Lebanon

Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., March 12, 2024)

The IDF forces continued their activity in the southern Gaza Strip, mainly in the Hamad neighborhood in the northwest of Khan Yunis and in the neighborhoods to the east of the city. In the central and northern Gaza Strip, the forces took action mainly against armed operatives and rocket launchers. Hamas officials reported that no progress had been made and blamed Israel for causing attempts to reach an agreement before Ramadan to fail. Arab sources stated that the pier under construction for the delivery humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip was insufficient and that aid should also be brought in in additional ways. Senior sources in the Gaza Strip claimed the issue of the pier "was suspicious" and there were problems that had to be solved before its operation. Hezbollah claimed responsibility for eight attacks during the past day. On the night of March 11, 2024, Israeli Air Force fighter jets attacked two Hezbollah aerial force compounds in the Beqa'a region. In response, Hezbollah launched about 70 rockets at Israel. Israeli security forces killed a terrorist operative in the village of Zeita near Tulkarm, who was en route to carry out a suicide bombing attack in Tel Aviv. A rifle and an IED prepared for detonation were found in his possession. The Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed its operatives had launched a UAV at Ben Gurion Airport; the launch was videoed and distributed by the "resistance." The Houthis reported attacking another ship in the Red Sea. The Security Council convened to discuss the sexual assaults during the October 7, 2023 terrorist attack and massacre, following the report written by the UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict.A cell of three Palestinians was detained, apparently with connections to the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades in Judea and Samaria, which planned to carry out terrorist attacks. One of the detainees is wanted by Israel.
Read more...

Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., March 11, 2024)

The IDF forces continued their activity in the southern Gaza Strip in Khan Yunis' Hamad neighborhood. In the central Gaza Strip, the forces operated mainly against armed terrorist squads. Naval fighters in the northern Gaza Strip directed a combat helicopter to attack and destroy a vessel used by the terrorist organizations. After the Hamas delegation left Cairo, senior Hamas members stated that there was no specific date for its return to the talks. They denied reports that communications had been suspended between the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip and the "external" leadership and reiterated their demands. Airlifts of humanitarian aid from various countries continue. Israel's attempts for cooperation from clan heads in the Gaza Strip have allegedly failed. Hamas also warned against such attempts, calling them "treason." Isma'il Haniyeh, head of Hamas' political bureau, gave a speech for Ramadan in which he reiterated Hamas demands for a hostage deal. Hezbollah claimed responsibility for ten attacks, including two rocket barrages targeting the Meron and Hermon areas, allegedly Hezbollah's response to IDF attacks on Lebanese civilians. Four UAVs were launched simultaneously at a single target. The Israeli security forces operated in the Nur Shams, Tulkarm and Qalqilya refugee camps.
Read more...

Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., March 10, 2024)

The IDF forces continued their activity in the Gaza Strip, focusing on the Hamad neighborhood in the northwest of Khan Yunis and Qarara, east of Khan Yunis. In the central Gaza Strip, attacks on armed terrorist squads continued. On March 7, 2024, the Hamas delegation left Egypt for consultations with the movement's leadership. "Egyptian sources" said that the mediating countries would strive to hold a new round of negotiations. The president of the United States ordered the construction of a temporary port on the shore of the Gaza Strip to bring in humanitarian aid. During the weekend, Hezbollah claimed responsibility for 25 attacks. Hezbollah reported seven dead A combined shooting-IED attack against IDF soldiers was carried out in the Homesh area; the Jenin Battalion claimed responsibility for the attack, which was welcomed by Hamas and the PIJ. Mahmoud Abbas swore in six new district governors. His office expressed satisfaction with the State of the Union address, claiming it was in line with the Palestinians' demands. The Islamic Resistance claimed to have attacked Israel three times. The Houthis increased their activity in the Red Sea and the United States military and the coalition countries increased their countermeasures. The Houthis and Hamas reported the ongoing, close and connections between the movements. A delegation of the families of Palestinian casualties from the Gaza Strip visited the UN and met with the UN secretary general and members of the Security Council.
Read more...

Public Criticism in Lebanon of Hezbollah Activity along the Israel-Lebanese Border

Hezbollah joined the fighting against Israel on October 8, 2023, in support of the Palestinians. The fighting in south Lebanon, and especially the damage caused to the area, led the Lebanese public to criticize Hezbollah, especially for dragging Lebanon into a war which did not concern it. The main criticisms of the war have been that it is a war being fought by the Palestinians, not the Lebanese; Hezbollah is not "protecting Lebanon," although it represents itself as such, but rather it is destroying Lebanon; Hezbollah serves the interests of the Iranian regime; even without a war, Lebanon is undergoing a serious economic and political crisis, and Hezbollah is sending the country into the abyss; Hezbollah operates in the Christian, Sunni and Druze towns and villages in south Lebanon to force local residents to migrate to other areas inside the country. Critics include public figures and politicians, mainly Christians, and the Lebanese street, especially the residents of the south, who are the main victims of the war. There is also criticism from Shi'ite elements in south Lebanon. However, incidents of criticism have been relatively few, and in most cases the critics express their protest orally or in writing, mainly on social networks. So far there are no signs of organized protest, since in some instances speaking out or being active against Hezbollah could be fatal. Hezbollah is trying to moderate the criticism against it, mainly with the help of promises to restore south Lebanon after the war and help local residents. Senior organization figures claim Hezbollah operates not only for the Shi'ite population but for all Lebanese citizens.
Read more...

Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., March 7, 2024)

The IDF forces continued the integrated ground maneuver, focusing on the southern Gaza Strip, especially the Hamad neighborhood in the northwest of Khan Yunis. They also operated in the central Gaza Strip refugee camps and the Jebalya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, mainly against the remaining enclaves of terrorists. Hamas continues to adhere to its position that there will be no  hostage  deal without a ceasefire, a complete withdrawal of IDF forces from the Gaza Strip and the unconditional return of the displaced persons to their previous places of residence. Some Hamas members indicated they might show "flexibility" regarding a hostage deal after their demands had been met. Hezbollah claimed responsibility for four attacks. One attack was carried out using a UAV and was intercepted by IDF forces. The IDF responded to the events by attacking Hezbollah targets in south Lebanon. On the afternoon of March 6, 2024, a Palestinian carried out a stabbing attack in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood in Jerusalem, wounding an Israeli civilian. The perpetrator of the attack was a 14 year-old boy; he was detained. The IDF forces continued their counterterrorism activities. The prime minister of the interim PA government told CNN that the resignation of the government had provided a new opportunity for the Palestinians to promote the idea of a Palestinian state and achieve internal unity. The commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps' Qods Force claimed Israel exaggerated its successes, adding that the current struggle had "proved" that the "resistance front" was an array of interconnected groups with many capabilities which had not yet shown its full potential, and that no one could ignore it. The Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for launching a UAV at Kiryat Shmona. The Houthis hit an American ship in the Gulf of Aden, reportedly killing three people and wounding several.
Read more...

Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., March 6, 2024)

IDF forces continued their activity in the Hamad neighborhood in northwest Khan Yunis, while forces in the central Gaza Strip operated mainly against armed terrorist groups.For now, there is apparently no progress in the negotiations. The Hamas delegation remained in Egypt for another day of talks. Hamas claimed to have demonstrated the "flexibility" required to reach a binding agreement and accused Israel of continuing to evade its commitments. The United States airlifted another load of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. Senior Hamas members acknowledged the aid but claimed it was "better" for the aid to be delivered through the border crossings. Hezbollah claimed responsibility for 11 attacks. Referring to the visit of American mediator Amos Hochstein in Lebanon, Hezbollah's deputy secretary general claimed they were not aware of messages he brought, adding that Hezbollah's position was clear: as long as the war in the Gaza Strip continued, the Lebanese front would continue .A stabbing attack was carried out at the Yitzhar Junction (south of Nablus) in which an IDF soldier was seriously injured. Mahmoud Abbas, PA chairman, met in Ankara with the president of Turkey.The senior military advisor to the Iranian supreme leader claimed Iran's strategic depth was the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean, and Iran should increase its "defensive" strategic depth to 5,000 kilometers (about 3,100 miles) using its naval and air forces. The Islamic Resistance reported it had launched a UAV at Haifa. The Houthis reported attacking a United States military destroyer in the Red Sea.
Read more...