Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., February 5, 2024)

Weapons found by the forces (IDF spokesperson, February 4, 2024)

Weapons found by the forces (IDF spokesperson, February 4, 2024)

Weapons found by the forces (IDF spokesperson, February 4, 2024)

Weapons found by the forces (IDF spokesperson, February 4, 2024)

Weapons found by the forces (IDF spokesperson, February 4, 2024)

Weapons found by the forces (IDF spokesperson, February 4, 2024)

A lathe near the post (IDF spokesperson, February 4, 2024)

A lathe near the post (IDF spokesperson, February 4, 2024)

The al-Atatra neighborhood in Beit Lahia after IDF attacks (al-Ghad TV, February 5, 2024)

The al-Atatra neighborhood in Beit Lahia after IDF attacks (al-Ghad TV, February 5, 2024)

The al-Atatra neighborhood in Beit Lahia after IDF attacks (al-Ghad TV, February 5, 2024)

The al-Atatra neighborhood in Beit Lahia after IDF attacks (al-Ghad TV, February 5, 2024)

Bassem Na'im (left) with the chairman of the Nation Council in Algeria (X account Yusuf Hamdan, Hamas representative in Algeria, February 1, 2024).

Bassem Na'im (left) with the chairman of the Nation Council in Algeria (X account Yusuf Hamdan, Hamas representative in Algeria, February 1, 2024).

Na'im meeting with the chairman of the Movement for a Society of Peace party (the party's Facebook page, February 1, 2024)

Na'im meeting with the chairman of the Movement for a Society of Peace party (the party's Facebook page, February 1, 2024)

Mahmoud Abbas meets with Tor Wennesland (Mahmoud Abbas' Facebook page, February 4, 2024)

Mahmoud Abbas meets with Tor Wennesland (Mahmoud Abbas' Facebook page, February 4, 2024)

Northern Arena, Israeli Casualties, Rocket Fire

Overview[1]
  • The southern arena: During the past day, the IDF forces focused their activities on western Khan Yunis. They attacked the al-Qadasiya post, the main post of Hamas’ Khan Yunis Brigade. The post, which is a large with many facilities, was also used by the Hamas military wing to train operatives, and had models simulating the entrance gates of kibbutzim, IDF bases and armored vehicles. The post was also the location of the office of Muhammad al-Sinwar, the commander of the Khan Yunis Brigade who was an active participant in the planning and execution of the October 7, 2023 attack and massacre. In the northern and central Gaza Strip, the forces raided terrorist targets.
  • According to unofficial statistics, since October 7, 2023, approximately 1,450 Israeli civilians and security personnel have been killed, 562 of them soldiers and officers; 132 civilian and military hostages are still being held by the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip; 121 hostages have been returned to Israel.
  • Negotiations for a hostage deal: Hamas has not yet responded to the proposed hostage deal. Members of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) claimed they were still discussing the issue with the other “organizations,” and reiterated that without a complete ceasefire no deal would take place. Hamas delegations and possibly also representatives of other “organizations” are expected to arrive for consultations in Egypt before a definitive answer is given.
  • The situation in the Gaza Strip: The IDF distributed leaflets calling on the residents of Gaza City to evacuate to the Khan Yunis area. UNRWA claimed an Israeli Navy ship had attacked a truck bringing food.
  • The northern arena: Hezbollah claimed responsibility for six attacks on IDF posts. Hezbollah reported three deaths. In response to the death of two of its operatives, Amal attacked several Israeli posts on the Israel-Lebanon border.
  • Iran: The spokesman of the Iranian foreign ministry again claimed that Iran had no proxy forces in the region and did not seek to escalate tensions but to achieve stability.
  • The pro-Iranian militias: The Fatemiyoun Brigade in Syria announced the death of four operatives. At least two of them were close to Qassem Soleimani, former commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) Qods Force. In Iraq, an attempt was made on the life of a senior member of the Asaib Ahl al-Haqq militia. The Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for an attack on a United States military base in Syria. Six Kurdish SDF operatives were killed in the attack.
The Southern Arena
  • Palestinian media reported the main centers of IDF activity were Gaza City, where IDF ground activity spread in the southwest to prevent Hamas from restoring its military power; in the central Gaza Strip the Israeli Air Force attacked in eastern Deir al-Balah and the al-Nuseirat refugee camp; in Khan Yunis tanks operated in the western part of the city and the southern neighborhoods, and the encirclement of the Nasser and al-Amal Hospitals continued; in Rafah the Israeli Air Force attacked in the north and east of the city (Wafa, Ma’an, February 5, 2024).
 An al-Jazeera TV presenter describes IDF activity in southwest Gaza City (right) and western Khan Yunis (left) (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, February 4, 2024)    An al-Jazeera TV presenter describes IDF activity in southwest Gaza City (right) and western Khan Yunis (left) (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, February 4, 2024)
An al-Jazeera TV presenter describes IDF activity in southwest Gaza City (right) and western Khan Yunis (left) (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, February 4, 2024)
  • The southern Gaza Strip: IDF forces’ activities intensified in the al-Amal neighborhood of western Khan Yunis, which is a Hamas stronghold. The fighters located large quantities of weapons, dozens of Hamas terrorist facilities, tunnel shafts, observation posts and factories for the manufacture of weapons. The forces raided safes and a Hamas currency exchange office, where more than 3 million NIS (about $817,000) were found, funds used to finance terrorist activity. The forces also found intelligence-related documents (IDF spokesperson, February 4, 2024).
  • In the western part of Khan Yunis, the forces raided the al-Qadasiya post, which serves as the main post of the Khan Yunis Brigade. The post, which is large and has many facilities, was booby-trapped and mined, including IEDs buried inside the walls. Many armed terrorists had taken fortified positions around and near the post and opened fire at the soldiers. The al- Qadasiya post was also used by Hamas’ military wing to train operatives. Training complexes were found, some of which had models simulating the entrance gates of kibbutzim, IDF bases and armored vehicles. The fighters raided the central war room of the Khan Yunis Brigade and the offices of its senior officers, including the office of Muhammad al-Sinwar, the brother of Yahya al-Sinwar. Muhammad al-Sinwar is the Khan Yunis Brigade commander who was an active participant in the planning and execution of the October 7, 2023 terrorist attack and massacre. Rocket warehouses and shafts leading to a tunnel were also found (IDF spokesperson, February 4, 2024).
  • A lathe for the production of weapons was found near the headquarters, as were large quantities of weapons, including anti-tank missiles, rockets, RPGs, machine guns, IEDs, grenades and ammunition (IDF spokesperson, February 4, 2024).
  Weapons found by the forces (IDF spokesperson, February 4, 2024)
Weapons found by the forces (IDF spokesperson, February 4, 2024)     Weapons found by the forces (IDF spokesperson, February 4, 2024)
Weapons found by the forces (IDF spokesperson, February 4, 2024)
A lathe near the post (IDF spokesperson, February 4, 2024)
A lathe near the post (IDF spokesperson, February 4, 2024)
  • A correspondent for al-Arabi TV reported that the IDF carried out targeted attacks on a number of buildings in populated areas of Deir al-Balah and 24 people were killed in the attacks. The victims were taken to the Shuhadaa al-Aqsa Hospital (al-Arabi YouTube channel, February 4, 2024).
Bringing casualties to the hospital (al-Arabi YouTube channel, February 4, 2024)    Israeli Air Force attack in Deir al-Balah (Shehab X account, February 4, 2024).
Right: Israeli Air Force attack in Deir al-Balah (Shehab X account, February 4, 2024). Left: Bringing casualties to the hospital (al-Arabi YouTube channel, February 4, 2024)
  • Gaza City: An al-Jazeera TV correspondent reported that the Shifa Hospital was under siege by IDF forces. Local residents he spoke with claimed they did not intend to evacuate despite the announcements distributed by the IDF calling on them to move toward Deir al-Balah (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, February 4, 2024).
 The flysheet distributed by the IDF to the residents of the Rimal neighborhood of Gaza City, calling on them to evacuate (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, February 4, 2024)     Residents staying in the Shifa Hospital complex.
Right: Residents staying in the Shifa Hospital complex. Left: The flysheet distributed by the IDF to the residents of the Rimal neighborhood of Gaza City, calling on them to evacuate (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, February 4, 2024)
Israeli Air Force attack on the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City (Shehab X account, February 4, 2024)
Israeli Air Force attack on the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City
(Shehab X account, February 4, 2024)
  • The central and northern Gaza Strip: IDF forces continued operations in central and northern Gaza and carried out targeted raids on Hamas terrorist targets; according to reports, dozens of terrorists were killed (IDF spokesperson, February 5, 2024).
 Israeli Navy forces assist in the elimination of a terrorist squad (IDF spokesperson, February 5, 2024)  IDF attack on a terrorist squad in the central Gaza Strip.
Right: IDF attack on a terrorist squad in the central Gaza Strip. Left: Israeli Navy forces assist in the elimination of a terrorist squad (IDF spokesperson, February 5, 2024)
The al-Atatra neighborhood in Beit Lahia after IDF attacks (al-Ghad TV, February 5, 2024)     The al-Atatra neighborhood in Beit Lahia after IDF attacks (al-Ghad TV, February 5, 2024)
The al-Atatra neighborhood in Beit Lahia after IDF attacks (al-Ghad TV, February 5, 2024)
Israeli casualties
  • According to unofficial statistics, since October 7, 2023, approximately 1,450 Israeli people have been killed. According to the IDF spokesperson, 562 of them are soldiers and officers (225 since the start of the ground maneuver on 27 October, 2023); 132 civilian and military hostages are still being held by the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip; 121 hostages have been returned.
The issue of the hostages and a ceasefire agreement
  • Hamas has not yet responded to the proposal for a hostage deal. A “senior Hamas source” said they were still conducting final consultations with all the [other terrorist] organizations to draft a deal that would serve the interests of the Palestinian people and include the cessation of “aggression,” the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip and the release of the prisoners; the response is expected to be announced soon (Shehab Telegram channel, February 4, 2024).
  • “Palestinian sources” reported that a delegation of the Hamas leadership was preparing to visit Cairo before a response is given to the Egyptians, and a delegation from the other Palestinian “organizations” might join it. The “sources” added that the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip and the “external” leadership said the response would have a “positive direction,” but it would include additional points, including the declaration of a permanent ceasefire and guarantees for the end of the war. It was also noted that the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip told the “external” leadership that there was no need to be concerned about the fate of the hostages, Israel was unable to reach them and they could guard them. It was also claimed that the movement’s “military leadership” had adapted to the new [combat] situation and were capable of holding out for long periods of time (al-Akhbar, February 5, 2024).
  • Mahmoud Mardawi, a senior Hamas member, claimed that Israel’s statements about disputes among senior Hamas officials were “nonsense” because their position was unified. He noted that any proposal that did not include a ceasefire had “negative indications” for the Palestinian organizations and the “resistance” would not agree to it. He also stated that any framework for an agreement had to be worded clearly in a way that left no room for doubt, and the criteria for the negotiations also had to be clear (QudsN, February 4, 2024). In another statement, he said they were examining the proposals “calmly and carefully,” and no one was forcing them to give a quick answer (al-Jazeera Mubasher TV website, February 5, 2024).
  • A “senior Hamas member” was quoted as saying that the “framework document” drawn up at the Paris talks was still being examined by the Hamas leadership and with the other “organizations.” The “member” added that Hamas had important relevant comments, especially regarding a total cessation of the war and the existence of international guarantees. He noted that there was no direct negotiation channel with Israel, there were discussions and contacts with the Egyptian and Qatari mediators, with updates from the Americans and other parties relating to specific points such as details and guarantees. He said that depending on what they achieved, they would determine when the head of the Hamas political bureau would go to Egypt. He added that Hamas and the other “organizations” were willing to discuss any initiative or deal, and Hamas’ discussions with the mediators centered on its demands for a complete cessation of the war and a complete withdrawal of the IDF from the Strip Gaza, as well as clear mechanisms for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, including the lifting of the “siege,” and the demands had been “understood” by the mediators (al-Sharq TV website, February 5, 2024).
  • Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas member, reiterated yet again that they insisted on a comprehensive ceasefire, Israel’s withdrawal from all of Gaza and the lifting of the “siege,” but Israel had rejected all the demands and wanted to continue its “aggression” (al-Anadolu News X account in Arabic, February 5, 2024).
  • Muhammad Nizal, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, denied reports that they had rejected the ceasefire proposals, claiming that the ceasefire concerned the Palestinians and all the “organizations,” not just Hamas, and that at any moment a position on the issue might be formed. He noted that the discourse surrounding an independent Palestinian state was currently a “big headline,” but the most important thing was “ending the suffering of the Palestinians.” He claimed they would conduct the negotiating campaign the way they had been conducting the “military campaign” for the past four months, and the “resistance” [terrorist organizations] would remain in the Gaza Strip (Filastin al-Yawm TV Telegram channel, February 4, 2024).
  •  “A prominent PIJ leader” denied there were differences of opinion with Hamas regarding the “concept” and claimed that whoever said it had “malicious intentions.” He claimed there was a need for further consultations, during which each would present and explain their opinion. He said that during the discussions the PIJ had insisted on stopping the war, a view Hamas shared. They also agreed that Israel had to compensate the Gaza Strip significantly for the “victims it sacrificed,” not only by stopping the “aggression,” but also by lifting the “siege” after a complete withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, easing the process of reconstruction and easing the burden of the displaced. He added that in their opinion the proposed guarantees might not be enough. A senior Hamas member, who asked to remain anonymous, emphasized that there was no change in the movement’s position, reiterated yet again its adherence to the need to completely end the “aggression.” He added that a decision had be made with full agreement [of the terrorist organizations]. He also stated that all the “organizations” agreed to the demand for a permanent ceasefire, whose guarantees had to be clear. The “member” estimated that a Hamas delegation led by Haniyeh would arrive in Cairo within a few days to discuss the proposal before announcing an official position (al-Araby al-Jadeed, February 5, 2024).

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The Gaza Strip
Palestinian casualties
  • The Hamas-controlled ministry of health in the Gaza Strip reported that as of 11:10 a.m., February 4, 2024, the number of dead since the beginning of the war stood at 27,365 and the number of wounded at 66,630 (ministry of health in Gaza Facebook page, February 4, 2024).
The situation in the Gaza Strip
  • Bassam Na’im, chairman of Hamas’ political and foreign relations department, who is in Algeria, claimed that while attacks in the Strip had declined in the past two or three weeks, every morning they counted between 150 and 200 dead, most of them [allegedly] women and children. He added that the IDF continued attacking “all aspects of life” in the Strip, including UN facilities or places under UN supervision that serve as shelters for displaced persons. He also claimed that no aid had entered the northern Gaza Strip for 120 days. He alleged that although it had been agreed through the mediators and through the UN that part of the aid would reach the northern Gaza Strip, he spoke with the person in Hamas in charge of aid, who told him that all the trucks that arrived in the northern Gaza Strip were required by the IDF to turn back, and therefore more than 600,000 [sic] people in the northern Gaza Strip had [allegedly] not received food, medicine or fuel for 120 days (Algerian ANN website YouTube channel, February 4, 2024).
The emergency teams of the municipality of al-Nuseirat, near Deir al-Balah, remove garbage (Shehab X account, February 5, 2024)     The emergency teams of the municipality of al-Nuseirat, near Deir al-Balah, remove garbage (Shehab X account, February 5, 2024)
The emergency teams of the municipality of al-Nuseirat, near Deir al-Balah, remove garbage (Shehab X account, February 5, 2024)
UNRWA
  • Thomas White, director of UNRWA in the Gaza Strip, accused the Israeli Navy of attacking a truck carrying food which was waiting to move towards the northern Gaza Strip. He claimed there had been no casualties but material damage had been caused (Thomas White’s X account, February 5, 2025).
A UNRWA aid truck [allegedly] hit by gunfire from a Navy ship (X account by Thomas White, February 5, 2024)
A UNRWA aid truck [allegedly] hit by gunfire from a Navy ship
(X account by Thomas White, February 5, 2024)
UNRWA reported on garbage piling up near the displaced persons' camp (UNRWA X account, February 4, 2024)
UNRWA reported on garbage piling up near the displaced persons’ camp
(UNRWA X account, February 4, 2024)
Statements by senior Hamas officials
  • Speaking at a symposium in Algeria, Bassam Na’im, chairman of Hamas’ political and foreign relations department, stated Hamas considered any political, security, military or other relationship with Israel a betrayal of the Palestinian cause, because any such relationship gave Israel legitimacy on Palestinian land and supported its future existence. He called on “everyone” to sever ties with Israel and support the Palestinians’ campaign. He also noted that Algeria’s membership in the Security Council as an Arab country which raised the issue of “Palestine” was pure profit for the Palestinian cause. He expressed appreciation for its activity in the Security Council in following up on the decisions of the International Court of Justice in the lawsuit against Israel, claiming that if Algeria succeeded in getting the Security Council to pass resolutions requiring Israel to stop the [alleged] “acts of genocide,” it would be a great and strategic achievement. He also expressed his appreciation for Algeria’s move to have about 500 lawyers file a lawsuit with the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), especially since the move would after the Hague decision, as part of Algeria and South Africa’s continued pressure on Israel and its leaders through international and national courts of law.
  • Asked about Hamas’ position regarding “the day after,” Naim said that the management of the Palestinian issue was a purely Palestinian matter, and Hamas was asking for a purely Palestinian mechanism, such as a national unity government or a technocratic government with a national source of authority, which would direct Palestinian public life in a transitional phase. It would take on the mission of reconstructing the Gaza Strip and “helping people,” and might also oversee the organization of elections that would rebuild the Palestinian political system (website of the Algerian daily el-Masaa, February 5, 2024).
 Na'im meeting with the chairman of the Movement for a Society of Peace party (the party's Facebook page, February 1, 2024)    Bassem Na'im (left) with the chairman of the Nation Council in Algeria (X account Yusuf Hamdan, Hamas representative in Algeria, February 1, 2024).
Right: Bassem Na’im (left) with the chairman of the Nation Council in Algeria (X account Yusuf Hamdan, Hamas representative in Algeria, February 1, 2024). Left: Na’im meeting with the chairman of the Movement for a Society of Peace party[2] (the party’s Facebook page, February 1, 2024)

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The Northern Arena
Hezbollah’s actions
  • During the past day, Hezbollah claimed responsibility for six attacks using anti-tank missiles and rockets (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, February 4, 2024). In response Israeli Air Force fighter jets attacked a Hezbollah operational headquarters and military structure near the village of Yaroun and an observation post in the area of Maroun al-Ras. They also attacked a rocket-launching position manned by terrorists at the time and observation posts in the Blida and Meiss al-Jabal area. An IDF tank attacked a terrorist squad in the Blida area (IDF spokesperson, February 4, 2024).
The Israeli Air Force attacks a Hezbollah observation post (IDF spokesperson, February 4, 2024)
The Israeli Air Force attacks a Hezbollah observation post (IDF spokesperson, February 4, 2024)
Attacks in Blida (Fouad Khreiss' X account, February 4, 2024)     Attacks in Blida (Fouad Khreiss' X account, February 4, 2024)
Attacks in Blida (Fouad Khreiss’ X account, February 4, 2024)
Amal activity
  • According to reports, in response to the death on February 3, 2024, of two Amal operatives who participated in terrorist activity in south Lebanon, Amal operatives attacked several Israeli installations. They used missiles to attack Margaliot, a moshav, and Kibbutz Eilon, the Hanita post and the Arab al-Aramsheh post (al-Mayadeen and the MTV network, February 4, 2024).
  • Nabih Berri, the speaker of the Lebanese Parliament and the leader of the Amal movement, said in an interview with the Amal-affiliated NBN network, that Amal stood with Hezbollah in defending all Lebanese territories, but did not have Hezbollah’s military capabilities. He claimed he was not concerned about his diplomatic role because “diplomatic resistance” was an essential part of the “resistance” (NBN Network, February 4, 2024).
Hezbollah casualties
  • Hezbollah reported the death of three operatives from south Lebanon (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, February 5, 2024):
  • Salman Muhammad Hassan Faqih, aka Jihad, born in 1994, from Aitaroun.
  • Abbas Ahmed al-Kharsa, aka Hussam, born in 1987, from al-Tiri.
  • Abbas Khader Nasser, aka Jihad, born in 1985, from Yaroun.
Hezbollah casualties (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, February 5, 2024)
Hezbollah casualties (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, February 5, 2024)
Statements by senior Hezbollah members
  • Ali Fayad, a member of the Hezbollah faction in parliament, gave a speech at the funeral of one of the organization’s operatives in the village of Harouf. He said that the clashes taking place in south Lebanon again raised the issue of borders and the “occupied Lebanese territories.” He claimed the United States was complicit in all the military and political events, and anyone who wanted to keep the conflict from spreading should put pressure on Israel. He claimed the proposal put forward to the Palestinians “proved” Israel had failed and would be forced to submit to the terms of the “resistance” [Palestinian terrorist organizations] (al-Nashra, February 4, 2024).
  • Hassan Fadlallah, a member of the Hezbollah faction in parliament, toured the border villages in south Lebanon which were damaged by Israeli attacks, and claimed there would be no deliberations in Lebanon, neither by the Lebanese government nor Hezbollah, unless Israel’s aggression in the Gaza Strip stopped. He claimed that if the United States wanted to stop the conflict in the region, it had to stop the “aggression” against the Gaza Strip (al-Manar, February 4, 2024).
The Lebanese government
  • Abdallah Bou Habib, the Lebanese foreign minister, met with Kate Forbes, the president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, to discuss the issue of the people from south Lebanon displaced by the conflict with Israel along the border. He asked Forbes for all possible assistance from the Red Cross (NBN, February 5, 2024).

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Judea and Samaria
Terrorist attacks
  • On February 5, 2024, during a routine security activity in al-Eizariya (east of Jerusalem), an IDF Border Police force stopped a Palestinian for inspection. During the inspection, the Palestinian pulled out a knife and tried to stab the fighters. They shot and killed him (Israel Police Force spokesman’s unit, February 5, 2024).
The knife with which the Palestinian tried to stab Border Police fighters (Israel Police Force spokesman's unit, February 5, 2024)
The knife with which the Palestinian tried to stab Border Police fighters
(Israel Police Force spokesman’s unit, February 5, 2024)
Counterterrorism activities
  • The Israeli security forces continued their counterterrorism activities in Judea and Samaria, detaining 33 wanted Palestinians. Since the beginning of the war, more than 3,000 wanted Palestinians have been detained, over 1,350 of them Hamas operatives (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, February 5, 2024).
  • Before dawn on February 5, 2024, Israeli security forces operated in the al-Ein refugee camp in Nablus, detaining a wanted Palestinian suspected of shooting at the forces (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, February 5, 2024). The Palestinian reported that armed Palestinians had shot at the Israeli forces during the operation (al-Jazeera TV, February 5, 2024).
Israeli security forces' activity in the al-Ein refugee camp in Nablus (al-Jazeera TV, February 5, 2024)
Israeli security forces’ activity in the al-Ein refugee camp in Nablus
(al-Jazeera TV, February 5, 2024)
  • Israeli security forces also operated overnight in Hebron, detaining several wanted Palestinians and seizing funds intended to finance terrorist activity. A bag of Molotov cocktails was seized in Beit Omar (north of Hebron) (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, February 5, 2024).
Palestinian Authority (PA)
  • Mahmoud Abbas, PA chairman, met in his office in Ramallah with Tor Wennesland, the UN secretary-general’s envoy to the Middle East peace process, to discuss the latest developments in the region. Abbas sent a message through him to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, calling on him to intensify UN efforts to stop the war in the Gaza Strip and bring about Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. He also said that no part of the Gaza Strip could be annexed and that action had to be taken to increase the aid entering its territory. He reiterated that the PA should be granted full membership in the UN and recognized as a state (Mahmoud Abbas’ Facebook page, February 4, 2024).
Mahmoud Abbas meets with Tor Wennesland (Mahmoud Abbas' Facebook page, February 4, 2024)
Mahmoud Abbas meets with Tor Wennesland
(Mahmoud Abbas’ Facebook page, February 4, 2024)

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Iran
  • Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran, meeting with regular army air force commanders, said that the “elites” in the Muslim world were responsible for the issue of the Gaza Strip and had to raise the public demand to sever ties with Israel (Tasnim, February 5, 2024).
  • Nasser Kanani, spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry, said at his weekly press conference that the crisis in the region stemmed from the continuation of the war in the Gaza Strip with the support of the United States and Britain. He claimed Iran had no proxy forces in the region and that it was “not striving to escalate the tension” but “to achieve regional stability.” He claimed that ending the crisis depended on stopping “the Zionist regime’s war crimes and genocide.” Kanani added that the United States’ attacks in Syria, Iraq and Yemen were illegal and intended to divert public opinion from the crisis in “Palestine.” He also said that Iran’s presence in Syria was based on “advisors” operating in the country officially (Tasnim, February 5, 2024).
  • Ali Fadavi, deputy commander of the IRGC, said that the world now understood that the vision of Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Revolution, who called Israel “the cancerous tumor of the region,” preceded the rest of the world by 60 years. He noted that the people of the world were now chanting the slogans of the Islamic Revolution against the United States and Israel. He praised the continuation of the “resistance” in the Gaza Strip and Yemen against Israel and its supporters, noting that Iran’s enemies did not fire a single shot at it, despite their hostility towards it (Tasnim, February 5, 2024).
  • Ali Akbar Ahmadian, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, visited Baghdad to meet with senior Iraqi officials (ISNA, February 5, 2024). His visit takes place amid the escalation between the United States and the Shi’ite pro-Iranian militias in Iraq.
Pro-Iranian militias
Syria
  • The Fatemiyoun Brigade, a pro-Iranian militia of Shi’ite Afghan mercenaries operating on behalf of the IRGC in Syria, announced the death of Hamza Alawi, an Afghan-born, long-time fighter of the militia, in airstrikes carried out by the United States Army on February 2, 2024, in the Deir ez-Zor governorate. Alawi is considered a close associate of former IRGC Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani. Three other Fatemiyoun Brigade operatives were reportedly also killed in the attacks in Deir ez-Zor: Ali al-Husseini, also a close associate of Qassem Soleimani; Mohammad Rida al-Sadat Alawi and Mohammad Ali Akbari (Qalaat Al Mudiq X account, February 4, 2024).
 The four fatalities; top left: Ali al-Husseini standing behind Qassem Soleimani (Qassem Media, February 4, 2024)    Hamza Alawi, senior Fatemiyoun Brigade militia operative killed in the Deir ez-Zor area (Qalaat Al Mudiq X account, February 4, 2024).
Right: Hamza Alawi, senior Fatemiyoun Brigade militia operative killed in the Deir ez-Zor area (Qalaat Al Mudiq X account, February 4, 2024). Left: The four fatalities; top left: Ali al-Husseini standing behind Qassem Soleimani (Qassem Media, February 4, 2024)
Iraq
  • The Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for a drone attack on the American Army base in the al-Omar oil field in Syria (Islamic Resistance Telegram channel, February 5, 2024). The Kurdish SDF forces reported the death of six of their members in a drone attack on their training area in the al-Omar oil field in Syria. They condemned the attack and said they had the right to respond appropriately to the source of the attack (SDF forces website, February 5, 2024).
Attack on the base in the al-Omar oil field (Islamic Resistance Telegram channel, February 5, 2024)
Attack on the base in the al-Omar oil field
(Islamic Resistance Telegram channel, February 5, 2024)
  • Unknown assailants reportedly killed Naji Abu Ali al-Kaabi, a senior figure in the Asaib Ahl al-Haqq Iraqi pro-Iranian militia in the Misan governorate in southern Iraq. He was shot while riding in his vehicle, apparently by a motorcyclist (Firas al-Hademi’s X account, February 4, 2024).
  • Iraqi Foreign Minister Fouad Hussein met with the ambassadors of the European Union, Canada, Brazil and Australia in Baghdad to discuss the American attack in Iraq. He stressed that they refused to allow Iraq to be a war arena for rival countries and that Iraq was not the place for conveying messages and displaying force. He said they were responsible for protecting foreign diplomatic officials in the country, and that any harm to them was an attack on Iraqi sovereignty (Iraqi foreign ministry Telegram channel, February 4, 2024).
  • Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shia’ al-Sudani and Iraqi President Abdullatif Rashid convened senior members of the coalition parties in Iraq for an emergency meeting to monitor developments in the country. The parties condemned “the American aggression” against the Popular Mobilization forces, saying it was a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and security. They stressed that Iraq’s national interest had to be placed above other interests (Iraqi News Agency, February 5, 2024).
Yemen
  • The United States Central Command (CENTCOM) continued to carry out airstrikes against the Houthis. The Houthis reported eight American and British airstrikes in the Ras Issa area, three airstrikes in the al-Hudaydah governorate and four in the eastern part of the city of Saada (al-Masirah Telegram channel, February 5, 2024).
  • Meanwhile, the forces continued to prevent launches against ships. According to a statement issued by CENTCOM, on February 4, 2024, at around 5:30 a.m. (Sana’a time), they attacked a Houthi anti-ship missile in Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen. They also attacked four Houthi anti-ship cruise missiles ready for launch at ships in the Red Sea (CENTCOM X account, February 5, 2024).
  • Following the Houthi exercise simulating the takeover of Israeli communities, senior Hamas member Sami Abu Zuhri said the exercise conveyed the “important message” that the campaign against Israel was no longer limited to the Gaza Strip. He called on the entire Islamic nation to increase its participation in the conflict, especially now, in light of the American and Israeli “aggression” against the Palestinians and the peoples of the region (Shehab Telegram channel, February 4, 2024).

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The Arab Arena
Egypt
  • Egyptian President Abdelfattah el-Sisi met with French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné in Cairo. The two said they rejected any step or policy aimed at uprooting the Palestinians from their lands. They also discussed UNRWA’s importance in providing aid to the residents of the Gaza Strip and the need for the international community to bear its responsibility in implementing international resolutions regarding the Gaza Strip (Extra News, February 4, 2024).
Jordan
  • Ayman al-Safadi, Jordanian foreign minister, also met with Stéphane Séjourné in Amman to discuss the latest developments in the Gaza Strip and the joint efforts of the two countries to provide the residents of the Gaza Strip with food and medical aid (Jordanian foreign ministry X account, February 4, 2024).
Saudi Arabia
  • Saudi Defense Minister Khaled bin Salman met with British Defence Secretary Grant Shapps on the sidelines of the International Defense Industries Exhibition in Riyadh. They discussed regional developments and bilateral security cooperation (bin Salman’s X account, February 4, 2024).
The International Arena
United States
  • American Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with David Cameron, the British Foreign Secretary. They discussed efforts to free the hostages and achieve a humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. They also discussed the situation in the Red Sea and the international actions to be taken to deal with the Houthis’ illegal attacks on vessels (United States Department of State website, February 5, 2024).
  • American National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan noted that President Joe Biden was determined to respond to the attacks against them but was not interested in expanding the war in the Middle East. He said there were additional stages to the United States’ response to the attack in Jordan in which three soldiers were killed, and that if they continued to be under attack and threatened, they would respond. Sullivan noted that during Antony Blinken’s visit to the Middle East, he would deal mainly with the humanitarian issue in the Gaza Strip. Regarding the hostage deal, he said the ball was now in Hamas’ court (NBC and CNN, February 4, 2024).
Canada
  • Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly said Canada would impose sanctions on “extremist settlers” involved in violence against Palestinians in Judea and Samaria and would also impose new sanctions on Hamas leaders. Regarding the war in the Gaza Strip, she said they were committed to ending the fighting and that first and foremost, a deal had to be reached that would return the hostages, along with the entry of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip. She said Hamas had to lay down its arms and that to enable long-term peace, change was required on both sides (CBC, February 4, 2024).
Turkey
  • Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said Turkey was in constant contact with the United States and regional partners to avoid the spread of the conflict in the region. He alleged that Israel would rather expand its territory than maintain its security. He added that Israel would have security only when it “gave” the Palestinians their own state (Anadolu News, February 4, 2024).

[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] The Movement of Society for Peace (harakat mujtama' as-silm), sometimes known by its shortened form, Hamas, was founded in 1991 by Mahfoud Nahnah, one of the heads of the Muslim Brotherhood. It changed its name in the middle of the 1990s.