The Israeli Palestinian Conflict

Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., November 19, 2023)

During the past few days the IDF forces continued operations at Shifa Hospital and in several other neighborhoods in Gaza City. In the northern Gaza Strip they operated in Beit Hanoun, Zeitoun, Beit Lahia and Jabalia, and destroyed a Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) post where they found a large quantity of strategic weapons. The Palestinian terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip continue firing rockets daily at Israel, especially at the cities, towns and villages near the border. According to the Palestinians, the situation in the Gaza Strip is getting worse and there is a fear of the spread of diseases. Sources in the Gaza Strip reported that Israel's agreement to bring in two fuel trucks a day for UNRWA was not enough. In Lebanon, Hezbollah's daily attacks on IDF positions and northern cities, towns and villages increased. In Judea and SamariaTwo Palestinian terrorists attempted a shooting attack; they were shot and killed by IDF forces. The Israeli security forces focused their counterterrorism activities on the Balata refugee camp in Nablus and Jenin. The commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Qods Force sent a communiqué to Muhammed Deif, the commander of Hamas' military-terrorist wing, congratulating him on Hamas’ October 7 attack. Rallies in support of the Palestinians were held throughout Iran. Senior Iranian officials praised the Hamas attack.
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The price Gazans pay for criticizing Hamas

Since the beginning of the fighting in the Gaza Strip, and especially since the entry of IDF forces, the pressure on the civilian residents of the Gaza Strip has increased significantly. They are trying to cope with the price they have been forced to pay and to internalize the extent of the destruction caused by the IDF’s massive attacks. A significant part of the public was forced to leave their homes, either to shelters or to the south of the Gaza Strip, and the number of casualties increases daily. The majority of the public does not dare to openly criticize the Hamas leadership, it has recently become evident that the Gazans are slowly realizing that the Hamas leadership cares about itself and its image and does not care about the public’s situation or fate. Nevertheless, the continuation of the ground maneuver in the Gaza Strip, the high level of casualties, the heavy damage to the infrastructure, the exposure of the use of the population by Hamas and other organizations as human shields and the weakness of Hamas, may lead the public in the Gaza Strip to understand the price of losing the war, and criticism may gain momentum and even reach public expressions from authorized and influential sources.
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Hamas use of the civilian population as human shields and Gaza’s civilian facilities for terrorism

For years, Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip have been using the local population as human shields and using civilian facilities for their military-terrorist purposes. The main objective of using civilians and civilian facilities is to protect military-terrorist operatives and keep them safe from IDF counterterrorism activities, knowing that IDF forces avoid harming civilians. This time as well, Hamas is waging the war in Gaza at the expense of local residents and has no concern for their safety. For example, Hamas has opened the hospitals in the Gaza Strip, where its military-terrorist headquarters and bases are located, to residents seeking refuge, making it difficult for the IDF forces to take action against Hamas. Hamas also steals the humanitarian aid and remaining fuel reserves that were designated for hospitals and the civilian population.
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., November 16, 2023)

In Gaza City, the operation focused on Shifa Hospital, where  evidence of terrorist activity was found. Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) tried to cast doubt on the evidence, and they and several Arab countries criticized the IDF’s activity. In the northern Gaza Strip, the forces operated in the Palestine post of the Shati refugee camp. The forces also took control of Hamas’ central anchorage, which was a focal point for Hamas and PIJ terrorist activity. Rocket fire: The daily number of rocket fire attacks continues to decrease and there were about ten during the past day. According to an unofficial estimate, since October 7 approximately 1,200 Israeli civilians and security personnel have been killed, 371 of them soldiers and officers; 239 civilian and military abductees are held by the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip. Hamas and the PIJ continue to accuse Israel of delaying a prisoner exchange deal. The PIJ claimed it holds 30 hostages. The Gaza Strip: The World Food Organization warned of food shortages. The fuel situation is deteriorating and according to UNRWA, the entry of one truck with fuel for the agency’s use contributed very little to improving the situation. The Palestinian Communications Company announced the generators were no longer operative. An association based in Turkey announced it was organizing an aid flotilla to the Gaza Strip. The northern arena: Hezbollah continued attacking IDF posts. The IDF responded by attacking Hezbollah military-terrorist targets. Hezbollah threatened to intensify its attacks in response to IDF activity in the Gaza Strip. Judea and Samaria: Palestinian terrorists carried out a shooting attack at the Tunnel Crossing in Jerusalem. Seven people were injured, one of them fatally. The terrorists were shot and killed by Israeli security forces. The terrorists apparently planned to carry out a much larger attack in Jerusalem. Mahmoud Abbas met with the White House coordinator for Middle East and North African affairs, and with the United States assistant secretary of state. Iran: Hamas vigorously denied the Reuters report that Ali Khamenei, the leader of Iran, meeting with Ismail Haniyeh, head of the political bureau of Hamas, said that since Hamas had not given Tehran advance notice about the October 7 attack, Iran would not enter the war on its behalf. The international arena: The UN Security Council voted on a resolution calling for immediate action for prolonged pauses in the fighting and the establishment of humanitarian corridors in the Gaza Strip.
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., November 15, 2023)

The IDF completed the takeover of the Shati refugee camp and of a number of government institutions in Gaza City. During the night, the IDF forces began a focused operation at Shifa Hospital, which was carried out after the hospital management had been informed in advance of the soldiers’ entry into the compound and after an effort had been made to evacuate the patients and Gazans who had taken shelter in the hospital; IDF forces delivered medical equipment to the hospital. The IDF’s entry into the hospital compound provoked a wave of angry reactions from the terrorist organizations, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Arab sources. The rate of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip has decreased. Three rockets were fired at the central part of the country and injured several civilians. A missile launched at Eilat was intercepted in the Red Sea. Two rockets were launched from south Syria at IDF positions. The terrorist organizations continue to accuse Israel of sabotaging any agreement to release the abductees. Ziyad al-Nakhalah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) secretary general, claimed the negotiating method for the release of the hostages could push them to abort the deal and keep the hostages to "obtain better conditions." Hezbollah continued attacking along
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Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., November 14, 2023)

The IDF integrated maneuver in the Gaza Strip continued. It focused on the Shati refugee camp and the Rantisi Children's Hospital, where the IDF exposed a basement used by Hamas terrorist operatives and where Israeli hostages may have been held. Hamas still claims its operatives are inflicting losses on the IDF and that they have the upper hand. Damage to the headquarters of Qatar's National Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza provoked a wave of reactions from Qatar and other Arab countries.Hamas officials continue to claim that they are ready for a deal to exchange "captives" and accuse Israel of delaying it. Sources in the Gaza Strip continue to report the situation is difficult. According to UNRWA, fuel reserves are running out. The Iranian Red Crescent reported financial aid from Iranian citizens to the Gazans of more than $2 million. Hezbollah attacks and IDF responses continued in the northern Israel. Hezbollah claimed Israel shot at journalists who came to cover the events. Opposition figures in Lebanon warn that Hezbollah will drag Lebanon into war. Counterterrorism activities continued. One stabbing attack was carried out and another, in Tel Aviv, was prevented.
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