Sherwin Pomerantz

The 213th Day of War in Israel  

Hostage deal talks in Cairo seem to have disintegrated once again.  The Hamas delegation has left Egypt and Israel decided there was not enough forward progress to even send a delegation.  It appears now that without a deal in place Israel is prepared to begin is long discussed Rafah operation.

The IDF has thus began evacuating civilians from eastern Rafah in Gaza to a new expanded humanitarian zone which includes al-Mawasi and parts of Khan Yunis and central Gaza, the IDF announced on Monday morning. The evacuation comes ahead of planned IDF operatio in the Rafah area.  The new humanitarian zone includes field hospitals, tents, and increased provisions of food, water, medicine, and other supplies.

The IDF, in accordance with a decision made by the political echelon, is calling on the population currently under Hamas control to evacuate temporarily from the eastern neighborhoods of Rafah to the new zone. The evacuation will be conducted in a phased manner in accordance with continuing situation assessments.  The call to evacuate is being made through leaflets, text messages, phone calls, and statements in Arabic.

At least 10 people were wounded in southern Israel, four seriously, on Sunday when Hamas terrorists fired 14 mortar shells from the Rafah area of southern Gaza at Kibbutz Kerem Shalom.  Several rockets exploded near an Israel Defense Forces military facility, causing the casualties, the Eshkol Regional Council said.  “The injured are not residents of the council and we pray for their recovery,” the council said.  The Israeli Air Force subsequently attacked terrorist targets in Rafah, in the areas from which the missiles were fired towards Kerem Shalom.

The Kerem Shalom area, located at the Israel-Gaza-Egypt border triangle, is the site of the primary crossing between Israel and Gaza, where thousands of humanitarian aid trucks have passed through during the war.  The Kerem Shalom crossing was then closed to the passage of humanitarian aid trucks, the IDF said, until calm can be restored

The US government has frozen a planned arms shipment to Israel, according to a report Sunday, raising concerns among Israeli leaders of a major shift in American policy.  Two Israeli officials told Axios and Walla that the White House last week froze a weapons shipment to Israel, which includes ammunition and other American-made arms.  If confirmed, this marks the first time the US has suspended arms shipments to Israel since Hamas’ October 7th invasion of Israel.  According to the report, the White House, Pentagon, and State Department all declined to comment, as did the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office.

A few days ago Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, delivered a powerful and disturbing address to the General Assembly as they depated the application of the Palestinian Authority to be granted full national status at the UN.  You can watch the 28-minute speech here:

It is well worth the investment of time and, hopefully, his words will be internalized by all who convenient forget history.

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.