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How does prolonged darkness affect hostages’ eyes?

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How does prolonged darkness affect hostages’ eyes?



The treatment of hostages returning from Hamas’s dark tunnels became more advanced as many were released in the recent deal. 

Recently, people from the Health Ministry met with Yocheved Lifshitz, who was kidnapped from her home and released two weeks later. After the meeting, they  recommended that individuals not be immediately exposed to light after being in a dark tunnel for an extended period of time. 

Instead, they suggested providing sunglasses to help ease the transition. Even Ohad Mondar, a nine-year-old boy released in the first day, was seen wearing sunglasses while in the hospital. Prolonged darkness can be traumatic and have a profound effect on sleep patterns, mood, cognitive function, and hormone secretion.

Our bodies operate on a 24-hour cycle, and the sleep-wake mechanism is crucial for maintaining overall health. Natural light plays a vital role in this mechanism by helping to synchronize internal clock. Exposure to daylight signals the body to wake up, increases alertness, and initiates bodily movement.

Light also impacts the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for promoting sleep. As natural light decreases in the evening, melatonin production increases, preparing the body for sleep. This is why exposure to screens emitting blue light late at night is not recommended, as it can disrupt sleep patterns.

Eye examination illustration (credit: INGIMAGE)

What damage can prolonged darkness do to people?

Prolonged exposure to darkness can lead to various mental health issues, including depression, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It can also have physical health consequences, such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, muscle pain, fractures, skeletal problems, and joint diseases. Furthermore, cognitive function, including concentration, memory, and performance, can be negatively affected by a lack of exposure to natural light.

Our eyes perceive natural light through retinal cells, which transmit it to the optic nerve and, in turn, to the hypothalamus, the “superior hormonal headquarters” in the brain. When in the dark, our eyes begin the process of adaptation. 

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The pupil enlarges to allow more light to enter, and the protein rhodopsin inside the retina increases, enhancing our ability to see in low light conditions. However, extended periods of adaptation to night vision can lead to eye fatigue and fogginess.

Moreover, prolonged exposure to darkness can cause blurred vision, difficulty adjusting to light, and temporary difficulty identifying colors. Sensitivity to light may develop, necessitating the use of sunglasses upon re-entry into daylight. We can only hope for the swift return of all abductees from the darkness of Hamas captivity, allowing them to transition from darkness to light.





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Jewish diaspora expresses concern as Iranian drones launch toward Israel

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Jewish diaspora expresses concern as Iranian drones launch toward Israel



Jewish diaspora organizations expressed concern for Israel and increased their own security preparedness as Iran launched drones against Israel on Saturday night.

The Jewish Federation said it was comforted by IDF statements that the situation was under control and by the statements of support by the United States of America, but was watching “Iran’s launch of an attack on Israel with extreme concern.”

“We are monitoring the situation very closely and join in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Israel.”

Preparing for attacks in the diaspora

The Conference of European Rabbis said that Jewish communities in Europe were raising their level of preparedness, given the history of Iranian proxies attacking Jewish targets on the continent.

A drone is launched during a military exercise in an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on October 4, 2023. (credit: IRANIAN ARMY/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY)/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

“We are closely monitoring the Iranian attack on Israel and its implications for the security of Jews in the diaspora,” said conference president Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt. ‘We are in contact with all the leaders of the Jewish communities and security officials across the continent. I call on all Jews across Europe to remain vigilant in community institutions and to act responsibly in the public sphere.” 





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Dozens of Palestinians and Jews injured in West Bank altercations

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Dozens of Palestinians and Jews injured in West Bank altercations



The IDF said on Saturday night that dozens of Jews and Palestinians had been injured in altercations in the West Bank following the terrorist murder of 14-year-old shepherd, Binyamin Achimair.

Though he was murdered on Friday, his death was only confirmed Saturday afternoon, with the subsequent violence between Jewish extremists and Palestinians being declared the largest battles in the area not involving IDF forces since February 2023.

In February 2023, dozens or more of extremist Jews burned large swaths of Palestinian property in Huwara in the West Bank, injured a number of Palestinians, and killed at least one Palestinian.

The IDF said it had significantly beefed up its forces in the area to try to maintain order, but it appeared to be on a significant delay from after multiple rounds of attempts by Jewish extremists to take revenge on nearby Palestinians villages, though these extremists did not have any specific information about who might have committed the murder.

After February 2023, the IDF apologized for failing to react fast enough to protect Palestinians and had said it would preemptively beef up to be ready for future potential reactions by Jewish extremists to the killing of Jews in the West Bank by Palestinians.

Binyamin Achimair, Missing 14-year-old boy from Samaria, Police are requesting help in searching, April 12, 2024. (credit: ISRAEL POLICE)

One area attacked by Jewish extremists on Saturday was the Duma village, south of Nablus.

A mix of Israeli, Arab, and US media reported that Jewish extremists also attacked over Friday and Saturday al-Mughayyir, Deir Dibwan, and Beitin, east of Ramallah and the town of Sinjil, northeast of Ramallah.

Violence from both sides

There were also reports of Palestinian counterattacks.

It was unclear which reports involved live fire, which lower grade rock-throwing style violence and how much violence was committed by each side.

Reports did say that dozens of Palestinians’ cars or structures were set on fire by extremist Jews, with some reports of Palestinian deaths.

By Shin Bet statistics, most extremist Jews, though not all, involved in violence come from a specific list of West Bank settlements or outposts.





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Israeli drone shot down by Hezbollah was worth $10 million

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Israeli drone shot down by Hezbollah was worth $10 million



An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was shot down last Saturday by Hezbollah. The UAV was later revealed as an Elbit Systems Hermes 900 Kochav, valued at around $10 million. 

The Hermes 900 is Elbit’s largest drone and has been sold to the Israeli Air Force, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and according to foreign reports, Azerbaijan. The UAV is a relatively large and expensive drone capable of staying in the air for approximately 30 straight hours.

Hermes 900 UAV (credit: ELBIT SYSTEMS)

The IDF’s response to Hezbollah terror

Following the downing of the UAV, the IDF struck targets in Baalbek deep in Lebanon, on the border with Syria. Missiles were fired in the next morning towards the Golan Heights, and in the afternoon towards Kibbutz Manara and Moshav Margaliot.

Proceeding this, about a month and a half ago, the IDF announced that an Israeli Air Force UAV was shot down by Hezbollah in Lebanese territory. In response, the IDF struck targets of the terrorist organization in the Baalbek area in Lebanon for the first time since the Second Lebanon War. Baalbek is approximately 100 km. north of the border and is the northernmost target that the IDF has struck since the beginning of the war.





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