Periodical Studies

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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Spotlight on Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (March 19-26, 2024)

IDF forces continued operating in the Gaza Strip in Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, In the central Gaza Strip. The forces also operated in the Khan Yunis region, west of the city and in the Qarara area. Despite Israeli flexibility regarding the Palestinian prisoners and the return of the displaced persons to the northern Gaza Strip, Hamas announced its rejection of the latest United States offer. As a result, Israel announced that the Israeli delegation in Qatar would return to Israel. Hamas and the PIJ claim that so far there have been no "positive responses" from Israel and that Israel's answer does not meet their demands. The UN Security Council has passed a resolution calling for a ceasefire and the unconditional release of all hostages Operations to introduce humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip continue. The prayer of the second Friday of Ramadan on the Temple Mount was relatively quiet. Reportedly, 120 thousand worshipers came to pray.Four terrorist attacks were carried out this past week. An IDF soldier was killed in an attack at the Parsa Junction (west of Ramallah). PA figures continue their activities to end the war in the Gaza Strip. Mahmoud Abbas again accused Israel of stealing Palestinian water sources and not bringing humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. A public opinion poll indicated a strengthening of trust in Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
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Spotlight on Terrorism: Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria (March 19-25, 2024)

Hezbollah continued attacking Israeli military targets along the Israel-Lebanon border. In response, IDF forces attacked Hezbollah's military infrastructure in south Lebanon. Following the IDF attack on Hezbollah targets in Ba'albek in the Lebanon Valley, Hezbollah launched more than 60 rockets at the Golan Heights. Hezbollah reported two deaths (for the first time in about ten days). Amal reported one dead. The IDF spokesperson in Arabic exposed the use made of civilian ambulances by Hezbollah and Amal operatives for military purposes. An unprecedented deployment of Hezbollah operatives was reported in the southern district of Beirut, the Dahiyeh al-Janoubia, a Hezbollah stronghold Officials in Lebanon, mainly Christians, have been harshly critical of Hezbollah for entangling the country in an unnecessary war.Two attacks were reported in Syria, one on bases of Hezbollah and pro-Iranian militias and another on weapons storehouses north of Damascus.
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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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