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

The IDF ground maneuver in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman's website, November 1, 2023)

The IDF ground maneuver in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman's website, November 1, 2023)

IDF attacks in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman's website, November 1, 2023)

IDF attacks in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman's website, November 1, 2023)

Israeli Air Force attack in Jabalia (Shehab Twitter account, October 31, 2023)

Israeli Air Force attack in Jabalia (Shehab Twitter account, October 31, 2023)

Abu Obeida's speech (al-Jazeera TV YouTube channel, October 31, 2023).

Abu Obeida's speech (al-Jazeera TV YouTube channel, October 31, 2023).

A photo of an al-'Asef torpedo released by the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades                                                                         (al-Jazeera website, October 31, 2023)

A photo of an al-'Asef torpedo released by the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades (al-Jazeera website, October 31, 2023)

A ballistic missile launched at Israel (The Telegram channel of Houthi combat propaganda, November 1, 2023)

A ballistic missile launched at Israel (The Telegram channel of Houthi combat propaganda, November 1, 2023)

Khaled Mashaal interviewed (TRT Arabic YouTube channel, October 31, 2023)

Khaled Mashaal interviewed (TRT Arabic YouTube channel, October 31, 2023)

The march in Jenin (Wafa, October 31, 2023).

The march in Jenin (Wafa, October 31, 2023).

rocket fire

Overview[1]
  • The southern sector: The IDF expanded the ground maneuver in the Gaza Strip. Since the beginning of the fighting, IDF forces have attacked more than 11,000 terrorist targets, including operational headquarters and terrorist squads, mainly belonging to Hamas. The commander of the Central Jabalia Battalion died in a targeted killing; he was one of the leaders of the terrorist attack on October 7 and led the fight against the IDF from the beginning of the ground maneuver in the northern Gaza Strip. Israeli Air Force aircraft continued carrying out attacks on terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip. The IDF activity in the Jabalia refugee camp, which the Palestinians alleged had resulted in 400 dead, received sharp criticism from Hamas and a number of Arab countries. The Palestinian terrorist organizations continued launching rockets at Israel from the Gaza Strip. Another launch was intercepted in the Red Sea region. The IDF has increased the presence of Navy ships in the area.
  • So far, over 1,400 civilian and soldier deaths have been reported; 240 civilian and soldier abductees are still held by the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip. Fifteen Israeli soldiers have been killed in the ground maneuver.
  • The Gaza Strip: Sources in the Gaza Strip reported a deterioration of the humanitarian situation and a terrible situation in the hospitals. Egypt began evacuating the wounded for treatment in its territory. Egypt is also building a field hospital on the Gaza border. The evacuation of foreign citizens began and several dozen trucks carrying humanitarian aid entered the strip.
  • Hamas: Senior Hamas figures called on Arab and Muslim countries to join the battle against Israel and praised Hezbollah for joining in the campaign. Musa Abu Marzouq said that the tunnels in Gaza were meant to protect Hamas from attacks, but the responsibility for protecting the residents of Gaza rested with the United Nations.
  • The northern sector: Hezbollah operatives continued firing rockets and mortar shells at IDF positions and the cities, towns and villages on the Lebanese border. The IDF responded with airstrikes and artillery fire, and prevented several attacks.
  • Judea and Samaria: The IDF forces continued counterterrorism activities. In Jenin a senior Fatah terrorist operative was detained; he had helped Palestinians carry out terrorist activities. A general strike was declared in Judea and Samaria and activities took place to protest the events in Jabalia.
  • Iran: According to an increasing number of reports, Esmail Qaani, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) Qods Force, has been going back and forth between Iran, Syria and Lebanon to supervise the campaign against Israel. A debate been reported in Iran between supporters of the escalation and expansion of the war and their opponents. Senior Iranian officials praised the activities of Hamas and Hezbollah. The supreme leader of Iran claimed the battle was not between Gaza and Israel, but between “truth and lies,” and criticized the Western countries that support Israel.
The Combat Arena
IDF activity on the ground
  • The IDF expanded the ground maneuver in the Gaza Strip. Since the beginning of the fighting, IDF forces have attacked more than 11,000 terrorist targets, including operational headquarters and terrorist squads, mainly belonging to Hamas. Fierce fighting took place in the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip. IDF fighters identified Hamas operatives who had barricaded themselves in a hi-rise building situated near a school, a medical center and government offices in the refugee camp. Israeli Air Force aircraft, directed by fighters on the ground, attacked the terrorists. Ibrahim Biyari, one of the leaders of the terrorist attack on October 7 and who, since the entry of IDF forces into the Gaza Strip, had led the fight against the IDF in the northern Gaza Strip, died in a targeted killing (IDF spokesman, October 31,  2023).
The IDF ground maneuver in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman's website, November 1, 2023)    The IDF ground maneuver in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman's website, November 1, 2023)
The IDF ground maneuver in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman's website, November 1, 2023)
The IDF ground maneuver in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman’s website, November 1, 2023)
  • During ground activity and while assisting the forces, Israeli Air Force aircraft continued attacking terrorist targets throughout the Strip.

IDF attacks in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman's website, November 1, 2023)
IDF attacks in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman’s website, November 1, 2023)

Air Force attack near the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City during the morning (QudsN Twitter account, November 1, 2023)
Air Force attack near the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City during the morning (QudsN Twitter account, November 1, 2023)

Israeli Air Force attack in Jabalia (Shehab Twitter account, October 31, 2023)    Israeli Air Force attack in Jabalia (Shehab Twitter account, October 31, 2023)
Israeli Air Force attack in Jabalia (Shehab Twitter account, October 31, 2023)
Responses to the ground maneuver
  • Abu Obeida, spokesman for Hamas’ military-terrorist wing, said the following about the IDF’s ground maneuver in the Gaza Strip (al-Jazeera TV YouTube channel, October 31, 2023):
    • After twenty days of attacks, using a “scorched earth” policy and sowing great destruction, Israel began ground maneuvers along several axes: in the northwest of Gaza, from the east-center of the Gaza Strip to the east-south, in the Beit Hanoun crossing [the Erez Crossing] area and the city of Beit Hanoun. Its objective was to improve the IDF’s image after it had been humiliated on October 7.
    • The IDF forces reached the [Hamas] military wing’s lines of defense and battles on all axes continue. The fighters of the military wing have clashed with the IDF and so far “destroyed 22 armored vehicles using al-Yassin 105 anti-tank penetration missiles and “fida’i activity” IEDs, which were put to use for the first time in this campaign. The military wing operatives also infiltrated behind enemy lines in the assembly areas and along all their axes of advance, and killed many IDF soldiers. The wing’s artillery corps continues to attack the troops by launching mortar shells and short-range rockets, in addition to in-depth attacks with rockets of all ranges.
    • For the first time in this war, the [Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades] naval arm attacked a number of naval targets off the coast of Gaza using an al-‘Asef guided torpedo, which was put to use for the first time in the campaign.
A photo of an al-'Asef torpedo released by the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades (al-Jazeera website, October 31, 2023)    Abu Obeida's speech (al-Jazeera TV YouTube channel, October 31, 2023).
Right: Abu Obeida’s speech (al-Jazeera TV YouTube channel, October 31, 2023). Left: A photo of an al-‘Asef torpedo released by the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades (al-Jazeera website, October 31, 2023)
  • There were several references to the action in the Jabalia refugee camp. The Hamas-controlled ministry of the interior in the Gaza Strip reported 400 dead and wounded in the attack on the Jabalia refugee camp. The ministry reported that Israel had completely destroyed a residential neighborhood in the center of the camp and “most of the dead are women and children” (al-Aqsa, October 31, 2023).
  • Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem claimed that Israel’s report about the presence of a Hamas commander in the Jabalia refugee camp was false and baseless. He claimed Israel was trying to justify its “crimes against civilians, children and women” (Hamas Telegram channel, October 31, 2023).
  • In the Arab arena, the activity in Jabalia provoked a wave of sharp reactions, including claims that the activity was a “flagrant violation of international law.” Among the accusers were:
  • Egypt and Jordan: The Egyptian foreign ministry said that according to preliminary estimates, more than 400 civilians had been killed and wounded in the attack. They also condemned the “ongoing escalation in the occupied West Bank” (Twitter account of the spokesperson of the Egyptian foreign ministry and the Jordanian foreign ministry, October 31, 2023).
  • The UAE foreign ministry called for an immediate halt to the shooting to prevent bloodshed and provide civilians with the protection they deserved according to the principles of international law (UAE foreign ministry website, October 31, 2023).
  • The Qatari foreign ministry claimed it was “a new massacre of the Palestinian people.” The ministry warned that the expansion of the Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip, which include hospitals, schools, and civilian centers, constituted a dangerous escalation and would undermine mediation attempts (Qatari foreign ministry Twitter account, October 31, 2023).
  • The Saudi Arabian foreign ministry strongly condemned the “inhumane attack” on the Jabalia camp “which resulted in the deaths of innocents,” and said the Israeli government had to be pressured to call an immediate ceasefire, in accordance with the UN vote (Saudi Arabian foreign ministry Twitter account, October 31, 2023).
Rocket fire
  • Over the past day the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip continued firing rockets at Israel. Several barrages were launched at the center of the country and Beersheba. Several houses and buildings were damaged.
A rocket lands east of Beersheba (Shehab Twitter account, October 31, 2023)
A rocket lands east of Beersheba (Shehab Twitter account, October 31, 2023)
  • Since the beginning of the war more than 8,500 rockets and mortar shells have been fired at Israel. About 10% of them were failed launches that fell in the Gaza Strip and in the sea.
Interception of missiles from the direction of the Red Sea
  • Before dawn on November 1, 2023, a surface-to-surface missile was launched at Israel from the Red Sea area and intercepted by the Hetz long-range defense system (IDF spokesman’s Twitter account, November 1, 2023). In light of recent events and as part of an increasing defense effort in the area, Israeli Navy missile ships sailed to the Red Sea (IDF spokesman, November 1, 2023).
A ballistic missile launched at Israel (The Telegram channel of Houthi combat propaganda, November 1, 2023)     A ballistic missile launched at Israel (The Telegram channel of Houthi combat propaganda, November 1, 2023)
A ballistic missile launched at Israel (The Telegram channel of Houthi combat propaganda, November 1, 2023)
  • Before the most recent attack, Yahya Sarieh, the spokesman for the Houthi[2] armed forces, announced that they had launched “a large number” of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and UAVs at targets in Israel. He confirmed that it was the “third operation to support our oppressed brothers in the Palestinian territories.” He also warned that the forces would continue to carry out “high-quality” attacks (al-Masirah Network, Yemen, October 31, 2023).
  • Mo’az Abu Shamala, the Hamas representative in Yemen, stated that Hamas welcomed the “jihadist action” of the Yemeni armed forces, which included the launch of a ballistic missile and an unmanned aerial vehicle at Israel. He claimed the “partnership” would “confuse and distract” Israel and contribute to reducing the pressure on the Gaza Strip. Abu Shamala said the Yemeni people sent the message that they were part of the “axis of resistance”[3] and the geographical distance from “Palestine” did not bother them (SABA Telegram channel, November 1, 2023 ).
  • According to an editorial entitled “Sana’a officially takes part in the campaign: Eilat and beyond,” published in the Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese daily al-Akhbar, the launch of Tufan and Quds ballistic missiles at Israel signaled Yemen’s official entrance into the war, and its targets were Eilat and Haifa (al-Akhbar, November 1, 2023).
Israeli casualties
  • So far, over 1,400 civilian and soldier deaths have been reported; 240 civilian and soldier abductees are still being held by the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip. Thirty-five of the abductees are children and teenagers under the age of 18; 32 are over the age of 65. Five abductees have been released. Fifteen soldiers have been killed since the beginning of the ground maneuver.
The issue of the abductees
  • Abu Obeida, spokesman for Hamas’ military-terrorist wing, said they had followed the release of the abductee and denied Israel had released her from Hamas. He pointed out that if the Israeli government was proud and celebrating the release of one abductee after a month of fighting, it meant Israel would need 20 years to release the others. He said that they had informed the mediators that they would release a number of foreigners “in accordance with [Hamas] position” (Abu Obeida’s Telegram channel, October 31, 2023).

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The Gaza Strip
Palestinian fatalities
  • Dr. Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman for the Hamas-controlled ministry of health in the Gaza Strip, said that as of 2:00 p.m., the number of dead in the Gaza Strip stood at 8,796 and the number of wounded at 22,219 (Palinfo website, November 1, 2023).
The situation in Gaza
  • The IDF reiterated its call to the residents of the area to move south for their own protection (IDF spokesman, October 31, 2023).
  • Dr. Ashraf al-Qidra reported that in a few hours, fuel for the main generators at the Shifa Hospital in Gaza City and the Indonesian Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip would run out. He called on gas station owners and local residents and everyone who had fuel to give it to them to help them save lives in the shadow of the war. He also called on international parties to help bring fuel into the Gaza Strip for the continued operation of the hospitals (Palinfo website, October 31, 2023).
Gazans donate blood at the Shifa hospital in Gaza (Wafa YouTube channel, November 1, 2023)
Gazans donate blood at the Shifa hospital in Gaza (Wafa YouTube channel, November 1, 2023)
  • In the meantime, Egypt continues preparations for the construction of a field hospital in al-Sheikh Zuweid, near Egyptian Rafah, to receive wounded Palestinians from the Gaza Strip (Facebook page of Rafah Crossing News, October 31, 2023).

The construction of a field hospital in al-Sheikh Zuweid (Facebook page of Rafah Crossing News, October 31, 2023)
The construction of a field hospital in al-Sheikh Zuweid (Facebook page of Rafah Crossing News, October 31, 2023)

  • The Palestinian PALTEL telecommunications company announced all communication lines and the Internet were down due to Israeli Air Force attacks that hit international lines (Hassan Aslih’s Twitter account, November 1, 2023). It was the second time the company reported damage to the communication lines. Later, the Palestinian cellular company Jawwal announced a gradual return of services (Jawwal Facebook page, November 1, 2023).
The Rafah Crossing
  • The Palestinian Red Crescent in Gaza reported that on October 31, 2023, 59 trucks carrying humanitarian aid entered the Strip through the Rafah Crossing; so far, 217 trucks have entered the Gaza Strip (Rafah Crossing News Facebook page, October 31, 2023).
  • The Hamas Gaza crossings authority reported the Egyptian side of the crossing said it would allow the evacuation of 81 wounded from Gaza to Egyptian territory and the departure of 400 Palestinians with foreign citizenships (Palinfo website, November 1, 2023). The Palestinians reported that dozens of ambulances were waiting on the Egyptian side of the Rafah Crossing to enter for the evacuation of wounded Palestinians to Egyptian territory (QudsN Twitter account, November 1, 2023). On the morning of November 1, 2023, an al-Ghad TV correspondent reported that the Rafah Crossing was open and Palestinians with foreign citizenship had begun to leave for Egypt (al-Ghad TV, November 1, 2023). An estimated 500 holders of foreign passports left the Gaza Strip for Egypt (Reuters, November 1, 2023).
Palestinians with foreign citizenship leave the Gaza Strip (QudsN Twitter account, al-Ghad TV, November 1, 2023)    Ambulances waiting to evacuate wounded Palestinians to Egyptian territory (QudsN Twitter account, November 1, 2023).
Right: Ambulances waiting to evacuate wounded Palestinians to Egyptian territory (QudsN Twitter account, November 1, 2023). Left: Palestinians with foreign citizenship leave the Gaza Strip (QudsN Twitter account, al-Ghad TV, November 1, 2023)
Hamas
  • Khaled Mashaal, Hamas chairman “abroad,” told the TRT Arab TV channel that everyone who had a weapon had to take action for al-Aqsa mosque. He called on the religious scholars to change the rules of engagement by issuing fatwas and exerting pressure on “the rulers” for the sake of Gaza. He said the public should take to the streets to protest the “aggression” against Gaza. Regarding the events in the Jabalia refugee camp, Mashal claimed Israel had been defeated militarily and was now taking revenge on children and women. He called on the Arab communities around the world to exert pressure on the president of the United States to stop the war and for uniting forces to fight Israel. He also asked Russia and China to invest maximum efforts to stop the aggression, and for the Rafah Crossing to be opened without restrictions and for aid to be provided to the residents of Gaza (Palinfo, October 31, 2023).
Khaled Mashaal interviewed (TRT Arabic YouTube channel, October 31, 2023)
Khaled Mashaal interviewed (TRT Arabic YouTube channel, October 31, 2023)
  • Interviewed by Kuwait’s al-Sharq, Musa Abu Marzouq, a member of the Hamas political bureau, said the following (al-Sharq, October 27, 2023):
  • Iranian aid to Hamas: He said that over the past few years, Iran had provided them with military, technical and financial aid which they did not hide from anyone.
  • Aid from Arab and Muslim countries: He called on the people and Arab and Islamic countries for additional support, claiming it was everyone’s campaign. He also said the Arab countries should put pressure on the United States through its regional interests, as King Faisal had in the Yom Kippur War [referring to the oil boycott]. He said that if the US felt its regional interests were threatened, it would reexamine its considerations in favor of restraining Israel. He also called on the Arab and Islamic countries which had relations with Israel to take revenge.
  • Hezbollah’s involvement: He said Hezbollah had “sacrificed” forty fighters since the start of the campaign. It was carrying out intensive attacks on IDF positions, which divided the IDF’s manpower and material resources, complicating its considerations for the ground war in the Gaza Strip. He claimed he had no doubt that further Hezbollah involvement would lead to additional Israeli losses.
  • The Gazan residents: Asked about reports that Gazans were dissatisfied with the consequences of Hamas’ actions, Abu Marzouq rejected the idea completely, claiming that all Palestinians in the Strip were proud of what Hamas had done and expressed their support for the “resistance” [terrorist organizations] despite their difficult situation.
  • The imposition of financial sanctions: Asked about the effect of imposing sanctions on bank accounts and individuals suspected of supporting Hamas, he answered that their enemies were diligently trying to eliminate the sources of funding for the “resistance” because they understood the importance of “jihad by means of money.” He admitted that that the war to defund them had a great effect, but it was possible to work to overcome it.
  • Hamas leaders living outside the Strip: Asked for a response to those who accused Hamas leaders of living outside Gaza, away from the fire of war, while the residents of Gaza suffered, he claimed those were “empty words” which did not require a response. He claimed Hamas was a part of the Palestinians who were in “Palestine” and outside, saying it was natural for a Palestinian to be born outside of “Palestine”, to belong to Hamas and be one of its leaders. He added that the Hamas leadership was wherever the Palestinians were, and the political leadership was wherever there was an environment suitable for its activities and contacts.
  • In a different interview he was asked whether Hamas had a responsibility to protect the residents of the Gaza Strip, some of whom wondered why “whoever” had built 150 kilometers of tunnels did not build shelters for the residents so they could hide from the bombings. He answered that they had built tunnels to protect themselves from the airplane attacks and they were fighting from the tunnels. He claimed that since 75% of the residents of the Gaza Strip were refugees, the UN was responsible for protecting them and Israel, in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, was responsible for providing them with services because they are under an “occupation” (Russia Today website, October 27, 2023).

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The Northern Arena
Lebanon
The situation on the ground
  • Hezbollah operatives continued to attack IDF outposts and communities on the border. On October 31, 2023, they mainly fired mortar shells which fell in open areas. No casualties were reported. The IDF responded with artillery fire. A squad planning to launch an anti-tank missile was eliminated. In the afternoon, two rockets were fired at Metulla and fell in Lebanese territory. In response, the IDF attacked Hezbollah’s military infrastructure (IDF spokesman, October 31, 2023).
  • Two notable incidents were the following (IDF spokesman, October 31 and November 1, 2023):
  • On the night of November 1-October 31, 2023, a surface-to-air missile was fired from Lebanese territory at an IDF UAV. Israeli Air Force aircraft attacked the source of the missile fire, as well as the squad that carried it out.
  • On the afternoon of October 31, 2023, IDF forces eliminated a terrorist squad attempting to launch anti-tank missiles from Lebanese territory at Israel.
Right: Attack on a terrorist squad (IDF spokesman's website, November 1, 2023). Left: Attack on an observation post (IDF spokesman's website, October 31, 2023)      Right: Attack on a terrorist squad (IDF spokesman's website, November 1, 2023). Left: Attack on an observation post (IDF spokesman's website, October 31, 2023)
Right: Attack on a terrorist squad (IDF spokesman’s website, November 1, 2023). Left: Attack on an observation post (IDF spokesman’s website, October 31, 2023)
  • Hezbollah claimed responsibility for several attacks, including the firing of guided missiles at an IDF ambush in Talat al-Khazan; an attack on an IDF outpost; firing guided missiles at a Merkava tank in the area of the Biranit post; and firing mortar shells at an IDF infantry force near a Hezbollah post (Hezbollah’s combat information Telegram channel, October 31, 2023)
Hezbollah
  • Hezbollah’s combat media unit published an infographic summarizing the organization’s activities since the beginning of Operation Iron Swords (October 8-30, 2023). According to the infographic, Hezbollah operatives carried out 105 attacks on IDF posts, claiming to have killed and wounded 120 soldiers and officers. Hezbollah’ alleged its operations had destroyed armored vehicles, weapons and a variety of technical equipment. In addition, it was noted that 65,000 Israelis from 28 communities had been displaced (Hezbollah’s combat information Telegram channel, October 31, 2023).
Hezbollah infographic summarizing Hezbollah's activity (Hezbollah's combat information Telegram channel, October 31, 2023)
Hezbollah infographic summarizing Hezbollah’s activity
(Hezbollah’s combat information Telegram channel, October 31, 2023)
Lebanese Government
  • Abdallah Bou Habib, Lebanese foreign minister, said he had instructed the Lebanese mission to the UN to submit a complaint to the Security Council condemning Israel’s use of white phosphorus in its attacks in Lebanon, deliberately burning forests (Radio al-Nur, October 31, 2023).

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Judea, Samaria, and the Palestinian Authority
Events
  • The Israeli security forces continued their extensive counterterrorism activities in Judea and Samaria. During the past day, 46 wanted Palestinians were detained, 30 of them Hamas operatives. Since the beginning of the war in the Gaza Strip, about 1,180 wanted Palestinians have been detained, 740 of them Hamas operatives (IDF spokesman, November 1, 2023). The ministry of health in Ramallah reported 126 fatalities in Judea and Samaria since the beginning of the war. During the past day, five Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli forces.
  • In a counterterrorism activity in the Jenin refugee camp, ‘Ata Abu Rumeila, Fatah secretary in Jenin, was detained. He had been involved in incitement, encouragement and financing terrorist activity in recent months; his son was detained along with him. During the activity, the forces uncovered IEDs ready to be activated under roads in the refugee camp. Palestinian gunmen fired and threw IEDs at the forces, who returned fire. An aircraft attacked a terrorist squad firing at the forces. An underground shaft containing ammunition was destroyed (IDF spokesman’s Twitter account, November 1, 2023). The Palestinians reported three fatalities and major damage to roads (Ma’an, November 1, 2023).
The IEDs found (IDF spokesman's website, November 1, 2023)     Aircraft attack
Right: Aircraft attack. Left: The IEDs found (IDF spokesman’s website, November 1, 2023)
Solidarity demonstrations
  • Following reports from the Gaza Strip of a “massacre” in the Jabalia refugee camp, marches and protest demonstrations were held throughout Judea and Samaria. Clashes broke out with the Israeli security forces in some of the locations (QudsN, October 31, 2023; Wafa, October 31, 2023). A general strike was also declared, including in educational institutions throughout Judea and Samaria and east Jerusalem (Wafa, November 1, 2023; Anadolu News, November 1, 2023).
 Senior Hamas figure Sheikh Jamal al-Tawil speaking in Ramallah (QudsN Twitter account, October 31, 2023)  Activity in Ramallah (Twitter account of the al-Kastel website, October 31, 2023).
Right: Activity in Ramallah (Twitter account of the al-Kastel website, October 31, 2023). Left: Senior Hamas figure Sheikh Jamal al-Tawil speaking in Ramallah (QudsN Twitter account, October 31, 2023)
 Demonstration in Tulkarm (Najib Yassin's Twitter account, October 31, 2023)    The march in Jenin (Wafa, October 31, 2023).
Right: The march in Jenin (Wafa, October 31, 2023). Left: Demonstration in Tulkarm (Najib Yassin’s Twitter account, October 31, 2023)
Palestinian Authority
  • PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh called on the United States and the European Union to intervene immediately to stop Israel’s “killing activities” in the Gaza Strip. He called Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip “ethnic cleansing” and the uprooting of residents (Wafa, October 31, 2023).

Iran
  • The Kuwaiti newspaper al-Jarida, citing a “senior source in the IRGC’s Qods Force,” reported that the commander of the force, Esmail Qaani, was going back and forth between Syria, Lebanon and Iran to supervise the campaign with Israel. That coincided with the continued attacks against American military bases in Syria and Iraq. According to the report, whose reliability is unknown, there is a debate in Iran among those who oppose the escalation and expansion of the war, claiming it is liable to undermine international support for the Palestinians, and those, led by the Qods Force, which support maximum escalation in order to pressure Israel into agreeing to concessions and to force the United States to limit its regional influence, especially in Syria and Lebanon. According to the report, Hezbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah is prepared for escalation if it forces the United States to stop its intervention in Syria and Lebanon and stop the economic pressure on Lebanon (al-Jarida, November 1, 2023).
  • Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, told students in Tehran that the battle was not between Gaza and Israel, but between “truth and lies,” between the power of faith and the power of “arrogance.” He strongly criticized Western support for Israel, saying that the Muslim world must not forget that the United States, Britain and France stood against the Palestinian people on the fateful issue of the Gaza Strip. He ridiculed reports that Iran organized demonstrations in support of the Palestinians in Britain, saying, “There’s no doubt that Basij London and Basij Paris did it.” Khamenei declared that the blow Israel suffered on October 7 was irreversible and that Israel would not be able to recover from it. “The Zionist regime is helpless, confused and lies to its people as well,” adding that Israel did not know what to do and would be paralyzed within a few days without American assistance. He stressed that the final victory, which was not far away, belonged to the Palestinian people. Khamenei also called on Muslim countries to bring an immediate halt to the bombing in the Gaza Strip and stop the export of oil and food to Israel (Fars, November 1, 2023).
  • Hossein-Amir Abdollahian, Iranian foreign minister, meeting in Qatar with Ismail Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ political bureau, said there was no doubt about the complete victory of the “Palestinian resistance” on the battlefield. He noted the region was at the stage of making a very important decision and the “resistance” groups in the region made their own decisions and did not necessarily wait for political decisions. Therefore, if Israel’s “war crimes” continued and the war expanded, neither side could distance itself from the consequences. Haniyeh reviewed the latest developments in the Gaza Strip and thanked Iran for its support of the Palestinians in the regional and international arenas (Fars, October 31, 2023).
  • At the end of his visit to Qatar, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein-Amir Abdollahian went to Ankara, where he met with his Turkish counterpart, Hakan Fidan, to discuss developments in the Palestinian arena and efforts to bring about a ceasefire (Tasnim, November 1, 2023).
  • Ali-Akbar Velayati, senior advisor to the Supreme Leader of Iran, spoke with Hezbollah deputy secretary general Na’im Qassem and praised Hezbollah’s conduct as led by Hassan Nasrallah, expressed confidence in the victory of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and said Iran was proud of Hezbollah and the “Islamic resistance.” Qassem expressed appreciation for Iran’s support of the “axis of resistance,” saying that Hezbollah was an inseparable part of the axis and would continue fighting until its enemies were destroyed despite the great pressure (IRNA, October 31, 2023). 
  • Amir Ashtiani, Iranian minister of defense, said the Americans had made a strategic mistake in siding with Israel and would undoubtedly suffer a blow. He warned that there was a limit to the patience of Muslims around the world and that if the war did not stop quickly and Israel continued its [alleged] “crimes against humanity,” even those who supported it, such as European countries, would be harmed by the wrath of Muslims. Referring to the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, Ashtiani said a country that was surprised in this way on all levels was a country in collapse (Tasnim, November 1, 2023). 
  • Speaking in an interview with the Entekhab news website on October 31, 2023, Iranian political analyst Rahman Kahramanpour estimated that Iran would not intervene directly militarily in the war, but the “resistance forces” might seriously intervene in the campaign against Israel and the United States in the region, including by attacking American and Israeli bases.
Activity of pro-Iranian militias
Syria, Iraq
  • Pro-Iranian militias continued their UAV attacks against American bases in Iraq and Syria. During the past day, the al-Tanf base in Syria was attacked by two drones, and the al-Omar oil field in Deir ez-Zor was attacked by rockets. According to an “Iraqi government source,” the two drones sent to attack the al-Tanf base were intercepted by the base’s defense systems (Reuters, November 1, 2023).
  • The Islamic resistance in Iraq (codename for the pro-Iranian militias in Iraq) claimed responsibility for the attacks (the network’s Telegram channel, October 31, November 1, 2023).
  • Akram al-Kaabi, secretary general of the Iraqi Al-Nujaba militia, announced that “the Islamic resistance in Iraq had decided to liberate Iraq from the military presence of the United States.” He made it clear that it was a final decision and that “great events are on the way” (al-Kaabi’s Twitter account, November 1, 2023).
Yemen
  • Muhammad al-Bukhiti, a member of the Houthi political bureau, said in an interview that Houthi leader Abd al-Malik al-Houthi had ordered missiles to be fired after Israel’s “ground aggression” in the Gaza Strip and after the American threats against Yemen. He said they had launched a large number of ballistic missiles and drones, but Israel reported shooting down only one missile and “hid the rest.” He also noted that the United States was currently a partner in the aggression against the Gaza Strip and had crossed the red lines set by Yemen (al-Mayadeen, October 31, 2023).
  • The information office of the Houthi Movement (Ansar Allah) published a poster in Hebrew and Arabic threatening to attack Dimona with the inscription “We will not hesitate” (Iran bil-Arabiya Twitter account, October 31, 2023).
The poster threatening to attack Dimona (Iran bil-Arabiya Twitter account, October 31, 2023)
The poster threatening to attack Dimona
(Iran bil-Arabiya Twitter account, October 31, 2023)
The Arab Arena
Jordan
  • Jordan’s King Abdullah II spoke by phone with American President Joe Biden to discuss the “dangerous deterioration of the situation in the Gaza Strip.” The king stressed the need for a ceasefire and continuous access to humanitarian aid (Petra, October 31, 2023).
Syria
  • Faisal Mekdad, Syrian foreign minister, spoke by phone with Sergei Lavrov, his Russian counterpart. Mekdad warned of the danger of Israeli escalation and the “crimes” committed against the Palestinian people and civilians “without weapons” in the Gaza Strip. He called for uniting international efforts to “stop Israeli crimes” and provide aid to the Palestinian people. Lavrov claimed the Israeli airstrikes in Syrian territory, which had become more frequent due to the fighting in the Gaza Strip, were unacceptable (SANA, October 31, 2023).
The International Arena
Japan
  • Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa met with the Israeli ambassador to Japan and emphasized Japan’s stand with Israel. She called for the immediate release of the abductees in Gaza, condemned Hamas, insisted on Israel’s right to defend itself and expressed concern about the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. It was also reported that Japan announced the freezing of the assets of companies affiliated with Hamas (Japanese News Agency, November 1, 2023).
Bolivia severs ties with Israel
  • In light of the events, the Bolivian government announced that it would sever relations with Israel. Chile and Colombia announced the recall of their ambassadors from Israel. Hamas praised the decisions and reiterated its call to the Arab and Islamic countries that had normalized relations with Israel to sever all ties (Hamas’ Telegram channel in Judea and Samaria, October 31 and November 1, 2023).

[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 Houthis are Shi'ite Iranian proxies funded, equipped and trained by Iran. For further information, see the March 2023 ITIC report, "The Houthi Movement and the War in Yemen: Development and Significance." The Houthis are part of the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah-Palestinian terrorist organization "resistance axis." ↑
[3] Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, the Palestinian terrorist organizations and the Houthis in Yemen. ↑