The US has sent a team of military officers experienced in urban warfare to Israel, headed by Marine Lt. Gen, James Glynn, a three-star flag officer with extensive urban warfare experience gained in prior conflicts. The team will assist in planning and monitoring the ground offensive into Gaza. In addition, the US recently deployed an additional 900 troops to CENTCOM, the US command that has responsibility for military activity in this region.
In addition to the above, the US’s 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, a rapid defense deployment group, is also en route to the Eastern Mediterranean. That group is capable of implementing a non-combatant evacuation in case America wants to get its citizens out of Lebanon, should war break out on that front as well.
Israel continues its activities in Gaza with ground troops moving in ever so slowly fully backed by air support, which continues day and night. The IDF reports it has hit 600 Hamas targets including weapon depots and command posts over the last 24 hours. Hamas has also continued sending barrages of rockets into Israel indicating that they still have the capacity to do so. For the first time in 10 days air raid sirens went off in Jerusalem this afternoon followed by the sound of 5 takeouts of incoming rockets by the Iron Dome system close to villages surrounding the city on its west side.
On the northern border with: Lebanon, the IDF continues to respond to rockets, mortars and anti-tank fire as needed. Fortunately, there has been no further escalation. Clearly Hezbollah leadership is calculating whether they really do want to go to war with Israel and have Lebanon devastated the same way that has been done to Gaza. In a sad “friendly fire” accident, an Israeli tank malfunctioned near the border and overturned landing on Maj. Yinon Fleishmann, of Jerusalem. He was buried this afternoon at Mount Herzl. Two soldiers in the tank were also wounded.
Last night Israel fired on installations in Syria as well after mortars were hurled at the Golan Heights. No damage was reported in Israel.
In Jerusalem earlier today an Israeli police officer was stabbed in a terror attack that occurred at a light rail station. The attacker was neutralized. The IDF also engaged with Palestinian terror cells in the Jenin refugee camp resulting in the death of four terrorists.
The death toll from the October 7th massacre continues to climb with just 873 bodies identified to date. In addition there are now over 230 hostages being held in Gaza and sadly, of the balance some of the remains that have been found are seemingly impossible to identify.
Concomitantly, global antisemitism continues on the rise. The attack on the airport in the Russian Republic of Dagestan yesterday where the mob intended to capture or kill passengers departing from an ELAL flight from Israel is a warning sign that we are fast approaching the point where Jews are at risk worldwide. That level of risk has risen sharply as a result of the war here in Israel. In a world gone mad there appears to be very little logic on which we can rely. Nevertheless, our people have survived for 3,500 years so we have clearly demonstrated our staying power. Hopefully the war will be over sooner rather than later, we will be victorious and the hostages will be released. We dare not hope for anything less.