October 29, 2023
The hostage number has been updated to 230 by the IDF.
Ground forces entered the Gaza Strip on Friday evening, marking the second phase of the conflict. IDF tanks and other forces pushed into the Strip in a limited but prolonged incursion, hitting over 150 Hamas tunnels and bunkers. As the war progresses, forces are operating deeper into the enclave.
According to some reports, the current plan is for the public to get used to functioning amid military activity, and if the north does not escalate, some reservists will be released, and the Israeli economy will resume partial operations.
Northern Front: In response to the rocket and missile fire from Lebanon, Israeli fighter jets struck several Hezbollah military targets on Saturday. As of Sunday morning, residents of Misgav Am in northern Israel were asked to remain in protected areas.
Southern Front: Rocket fire continues toward communities in the Gaza Envelope. On Saturday, intensive rocket fire was fired into southern Israel, including the border area and the city of Ashkelon and Ashdod.
In the early afternoon, Tel Aviv and Be’er Sheva were targeted. Three people sustained light injuries. A rocket launched from the Gaza Strip landed on a home in Ramat Gan. Kiryat Ono and Holon were also hit by rockets. Since October 7, approximately 7,800 rockets have been fired toward Israel.
ITC on the Ground
To increase resilience centers’ service capacity and expand therapeutic options, ITC continues to expand core teams. This includes massive efforts to provide training to additional therapists via zoom which will include specialized grief and bereavement training.
Body and Mind workshops are conducted in evacuation hotels as part of the expansion of the therapeutic toolbox. It is a model of a three-day workshop provided by each instructor, including yoga, mindfulness, and other topics. The goal is to develop and refresh coping resources, to stabilize breathing and physical coping.
As the basic unit that oversees and manages services for its residents, ITC works with local authorities to strengthen and position their work.
In collaboration with municipal teams, community officials, teams, and the community itself, ITC provides individual, group, and team therapy in the evacuation hotels.
Over the last week, the therapist hotline of the Bedouin Resilience center received more than 100 inquiries.
Southern residents of the south are spread throughout the country in hotels, host kibbutzim and communities. There is a critical need to maintain a daily routine in all these reception areas.
Communities were not transferred between hotels to create uniformity, as residents asked not to move at this stage. As such, tension continues to exist between communities staying in the same hotels. However, on a brighter note, a few communities came together to celebrate Shabbat.
We are exploring options for providing safe, respectful treatment in places adjacent to hotels.
The ITC has expanded the number of individual meetings, webinars, and treatments it provides to ZAKA volunteers. ZAKA commanders and the CEO have requested and directed us to allow up to three sessions of mental counseling (not therapy) for volunteers.
As reported last week, ZAKA volunteers are currently providing testimony to the police, an experience they report as extremely painful and distressing. For volunteers who have undergone an investigation (not before to prevent sabotage of the investigation effort itself), ITC offers group processing through music – each volunteer will be invited to attend several sessions at his own discretion. There will be two weekly meetings in Haifa as a pilot program.
In a display of incredible resilience, social media has been flooded with photos and videos of Israelis going forward with weddings despite war and loss in their own families. There are some people who are downsizing their celebrations because family and friends can’t attend, for others the number of guests is growing as Israelis are donating their time in droves to bring joy to brides and grooms.