Israel Office Daily Update: November 7, 2023
November 7, 2023
- Israelis held a day of mourning today, marking the shloshim, the traditional one-month period, since the October 7 massacres.
- It is confirmed that 31 Israeli soldiers have been killed since the ground offensive began, and 240 hostages are being held by Hamas in Gaza. In addition, over the last week, the IDF has struck more than 2,500 Hamas targets by land, air and sea.
- A 20-year old olah chadasha (Israeli new immigrant) from Atlanta, Georgia, Rose Ida Lubin, was killed in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem yesterday. The Israeli-American was serving as a Border Police Officer when she was stabbed by a 16 year-old Palestinian. Read more here.
- An elderly Jewish man has died in Los Angeles following a confrontation between pro- and anti-Israel demonstrators. While circumstances are still unclear, many are saying that the man died after being pushed by a pro-Palestinian protestor. See more here.
- More details on these developments, and more, below.
Key Resources From Jewish Federations
- Join Jewish Fededrations at the March for Israel on November 14th in Washington DC to show our support for Israel, stand in solidarity with the hostages, and condemn antisemitism. Learn more. Read this Jerusalem Post article about the March.
- JDC Webinar: Federation partner JDC will be holding a webinar exploring the latest in the war, and its own activities bringing relief. The webinar will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, November 8th at 12:00 PM (ET). Register here.
- Jewish Agency Webinar: Federation partner The Jewish Agency for Israel will also be holding a webinar on “Antisemitism on College Campuses Since October 7.” It will take place Thursday, November 9, at 11am EDT, and will feature Adam Lehman, CEO of Hillel International; Amira Ahronoviz, CEO & Director General of The Jewish Agency for Israel; Campus Leaders; Jewish Agency Israel Fellows & American Jewish student leaders. Register here.
- Knesset: The heads of Jewish Federations of North America have received a letter from the Knesset, thanking the community for its unprecedented support during the country’s dark hour. See the letter here.
- Resources: Readers can access a Jewish Federations toolkit of resources here, and can refer to the Community Mobilization Center Resource Hub for the latest talking points, tools and other resources.
- Map: This site shows a map of the October 7 massacre with a red dot for every person killed and a black dot for every person abducted by Hamas. Clicking on any dot will show the name and picture (if available) of the victim with age and last known location.
- Details: For full details about the home front and military operations, see this update. And for information on the latest overall numbers from the conflict, see here.
- Additional resources can be found at the end of this update.
Israel Defense Forces Operations
The ground operation continues in full force. Last night the IDF took control of a Hamas military outpost in the heart of Gaza City, locating anti-tank launchers and missiles, weapons, and intelligence materials at the site. Troops also found rocket launchers inside a youth group clubhouse (see video here) and others launched from a mosque (video here). Israeli planes, directed by ground troops, also struck a cell of 10 Hamas members who identified the terrorists and directed an aerial attack on the outpost. Troops later identified an anti-tank squad operating nearby and directed an additional airstrike.
Also overnight, the military targeted dozens of positions for mortar launches into Israel, while naval forces attacked a number of Hamas targets, using precision weaponry. The IDF also says that it is stepping up efforts to find and destroy Hamas tunnels. See video of the operations here and of an IDF explanation here.
The IDF has confirmed that 31 soldiers have been killed in the battles in Gaza, and 240 people remain hostages.
Israel again opened a humanitarian corridor in Gaza, to allow those civilians who have remained in the north to escape to the southern part of the Strip. The safe passage was open from 10:00am – 2:00pm. Watch video here of civilians using the route to escape south. Israeli sources reported that more than 7.5 million gallons of water are now entering Gaza daily with the opening of a second pipeline from Israel.
The Hamas-run Gazan Health Ministry says that over 10,000 Palestinians have been killed since October 7, as a result of the war. Hezbollah says that 63 of its fighters have been killed on the northern front.
The Home Front
The country continues to mourn the massacre of October 7:
- Watch here the full interview that Piers Morgan conducted with Israel’s President Isaac Herzog about October 7, and the war that has followed.
- Read this article where Avihai Brodutch, 42, describes “31 days of agony,” not knowing how his hostage family is being treated and feeling powerless to help.
- The Knesset passed a law that would allow the families of people who are missing or were kidnapped to receive the same compensation given to families of fallen soldiers. The law also contained an amendment dealing with the families of fallen soldiers, adding the partners and spouses in single-sex relationships to be considered as IDF widows and widowers.
- Separately, the Knesset cut its own budget by $20 million, redirecting those funds to the benefit of the war effort.
- Three survivors of the Rave massacre gave a moving interview on the UK’s Channel Four. See more here.
- Read here about the North American Jewish community marking 30 days since the October 7 massacres.
- An Israeli-Bedouin family from Tel Sheva is offering $1 million for information regarding the Hamas terrorists who killed their son Osama Abu Assa on October 7. Read more here.
The level of rocket fire from Gaza remains low, although there is at least one major barrage per day, sending millions to their shelters, and exposing them to the very loud iron dome interceptions above major cities.
In the North, Hezbollah has continued its medium-intensity attacks across the border, while the IDF strikes at cells and the sources of fire. Read this background piece on why a second front does not seem to be opening up.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave his first interview with foreign press since October 7, speaking to ABC yesterday, just after he held another phone conversation with U.S. President Joe Biden. During the interview, Netanyahu said that Israel will need to keep “security control” over Gaza for an “indefinite period.” Watch the full interview here.
Separately, Netanyahu met with foreign ambassadors based in Israel and told them that, “If we don’t win, Europe will be next… There is no substitute for victory. This battle is your battle and our victory is your victory.” See video here and read the Prime Minister’s full remarks here.
Meanwhile. former Israeli ambassador Alon Roth-Snir was appointed as coordinator of international efforts for the release of hostages in Gaza. Roth-Snir previously served as Israel’s envoy in Norway, as well as deputy director-general of the Foreign Ministry’s Strategic Affairs unit.
It has been confirmed that the U.S.’ proposed $14 billion aid package to Israel, will contain significant funds for Iron Dome expansion, including 100 new anti-rocket interceptors.
The United Arab Emirates is setting up a field hospital at the edge of the Gaza Strip with some 150 beds, a surgery department and intensive care units for adults and children. Five aircraft flew out of Abu Dhabi for Arish in northern Egypt today, carrying equipment and supplies for the facility.
South Africa has decided to withdraw all of its diplomats from Tel Aviv for consultations for what it called Israeli “genocide under the watch of the international community,” Minister Khumbudzo Ntshaveni announced following a South African cabinet meeting on Monday.
See this very interesting photo, from a historical perspective, of the commander of the German Air Force donating blood in Tel Aviv’s Sheba Hospital earlier today.
Efforts on the Ground
Israelis of all stripes have come together to support soldiers and bolster morale in the country, many sharing inspiring tales.
- A second intake of 120 ultra-Orthodox volunteers was drafted into the IDF yesterday.
- The Resilience for Our Children program is supporting the emotional and mental well-being of approximately 9,600 children and youth aged 6 to 18 in Sderot and the Eshkol Regional Council. Founded and led by social entrepreneur Ronny Douek, and supported by Jewish Federations, the program has already been funded with $7.7 million, including a personal donation of $1.3 million from Douek himself. Read more here.
- A group of non-Jewish cowboys from Montana and Arkansas have arrived in Israel to volunteer in the south and help Israel. See here.
- The owners of a small plant nursery in Kibbutz Be’eri, thought they had lost their business when they evacuated. When they returned for the first time, a month later, they discovered that soldiers had broken into the nursery. They discovered a small miracle – their thriving nursery and a handwritten note explaining. “Sorry we broke into the nursery, we had to water the plants. With love, the soldiers.”
- Watch this unique, Gaza War-style, gender reveal from an IDF soldier expecting a child.
- America’s role: The Price of Greatness is Responsibility
- What is happening as the ground war moves into full swing?
- Local Authorities: Jewish Federations have produced a document answering questions about funding impacted localities and municipalities in Israel. See here.
- Volunteering: Birthright Israel has opened a volunteering program, where people from outside of Israel can come to Tel Aviv and take part in food rescue operations to prevent shortages in the Israeli market, including work to sort, pack and distribute goods for civil and military personnel.
- Critical Information: For those in Israel looking for help, critical information about the situation on the ground, or other assistance, see this resource page put together by Jewish Federations.
- Supplying Protective Equipment: See also this Jewish Federations information page on requests for personal protective equipment which are circulating and this update regarding volunteering.
- Read the latest communication from the Community Mobilization Center here.
- Funders: As many funders struggle to distinguish between the multitudes of organizations looking for important resources, the Jewish Funders Network has produced this thorough page of guidance.
- Solidarity Gatheings: Over 120 communities have held solidarity gatherings. Watch here. For a guidebook on hosting a gathering in your community, click here.
- Hostages: Jewish Federations have launched The Blue –Ribbon Campaign, which symbolizes support and solidarity for the safe return of the hostages taken by Hamas. Wearing a ribbon publicly unites people of all religions, races, nationalities, ethnicities, ages, and generations and demonstrates for the people of Israel that they are not alone and that good people across the globe are with them and their families during this dark time.
Jewish Federations of North America’s Israel Emergency Fund has surpassed $600 million, $148 million of which has already been allocated to the most pressing needs on the ground through 116 partner organizations and NGOs. Read more. And click here for the latest allocations report.
The Community Mobilization Center is monitoring major developments in Israel and North America related to Israel’s war to defend herself against Hamas, and will rapidly disseminate resources to help mobilize and support our local communities as they work to build and sustain civic and political support for Israel in this conflict. Read the latest communication from the Community Mobilization Center here.
Our Israel Office, having activated emergency protocols, is working closely with our partners on the ground, and is close contact with the Government of Israel and the IDF. We will continue to update as the situation develops.