Operation Iron Swords (Updated to 1 p.m., October 30, 2023)

IDF forces in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman's website, October 30, 2023)

IDF forces in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman's website, October 30, 2023)

IDF forces in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman's website, October 30, 2023)

IDF forces in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman's website, October 30, 2023)

The aftermath of the Israeli Air Force attack in Nuseirat, in the central Gaza Strip (Wafa, October 29, 2023)

The aftermath of the Israeli Air Force attack in Nuseirat, in the central Gaza Strip (Wafa, October 29, 2023)

Israeli Air Force attack on the Jabaliya refugee camp (QudsN Twitter account, October 29, 2023).

Israeli Air Force attack on the Jabaliya refugee camp (QudsN Twitter account, October 29, 2023).

A direct rocket hit on a house in Netivot (Israeli Fire and Rescue spokesman's unit, October 30, 2023)

A direct rocket hit on a house in Netivot (Israeli Fire and Rescue spokesman's unit, October 30, 2023)

Unloading medical aid truck Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis (Wafa YouTube channel, October 29, 2023)

Unloading medical aid truck Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis (Wafa YouTube channel, October 29, 2023)

The attack on the launchers in Syria (IDF spokesman's website, October 30, 2023)

The attack on the launchers in Syria (IDF spokesman's website, October 30, 2023)

A procession of students in Ramallah (QudsN Twitter account, October 30, 2023)

A procession of students in Ramallah (QudsN Twitter account, October 30, 2023)

Mahmoud Abbas meets with Bahrain's foreign minister (Wafa, October 29, 2023)

Mahmoud Abbas meets with Bahrain's foreign minister (Wafa, October 29, 2023)

rocket fire

Overview[1]
  • The southern sector: During the past day, ground activity in the Gaza Strip was expanded and additional forces entered the territory, including infantry, tanks, artillery and engineering forces, while airstrikes on terrorist targets continued. Mohammad Bagheri, Iranian army chief of staff, claimed that the airstrikes had no military value and indicated Israel’s defeat; even if they lasted a year Israel would lose on the battlefield, he claimed. The Palestinian terrorist organizations continue firing rockets at Israel, including the cities in the center of the country, although at a significantly slower pace.
  • So far, over 1,400 civilian and soldier deaths have been reported; 239 civilian and soldier abductees are still being held by the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip.
  • The Gaza Strip: Negotiations continue to open humanitarian corridors for the delivery of aid to the Gaza Strip. The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) visited the Rafah Crossing. He said he had come to monitor the transfer of aid. Senior Hamas terrorists boasted of the resilience of the military wing, called for support and aid through opening additional fronts and called on the international community for aid to be delivered to Gaza.
  • The northern sector: Hezbollah’s attacks on IDF posts and the Israeli cities, towns and villages near the Lebanese border continued. Two Hezbollah and two Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist operatives were killed. The IDF forces responded and attacked Hezbollah facilities on the Lebanese border. The Lebanese government is trying to dissuade Hezbollah from expanding is operations. During the evening barrages of rockets were fired from Lebanon at cities in Israel’s north. The military-terrorist wings of Hamas and the al-Jama’a al-Islamiyya, a Sunni Lebanese organization, claimed responsibility. A rocket was also fired from Syria. The IDF attacked the sources of rocket fire in Lebanon and Syria.
  • Judea and Samaria: The IDF continued its counterterrorism activities, focusing on Jenin. Senior Palestinian Authority (PA) figures are holding diplomatic contacts with the objective of stopping the war and sending aid to Gaza.
  • Iran: Iran is working to for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. The pro-Iranian militias in Syria and Iraq attacked American targets.
  • The United States is working to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. The American president discussed the issue with the president of Egypt, and the American Secretary of State spoke with and the Turkish foreign minister.
  • In Dagestan, a Russian republic on the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea, dozens of Muslims broke into the airport where a plane from Israel had landed and searched for Israelis and Jews (apparently to take revenge on them for the events in the Gaza Strip). After several hours quiet was restored; the airport was closed.
The Combat Arena
IDF activity
  • Ground activity: During the past day the IDF expanded its ground activity in the Gaza Strip and additional forces entered the territory, including infantry, tanks, artillery and engineering forces. IDF forces attacked terrorists who had barricaded themselves in buildings and attacked the soldiers. The IDF also attacked terrorist facilities and buildings where terrorists were located. IDF fighters clashed with terrorists who emerged from a tunnel shaft near the Erez Crossing. The terrorists were attacked from the air by Israeli Air Force aircraft (IDF spokesman, October 29, 30, 2023).
IDF forces in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman's website, October 30, 2023)   IDF forces in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman's website, October 30, 2023)
IDF forces in the Gaza Strip (IDF spokesman’s website, October 30, 2023)
  • Aerial activity: During the ground activity, the Israeli Air Force continued attacking terrorist targets. They included Hamas military buildings, some of which were occupied by terrorists, anti-tank positions, observation posts, munitions warehouses, terrorist hideouts and gathering places for Hamas operatives, a total of about 600 targets (IDF spokesman, October 29 and 30, 2023).
Attacks in the Gaza Strip (IDF Spokesman's website, October 30, 2023)    Attacks in the Gaza Strip (IDF Spokesman's website, October 30, 2023)
Attacks in the Gaza Strip (IDF Spokesman's website, October 30, 2023)   Attacks in the Gaza Strip (IDF Spokesman's website, October 30, 2023)
Attacks in the Gaza Strip (IDF Spokesman’s website, October 30, 2023)
The aftermath of the Israeli Air Force attack in Nuseirat, in the central Gaza Strip (Wafa, October 29, 2023)    Israeli Air Force attack on the Jabaliya refugee camp (QudsN Twitter account, October 29, 2023).
Right: Israeli Air Force attack on the Jabaliya refugee camp (QudsN Twitter account, October 29, 2023). Left: The aftermath of the Israeli Air Force attack in Nuseirat, in the central Gaza Strip (Wafa, October 29, 2023)
  • Relating to the IDF’s aerial activity, Mohammad Bagheri, chief of staff of the Iranian army, said the recent events proved that Palestine was the most important issue for the Muslim world, and claimed Israel did not have the strength to sustain itself. He claimed that even if the Israeli attacks continued for a year, the “Zionists” would lose on the battlefield, adding that the airstrikes had no military value and indicated Israel’s defeat. He said the Palestinian “fighters” had prepared for a ground attack, so Israel avoided one. He claimed the Palestinians had constructed more than 400 kilometers [about 250 miles] of tunnels in the northern Gaza Strip, some of which were wide enough for vehicles and motorcycles. He said the Palestinians had manufactured the weapons in their possession by themselves and planned their actions on their own (Tasnim, October 30, 2023).
  • Daoud Shehab, in charge of the PIJ’s media information office, claimed the IDF forces were still relying on airstrikes, and although the IDF’s talking about attacking military targets, they were attacking civilian targets such as residential buildings. As for the ground maneuver, he said the IDF was still on the outskirts of the Gaza Strip in uninhabited areas, and nevertheless was being strongly attacked by “resistance” fighters [terrorist operatives], whether from behind enemy lines, or through the launching of anti-tank missiles and mortar shells. He claimed that despite all the attacks and the use of American weapons, the “resistance” continued to launch rockets deep into Israeli territory, adding that he was confident the “resistance” would decide the campaign in its favor. Referring to the IDF Chief of Staff’s statement about dismantling Hamas, he claimed Israel would not be able to achieve its goal because it could not eliminate all the Palestinians (al-Jazeera TV YouTube channel, October 30, 2023).
Rocket fire
  • Over the past day rocket launches have decreased significantly. On October 29, 2023, a barrage was launched at the region east of Ashdod and west of Jerusalem. On the morning of October 30, 2023, a volley was launched at the southern Israeli town of Netivot, damaging a house. On the afternoon of October 29, 2023, about ten rockets were fired in several volleys from Lebanon at the area of Rosh Pina, Kiryat Shemonah and Nahariya (see below, Lebanon).
A direct rocket hit on a house in Netivot (Israeli Fire and Rescue spokesman's unit, October 30, 2023)    A direct rocket hit on a house in Netivot (Israeli Fire and Rescue spokesman's unit, October 30, 2023)
A direct rocket hit on a house in Netivot (Israeli Fire and Rescue spokesman’s unit, October 30, 2023)
  • So far, more than 8,000 rockets and mortar shells have been launched at Israel since the beginning of the war. About 10% of them were failed launches which fell in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli casualties
  • So far, over 1,400 civilian and soldier deaths have been reported; 239 civilian and soldier abductees are still being held by the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip. About 30 are children and teenagers under the age of 18 and about 20 are elderly. Four hostages were released.
The issue of the abductees
  • Interviewed by the Egyptian al-Youm al-Sabaa, Musa Abu Marzouq, a member of the Hamas political bureau, claimed the ball was in Israel’s court, and if it was willing to release all the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, there would be an “honorable” exchange deal. He claimed efforts were being made to free civilians, but they were unsuccessful, for which he blamed Israel’s stubbornness and the lack of conditions on the ground that would contribute to their release (al-Youm al-Sabaa, October 29, 2023).

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The Gaza Strip
Palestinian casualties
  • According to reports, Egypt is building a field hospital in al-Sheikh Zuweid (Rafah region area) to treat casualties from the Gaza Strip. The hospital will have four tents, each with 20 beds (Rafah Crossing News Facebook page, October 29, 2023).
Constructing the field hospital in al-Sheikh Zuweid (Rafah Crossing News Facebook page, October 29, 2023)       Constructing the field hospital in al-Sheikh Zuweid (Rafah Crossing News Facebook page, October 29, 2023)
Constructing the field hospital in al-Sheikh Zuweid (Rafah Crossing News Facebook page, October 29, 2023)
The situation in Gaza
  • Ibrahim Qanan, a correspondent for al-Ghad TV, broadcast from the entrance to the Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis. He said the IDF Air Force continued massive attacks in the Khan Yunis and Rafah areas, adding that the evacuation of casualties to Nasser Hospital continued (al-Ghad TV, October 30, 2023).
Al-Ghad TV correspondent broadcasts from the entrance to Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis (al-Ghad TV, October 30, 2023)
Al-Ghad TV correspondent broadcasts from the entrance to Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis (al-Ghad TV, October 30, 2023)
  • According to reports, a truck brought medical aid from the Red Cross to Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, the third aid truck arriving at Nasser Hospital (Wafa YouTube channel, October 29, 2023).
Unloading medical aid truck Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis (Wafa YouTube channel, October 29, 2023)      Unloading medical aid truck Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis (Wafa YouTube channel, October 29, 2023)
Unloading medical aid truck Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis (Wafa YouTube channel, October 29, 2023)
  • Hamas spokesman Abd al-Latif al-Qanua claimed Israel had killed more than 8,000 Palestinians and caused the destruction of homes, which he claimed was not a victory or an achievement, but “bankruptcy and crimes against humanity.” He also emphasized that the “genocidal war of the Zionist occupation” against the Palestinians would not achieve its goals and would encounter fierce resistance (Hamas Telegram channel, October 30, 2023).
The Rafah Crossing
  • According to reports in the Palestinian media, on October 29, 2023, 47 aid trucks entered the Gaza Strip through the Rafah Crossing (Rafah Crossing News Facebook page, October 29, 2023). The Egyptian Red Crescent reported that more than 500 aid trucks were waiting on the Egyptian side of the crossing (al-Ghad TV, October 30, 2023).
Trucks enter the Rafah Crossing (Rafah Crossing News Facebook page, October 29, 2023)
Trucks enter the Rafah Crossing (Rafah Crossing News Facebook page, October 29, 2023)
  • Karim Khan, the ICC chief prosecutor, visited the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing to examine the delivery of aid into the Gaza Strip (al-Araby, October 29, 2023). At the end of the visit, he said he wanted to enter the Gaza Strip and also to reach Israel. He said they were conducting investigations into the crimes committed in Israel on October 7, 2023, as well as into what happened in the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria in 2014 [Operation Protective Edge] (ICC Twitter account, October 29, 2023).
Karim Khan visits the Rafah Crossing (ICC Twitter account, October 29, 2023)
Karim Khan visits the Rafah Crossing (ICC Twitter account, October 29, 2023)
Terrorist operative fatalities
  • The PIJ announced the death of Dr. Taysir al-Ghoty, 65 years old, killed with his family in an attack on his house in Rafah. He was a member of the PIJ’s founding generation and belonged to its leadership in Gaza (al-Masry al-Youm, October 29, 2023; Twitter account of Abu Samer Musa, a senior PIJ terrorist in Lebanon, October 29, 2023). According to reports, the al-Ghoty house in the al-Janina neighborhood in Rafah was attacked on October 22, 2023 (Facebook page of Sahar Alghoty, October 22, 2023) .
Using the civilian population as a human shield
  • Interviewed by Sky News in Arabic, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said they were aware that Hamas had military facilities under the hospitals in the Gaza Strip (Sky News, October 30, 2023).
Hamas
  • Izzat al-Rishq, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, warned Israel not to commit a “new massacre” at the al-Quds Hospital and said “the world” should be responsible for it. He called on the international community to act urgently to protect hospitals “which play a humanitarian role in saving the lives of more than two million Palestinians” and to protect mosques and churches (Gaza al-Rashq Telegram channel, October 29, 2023).
  • Interviewed by the Egyptian newspaper al-Youm al-Sabaa, Musa Abu Marzouq, a member of the Hamas political bureau, claimed Israel would not be able to destroy Hamas’ military wing, on the contrary, the wing was capable of defeating Israel again. He claimed the Egyptian people supported the Palestinians and hoped the “siege” would be broken and humanitarian aid delivered. He said the Egyptian president had the ability to bring about the necessary change. Regarding coordination with Egypt, he said they were in daily contact with the “brothers in Egypt.” He said Egypt’s position rejecting the scenario to displace the Gazans was regarded favorably by the Palestinians, but it pained them that the “resistance” had been branded as a terrorist organization. (al-Youm al-Sabaa, October 29, 2023).
  • Asked if he expected the Lebanese front to have greater involvement in the event of a ground entry, he said Hezbollah had “sacrificed” forty fighters since the beginning of the campaign, and was carrying out intensive attacks against IDF positions. He claimed it had an important effect on dividing the IDF’s manpower and material resources, further complicating considerations for a ground war in Gaza. He added that without a doubt, further involvement would result in further losses for Israel. He said Hamas urged everyone to act and help more, but everyone decided how and how much it would participate in the campaign (al-Youm al-Sabaa, October 29, 2023).
  • Interviewed by al-Jazeera, Musa Abu Marzouq said the Hamas leaders who had planned the October 7 operation were surprised by the defeat of the Israeli army “within five hours” and that if they had realized the extent of Israel’s fragility, they would have sent thousands and reached Tel Aviv as well. Regarding the aid received by the Palestinians, he said they expected more from Hezbollah and the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, and that they were “shocked by the shameful position of our brothers in the PA” (al-Jazeera Mubasher, October 29, 2023).
  • In response, Abdel Fattah Doula, spokesman for Fatah’s bureau of mobilization and organization, said that they condemned Musa Abu Marzouq who was speaking “from the top of the ivory tower [in Qatar]” and if he had been present on the battlefield, he would have spoken differently. He said they continued their struggle to stop the aggression and deliver aid to Gaza, and called on Hamas to form a Palestinian front under the PLO, the sole legal representative of the Palestinian people (Ma’an, October 30, 2023).

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The Northern Arena
Lebanon
The situation on the ground
  • Hezbollah operatives continued their attempts to fire anti-tank missiles and infiltrate squads towards IDF posts and settlements on the border. During the past day, Hezbollah has claimed responsibility for carrying out several attacks against the posts of Misgav Am, Dalia, Turmus and Livna, including an attack against an IDF infantry force, firing guided missiles against an IDF infantry force and firing an anti-aircraft missile at a UAV east of the village of al-Khiyam (Telegram channel of Hezbollah’s combat information unit, October 29, 2023).
  • The IDF prevented Hezbollah activity by carrying out airstrike on terrorist squads launching anti-tank missiles. An Israeli UAV attacked a terrorist operating a drone. A terrorist who approached the Hanita area was also eliminated (IDF spokesman, October 29, 2023).
The IDF attacks Hezbollah targets (IDF spokesman's website, October 29, 2023)     The IDF attacks Hezbollah targets (IDF spokesman's website, October 29, 2023)
The IDF attacks Hezbollah targets (IDF spokesman’s website, October 29, 2023)
  • The PIJ’s military-terrorist wing said the Commander Ali al-Soud Battalion in the Syrian arena[2] had carried out an incursion in the area of the Hanita post on the evening of October 29, 2023, and its operatives had clashed with IDF forces in “Palestine” territory in support of Gaza and in response to the IDF’s “massacres.” In another announcement it reported that two battalion operatives, Ibrahim Muhammad Uthman, 23 years old, and Mustafa Izz al-Din Hussein, 21 years old, had been killed during the operation (Jerusalem Brigades’ Telegram channel, October 30, 2023).
Mourning notices for Ibrahim Uthman (right) and Mustafa Hussein (alqudsnews website, October 30, 2023)     Mourning notices for Ibrahim Uthman (right) and Mustafa Hussein (alqudsnews website, October 30, 2023)
Mourning notices for Ibrahim Uthman (right) and Mustafa Hussein (alqudsnews website, October 30, 2023)
Rocket launches
  • On the afternoon of October 29, 2023, rockets were launched from the Har Dov area at Rosh Pina and a volley of six rockets was launched at Kiryat Shemonah. Another barrage was launched at the northern coastal city of Nahariya; a total of ten rockets were fired. A house in Kiryat Shemonah was damaged. There were no casualties.
  • The military-terrorist wing of al-Jama’ah al-Islamiyya (a Sunni Lebanese organization), claimed responsibility for launching rockets at Kiryat Shemonah. It said they would increase rocket barrages as Israel continued its “aggression” in south Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, claiming they were capable of increasing the range of their response (al-Mayadeen, October 29, 2023). The Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military-terrorist wing, claimed responsibility for launching 16 rockets from Lebanon at Nahariya “in response to the crimes of the occupation against our people in Gaza” (Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades Telegram channel, October 29, 2023).
  • In response to rocket attacks targeting Kiryat Shemonah, IDF aircraft attacked the launch squad in the Mount Dov area, destroying a large quantity of weapons which the terrorists were planning to use for additional attacks. Meanwhile, Israeli Air Force planes attacked Hezbollah military facilities (IDF spokesman, October 29, 2023).
Hezbollah fatalities
  • Hezbollah reported that during the past day two operatives had been killed “on the way to Jerusalem.” The announcement did not specify the date or location of the events (Telegram channel of Hezbollah’s combat information unit, October 29-30, 2023):
    • Muhammad Najib Halawi, aka Shaheed, from the village of Kafrkila in south Lebanon.
    • Muneir Yusuf ‘Ashour, aka Abu Zeinab, from the village of Shaqra in south Lebanon.
Hezbollah casualties on October 29 and 30, 2023 (The Telegram channel of the combat information unit, October 29-30, 2023)      Hezbollah casualties on October 29 and 30, 2023 (The Telegram channel of the combat information unit, October 29-30, 2023)
Hezbollah casualties on October 29 and 30, 2023 (The Telegram channel of the combat information unit, October 29-30, 2023)
UNIFIL
  • UNIFIL confirmed that on October 18, 2023, one of its soldiers was injured in the Houla area, but the injuries were not attributed to Israel or the Lebanese. The agency expressed concern about attacks against the force which violated international law and were crimes that had to be condemned. UNIFIL said it was investigating the event (UNIFIL’s Telegram channel, October 29, 2023).
Hezbollah
  • Hezbollah-affiliated media outlets published a video of a few seconds, in which Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s secretary-general, was allegedly seen walking past the organization’s flag. Next to the video a verse from the Qur’an was published describing “fulfillment of the promise,” a central motif in Hezbollah’s propaganda messages regarding Israel, and which it claims to be implementing. The video was distributed on social networks by many accounts affiliated with the “axis of resistance” [Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, the Palestinian terrorist organizations and the Houthis in Yemen]. However, it was not issued by the organization’s official media, such as al-Manar, al-Nur Radio, its combat information unit or the al-‘Ahed News website.
A picture from the video.
A picture from the video.
  • Hassan Izz al-Din, a member of the Hezbollah faction in the Lebanese Parliament, said the “resistance” would continue “to protect the country and its people,” and do everything in its power for Palestine and the Gaza Strip. He said the “resistance” regarded itself as part of the “struggle” against Israel, would remain present to deal with all threats and attacks, would continue to fulfill its duty to confront Israel along the border and make Israel live in fear. He claimed such actions weakened Israel and supported “our brothers in Palestine” (al-Nashra, October 29, 2023).
Lebanese government
  • According to a “senior Lebanese official,” all the Western countries were talking to the Lebanese leadership through their ambassadors stationed in the country, saying Hezbollah must not enter the war. According to the official, they told Hezbollah that they would not be able to withstand a war, and Hezbollah responded that it understood, but could not allow Hamas to fall (The Washington Post, October 29, 2023).
Syria
  • On the evening of October 29, 2023, several rockets were launched from Syrian territory at Israel. The rockets fell in an open area. IDF forces responded with fire (IDF spokesman, October 29, 2023). A fighter jet attacked the rocket launchers in Syria (IDF spokesman, October 30, 2023). A “Syrian military source” reported an Israeli “aerial aggression” from the Golan Heights targeting two Syrian army outposts in the Daraa area. The source noted that damage had been caused (SANA, October 30, 2023).
The attack on the launchers in Syria (IDF spokesman's website, October 30, 2023)
The attack on the launchers in Syria (IDF spokesman’s website, October 30, 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, 51 wanted Palestinians were detained, including 38 Hamas operatives. Since the beginning of the war in the Gaza Strip, about 1,070 wanted Palestinians have been detained, 700 of them Hamas operatives (IDF spokesman, October 30, 2023). The ministry of health in Ramallah reported 119 fatalities in Judea and Samaria since the beginning of the war in Gaza. During the past day, seven Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli security forces (Wafa, October 30, 2023).
  • The focus of activity during past day was the Jenin refugee camp. Israeli security forces entered the camp and violent clashes ensued, including gunfire by armed Palestinians and IEDs thrown at the forces. UAVs attacked armed Palestinians (IDF Spokesman’s Twitter account, October 30, 2023). The ministry of health in Ramallah reported four dead and five wounded. One of them was Wiam Hanoun, a prominent terrorist operative in the Jenin Battalion. The Palestinians reported intensive IDF activity which included the exposure of roads and infrastructure, causing severe damage (Ma’an, October 30, 2023).
Weapons found in the IDF activity in Jenin (IDF website, October 30, 2023)
Weapons found in the IDF activity in Jenin (IDF website, October 30, 2023)
  • On October 30, 2023, at around 11:00 a.m., an East Jerusalem resident armed with a knife went to a gas station in Jerusalem and stabbed a Border Police fighter. He then grabbed his weapon, tried unsuccessfully to shoot, and fled the scene. The soldier was seriously wounded. Border Policemen shot and killed the terrorist (Israel Police spokesman’s unit, October 30, 2023)
  • Solidarity demonstrations
  • Demonstrations in support of the Gaza Strip continued throughout Judea and Samaria. On October 30, 2023, school children held demonstrations in the morning for the second consecutive day (al-Araby al-Jadeed, October 30, 2023).
A procession of students in Ramallah (QudsN Twitter account, October 30, 2023)     A procession of students in Ni'lin (Shehab Twitter account, October 30, 2023).
Right: A procession of students in Ni’lin (Shehab Twitter account, October 30, 2023). Left: A procession of students in Ramallah (QudsN Twitter account, October 30, 2023)
Palestinian Authority
  • Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the PA, met in Ramallah with Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani, Bahrain’s foreign minister. They discussed ways to deal with the situation and stressed the need to stop the aggression against the Palestinian people and bring humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip. Mahmoud Abbas added that they would no longer accept military or security solutions because they had led to the current situation and could even lead to a regional and global war (Wafa, October 29, 2023).
Mahmoud Abbas meets with Bahrain's foreign minister (Wafa, October 29, 2023)
Mahmoud Abbas meets with Bahrain’s foreign minister (Wafa, October 29, 2023)
  • Hussein al-Sheikh, secretary general of the PLO’s Executive Committee, met in Ramallah with Deike Potzel, Germany’s special envoy for humanitarian issues. They discussed ways to immediately end the war in the Gaza Strip and open humanitarian corridors for the delivery of necessary aid into Gaza. The German envoy presented Germany’s position opposing the killing of civilians on both sides and supporting a political process that would bring security and stability to the region (Hussein al-Sheikh’s Twitter account, October 29, 2023).
  • Riyadh al-Maliki, PA foreign minister, spoke with British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly about the events and ways to prevent escalation. They pledged to continue investing efforts to stop the aggression, protect civilian lives, release prisoners, and bring humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip (Telegram channel of the PA foreign ministry, October 29, 2023).
  • Muhammad Shtayyeh, PA prime minister, claimed that Israel was waging a “war of annihilation” against the Palestinians and that they were investing efforts in halting the Israeli aggression. At the same time, they were working to bring humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip and create a political process that would deal with the root of the problem. Shtayyeh said they would do everything in their power to rebuild what Israel destroyed in the Gaza Strip (Muhammad Shtayyeh’s Facebook page, October 30, 2023).

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Iran
  • Hossein-Amir Abdollahian, Iranian foreign minister, spoke with his Saudi counterpart, Faisal bin Farhan. They discussed the role of the international community in achieving a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip (Fars, October 29, 2023). Abdollahian also spoke with Mohammed bin Abd al-Rahman, Qatari prime minister and foreign minister, discussing the latest developments in the Gaza Strip and the need to achieve a ceasefire (ISNA, October 29, 2023).
  • Nasser Kanani, spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry, said that stopping the Israeli attacks and sending humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip were Iran’s top priorities. He noted Iran was holding talks with Egypt about delivering humanitarian aid through the Rafah Crossing but so far that had not been possible. Kanani added that Israel had crossed all the red lines in its attacks in the Gaza Strip. He demanded that the United States stop blaming Iran for Hamas’ October 7 action, and criticized it for not allowing the UN Security Council to fulfill its responsibility in maintaining peace and security. Kanani further said that a number of countries had asked for Iran’s assistance in releasing their abductees from the Gaza Strip, but Hamas replied to Iran that in light of the attacks in the Gaza Strip, under current conditions, it was impossible to separate Israeli civilians from foreigners and between soldiers and civilians (IRNA, October 30, 2023).
Activity of pro-Iranian militias
Syria, Iraq
  • Pro-Iranian militias continued their attacks against American Army targets and bases in Syria and Iraq. During the past day, the American base in the al-Omar oil field in eastern Deir ez-Zor in Syria and the al-Shadadi base in Iraq were attacked (Al-Mayadeen; Saberin News, October 29, 2023).
  • United States Army aircraft attacked a convoy of trucks near the Syrian-Iraqi border crossing (Saberin News Telegram channel, October 30, 2023). The al-Mayadeen network reported an attack on seven refrigerated trucks in nine airstrikes near the al-Qaim-Albukamal border (al-Mayadeen, October 30, 2023).
  • Iraqi government spokesman Bassem al-Awadi warned that a decision such as closing the American embassy would “lead to the destruction of Iraq,” and that this stemmed from the importance of the American embassy regarding an international presence in Iraq. He noted that every diplomatic decision greatly affected Iraq’s foreign relations (al-Ahed, October 30, 2023). His remarks were made against the backdrop of the activity of pro-Iranian militias against American targets and against the backdrop of Muqtada al-Sadr, chairman of the al-Sadr faction in Iraq, calling on the Iraqi government and parliament to close the American embassy in Iraq due to the United States’ support for Israel.
  • Qais al-Khazali, secretary general of the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq militia, met in Baghdad with a Hamas delegation headed by Osama Hamdan. During the meeting, Al-Khazali stressed Iraq’s firm position in general, and that of the Iraqi militias in particular, vis-à-vis the issues of the Islamic nation, first and foremost the Palestinian issue (al-Khazali’s office Telegram channel, October 29, 2023).
Yemen
  • The Houthi forces in Yemen held a military exercise called the al-Aqsa Storm at the same time as Operation al-Aqsa Storm in the Gaza Strip. Qassem al-Hamran, commander of the Houthi Support Brigades, said the exercise was a message to Israel that they were fully prepared and ready to deal with any confrontation required, anywhere, anytime. The forces reportedly practiced assaulting vehicles and shops and penetrating fences (Saba, October 30, 2023).
Documentation of the exercise (Saba, October 29, 2023)    Documentation of the exercise (Saba, October 29, 2023)
Documentation of the exercise (Saba, October 29, 2023)
The Arab Arena
Jordan
  • Jordanian Army Spokesman Mustafa al-Hayari said that in light of the UAV threats in the region, Jordan had asked the United States to deploy Patriot air defense systems in the country to defend its borders (Jordanian TV, October 30, 2023).
Qatar
  • Meshal bin Hamad, Qatar’s ambassador to the United States, published an op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal in response to what he called “false claims” about the purpose of Hamas’ political office in Doha and allegations that Qatar funded terrorism and sponsored Hamas. He claimed all such statements were untrue. He said Hamas’ political office in Doha was opened in 2012, following a request from the United States to establish indirect lines of communication with Hamas, and the office was used for “mediation efforts” to assist in situations of escalation in Israel and the Palestinian territories. He said the presence of the Hamas office should not be confused with support for it, since Qatari aid to the Gaza Strip was distributed in full coordination with Israel, the United States and the UN. Moreover, the release of abductees showed that Qatar’s policy could yield positive results, and open channels of communication could lead to lasting peace (The Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2023).
The International Arena
United States
  • American President Joe Biden spoke with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and expressed his appreciation for Egypt’s role in efforts to bring about an arrangement for the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians in the Gaza Strip. The two pledged to significantly accelerate and increase aid. They also discussed the importance of protecting civilian lives, respecting international law, and ensuring that Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were not uprooted to Egypt or any other country. Biden updated el-Sisi on the efforts made by the United States to prevent the spread of the conflict in Gaza and on the efforts to secure the release of the abductees (White House website, October 29, 2023).
  • American Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with his Turkish counterpart, Hakan Fidan. They discussed efforts to prevent the spread of the conflict in the Gaza Strip in the region, efforts to secure the release of the abductees and mobilize humanitarian aid (Twitter account of Antony Blinken, October 30, 2023). The Turks reported that Fidan had stressed that collective harm to the residents of the Gaza Strip was unacceptable (al-Anadolu News, October 30, 2023).
Russia
  • On the evening of October 29, 2023, masses of Muslim citizens stormed Dagestan Makhachkala Airport, where a plane arriving from Israel had landed. The invading masses searched for Israelis and Jews and besieged the plane. Russian police forces operated for hours and arrested about 60 rioters. A few hours later, the Dagestan authorities reported that the situation in the airport area was under control and security services were in operation. The Russian aviation authority Rosaviatsia said security forces had removed all “unauthorized civilians” from the area and that the airport would be closed until November 6, 2023 (Agence France-Presse, October 29, 2023).
  • Russia said President Vladimir Putin had received detailed reports on the events and planned to hold a meeting with the defense minister and the head of the intelligence services to discuss “Western attempts to divide Russian society.” Russia claims that the events were the result of outside influence and that people used pictures from Gaza for incitement (Reuters, October 30, 2023).
The attacked airport (Telegram, October 29, 2023)      The attacked airport (Telegram, October 29, 2023)
The attacked airport (Telegram, October 29, 2023)

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[2] At a rally held on October 6, 2023, to mark the 36th anniversary of the PIJ's founding, its military-terrorist wing announced the establishment of the battalion in the Syrian arena and another named for Commander Mahmoud al-Majdoub in the Lebanese arena (alqudsnews website, October 6, 2023).