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

April 11, 2024

ITC update: Operation Iron Swords

ITC updates are now sent weekly on a Thursday.
Day 188
Thursday 11.4.24

The week began with a somber reminder that it has been half a year since Oct 7th, remembering those massacred, those who fell in the defense of Israel and the hostages who remain in the depths of hell.

Demonstrators turned out Saturday night for weekly rallies across Israel to protest the government, demand elections and an immediate hostage deal. Tel Aviv’s massive anti-government rally, which was attended by tens of thousands saw some demonstrators clash with police, with at least five arrests. There was also a car-ramming that injured five demonstrators, which raises concerns over rising societal tensions.

Mixed reports are emerging from Cairo about the prospects of an agreement on a hostage release/prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas. Hamas’s formal response to the latest hostage proposal remains unresolved.

Sunday morning, two people were wounded in a shooting attack on a bus near Nabi Elias Junction in the northern West Bank.

Northern Front: Thursday night, an Israeli soldier was injured by an anti-tank missile attack near the town of Metulla, and seven rockets were fired toward the Upper Galilee community of Malkia.

Southern Front: Numerous rockets were fired at southern Israel on Thursday evening, including two rockets at the city of Sderot, another toward Ashkelon. Hours after the IDF withdrew all troops from Southern Gaza, five rockets were fired from the Khan Younis area at communities near the border with no injuries or damage reported. Monday night a drone over Eilat was intercepted by an IDF ship-mounted Iron Dome system.

Six months on, 70% of evacuees from the south have returned home, but thousands remain in hotels. Some 13 damaged or at-risk communities will take at least 18 months to repopulate. Residents of the Nahal Oz community received notice Wednesday that they can return to spend nights in the kibbutz, even if they do not work in essential services.

ITC on the Ground
The National Resilience Center, established on October 17, 2023, aims to provide therapeutic support to residents across the country living in areas where there are no resilience centers. Partnering with eight organizations and over 1,500 trauma specialists, the center caters to several individuals, families, the elderly, and survivors of the October 7 massacre at the Nova Festival. The festival was attended by approximately 4,000 young music lovers, where approximately 360 people were murdered and 44 kidnapped.

The survivors endured severe trauma, often compounded by substance use and as such, their treatment necessitates a specialized approach, acknowledging the complexity of their experiences and the challenges they face in reintegration. Treatment is provided with empathy and without judgment, focusing on healing and community empowerment. Approximately 6,000 applicants have sought assistance, with 4,000 actively receiving treatment. Specifically, 1,400 survivors of the October 7th massacre are undergoing individualized therapy.

Despite ongoing efforts, some survivors struggle to resume normal life activities, relying on financial assistance from the National Insurance Institute. The center collaborates with Natal and Amcha to provide group therapy and support initiatives for trauma survivors, ensuring a pathway to healing and resilience.

Jay Kestenbaum and Dr. Naomi Baum delivering kits

ITC partner, Dr. Naomi Baum, psychologist, and Tzivy Reiter, LCSW, Director of Trauma and Children’s Services at Ohel, have authored and disseminated, with the generous support of Ohel Kestenbaum Family International Children’s Services (a US based agency that develops programs and materials to build resilience for children) thousands of resource kits designed to support children and their parents in enhancing innate resilience.

These kits focus on fostering a sense of safety, coping mechanisms, nurturing social support systems, and instilling hope. Included in these kits are a meticulously crafted book titled “I Feel That Way and That’s Okay!” accompanied by a set of markers and coloring books, as well as information sheets developed with ITC partner Mahut-Israel tailored for parents of young children. These materials support families from the South returning home or relocating to temporary housing after many long months in hotels. 4,000 kits have been delivered to five ITC Resilience Centers for distribution to families with young children. Future plans, include Resilience kits for families of young children in the North.

Bright spot

Yisrael Almasi, CEO of Yedidim, (pictured above), was struck by the sight of numerous cars abandoned outside army bases after October 7 when their owners left to defend the country. Recognizing the need to support reservists’ families and return these vehicles, he initiated the “Get Cars Back Home” project. Despite logistical challenges, including locating keys and organizing volunteers, Almasi remains committed to easing the burdens faced by both soldiers and their loved ones. Yedidim, Israel’s largest volunteer group, comprises 65,000 members. These volunteers, aged 16 to 89, undergo car maintenance training and provide aid to 2,000 to 3,000 callers daily.


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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