Operation Northern Shield for locating and neutralizing Hezbollah tunnels on Israel’s northern border (December 30, 2018 Update)

On December 26, 2018, the IDF blew up the fifth Hezbollah terrorist tunnel, which had been located a few days before in the region of the Shi'ite village of Ayta al-Shab (east of the Israeli community of Zar'it). Before the tunnel was destroyed the IDF called on the Lebanese villagers to evacuate the area (IDF spokesman, December 26, 2018).

Spotlight on Iran (December 16, 2018 – December 30, 2018)

The decision of United States’ (U.S.) President Donald Trump to withdraw American forces from Syria was met in Iran with surprise and satisfaction by most senior officials and commentators. The news of the U.S. withdrawal reverberated in Iraq as well, where the Iranian ambassador declared that his country ended its military presence in Iraq. In late December, a delegation of Hamas’ political bloc in the Palestinian parliament, headed by the senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar, visited Tehran/

Iranian Responses to Trump’s Statement and Initial Assessment of the Statement’s Effect on Iranian Policy in Syria – Dr. Raz Zimmt

The decision of Unites States (U.S.) President Donald Trump to withdraw American forces from Syria was met in Iran with surprise and satisfaction by most senior officials and commentators. The drawdown of American troops from Syria is being presented as proof of the failure of U.S. strategy in the region, particularly in Syria, and another achievement of the “Resistance Front” led by the Islamic Republic.

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (December 19 – December 25, 2018)

The level of violence at the "return march" held on Friday, December 21, 2018, was higher than in previous weeks. Following the events, Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip sent Israel an explicit warning. After the escalation in terrorism in Judea and Samaria during the past week (four shooting, stabbing and vehicular attacks) there was a decrease in quantity and "quality."

News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (December 12 – December 18, 2018)

This past week events focused on four shooting, stabbing and vehicular attacks, three in the Ramallah area (one in the Old City in Jerusalem). In the "return march" and mini-flotilla in the Gaza Strip the level of violence was relatively low despite the escalation in Judea and Samaria. The IDF located a fourth Hezbollah tunnel near the Israel-Lebanon border. UNIFIL confirmed the existence of four tunnels, two of which crossed the border.

Operation Northern Shield on the Israel-Lebanon Border for the Destruction of Hezbollah Tunnels Penetrating into Israel (The situation on the ground, December 18, 2018)

On December 15, 2018, a fourth tunnel was exposed crossing the border from Lebanon into Israeli territory. IDF forces continue their activities along the border, so far without serious friction with Hezbollah or the Lebanese army, which are monitoring the activity. Hezbollah continues to keep a low media profile regarding the IDF's activity.


Hezbollah is a Shi’ite Muslim organization with a dual identity, being both a terrorist organization supported by Iran and a Lebanese political party. Hezbollah was founded by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in 1982 to compete with Amal, an important Shi’ite Muslim militia active during the Lebanese civil war. When the IDF withdrew from Lebanon at the end of the First Lebanon War (1985), Hezbollah became the dominant organization in south Lebanon and later throughout the entire Shi’ite population in Lebanon. In 1992, Hezbollah entered Lebanese politics and its representatives were elected to the parliament.

Hezbollah is a terrorist organization attacking mainly Israel, from over the Lebanese border and abroad. For the most part, Hezbollah attacked northern Israeli cities with rockets. However, with direction and backing from Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Hezbollah also carried out terrorist attacks against Jewish and Israeli targets abroad, the most serious of which were the attack on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires (March 17, 1992) and the attack on the Jewish Community Center, also in Buenos Aires (July 18, 1994). Hezbollah has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.

After the IDF withdrew from south Lebanon in May 2000, Hezbollah took control of the entire region. With Iranian support it constructed a vast military infrastructure in Lebanon, including an extensive artillery layout and precision missiles which threaten the Israeli home front. Before the Second Lebanon War (2006), Hezbollah carried out sporadic attacks along the border. Since June 2006 (the Second Lebanon War), it has maintained a relatively low profile.

Hezbollah continues to increase its influence as a political power in Lebanon, and at the same time reinforce its military infrastructure. In recent years, Hezbollah has been involved in the fighting in Syria as part of the Iranian-led camp supporting the Syrian regime.

Ever since its establishment, the State of Israel has been forced to deal with waves of terror of various types and at various levels of intensity directed against it and its citizens. These waves of terror are carried out by various Palestinian organizations that have been conducting the terror campaign against Israel for decades. Over the years, the activity of Palestinian terrorist organizations has caused many losses among Israel’s civilian population. The activity of Palestinian terrorist organizations was not limited to the borders of the State of Israel, but was carried out abroad as well (mainly in 1968-1978, the peak years of global terrorist activity).

There are ideological differences between the Palestinian terrorist organizations. Some of them are Palestinian terrorist organizations with an Islamic ideology and some have a secular ideology. However, the terrorist activity that they carry out appears to share the same goals. The main goals are: to disrupt the lives of the Israeli civilian population and undermine its security, to harm Israel’s economy and image, and to place the Palestinian issue and its ideology on the global agenda.

During the years of the conflict, the Palestinian terrorist organizations have attempted to carry out attacks in almost every possible arena (land, sea, air, in Israel and abroad), refining their methods and modus operandi. The bases of many terrorist organizations are located in the Gaza Strip, but there are also networks operating in Judea and Samaria. Some of the organizations also have a presence in Arab countries, and some receive support from countries or organizations. Over the years of Palestinian terror, the terrorist organization map has changed. Some of the terrorist organizations have disappeared or died down, but new terrorist organizations have emerged in their stead.