Two Israeli civilians killed in the north, as Israel marked 100 days since October 7th via BICom
Northern border: Attacks have continued from Lebanon towards northern Israel.
- Several anti-tank missiles were launched toward the areas of Zar’it, Shomera, and Kfar Yuval.
- In Kfar Yuval, the missile hit a house, killing 76-year-old Mira Ayalon and her son, 45-year-old Barak. The father, Eliyahu was also injured.
- The missiles are believed to have been fired from Adeisa, a Lebanese village that is six kilometers east of Kfar Yuval.
- Rockets were also fired toward the communities of Misgav Am and Goren that mostly landed in open areas.
- Earlier on Sunday there was an attempted infiltration in the Mount Dov area (where there is no fence). Three combatants were killed in the ensuing exchanges of fire. Kalashnikov rifles, magazines, hand grenades and anti-tank missiles were found in their possession. Three IDF soldiers were wounded in the incident.
- In response to these attacks, the IDF struck Hezbollah targets, deep into Lebanon, as far as Jabal Safi, which is 35 kilometres from the Israeli border.
Tel Aviv: Over the weekend families of the hostages and their supporters held a 24-hour rally to mark 100 days in captivity.
- President Herzog spoke in English with a message to the world. “From Hostage Square in Tel Aviv, a symbol of solidarity and humanity,” he said, “I call upon the entire family of nations to do your part. This isn’t just about our battle, it is a battle for the entire world. Stand with life and liberty against barbarism and hate. Stand with freedom and democracy, stand with our hostages, and help bring them back home. There is no ‘later’. The time to act is now.”
- Shelly, the mother of Omer Shem Tov who is being held captive, said, “my husband and I were raised on mutual responsibility and that is how we raised our kids too. We raised them that we don’t leave anyone behind. Onehundred days in which I haven’t had air to breathe and Omer, who is in captivity without his ventilator, really doesn’t have air to breathe. One hundred days in which I’ve gone into Omer’s room and I’ve told him to be strong and have prayed. I’m asking Omer to wait a bit more, another drop. We’ll get you home.”
- Simon Walters, the British Ambassador, delivered a personal message of support from Foreign Secretary Cameron.
- The US Ambassador was also among the speakers, as well as a prerecorded speech by French President Emmanuel Macron.
Context: The IDF’s assessment is that Hezbollah has escalated its attacks in response to the death of senior Hezbollah commanders killed last week, including the commander of their Radwan commando unit, whose remit includes planning infiltration attempts, and the commander of their drone operations in southern Lebanon.
- The infiltration attempt in Mount Dov was claimed by a Palestinian terror group in Lebanon, in response to the recent killing of Hamas leaders Salah al-Arouri and Samir Fendi in Beirut.
- Overall, according to the IDF, around 2,000 rockets, mortars, anti-tank missiles and UAVs have been fired from Lebanon into Israel over the past 100 days.
- Another 30 have been fired from Syria.
- The IDF has struck around 750 targets and has killed around 170 military combatants.
- In the south, the IDF maintain that the military campaign to dismantle Hamas’s military infrastructure is the best method to secure the return the hostages.
- However, there appear to be disagreements within the war cabinet. Minister Gantz and Eisenkot support the statements made by the hostages’ families, that everything must be done in order to reach a deal.
- Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defence Minister Gallant have argued that only military pressure would be able to bring about a deal to free the hostages.
- Despite withdrawing troops from northern Gaza, four divisions continue to operate inside Gaza. According to IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, “the forces are advancing in the field according to plan, and adapting their operational methods to the tasks, the terrain, and the enemy.”
- “We have moved the focus of our efforts to the centre and south of the Strip, where we exposed, including today, weapons manufacturing facilities above and below ground, including missiles intended for the Israeli home front, a real military industry. Destroying these is very important to prevent future strengthening, and it is important to understand, without manoeuvring in the field, it would not have been possible to do this. The forces are thoroughly and methodically dismantling infrastructure, and at the same time, the forces continue to eliminate terrorists from the air, sea, and in brave face-to-face combat on the ground in a very complex area.”
- The IDF also announced that it has destroyed 700 rocket launchers since the operation begun, as well as seizing and destroying hundreds of rockets.
- Nevertheless, Hamas is still able to launch rockets, including six M75 rockets launched yesterday towards Ashdod. One was intercepted, whilst the other five landed in open areas.
Marking 100 days since the October 7 massacre, the IDF released a range of statistics:
- In Gaza, of the 23,000 fatalities, over 9,000 are combatants from Hamas and other terror organisations.
- In terms of the Hamas military leadership, two of their five brigade commanders have been killed, as well as 19 Hamas battalion commanders and over 50 company commanders. These killings disrupt Hamas’s command and control.
- In addition, around 2,300 suspected combatants have been arrested.
The IDF also revealed the extend of humanitarian aid that has entered into Gaza Strip. This includes around 137,920 tons of aid:
- 3,950 trucks, carrying 82,330 tons of food.
- 1,151 trucks carrying 16,630 tons of tents and shelter equipment.
- 1,007 trucks carrying 11,510 tons of medical equipment.
- 863 trucks carrying 17,320 tons of water as well two pipelines delivering water from Israel into Gaza.
Looking ahead: The fate of the hostages held in Gaza looms large over Israeli society.
- In particular, the remaining female hostages who, according to testimony from released hostages, have suffered sexual assaults and some of whom may have become pregnant as a result of being raped in captivity.
- Israeli law allows a standard medical committee to authorise an abortion up to the 24th week of pregnancy. Beyond this, a special committee of senior doctors can authorise an abortion. In the hope that hostages will be released, a special committee will been formed to deal with this scenario.
- Separately, on Sunday Hamas released their latest propaganda video showing three hostages: Noa Argamani, 26, Yossi Sharabi, 53, and Itay Svirsky, 38, identifying themselves and asking the Israeli government to bring them home. The short clip ended with the text: “Tomorrow we will inform you of their fate.”