting in Gaza or on the northern border.

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