Sherwin Pomerantz

Israel’s 89th day of war  

Day 89 of the war with Hamas and Israeli troops are continuing their assault on the Hamas infrastructure in Khan Yunis. The IDF reported the capture of a Hamas intelligence center as well as multiple tunnel shafts leading to the underground conduits built over the years by Hamas.

IDF reservists in northern Gaza continue to come back into Israel and are being sent home. They take with them the memory of 175 soldiers killed to date in the war with Hamas.

On Tuesday, Saleh al-Arouri, deputy leader of the Hamas terrorist movement, was killed along with at least three other people in an alleged Israeli drone strike in the southern suburbs of Beirut, a stronghold for Hezbollah, according to Lebanese reports. According to the reports, the strike targeted an office belonging to Hamas in Mushrifiyah in the southern suburbs of Lebanon’s capital. Initial reports indicated that both an apartment and a vehicle were targeted in the area with the drones flying into the apartment before self-detonating.

Arouri has been identified as a central target for Israel in the past year given his role in organizing terrorism in Judea and Samaria. A member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist movement told Lebanese media after the incident that the secretary general of the movement, Ziyad al-Nakhala, was not harmed in the strike although a number of other lieutenants are reported to have been killed as well. Israel has not taken credit for the strike and the US has denied any involvement.

Hamas froze talks for a deal to release additional hostages held in Gaza after their presumption that Israel was responsible for the assassination of Saleh al-Arouri according to the Al Arabiya news outlet. Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said the assassination was a “terrorist act,” a violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty, and an expansion of Israel’s hostility against Palestinians.

Regarding what happens in Gaza after the war ends, the US State Department on Tuesday slammed recent statements from Israeli ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir that advocated for the resettlement of Palestinians outside of Gaza, calling the rhetoric “inflammatory and irresponsible.” Finance Minister Smotrich, one of the senior figures in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition, had called on Sunday for Palestinian residents of Gaza to leave the besieged enclave, making way for Israelis who could “make the desert bloom.”

In yet another instance of people believing in the continuing strength of Israel’s tech sector, Professor Ron Folman of Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev was selected as one of 11 researchers to receive $2.6m from a collective fund totaling $30 million set up jointly by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Simons Foundation, the Alfred P Sloan Foundation and the John Templeton Foundation to fund innovative “tabletop” experiments, many of which will explore realms of physics typically probed by large-scale facilities.

His research will lead the development of a nanodiamond spatial interferometer to help resolve the disconnect between quantum physics and Einstein’s theory of relativity by performing spin-based interferometry measurements. Folman, who has spent the past 20 years trying to find the connection between the general theory of relativity (gravity) and quantum mechanics, said that “these two pillars have been tested by numerous experiments throughout the last century and have been found to be accurate. The problem now is that in order to have a true understanding of nature, we need to understand how these two pillars work together.”

At Ben-Gurion University, Folman is head of the Atom Chip Laboratory, the Ruth Flinkman-Marandy and Ben Marandy Chair in Quantum Physics and Nanotechnology, as well as founder of the Weiss Family Laboratory for Nanoscale Systems.

About 50 Israel Defense Forces reservists gathered in front of the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem on Tuesday to demand that the fighting in Gaza not stop until Hamas is defeated.  A number of government ministers and members of Knesset joined the reservists at the protest site. They called on all reservists released from the Gaza Division to join them at the Jerusalem protest “with equipment and to sleep here with us.”  The reservists are calling for a clear policy regarding the Gaza Strip that includes encouraging the voluntary migration of some of the coastal enclave’s residents and transferring a significant amount of Gaza territory to Israeli control. The country is split as to what should happen in Gaza after the current hostilities end.

For a more personal aspect of the war we are including a link to the Center for Women’s Justice’s “Voices of Women in War Time” series which you can access here:

Often the news struggles to depict the personal experiences of individuals touched directly by the war. This series addresses that shortfall and hope you find it of interest.

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 32 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 Former Chairperson of the 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.