Operation Iron Swords Update 7/3

Israel Defense Force (IDF) Activities

  • Earlier today, an Arab-Israeli terrorist went on a stabbing spree in a shopping mall in Karmiel, killing one Israeli and wounding another. The terrorist was shot dead by security personnel.
  • The most senior Hezbollah leader to be hit since October 7 has been killed in an Israeli strike in Lebanon. Abu Nama Nasser, a military commander responsible for one of three sectors in south Lebanon, was slain in an Israeli strike on a car in the Lebanese city of Tyre.
  • As fighting inside Gaza continues, the IDF’s Chief of Staff Herzi Ha-Levi said that the army has killed over 900 terrorists in the Rafah area and that Hamas is suffering significant defeats.
  • Listen to senior Hamas official Ahmad Abd Al-Hadi tell a Lebanese media outlet that if Hamas could go back in time, it would carry out the October 7 attacks again
  • In the north, the deputy leader of Hezbollah, Sheikh Naim Qassem, said that the only sure path to a ceasefire on the Israel-Lebanon border is a full ceasefire in Gaza. “If there is a ceasefire in Gaza, we will stop without any discussion.” Hezbollah’s participation in the Israel-Hamas war has been as a “support front” for its ally. “If the war stops, this military support will no longer exist.”


  • Liora Argamani, 61, the mother of rescued hostage Noa Argamani, passed away Monday night after a long battle with cancer.  For nine months, Liora had said that her last wish was to hug her daughter one more time, a wish that was granted following Noa’s dramatic rescue by Israeli forces a few weeks ago. “My mother is the best friend there is, the most beautiful and strong person I have ever known in my life,” Noa said at her funeral. "I stand here today and still have a hard time digesting. Against all odds, I was privileged to be with you in the last moments and to hear the last words. Thank you for being strong and holding on so that I could see you at least one more time and so that Father would not be left alone.”

Humanitarian Aid

  • The IDF began work yesterday to connect a water facility in Gaza to Israel’s electric grid to provide water on a medium- to longer-term basis for Gazans at a rate of up to 20,000 liters per day.
  • Israel and the United Nations are said to be discussing deploying Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite-Internet system in Gaza to help humanitarian workers coordinate aid distribution.
  • Since the beginning of the war, the delivery of 716,105 tons of aid on 38,212 trucks has been facilitated by Israel. Israel has also established 10 field hospitals, with an additional three to be completed shortly. Over the past few months, Israel has significantly increased the number of humanitarian aid trucks that have entered Gaza after it opened the Erez checkpoint that was destroyed by Hamas on October 7, and has created additional entry points into the strip. See the latest COGAT figures on humanitarian aid here
  • In March 2024, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) organization spoke of an “imminent famine in Gaza” that would occur from mid-March to May. This warning set off alarm bells throughout UN agencies and other humanitarian organizations and was repeated by media outlets. The allegation that Israel is “intentionally” starving the Gazan population was used against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). An updated report issued last week by the IPC has concluded that “available evidence does not indicate that famine is currently occurring.”
  • Watch this short video about Hamas’s ongoing efforts to prevent aid from reaching Palestinian civilians by attacking aid deliveries at humanitarian crossings.  
  • See this IDF report on recent measures it has implemented to assist UN aid agencies in bolstering their capacity to collect and distribute aid after it is delivered by Israel. 


  • Israeli media are reporting that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will likely meet with US President Joe Biden when he comes to Washington later this month.
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken framed what is happening in the north in stark terms on Monday. “You have 60,000 or so Israelis who have been forced from their homes in northern Israel. Israel effectively lost sovereignty in the northern quadrant of the country because people don't feel safe going to their homes."
  • Israel’s closest non-Arab neighbor, Cyprus, has become caught up in the rhetoric of the fight with Hezbollah. See this piece on Hezbollah's threat to Cyprus.
  • The two traditional parties on the left side of Israeli politics, Labor and Meretz, announced a formal merger into one party to be called "the Democrats." The head of the amalgamation is former IDF General Yair Golan, who was recently elected leader in the Labor primaries. 

In honor of International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, Jewish Federations of North America joined over 50 organizations in signing a letter to the UN Secretary-General that calls for an unbiased and independent investigation and demands that Hamas be held accountable.

Stories of Heartbreak, Heroism, and Hope

  • Read this story of 32-year-old Celine Ben David, a new parent who was enjoying motherhood with her sixth-month-old baby Ellie.  A French immigrant who arrived in Israel at the age of 16, Celine was described as “an amazing mother who was beautiful inside and out.”  Celine was on the way to the Nova music festival with two friends, but they never made it.  She was murdered by Hamas terrorists and her body was identified ten days later. “You gave me four perfect years and I have everything I need to tell Ellie about all the happy moments we had together,” her husband Ido said.
  • Addir Mesika, 23, was murdered by Hamas terrorists at the Nova music festival on October 7. He is survived by his parents, Alon and Shiri, and his siblings, Liran, Uri, and Libi. Mesika was in touch with his younger brother that morning, letting him know that Hamas terrorists were shooting at them. “He told them he didn’t think he would make it and that he loved them very much,” said Lotan.


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