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February 15, 2024

ITC update: Operation Iron Swords

ITC updates are now sent weekly on a Thursday.
Day 132
Thursday 15.2.24

The number of IDF soldiers killed since the start of the ground op has risen to 232.
Israeli security forces carried out a successful rescue of 61-year-old Fernando Simon Marman and 70-year-old Louis Har, both kidnapped from their homes on Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak on October 7th. The successful operation to rescue two hostages is being praised in Israel, together with the painful knowledge that 134 hostages still remain in Hamas captivity. Diplomatic efforts continue to release the hostages. While some progress was reported in the Cairo talks, no “breakthrough” is said to have been achieved

Louis Har (L) and Fernando Marman (2nd R) are reunited with loved ones at Sheba Medical Center,

February 12, 2024 (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli security forces foiled two terror attacks Monday. In the first, an attacker with a knife was shot dead in the Old City of Jerusalem. In the second, a Palestinian tried to attack an IDF soldier outside the West Bank town of Beitar Illit. Tuesday, a Palestinian was shot, and wounded after an attempted car ramming attack on civilians at the Gush Etzion Junction.

Northern Front: An Israeli soldier was killed and at least eight wounded in the northern city of Safed following a rocket barrage fired from Lebanon Wednesday morning. At least eleven Grad rockets were fired at the city, with the IDF confirming that the launches targeted the Northern Command headquarters.

Two people are in hospital following a rocket on Kiryat Shmona, Tuesday morning. A 15-year-old boy is in serious condition and his mother aged 47 is moderately wounded. Since October 7th, Hezbollah has launched over 2,000 attempted attacks on Israel. 15 Israelis have been killed and around 80,000 who live closest to the border have been internally displaced.

France has submitted a new proposal to resolve Lebanon’s border disputes with Israel. The proposal would see Hezbollah withdraw ten kilometers from the Israeli border (less than it is commanded to do by UN Resolution 1701), and to dismantle its military infrastructure within the zone.

Southern Front: Tuesday, rocket sirens were heard in the community of Netiv Ha’asara on the Gaza border. Over 11,000 rockets have been fired out of Gaza since October. An estimated 10-20 percent landed inside Gaza.

ITC on the Ground

Team support: In the wake of October 7th, ITC has intensified efforts to provide team training and support to a range of teams including medical, welfare and First Responder teams. These groups learn personal self-care tools, such as breathing techniques, anxiety reduction methods, and participate in team resilience workshops, dealing with loss and bereavement, how to work under conditions of extreme uncertainty, delivering bad news and the complexity of working with mixed teams from both Jewish and Arab communities. The photo on the right was taken yesterday at Wolfson Hospital with the medical resilience trustee team, a project supported by the Glazer Foundation. The group meets once a week to share experiences, provide support for each other and in the words of one participant “learn to appreciate what we share rather than our differences”.

Bright Spot

TLV Dolphinarium: A symbol of hope and resilience. The Dolphinarium was established in 1980 by a group of Jewish entrepreneurs and was a popular attraction on Tel Aviv beach. By 1990, the venue had transformed into a trendy disco. In 2001, the Dolphinarium was the site of one of the most horrific terrorist attacks in Israeli history. On June 1 a suicide bomber struck the claiming 21 lives and leaving 130 injured. This attack targeted young immigrants, predominantly from the former Soviet Union. Many of whom ITC partner SELAH continue to care for.

Following two decades abandoned and unused, it has reopened as a center for water sports and community activities that captures the spirt of Israeli spirit, facing adversity with unity and resilience.

Israel Lifesaving Federation with Australian Ambassador Ralph King at the opening of the new Dolphinarium

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