On the 83rd day of war in Israel, intensive fighting continues in Gaza with the IDF penetrating multiple areas of Khan Yunis where the Hamas leadership is believed to be hiding underground. Sadly, three more of our soldiers have become casualties of the fighting bringing the total since the beginning of the war to 167.
In the north, last night saw the largest barrage of rockets from Lebanon since the start of hostilities on October 7th. 34 rockets were launched by Hezbollah into the towns of Rosh Hanikra and Kiryat Shmona in the north. While both have been evacuated so there were no injuries reported, a number of the rockets scored direct hits on homes and other buildings in both locations. IDF Chief of Staff Halevi has advised his troops to be ready to wage war in Lebanon if the shelling does not stop.
In a new development, an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq launched a drone attack on the Golan Heights in solidarity with the Hamas terrorists in Gaza. No one was injured but there was infrastructure damage. This represents the emergence of a new state player in the war with Iraq having joined the fray.
On the economic side, happy to report some good news with the announcement that the semiconductor giant Intel confirming on Wednesday that it will invest $25 billion to expand a chip factory in southern Israel after a $3.2 billion investment grant from the Israeli government was approved. The fact that Intel decided to move ahead with a major investment in a country currently at war is testimony to the faith that the economic community has in Israel’s future as a high tech hub. Expanded operations at the existing manufacturing site in Kiryat Gat, northeast of Gaza, are set to begin by 2028 and last through at least 2035, and are expected to create thousands of jobs.
Earlier this week the IDF took a group of journalists through some of the largest tunnels in Gaza, large enough to drive trucks through and traversing many miles. The tunnels were replete with full service modules including electricity, water, sanitation facilities, living quarters and communications lines. They were located under residential facilities, as well as community centers and health centers.
As we come close to the end of 12 weeks of war, the longest combat enterprise in Israel’s history, there does not appear to be any reasonable end in sight although the IDF reports progress in meeting its overall objectives. Let’s hope that the good Lord will watch over our troops and bring them to victory over all of our enemies.