Periodical Studies

Spotlight on the Israel-Palestinian Conflict (April 2-9, 2024)

On April 7, 2024, IDF forces left the combat zone in Khan Yunis. Several rockets were launched at the cities, towns and villages surrounding the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) claimed responsibility for most of the attacks. The Palestinian media continued to follow and quote statements from the Israeli prime minister and government officials about a possible IDF activity in Rafah. Another round of talks was held in Cairo. Despite optimistic forecasts, Hamas stated that they were examining the proposal formulated during the talks, which they claimed did not meet their demands. The Palestinians continue to complain about the rate of humanitarian aid deliveries for the Gazans. This past week there were four terrorist attacks. The security forces exposed a terrorist squad planning to kill the Israeli minister of national security and attack national institutions. The Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces exposed a squad of ISIS terrorists planning to carry out attacks. The PA continues to press its suit for full membership in the UN, and the Security Council passed the request to the relevant committee. Muhammad Mustafa, prime minister of the new Palestinian government, held his first government meeting, as well as a round of meetings with regional leaders. It is possible that Mustafa and Hussein al-Sheikh, secretary of the PLO's Executive Committee, will pay a visit during the second half of April 2024.
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Spotlight on Terrorism: Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria (April 1-8, 2024)

This past week Hezbollah continued its attacks on northern Israel, attacking military and civilian targets 43 times. In response, the IDF attacked Hezbollah facilities along the border and in Ba'albek. in one of the attacks a senior operative in Hezbollah's Radwan Force was killed.Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah secretary general, delivered two speeches for World Jerusalem Day. In his speeches he emphasized the "uniqueness" of Jerusalem Day this year, claiming that Israel was on the road to destruction and that Hezbollah was ready for any scenario.Hezbollah, the Lebanese foreign ministry and other government groups condemned the airstrike attributed to Israel near the Iranian embassy in Damascus, where Muhammad Rada Zahedi (Hassan Mahdawi), the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps' Qods Force commander in Syria and Lebanon, his deputy and five other Iranians were killed. This past week, to raise the morale of its soldiers, Hezbollah published a large number of notices on social networks threatening Israel. Internal Lebanese criticism of Hezbollah gained momentum, mainly from Christian groups. UNIFIL is investigating an incident in which four security force operatives were injured by an explosion in the area of Rmeish, in south Lebanon. According to the initial investigation, they were injured when a mine exploded. The economic situation in south Lebanon is deteriorating, and reportedly there is a shortage of medicines.
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Spotlight on Iran (March 27, 2024 – April 3, 2024)

The commander of the IRGC’s Qods Force in Syria and Lebanon, Mohammad Reza Zahedi (Hassan Mahdavi), along with his deputy and five other Iranians, were killed in an airstrike on a building adjacent to the Iranian embassy in Damascus. Following the attack, senior Iranian officials threatened a harsh response against Israel. The head of Hamas’ political bureau and the secretary-general of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) held meetings with senior Iranian government officials. Senior Iranian government officials continued political contacts regarding the war in Gaza. The IRGC continues to transfer weapons to pro-Iranian militias in eastern Syria. The Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for several attacks against targets in Israel in response to Israel’s continued activity in the Gaza Strip. The main incident involved the launching of a UAV at the Gulf of Aqaba, which struck an IDF base in Eilat. Iraqi Foreign Minister Fouad Hussein stressed that any decision to attack from Iraqi soil required the
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Spotlight on the Israel-Palestinian Conflict (March 26 – April 2, 2024)

The activities of IDF forces in the Gaza Strip focused on three locations: Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, where the activity ended on April 1, 2024. Hundreds of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist operatives were detained, including senior operatives, about 200 terrorists were killed and large quantities of weapons were seized. The central Gaza Strip, where the IDF attacked Hamas checkpoints and surveillance centers. The Khan Yunis area, where the forces operated in the al-Amal neighborhood and the village of al-Qarara. Talks for a hostage deal in Cairo continued without a breakthrough. The introduction of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip continues. Reportedly, Hamas has changed the nature of its combat and transitioned to limited attacks to preserve its forces and capabilities for "the day after There were three terrorist attacks. The Israeli security forces carried out counterterrorism activities in the Jenin and Tulkarm (Nur Shams) refugee camps.. The prayer on the third Friday of Ramadan on the Temple Mount passed with relative calm. According to reports, 125,000 worshipers came to pray . The new Palestinian government was sworn in. The Palestinian Authority called on the United States to change its policy towards the Palestinians.
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Spotlight on Terrorism: Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria (March 26-April 1, 2024)

Hezbollah attacked Israeli military and civilian targets along the border. The IDF attacked Hezbollah targets and an al-Jamaa al-Islamiyya target in south Lebanon. Hezbollah reported 17 deaths, including the deputy commander of Hezbollah's rocket and missile unit and a senior operative of the al-Radwan Force. A senior Hezbollah figure said the organization was stockpiling weapons and was also interested in advanced weapons systems. According to a single, unverified report, a senior Hezbollah figure told the UAE that Hezbollah was prepared to stop fighting in south Lebanon and declare the border area along the blue line a demilitarized zone, after which it would be possible to reach an agreement on demarcating the land border between Israel and Lebanon. Criticism of Hezbollah was voiced in Lebanon, mainly by Christians, for the organization's dragging Lebanon into an unnecessary war. A UNIFIL vehicle was hit in the Rmeish area, injuring four UNIFIL soldiers. Hezbollah blamed Israel. The IDF spokesperson said the IDF had not attacked near Rmeish. Local residents reported Hezbollah operations in the region. According to a UN report, there are 90,491 displaced persons in Lebanon. An airstrike in the Aleppo region of Syria, attributed to Israel, reportedly killed 36 Syrian soldiers and seven Hezbollah operatives.
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Spotlight on Iran (March 20, 2024 – March 27, 2024)

In recent months, the smuggling of advanced weapons from Iran to Judea and Samaria was thwarted by the Israeli security forces. The Special Operations Directorate of the IRGC’s intelligence organization and the Qods Force Special Operations Unit in Syria were responsible for those smuggling attempts. Those attempts provide further evidence of the increasing efforts by Iran, led by the IRGC, to expand its activity and support for terrorism in Judea and Samaria. Ismail Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, arrived in Tehran and met with the Iranian supreme leader, the Iranian president, and the foreign minister. This is Haniyeh’s second visit to Tehran since the beginning of the war in the Gaza Strip. Concurrently with his visit, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) secretary-general Ziad al-Nakhalah arrived in Iran as well. The spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry referred to the Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip as “a positive but insufficient step.” He called for practical and effective steps to implement the resolution and stop the Israeli attacks. The IRGC announced the death of an IRGC’s Qods Force “military advisor” in an Israeli airstrike in the Deir ez-Zor area in eastern Syria on the night of March 26, 2024. Reports of unusual activity by the IRGC and pro-Iranian militias in the Albukamal area in eastern Syria. The Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for carrying out several attacks against strategic sites in Israel. In practice, no such attacks were detected. The Houthis in Yemen continued to carry out daily attacks against vessels in the Red Sea area using missiles and UAVs.
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