For emotional support by the coalition organizations ARAN – 1201 or on WhatsApp 052-8451201 | Netl – 1800-363-363 | National Resilience Center* 5486

March 28, 2024

ITC update: Operation Iron Swords

ITC updates are now sent weekly on a Thursday.
Day 174
Thursday 28.3.24

The number of IDF soldiers killed since the start of the ground op has risen to 253.

Contrary to previous reports that negotiators in Doha might be moving towards a hostage release deal, Hamas rejected the latest offer. Following this announcement and ten days of negotiations, Israel recalled its lead negotiators from Qatar.

One soldier was killed and an additional seven were wounded on Friday, before the military eliminated a terrorist who conducted a shooting attack at an Israeli vehicle next to the Talmon-Dolev Junction. Three Israelis were wounded in a terror shooting attack against school buses and other cars on a major highway in the West Bank on Thursday morning.

Northern Front: Hezbollah terror group fired 50 rockets at Northern Israel early Sunday, the IDF shot down several of the projectiles as others hit open areas. A home in the Northern community of Betzet was hit early Tuesday morning by rocket fire. No injuries were reported as the area is largely evacuated of civilians. Anti-tank missiles, were fired at the Mount Meron air traffic control base on Tuesday and for the fourth time a winery in the community of Avivim, suffered a direct hit. A 25-year-old man died after the paper factory he was in in Kiryat Shmona’s industrial zone was struck by a Hezbollah rocket Wednesday morning. Hezbollah unleashed a barrage of at least 30 rockets on the northern city.

Southern Front: Several rockets were launched out of Northern Gaza on Monday. The first barrage of 14 targeted Ashkelon and Ashdod. The Iron Dome then intercepted three rockets that were fired at Sderot on Monday night.

ITC on the Ground

“The journey of trauma and resilience is not just about acquiring knowledge; it’s about building connections, fostering empathy, and finding strength in solidarity. As we navigate through challenges, may we carry the tools, friendships, and experiences gained, knowing that together, we can overcome any adversity that comes our way.” – Eben Beri Sharif (Attorney, working in the Rahat welfare division and participant in recent ITC training program)

The ITC has been actively engaged in supporting the Bedouin society since 2014, with a focus on building resilience, providing trauma care, and enhancing emergency preparedness. Since October 7th, the Bedouin Resilience Center has been working 24/7 on providing specialized training to therapists within the Bedouin community, addressing the severe shortage of mental health professionals. A dedicated telephone helpline staffed by psychologists was established to meet the increased demand for support which has handled over 2,600 inquiries to date. Online psychological therapy sessions are offered, particularly reaching families in remote areas.

Parent groups were piloted, with over 70 mothers. “In our training groups, witnessing the enthusiasm and engagement of the mothers is truly inspiring. Their willingness to share personal experiences and seek guidance reflects a deep commitment to their roles as mothers amidst complex family dynamics. The positive feedback we receive underscores the profound need within the Bedouin society for a supportive space where professionals can guide and empower mothers in nurturing both themselves and their children. “ (Therapist leading the program).

A public information campaign was launched, utilizing leaflets, videos, and a Facebook community to reach approximately 3,000 individuals within the Bedouin society. Resilience centers were established in schools to provide direct intervention for families, serving around 160 family members. A community of teachers underwent training to become Resilience Trustees, positively impacting over 3,000 parents and students.

Training on delivering bad news, emotional first aid, and building resilience were conducted for First Responders. Dozens of webinars addressing anxiety management, parenting during war, etc., were conducted with approximately 1,500 participants. A forum was established in cooperation with the Ministry of Welfare and other stakeholders to address the needs of affected families.

All these efforts underscore the ITC’s unwavering commitment to supporting and empowering the Bedouin community during times of adversity, fostering resilience and well-being across various facets of society.

Bright spot:

David Kichka, founder of the Israeli Cuisine Festival (photo courtesy of David Kichka)

It is perhaps no coincidence that a few of our bright spots have focused on food and this is no exception. The Israeli Cuisine Festival has been re-scheduled from its original November date to opening March 27 and running through April 12. The festival includes two weeks of chef dinners, workshops, tours, and open kitchens, taking place for the third year running, and in a range of locations, from Tel Aviv and Jaffa, Jerusalem and Haifa to Mazkeret Batya, Emek Hefer, Ein Hod and Caesarea.

David Kichka, founder of the Israeli Cuisine Festival feels that “people have to continue living, that life calls to us and restaurants need support and customers.” The theme of this year’s festival is “home,” which takes on an entirely new meaning after the events of October 7. “There are the evacuees who aren’t living at home, or the foods that remind them of home, and that’s their identity,” he said. “It’s about doing what we can, now.”

Thanks for all your support. We will keep you updated.

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