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Spotlight on the Israel-Palestinian Conflict (June 10 – 18, 2024)

Terrorist facilities revealed in the

Terrorist facilities revealed in the "Swedish Village" in West Rafah

A tunnel in the central Gaza Strip.

A tunnel in the central Gaza Strip.

A tunnel shaft exposed in the central Gaza Strip (IDF spokesperson, June 11, 2024)

A tunnel shaft exposed in the central Gaza Strip (IDF spokesperson, June 11, 2024)

A truck with boxes of antibiotics delivered to the Gaza Strip (COGAT X account, June 14, 2024)

A truck with boxes of antibiotics delivered to the Gaza Strip (COGAT X account, June 14, 2024)

Trucks on the pier (CENTCOM X account, June 15, 2024)

Trucks on the pier (CENTCOM X account, June 15, 2024)

Garbage removal in the al-Nuseirat refugee camp (al-Nuseirat municipality Facebook page, June 13, 2024).

Garbage removal in the al-Nuseirat refugee camp (al-Nuseirat municipality Facebook page, June 13, 2024).

Al-Hafi and al-Side meet at the newly-opened Hamas office in Baghdad (Imam Ali Brigades Telegram channel, June 11, 2024)

Al-Hafi and al-Side meet at the newly-opened Hamas office in Baghdad (Imam Ali Brigades Telegram channel, June 11, 2024)

Israeli security forces in the al-Far'a refugee camp.

Israeli security forces in the al-Far'a refugee camp.

IDF forces in the Jenin area (IDF spokesperson, June 13, 2024).

IDF forces in the Jenin area (IDF spokesperson, June 13, 2024).

  • The southern arena: This past week IDF activities focused on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip and on the Gaza City neighborhoods of al-Zeitoun and al-Sabra, having ended in Deir al-Balah and the al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. Sixteen IDF soldiers were killed in four different incidents. There was an increase in rocket fire at the communities surrounding Gaza compared to the previous week.
  • The hostages: Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad submitted their comments to Qatar and Egypt regarding President Biden’s proposal for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and the release of the hostages; the proposal was backed by the UN Security Council. The leaders of the G7 countries called on Hamas for an unconditional acceptance of the proposal.
  • Aid for the Gaza Strip: The Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories reported that more than 24,000 tons of medical supplies and equipment had been brought into the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the war. The U.S. Central Command temporarily dismantled the marine pier off the Gaza Strip coast due to high waves.
  • Israel, Judea and Samaria: This past week no terrorist attacks were reported. The Israeli security forces continued their counterterrorism activities in Judea and Samaria.
  • The Palestinian Authority: Mahmoud Abbas participated in an emergency conference for humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip held in Jordan, and expressed the Authority’s willingness to assume responsibility for the management of the Gaza Strip, including the land crossings. The quarterly public opinion poll head by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found an increase in support in Judea and Samaria for the Hamas terrorist attack and massacre on October 7, 2023.
IDF operations in the Gaza Strip
  • This past week IDF activity focused on the al-Zeitoun and al-Sabra neighborhoods in Gaza City in the northern Gaza Strip and in the Rafah area in the south. Meanwhile the activity in Deir al-Balah and the al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip ended. Ground and air forces, with the assistance of navy forces, attacked terrorist operatives, destroyed terrorist facilities and rocket launchers and located a large number of tunnels and weapons. Sixteen IDF soldiers were killed in four different incidents.
  • Rafah: IDF forces killed dozens of terrorist operatives above and below ground, located large quantities of IEDs, including inside a mosque, and destroyed mined buildings. On June 10, 2024, five fighters were killed in the explosion of a mined structure; on June 15, eight fighters were killed when an anti-tank missile hit an engineering APC; on June 16, a fighter was killed when a tunnel shaft exploded and another fighter was seriously injured. The IDF spokesperson reported that since the start of operations in Rafah on May 7, 2024, the IDF forces had achieved full operational control over the entire Philadelphia Axis on the border with Egypt, between the Kerem Shalom Crossing and the sea, and over several neighborhoods in the city, including al-Brazil, Tel al-Sultan and the al-Shaboura refugee camp. More than 550 terrorist operatives were killed, long-range rockets aimed at the center of Israel were located, as were more than 200 tunnel shafts and 25 long tunnel routes reaching the Egyptian border (IDF spokesperson and Israeli media, June 10-18, 2024).
 Rockets found in a mosque in Rafah (IDF spokesperson, June 18, 2024)    Terrorist facilities revealed in the "Swedish Village" in West Rafah
Right: Terrorist facilities revealed in the “Swedish Village” in West Rafah. Left: Rockets found in a mosque in Rafah (IDF spokesperson, June 18, 2024)
  • The Palestinians reported that Israeli vehicles had advanced to various areas in Rafah accompanied by artillery shelling and heavy bombing from the air, while “armed Palestinians” attempted to stop them. It was also reported that dozens of buildings were set on fire by IDF forces (al-Araby al-Jadeed, June 17, 2024). Another report stated that Israeli Air Force fighter jets attacked the central and western regions of Rafah (Anadolu Agency, June 17, 2024).The Palestinians also claimed that IDF forces set fire to the departure hall at the Rafah Crossing, which Hamas claimed was “clearly a war crime” (Hamas website, June 17, 2024).
  • Al-Zeitoun and al-Sabra: IDF forces killed dozens of terrorist operatives, located rocket pits ready for launching and destroyed about fifty terrorist facilities, including a store of rockets. They also destroyed a half-mile long, 33-yard deep Hamas tunnel located about .6 miles from the Israeli border. On June 15, two IDF soldiers were killed when an IED hit a tank (IDF spokesperson and Israeli media, June 10 to 17, 2024). According to reports, Israeli artillery targeted the eastern and southern areas of Gaza City and military vehicles advanced from the Netzarim Axis towards the center of the al-Zeitoun neighborhood. It was also reported that hundreds of Palestinians left the areas near where the IDF forces were operating and moved to the west of the city (Anadolu Agency, June 17, 2024).
  • The central Gaza Strip: On June 11, IDF forces completed their operation in eastern Deir al-Balah and the eastern region of the al-Bureij refugee camp. During the operation, the forces killed approximately one hundred terrorist operatives and destroyed two kilometers-long tunnels and more than two kilometers of underground offensive compounds, as well as dozens of terrorist facilities and launch sites close to the towns and villages surrounding Gaza (IDF spokesperson, June 11, 2024).
A tunnel shaft exposed in the central Gaza Strip (IDF spokesperson, June 11, 2024)      A tunnel in the central Gaza Strip.
Right: A tunnel in the central Gaza Strip. Left: A tunnel shaft exposed in the central Gaza Strip (IDF spokesperson, June 11, 2024)
Rocket fire from the Gaza Strip
  • This past week there was an increase rocket launches, compared to last week. All the rockets targeted the cities, towns and villages surrounding the Gaza Strip:
    • June 12: Sirens were sounded in Mefalsim and Nir Am; the rocket fell in an open area (Shaah HaNegev spokesman, June 12, 2024).
    • June 13: Sirens were sounded in Sderot, in the towns and villages surrounding the Gaza Strip and western Lakish. The IDF spokesperson stated that a number of rockets were launched from the northern Gaza Strip, some of which were intercepted while the rest fell in open areas; no casualties were reported (IDF Telegram channel, June 14, 2024). Seven rockets were launched from the northern Gaza Strip, four of which were intercepted; the others fell in open areas (Israeli media, June 13, 2024). The military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) claimed responsibility for launching rockets at Ashdod, Ashkelon, Mefalsim, Nir Am and Sderot (Jerusalem Brigades’ Telegram channel, June 13, 2024).
    • June 14: Sirens were sounded in Nir Am. According to reports, two rockets fell in an open area (Israeli media, June 14, 2024). The PIJ’s military wing claimed responsibility for firing rockets at Sderot and the surrounding communities (Jerusalem Brigades’ Telegram channel, June 14, 2024).
    • June 15 (after midnight): The IDF spokesperson in Arabic reported that five rockets had been fired at the Kissufim region from the humanitarian zone in the central Gaza Strip. Two fell in an open area inside Israel and three fell inside the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesperson’s X account in Arabic, June 15, 2024). Hamas’ military wing claimed responsibility for launching a barrage of rockets at the IDF Kissufim post (Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades Telegram channel, June 15, 2024).
    • June 15 (afternoon): A rocket fell in an open area in the western Negev; no casualties or damage were reported (Israeli media, June 15, 2024). The military wings of Hamas and the PIJ claimed joint responsibility for launching a barrage of rockets at the IDF Sufa post (Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades Telegram channel, June 15, 2024). Later, the military wings of the Popular Resistance Committees and the PIJ announced they had launched a barrage of 107mm rockets at the Kissufim post (Salah al-Din Brigades Telegram channel, June 15, 2024).
    • June 15 (evening): A rocket was launched from the central Gaza Strip and exploded in an open area in the Kissufim area, with no casualties; a fire broke out in the area (IDF spokesperson and Israeli media, June 15, 2024).
Monthly Distribution of Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire since June 2022

Monthly Distribution of Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire since June 2022

Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits
Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits
* Distribution for 2024 begins in May
The hostages and a ceasefire agreement
  • On June 11, 2024, Hamas and the PIJ submitted to Qatar and Egypt their response to the proposal for a ceasefire and the release of the hostages, following the speech of President Joe Biden on May 31, 2024, in which he presented the main points of the Israeli proposal. Hamas and the PIJ said in a joint announcement that their response prioritized the interests of the Palestinian people and the need to completely stop the [alleged] “ongoing aggression” against the Gaza Strip, and that they wanted to reach an agreement which would end the war (Quds news network Telegram channel, June 11, 2024).
  • The Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese daily al-Akhbar published Hamas’ and the PIJ’s “remarks” [demands] regarding the draft proposal, based on “informed sources” (al-Akhbar, June 12, 2024):
    • Both sides will begin a temporary ceasefire and IDF forces will evacuate the densely populated areas near the border.
    • On the second day of the ceasefire, the IDF will begin withdrawing from Salah al-Din and al-Rashid streets and all military installations along the Netzarim Axis will be dismantled. At the same time, the IDF will withdraw from the entire Philadelphia Axis and clear the Rafah crossing within seven days.
    • Agreement to release 32 hostages, instead of 33 as Israel demands, with the release of three hostages every three days. If the withdrawal of the IDF is not completed within seven days, the release of the hostages will stop.
    • Preference for the release of long-incarcerated Palestinian prisoners and opposition to imposing conditions for those to be released.
    • At the end of the first phase and the completion of the withdrawal, a “sustainable peace” will be declared with a complete cessation of all military operations.
    • Demand to add China, Russia and Turkey as guarantors for the implementation of the agreement.
  • An official statement by Hamas claimed that during all stages of the negotiations it had demonstrated a “positive attitude” with the objective of reaching an agreement to end the war and return the hostages. Hamas claimed it had also expressed a willingness to enter into indirect negotiations, while accusing Israel of opposing a permanent ceasefire. Hamas also condemned the American administration, which accused Hamas of being responsible for not reaching an agreement (Hamas Telegram channel, June 13, 2024). Those positions were also expressed by senior Hamas and PIJ members:
    • In a speech for Eid al-Adha, Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, said that Hamas and the “resistance” [terrorist] organizations had demonstrated “seriousness and flexibility” to reach an agreement which would stop the “aggression,” and that Hamas’ response was consistent with the principles of the Biden proposal and with the Security Council resolution, but Israel and its allies had not responded, and continued “with maneuvers and attempts to deceive and propose ideas aimed at obtaining prisoners and renewing the war.” He claimed that Hamas was prepared to provide an opportunity for the efforts of the mediators to stop the war and had demonstrated “seriousness” regarding any agreement which would guarantee a permanent ceasefire, Israel’s withdrawal from the Strip, the reconstruction of the Strip and a prisoner exchange deal (Hamas Telegram channel, June 16, 2024).
    • Ghazi Hamad, a member of the Hamas political bureau, claimed that the movement’s first choice was to reach an agreement which would end the “suffering” of the Palestinian people. He expressed doubt regarding Israel’s commitment to adhere to the agreement (al-Ghad, June 11, 2024).
    • Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas member, said that Israel wanted to continue fighting after a six-week ceasefire, and therefore he called on the American administration to convince Israel to agree to a permanent ceasefire as a condition for the agreement. He added that Israel should agree to a ceasefire, a complete withdrawal, the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip and lifting of “the siege,” and should allow the Palestinians to determine their own future. Hamdan also claimed that “no one has any idea” how many Israeli hostages were still alive (CNN, June 13, 2024).
    • Izzat al-Rishq, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, claimed that the reaction of the movement and the Palestinian factions [terrorist organizations] to the ceasefire proposal was “responsible, serious and positive” and opened a “broad path” to reaching an agreement. He accused the Israeli media of “incitement” against Hamas’ response, indicating Israel’s intention to evade commitments (al-Risalah Telegram channel, June 12, 2024).
    • Hamas spokesman Jihad Taha claimed that the movement and the “resistance” organizations had presented “some simple amendments” which would improve the agreement, especially the first phase. He added that Hamas was prepared to answer any question that arose as part of the negotiations (al-Araby al-Jadeed, June 16, 2024).
    • Muhammad al-Hindi, deputy PIJ secretary general, said that the “resistance” would not accept the ceasefire proposal without a complete cessation of “aggression” and a complete withdrawal of the IDF from the Gaza Strip. He claimed that the goal of Israel and the United States was to crush the “resistance” and not to reach a ceasefire (al-Jazeera, June 14, 2024).
  • The efforts to promote an agreement on a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and the release of the hostages continued in the international arena as well:
    • On June 10, 2024, the UN Security Council, with a majority of 14 in favor and with Russia abstaining, approved Resolution 2735 initiated by the United States in support of President Biden’s proposal (Israeli media, June 10, 2024).
    • On June 15, 2024, the summary announcement of the meeting of the leaders of the G7 countries in Italy was published and included a reference to the war in the Gaza Strip. The leaders expressed support for President Biden’s proposal and emphasized the need to reach a ceasefire and release the hostages. They called on Hamas to accept the ceasefire proposal fully and without conditions and urged countries with the capability to influence Hamas to assist in efforts to obtain the movement’s agreement. The leaders also called for full access to humanitarian aid through all land crossing points, including the Rafah crossing (White House website, June 15, 2024).
Palestinian casualties
  • The Hamas-controlled ministry of health in the Gaza Strip reported at 2:00 p.m., June 18, 2024, that since the beginning of the war, 37,372 Palestinians had been killed and 85,452 injured (ministry of health in Gaza Facebook page, June 18, 2024).
  • According to reports on June 12, 2024, Muhammad Nazmi Nasser, aka Abu Suheib, from the founding generation of Hamas’ military wing, was killed in the most recent IDF raid on Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. Along with Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, he participated in the kidnapping and murder of IDF soldiers Avi Sasportas and the Ilan Saadon in 1989 (Ma’ad Hassan’s X account, June 12, 2024; Muneir al-Jaghoub’s X account, June 12, 2024)
Muhammad Nazmi Nasser (Muneir al-Jaghoub's X account, June 12, 2024)
Muhammad Nazmi Nasser (Muneir al-Jaghoub’s X account, June 12, 2024)
  • On June 16, 2024, the Hamas government information office reported the death of Mahmoud Qassem, a journalist who worked for Felesteen and the Palestine Online website. The bureau claimed that 151 journalists had been killed since the beginning of the war (Hamas government information office Telegram channel, June 9, 2024). He was reportedly killed in an Israeli attack in central Gaza City on June 11, 2024 (Hamza al-Masri’s Telegram channel, June 15, 2024).
Mahmoud Qassem (Telegram channel of the Quds news network, June 15, 2024)
Mahmoud Qassem (Telegram channel of the Quds news network, June 15, 2024)
Aid for the Gaza Strip
  • This past week the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip continued. On June 17, the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said that only 62 of 1,400 aid trucks were collected from the Gazan side of the Kerem Shalom Crossing, all by private organizations. He said that the UN agencies removed a small number of trucks, despite “the steps taken to help them” (COGAT X account, June 17, 2024). He also reported that more than 24,000 tons of medical supplies and equipment, including anesthetics, insulin and antibiotics, had been delivered to the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the war (COGAT X account, June 14, 2024).
A truck with boxes of antibiotics delivered to the Gaza Strip (COGAT X account, June 14, 2024)
A truck with boxes of antibiotics delivered to the Gaza Strip (COGAT X account, June 14, 2024)
  • On June 15, 2024, the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) announced that due to the forecast for rough seas, the floating marine pier constructed off the Gaza coast would be temporarily dismantled and towed to Ashdod to ensure its continued future activity. According to the CENTCOM, since the pier’s activity was renewed on June 7, 2024, it has been used to transfer approximately 2,500 tons of humanitarian aid, and a total of 3,500 tons since it began operations on May 17, (CENTCOM X account, June 15, 2024).
 Trucks on the pier (CENTCOM X account, June 15, 2024)      Trucks on the pier (CENTCOM X account, June 15, 2024)
Trucks on the pier (CENTCOM X account, June 15, 2024)
The situation in the Gaza Strip
  • The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that 17 of the 36 hospitals in Gaza were partially functioning, with partial access to only 14 due to lack of security and physical obstacles. The organization noted that there were no functioning hospitals in Rafah and that a Red Criss field hospital was the only one of the six field hospitals in Rafah that was fully operational, while the UAE field hospital was partially operational. In Khan Yunis, al-Kheir Hospital has returned to partial functioning, and access to al-Awda and Kamal Adwan Hospitals and the Indonesian Hospital in northern Gaza was partially restored (OCHA website, June 14, 2024).
  • The Palestinian Red Crescent announced the resumption of the activities at its clinic in the Jebaliya refugee camp, which was rebuilt by volunteers after the IDF’s activities (Palestinian Red Crescent X account, June 13, 2024). It was also reported that 11 Red Crescent clinics and medical stations provided health services for thousands of patients throughout the Gaza Strip (Palestinian Red Crescent X account, June 14, 2024)
  • The municipal authorities in the Gaza Strip continued their operations. The al-Nuseirat municipality reported that it continued to provide essential services for the residents and its crews cleared garbage from the streets “despite the difficult circumstances” (al-Nuseirat municipality Facebook page, June 13, 2024). Khan Yunis municipality employees drained sewage water in different areas of the city (Khan Yunis municipality Facebook page, June 12, 2024). Crews from the Khiza’a municipality worked to maintain the main water system (Khiza’a municipality Facebook page, June 13, 2024).
 Khan Yunis sewage drainage (Khan Yunis municipality Facebook page, June 12, 2024)    Garbage removal in the al-Nuseirat refugee camp (al-Nuseirat municipality Facebook page, June 13, 2024).
Right: Garbage removal in the al-Nuseirat refugee camp (al-Nuseirat municipality Facebook page, June 13, 2024). Left: Khan Yunis sewage drainage (Khan Yunis municipality Facebook page, June 12, 2024)
  • Mazen Ghanem, director of the PA water authority, said that the delivery of 23,000 liters of fuel to the Gaza Strip enabled the operation of about twenty wells, including five wells in the east of Gaza City, two in Beit Hanoun, four in the Beit Lahia area and nine in the Jebalya area (PA water authority Facebook page, June 14, 2024).
  • Carl Skau, deputy director general of the UN World Food Program (WFP), paid a two-day visit to the Gaza Strip, the second since the beginning of the war. He said the introduction of supplies from the UN Food Program and its partners through the West Erez Crossing had improved the level of aid to the northern Gaza Strip, however he said aid had to continue and increase. Skau also said that the situation in the southern Gaza Strip was rapidly deteriorating after a million residents had been displaced from Rafah and were staying in a crowded area along the coast in the heavy heat (WFP website, June 14, 2024).
Hamas-Fatah talks postponed
  • Azzam al-Ahmed, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee, reported that the Hamas-Fatah meeting which was to take place in China at the end of the month had been postponed. Lebanese “sources” stated it was because they were waiting for the results of the ceasefire negotiations in the Gaza Strip and because there was lack of clarity regarding “the day after” the war (al-Shahed, June 14, 2024).
Hamas opens a “political office” in Iraq
  • On June 11, 2024, Muhammad al-Hafi, a member Hamas’ Arab and Islamic Relations Office, opened the movement’s political office in Iraq amid reports that Qatar might order Hamas leaders to leave the country if they did not accept the ceasefire proposal. The office is reportedly located in the al-Radwaniya neighborhood in Baghdad, not far from the international airport. The ceremony was attended by Yaqoub al-Sidi, the assistant secretary general of the Islamic Movement of Iraq,[2] who arrived at the head of the pro-Iranian militia delegation (Nova News Agency, June 12, 2024). A “knowledgeable source” denied reports that Hamas planned to open a military camp in the outskirts Baghdad, and claimed that it was only opening an office for information and strengthening bilateral ties (Shafaq News, June 13, 2024).
Al-Hafi and al-Side meet at the newly-opened Hamas office in Baghdad (Imam Ali Brigades Telegram channel, June 11, 2024)
Al-Hafi and al-Side meet at the newly-opened Hamas office in Baghdad (Imam Ali Brigades Telegram channel, June 11, 2024)
Terrorist attacks
  • This past week, June 10-18, 2024, no terrorist attacks were reported.
  • On June 16, 2024, the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha began, and end on June 19, 2024.
Critical terrorist attacks, 2024[3]

Critical terrorist attacks, 2024

Annual distribution of critical terrorist attacks

Annual distribution of critical terrorist attacks

Counterterrorism activities
  • The Israeli security forces continued their counterterrorism activities in Judea and Samaria. The main centers of activity were Tubas, Tulkarm and Jenin. Since the beginning of the war, approximately 4,150 wanted Palestinians have been arrested, of whom more than 1,750 were Hamas operatives (IDF spokesperson, June 10 to 18, 2024):
    • On the evening of June 10, 2024, Israeli security forces operated in Kafr Naama, northwest of Ramallah, to detain one of the terrorist operatives who had carried out the arson attack on the Sde Efraim farm the previous night.[4] The wanted Palestinian and three other terrorist operatives tried to escape by driving away and running over the soldiers as they drove. The forces shot and killed them. An improvised Carlo machine gun and IEDs were found in their vehicle. An IDF fighter was slightly injured (Israel Police Force Telegram channel, June 10, 2024). Hamas said the four were operatives of its military wing. The most senior of them, Muhammad Jaber Abada, called ” commander” in the announcement, previously served 20 years in prison in Israel. The other dead were Muhammad Raslan Abda, Wassim Bassam Zidan Abu ‘Adi and Rashdi Samih Omar Ataya (Hamas website, June 11, 2024).
Hamas mourning notice for the four (Hamas Telegram channel in Judea and Samaria, June 11, 2024)      The weapons found in the terrorists' vehicle (Israel Police Force Telegram channel, June 10, 2024).
Right: The weapons found in the terrorists’ vehicle (Israel Police Force Telegram channel, June 10, 2024). Left: Hamas mourning notice for the four (Hamas Telegram channel in Judea and Samaria, June 11, 2024)
    • On June 10 and 11, 2024, Israeli security forces operated in the al-Far’a refugee camp, south of Tubas, for 18 hours. They attacked armed terrorist operatives and detained eight Palestinians wanted for terrorist activity; no casualties were reported. In addition, an explosives laboratory was located with more than 80 IEDs and barrels of explosives. (IDF spokesperson, June 11, 2024).
Explosives found in the laboratory (IDF spokesperson, June 11, 2024)      Israeli security forces in the al-Far'a refugee camp.
Right: Israeli security forces in the al-Far’a refugee camp. Left: Explosives found in the laboratory (IDF spokesperson, June 11, 2024)
    • On the evening of June 11, 2024, Israeli security forces operated in the village of Dan, northwest of Jenin. The forces surrounded a building where armed terrorist operatives had barricaded themselves. There was an exchange of fire during which an Israeli Air Force combat helicopter attacked the building. Four terrorist operatives were killed and several others were injured. There were no casualties to the security forces. Three rifles, a pistol and a vehicle containing a number of IEDs were found at the scene (IDF spokesperson, June 11, 2024). according to the ministry of health in Ramallah, six Palestinians were killed: Saqr Araf Abed, from Kafr Dan, 28 years old; Mustafa Alam Mar’i, from Kafr Dan; Ahmed Abu Obaid, from al-Yamoun, 21 years old; Muhammad Haza Mar’i, from Kafr Dan, 32 years old; Ahmed Muhammad Samoudi, from al-Yamoun, 24 years old; Ayman Abd al-Karim Fadallah, from Burqin, 24 years old (ministry of health in Ramallah Telegram channel, June 11, 2024; Wafa, June 12, 2024). The Jenin Battalion of the Jerusalem Brigades, the PIJ’s military wing, issued a mourning notice, claiming the dead as operatives in its ranks. According to the notice the first four were killed in Israeli security force attack on the building and the other two in clashes with IDF forces (Filastin al-Yawm TV website, June 11, 2024). The PIJ stated that Abed, Marai and Abu Abid were operatives of the organization and called on the Palestinians to continue to clash with Israel with all means at their disposal (PIJ combat information Telegram channel, June 12, 2024).
    • On June 13, 2024, Israeli security forces conducted a counterterrorism operation in the Jenin region. The forces surrounded a building where two wanted terrorists were hiding and exchanged fire. The two wanted operatives were killed; an IDF soldier was slightly injured. The forces also detained a number of suspects and located weapons; IDF engineering forces uncovered shafts where explosives had been planted (IDF Telegram channel, June 13, 2024). The Palestinian media reported that the Israeli forces surrounded a building in the town of Qabatiya where two terrorists were killed: Muhammad Aseri Fayad and Muhammad Jaber al-Shalabi, both from the Jenin refugee camp. According to reports Qays Muhammad Zakarna, 21 years old, was killed in a clash with Israeli security forces during the operation (Wafa, June 13, 2024). The Jenin Battalion of the Jerusalem Brigades issued a mourning notice for al-Shalabi, aka Abu al-Jaber, and Fayad, aka Abu al-Aseri, claiming they were members of the Jenin Battalion’s military council (Paltoday, June 14, 2024).
Muhammad Aseri Fayad and Muhammad Jaber Shalabi (Paltoday, June 14, 2024)      IDF forces in the Jenin area (IDF spokesperson, June 13, 2024).
Right: IDF forces in the Jenin area (IDF spokesperson, June 13, 2024). Left: Muhammad Aseri Fayad and Muhammad Jaber Shalabi (Paltoday, June 14, 2024)
Mahmoud Abbas’ international activity
  • On June 11, 2024, the emergency conference regarding humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip was held in Jordan at the initiative of King Abdullah II of Jordan, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi Abdel and UN secretary general Antonio Guteres. Mahmoud Abbas participated in the conference together with leaders and representatives from 150 countries and international organizations, including American Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, and the Charles Michel, president of the Council of the European Union (Jordanian foreign ministry website, June 11, 2024).
  • Mahmoud Abbas gave a speech in which he noted the need to continue efforts for an immediate, permanent ceasefire in the war in the Gaza Strip and a full Israeli withdrawal. He added that the PA government was prepared to responsibility for managing the Gaza Strip, as it does in Judea and Samaria. He also called for exerting pressure on Israel to open all land crossings and hand them over to the PA. He also called for “Palestine” to be granted full membership in the United Nations and urged other countries to recognize a Palestinian state (Wafa, June 11, 2024).
  • During the conference Mahmoud Abbas, King Abdullah II of Jordan and President al-Sisi of Egypt met. They called for a full Israeli withdrawal from the entire Gaza Strip and for an increase in humanitarian aid. They claimed the Gaza Strip was an integral part of the Palestinian state and that Israeli attempts to separate the Strip from the rest of the Palestinian territories were unacceptable. They also stated that a just, comprehensive and sustainable peace was their “strategic choice” and accused Israel of trying to undermine the two-state solution (Wafa, June 11, 2024).
  • Mahmoud Abbas held meetings with other leaders who participated in the conference, including the president of the European Council, Charles Michel; the prime minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez; and the President-Elect of Indonesia, current minister of defense, Prabowo Subianto. In his meeting with the prime minister of Slovenia, Robert Golov, he welcomed Slovenian recognition of a Palestinian state and said that the decision would contribute to the defense of the two-state solution and to achieving regional peace and stability (Wafa, June 11, 2024).
  • The conference’s summary statement expressed deep concern for the enormous loss of life in the Gaza Strip and the damage to its infrastructure. The announcement also condemned the [alleged] “attacks” on UN and humanitarian workers and the damage to UNRWA institutions. The statement also called the Gaza Strip an integral part of the Palestinian territories, and called for an immediate and permanent ceasefire and the immediate and unconditional release of all “hostages and illegally detained civilians,” to allow immediate and uninterrupted access of humanitarian aid, to provide long-term funding to UNRWA and to increase diplomatic efforts to end the “Israeli occupation” and promote the two-state solution (al-Mamlaka, June 11, 2024).
Program for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip
  • Muhammad Mustafa, PA prime minister, said at the meeting of PA-EU investment platform, that his government was preparing a comprehensive reconstruction plan for the Gaza Strip for the day after the war. He stated that the government was prepared to assume responsibility for the Gaza Strip after a ceasefire was reached and a political agreement had been formed. He added that his government had begun the first phase of a “comprehensive and significant” reform plan, would complete another phase towards the end of the year and additional reforms would take effect next year (Wafa, June 13, 2024).

Public opinion poll

  • On June 12, 2024, the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR), headed by Khalil Shikaki, published the initial results of the quarterly survey conducted between May 26 and June 1, 2024, among the residents of Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip:
    • 73% of the respondents in Judea and Samaria answered that Hamas made the right decision to attack Israel on October 7, 2023, a 2% increase compared to the previous survey in March 2024. In the Gaza Strip the percentage of supporters dropped from 71% to 57%.
    • 48% of respondents in the Gaza Strip thought that Hamas would win the war, compared to 56% in the previous survey, while in Judea and Samaria 79% answered that Hamas would win, compared to 69% in the previous survey.
    • Satisfaction with Hamas dropped from 62% to 52% in the Gaza Strip, while in Judea and Samaria it increased from 75% to 85%.
    • Support for Yahya al-Sinwar, head of the Hamas political bureau in the Gaza Strip, remained at 52% among respondents in the Gaza Strip, while in Judea and Samaria it increased from 68% to 81%.
    • In a presidential election between Fatah senior official Marwan al-Barghouti and Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, 48% answered that they would support al-Barghouti, compared to 41% in the previous poll, and 24% for Haniya.
    • Support for Hamas in Judea and Samaria increased from 35% to 41%, while support for Fatah increased from 12% to 17%.
Bid to keep Israel from participating in the Olympic Games
  • Jibril al-Rajoub, chairman of the Palestinian Olympic Committee and chairman of the Palestinian Football (soccer) Federation, held a press conference in al-Risalah where he called for preventing Israel from competing in the Olympic games which will begin in Paris on July 26, 2024. He claimed that Israeli athletes and officials violated the principles of the international Olympic Committee and that “some of the delegation’s participants contributed directly or indirectly to the [alleged] massacres of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.” He added that the Olympic Games were an opportunity to tell the world “that the time has come to say enough,” in view of the events in the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria (al-Araby al-Jadeed, June 12, 2024).

[1] Click https://www.terrorism-info.org.il/en to subscribe and receive the ITIC's daily updates as well as its other publications.
[2] A pro-Iranian militia, part of the Popular Mobilization umbrella organization in Iraq.
[3] A critical attack is defined by the ITIC as involving shooting, stabbing, a vehicular attack, the use of IEDs, or a combination of the above. Rocks and Molotov cocktails thrown by Palestinians are not included. Shots fired at IDF forces during counterterrorism activities in Judea and Samaria are included.
[4] On the night of June 9, 2024, a caravan was set on fire in the Sde Ephraim farm, near the settlement of Talmon, northwest of Ramallah. There were no casualties. It was confirmed as arson after the publication of last week's ITIC Spotlight on Terrorism report, and was therefore added to this week's graphs.

Spotlight on Terrorism: Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria (June 9 – 17 , 2024)

Launch of one a UAV at an IDF base.

Launch of one a UAV at an IDF base.

The attack on the base (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 16, 2024)

The attack on the base (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 16, 2024)

A double-barreled anti-aircraft gun mounted on an ATV.

A double-barreled anti-aircraft gun mounted on an ATV.

Attacking the post (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 14, 2024)

Attacking the post (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 14, 2024)

An attack on a house in a moshav near the border (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 10, 2024).

An attack on a house in a moshav near the border (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 10, 2024).

Attacks in Kafrkila (IDF spokesperson' Telegram channel, June 14, 2024)

Attacks in Kafrkila (IDF spokesperson' Telegram channel, June 14, 2024)

Attacks in Kafrkila (IDF spokesperson' Telegram channel, June 14, 2024)

Attacks in Kafrkila (IDF spokesperson' Telegram channel, June 14, 2024)

Hezbollah trucks catch fire on the Lebanon-Syria border (Lebanese daily al-Akhbar, June 11, 2024)

Hezbollah trucks catch fire on the Lebanon-Syria border (Lebanese daily al-Akhbar, June 11, 2024)

The remains of Jalbout's motorcycle (al-Akhbar, June 14, 2024).

The remains of Jalbout's motorcycle (al-Akhbar, June 14, 2024).

Muhammad Zuheir Khalil Jalbout (Jerusalem Brigades combat information Telegram channel, June 15, 2024)

Muhammad Zuheir Khalil Jalbout (Jerusalem Brigades combat information Telegram channel, June 15, 2024)

Aoun with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Army (Lebanon Army X account, June 12, 2024).

Aoun with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Army (Lebanon Army X account, June 12, 2024).

Aoun with the commander of the US Army's Central Command (Lebanese army X account, June 14, 2024)

Aoun with the commander of the US Army's Central Command (Lebanese army X account, June 14, 2024)

The Northern Arena - Updated from October 8, 2023
*Updated from October 8, 2023
Overview[1]
  • This past week Hezbollah claimed responsibility for 80 attacks on military and civilian targets in northern Israel, compared to 52 attacks the previous week. Attacks escalated in response to the killing of Taleb Sami Abdallah, the commander of the al-Nasr unit and a long-time Hezbollah operative. Hezbollah increased its use of surface-to-air missiles and advanced UAVs to attack Israeli Air Force aircraft in the skies of south Lebanon. Two Israeli civilians and two IDF soldiers were injured in the attacks and considerable damage was caused by extensive fires which broke out in northern Israel.
  • Israeli Air Force fighter jets and UAVs attacked Hezbollah targets and operatives in south Lebanon and the Lebanon Valley. A convoy of Hezbollah trucks was hit on the Lebanon-Syria border in an attack attributed to Israel.
  • In the assessment of senior Hezbollah figures, Israel is not prepared to launch an all-out war in Lebanon and Israel finds it difficult to intercept the organization’s UAVs.
  • In Lebanon, public displays of opposition to Hezbollah continued: Kamil Chamoun, leader of the Free Nationalist Party, warned that twenty thousand armed Sunnis, Druze and Christians would take to the streets if Hezbollah attacked the Christian areas.
  • The commander of the Lebanese army held meetings in the United States to discuss the security situation in Lebanon and increasing cooperation between the Lebanese army and the American army.
South Lebanon
Hezbollah attacks
  • This past week (June 9-17, 2024, as of 12:00 noon) Hezbollah claimed responsibility for 80 attacks on military and civilian targets in northern Israel, compared to 52 attacks the previous week. Hezbollah attacked with anti-tank missiles, mortar shells, UAVs and various types of rockets, including heavy rockets:
    • Escalated attacks: In response to the targeted killing of Taleb Sami Abdallah, the commander of Hezbollah’s al-Nasr unit, attacks escalated sharply with concentrated barrages of various types of rockets and explosive UAVs, which targeted the Golan Heights and the Upper, Lower and Western Galilee. Among the targets were an air control base, a defense plant, IDF posts and bases. On June 13, 2024, Hezbollah claimed responsibility for its most extensive attack since the beginning of the current conflict, which began in October 2023, with the simultaneous attack of 30 UAVs and 150 rockets on bases and posts in the Galilee and Golan Heights.[2] On June 14, 2024, the IDF spokesperson announced that during the previous 72 hours Hezbollah had launched 16 UAVs into Israeli territory, with Israel’s air defense units successfully intercepting 11 (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, June 14, 2024).
    • Escalated use of anti-aircraft missiles: On June 9, 2024, a number of anti-aircraft missiles attacked Israeli Air Force fighter jets operating in the skies over Lebanon. There were no casualties and no damage was reported. An Israeli Air Force aircraft attacked the launch unit in the Tyre area (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, June 9, 2024). On June 12, 2024, Hezbollah claimed it had launched an anti-aircraft missile at an Israeli Air Force fighter jet flying in Lebanese airspace. Hezbollah claimed that after the attack the plane withdrew to Israeli territory (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 12, 2024). “Sources” stated that Hezbollah had decided to reveal its aerial defense capabilities by launching a surface-to-air missile at the Israeli fighter jet, not to shoot it down but to inform Israel that its air force could no longer operate freely in Lebanese airspace (al-Nashra, June 12, 2024). According to another report, “sources close to Hezbollah” stated that it had used old anti-aircraft missiles incapable of shooting down a plane, and the launch was meant to send Israel a message (al-Medan, June 14, 2024).
    • Use of an advanced UAV model: On June 15, 2024, as part of the attacks following the killing of Abdallah, Hezbollah claimed responsibility for launching a swarm of UAVs at the headquarters of an artillery battalion in the Western Galilee. According to a video released by the organization, at least two UAVs were used and the attack was filmed in real time by a UAV flying over the base (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 16, 2024). According to the Telegram account affiliated with the Shi’ite axis, the attack used an Iranian Shahed-101 UAV with an electric battery-powered motor, unlike the usual version which uses a combustion engine. He added that the electric engine emits less heat and therefore makes the aircraft difficult to detect, and while the electric engine has a shorter range than a conventional engine, it is effective for the Lebanese arena because of the proximity of Israeli border posts (Almohoar Telegram channel, June 16, 2024).
 The attack on the base (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 16, 2024)  Launch of one a UAV at an IDF base.
Right: Launch of one a UAV at an IDF base. Left: The attack on the base (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 16, 2024)
    • First use of a double-barreled anti-aircraft gun: On June 13, 2024, Hezbollah announced that it had attacked an IDF post with a double-barreled, 23mm diameter anti-aircraft gun mounted on an ATV (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 13 and 14, 2024). It was apparently the first time the weapon had been used in the current conflict.
Attacking the post (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 14, 2024)     A double-barreled anti-aircraft gun mounted on an ATV.
Right: A double-barreled anti-aircraft gun mounted on an ATV. Left: Attacking the post (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 14, 2024)
  • The daily distribution of Hezbollah’s attacks (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 9-17, 2024):
    • June 17, 2024 (as of 11:00 a.m.): A suspicious aerial target was successfully intercepted after it had crossed from Lebanese territory to Israel’s maritime airspace near Acre (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, June 17, 2024).
    • June 16, 2024: For the first time since February 14, 2024, Hezbollah did not claim responsibility for attacking Israeli targets. That may be related to the beginning of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.
    • June 15, 2024: Three attacks.
    • June 14, 2024: 18 attacks.
    • June 13, 2024: 12 attacks.
    • June 12, 2024: 19 attacks.
    • June 11, 2024: Ten attacks. Dozens of rockets were launched at the central Golan Heights and the Galilee panhandle. Two UAVs were intercepted (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, June 11, 2024).
    • June 10, 2024: 12 attacks. Two UAVs landed and caused fires; four UAVs were intercepted in the Golan Heights and over the sea; anti-tank missiles hit buildings in the north and caused fires (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, June 10, 2024).
 A fire in the Tel Hazor area following rocket hits (Upper Galilee Regional Council spokesperson's unit, June 11, 2024)    An attack on a house in a moshav near the border (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 10, 2024).
Right: An attack on a house in a moshav near the border (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 10, 2024). Left: A fire in the Tel Hazor area following rocket hits (Upper Galilee Regional Council spokesperson’s unit, June 11, 2024)
  • June 9, 2024: Six attacks (from 11:00 a.m.). Two UAVs launched from Lebanese territory fell in the northern Golan Heights without casualties but caused fires (IDF spokesman’s Telegram channel, June 9, 2024).
IDF response
  • In response to Hezbollah’s attacks, Israeli Air Force jets and UAVs attacked Hezbollah targets and operatives in south Lebanon and the Lebanon Valley. The targets included terrorist facilities, military buildings, munitions warehouses, observation posts, launching positions and rocket- and anti-aircraft missile launchers (IDF spokesperson June 9-14, 2024).
Attacks in Kafrkila (IDF spokesperson' Telegram channel, June 14, 2024)     Attacks in Kafrkila (IDF spokesperson' Telegram channel, June 14, 2024)
Attacks in Kafrkila (IDF spokesperson’ Telegram channel, June 14, 2024)
  • On the night of June 10, 2024, Israeli Air Force fighter jets attacked a military compound of Hezbollah’s Unit 4400[3] in the Ba’albek region of the Lebanon Valley. The attack was a response to the shooting down of an IDF UAV operating in the skies over Lebanon (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, June 11, 2024).
  • On June 11, 2024, Hezbollah trucks near the Syria-Lebanon border were attacked in an air strike attributed to Israel. The trucks were halfway between al-Quseir in Syria and al-Hermel in northern Lebanon. Rami Abd al-Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said that some of the trucks were carrying fuel and others were carrying weapons and that the convoy was completely destroyed. Five people were reportedly killed, three of them Syrians who worked with Hezbollah. In other, unverified reports, two additional non-Lebanese deaths were reported (al-Hadath, June 11, 2024).
Hezbollah trucks catch fire on the Lebanon-Syria border (Lebanese daily al-Akhbar, June 11, 2024)       Hezbollah trucks catch fire on the Lebanon-Syria border (Lebanese daily al-Akhbar, June 11, 2024)
Hezbollah trucks catch fire on the Lebanon-Syria border (Lebanese daily al-Akhbar, June 11, 2024)
  • On the evening of June 11, 2024, Israeli Air Force warplanes attacked Hezbollah’s headquarters in the town of Jwayya in south Lebanon, about 11 km southeast of Tyre and about 15 km from the Israeli border. Hezbollah confirmed that the attack killed Taleb Sami Abdallah, aka al-Hajj Abu Taleb, the commander of the al-Nasr unit. Three other terrorists were killed: Muhammad Hussein Sabara, aka Baker, born in 1973 from the town of Hadatha in south Lebanon; Ali Salim Soufan, aka Kamil, born in 1971 from the town of Jwayya; Hussein Qassem Hamid, aka Sajed, born in 1980 in Bint Jbeil in south Lebanon.
From right to left: Abdallah, Soufan, Hamid and Sabara (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 12, 2024)
From right to left: Abdallah, Soufan, Hamid and Sabara (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 12, 2024)
Other Hezbollah casualties
  • Hezbollah reported the deaths of four other operatives (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 11 and 12, 2024).
    • Abbas Muhammad Nasser, aka Abu Haidar, born in 1979 in Teirfalsiyah.
    • Bilal Wajia Alaa’ al-Din, aka Bassel, born in 1984 in Majdal Selem.
    • Hadi Fa’ed Musa, aka Alaa’, born in 1983 in Shab’aa.
    • Bahij Muhammad Hejazi, aka Hadi, born in 1981 in Haris.
Hezbollah casualties (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 9-14, 2024)
Hezbollah casualties (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 9-14, 2024)

Palestinian Islamic Jihad casualty

  • On June 15, 2024, the Israeli Air Force attacked a terrorist operative in the Aitaroun region of south Lebanon (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, June 15, 2024). The Lebanese media reported that a UAV launched a guided missile at a motorcycle in the al-Ma’sarah region between Bint Jbeil and Aitaroun. One person was killed and another was wounded (al-Akhbar, June 14, 2024). The Jerusalem Brigades, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s military wing, announced the death of Muhammad Zuheir Khalil Jalbout, aka Abu Khalil, 45 years old, who belonged to the organization’s branch in Syria, in south Lebanon (Jerusalem Brigades combat information Telegram channel, June 15, 2024).
Muhammad Zuheir Khalil Jalbout (Jerusalem Brigades combat information Telegram channel, June 15, 2024)      The remains of Jalbout's motorcycle (al-Akhbar, June 14, 2024).
Right: The remains of Jalbout’s motorcycle (al-Akhbar, June 14, 2024). Left: Muhammad Zuheir Khalil Jalbout (Jerusalem Brigades combat information Telegram channel, June 15, 2024)
Hezbollah sums up 250 days of combat
  • On June 13, 2024, Hezbollah published an infographic summarizing its attacks on Israel during the 250 days of fighting, beginning on October 8, 2023. According to the infographic, the organization carried out 2,125 attacks at a depth of up to 35 km, including 304 attacks on cities, towns and villages, 1,373 attacks on targets along the border and 59 attacks on unmanned aircraft and warplanes, 903 buildings in Israeli cities, towns and villages, three defense factories, 409 technical installations, 114 military vehicles, and seven UAVs, and two observation and alert balloons were shot down (one of them a Sky Dew system.) Hezbollah claimed to have used100 unmanned aircraft, 682 anti-tank missiles, 59 surface-to-air missiles and 925 rockets (described as surface-to-surface missiles). Hezbollah falsely claimed the attacks left more than two thousand dead and wounded on the Israeli side and that 230,000 residents were evacuated from 43 settlements within a range of up to five kilometers from the border. Hezbollah’s figures are significantly higher than the actual figures (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 13, 2024).
Hezbollah's infographic summarizing 250 days of combat Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 13, 2024)
Hezbollah’s infographic summarizing 250 days of combat Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 13, 2024)
Assessments of Hezbollah’s arsenal
  • Omar Ma’arbouni, a military expert, claimed that Hezbollah had ten camouflaged air defense systems scattered throughout Lebanon. In his opinion the anti-aircraft missiles were manufactured in Russia and Hezbollah received them from Iran (Spot Shot, June 9, 2024).
  • According to a report on the Lebanese MTV channel, most of the anti-aircraft weapons in Hezbollah’s possession are personal and portable, and operatives can carry them on their shoulders as they move through the fields and forests of south Lebanon. The report stated that the systems included Russian-made IGLA shoulder-fired guided missiles and Iranian-made Mithaq shoulder-fired missiles. In addition, a “source close to Hezbollah” estimated that the organization might have already received the Iranian Khordad 15 system, which is capable of hitting six targets simultaneously from a distance of 120 km, but it would only be activated if a war against Israel began (MTV, June 11, 2024).
  • A senior operative of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Qods Force stated that Hezbollah now had more than a million missiles of various types, including precision guided missiles, improved and more accurate Katyushas ​​and anti-tank missiles (Foreign Policy, June 11, 2024).
Foreign operatives to support Hezbollah
  • The Spot Shot channel reported that if Hezbollah found itself under an existential threat during an all-out war against Israel, hundreds of thousands of foreign fighters were expected to arrive in Lebanon, including pro-Iranian militia fighters from Iraq, Houthi fighters from Yemen, and Afghan, Pakistani and Palestinian fighters to fight Israel. According to the report, it is a pre-arranged program which can be carried out at any given moment (Spot Shot YouTube channel, June 16, 2024).
Statements by Senior Hezbollah Figures
  • Senior Hezbollah and Hezbollah-affiliated figures referred to the escalation of the conflict and the possibility of an all-out war with Israel:
    • Na’im Qassem, Hezbollah deputy secretary general, [falsely] claimed that so far Hezbollah had attacked only military targets since “it perceived the situation as a direct military conflict.” He claimed Hezbollah had attacked military barracks, military personnel and combat sites at a distance of three to five kilometers and that it had [allegedly] “avoided harming civilians.” He added that any Israeli decision to expand the conflict, no matter how “limited,” would lead Hezbollah to deter Israel, which could expect “significant losses” (al-Nashra, June 15, 2024).
    • Nabil Qouak, a member of Hezbollah’s Central Council, stated that the Israel’s “assassinations” of Hezbollah operatives “do not change the fact that Israel is defeated.” He added that “the resistance [i.e., Hezbollah] will respond to escalation with a stronger escalation and Israel will achieve nothing but loss and defeat.” He added that the front ran from Hermon to Tiberias and towards Acre and Nahariya, and claimed Israel feared the day when “resistance” UAVs would reach the Knesset and all of Israel’s strategic sites, and also feared the day when Hezbollah’s missiles and aircraft reached the Negev, Dimona, Eilat and beyond Eilat [sic] (al-‘Ahed, June 14, 2024).
    • Ali Damoush, deputy chairman of Hezbollah’s Executive Council, noted Hezbollah’s “achievements” so far and said the “resistance” had developed its activities against Israel in terms of quantity and quality, putting new weapons to use and attacking Israel’s defenses and espionage. He added that Israel was unable to deal with the UAVs used to attack and gather intelligence, and that the intense actions of the “resistance” made it difficult for Israel to make a decision regarding the beginning of an extensive campaign in Lebanon. He claimed any broad campaign would be suicidal for Israel and it would pay a high price for it (al-‘Ahed, June 14, 2024) .
    • Hassan Fadlallah, a member of the Hezbollah faction in the Lebanese parliament, said in an interview with al-Manar that there was currently a “real war” between Hezbollah and Israel, but “the equation is now different.” According to him, only thanks to the “resistance,” Israel had so far not entered Lebanese territory and “does not dare” to carry out a ground operation (al-‘Ahed June 14, 2024).
    • “A senior Hezbollah figure” said that despite the Israeli threats and the “harassment” from Israel and the United States, according to the information the organization had and its monitoring of internal Israeli affairs, the chance of an all-out war was currently remote (al-Diyar, June 14, 2024).
    • “Sources close” to Hezbollah claimed the organization did not want a war with Israel or to turn the conflict into a regional war. In addition, the sources claimed that so far Hezbollah had shown a small part of its weapons and had “may surprises” for Israel (al-Jarida, June 9, 2024). In another report, “sources” said that Hezbollah did not expect Israel to enter into a comprehensive war on the northern front, but added that “the organization is prepared for surprises and is ready to expand the front, even without an all-out war.” The sources added that Hezbollah was preparing for war as if it would break out tomorrow and was changing its tactics as if the war would last at least another year (al-Nashra, June 13, 2024).
    • Tony Issa, a reporter for al-Gomhuria, said that in his opinion Hezbollah was not afraid of an all-out war with Israel. According to him, Hezbollah is convinced that Israel fears the start of a broad war, at least until this coming September. According to Issa, conditions allow Hezbollah to continue the war of attrition against Israel without crossing the familiar lines of response. However, Issa added that Hezbollah wanted to reach an arrangement in the south that would bring it security and political gains (al-Joumhouria, June 14, 2024).
  • Given the statements and escalation in the north, IDF Spokesperson Brigadier General Daniel Hagari issued a message to the foreign media concerning the situation on Israel’s northern border. He said that in view of Hezbollah’s refusal to comply with UN Security Council Resolution 1701 and move its activities north of the Litani River, Israel would take all necessary measures to restore security to the Lebanese border and return all residents to their homes. He said since the beginning of the current conflict, Hezbollah had launched more than 5,000 rockets, anti-tank missiles and UAVs (IDF website, June 16, 2024).
Internal Lebanese Criticism of Hezbollah
  • The Maronite Christian politician, Kamil Chamoun, who heads the Free Nationalist Party, warned that if Hezbollah tried to attack the Christian areas, there were “twenty thousand armed and trained fighters ready for zero hour,” and the Druze and Sunnis would stand by the Christians. He accused Hezbollah of trying to divide Lebanon and demanded that the organization compensate the residents of south Lebanon for its decision to start a war against Israel (al-Mashhad, June 12, 2024).
  • Mark Daou, a member of the Lebanese Parliament from the Taqaddom Party, accused Hezbollah of harming the entire Lebanese people and destroying the south of the country. He stated that if Hezbollah had money, it should donate it to the state (MTV Lebanon News, June 9, 2024).
  • Ghada Ayoub, a member of the Lebanese parliament from Samir Geagea’s Lebanese Forces Party, said for 30 years Hezbollah had been occupying 20 million square meters of land in south Lebanon and preventing the owners from entering or approaching their property. She expressed her displeasure at the proposal to exempt the residents of south Lebanon from paying taxes and electricity and telephone bills. She stated that the choice was between one country or a “state” [i.e., south Lebanon, controlled by Hezbollah] which would rule Lebanon. She also said that her party had sent a letter to the Lebanese government questioning its decision to compensate each family of a Hezbollah casualty with $20,000, warning that it was contrary to the constitution, which states that compensation will only be awarded to innocent citizens (MesbarChannel YouTube channel, June 9, 2024). It was reported that of the first 52 names of people eligible for compensation, only three were civilians and the other 49 were “martyrs of the resistance,” i.e. Hezbollah operatives (MTV Lebanon News, June 10, 2024).
The Lebanese Government
Accusing Israel of deliberate killing
  • At a cabinet meeting, Najib Mikati, prime minister of the interim government in Lebanon, accused Israel of committing “terrorist aggression” with “intentional killing of the southerners, the destruction of the towns and the burning of the crops.” He called on the international community to put an end to Israel’s “stubbornness and criminal conduct” and claimed Lebanon was committed to the full implementation of Resolution 1701 (Lebanese News Agency, June 14, 2024).
Lebanon’s appeal to the UN
  • According to reports, at the request of ministry of agriculture, the Lebanese government decided to appeal to the Security Council and the UN General Assembly and complain that Israel’s strikes had damaged Lebanon’s agriculture (Lebanon24, June 14, 2024).
Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority
  • Najib Mikati met in Beirut with Azzam al-Ahmed, a senior Fatah member, to discuss various regional issues, particularly the situation in “Palestine” and Lebanon. The two discussed ways to end the war in Gaza and reach a ceasefire as part of ending the conflict and establishing a Palestinian state (Lebanese prime minister’s X account, June 13, 2024).
Internal Lebanese Affairs
Coordination between Hezbollah and the Druze
  • Lebanese “sources” said that in preparation for an Israeli attack, Hezbollah was giving priority to locating “safe areas” to which the organization’s supporters could move. According to the sources, most of the coordinating would be with Walid Jumblatt, the former chairman of the Progressive Socialist Party, because of his influence in south Lebanon. According to the report, Hezbollah understands that this time it will not be able to send its supporters to the Christian regions, where the residents oppose the war (Asas Media, June 11 2024).
UNIFIL
  • On June 16, 2024, on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, Aroldo Lazzaro, UNIFIL commander, issued a joint statement with Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the UN coordinator in Lebanon. They called on all parties along the Blue Line to lay down their arms and turn to the path of peace, and expressed “deep concern” about the escalation in the border area and the resulting destruction (UNIFIL website, June 16, 2024).
The Lebanese Army
  • General Joseph Aoun, the commander of the Lebanese Army, visited the United States for the first time since his visit in February 2023. He met with the head of the Joint Chiefs Of Staff, General Charles Q. Brown Jr., with whom he discussed the security situation in the Middle East and efforts to prevent escalation, especially along the Israel-Lebanon border. In addition, he met with the chairman of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, with the heads of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, with members of the US-Lebanon Friendship Committee in Congress and with members of the American Task Force on Lebanon (ATFL). According to reports, they discussed the situation in Lebanon and the region, the challenges facing the Lebanese army and the army’s basic needs to maintain Lebanon’s security and stability. Aoun also visited the US Army’s Central Command headquarters in Florida and met with the commander, General Michael Kurilla, and with whom he discussed the situation in Lebanon and the region and ways to increase bilateral military cooperation (Lebanese Army X account,  June 12-14, 2024; Joint Chiefs of Staff website, 11 in June 2024).
Aoun with the commander of the US Army's Central Command (Lebanese army X account, June 14, 2024)     Aoun with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Army (Lebanon Army X account, June 12, 2024).
Right: Aoun with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Army (Lebanon Army X account, June 12, 2024). Left: Aoun with the commander of the US Army’s Central Command (Lebanese army X account, June 14, 2024)
International Activity Against Hezbollah
  • The US Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on the shipping company Lainey Shipping Limited, which operates from Hong Kong and is the registered owner of the JANET oil tanker, which flies the Panamanian flag, and on the shipping company Louis Marine Shipholding Enterprises S.A., operating from Panama and the registered owner of the oil tanker BELLA 1. According to the Treasury Department, the two companies transport cargo to Southeast Asia for Concepto Screen SAL, a company owned by Hezbollah and itself subject to American sanctions since May 2022 (US Treasury Department website, June 10, 2024).
  • On June 6 and 7, 2024, the 13th meeting of the Law Enforcement Coordination Group (LECG) to deal with the terrorist and illegal activities of Hezbollah was held, organized by the US Departments of State and Justice and Europol. The meeting was attended by law enforcement personnel, prosecutors and finance personnel from over 35 governments in the Middle East, South America, Europe, Asia and North America. The participants discussed the signs of Hezbollah’s operations and strategies to deal with threats from the organization. The participants also presented the latest measures their governments had taken against Hezbollah’s financial apparatuses and against its criminal plots and international terrorist activities (US Department of Justice, June 12, 2024).

[1] Click https://www.terrorism-info.org.il/en to subscribe and receive the ITIC's daily updates as well as its other publications.
[2] For further information see the June 16, 2024, report, "Reactions to the targeted killing of Taleb Sami Abdallah, commander of Hezbollah's al-Nasr unit."
[3] The unit responsible for Hezbollah's military buildup which is also involved in transporting weapons to and within Lebanon.

Reactions to the targeted killing of Taleb Sami Abdallah, commander of Hezbollah’s al-Nasr unit

Abdallah's coffin in a ceremony in the Dahieh al-Janoubia (al-Manar, June 12, 2024).

Abdallah's coffin in a ceremony in the Dahieh al-Janoubia (al-Manar, June 12, 2024).

Hezbollah operatives at the funeral in Adshit (Khutut Media X account, June 12, 2024)

Hezbollah operatives at the funeral in Adshit (Khutut Media X account, June 12, 2024)

The attack on Abdallah in Jwayya.

The attack on Abdallah in Jwayya.

Information about Sami Taleb Abdallah (IDF spokesperson's website, June 12, 2026)

Information about Sami Taleb Abdallah (IDF spokesperson's website, June 12, 2026)

The damage to the factory (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 14, 2024)

The damage to the factory (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 14, 2024)

: A fire near the town of Kadita (Northern District Fire and Rescue Department, June 12, 2024).

: A fire near the town of Kadita (Northern District Fire and Rescue Department, June 12, 2024).

A fire in the Biriya forest (Safed municipality spokesman's unit, June 12, 2024)

A fire in the Biriya forest (Safed municipality spokesman's unit, June 12, 2024)

Overview[1]
  • On June 12, 2024, Hezbollah announced the death of Sami Taleb Abdallah, aka al-Hajj Abu Taleb, in an Israeli airstrike on a building in the town of Jwayya in south Lebanon. Three other Hezbollah operatives were killed in the attack. The IDF spokesperson confirmed that the Israeli Air Force had attacked Abdallah, who since 2016 had been in command of Hezbollah’s al-Nasr unit, which operates in the eastern sector of south Lebanon.
  • The Hezbollah announcement of his death referred to Abdallah as “the shaheed commander”. Since the beginning of the current conflict in October 2023, it was only the second time that Hezbollah had called one of its eliminated operatives “commander,” an expression of his senior position. Hezbollah also published photos and videos of Abdallah, showing him with Hezbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah and the commanders of the Iranian Qods Force. According to Hezbollah, Abdallah joined its ranks in 1984, was the commander during the fighting in south Lebanon until the withdrawal of IDF forces in 2000 and in the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006, and also led the attacks against Israel in the eastern sector on the Israeli border during Operation Al-Aqsa Flood.
  • The Hezbollah-affiliated daily al-Akhbar called the killing of Abdallah a “brutal and severe blow” to the organization. However, senior Hezbollah figures claimed his death would not change its commitment to “support” the Palestinians in the current conflict, adding that the organization would intensify its fighting against Israel. Commentators have claimed that Hezbollah has no interest in an all-out war.
  • Hezbollah’s response to the killing of Abdallah was a sharp increase in the attacks on Israeli territory, which lasted for several days. According to Hezbollah, part of its response was the most extensive attack it had carried out so far, including the launch of 30 UAVs and 150 rockets at IDF headquarters and bases in the Galilee and the Golan Heights. The IDF confirmed the firing of more than 200 rockets at Israel since Abdallah’s killing, in addition to the launch of UAVs. Two IDF soldiers and two civilians were injured and widespread fires broke out in Israel’s northern region.
  • The Hezbollah’s response to Abu Taleb’s killing is indicative of his important position in the organization and is intended to deter Israel from further targeted killings of its senior commanders. However, in Hezbollah’s perspective, despite the increase in the intensity of rocket and artillery fire and the scope of UAV launches, the attack range was not extended beyond its so-called “equation” of within 35-40 km (22-25 miles) from the border and the organization refrained from bringing new settlements into the range of attack.
  • Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and organizations belonging to the so-called “resistance axis” led by Iran sent condolences to Hezbollah on Abdallah’s death and expressed appreciation for his work for the “resistance” [Palestinian campaign to destroy Israel].
The Targeted Killing of Abdallah
Hezbollah announcement
  • On the evening of June 11, 2024, Lebanese media reported that an Israeli drone had attacked a building in the town of Jwayya in south Lebanon, about 11 km (7 miles) southeast of Tyre and about 15 km (9 miles) from the border with Israel (al-Manar, June 11, 2024). It was later reported that one of the dead was Abu Taleb, who was identified as the “commander of the al-Nasr unit,” which is responsible for attacking Israel in the eastern sector of south Lebanon, from the Bint Jbeil region to Mount Dov, and that it was the most significant Israeli attack since the current conflict began on October 8, 2023 (al-Hadath Telegram channel, June 11 and 12, 2024).
  • Hezbollah also reported that three of its operatives had been killed in the attack: Muhammad Hussein Sabara, aka Baker, born in 1973, from the town of Hadatha in south Lebanon; Ali Salim Soufan, aka Kamil, born in 1971, from the town of Jwayya; and Hussein Qassem Hamid, aka Sajed, born in 1980, from Bint Jbeil in south Lebanon (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 12, 2024).
Right to left: Hamid, Soufan and Sabara (Telegram channel of Hezbollah's combat propaganda arm, June 12, 2024)    Right to left: Hamid, Soufan and Sabara (Telegram channel of Hezbollah's combat propaganda arm, June 12, 2024)    Right to left: Hamid, Soufan and Sabara (Telegram channel of Hezbollah's combat propaganda arm, June 12, 2024)
Right to left: Hamid, Soufan and Sabara (Telegram channel of Hezbollah’s combat propaganda arm, June 12, 2024)
  • After midnight on June 12, Hezbollah published an official mourning notice for the “shaheed commander” Taleb Sami Abdallah, aka al-Hajj Abu Taleb, born in 1969 in the town of Adshit in south Lebanon (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 12 2024). It was only the second time during the current conflict that Hezbollah gave one of the organization’s dead the title of “commander” [the other instance was the killing of Wissam Hassan Tawil, the commander of the Radwan unit, on January 8, 2024], indicative of Abu Taleb’s seniority in the ranks of Hezbollah.
Hezbollah's mourning notice for the death of the "shaheed commander" Taleb Sami Abdallah (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 12, 2024)    The building in Jwayya which was attacked (Fouad Khreiss' X account, June 11, 2024).
Right: The building in Jwayya which was attacked (Fouad Khreiss’ X account, June 11, 2024). Left: Hezbollah’s mourning notice for the death of the “shaheed commander” Taleb Sami Abdallah (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 12, 2024)
  • Further evidence of the high rank of Abdallah, who was given awards by Hassan Nasrallah several times in appreciation of his service, was the publication issued by Hezbollah describing his landmark activities from the time he joined the ranks of the Islamic resistance in 1984 (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 12, 2024):
  • He was one of the fighters (mujahedeen) who participated in the “defense of the Muslims” in Bosnia from 1992 to 1994;
    • He was one of the commanders who participated in “specific” operations during the Israeli “occupation” of south Lebanon until the “liberation” in 2000;
    • He commanded “heroic clashes” with Israel in the area of ​​Maroun al-Ras, Bint Jbeil and Liberation Square in the Second Lebanon War in July 2006;
    • He was involved as a commander in the conflict against “terrorist organizations” on the Lebanon-Syria border, in the defense of Lebanon;
    • During Operation Al-Aqsa Flood he led the “military operations” [attacks] against Israeli sites, compounds and positions in the eastern sector of the Lebanon-Israel border;
    • Hezbollah also published videos and photos of Abdallah over the years, showing him during activities and in meetings with Hezbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah, with the commander of the Iranian Qods Force, the late Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in an American operation in January 2020, with the current commander of the Qods Force, Esmail Qaani, and with Wissam Hassan Tawil, the commander of the Radwan Force who was killed in January 2024.
 Photos of Abdallah published by Hezbollah (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 12 and 14, 2024)      Photos of Abdallah published by Hezbollah (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 12 and 14, 2024)
Photos of Abdallah published by Hezbollah (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 12 and 14, 2024)
  •   A memorial ceremony was held for Abdallah in al-Ashuraa Square in the Dahieh al-Janoubia, the southern suburb of Beirut which is a Hezbollah stronghold, attended by the organization’s operatives and a number of senior figures, headed by Hashem Safi al-Din, head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council. His coffin was then moved to his native village of Adshit for burial (al-Manar, June 12, 2024). Hezbollah also opened a mourning tent in al-Mujtaba Complex in the Dahieh al-Janoubia, where people came to offer their condolences (al-‘Ahed, June 13, 2024). Hassan Nasrallah, secretary general of Hezbollah, is expected to deliver a speech in Abu  Taleb’s memory on Wednesday, June 19, 2024.
Hezbollah operatives at the funeral in Adshit (Khutut Media X account, June 12, 2024)    Abdallah's coffin in a ceremony in the Dahieh al-Janoubia (al-Manar, June 12, 2024).
Right: Abdallah’s coffin in a ceremony in the Dahieh al-Janoubia (al-Manar, June 12, 2024). Left: Hezbollah operatives at the funeral in Adshit (Khutut Media X account, June 12, 2024)
IDF announcement
  • The IDF spokesperson confirmed that Abdallah, the commander of Hezbollah’s al-Nasr unit, and three other Hezbollah operatives were killed in an Israeli Air Force attack on Hezbollah’s headquarters in Jwayya, from where the organization directed its attacks against Israel from southeast Lebanon. The IDF spokesperson stated that Abdallah had planned, orchestrated and carried out many acts of terrorism against the citizens of Israel (IDF spokesperson website, June 12, 2024). According to reports, Abdallah had commanded the eastern sector of south Lebanon since 2016 and commanded the attacks on Israel in the current conflict. He was also responsible for an attempted abduction of IDF soldiers in Kafr Ghagar in 2005, commanded the Bint Jbeil Brigade in the Second Lebanon War in 2006, and led an anti-tank missile ambush in which two IDF soldiers were killed on Mount Dov in 2015 (Israeli media, June 12, 2024).
 Information about Sami Taleb Abdallah (IDF spokesperson's website, June 12, 2026)    The attack on Abdallah in Jwayya.
Right: The attack on Abdallah in Jwayya. Left: Information about Sami Taleb Abdallah (IDF spokesperson’s website, June 12, 2026)
Significance of the Killing from Hezbollah Perspective
  • In a speech given at the memorial ceremony, Hashem Safi al-Din, head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council, said that Israel had not learned from the past and claimed that “every time one of our leaders is killed, the resistance becomes stronger and more determined on the battlefield.” He said that the killing of Abdallah would not deter Hezbollah from continuing “to support the Gaza Strip,” and its response would be to increase its operations in terms of “intensity, power, quantity and quality.” He said that “if the enemy screams and laments about what happened to him in northern Israel, he has to prepare himself to cry and whimper more” (al-Nashra, June 12, 2024).
  • Na’im Qassem, Hezbollah deputy secretary general, stated that the organization’s response to the “assassination” of Abdallah and his companions focused on the activity of the al-Nasr unit along the eastern part of the border, to show that despite the death of the unit’s commander, it still had continuity (al-Nashra, June 15, 2024).
  • Nabil Qaouk, a member of Hezbollah’s Central Council, said that the death of Abu Taleb and killing the organization’s leaders “will not change the fact that Israel is defeated, is in crisis and turmoil.” He noted that since the killing of Abu Taleb the “resistance” had increased the level of the conflict’s goals, depth and intensity of the attacks and that “there is no intention to go back” (al-‘Ahed, June 14, 2024). At a memorial ceremony for Ali Salim Soufan, one of the three operatives killed with Abdallah in the attack in Jwayya, Qaouk said that the “resistance” had turned 2,000 square kilometers of Israeli territory into a “burning scene of conflict” and if Israel escalated the fighting, it should expect a larger response (al-‘Ahed, June 15, 2024).
  • Hassan Fadlallah, a member of the Hezbollah faction in the Lebanese Parliament, praised Abdallah’s work as a “leader” in the ranks of Hezbollah, especially in the current fighting against Israel. He claimed that Abdallah had been with the fighters at the front in the last eight months in order to strike the enemy with “heavy blows.” He added that the “resistance” was suffering losses, but Israel was also paying a heavy price, and that the death of Abdallah and his colleagues would only increase their desire to continue their path and would “give birth to new, skilled field commanders” (al-Nour, June 12, 2024). Interviewed by al-Manar, he said that Abdallah had understood the “enemy” very well and believed that the conflict against Israel was “existential.” He added that Abdallah was “an educator, and took care of the smallest details of the mujahideen and of the affairs of his people” (al-‘Ahed, June 14, 2024).
  • “A senior Hezbollah figure” said that the attack on Abdallah was a “severe blow” for the organization, but added that “such is the nature of war” and that Abu Taleb was a field commander who was close to the line of fire. He claimed that the unprecedented attack in response to the killing of Abdallah was intended to deter Israel from assassinating other Hezbollah figures, but was not meant to lead to an all-out war or a regional escalation. He claimed that if Israel understood the message, the fighting would remain within the framework of the “rules of conflict,” as it had been since October 8, 2023, but if Israel took an “irresponsible” step against Lebanon, Hezbollah was prepared ready, determined and [allegedly] “capable of breaking and defeating the IDF” (al-Diyar, June 14, 2024).
  • The Hezbollah-affiliated daily al-Akhbar reported that the Israeli attack was a “cruel, severe blow” for Hezbollah and called it a “high-quality [sic] and dangerous” escalation by Israel which “opens the door to a managing the conflict differently” (al-Akhbar, June 12, 2024).
  • Ali Haidar al-Akhbar correspondent for Israeli affairs, said that from Israel’s point of view, the killing of Abu Taleb raised in the level of response to Hezbollah, but not to a level that would lead to an all-out war, since Abu Taleb was a commander on the front and was directly involved in fighting against Israel. According to Haidar, Israel hoped that killing him would deter Hezbollah from continuing to “support the Gaza Strip and the Palestinians.” He added that Israel would discover that killing a senior Hezbollah commander would not bring the desired results and that “the pressures on Israel on the battlefield will increase in a way it has never witnessed before” and it is expected to fall into “a military, political and strategic impasse” (al-Akhbar, June 13 2024).
  •  Hezbollah’s al-‘Ahed news site issued an infographic of the main landmarks of Abu Taleb’s activities, entitled “Crushing the Pride of the Residents of Zion” (al-‘Ahed, June 14, 2024).
The infographic of Abdallah's life and quotes from Hashem Safi al-Din (al-'Ahed, June 14, 2024)
The infographic of Abdallah’s life and quotes from Hashem Safi al-Din (al-‘Ahed, June 14, 2024)
Hezbollah’s Military Response
  • Hezbollah’s response to the killing of Abdallah was a sharp increase in the intensity of attacks on Israeli military and civilian targets, including the launch of explosive UAVs and anti-tank missiles, and firing artillery and various types of rockets. At the same time, Hezbollah was careful not to extend the range of its attack beyond 35-40 km (22-25 miles) from the border.
  • On June 12, Hezbollah claimed responsibility for 19 attacks, stating nine were retaliation for the killing of Abu Taleb (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 12, 2024):
    • Launching guided missiles at a factory making equipment for protecting vehicles.
    • Firing dozens of Katyusha rockets at the IDF Northern Command Headquarters.
    • Firing dozens of Katyusha rockets at the reserve headquarters of the Northern Command at the reserve base of the Galilee Division and its warehouses.
    • Firing dozens of Katyusha rockets and artillery shells at “the headquarters of the air surveillance unit and the air operations department.”
    • Firing artillery shells against a post on the border.
    • Firing Katyusha rockets at IDF artillery positions in the area.
    • Launching Burkan rockets at artillery positions near a nature preserve.
    • Launching Burkan rockets at an outpost.
    • Launching a UAV attack at a brigade headquarters.
The damage to the factory (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 14, 2024)     Launching missiles at the factory manufacturing vehicle protection.
Right: Launching missiles at the factory manufacturing vehicle protection. Left: The damage to the factory (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 14, 2024)
  •   During the day, sirens were sounded in dozens of cities, towns and villages along the border, in the Upper and Lower Galilee, including the Kinneret [Sea of Galilee] and Tiberias area, where no sirens had been heard since October 2023. The IDF spokesperson said that about 200 hostile aircraft had crossed the Lebanese border, some of which were intercepted, and UAVs were intercepted in the Hermon region. There were no casualties, but the crashes caused widespread fires, mainly in the area of ​​the Biriya and Miron forests (IDF spokesperson and Israeli media, June 12, 2024).
A fire in the Biriya forest (Safed municipality spokesman's unit, June 12, 2024)    : A fire near the town of Kadita (Northern District Fire and Rescue Department, June 12, 2024).
Right: A fire near the town of Kadita (Northern District Fire and Rescue Department, June 12, 2024). Left: A fire in the Biriya forest (Safed municipality spokesman’s unit, June 12, 2024)
  • On June 13, Hezbollah claimed responsibility for 12 attacks, two of which were described as a response to the targeted killing (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 13, 2024):
    • A combined attack using UAVs, Katyushas and heavy Falaq rockets targeted IDF six posts and bases along the border and the Golan Heights, a UAV swarm attack on a base in Safed, a camp which Hezbollah claimed was home to the intelligence unit responsible for the organization’s senior figures and a brigade headquarters. A “source” in Hezbollah called it the largest attack since the beginning of the current conflict, stating it had used 30 UAVs and 150 rockets (al-Jazeera Telegram channel, June 13, 2024).
    • A second attack of UAV swarms on intelligence centers.
  • The IDF spokesperson reported that about 40 rockets were launched at the Galilee and the Golan Heights and that some of them were intercepted, as were seven out of nine explosive aircraft that penetrated Israeli territory. Two IDF soldiers were injured by an anti-tank missile and two people were injured in the Golan Heights, a house was damaged in a kibbutz and fires broke out in various areas of the Golan Heights and the Upper Galilee (IDF spokesperson and Israeli media, June 13, 2024).
  • On June 15, 2024, Hezbollah claimed responsibility for three attacks, two of which were described as retaliation for the targeted killing (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 15, 2024):
  • Guided missiles were launched at the “headquarters of the air surveillance unit and the air operations department.” The IDF spokesperson confirmed that two hits were detected in the area of ​​the air control unit, there were no casualties and no damage to the unit’s capabilities (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, June 15, 2024).
  • An explosive UAV attack on the “artillery battalion headquarters.” The IDF spokesperson confirmed that a number of unmanned aircraft crashed in ​​the Western Galilee, and that interception attempts failed. There were no casualties, but a fire broke out (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, June 15, 2024).
Launching an explosive UAV (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 16, 2024)
Launching an explosive UAV (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 16, 2024)
Significance of Hezbollah’s attacks
  • Hezbollah’s retaliation took various forms:
    • Combined attacks: There were simultaneous concentrated barrages of various types of rockets and explosive UAVs to make air defense more difficult and increase the chances of hitting targets. The concentrated firing was also intended to increase the chance of fires as a result of direct hits or of shrapnel from interceptions, as actually happened.
    • Range of activity: Despite the unusual attack on the northern Kinneret area, Hezbollah did not extend the range beyond which it has operated so far, about 35 to 40 km (22-25 miles) from the border. Most of the attacks were concentrated along the border and in the Upper and Lower Galilee areas. No attacks were located in the Nahariya, Acre or Haifa regions.
    • The duration of the response: Unlike previous retaliations for the killing of terrorist operatives or civilians in south Lebanon, the attacks following the killing of Abdallah were prolonged and not limited to one day. According to Hezbollah, the main response to his death was carried out two days after the Israeli attack in Jwayya, and another the following day.
Palestinian and “Resistance Axis” Reactions
  • Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Iranian-led “resistance axis” offered their condolences on Abdallah’s death and expressed appreciation for his work:
    • Hamas expressed hope that “his pure blood” would be a curse which would persecute Israel and its army and inspire the Palestinian people to “resistance” and further sacrifices, and pave the way for the “liberation of the land and the holy places.” Hamas also emphasized the efforts, participation and support of “our brothers in Hezbollah and the Islamic resistance in Lebanon” during Operation Al-Aqsa Flood.
    • The Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, stated that it mourned the death of “the great leader of the Islamic resistance in Lebanon” who was killed “in a treacherous Zionist raid.” The announcement praised the central role played by Abu Taleb in supporting the Palestinian people and their “struggle” during the Operation Al-Aqsa Flood and his central role “at the forefront of the ‘resistance’ against the Zionist occupation for centuries [sic]” (Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades Telegram channel, June 12, 2024).
    • The PIJ sent its condolences to Hezbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah, to Hezbollah fighters and to their “Lebanese brothers” for the “heavenly ascension of the great shaheed.” The condolence message stated that Abdullah had had a large and honorable presence in the march [forwards] of the “resistance,” especially in the clashes on the front in south Lebanon and in defense of “Palestine” and its people, who “are struggling in the Gaza Strip and Judea and Samaria” (PIJ Telegram channel – Ministry of Information, June 12, 2024).
    • The Jerusalem Brigades, the PIJ’s military wing, said they knew well the meaning of losing “a great leader like Hajj Abu Taleb.” The announcement stated that he had been “a big brother and a solid supporter of the Jerusalem Brigades in times of peace and war.” It also stated that he had spent “most of his time” supporting the fighters of “Palestine,” especially the operatives of the Jerusalem Brigades, provided for their needs and removed obstacles that prevented them from carrying out their “their duties towards Palestine and Al-Aqsa Mosque.” The Jerusalem Brigades promised that “the brotherhood baptized in blood will remain an inspiration for us until liberation and return” (Jerusalem Brigades’ Telegram channel, June 12, 2024).
    • The militia of the Hezbollah Brigades in Iraq sent its condolences to Hassan Nasrallah and the fighters of the Islamic resistance in Lebanon for the death as a martyr of Abu Taleb and a group of his “brave” companions after “a brilliant history that was seen in the arenas of confrontation and jihad and resistance to the occupying invaders” and especially his largest and most honorable presence in the conflicts conducted by Hezbollah fighters on the southern Lebanese front in support of the Palestinian people. The announcement also stated that Hezbollah’s sacrifices while fighting to support the Palestinian people were a source of pride for every “resistance” fighter, and that history would remember them for their “honor, pride and steadfastness” in dealing with the “Zionist entity supported by the United States” (Sabrin News Telegram channel, June 12, 2024).

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Spotlight on Iran

June 5-13, 2024 Editor: Dr. Raz Zimmt
Qods Force commander Qaani (Tasnim, June 5, 2024)

Qods Force commander Qaani (Tasnim, June 5, 2024)

Rahim Safavi (Tasnim, June 12, 2024)

Rahim Safavi (Tasnim, June 12, 2024)

The acting Iranian foreign minister at the conference in Istanbul (ISNA, June 8, 2024)

The acting Iranian foreign minister at the conference in Istanbul (ISNA, June 8, 2024)

The Iraqi prime minister meets with the Iranian ambassador to Baghdad (Mehr, June 12, 2024)

The Iraqi prime minister meets with the Iranian ambassador to Baghdad (Mehr, June 12, 2024)

The head of the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq meets with the head of the Iranian Organization for Culture and Relations (ISNA, June 5, 2024)

The head of the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq meets with the head of the Iranian Organization for Culture and Relations (ISNA, June 5, 2024)

Documentation of the launch at Eilat (Islamic Resistance in Iraq Telegram channel, June 11, 2024)

Documentation of the launch at Eilat (Islamic Resistance in Iraq Telegram channel, June 11, 2024)

Highlights[1]
  • Ali Bagheri-Kani, acting Iranian foreign minister, continued to promote Iran’s political-diplomatic campaign in the region after Foreign Minister Abdollahian’s demise in the crash of President Raisi’s helicopter last month. Bagheri participated in a special meeting of the foreign ministers of developing countries (D-8) in Istanbul and called for measures against Israel against the background of the war in the Gaza Strip. He warned Israel from launching an all-out confrontation against Hezbollah.
  • Iran condemned Israel’s action in the Nuseirat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, in which four of the hostages were released, and called for united action by Muslim countries to protect the Palestinians.
  • Senior Iranian officials continued to express satisfaction with the achievements of Iran and the pro-Iranian axis in the region. Qods Force commander Qaani declared that the “resistance front” was the one making the decisions in the region and was gradually becoming stronger. The Iranian Supreme Leader’s senior military advisor said the United States, Israel, and their friends in the region had never imagined that Iran could carry out such a precise and powerful operation as was the case in the attack on Israel on April 13, 2024.
  • For the first time, the Houthis in Yemen and the Islamic Resistance in Iraq announced joint attacks against Israel. The attacks included launching missiles and drones at Haifa and Ashdod. For the time being, it is unclear how the cooperation actually takes place. In addition, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for carrying out five drone attacks against Israel. The attacks targeted Eilat, Haifa, the Golan Heights, and the power plant near Caesarea.
  • The Houthis continued their attacks against military and civilian vessels in the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea using drones, unmanned vessels, ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles. Three vessels were reportedly hit, but there were no reports of casualties.
Iranian involvement in the Palestinian arena
  • Qods Force commander Esmail Qaani, paying a visit to the family of Vajihollah Moradi, a former senior Qods Force officer who recently died, possibly due to illness, said that the “resistance front” was the one making decisions throughout the region. He said it was growing step by step, and all its components were operating on the “path of truth” (Tasnim, June 5, 2024).
Qods Force commander Qaani (Tasnim, June 5, 2024)
Qods Force commander Qaani (Tasnim, June 5, 2024)
  • Rahim Safavi, the senior military advisor to the Supreme Leader of Iran, said at a conference on the Iran-Iraq War that the Iranian attack on Israel on April 13, 2024, had surprised the world and Iran’s enemies. He noted that during the attack, more than a hundred missiles had been launched within a hundred seconds and that the Americans, the “Zionists,” and their friends in the region had never imagined that Iran could carry out such a precise and powerful operation. He added that Iran’s strategic defensive depth had to be increased to a range of 5,000 km. According to him, Iran reached the shores of the Mediterranean three times: in the days of Cyrus the Great, who liberated Jerusalem and the Jews; in 480 BC, when King Xerxes led his troops from Iran to Anatolia and from there conquered Greece; and after the establishment of the “resistance front,” with Iran standing alongside Hezbollah on the shores of the Mediterranean. He said Iran and the “resistance front” were currently also present in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandeb Strait (Tasnim News; Tabnak, June 12, 2024).
Rahim Safavi (Tasnim, June 12, 2024)
Rahim Safavi (Tasnim, June 12, 2024)
  • Ali Bagheri-Kani, acting Iranian foreign minister, spoke by phone with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to discuss bilateral relations and developments in the region and the Gaza Strip, including efforts to reach a ceasefire. Bagheri stressed that the Islamic governments had to mobilize all means to fight Israel and send humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip (Mehr, June 6, 2024). On June 7, 2024, Bagheri went to Istanbul to attend an extraordinary meeting of foreign ministers of the developing countries (D-8) on the issue of the war in the Gaza Strip. At the end of his visit to Istanbul, he said that Iran had proposed severing political and economic ties with Israel, boycotting Israeli goods, and mobilizing all the means at the disposal of the D-8 countries to support the Palestinians. He said that all the Islamic countries present at the meeting had agreed that it was forbidden to accept the continuation of the “crimes of the Zionist regime” and that more serious action was needed against the “Zionists” (Mehr, June 8, 2024).
The acting Iranian foreign minister at the conference in Istanbul (ISNA, June 8, 2024)
The acting Iranian foreign minister at the conference in Istanbul (ISNA, June 8, 2024)
  • Iran condemned Israel’s action in the Nuseirat refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, where four of the hostages held by Hamas were released. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said in a statement that “the massacre of hundreds of Palestinian civilians, children and women” in the refugee camp was the result of inaction on the part of governments and international organizations, including the UN, amid eight months of “war crimes” by Israel in the Gaza Strip. Kanani called on the Muslim countries to fulfill their responsibility and act in a united manner to protect the Palestinians (Tasnim, June 8, 2024).
Iranian involvement in Syria and Lebanon
  • In an interview with CNN in Turkish on June 8, 2024, Acting Iranian Foreign Minister Bagheri-Kani warned Israel from operating against Lebanon and advised it not to “fall from the swamp in the Gaza Strip to the Lebanese well.” He said Iran was obligated to use its power to deter Israel. According to him, “the Zionists know very well” that when they endanger regional stability and security, Iran uses its power efficiently and wisely to restrain them and put them in their place. He added that Israel should not forget its defeat in the Second Lebanon War when it was forced to withdraw from southern Lebanon. Asked what Iran would do in the event of an all-out war between Israel and Hezbollah, Bagheri replied that Iran had always supported the “axis of resistance” in the face of “the crimes and efforts of the Zionists” and would continue to do so. He repeated the message in an interview with the Russian television channel Russia Today. In the interview, the acting foreign minister said that Israel had suffered a historic defeat in the Second Lebanon War and that he did not recommend that Israel make a strategic mistake and initiate a war against Hezbollah. He said the “resistance in Palestine and Lebanon” could prevent the Zionists from realizing their goals (Mehr, June 12, 2024).
  • Stefan Schenk, the German government’s envoy to Syria, said in an interview that Iran was using Captagon smuggling to finance the pro-Iranian militias in Syria and to exert pressure on Syria’s neighbors and destabilize them (al-Nahar, June 10, 2024).
Iranian involvement in Iraq
  • Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammad Shia’ al-Sudani met with Mohammad Kazem Al-e Sadeq, the Iranian ambassador to Baghdad, to discuss strengthening ties between the two countries. The meeting took place ahead of the arrival of Acting Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri-Kani for a visit to Iraq on June 13, 2024 (Mehr, June 12, 2024).
The Iraqi prime minister meets with the Iranian ambassador to Baghdad (Mehr, June 12, 2024)
The Iraqi prime minister meets with the Iranian ambassador to Baghdad (Mehr, June 12, 2024)
  • Sheikh Humam Hamoudi, head of Iraq’s Supreme Islamic Council, visited Tehran in early June 2024 and met with Hojjatoleslam Mehdi Imanipour, head of the Iranian Culture and Relations Organization. They discussed relations between the two countries, their support for the Palestinians, and ways to strengthen cultural cooperation between the two countries (ISNA, June 5, 2024).
The head of the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq meets with the head of the Iranian Organization for Culture and Relations (ISNA, June 5, 2024)
The head of the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq meets with the head of the Iranian Organization for Culture and Relations (ISNA, June 5, 2024)
Activities of the Shiite militias
Joint attacks by the Iraqi militias and the Houthis
  • On June 6, 2024, Yahya Saria, the spokesman for the Houthi armed forces, announced the first two operations carried out in cooperation with the Islamic Resistance in Iraq. The first operation included two UAV attacks against ships at Haifa Port carrying military equipment. In the second operation, a ship that “violated the prohibition on entry to Haifa Port” was attacked. According to Saria, the attacks were “precise” and were carried out in response to Israel’s “massacres” in Rafah and the American-British “aggression” against Yemen. Saria said Israel should expect “more specific” joint operations until the “brutal and criminal aggression” ceased (Yahya Saria’s X account, June 6, 2024). The alleged attacks have not been verified by any other sources.
  • In a separate announcement, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq also confirmed that two joint military operations with the Houthis had been carried out in Haifa Port using drones, in support of the Palestinian people and in response to Israel’s “massacres” (Islamic Resistance in Iraq Telegram channel, June 6, 2024).
  • On June 12, 2024, Saria reported on two additional joint operations with the Islamic Resistance in Iraq – an attack against a “vital target” in Ashdod with cruise missiles and an attack against a “vital target” in Haifa using drones. According to Saria, the attacks “achieved their goal” (Yahya Saria’s X account, June 12, 2024). At the same time, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for attacking a “vital target” in Ashdod with missiles and attacking an “important target” in Haifa with a drone (Islamic Resistance in Iraq X account, June 12, 2024). This statement has also not been verified by other sources.
  • Abd al-Malik al-Houthi, leader of the Houthi movement, said in his weekly speech that the joint attacks on Haifa had been carried out as part of the “fourth stage” of the “resistance” and that they were the beginning of a course of joint “important, strategic and advanced” operations. He declared that the joint operations would continue and would have a “huge impact” on Israel (Houthi forces X account, June 6, 2024).
  •  The announcements of the joint operations come amid reports of increased coordination between the Houthis and the Islamic Resistance in Iraq in recent weeks. On May 23, 2024, Houthi and militia representatives participated in meetings with IRGC and Qods Force commanders on the sidelines of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s funeral in Tehran. In addition, Abd al-Malik al-Houthi and Ahmed al-Hamidawi, secretary-general of Kataeb Hezbollah, discussed and agreed to increase coordination between the sides.
Documentation of a joint launch of the Houthis and the Islamic Resistance in Iraq towards Haifa and Ashdod (Islamic Resistance in Iraq Telegram channel, June 12, 2024)
Documentation of a joint launch of the Houthis and the Islamic Resistance in Iraq towards Haifa and Ashdod (Islamic Resistance in Iraq Telegram channel, June 12, 2024)
Iraq
Activities on the ground
  • Apart from the four joint attacks with the Houthis, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for carrying out five drone attacks against targets in Israel between June 5 and 13, 2024 (as of 11:00 a.m.) (Islamic Resistance in Iraq Telegram channel, June 5-12, 2024). The targets of the attacks were as follows:
    • A “vital target” in Eilat (June 12, 2024).
    • A “vital target” in Haifa (June 11, 2024). At the same time, the IDF Spokesperson said that air defense fighters had intercepted a suspicious aerial target identified in the sea off the coast of Haifa. It is unclear whether it was the same incident (IDF Spokesperson, June 11, 2024).
    • A “vital target” in Eilat (June 11, 2024). According to the IDF Spokesperson, Israeli Air Force fighter jets intercepted a suspicious aerial target approaching Israeli territory from the east (IDF spokesperson, June 11, 2024).
    • A “military target” in the Golan Heights (June 10, 2024).
    • Attack on “a vital target in the occupied territories” (June 8, 2024). Later that day, Saraya Awliya al-Dam claimed responsibility for attacking the Orot Rabin power plant in Caesarea (Saraya Awliya al-Dam Telegram channel, June 8, 2024). It is unclear whether this was an attack on that “vital target.”
Documentation of the launch at Eilat (Islamic Resistance in Iraq Telegram channel, June 11, 2024)
Documentation of the launch at Eilat (Islamic Resistance in Iraq Telegram channel, June 11, 2024)
Nujaba’s threats against Israel
  • According to the spokesman for the Nujaba movement, the attacks of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq against Israel are the result of the natural development of the militias in Iraq and their objective is to support the Gaza Strip. He also noted that the militias intended to continue attacking as long as necessary and that they were not afraid of the repercussions (Reuters, June 5, 2024).
  • Ali al-Assadi, the chairman of the Nujaba movement’s political council, referred to reports according to which Israel might act against the militias in Iraq. He warned that “any stupid act of the entity” against sites or people in Iraq would be met with a “cruel response” against Israel and the United States. He added that the Islamic Resistance in Iraq would continue to support and defend the Palestinian cause (Nujaba X account, June 7, 2024).
Yemen
Anti-vessel activity
  • During the past week, Yahya Saria, the spokesman for the Houthi armed forces, continued to issue claims of responsibility for carrying out attacks against civilian and military vessels, mainly in the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea (Yahya Saria’s X account, June 5-13, 2024):
    • June 5, 2024: Two attacks in the Red Sea against the ships Roza and Vantage Dream using missiles and drones; An attack on the Maersk Seletar in the eastern Arabian Sea by drones. Saria has not reported any hits and the attacks have not been verified by any other sources.
    • June 7, 2024: Two attacks in the Red Sea against the ships Elbella and AAL GENOA using missiles and unmanned vessels for “violating the prohibition” on entry to Israeli ports. It was claimed that the hits were accurate, but no verification has been received from other sources.
    • June 9, 2024: Three attacks in response to the Israeli operation to rescue the hostages in the Nuseirat refugee camp: An attack on the British Navy destroyer HMS Diamond in the Red Sea using several ballistic missiles. It was claimed that there were accurate hits. The British Ministry of Defence denied the Houthis’ claims (Reuters, June 9, 2024); Two attacks against the ships Norderney and MSC Tavvishi using missiles and drones. Accurate hits were reported. The US Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed that M/V Tavvishi had been damaged by a ballistic missile and M/V Norderney had been hit by a ballistic missile and a cruise missile. In both cases, there were no casualties and the ships continued on their way (CENTCOM X account, June 10, 2024).
    • June 12, 2024: Attack on the ship Tutor in the Red Sea using unmanned vessels, UAVs, and ballistic missiles. According to the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), the crew reported that the ship had been damaged in two strikes and the crew lost control of it (UKMTO x account, June 12, 2024). CENTCOM confirmed that an unmanned vessel had hit the ship, which had recently docked in Russia, causing severe flooding and damage to the engine room. No casualties were reported (CENTCOM X account, June 13, 2024).
  • According to CENTCOM reports, this past week, the Houthis carried out 11 attacks against vessels in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden using ten anti-ship ballistic missiles, 13 UAVs, three unmanned vessels, and a cruise missile. CENTCOM forces intercepted 12 of the aircraft and two vessels. In addition, CENTCOM forces destroyed four UAVs, two ballistic missiles, two cruise missiles, and seven cruise missile launchers in attacks in Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen, in addition to a Houthi-controlled cruise boat that was attacked in the Red Sea (CENTCOM X account, June 13, 2024). In addition, an Italian navy frigate belonging to the European Union Red Sea Task Force intercepted two UAVs launched at a vessel in the Red Sea area on two separate occasions. No casualties or damage were reported (EU Task Force (EUNAVFOR Aspides) X account, June 6-10, 2024).
  • Houthi leader Abd al-Malik al-Houthi said that in the week ending June 6, 2024, the Houthis had launched 36 missiles and drones, launched the new Filastin (“Palestine”) ballistic missile at Eilat for the first time, and attacked the American aircraft carrier Eisenhower twice. According to al-Houthi, so far, the US-led coalition forces have carried out 487 airstrikes on Yemeni soil, causing 55 dead and 78 wounded (Houthi forces X account, June 6, 2024).
The Houthis announce the arrest of spy network
  • On June 10, 2024, the Houthis reported that they had uncovered an American-Israeli spy network operating in their territory and arrested its members. According to the Houthis, the network exposed was linked to the US intelligence agency (CIA) and had carried out espionage and sabotage operations in Yemen for years. According to the statement, the “network agents” were operated by the US Embassy in Sana’a under the guise of embassy employees until it ceased operations in the city in 2015. After that, they continued to operate under the cover of employees of international aid organizations. It was also claimed that members of the network had managed to influence decision-makers and infiltrate official institutions (al-Masirah, June 10, 2024). The Houthis’ official TV channel presented video “confessions” of the suspects in which they told how they were recruited and acted (al-Masirah TV X account, June 10, 2024). The Houthi announcement was issued a few days after the UN announced that a large number of aid workers, including 11 of its workers, had been abducted in several areas of Yemen under Houthi control (UN website, June 7, 2024). This is not the first time the Houthis have claimed to have uncovered a spy network. In May 2023, they claimed to have arrested several “agents of the United States and Israel.”
 Some members of the American-Israeli spy network who were arrested.     The organizations to which they belonged during their stay in Yemen (Houthi forces X account, June 11, 2024)
Left: Some members of the American-Israeli spy network who were arrested. Right: The organizations to which they belonged during their stay in Yemen
(Houthi forces X account, June 11, 2024)
Statements by senior Houthi officials
  • On June 8, 2024, the Houthis’ political bureau issued a statement strongly condemning the “massacre of the Zionist enemy” in the Nuseirat refugee camp, which led to dozens of casualties. The statement added that the “massacre” took place a few hours after the UN announced the inclusion of the Israeli government on a “blacklist” for killing children in a military conflict. The statement noted that the “Zionist entity” was a criminal gang with no connection to human rights or international law. In addition, the political bureau stressed the importance of continued support and solidarity with the Palestinian people until the “aggression” ended and the siege on the Gaza Strip and its residents was lifted (al-Masirah, June 8, 2024).
  • Referring to the developments in the Iron Sword War, Hezam al-Asad, a member of the Houthi political council, issued several posts in Hebrew. Following are the wordings of the posts, as they originally appeared: “I recommend reverse migration and return to the countries of origin;” “In an operation in which the US participated in a limited area and committed horrific atrocities against children and civilians to free four prisoners out of more than 120 still being held, yet lost soldiers and officers. And they call themselves the Invincible army!”; “The lights tonight decorate my cities of Haifa and Acre for the revenge of the women and children from the Nuseirat camp in Gaza;” “The Israeli Hermes900 planes fall in Lebanon and join the American MQ9s that fell in Yemen. Damaged goods” (Hezam al-Asad’s X account, June 8-10,  2024).
A Hebrew post by Hezam al-Asad (Hezam al-Asad’s X account, June 10, 2024)
A Hebrew post by Hezam al-Asad (Hezam al-Asad’s X account, June 10, 2024)
US sanctions against Houthi smuggling network
  • The US Department of the Treasury has imposed sanctions on ten individuals, entities, and vessels linked to illegal Houthi smuggling. The list includes a Yemeni citizen and three Indian nationals, two of whom are ship captains, as well as four shipping companies from India, the UAE, Hong Kong, and Panama, and two oil tankers. According to a statement by the Treasury Department, it is part of a network of Saeed al-Jamal, a Houthi financier operating from Iran who operates communications companies and vessels for illegal smuggling intended to provide profits to the Houthis (US Department of the Treasury website, June 10, 2024).
Houthi and al-Shabaab relations in Somalia
  • US intelligence reportedly assesses that the Houthis are holding talks about supplying weapons to al-Shabaab in Somalia, al-Qaeda’s branch in the Horn of Africa. According to the report, it is being investigated whether weapons have already been transferred and whether Iran is involved in contacts between the sides. The report also noted that this was an unusual collaboration in view of the deep ideological differences between the Shiite Houthis and Sunni al-Shabaab (CNN, June 12, 2024).

[1] The weekly study includes the activities of Iran, the Shiite militias in Syria and Iraq, and the Houthis in Yemen.

Spotlight on the Israel-Palestinian Conflict (June 4-10 , 2024)

Weapons seized by IDF forces in Rafah (IDF spokesperson, June 6, 2024).

Weapons seized by IDF forces in Rafah (IDF spokesperson, June 6, 2024).

Extraction of the hostages from the al-Nuseirat refugee camp (al-Jazeera TV, June 8, 2024).

Extraction of the hostages from the al-Nuseirat refugee camp (al-Jazeera TV, June 8, 2024).

IDF forces with two of the rescued hostages (IDF spokesperson, June 8, 2024)

IDF forces with two of the rescued hostages (IDF spokesperson, June 8, 2024)

The areas in the school compound taken over by the terrorists (IDF Telegram channel, June 6, 2024).

The areas in the school compound taken over by the terrorists (IDF Telegram channel, June 6, 2024).

The school after the attack (Shehab Telegram channel, June 6, 2024)

The school after the attack (Shehab Telegram channel, June 6, 2024)

Humanitarian aid on the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom crossing COGAT Facebook page in Arabic, June 9, 2024)

Humanitarian aid on the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom crossing COGAT Facebook page in Arabic, June 9, 2024)

Israeli security forces in Jenin (Wafa, June 6, 2024).

Israeli security forces in Jenin (Wafa, June 6, 2024).

Weapons confiscated by Palestinian General Intelligence from the home of an operative in the Tubas Battalion (A7rartoubas Telegram channel, June 4, 2024).

Weapons confiscated by Palestinian General Intelligence from the home of an operative in the Tubas Battalion (A7rartoubas Telegram channel, June 4, 2024).

The gathering of the participants of the Flag Parade near the Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem (Wafa YouTube channel, June 5, 2024)

The gathering of the participants of the Flag Parade near the Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem (Wafa YouTube channel, June 5, 2024)

Mahmoud Abbas receives an invitation to the international conference (Wafa, June 7, 2024)

Mahmoud Abbas receives an invitation to the international conference (Wafa, June 7, 2024)

  • The southern arena: This past week IDF operations focused on the refugee camps in the central Gaza Strip and the Rafah area in the south. A terrorist infiltration near Kerem Shalom was prevented, during which an IDF soldier was killed.
  • The issue of the hostages: The Israeli security forces rescued four Israeli hostages in an operation in the al-Nuseirat refugee camp. A fighter of the counterterrorism unit was killed. The Palestinians claimed that more than 270 civilians were killed during the operation and accused Israel of a “massacre.” Despite this, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) said they were still interested in reaching an agreement that would lead to a permanent ceasefire, the withdrawal of IDF forces from the Gaza Strip and the release of the hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.
  • Aid for the Gaza Strip: The delivery of humanitarian aid was renewed through the floating sea pier constructed by the United States military off the coast of Gaza.
  • Israel, Judea and Samaria: No terrorist attacks were carried out this past week. A car bomb exploded about a kilometer from a military checkpoint in the Jordan Valley; there were no casualties. The Israeli security forces continued their counterterrorism activities in Judea and Samaria. The security forces of the Palestinian Authority (PA) detained wanted operatives of the PIJ’s Tubas Battalion.
IDF operations in the Gaza Strip
  • This past week IDF operations focused on the refugee camps in the central Gaza Strip and on the Rafah area in the south. The forces fought terrorist operatives, destroyed terrorist facilities and located large quantities of weapons.
  • The central Gaza Strip: IDF forces operated in the eastern part of the al-Bureij refugee camp, eastern Deir al-Balah and in the area of ​​the al-Nuseirat refugee camp. The forces killed a large number of terrorist operatives, destroyed terrorist facilities and seized large quantities of weapons (IDF spokesperson, June 9, 2024).
  • Rafah: IDF forces continued operations in the Rafah area, locating tunnel shafts, a lathe for the production of weapons, mortar shell launchers and other weapons, including weapons hidden in a baby’s crib (IDF spokesperson, June 7 to 9, 2024). Correspondents for the Arab TV channels reported that the IDF’s activity in Rafah focused on the east of the city and the neighborhoods adjacent to the Philadelphia Axis along the Egypt-Gaza Strip border (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, June 7, 2024).
Weapons found in a baby's crib (IDF spokesperson's website, June 7, 2024)     Weapons seized by IDF forces in Rafah (IDF spokesperson, June 6, 2024).
Right: Weapons seized by IDF forces in Rafah (IDF spokesperson, June 6, 2024). Left: Weapons found in a baby’s crib (IDF spokesperson’s website, June 7, 2024)
Terrorist infiltration near Kerem Shalom prevented
  • Before dawn on June 6, 2024, IDF forces prevented a terrorist infiltration near Kerem Shalom. Four armed terrorist operatives were identified emerging from a tunnel shaft and advancing towards the Gaza Strip border in an attempt to reach Israel. IDF forces exchanged fire with the Palestinians and an IDF aircraft killed two of the operatives. Another was killed by tank fire and the fourth fled back to the Rafah area. An IDF soldier was killed (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, Israeli media, June 6, 2024).
  • The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, claimed responsibility for the attempted infiltration. It falsely claimed that in “Operation Beyond Enemy Lines” its fighters penetrated the separation fence and attacked the headquarters of the IDF division operating in Rafah (Hamas Telegram channel in Judea and Samaria, June 6, 2024).
Rocket fire from the Gaza Strip
  • This week there was a decrease in the volume of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into Israel:
    • On the evening of June 8, 2024, four rockets was fired at towns and villages surrounding Gaza. The Jerusalem Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), claimed responsibility for the attack (Jerusalem Brigades Telegram channel, June 8, 2024).
    • On the morning of June 7, 2024, a rocket was fired at the western Negev. It fell in an open area; no casualties were reported (Israeli media, June 7, 2024). The PIJ’s military wing claimed it had fired a “barrage of rockets” at the headquarters of the IDF Gaza Division in Kibbutz Re’im (Filastin al-Yawm Telegram channel, June 7, 2024).
    • On June 6, 2024, rockets were fired from the Rafah region and fell in an open area in the western Negev. No casualties were reported (Israeli media, June 6, 2024).
Monthly Distribution of Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire since June 2022

Monthly Distribution of Rocket and Mortar Shell Fire since June 2022

Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits
Annual Distribution of Rocket Hits
* Distribution for 2024 begins in May
The hostages and a ceasefire agreement
Four hostages rescued from al-Nuseirat
  • On June 8, 2024, Israeli security forces rescued four Israeli hostages in an extraction operation in the al-Nuseirat refugee camp. They were kidnapped on October 7, 2023 and were being kept in two buildings near each other. During the rescue an IDF soldier was killed (IDF spokesperson and Israeli media, June 8, 2024).
  • The Hamas-controlled ministry of health in Gaza, claimed that 274 “civilians” had been killed in the IDF operation, [allegedly] including 64 children and 57 women, and accused Israel of committing a “massacre” (ministry of health in Gaza Telegram channel, June 9, 2024).
 IDF forces with two of the rescued hostages (IDF spokesperson, June 8, 2024)    Extraction of the hostages from the al-Nuseirat refugee camp (al-Jazeera TV, June 8, 2024).
Right: Extraction of the hostages from the al-Nuseirat refugee camp (al-Jazeera TV, June 8, 2024). Left: IDF forces with two of the rescued hostages (IDF spokesperson, June 8, 2024)
  • The IDF spokesperson stated that three of the hostages had been held in the family home of Abdallah Ahmed Aljamal, Hamas operative who worked for al-Jazeera TV (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, June 9, 2024).[2] Al-Jazeera denied that Aljamal was one of its employees and claimed that he only helped write an opinion piece in 2019 (al-Jazeera X account, June 10, 2024). However, an al-Jazeera website on social media represented him as a “reporter and photojournalist,” having reported on the return marches near the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel in 2018 (Safaa Subhi’s X account, June 9, 2024).
Abdallah Aljamal, represented as a "reporter and photographer" working for al-Jazeera (Safaa Subhi's X account, June 9, 2024)
Abdallah Aljamal, represented as a “reporter and photographer” working for al-Jazeera (Safaa Subhi’s X account, June 9, 2024)
  • The Palestinians condemned the IDF operation in the al-Nuseirat refugee camp:
    • Hamas stated that even the rescue operation would not change the fact that Israel had failed. Hamas claimed the “resistance” still held a large number of hostages and was capable of increasing the number. Hamas also condemned the [alleged] United States’ involvement in the rescue operation (al-Quds, June 8, 2024). The American Army’s Central Command (CENTCOM) stated in response that claims that the naval pier constructed off Gaza coast had helped the Israeli security forces were false (CENTCOM X account, June 9, 2024).
    • Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, claimed Israel was “massacring” the Palestinian people. He claimed the “resistance” would “continue to protect the rights of the Palestinians” [sic] and called on the world to “rise up against the [alleged] brutal massacres” (al-Aqsa TV Telegram channel, June 8, 2024).
    • Abu Obeida, spokesman for Hamas’ military wing, claimed that the activities of the [so-called] “occupation” in the al-Nuseirat camp were “war crimes.” He falsely claimed that other Israeli hostages held in the area were killed during the operation and warned that the Israeli operation would endanger the lives of the hostages and affect their living conditions (Abu Obeida’s Telegram channel, June 8, 2024).
    • The PIJ claimed that the “war crime” in the al-Nuseirat refugee camp confirmed that Israel’s “criminal conduct” was beyond bounds. It said that the fact that Israel had rescued only a few hostages out of more than a hundred held by the “resistance” indicated Israel’s military incompetence (PIJ Telegram channel, June 8, 2024).
    • Mahmoud Abbas ordered Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian delegate to the UN, to request an urgent UN Security Council meeting because of the “many casualties” in the al-Nuseirat refugee camp. He also contacted Arab and international officials and called on them to pressure Israel to comply with the “legitimate international resolutions” which call for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip (Wafa, June 8, 2024).
    • Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Mahmoud Abbas, said that the [alleged] “massacre” in al-Nuseirat was a continuation of Israel’s [alleged] Palestinian “genocide.” He also accused the American government of being responsible for the “crimes” and called on the United States to stop the war (Wafa, June 8, 2024).
Contacts for a ceasefire
  • The rescue operation in al-Nuseirat was carried out during efforts to promote a ceasefire agreement and the release of hostages. Following the speech of American President Joe Biden, on May 31, 2024, in which he presented the main points of the Israeli proposal, CIA Director William Burns and Brett McGurk, Biden’s adviser, visited Qatar. Ziyad al-Nakhalah, PIJ secretary general, and his deputy, Muhammad al-Hindi, arrived in Cairo for talks (PIJ Telegram channel, June 5, 2024).
  • According to sources in Hamas, the movement is asking for guarantees from President Biden that Israel will agree to implement his proposal. They also argued that while Biden’s proposal met their demands, the Israeli proposal received from the mediators did not include a permanent ceasefire or transition between the various stages of the deal that bound them together (al-Sharq al-Awsat, June 5, 2024).
  • Officially, Hamas has not yet responded to the Israeli proposal, but according to reports the mediators did in fact receive a written document in response, according to which Hamas wanted the war to stop one week before the start of the deal and for Israel to clearly confirm its withdrawal from the Strip within the framework of international guarantees. According to the response, the agreement did not have a clause called “humanitarian lull” but the cessation of war, and Hamas wanted aid to enter the entire strip without dividing it into regions. In addition, the movement demanded the release of senior Fatah figure Marwan al-Barghouti, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine secretary general Ahmed Saadat, Ibrahim Hamad and Abbas al-Sayyid, as well as the release of all the terrorist operatives released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal and redetained (al-Ghad, June 6, 2024 ).
  • According to reports, Qatar and Egypt conveyed a message to the leaders of Hamas informing them that they could expect to be detained, have their assets frozen, be sanctioned and deported from Doha if they did not agree to a ceasefire with Israel. The report said the threats were the result of pressure from the Biden administration. In response, Hamas sources denied to the al-Arabiya network that Egypt and Qatar had made the threat (The Wall Street Journal, June 8, 2024).
  • Even after the Israeli operation in the al-Nuseirat refugee camp, senior Hamas PIJ terrorists continued to claim they wanted to reach a ceasefire agreement:
    • Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, met with Hakan Fidan, the Turkish foreign minister, and yet again reiterated Hamas’ position that any agreement had to include a permanent cessation of “aggression” and a complete withdrawal of Israel from the Gaza Strip, along with an agreement to exchange hostages for prisoners and an agreement for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip (al-Aqsa TV Telegram channel, June 9, 2024).
    • Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas member, said that if the United States was serious about achieving a ceasefire, it had to stop or at least reduce military aid to Israel. He added that Hamas [allegedly] cared only about stopping the “aggression” against the Palestinians (al-Manar, June 9, 2024).
    • Ghazi Hamad, a member of the Hamas political bureau, said that so far the organization had not received a clear, unequivocal Israeli position, according to which it agreed to a permanent ceasefire, as Hamas had demanded from the mediators. He said that although Israel tried every form of military pressure, it was unable to change the movement’s position. Hamad emphasized that no Israeli hostage, dead or alive, would leave Gaza except as part of an agreement (al-Araby al-Jadeed, June 9, 2024).
    • Muhammad al-Hindi, deputy PIJ secretary general, said that the Israeli activity in al-Nuseirat would not affect the negotiations to reach an agreement. He added that the deal would not take place unless the “resistance’s” conditions were met (Filastin al-Yawm, June 8, 2024).
Palestinian casualties
  • The Hamas-controlled ministry of health in the Gaza Strip reported at 1:00 p.m., June 10, 2024, that since the beginning of the war, 37,124 Palestinians had been killed and 84,712 injured (ministry of health in Gaza Facebook page, June 10, 2024).
  • Israeli Air Force aircraft carried out targeted attacks on Hamas senior figures and terrorist operatives:
    • On June 7, 2024, Iyad al-Mghari, the mayor of al-Nuseirat, was killed. In the past he was a senior operative in Hamas’ West Bank headquarters and was prominent in directing terrorist attacks in Judea and Samaria (IDF Telegram channel, June 7, 2024). The Palestinian media reported that Iyad Ahmed al-Mghari (Abu Bilal) was killed, along with other Palestinians, in an attack on a facility of the al-Nuseirat municipality (Safa Telegram channel, June 7, 2024).
    • On June 6, 2024, Salama Muhammad Abu Ajaj, one of the heads of Hamas’ general security forces, was killed in Rafah (IDF spokesperson, June 7, 2024).
Mourning notice from the PA ministry of local government (ministry of local government Facebook page, June 7, 2024)    Salama Abu Ajaj (IDF Telegram channel, June 7, 2024).
Right: Salama Abu Ajaj (IDF Telegram channel, June 7, 2024). Left: Mourning notice from the PA ministry of local government (ministry of local government Facebook page, June 7, 2024)
    • Before dawn on June 6, 2024, based on intelligence, Israeli Air Force planes attacked a compound used by Hamas inside an UNRWA school in al-Nuseirat. Hamas nukhba and PIJ terrorist operatives who had taken part in the October 7, 2023 terrorist attack and massacre were staying in the school. The operatives had initiated attacks from inside the school and planned to carry out additional attacks on IDF forces. The IDF spokesperson emphasized that prior to the operation extensive measures were taken to reduce harm to non-involved persons (IDF Telegram channel, June 6, 2024).
17 Hamas and PIJ operatives killed in the attack on the UNRWA school (IDF spokesperson's website, June 6 and 7, 2024)    17 Hamas and PIJ operatives killed in the attack on the UNRWA school (IDF spokesperson's website, June 6 and 7, 2024)
17 Hamas and PIJ operatives killed in the attack on the UNRWA school (IDF spokesperson’s website, June 6 and 7, 2024)
    • The Hamas government information office in the Gaza Strip reported the [alleged] deaths of 40 displaced persons, including 14 children and nine women, and the injury of 74 more, including 23 children and 18 women, in an attack by warplanes on several classrooms, where dozens of displaced persons had taken shelter, in an UNRWA school in the Camp 2 area of al-Nuseirat (Hamas government information office Telegram channel, June 6, 2024).
    • Hamas issued a statement claiming that the attack on the school was a continuation of Israel’s [alleged] “crime of genocide” against the Palestinians. The statement [falsely] accused the IDF of “focusing on harming civilian groups, especially UNRWA schools and centers” and called on the UN and the international community to establish commissions of inquiry (al-Aqsa TV Telegram channel, June 7, 2024).
The school after the attack (Shehab Telegram channel, June 6, 2024)    The areas in the school compound taken over by the terrorists (IDF Telegram channel, June 6, 2024).
Right: The areas in the school compound taken over by the terrorists (IDF Telegram channel, June 6, 2024). Left: The school after the attack (Shehab Telegram channel, June 6, 2024)
    • On June 3, 2024, the Palestinian social networks reported the death of Imad ‘Ouda (Abu Ja’far), an operative in Hamas’ Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades. He was represented as the sniper who killed an IDF officer in Beit Hanoun during Operation Protective Edge (2014). According to reports, after the operation he was appointed commander of the sniper training program in the Gaza Strip and general supervisor of teaching and developing programs at the “military academy” of Hamas’ military wing. He was eventually appointed nukhba commander in Beit Hanoun, a position he held during the current fighting (Amira al-Nahal’s X account, June 3, 2024; Ibrahim al-Madhoun’s X account, June 3, 2024).
Imad 'Ouda (Abu Ja'far) (Amira al-Nahal's X account, June 3, 2024)
Imad ‘Ouda (Abu Ja’far) (Amira al-Nahal’s X account, June 3, 2024)
Aid for the Gaza Strip
  • On June 7, 2024, the American Army Central Command (CENTCOM) announced it had successfully reattached the floating naval pier off the coast of Gaza, allowing the continued delivery of the humanitarian aid needed by the residents of the Gaza Strip (CENTCOM X account, June 7, 2024). The pier was shut down for more than a week because of damages caused by the impact of the waves and was repaired in the Port of Ashdod.

  • Samantha Power, director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), said that during June 8, 2024, more than 492 tons of aid had passed through the pier (Samantha Power’s X account, June 9, 2024). However, Cindy McCain, director of the UN World Food Program, reported that the agency had suspended its activities at the pier after two of the agency’s warehouses were attacked by rockets. She indicated that activities would resume only after the safety issues had been settled (CBS News, June 9, 2024).
  • The Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) reported the continuation of humanitarian aid airlifts to the Gaza Strip. He said that so far 118 drops have been carried out, which included 9,546 pallets of humanitarian aid. He also presented documentation of large quantities of humanitarian aid which had accumulated on the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom crossing after having been transferred from the Israeli side (COGAT Facebook page in Arabic, June 9, 2024).
Humanitarian aid on the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom crossing COGAT Facebook page in Arabic, June 9, 2024)
Humanitarian aid on the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom crossing COGAT Facebook page in Arabic, June 9, 2024)
  • The World Central Kitchen (WCK) said that it has provided more than 50 million meals in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the war. It stated that it now ran two main field kitchens, in Deir al-Balah and al-Mawasi, after the kitchen in Rafah suspended operations on May 21, 2024, following the IDF’s instructions to evacuate. The organization operates 65 other community kitchens spread throughout the Gaza Strip. John Torpey, WCK manager in the Middle East, said the organization was currently inactive in the northern Gaza Strip due to difficulties in transporting supplies from the southern Gaza Strip to the north (Reuters, June 4, 2024; WCK website, June 4, 2024).
The situation in the Gaza Strip
  • The ministry of health in Gaza claimed that due to the IDF attacks in the central Gaza Strip, Shuhada al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir al-Balah, the only hospital currently providing health services to the one million people in the central Gaza Strip, had no way of admitting new patients due to a shortage of medical equipment and personnel. Khalil al-Daqran, spokesman for the hospital, said that the attacks on the al-Bureij and al-Maghazi refugee camps had filled the hospital with wounded, and said it was unable to provide care for more wounded (al-Jazeera website, June 5, 2024). The hospital later announced that one of his two generators had stopped working (Hamas government information office Telegram channel, June 5, 2024).
  • The International Medical Corps announced that the escalation of fighting in and around Rafah affected the activity of its field hospital in al-Mawasi [in Rafah], which has 160 beds. The organization was therefore forced to transfer all its activities to a field hospital in Deir al-Balah (International Medical Corps Facebook page, June 5, 2024). The World Health Organization later said that only two hospitals continued to provide health services in the Rafah district, a Red Cross field hospital in the al-Mawasi region and a UAE field hospital in Rafah, which is more difficult to reach because of the ongoing fighting (World Health Organization CEO’s X account, June 6, 2024).
The issue of “the day after”
  • Ghazi Hamad, a member of the Hamas political bureau, said that Hamas had reached an understanding with all the Palestinian organizations that any change in the Palestinian territories was an internal matter without external involvement. He said Hamas did not intend to leave the Palestinian political arena. He also said that after the establishment of a Palestinian state and the end of the “occupation,” Hamas would be prepared to integrate into a Palestinian national army, but in light of the “occupation’s” presence it would not hand over its weapons. Hamad also blamed Mahmoud Abbas for the failure of the reconciliation talks. He said Hamas had held several talks with Fatah members and offered to establish a national unity government or a government of technocrats by agreement, but there had been no response from Mahmoud Abbas (al-Araby al-Jadeed, June 9, 2024).
  • A “senior source” in Fatah accused Hamas of not caring about the lives of the Palestinians, sacrificing them in order to survive. He added that Hamas sacrificed more than 270 Palestinians for four hostages and that it gave Israel all the means to kill the Palestinians. He said Hamas had to rid itself of external agendas, adding that the PA had not closed the door to Hamas (al-Arabiya, June 9, 2024).
Car bomb explodes near Tubas
  • On the night of June 5, 2024, a car bomb containing a large number of IEDs exploded in the Jordan Valley, about a kilometer from the Tayasir roadblock on the Palestinian side; there were no casualties. The IDF and the Israeli Security Agency launched an investigation (IDF Telegram channel and Israeli media, June 6, 2024). The Tubas Battalion of the Jerusalem Brigades, the PIJ’s military wing, claimed its operatives had attacked the Tayasir roadblock with a car bomb in response to “the settlers’ invasion of the al-Aqsa Mosque and in response to the [alleged] massacre in Rafah” (Telegram channel A7rartoubas, June 6, 2024).
Critical terrorist attacks, 2024[3]

Critical terrorist attacks, 2024

Annual distribution of critical terrorist attacks

Annual distribution of critical terrorist attacks

Counterterrorism activities
  • The Israeli security forces continued their counterterrorism activities in Judea and Samaria, focusing on Tubas, Tulkarm and Jenin. Since the beginning of the war, approximately 4,150 wanted Palestinians have been detained, of whom more than 1,750 have been Hamas operatives (IDF spokesperson, June 6 to 9, 2024):
    • Tubas: On the night of June 9, 2024, Israeli security forces operated in the al-Far’ah refugee camp, south of Tubas. Several IEDs were detonated to attack IDF armored vehicles; there were no casualties (Israeli media, June 10, 2024). The Palestinian media reported that 15-year-old Mahmoud Ibrahim Nabrisi died after being shot by the IDF. It was also reported that IEDs were thrown at IDF vehicles advancing in the al-Far’ah refugee camp (Wafa, al-Jazeera, June 10, 2024).
    • Tulkarm: On the night of June 9, 2024, Israeli security forces detained a Palestinian wanted for terrorist activities in the town of Danabah in the Tulkarm region. During an exchange of fire, the forces shot at an armed terrorist. There were no casualties (Israel Police X account, June 10, 2024). The Palestinian media reported an exchange of fire between Israeli security forces and armed Palestinians, during which 21-year-old Yusuf Samih Abd al-Karim Abd al-Daim was killed (al-Jazeera, June 10, 2024). Hamas issued a mourning notice claiming him as an operative in the Tulkarm Battalion of the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades (Hamas Telegram channel in Tulkarm, June 10, 2024).
    • Jenin: On the afternoon of June 6, 2024, Israeli security forces operated in the city of Jenin and its refugee camp. The forces attacked terrorist operatives and detained a Palestinian wanted on suspicion of terrorist activity (IDF spokesperson, June 6, 2024). The director of the government hospital in Jenin said that three Palestinians had been killed in the operation: Ibrahim Taher Muhammad al-Sa’adi, 21 years old; Issa Nafez Jalad, 17 years old; Uday Ayman Mir’i, 24 years old (Wafa, June 6, 2024). The PIJ’s Jenin Battalion claimed Mir’i as an operative of it (jenencamb Telegram channel, June 6, 2024). Hamas claimed al-Sa’adi as one of its operatives (Hamas Telegram channel in Judea and Samaria, June 6, 2024).
 Uday Marai, Issa Jalad, Ibrahim al-Sa'adi (Palestine Post X account, June 6, 2024)    Israeli security forces in Jenin (Wafa, June 6, 2024).
Right: Israeli security forces in Jenin (Wafa, June 6, 2024). Left: Uday Marai, Issa Jalad, Ibrahim al-Sa’adi (Palestine Post X account, June 6, 2024)
    • On June 5, 2024, Israeli security forces detained a Palestinian wanted for terrorist activities in Nablus. The forces arrived at the building where the terrorist was hiding and shot at his legs when he tried to escape. Local residents rioted as the forces withdrew. The forces shot a Palestinian who threw an IED at them (Israel Police X account, June 5, 2024).
PA security forces’ activities
  • On June 5, 2024, after the PA security forces tried to detain a wanted operative of the Tubas Battalion, armed Battalion operatives attacked the vehicle of Mahmoud al-Amin, the commander of operations in Tubas general intelligence. Dozens of young Palestinians blocked roads and the entrance to the al-Far’ah refugee camp and set tires on fire. According to reports, on June 8, 2024, the Palestinian security forces confiscated IEDs from the Tubas Battalion (al-Aqsa TV Telegram channel , June 8, 2024).
  • A senior operative of the Tubas Battalion called on the PA security forces to allow them to confront Israel. He added that the PA was not a target, but those who wanted to kill them “will not be greeted with flowers,” and that any attack by masked men pursuing wanted operatives would be met with gunfire, regardless of whether they were Israeli or Palestinian security forces (al-Araby al-Jadeed , June 5, 2024).
Mahmoud al-Amin's car after the attack (@fer9s X account, June 5, 2024)     Weapons confiscated by Palestinian General Intelligence from the home of an operative in the Tubas Battalion (A7rartoubas Telegram channel, June 4, 2024).
Right: Weapons confiscated by Palestinian General Intelligence from the home of an operative in the Tubas Battalion (A7rartoubas Telegram channel, June 4, 2024). Left: Mahmoud al-Amin’s car after the attack (@fer9s X account, June 5, 2024)
Israeli Jerusalem Day events
  • On June 5, 2024, Israel celebrated Jerusalem Day and the traditional flag parade was held under heavy police security. The parade passed through the Damascus Gate and the Old City, and ended at the Western Wall. The Israeli police reported that 18 Israelis had been detained during the parade for attacking Israeli and Palestinian correspondents (Israeli media, June 5, 2024). There were Palestinian condemnations of the parade, and calls for a “day of rage” and confrontations with the Israeli security forces:
  • Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Mahmoud Abbas, said that the flag parade would not change Jerusalem’s status as the eternal capital of “Palestine.” He claimed the parade was a violation of international law which considered east Jerusalem occupied Palestinian land, and a blatant provocation of Arab, Islamic and Christian sentiments. He warned such events could lead to a religious war, and called on the American administration to intervene immediately to stop Israel’s actions (Wafa, June 5, 2024).
  • Hamas claimed the approval to hold the flag parade in the streets of Jerusalem was proof of Israel’s trying to Judaize the holy places, and was “aggression” against the sentiments of hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world. Hamas warned Israel against continuing its “criminal” policy against the holy places, especially al-Aqsa Mosque, and said that the “resistance” would find a way to harm [Israel]. Hamas called on the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, Jerusalem and inside Israel to turn June 5 into “a day of rage” (Hamas website, June 5, 2024).
  • Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, said that the “settler rampage” in Jerusalem confirmed that the city was the heart of the conflict. He said the Palestinians would not rest until the “occupation” disappeared and an independent Palestinian state was established with Jerusalem as its capital (Hamas website, June 5, 2024).
  • Haroun Nasser al-Din, the head of Hamas’ office for Jerusalem affairs, said the flag parade was “blatant aggression” against Jerusalem [sic] and the Arab and Islamic nations, and called on them to increase their participation in Operation al-Aqsa Flood. He added that Operation Sword of Jerusalem [the name Hamas gave to Operation Guardian of the Walls, which began on Jerusalem Day 2021 when Hamas fired rockets at Jerusalem] was still being wielded, was manifested in its greatest form on October 7, 2023 and continued until today. He declared that Operation al-Aqsa Flood would continue until “victory, freedom and independence” were achieved, and would not stop until al-Aqsa Mosque was “liberated” (Hamas website, June 5, 2024).
  • The PIJ condemned the flag parade and called on Palestinians “everywhere” to confront “Zionist bullying.” It also condemned the “shameful” Arab silence (PIJ combat information Telegram channel, June 5, 2024).
The gathering of the participants of the Flag Parade near the Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem (Wafa YouTube channel, June 5, 2024)
The gathering of the participants of the Flag Parade near the Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem (Wafa YouTube channel, June 5, 2024)
Mahmoud Abbas’ international activity
  • On June 7, 2024, Mahmoud Abbas met with Issam a-Badour, the Jordanian ambassador to the PA, and Ihab Suleiman, the Egyptian ambassador. They presented Mahmoud Abbas with a formal invitation from the King of Jordan, Abdullah II, the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and the UN secretary general, Antonio Guteres, to participate in the activities of the urgent humanitarian response conference for the Gaza Strip, to be held in Amman. Mahmoud Abbas stated that immediate action had to be taken for a ceasefire, speed up the delivery of humanitarian aid and prevent the migration of residents (Wafa, June 7, 2024).
Mahmoud Abbas receives an invitation to the international conference (Wafa, June 7, 2024)
Mahmoud Abbas receives an invitation to the international conference (Wafa, June 7, 2024)
PA prime minister meets with UN coordinator for Gaza
  • Muhammad Mustafa, PA prime minister, met in his office with Sigrid Kaag, the UN coordinator for humanitarian affairs and the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. They discussed the importance of coordination between all aid agencies and the Palestinian government. Mustafa reviewed the government’s plans for aid in the short, medium and long terms as well as plans for the day after the war in the Gaza Strip. In addition, he indicated the government’s readiness to reopen the Rafah Crossing according to the 2005 Crossings Agreement,[4] along with the withdrawal of IDF forces. Kaag noted the importance of investing efforts to increase the delivery of aid to the Gaza Strip from all the crossings and its distribution to all areas of the Gaza Strip (Wafa, June 5, 2024).
Israel put on the UN’s black list
  • Antonio Guteres, UN secretary general, announced the inclusion of the IDF on an international black list of countries and armed organizations that have not taken adequate measures to improve the protection of children. Hamas and the PIJ were also placed on the list (Israeli media, June 7, 2024).
  • Nabil Abu Rudeineh claimed that Israel should have been placed on the list a long time ago because of its actions against the Palestinians. He called it a step in the right direction designed to demand accountability from Israel for its actions and put an end to them by the international community (Wafa, June 7, 2024).
  • Izzat al-Rishq, a member of the Hamas political bureau and head of the movement’s central information bureau, expressed satisfaction with the UN’s decision against Israel and called Israel “an ostracized entity sued in international courts” (Quds Press, June 7, 2024).
The United States sanctions the Lion’s Den network
  • The American State Department announced the imposition of sanctions on the Palestinian Lion’s Den network. The sanctions were imposed in response to terrorist attacks carried out by the network operatives against Israeli security forces and civilians in 2022 and 2024 and due to the killing of Palestinian residents in clashes with the PA security forces in Nablus in 2022 (State Department website, June 6, 2024). The Lion’s Den responded that it would be victorious and the “surprise would be enormous” (Lion’s Den Telegram channel, June 7, 2024).

[1] Click https://www.terrorism-info.org.il/en to subscribe and receive the ITIC's daily updates as well as its other publications.
[2] For further information, see the February 2024 ITIC report, "More than half of the Palestinian journalists killed in the Gaza Strip during Operation Iron Swords were affiliated with terrorist organizations (Full version)."
[3] A critical attack is defined by the ITIC as involving shooting, stabbing, a vehicular attack, the use of IEDs, or a combination of the above. Rocks and Molotov cocktails thrown by Palestinians are not included. Shots fired at IDF forces during counterterrorism activities in Judea and Samaria are included.
[4] According to the Crossings Agreement of November 2005, the Rafah Crossing is to be managed by the PA in cooperation with Egypt and under the supervision of an EU force. The agreement has not been valid since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in June 2007.

Spotlight on Terrorism: Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria (June 3 – 9 , 2024)

A four-barrel Falaq-2 rocket launcher mounted on an all-terrain vehicle.

A four-barrel Falaq-2 rocket launcher mounted on an all-terrain vehicle.

Falaq-2 rocket launch in Iran (Medlebanon's X account, June 9, 2024)

Falaq-2 rocket launch in Iran (Medlebanon's X account, June 9, 2024)

The Iron Dome launcher before the anti-tank missile hit (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 6, 2024).

The Iron Dome launcher before the anti-tank missile hit (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 6, 2024).

A building destroyed in the attack on the town of Wadi Jilou (Fouad Khreiss' X account, June 6, 2024).

A building destroyed in the attack on the town of Wadi Jilou (Fouad Khreiss' X account, June 6, 2024).

A motor scooter with two Hezbollah operatives attacked in the Aitaroun region (IDF spokesperson, June 6, 2024)

A motor scooter with two Hezbollah operatives attacked in the Aitaroun region (IDF spokesperson, June 6, 2024)

The Northern Arena - *Updated from October 8, 2023
*Updated from October 8, 2023
Overview[1]
  • This past week Hezbollah claimed responsibility for 52 attacks on military and civilian targets in northern Israel. Falaq-2 rockets were used for the first time. A soldier was killed and 12 others were injured in a UAV attack in Hurfeish, and a UAV fell in the Jezreel Valley, 40 kilometers from the border, the furthest distance since the beginning of the fighting. In addition, anti-aircraft missiles were launched for the first time at Israeli Air Force planes in Lebanese skies.
  • In response to Hezbollah’s attacks, Israeli Air Force fighter jets and UAVs attacked Hezbollah targets and operatives in the south and deep inside Lebanese territory. Hezbollah announced that eight of its operatives had been killed in the attacks.
  • Hezbollah made a series of statements claiming it did not want a war with Israel, but threatened a powerful response if a war was “forced” on it.
  • Criticism of Hezbollah continues inside Lebanon, mainly from Christian elements. Samy al-Jamal, leader of the Phalange Party, accused Hezbollah and Iran of hijacking the country.
  • Najib Mikati, the prime minister of the interim government in Lebanon, stated that his government maintained contact with its allies around the world to stop the escalation at the border.
  • The UNIFIL spokesman warned there was a high risk of escalation which would lead an extensive conflict affecting the entire region.
  • Shots were fired at the United States embassy in Lebanon; there were no casualties. A Syrian citizen was detained and claimed he had acted “in support of the Gaza Strip.” He was reportedly in contact with ISIS elements in Iraq.
South Lebanon

Hezbollah attacks

  • This past week (June 3-9, 2024, as of 12 noon) Hezbollah took responsibility for 52 attacks on military and civilian targets in northern Israel, compared to 56 attacks the previous week. The attacks used anti-tank missiles, mortar shells, UAVs and various types of rockets, including heavy rockets. There has been a noticeable increase in the level of accuracy, deadliness and material damage caused by explosive UAV attacks:
    • UAV hit in Hurfeish: On June 5, 2024, two UAVs fell and exploded in Hurfeish in the Western Galilee, killing an IDF soldier and injuring 12 other people, including an IDF reservist who was seriously injured. A UAV hit a soccer field in Hurfeish, and when the rescue forces arrived at the scene, the second UAV hit them (IDF website and Israeli media, June 5 and 6, 2024). Hezbollah claimed responsibility for launching a swarm of UAVs to attack an assembly of officers and soldiers south of Moshav Alkush, [allegedly] in response to IDF threats and attacks in al-Naqoura.
    • UAV falls in the Jezreel: On the afternoon of June 7, 2024, sirens were sounded in the Nof HaGalil area [near Nazareth]. The IDF spokesperson confirmed that a UAV from Lebanon fell in an open area in the Jezreel Valley, a distance of about 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) from the border, after attempts to intercept it failed. It was the southernmost point reached by an explosive aircraft launched from Lebanon since the beginning of hostilities in October 2023 (IDF website and Israeli media, June 7, 2024).
    • Falaq-2 rockets were launched for the first time: On June 8, 2024, Hezbollah announced it had launched a barrage of Falaq-2 rockets at the IDF base in the Beit Hillel area (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 8, 2024). The Falaq-2, manufactured in Iran, is an improved version of the Falaq-1, used by Hezbollah until now. The rocket has a range of between 10 and 11 kilometers (about 6 to 7 miles) and carries a warhead weighing 60 kilograms 132 lbs). According to estimates, Iran has transferred dozens or possibly hundreds of rockets of this type to Hezbollah (Israeli media, 9 in June  2024).
Falaq-2 rocket launch in Iran (Medlebanon's X account, June 9, 2024)    A four-barrel Falaq-2 rocket launcher mounted on an all-terrain vehicle.
Right: A four-barrel Falaq-2 rocket launcher mounted on an all-terrain vehicle. Left: Falaq-2 rocket launch in Iran (Medlebanon’s X account, June 9, 2024)
    • Anti-aircraft missiles launched at IDF fighter jets: On June 6, 2024, anti-aircraft missiles were launched at IDF fighter jets flying over Lebanon. Hezbollah claimed that the planes broke the sound barrier “in an attempt to scare children” and that after they were shot at, they returned to Israeli territory (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 6, 2024). According to reports, it was the first time that Hezbollah launched anti-aircraft missiles at Israeli fighter jets (Ali Murtada’s X account, June 6, 2024).
    • Claim of hitting an Iron Dome aerial defense system launcher: On June 5, 2024, Hezbollah claimed that it attacked an Iron Dome launcher in Ramot Naftali with an anti-tank guided missile and published a video of alleged hit (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 5 and 6, 2024).The IDF did not confirm damage to the “Iron Dome” battery.
The launcher after the hit (EyesOnSouth1's X account, June 6, 2024)      The Iron Dome launcher before the anti-tank missile hit (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 6, 2024).
Right: The Iron Dome launcher before the anti-tank missile hit (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 6, 2024). Left: The launcher after the hit (EyesOnSouth1’s X account, June 6, 2024)
  • Given the increasing use of UAVs and their extended ranges, al-Hadath TV cited “sources” claiming that Hezbollah had been “forced” to expand its “responses” because Israel was [allegedly] violating the “rules of engagement” (al-Hadath Telegram channel, June 8, 2024).
  • It was also reported that Hezbollah was working to create another “deterrent equation,” according to which if Israel used bombs that caused fires and phosphorus bombs, Hezbollah would respond by launching rockets that spread fires. According to the report, Hezbollah began to produce Grad and Katyusha rockets that carry extremely flammable substances (Spot Shot on YouTube, June 5, 2024).
  • Daily Hezbollah attacks (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 3 to 9, 2024):
    • June 9, 2024 (as of 11 a.m.): One attack.
    • June 8, 2024: Ten attacks.
    • June 7, 2024: Four attacks.
    • June 6, 2024: Seven attacks. The Kiryat Shmona municipality confirmed damage to two commercial complexes, with no casualties (Kiryat Shmona municipality Telegram channel, June 6, 2024).
    • June 5, 2024: Ten attacks. An explosive UAV was launched at an IDF force south of the border. Two suspicious aerial targets were intercepted, one of which crossed from Lebanon to the Metula area (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, June 5, 2024).
    • June 4, 2024: 11 attacks. A suspicious aerial target that crossed into the maritime space of Nahariya was intercepted. A suspicious aerial target from Lebanon fell in the Hermon area (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, June 4, 2024).
    • June 3, 2024: Nine attacks (after 11 a.m.). The IDF confirmed that about 30 launches from Lebanese territory fell in an open area in the northern Golan Heights. In addition, two explosive UAVs were intercepted and two landed (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, June 3, 2024).
IDF response
  • In response, Israeli Air Force fighter jets and UAVs attacked Hezbollah targets and operatives. Among the targets attacked were terrorist facilities, including a compound used by Hezbollah’s air defense system, military buildings, munitions warehouses, observation posts, launching positions and rocket launchers. Most of the attacks were carried out in south Lebanon, but the IDF confirmed that an attack was also carried out in Wadi Jilou region, east of Tyre, deep inside Lebanese territory (IDF spokesperson June 3-8, 2024). “Sources” also reported that Israel attacked vehicles in the western Lebanon Valley, targeting an “important Hezbollah figure” (al-Hadath, June 4, 2024).
A motor scooter with two Hezbollah operatives attacked in the Aitaroun region (IDF spokesperson, June 6, 2024)     A building destroyed in the attack on the town of Wadi Jilou (Fouad Khreiss' X account, June 6, 2024).
Right: A building destroyed in the attack on the town of Wadi Jilou (Fouad Khreiss’ X account, June 6, 2024). Left: A motor scooter with two Hezbollah operatives attacked in the Aitaroun region (IDF spokesperson, June 6, 2024)
  • According to reports, Radwan Force operatives said they were afraid because of the Israeli Air Force aircraft’s ongoing attacks (Wazir Araqi’s X account, June 3, 2024).
Hezbollah casualties
  • Hezbollah reported the death of eight operatives (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 3 to 9, 2024).
    • Hussein Ahmed Nasser al-Din, aka Saraj, born in 1980 in al-‘Abbasiyah.
    • Ali Hussein Sabara, aka Abu Hussein Ayman, born in 1975 in Beirut and a resident of al-Babaliyah. The IDF stated that Sabara, who was killed in an attack in the Type region, was involved in upgrading and equipping Hezbollah’s air defense system (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, June 3, 2024).
    • Muhammad Shuki Shakir, aka Jihad, born in 1996 in al-Ghaziyah.
    • Haidar Hassan Musallamani, aka Hamza, born in 1987 in Tyre and a resident of al-Naqoura.
    • Hussein Naama al-Hourani, aka Badr, born in 1988 in Bint Jbeil. According to reports he was a Hezbollah commander (Tanzim Thuwwar Lubnan X account, June 6, 2024).
    • Radwan Ali Issa, aka Bilal, was born in 1977 in Houmein al-Tahta.
    • Ahmed Ali Yusuff, aka Sadek, born in 2003 in al-Shihabiyah.
    • Ali Khalil Hamed, aka Abu Tarab, born in 1988 in Aitaroun.

Hezbollah casualties (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 3 to 8, 2024)

Hezbollah casualties (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 3 to 8, 2024)
Hezbollah casualties (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 3 to 8, 2024)
Statements by Senior Hezbollah Figures
  • This past week there were several statements by senior Hezbollah and Hezbollah-affiliated figures regarding the possibility of war between Israel and Hezbollah:
    • Na’im Qassem, Hezbollah deputy secretary general, who participated in a ceremony in Beirut to mark the 35th anniversary of the death of the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ruhollah Khomeini, claimed that the objective of the current “conflict” in south Lebanon was to support the “Palestinian resistance” and said the fighting would not stop until the war in the Gaza Strip stopped. He alleged that Hezbollah currently had no plan for an all-out war, unless Israel decided to wage one (al-Nashra, June 7, 2024). He told al-Jazeera that any Israeli expansion of the “war against Lebanon” would be met with destruction, ruin and displacement in Israel. Referring to the American mediation attempts to end the fighting in south Lebanon, he claimed the proposals made by United States President Joe Biden were not “objective” (al-Jazeera, June 4, 2024).
    • Nawaf al-Masawi, responsible for resources and borders in Hezbollah, said that the next war with Israel would be “the last war” and that the region would not look the same afterwards. He claimed that the IDF did not have a stockpile of weapons required for a war in Lebanon and Israel’s leaders knew nothing about the real capabilities of the “resistance”[2] (al-Mayadeen, June 7, 2024).
    • Mohammad Raed, the chairman of the Hezbollah faction in the Lebanese parliament, said Operation al-Aqsa Flood had caused a “strategic change” in the region and exposed Israel’s inability to deter and defend itself. He claimed the Lebanese front “supported the Palestinian people,” and its goal was to stop Israeli “aggression” and hamper Israel’s capabilities and prevent it from achieving its stated goals in the Gaza Strip. He also claimed they were successful in coping with the air superiority that had distinguished Israel in the past because their determination far outweighed Israel’s capabilities (al-Alam, June 4, 2024). In a memorial ceremony in the town of al-Ghazia, he said Israel was entangled in a failure from which it could not extricate itself. He claimed that “a great victory is around the corner” and that the “resistance” was present and stronger than before, and anyone who thought otherwise was helping the “enemy” (al-Nashra, June 8, 2024).
    • Mohammad Raad, a Hezbollah-faction member of the Lebanese Parliament, rejected the criticisms in Lebanon against Hezbollah and the accusations that the organization had unnecessarily dragged the country into an “abyss of [fighting] arenas.” He claimed that support for the Gazans was based on their humanity, Arab nature, brotherhood and common interests. He wondered how the West, which was hundreds [sic] of kilometers away from the region, could justify its financial, military and media support for Israel (al-Nashra, June 8, 2024).
    • Ibrahim al-Amin, the editor-in-chief of the Hezbollah-affiliated daily al-Akhbar, warned that if Israel decided to launch an all-out war against Hezbollah it would be an “insane decision,” noting that every time Israel tried to raise the bar of its reaction, Hezbollah responded with “a bar higher than expected.” He claimed Israel had lost the element of surprise, since the war of attrition lasting eight months and the preparations of the “resistance” [Hezbollah] for the possibility of war made Israel’s bank of targets “worthless.” He also pointed out that Hezbollah had so far only used old generation of UAVs, and that in the event of a war, Israel would have to deal with different types of missiles and a new generation of armed UAVs capable of performing several simultaneous missions (al-Akhbar, June 6, 2024).
    • The Hezbollah-affiliated daily al-Akhbar stated that Hezbollah did not expect a war against Israel in the near future, if at all. The paper alleged that the parties had not crossed the “agreed” threshold of fighting within a range of five to seven kilometers on both sides of the border [see above, the June 7 attack in the Jezreel Valley] and Hezbollah adhered to its position that when a ceasefire was declared in the Gaza Strip, the fighting would stop in south Lebanon. However, even after the ceasefire, Hezbollah would not allow Israel to continue “violating Lebanese airspace” and efforts would continue to reach a final decision regarding the disputed border points (al-Akhbar, June 8, 2024).
Criticism of Hezbollah
  • Interviewed by al-Hura TV in Lebanon, Samy al-Jamal, chairman of the Phalange Party, said Lebanon had been “hijacked by Hezbollah and Iran.” He added that the country was in a state of disquiet because of the “laws of the jungle” that Hezbollah and its allies created in Lebanon (al-Nashra, June 5, 2024).
  • Joelle Bou Abboud, a member of the Phalange Party’s political bureau, said that the fighting caused more damage to Lebanon than to Israel. She said Lebanon has lost its economy and the tourist season, agricultural fields were burned, houses were destroyed and the students did not go to school. She added that if Israel had started a war on October 8, 2023, the entire country would have stood by Hezbollah in the conflict, but it was Hezbollah that made the decision to start the fighting. Referring to the fires in northern Israel caused by Hezbollah attacks, she said they did not help the Gaza Strip or distract Israeli attention from the Gaza Strip and Rafah (Spot Shot, June 4, 2024).
The Battle for Hearts and Minds
Mocking the IDF’s ability to intercept UAVs
  • Hezbollah’s social networks portfolio, Simia, published a notice comparing the capabilities of Hezbollah’s UAVs with the IDF’s aerial vehicles. It showed a UAV of the organization with the caption, “Our UAVs reach their targets,” and below it, an Israeli Hermes 900 UAV with the caption, “While your UAVs are intercepted in our skies” (Simia, June 5, 2024).
Hezbollah mocks the IDF (Simia, June 5, 2024)
Hezbollah mocks the IDF (Simia, June 5, 2024)
Aid for Hezbollah from Iraq
  • According to a report the Iraqi government donated 500 bulletproof vehicles to the Radwan Force, each costing $350,000 (Wazir Araqi’s X account, June 3, 2024).
  • According to a report, hundreds of oil and gas tankers from Iraq arrive daily in Lebanon for Hezbollah via Syria. Hezbollah sells the oil and gas to Lebanese residents to enrich the organization’s coffers (Wazir Araqi’s X account, June 5, 2024).
The Lebanese Government
Western leader’ statement on Lebanon
  • Najib Mikati, Prime Minister of the interim government in Lebanon, welcomed the June 6, 2024 joint statement by the leaders of the United States, Great Britain, France and Germany calling for the prevention of escalation of tensions on Israel-Lebanon border in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions. He said his government’s top priority was to maintain contact with Lebanon’s allies around the world and with the resolution-making countries to stop the escalation and the Israeli [alleged] “acts of hostility” in south Lebanon (Lebanon24, June 7, 2024).
Contacts for an agreement on the Israel-Lebanon border
  • Spokesman for Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary general, repeated his call for an immediate ceasefire on the Blue Line [the Israel-Lebanon border]. He claimed Guterres was concerned that the exchange of fire not only destroyed settlements near the border, but had an impact deep within both countries. He also called on Israel and Lebanon to recommit to the implementation of Resolution 1701 and to stop the attacks (UN website, June 6, 2024).
UNIFIL
  • Andrea Tenenti, UNIFIL spokesman, admitted that the situation on the Israel-Lebanon border was worrisome. He warned of a high possibility of escalation and that a misunderstanding could lead to a more widespread conflict. He also said such a situation would be a disaster for the entire region. He added that UNIFIL was in contact with Lebanese authorities and the IDF and was working to prevent an expansion of the conflict (al-Jazeera, June 5, 2024).
Shots Fired at the American Embassy in Lebanon
  • On the morning of June 5, 2024, shots were fired at the United States embassy in the ‘Oukar area, about six kilometers (about 3.5 miles) northeast of Beirut. Lebanese army soldiers returned fire, wounding the shooter, who was taken for medical treatment (Lebanese Army X account, June 5, 2024). An embassy security guard was reportedly wounded (Janoubia, June 5, 2024) The American embassy in Beirut confirmed that there had been a shooting near its entrance, the Lebanese Army and security forces responded quickly and there were no casualties among the staff (United States embassy in Lebanon X account, June 5, 2024).
  • The shooter was identified as Qais al-Faraj, 23 years old, who immigrated from Syria to Lebanon 15 years ago. An examination of his phone revealed that he had been in contact with ISIS elements in Iraq. At least 19 of his family members and friends were detained (al-Nahar, June 6, 2024). A legal source stated that during questioning he claimed he had carried out the attack “in support of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip” (Agence France-Presse, June 5, 2024). According to another report, he acted alone and did not belong to a cell. He reportedly purchased the weapons with his own money and gathered information about the embassy using Google (LBC International, June 6, 2024).
  • Abdullah Bou Habib, the Lebanese foreign minister, condemned the shooting and emphasized that Lebanon was committed to protecting diplomatic missions operating in the country. He also stated that they were monitoring the incident and clarifying the details with the relevant authorities (al-Nashra, June 5, 2024).

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[2] Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, the Palestinian terrorist organizations, the Shi'ite Houthis in Yemen and the pro-Iranian militias in Iraq.