Periodical Studies

Spotlight on Iran (March 14, 2024 – March 20, 2024)

Continued coordination between Iran and its partners in the “axis of resistance:” The Iranian foreign minister sent letters to the leaders of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and Hezbollah . Senior IRGC officials reportedly met in February 2024 with representatives of the “resistance front” from the region and agreed with them on the need to avoid expanding the war. The Syrian defense minister arrived in Tehran in mid-March 2024 for a visit and met with senior Iranian officials. Iran is reportedly using large European ports to provide cover for arms shipments to Hezbollah. The Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for launching UAVs at the Golan Heights and Ben Gurion Airport. Syrian news channels recently reported unusual activity by the pro-Iranian militias in the Albukamal area in eastern Syria. Houthi attacks in Yemen continue on a daily basis against vessels in the Red Sea.. On March 19, 2024, the Houthis announced the launch of cruise missiles at targets in the Eilat area
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Spotlight on the Israel-Palestinian Conflict March 14 – 19, 2024

IDF forces continue operating in the Gaza Strip, focusing on three main areas, the northern Gaza Strip and Gaza City, where the forces returned to Shifa Hospital; the central Gaza Strip, where they are establishing a security buffer zone near the border fence; and Khan Yunis, where they continue operations in the Hamad neighborhood. Trucks carrying humanitarian aid entered the Gaza Strip for the first time since November 2023. A Spanish aid ship unloaded a cargo of 200 tons of humanitarian aid According to reports, a meeting was recently held in Beirut by the Palestinian "organizations" and Houthi representatives to coordinate the Houthis' continued fighting "in support of the Palestinians. Two terrorist attacks were carried out, one in Hebron and the other at the Beit Kama junction. The prayer of the first Friday of Ramadan passed with relative calm. Mahmoud Abbas appointed Dr. Muhammad Mustafa as the new prime minister and instructed him to form the new government.
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Spotlight on Terrorism: Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria (March 14 – 18, 2024)

Hezbollah continued attacking against Israeli military targets along the border, carrying out 29 attacks. In response, IDF forces attacked Hezbollah targets in south LebanonGiven the increase of IDF attacks in Lebanon, Hezbollah issued a video threatening reprisals in kind if the IDF continues expanding its attacks in Lebanon.According to a report, last month Esmail Qaani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps' Qods Force, met with Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary general of Hezbollah. Nasrallah reportedly told him that Hezbollah would fight on its own against Israel, and called on Iran to remain uninvolved in direct fighting out of concern for the safety of its nuclear facilities and to avoid a confrontation with the United States.Hezbollah targets northeast of Damascus were attacked in an airstrike attributed to Israel.The British Telegraph reported that Iran smuggled weapons to Hezbollah using ships passing through the Suez Canal en route to ports in Europe.
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., March 14, 2024)

IDF activities intensified in the Hamad neighborhood in northwestern Khan Yunis, a focal point of terrorist attacks. The Gazans reported that IDF forces had left the neighborhood. Clashes with armed terrorist squads continued in the central Gaza Strip. On March 13, 2024, two suspicious figures in diving gear were detected approaching Zikim Beach from the northern shore of the Gaza Strip. Israel Navy forces shot at them. Various sources reported a new proposal for a hostage deal was being strongly promoted by the Americans. Hamas claimed they were prepared to respond to any serious offer for an agreement, however, it is not known when the Hamas delegation will return to the talks in Cairo. The fighting notwithstanding, the IDF is preparing for the arrival of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip by sea and land. In addition, international contacts are being held regarding the regulation of the transfer of humanitarian aid and its possible expansion. Hezbollah claimed responsibility for six attacks. The IDF responded with airstrikes and artillery fire at Hezbollah targets in south Lebanon. Hezbollah secretary general, gave a speech for Ramadan praising the ["resistance's"] fighting in the Gaza Strip and promised continued support from Hezbollah. The Islamic Resistance in Iraq reported it had attacked the Palmachim base in Israel. In reality the event did not occur. "Iranian sources" denied reports of indirect contacts between the United States and Iran regarding the activities of the Houthis in the Red Sea.
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., March 13, 2024)

IDF forces continued operating in the neighborhoods of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, and in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip. Given the stalemated negotiations for a ceasefire and hostage deal, international parties have made different suggestions to promote a deal in the immediate future. According to reports, the Hamas delegation will soon leave for another round of talks in Cairo. Senior Hamas members stated that despite the offers they received, they adhered to their demands. The United States Army's Central Command announced the departure of four vessels to the Middle East carrying equipment and supplies to establish a temporary pier in the Gaza Strip. Hezbollah claimed responsibility for 11 attacks. An operative in Hamas' military-terrorist wing Lebanon was eliminated in an aerial attack near Tyre. A 15 year-old boy carried out a stabbing attack at the Tunnel Checkpoint, wounding two security personnel. A stabbing attack was attempted in the settlement of Givat Ronen south of Nablus. Mahmoud Abbas has chosen Muhammad Mustafa to serve as the PA's next prime minister.. A source in the Iraqi resistance" said they would continue their military operations during Ramadan. The Houthis launched a ballistic missile at an American destroyer in the Red Sea.
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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.
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