View this message online


February 29, 2024 

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Activities 

  • Two Israelis were killed today in a terrorist attack in the West Bank. The names of the victims have not yet been released. The attack took place at a gas station near Eli, where four Israelis were killed in terrorist attack last summer.
  • Hundreds of Palestinians were injured and more than a hundred were killed when they swarmed food trucks that entered Gaza this morning.  According to the IDF, and despite Hamas claims to the contrary, Israeli gunfire caused just 10 deaths of Palestinians who were moving toward IDF soldiers.   
  • Division 162 and the Nahal Brigade’s combat team have unearthed and mostly destroyed an extensive underground tunnel network that connects northern and southern Gaza. The tunnels are believed to have been used for intergroup communication between the multiple terrorist factions in Gaza. Soldiers found bodies of terrorists, weaponry, military equipment, and storage areas. The tunnels ran under both a hospital and a university. 
  • Two IDF soldiers, company commander Major Iftah Shahar, 25, and platoon commander Captain Itai Seif, 24, were killed by a bomb in a booby-trapped building in Zeitoun. Click here for the latest updates, in Hebrew, on fallen soldiers.  
  • The IDF has killed Hassan Hossein Salami, commander of the Hajir sector of Hezbollah. Salami was responsible for leading a series of attacks against IDF troops, as well as against both civilian and military targets in the North. The IDF is continuing to carry out air strikes against Hezbollah, targeting miliary infrastructure in the south from which terrorists have attacked Israelis in the Golan Heights.  
  • The IDF has announced the opening of a new center near Tel Hashomer Medical Center in Ramat Gan to treat PTSD. The IDF Medical Corps has received around 30,000 phone calls for assistance with emotional distress since the start of the war.  
  • Major General Yehuda Fox formally approved plans for a new West Bank settlement of 3,600 to 13,000 housing units. The announcement has drawn praise from the pro-settlement movement. It came just a few days after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby called the new settlement plans “inconsistent with international law,” reverting to a longstanding US position that the Trump Administration had reversed. 


  • In the north, Hezbollah continues to fire at Israeli targets, triggering significant retaliation. In the wake of Israel’s limited military operations in Rafah, Iran has ordered Hezbollah to escalate its attacks along the Israel-Lebanon border. 
  • The number of Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli remains very low, due to Hamas’s significantly diminished capabilities. 
  • In the Red Sea, the US, the UK, and Israel continue to defend against attacks by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels from Yemen. The US also continues to strike at pro-Iranian targets in both Syria and Iraq.  
  • According to Syrian state media, Israel attacked several sites in the Damascus countryside, which Israel believes to be the location of several Iranian-backed strongholds. The IDF did not comment. See videos of the attacks here.  


  • Currently, 132 hostages remain in Gaza amid ongoing negotiations for their release. The IDF estimates that roughly 30 are dead.  
  • The families of some of the hostages set out yesterday on a four-day march from Kibbutz Re’im to Jerusalem to keep the spotlight on the desperate plight of their loved ones. 
  • Israel's Genesis Prize was awarded to multiple organizations that support hostage families through the Jewish Agency for Israel. Recipients include the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, the Jewish Agency Fund for Victims of Terror, Lev Echad, Natal, The Israel Trauma and Resiliency Center, and One Family.  
  • President Biden is expected to invite family members of the hostages to this year’s State of the Union Address. 
  • The Biden Administration remains hopeful that a deal securing the release some of the hostages will be inked by Monday. Hamas has denounced the US-drafted proposal, calling it a Zionist document.” 


  • The Canadian government will begin airdropping humanitarian aid into Gaza at the start of next week. The United States government is weighing doing the same, as land deliveries become increasingly difficult to execute. Supplies would come from Israel, Canada, America, France, Egypt, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates. 
  • In the Michigan primaries, over 101,000 voters cast “uncommitted” ballots in protest of the Biden Administration’s ongoing support of Israel. For context, roughly 21,000 voters were “uncommitted” in the 2012 Michigan primaries, the last time an incumbent Democratic president ran for reelection. Analysts speculate that a share of 15% or more uncommitted votes would be significant enough for a change in Biden’s approach; the current proportion is around 13%. 
  • “Dance Forever,” Israel’s second song submission for the annual Eurovision contest, has been rejected for being “too political.” The song references the Nova music festival massacre. This comes after the country’s first submission, “October Rain,” was rejected on the same grounds. Read the “Dance Forever” lyrics here.  
  • New Zealand designated the entirety of Hamas as a terrorist entity Thursday morning. The military wing has fallen under this classification since 2010. The country also created a travel ban on “extremist” Israeli settlers who have engaged in violence against Palestinians in the West Bank. 
  • CNN is reporting that Biden officials are growing increasingly concerned that Israel will launch an incursion into Lebanon in the coming months. 

 Stories of Heartbreak, Heroism and Hope 

  • Shoshana Karsenty, 85, an artist and art teacher, was murdered by Hamas in Kibbutz Be’eri. A native of Argentina, she moved to Israel at the age of fifteen. Read her story here.  
  • Narseen Yousef, a Druze mother of four, fooled Hamas into revealing their plan on October 7. She saved her community of Moshav Yated, a predominantly Jewish village on the Southern Gaza border. Using her native Arabic, she convinced the assailants that she was on their side and extracted information which she relayed to the IDF. 
  • Hagay Lober, an actor and rabbi, staged a one-man play about the Hamas attack, aptly titled “October 7.” The show was produced by Jerusalem’s Aspaklaria theatre company. The production comes one month after Lober’s son, staff sergeant Elisha Yehonatan Lober, fell in battle.  
  • Three Israeli women from Ra’anana created “Scarves of Love,” a project that aims to knit one scarf for every hostage in captivity. Their initiative has had a ripple effect, with dozens of volunteers pitching in. 

Further Reading 

  • Sherwin Pomerantz, past president of the Association of Americans and Canadians in Israel, penned an op-ed on the inevitability of a two-state solution. 
  • The increased accessibility of AI has shifted the landscape of the cyberspace; when it comes to war discourse, it is no different. Read a report of how a group associated with the Muslim Brotherhood has attempted to impact public opinion of Israel’s war on Hamas here. 
  • Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh of the Palestinian Authority is stepping down. President Mahmoud Abbas, the highest-ranking official in the Palestinian Authority, is staying in his position.  

Jewish Federations' Resources

  • Jewish Federations recently released the Israel Emergency Impact Report & resource package to articulate the system-wide impact in Israel since 10/7. Watch a recent webinar (recording here) to learn more about this data, and the allocations processes. 
  • Registration for Birthright Israel’s summer round is now open. See this link for important FAQs to help potential participants and their parents navigate any concerns over the security situation. Interested parties can reserve their spot here. Registration is also open for Onward’s summer internships and fellowship programs – an opportunity for Birthright Israel alumni and those looking for a longer experience in Israel.  
  • As part of the Second Line initiative, Jewish Federations is partnering with the Israel Ministry of Health, the Israel Trauma Coalition, and Birthright Israel to recruit qualified volunteers to provide both in-person and remote support to both affected populations and local mental health professionals in Israel. Native Hebrew speakers are particularly in demand, although speakers of French, Russian, Ukrainian, Arabic, Amharic, and Spanish will also be considered. Volunteers must be able to travel to Israel for six weeks. This is a golden opportunity for engagement, particularly for communities that can recruit a small group as a cohort. To apply, click here. For more information, contact Hannah Miller. 
  • 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 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.   
  • 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 Monday and Thursday from 11-11:30 am ET. No registration is required. Join here. 
  • Volunteering: Read this updated Jewish Federations’ 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 as the situation develops. 

For more information, please contact: Jewish Federations of North America’s Dani Wassner 

Subscribe to this twice-weekly update here. 




Facebook Twitter Mail
Click here to unsubscribe