December 20, 2023
A project of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Israel's Global Embassy for National Security and Applied Diplomacy
Hamas Leader Sinwar Narrowly Evades Capture Twice - Emanuel Fabian (Times of Israel)
IDF troops have twice managed to reach tunnels in Gaza in recent days where they believe Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar was hiding just before they arrived, Israel's Channel 13 reported Tuesday.
IDF intelligence on the Hamas leader indicated that he is on the move rather than remaining in any one place for an extended period.
During the manhunt for Sinwar, IDF troops uncovered a previous hiding space of Muhammad Deif, the commander of Hamas' military wing.
FBI: Nationwide Targeting of Jewish Institutions Appears Coordinated, Coming from Outside U.S. - Riley Hoffman (ABC News)
A nationwide swatting spree of prank calls to emergency services targeting nearly 200 Jewish institutions over the weekend appears to have been a coordinated effort by an entity based outside the U.S., Assistant FBI Director Cathy Milhoan says.
"Based on similar language and specific email tradecraft used, it appears the perpetrators of these threats are connected."
More than 30 FBI field offices are investigating the threats, which violated multiple federal laws.
Israel Plans to Change Nature of Gaza Warfare within a Month - Amos Harel (Ha'aretz)
Among Israel's political and military leadership, there is a growing understanding that the war in Gaza will be transitioning to its next stage over the course of the next month.
Washington's recommendation is that the change include the establishment of a buffer zone on the Gaza border.
The U.S has no reservations about Israel's desire to expand the Khan Yunis offensive.
In a recent battle, the IDF captured a Hamas company commander and learned that he had no idea his battalion commander had been killed in an Israeli bombing.
The more junior officer continued to fight, in part out of fear of his commander. Had he known that his superior was dead, he would have surrendered.
The Gaza War Inches toward the Day before "the Day After" - David Ignatius (Washington Post)
Top Israeli officials have insisted that the war will last "months" longer, but that's partly to keep Hamas off guard.
Israel's leaders know they need to transition to a new stage in the conflict, not least to allow reservists to leave the front lines and return to their jobs.
Israeli officials appear to agree with the Biden administration on the basics: A postwar Gaza where Hamas cannot impose its political will, while other Palestinians take responsibility for governance.
The State Department has prepared a 20-page document outlining basic steps and options for the post-conflict phase.
Fighting will continue, especially in southern Gaza. But as Hamas' power is broken, U.S. and Israeli officials expect that Palestinians will step into new governance and security roles - with support from moderate Arab governments that hate Hamas almost as much as Israel does, even though they don't say so out loud.
Anti-Israel Demos Threaten Public Safety - Editorial (Toronto Sun-Canada)
On Sunday, 150 protesters demonstrated inside Toronto's Eaton Centre outside Zara - a Spanish retail clothing chain - while the mall was crowded with Christmas shoppers.
The professed justifications of the protesters are becoming increasingly divorced from the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Zara has been targeted internationally for an ad campaign called "The Jacket," which the demonstrators claim contained imagery resembling corpses and scenes of destruction in Gaza, even though the company, which has apologized, said it was conceived in July and photographed in September - before the start of the war - and meant to show unfinished works in a sculptor's studio.
See also Video: Pro-Hamas Protesters Block Grand Central Station as People Head Home for Christmas - Tom Gross (YouTube)
See also Video: Protesters Shut Down Los Angeles Freeway Demanding Hamas Be Left to Rule Gaza - Tom Gross (YouTube)
The IDF Battles PTSD Before It Occurs - Ido Efrati (Ha'aretz)
Every day, dozens of Israeli soldiers are pulled out of the heart of fighting in Gaza and brought to recovery centers in Israel.
Soldiers tend to spend a few hours at a center, where they get checked by teams of psychiatrists and officers specializing in mental health.
Some 80-90% return to their units in Gaza within a matter of hours.
"We know that the most effective way to prevent PTSD is for them to start functioning again as quickly as possible. We have no magic pill for treating trauma. The best thing is to get back the feeling of control, coherence and continuity," said a senior mental health officer in the military.
Health care professionals in the army say that most soldiers express normal and natural responses to battle, but don't suffer from PTSD.
The officer noted, "When you can't sleep, feel tense, terrified and 'on edge,' this is a consequence of a rational and normal survival reaction to what we find on the battlefield."
Israel at War: Daily Zoom Briefing
by Jerusalem Center Experts
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
The Houthi Threat from Yemen
The Third Front: How the Palestinian Authority Is Preparing for Battle - Nadav Shragai (Israel Hayom)
Daily Alert is published Sunday through Friday during the war.
Unsubscribe from Daily Alert.