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November 29, 2023

ITC update: Operation Iron Swords

Day 54
Wednesday 29.11.23

Last night, as part of an extended two-day truce, nine Israeli women and a 17-year-old girl were released, after 53 days in captivity. As part of a separate agreement, two foreign nationals from Thailand were also released. They were brought to hospitals in Israel for further treatment and monitoring, before being reunited with their families.

In parallel, negotiations resumed in Qatar to extend the current arrangement between Israel and Hamas. The director of Mossad David Barnea held talks alongside head of Egyptian intelligence Abbas Kamel, CIA Director William Burns, the Qatari prime minister, and their head of intelligence.

Prof. David Zeltser, deputy director of emergency medicine at Ichilov, reports that the two women brought there are in generally good physical condition and had joyous reunions with their family members. Prof. Itai Pessach, director of the Edmond and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital at Sheba, called the eight returnees who arrived at his hospital “a group of extraordinary women who endured the hardships of their captivity in a remarkable fashion.”

The condition of Alma Avraham, 84, has reportedly improved. While she is still undergoing treatment, she was taken off the ventilator and her life is no longer in danger, her family said.

Like previous groups, many of those released leave behind, in captivity, spouses and family members.

So far 61 Israelis and 20 foreign nationals have been released since last Friday. In addition, prior to the pause four were released and one was rescued. The bodies of two hostages were also recovered inside Gaza. There remain an estimated 146 in captivity, with a further ten expected to be released later today. The families of 10 hostages that are expected to be released on Wednesday were informed overnight after the list of names was received by Israel.

The security cabinet will convene this evening to discuss prolonging the pause by several days.

According to the IDF, three explosive devices were detonated yesterday, adjacent to IDF troops in two different locations in the northern Gaza Strip, violating the framework of the operational pause. In one of the locations, terrorists also opened fire at the troops.

Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera reports a significant increase in women in their 50s coming to the emergency room with heart attack symptoms. In most cases, the symptoms are caused by the stress these women are experiencing because of having sons or daughters serving in the military during the war. “This is the first time we have more women than men in our cardiac intensive care unit,” said Prof. Ariel Rogin, head of the hospital’s cardiac division.

ITC on the Ground
Haredi communities
: Work with communities nationwide is of critical importance for the task of improving and preserving personal, familial, and communal resilience.

To this end, ITC is working to establish and implement the much needed volunteer community resilience patrols particularly in areas that have in the past been underserved such as Haredi communities. The aim of the program is to create resilience patrols that will operate nationwide within Haredi communities, including Beit Shemesh, Jerusalem, Elad and Tzfat. These patrols will receive specific, culturally sensitive training tools and knowledge to identify emotional distress, intervene and refer those who need further treatment as required.

Each patrol, will include between 5-7 volunteers, community activists including synagogue officials (Gabbaim), heads of free-loan funds (Gemachim), educators and others. To produce an effective, efficient connection between the needs arising from the field and the response. Coordinators will be located within each neighborhood and will accompany the volunteers in the field, identifying and prioritizing needs arising from the field and implementing an appropriate response. Training includes psychosocial knowledge, emergency communication, stress reduction tools, living in shared traumatic reality, challenges of one-time emergency versus continuous crisis.

After 52 days, these soldiers left the kindergarten where they had been stationed from the first Saturday. At first all the residents were still there. Following the evacuation, the soldiers continued to use it as their base. Today they are moving to another location and decided to leave the children with drawings that they created themselves!

Thanks for all your support. We will keep you updated.

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