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More than just a Memorial Day for the fallen, today is a day of reckoning for the entire political, military and intelligence establishment in Israel. The message seems to have been taken to heart, as the following remarkable mea culpas express. What other country in the world would you hear a Chief of Staff, a Defense Minister, and a politician, say these words?

As the commander of the Israel Defense Forces during the war, I bear responsibility for the fact that the IDF failed in its mission to protect the citizens of the State of Israel on the seventh of October. I feel its weight on my shoulders every day, and in my heart I fully understand its meaning.
I am the commander who sent your sons and daughters to the battle from which they did not return and to the positions from which they were kidnapped. I carry with me every day the memory of the fallen, and I am responsible for answering the piercing questions that keep you awake.
In this war we are determined to complete the mission, although we understand the cost.

Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, Memorial Day, May 13, 2024

In Gaza, the northern border, Yehuda, Shomron and places further afield, even now on Memorial Day, IDF soldiers are fighting in the most just war that the State of Israel has ever known. It is a “no-choice” war. A war that will shape our lives for years and decades to come. It is a war that will last until we return the last of our hostages, destroy the rule of Hamas and its ability to make war, and return flourishing creativity to the State of Israel, and smiles to the faces of her citizens.
We will win the hard war.
We will return to Be’eri and Metula, sore and strong. We will return to quieter and better days. And with God’s help we will return to see our abductees, for whose safety we all pray, and for whom we are obliged to rescue even at very painful prices.
As the magnitude of the disaster before us, such is the magnitude of Israeli determination, something our enemies did not understand. The unusual courage that pervaded our ranks will be recorded in the annals of our nation’s history.
Victory will be achieved by removing the threat of Hamas, returning to the settlements and returning the kidnapped.

Minister of Defense, Yoav Gallant, Memorial Day, May 13, 2024

It is a day of remembrance with a very, very great sense of anguish – in the country, in the Shin Bet and once again for me personally.
We all feel that the same security blanket we have always been proud of – we failed to provide to the people of Israel on October 7th. We all feel the loss, the feeling that we could have prevented it – and as the head of the organization and responsible for the organization’s activities, I feel it perhaps more than anyone.
We are investigating the role of the Shin Bet in the face of the Hamas attack on October 7th in depth. A painful and significant investigation. We will learn from this and correct what is required. This is our duty to the people of Israel and this is our duty to the fallen. Without the public’s trust in the state institutions and ours – we have no right to exist.
The Shin Bet’s part in the war is not over yet – we will not rest until we return all 128 abductees home and the four who were there before, all those among the living, and all those who are not. All of them. Because this is the real difference between us and them – we will sacrifice our lives for our citizens, while they will sacrifice the lives of their citizens for themselves.
We will reckon with everyone who had a part, directly or indirectly, with that terrible day – for the sake of the fallen, for the families and for a better future.

Head of Shin Bet Security, Memorial Day, May 13, 2024

As I said right after the terrible massacre, I say again with bowed head and with immense pain before you sons and daughters of the bereaved families. The leadership of the state and the security system failed in the task of protecting the citizens of Israel, and I, as a member of the government, take responsibility for what has been and will be.

MK Bezalel Smotrich, Memorial Day, May 13, 2024

I remember all those who went out under my command and did not return, and there is no one to replace them or compare them to.

Commander of Division 36, General Dudu Bar Khalifa, Memorial Day, May 13, 2024

Even as we mourn, our enemies give us no respite. Two anti-tank missiles fell in the area of the north near Yiftach, lightly injuring three soldiers, and moderately injuring a fourth, who are all receiving medical care. An unmanned drone from Lebanon fell in Zarit. There were no injuries. Several explosive-laden drones launched by Hezbollah entered Israeli airspace from Lebanon, setting off numerous sirens in the Galilee Panhandle, the military says.

And a final word. Yesterday I wrote about a Hamas rocket that landed in a Beersheba playground. Later that day, a mother who had been there minutes earlier gave the following account: “It was Friday morning and the playground was filled with children. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a strong wind filled with dust and sand began blowing fiercely so that all the children and their mothers ran home. Ten minutes later, the rocket fell into an empty playground.” Except for those few minutes, there had been no wind at all.

And to those of you who don’t believe in miracles, I’ll tell you this. When I was in the Park Hotel, Passover 2001, some unexplainable urge pushed me to gather my family and leave the lobby to usher them upstairs, even though my elderly in-laws wanted to use the bathrooms first. “What’s your rush?” my husband said. But I insisted. “They’ll meet us upstairs,” I told him, determined, even rude.

That never happened. Three minutes after we sat down at the Seder table, a huge Hamas bomb went off in the dining room downstairs, rocking the building and killing 29 people. My in-laws, both Holocaust survivors, were safe in the bathrooms and afterwards made their way outside unharmed where we joined them.

Only if you close your eyes or practice blindness, can you be oblivious to the hand of G-d all around us.

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5 comments on “GAZA WAR DIARY: 13 MAY 2024”

  1. Daveed Shachar Reply

    Halevy should be in jail, if only for not letting the border observers have weapons, flak jackets, or concrete bunkers. Halevy should be in jail for letting his senior underlings warn the observers that if they kept warning their commanders about the Hamas activity they were observing, they would be arrested and tried. Halevy should be in jail for being a leading participant in the concept which valued electronic warfare over training the troops. Halevy should be in jail for the still unexplained absence of soldiers for up to 48 hours following the beginning of the massacre. Finally Halevy should lose his pension for the crime of being one of the two most ineffectual, useless chiefs of staff in Israeli history.
    His words at the ceremony may have been nice, but as we all know, words are cheap. As cheap as the dead soldiers’ and civilians’ deaths he was responsible for.
    I no longer listen to a word he has to say.

  2. C. W. Joiner Reply

    I just love your leaders and wish we had military leaders just like them.

  3. Janice Reply

    Naomi I read your articles each day and every article is excellent in helping me have a correct
    perspective of truth.

    Your article is filled with accountability from those in charge but best of all you infuse
    HOPE that is outside the definition of what most people call hope. Your HOPE is a sure thing.
    Israel will win this and any other battle that satanic terrorists will level against God’s chosen people and the land that He chose for them. His miracles He performs for the APP,E OF HIS EYES are a testament to the truth of His Word and promises to you and all His chosen people.

    • Brenda Matsumura Reply

      Thank you for sharing the speeches from Memorial Day and your personal experience of what could be characterized as Divine Intervention. Thank the Lord the children and parents were not killed last Friday! I did watch Memorial Day broadcast last night and it was so somber, at one point tears flowed down my face. It’s not lost on me that the people of Israel continue to cry a river, everyday. The cruelty of Terrorists is unmatched and despicable. Psychopathic. Blessings upon the wonderful.people of Israel. Brenda

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