A compilation of raw footage documenting Hamas’s grisly October 7 ground warfare through western Negev was screened Wednesday for Israel’s Knesset members.
As they advance deeper into Gaza City and conduct building-to-building hostage-finding operations, Hamas has claimed to have ambushed and destroyed many tanks, adding to the mounting Israeli dead toll.
The IDF said on Wednesday that 15 Israeli soldiers had now lost their lives in the Gaza operation, bringing the total number of soldiers killed since the October 7th massacre to 320 (plus an additional 1,100 Israeli and foreign civilian casualties).
Video footage of Knesset members sobbing following a closed-door meeting has gone viral, raising the possibility that the Israeli military is suffering more casualties than are officially reported.
However, The Times of Israel reports that the poignant moment was caused by a special viewing of a recently assembled video of the terror strikes on October 7 in parliament:
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A compilation of raw footage documenting Hamas’s grisly October 7 rampage through the western Negev was screened Wednesday for Knesset members. The 43-minute-long video was produced by the IDF Spokesperson’s Office and shows uncensored, difficult-to-watch videos, many taken from terrorists’ bodycams.
After a request from Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana to the military, lawmakers were granted permission to hold a closed-door screening of the footage where recording and cellphones were not allowed.
Ohana, speaking before the screening, said that he had arranged the event so that Israeli lawmakers would “know who and what we are facing,” and so that “we will all know how much our path in this war against this evil is justified,” according to sources familiar with the event.
…More than 50 MKs were in attendance, and some broke down in tears, including Ra’am head Mansour Abbas, the Maariv news outlet reported.
As forces advance into Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces have said that they are engaged in close-quarters fighting with Hamas. As a result, the death toll was published on Tuesday and stands at eleven. That number increased to 13 Israeli soldiers dead by early Wednesday after Israel’s defense minister issued a warning about the “heavy toll” that troops would have to pay in the fight to destroy Hamas.
The senior diplomat for the European Union, Josep Borrell, has criticized Israel’s bombings and the large number of civilian casualties in Gaza as the dead toll surpasses nine thousand. Borrel states that he is “appalled by the high number of casualties following the bombing by Israel of the Jabalia refugee camp.” The Gaza Health Ministry reports that another huge attack targeting the Jabalia camp has occurred, one day after the first one that claimed the lives of at least 52 Palestinians.
However, Israel’s military said that a senior Hamas commander and several Hamas officers had been killed in its Jabalia hit, and Israeli decision-makers had considered the potential harm to civilians in the heavily populated metropolitan region.
Along with other leaders, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered his condolences to the IDF’s deceased troops on Wednesday. “We are in a hard war,” he declared. There will be a protracted war. We’ve had both heartbreaking defeats and significant victories.
According to a report from the global non-profit organization for children’s rights, Save the Children, more children were killed in Gaza in three weeks than in all the wars worldwide since 2019.
Further information from his statement states: “We are aware that each and every one of our warriors is a whole globe. From the bottom of our hearts, the families of Israel embrace you. We are all here for you during this grieving period. “Our soldiers died in a war for our homeland, a war without justice,” he declared. “I promise you, the citizens of Israel: we will complete the task – we will continue until victory.”
According to recent military comments, IDF troops have started the laborious task of searching every home in hopes of finding up to 240 hostages who are missing and are both Israeli and international. According to fresh accusations from Hamas, a group of hostages were slain by Israeli aircraft. A statement from Hamas’ military wing stated, “Seven detainees were killed in the Jabalia massacre yesterday, including three holders of foreign passports.”
However, the number of “painful losses” for the Palestinian side is increasing, with civilians suffering the most. The international community has expressed outrage and pressure on Tel Aviv, warning Gazan people that they need to relocate to the southern half of the Strip in order to avoid the bombs. A recent update from the Gaza health ministry, which Al Jazeera reposted, states:
- The number of people killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza has gone up to 8,796, including 3,648 children and 2,290 women.
- At least 22,219 people have been wounded.
- There are 2,030 reports of people missing including 1,020 children buried under the rubble.
- 130 paramedics and medical crew have been killed, 28 ambulances have been destroyed, and there have been more than 270 attacks on the healthcare system in Gaza.
- 16 hospitals out of 35 are out of operation, and 51 out of 72 primary healthcare clinics have shut down.
- In the occupied West Bank, 128 Palestinians have been killed and at least 1,980 have been wounded.
Meanwhile, there has been an uncommonly good advancement in the humanitarian field. Foreigners and injured Palestinians have been permitted to leave Gaza via the Rafah crossing into Egypt for the first time since the beginning of the conflict.
Since the war began on October 7, over 500 foreign passport holders have reportedly been trapped at the Rafah crossing for weeks at a time. Additionally, Israeli jets had repeatedly bombarded the area close to the crossing. On Wednesday, ambulances were seen transporting injured people into Egypt.
Hundreds of foreign passport holders, including Americans, are also being admitted with a tardy schedule. “At least five NGO workers who have been confirmed as Americans are listed as approved to cross on Wednesday but it remains to be seen how many of at least 400 American citizens the U.S. State Department says are stuck in Gaza will be able to cross in coming days,” according to CBS News. Some have taken offense at Washington for not making significant attempts to evacuate dual citizens who are stranded in Gaza:
“They started letting foreigners out today but it’s not Americans because I guess we’re not as important as we thought,” Utah resident Susan Beseiso told CBS News on Wednesday.
“The American Embassy and the State Department haven’t called us since the last time we went to the border and got bombed four times. They haven’t been communicating with us or doing anything to get us out,” Beseiso said.
“It’s like they’re holding us hostages — not Hamas holding us hostages — it’s the IDF soldiers, Egypt and America. They’re using us as a human shield in a way.”
On the Egyptian side, security checks are being conducted on the newly evacuated people. Palestinians with citizenship in Austria, Bulgaria, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Italy, Greece, Australia, and the Czech Republic are among those leaving. On the list of departures are some nationals who work for multiple NGOs.
According to the Israeli newspaper The Times of Israel, “A source briefed on the development told Reuters that the evacuations were agreed on in a deal mediated by Qatar between Egypt, Israel and Hamas in coordination with the US.”