Saturday, December 23 is the 78th day of the war that began early on October 7 when HAMAS launched missile strikes from Gaza on central areas of Israel, and thousands of militants invaded Israeli territory, killing over a thousand civilians, as well as hundreds of police officers and servicemen, and taking about 240 Israelis and foreign citizens hostages, many of whom are still held in the Gaza Strip.

From November 24 to 30, a ceasefire was in effect, during which 105 hostages were successfully returned, including 81 Israelis. In total, as of today, HAMAS has released 109 hostages, and one hostage was rescued by the IDF during the Gaza operation. The deaths of some hostages have been confirmed. Three hostages who escaped from terrorists were mistakenly killed by the Israeli military. Currently, according to the IDF, terrorists in the Gaza Strip continue to hold 128 hostages, 117 of whom are Israeli citizens.

On the first day of the war, October 7, terrorists attacked visitors of the music festival near the Gaza border in the Re'im forest. About 3000 people came to the festival. Hundreds were killed, and many were taken hostage. Terrorists committed massacres in the settlements of Be'eri, Kfar Aza, and Nir Oz, killing many people, including the elderly, women, and children. In addition, terrorists invaded Sderot, Ofakim, Netivot, and other settlements in the Western Negev, killing and robbing Israelis.

Shortly after the attack, HAMAS declared war on Israel, naming its actions Operation Al-Aqsa Deluge. In response, the Israeli government for the first time since 1973 declared a state of war and initiated Operation Swords of Iron.

As of now, more than 1300 people who died on October 7 and in the subsequent days of the war have been identified. Among the casualties are citizens of Israel, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Paraguay, Ukraine, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, Brazil, China, India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines, Nepal, South Africa, Sudan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan. Approximately 11,000 people have been injured or traumatized.

Israel has not suffered such losses since the Yom Kippur War 50 years ago.

Since late October, a ground military operation has been underway in Gaza. During the fighting with terrorists in the Gaza Strip, the IDF has suffered significant losses, with about 140 servicemen killed. According to the IDF, approximately 8000 militants and their commanders have been eliminated in Gaza since the start of the war.

Since the beginning of the war, more than 12,000 rockets have been launched from the Gaza Strip (according to IDF estimates, up to 15% of them fell on Gaza territory). Hundreds of rockets were launched by Hezbollah from Lebanon (about 20% fell on Lebanese territory). HAMAS and Hezbollah terrorists also used armed drones.

Hundreds of thousands of Israelis were forced to evacuate their homes as the war unfolded.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) continue intense strikes on targets in Gaza, utilizing the Air Force, Navy, and artillery. The IDF reports over 22,000 targets have been attacked in the Gaza Strip since the war's onset. Regular strikes also occur in southern Lebanon, and the IDF is targeting sites in Syria.

The Gaza Ministry of Health, which is affiliated with HAMAS, has reported approximately 19,000 deaths and 52,000 injuries since the beginning of the conflict.

According to the United Nations, about 1.7 million residents of the Gaza Strip have been forced to leave their homes. The World Health Organization (WHO) notes that 1.3 million displaced Gaza residents are living in shelters in the southern sector, while the IDF states that over 1 million residents from the northern part of Gaza have relocated to the southern sector.

Humanitarian aid has been delivered to the Gaza Strip since October 21. However, HAMAS intercepts a significant portion of this aid.

Chronology of Events


A reservist is wounded due to shelling from Lebanon.

The IDF spokesperson reports that a reservist was injured in the area of Kibbutz Menara from shelling originating in Lebanon. He was taken to the hospital in a state of moderate severity. Israeli Air Force (IAF) planes struck a command post of the Hizballah terrorist group.


Lebanese sources report an IDF airstrike in the village of Aitaroun, targeting a private home. The Palestinian news agency Shehab reports airstrikes by the IDF in the central part of the Gaza Strip.


The IDF released the names of five more soldiers who died in combat in the Gaza Strip.

  • Staff Sgt. Nir Rafael Kananian, 20 years old, from Beit Keshet, a soldier in the Givati Brigade's reconnaissance unit, killed in action in the southern Gaza Strip.
  • Staff Sgt. Birhanu Kassie, 22 years old, from Beit Shemesh, a soldier in the Givati Brigade's reconnaissance unit, killed in action in the southern Gaza Strip.
  • Master Sgt. (res.) Shay Termin, 26 years old, from Rosh Pinna, a soldier in the 6623rd Battalion of the 55th Paratrooper Brigade Hod Hahanit, killed in action in the southern Gaza Strip.
  • Master Sgt. (res.) Alexander Shpits, 41 years old, from Carmiel, a soldier in the 6623rd Battalion of the 55th Paratrooper Brigade Hod Hahanit, killed in action in the southern Gaza Strip.
  • Capt. Oshri Moshe Butzhak, 22 years old, from Haifa, commander of the reconnaissance unit in the Nahal Brigade, killed in action in the northern Gaza Strip.

In the same battle where Nir Rafael Kananian and Birhanu Kassie were killed, five reconnaissance soldiers from the Givati Brigade sustained severe injuries. The wounded are in hospitals, and their families have been informed.


The IDF forces, with the assistance of the General Security Service (Shin Bet), eliminated Hassan Atrash through a precision strike by an aircraft. Atrash was responsible for trading, manufacturing, and supplying weapons to the military wing of HAMAS. At 18:01, border towns and Ashkelon were shelled from the Gaza Strip.


Air raid sirens in Betzet and Shlomi, possibly indicating an unmanned aerial vehicle incursion from Lebanon. Shelling from Gaza targets border towns (Kfar Aza, Nahal Oz, Saad).


Shelling in Kiryat Shmona; no casualties reported.


At 12:48, Kfar Aza, a border town, was shelled from Gaza. Twenty minutes later, an air raid siren sounded in Kibbutz Be'eri. This is the first shelling from the Gaza Strip in the last 48 hours.


IDF Spokesperson: In the past week, IDF fighters, with the assistance of the Shin Bet, arrested hundreds of those suspected of terrorist activities in the Gaza Strip. Over 200 of them are members of HAMAS and the Islamic Jihad. They were brought to Israel for further investigation and interrogation by the Military Intelligence Directorate's 504th Unit.


Overnight and in the morning, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) targeted Hezbollah facilities in southern Lebanon, including operational and terrorist infrastructure, and a military base.


Sources in Gaza: The IAF carried out a precision strike on an apartment in a residential building near the Al-Ihsan Mosque in the First Camp in Nuseirat in the central part of the sector.


Al-Jazeera claims that dozens of people were killed as a result of the IAF's night strikes on targets in Jabalia.


PA sources: The IDF forces are operating in Qalandia, south of Ramallah; suspects have been detained.

PA sources: The IDF forces are operating in Deir Dibwan, near Bethlehem; suspects have been detained.

Sources in Gaza: The IDF struck a house west of Deir al-Balah in the center of the sector; casualties are reported.

Al-Jazeera reports clashes west of Jabalia in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.


Reports of gunfire in Jenin.


Terrorists fired at an IDF checkpoint and the Israeli town of Netzarim Oz west of Tulkarm. No casualties were reported. The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades (Fatah) claimed responsibility for the attack.


The IDF forces are operating in Jericho, specifically in the area of Ein as-Sultan.

PA sources: The IDF forces are operating in Yatta, south of Hebron.

Sources in Gaza: The IDF attacked homes in Deir al-Balah in the center of the sector and in the Tal al-Zaatar area in Gaza City; casualties are reported.


Sources in Gaza: The IAF struck a target in the Bani Suheila area east of Khan Yunis.

PA sources: The IDF forces are operating in Jenin; gunfire is heard. The local hospital is under military blockade.

PA sources: The IDF forces are operating in Beit, south of Nablus.

Lebanese sources: The IAF struck a building in the village of Yarin in southern Lebanon. The building is completely destroyed.


PA sources: The IDF forces are operating in Beit Ummar, north of Hebron.

PA sources: The IDF forces are operating in the Aqabat Jaber camp, south of Jericho.

The last rocket attacks from Gaza were recorded at 13:32 on December 21. On Friday, December 22, no rocket attacks from Gaza were launched. During the current war, terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip usually cease rocket attacks on Israeli territory at night.