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ISRAEL UPDATE 7.3.242

HOSTAGES NOW HELD FOR 153 DAYS

 

 

Israel has demanded to know how many of the roughly 130 hostages that remain in Gaza are still alive as a condition of returning to the negotiating table. Hamas is refusing to hand over the names of living hostages, stalling ceasefire talks. The latest reports from the talks suggested that only 40 of the hostages would be released (paywall) Report here

 

 

While the world focuses on humanitarian aid for Gaza, those of the 134 remaining Israeli hostages in Hamas captivity who are still alive have been receiving no assistance of any kind, not even from the International Red Cross.
Some require medication for chronic conditions. Others aren’t being treated for serious wounds sustained during the Oct. 7 massacre. But they are subsisting on half a pita per day – malnourished to the point of starving. There is no question that the hostages being held in physically and sexually abusive conditions in the dungeons of Gaza are guiltless victims. Article here

 

 

AID TO GAZA

 

Israel Govt spokesman Eylon Levy wrote: One massive misconception is that before the war, “500 aid trucks a day” got in. That’s just not true. 500 trucks were getting in, including construction and industrial supplies, which for obvious reasons aren’t entering now. MORE FOOD is entering Gaza now than before the war. tweet here

 

 

 

COGAT: Over the last 2 weeks, an average of 102 food trucks entered Gaza daily. This is 46% more food trucks entering Gaza on a daily basis, compared to before October 7th. There is no limit to the amount of humanitarian aid that can enter Gaza.Source here

 

 

IDF soldiers on Monday distributed aid to Gazan civilians who were evacuated from the Hamad neighbourhood of northwest Khan Yunis. Report here

 

 

The IDF Spokesperson has announced a weekly schedule in Arabic, outlining a temporary halt of military actions for humanitarian reasons between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in various parts of Gaza to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid, countering accusations against Israel for hindering this process. Report here

 

 

 

POST-SCRIPT TO LAST WEEK’S TERROR ATTACK

 

 

 Muhammad Manassara, 31, a major in the P.A. police, who was associated with the Fatah movement murdered two Israelis last Thursday in a shooting attack at a petrol station. The victims were Rabbi Yitzhak Zeiger, 57, a volunteer with rescue services and a father of three, and Uria Hartum, 16, a high school student. Reports hereand here

 

ISRAEL’S WAR AGAINST HAMAS

 

 

 

The IDF said Sunday it had completed a two-week operation in the Zeitoun neighbourhood of Gaza City and eliminated over 100 terrorist operatives. The forces also apprehended dozens of terrorists who provided valuable information on the location of terrorist forces in the field. IDF troops discovered launch sites and dozens of rockets. Report here

 

 

 

The IDF has dismantled 60 ammunition production facilities in Gaza and is investigating 20 more that have been discovered.Report here

 

 

 

The IDF on Tuesday destroyed the largest terror tunnel uncovered in northern Gaza since the beginning of the war. It extended 4 km., with a maximum depth of 50 metres and included sewerage, electricity, and communication infrastructures. The tunnel allowed the movement of vehicles inside, and many weapons were found.Report here

 

 

 

Reportedly, the IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Maj.-Gen. Ghassan Alian, was in contact with the leaders of local Gazan clans to organize the protection of the humanitarian aid convoys by local groups… Sources in Hamas claimed that Hamas leadership has decided to take action against the local groups and that they “will pay for their actions.”Report here

 

 

 

 Gazan sources reported that some Gazan families cooperate with the IDF to ensure they receive humanitarian aid and protect their property from robbers and looters. Israel has been engaging in discussions with clan leaders in Gaza, proposing that they assume administrative responsibilities and manage aid distribution to the population. However, one clan member said he was concerned about potential Hamas reprisals against families accused of collaborating with Israel.
On Monday, Palestinian clan leaders published a statement rejecting Israel’s plan to establish a civilian government in Gaza, reaffirming their loyalty to “the legitimate political leadership” represented by P.A. Chairman Abbas. Report here

 

 

Schools reopened in Sderot, adjacent to Gaza, on Sunday, five months after Hamas gunmen roamed its streets on Oct. 7, leading to the mass evacuation of its residents.Report here

GAZA CROWD CRUSH

 

The IDF on Sunday completed a preliminary review of civilian deaths at a Gaza aid convoy last Thursday, determining that Israeli forces did not strike the convoy and that “the majority of Palestinians were killed or injured as a result of the stampede.”Report here

 

UNWRA

 

 

 

Two teachers who worked for  the United Nations agency responsible for Palestinian refugees participated in Hamas’ massacre across southern Israel on Oct. 7, according to new research recently published.  One of them, Al-Hawarji, can be heard saying in recordings “We have female hostages, I captured one”  He also specifically alluded to kidnapping a “sabaya,” a term jihadists use to describe sex slaves. Report here

 

 

PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY (PA)

 

 

Since Oct. 7, the PA has increased its longstanding “pay for slay” policy, which gives salaries and benefits to Palestinians imprisoned for involvement in violence against Israel and to the families of those killed. The PA has committed to pay out more than $97 million in such payments for more than 13,000 Hamas terrorists in the year following Oct. 7.Article here

NORTHERN FRONT

 

 

Indian national Pat Nibin Maxwell, 31 was killed when a missile fired from Lebanon by Hizbullah struck near a moshav orchard on Monday. Seven other workers were injured in the attack. Report here

 

This 30 second video filmed in Kiryat Shmona on Tuesday night showed Israel’s Iron Dome air defence system destroying numerous rockets launched from Lebanon toward Israel.  View here

EASTERN FRONT

 

 

An IDF soldier, 19, was seriously wounded after being stabbed by a Palestinian  on Tuesday. The attacker was killed.Report here

 

Israel’s security forces have captured a terror cell near Hebron  planning ISIS-style attacks against Israelis. The four cell members had prepared 100 bombs, learning from videos posted online and instructions from Islamic State members living abroad. Report here

 

An Israeli man, 64, was stabbed and moderately wounded at a Jerusalem bus stop  on Wednesday by a Palestinian teenager from eastern Jerusalem. The assailant was apprehended. Report here

 

 

THE UN

 

 

A team of UN experts found “reasonable grounds to believe” that some victims of Hamas’ attacks in Israel on Oct. 7 were sexually assaulted, according to a report released Monday…The team also found “clear and convincing information” that some of the women and children taken back to Gaza that day as hostages were subjected to “rape and sexualized torture and sexualized cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.” There were “reasonable grounds to believe that this violence may be ongoing. However, the UN failed to ascribe the widespread sexual violence to Hamas specifically, on the grounds that members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other Gazans participated. (paywall) Report here

 

 

 

Reem Alsalem, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women claimed to be unaware of rocket attacks on Israel on a day when  30 rockets were fired from Lebanon toward Kiryat Shmona, with 17 falling in open areas and 13 intercepted by air defences and the day after a foreign worker was killed and 7 others wounded by a Hizbullah anti-tank missile.
Alsalem had  authored a report accusing the IDF of sexually abusing Palestinian women. Asked where she got her information, she said it had come from sources she could not cite and Euro-Med. Euro-Med is reportedly run by anti-Israel conspiracist Richard Falk, who claimed that America’s relationship with Israel was responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing. Report here

GAS

 

 

On Feb. 22, 2024, natural gas started flowing from the Karish North field, 60 miles off the coast of northern Israel, to the Energean Power, a huge floating production, storage and offloading vessel.
The gas will be processed and sent ashore south of Haifa via a seabed pipeline.
Oil will also be recovered and stored onboard for loading onto tankers. Article here

SPORT

 

Israeli driver Ariel Levi won the Porsche Sprint Challenge Southern Europe. (Sport Division)  Report here

 

At Gymnastic International 2024 in Germany, Daniella Munits won the gold medal in hoop and bronze with ball and in the juniors, Alona Tal Franco won gold in hoop and clubs, Meital Sumkin won gold in the ball and the ribbonReport here

Alona Tal Franco clubs video 1’35’’ View here

 

 

Sheina Vaspi, paralympic alpine skier won a gold medal at a recent event. As an observant Jew, she skies in a skirt over her racing suit. Picture hereArticle here

 

 

Elizabeth Tkachenko and Alexei Kiliakov won silver in the ice dance at the 2024 World Junior Figure Skating Championships. Picture here

 

 

Israeli judoka Baruch Shmailov won silver at a Grand Slam event in Tashkent.Article hereVideo here

 

 

Israeli go karter Yam Pinto won 2nd place in the CEE Rotax Max Championship in Italy.picture here

COMMENT & OPINION

 

 

Ahmed Fouad Alkhatib: Since Oct 7, the left has been increasingly supportive of Hamas’s actions, despite its oppression of Palestinians.

I grew up in Gaza City…I have been deeply alarmed by the new trend among pro-Palestinian activists of whitewashing Hamas’ terrorism…
Immediately after the attack, tens of thousands of overtly supportive social media posts, statements, protest signs and commentary expressed approval and enthusiasm for the attack, and praise for Hamas’ ability to carry out such an elaborate offensive… Some believed that the attack only targeted military sites. Others were convinced that all Israeli civilian casualties were the result of mistaken IDF counter-fire. Nevertheless, overwhelming video and anecdotal evidence unequivocally and definitively prove the unspeakable scale of the atrocities committed against Israeli civilians, many of whom were in fact peace activists. Article here

 

 

 

WSJ Editorial: In war, civilians flee to safety. Only in Gaza has the world decided that all civilians must stay trapped in the war zone, in danger and harder to reach with aid. One would expect Egypt to face great pressure to save lives. The opposite occurred. Rather than demand that Egypt follow its obligation under international law to accept refugees from the fighting next door, the U.S., UN and aid organizations took up Egypt’s position and admonished Israel not to “displace” civilians from Gaza.
Only when it can damage Israel does it become the liberal position to close the borders and keep refugees penned in a war zone. Instead of civilians fleeing the fighting, receiving aid in freer conditions and then returning after the war, they have been kept in Gaza to serve as “Israel’s problem.” Rather than get Gazans to safety, the world’s humanitarian organs have demanded that Israel cease fire, leaving Hamas in power with hostages in tow. Gazans need aid, and they also need the world to stop playing Hamas’ game. (paywall)Article here

 

 

 

Barry Posen: When war is fought among civilians, civilians are killed.

In the campaign to destroy 3,000-5,000 Islamic State fighters in Mosul, Iraq, from October 2016 to July 2017, some 9,000-11,000 civilians died, at least a third of them from coalition fire. Some 65% of residential construction was damaged or destroyed.

In the campaign against 2,900-5,600 Islamic State fighters in Raqqa, Syria, from June to October 2017, the bodies of 4,100 civilians were found under the rubble. NGOs estimated that 774-1,600 civilian casualties were caused by coalition fire. Some 60-80% of buildings were rendered uninhabitable.

Hamas presented Israel with a more difficult military problem than Mosul or Raqqa. Hamas had three times the combat power that Islamic State had in either Mosul or Raqqa. This alone would produce a significantly more difficult and destructive offensive campaign. Hamas were also well equipped with assault rifles, sniper rifles, machine guns, shoulder-fired anti-tank rocket launchers, mortars, and anti-tank guided missiles.

A well-trained and well-armed infantry force becomes formidable in an urban environment, which favours tactical defence because it provides the defender with concealment and cover…It should not be a surprise, therefore, that the IDF now finds itself destroying a great many structures in Gaza. Given America’s own recent military history, it does not have much ethical ground to stand on in decrying Israeli strategy. Israel is not doing anything that the U.S. and its Arab allies have not done recently. When the U.S. is provoked, it is historically quite ferocious. Collateral damage results.Article here

 

 

 

Irit Lahav, a peace activist from Kibbutz Nir Oz, where one in four residents were killed or kidnapped, had entertained no illusions about Hamas even before the Oct. 7 massacre…

Yet she had always believed that Hamas’ actions were distinct from and unrepresentative of the wishes of the silent majority of Palestinian civil society, whom she imagined were concerned primarily with providing for their children and improving their own lives.

That belief was shattered on Oct. 7, by what she says were “hundreds of civilians, including women and children, who followed” behind the terrorists, invading Israeli communities to celebrate and join in the pillaging, vandalization and destruction of Israeli communities.

“I used to think Palestinians were good people, like you and me. That Hamas were thugs who got in the way of the population’s desire for a good life…After Oct. 7, I realized I was wrong. Just as the Israeli government represents Israelis, Hamas represents the people of Gaza.”

Lahav used to belong to a group of volunteers who would drive Palestinians in need of medical treatment from Gaza to hospitals in Israel. She now believes that “all of the people of Gaza, all of them, hate us to a degree where they would murder babies and pillage our property with zero compunction.”

She is not impressed with the images of devastation coming out of Gaza, she said. “I don’t believe a word they’re saying. Not the death toll, not the images. I know the IDF avoids killing civilians whenever possible and I don’t believe the [Hamas-reported] casualty figures.”

“When I thought of Gaza, I thought about barefoot children on dirt roads. That’s the sort of images we kept seeing out of there. But now the soldiers are streaming images [from Gaza] of beautiful, paved streets. High-rise apartment buildings. It was all a show! “Article here

 

 

 

Natan Kohn-Magnus: I served in the IDF’s 5th reserve infantry brigade, spending nearly a month and a half inside Gaza. During the fighting, I spent time in nearly 20 different buildings. In nearly every location, we found Palestinian terror infrastructure, from assault rifles and ammunition to grenades, explosives, and mines…Then there is the underground infrastructure, tunnels used to fire rockets indiscriminately at Israel (often landing inside Gaza, killing Palestinian civilians) and to house Israeli hostages. The extent to which Hamas is embedded in civilian infrastructure is truly unprecedented.
Facing this reality, and given Hamas’ brutal attack, Israel has been forced to systematically dismantle Gaza’s terror network – tunnels that go under hospitals and schools, launch sites from mosques, weapons caches in children’s bedrooms. The blood of each civilian death is on Hamas’ hands for forcing Israel into a war of no-choice and then cowering behind its human shields. In this context, the IDF’s actions are not indiscriminate but unavoidable.
The reality remains that the current fighting is, in the words of former U.S. army general David Petraeus, the “most fiendishly difficult and challenging urban operation since 1945.” This context cannot be ignored. Article here

 

 

 

Ben-Dror Yemini: When the Americans and British bombed Tokyo, Dresden, Hamburg, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, hundreds of thousands of innocent people were killed. But it was not a crime. This was a necessity in order to defeat the Nazi axis of evil. When the U.S. bombed Fallujah, Mosul and Raqqa to defeat al-Qaeda or ISIS, thousands were killed. This was not a war crime. It was a necessity, even though there was no existential threat to the West.
When Hamas leaders repeatedly declare their intent to exterminate the Jews, and embark on a campaign to murder innocents, Israel is forced to defeat Hamas. As Razi Hamad, a senior Hamas official, declared: “October 7 was only the first time. There will be a second and third and fourth time.” So it is not only Israel’s right to defeat Hamas. It is Israel’s duty.
A demand for a ceasefire is tantamount to supporting the resumption of Hamas’ extermination efforts. Anyone who would have proposed a ceasefire with Germany without the complete surrender of the Nazis would have been considered insane. Article here

 

 

 

 

Hodaya Karish Hazony: Abdallah Bargouti, a commander of the Hamas military wing in the West Bank, was sentenced in 2004 to 67 life sentences. Over 20 years he has received more than a million shekels from the P.A.

The Palestinian Authority also pays compensation to Gaza residents and Israeli Arabs that have attacked Israelis. It even gives a bonus to terrorists who are from eastern Jerusalem or Israeli citizens.. In the hostage release in November, one young Palestinian who was due to be released asked not to be freed because he would lose out on a PA bonus. 7% of the PA budget today goes to families of terrorists…The PA has created a well-oiled murder machine which educates and incentivizes people to go out and kill Jews. Today, the best-paid profession in the PA is to be a murderer. When will the West take a stand and tell the Palestinians: “If you want our money, stop incentivizing terror.” (Hebrew)Article here

 

 

 

Meir Ben Shabbat: As the fighting in Gaza continues, Israel faces challenges and threats from another six fronts: the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Iran, and the diplomatic-legal international system.Article here

 

 

 

Israelis continue to be surprised at the lack of belief about what they experienced on Oct. 7. Here’s the horrendous story of Noam Ben David, 27, an artist and a survivor of the Supernova music festival terror attack.Article here