The temporary ceasefire is supposed to come into force tomorrow morning — Friday (it is clear that the agreements with Hamas are not even worth the paper they are written on, so there is no definite certainty yet).
The matter concerns the possible release of 53 hostages — children, including infants and women — over the next few days. However, Hamas will decide independently whom to release and in what order.
In total there are 195 Israelis among the people kidnapped by Hamas terrorists. Others are foreign laborers.
Not all of them are in Hamas hands, some were captured by Islamic Jihad terrorists, some by private individuals — “peaceful civilians of the Strip.” Even worse, to our great regret, according to Israeli estimates, not all of them are alive.
The agreement includes the fulfillment of Hamas’s demand that our air force stop flying over the southern Gaza Strip, as well as a partial halt — for six hours each day — of all our air activity in the Gaza Strip, an area where tens of thousands of IDF fighters are currently stationed.
Of course, this puts our forces in serious danger.
After all, the tremendous collection of aerial information, involving at any given time dozens of airplanes of various types, photographing and tracking everything that happens in the Strip, in every alleyway, between buildings, at night and during the day, in clear and in bad weather, will be interrupted for many precious hours.
Obviously, during this time hundreds of Hamas terrorists will be able to get out of the tunnel shafts and do whatever they need to do: gather intelligence about our forces, get food and ammunition, and build up and recuperate after a long and torturous stay in underground dens. But the worst part is that they will be able to move freely from place to place, and with weapons, which will certainly pose a huge and immediate threat to IDF soldiers!
In other words, the fact that the entire massive system of intelligence gathering and destruction of terrorist links from the air will be put out of action for many hours every day is an extremely dangerous condition. And the fact that Israel accepted this literally lethal demand is also a dangerous precedent, because this is the first time Israel has agreed to such a ridiculous demand. Unfortunately, we will now be required to do so on other occasions, including on other fronts.
Unfortunately, nothing can replace the intelligence gathering provided by the Air Force from above!
Let me remind you that this huge and powerful system usually involves whole squadrons, engaging surveillance aircraft (light aircraft), aerial photography aircraft, helicopters capable of moving at low altitude and quickly detecting the movement of enemy forces directly in the field, a multitude of multicopters, but primarily all the UAV squadrons of the Air Force together with the vast array of land force and artillery drones, divisional and brigade.
It is precisely this mighty group that has already killed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of terrorists and is actually the “eyes” of the IDF.
We can only pray for the preservation, protection and salvation of the lives of our dear soldiers.