Periodical Studies

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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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., December 6, 2023)

During the past day, IDF forces continued to attack Hamas terrorist strongholds in Jabalia and Shejaiya. IDF fighters surrounded the Khan Yunis area and entered the center of the city. Hamas claimed that during almost two months of war, Israel had made no significant achievements, given the scope of the military campaign it was waging against the Gaza Strip.Hamas continues to state that there will be no negotiations without a ceasefire and that the terms of the negotiations for the return of the soldiers will be different from those for the return of the women and children.The Palestinians report that the situation continues to deteriorate, especially regarding medical care. IDF activities led many Gazans to concentrate in the Rafah area in the southern Gaza Strip, where the mosques were opened to house the evacuees.Hezbollah continued attacking IDF positions on the Lebanese border. IDF fire killed one Lebanese army soldier and wounded three. The IDF apologized for the incident. Hezbollah and al-Jama'a al-Islamiyya, a Palestinian terrorist organization operating in Lebanon, attacked in response.
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., December 5, 2023)

The integrated IDF forces extended the fighting in the Gaza Strip, focusing their activity in the Jabalia and Shejaiya areas in the northern Gaza Strip and in the Khan Yunis region in the south. The Palestinian media reported a very difficult night in the Khan Yunis region and in the central Gaza Strip. A Hamas source said the Gaza Strip was burning "in the most horrific war in modern history. Hamas is calling for a return to indirect negotiations, but not under fire. Hamas claims that since most of the hostages are officers and soldiers, there will be different criteria for their release. Hamas denied the accusations of acts of rape and other sexual abuse committed during the October 7 attack and accused Israel of spreading "false propaganda. Hezbollah continued attacking IDF positions along the northern border; the IDF responded with artillery and aerial fire. Hamas sources in Lebanon announced the establishment of an organization called Pioneers of Operation al-Aqsa Storm, calling on young and adult men to join its ranks. The organization was apparently established with Hezbollah's blessing. Following criticism, Hamas was quick to claim it was not a military organization, but rather the "popular recruitment" of young Palestinians into its ranks.
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