Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., February 12, 2024)

The released hostages arrive at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba (IDF spokesperson, February 12, 2024)

The released hostages arrive at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba (IDF spokesperson, February 12, 2024)

IDF attacks in Rafah (Wafa YouTube channel, February 12, 2024).

IDF attacks in Rafah (Wafa YouTube channel, February 12, 2024).

The oxygen cylinders delivered to the hospital (IDF spokesperson February 11, 2024)

The oxygen cylinders delivered to the hospital (IDF spokesperson February 11, 2024)

IDF attacks near Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, February 11, 2024)

IDF attacks near Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, February 11, 2024)

Displaced Palestinians in Rafah wait in line at a bakery (Wafa, February 11, 2024)

Displaced Palestinians in Rafah wait in line at a bakery (Wafa, February 11, 2024)

Bülent Yildirim (bearded, center) at the IHH gathering (IHH organization, February 10, 2024)

Bülent Yildirim (bearded, center) at the IHH gathering (IHH organization, February 10, 2024)

Mahmoud Abbas meets with the ruler of Qatar (Wafa, February 12, 2024)

Mahmoud Abbas meets with the ruler of Qatar (Wafa, February 12, 2024)

The meeting of the Iranian foreign minister in Syria (Iranian foreign ministry Telegram channel, February 11, 2024)

The meeting of the Iranian foreign minister in Syria (Iranian foreign ministry Telegram channel, February 11, 2024)

Northern Arena, Israeli Casualties, Rocket Fire

Overview[1]
  • The southern arena: Two Israeli hostages were rescued in a joint operation carried out in Rafah by the IDF, the Israeli Security Agency and the Yamam.[2] They were rescued under heavy simultaneous exchanges of fire in several locations. Palestinian sources reported activity in Rafah and many deaths, but made little reference to the rescue operation. In west Khan Yunis intense fighting continued as action on the ground increased. Guided by intelligence, the forces also operated at Amal Hospital in western Khan Yunis, with advance coordination with the hospital and without harming patients or medical staff. Meanwhile, warnings continue of the dangers inherent in the expansion of IDF activity into the Rafah area.
  • According to unofficial statistics, since October 7, 2023, approximately 1,450 Israeli civilians and security personnel have been killed, 566 of them soldiers and officers; 130 civilian and military hostages are still being held by the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip; 123 hostages have been returned to Israel.
  • Negotiations for a hostage deal: A “senior Hamas member” said Hamas had informed the mediators that if the Israeli government decided on the entry of troops into Rafah, they would stop all hostage negotiations for an unlimited period of time.
  • The situation in the Gaza Strip: The Turkish IHH announced its intention to purchase ships to deliver aid to the Gaza Strip by sea.
  • The northern arena: Hezbollah continued to attack and claimed responsibility for four attacks during the past day. The Amal Movement reported eight of its operatives had died since the beginning of the war. In an attack on a car in Bint Jbeil, the Hezbollah operative responsible for Maroun al-Ras was seriously injured. Hassan Nasrallah, secretary general of Hezbollah, met in Beirut with Ziyad al-Nakhalah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) secretary general.
  • Judea and Samaria: Two stabbing attacks were carried out during the past day, one in the Old City of Jerusalem and the other between Husan and Beitar Illit (west of Bethlehem). The two terrorists were killed by IDF forces. The IDF forces continued their counterterrorism activities.
  • The Palestinian Authority (PA): Mahmoud Abbas met in Doha with Tamim Bin Hamad, ruler of Qatar. Mahmoud Abbas warned of the dangers of an Israeli military action in Rafah and called for the intervention of the international community.
  • Iran: After a visit to Lebanon, the Iranian foreign minister visited Syria where he met with the Syrian president, foreign minister and representatives of the Palestinian terrorist organizations.
  • The pro-Iranian militias: The Houthis reported attacking an American ship in the Red Sea.
The Southern Arena
The rescue of two Israeli hostages
  • Based on precise intelligence, two Israeli hostages were rescued in a joint operation carried out by the IDF, the Israeli Security Agency and the Yamam. Under fire, the forces broke into a building in the heart of Rafah where the two hostages were being held by armed terrorist operatives on the second floor. After fierce combat and simultaneous heavy exchanges of fire in several locations, the forces rescued the two (IDF spokesperson, February 12, 2024). Palestinian sources in Rafah reported that in Israeli attacks more than a hundred Gazans, including women and children, had been killed and several hundred had been wounded (Wafa, February 12, 2024). The hostages were held in a family home with Hamas operatives guarding them. The rescue operation provided further evidence of Hamas’s use of the civilian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip for military purposes and of the cooperation between the civilian population and Hamas operatives. The release of the hostages may indicate the presence of other hostages in Rafah, as well as Hamas operatives, possibly including senior operatives.
The released hostages arrive at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba (IDF spokesperson, February 12, 2024)
The released hostages arrive at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba
(IDF spokesperson, February 12, 2024)
Rubble after the IDF attacks in Rafah during the night (QudsN X account, February 12, 2024)    The house where the two Israeli hostages were held in the Shaboura neighborhood in Rafah (Hassan Aslih's X account, February 12, 2024).
Right: The house where the two Israeli hostages were held in the Shaboura neighborhood in Rafah (Hassan Aslih’s X account, February 12, 2024). Left: Rubble after the IDF attacks in Rafah during the night (QudsN X account, February 12, 2024)
  • Palestinian spokesmen, especially those associated with Hamas, rarely respond except for reports of massive airstrikes and many deaths. Isma’il al-Thawabat , director general of the government information office in the Gaza Strip, called the rescue operation “a new Israeli Occupation Army failure” for killing more than a hundred civilians, women and children, to free two of the 136 hostages held by the Palestinian “resistance” [terrorist organizations] after 129 days of “genocidal” war (Ismail al-Thawabat’s X account, February 12, 2024). The Hamas-associated Telegram quoted Ahmed Darawsha, a correspondent for al-Arabi TV in Jerusalem, as claiming that the hostages Israel rescued in Rafah were not held by Hamas, but by a family in a civilian apartment, and no clashes took place, contrary to what the IDF announced (Shehab and alresala.net Telegram channels, February 12, 2024).
  • Dr. Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman for the Hamas-controlled ministry of health in the Gaza Strip, reported 67 deaths caused by IDF attacks during the night. He said the situation of the hospitals in Rafah was very difficult and they were incapable of dealing with such large numbers of casualties. He again warned that an Israeli military action in the city could result in a very high number of casualties (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, February 12, 2024).
Evacuation of casualties to the Kuwaiti Hospital in Rafah (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, February 12, 2024)    IDF attacks in Rafah (Wafa YouTube channel, February 12, 2024).
Right: IDF attacks in Rafah (Wafa YouTube channel, February 12, 2024). Left: Evacuation of casualties to the Kuwaiti Hospital in Rafah (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, February 12, 2024)
  • The southern arena: The Palestinian media reported on a number of IDF focal points of attack in the Gaza Strip in the past day. In Rafah, heavy air force attacks were carried out during the operation to rescue the Israeli hostages. According to reports, 14 houses were destroyed and dozens of Gazans were killed. It was claimed that the night of February 11, 2024, was one of the most difficult nights in the area. In Khan Yunis, IDF forces continued to surround Nasser Hospital in the west of the city. In the central Gaza Strip, an attack was carried out in the al-Maghazi refugee camp and in the village of al-Masdar. In Gaza City, airstrikes were carried out in the northwest of the city (Wafa, Ma’an, February 11, 2024).
IDF force activity in the west of Khan Yunis (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, February 11, 2024)    An al-Jazeera TV presenter explains IDF activities in the east of the city and in the west of the city.
Right: An al-Jazeera TV presenter explains IDF activities in the east of the city and in the west of the city. Left: IDF force activity in the west of Khan Yunis (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, February 11, 2024)
  • The southern Gaza Strip: Heavy fighting continued in the west of Khan Yunis as the IDF forces intensified the ground operation. The forces went through dozens of terrorist facilities, searching them thoroughly. They located many weapons, explosives and booby-trapped houses, and found intelligence documents (IDF spokesperson, February 12, 2024). Guided by intelligence, they also operated in Amal Hospital, west of Khan Yunis, capturing about 20 terrorists who were hiding inside. The detainees were brought in for further questioning by the Israeli security forces. The operation was carried out with advance coordination with the hospital. The forces searched the hospital without opening fire or harming patients or medical staff. After the operation, the IDF allowed the delivery of dozens of oxygen cylinders donated by international organizations. During the ground operation, the Israeli Air Force, in coordination with the ground forces, attacked munitions warehouses (IDF spokesperson, February 11, 2024).
The oxygen cylinders delivered to the hospital (IDF spokesperson February 11, 2024)    The oxygen cylinders delivered to the hospital (IDF spokesperson February 11, 2024)
The oxygen cylinders delivered to the hospital (IDF spokesperson February 11, 2024)
IDF attacks near Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, February 11, 2024)
IDF attacks near Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, February 11, 2024)
Israeli casualties
  • According to unofficial statistics, since October 7, 2023, approximately 1,450 Israeli people have been killed. According to the IDF spokesperson, 566 of them are soldiers and officers (229 since the start of the ground maneuver on 27 October, 2023); 130 civilian and military hostages are still being held by the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip; 123 hostages have been returned.
Extending the integrated ground maneuver to Rafah
  • Concerns about expanding the campaign to the Rafah area and warnings to Israel continued:
    • “A source in the Palestinian organizations” said that Israel’s threats of military action in Rafah made Egypt’s role in stopping the “aggression” more important, especially since the operation would affect its national security. He called on the Egyptian leadership to visit the border and directly assess the risks facing Arab national security, and to act to thwart the operation (Shehab, February 11, 2024).
    • Haroun Nasser al-Din, a member of the Hamas political bureau, claimed the Netanyahu government was trying to pressure Hamas into waiving the rights of the Palestinian people. He said the government had tried to displace the Palestinians in the northern Gaza Strip but failed, and now Netanyahu was trying to present the image of a victory image by entering Rafah. He said Hamas would ignore Netanyahu’s threats and continue the campaign (Arab World Press (AWP) news agency, February 12, 2024).
    • Ahmed Abdel Hadi, the Hamas representative in Lebanon, said the purpose of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s threats regarding Rafah was to make the “resistance” waive its conditions. He claimed the IDF entry into Rafah would cause regional reactions and spread the war in a way the United States did not want, adding that Netanyahu was taking a risk because his only chance [for success] was to involve the United States in a war it did not want (al-Mayadeen TV website, February 11, 2024).
    • Walid al-Kilani, the media spokesman for Hamas in Lebanon, said that Rafah was now home to 1.5 million people, most of whom were displaced from the northern and central Gaza Strip and Khan Yunis. He said that most of them did not live in houses but in tents, meaning that the artillery shells would lead to “genocide and horrible massacres.” He wondered where the displaced persons in Rafah could go, as Netanyahu had destroyed the northern part of the Strip, preventing food, drink and supplies from entering (AWP, February 12, 2024).
    • Kazem Abu Khalaf, UNRWA spokesman in Jerusalem, expressed caution regarding a military operation in Rafah. He said he did not understand how it would be possible to carry out such an operation and at the same time evacuate residents from the city. In fact, he claimed there was no Israeli plan for the safe passage of residents to the northern Gaza Strip. He noted that the displaced residents currently in Rafah had nowhere to return to because all their homes have been destroyed (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, February 11, 2024).
The UNRWA spokesman in Jerusalem in an interview (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, February 11, 2024)
The UNRWA spokesman in Jerusalem in an interview
(al-Jazeera YouTube channel, February 11, 2024)
  • A spokesman for the Egyptian foreign ministry said Egypt expressed caution regarding the dire consequences of a military operation in Rafah. He called for the unification of all international efforts to prevent damage to the city. According to reports Egypt will continue its efforts to reach a ceasefire and a hostage deal. The spokesman called on the international community to increase pressure on Israel (Egyptian foreign ministry X account, February 11, 2024).
  • The United States State Department stated it was “very concerned” about any Israeli military action in Rafah and was standing by the side of the mediators to achieve calm in the Gaza Strip and a hostage deal (al-Arabiya, February 11, 2024).
  • The Wall Street Journal noted that the issue of a military entry into Rafah threatened to widen the rift between Israel and the United States administration, which is facing increasing pressure to moderate its support for the war during an election year. According to the newspaper, Egypt warned Hamas that it had to reach an agreement with Israel within two weeks or IDF forces would enter Rafah. It was also reported that Israel’s plan to attack in Rafah also threatened relations with Egypt, since officials have expressed concern that many Palestinians would flee from the Gaza Strip to the Sinai Peninsula (The Wall Street Journal, February 11, 2024).
The issue of the hostages and a ceasefire agreement
  • A “senior Hamas source” claimed there had been a “positive atmosphere” in the meetings of the Hamas delegation with the Egyptians, led by Abbas Kamal, the head of the Egyptian General Intelligence, adding that Egypt had also expressed “understanding” for Hamas’ position. He denied the report that Egypt had threatened Hamas to make concessions and achieve a hostage deal within two weeks, otherwise IDF forces would enter Rafah. He added that Hamas had informed the mediators that if the Israeli government decided to send forces into Rafah, they would close the door to negotiations regarding the hostages for an unlimited period (al-Araby al-Jadeed, February 12, 2024).
  • According to Walid al-Kilani, the media spokesman for Hamas in Lebanon, a meeting is expected to be held in Cairo on February 13, 2024, which will bring the Israelis, the Americans, the Egyptians and the Qataris together to discuss the responses given by Israel and Hamas [to the Paris proposal], and on that basis try to effect a détente. Al-Kilani said Israel was reliving the situation with Gilad Shalit, and claimed in the end Israel would surrender, the prisoners would be released, Israel would withdraw from the cities, there would be a ceasefire, aid would be brought into the Gaza Strip and the residents of the Gaza Strip would return to the north and their homes. He claimed Israel wanted to take the “resistance'” strongest card, the hostages, and after their release it would resume its “aggression” and resume all its attacks on the cities in the Gaza Strip that it had not yet entered. He claimed that was the reason they were determined to receive guarantees for a ceasefire from the guarantor states of Turkey, Russia, Qatar and Egypt, as well as from the UN and Israel. He claimed Netanyahu was not interested in the first phase of the agreement but wanted to start with the second phase, the release of the hostages, but they insisted on a ceasefire first (AWP, February 12, 2024).

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The Gaza Strip
Palestinian casualties
  • The Hamas-controlled ministry of health in the Gaza Strip reported that as of 11:00 a.m., February 12, 2024, over the past day 164 Gazans had been killed and 200 wounded, bringing the number of dead since the beginning of the war to 28,340 and the number of wounded to 67,984 (ministry of health in Gaza Facebook page, February 12, 2024).
Newspapermen in the service of the terrorist organizations
  • On February 11, 2024, the death of Yasser Mamdouh al-Fasi, a correspondent with the Kanan News Agency, was reported. An examination of the agency’s website at https://www.kanannews.net, indicated it is affiliated with the PIJ. The agency issued a mourning notice stating he was one of its employees, and had been killed by Israeli sniper fire while performing his “journalistic work” in the square in front of the Nasser Medical Center in Khan Yunis. According to the mourning notice he had been injured in the past while covering the return marches and the second intifada (Paltoday Telegram channel, February 11, 2024).
 Yasser Mamdouh al-Fasi (Paltoday Telegram channel, February 11, 2024)       Yasser Mamdouh al-Fasi (Paltoday Telegram channel, February 11, 2024)
Yasser Mamdouh al-Fasi (Paltoday Telegram channel, February 11, 2024)
  • Avichay Adraee, the IDF spokesperson for the Arab media, reported that during a recent IDF operation in a Hamas base in the northern Gaza Strip, a laptop was seized which had belonged to Muhammad Samir Muhammad Wishah. He was born in al-Bureij in 1986 and worked as a correspondent for al-Jazeera Mubasher TV and the al-Jazeera network. An examination of the documents on his computer revealed that he was a prominent anti-tank missile commander in Hamas’ military wing. At the end of 2022 he began working in research and development in Hamas’ aerial force. Photos were also found on the computer linking him to Hamas military wing activities (Avichay Adraee’s X account, February 11, 2024). Following the IDF spokesperson’s tweet, a surfer published a photo of him with Yahya al-Sinwar from his own Instagram account.
Muhammad Wishah's activities in Hamas' military wing (Avihai Edri's X account, February 11, 2024)     Muhammad Wishah's activities in Hamas' military wing (Avihai Edri's X account, February 11, 2024)
Muhammad Wishah’s activities in Hamas’ military wing
(Avihai Edri’s X account, February 11, 2024)
Wishah with Yahya al-Sinwar in a photo from 2021 (hatem abdulwahid's X account, February 12, 2024)      Wishah with Yahya al-Sinwar in a photo from 2021 (hatem abdulwahid's X account, February 12, 2024)
Right: Muhammad Wishah, al-Jazeera Mubasher correspondent (al-Jazeera Mubasher X account, December 12, 2023). Left: Wishah with Yahya al-Sinwar in a photo from 2021 (hatem abdulwahid’s X account, February 12, 2024)
  • The government information office in the Gaza Strip claimed in response that the IDF occasionally released “incitement publications” targeting various media and Palestinian journalists, in an attempt to market [allegedly] false narratives in preparation for their elimination. Since the beginning of the war, added the office, Israel had published photos and videos of journalists and photographers as if that convicted them, but the photos were from news reports previously broadcast on television channels and social networks, and were part of the daily journalistic work on the ground. The office placed full responsibility on Israel for the lives of the Palestinians, and warned the world about harm coming to journalists and other groups of Palestinian society such as doctors, teachers and the civil defense workers. It called on all the countries of the free world to pressure Israel to stop the “war of extermination” it was [allegedly] waging against all groups of Palestinian society (Hamas government information office in the Gaza Strip Telegram channel, February 11, 2024).
The situation in the Gaza Strip
  • Dr. Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman for the Hamas-controlled ministry of health in the Gaza Strip, claimed the food supply at Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis had run out, and it was impossible to move around the hospital complex since IDF snipers had so far killed 70 “residents” and wounded 14 staff members (ministry of health in Gaza Facebook page, February 12, 2024).
Displaced Palestinians in Rafah wait in line at a bakery (Wafa, February 11, 2024)
Displaced Palestinians in Rafah wait in line at a bakery (Wafa, February 11, 2024)
Flotilla to the Gaza Strip
  • The Turkish IHH, which was behind the Mavi Marmara flotilla in 2010, held a meeting in advance of the planned flotilla to the Gaza Strip. The chairman of the organization, Bülent Yildirim, said the organization was working to purchase ships for the flotilla, claiming there would be no fewer than the number which had participated in the Mavi Marmara flotilla. He said the target date for the departure of the flotilla was the end of March 2024 (IHH website, February 10, 2024).
Bülent Yildirim (bearded, center) at the IHH gathering (IHH organization, February 10, 2024)
Bülent Yildirim (bearded, center) at the IHH gathering (IHH organization, February 10, 2024)

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The Northern Arena
Hezbollah attacks
  • Over the past day, Hezbollah has claimed responsibility for four attacks using anti-tank missiles and rockets (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, February 11, 2024). In response, Israeli Air Force warplanes attacked Hezbollah terrorist targets in Lebanese territory, one of which was the organization’s launch site (IDF spokesperson, February 11, 2024).
in the Marwahin area (IDF spokesperson, February 11, 2024)     Attack in the Yaroun area.
Right: Attack in the Yaroun area. Left: Attack in the Marwahin area
(IDF spokesperson, February 11, 2024)
  • An airstrike targeting a building in Markaba was reported in the Lebanese social media (Fouad Khreiss’ X account, February 12, 2024).
Attack in Markaba (Fouad Khreiss' X account, February 12, 2024)
Attack in Markaba (Fouad Khreiss’ X account, February 12, 2024)
  • On the morning of February 12, 2024, an attack on a car was reported near the government hospital in Bint Jbeil (Fouad Khreiss’ X account, February 12, 2024). The target of the attack was reportedly Muhammad Alwiya, the head of Hezbollah in Maroun al-Ras, and according to reports he was seriously injured (Hadi S. Machmouchi’s X account; Fahd February 12, 2024).
Attack on a car in Bint Jabil (Fouad Khreiss' X account, February 12, 2024)    Attack on a car in Bint Jabil (Fouad Khreiss' X account, February 12, 2024)
ttack on a car in Bint Jabil (Fouad Khreiss’ X account, February 12, 2024)
  • Hezbollah reported that Israel launched surveillance balloons across from Aita al-Shaab (about 1.5 kilometers northeast of Shtula) and Maroun al-Ras (about 3 kilometers north of Yaroun). According to Hezbollah, the objective of the balloons was to compensate for Hezbollah’s destruction of the surveillance equipment along the border in the western sector of the Israel-Lebanon. Hezbollah released a video of one of the balloons (al-Manar, February 11, 2024).
Pictures of the IDF's surveillance balloon in the western sector of the Israel-Lebanon border (al-Manar, February 11, 2024)     Pictures of the IDF's surveillance balloon in the western sector of the Israel-Lebanon border (al-Manar, February 11, 2024)
Pictures of the IDF’s surveillance balloon in the western sector of the Israel-Lebanon border
(al-Manar, February 11, 2024)
Amal casualties
  • The NBN network reported that during the Israeli attack in the town of Chihine, two people were killed and one was injured. It was reported that teams were working to clear the rubble (NBN, February 11, 2024).
The remains of the building attacked in Chihine (Ali Shoeib's X account, February 11, 2024)    The remains of the building attacked in Chihine (Ali Shoeib's X account, February 11, 2024)
The remains of the building attacked in Chihine (Ali Shoeib’s X account, February 11, 2024)
  • The Amal Movement announced the death of two of its operatives, Muhammad Rabia al-Masri, aka Malak, born in 2003, from al-Mansouri, about 9 kilometers south of Tyre, and Hassan Ali Faroukh, aka Sajed, born in 1996, from ‘Anqoun, about 7 kilometers southeast of Sidon. According to the announcement they were killed while “fulfilling their national and jihadist duty in the defense of Lebanon and south Lebanon.”
The Amal casualties (Amal Movement X account, February 11, 2024)    The Amal casualties (Amal Movement X account, February 11, 2024)
The Amal casualties (Amal Movement X account, February 11, 2024)
Muhammad Rabia al-Masri (X account of Fouad Khreiss, February 11-12, 2024)     Muhammad Rabia al-Masri (X account of Fouad Khreiss, February 11-12, 2024)
Muhammad Rabia al-Masri (X account of Fouad Khreiss, February 11-12, 2024)
  • According to reports, the two operatives who were killed belonged to the operations room of the Dawoud Unit. The unit reportedly carried out dozens of attacks on Israel as part of “defending Lebanon and south Lebanon” (Jamal Chaiito’s X account, February 12, 2024). The unit may be named after Dawoud Dawoud, aka Muhsen, born in 1944, who was killed in a targeted attack along with two other Amal operatives in Beirut on September 22, 1988 (Amal Movement website).
Right: Dawoud Unit uniform and badge (Jamal Chaiito's X account, February 12, 2024). Center: Dawoud Dawoud, who was killed in a targeted attack (Hashem's X account, February 12, 2024). Left: Dawoud Dawoud framed by Amal and Lebanese flags next (Amal Movement website)
Right: Dawoud Unit uniform and badge (Jamal Chaiito’s X account, February 12, 2024). Center: Dawoud Dawoud, who was killed in a targeted attack (Hashem’s X account, February 12, 2024). Left: Dawoud Dawoud framed by Amal and Lebanese flags next (Amal Movement website)
  • The Amal Movement published a poster with the names and photos of its eight operatives who were killed since the beginning of Operation Iron Swords (Amal Movement X account, February 11, 2024).
Poster published by Amal (Amal Movement X account, February 11, 2024)
Poster published by Amal (Amal Movement X account, February 11, 2024)
Palestinians in Lebanon
  • Hezbollah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah met in Beirut with PIJ secretary-general Ziad al-Nakhalah. They discussed the latest developments in the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria, the support provided by the “resistance axis”[3] in the various arenas, and the existing possibilities and expected developments, whether on the ground or in political contacts. The two stressed the need to continue acting forcefully to achieve the promised victory (Hezbollah’s combat information Telegram channel, February 12, 2024).
Nasrallah meets with al-Nakhalah (al-Manar, February 12, 2024)
Nasrallah meets with al-Nakhalah (al-Manar, February 12, 2024)
  • The Lebanese daily Nidaa al-Watan reported that a delegation of senior Hamas members had visited Beirut and met with Hezbollah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah. The delegation’s visit was intended to hold consultations with Nasrallah regarding the ceasefire deal in the Gaza Strip. According to the report, Nasrallah advised them to make a decision that they considered compatible with their interests, and noted that Hezbollah would back them in any decision they made. The report claimed that there was overlap between the sides regarding the preference for a ceasefire, even if it cost several concessions. It was also reported that the main purpose of Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein-Amir Abdollahian’s visit to Beirut was to meet with Nasrallah to convey an Iranian message to him, mainly that they agreed with the American administration not to expand the war, and that Hezbollah had to continue to suffer the Israeli blows (Nidaa al-Watan, February 12, 2024).
  • For over a month, Hamas and the PIJ reportedly did not carry out military activity against IDF positions and communities on the Lebanon-Israel border. It was noted that in the first three months, they carried out 35 operations. Walid Kilani, the media spokesman for Hamas in Lebanon, said the freeze of activity had nothing to do with any political decision (Lebanon 24, quoting al-Nahar, February 7, 2024).
Demonstration in support of the Gaza Strip in Beirut
  • Hundreds of Palestinians and Lebanese participated in a march in Beirut in support of the Gaza Strip, under the slogan “Lebanon’s flood in support of Gaza and Palestine.” Ahmad Abd al-Hadi, Hamas representative in Lebanon, said during the march that in the campaign in Rafah, Israel was trying to uproot the Palestinian people from its land, but the Palestinian people would not allow it. He called on the countries of the world and the UN to intervene before the military operation in Rafah began (refugeesps.net website, February 11, 2024).
The march in Beirut (right: Palinfo X account, February 11, 2024; left: QudsN X account, February 11, 2024)     The march in Beirut (right: Palinfo X account, February 11, 2024; left: QudsN X account, February 11, 2024)
The march in Beirut
(right: Palinfo X account, February 11, 2024; left: QudsN X account, February 11, 2024)

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Judea and Samaria
Terrorist attacks
  • On the evening of February 11, 2024, a Palestinian arrived at a police checkpoint in the Old City of Jerusalem, pulled out a knife and tried to stab the policemen, he was shot and killed; a passerby was wounded (Israel Police Force Facebook page, February 11, 2024). The Palestinian media reported that the terrorist was Muhammad Tareq Abu Sneineh, 15 years old, from al-Eizariya in east Jerusalem.
  • On the evening of February 11, 2024, a Palestinian armed with a knife tried to stab an IDF soldier who was securing the traffic route between the village of Hussan and Beitar Illit (west of Bethlehem). An IDF force at the scene shot and killed him (Israeli media, February 11, 2024). The Palestinian media reported that he was Rami Rashid al-Batha, 35 years old, from the village of Battir (west of Bethlehem) (Arabs48 website, February 11, 2024).
Rami Rashed al-Batha, the perpetrator of the attack near Beitar Illit (Arabs48 website, February 11, 2024)     Muhammad Tareq Abu Sneineh, the perpetrator of the attack in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Right: Muhammad Tareq Abu Sneineh, the perpetrator of the attack in the Old City of Jerusalem. Left: Rami Rashed al-Batha, the perpetrator of the attack near Beitar Illit (Arabs48 website, February 11, 2024)
Counterterrorism activities
  • The Israeli security forces continued their counterterrorism activities in Judea and Samaria, detaining 17 wanted Palestinians. Since the beginning of the war, more than 3,080 wanted Palestinians have been detained, more than 1,350 of them Hamas operatives (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, February 12, 2024).
  • On the night of February 11, 2024, Israeli security forces operated in the village of Tell (southeast of Nablus), detaining seven wanted Palestinians and seizing weapons (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, February 12, 2024).
Palestinian Authority (PA)
  • Mahmoud Abbas met in Doha with Tamim bin Hamad, the ruler of Qatar. Abbas updated him on the situation in the Palestinian arena and the efforts to stop the war in the Gaza Strip. He warned of the dangers inherent in an Israeli military operation in Rafah and called for the intervention of the international community, especially the American administration, to stop the war in the Gaza Strip and the attack on Rafah, so as not to lead to a humanitarian disaster, massacres, and a recurrence of the Nakba events of 1948 and 1967. Abbas also requested the release of the tax revenues collected for the PA and held by Israel. The ruler of Qatar briefed him on the efforts to stop the war and on the moves to establish a Palestinian state and the recognition of Palestine as a full member of the UN (Wafa, February 12, 2024).
Mahmoud Abbas meets with the ruler of Qatar (Wafa, February 12, 2024)
Mahmoud Abbas meets with the ruler of Qatar (Wafa, February 12, 2024)
  • Nabil Abu Rudeina, spokesman for Mahmoud Abbas’ office, said the American administration should not be held hostage by Israel’s policy, especially when the region was at a crossroads and the continuation of the war in the Gaza Strip could lead to its spread in the region. He also called on the international community and the United States to take action to prevent military action in Rafah, which could result in thousands of deaths. He noted that the Israeli prime minister’s remarks about safe passage were fraudulent because there was currently no safe place in the Gaza Strip (Wafa, February 12, 2024).
  • Mahmoud Abbas, PA chairman, issued a presidential decree appointing Abed Suleiman Ahmad Abu Mahmid, currently acting head of the Preventive Security Service, to the position of head of the Preventive Security apparatus, and Iyad Taher Muhammad Aqra deputy head of the Preventive Security apparatus (Wafa, February 11, 2024). Their appointment is apparently part of the reforms that include changes in the security agencies, announced by the PA chairman.
  • Abed Suleiman Ahmad Abu Mahmid, known as Abdel Qader al-Tamari, was born in Bethlehem. He joined Fatah in the 1970s. With the establishment of the PA, he joined the security services and held several positions until February 2023, when he was appointed deputy head of Preventive Security. When Ziad Hab al-Reeh was appointed minister of the interior, he served as acting head of the apparatus. Al-Tamari enjoys close ties with Majed Faraj, head of Palestinian General Intelligence. The Palestinian media claimed that al-Tamari was behind the detention and persecution of “resistance” operatives throughout Judea and Samaria (al-Shihad website, August 30, 2023).
  • Iyad Taher Muhammad Aqra served as commander of the Preventive Security apparatus in Qalqilya in 2005. In October 2022, false reports were published stating that he had been appointed governor of the Nablus district in place of Ibrahim Ramadan (Tahaqoq website, October 7, 2022).
Iyad Aqra (Tahaqoq website, October 7, 2022)     Abdel Qader al-Tamari (al-Shihad website, August 30, 2023).
Right: Abdel Qader al-Tamari (al-Shihad website, August 30, 2023). Left: Iyad Aqra (Tahaqoq website, October 7, 2022)

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Iran
  • Hossein-Amir Abdollahian, Iranian foreign minister, met with Syrian President Bashar Assad and Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad. He and Assad discussed relations between the two countries and the latest developments in the regional and international arenas (Tasnim, February 11, 2024). Syrian President Bashar Assad said the behavior of the United States regarding Israel’s “aggression” in the Gaza Strip threatened to expand its scope. Assad added that Israel was planning to continue its [alleged] “crimes” in Rafah and that international institutions, headed by the UN Security Council, were unable to stop the “massacres.” He said it was their duty to stand with the Palestinian people to the best of their ability (al-Watan, February 11, 2024).
The meeting of the Iranian foreign minister in Syria (Iranian foreign ministry Telegram channel, February 11, 2024)
The meeting of the Iranian foreign minister in Syria
(Iranian foreign ministry Telegram channel, February 11, 2024)
  • At a press conference held with the Syrian foreign minister, Abdollahian said that any Israeli action in the region would receive a response. He said the Gaza Strip had become “the graveyard of the Zionists” and that there was no other option but a political solution and an end to the “war crimes” of Israel and the United States (Fars, February 11, 2024). Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad said at the press conference that the Israeli airstrikes on Syrian soil stemmed from Syrian resistance to Israel since its establishment. Abdollahian said he had sent an official invitation from Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to Assad to visit Iran. Abdollahian condemned Israel’s [alleged] attempts to forcibly uproot the Palestinian people and said that Israel’s attacks in the region would not go unanswered (al-Ekhbariya, February 11, 2024).
  • During his visit to Damascus, the Iranian foreign minister also met with representatives of the Palestinian terrorist organizations in Syria (ISNA, February 12, 2024). Meeting with them, he said the struggle of the “resistance groups” [terrorist organizations] and the steadfastness of the residents of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank helped the Palestinian people defeat Israel. He praised the support of the “resistance” in Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq and Syria for the Palestinian people, saying that Operation al-Aqsa Flood had proved that “Palestine” would not surrender to Israel and the United States. He added that it was the Palestinian leaders who had to decide their future according to their interests. He also stressed the need for unity among all the Palestinian groups (Tasnim, February 12, 2024).
Pro-Iranian militias
Iraq
  • Syrian sources reported a UAV attack near the American base in the al-Omar oil field in Syria (al-Jazeera Mubasher, February 12, 2024).
  • “Iraqi security and political officials” said a secret investigation was underway to search for collaborators with the United States who helped it trace the movements of pro-Iranian militia leaders killed in the American airstrike. According to them, the accuracy in choosing the targets of the attack and the attack itself indicated that they apparently managed to penetrate the immediate vicinity of the militia leaders. The sources added that despite the government investigation, the Popular Mobilization had established its own separate commission of inquiry to monitor the assassinations and American targets, and that the investigation was being conducted secretly in cooperation with militia elements. It was noted that the militia leaders suspected militias that did not join the Islamic Resistance in Iraq (al-Arabi, February 11, 2024).
Yemen
  • The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) reported that a vessel had been attacked with two missiles and that the crew reported that no damage was detected and that the vessel continued to its next port (UKMTO X account, February 12, 2023).
  • Yahya Saria, spokesman for the Houthi armed forces, said their naval forces had attacked the American ship Star Iris in the Red Sea with several missiles that hit it directly (Yahya Saria’s Telegram channel, February 12, 2024).
  • The United States Central Command (CENTCOM) announced that on February 10, 2024, between 4 and 5 p.m. (Sana’a time), its forces carried out several strikes against two unmanned vessels and three anti-ship cruise missiles north of al-Hudaydah that were ready to be launched in Houthi-controlled areas (CENTCOM X account, February 11, 2024).
  • The Houthis issued a poster commemorating 13 operatives killed in American and British airstrikes in Yemen. The poster did not specify when they were killed (Houthi Martyrs Telegram channel, February 11, 2024).

Poster of the Houthi martyrs (Houthi Martyrs Telegram channel, February 11, 2024)
Poster of the Houthi martyrs (Houthi Martyrs Telegram channel, February 11, 2024)

Global Jihad
Al-Shabaab expresses solidarity with Gaza
  • The al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab issued a statement claiming responsibility for an attack on February 10, 2024, on a UAE base in Mogadishu. According to the statement, 17 UAE officers and several mercenaries (apparently locals) were killed in the attack. Al-Shabaab said the attack had been carried out in support of the Palestinian people and because of the Abraham Accords, to which the UAE was a signatory (Shahada News, February 11, 2024). It may be an al-Shabaab attempt to exploit the Palestinian issue to enlist support in the Islamic world. However, the al-Shabaab fighting against the Somali government has been going on for some time, and it intensified in the past two years, even before the war in the Gaza Strip.

[1] Click https://www.terrorism-info.org.il/en to subscribe and receive the ITIC's daily updates as well as its other publications.
[2] Israeli National Counterterrorism Unit.
[3] Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, the Palestinian terrorist organizations and the Houthis in Yemen.