Dispatches from Israel provided by Forbes Israel.
Inside the city of Gaza: After completing the encirclement of Gaza last week, IDF (Israel Defense Forces) infantry, engineering and armored units, covered by aircraft and naval support, have been encircling Hamas strongholds and deepening their operations in the northern Gaza Strip. Since the start of ground operations, the IDF has taken control of 11 Hamas outposts.
“Hamas has, in effect, lost control of the northern Gaza Strip,” declared Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a special statement to the media delivered Saturday alongside Defense Minister Yoav Galant and Minister Benny Gantz. “IDF forces have completed the encirclement of the city of Gaza and are operating in the heart of the city.”
Since starting the war, Hamas has fired some 9,500 rockets, missiles and drones towards Israel. About 12% of that total have landed in the Gaza Strip, two of them landing outside hospitals, and about 900 launches originated from civilian sites such as mosques, schools, hospitals and cultural centers, according to the IDF. The IDF has discovered and sealed more than 130 tunnel entrances.
More than 100,000 Gaza residents have fled south from northern Gaza over the last two days. The IDF continues to urge the civilian population to move to safe areas in the south through humanitarian corridors.
Israel-Hezbollah border clashes continue to escalate. Hezbollah attacks recently have wounded more than 20 Israelis, one critically. IDF fighter jets attacked several targets of the Hezbollah terrorist organization in Lebanon in response to the shooting. Hezbollah squads also have attempted to infiltrate the border. IDF drones continuously patrolling the northern sector have spotted and eliminated the terrorist squads. According to Hezbollah, 71 of its operatives have been killed by the IDF since the beginning of the war. Six IDF soldiers have been killed by Hezbollah attacks in the past month.
Heavy barrages of rocket fire towards the heavily populated Galilee and Haifa areas. The Iron Dome system intercepted all the rockets fired over the weekend and IDF artillery forces struck at the sources of the rocket fire as well as Hezbollah military infrastructure, observation posts and weapon and ammunition depots.
Attacks on the South. A drone exploded in the courtyard of a school in Eilat occupied by dozens of children. The IDF later attacked the Syrian-based pro-Iranian militia that launched the drone. “The Syrian regime is fully responsible for any terrorist act carried out on its territory. The IDF will respond severely to any attempt to harm the territory of the State of Israel,” said the IDF spokesman.
Meanwhile, another pro-Iranian militia, the Houthis in Yemen, launched a ground-to-ground missile with a warhead weighing hundreds of kilograms toward the city of Eilat. Israel’s “Arrow 3″ air defense system intercepted the ballistic missile high in the atmosphere.
Hamas fires from Hospital. Hiding among civilians in front of Al-Quds hospital, Hamas fired anti-tank weapons at IDF troops today. The IDF troops returned fire. At Al-Shifa Hospital, HAMAS officials yesterday refused to let hospital staff accept Israel’s offer to supply 300 liters (about 80 gallons) of fuel, even as the hospital alleges that children are dying for lack of gasoline to run essential equipment.
Massive demonstration in London. A pro-Palestinian demonstration, attended by about 300,000 people who called for the cleansing of Palestine of Jews was held Saturday in central London. The decision to hold the marches on “Armistice Day,” which marks 105 years since the end of World War I, sparked a public and political debate in Britain. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called the planned protests on Armistice Day “provocative and disrespectful.” Clashes developed between the demonstrators and extreme right-wing supporters, who shouted “We want our country back.” Suella Braverman, Britain’s interior minister, called the pro-Palestinian demonstrations “hate marches,” demanded that the police enforce a “zero-tolerance approach to antisemitism” and accused them of pro-Palestinian bias.
Demonstrations of support for Israel. As a response to the wave of anti-Semitism and violent protests against Israel, demonstrations of support for Israel are taking place in Latin America, Europe and large cities in the USA. More than 100,000 people gathered in Paris Sunday to participate in a march protesting the surge in anti-Semitic incidents in France. More than 20 members of the French government, led by Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne and Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, along with former French presidents François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, participated in the demonstration.
In Washington, Jewish organizations are organizing a demonstration of support and a march on November 14. The organizers of the demonstration will call for the immediate release of the 240 hostages held by the Hamas terrorist organization, persistent and effective efforts to combat antisemitism, and the presentation of a bipartisan, united front in support of Israel.
Hate crime in Los Angeles. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of Paul Kessler, a 69-year-old Jew. According to authorities, Kessler died from blunt-force head trauma following a Sunday confrontation with a counter-protester in Thousand Oaks, California. His death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner. According to a LA Times report, Kessler, who was holding an Israeli flag amidst 100 others on both sides of the dueling protests, became involved in an altercation with a pro-Palestinian demonstrator. Kessler fell or was forced to ground, hitting his head. He died hours later.
Despite the war, record demand for Israeli cyber. U.S cyber giant Palo Alto Networks has announced the purchase of two Israeli companies for a total of more than one billion dollars. This transaction joins a wave of purchases in Israeli cyber, worth more than 1.4 billion dollars, registered this year.
A gripping screening took place in Hollywood. The IDF spokesman’s documentary, “Bearing Witness,” depicting the shocking events of October 7th, was shown this week at the Museum of Tolerance to 200 members of the Hollywood industry. The 43-minute film, featuring “extremely graphic and violent” documentation of the massacre, includes depictions of the atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists against Israeli women, children, infants and the elderly. Much of the documented material is based on recordings from the terrorists’ “Go-Pro” cameras, operated by those who were later killed or captured by Israeli security forces. Some viewers couldn’t bear the distressing scenes and left in shock before the screening ended.
By Itai Zehorai, Alan Sacks