Ceasefire Falls Apart, Israeli Students Return to School in War-Torn South

Amidst heightened tensions, Israel and several nations are air-dropping aid into Gaza to directly assist Gazan citizens, who the UN reports are on the verge of starvation. The IDF asserts that Hamas is confiscating much of the land-based aid, a situation that serves Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar’s propaganda objectives.

Ceasefire talks in Cairo are stalled as Hamas withholds information on the well being of the hostages, a key demand by Israel. Vice President Kamala Harris insists on Hamas agreeing to a ceasefire, stating, “Let’s get a ceasefire, let’s reunite the hostages with their families.”

Harris has also called for humanitarian aid convoys to be protected, “let’s provide immediate relief to the people of Gaza.” 

“The IDF has concluded an initial review of the unfortunate incident where Gazan civilians were trampled to death and injured as they charged to the aid convoy. Our initial review has confirmed that no strike was carried out by the IDF towards the aid convoy. The majority of Palestinians were killed or injured as a result of the stampede,” said IDF spokesman, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari.

Retired General Amir Avivi tells CBN News the war is at a critical moment. “Because the Hamas retreated to Rafah. All the leadership is there. The hostages are there. And now this is the decisive moment where when the IDF will go into Rafah, this will be the defeat of Hamas.”

Avivi, founder of the Israel Defense and Security Forum, warns against a permanent ceasefire saying, “If it’s a short ceasefire in order to get hostages, that’s something that can be done.  But anybody who says permanent ceasefire, it’s basically saying to Israel, ‘Israel, you should lose the war’ and we’re not going to lose the war. We’re going to win decisively against Hamas.”

In the meantime, war cabinet member Benny Gantz traveled to Washington and is expected to meet with Vice President Harris.

Gantz’s unexpected visit to Washington is seen by some as an attempt to influence Prime Minister Netanyahu’s stance, while rallies in Jerusalem highlight the plight of the hostages, calling for global support for Israel as a fight between good and evil.

Prime Minister Netanyahu criticized Gantz, reminding him that there is only one prime minister and instructed Israeli officials in D.C. not to meet with Gantz. The unexpected visit is perceived by some as an effort to weaken Netanyahu and to push him towards more concessions to the U.S.

In hopeful news, students have begun to return to the southern community of Sderot after the Hamas massacre on October 7th. Signaling a return to normalcy after living in hotels for five months.

“Look at the joy. If we were looking for a symbol of victory, so look around, this is the symbol of victory of Sderot, this is the symbol of victory of the people of Israel.”

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