Motsai Shabbos Updates: Israel vs Hamas


Israel Advances Into Rafah

Israeli forces have penetrated deeper into Southern Gaza with intense airstrikes on the city of Rafah over the weekend. Israel’s media warned civilians there to take cover, as the strikes killed at least 28 Palestinians. Rafah is currently the biggest refugee city in Gaza. Close to 2 million people are sheltering there since the rest of the country was systematically demolished by Israeli forces. Netanyahu stated that the IDF will help assist with civilian evacuations and the army’s main targets are the terrorist cells hiding under the city.

The IDF carried out an airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza, targeting a senior Hamas police official and two other terrorists. Ahmed Al-Yaaqoubi, responsible for security arrangements for Hamas officials, was killed in the strike.

Israeli PM Netanyahu stated that Israel has about one month left to complete its operation in Rafah, Gaza, to eliminate remaining Hamas terrorists before the start of Ramadan in early March.

International Responses to Israel-Hamas War

An arrangement between Qatar and Hamas was tentatively believed to be successful, with the terms of the deal allowing hostages to receive vital medication. Qatar, which facilitated the transfer of medicine, claims Hamas will uphold the agreement. However, Israeli officials say there is no real proof that such a deal was successful and does not believe Qatar at this time. Qatar has since joined ranks with Saudi Arabia, calling for the UN to investigate Israel’s military response in Rafah. Additionally, Egypt has stated that if fleeing Gazan refugees enter Egyptian territory, it would jeopardize Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel. Although leaders from other countries have brought up the idea of a two-state solution, or establishing an independent Palestinian country, Israeli officials refuse to consider such a plan and continue to push ahead with the planned offensive.

Tension Up North

Lebanese authorities announced that three civilians were killed by Israeli drones deep inside Lebanese territory. The IDF says they attacked Hezbollah army headquarters within Lebanon and investigated missiles fired from Lebanon into Israel. Sirens were sounded multiple times over Shabbos. A missile hit a building dedicated to lone soldiers in Kiryat Shmoneh, but b’chasdei hashem, no casualties were reported.

An Israeli drone attempted to eliminate Basel Salah, a senior Hamas terrorist in Lebanon, who leads a unit recruiting and managing terrorists in Judea & Samaria. Salah was severely wounded in the strike.

US Cautions Israel About Aid

The US has set conditions on the military aid they provide to foreign countries, with a heavy emphasis on Israel’s current weapon use. The conditions state that countries utilizing US aid must follow international and humanitarian law on how the aid is used and provide written proof that they are cooperating under the terms.
Israel has reportedly agreed to the terms. Supporters of Israel say that this new directive is unnecessary and Israeli fighting so far has been moral. Biden has called Israeli military actions to be “over the top” and enacted this new policy after members of Congress called for the US to stop providing Israel with aid all together.

Investigation Update

The IDF released the results of its investigation into the death of hostage Yossi Sharabi in Gaza, indicating he likely died in a building collapse. Two other hostages held by Hamas, Itay Svirsky and Noa Argamani, were also mentioned.

IDF discovered Subterranean Data Center Beneath UNRWA’s Gaza Strip HQ Gaza City’s Rimal neighborhood

Israeli forces discovered a tunnel shaft near an UNRWA school, leading to an underground terrorist tunnel beneath UNRWA’s main headquarters. The tunnel contained weapons and intelligence assets used by Hamas.

IDF Statement: These findings were found within UNRWA facilities:

“Acting on ISA intelligence, the forces discovered a tunnel shaft near an UNRWA school, leading to an underground terrorist tunnel beneath UNRWA’s main headquarters. The forces found electrical infrastructure inside the tunnel connected to UNRWA’s main HQ, suggesting it was supplying the tunnel with electricity—generated by the fuel provided through humanitarian aid.

This 700-meter-long tunnel, 18 meters deep, contained multiple blast doors and various intelligence assets seized by the forces. Intelligence and documents found confirmed the offices’ use by Hamas terrorists. Large quantities of weapons, including rifles, ammunition, grenades and explosives, were uncovered hidden in the building’s offices.”

May this be a week of Besuros Tovos.

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