Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., February 28, 2024)

תקיפת מפקדה מבצעית של חמאס (דובר צה

תקיפת מפקדה מבצעית של חמאס (דובר צה"ל, 28 בפברואר 2024)

תוואי המנהרה (דובר צה

תוואי המנהרה (דובר צה"ל, 26 בפברואר 2024)

תוואי המנהרה (דובר צה

תוואי המנהרה (דובר צה"ל, 26 בפברואר 2024)

אמצעי לחימה שאיתרו הכוחות.

אמצעי לחימה שאיתרו הכוחות.

תיעוד ממצלמת המחבל בה רואים הכנת עמדת נ

תיעוד ממצלמת המחבל בה רואים הכנת עמדת נ"ט לפגיעה בכוחות צה"ל ( דובר צה"ל, 27 בפברואר 2024)

רפיח מלאה באוהלים של תושבים מפונים מרחבי הרצועה (ערוץ היוטיוב של ופא, 27 בפברואר 2024)

רפיח מלאה באוהלים של תושבים מפונים מרחבי הרצועה (ערוץ היוטיוב של ופא, 27 בפברואר 2024)

תקיפות בעיתא אלשעב (חשבון X של עלי שעיב, 26 בפברואר 2024).

תקיפות בעיתא אלשעב (חשבון X של עלי שעיב, 26 בפברואר 2024).

תמונה שמכילה צילום מסך, טקסט, מטושטש, שחור ולבןהתיאור נוצר באופן אוטומטי

תמונה שמכילה צילום מסך, טקסט, מטושטש, שחור ולבןהתיאור נוצר באופן אוטומטי

כלי הרכב, בו נסע חסן חסין סלאמי (חשבון Xשל Fouad Khreiss, 26 בפברואר 2024)

כלי הרכב, בו נסע חסן חסין סלאמי (חשבון Xשל Fouad Khreiss, 26 בפברואר 2024)

אבו מאזן מקבל ממחמד אשתיה את כתב ההתפטרות של ממשלתו(ופא, 26 בפברואר 2024)

אבו מאזן מקבל ממחמד אשתיה את כתב ההתפטרות של ממשלתו(ופא, 26 בפברואר 2024)

פגישת אבו מאזן עם שר המדינה של יפן לענייני חוץ (ופא, 27 בפברואר 2024)

פגישת אבו מאזן עם שר המדינה של יפן לענייני חוץ (ופא, 27 בפברואר 2024)

חסין אלשיח' ושכרי בשארה נפגשים בראמאללה עם משלחת בינ

חסין אלשיח' ושכרי בשארה נפגשים בראמאללה עם משלחת בינ"ל (חשבון X של חסין אלשיח', 27 בפברואר 2024)

Northern Arena, Israeli Casualties, Rocket Fire

Overview[1]
  • The southern arena: The IDF forces in the Khan Yunis area continued to intensify their activities, while the forces in the central and northern Gaza Strip operated against Hamas terrorist facilities and armed squads. In the Gaza City area, forces located a tunnel system used for the passage of operatives between different divisions. The tunnels were investigated and destroyed. In two separate incidents on consecutive days, rockets were launched at the cities, towns and villages surrounding the Gaza Strip, including Ashqelon. The IDF responded with air strikes.
  • According to unofficial data, since October 7, 2023, approximately 1,500 Israeli civilians and security personnel have been killed, 582 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 released.
  • Negotiations for a hostage deal: For the time being, the negotiations for a ceasefire and a hostage deal are on being dealt with less intensively. Several versions of the proposed agreement were published in the Hamas media, elaborating the details and Hamas’ position regarding them, most of the information quoting anonymous sources. Generally speaking, Hamas did not accept the current form of the most recent proposal, and it required changes to some of the sections. Hamas also accused Israel and the United States of “procrastination.”
  • The Gaza Strip: The Jordanian Air Force airlifted humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. The ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip encouraged the continuation of airlifting aid, especially to the northern Gaza Strip.
  • The northern arena: Hezbollah claimed responsibility for 15 attacks during the past two days, including rocket barrages targeting the Golan Heights and the Mt. Meron area. Hezbollah claimed they were reacting to Israel’s “aggression” and reiterated that if Israel attacked “civilians” their response would exceed the boundaries they had set for themselves. Hamas’ military wing claimed responsibility for firing 40 rockets at Kiryat Shmona and the Upper Galilee from south Lebanon on February 28, 2024.
  • Judea and Samaria: Israeli security forces continued their counterterrorism activities. Ahmed Daraghmeh, a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist operative, was killed in an activity in the al-Far’a refugee camp in northern Samaria.
  • The Palestinian Authority (PA): PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh, officially submitted his and the PA government’s letter of resignation to Mahmoud Abbas. According to an edict issued by Mahmoud Abbas, the government will continue to operate until it is replaced.
  • Iran: The Iranian foreign minister claimed Israel was unable to achieve any of its goals in the war despite the military support of the United States, adding that the Lebanese and Palestinian “resistance” was in the excellent condition and had both the means and the capabilities for continuing a protracted war.
  • UN institutions: The UN Security Council held a session to discuss the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. On the sidelines of the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, a discussion was held of the human rights situation in the “occupied” Palestinian territories.
The Southern Arena
  • Palestinian media reported on several centers of attacks: in Gaza City, the Israeli Air Force attacked in the Zeitoun neighborhood where, according to civil defense forces, many victims were buried under the rubble, but IDF activity prevented them from entering the area. In the central Gaza Strip, the IDF attacked in Deir al-Balah. In Khan Yunis, the IDF attacked in the western part of the city and conducted the controlled explosions of buildings. In Rafah, the IDF attacked in the northeast of the city (Ma’an, Wafa, February 28, 2024).
Attack on a Hamas operational headquarters (IDF spokesperson, February 28, 2024)     Attack on a Hamas anti-tank position.
Right: Attack on a Hamas anti-tank position. Left: Attack on a Hamas operational headquarters (IDF spokesperson, February 28, 2024)
  • The southern Gaza Strip: IDF forces continued fighting in western Khan Yunis. They raided a terrorist facility and areas from which Hamas fought, killing dozens of terrorists in close-range encounters and with sniper fire, and directed air and land strikes. Large numbers of terrorists were detained and weapons were found (IDF spokesperson, February 27, 2024).
  • Gaza City: IDF forces located a system of tunnels connecting the Turkish Hospital to the al-Israa University building in the south of Gaza City and reaching as far as the Zeitoun neighborhood. It was used for the passage of operatives between different divisions in the Gaza Strip. The tunnels connect the Central Brigade to the Gaza City Brigade, which includes the Nuseirat, Sabra, and Zeitoun Battalions. The IDF forces gained operational control over the tunnels, and investigated and destroyed large 
  • sections of them (IDF spokesperson, February 26, 2024).
 The route of the tunnel system (IDF spokesperson, February 26, 2024)     The route of the tunnel system (IDF spokesperson, February 26, 2024)
The route of the tunnel system (IDF spokesperson, February 26, 2024)
  • During the IDF activity in the Zeitoun neighborhood in southeastern Gaza City, the forces raided buildings used by Hamas operatives, including ammunition depots and observation posts. A camera belonging to a terrorist operative was located and found to contain pictures revealing the method of firing anti-tank missiles and the nature of activities in the area. The forces also located a site for the manufacture of weapons, rocket launchers and various systems used by Hamas to attack IDF forces (IDF spokesperson, February 27, 2024).
 Weapons found by the forces.     Picture found in a terrorist's camera showing the preparation of an anti-tank position which would be used to attack IDF forces (IDF spokesperson, February 27, 2024)
Right: Weapons found by the forces. Left: Picture found in a terrorist’s camera showing the preparation of an anti-tank position which would be used to attack IDF forces (IDF spokesperson, February 27, 2024)
  • An al-Jazeera TV correspondent reported on IDF activity in the Zeitoun neighborhood. He said heavy exchanges of fire were taking place between IDF forces and operatives of the Hamas and PIJ’s military wings. He said that IDF tanks in the south of the neighborhood attacked from the ground as the Israeli Air Force attacked from the air. Major General (Ret.) Fayez al-Dwairi, military commentator for al-Jazeera TV, said the IDF was focusing its fighting in the center of the Zeitoun because it knew there were many tunnel openings in the area (al-Jazeera TV YouTube channel, February 27, 2024).
An al-Jazeera TV correspondent describes the IDF's activities in the Zeitoun neighborhood in Gaza (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, February 27)
An al-Jazeera TV correspondent describes the IDF’s activities in the Zeitoun neighborhood in Gaza (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, February 27)
  • The central Gaza Strip: During the past day IDF forces killed several terrorists and located terrorist facilities and large quantities of weapons. Among the facilities located were a weapons warehouse and a lathe for the manufacture of weapons. The forces also destroyed dozens of Hamas military buildings (IDF spokesperson, February 27, 2024).
Rocket fire from the Gaza Strip
  • On February 26, 2024, rockets were launched at the cities, towns and villages surrounding the Gaza Strip. No casualties or damage were reported. A few hours later, the Israeli Air Force attacked Hamas targets in the central Gaza Strip, including an apartment used for terrorist purposes, from which some of the rockets were launched, and another apartment from which shots were fired at IDF forces. A launcher used to fire some of the rockets was also attacked (IDF spokesperson, February 27, 2024).
  • On the evening of February 27, 2024, rockets were fired at Ashkelon. There were no casualties. Shrapnel hit vehicles in the city and caused damage. In response, the IDF attacked eight targets in the area from which the rockets had been launched (IDF spokesperson, February 28, 2024).
  •  The Jerusalem Brigades, the PIJ’s military wing, claimed responsibility for launching rocket barrages at Ashkelon and the towns and villages surrounding the Gaza Strip (Paltoday Telegram channel, February 27, 2024). A Russia Today correspondent reported that one rocket was fired at Ashqelon from the northern Gaza Strip (Russia Today website, February 27, 2024). An al-Jazeera TV broadcaster noted that the rockets were launched on the 144th day of the war (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, February 27, 2024).
An al-Jazeera broadcaster reports on the launch of rockets at Ashkelon and the towns and villages surrounding the Gaza Strip (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, February 27, 2024)
An al-Jazeera broadcaster reports on the launch of rockets at Ashkelon and the towns and villages surrounding the Gaza Strip (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, February 27, 2024)
Car damaged by shrapnel (Shehab X account, February 27, 2024)     Smoke in Ashkelon following the launch of the rockets.
Right: Smoke in Ashkelon following the launch of the rockets. Left: Car damaged by shrapnel (Shehab X account, February 27, 2024)
Israeli casualties
  • According to unofficial data, since October 7, 2023, approximately 1,500 Israeli people have been killed. According to the IDF spokesperson, 582 of them are soldiers and officers (242 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 released.
The issue of the hostages and a ceasefire agreement
  • For the time being, the negotiations for a ceasefire and a hostage deal are less intensive. Mohammed al-Ansari, spokesman for the Qatari foreign ministry, said there had been many developments in the mediation efforts. He said the efforts were continuing and he had nothing new to announce, but they were optimistic because the sides were still talking. He said he hoped it would be possible to stop the hostilities during Ramadan (al-Jazeera, February 27, 2024).
  • President Joe Biden said he hoped it would be possible to reach a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip by March 4, 2024. He said they were “close to an agreement,” but not there yet. Interviewed by NBC, he said that Israel had agreed to stop military activity during the month of Ramadan to allow time for the release of the hostages (Ynet, February 27, 2024; Reuters, February 27, 2024). In response, “two senior Hamas members” said that by claiming an agreement had been reached in principle, Biden had spoken too soon. According to a “senior Hamas source,” there were still large gaps that needed to be bridged, and the main issues, such as the ceasefire and the withdrawal of Israeli forces, had not been sealed, which delayed the reaching of an agreement (Reuters, February 27, 2024).
  • Several versions were published in the Hamas media elaborating on the details of the proposed agreement and Hamas’ position regarding them. Some of the information was quoted from anonymous sources:
  • A “senior source” with knowledge of the talks in Paris said Hamas had received a draft proposal, according to which the first stage would be a 40-day ceasefire of all military operations, during which a deal would be made for the release of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the return of hostages. According to the draft proposal, both sides will stop their military operations and reconnaissance flights over the Gaza Strip will be suspended for eight hours a day. In exchange for the 40 hostages listed in the “humanitarian” category, approximately 400 Palestinian prisoners will be released. Displaced persons will gradually return to their places of residence in the northern Gaza Strip, with the exception of men of military age. Once the first phase starts, Israel will redeploy its forces away from densely populated areas in the Gaza Strip; there will be a commitment to bring in 500 trucks carrying humanitarian aid every day and 200,000 tents and 60,000 caravans will be supplied. The reconstruction of the hospitals and bakeries will be made possible, and fuel and equipment for both will be delivered immediately, according to quantities agreed on. Israel will agree to the entrance of machinery and heavy equipment to clear the rubble and aid for other humanitarian purposes. Hamas will commit not to use the machines or equipment to threaten Israel. The arrangements agreed upon in the first phase will not apply to the second phase, which will be subject to separate negotiations (Reuters, al-Jazeera, February 27, 2024).
  • According to “two senior officials” who asked to remain anonymous, Israel’s delegation to the negotiations agreed to an American proposal that would allow the release of five female soldiers in exchange for the release of 15 Palestinian prisoners convicted of serious terrorist offenses. That condition is part of a broader proposal by the United States which will allow the release of 40 hostages when, in addition to the five female soldiers, 35 hostages will be released, some of whom are sick, wounded or shattered. Seven of them are women who Israel insists should have been released during the truce and exchange of prisoners in November (The New York Times, February 26, 2024).
  • “Sources in Hamas” stated that the current form of latest proposal was unacceptable, and changes had be made to some sections. The sources confirmed that there was progress on certain issues, but there were still issue that need to be resolved. According to the sources, the issue of the hostages could be settled, but the issue of the IDF’s withdrawal, its deployment locations in the first phase, and the return of the displaced residents to the northern Gaza Strip without any restrictions or conditions or security checks, were still issues preventing the implementation of the first phase of the agreement. The “sources” blamed the United States of an attempt to pressure Hamas by leaking the general outline of the agreement (al-Sharq al-Awsat February 27, 2024).
  • Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas member, said that the latest proposal had not been agreed upon at the meeting in Paris, but on the contrary, Israel refused to approve it during the meeting, and it was actually an American proposal, which was a withdrawal from its position. He claimed it was not a draft proposal to end the Israeli “aggression” against the Gaza Strip, but a document designed to save the honor of the United States administration and give Israel another chance to rest. He said that in any case, the hostage deal would be discussed later, since their priority was to end the “aggression” and the “siege” (al-Arabi TV YouTube channel, February 27, 2024).
  • Ahmed Abd al-Hadi, Hamas representative in Lebanon, claimed that leaking the details of the agreement were part of the “psychological warfare” conducted by Israel, with the support of the United States, to pressure the leadership of Hamas to waive its conditions and agree to a deal which did not meet their demands for a permanent cessation of the “aggression” and a full withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. He said they were American ideas which were intentionally leaked by Israel. He noted that Hamas’s position was clear and had been presented in its response to the framework for an agreement of the first Paris meeting, and that the proposals being made now were unacceptable (al-Mayadeen TV website, February 27, 2024; al-Mayadeen TV X account, February 27, 2024).
  • Muhammad al-Hindi, deputy PIJ secretary general, said they had been transitioning from a comprehensive agreement to a phased agreement, but Israel was delaying reaching an understanding and avoiding a deal. He claimed they had reached a hostage deal which included ending the war before Ramadan, but Israel was not prepared to be flexible (Filastin al-Yawm, February 27, 2024).
  • Ihsan Ataya, a member of the PIJ political bureau, said the second Paris document was clearly worse than the original. He said they were examining the proposals and tended towards rejecting the document, because it was impossible to agree to such conditions under any circumstances, which were only achievements for Israel, and as if to say to the “resistance” [terrorist organizations], “Hand over the hostages and we will eliminate you afterwards.” Their inclination, in his opinion, was not to agree and to present a detailed position and their conditions. He added that they were being pressured into a ceasefire before Ramadan so Israel could be free to deal with the worshipers at al-Aqsa Mosque and the protests they expected would be held by the residents of Jerusalem and Israeli Arabs. He also revealed that on the night of February 25, 2024, the Hamas leadership received the document and gave copies to the leadership of some “organizations” so they could discuss the contents and present joint ideas that would be delivered to the mediators by the Hamas leadership (al-Mayadeen TV website, February 27, 2024).
  • Isma’il Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, met with Tamim Bin Hamad, emir of Qatar. They reviewed developments related to the Palestinian cause, and in particular the ways to stop the fighting in the Gaza Strip and bring order to Palestinian internal affairs. Haniyeh noted the need to stop the [alleged] “massacres” committed by Israel against children, women and “defenseless civilians.” He also discussed the [alleged] “war of starvation” he claimed Israel was waging against the Palestinian people and the unprecedented humanitarian disaster, especially in Gaza City and the northern Gaza Strip. Haniyeh claimed Hamas responded positively to the efforts of the mediators, agreed to the course of negotiations for the cessation of “aggression,” and showed great seriousness and flexibility, but believes Israel was creating a delay Hamas was not ready to accept (Hamas’ Telegram channel in Judea and Samaria, February 26, 2024).
  • In an online speech delivered at a conference in Beirut, Isma’il Haniyeh claimed that Hamas was flexible in negotiations with Israel, and at the same time would “protect its people.” He said he had told Israel and the United States that what they could not obtain force on the ground they would not get by means of political trickery. He added that everyone had to act to defeat the “starvation plot” in the Gaza Strip and reach arrangements for permanent humanitarian aid. He called on the Arab public in East Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and for Israeli Arabs to go to al-Aqsa Mosque from the first day of the month of Ramadan (Hamas Telegram channel, February 28, 2024).

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The Gaza Strip
Palestinian casualties
  • The Hamas-controlled ministry of health in the Gaza Strip reported at 11:00 a.m., February 28, 2024, that during the past day 76 Gazans had been killed and 110 wounded, bringing the number of dead since the beginning of the war to 29,954 and the number of wounded to 70,325 (ministry of health in Gaza Facebook page, February 28, 2024).
Support for the Gaza Strip
  • The Jordanian Army announced that its forces had carried out an airlift along the coast of the Gaza Strip to bring humanitarian aid directly to the population. One of the planes reportedly belonged to the French army (Jordanian Army website, February 26, 2024). It was also reported that Jordan’s King Abdullah II participated in the Jordanian Air Force activity to drop the aid, and that his participation confirmed Jordan’s continued position regarding the provision of aid to the residents of the Gaza Strip by all possible means. It was also reported that three Jordanian planes and one plane each from the UAE, Egypt and France took off from Amman as part of the humanitarian aid operation (Petra, February 27, 2024). “High-level Egyptian sources” confirmed that the Egyptian Air Force dropped urgent humanitarian aid, including food, in the northern and central Gaza Strip with the participation of Jordan and the UAE (al-Qahera, February 27, 2024).
King Abdullah of Jordan during an airlift operation for Gaza (Petra, February 27, 2024)       The Jordanian humanitarian aid airlift for the residents of the Gaza Strip (Wafa YouTube channel, February 26, 2024).
}Right: The Jordanian humanitarian aid airlift for the residents of the Gaza Strip (Wafa YouTube channel, February 26, 2024). Left: King Abdullah of Jordan during an airlift operation for Gaza (Petra, February 27, 2024)
A Palestinian cartoon after the Jordanian airlift of humanitarian aid for the residents of the Gaza Strip (al-Quds, February 27, 2024)
A Palestinian cartoon after the Jordanian airlift of humanitarian aid for the residents of the Gaza Strip (al-Quds, February 27, 2024)
  • The Hamas ministry of interior and national security issued a notice to the residents stating that more than one Arab country had informed the government in the Gaza Strip of their intention to airlift humanitarian aid to the northern Gaza Strip in the coming days. According to the announcement, they were coordinating the appropriate points for dropping the aid and “responsible parties” would update the details (home front platform of the ministry of interior in Gaza Telegram channel, February 26, 2024).
  • Ismail al-Thawabta, director general of the government media office, said that airlifting aid was an excellent, creative, important idea, and for people not to think that it is a media trick for propaganda purposes, only two things were required: increasing the airlift to 1,000 sacks of flour every day and directing them so that 60% would be in the northern Gaza Strip and 40% in the Gaza City region. He said it was praiseworthy step and they appreciated it, but it still needed work (Ismail al-Thawabta’s X account, February 27, 2024).
  • Jens Lærke, spokesperson for the United Nations humanitarian office, alleged that Israeli forces were systematically blocking the transfer of aid to the residents of the Gaza Strip and that it was almost impossible to evacuate the sick and wounded and provide aid to the northern Gaza Strip, adding it was becoming increasingly difficult in the southern Gaza Strip as well. For example, he alleged that, on February 25, 2024, despite prior coordination, “for hours” a convoy of ambulances evacuating patients from Amal Hospital in Khan Yunis was halted by Israeli forces. They [allegedly] forced the patients out of the vehicles, and he claimed it was not an isolated incident, adding that Israel should allow a safe, smooth, rapid passage of aid (News Agency French, February 28, 2024).
Tents in Rafah erected by displaced persons from around the Gaza Strip (Wafa YouTube channel, February 27, 2024)
Tents in Rafah erected by displaced persons from around the Gaza Strip (Wafa YouTube channel, February 27, 2024)

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The Northern Arena
Hezbollah attacks
  • During the past two days, Hezbollah claimed responsibility for 15 attacks of anti-tank missiles, including missiles with an increased range and rockets of various types (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, February 26-28, 2024). For example:
    • On the afternoon of February 26, 2024, Hezbollah terrorist operatives launched a barrage of about 50 rockets at the Golan Heights, targeting at the IDF Golan Division’s headquarters in Nafah. One of the rockets hit an Israeli site (IDF spokesperson, February 26, 2024). According to Hezbollah, the barrage was launched in response to IDF strikes in Ba’albek on February 26, 2024, targeting Hezbollah’s aerial defense system, in which two of the organization’s operators were killed.
    • On the morning of February 27, 2024, a barrage of about 35 rockets was fired at the Meron areas; there were no casualties and no damage was caused to the aerial control unit located in the area.
  • In the evening another barrage of about 20 rockets was launched at northern Israel. A few rockets were intercepted and the rest fell in open areas. An anti-tank missile was launched at Miron area and hit the aerial control unit of the Israeli Air Force located in Meron, but the system were was not damaged (IDF spokesperson, February 27, 2024).
  • On February 28, 2024, a barrage of rockets was launched at the Upper Galilee and Kiryat Shmona. The Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades, Hamas military-terrorist wing, claimed responsibility two rocket barrages of 40 Grad rockets which targeted the headquarters of the 769th Brigade in the Gibor Camp and the airport camp in Beit Hillel. According to reports the rockets were fired “in response to the [alleged] massacres carried out by Israel against civilians [sic] in the Gaza Strip and the killing of their leaders and brothers in Beirut (Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades Telegram channel, February 28, 2024).
IDF response
  • In response to Hezbollah’s attacks, Israeli Air Force fighter jets attacked Hezbollah targets in south Lebanon, including military buildings in the Aita al-Sha’ab area, a launch site in the Kawkaba area, from which rockets were launched at the Golan Heights. An IDF tank attacked a Hezbollah military structure in the village of Kila al-Taybeh, Beit Lif, Seddiqine and Khirbet Selem (IDF spokesperson, February 26, 2024). In response to the attack on Miron area, fighter jets attacked and destroyed a military site and a number of military facilities in the area of al-Hanniyeh, Jibsheet, Bisariyah and al-Mansouri. Artillery was also fired at the Yaroun area (IDF spokesperson, February 27, 2024).
 an attack on a munitions warehouse and military buildings in the Ramyeh region (IDF spokesperson, February 28, 2024)    Attack on a Hezbollah munitions production site in the Khirbet Selem region.
Right: Attack on a Hezbollah munitions production site in the Khirbet Selem region. Left: an attack on a munitions warehouse and military buildings in the Ramyeh region (IDF spokesperson, February 28, 2024)
Attack on a military building in the Seddiqine area (IDF spokesperson, February 28, 2024)    Attack on a military building in the Beit Lif area.
Right: Attack on a military building in the Beit Lif area. Left: Attack on a military building in the Seddiqine area (IDF spokesperson, February 28, 2024)
Right: Attacks in Aita al-Sha'ab (Ali Shoeib's X, February 26, 2024). Center: Attack in al-Hanniyeh (Hassan Eldar's X account, February 27, 2024). Left: Attack in al-Bisariyah (X account of Fouad Khreiss, February 27, 2024)
Right: Attacks in Aita al-Sha’ab (Ali Shoeib’s X, February 26, 2024). Center: Attack in al-Hanniyeh (Hassan Eldar’s X account, February 27, 2024). Left: Attack in al-Bisariyah (X account of Fouad Khreiss, February 27, 2024)
Hezbollah fatalities
  • Hezbollah reported the deaths of four operatives (Hezbollah’s combat information Telegram channel, February 26, 2024).
    • Hassan Ali Younes, aka Abu al-Izz, born in 1969, from Brital, in the Beqa’a Valley.
    • Ahmed Muhammad Sandian, aka Najad, born in 1966, from Ali al-Nahri in the Beqa’a Valley.
    • Hassan Hussein Salami, aka Mahmoud, born in 1974, from Khirbet Selem in south Lebanon.
    • Muhammad Ali Maslamani, aka Montazer, born in 1988, from al-Sha’itiyah in south Lebanon.
Hezbollah fatalities (Hezbollah's combat information Telegram channel, February 26, 2024)
Hezbollah fatalities (Hezbollah’s combat information Telegram channel, February 26, 2024)  
  • Among the fatalities reported by Hezbollah was Hassan Hussein Salami, aka Mahmoud, who was eliminated in a targeted killing by an IDF aircraft in south Lebanon. He belonged to Hezbollah’s Nasser Unit, deployed in south Lebanon. Salami was in charge of Hezbollah’s eastern sector and was killed in an attack on a vehicle he was riding in in the town of al-Majadel, near Tyre (Sky News in Arabic, February 26, 2024).
  • According to the IDF spokesperson, he commanded several operations against IDF forces and civilian and military targets in northern Israel. Recently, he took part in coordinating operations against Israel, including firing anti-tank missiles at Kiryat Shmona and the headquarters of the 769th Brigade (IDF spokesperson, February 26, 2024).
The attack on the vehicle (IDF spokesperson, February 26, 2024)    The vehicle driven by Hassan Hussein Salami.
Right: The vehicle driven by Hassan Hussein Salami. Left: The attack on the vehicle (IDF spokesperson, February 26, 2024)
The vehicle driven by Hassan Hussein Salami (Fouad Khreiss’ X account, February 26, 2024)
The vehicle driven by Hassan Hussein Salam
(Fouad Khreiss’ X account, February 26, 2024)
  • The Jerusalem Brigades, the PIJ’s military-terrorist wing, reported the deaths of two of its operatives, members of Shaheed Ali al-Aswad Battalion – the Syrian arena, who had been killed in an operation on the Lebanon-Israel border (Telegram channel of the Jerusalem Brigades’ combat information wing, February 26, 2024). The fatalities are:
    • Ahmad Muhammad Halawa, aka Abu ‘Alaa, 33.
    • Hussein Walid Awad, aka Abu Ali, 28.
PIJ fatalities (Telegram channel of the Jerusalem Brigades’ combat information wing, February 26, 2024)      PIJ fatalities (Telegram channel of the Jerusalem Brigades’ combat information wing, February 26, 2024)
PIJ fatalities (Telegram channel of the Jerusalem Brigades’ combat information wing, February 26, 2024)
Statements by senior Hezbollah figures
  • Na’im Qassem, Hezbollah’s deputy secretary general, said that if Israel “exaggerated,” they would increase their response, adding that so far in the fighting they had used the barest minimum of their capabilities. He noted that any expansion would be encountered by an expansion, and nothing was stopping them except their own decisions. Their confrontation with Israel in south Lebanon was in the interests of the Gaza Strip and Lebanon. Israel had to know that if it thought about a second stage, they were highly prepared to deal with the challenge at any cost. He stressed that they were responding to Israel’s “aggression” and that they had repeatedly said that if Israel attacked civilians, their response would exceed the boundaries they had set for themselves (Na’im Qassem’s X account, February 27, 2024).
  • Hassan Fadlallah, a member of the Hezbollah faction in the Lebanese parliament, promised the “aggression” against Baalbek and any other region would not go unanswered. He claimed Hezbollah would surprise Israel and they would find a suitable response to any weapon that attacked Lebanon (al-Akhbar, February 26, 2024).
  • Nabil Qaouq, a member of Hezbollah’s Central Council, spoke at the funeral of Hassan Hussein Salami held in the town of Khirbet Selem in south Lebanon. He stressed that Hezbollah would not leave the field except with a new victory and that all the assassinations and attacks would not be left without a harsh response. He said Hezbollah was ready with its people, weapons and surprises to create a new victory. He also noted that the downing of the Hermes-type UAV had established a “new stage” in the conflict (Radio al-Nur, February 27, 2024).
UNIFIL
  • UNIFIL said that there had recently been an “alarming” increase in exchanges of fire along the Israel-Lebanon border, and that the agency continued its activities with both sides to reduce tensions and prevent dangerous misunderstandings. According to the agency, recent events had the potential to jeopardize a future political solution to the conflict. It reiterated its call on both sides to halt their attacks to leave room for a political solution that would restore stability to the region (UNIFIL X account, February 27, 2024).
The Lebanese government
  • The United States reportedly informed Hezbollah through Najib Mikati, Lebanon’s interim prime minister, that they would not allow Israel to start a large-scale war against Lebanon and that the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip would also apply to south Lebanon. It was noted that Lebanon’s position was that a ceasefire reached in the Gaza Strip would also apply to Lebanon (Nidaa al-Watan, February 27, 2024).
  • Lebanese Defense Minister Maurice Salim said that Lebanese army soldiers were not prepared for combat and that they had told all the international elements they met that they urgently needed to equip the soldiers and create new combat units, if necessary. He also said that Resolution 1701 stipulated that 15,000 soldiers would be stationed in south Lebanon, but that the army was unable to supply troops and therefore needed the support of friendly countries interested in regional stability and the commitment of all sides to international resolutions (al-Sharq al-Awsat, February 28, 2024). Later, the defense minister’s office issued a clarification, claiming that the minister’s remarks had been distorted, especially regarding the fact that the army was not prepared for fighting, and that the minister had called on the international community to support the army, knowing that such support strengthened the army’s combat capabilities and ensured the necessary readiness (al-Nashra, February 28, 2024).

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Israel, Judea and Samaria
Counterterrorism activities
  • The Israeli security forces continued their counterterrorism activities in Judea and Samaria. The Palestinian media reported that during the past day, Israeli security forces had detained 23 Palestinians, and that the detentions focused on Yatta, Ramallah and Qalqilya (Wafa, Ma’an News Agency, February 28, 2024).
 Israeli security forces leave Qalqilya at the end of the activity (QudsN X account, February 28, 2024)    Detention activity in Qalqilya.
Right: Detention activity in Qalqilya. Left: Israeli security forces leave Qalqilya at the end of the activity (QudsN X account, February 28, 2024)
  • Before dawn on February 27, 2024, IDF forces operated in the al-Far’a refugee camp (south of Tubas in northern Samaria), killing Ahmed Daraghmeh, a senior PIJ operative in the Tubas area, who was involved in shooting attacks and detonating IEDs against IDF forces. Two other armed operatives were killed along with him. The Israeli security forces also located a surveillance room in the refugee camp. An IDF soldier sustained superficial injuries and was evacuated to a hospital in Israel for treatment (IDF spokesperson’s X account, February 27, 2024).
  • According to Palestinian media reports, the fatalities were Ahmad Jamal Daraghmeh, 26, commander of the Tubas Battalion and its founder; Osama Jabr Zalat, 31; and Muhammad Samih Bayadseh, 32. A funeral was held for the three men, attended by dozens of armed operatives (aljazeera.net, February 27, 2024).
Ahmad Daraghmeh, commander of the Tubas Battalion (QudsN X account, February 28, 2024)
Ahmad Daraghmeh, commander of the Tubas Battalion
(QudsN X account, February 28, 2024)
Palestinian Authority (PA)
  • On the evening of February 26, 2024, Mahmoud Abbas received the letter of resignation of Muhammad Shtayyeh and his government. At the same time, Abbas issued a presidential edict stating that Shtayyeh and his government would continue to serve in their positions until the new government was formed (Wafa, February 26, 2024).

Mahmoud Abbas receives his government's letter of resignation from Muhammad Shtayyeh (Wafa, February 26, 2024)
Mahmoud Abbas receives his government’s letter of resignation from Muhammad Shtayyeh (Wafa, February 26, 2024)

  • Matthew Miller, spokesperson for the American Department of State, praised the reforms carried out by the PA and the steps it had taken to “revive itself.” He said they were positive and important steps to achieve the unification of the Gaza Strip and Judea and Samaria under the PA (Agence France-Presse, February 26, 2024).
  • Mahmoud Abbas met with Japan’s minister of state for foreign affairs. Abbas briefed the minister about the war in the Gaza Strip and the efforts to reach a ceasefire. He stressed to him the need to bring humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip, saying that the Strip was an integral part of the Palestinian state. He thanked Japan for its political support for the Palestinians and for its assistance (Wafa, February 27, 2024).
Mahmoud Abbas meets with Japan's minister of state for foreign affairs (Wafa, February 27, 2024)
Mahmoud Abbas meets with Japan’s minister of state for foreign affairs (Wafa, February 27, 2024)
  • On February 27, 2024, Hussein al-Sheikh, secretary of the PLO’s Executive Committee, and PA Finance Minister Shukri Bishara met in Ramallah with an international delegation of representatives from the United States, France, Norway, Britain, the European Union, Italy, Spain, Japan, the Netherlands, and the World Bank. They briefed the delegation members on the situation in the Gaza Strip and PA territories, as well as on the efforts for a ceasefire. Finance Minister Bishara briefed them about the PA’s financial distress due to Israel’s continued withholding of tax revenues. The delegation called for an immediate ceasefire and affirmed their commitment to support the Palestinian people and a political solution (Hussein al-Sheikh’s X account, February 27, 2024).
Hussein al-Sheikh and Shukri Bishara meet with an international delegation in Ramallah (Hussein al-Sheikh's X account, February 27, 2024)
Hussein al-Sheikh and Shukri Bishara meet with an international delegation in Ramallah
(Hussein al-Sheikh’s X account, February 27, 2024)
  • Abdel Hafiz Nofal, PA representative in Moscow, said Fatah and Hamas representatives would meet in Moscow on February 29, 2024, to discuss the establishment of a Palestinian unity government (al-Quds al-Arabi, February 28, 2024). Mikhail Bogdanov, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, said all sides had agreed to participate in the meeting and that some even wanted to send a larger number of representatives than they had invited (TASS News Agency, February 27, 2024).

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Iran
  • On February 26, 2024, the Syrian news channel Ayn al-Furat reported that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) had begun manufacturing suicide UAVs in Albukamal under the supervision of Haj Askar, commander of the pro-Iranian militias in the town. According to the report, the militias brought in electronic engineering experts with Iranian citizenship to manufacture the special engines for the aircraft. It was also noted that test flights were expected to take place in the coming days in the desert reef area in southern Albukamal.
  • Hossein-Amir Abdollahian, Iranian foreign minister, claimed in an interview that Israel had not succeeded in achieving any of its objectives in the war despite American military support. He said Israel was interested in expanding the war and involving the United States, and that there was still no apparent desire on the part of the United States to end the war. He added that his conversations with the leaders of the “resistance” and with the Palestinian leaders indicated that the Lebanese and Palestinian “resistance” was in excellent condition and had both the capabilities and means to fight a protracted war. Referring to the developments in the Red Sea, he said that when the [alleged] “genocide” in the Gaza Strip stopped, the situation in the Red Sea would return to normal. He reiterated the claim that Iran had no “proxies” in the region and that the “resistance” groups [allegedly] acted in accordance with their interests and made their own decisions (al-Mayadeen, February 27, 2024).
Pro-Iranian militias
Iraq
  • According to a New York Times report citing Iranian and American “officials,” Iran informed militias in Iraq and Syria that it supports reducing attacks against targets such as military installations. This was after the United States responded with its strikes in response to the attack on the American base in Jordan that killed three American soldiers. “American officials” reported that since the American airstrikes on February 2, 2024, the militias had not attacked American bases, except for two attacks in Syria (The New York Times, February 27, 2024).
Yemen
  • The United States Central Command (CENTCOM) reported on its airstrikes (CENTCOM X account, February 27-28, 2024):
    • On February 26, 2024, between 4:45 and 11:45 p.m. (Sana’a time), the forces destroyed three unmanned vessels, two mobile anti-ship cruise missiles and a UAV ready for launch.
    • On February 27, 2024, between 9:50 and 10:55 p.m. (Sana’a time), the forces shot down five suicide UAVs in the Red Sea that were leaving Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen.
  • For the first time since the European Union’s naval mission began its operations in the Red Sea, a German vessel intercepted two munitions fired by the Houthis (DPA News Agency, February 28, 2024). The European Union announced the establishment of a task force that officially began operations on February 19, 2024, and participating vessels had been instructed to carry out “preventive actions” only.
  • The Houthis reported that American and British Army forces had carried out two airstrikes in the Luhayyah district of al-Hudaydah (al-Masirah, February 27, 2024).
  • “Sources” said the Houthis were behind the explosion of communications lines under the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen, linking the Arabian Peninsula to Africa. It was also reported that an international telecommunications company had announced damage to its infrastructure in the Red Sea, noting that part of the cable system that passed through the Red Sea had stopped working, affecting the transfer of information between Africa and Europe (Sky News in Arabic, February 27, 2024). About two weeks ago, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, leader of the Houthis in Yemen, said they would not attack submarine cables or internet cables that reached countries in the region.
  • The Houthi government’s telecommunications ministry denied reports by the “Zionist enemy media” about the submarine cables in the Red Sea (Houthi Telegram channel, February 27, 2024). Hizam al-Assad, a member of the Houthis’ political bureau, said Yemen had not attacked internet cables and that was incitement by Israel, the United States and Britain through which they were trying to incite world public opinion against them (Sputnik, February 27, 2024).
  • In a joint move by the British government and the American Treasury Department, sanctions were imposed on entities supporting or facilitating Houthi activity in the Middle East and the Red Sea. The sanctions include, inter alia, key units of the Qods Force and the deputy commander of the Qods Force. British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said anyone trying to destabilize the region should know that Britain and its allies would not hesitate to act (British government website, February 27, 2024).
  • After the Houthis announced they would allow the rescue of the British cargo ship Rubymar that had been damaged on February 18, 2024, in exchange for humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, the Yemeni government began discussions on how to safely tow the cargo ship carrying oil and hazardous materials. It was reported that the crew had managed to evacuate the ship but due to a hole in the hull of the ship, it had been gradually sinking for several days. In addition, the damage caused an oil spill in the Red Sea, which could severely damage the fishing industry in Yemen, an important sector of the Yemeni economy, and severe environmental damage (Sky News, February 27, 2024).
The Arab Arena
Egypt
  • Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met in Geneva with Mirjana Spoljaric, president of the Red Cross, to discuss the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and reaching a new deal, a truce, and a hostage deal. Shoukry stressed the need for an international move to stop [alleged] “Israeli violations against Palestinians” while adhering to international and humanitarian laws. Spoljaric expressed her appreciation for the central role played by Egypt since the beginning of the crisis (Egyptian foreign ministry Facebook page, February 26, 2024).
  • Sameh Shoukry also met with Ayman al-Safadi, Jordanian foreign minister. They reviewed the dangerous consequences of a ground military operation in Rafah, which could double the humanitarian disaster in the Gaza Strip. They also stressed that additional efforts should be made to ensure the entry of aid into the Gaza Strip and that UNRWA should be supported for the benefit of the Palestinian residents. Shoukry expressed concern about a deterioration in the situation in Judea and Samaria in light of Israel’s activity, adding that there was no choice but to take clear steps to implement the two-state solution (Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman’s Facebook page, February 26, 2024).
  • Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi met with Egyptian Defense Minister Mohammed Zaki, Egyptian chief of staff Lieut. Gen. Osama Askar, and a number of senior security officials to discuss efforts to improve the severe humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip (Egyptian presidential website, February 27, 2024).
Jordan
  • King Abdullah II of Jordan met in Amman with a delegation of the Council of Arab and International Relations, headed by Muhammad Jassem al-Saqr, to discuss regional developments, first and foremost the implications of the continuation of the war in the Gaza Strip. King Abdullah stressed the need to reach an immediate ceasefire, protect civilians and provide aid. He warned of the danger of an Israeli attack in Rafah and of continued settler violence in Judea and Samaria. The delegation members stressed the need to continue coordination between the countries to reach a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and work to find a political horizon for the Palestinian cause (Petra, February 26, 2024).
  • Ayman al-Safadi, Jordanian foreign minister, spoke by phone with American Secretary of State Antony Blinken about the efforts to reach a permanent ceasefire and deal with the humanitarian disaster in the Gaza Strip (Jordanian foreign minister’s X account, February 26, 2024).
The International Arena
United Nations Security Council
  • The UN Security Council convened on February 28, 2024, to discuss the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. Riyad Mansour, PA representative to the UN, said hunger in the Gaza Strip was worsening daily and that the Security Council had to fulfill its obligations. He said correcting the situation in the Gaza Strip required taking three immediate steps: stopping the fighting, delivering humanitarian aid unhindered, and prosecuting Israel for its [alleged] “war crimes.” Barbara Woodward, Britain’s permanent representative to the UN, called on the Security Council to pressure Israel to allow more aid to enter the Gaza Strip and facilitate its distribution. She noted that the fighting had to be stopped immediately and then progress had to be made towards a lasting ceasefire. Robert Wood, the US alternate permanent representative to the UN, stressed that Israel had to invest more efforts to protect the residents of the Gaza Strip and that it had to keep the border crossings open for the rapid entry of aid. He also said it was unacceptable that Hamas operatives continued to hide in civilian structures such as hospitals and schools, and that all sides had to act in accordance with international humanitarian law (UN website, February 28, 2024).
UN Human Rights Council
  • On the sidelines of the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, a meeting was held to discuss the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. Faisal bin Farhan, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, said the prolongation of the conflict in the Gaza Strip led to insecurity and fueled hatred and extremism (Saudi Arabian foreign minister’s X account, February 26, 2024). Riyadh al-Maliki, PA foreign minister, said Israel had been crushing international law for 143 days through its “aggression” in the Gaza Strip and its “genocidal war” (Wafa, February 26, 2024). Ayman al-Safadi, Jordanian foreign minister, said the “aggression” against the Gaza Strip had to stop immediately. Sameh Shoukry, Egyptian foreign minister, warned of the consequences of any ground military operation in Rafah (Egyptian government Facebook page, February 26, 2024).
  • Hossein-Amir Abdollahian, Iranian foreign minister, speaking at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, condemned the American-led Western support for the [alleged] “crimes of the Zionist regime” in the Gaza Strip and demanded that the council take action against Israel. During his visit to Geneva, Abdollahian met with UN Secretary-General António Guterres and a number of foreign ministers (Fars, February 26, 2024). At a press conference in Geneva, he said that in his meetings, he had stressed that ending the “crimes and genocide against the residents of the Gaza Strip” could have a positive impact on regional security. He added that he had discussed with Sameh Shoukry, Egyptian foreign minister, the situation in the Gaza Strip, the possibility of sending Iranian humanitarian aid to the Strip, and ways to stop the war (Mehr, February 27, 2024).
  • Approximately 30 independent UN Human Rights Council special rapporteurs issued an unusual opinion on February 23, 2024, to impose an immediate arms embargo on Israel. The statement said that any transfer of weapons or ammunition to Israel for use in the Gaza Strip could violate international humanitarian law and had to stop immediately. The rapporteurs noted that States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) had an obligation to prevent arms exports if they knew they would be used to commit international crimes, and even if only there was such a risk (Human Rights Council website, February 23, 2024). The announcement was issued after an ATT working group was convened on February 21, 2024, at the request of the PA, to discuss the question of whether the transfer of weapons to Israel violated the Treaty, following the ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The PA, along with Palestinian civil society organizations, prepared for a discussion and recommended an embargo. The PA’s representative to the UN also announced that the PA was working to promote a resolution in the General Assembly to call for an embargo on Israel.
France
  • French President Emmanuel Macron met with Tamim Bin Hamad, the emir of Qatar. In a speech given after the meeting, the emir of Qatar said that they were in a race against time to secure the release of the hostages, and at the same time called for an end to the “genocide of the Palestinian people.” He said Qatar and France were working intensively to reach a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and that the international community had not yet taken a position to end the war in the Gaza Strip and provide the minimum protection for its residents (AP, February 28, 2024).

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