Iraq

Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., February 28, 2024)

The IDF forces in the Khan Yunis area continued to intensify their activities, while the forces in the central and northern Gaza Strip operated against Hamas terrorist facilities and armed squads. In the Gaza City area, forces located a tunnel system used for the passage of operatives between different divisions. The tunnels were investigated and destroyed. In two separate incidents on consecutive days, rockets were launched at the cities, towns and villages surrounding the Gaza Strip, including Ashqelon. The IDF responded with air strikes. For the time being, the negotiations for a ceasefire and a hostage deal are on being dealt with less intensively. Several versions of the proposed agreement were published in the Hamas media, elaborating the details and Hamas' position. The Jordanian Air Force airlifted humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. The ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip encouraged the continuation of airlifting aid, especially to the northern Gaza Strip Hezbollah claimed responsibility for 15 attacks during the past two days, including rocket barrages targeting the Golan Heights and the Mt. Meron area.. Hamas' military wing claimed responsibility for firing 40 rockets at Kiryat Shmona and the Upper Galilee from south Lebanon on February 28, 2024. PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh, officially submitted his and the PA government's letter of resignation to Mahmoud Abbas. The Iranian foreign minister claimed Israel was unable to achieve any of its goals in the war despite the military support of the United States. The UN Security Council held a session to discuss the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., February 26, 2024)

IDF forces continued their activity in the southern, central and northern Gaza Strip, mainly fighting armed terrorist organizations who had remained in the areas and tried to attack them. Senior Hamas members accused Israel of making it difficult to continue the negotiations for a hostage deal. They claimed that while some progress had been made, they reiterated their priorities for an agreement, which were that before a hostage deal there had to be a ceasefire, IDF forces had to withdraw from the Gaza Strip, and humanitarian aid had to be introduced into the Gaza Strip, especially in the north. Hezbollah claimed responsibility for six attacks. On the morning of February 26, 2024, Hezbollah shot down an Israeli UAV with a surface-to-air missile. In response, Israeli Air Force fighter jets attacked Hezbollah aerial defense targets deep inside Lebanon. Israeli security forces operated in several locations in Judea and Samaria. In Kafr Qalil (southeast of Nablus) they confiscated funds that were intended for financing terrorist activity. The forces closed a printshop in Nablus that printed inflammatory materials for Hamas. Palestinian Prime Minister is supposed to submit his resignation today. The government will likely continue to serve as an interim government. His resignation is a preventive measure for dealing with the pressure exerted on the PA by regional and global countries. Hamas expressed doubt regarding the measure and any possible benefit it might bring. The Arab bloc in the UN submitted a formal request to the General Assembly president an emergency session to discuss the "escalating humanitarian disaster in the Gaza Strip and the situation of UNRWA."
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., February 22, 2024)

IDF activity continues, focusing on Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip and the Zeitoun neighborhood in eastern Gaza City. In Khan Yunis the forces uncovered another tunnel used by senor Hamas operatives. Musa Abu Marzouq, a member of the Hamas political bureau, said that for every Israeli hostage released, Hamas demanded the release of 500 Palestinian prisoners. He also noted that there might soon be a breakthrough regarding a ceasefire. Senior Hamas members continue to reiterate that Hamas has adhered to the conditions it presented in response to what was agreed upon in Paris. A Jordanian Air Force plane airlifted medical aid to the Jordanian field hospital in the Gaza Strip. Hezbollah claimed responsibility for 14 attacks, including firing anti-tank missiles which damaged homes, and launching a barrage of rockets at the cities, towns and villages in the Western Galilee. The IDF responded with airstrikes and artillery fire. Three Palestinian terrorists in two cars carried out a shooting attack near Ma'ale Adumim. One person was killed and eight were injured. Two of terrorists were killed and the third was captured. Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) welcomed the attack and called on the Palestinians to continue attacking. The Iranian leader claimed the Gaza Strip was currently the main focus of the Islamic world. The Iranian foreign minister condemned the United States' decision to veto the UN Security Council proposal for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. On the morning of February 22, 2024, IDF aerial defense fighters used the Arrow anti-ballistic missile system to intercept a missile fired at Israel from the Red Sea. United States military forces attacked Houthi targets.
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., February 20, 2024)

IDF forces continued its operations in Khan Yunis and Nasser Hospital. In Gaza City, Palestinian media reported intensive IDF activity in the Zeitoun neighborhood in the southeast of the city, adding that many residents had left the area.A Hamas delegation led by Isma'il Haniyeh, head of Hamas' political bureau, arrived in Cairo. A senior Hamas member of the delegation to Cairo again reiterated Hamas' conditions for a deal: the cessation of hostilities, the return of residents to their homes and the withdrawal of IDF forces from the Gaza Strip.: Reports about the difficult situation in the Gaza Strip continue. The UN coordinator for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip said that according to the UN, expanding the military operation to Rafah would have extremely severe humanitarian consequences. During the past day, Hezbollah claimed responsibility for three attacks. In response to the detection of a UAV in the Lower Galilee, Israeli Air Force fighter jets attacked sites in the Sidon area. Palestinians threw an IED at an Israeli vehicle northwest of Nablus, injuring one passenger. Following the attack, the security forces operated in the village of Burqa. According to Palestinian media, following the attack Israeli settlers entered the village and set fire to two cars and two houses. Hossein-Amir Abdollahian, the Iranian foreign minister, sent a communiqué to Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary general, alerting him to a possible Israeli action in Rafah.
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., February 18, 2024)

The IDF forces increased their hold on the Khan Yunis area while significantly damaging Hamas' Khan Yunis Brigade. They focused on Nasser Hospital, where according to intelligence, there was Hamas military activity and Israeli hostages had been held. Hamas claimed it had shown "flexibility" in its terms for a hostage deal but Israel sabotaged them. Hamas threatened to suspend the talks until aid was brought to the northern Gaza Strip.. Egypt continues to express concern regarding the movement of Gazans into its territory. Over the weekend Hezbollah claimed responsibility for 20 attacks on Israeli targets. Two of the attacks targeted Kiryat Shmona. Nasrallah gave a militant speech in which he noted the harm to civilians and assured Israel that Hezbollah had weapons capable of reaching Eilat. He also rejected any negotiations between Israel and Lebanon. A shooting attack was carried out at the Re'im Junction near Kiryat Malachi. Two Israelis were killed . PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh participated in the African Union meeting held in Addis Ababa.. He met with South Africa's prime minister on the sidelines of the conference. The Houthis attacked two ships sailing in the Red Sea.
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., February 15, 2024)

During the past day, IDF forces intensified their activities in Khan Yunis. On the morning of February 15, 2024, Palestinian media reported IDF activities in Nasser Hospital. Meanwhile, the forces in the northern and central Gaza Strip operated to eliminate armed terrorist squads remaining in the area and also carried out targeted attacks. The ground forces coordinated attacks with the Israeli Air Force and Navy.According to reports, discussions (hostage deal) continue in Cairo, although at a lower level. They also revealed that "external" Hamas members had not yet received a response from Yahya al-Sinwar regarding the controversial issues. According to reports, Rafah is overcrowded because of the displaced persons arriving in the area. Meanwhile, many residents, fearing an Israeli attack, were reported to have left the city. Hezbollah claimed responsibility for one attack. For the first time since the ceasefire, Hezbollah did not claim responsibility for attacks against Israel, including the barrage of rockets at Safed which killed one soldier and injured eight others. The Israeli Air Force carried out massive attacks on Hezbollah targets, including Radwan force targets. Hezbollah stated that the attacks, in which civilians were also killed, would not go unanswered. IDF forces continued counterterrorism activities in Judea and Samaria , rendering six lathes for the production of weapons unusable, confiscating equipment from two print shops, confiscating weapons and detaining wanted Palestinians. The chairman of the Palestinian Authority (PA), said the PA, with all its institutions, was ready to begin work and perform its duty as a Palestinian national authority in the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria The UN Security Council held another session to discuss the Houthis' attacks on ships in the Red Sea. The families of the Israeli hostages filed a formal complaint against Hamas at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.a
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Iraq

The Republic of Iraq (الجمهورية العراقية – Al-Jumhūrīyya Al-‘Irāqīyya) borders with Turkey in the north, Syria and Jordan in the west, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in the south, and Iran in the east. Iraq has a population of over 31 million, the vast majority of whom are Arabs (97% Muslim, 65% Shiite and 35% Sunni). In northeastern Iraq there is an autonomous Kurdish entity known as Iraqi Kurdistan. There are no relations between the State of Israel and Iraq, and Iraq refuses to recognize Israel.

After the Iraq war, the country was run by a coalition of countries that had invaded Iraq, headed by the United States. In 2005, civilian control was transferred to the interim Iraqi government that was appointed after a general election for a temporary parliament, which was held for the first time in the history of Iraq. In 2006, a permanent Shiite government was formed, and thus a change of government took place in Iraq, which had been in the hands of the Sunnis up to that time. In December 2011, the last American soldiers stationed in Iraq left the country.

After the fall of Saddam Hussein, a branch of Al-Qaeda was established in Iraq, headed by Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi. This branch later evolved into ISIS. This branch, which enjoyed widespread support among the Sunni population in Iraq, carried out terrorist attacks directed against Shiite civilians and against the Iraqi regime. In 2014, in the city of Mosul, ISIS declared the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate and took control of vast areas in western and northwestern Iraq, with the intention of taking control of the Iraqi capital Baghdad as well. In the years that followed, through efforts by the Iraqi security forces and local militias supported by the United States, these areas were liberated and ISIS slowly began to lose its power.