15 IDF soldiers died in fighting in Gaza over the last 23 hours. The IDF is now deep into northern Gaza and fighting is urban and, therefore, both intense and dangerous. On the northern border rockets continue to be lobbed at Israel from Lebanon as well. As late as mid-afternoon today barrages of rockets were still being fired at central Israel from Gaza. One scored a direct hit on a building in Rishon LeZion but, miraculously, there were no injuries. Others were aimed at Tel Aviv but were neutralized by the Iron Dome system.
Typical of the personal connections all of us have to someone who has suffered loss, a note received today from good friends said: “Our son in law’s niece recently got engaged to be married and we were at the engagement party a month ago. The wedding was scheduled for March. The young man, a soldier, was killed yesterday in Gaza. Funeral to at the military cemetery on Mt. Herzl.” May his memory be for a blessing.
The US dispatched an additional 300 troops to the region to deal with on going attacks of their installations in the region. The US also has deployed missile boats in the Red Sea after missile drones sent by the Houthis in Yemen destined to launch rockets at Eilat were intercepted. The Pentagon said that American commandos were on the ground in Israel to provide advice on how to locate the more than now 240 hostages seized during the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks.
Some people with dual nationalities as well as seriously injured Palestinians arrived in Egypt on Wednesday, according to Egyptian state-owned TV, as the Gaza border opened for the first such crossings since the start of the war between Hamas and Israel. Three critically injured people from Gaza arrived at an Egyptian hospital near the border, a hospital official said. And Egyptian state TV showed what it said was a group of foreign or dual nationals carrying luggage on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing, where they were to waiting to have documents checked.
The crossings came after a deal negotiated late Tuesday among Israel, Egypt, Hamas, the United States and Qatar. Egypt was set to receive hundreds of people on Wednesday, according to Western diplomats in Cairo and Jerusalem and the Gazan authorities. The Rafah crossing has been the focus of heated international negotiations as it is the only possible escape route and the only entry point for relief supplies into Gaza.
Internationally, Bolivia is the first country to announce that it is cutting diplomatic ties with Israel because of Israel’s actions in Gaza. This is not the first time they have done this in reaction to Israel’s defensive actions to curtail or eliminate the terrorist threat on the border. In addition, late today Jordan announced that it is recalling its Ambassador to Israel to show its displeasure with Israeli activities in Gaza. In Judea and Samaria as well as within Israel proper, the Palestinian Authority authorized a general strike closing all businesses for the day to demonstrate their anger at Israel for what is occurring in Gaza.
Over the last few days people have asked which are the most important charitable organizations here in Israel that can use additional funding during this difficult time. My answer is…..
Hatzolah ….Israel’s emergency rescue service
ZAKA…..Israel’s prime search and rescue service
Magen Dovid Adom often referred to as Israel’s Red Cross
All of them are worth of support in these difficult times.
Hopefully the IDF will be successful, our leadership will provide proper and sensitive guidance, and the good LORD will answer all prayers in the affirmative.