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Israel At War: Week Nine Coverage



Day 63 — Friday, December 8

IDF: Two Soldiers Wounded in Attempt to Rescue Hostages in Gaza

Two Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers were wounded in an overnight attempt to rescue hostages held by Hamas, the Israeli military said on Friday.

The IDF issued a public statement after Hamas claimed that it had killed Israeli soldiers who had attempted a hostage rescue.

In a statement, the IDF said:

Overnight, two IDF soldiers were severely injured during an operation to rescue hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip. During the operation, numerous terrorists who took part in the abducting and holding of hostages were killed.

No hostages were rescued in this activity.

The families of the two IDF soldiers who were injured have been notified.

The IDF continues to operate in a variety of operational and intelligence methods, together with security organizations, in order to release the hostages, and to collect relevant information.

IDF representatives are in contact with the families of the hostages, regularly updating them with all verified information about their loved ones.

Hamas tries to weaponize psychological terror. Please refrain from spreading unverified rumors and enabling psychological terror by Hamas.

Hamas is thought to be holding 138 Israeli hostages, including 20 women, and possibly two children, Ariel (4) and Kfir (11 months) Bibas.

Israel succeeded in having 110 hostages released, including 84 Israeli hostages, in negotiations during a pause in fighting. The IDF now appears to be using intelligence gathered from interrogating Hamas prisoners to rescue the hostages by force.

Day 63 — Friday, December 8

Red Cross Reprimanded Hostage Families: 'Think About The Palestinians'

Families of Israelis being held hostage by Hamas were reprimanded by representatives of the Red Cross in a meeting earlier this week, with the Red Cross telling one family they need to “think about the Palestinian side,” KAN reported on Thursday night.

Roni and Simona, the parents of Doron Steinbrecher who was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists from Kfar Azza on October 7, were invited to a meeting with the Red Cross earlier this week.

Doron needs a medication she takes daily and her parents thought that the Red Cross was finally willing to transfer the medication to her, but instead they were sat down and reprimanded by representatives of the Red Cross.

“Think about the Palestinian side,” the representatives of the Red Cross told Simona, according to KAN. “It’s hard for the Palestinians, they’re being bombed.”

Simona expressed shock at the Red Cross’s behavior. “We left there as we entered: without new information, without something new, and with disappointment,” said Simona.

On October 7, Simona and Roni saw the terrorists headed for the area where Doron lived. Doron called them but the call dropped within a few seconds. She sent one last voice message to her parents, saying “they caught me, they caught me, they caught me.”

Since then, Doron has been held hostage by Hamas. Her parents thought she would be released in the recent ceasefire, but the fighting resumed without her being returned.

The Red Cross has sparked outrage in Israel with how it has handled the mass kidnapping and massacre conducted by Hamas on October 7, with some Israelis saying that the international organization operated as nothing more than a taxi service for when the hostages were released.

The family of Elma Avraham, an 84-year-old woman who was released during the ceasefire, told Israeli media that the Red Cross had refused to bring Avraham the medicine she needed. Immediately after Avraham was released, she was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. Since then, her condition has improved.

Dr. Nadav Davidovitz, who treated Elma after her release, said “We were in meetings with the Red Cross and asked them to make every effort to bring the medications to her, because some hostages are just dying. From a medical and nursing standpoint, what we witnessed is unlawful neglect.”

The Jerusalem Institute of Justice recently sent a letter to the ICRC pointing out that it had made several social media posts about the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, but not a single one about the plight of the hostages and other Israeli victims from the October 7 massacre.

About three weeks after the attack, 1,200 lawyers across the world signed a letter written by the Israeli human rights group Shurat HaDin, condemning the Red Cross for not doing enough to help the hostages. The attorneys accused the organization of repeating the mistakes of indifference and inaction that it admitted to having made during the Holocaust.

Day 63 — Friday, December 8

IDF Hits Over 450 Sites In Gaza In Past Day

The IDF says it carried out strikes on more than 450 targets in the Gaza Strip over the past day, as ground operations continue.

The sites include military compounds, observation posts, and weapons depots, according to the IDF.

Troops of the 7th Armored Brigade directed several Israeli Air Force drones to carry out strikes against Hamas operatives in the Khan Younis area, it says.

According to the IDF, the series of strikes lasted some two hours, and “numerous” Hamas operatives were killed.

In another incident, three Hamas operatives who were identified by troops were targeted by another IAF drone.

The IDF says two were killed, while the third revealed a hideout of additional operatives, from which they planned to fire rockets at Israel.

The Israeli Navy has also been carrying out strikes in Gaza over the past day, using guided munitions and shells.

The IDF says the Navy hit sites belonging to the Hamas naval forces, in central and southern Gaza.

Day 63 — Friday, December 8

Analysis — Amir Tsarafti: See No Evil, Hear No Evil — Is The Increase of Deniers A Result Of The Victims Being Jews?

As often happens from the radical left, the volume of their voices increases in direct proportion to the stupidity of their arguments. The October 7 deniers are now at full shrill. It is amazing to me that the evidence, much of it filmed by Hamas themselves, can be so great, yet they can still say that it never happened. Similar to the three monkeys, they see no evil and hear no evil. However, these supporters of the Nazi-like Hamas certainly love to speak evil. They speak it in protests and out front of Jewish delicatessens and in government houses and in university classrooms and on major news networks.

What’s so interesting is that these are the same people who make their livings creating a victim class based on race or gender or lifestyle or government. But in this one particular case, they turn it around and call the victims the perpetrators. What is the only difference? These victims are Jews.

When the “Me too” movement was born, it was based on one woman’s unsubstantiated recollection of an event decades earlier. Yet, it was demanded that everyone must believe her. Now, we have hundreds of incidents with massive amounts of video and forensic evidence, and these same academics, media people, and radical elites have become deniers. The blatant antisemitism is truly appalling.

Day 63 — Friday, December 8

United States Cuts Ties CAIR After Leader Was 'Happy' To See October 7 Massacre

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) executive director and co-founder Nihad Awad stated that the Hamas massacre of over 1,200 people on October 7 made him “happy.”

During a speech at the 16th Annual Convention for Palestine on October 7, Awad said: “The people of Gaza only decided to break the siege — the walls of the concentration camp — on Oct. 7. And yes, I was happy to see people breaking the siege and throwing down the shackles of their own land and walk free into their land that they were not free to walk in.”

“And yes, the people of Gaza have the right to self-defense — have the right to defend themselves. And yes, Israel as an occupying power does not have that right to self-defense,” he added.

He went on to engage in antisemitic tropes about Jews controlling America. “AIPAC and its affiliates have been controlling the United States government and the United States Congress. And if someone says, ‘Oh, Nihad Awad said this about the Congress,’ I tell you, ‘Yes, I say it today, and I will say it tomorrow — unless we free Congress, we will not be able to free Palestine.’”

The White House has cut ties with Awad following in light of Awad’s speech, White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates told the New York Post.

“We condemn these shocking, antisemitic statements in the strongest terms,” Bates said.


Day 62 — Thursday, December 7

Over 150 Terrorists Surrender To The IDF As Ground Operation Intensifies In Gaza

Over 150 suspected terrorists surrendered to the IDF on Thursday, Arutz Sheva has reported. Footage shown on social media shows the terrorists lined up and sitting on the ground, with some photographs displaying the men blindfolded with their hands tied behind their backs.

According to the Israeli news organization, “The terrorists were checked by the IDF soldiers and transferred for initial questioning by the security forces.”

IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari confirmed the reports earlier today, “Jabaliya and Shejaiya are ‘centers of gravity’… for terrorists, and we are fighting them. They are hiding underground and come out and we fight them. Whoever is left in those areas, they come out from tunnel shafts, and some from buildings, and we investigate who is linked to Hamas, and who isn’t. We arrest them all and interrogate them.”

Amir Tsarfati, Founder and President of Behold Israel, posted on telegram footage of those arrested. “Exactly two months ago, they cheered at the news of their massacre,” he wrote. “[Today], more Nazis surrendered! Happy Hanukkah!”


Day 62 — Thursday, December 7

Netanyahu Warns Beirut Could Turn Into Gaza If Lebanon's Hezbollah 'Decides To Open An All-out War'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is warning Thursday that Hezbollah could turn Lebanon’s capital of Beirut into another Gaza if the terrorist group decides to open an “all-out war” on his country.

Netanyahu made the comment while visiting the Israel Defense Forces Northern Command headquarters with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi.

“I am impressed by the great spirit here. You have expressed it and I want you to know that this obligates us. The people are proud of you,” Netanyahu told the troops, according to his office.

“I also suggest that our enemies pay attention to this spirit because if Hezbollah decides to open an all-out war, then with its own hands it will turn Beirut and southern Lebanon, which are not far from here, into Gaza and Khan Younis. We are determined to achieve victory and we will do so with your help.”

Netanyahu’s office said he and Head of Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Ori Gordin “visited an artillery battery in the Upper Galilee, where he spoke with reserve infantry and artillery soldiers, who have been serving on the forward line along the Lebanese border for the past two months,” during the trip.

Day 62 — Thursday, December 7

Israeli FM Accuses United Nations Head Of Backing Hamas, Warns His Continued Tenure Is A ‘Danger to World Peace’

Israel’s foreign minister accused United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres of supporting Palestinian terror group Hamas, called for his resignation, and said his tenure as head of the world body was “a danger to world peace,” in a furious reaction on Wednesday to Guterres’ letter urging an immediate ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas and his invocation of a rare clause in the UN charter to urge Security Council intervention.

Eli Cohen said Guterres’ call for a ceasefire in the two-month war in Gaza, sparked by Hamas’s October 7 atrocities in southern Israel, “constitutes support” for the Palestinian terror organization and was “an endorsement of the murder of the elderly, the abduction of babies, and the rape of women.”

Hamas’s October 7 assault saw some 3,000 terrorists burst across the border into southern Israel, killing about 1,200 people and seizing some 240 hostages of all ages under the cover of thousands of rockets fired at Israeli towns and cities. The vast majority of those killed were civilians, and about half of those taken hostage were women and children, including infants and toddlers. Entire families were executed in their homes, and over 360 were slaughtered at an outdoor festival, many amid horrific acts of brutality by the terrorists.

Guterres has repeatedly called for a ceasefire in the unfolding war, and on Wednesday he wrote to the 15-member Security Council under Article 99 of the UN Charter for the first time since he took the helm of the 193-member world body in 2017. It is also the first time any secretary-general has made use of it since 1989. The article allows the secretary-general to bring to the council’s attention any matter that he believes threatens international peace and security.

Day 62 — Thursday, December 7

Gallant: If Hezbollah Doesn't Back Its Forces Off, The IDF Will Be Forced To Make Them

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Wednesday met with local northern authorities from evacuated communities and told them that Hezbollah would need to choose between a negotiated process where it backs its forces off of Israel’s border, or the IDF would take action to ensure that.

He said, “there is one possibility that we will reach a different deal…with international negotiators that they will respect our presence here…the second possibility is that we will be forced to do it by force.”

Moreover, he said that Israel does not want a larger conflict with Hezbollah, but that if it is necessary, “we will not hesitate, as we did not hesitate in the South,” with Hamas.

“When we finish the process of fighting in Gaza, we will be in a different reality where the military efforts will shift to the North because the different level of power comparing Hezbollah to Hamas is well-known to us,” added Gallant.

Gallant continued citing that Hezbollah has lost over 100 of its terrorist fighters and substantial weapons stores and command facilities.

Further, he said, “it will be clear that in the area where the borders come into contact, there will be no threats, no gunfire, no anti-tank missiles, no forces, and for sure no forces which could invade the territory of the State of Israel from close by.”

The defense minister continued, “Wherever before there was a battalion [guarding the northern communities] there will be [an entire] brigade. There will be a different level of defense and there will be other security components.”

Day 61 — Wednesday, December 6

Israel Is Doing More To Protect Innocent Civilians Than Any Nation In History

In its current war with Hamas, the steps Israel has taken to protect Gazan civilians far surpasses those of any nation in history.  

In an effort to reduce the loss of innocent life, Israel employs leaflets, phone calls, and text messages to warn the Gazan population about pending military operations. Israel also provides Gazans with maps detailing corridors which can be used to safely evacuate from the coming action. Even once an operation commences, Israeli forces still focus on preventing collateral damage.

Does Hamas reciprocate by attempting to minimize Israeli civilian casualties? No. While some Israeli military installations were attacked as part of their October 7 raid, Hamas primarily targeted civilians, including the elderly, pregnant women, children and even infants.  

Hamas continues to target civilians by firing volleys of unguided rockets at Israeli cities and towns. These attacks serve no tactical purpose.  

Instead, they are designed to inflict as many noncombatant casualties as possible.  

But what about the Palestinian civilians? Does Hamas care about the suffering of the very Gazans who voted them to power during a 2006 popular election? No. Hamas locates its headquarters, ammunition depots, and troops in close concert with Palestinian hospitals, schools, mosques, and apartment buildings. This placement is not accidental. Hamas desires the deaths of as many innocent Gazans as possible in the hopes that this carnage will sway public opinion against Israel’s war effort.  

And their strategy is working.

According to reporting from the Wall Street Journal, when Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, told U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken that Israel intended to destroy Hamas even if the effort took months, Blinken allegedly replied by saying, “I don’t think you have the credit for that.”

With this statement, Blinken conveyed his belief that, despite its efforts to minimize civilian suffering thus far, Israel still lacked the necessary political and moral “credit” required to prosecute the war against Hamas as they saw fit.

Presumably, Blinken’s hesitancy was rooted in concern for the Palestinian civilians living in Gaza. While this sentiment is laudable, one could be forgiven for wondering why Israel is expected to exhibit more care for the people of Gaza than their duly elected Hamas government.

Though Hamas is, without question, the instigator in this war, the terrorist group seems to bear little responsibility in the court of public opinion for the hell they’ve unleashed against the very people they purport to govern.

Day 61 — Wednesday, December 6

BGEA Equips 150 Israeli Pastors and Believers To Comfort And Encourage Others Through Christ Amid Raging War

In the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, “everyone is in trauma to some degree,” said Josh Holland, international director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (BG-RRT).

Shortly before Thanksgiving, Holland—along with BG-RRT chaplain Jason Scalzi—held Sharing Hope in Crisis seminars in Israel, to equip believers there to care for their suffering neighbors.

Between the three locations, around 150 pastors, leaders, and local believers—including many women whose husbands and sons are serving their country on the front lines—came to grow in their ability to comfort those around them and offer God’s peace.

The timely training was interpreted into Hebrew and Arabic during sessions in Messianic congregations in Jerusalem and Haifa, as well as an Arab church in Nazareth.

Amid great loss, fear, and grief, Israeli believers left strengthened by God’s Word and spurred on in their mission to serve those reeling from tragedy—to help them recognize Jesus (Yeshua) as Messiah, the Savior of the world.

Day 61 — Wednesday, December 6

Prime Minister Netanyahu: 'Our Forces Are Surrounding Sinwar's House'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published a statement on Wednesday concerning two updates on the war in Gaza and the efforts to return the hostages.

“Yesterday, I said that our forces can get anywhere in the Gaza Strip. Now, they are surrounding the home of (Yahya) Sinwar. Now, his home is not his fort, and he escapes, but it is only a matter of time until we reach him,” Netanyahu declared.

Regarding the hostages, he stated: “We are applying pressure to allow for visits by the Red Cross of the hostages. In that regard, I spoke today with the President of the Red Cross and told her to speak to Qatar, which has proven to have leverage on Hamas, and demand the Red Cross visit the hostages and, of course, supply them with medication.”

The Security Cabinet will convene on Wednesday. The meeting was made earlier after the War Cabinet did not come to a decision regarding the American demand to increase the amount of fuel that is being allowed in the Gaza Strip.

The US demanded that the amount of fuel being allowed into the strip in a day be increased by three – from 60 thousand liters to 180.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir will present his stance against the transfer of fuel to the Gaza Strip: “We can not give fuel to Hamas. Every liter of fuel puts us further from defeating Hamas,” those close to the minister stated.

“They are holding our hostages; our soldiers fall there every day, and giving them fuel is a direct continuation of that same conception. Some of the cabinet members have not yet realized that we need to change the conception that failed on 10/7.”

“There is a continuous collapse of the siege on Gaza. It started with a number of individual trucks of food, continued with a long convoy of trucks, after that a bit of fuel, and now, they want to transfer convoys of fuel,” Ben-Gvir stated.

Day 61 — Wednesday, December 6

IDF: ‘Fierce Battles’ Continue In Gaza, Troops Killed Hamas Cell Near School In Northern Strip

The IDF says “fierce battles” with Hamas operatives in the Gaza Strip continue, as the Air Force carries out strikes against more than 250 targets over the past day.

In a statement, it says the 7th Armored Brigade directed strikes on two rocket launchers used in the barrages on central Israel yesterday.

The IAF strikes also hit several Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives, alongside infrastructure belonging to the terror groups, the military says.

The IDF says that the Kfir Brigade killed a group of Hamas operatives who were near a school in northern Gaza. Later, the soldiers found and destroyed a tunnel shaft and weapons in the area. In another school in northern Gaza, the soldiers found weapons, according to the IDF.

Day 61 — Wednesday, December 6

Analysis — Impossibly Long Odds Or Prophecy Fulfilled? Many Christians Are Too Ignorant Of Prophecy To Know The Difference

In 1948, events in a remote corner of the world marked the fulfillment of ancient prophecies and hastened the approach of the End Times. Israel was reborn.

Beginning in AD 66, the Jews of Judea were decimated, exiled, or scattered. Mercilessly putting down the revolt that originated in the Galilee, the Roman Empire resolved to answer the “Jewish question”—at least as it involved the stiff-necked Jews in Palestina. So, at great expense Rome made an example of the Jewish rebels, besieging Jerusalem and even stomping out the last band of resistance at Masada.

During Herod the Great’s heavy-handed reign, Jewish resistance to Roman rule was squelched. When he died, his kingdom was divided, and the Roman garrison soon found itself opposed openly. Of course, the Jewish Messiah appeared during that same period offering true and eternal liberation—but the corrupt Jewish authorities ensured that He was executed by Roman hands.

Jesus had foretold the devastation that would fall upon Jerusalem. Because most Jews did not recognize the time of their visitation and embrace Him, God rejected them for a long and painful season.

Rejected, but not forsaken.

The Lord was not the first to prophesy the destruction and Diaspora (dispersion of the Jews). Moses was very clear about the alternative to God’s continued blessing on His chosen people. Deuteronomy 28 records his extensive warning about the consequence of disobedience. Instead of an unending stream of blessing, he said, “the LORD will scatter [the Children of Israel] among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth… Among those nations you shall find no rest, and there will be no resting place for the sole of your foot; but there the LORD will give you a trembling heart, failing of eyes, and despair of soul” (28:64-65).

He went on to describe the curse that would fall upon the land itself—the Promised Land that his people were about to go and possess for the first time. When God scattered the people, the Land itself would become “brimstone and salt, a burning waste, unsown and unproductive, and no grass grows in it” (Deuteronomy 29:23).

All of these curses would fall on Israel (people and Land) because the Jews forsook the covenant of the LORD, the God of their fathers (Deuteronomy 29:25).

But Moses also foresaw beyond that great calamity, promising, “If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you back. The LORD your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers” (Deuteronomy 30:4-5).

That steadfast hope of that promise is why every Jew throughout the diaspora has ended the Passover seder with a hopeful prayer: “Next year in Jerusalem.”

Day 61 — Wednesday, December 6

Netanyahu Slams Women's Rights Organization's Silence On The Brutal Rape Of Israeli Women During Hamas Attack

(Graphic Warning) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called out women’s groups and human rights groups on Tuesday over their silence about Hamas’ brutal, sadistic sexual violence against Israeli women.

Netanyahu made the remarks while speaking at a press conference in Tel Aviv alongside Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Minister Benny Gantz as horrifying stories have emerged in recent days of the extreme acts of violence that the Palestinian terrorists have inflicted upon Israeli women.

“I heard heartbreaking stories of abuse,” he says. “I heard, as you have heard, about sexual abuse and unprecedented cases of cruel rape.”

He said that women’s groups and human rights groups have not “scream[ed]” about what has happened, and asked if they were silent because the violence was against Jewish women.

“I say to the women’s rights organizations, to the human rights organizations, you’ve heard of the rape of Israeli women, horrible atrocities, sexual mutilation? Where the hell are you?” he asked.

“I expect all civilized leaders, governments, nations to speak up against this atrocity,” he added.

Israeli officials and eyewitness accounts have painted a grisly picture about what happened on October 7 as experts say that Hamas had a premeditated plan “to use sexual violence as a weapon of war.”

“They cut limbs and genitals, they raped, they abused corpses,” said Israeli Police Chief Kobi Shabtai. “There were sadistic sexual acts.”

Some of the rapes against grandmothers, women, and children were so violent that the women had their pelvises broken.

Another highly disturbing report that was published over the weekend revealed that one woman was gang raped by eight to ten terrorists. “She was screaming, ‘Stop it already! I’m going to die anyway from what you are doing, just kill me!’” an eyewitness said. “When they finished, they were laughing, and the last one shot her in the head.”

Day 60 — Tuesday, December 5

Israel Raises Warning Level For Traveling To 80 Countries, Including In Western Europe

The Israeli National Security Council (NSC) raised its travel warning levels for various countries, in most continents, due to intensifying threats from Iran and Hamas, as well as increased anti-Semitic incidents and attempted attacks against Jews and Israelis around the world.

The new guidance issued a raised level 2 warning of heightened vigilance for several countries in Western Europe, namely the UK, France, Germany and Russia; in South America, namely Brazil and Argentina; as well as Australia.

A more severe level 3 warning of avoiding non-essential travel war issued for certain countries in Africa, namely South Africa and Eritrea; and Central Asia, namely Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan.

The NSC advised the Israeli public to think carefully about the need to travel abroad over the next few weeks, to choose their destinations carefully and to follow security recommendations.

It particularly recommended to avoid high-risk areas, such as Arab and Middle Eastern countries, the North Caucasus, Iran’s neighboring countries and certain Muslim countries in Asia.

Travelers were also advised to avoid anti-Israel demonstrations, to remain vigilant and not to openly display Israeli or Jewish symbols. Following a similar warning a month ago.

Day 60 — Tuesday, December 5

Harvard, MIT And UPenn Presidents Pressed On 'Race-based Ideology' At Antisemitism Hearing

The presidents of Harvard, MIT and UPenn are being confronted Tuesday during a House committee hearing dedicated to confronting the surge in antisemitism seen on American college campuses in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war, as Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., pressed the trio about the “race-based ideology of the radical left” she said their institutions are supporting.

In her opening statement, Foxx, chair of the House Education and Workforce Committee, held a moment of silence “to recognize all the Israelis and others who have been killed, injured, or taken hostage by Hamas terrorists.”

Addressing the witnesses, Harvard University President Dr. Claudine Gay, University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill and Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Dr. Sally Kornbluth, Foxx said that “each of you will have a chance to answer to and atone for the many specific instances of vitriolic, hate-filled antisemitism on your respective campuses that have denied students the safe learning environment they are due.”

“As you confront our questions in this hearing, remember that you are not speaking to us, but to the students on your campus who have been threatened and assaulted and who look to you to protect them,” Foxx said.

Foxx played a video of many pro-Palestinian protesters at college campuses shouting “intifada,” an Arabic word for uprising that is used to describe past Palestinian campaigns against Israel.

Day 60 — Tuesday, December 5

IDF Says Troops Encircling Gaza’s Jabaliya, Have Raided Hamas’ General Security HQ

The IDF says troops have advanced in northern Gaza’s Jabaliya, with the 551st Brigade and the Navy’s Shayetet 13 commando unit raiding Hamas’s general security headquarters in the area.

According to the IDF, the 162nd Division began to operate deeper in Jabaliya after completing the encirclement of its refugee camp in recent days.

It says that over the last day, the troops operated in Jabaliya to destroy Hamas assets. The soldiers located rockets and other weapons, and directed airstrikes on Hamas operatives.

The IDF says that in a joint operations carried out with the Shin Bet, reservists of the 551st Brigade and Shayetet 13 commandos raided the Hamas general security headquarters in Jabaliya, and found weapons, various equipment and intelligence.

The Air Force continued to carry out strikes in Gaza, with the IDF saying that yesterday it struck a group of elite Hamas Nukhba operatives during a joint operation with the Paratroopers Brigade. The troops also found a cache of rockets, according to the IDF.

The Navy also carried out dozens of strikes along the Gaza coast, aiding the ground forces, the IDF adds.

Times Of Israel

Day 60 — Tuesday, December 5

Doctor Treating Freed Hamas Hostages Reveals Unprecedented Abuse: 'We Have To Rewrite The Textbooks Of Post-Trauma'

A doctor treating freed Hamas hostages in Israel says survivors are suffering from an unprecedented level of “extremely severe psychological abuse” endured during captivity.

“I can tell you that on behalf of all the medical and psychological teams treating those who return, the mental states we encountered have no precedent in medical literature. We feel that we have to rewrite the textbooks of post-trauma,” Dr. Renana Eitan told “Sunday Night in America.”

Eitan revealed the Tel Aviv Medical Center is actively treating more than 15 former hostages and described their “severe physical and mental abuse.”

“Those held captive were subject to starvation, to beating, to sexual abuse. They were being held in inhumane sanitary conditions. Extremely severe psychological abuse was inflicted on them, including separation from family members, separation of siblings, separation of children from their mothers. They were held in solitary confinement and spent long days in total darkness until they developed severe hallucinations,” Eitan claimed. “Children were forced to watch brutal videos. They were under constant threats by weapons and threats to harm them even after they were released. They refer to the forced use of psychiatric drugs and other substances.”

Eitan also detailed cases where individuals, though appearing physically unharmed, are dealing with “severe post-traumatic symptoms.”

“Some of the home comers, they look happy, they look fine, they look physically fine, and we try to hold on to those optimistic signs, but still, even those who seem fine, we know that most of them [are] suffering from severe post-traumatic symptoms, they have painful, traumatic memories. And they are entering into dissociative states, where for a moment they feel as if they are still in captivity and only later do they return to the understanding that they have been released,” she said.

Day 59 — Monday, December 4

Antisemitic Mob Descends on Israeli-Owned Restaurant in Philadelphia: 'Goldie, Goldie You Can’t Hide, We Charge You With Genocide'

An antisemitic mob of pro-Palestinian protesters descended on an Israeli-owned falafel restaurant in Philadelphia while reportedly shouting a litany of hateful chants on Sunday night.

“An antisemitic mob has descended on Michael Solomonov’s falafel restaurant in Philadelphia. They demand a boycott of Jewish goods. Michael Solomonov is a James Beard Award-winning chef. He makes some of the best hummus outside Israel, as well as outstanding lamb and other dishes,” announced commentator David Frum as he shared video of the chant.

“Goldie, Goldie you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide” the protesters could be heard shouting.

Goldie is the name of the restaurant.

Various commentators and politicians condemned the protest on a popular Philadelphia business.

“Tonight in Philly, we saw a blatant act of antisemitism — not a peaceful protest. A restaurant was targeted and mobbed because its owner is Jewish and Israeli. This hate and bigotry is reminiscent of a dark time in history,” said Democrat Gov. Josh Shapiro.

“I can’t believe I even have to say this but targeting businesses simply because they’re Jewish-owned is despicable. Philadelphia stands against this sort of harassment and hate,” said Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA).

Day 59 — Monday, December 4

Analysis — Amir Tsarfati: Could A Warning from God Have Thwarted The Oct. 7th Attack?

Over the past 40 days I have shed many tears. But the amount of those that ran down my face this morning were the most. Why?

I was trying to imagine a scenario in which I received a revelation of the coming attack, and somehow was able to persuade the government and the military to be ready. Then, once October 7th came, we preemptively attacked and avoided the massacre from even happening.

Then the tears started flowing when I realized that half of the nation would’ve accused the government of an attempt to divert the attention from the judicial reform, while the rest of the world would have accused us of starting a war with a peace-loving Gaza-based group of “freedom fighters”.

Sadly, many of the massacred people inside the kibbutzim would’ve thought that there was still a chance for peace and that we were overreacting. All that, while that Nazi-ISIS-Hamas was deep in its detailed diabolical planning of executing, beheading, raping, and burning alive all those innocent peace-loving people who worked so hard to help them live better lives.

The tears were mostly because It dawned on me that, sadly, this massacre, as terrible as it was, was permitted by the all-knowing God to finally wake us up as a nation to the need to run to Him for help, because we are surrounded with people who want war. God woke us up to be alert and ready so we could defend ourselves from something far bigger that could’ve happened!

“From The River to The Sea Palestine Will Be Free” means what they really want is not to live in peace next to us, but to live in peace instead of us.

I was then reminded of Psalm 120:5-7: “Woe is me, that I dwell in Meshech, That I dwell among the tents of Kedar! My soul has dwelt too long With one who hates peace. I am for peace; But when I speak, they are for war.”

Day 59 — Monday, December 4

IDF Faces ‘Fierce Battles’ In Gaza; Gallant Warns: Fate Of Hamas In The South Will Be ‘Same And Worse’ As In The North

The IDF says “fierce battles” are taking place between troops and Hamas operatives in the Gaza Strip in the last few hours.

It also publishes footage of troops of the Combat Engineering Corps’ 601st Battalion battling Hamas operatives who opened fire at them from a building yesterday.

Observing the northern Gaza Strip’s city of Jabaliya and Shejaiya neighborhood from the Israeli border, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant says IDF troops will remain there until Hamas’s infrastructure is completely destroyed, and threatens the terror group in southern Gaza.

“Golani troops have returned to Shejaiya to ‘close a circle.’ This time they will not leave it until all the terror infrastructure located there is eliminated,” Gallant says, referring to a difficult battle led by the brigade in the Gaza City neighborhood in 2014.

“The army is working at its best, the chief of staff is managing things fearlessly and with great success. This action that is happening now, in the north of the Gaza Strip, will soon lead to shattering [Hamas in] the entire area of ​​Gaza City and the north of the Gaza Strip,” he says.

“At the same time, the IDF has begun to work in the south of the Gaza Strip. The fate of the terrorists in the Hamas battalions there will be the same as those in the north and worse,” Gallant warns. “We will continue until victory and until all goals are achieved: the elimination of Hamas and the return of the hostages to Israel.”

Day 59 — Monday, December 4

Analysis — Pushing Israel Toward Policies That Would Ensure An Ongoing Cycle Of Terrorist Violence

After the October 7th Hamas terror attacks, the Biden Administration and most congressional Democrats stood with Israel to a surprising degree. But today that resolve has begun to crack.

At the beginning, President Biden’s support gave Israel great comfort. In an opinion piece for The Jerusalem Post, Herb Keinon cast the President in the role of Israel’s unifier and inspirational leader. “Israel is facing its own Battle of Britain moment,” he wrote. “And the leader stepping into the role of Winston Churchill — raising morale, uniting the nation, instilling a sense of hope, articulating hard truths — is not Netanyahu but Biden.”

During President Biden’s October 19th visit to the Holy Land, he said, “I come to Israel with a single message: You are not alone.” He also said, “I don’t believe you have to be a Jew to be a Zionist, and I am a Zionist.” Just a few weeks ago, he said Israel will stop fighting “when Hamas no longer maintains the capacity to murder, abuse, and do horrific things to the Israelis.”

President Biden’s backing of Israel against Hamas soon began to alienate members of his political base. A new Associated Press poll shows that 50% of Democrats support the President’s handling of the current conflict, but 46% do not. It’s difficult to be reelected when one’s own party is divided. And this is not an obscure foreign policy disagreement. Democrats on both sides feel passionate about this issue.

At first, the President was against a ceasefire until the hostages were rescued and Hamas incapacitated. But as his party protested, he began to call for, not a ceasefire, but a “pause.” He got the pause he wanted, but it was not enough. A large part of his team wants a “permanent pause.” But a ceasefire now would allow Hamas to regroup, rebuild, and rearm. It would guarantee more rounds of bloodthirsty assaults on Israeli civilians.

Day 59 — Monday, December 4

IDF Chief Of Staff: 'Powerful' Ground Op In Southern Gaza In Full Swing

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched the ground operation in southern Gaza, as combat against Hamas jihadists continues in the northern part of the Strip, Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi confirmed on Sunday.

Speaking to troops in southern Israel, Halevi said “yesterday, today, we wiped out Hamas battalion commanders and operatives. Yesterday morning we launched the same type of ground operation in the south of the Gaza Strip.”

“It will be no less powerful than in northern Gaza, it will produce comparable results,” Halevi added. “The Hamas commanders will face IDF everywhere they go.”

“We have the capabilities to prosecute the war in the most thorough way, and just as we did it in the north of the Gaza Strip, with might and meticulousness, we are also doing it now in the south of the Gaza Strip, and we also continue to further entrench the achievements in the north of the Gaza Strip.”

The military also dropped leaflets ordering the evacuation of areas that make up about one-quarter of the Gaza Strip, with hundreds of thousands of residents.

Day 58 — Sunday, December 3

Pentagon: U.S. Warship, Multiple Commercial Vessels Attacked in Red Sea

A U.S. Navy warship and multiple commercial vessels came under attack Sunday in the Red Sea,  the Pentagon said, marking a potential escalation in a series of maritime attacks in the Mideast linked to the Israel-Hamas war.

“We’re aware of reports regarding attacks on the USS Carney and commercial vessels in the Red Sea and will provide information as it becomes available,” the Pentagon confirmed, according to AP.

The USS Carney (DDG-64) is an Arleigh Burke-Class guided-missile destroyer. There is no indication yet it returned fire on its attacker(s).

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said the attack began about 10 a.m. in Sanaa, Yemen, and had been going on for as much as five hours.

There was no immediate comment from the Houthis. However, a Houthi terrorist spokesman earlier said an “important” statement would be released shortly, the AP report said.

Three weeks ago the USS Carney shot down three land attack cruise missiles and several drones launched by Iranian-backed Houthi forces in Yemen — in a potential widening of instability in the Middle East, initiated by actors backed by Iran.

Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder confirmed the Carney was operating in the northern Red Sea when it shot down the cruise missiles and drones, and called it a “demonstration” of American capabilities and willingness to protect partners and interests in the region.

The Pentagon gave no indication where the most recent hostile fire came from.

Day 58 — Sunday, December 3

UN Palestine Exhibition Contains 'Grotesque Blood Libels'

The United Nations headquarters in New York City is hosting an exhibition by the Palestinian Authority which has been accused of spreading blood libels against the State of Israel.

The exhibition was launched on the occasion of the annual UN Day of Solidarity With The Palestinian People, at the same time as a second exhibition at the UN’s Geneva branch where Ido Avigal, a five-year-old Jewish boy who was killed in a Hamas rocket attack on the city of Sderot in 2021, was falsely presented as an Arab boy who was killed by the IDF. The photograph was removed after the Israeli delegation drew attention to the lie that the exhibition spread.

The exhibition in New York, titled ‘Palestine: A Land With A People,’ states that “this year is the 75th anniversary of the ongoing Nakba” and accuses “Zionists” of engaging in deliberate ethnic cleansing and Apartheid. It further compares “Zionists” to the Nazis, a false analogy that violates the widely accepted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism.

Professor Anne Bayefsky, Director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust and President of Human Rights Voices, told Israel National News-Arutz Sheva: “Yes, the UN removed one disgusting lie from an exhibition in Geneva. But at UN Headquarters in New York the public entrance currently has an exhibition marking UN Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (not Israeli people), that has a litany of grotesque blood libels. A film looping every few minutes that analogizes Jews to Nazis, that claims ‘the solution definitely after the Second World War in the eyes of the leading Zionist politicians’ was to create the Jewish state by ‘the ethnic-cleansing of the Palestinians.’ And another film accusing Israel of ‘apartheid’ driven by ‘the capacity of the sword to defeat the soul.'”

“In contrast to blood-thirsty Israelis, declares the UN’s public gallery: ‘We have hope that a pregnant woman will give birth to a living baby at the hospital and not a dead child in front of a military checkpoint. Hope that our poets will see the beauty of the color red in roses rather than blood.’ The message of its photographic montage is that Jews ‘massacre’ hapless Arabs. An entire wall of appalling historical lies that say absolutely nothing about 75 years of successive Arab wars launched to annihilate the Jewish state and Palestinian terrorism perpetrated on Israelis from the minute of its modern birth until now. Where is the outrage of this vile incitement of Jew-hatred – that is funded and organized by the United Nations itself, operating hand-in-glove with the Palestinian PR team?” Prof. Bayefsky asked.

Day 57 — Saturday, December 2

Analysis — Skip Heitzig: This Is A Horrible Time, But God Is Going To Get Israel Through

On October 7—the fiftieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War of 1973—the terrorist group Hamas fired thirty-five hundred rockets indiscriminately from Gaza into Israeli territory. Israel was caught completely off guard in what is being called the darkest day in Israeli history.

Armed terrorists crossed the border into Israel, going from house to house killing families, beheading babies, killing elderly people, and taking many hostages. The early toll was at least twelve hundred dead in Israel, including twenty-two Americans. Israel formally declared war for the first time in fifty years.

I recently talked to Joel Rosenberg, New York Times best-selling author and founder of the Joshua Fund, All Israel News, and All Arab News. He called it the biggest murder of Jews since the Holocaust. “It’s just off-the-charts demonic and satanic,” he said.

I also talked to a man who lived in Israel for a long time and served in the Israeli army, a PhD known as Steve the Tour Guide.

Steve said, “I think on [October 7th] we saw a moral clarity that has rarely been presented to us—the face of pure evil on display versus the faces of its victims. A lot of people, including Christians, are going to be put to the test.” He said that our success in that test has to do with our convictions and how much time we spend in the presence of the Lord each day.

Day 57 — Saturday, December 2

Israel Pounds Terror Targets In The Gaza Strip, Prepare For Expected Ground Offensive In The Enclave’s South

The Israel Defense Forces said Saturday it had killed a Hamas battalion commander responsible for several deadly attacks against both civilians and soldiers, as it continued to pound terror targets in the Gaza Strip and prepare for an expected ground offensive in the enclave’s south.

At the same time, Gaza rocket fire at Israel continued, with projectiles fired at Tel Aviv on Saturday evening for the first time since November 20.

Rocket sirens sounded across a wide swath of central Israel, and a young man was lightly hurt in Holon from shrapnel.

The IDF said it was investigating after footage showed an Iron Dome interceptor missile failing and crashing in central Israel during the rocket barrage. There were no reports of injuries as a result of the incident.

“The possibility that an interceptor [missile] fell in the country due to a technical malfunction is being examined,” the IDF said in response to a query on the matter.

“The incident is being investigated,” it added.

Tamir missiles fail occasionally, though in most cases have not caused any significant damage.

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said the military killed Wissam Farhat, the commander of Hamas’s Shejaiya battalion, in an airstrike. Hagari said Farhat was responsible for an attack on Golani troops in the Gaza City neighborhood of Shejaiya during the 2014 war. Seven soldiers were killed in the incident, known as the APC disaster, including Oron Shaul, whose remains have been held by Hamas since.

Farhat also “planned and sent terrorists on October 7 to the Nahal Oz kibbutz and army post, in the cruel massacre that was carried out,” Hagari said. Dozens of Israelis were killed and dozens more kidnapped there.

The army released a video of the strike that killed Farhat.

The IDF said Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi and the head of the Shin Bet, Ronen Bar, held an assessment Saturday at IDF Southern Command in Beersheba, and approved battle plans for Israel’s continued ground offensive in Gaza.

“We are focused on continuing to dismantle Hamas, and on creating conditions for the return of additional hostages,” Halevi said in remarks provided by the IDF.

Earlier in the day the army said it carried out “extensive” strikes against Hamas in south Gaza Friday overnight and into Saturday, while calling on Palestinians to evacuate from areas near the Israeli border, indicating ground operations in the southern part of the Strip were due to start soon.

In a statement Saturday morning, the IDF said it carried out airstrikes against over 400 targets across the Strip in the past day since fighting resumed. Ground, air and naval forces were all involved in the operations.

Day 57 — Saturday, December 2

IDF Targets Hezbollah, Missile From Lebanon Hits Inside Israel

The IDF targeted Hezbollah terror infrastructure in Lebanese territory with a combination of artillery, missile, and aircraft fire on Saturday, the Israeli military said.

A number of launches fired at IDF positions in the Lebanon border area were also detected on Saturday. The IDF responded by targeting the source of the fire.

Later on Saturday, IDF combat aircraft again targeted Hezbollah infrastructure in Lebanon, the military stated.

Again, after more launches from Lebanese territory aimed at Israel were identified, the IDF responded with artillery fire directed at the source of the launches.

Missile from Lebanon hits structure in Israel

Israeli media also reported on Saturday that missile fired from Lebanon at civilian infrastructure in Israel’s upper Galileeregion, causing significant damage to the impact site.

Earlier, rocket alerts sounded across Israel’s north.

The missile hit a structure at the outskirts of Kibbutz Dovev, a community located less than a mile from the Lebanese border.

No casualties have been reported.

Day 57 — Saturday, December 2

IDF Finds Dozens of Rockets in Gaza Home Under United Nations Boxes

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) revealed Saturday that it had found dozens of rockets in a private home in Gaza City underneath boxes labeled for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the institution devoted solely to Palestinian refugees.

The Times of Israel reported:

Troops of the 7007th Reserve Battalion were searching a home in a neighborhood when they found a room full of boxes bearing the logo of the UN agency that supports Palestinian refugees.

Underneath the boxes, dozens of rockets, mortars and other explosives were found, the IDF says.

Separately, troops of the 414th combat intelligence collection unit operating in a home in northern Gaza found grenades, weapon parts and other military equipment inside a child’s bedroom, the IDF says.

Video of the find was posted on social media:

The soldier in the video above explains that the home is in a neighborhood in Gaza City, and that the rockets found are short-range rockets of the “Grad” variety, capable of traveling about ten kilometers, and likely use to target the Israeli city of Ashkelon.

UNRWA has repeatedly been accused of indoctrinating Palestinians to hate Israel, and also of assisting terror operations.

Day 57 — Saturday, December 2

Israeli Jets Strike Near Damascus, Syrian Media Says

Israeli airstrikes hit several points on the outskirts of Damascus overnight, Syrian state media reported, resulting in some damage.

State news agency SANA, citing an unnamed military official, says the strikes came from the direction of the Golan Heights and that Syrian air defenses shot most of the missiles down. The strikes resulted in only “material losses,” the statement says.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based opposition war monitor, says the strikes hit in the area of the south Damascus suburb of Sayyida Zeinab, where it said that “there are military forces working with the Lebanese Hezbollah,” the terror group backed by Iran.

Day 57 — Saturday, December 2

Analysis — Mike Pompeo: Pressuring Israel Into A Long-term Ceasefire Would Result In A Repeat Of October 7

As Israel resumed its offensive in Gaza this week, calls for a long-term ceasefire from inside the United States – particularly within the Democrat Party – have remained strong.  Indeed, many had pushed for the previous short-term pause in fighting, which allowed the release of hostages held by Hamas, to remain in place indefinitely.  While we should celebrate the return of innocent Israeli civilians being reunited with their families and loved ones, we must recognize that a long-term ceasefire would play right into Hamas’ hands.  Such a ceasefire would not remove Hamas from Gaza, and it would only encourage future attacks on Israel.

Make no mistake: A long-term ceasefire is exactly what Hamas wants.  In the immediate aftermath of  Hamas’ barbaric acts on October 7, Israeli leaders pledged to wipe out the terrorist organization and the Israeli military has since begun an effective campaign to do just that.  In the face of utter annihilation, Hamas decided to use the hostages it took to ensure its own survival, helped especially by the Biden Administration’s pressure on the Israeli government to allow for a ceasefire.  With the vast majority of Hamas’ forces still intact, there are signs that the Biden Administration is now pushing Israel to accept a long-term ceasefire.

Think, for a moment, of the long-term consequences of such a decision.  The attacks on Hamas were the worst acts of antisemitic violence perpetrated since the Holocaust.  Pressuring Israel to now sign a long-term ceasefire would only encourage future attacks like those we saw on October 7.  It would be a green light to Hezbollah and other Iranian proxies that America will not have Israel’s back, making the region far less safe for Israelis and Americans alike.

Day 57 — Saturday, December 2