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Defying the Normalcy of Routine


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Mission Brief from LTC Richard Hecht (Official IDF Substack)

Weapons in children's rooms, Sinwar's hideout and new IAF wings
Lt. Col. Richard Hecht
Dec 31, 2023

Humans have a remarkable capability to get used to anything. As a matter of fact, someone on my team recently showed me research that scientists stuck in Antarctica - an environment so hard and unforgiving that it's used to train for space - get used to it and retain the same level of happiness over the sunny winter.

This is why, 85 days into this horrific war, it's important for me not to normalize the situation that we are in. To emphasize what we're up against and where things stand.

There's no better way to do this than with the three stories below:

  1. What the Kfir Combat Team discovered in a child's bedroom in Gaza

  2. A massive tunnel network destroyed late last week

  3. The most recent Israeli Air Force cadet graduation


Operational update

  • IDF soldiers continue to operate in northern and central Gaza, including Shati, Khan Yunis, Beit Lahia, Shejaiya and more.

  • Following ongoing attacks from Hezbollah, including rocket fire, IAF fighter jets targeted Hezbollah terror infrastructure in the area of Kfarkela in southern Lebanon, in a series of two extensive strikes on numerous targets on Saturday. Hezbollah has used infrastructure in the area for terror purposes, exploiting civilians as human shields for its activities. Since the beginning of the war, Hezbollah carried out a large number of launches from Kfarkela toward Israeli territory.

  • The IDF officially updated the families of two IDF soldiers that their loved ones were killed in action, Sergeant Major (res.) Eliraz Gabai and Sergeant First Class (res.) Liav Seada, bringing the total number of IDF killed in action to 506 this war.


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Updating the Hostage List and Updates from Under Gaza
Status of three missing persons redefined as hostages...and an operational update
Jan 5, 2024

As of yesterday, over 130 hostages are being held in Gaza.

That’s over ninety days in captivity for the 132 abducted on October 7th that have not yet been released yet. They join the four Israelis who have been held in captivity in Gaza since 2014.

The depravity of this is unbearable. The IDF continues to do everything in its power to bring them home - that is one of the core objectives of this war, alongside making sure that Hamas can never pull off a repeat of the October attack. Some of these efforts have been publicized; many have not.

I do want to point out that the number of hostages actually went up yesterday. As the IDF Spokesperson, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said yesterday:

“Three Israeli citizens, who until now were defined as missing persons, are now recognized as hostages. This decision was made following the completion of search and investigation operations in Israel and after examining all plausible scenarios and the information we have.”

And we’re not stopping our efforts to bring them home. Keep reading for more. But first…


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