Israel-Hamas war – Week 3, October 22-28, 2023

We present here a diary of reported news from Israel and elsewhere about the Israel-Hamas war of 2023, known in Israel as Swords of Iron. Our sources include the IDF Spokesman, Israeli Kan TV/radio service, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office on Twitter/X (@IsraeliPM) and other sources considered reliable.

Saturday October 28, 2023

  • PM Benjamin Netanyahu gave a joint press conference together with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and War Cabinet minister Benny Gantz. Netanyahu said it is a second war of independence of good against evil, an existential matter, never again once more. Gallant said don’t be under any illusion, Hamas broadcast on films its atrocities and is no humanitarian organization. Gantz said that all means possible will be used to get back the hostages – as Churchill said, “we shall never surrender”. Gantz and Netanyahu said the ground offensive may help bring back the hostages (TV commentators said it may ratchet up the pressure on all concerned to do a hostage deal on Israel’s terms). On the economic front, Netanyahu explained he pressed the Treasury to put its hands into its pockets and help Israelis affected by the war more…..
  • PM Benjamin Netanyahu met representatives of the hostages held by Hamas for 2 hours after they requested this. He heard their requests to take no action that may endanger them. Separate reports suggest Hamas want all Hamas terrorist prisoners held by Israel released
  • The IDF Spokesman announced an expansion of activities by ground forces and artillery un northern and central parts of Gaza. In Gaza communications and internet connections have reportedly been cut. Israeli 24 hour TV news coverage is reporting nothing yet.
  • Their aim: to liquidate Hamas and get Israeli hostages home.
  • 150 underground targets were reported destroyed by 2pm (Israel time).
  • Israel is sending food, water and medical supplies to Southern Gaza.
  • Qatar’s efforts to reach a hostages-for-ceasefire deal are continuing.
  • James Cleverly, British Foreign Secretary, said on LBC News radio: Hamas his given no indication they would not commit another massacre of women and children again

Friday October 27, 2023

  • The IDF spokesman revealed today (in English to foreign journalists in Israel) that Hamas uses Gaza hospitals, especially in and under the Shifa Hospital, as headquarters for command and control of terrorist activities. Hamas has 0.5-1 million liters of fuel underground, their fuel reservoirs are full up. Hamas doesn’t mind if 10,000 Gazans die, “What is important to them is to stay in power” according to an intelligence recording played back by the IDF spokesman. This makes the hospital under international law a legitimate target according to the IDF spokesman. The IDF has apparently shared its intelligence reports with other intelligence agencies who have confirmed the IDF’s findings.
  • Late in the afternoon there were reports of an imminent new deal, perhaps to release Israeli hostages is return for fuel for Hamas and its tunnel system and a ceasefire. If these reports are true, it is unclear whether that would be enough for the Israeli public or the Israeli government. Government ministers have promised to topple Hamas from positions of power. Imagine you evacuated your home in the South of Israel. Would you return home for such a ceasefire?
  • Hamas published the names of 6,747 Palestinians they say have been killed in Israeli air strikes, following doubts expressed by US President Biden. We still don’t know how many of the 6.747 were terrorists.
  • The IDF spokesman announced Israeli forces staged another overnight raid in Gaza lasting several hours. They destroyed some Hamas facilities then returned to Israel.
  • Hamas missile attacks in South and Central Israel continued today…
  • Over the last few days, several high (but not top) level Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist personnel have been eliminated by Israel.
  • Various reports blame Israel for supplying insufficient water to Gaza. However, the piping installed by the Israelis was all removed and re-engineered into rockets to be fired at Israel.  Because the pipes were removed, the (now) open sewers leaked into the aquifer where Gaza City is sited.
  • There is much talk about the extensive Hamas tunnel system under Gaza. This may or may not be problematic for Israel which can now detect tunnels. It is certainly problematic for Gaza residents as the resources used might have been better used on peaceful civilian economic development. And Hamas complaints about an economic blockade look hollow as it is common knowledge the tunnels are extensively used to import many things.

Thursday October 26, 2023

  • The Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, said on TV “It’s us or them” without spelling out what is next.
  • The IDF spokesman announced Israeli forces staged an overnight raid in Gaza lasting several hours. They destroyed some Hamas facilities then returned to Israel.
  • Hamas missile attacks in South and Central Israel continued today.
  • Skirmishes continued on the Lebanon border
  • 229 Israeli hostages are currently known to be held in Gaza
  • Children’s schooling instructions vary according to area and proximity to air raid shelters.
  • Culture and Sport Minister Miki Zohar told Israeli Radio today Oct 26, 2023 that the Swords of Iron war is because of the division in Israeli society over the issue of judicial reform. Comment: the war was because of Hamas savagery on October 7.
  • Israeli agricultural produce is down because farms in the South are affected by the war. Some of the shortfall is met by imports from Turkey. Rami Levi, owner of one of the largest supermarket chains explained they give priority to Israeli produce whenever possible. (Channel 13 TV).

Wednesday October 25, 2023

  • PM Benjamin Netanyahu have a televised speech accepting responsibility for the failure to prevent the October 7 massacre, without apologizing. He said commission of inquiry will investigate only after the war.
  • PM Benjamin Netanyahu met with Czech Republic Prime Minister Petr Fiala in Tel-Aviv
  • Chancellor of Austria Karl Nehammer visited Israel today to express solidarity with Israel
  • Reports are circulating that Qatar and others are trying to broker another hostage deal. Tsachi Hanegbi, National Security Advisor has already publicly thanked Qatar for their efforts.
  • An Israeli ground incursion into Gaza has not started, presumably while hostage release negotiations continue. A report in the Wall Street Journal suggests the delay is apparently to allow the US time to protect its troops in the Middle East region. Skirmishes continue on Israel’s Lebanon border. Heavy Israeli Air Force bombings in Gaza City and Southern Lebanon were reported. A Hamas attempted sea commando raid off the coast of Zikim, Israel, was thwarted by the Israeli Navy.
  • Hamas missile attacks in South and Central Israel continued today.
  • President Joseph Biden called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, Biden emphasized “that Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people or their legitimate aspirations”.

Tuesday October 24, 2023 – “balanced” statement from Antonio Guterres the UN General Secretary to the UN Security Council?,is%20finally%20getting%20into%20Gaza.

“It is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum. The Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation. They have seen their land steadily devoured by settlements and plagued by violence; their economy stifled; their people displaced and their homes demolished.  Their hopes for a political solution to their plight have been vanishing. But the grievances of the Palestinian people cannot justify the appalling attacks by Hamas.  And those appalling attacks cannot justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”

Our Correction:

Israelis and many others were shocked and appalled by the ignorance exhibited by the UN General Secretary.

There is no occupation, Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005, hoping for peace. Israel is not collectively punishing innocent civilians, it has asked them to move out of the way to South Gaza where food, water and medical supplies are now arriving from Egypt. Moreover, the IDF ground incursion into Gaza still has not begun, in case another hostage release deal can be negotiated.

The Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, called for Antonio Guterres to resign as UN General Secretary. “We will refuse to grant visas to U.N. representatives. We have already refused to give one to Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths,” Erdan told Army Radio, accusing Guterres of justifying a slaughter. “It’s time to teach them a lesson.”

Tuesday October 24, 2023

  • Newly released hostage, Yochabed Lifshitz, aged 85, spoke on Israeli TV from a wheelchair in Ichilov Hospital, Tel-Aviv about her ordeal. In Israel, Yochabed was shocked by the hellish night attack on October 7. When the Hamas terrorists took her away from Kibbutz Nir Oz, they put her on a motorcycle with her legs tied on one side and her head on the other and then dashed through the fields. There were motorcycles on either side and also one behind. “As we rode, the motorcycle rider hit me with a wooden pole. They didn’t break my ribs, but it hurt me a lot in that area, making it difficult to breathe. They stole my watch and jewelry while I was on the motorcycle. Eventually, we went underground and walked for kilometers in wet tunnels.” Once she arrived at her captivity destination, she was treated adequately apparently.
  • Many other grandmothers, other women and children remain in Hamas captivity,
  • President Emmanuel Macron of France visited Israel and met PM Benjamin Netanyahu to express French support for Israel and drew parallels to French experience of Nazi cruelty in World War 2.
  • The IDF spokesman emphasized that Israel is letting food, water and medial supplies into Southern Gaza from Egypt but not fuel. This is because Hamas uses fuel for its underground “metro” system of tunnels and Hamas even stole UNWRA fuel supplies which it ought to return to UNWRA.
  • Hamas missile attacks in South and Central Israel continued today.

Monday October 23, 2023

  • Two Israeli female hostages aged 80 and 85, Nurit Cooper and Yochabed Lifshitz, were released for “compelling health reasons” by Hamas, apparently without Hamas receiving anything in return (but they have at least another 234 hostages).
  • Elizabeth El-Nahla and husband Maged, the parents of Scottish First Minister Humza Yousef’s wife Nadin, remain trapped in Gaza with scarcely any water or other supplies. They were on a visit there when the October 7 massacre occurred.
  • British PM Rishi Sunak told the British House of Commons that the Gaza hospital explosion was “likely caused by a missile or part of one that was launched from within Gaza towards Israel” according to British Intelligence.
  • Footage of several Hamas terrorists captured by Israel appeared on Israeli TV in good condition, being interrogated by Israeli personnel in smart offices (not prison cells). The terrorists said they were instructed to kill as many men as possible and take hostage as many women and children as possible. For each hostage, they said Hamas promised them an apartment and 10,000 dollars.
  • Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte visited Israel and met PM Benjamin Netanyahu to express support for Israel.
  • An Israeli ground incursion into Gaza has not started, skirmishes on Israel’s Lebanon border continue. An Israeli raid by 2-3 tanks and bulldozers was apparently beaten back by Hamas.
  • Hamas missile attacks in South and Central Israel continued today.

Sunday October 22, 2023

  • An Israeli ground incursion into Gaza has not started, skirmishes on Israel’s Lebanon border continue
  • Some commentators have criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for not accepting overall responsibility for allowing the October 7 massacre by Hamas to happen. The counter-claim is that responsibility can be ascertained and assigned after the war is won.
  • Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni visited Israel and met Benjamin Netanyahu to express report for Israel.
  • Prime Minister Netanyahu also met with Cypriot President Christodoulides.
  • Hamas missile attacks in South and Central Israel continued today.

© All rights reserved