Daily update: Israel at war Day 15 Oct 21, 2023 20:00 PM Israel time

Two weeks since the Hamas attack on Israel

General Assessment:

Hostage release: Judith Tai Raanan, 59, and her daughter Natalie, 17, both US citizens taken captive in Hamas horrendous attack on Israel on October 7, were handed over to Israeli forces at the Gaza Strip border on Friday, becoming the first captives whose release by Hamas. According to several sources, the release was possible due to U.S. and European governments are jointly putting pressure on Israel to hold off on its ground invasion of Gaza to allow more time to win the release of hostages held by Hamas.

Opening of Rafah crossing: The Rafah crossing on the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip opened this morning for the first time in two weeks, after being closed at the outbreak of the war. 20 trucks entered through the crossing with medicine, medical equipment, and food.

– The IDF is continuing to prepare for the next stage of the war, which will include ground operations. Plans to expand operating activity have recently been approved. Regular and reserve IDF units are deployed in the field and are performing training exercises in accordance with approved operational plans.

-In the southwest corner of the Gaza Strip, in the Al-Mawasi area, the safe humanitarian zone is receiving foreign aid via the Rafah crossing. Simultaneously, terrorists from Hamas are still attempting to hinder the evacuation through persuasion or force, with the intention of utilizing people as human shields. According to sources, around 650,000 Gazans have left Gaza City on their journey south.

– Continuing exchanges of fire on the Israeli-Lebanese border in northern Israel. Since the October 7 Hamas offensive, during Saturday Hezbollah has fired scores of anti-tank guided missiles, rockets, and mortars into Israeli military positions and communities.

– So far, according to the IDF since Saturday morning Oct. 7, 1,300 Israelis were killed, among them 306 fallen soldiers. 3,900 Israelis have been wounded. 210 Confirmed abducted, and many more missing. Since the beginning of hostilities, nearly 7,000 rockets have been launched into Israel.

Operational Updates:

Northern Arena:

– IDF planes have targeted Hezbollah terror targets in the past 24 hours in response to rocket launches and anti-tank missiles fired toward Israel. As a result of the Hezbollah attack, an Israeli soldier was pronounced dead.

-Military compounds utilized for operational and terror reasons, as well as Hezbollah terror infrastructure, were among the terror targets. In addition, the IDF targeted anti-tank missile launchers along the border that were aimed at Israel.

-In response to the launches toward northern Israel, the IDF struck two terrorist’ cells near the Lebanese border, Hezbollah announced the death of one of its operatives, Esmail Ahmed a-Zin.

-Earlier today (Saturday), a terrorist cell launched a rocket toward Har Dov that fell in an open area. In response, IDF soldiers identified the terrorist cell, which was then targeted by an IDF aircraft.

-Furthermore, Hezbollah terrorists launched an anti-tank missile toward the area of Margaliot in northern Israel. In response, IDF soldiers identified the terrorist cell, which was then targeted by an IDF aircraft. Hits were identified during both strikes.

-Terrorists launched an anti-tank missile into the northern Israeli Kibbutz Bar’am. IDF soldiers directed live fire toward the source of the fire.

18:30 – The IDF thwarted a terrorist cell’s effort to launch anti-tank rockets toward Har Dov.

-IDF soldiers detected a terrorist cell in the Har Dov area that intended to shoot anti-tank rockets against Israeli territory. As a result, an IDF UAV attacked the terrorist cell.

Gaza and Southern Israel: 

-IDF fighter jets continued to attack many Hamas terror targets across the Gaza Strip between Friday and Saturday night. Terrorist targets included operational command centers, anti-tank missile launchers, and significant Hamas infrastructure used for terror.

In addition, the IDF targeted Hamas anti-tank missile, sniper, and observation stations hidden within multi-story buildings.

International Arena: 

– International leaders are on their way to Israel; Italian PM Giorgia Meloni, as well as Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides.

– Anti-Israel protests throughout the world continue.

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