Periodical Studies

Spotlight on Iran (May 16-22, 2024)

This past week was marked by the deaths of Iranian President Raisi, Foreign Minister Abdollahian, and other senior Iranian officials in a helicopter crash in northwestern Iran on May 19, 2024. The Shiite pro-Iranian militias in Iraq and Yemen expressed deep sorrow. Senior Iranian officials continued to express confidence concerning Israel’s situation, especially following the Iranian attack on Israel last month. The IRGC has reportedly begun transferring new shipments of weapons to an underground warehouse set up in eastern Syria, near the border with Iraq. There was a decline in the number of attacks carried out by the Islamic Resistance in Iraq against targets in Israeli territory. They claimed responsibility for five attacks compared to 13 the week before. The IDF confirmed that it had intercepted three UAVs east of Israel. The Houthis did not claim responsibility for attacks against vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. The US Central Command reported that an oil tanker had been damaged by a Houthi ballistic missile, with no casualties, and that another ballistic missile had been fired. The Houthis claimed responsibility for downing two American drones over Yemen.
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Spotlight on the Israel-Palestinian Conflict (May 15-21, 2024)

IDF forces continued expanding their activities in the Gaza Strip. The focal points were east Rafah and the Jebalya refugee camp. Meanwhile, the terrorist organizations continued firing rockets at the cities, towns and villages surrounding the Gaza Strip. Following intelligence information, the IDF returned the bodies of four Israeli civilians who were murdered on October 7, 2023, and taken to the Gaza Strip. Nine soldiers died fighting in the Gaza Strip. The negotiations are at a dead end and Hamas continues blaming Israel for the failure of the talks on the hostages' release. The floating pier constructed by the United States military off the coast of the Gaza Strip for the delivery of humanitarian aid was activated for the first time. Significant discrepancies between the reports of the Hamas ministries of health and information in the data regarding the number of dead in the Gaza Strip. There were three stabbing attacks in Judea and Samaria. The Israeli security forces continued their counterterrorism activities in Judea and Samaria. The focal point was the Jenin refugee camp. where an extensive operation began and aircrafts attacked a terrorist operations room. Mahmoud Abbas gave a speech at the Arab League summit meeting in Bahrain attacking Hamas and stating that its unilateral action on October 7, 2023 gave Israel excuses to attack the Gaza Strip and displace its residents. The prosecutor general of the International Criminal Court in The Hague requested arrest warrants for suspicion of war crimes for head of the Hamas political bureau in the Gaza Strip, the commander of Hamas' military-terrorist wing, and the head of Hamas' political bureau, in addition to the Israeli Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.
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Spotlight on Terrorism: Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria (May 12-20, 2024)

This past week Hezbollah continued its escalation and claimed responsibility for 68 attacks on military and civilian targets in northern Israel, including the aerial detection and warning system surveillance blimp. The attacks killed an Israeli civilian and wounded 12 IDF soldiers. Hezbollah heavy rockets for the first time and for the first time launched S-5 air-to-surface rockets from a UAV. According to reports, Hezbollah changed its methods of operation to reduce the exposure of its operatives to Israeli aircraft by transferring operatives and weapons through a network of tunnels in south Lebanon and the remotely activating rockets using electronic timers.Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah secretary general, said in a speech that as long as the war in the Gaza Strip continued, Hezbollah would continue to fight. He also claimed Israel failed to achieve its objectives in the war. Hassan Nasrallah met with a delegation of senior Hamas members. Najib Mikati, prime minister of the interim government in Lebanon, called on the international community to pressure Israel to stop its "aggression" against south Lebanon and Gaza and to start dealing with the situation in south Lebanon.A UAV attacked the vehicle of a Hezbollah commander and his escort on the Syrian side of Lebanese border. Hezbollah did not announce casualties.
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Spotlight on Iran (May 8-16, 2024)

The chief of staff of the Iranian army declared that the "al-Aqsa Flood" and the Iranian attack on Israel accelerated the process of eliminating Israel and brought about regional and global strategic changes. The commander of the IRGC’s Qods Force said that Israel and the United States had been humiliated by the “resistance” in the Gaza Strip, and that the Palestinians’ situation has hardly changed compared to their situation at the beginning of the war in the Gaza Strip seven months ago. Jordan thwarted two attempts to smuggle weapons from Syria to the Muslim Brotherhood in the country, with Hamas involvement, apparently directed by Iran. The Islamic Resistance in Iraq continued to claim responsibility for UAV and cruise missile attacks on targets in Israeli territory, including IDF bases and energy facilities. The IDF confirmed that it had intercepted three UAVs east of Israel. The Houthis renewed their attacks against military and civilian vessels in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Indian Ocean. The Houthi leader threatened to expand the fighting against Israel if Israeli activity in Rafah was expanded.
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Spotlight on the Israel-Palestinian Conflict (May 7-15, 2024)

The IDF expanded its activities in the Gaza Strip and is currently focusing on eastern Rafah and the Jebalya refugee camp. The activity in the al-Zeitoun neighborhood in Gaza City ended on the morning of May 15, 2024. Meanwhile, the Palestinian terrorist organizations continue firing rockets at the communities surrounding the Gaza Strip and in Southern Israel. For the first time in five months, Beersheba was attacked by rocket fire. Five IDF soldiers were killed and several others injured in the fighting in the Gaza Strip. The negotiations for the release of the hostages in Cairo stalled even after Egyptian efforts for a breakthrough. The Hamas delegation left Cairo and returned to Qatar. Hamas accused Israel of not taking the negotiations seriously and claimed the Israeli delegation's participation was meant as a cover for its action in Rafah. With the closure of the Gazan side of the Rafah Crossing following the IDF takeover, international and Palestinian figures warned that the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip would deteriorate. Meanwhile, UNRWA distributes aid in its centers throughout the Gaza Strip. This past week no terrorist attacks were reported in Israel and in Judea and Samaria, and the intensity of IDF activities declined. A number of detentions and counterterrorism activities were carried out in the Hebron and Nablus areas. After a majority vote in the General Assembly, the PA's status was upgraded and its request to be accepted as a full member will be reexamined. The Palestinian prime minister continued his political activities to recruit support and financial aid for the PA and humanitarian aid for the Gazans. Senior Fatah member Jibril al-Rajoub, who denied the October 7th, 2023 attack and massacre, continued to promote Israel's delegitimization in FIFA, the international soccer association.
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Spotlight on Terrorism: Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria (May 6-12, 2024)

This past week Hezbollah claimed responsibility for 46 attacks on military and civilian targets in northern Israel. In two of the attacks, three IDF soldiers were killed. Following the beginning of the IDF operation in Rafah, Hezbollah escalated its attacks In response, Israeli Air Force aircraft attacked the organization's military infrastructure in south Lebanon and Hezbollah field commanders were eliminated in targeted attacks. Sources reported that Hezbollah was still preparing to carry out cross-border raids in the Galilee region. Na'im Qassem, Hezbollah deputy secretary general, said that Hezbollah would present its vision for south Lebanon after a complete ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.The Lebanese government forwarded France its response regarding proposals for a lull in the fighting between Hezbollah and Israel in south Lebanon. The damage to the south Lebanese infrastructure since the beginning of the fighting on October 8, 2023 is estimated at more than $1 billion.
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