As the war continues, it is crucial to remember why Israel is fighting. The IDF released information today indicating their concern that Hamas refuses to release additional Israeli women for fear that Israel will find medical evidence and testimonies of extreme sexual abuse during captivity. Documentation of Hamas’ sexual crimes against women on October 7th surfaced almost immediately following the massacre.
Israel’s Health Ministry today said that released hostages were given anxiety medication by Hamas prior to their release so that their physical and mental condition would be less apparent during initial meetings with the Red Cross. It seems likely that Hamas chose to release for the most part those hostages whose medical condition was the most stable. Many of those remaining are injured. The families of the hostages remaining in Gaza will meet with the war cabinet today at 3:00pm.
Israel restated today that the war cannot end while Hamas remains standing. They added that they retain the full backing of the United States in achieving this objective. Over the last day, the IDF encircled Jabaliya, a city and adjoining refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip which contains significant Hamas infrastructure, taken over several Hamas posts, and destroyed rockets that were found in a private garden.
Russia’s President Putin is set to meet this week with Iranian President Raisi in Moscow. The cooperation between the two leaders is concerning.
Please continue to pray for the hostages remaining in Gaza, especially the women and those injured. Please pray for healing for released hostages and their families. Lastly, please continue to pray for protection over IDF soldiers and the success of Israel’s military objectives in Gaza.
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