Day Sixteen Of Swords Of Iron

Hezbollah is 'in the heart of the battle,' says a leader of the terrorists.

Ismail Haniyeh and Ayatollah Ali Khameini

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Ayatollah Ali Khameini

7:45 pm
The IDF launched a series of strikes today in south Lebanon, targeting Hezbollah terrorists, a "military compound", and an observation post. The IAF struck a "terror cell" on the border and destroyed weapons used by the terrorists. The IDF said it struck two more Hezbollah squads in southern Lebanon before they could carry out attacks on Israel. One of the cells, in the Mount Dov area, planned to launch rockets, and the second cell, near the northern town of Mattat, planned to launch an anti-tank guided missile.

The strikes mark the sixth and seventh Hezbollah cells that the IDF hit on Oct 22.

There is no evidence of antisemitism in the murder of Samantha Woll - the president of a Detroit area synagogue who was stabbed to death early morning Oct. 21.  “The investigation into the death of Ms. [Samantha] Woll remains ongoing. At this time, however, no evidence has surfaced suggesting that this crime was motivated by antisemitism,” police chief James White sstated. She was found fatally stabbed outside of her home. “Detroit Police Department investigators are working with the FBI to forensically analyze all of the information obtained up to this point in an effort to ascertain the timeline that ultimately led to Ms. Woll’s death,” White said. “Individuals with information that may further this investigation are being interviewed.”

“I again ask the community to remain patient while our investigators and law enforcement partners continue their work. Everything that can be done to bring this matter to closure is being called into service,” the police chief said. 

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said hte phoned Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Palestinian Islamic Jihad chief Ziyad al-Nakhala. According to Hamas, Haniyeh and Amirabdollahian discussed how to stop Israel’s “brutal crimes” in Gaza.

Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir slammed news that Israel has allowed more humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip, and to PM Netanyahu's accession to US demands for continued aid to the enclave. “Any agreement of ‘continuous aid to Gaza’ that doesn’t include freeing all our hostages is just a continuation of the concept that led us to where we are now,” Ben Gvir tweeted. “Humanitarian [aid] only in exchange for freeing all the hostages,” he adds.

The White House announced PM Netanyahu had agreed to allow the “continuous flow” of international aid into Gaza.  Netanyahu’s office said last week that his war cabinet agreed to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza through Egypt. On Oct. 21, 20 aid trucks of aid entered and 15 more today, as confirmed by the IDF. Biden also “expressed appreciation for Israel’s support in helping to accommodate the release” of two American hostages on Oct. 20, the White House said. Biden and Netanyahu discussed ongoing efforts to release remaining hostages, during their call on Oct. 22

The Israel Defense Forces evicted a prominent Palestinian activist from his home in the southern West Bank city of Hebron where the army also reportedly significantly intensified its curbs on Palestinian movement since the outbreak of the Gaza war. Issa Amro says IDF soldiers came to his home last week, telling him to leave Hebron for the duration of the war. They returned two days later and handed him a military order forcing him to vacate the premises. Amro lives in the H2 section of Hebron, which is under Israeli military control. The military order directed him to move to H1, which is under Palestinian Authority control. Amro has appealed the eviction order through a pair of Israeli human rights attorneys who wrote to the IDF’s West Bank legal adviser, noting that “the forced transfer of a protected population from an occupied territory is a violation of the laws of war and can constitute a criminal offense.” The IDF says in a statement that it has received Amro’s appeal against the eviction order and that it is currently under adjudication.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog told Sky News that Hamas had planned to use cyanide chemical agents against Israeli civilians. Herzog showed materials recovered from USB drive on the body of a Hamas terrorist in Israel which was copied from al-Qaeda and included “detailed instructions on creating chemical weapons,” including “precise instructions for preparing a device for dispersing cyanide agents,” the President’s Office says. “This is material which was found on the body of one of those sadistic villains. It’s al-Qaeda material, official al-Qaeda material,” Herzog tells the TV network. “When dealing with ISIS, al-Qaeda, and Hamas, this is what we’re dealing with. And in this material, there were instructions, how to produce chemical weapons.”


7:35 pm
Following a conference call, the leaders of the US, Canada, Italy, UK, France, and Germany released a statement affirming Israel's right to self-defense but called on Israel to shield civilians from harm. “The leaders reiterated their support for Israel and its right to defend itself against terrorism and called for adherence to international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians,” said the statement. They “welcomed the release of two hostages and called for the immediate release of all remaining hostages. They committed to close coordination to support their nationals in the region, in particular those wishing to leave Gaza.” This is the second such joint statement supporting Israel since Hamas attacked Israel. 

“The leaders welcomed the announcement of the first humanitarian convoys to reach Palestinians in need in Gaza and committed to continue coordinating with partners in the region to ensure sustained and safe access to food, water, medical care, and other assistance required to meet humanitarian needs.”

“The leaders committed to continue close diplomatic coordination, including with key partners in the region, to prevent the conflict from spreading, preserve stability in the Middle East, and work toward a political solution and durable peace,” the statement adds.

7:28 pm
Fourteen more aid trucks enter Gaza through Rafah border crossing, the second in as many days, provided by Egyptian Red Crescent and the United Nations. UN aid chief Martin Griffiths said: "Another small glimmer of hope for the millions of people in dire need of humanitarian aid. But they need more, much more. I’m particularly grateful to the aid workers on the Palestinian side who immediately sprang to action to offload the goods – despite the risks. True heroes. They, too, need protection."

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has spoken with Israeli President Isaac Herzog, about the “terrorist organization Hamas’ brutal attacks”, the Canadian prime minister related on Twitter. He reaffirmed Israel’s “right to defend itself in accordance with international law”, he said and added: We spoke about the hostages held by Hamas, and the need for their immediate release. I also expressed my concern for the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and my support for the right of both Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace and security."

President Biden has been reportedly negotiating with Israeli PM Netanayahu. 

Pope Francis has once again urged for the end of the Israel-Hamas war, calling for humanitarian aid to delivered and for hostages to be released. Speaking at his Sunday prayer, Francis said, “War is always a defeat, it is a destruction of human fraternity. Brothers, stop! Stop!”"

Thousands of people gathered in Berlin and London to oppose antisemitism and support Israel on Sunday. Earlier, German chancellor Olaf Scholz inaugurated a new synagogue in Dessau and said he was “outraged” by the rise in antisemitism since the war broke out on October 7. German police were seen making arrests at pro-Palestine rallies.

Thousands of people attended a rally in Paris in what is the first pro-Palestinian demonstration allowed by police since the Oct. 7  attacks on Israel by Hamas terrorists. Reuters reports that around 15,000 people showed up at the Place de la Republique, according to police figures, to express support for Palestine.

According to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, 29 of its aid workers have been killed since Oct. 7. Many of them were teachers. According to Reuters, at least three Palestinians were killed on the night of Oct 22 by an Israeli air strike in Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, medics and witnesses said. Several others were wounded.

President Biden had a conference call with the leaders of Canada, France, Britain, Germany and Italy to discuss the ongoing war, the White House said.

Israeli PM Netanyahu said that French president Macron and Dutch prime minister Rutte will visit Israel next week, Reuters reports. The PM's office said they will arrive on Oct. 23 and Oct. 24 to meet their Israeli counterpart.

Secretary of State Blinken told NB that he is not certain who will rule Gaza once the war has concluded. He said, “They can’t go back to the status quo with Hamas being in a position in terms of its governance of Gaza to repeat what it did.”

The Israeli military reports that one of its tanks accidentally hit an Egyptian post near the Gaza border and apologized for the incident, Reuters reports. An Egyptian army spokesperson said that border watchmen sustained minor injuries.

2:20 pm

A pro-Israel demonstration has been taking place in London's Trafalgar Square, with demonstrators calling for the safe return of hostages from Gaza. Protesters have held up photos of those missing, with their names being read out from the steps of the National Gallery. Many in the crowd chanted "bring them home" and clutching signs that say "release the hostages". The Israel flag has been visible across the event and a minute's silence, as well a group prayer, was following speeches from MPs and leaders of the Jewish community. This demonstration comes a day after pro-Palestine protests took place in cities across the UK.

1:30 pm

Hundreds of Israeli high-tech experts have temporarily put their private sector jobs aside to use facial recognition and other advanced technologies to analyze footage - including videos posted online by Hamas - to help identify and locate the more than 1,000 people who are still missing and unaccounted for after the October 7th attack by the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

8:43 am

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu warned Hezbollah  against opening a second war front with Israel, saying that doing so would bring Israeli counter-strikes of “unimaginable” magnitude that would wreak “devastation” upon Lebanon. Netanyahu spoke to commandos assembled near Israel's border with Lebanon. According to Reuters, he said, “I cannot tell you right now if Hezbollah will decide to enter the war fully.” He added that the war is “do or die” for Israel.

There are reports of explosions at the headquarters of the Iranian Defense Forces in Ashrat Abad in Tehran.

The Defense Department announced that additional forces have been placed on “prepare to deploy” status due to the Israel-Hamas war.

Hezbollah deputy leader, Sheikh Naim Kassem, said on Oct. 21 that his terrorist organization is already “in the heart of the battle”, vowing to exact a heavy price for an Israeli ground offensive.

President Biden was asked last night whether he wants  Israel to delay its ground operations in Gaza in order to facilitate further releases of hostages. He replied, “Yes.” On Oct. 20, Biden affirmed that Hamas attacked Israel out of a desire to stop its normalization of diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia. “One of the reasons ... why Hamas moved on Israel, is because they knew I was about to sit down with the Saudis,” Biden said at a campaign fundraiser. He added, “Guess what? The Saudis wanted to recognize Israel” and were near being able to formally do so.

There was an explosion at the Al-Ansari Mosque within the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank with reports of multiple casualties. A convoy of IDF armored vehicles entered the “Aqabat Jaber” Camp in the Eastern West Bank most likely in preparation for a raid.

The BBC has shifted its position on using the word “militant” to describe Hamas terrorists, following criticism over how the official British broadcaster has reported on the conflict. The Board of Deputies of British Jews met with BBC director-general Tim Davie on Oct. 20, where he confirmed it was no longer BBC practice to refer to Hamas as militants.

In New York City, police made multiple arrests of protesters who marched in Bay Ridge. 5000+ protesters rallied on Oct. 21 and called for eradicating Israel and demanded the United States withdraw its support of the Jewish State.

October 22, 2023

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