Sherwin Pomerantz

Israel’s 93rd Day of War  

On Saturday, Hezbollah fired 40 rockets that set off alerts in 90 Israeli communities in the north of the country.  According to a Hezbollah statement, the attack was a response to the killing of Hamas terror chief Saleh al-Arouri in Lebanon last week.  Although Hezbollah boasted of significant Israeli casualties and injuries, there were no reports of people killed or wounded in the attacks.

Many of the missiles were aimed at Mount Meron, which houses a military radar station in northern Israel.  In a statement Hezbollah justified the attack as “part of the initial response to the crime of assassinating the great leader Sheikh Saleh al-Arouri”

In response, the IDF hit a terror cell in Lebanon where many of the rockets were launched. The IDF reported striking targets in Ayta ash-Shab, Yaroun, and Ramyah which included missile launch areas, military centers, and terrorist infrastructure.  In a second strike, the IAF hit two significant Hezbollah compounds housing the terror group’s air defense unit, terror cells, rocket launch areas, and a command center.  During the fighting, Hezbollah launched a surface-to-air missile at an Israeli military drone over Lebanon, but it failed to hit it.

The Hezbollah attack was one of the largest since the terror group began firing missiles into northern Israeli communities following the October 7th massacre.

Last week, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah threatened that residents in the north of Israel “would be the first to pay the price if a full-scale war were to erupt”

The U.S. State Department is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the disruption of financial mechanisms of the foreign terrorist organization Hamas, naming five Hamas financial facilitators – including three based in Turkey and one based in Sudan.

Chinese weaponry, including QBZ assault rifles and QLZ87 automatic grenade launchers, is being used by Hamas to wage war in Gaza, Israeli investigations have revealed. Hi-tech supplies uncovered by the IDF include telescopic sights for rifles and cartridges for M16s as well as communications equipment such as listening devices and tactical military radios.  “We have found massive amounts of Chinese weaponry and the question is, did it come directly from China to Hamas or not?” an Israeli intelligence source said.

According to a report in Reuters, Jordan’s King Abdullah on Sunday warned U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken of the “catastrophic repercussions” of the continuation of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, a palace statement said. The monarch also told Blinken that Washington had a major role to play to put pressure on Israel to agree to an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, the statement said.

Israel has conveyed a message to Amos Hochstein, the special envoy of U.S. President Joe Biden, during his recent visit to the country. According to the message, Israel is interested in the success of its diplomatic efforts, but if they fail, it will be committed to taking military action to push Hezbollah away from southern Lebanon. Israel has clarified that without the removal of Hezbollah, residents of the north will refuse to return to their homes. Israel is not optimistic about the diplomatic process but is attempting to follow it through to the end, primarily to gain legitimacy in case military action is necessary in the north.

Israeli military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari summarized the Gaza offensive on Saturday evening, saying Israeli forces had completely dismantled Hamas’ “military framework” in northern Gaza and had killed around 8,000 militants in that area.  “We are now focused on dismantling Hamas in the center of and south of the (Gaza) strip,” he said in an online briefing.

Palestinian health ministry casualty figures do not differentiate between fighters and civilians, but the ministry has said that 70% of Gaza’s dead are women and people under 18.

Gun battles intensified in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis as well as in districts in the center of the densely populated Palestinian enclave.  Smoke rose from the sites of Israeli bombing on Sunday morning east and north of Khan Younis. Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip killed gunmen loading weapons into a vehicle and dismantled a launch site that fired rockets towards Israel, the Israeli military said.

.Outside Gaza, there was fresh violence in Judea and Samaria. Israeli aircraft fired on Palestinian militants who had attacked troops in the West Bank, the military said, and Palestinian health officials said seven Palestinians were killed in the strike.  An Israeli border police officer was killed and others wounded when their vehicle was hit by an explosive device during operations in the West Bank city of Jenin, the military and police said.

The West Bank had already seen its highest levels of unrest in decades during the 18 months before the Gaza war, and confrontations have since risen sharply. Hundreds of Palestinians have been killed in clashes with Israeli soldiers and settlers over the past weeks in the West Bank and security forces have made thousands of arrests.

Now in the 4th month of war, we can only hope that our efforts will be successful and our troops will return home safely.

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.