War Day 98: US Strikes Houthis, Jordanian Smugglers Accosted

War Summary, Day Ninety Eight: The U.S. and U.K. carried out strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen, IDF foiled an attempt to smuggle 49 handguns and parts of an assault rifle from Jordan, and South Africa is accusing Israel of genocide and demanding an immediate ceasefire and evacuation of IDF troops from Gaza.

By Mrs. Bruria Efune

War Summary, Day Ninety Eight:

136 held captive in Gaza.
110 hostages freed.
11 hostage bodies rescued.
33 hostages confirmed murdered in Gaza.
1,300+ Israelis murdered.
186 fallen soldiers in the battle in Gaza.
5 fallen soldiers in Northern Israel.
2 fallen soldiers in Judea & Samaria.
8,000 injured.
12,800 rockets fired at Israel.
187,533 Israelis displaced from their homes.
1 Jewish nation united in prayer, charity, and good deeds.

Hostage Updates:

The New York Times reported that progress has been made in the negotiations that Qatar is conducting with Hamas to transfer essential medicines to the hostages in Gaza, in exchange for Israeli readiness to transfer additional medical equipment to Gaza. An official familiar with the matter told the newspaper that the issue came up during a meeting of the hostages families with the Prime Minister of Qatar earlier this week. The existence of the negotiations was also confirmed by an Israeli official.

Gaza Front Updates:

Hamas fired into Israel once today, at Kissufim, in the Gaza Envelope.

Thank G-d, the IDF did not announce any fallen soldiers today!

According to intelligence gathered in Gaza, both from Hamas documentation and analysis of hundreds of tunnels, the IDF estimates that Hamas used more than 6,000 tons of concrete and 1,800 tons of steel for the hundreds of kilometers of tunnels they built beneath the Gaza Strip. The cost is estimated to be at least in the tens of millions of dollars.

“The Hamas terror organization chose to invest these precious resources in building a terror infrastructure used to harm Israeli citizens and IDF forces, while cynically exploiting the civilian population in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF says.

The IDF has completed takeover of Northern Gaza, but is still operational in the area due to small terrorist holdouts.

In Central Gaza, the IDF has encircled al-Bureij, gave an evacuation warning for al-Nuseirat, and is holding heavy battles in al-Maghazi.

The primary battles in Gaza at the moment are in Maghazi in Central Gaza, and Khan Younis in the south.

The battles are primarily filled with searches for terrorists, weapons, and tunnels. When terrorists are spotted at a safe distance, the ground troops call in an airstrike to eliminate them. Often the terrorists are met close-up, inside a building, and a dangerous face-to-face combat ensures. Most terrorist weapons are destroyed, but only after intelligence is gathered and select items are sent back to Israel for study.

So far, in the Khan Younis area alone, IDF troops have discovered more than 300 tunnel shafts leading underground to major Hamas tunnels. The IDF plans to destroy all the tunnels, and so far has done so with more than 100.

On the coast, in the far south near Rafah, a humanitarian zone is established with tents for evacuees to locate to. Unfortunately, Hamas has taken over the camp, is charging residents for the donated tents, and is firing rockets from in between civilians.

IDF reservists came to demonstrate in front of the home of the War Cabinet Minister, Benny Gantz, demanding not to end the war without exacting a heavy price in the Gaza Strip. Their statement: “We cannot allow the blood of our soldiers and sons to be in vain.”

Gaza Humanitarian Efforts Updates:

201 humanitarian aid trucks were inspected and transferred to Gaza today.

Northern Front Updates:

Hezbollah is continuing to fire heavily at Israel, but remains contained in the far north. Hezbollah claims to have weapons that could reach all parts of Israel, and this is most likely true, in large quantity. So while they refuse to quit with the fire until the war in Gaza ends, they still hold back from a complete conflict, perhaps out of a fear of being targeted by the IDF like Hamas, or they’re simply waiting for a stronger excuse to escalate, and world support of Israel to decrease further.

Hezbollah’s fire is significantly more sophisticated and deadly than Hamas’s, and some of their short-range missiles evade air defense detection, causing heavy damage with no warning. Around 80,000 Israelis remain evacuated from their homes in Israel’s far north.

The IDF continued to strike Hezbollah sites in Lebanon, including military buildings, an observation position, and launch sites.

A few towns in Northern Israel lost power due to the destruction from Hezbollah. Eitan Davidi, Chairman of Moshav Margaliot, protested, “Although Gallant promised to return Lebanon to the Stone Age, in the meantime Hezbollah is returning us to the Stone Age.”

The American envoy, Amos Hochstein, is in Beirut, attempting to bring the fire to an end via diplomatic efforts. In a meeting with the prime minister of the transitional government in Lebanon, he said that “there is a need to calm the situation in southern Lebanon, even if it is not possible to reach an agreement on a final solution at this time.”

Houthi War Fronts Updates:

According to a British report, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, is personally involved in the Houthis’ decision to blockade ships in the Red Sea.

The US Army’s Central Command reported the 27th attack by the Houthi militia against a commercial vessel in the Red Sea. According to the US Army’s statement, the militia launched ballistic missiles from the areas under its control in Yemen, at a vessel the sailing. There were no casualties in the incident and no damage was caused.

After midnight between Thursday and Friday, the U.S. and U.K. started carrying out strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen, for the first time since the terror group started targeting international shipping in the Red Sea. A US official says the strikes were carried out from aircrafts, ships, and a submarine.

Sources told the Wall Street Journal that the Houthis moved some of their weapons and equipment in anticipation of the attack by the US and its allies. Some of the missiles are stored in the bunker of the former president of Yemen in Sana’a.

Judea and Samaria Updates:

Overnight, the Police and IDF foiled an attempt to smuggle 49 handguns and parts of an assault rifle from Jordan, and arrested two suspects for involvement in the smuggling.

In Jaba, elite IDF forces located a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist, identified as 37-year-old Majdi Abd al-Latif Fashafsha. Fashafsa was armed, and resisted arrest, and during the ensuing battle, IDF forces eliminated him. In the vicinity, another wanted Palestinian was arrested, and illegal weapons were seized from various homes.

Overnight, 24 wanted persons were arrested throughout Judea and Samaria. Since the beginning of the war, approximately 2,650 wanted persons have been arrested in the sector, approximately 1,300 of whom are associated with the terrorist organization Hamas, the rest are associated with various other terror groups active in the area.

It was announced that the police and the Shin Bet foiled terrorist attacks planned by two ISIS-supporting terrorists in East Jerusalem. The terrorists planned to prepare explosive devices aimed at the security forces, but their intentions were revealed and they were arrested before they carried out their plan.

International Court of Justice Updates:

Proceedings have began in South Africa’s pro-Hamas case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). South Africa is accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza, and demanding an immediate ceasefire and evacuation of IDF troops from Gaza.

The ICJ is presided over by 15 permanent judges appointed by the UN, and two additional judges from the involved countries: former Israeli Supreme Court president Aharon Barak, and South Africa’s former deputy chief justice, Dikgang Moseneke. The UN Security Council is tasked with enforcing any order resulting from the trial.

On the first day of the case, South Africa presented claims of genocide in Gaza, with no mention of Hamas’s murderous attack on Israeli civilians, the 136 remaining hostages, or Hamas’s hiding amongst civilians and hospitals. The South African representatives wildly misrepresented information, such as by claiming that Israel is bombing Gaza with bunker-busting bombs, while failing to say that these are used exclusively inside Hamas terror tunnels.

South Africa also used Hamas’s numbers when giving the Gaza death-toll, and compared the IDF operation to “the killing fields of Cambodia” in the late 1970s, where the Khmer Rouge regime murdered more than one million people.

Israel will have a turn to respond to the claims on Friday.

Based on the character of the UN-appointed judges, its widely expected that the court will accept South Africa’s claims and demands, at least in part. Best-case-scenario is seen as the ICJ demanding more aid to Gaza, and the return of Gaza civilians to their homes in the north of Gaza.

In response to the hearings, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said: “The US believes that South Africa’s petition is distracting the world from important efforts to achieve peace and security.”

The Foreign Minister of Germany, notable for their expertise in genocide, also criticized the proceedings. “The conditions for the charge of genocide require an intention to partially or collectively eliminate on the basis of nationality, ethnicity, race or religion,” said Analana Barbuk, citing the second article of the UN Convention on the Prevention of Genocide. “I find no such intention on the part of Israel in its self-defense against the terrorist organization Hamas. We will follow the procedure closely.”

International Updates:

Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, met with the Red Cross ambassador to the UN. Erdan expressed harsh criticism towards the organization. “The Red Cross refuses to publicly condemn Hamas, which does not even allow access to the hostages or the transfer of medicine to them, and commits the most serious and heinous war crimes,” he said.

Erdan also emphasized that the day after the war he would recommend to the government to cancel residence visas and immediately remove many UN workers from Israel until the policies of its members change.

Video: The IDF released video footage of a Hamas tunnel in Khan Younis where hostages were likely held by Hamas fairly recently.

Video: Surveillance camera footage shows at least ten anti-tank missile impacts in Kiryat Shmona, following a barrage fired from Lebanon

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