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February 8, 2024

ITC update: Operation Iron Swords

ITC updates are now sent weekly on a Thursday.
Day 125
Thursday 8.2.24

The number of IDF soldiers killed since the start of the ground op has risen to 227.

Following a nearly two-week delay, Hamas has finally responded to the latest proposed hostage deal. In three-stage ceasefire plan, each lasting 45 days Hamas has proposed that all Israeli women hostages, males under 19, the elderly and sick would be released during the first 45-day phase in exchange for the release of Palestinian women and children from Israeli jails. Remaining male hostages would be released during the second phase and remains exchanged in the third phase. By the end of the third phase, Hamas would expect the sides to have reached agreement on an end to the war.

The group seeks the release of 1,500 prisoners, a third of whom it wants to select from a list of Palestinians handed life sentences by Israel. The truce would also increase the flow of food and other aid to Gaza’s civilians, with the group demanding 500 trucks a day.

Israel’s Prime Minister Office confirmed that the Mossad had received Hamas’s response through Qatari mediators and is reviewing the proposal. An Israeli delegation traveled to Cairo on Thursday for further negotiations. There are 136 hostages, alive and dead.

Northern Front: Sporadic rocket fire continued throughout Tuesday, with Hezbollah claiming responsibility for a rocket attack in which two soldiers were lightly injured. Eight rockets were fired Monday morning from Lebanon at the Upper Galilee. No injuries were sustained. An anti-tank missile that was shot from Lebanon into northern Israel Saturday evening hit a garage in Kibbutz Yir’on causing damage. Israeli paratroopers are carrying out drills in the Golan Heights as fears of war with Hezbollah grow. Thursday morning, an officer was seriously wounded and two more soldiers were lightly hurt by a Hezbollah anti-tank missile attack in Kiryat Shmona.

Over 2,000 rockets have been fired from Lebanon since October 8th.

ITC on the Ground
Highlight on work with youth:
Amid these challenging times, Israel’s youth find themselves at the forefront of the ongoing conflict. Many have endured significant loss, witnessed distressing scenes, and have been displaced from their homes. As the conflict persists, a semblance of an “emergency routine” is starting to emerge. Thanks to the support provided by our Resilience Centers, numerous youths and teenagers are gradually processing their experiences and reclaiming their sense of empowerment.

Various therapeutic ITC workshops and non-verbal therapies, including animal-assisted therapy, have proven to be valuable tools in encouraging these young individuals to express themselves. It is imperative that they begin to discuss their experiences to mitigate the potential development of more chronic post-traumatic issues. The most arduous aspect of our work lies in the long-term efforts. After weeks of being away from school and their familiar environments, some displaced youths have begun displaying behaviors that put them at risk.

In Eilat, for instance, they were initially taken on outings, to the beach, which was beneficial for a brief period. However, the novelty wore off, leading to boredom, compounded by the trauma and stress they have endured. This boredom has given rise to secondary problems, such as vandalism and substance abuse.

ITC is committed to providing direct care to these youths and their families. We also offer training and support to caregivers, including teachers, social workers, and other professionals within their support networks. We actively engage with our youth, nurturing their resilience and emphasizing that “We’re in this together.” These are not mere empty words; they encapsulate our core strength and purpose. We have unwavering faith in the resilience of our youth and their capacity to overcome the trauma they have experienced.

Bright spot

Amid the ongoing war, on February 2nd, over 6,000 runners participated in the fifth Dead Sea Marathon. Participants ran along a unique embankment that separates the Israeli and Jordanian shores of the Dead Sea; a route typically off-limits to the public. Organizers of this event stressed the significance of the marathon as a symbol of hope and unity. A testament to the unwavering determination and resilience exhibited by participants. marathon.

The event featured a range of categories for runners to choose from, including 5k, 10k, 21.1k, 42k, and an arduous 50k ultra-marathon. Amongst the participants were Noga (Talia’s daughter) and her husband Eitan who participated only two days after his release following four months of reserve duty.

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

Also available by phone:
and email