Lebanon

The Al-Aqsa Flood Pioneers A new youth movement established by Hamas in Lebanon to attack Israel

On December 4, 2023, the Hamas movement announced the establishment of a new youth movement in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon called the Al-Aqsa Flood Pioneers, which will constitute, a "vanguard resistance force which will take part in the liberation of Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque." The movement will serve as an organizational framework for ideological recruitment and will train young Palestinians in the refugee camps in Lebanon preparing them to be Hamas terrorist operatives who will attack Israel from the Lebanese borde.In the wake of reservations from many people in Lebanon, regarding the establishment of the movement, Hamas tried to minimize its importance and represent it as an "ideological," non-militant social movement. Hamas announced the youth movement's establishment without coordinating with the Lebanese authorities. For Hezbollah, the movement will provide an additional reservoir of Sunni terrorist operatives who can be recruited to fight against Israel and will give it a further grip on the Palestinian refugee camps.
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., December 28, 2023)

he IDF forces continued to attack terrorist targets in a number of central locations in the Gaza Strip, among them Daraj and Tufah in the northern Gaza Strip, the al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip and Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. In Rantisi Hospital in Gaza City, the IDF completed the destruction of the underground tunnel complex. The Palestinians reported that the IDF's ground maneuver in the central Gaza Strip focused on the Juhor al-Dik area (Wadi Gaza) and the al-Bureij refugee camp. Hamas' military-terrorist wing announced it was using "new weapons”. According to an unofficial estimate, since October 7 approximately 1,300 Israeli civilians and security personnel have been killed, 501 of them soldiers and officers; 129 civilian and military hostages are still being held by the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip, 16 of them women and children; 121 hostages have been returned to Israel. The preoccupation with "the day after" continues. Hamas informed Egypt that a situation in which Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) would not be part of the leadership of the Gaza Strip after the war was unrealistic. Hamas denied reports in the French newspaper Le Figaro stating that half an hour before the start of Operation al-Aqsa Flood, they updated Hezbollah. Hezbollah accepted responsibility for three attacks. A barrage of about 30 rockets was launched at Kiryat Shmona. Three hostile aircraft crossed from Lebanon and fell in the area of Mount Dov.Israeli security forces conducted an extensive operation to confiscate funds intended to finance terrorism and detained suspects for helping to finance Hamas.The Islamic Resistance Front in Iraq claimed responsibility for attacking a vital target in the Golan Heights.
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., December 27, 2023)

The IDF forces continued to attack terrorist targets, terrorist groups and military facilities in the Gaza Strip focusing on the Daraj and Tufah neighborhoods of Gaza City and the refugee camps in central Gaza, and in Khan Yunis in the south. The Palestinians reported intense IDF artillery fire targeting east al-Bureij and al-Maghazi, shelling targeting east Khan Yunis, and attacks in Jabalia and Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip and in east Gaza City. A three-phase updated Egyptian proposal has been published which includes a ceasefire, the return of the hostages and the release of Palestinian prisoners. Senior Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) reiterated that there was nothing new in the proposal. According to reports, Egyptian officials are working to settle "the day after" and are in contact with the Hamas leadership "abroad." Hezbollah claimed responsibility for nine attacks. An anti-tank missile was fired at a church in the Christian village of Iqrit, injuring a civilian and several IDF soldiers. The heads of the Palestinian Authority are dealing with "the day after." Iranian leaders continued commenting on the killing of Seyyed Razi Moussavi and threatened Israel with a harsh response. An Israeli Air Force fighter jet intercepted a hostile air target in the Red Sea area en route to Israeli territory.
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., December 26, 2023)

The ground, sea, and air forces continued to attack terrorist targets, terrorist cells and military sites in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians reported intense attacks in the Jabalia area, the center of Khan Yunis and Rafah, adding that the IDF had completed splitting the Strip According to a report, an ISIS operative who participated in the October 7 attack and massacre was reported killed by the IDF in Rafah. A commission of UN agencies, governmental and non-governmental organizations and civilian social organizations published a comprehensive report regarding the food crisis in the Gaza Strip. The contents of a letter from Yahya al-Sinwar, head of the Hamas political bureau in the Gaza Strip, to the Hamas political bureau were revealed. Hezbollah claimed responsibility for ten attacks. Hamas' military-terrorist wing claimed responsibility for firing rockets at the Western Galilee.. At the meeting of the PLO Executive Committee, Mahmoud Abbas said the war had to be brought to a complete, permanent halt, all humanitarian needs in the Gaza Strip had to be met and Israel's plan to displace the residents of the Gaza Strip had to be blocked. Sayyed Razi Mousavi, a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Qods Force operative, was killed in the Damascus area in an attack attributed to Israel. Iranian officials threatened to avenge his death.
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., December 25, 2023)

The IDF land, sea, and air forces continued their integrated ground maneuver. In the northern Gaza Strip the forces gained operational hold over the Jabaliya refugee camp, one of Hamas' most important strongholds. In Gaza City the fighting focused on the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood. In the southern Gaza Strip fighting continued in Khan Yunis. Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) reiterated that no negotiations would begin before a ceasefire and there would be no temporary ceasefires, only a total end to the fighting and a comprehensive exchange deal. According to the Palestinian social media, a boy who was trying to reach a truck carrying humanitarian aid was shot and killed by the Hamas police in Rafah. A PIJ delegation arrived for talks in Cairo. Hezbollah claimed responsibility for four attacks during the past day..The Palestinians reported the entry of a large Israeli security force into the Jenin refugee camp, along with heavy exchanges of fire with "armed Palestinians" [terrorist operatives].
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., December 24, 2023)

IDF forces continued their integrated ground maneuver against terrorist operatives, destroying terrorist facilities and locating large quantities of weapons in the northern, central and southern Gaza Strip. Palestinians reported fierce ground fighting and airstrikes, as well as the extension of the fighting to the Philadelphia Axis area (the border area between the Gaza Strip and Egypt). "Sources" familiar with the talks held by the Hamas leadership with the Egyptian mediators in Cairo said that the Hamas delegation returned to Qatar to consult with the [Hamas] political bureau regarding an Egyptian initiative for a three-stage hostage deal. UNRWA officials said that the area was now full of displaced persons and UNRWA shelters were full. They said that no place in Gaza was safe. Residents complained of having to move from one place to another. Hezbollah continued attacking IDF posts. Between December 21and 24, 2023, Hezbollah claimed responsibility for 19 attacks. An IDF soldier was killed by rocket fire. In response the IDF attacked Hezbollah targets in south Lebanon with artillery fire and airstrikes. Border Police fighters were attacked in Barta'a (west of Jenin); a female fighter was slightly injured.The Islamic Resistance in Iraq announced it had attacked the Harish gas rig and the city of Eilat. A Japanese-owned ship was hit in the Indian Ocean by a UAV apparently launched from Iran. After a week of delays caused by differences of opinion, the Security Council passed a softened draft resolution calling for urgent, immediate entry of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip, and for creating conditions for a cessation of the hostilities.
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Lebanon

Lebanon is a small country with a population of only about 4.1 million. Situated on the Mediterranean Sea, Lebanon borders on Israel in the south and Syria in the east and north. It gained its independence from France on November 22, 1943. Due to Lebanon’s varied ethnic composition, its history is rife with schisms, conflicts and civil wars based on sectarian allegiances. Since its independence, Lebanon has had a unique political system of ethnic distribution with a parliamentary democracy based on ethnic-sectarian-religious representation. The most important offices are divided among the various religious groups, in accordance with the national charter of 1943.


Lebanon’s social complexity, the weakness of its central government, and the social and economic gaps between the various ethnic groups led to the rise of many armed sectarian-political militias, some of which turned to terrorism. The most prominent Shiite terrorist organization in Lebanon is Hezbollah, which was founded in the summer of 1982 during the First Lebanon War. It is not only a terrorist organization which owes its allegiance to the Iranian regime, it has also been incorporated into the Lebanese political system.


Lebanon has traditionally served as an arena for foreign forces, both Middle Eastern and international. In the past, Syria’s intervention in Lebanon was most conspicuous. Today, Iran’s intervention is most conspicuous: it provides Hezbollah in Lebanon with weapons, ammunition, financing and military training. The border between Israel and Lebanon has undergone some tense periods and several confrontations where IDF forces entered the Lebanese territory. Since the Second Lebanon War (2006), the border between Israel and Lebanon has been relatively quiet, a situation exploited by Hezbollah to advance its military buildup and intensely intervene in the civil war in Syria, under Iranian direction.