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November 3, 2023

As Shabbat approaches in Israel, Jewish Federations’ Israel Office presents a shortened summary of the latest developments in the War. Full updates will resume next week. Meanwhile, from Jerusalem, we wish all of Israel, and Jews around the world, a comforting, safe and peaceful Shabbat.

The Latest:

  • At the end of the fourth week of the war with Hamas, the IDF has confirmed 23 soldiers dead in battles inside Gaza since the ground incursion began.
  • In the last 24 hours, fierce battles have been fought between the IDF and Hamas terrorists. In one attack, dozens of Hamas gunmen ambushed Golani troops, emerging from tunnels, climbing on to armored personnel carriers, and trying to gain control of IDF vehicles. The Hamas militants were successfully repelled. (Watch video footage from inside a tank during the battle here and here). In the evening hours yesterday, over 130 terrorists were killed in fighting. See more about the fighting on the ground here, watch descriptions of the battles by some of the soldiers here, and see photos here.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has arrived in Israel for his third trip since October 7. He is said to be here as another show of support for Israel, while also trying to help avoid a second front. At the same time, Vice President Kamala Harris said the United States would not seek to impose any conditions on the support it gives Israel to defend itself. Meanwhile, according to Reuters, the U.S. is flying surveillance drones over Gaza to help gather intelligence on the locations of hostages.
  • Jewish Federations of North America's Israel Emergency Fund has surpassed $600 million, $148 million of which has already been allocated to the most pressing needs on the ground through 116 partner organizations and NGOs. Read moreClick here for the latest allocations report.
  • Over 100 aid trucks entered Gaza yesterday, via the border crossing with Egypt.
  • The IDF has released a recording of a phone call from yesterday in which a Gazan medical official acknowledges that Hamas’s fuel reserves—over 260,000 gallons—are being stored directly under Gaza City’s Shifa hospital, the largest in the Strip. The IDF said “The call confirms that Hamas controls the energy and fuel resources in the Gaza Strip and chooses to direct them for terrorism. Moreover, if fuel is allowed to enter the Gaza Strip, Hamas plans to seize those resources.” (Listen to the call here).
  • The Israeli justice system is considering legislation to establish a special tribunal to try the more than 200 terrorists caught during the attacks on October 7.
  • Once again, sporadic heavy rocket attacks from Gaza were launched against Israeli targets yesterday, including strikes directed at Tel Aviv, Petah Tikvah, Bnei Brak, Rishon LeZion, Ramat Gan, Herzliya, Holon, and Givatayim.
  • In the north, attacks by Hezbollah, followed by Israeli reprisals continue daily. One rocket caused extensive damage, but no injuries, in Kiryat Shmone. In a veiled threat to the terror group in Lebanon, the IDF’s Chief of the General Staff said that “anyone thinking of attacking Israel” should know that “our Air Force is using up less than half its power in Gaza and planes are ready and armed with bombs for any development.”
  • Read here about Israeli preparations for the second month of war.
  • Watch this powerful video about two of the boys being held in Gaza, as narrated by their mother.

Key Resources from Jewish Federations:

  • The latest talking points, tools, and resources from the Community Mobilization Center can be found in the Resource Hub linked in the toolkit.
  • This site shows a map of the October 7 massacre with a red dot for every person killed and a black dot for every person abducted by Hamas. Clicking on any dot will show the name and picture (if available) of the victim with age and last known location.
  • For full details about the home front and military operations, see this update. And for information on the latest overall numbers from the conflict, see here.
  • Readers can access a Jewish Federations toolkit of resources here.
  • Jewish Federations have produced a document answering questions about funding impacted localities and municipalities in Israel. See here
  • Birthright Israel has opened a volunteering program, where people from outside of Israel can come to Tel Aviv and take part in food rescue operations to prevent shortages in the Israeli market, including work to sort, pack, and distribute goods for civil and military personnel.
  • For those in Israel looking for help, critical information about the situation on the ground, or other assistance, see this resource page put together by Jewish Federations.
  • See also this Jewish Federations information page on requests for personal protective equipment which are circulating and this update regarding volunteering.
  • Read the latest communication from the Community Mobilization Center here.
  • As many funders struggle to distinguish between the multitudes of organizations looking for important resources, the Jewish Funders Network has produced this thorough page of guidance.
  • Over 120 communities have held solidarity gatherings. Watch here. For a guidebook on hosting a gathering in your community, click here.
  • Jewish Federations have launched The Blue Ribbon Campaign, which symbolizes support and solidarity for the safe return of the hostages taken by Hamas. Wearing a ribbon publicly unites people of all religions, races, nationalities, ethnicities, ages, and generations and demonstrates for the people of Israel that they are not alone and that good people across the globe are with them and their families during this dark time.

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

For more information, please contact: JFNA’s Dani Wassner



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