28 March

War with Hamas

IDF ground forces are fighting intense battles within the Shifa hospital. The Hamas offices within the hospital are a source of valuable intelligence that assists the IDF in their Gaza campaign, and may reveal the location of hostages. We recognise the exceptional courage of the soldiers active in this highly dangerous work.

In the West Bank, Israeli police have made arrests in Ramallah, Hebron and Bethlehem and the IDF forces entered the Jenin refugee camp to seize illegal weapons.

The IDF airforce struck targets in the Hebbariyeh village in Southern Lebanon. Hezbollah retaliated with missiles aimed at Kiryat Shmona. Most were blocked by the Iron Dome; tragically, three missiles landed, leading to an Israeli fatality.

25-year-old Zahar Bashara, from the Druze village of Ein Qiniyye in the Golan Heights, was killed following a direct hit from one of the 30 rockets fired from Hezbollah.

A reminder that Hezbollah, a proscribed terrorist organisation here in Australia, has been indiscriminately firing rockets daily at Israeli citizens, each rocket is a war crime.

Hostage Uriel Baruch confirmed dead

It has been announced that Uriel Baruch, one of the hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza, has been killed and his body is still being held by Hamas.

Baruch leaves behind his wife Rachel and two children, as well as his parents and three siblings. He was kidnapped from the area near the Nova music festival on October 7.

This is devastating news after 172 days of waiting.

UN resolution for ceasefire without hostage release

Yesterday the UN Security Council adopted a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza during Ramadan and the immediate and unconditional release of all the abductees. Fourteen countries voted in favor of the decision. The US abstained. By not applying its veto, it allowed the resolution to pass.

The resolution does not condemn Hamas, and the call for a ceasefire is not dependent on the release of the hostages.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan responded by saying, “Your demand for a ceasefire without conditioning it on the release of the hostages not only isn’t helpful, but it undermines the effort to secure their release. It is harmful to these efforts because it gives Hamas terrorists hope to get a ceasefire without releasing the hostages.”

He continued, “Why can this Council call on Boko Haram to lay down their arms, but the same can’t be demanded of the murderous Hamas terrorists? Is the life of little baby Kfir Bibas worth less than the life of a Nigerian child? Sadly, it’s for the same reason why you can condemn terror attacks in Russia and Iran, but not in Israel. To this Council, Israeli blood is cheap. This is a travesty and I’m disgusted.”

Hamas welcomed the resolution, but refused to released the hostages and also subsequently fired rockets into Israeli cities.

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