Sherwin Pomerantz

The 186th Day of War in Israel

Amid speculation of the war concluding with the withdrawal of IDF troops from southern Gaza, Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated his commitment to destroy the remaining Hamas battalions in Rafah and declared “there is a date” for the operation. In a video message released to the public on Monday, Netanyahu said, “This victory requires entering Rafah and eliminating the terrorist battalions there. This will happen; there is a date.” The Prime Minister on several occasions has emphasized that military activity in Rafah is necessary to eliminate Hamas from Gaza. Monday’s statement came after the IDF removed Brigade 98 from Gaza and said that it was making the move to regroup, not to retreat and that it was preparing for further military activity in Gaza.

The United States reiterated its concerns about military operations in Rafah, where 1.4 million Palestinians are located during the 6-month-long war. US National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby told reporters that “we have consistently made clear that we don’t support a major ground operation in Rafah.”

Monday witnessed a significant escalation in tensions as Hezbollah launched several kamikaze drones into northern Israel, targeting various sites throughout the day. The IDF responded with retaliatory strikes in southern Lebanon. This aggressive act by Hezbollah, coupled with accusations from a Lebanese official that Israel is trying to “lure” Lebanon into war, underscores the complex and volatile nature of the current situation.

As for the hostage negotiation, as of his afternoon both sides were still considering a recommendation that there by a short, 3-4 day cessation of hostilities later this week along with the release of 40 hostages and simultaneous return of some number of Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli hails. Hamas claims Israel has not met its demands but will review in any event.

IAF fighter jets eliminated the chair of Hamas’s Emergency Bureau in the Central Camps in Gaza on Monday night, the IDF announced on Tuesday. The terrorist, Hatem Alramery, was killed in a strike with intel provided by the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate. Alramery served as an operative in the al-Qassam Brigades, working on projectile launches within the Maghazi Battalion of the Central Camps.

The war continues with no near end in sight except for the hope, as we begin the new month of Nissan, that at some point action will be taken to bring this all of a close for th benefit of Israel.

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.
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