On this, the 46th day of the war in Israel, we have now lost 66 of our troops to the conflict, with some of those, sadly, being from friendly fire. 236 hostages remain under Hamas control in Gaza and hopefully they are all still alive and relatively well.
Twenty-eight premature babies who had been in intensive care at Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza were transported across the border to Egypt for medical care on Monday, according to the United Nations and an Egyptian state television network, Al Qahera News. But five others who had been cared for at the hospital died before they could be evacuated. The Israeli military said in a statement it had helped to facilitate the evacuation from the pediatric ward and provided incubators to Al-Shifa. It was not clear whether those were the incubators used to transport the babies.
According to senior Israeli officials, there is a strong possibility that the details of a hostage deal will be finalized tonight, Israeli media reported. The proposed agreement involves the release of between 50-100 Israeli civilians, including children and their mothers in exchange for a four-day ceasefire. It will take place in a 1:3 format, three Palestinian prisoners (most likely female terrorists regardless of age and male terrorists under the age of 18) for each hostage.
Under the terms of the deal, Hamas has committed to locating the remaining children and mothers. In return, Israel has agreed to release women and minors from Israeli prisons who were involved in acts of terror. Additionally, both parties are expected to confirm the provision of fuel and monetary assistance in the Gaza Strip. According to a CNN report, American officials hope that among the hostages that will be released is a 3-year-old American citizen. The Israeli Cabinet has scheduled a meeting at 8 PM local time tonight, Tuesday, to discuss and ratify the terms of the agreement.
An Israeli strike in south Lebanon killed two journalists and a civilian, official Lebanese media claimed on Tuesday, shortly after the Israel Defense Forces said it struck several Hezbollah anti-tank missile squads in southern Lebanon and other sites in response to missile fire toward Metula, in northern Israel. Shortly before 9 a.m., three anti-tank guided missiles were fired from Lebanon at the Metula area, close to the border. A short while later, several mortars were fired from Lebanon at an army post on the border, causing no injuries, according to the IDF. In response, the IDF said it struck several sites belonging to the Iran-backed terror group, as well as three Hezbollah missile squads preparing to carry out further attacks.
Let us hope that some agreement will be reached over the next 12 hours so that we will see at least some of the hostages exit from the hands of Hamas and return to the warm loving arms of their families or, in some cases, what remains of their families. May that come to pass before sunrise tomorrow.