Lebanon

The hostilities in south Lebanon have driven tens of thousands of local residents to flee to the northern areas

Hezbollah joined the fighting against Israel on October 8, 2023, the day after Operation Iron Swords began, and opened a front on Israel's northern border, In the wake of the tense situation and the fear of escalation, residents of villages and towns in south Lebanon began to move to northern areas, noteworthy because Hezbollah usually places its posts and bases in or near civilian settlements. According to current estimates, between 20,000 and 60,000 Lebanese have left their homes for the north and the number may be higher. Some of them left on their own initiative and some following orders from Hezbollah. As long as the situation in south Lebanon remains tense and people fear escalation, it is more likely that most of the displaced civilians will not return to their homes. Such a situation will have serious long-term economic consequences, primarily on those who earn their living from agriculture and on Lebanon's economy as well, which is in the throes of a deep economic crisis.
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., December 13, 2023)

IDF forces continued their integrated maneuvers in the northern and southern Gaza Strip, and during the past day, ground, air and sea forces attacked over 250 terrorist targets. Senior Hamas officials admit the enormous destruction in the Strip, but still claim that they have the upper hand and that Israel will not be able to subdue them. They also accuse the United States of cooperating with Israel IDF forces recovered two kidnapped bodies (a civilian and a soldier) and bring them to Israel. Senior Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists reiterate that if Israel is interested in negotiations and a deal, it must stop fighting in the Strip.The situation in the Gaza Strip is deteriorating. Many evacuees are in the south of the Gaza Strip. Hezbollah continued attacking Israel, targeting military targets and launching rockets at the cities, towns and villages of the Western Galilee. The United Nations General Assembly held an emergency session and passed a resolution demanding an urgent humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians welcomed the decision, which they viewed as international support for the Palestinian issue. In Geneva, foreign ministers of Arab and Islamic countries met at the World Refugee Forum to discuss the "situation of human rights in Palestine."
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., December 12, 2023)

IDF forces continued fighting in the northern and southern Gaza Strip, exposing large quantities of weapons and weapons training facilities, most of which were situated in civilian sites, such as residences and mosques. The forces detained a large number of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist operatives. The Palestinians reported fierce combat in the southern and northern Gaza Strip.Senior Hamas and terrorists continue reiterating that any further hostage exchange deal will be made after a ceasefire is announced. A "Palestinian source" reported that initial negotiations were underway regarding the possibility of continuing the hostage exchange deal.The situation in the Gaza Strip is deteriorating. Medical personnel reported the outbreak of disease. In the Rafah area, another Qatar-funded field hospital is under construction. Hezbollah continued attacking IDF posts, concentrations of fighters and civilian targets. Hezbollah claimed it had attacked Metula with guided missiles in response to the death of the mayor of the Lebanese town of Taybeh, killed by an IDF mortar shell. The IDF responded by attacking Hezbollah terrorist targets in south Lebanon.The Houthis attacked a ship flying a Norwegian flag in the Bab al-Mandeb area which they claimed was carrying oil to Israel.
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., December 11, 2023)

The IDF forces continued to expand their activities in the southern and northern Gaza Strip. A senior IDF officer said that in recent days they had detected signs of cracks in the Hamas façade and problems in command and control, especially in the northern Gaza Strip, where mainly small groups of terrorist operatives were fighting without senior command. Cracks were also appearing in the civilian population's solidarity with Hamas. Palestinian sources reported intense fighting mainly in the Khan Yunis area and in refugee camps in the central Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, the Palestinian terrorist organizations continue attacking Israel with rocket fire, although at a relatively low rate and mainly targeting the cities, towns and villages surrounding the Gaza Strip. On the afternoon of December 11, 2023, at noon, a barrage was launched towards central Israel and the plains west of Jerusalem; buildings and cars were damaged in Holon. Senior Hamas terrorists continue to stress that the hostages will be released only according to the organization's terms and Israel will submit to Hamas pressure. Hezbollah continued attacking Israel. On the morning of December 11, 2023, a large barrage of rockets was launched towards the cities, towns and villages in the Galilee. Hamas claimed responsibility for attacking two posts in the Western Galilee. Meanwhile, Hamas continues developing the "pioneers of Operation al-Aqsa Storm" in Lebanon, whose establishment it announced a few days ago.
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., December 10, 2023)

Fighting continues in the northern and southern Gaza Strip. Integrated IDF forces continued to expand their presence in the area, attacking hundreds of Hamas terrorist targets. The local media reported fierce fighting and the surrender of dozens of Gazans. Senior Hamas terrorists claimed they had the upper hand, were successfully combatting the IDF forces and could hold out for many months.An IDF attempt to free the hostages failed (no hostage was present at the site) and two soldiers were injuredThe situation in the Strip continues to deteriorate. The spokesman for the Hamas-controlled the ministry of health in the Gaza Strip reported the collapse of the public health system, stating hospital occupancy stood at 260%.Hezbollah continued attacking IDF posts and forces. The IDF responded with artillery fire and airstrikes. Reportedly, there has been increasing criticism from senior Hezbollah terrorists of the Radwan forces along the border and its performance during the war. The American embassy in Baghdad was attacked. The Houthis declared they would absolutelyThe Security Council debated a proposed resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. It was vetoed by the United States, on the grounds that it did not condemn Hamas' October 7 massacre, or the sexual violence perpetrated by its terrorist operatives, and there was no mention of calling on the Red Cross to provide the hostages with medical treatment. The Palestinians and their supporters condemned the United States' veto.
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., December 7, 2023)

On December 1, 2023, the temporary ceasefire in the Gaza Strip ended. It began on November 24, 2023 at 7 a.m. and its objective was the release of hostages and their return to Israel. It ended after it was violated by Hamas. Senior Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorists blamed Israel for ending it and also blamed the United States for the events in the Gaza Strip because of its unreserved support for Israel. Senior Hamas and PIJ terrorists also warned that the next phase of the hostage exchange deal would be longer and more "complex," because it would include a demand for the release of security prisoners with blood on their hands and the price Israel would pay for men and soldiers would be different from that of women and children. Hamas and PIJ senior terrorists stated that they were prepared for the continuation of the fighting and all possible scenarios. They also claimed they were completely confident that they would defeat Israel. Saleh al-'Arouri, senior Hamas terrorist, said that there would be no more negotiations for a ceasefire and Hamas' final position was that there would be no deals for the release of hostages before the end of the war.
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