Israel’s 35th Day of War

A report questioning why six photojournalists reporting for the Reuters and the Associated Press wire services appeared at the ready to document the Hamas terror attacks on Oct. 7 has received a response from another prominent publication that pays for one of the freelancers’ work. The New York Times released a statement on Thursday, saying that claims the newspaper “had advance knowledge of the Hamas attacks or accompanied Hamas terrorists during the attacks is untrue and outrageous.” The Times claims that their freelancer, Yousef Masoud, “was not working for the Times on the day of the attack.” Perhaps not, but the question remains why reporters who knew about the attack in advance and should have been able to predict the results failed to raise the red flag and prevent the massacre as the intent of Hamas was most probably known to them as well.

A drone caused a large explosion at an elementary school in Eilat on Thursday afternoon, injuring one civilian. Security sources are saying that the UAV was likely a suicide drone sent by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. A 20-year-old man suffered from smoke inhalation and was evacuated to the city’s Yoseftal Medical Center. Those present at the school at the time of the explosion were special-education students who were in the bomb shelter. On Thursday evening, Israel’s Arrow air-defense system intercepted a missile launched towards the Jewish state from the Red Sea area.

Israel has agreed to observe daily four-hour “humanitarian pauses” in its operation against Hamas terrorists in the northern Gaza Strip, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Thursday. The first humanitarian pause was set to be announced later on Thursday, Kirby claimed, adding that Jerusalem committed to announcing each four-hour window at least three hours in advance. At the same time the Prime Minister’s Office released a statement reiterating that “the fighting is continuing and there will be no ceasefire without the release of our hostages.” In a post on X (formerly Twitter) earlier on Thursday, the Israel Defense Forces likewise downplayed claims of a ceasefire. “There is no ceasefire. There are tactical, local pauses for humanitarian aid for Gazan civilians. These tactical pauses are limited in time and area,” said the military.

Hamas has also released the pictures of two hostages they are planning to release, a 77-year-old woman and a 7-year-old boy. It is not clear why they made this decision, why these two were picked, or when the release will occur. Representative of the US and Israeli security services met in Doha with Qatari government coordinators for this effort on Thursday. Israel continues to insist on the return of all the 240+ hostages before any further longer-term discussions take place.

As the country prepares for the fifth shabbat since the massacre, additional casualties have been announced.

For my readers situated in the US, the March on Washington against rising worldwide antisemitism, scheduled for Tuesday, November 14th from 1300-1500 is a “must attend” event for anyone who has the capability to be in DC that day. This needs to be the biggest event our community has ever staged and I urge those who can to be there!

Shabbat shalom and let us continue our prayers for an early end to hostilities and the safe return of our troops.

About the Author
Sherwin Pomerantz is a native New Yorker, who lived and worked in Chicago for 20 years before coming to Israel in 1984. An industrial engineer with advanced degrees in mechanical engineering and business, he is President of Atid EDI Ltd., a 29 year old Jerusalem-based economic development consulting firm which, among other things, represents the regional trade and investment interests of a number of US states, regional entities and Invest Hong Kong. A past national president of the Association of Americans & Canadians in Israel, he is also Immediate Past Chairperson of the Israel Board of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and a Board Member of the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce. His articles have appeared in various publications in Israel and the US.
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