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March 14, 2024

ITC update: Operation Iron Swords

ITC updates are now sent weekly on a Thursday.
Day 160
Thursday 14.3.24

The number of IDF soldiers killed since the start of the ground op has risen to 249.

Wednesday morning, two people were wounded in a stabbing attack at the “tunnels” checkpoint on the West Bank’s Route 60 highway, south of Jerusalem. The closer we get to the [first] Friday of Ramadan, the greater the tensions, police are currently on highest alert.

As Ramadan began, there was still no breakthrough regarding a hostage release.

Northern Front: Sunday morning, heavy rocket barrages were fired from Southern Lebanon towards a dozen Upper Galilee communities in northern Israel. Rocket warning signs were activated in Meron, Bar Yochai, Merom Galil Regional Center, Kfar Shamai, Jish – Gush Halav, Tzivon, Bar’am, Safsufa – Kfar Hoshen, Or HaGanuz, Kerem Ben Zimra and Dovev. Tuesday morning sirens were heard, both in the Golan and the Galilee with over 100 rockets launched from Lebanon, the largest rocket barrage since the start of hostilities in October.  Thankfully, no injuries were reported. Hezbollah has fired over 2,500 rockets into Israel since October 7th, resulting in 17 Israelis killed.

Hebrew University in collaboration with Columbia University released statistics of the number of people likely to develop post traumatic stress disorder: of those directly affected by terror event 12,366, residents living within 40 km of the Gaza Strip 109, 249, residents living within 40-80 km of the Gaza strip 304, 556 and soldiers directly involved in the war 11,021.

ITC on the Ground 

As reported in previous updates ITC has been working closely with First Responders. Fatigue, burnout, primary and secondary traumatization is a worrying phenomenon. Teams face tremendous difficulties daily, the worries, the fears, and the tension are often bottled up. Team burnout can lead to a wide range of negative outcomes. It affects work performance and continuity through decreased job performance, high absenteeism rates, increased staff turnover; and affects personal mental health and wellbeing causing exhaustion, depression, anxiety, sleeping and eating disorders, and can lead to suicide. Many of our First Responders were directly affected and are suffering from the events of October 7th that they personally witnessed and experienced. The photo on the left is just one example of our work with ZAKA volunteers. This group was photographed (with permission) at the Yehuda Mountains farm. The workshop included sessions in peer support, sharing experiences, self-care and therapeutic riding.  

Considering the security situation in the North (see above) the ITC has been working closely with the Northern branches of the Welfare departments, providing hundreds of hours of emergency preparedness workshops including interpersonal communication and tools to strengthen personal resilience.

The photo on the left shows the operation of an ITC emergency exercise in the situation rooms of the Haifa and Northern district of the Ministry of Welfare in partnership with the National Emergency Authority.

Bright spot

Rehabilitation of Western Negev agriculture. It is estimated that the October 7 attacks resulted in some $500 million of lost farm income in addition to equipment losses. On Kibbutz Nachal Oz alone attackers destroyed or stole every bit of the kibbutz’s farming infrastructure. Every one of the 40 irrigation control boxes on the Nahal Oz fields was smashed, the customized computer chips inside stolen. Every farm vehicle was burned or taken into Gaza. Now, as reported by Israel21c a new philanthropic initiative ReGrow Israel aims to help farmers rebuild better than ever. The first phase is to raise $25 million to replace all damaged farm equipment and in the next stage working with farmers and agronomists to rehabilitate the affected 40,000 hectares of western Negev agricultural with an emphasis on economic resilience, ecological sustainability and innovation-diversifying crops and automating the systems.

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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