Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., November 8, 2023)

IDF ground forces’ maneuver in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman’s website, November 8, 2023)

IDF ground forces’ maneuver in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman’s website, November 8, 2023)

IDF ground forces’ maneuver in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman’s website, November 8, 2023)

IDF ground forces’ maneuver in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman’s website, November 8, 2023)

The tunnel shaft exposed near an amusement park.

The tunnel shaft exposed near an amusement park.

IDF activity near the park to find the shaft (IDF spokesman’s website, November 7, 2023)

IDF activity near the park to find the shaft (IDF spokesman’s website, November 7, 2023)

Some of the weapons found in the university area (IDF spokesman's website, November 7, 2023)

Some of the weapons found in the university area (IDF spokesman's website, November 7, 2023)

A direct hit by a rocket from Gaza on a house in Savion (Israel Fire and Rescue spokesperson’s unit, November 7, 2023)

A direct hit by a rocket from Gaza on a house in Savion (Israel Fire and Rescue spokesperson’s unit, November 7, 2023)

Dr. Yusuf Abu Rish visits Shifa Hospital. Right: Dr. Rish is in the middle. Left: Dr. Rish wearing green scrubs (ministry of health in Gaza Facebook page, November 8, 2023)

Dr. Yusuf Abu Rish visits Shifa Hospital. Right: Dr. Rish is in the middle. Left: Dr. Rish wearing green scrubs (ministry of health in Gaza Facebook page, November 8, 2023)

The UN distributes water (UN website, November 7, 2023)

The UN distributes water (UN website, November 7, 2023)

Evacuating the wounded through the Rafah crossing (QudsN X account, November 7, 2023)

Evacuating the wounded through the Rafah crossing (QudsN X account, November 7, 2023)

Northern Arena, Israeli Casualties, Rocket Fire

Overview[1]
  • The southern sector: The integrated maneuver of IDF forces continued in the northern Gaza Strip in the Beit Hanoun area and in Gaza City. Senior Hamas terrorists denied Israel’s military achievements deep in Gaza City and reported “the withdrawal of IDF forces.”
  • Since October 7, more than 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. During the past day, two IDF soldiers were killed in battles in the Gaza Strip. Regarding the issue of the abductees, Hamas spokesmen said that any deal would be carried out after a ceasefire was announced. They also reiterated the claim that not all of the abductees were being held by Hamas.
  • The Gaza Strip: Medical officials reported a serious situation. Thousands of Gazans responded to the IDF’s call and are making their way to the south. Among a small number of unofficial speakers, there is a budding opposition to the Hamas leadership and criticism of the disaster they visited on the Gaza Strip. Several Hamas sources referred to the “morning after” and claimed they would not accept any American or Israeli arrangement in which Hamas had no part in controlling the Strip. 

    • Hamas:
      • Khalil al-Haya, a member of Hamas’ political bureau and deputy chairman of the political bureau in the Gaza Strip, claimed Hamas launched the attack on October 7, because it was “necessary to change the whole equation” and bring the Palestinian issue back to the table, and because they knew that the response to the attack would be extensive.
      • Sami Abu Zuhri, the head of Hamas’s political bureau “abroad,” called for flooding the sea with ships from the Arab and Muslim world to break the blockade on the Strip, and noted that Turkish associations had already begun preparations to equip ships to sail to the Gaza Strip.
      • Musa Abu Marzouq, a member of the Hamas political bureau, said they had built the tunnels to fight Israel and could not house 2.5 million people inside them for protection.
  • The northern sector: Hezbollah activity against IDF positions and Israeli cities, towns and villages in the north continued. In the evening a barrage of about 20 rockets was launched the north. The IDF responded by attacking Hezbollah targets in south Lebanon. Hezbollah launched a campaign that included a video and activity on social networks “justifying” the organization’s activities and the deaths it caused in south Lebanon as “aiding the Palestinians.” Hezbollah officials also claimed they were helping the Palestinians by keeping IDF forces in the northern sector, and threatened Israel with revenge for the killing of Lebanese civilians.
  • Judea and Samaria: The Israeli security forces continued their counterterrorism activities. An attempted stabbing attack was carried out near Ofra, northeast of Ramallah. There were no casualties; the perpetrator of the attack escaped. Demonstrations of support for the Gaza Strip continued. A Hamas spokesman called on the public in Judea and Samaria to open another front against Israel and carry out “quality [mass-casualty] attacks.”
  • The Arab arena: In preparation for the emergency summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Saudi Arabia on November 11, 2023, several sources claimed there were differences of opinion regarding the issue of aid to the Strip. Nabil Qaouq, a member of Hezbollah’s Central Council, said the Palestinians did not rely on the results of the emergency summit, but were focusing on “resistance strategies” [terrorism], rockets and fighting in the Gaza Strip.
The Combat Arena
IDF activity on the ground
  • The integrated ground maneuver: During the past day, the IDF integrated ground maneuver continued, focusing mainly on Gaza City. The forces encountered terrorist squads that fired anti-tank missiles at them. The soldiers destroyed rocket launching positions and anti-tank missiles and eliminated terrorist squads with air support. Activity also continued in the northern Gaza Strip. Several tunnels were located inside a civilian residence in Beit Hanoun and were destroyed by engineering forces. Additional civilian facilities used by Hamas terrorists for military activities were exposed, such as bases for launching rockets and storing weapons. The civilian facilities included mosques, schools, playgrounds and hospitals (IDF spokesman, November 7, 2023).
IDF ground forces’ maneuver in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman’s website, November 8, 2023)    IDF ground forces’ maneuver in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman’s website, November 8, 2023)
IDF ground forces’ maneuver in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman’s website, November 8, 2023)
Weapons found on school grounds (IDF spokesman’s website, November 7, 2023)    A pit for launching rockets located on school grounds.
Right: A pit for launching rockets located on school grounds. Left: Weapons found on school grounds (IDF spokesman’s website, November 7, 2023)
IDF activity near the park to find the shaft (IDF spokesman’s website, November 7, 2023)      The tunnel shaft exposed near an amusement park.
Right: The tunnel shaft exposed near an amusement park. Left: IDF activity near the park to find the shaft (IDF spokesman’s website, November 7, 2023)
Some of the weapons found in the university area (IDF spokesman's website, November 7, 2023)     Some of the weapons found in the university area (IDF spokesman's website, November 7, 2023)
Some of the weapons found in the university area (IDF spokesman’s website, November 7, 2023)
  • Aerial activity: In addition to assisting the ground forces, Israeli Air Force aircraft continued attacking terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip. In a targeted airstrike, Muhsen Abu Zina was killed; he was head of manufacture and weapons at the Hamas production headquarters. Abu Zina was one of the leaders in the production of munitions and specialized in strategic weapons and rockets (IDF spokesman, November 8, 2023).
Attacking targets in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman’s website, November 8, 2023)     Attacking targets in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman’s website, November 8, 2023)
Attacking targets in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman’s website, November 8, 2023)
Flares in the sky of the northern Gaza Strip at night (Hassan Aslih's X account, November 7, 2023)    תא 6Israeli Air Force attack on Tel al-Za'atar near the Indonesian Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip (QudsN X account, November 8, 2023).
Right: Israeli Air Force attack on Tel al-Za’atar near the Indonesian Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip (QudsN X account, November 8, 2023). On the left: Flares in the sky of the northern Gaza Strip at night (Hassan Aslih’s X account, November 7, 2023)
  • Naval activity: Since the beginning of the war, naval vessels have attacked hundreds of terrorist targets, including observation posts, anti-tank squads, vessels, outposts, and military infrastructure. The forces have so far eliminated about two hundred terrorists on land and at sea, among them Hamas naval commando terrorists. In addition, operations and raids were carried out in the Gaza Strip by Shayetet 13 [naval commando] forces (IDF spokesman, November 7, 2023).
Reactions to the IDF maneuver
  • Ghazi Hamed, a senior Hamas terrorist who resides in Beirut, denied that the Israeli forces were making significant military gains or had advanced deep into Gaza City, because, he claimed, “Israel never tells the truth.” He also said that many soldiers had been killed and many tanks destroyed (AP, November 8, 2023).
  • Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) spokesman Musab al-Bari alleged that Israeli forces had withdrawn from more than one axis in the Gaza Strip because of “blows delivered by the resistance fighters” (AlMayadeenLive channel X account, November 7, 2023).
Rocket fire
  • During the past day sporadic rocket fire continued. In the evening, three barrages were launched towards central Israel. A house was damaged in the Savion area.
  • So far, since the beginning of the war, about 9,000 rockets and mortar shells have been fired from Gaza at Israel. About 10% of them were failed launches that fell in the Gaza Strip and in the sea.
A direct hit by a rocket from Gaza on a house in Savion (Israel Fire and Rescue spokesperson’s unit, November 7, 2023)
A direct hit by a rocket from Gaza on a house in Savion (Israel Fire and Rescue spokesperson’s unit, November 7, 2023)
Israeli casualties
  • More than 1,400 people were killed the events of October 7; 240 civilian and soldier abductees are still being held by the terrorists in the Gaza Strip; 35 of the abductees are children and adolescents under the age of 18; 32 are over the age of 65. Five abductees have been released; 348 soldiers and officers have been killed since October 7, 2023. During the past day, two IDF soldiers were killed in battles in the Gaza Strip.
The issue of the abductees
  • Musa Abu Marzouk, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, interviewed in one of the Gulf countries by the BBC in Arabic, addressed the issue of the abductees. He claimed that at the moment they were not able to compile a list of the names of their “guests,” adding that Hamas “did not need [‘the guests”] and wanted to release them when Israel stopped shooting.” Asked why it was impossible to determine the number of abductees, he replied that they were being held by different organizations and in different places. He claimed he had “worked to free two Russian citizens,” adding that the operatives in the Gaza Strip had “located” two female hostages and were ready to release them, but on the condition that the Russians would stop the shooting to allowed them to be handed over to the Red Cross. The Russians, he claimed, had appealed to the Israelis, who refused. He claimed a ceasefire was necessary “to gather information” and there were other priorities during the attacks (BBC website in Arabic, November 7, 2023).
  • Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas terrorist based in Beirut, said that whether they were dual citizens or Israelis, they would be included in an exchange deal after the “aggression” ended. He noted that Hamas did not publicly disclose the number of abductees. He also noted that there were those who had not been brought to the Gaza Strip by military operatives, some with dual citizenship and others foreigners. He claimed they had listed about 51 names of people with dual citizenship, but they could not list all of them, because Hamas did not have them and they were located throughout the Gaza Strip, , some of them were being held by other forces and parties. Asked if the mediation with Hamas was taking place with the political or military leadership, he said that he refrained from discussing that type of detail (al-Liwaa, November 7, 2023).

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The Gaza Strip
Palestinian casualties
  • Dr. Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman for the Hamas-controlled ministry of health in Gaza, said that as of 1 p.m., the number of dead in the Gaza Strip stood at 10,569 and the number of wounded at 26,475 (ministry of health in Gaza Telegram channel, November 8, 2023).
The situation in the Gaza Strip
  • The Hamas-controlled ministry of health in the Gaza Strip published a short video of a visit by Dr. Yusuf Abu Rish, the deputy minister of health in the Gaza Strip, to the wards of Shifa Hospital. He praised the medical teams for their performance (ministry of health in Gaza Facebook page, November 8, 2023). In the video it is clear that the hospital has a perfectly functioning electricity supply, the hospital is lit, the medical devices are working, and there are medical supplies on the shelves.
Dr. Yusuf Abu Rish visits Shifa Hospital. Right: Dr. Rish is in the middle. Left: Dr. Rish wearing green scrubs (ministry of health in Gaza Facebook page, November 8, 2023)     Dr. Yusuf Abu Rish visits Shifa Hospital. Right: Dr. Rish is in the middle. Left: Dr. Rish wearing green scrubs (ministry of health in Gaza Facebook page, November 8, 2023)
Dr. Yusuf Abu Rish visits Shifa Hospital. Right: Dr. Rish is in the middle. Left: Dr. Rish wearing green scrubs (ministry of health in Gaza Facebook page, November 8, 2023)
  • The UN issued a message accompanied by a video, reporting the danger of civilians becoming dehydrated, adding that the organization was distributing bottled water (UN website, November 7, 2023). The data show that the situation is under UN control, at least in the southern the Gaza Strip, and the supply of drinking water is sufficient. However, according to the UN, it is not sufficient for additional needs, such as cooking and maintaining hygiene.
The UN distributes water (UN website, November 7, 2023)    The UN distributes water (UN website, November 7, 2023)
The UN distributes water (UN website, November 7, 2023)
  • Al-Jazeera TV reported that 80% of the electricity supply to homes and buildings was cut off and that only a limited number of generators remained working in essential locations, such as hospitals and UNRWA centers. Al-Jazeera TV showed a current night satellite photograph next to one before the war, showing that the amount of lighting has been greatly reduced. According to al-Jazeera, the electricity supply in the Gaza Strip has been reduced by about 90% since the war broke out (al-Jazeera, November 7, 2023).
Electricity in Gaza. Left: Before the war. Right: The current situation (al-Jazeera, November 7, 2023)
Electricity in Gaza. Left: Before the war. Right: The current situation (al-Jazeera, November 7, 2023)
The Rafah Crossing
  • On November 7, 2023, seven ambulances escorted by the Red Cross passed through the Rafah Crossing transporting wounded people from Shifa Hospital to Egypt for further medical treatment (QudsN X account, November 7, 2023).
Evacuating the wounded through the Rafah crossing (QudsN X account, November 7, 2023)     Evacuating the wounded through the Rafah crossing (QudsN X account, November 7, 2023)
Evacuating the wounded through the Rafah crossing (QudsN X account, November 7, 2023)
Hamas
  • Khalil al-Haya, a member of Hamas’ political bureau and deputy chairman of the political bureau in the Gaza Strip, interviewed by The New York Times in Doha, Qatar, claimed that Hamas had attacked on October 7, because of “the need to change the whole equation” and bring the Palestinian issue back to the table. He claimed their goal was not to manage the civilian issues in the Gaza Strip. They knew that the response to the attack would be extensive, and now there was no peace in the entire region. Taher al-Nunu, Ismail Haniyeh’s media advisor, who was also interviewed for the Times article, said he hoped that the state of war with Israel would become permanent on all its borders and that the Arab world would stand by Hamas. A “regional security official” (whose name was not mentioned) said Hamas had expected that when the attack began, its allies in the region would join the fight, including Hezbollah (The New York Times , November 8, 2023).
  • During an interview, Musa Abu Marzouq, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, related to the events of October 7, and falsely claimed that most of the Israeli citizens killed on that day had been victims of the Israeli forces, and the “proof” he offered was that the houses where they were killed “had been destroyed by tank shells and bombs dropped airplanes” and not the Kalashnikov assault rifles in the possession of the operatives of the military wing of Hamas. He also falsely claimed that Muhammed Deif, the commander of Hamas’ military-terrorist wing, had ordered his men to refrain from harming civilians and specifically ordered them not to kill women, children and the elderly.[2] At the same time, he noted that IDF reservists were considered targets. Asked if the Hamas “political wing” had been aware of the preparations for the attack, Abu Marzouq said that the military wing did not have to consult with the political leadership and there was no need for it to do so. Asked about the network of tunnels which Hamas built and from which it fought, as opposed to the remaining residents of the Gaza Strip, who are in the open, he answered that they had built the tunnels to fight Israel and they could not house 2.5 million people in them (BBC website in Arabic, November 7, 2023).
  • A number of Hamas officials commented on the “morning after.” Ghazi Hamed, a member of Hamas’ political bureau in the Gaza Strip, said that American statements that Hamas would have no place in the future of the Gaza Strip reflected its failure to achieve any kind of achievement on the ground, and its understanding that Hamas had become a political and military force that controlled the course of events. He said that the settlement of the situation in the Gaza Strip was a purely Palestinian matter, and Hamas would be a part of it against the wishes of the United States and Israel, because it was part of the Palestinian national fabric (al-Jazeera TV website, November 8, 2023). Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas terrorist, said it was impossible for the Palestinians to agree to leadership based on the standards of the United States or Israel, and anyone who thought he could reach the Palestinian leadership riding on the back of an American or Israeli tank, would be treated by the Palestinians as an agent of Israel (al-Arabi YouTube channel, September 8, 2023).
  • Sami Abu Zuhri, head of Hamas’ political department “abroad,” at a press conference in Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania, where he participated in solidarity events with the Palestinians and held meetings with Mauritanian politicians, said that if the Rafah Crossing was closed, the sea was open. He called for the sea to be flooded with ships from around the Arab and Islamic world to break the blockade of Gaza , noting that Turkish associations had begun preparations to equip ships to sail to Gaza (arabi21 website, November 5, 2023).
Voices of a budding opposition?
  • Meanwhile, as the Hamas leadership demonstrates its intransigence, other voices are also being heard, although not many. For example, a terrorist operative named Abu Ahmed, was represented as an Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades battalion commander, who claimed it numbered 400 operatives. Abu Ahmed, who claimed he helped plan the October 7, invasion, said that the original plan had been to kill soldiers and kidnap several as bargaining chips for a deal that would result in the release of security prisoners in Israel. He claimed the Hamas leadership had addressed the young “activists” [terrorist operatives] and told them, “Do what you want, take what you can” and thus they entered civilian areas, killed babies and kidnapped civilians, contrary to the original plan. He blamed Yahya al-Sinwar, head of the Hamas political bureau in the Gaza Strip, who behaved like a “street fighter” and the leadership of Hamas, which lived a life of luxury outside the Gaza Strip and was not subjected to attacks. He also said that the “military” [terrorist] command in Gaza was completely disconnected from the political leadership, and that communication between them was carried out by human messengers. He claimed there were other Hamas commanders who had their doubts about the leadership, which had called destruction down on the Gaza Strip (Daily Mail, November 7, 2023).
  • Iyad al-Buzum, spokesman for the Hamas ministry of the interior, held a press conference in Shifa hospital, and a Palestinian whose hands were bandaged walked behind him and shouted “Allah will reckon with Hamas” (al-Arabiya TV X account, November 7, 2023).

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The Northern Arena
Lebanon
  • During the past day, attacks on IDF positions continued. The IDF attacked a squad about to launch an anti-tank missile into Israeli territory. In the afternoon there were about 20 rocket launches from Lebanon; IDF forces responded with artillery fire. In the evening, Israeli Air Force aircraft attacked Hezbollah targets, including a munitions warehouse, launch sites, infrastructure for targeting terrorist activity and sites where technological equipment was located (IDF spokesman, November 7, 2023).
The Israeli Air Force attack a Hezbollah target (IDF spokesman’s website, November 8, 2023)    The Israeli Air Force attack a Hezbollah target (IDF spokesman’s website, November 8, 2023)
The Israeli Air Force attack a Hezbollah target (IDF spokesman’s website, November 8, 2023)
UNIFIL
  • Aroldo Lazzaro, the UNIFIL commander, reported visiting a number of posts along the border where for the past month the force’s personnel had been operating “in a complex situation and under difficult conditions.” He noted that the recent events only reminded them of the importance of their work and strengthened their commitment. He expressed concern about the situation in the area and its potential to escalate out of control (UNIFIL’s Telegram channel, November 7, 2023).
Hezbollah
  • Hezbollah’s combat information unit published a 1:59 minute video entitled, “We will not settle for [merely] this,” documenting the organization’s actions against Israel. In the background Hassan Nasrallah’s speech can be heard in which he boasts of Israel’s deployment on the northern border and which caused it to divert its attention and forces from the fighting in Gaza. The video shows data, which Nasrallah also presented in his speech, about the scope of Israel’s deployment on the northern border and in the Gaza Strip, including details about the order of combat and the variety of advanced combat platforms. In addition, it was noted that 65,000 Israeli citizens had been displaced from their homes on the northern border (Telegram channel of Hezbollah’s combat information unit, November 7, 2023).
From the Hezbollah video dealing with the IDF's ground forces, deployed in front of the Lebanese border (Telegram channel of Hezbollah's combat information unit, November 7, 2023)
From the Hezbollah video dealing with the IDF’s ground forces, deployed in front of the Lebanese border (Telegram channel of Hezbollah’s combat information unit, November 7, 2023)
  • Meanwhile, Hezbollah launched a campaign on social networks with the hashtag “Unity of the arenas and blood.” The campaign claims that the blood of Hezbollah operatives and the civilians killed in Lebanon was equal to the “victims” in the Gaza Strip. Hezbollah issued a notice and asked its supporters to distribute it. It showed the coffins of Hezbollah terrorist operatives next to bodies of Palestinians killed in Gaza (Simia, the file on social networks in Hezbollah, November 7, 2023).
  • Na’im Qassem, Hezbollah deputy secretary general, said in an interview that Hezbollah was participating in the fighting against Israel to lower the pressure on the Gaza Strip. He said the increasing number of attacks were a message to Israel that intensifying its [Israel’s] attacks would have serious consequences. Asked about Hezbollah’s reaction to the deaths of four civilians in an Israeli attack, he evaded answering, saying “You will see what we did on the news… You can start counting, and see if our calculations are correct or not” (NBC network, November 7, 2023).
  • On another occasion, he called Operation al-Aqsa Flood a “turning point for the future of the Palestinians” which planted seeds that would lead to Israel’s decline and downfall, having exposed its military and political weakness. He stated that the goal of all “resistance groups” [terrorist organizations] was to defeat [destroy] Israel, and therefore they all had to cooperate. As for Hezbollah’s involvement on behalf of the Palestinians, he said that their participation in the battle was a major part of the “resistance” [terrorist] action, and joint efforts were required to put an end to Israel’s aggression against the residents of the Gaza Strip (Press TV, November 7, 2023).
  • During the funeral of the dead civilians held in Belida in south Lebanon, Ali Fiyad, a member of the Hezbollah faction in the Lebanese Parliament, said that the “resistance” would not tolerate aggression against civilians and would respond strongly. He claimed the family members had been murdered by “criminal Israel” in the same way it was “murdering people” in the Gaza Strip and that the only way to protect their existence was “resistance” (al-Manar, November 7, 2023). Ali Damoush, a senior Hezbollah figure, said Israel would pay the price for its “brutal crime.” He claimed that the “resistance” would not tolerate injury to civilians and would respond to every attack (NNA news agency, November 7, 2023).
  • During a memorial service for a Hezbollah terrorist operative who was recently killed, Nabil Qaouq, a member of Hezbollah’s Central Council, said that the eyes of the “resistance” were on south Lebanon and any harm to civilians would be met with a “severe response” (al-Manar, November 8, 2023).
The Lebanese government
  • Amos Hochstein, President Biden’s energy advisor and special envoy to the Middle East, visited Lebanon. He held a series of meetings with senior government and military officials. At a meeting with Najib Mikati, Lebanon’s interim prime minister, Hochstein said he felt that Lebanon and Israel did not want to escalate the situation. He stressed the importance of the Lebanese army’s assistance in maintaining the sovereignty of the Lebanese state over all its lands (the Lebanese government’s X account, November 7, 2023). Hochstein had previously met with Nabih Berri, speaker of the Lebanese parliament. He also met with Abbas Ibrahim, former general director of the General Directorate of General Security, to discuss developments and ways to get Lebanon out of the Gaza conflict (Abbas Ibrahim’s X account, November 7, 2023). Another meeting was held with Joseph Aoun, Chief of Staff of the Lebanese army. During the meeting, they discussed Lebanon’s general situation and developments on the border with Israel (Lebanese News Agency, November 7, 2023).
Palestinians
  • Senior Hamas figure Osama Hamdan was interviewed at Hamas headquarters in Beirut. He was asked about the “supportive” Lebanese front, as Hassan Nasrallah called it, and said there was no doubt that what the “resistance” and Hezbollah were doing in south Lebanon was appreciated by the Palestinians. He noted that it was not only moral support, but real aid by means of daily clashes with Israel, with dozens of fatalities who had families, and some were forcibly uprooted from their homes, even temporarily. Thus, everything that happens in Lebanon is a real part of supporting the Palestinian resistance (al-Liwaa, November 7, 2023).
  • Senior Hamas figure Ali Baraka was interviewed and referred to Lebanon’s involvement. Regarding Hamas’ response if Amos Hochstein asked the Lebanese government to prevent Palestinian organizations from firing rockets from south Lebanon in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1701, Baraka replied that he was not authorized to speak on that issue. Regarding Hochstein’s mediation on the issue of the abductees and the involvement of Abbas Ibrahim, Baraka confirmed that Abbas Ibrahim had visited Doha on November 4, 2023, and met Ismail Haniyeh. He added that Hamas welcomed his involvement (al-Jadeed TV YouTube channel, November 7, 2023).

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Judea, Samaria, and the Palestinian Authority
Terrorist attacks
  • On the afternoon of November 7, 2023, a Palestinian was identified approaching the entrance gate to the community of Ofra (northeast of Ramallah) armed with a knife. IDF soldiers at the scene opened fire at him and he fled in the direction of nearby Ein Yabroud. IDF forces searched for him (Judea and Samaria Rescue, November 7, 2023).
Preventive and counterterrorism activities
  • The Israeli security forces continued their extensive counterterrorism activities in Judea and Samaria. During the past day, 37 wanted Palestinians were detained, ten of them Hamas operatives. Since the beginning of the war, more than 1,430 wanted Palestinians have been detained, over 900 of them Hamas operatives (IDF spokesman’s X account, November 8, 2023). The PA ministry of health in Ramallah reported 163 fatalities in Judea and Samaria since the beginning of the war (Wafa, November 7, 2023).
  • The following were the main events:
    • On the night of November 7-8, 2023, Israeli security forces operated near Birzeit University. They found a large quantity of Hamas’ equipment, incitement materials and displays used by student cells for military marches and demonstrations (IDF spokesman’s X account, November 8, 2023).
Weapons and propaganda materials found at Birzeit University (IDF Spokesman’s X account, November 8, 2023)       Weapons and propaganda materials found at Birzeit University (IDF Spokesman’s X account, November 8, 2023)
Weapons and propaganda materials found at Birzeit University
(IDF Spokesman’s X account, November 8, 2023)
    • On November 8, 2023, police forces in the Shuafat refugee camp demolished the home of Mohammed Zalabani, who had carried out a stabbing attack (February 2023) at the Shuafat crossing in which a Border Police fighter was killed (Israel Police, November 8, 2023).
Support for the Gaza Strip
  • Throughout Judea and Samaria marches in support of the Gaza Strip continued. Among the marches was one organized by the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate in which symbolic coffins were carried bearing pictures of journalists killed in the Gaza Strip (Wafa, November 7, 2023).
  • Hamas spokesman Muhammad Hamada stressed that the role of the West Bank and Jerusalem was extremely important. He claimed that Israel feared several simultaneous fronts, and viewed awakening and resistance in the West Bank as an existential threat to its forces and the settlers. That is also why it was stepping up detention operations. Hamada stressed the need to continue the general mobilization in the West Bank and take advantage of every possible opportunity to attack Israel’s interests and the settlements. He also called on the “revolutionary youth” to mobilize in all areas to carry out “high-quality” [mass-casualty] and influential attacks (Hurriya News, November 8, 2023).
The march of the Union of Journalists (al-Quds al-Arabi, November 7, 2023)      A demonstration in Nablus (Palestine Post X account, November 7, 2023)
Right: A demonstration in Nablus (Palestine Post X account, November 7, 2023) .Left: The march of the Union of Journalists (al-Quds al-Arabi, November 7, 2023)
Palestinian Authority
  • Hussein al-Sheikh, secretary of the PLO’s Executive Committee, spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. He stressed their opposition to harming civilians on both sides, an immediate ceasefire, opening safe crossings and not uprooting residents of the Gaza Strip (Hussein al-Sheikh’s X account, November 7, 2023).
  • Jibril Rajoub, secretary of Fatah’s Central Committee, met in Egypt with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. The two discussed the leadership’s moves to stop “Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria, open humanitarian corridors, and hold an international peace conference to open a political horizon that would enable the Palestinians to establish an independent state. Rajoub expressed his appreciation for Egypt’s role in supporting the Palestinian cause. Foreign Minister Shoukry stressed the need for an immediate ceasefire without restrictions or conditions, and the urgency of transferring humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip (Wafa, November 7, 2023).

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Iran
  • Before leaving for a visit to Central Asia, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said that the main issue he intended to raise in his meetings in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan was the Gaza Strip. He said the Palestinian issue had become the concern of the entire Islamic world and even of all humanity. Raisi added that there was currently intense hatred in the world towards the “Zionist regime” and disappointment with the incompetence of international organizations in defending the Palestinians (Mehr, November 8, 2023). 
  • IRGC Commander Hossein Salami said in a speech given to the supreme leader’s representatives in the IRGC that the “Zionist regime” was like a rotten tooth that had been cut off from its roots and it was now feeling its premature and rapid decline. He noted that the American administration was in a state of strategic ambiguity and confusion and was acting as if it had no purpose and was unable to find its way. According to him, the United States had never been so isolated. It lost its global standing and was investing in a regime that was useless for it. Salami added that the defeat of the “Zionist regime” and the decline of the United States contributed to peace and security in the world (Fars, November 7, 2023).
Activity of pro-Iranian militias
Iraq and Syria
  • The Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for several additional attacks against American Army bases in Iraq and Syria: the American base near Erbil Airport in northern Iraq and the American base at the Koniko gas field in the Deir ez-Zor area (Resistance Telegram channel, November 7, 2023).
Yemen[3]
  • Yahya Saria, spokesman for the Houthi armed forces in Yemen, posted documentation of the launching of drones at “various targets in the territory of the Zionist enemy” (Yahya Saria’s Telegram channel, November 7, 2023). No activity was detected on the ground.
  • Ali al-Qahum, a member of the Houthis’ political bureau, said Israel and the United States had to understand that the period of isolation for “Palestine” was over and that Israel’s complaints to the UN about the attacks they were carrying out did not worry them and only reflected Israel’s fear of their actions (al-Masirah, November 7, 2023).
The Arab Arena
Egypt
  • Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi met in Cairo with CIA Director William Joseph Burns. El-Sisi stressed that an immediate ceasefire was essential to protect civilians and facilitate the entry of humanitarian aid. Burns said he wanted to continue intensive coordination with Egypt to resolve the crisis (website of the Egyptian presidential office, November 7, 2023).
Jordan
  • King Abdullah II of Jordan met in Brussels, in the presence of Crown Prince Hussein, with Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. At the meeting, King Abdullah said the lives of civilians had to be preserved and a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip had to be worked out. He stressed they opposed any attempt to separate Judea and Samaria from the Gaza Strip because both were “part of Palestine” (the Jordanian Royal Palace’s X account, November 7, 2023).
Saudi Arabia
  • Faisal bin Farhan, Saudi foreign minister, strongly condemned “the crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli war machine against the Palestinians.” He took issue with the silence of the international community, which, he claimed, was not doing its duty to stop the escalation and ensure the immediate entry of humanitarian aid (Saudi foreign ministry’s X account, November 7, 2023).
  • A “diplomatic source” reported that there were differences of opinion among Arab countries regarding decisions to be made at the emergency summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) scheduled to be held in Saudi Arabia on November 11, 2023. According to the source, the reason was that some of the Gulf States refuse to transfer financial aid that could strengthen Hamas (al-Araby al-Jadeed, November 7, 2023).
  • Nabil Qaouq, a member of Hezbollah’s Central Council, said that the Palestinian leadership was not relying on the results of the emergency Arab summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation but was focusing on the strategies of “resistance,” rockets and fighting in the Gaza Strip (al-Manar, November 8, 2023).
The International Arena
United States
  • Vedant Patel, deputy spokesperson for the American Department of State, said the United States did not support the forced transfer of Palestinian residents outside the Gaza Strip and opposed Israel’s reoccupying the Gaza Strip (Reuters, November 7, 2023).
United Kingdom
  • King Charles III said in his opening speech of the Parliament session that the British government would strive to deal with international issues, including the consequences of the “barbaric acts of terrorism against the people of Israel.” He also said the government would support peace and stability efforts in the Middle East and the entry of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip (Reuters, November 7,2023).
Australia
  • Al-Jazeera reported pro-Palestinian demonstrators, most of them Muslims, alongside BDS activists from local leftist organizations, who tried to prevent weapons and equipment destined for Israel from being loaded onto a ship in the Port of Melbourne (al-Jazeera, November 8, 2023).
Demonstrators try to prevent the transfer of weapons and equipment to Israel at the Port of Melbourne (al-Jazeera, November 8, 2023)
Demonstrators try to prevent the transfer of weapons and equipment to Israel at the Port of Melbourne (al-Jazeera, November 8, 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] Weaponry in the possession of the Hamas terrorists that was seized by the IDF included anti-aircraft guns, RPGs, chemical incendiary grenades, machine guns, and thermobaric weapons. In the videos released by Hamas, Hamas terrorists are seen shooting women and children.
[3] For further details on Houthi activity against Israel since the beginning of the war, see the ITIC's Information Bulletin from November 3, 2023, "The Houthis and Operation Iron Swords