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January 4, 2024

ITC update: Operation Iron Swords

ITC updates are now sent weekly on a Thursday.
Day 90
Thursday 4.1.23

The number of IDF soldiers killed since the start of the ground op has risen to 175.

There was a stabbing attack near the Ma’ale Adumim industrial area near Jerusalem on Sunday. Two security guards were wounded. In the last two weeks there has been an uptick in attacks in Judea and Samaria with three attacks just in the last few days.

Kibbutz Be’eri announced Monday that Ilan Weiss, who has been considered missing since the Hamas-led massacres on October 7, was killed in the assault on his community.

Israel’s largest universities started the new academic year on Sunday, despite many delays due to the war. 55,000 students are currently on reserve duty in the IDF, and the academic institutions affirmed that they would receive special accommodations upon their return to studies.

Center and Southern Front: Despite intensive IDF operations, Hamas are still launching rockets into southern Israel. This morning sirens once again sounded in Ashkelon, and two rockets intercepted.   On New Year’s Eve, 27 rockets were fired at the south and center of the country in a barrage timed for midnight. Air defense systems intercepted 18 rockets and nine fell in open areas. Sirens sounded in various locations in the center of the country including Rehovot, Ness Ziona, Holon, Lod, and Modiin, as well as Ashdod, Sderot, and other southern towns.

Northern Front: IDF ‘at very high level of readiness’ after the assassination in Beirut of Salah al-Arouri, the number two in Hamas’s external leadership, and Ismail Haniyah’s deputy. Arouri is the most senior figure killed so far in response to the October 7 attack. Israel is on a heightened level of alert, moving more Iron Dome missile defense systems to the north and waiting to see how Hamas and Hezbollah will respond.   

Hezbollah launched around 50 rockets and missiles as well as two drones at Israel last Thursday.  Repeated drone infiltration and rocket alert sirens sounded throughout the day including in Haifa, Acre, Kiryat Shmona and other towns in the Upper Galilee. One drone was intercepted near Haifa that entered from Lebanon.

The assassination appears to have put any hostage negotiations on hold for now. The Israeli security cabinet had been expected to begin to debate plans for ‘day after the fighting’ this discussion was also postponed to a later date.

ITC on the Ground 

The ITC, drawing upon its extensive experience gained from its work in Israel and worldwide, has formed a strategic partnership with a socially impactful Public Relations firm to introduce an online initiative titled “Life in the Shadow of the War.”
This project aims to assist individuals in bolstering their personal resilience amidst ongoing challenges.,

This endeavor is meticulously crafted to deliver messages of hope, practical coping strategies, and valuable tips. It is open to participation by individuals from all walks of life. Initial responses to this initiative have been overwhelmingly positive, with thousands of individuals sharing their testimonies about the sources of their strength. These personal narratives, combined with expert insights from ITC professionals, offer inspirational support to others navigating similar circumstances.

In a recent posting ITC experts provided 7 steps that each one of us can take to strengthen our sense of resilience:

  1. Create a regular daily routine and create permanent ‘anchors’, certain actions, which we can carry out regularly regardless of the error that changes. It can be prayer, a certain class, sports activity, reading and writing, etc.
  2. Emotional regulation. Identify emotions, concentrate on what ‘grounds’ us, and allows us to grasp reality in the face of the desire to act emotionally impulsively.
  3. Rituals and boundaries. Try to create a separation between work time and family time, between family time and time for yourself.
  4. Meaning, hope and faith. Remind you and those around you of what is important and focus on the good things.
  5. Know how to ask for help. Don’t feel uncomfortable asking for help. This is almost imperative. We are all in the same boat, and most likely many if not all around you feel the same. Do not be afraid to seek professional, specific, and timely help.
  6. Positive thinking. Write down positive sentences for yourself, look for ways to laugh and use humor, be grateful for the good things in your life. At the same time, recognize and accept the fact that the current situation is temporary, it is not permanent.  
  7. Allow yourself small gifts that can lift your spirits. Read a book you’ve wanted for a long time, cook yourself the dish you like the most, take a relaxing and pampering bath, etc.

A new oleh with Nefesh B’Nefesh.(photo credit: YONIT SCHILLER)

A Bright Spot: Hundreds of new olim (immigrants) arrived in Israel between October 7 and the end of 2023. Since October 7, Nefesh B’Nefesh, along with the Aliyah and Integration Ministry, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, and JNF-USA, recorded 720 new olim. Over a quarter of this number, 200 immigrants, arrived in Israel in the last week of 2023.

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

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During routine and in times of emergency, the Israel Trauma Coalition is here for you.

Also available by phone: 02-6722618 and email

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