Ad Hoc Studies

More than half of the Palestinian journalists killed in the Gaza Strip during Operation Iron Swords were affiliated with terrorist organizations (Full version)

The government media office of Hamas in the Gaza Strip reported that as of February 18, 2024, 131 Palestinian journalists had been killed in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the war (October 7, 2023). The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center's comprehensive examination of the 131 names revealed that approximately 60% were operatives in or affiliated with the terrorist organizations, Fatah or the Palestinian Authority. Hamas alleges that Israel deliberately attacks journalists to "hide the truth" and prevent the disclosure of events in the Gaza Strip during the war. Of the 78 journalists identified as having organizational affiliation, 44 were identified with Hamas, five were identified as the operatives of the military wing and the rest were employed by or represented Hamas media. Nineteen were affiliated with PIJ, six of them actual PIJ terrorist operatives. It is not the first time we have dealt with journalists who also had a military role in a terrorist organization, covered operations and wars and worked to influence the battle for hearts and minds, considered of utmost importance by the terrorist organizations.
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Hamas Governance in the Gaza Strip: Activity, Institutions, Administration and Public

The Hamas government media office recently reported that since the beginning of the war (October 7, 2023), 140 facilities belonging to Hamas government institutions in the Gaza Strip had been destroyed. Despite the prolonged fighting and the IDF presence on the ground, the destruction of buildings and the damage to Hamas' military and political capabilities, apparently many Hamas government and public institutions continue to function partially or almost fully. They include some of the government ministries, security forces, municipal authorities, and sometimes also mosques and religious institutions. Despite the evidence that Hamas is making efforts to regain its control and influence on the ground, the overall picture is unclear because of the complex situation in the Gaza Strip and the presence of IDF forces. In addition, the northern and southern Gaza Strip are almost completely disconnected from one another, making any form of central control difficult. For now, it is hard to gauge whether the activity is carried out under the direct guidance of the Hamas leadership, which indeed still functions, possibly indicating the capabilities of the Hamas government and its ability to adapt its activities to the situation on the ground, or whether it is mainly an initiative of the local leadership
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Support for Hamas in France since the Outbreak of Operation Iron Swords

The pro-Hamas demonstrations and protest marches in France are organized by collectives of groups representing the local Palestinian community, Muslim movements and far-left organizations (including anti-war and anti-establishment movements) and political parties. The collectives are an example of Red-Green Alliance activity, a strong partnership of far-left and Palestinian organizations, including groups affiliated with Hamas. Organizations and activists participating in the protests expressed support for the October 7th, 2023 attack and massacre, and the continued Palestinian armed terrorist activity, while accusing Israel of "genocide in the Gaza Strip." France, as a member of the European Union (EU), has designated the entire Hamas movement (its military wing and political bureau) as a terrorist organization and imposes the sanctions established by the EU institutions against the movement, persons on the list of designated terrorists and entities providing Hamas with financial assistance.
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Houthi military-terrorist escalation and the deterioration of the situation in the Red Sea

Since the start of Operation Iron Swords (October 7, 2023), the Houthi campaign in the Red Sea area has escalated and drawn in many participants, the most important of which are the United States, Britain and Iran, whose involvement has increased. Initially the Houthis launched missiles and UAVs at Israel, but their tactics gradually morphed into attacking ships sailing in the Red Sea and near the coast of Yemen which they identified as "having connections to Israel. As the war continued, and especially during December and January 2024, the campaign in the Red Sea area. The Houthis carry out direct attacks on Israel, such as launching missiles and UAVs continue, but their frequency has declined significantly, apparently due to the failure of the Houthis to penetrate the IDF and American Army aerial defenses and hit targets inside Israel. In ITIC assessment, the campaign in the Red Sea area can be expected to continue as long as the war in the Gaza Strip continues. Recently a kind of balance of actions and reactions has been created, and it will be difficult to halt it without intervention to convince the Houthis to withdraw their demand for an end to the fighting in the Gaza Strip as a condition for stopping their attacks. Without external intervention (especially directly from Iran, but possibly also from Russia and China indirectly through Iran), it is likely that the Houthis will continue their attacks since their actions give them legitimacy. They also provide them with a reputation as a significant regional force with leverage for its objectives in Yemen's internal struggle and against regional rivals such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
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Iran and the Policy of Targeted Killings Attributed to Israel: Between Threats and Constraints

Since early December 2023, eight IRGC officers have been killed in operations attributed to Israel in Syria. Following the deaths of the IRGC operatives, and especially after the targeted killing of Mousavi and five IRGC officers in Damascus, senior Iranian officials threatened a harsh response against Israel. Although the possibility of a harsher response from Iran in the future cannot be ruled out, at this stage, there is a discrepancy between the intensity of the threats made by senior Iranian officials against Israel and their actual implementation. The gap reflects Iran's dilemma vis-à-vis the targeted killing policy attributed to Israel. Against the backdrop of continued targeted killings attributed to Israel, there are growing voices in Iran calling for a direct response against Israel and for abandoning the policy of "strategic patience," which is intended to reduce the risk of a military confrontation with Israel and the United States amid the ongoing war in Gaza. In recent days, Iranian commentators and media have warned that the continuation of the current policy, which avoids a significant direct response against Israel, compromises Iranian deterrence, reflects weakness, and may be interpreted by Iran's enemies as apathy and inability to respond to ongoing damage to its national security. Although at this stage, there has been no apparent change in Iran's policy of response, the continued targeted killings attributed to Israel, along with the intensification of internal criticism in Iran in light of the gap between the belligerent statements against Israel and the relatively restrained responses, may increase the pressure on the Iranian leadership to intensify its responses against Israel, even at the cost of taking risks of further escalation.
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Mapping the leaders of the demonstrations supporting Hamas in eastern European Union countries since the outbreak of Operation Iron Swords

Since Hamas' October 7, 2023, terrorist attack and massacre, and the beginning of the IDF's Operation Iron Swords, pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel demonstrations have been held in many European Union (EU) countries, including countries in the east. The demonstrators call for a ceasefire and the end of the local government's support for Israel, and chant anti-Israeli slogans, the most popular of which is "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free."The demonstrations the EU's east are organized by the local Palestinian communities in cooperation with radical left organizations, anti-government organizations and anarchist movements. This study will examine the entities leading the pro-Palestinian and pro-Hamas demonstrations in Poland, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Greece and Croatia.
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