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January 11, 2024

See this latest resource from Jewish Federations, providing valuable insights into the emergency support offered for volunteers.

The Latest

  • As fighting continues, additional IDF soldiers have been killed, including American-Israeli Yakir Hexter from Jerusalem; bringing the total number of IDF casualties since the ground offensive began to 188, (and to 520 since October 7). See details of all the fallen soldiers here.

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Operations

  • As fighting continues in Gaza, mainly in the southern city of Khan Younis, troops have discovered a Hamas tunnel where it believes hostages were previously held (see footage here). The tunnel connects to a wide underground network, and the military has now taken journalists from international outlets to see the evidence. The IDF says that so far in the Khan Younis area, troops have uncovered more than 300 tunnel shafts, and more than 100 tunnels have so far been destroyed or rendered inoperable.
  • IDF troops continue to find vast quantities of Hamas weapons inside schools, mosques, and private residences, including inside children's bedrooms (in this case, in a compartment of a baby's crib).
  • The IDF unit overseeing the transport of humanitarian aid into Gaza said yesterday that there are no shortages of food in the Strip and that existing problems were caused by the inability of the United Nations to properly distribute the goods once they entered the enclave.
  • Star singer and “Fauda” actor Idan Amedi, who was seriously injured this week while fighting in Gaza, sent a message to followers Wednesday, saying he was recovering. Amedi said "Thanks to all those who were concerned and sent love. Forget me, I’ll be OK. What’s important is that we stay strong together.’”
  • In the north, in response to ongoing Hezbollah rocket attacks against Israeli targets, Israel has been striking and killing the terror group's leaders. The IDF Spokesman to the Arab media said yesterday that, “Hezbollah is dragging Lebanon into an unnecessary war on behalf of Hamas. Hezbollah is looking to escalate the situation despite the damage that this will cause to Lebanese citizens in addition to the hardship they are already suffering. Hezbollah is endangering the future of the region on behalf of Hamas. Our message is clear: Israel, Gaza, Lebanon, and the entire region deserve a future of peace, progress, and prosperity and not one of death and destruction brought upon it by Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terror entities.”
  • Hezbollah:
    • Hezbollah is a Shi'ite political and militant group based in Lebanon that was founded in 1982. Its doctrine calls for the destruction of Israel, stating that Israel “is the hated enemy that must be fought until the hated ones get what they deserve.” Among its objectives is “to expel the Americans” from the Middle East.
    • The group was founded by Iran and continues to be funded and operated in very close coordination with Teheran. Hezbollah is designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and many other countries.
    • Hezbollah has been described as “the world’s most heavily armed non-state actor, and as “a militia trained like an army and equipped like a state.” It is estimated that the group maintains an arsenal of between 70,000 and 150,000 missiles and rockets, including a small number of precision-guided missiles.
    • In a 2016 speech, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said, “Today Israel has its nuclear bomb. All our rockets plus the ammonia tanks in Haifa result in a nuclear bomb. In a region that populates 800,000 people, a few tens of thousands will be killed.”
    • In a recent video released by Hezbollah simulating an attack on Israelis, the group stated that “[Israel] will disappear where Palestine will remain Arab and dear to its sons.”
    • In the current conflict, the most intense recent wave of attacks occurred last Saturday with a barrage of 62 rockets fired at Israel. The group said that the attacks were in response to the elimination of senior Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri in Lebanon last week.
    • There is tremendous fear among residents of northern communities, which in many cases are even closer to the border fence than along the southern border with Gaza. The threat to the north has forced the evacuation of about 80,000 people.
    • Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed Hezbollah this week saying, “I suggest that Hezbollah learn what Hamas has already learned in recent months: No terrorist is immune.”
    • Following the Second Lebanon War, the United Nations passed UN Resolution 1701 which called for the complete cessation by Hezbollah of any attacks on Israel, while Israel is required to cease any offensive measures against Hezbollah. Hezbollah’s actions including attacking Israeli infrastructure are a violation of the Resolution. The Resolution also demands that Hezbollah withdraw its forces over the Litani River, which it has not done.
    • Israel has retaliated by launching counter-strikes on Hezbollah targets in Syria and Lebanon. On Monday it was reported that Wissam al-Tawil, a senior commander of Hezbollah’s elite Rawdan force, was killed by a targeted IDF air strike. Tawil was one of the most senior members of Hezbollah to be eliminated since the war began. Earlier yesterday, it was reported that Hezbollah’s drone chief Ali Hussein Barji, another senior member of the terrorist group, was killed.


  • Hamas rocket attacks on Israel have been reduced to a few per day.
  • In the north, Hezbollah has been slowly increasing its level of rocket and other fire against Israeli targets. On Tuesday, one rocket hit the headquarters of the IDF Northern Command near the city of Safed (Tzfat) causing minor damage. Hezbollah claimed that the attack was in response to targeted killings of its leaders by Israel.
  • In the Red Sea, Israel and the United States military continue to shoot down missiles and UAVs fired at Israel and commercial shipping vessels by Iran-back Houthi rebels in Yemen. Meanwhile, the UN Security Council demanded an immediate halt to attacks by the rebels in a resolution adopted Wednesday that implicitly condemned Iran. The resolution, sponsored by the United States and Japan, was approved by a vote of 11-0 with four abstentions – Russia, China, Algeria, and Mozambique. It condemns “in the strongest terms” at least two dozen attacks carried out by the Houthis on merchant and commercial vessels, which the resolution says are impeding global commerce and undermining navigational freedom.


  • A new Qatari proposal for a ceasefire would see the leaders of Hamas all deported and all of the hostages captured by the terrorist group released in exchange for the withdrawal of the IDF from Gaza. If such a proposal were implemented, hostages would be released in stages. Until now, Israel has said that all Hamas leaders would be killed or captured.
  • Religious and secular relatives of Gaza hostages gathered yesterday to sing, pray, and hope for the return of the hostages. A diverse mix came together for a rally in Tel Aviv, serenaded by musicians Idan Raichel and Aharon Razel, to mark the cause that has united Israelis from different worlds.
  • It is believed that 132 hostages remain in Gaza. The IDF has confirmed the deaths of 25 of these 132, citing intelligence and findings obtained by troops operating in Gaza and elsewhere. Hamas is also holding the bodies of fallen IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin since 2014, as well as two Israeli civilians, Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, who are both thought to be alive after entering the Strip of their own accord in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

International Response

  • White House special envoy Amos Hochstein will meet with officials in Beirut later today “to advance discussions to restore calm” along the border between Lebanon and Israel, according to a spokesperson for the US National Security Council, amid continued skirmishes between the IDF and Hezbollah.
  • As we reported earlier in the week, Israel found itself in the dock at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague — charged with genocide today.
    • South Africa, who brought the charges, presented opening arguments today, and Israel will respond tomorrow.
    • Pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protestors have gathered outside the Court.
    • The Biden Administration has reiterated its opposition to the hearing. US State Department spokesman Matt Miller said, “Allegations that Israel is committing genocide are unfounded. It is those who are violently attacking Israel who continue to openly call for the annihilation of Israel and the mass murder of Jews. Genocide is one of the most heinous acts any entity or individual can commit, and such allegations should only be made with the greatest of care. Israel has the right to defend itself against Hamas’ terrorist acts — acts that Hamas has vowed to repeat again and again until Israel is destroyed. Israel is operating in an exceptionally challenging environment in Gaza, an urban battlespace where Hamas intentionally embeds itself with and hides behind civilians.”
    • Read more about the timeline, procedures, and possible implications of the hearings here.

Stories Of Heartbreak, Heroism, and Hope

  • Presumed captive: Ohad Yahalomi, shot in the leg by terrorists.
  • The dogs from the IDF's Oketz Dog Unit were given a celebratory meal after three months of hard work in Gaza.
  • See the story of 35-year-old Uriel Baruch, husband of Rachel and father to two children, aged eight and five. He is a fan of techno music and is described by loved ones as “a beautiful soul.” He was last seen with a friend at the Nova rave on October 7. There is still no trace of Uriel, who is presumed to have been taken to Gaza by Hamas terrorists. For three months Uriel’s family has not known whether he is dead or alive.
  • Yesterday a group was traveling to the communities near the Gaza border on a solidarity mission when their bus broke down and was delayed for about 40 minutes. One of the participants visiting from Australia, suddenly received a message that her brother, an IDF lone soldier, had been released on a short break from the fighting in Gaza and was travelling on a bus coming from the opposite direction. The IDF commander and the drivers coordinated a stop, and the brother and sister saw each other again for the first time since Pesach.
  • Read about Orly and David Schvartzman, both 67: Slain in the home they loved.
  • Tal, a soldier fighting in Gaza was injured and was being evacuated to Soroka Hospital in Beer Sheva. On the way, he received a phone call from his wife Noy, telling him that she was in labor at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. Arrangements were quickly made to evacuate Tal to Hadassa instead. He arrived just in time to witness the birth of his daughter, as a patient.

Further Reading

Jewish Federations’ Resources

  • Jewish Federation’s Israel Emergency Campaign has now raised a total of $768 million system-wide; and has allocated over $265 million to a wide range of humanitarian organizations in Israel. See a detailed update on allocations here.
  • Jewish Federations’, 10/7 Project is a collaboration with AJC, AIPAC, ADL, and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. The 10/7 Project is an organized effort to counter the disinformation about the attacks of October 7th and Israel’s response, especially aimed at the key media and government influencers. See here for more information about the 10/7 project, as well as this news bulletin.
  • Resources: Readers can see links to resources, background, research, and other information on the current war here; can access a Jewish Federations toolkit here, and can refer to the Community Mobilization Center Resource Hub for the latest talking points and tools. 
  • See these resources by Jewish Federations that give insight into some areas of Federations’ emergency allocations:
  • Details: For information on the latest overall numbers from the conflict, see here.
  • Webinar: The Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI): Daily webinars sponsored by Jewish Federations and the Jewish Agency are offered. A rotating team of analysts of Israeli military affairs, the US-Israel relationship, Israel’s political system, and of the country’s diverse society will speak every Sunday to Thursday from 11-11:30 am ET. No registration is required. Join here.
  • Volunteering: Read this updated Jewish Federation update on the latest volunteering opportunities in Israel right now.
  • Local Authorities: Jewish Federations have produced a document answering questions about funding-impacted localities and municipalities in Israel. See here
  • Read the latest communication from the Community Mobilization Center here.
  • Previous updates can be found here. 

Jewish Federations
Our Israel Office, having activated emergency protocols, is working closely with our partners on the ground, and is in close contact with the Government of Israel and the IDF. We will continue to update you as the situation develops.



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