On the 61st day of war in Israel we now count 84 of our troops as casualties with hundreds more wounded.
The IDF says it is carrying out artillery strikes in southern Lebanon after several rockets were fired at northern Israel earlier in the day. The rocket attacks set off sirens in a number of communities near the border. The strikes are targeting the Lebanese launch sites, according to the IDF.
A rocket launched from the Gaza Strip during the latest barrage landed in the southern city of Beersheba a short while ago and has caused damage. The projectile slammed into a parking lot in the city’s industrial zone, causing damage to nearby vehicles. The Fire and Rescue Services says one truck containing hydrogen peroxide was damaged. Thankfully, no injuries are reported.
But rocket barrages from Gaza aimed at population centers here continue with at least one rocket directed at Eilat earlier today as well.
Israeli troops pushed into the heart of the largest city in the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday, amid some of the most intense bombing and ground combat of the war. Our offensive drove deep into the southern Gazan city of Khan Younis — “Hamas’s military capital,” the IDF said — which was home to more than 200,000 people before the war, but swelled during the conflict with people who heeded an earlier Israeli order to evacuate all of the northern enclave.
The IDF said our troops are also still fighting Hamas in the north, in the Shajaiya neighborhood of Gaza City, as well as Jabaliya, a densely populated neighborhood north of Gaza City that was heavily bombed by Israeli forces in October.
Among the survivors of the Hamas attack, sadly more and more stories are coming out about the brutality of the Hamas forces who invaded Israel on October 7th. One Israeli who survived the attack on the Nova Festival crowd reported that he saw a young Israeli woman raped 10 times before she was finally shot by the last rapist, after which the group of 10 celebrated their “success.” Other reports by women who were taken hostage and released over the last week told of other instances in Hamas captivity where women were violated on a regular basis.
Among the children who were released many are facing serious psychological hurdles in readjusting to society after 50+ days in captivity.
Meanwhile, in the US Congress on Tuesday, Democrats splintered over a resolution condemning the rise of antisemitism in the United States and around the world, with more than half of them declining to support a measure declaring that “anti-Zionism is antisemitism.” The resolution denouncing antisemitism, drafted by Republicans, passed by a vote of 311 to 14, drawing the support of all but one Republican. Ninety-two Democrats voted “present” — not taking a position for or against the measure — while 95 supported it. That reflected deep and growing divisions among Democrats between those who have offered unequivocal support for Israel and its actions, and others — especially in the party’s progressive wing — who have been critical of Israel’s policies and its conduct in the war with Hamas.
As we now begin the third month of the war, let us hope that we will soon see an end to the inhuman activities of Hamas exhibited both against the captives and their own citizens as well, for whom they seem to care little.