8 April

War with Hamas

Four IDF soldiers were killed in Khan Yunis when they were ambushed emerging from a tunnel shaft under a recently destroyed building.

The body of murdered hostage Elad Katzir has been retrieved from Gaza and returned to Israel for burial. Elad had been seen alive in two propaganda videos from Islamic Jihad in December and January.

After being closed since 7 October, the Erez Crossing from Israel into northen Gaza has been re-opened. This allows the passage of humanitarian aid from the Israeli port of Ashdod into Gaza.

The IDF announced a stop to the planned ground campaign in Rafah and its withdrawal from Khan Yunis in southern Gaza. Only the Nahal brigade and portions of Brigade 401 will remain in northern and central Gaza. The withdrawal is being claimed as a victory by Hamas with no deterrent to them regaining control of Khan Yunis.

Israel is prepared for any possible action from Iran in retaliation for the bombing of a building next to the Iranian embassy compound in Damascus last week. Iran has indicated that both Israeli and US embassies are not safe. The IDF has prepared missions for various scenarios and Israeli hospitals have been told to prepare for an increase in casualties. An increase in Hezbollah missile attacks into northern Israel could be a response to the killing of Mohammed Reza Zahedi, a commander who instructed Hezbollah’s military attacks.

An Israeli delegation of top officials, including Mossad head David Barnea, Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) head Ronen Bar, and Maj-Gen Nitzan Alon are in Cairo for ceasefire and hostage release negotiatons. They are meeting with representatives from Hamas, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, the Qatari prime minister and foreign minister, William Burns, the head of the CIA, and Abbas Kamel, Egyptian intelligence chief.

Rallies and vigils around the world marked 6 months since the hostages were abducted into captivity. ZFA CEO Alon Cassuto and Social Media Officer Ramona Chrapot spoke at a vigil last night in St Kilda.
Watch Ramona’s inspiring speech of hope

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