For emotional support by ITC organizations Eran – 1201 extension 6 | Natal – 1800-363-363

April 4, 2024

ITC update: Operation Iron Swords

ITC updates are now sent weekly on a Thursday.
Day 181
Thursday 4.4.24

The number of IDF soldiers killed since the start of the ground op has risen to 256.

Over the last few days, Israel has experienced a spate of terrorist attacks, a shooting in the Jordan Valley, the stabbing of an off-duty officer in Beersheba’s central bus station, and three people were seriously wounded in a knifing at a mall in the southern Israeli city of Gan Yavne late Sunday. Four police officers were injured, one of them critically, in a suspected terror ramming near the central town of Kochav Yair, close to the Green Line, overnight Tuesday. After striking the group of officers, the suspect drove to the nearby Checkpoint 109, where he attempted to stab the security forces on site.

Tens of thousands of Israelis gathered outside the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem Tuesday, Israel’s negotiating team departed Cairo after drafting a new hostage deal proposal. The team was made up of Mossad, Shin Bet, and IDF officials. A response from Hamas is pending.

On Sunday and Monday, in the first two days of a planned four-day protest demanding the resignation of the Netanyahu government, the release of all the hostages, and the end of the exclusion of the ultra-Orthodox from military service. Following violence and police arrests on Tuesday, Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar issued a warning regarding violence at anti-government protests saying it is a worrying trend that could lead to dangerous places.

Northern Front
Tensions have increased on the Israel-Lebanon border in recent weeks. Analysis from the Centre for Strategic and International Studies claims there have been 4,400 “violent incidents” in the border area since October 8th. This includes, according to the IDF, over 2,800 missiles which have been fired at northern Israel from southern Lebanon and Syria (as of April 3rd). Early Sunday morning a soldier was lightly wounded in a rocket strike in the Kiryat Shmona area.

Southern Front
A drone, apparently launched from Iraq, struck a building on a military base in Eilat early Monday morning. Damage was caused to the building, but thankfully no reported injuries. The targeting of Eilat from Iraq is seen by many as a major escalation by Iranian-backed groups. 

Sapir Academic College, located close to Sderot, reopened on Sunday for its second semester with frontal lessons after students had been studying remotely since the start of the war in Gaza. “We see the return to campus as of utmost importance for the region’s future and the personal recovery of each of us,” said Sapir College President Nir Kedar. “At the same time, we understand the uncertainty many of us face and, therefore, a gradual and measured return to campus has been decided upon.” Many of these students are reservists, just released from serving, with many already having received their next call-up order.

Victor Weinberger, director of planning and strategy for Kibbutz Kfar Aza, announced that his community plans to relocate to Kibbutz Ruhama in the Negev before the end of 2024. Nearly half of the kibbutz residents currently live in the central Israeli Kibbutz Shefaim.

ITC on the Ground
Ongoing ITC professional and support initiatives are being conducted in the northern region, totaling over 2,800 hours of training provided since October 7th. Among the many initiatives are specialized training sessions for volunteer community teams, covering emergency management protocols, situation assessment techniques, and the organizational structure of response teams. These sessions include simulations and exercises to enhance preparedness and response capabilities. Additionally, comprehensive training modules tailored to various governmental departments, including social services, education, logistics, public information, spokespersons, healthcare, and emergency medical services, are provided. These modules delve into job-specific responsibilities, event management protocols, and advanced skill development in areas such as emotional first aid and self-care.

Furthermore, probation service employees and staff at sheltered workshops have received sessions focusing on equipping staff with tools to effectively engage with youth and young adults, fostering resilience and addressing challenges through face-to-face discussions and skill-building exercises. Emphasis is placed on self-care strategies and equipping personnel to manage applicants experiencing prolonged stress.

Bright Spot

Israeli plants show their resilience After surviving October 7, Israeli cocoa plants could help stave off a world shortage. Dr Ellen Graber, an Israeli scientist, has developed resilient cocoa plants capable of withstanding extreme climate events. These “superhero” seedlings survived 3.5 months without water or fertilizer after being left to fend for themselves following the Hamas attack. The project, dubbed the Cocoa Cure Center, aims to address global cocoa shortages caused by climate change. They were in a net house left to their own devices. Everyone expected to find 140 dead cocoa plants. But when staff scientist Talli Ilani returned, she discovered that 20 of the plants had survived and were even having new leaf flushes. This indicates that this variety has a huge ability to survive under severe conditions. Resilience indeed.

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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 info@itc-office.org.il

Also available by phone:
02-6722618
and email info@itc-office.org.il