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December 14, 2023

ITC update: Operation Iron Swords

ITC updates are now sent weekly on a Thursday.
Day 69
Thursday 14.12.23

After a day of tragic loss on Wednesday, the IDF announced the deaths of ten IDF soldiers, including several senior officers, in one of the bloodiest battles bringing the death toll in the ground offensive to 116.

Israel announced that two people believed taken hostage on October 7 had been killed by Hamas.

Northern Front: Over the last few days, fighting has continued in a similar pattern, with Hezbollah firing rockets, anti-tank missiles and launching UAVs into northern Israel.  On Sunday night, Hezbollah launched several rockets. Monday morning, eight rockets were launched into northern Israel, six were intercepted, two landed in open areas. 

Following this escalation and amid rocket interceptions carried out Monday in the Ma’alot-Tarshiha area in the Upper Galilee, the municipality announced the “cancellation of all educational activities, including Hanukkah camps and all informal education activities and all clubs.” The municipality also announced the “opening of hotlines in several languages ​​of the psychological-educational and welfare service and holding a comprehensive discussion regarding the preparation and future feasibility of evacuation.”

Tuesday two rockets were fired from Lebanon at an area near the northern community of Malkia.

Southern Front: Rockets are fired from Gaza at southern Israel and Gaza border communities. Warning sirens sound in Ashkelon and surrounding communities and in Karmia, Zikim, Mefalsim, Netiv HaAsara and Yad Mordechai near Gaza.

Central Israel: On Monday afternoon a direct rocket on a building in Holon, caused heavy damage and a person was slightly to moderately injured.

The children released from Hamas captivity during last month’s pause in fighting may have appeared at first glimpse to be relatively unharmed, but “they looked like shadows of children”   and are suffering psychological scars that will be difficult to heal, Dr. Efrat Harlev, CEO of Israel’s Schneider Children’s Medical Center, told a news conference at the Israeli government’s media headquarters in Tel Aviv. “I’ve never seen anything like that,” in 20 years of treating trauma victims, said Renana Eitan, director of the psychiatric division of the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center-Ichilov. “The physical, sexual, mental, psychological abuse of these hostages who came back is just terrible.”

Furthermore, in a recent study by the Israeli Pediatric Association, 83% of Israeli children suffer from emotional distress since October 7, with over half reporting experiencing anxiety, with the situation particularly dire for displaced children. 

ITC on the Ground: A look at some of the numbers.

Number of direct care interventions: 17,076
Number of hotlines calls: 65,000
Nova party participants:  1,130 treated.
National Resilience Center: 1,700 treated
First Responders (including ZAKA, Firefighters, and volunteer emergency teams): 5,063 treated.
Hospital and medical teams: 560 treated
Welfare Teams: 3,676 treated
Local Authorities: 69 authorities
Bedouin Resilience Center: 2,500 participants (social workers, psychologists, educational teams, local authority teams in 125 workshops)

Preserving testimonies

Director Steven Spielberg has launched a new project to document “unspeakable barbarity” that occurred on October 7. Over 130 testimonies have been gathered from survivors of Hamas massacre which will be accessible to the public online via the foundation’s Visual History Archive in the USC Shoah Foundation’s Countering Antisemitism Through Testimony Collection (CATT), which documents post-Holocaust antisemitism. “Both initiatives — recording interviews with survivors of the October 7 attacks and the ongoing collection of Holocaust testimony — seek to fulfill our promise to survivors: that their stories would be recorded and shared in the effort to preserve history and to work toward a world without antisemitism or hate of any kind,” Spielberg said.

Hannukah Sameach from our families to yours
May all our soldiers and hostages be protected and come home safely.

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

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