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November 15, 2023

ITC update: Operation Iron Swords

Day 40

Wednesday 15.11.23

Two more IDF troops were killed in the Gaza Strip taking the total to 48 since the start of the ground incursion. Israel has also confirmed that Vivian Silver, the renowned 74-year-old peace activist declared missing on October 7th, died in the Hamas attacks. The IDF also confirmed the death of Cpl. Noa Marciano, 19 who was captured by the Hamas terror group on October 7. Hamas published a propaganda video of the soldier, showing her speaking to the camera four days after being taken hostage. The video then cuts to her dead body. All part of the on-going psychological warfare waged by Hamas.

Northern front: The north: Two IDF soldiers were wounded Monday by a Hezbollah anti-tank guided missile attack in the Netu’a area.

Southern front: Tuesday, rockets caused injuries and damage in the southern coastal city of Ashkelon. Sirens also sounded in the Israeli city of Eilat as Israeli air defense shot down an ‘aerial threat’ aimed at the city.

Rockets continued to be launched from southern Gaza.  A 20-year-old man was seriously wounded and a woman in her forties was slightly wounded by shrapnel from a rocket that fell in Tel Aviv.

Over 10,000 rockets have been fired on Israel since October 7th.

Nearly 300,000 people rallied in Washington on Tuesday at the March for Israel. The largest Jewish gathering in the history of the United States. The rally demonstrated broad support for Israel’s war effort, called for the release of the hostages, in addition to condemning antisemitism. From the shouts of Am Yisrael Chai, to the thousands of Israeli flags flowing behind many of the demonstrators, support for Israel was strong and felt in Jewish communities around the globe and most poignantly here in Israel.

In Israel, relatives of hostages began a march from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. At the start of the 40-mile route, families gathered outside the Tel Aviv Museum Square and fought back tears as they made impassioned pleas for the release of their loved ones held captive in Gaza for 39 days. Yuval Haran, who has seven relatives who were taken hostage, told the crowd: “They don’t have time anymore.” 

ITC on the Ground

Continuing ITC work with the Ministry of Welfare in the Haifa and North region including:

Zoom training for welfare teams -including group discussions, processing, training in emergency work routines, training in accompanying and supporting evacuees, accompanying bereaved families.

Welfare ministry department trainings– Topics include delivering bad news, group intervention in crisis, helping the helpers, tools in crisis management, and self-care. Areas include Maale Yosef, Nahariya, Megiddo, Jezreel, Tirat HaCarmel where local authorities were directly affected by the emergency as well as training in authorities that were not directly affected, including Gan Yavne, Sdot Dan, Dimona.

Interventions– Ventilation and processing for welfare staff. Consulting and accompanying managers of welfare departments, ventilation, dealing with tension arising from work with multicultural teams, learning coping tools, building resilience. Areas working in include, Upper Galilee, Maale Yosef, Tsfat, Hof Carmel, Jordan Valley, Kiryat Bialik, Haifa West, Nesher, Tirat Carmel, Emek Hafer, and others.

Assistance for teams working with evacuees- Training topics include, coping and resilience in an emergency, managing a team during periods of uncertainty, self-care and more. Assistance for teams working with the general population– topics include parental guidance (in Russian), training to help parents in dealing with children and youth, training for new volunteers, and more.

Singles in Uniform TV host Maya Wertheimer and former PM Naftali Bennett are among those trying to help people find love in time of war.

Personal ads for reserve soldiers posted on the Instagram of Maya Wertheimer, (Composite/screengrab)

Maya Wertheimer has called on her half million Instagram followers to send photos of their unmarried enlisted and reservist family members to find them soulmates and thousands have responded. Former prime minister Naftali Bennett has also engaged in matchmaking efforts, “In recent days I find myself urging friends who are couples and already dating for a while to get married already and have kids.”

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