Spotlight on Terrorism: Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria (May 27 – june 3, 2024)

Burkan rocket launched at Kiryat Shmona.

Burkan rocket launched at Kiryat Shmona.

Extensive damage in an IDF camp (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 2, 2024)

Extensive damage in an IDF camp (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 2, 2024)

Damage caused by a Burkan rocket in a shopping mall in Kiryat Shmona (Kiryat Shmona municipality spokesperson's unit, June 1, 2024)

Damage caused by a Burkan rocket in a shopping mall in Kiryat Shmona (Kiryat Shmona municipality spokesperson's unit, June 1, 2024)

Anti-tank missile launch (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, May 28, 2024)

Anti-tank missile launch (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, May 28, 2024)

Fires in the Golan Heights caused by UAV hits (Northern Israel Fire and Rescue spokesperson's unit, June 2, 2024)

Fires in the Golan Heights caused by UAV hits (Northern Israel Fire and Rescue spokesperson's unit, June 2, 2024)

Fires in the Golan Heights caused by UAV hits (Northern Israel Fire and Rescue spokesperson's unit, June 2, 2024)

Fires in the Golan Heights caused by UAV hits (Northern Israel Fire and Rescue spokesperson's unit, June 2, 2024)

Hezbollah launches Burkan rockets at Israel (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, May 31, 2024)

Hezbollah launches Burkan rockets at Israel (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, May 31, 2024)

Sagger anti-tank missile launched at an IDF post (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, May 29, 2024)

Sagger anti-tank missile launched at an IDF post (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, May 29, 2024)

"2,000 operations, not enough."

Attack on a Hezbollah ATV in south Lebanon.

Attack on a Hezbollah ATV in south Lebanon.

The Israeli defense minister displays the Hezbollah commanders who were killed in IDF strikes in Lebanon (YouTube channel behind closed doors, May 29, 2024).

The Israeli defense minister displays the Hezbollah commanders who were killed in IDF strikes in Lebanon (YouTube channel behind closed doors, May 29, 2024).

Nasrallah gives a speech in memory of Korani (SPOT SHOT, May 31, 2024)

Nasrallah gives a speech in memory of Korani (SPOT SHOT, May 31, 2024)

The Northern Arena - Updated from October 8, 2023
*Updated from October 8, 2023
Overview[1]
  • This past week Hezbollah claimed responsibility for 56 attacks on military and civilian targets in northern Israel, using anti-tank missiles, mortar shells, UAVs and various types of rockets, including heavy rockets, and their firepower increased. An IDF unmanned aircraft was shot down and an IDF post was attacked at close range. There were no casualties but there was significant property damage.
  • In response to Hezbollah’s attacks, the Israeli Air Force attacked its military facilities and operatives in south Lebanon and the Lebanon Valley.
  • Hezbollah began a public campaign for money to finance the cost of missiles and UAVs.
  • Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah secretary general, gave two speeches calling for the continuation of the “resistance” until the destruction of Israel and rejecting claims that there was no public support for Hezbollah’s fighting against Israel.
  • Nabih Berri, the speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, said a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip would immediately apply in south Lebanon and lead to finalizing an agreement settling the Lebanon-Israel border. Amos Hochstein, the American administration mediator, publicly presented the three stages of the plan for the border.
  • According to reports from Syria, operatives from Hezbollah and the pro-Iranian militias were killed in an Israeli attack on a factory in the Aleppo region. Trucks belonging to the pro-Iranian militias in the Homs area were also attacked.
South Lebanon
Hezbollah attacks
  • This past week, May 27 – June 3, 2024, as of 3:30 p.m., Hezbollah claimed responsibility for 56 attacks on military and civilian targets in northern Israel, compared to 75 attacks the previous week. Hezbollah attacked with anti-tank missiles, mortar shells, UAVs and various types of rockets, including heavy rockets. There were no casualties, but extensive property damage was caused and a large number of fires broke out. Despite the decrease in the number of attacks, their intensity increased with the additional use of extensive barrages of Katyushas and heavy Burkan rockets, mainly targeting IDF bases:
    • On June 1, a barrage of Burkan rockets was fired at a camp in Kiryat Shmona, causing heavy damage to the base and a nearby mall. On June 2, dozens of Katyushas were fired at a base in ​​the Golan Heights, causing widespread fires. In addition, UAVs were launched at the Nahariya area and one of them exploded within the city limits; there were no casualties.
 Extensive damage in an IDF camp (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 2, 2024)    Burkan rocket launched at Kiryat Shmona.
Right: Burkan rocket launched at Kiryat Shmona. Left: Extensive damage in an IDF camp (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 2, 2024)
Damage caused by a Burkan rocket in a shopping mall in Kiryat Shmona (Kiryat Shmona municipality spokesperson's unit, June 1, 2024)
Damage caused by a Burkan rocket in a shopping mall in Kiryat Shmona (Kiryat Shmona municipality spokesperson’s unit, June 1, 2024)
    •  IDF UAV intercepted: On June 1, a Hezbollah surface-to-air missile shot down an IDF Hermes 900 UAV, which fell in Lebanese territory.[2] The IDF spokesperson confirmed the event and noted that it was under investigation (IDF spokesperson, June 1, 2024). Hezbollah claimed it was its 2,000th operation against Israel since the beginning of hostilities on October 8, 2023. It was the fourth interception of an Israeli UAV: another Hermes 900 was shot down in April 2024 and two Hermes 450s fell in February 2024 and November 2023.
The Hermes 900 on fire (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 1, 2024)    Hermes 900 UAV.
Right: Hermes 900 UAV. Left: The Hermes 900 on fire (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, June 1, 2024)
    • Combined attack: On May 29, 2024, missiles were launched at a post on a ridge south of Margaliot attacking its defenses and the soldiers stationed there. In the second phase, explosive UAVs carrying bombs were launched at the post’s operations room and the control room.
    • Short-range attack: Before dawn on May 28, 2024, an IDF post near Shtula was attacked with an anti-tank guided missile, mortar shells and RPGs. “Informed sources” said that Hezbollah operatives used the organization’s military facilities in the border area to situate themselves less than 500 meters (less than 1/3 of a mile) from the post after “advanced technological techniques” showed there were no Israeli unmanned aircraft in the sky. The sources added that the operation was one of the Hezbollah “surprises” and showed Israel its operatives could  move freely and attack from nearby (al-Nashra, May 30, 2024).
Anti-tank missile launch (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, May 28, 2024)    A Hezbollah operative conducts surveillance from a site close to the target.
Right: A Hezbollah operative conducts surveillance from a site close to the target. Left: Anti-tank missile launch (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, May 28, 2024)
  • The daily distribution of Hezbollah attacks, according to the Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, May 27 – June 3, 2024:
    • June 3, 2024 (updated to 11 a.m.): One attack.
    • June 2, 2024: 11 attacks. Two volleys of dozens of Katyushas were fired at IDF headquarters in the Golan Heights and dozens were fired at Kiryat Shmona. In addition, a swarm of explosive UAVs was launched at an Iron Dome aerial defense system radar. Missiles were launched twice at Metula in response to Israeli attacks in Houla and al-Khiyam. An explosive UAV crashed in the Nahariya area (IDF spokesperson and Israeli media, June 2, 2024 ).
 Fires in the Golan Heights caused by UAV hits (Northern Israel Fire and Rescue spokesperson's unit, June 2, 2024)     Fires in the Golan Heights caused by UAV hits (Northern Israel Fire and Rescue spokesperson's unit, June 2, 2024)
Fires in the Golan Heights caused by UAV hits (Northern Israel Fire and Rescue spokesperson’s unit, June 2, 2024)
    • June 1, 2024: Ten attacks. Heavy rockets were fired at the IDF base in Kiryat Shmona and a Hermes 900 UAV was shot down by a surface-to-air missile. Missiles were launched at IDF headquarters and buildings were attacked in civilian communities, and explosive UAVs were launched to attack an armored force. A UAV launched at the northern coastal city of Acre was intercepted (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, June 1, 2024).
    • May 31, 2024: Seven attacks. Explosive UAVs were launched to attack Iron Dome aerial defense system launchers and heavy Burkan rockets with warheads of 500 kg (1,100 lb) were launched at IDF headquarters and posts. Dozens of Katyushas and other rockets were fired at civilian communities in response to the IDF attacks in al-Naqoura and villages in south Lebanon. Four people were injured (Magen David Adom spokesperson’s unit, May 31 2024). A UAV which entered Israeli airspace was intercepted and two explosive UAVs fell in Israeli territory (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, May 31, 2024).
 Hezbollah launches Burkan rockets at Israel (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, May 31, 2024)     Hezbollah launches Burkan rockets at Israel (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, May 31, 2024)
Hezbollah launches Burkan rockets at Israel (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, May 31, 2024)
    • May 30, 2024: Seven attacks. Anti-tank missiles were launched at the IDF posts on Mount Dov and artillery was fired at concentrations of soldiers on the northern border. A civilian community was attacked in response to the IDF attack on the town of Houla. A suspicious aerial target that crossed from Lebanon into Israeli airspace was intercepted (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, May 30, 2024).
    • May 29, 2024: Six attacks. A combined attack targeted an IDF post and rockets and artillery were fired at IDF posts and assemblies of soldiers. Two UAVs which entered Israeli airspace from Lebanon were intercepted (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, May 29, 2024).
    • May 28, 2024: Five attacks. One post was attacked at close range, and artillery was fired and anti-tank missiles were launched at IDF posts on the northern border, at Mt. Dov and at an IDF assembly site.
    • May 27, 2024: Nine attacks (after 1:00 p.m.). Explosive UAVs were launched at IDF base, Iron Dome aerial defense system launchers and facilities used for artillery fire east of Nahariya. Rockets and anti-tank missiles were launched at IDF bases and a civilian building in Metula was attacked in response to IDF attacks on villages in south Lebanon. Dozens of Katyushas and heavy rockets were fired at Kiryat Shmona and other civilian communities in response to the attack on a hospital in Bent Jabil. A UAV which crossed the border in the direction of the Western Galilee was intercepted, and a UAV fell in the region (IDF spokesperson’s Telegram channel, May 27, 2024).
  Sagger anti-tank missile launched at an IDF post (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, May 29, 2024)     Sagger anti-tank missile launched at an IDF post (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, May 29, 2024)
Sagger anti-tank missile launched at an IDF post (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, May 29, 2024)
Escalation of Hezbollah attacks
  • The Alma Center reported that May 2024 was the month with the highest rate of Hezbollah attacks on Israel since the start of hostilities on October 8, 2023. According to the data, 325 attacks were carried out, with a daily average of ten, compared to 238 attacks in April 2024. The report also showed the upward trend in the use of unmanned aircraft continued, with 85 incidents of UAVs entering Israeli airspace in May compared with 42 in April. In May, 95 incidents of anti-tank fire were recorded, compared to 50 in April (Alma Center Telegram channel, June 2, 2024).
Hezbollah claims 2,000 attacks since the beginning of the war
  • Hezbollah announced that the interception of the Hermes 900 UAV on June 1, 2024, was its 2,000th “military operation” since the beginning of hostilities on October 8, 2023. The organization used the opportunity for a propaganda campaign called “Not enough.” The Hezbollah video summarized the main attacks carried out so far on military and civilian targets in northern Israel. A notice showed a burning UAV with the caption, “2,000 operations, not enough.” In addition, the video of the short-range attack on an IDF post on May 29, 2024, was shown again, and included an implied threat about Hezbollah’s ability to penetrate IDF border  posts (Hezbollah combat information unit, June 2, 2024).
Video summarizing Hezbollah's attacks (Hezbollah's combat information unit, June 2, 2024)   "2,000 operations, not enough."
Right: “2,000 operations, not enough.” Left: Video summarizing Hezbollah’s attacks (Hezbollah’s combat information unit, June 2, 2024)
IDF response
  • In response Israeli Air Force fighter jets and UAVs attacked Hezbollah targets and terror operatives in south Lebanon and the Lebanon Valley. The targets included terror facilities, military buildings, munitions warehouses, observation posts, launching positions and rocket launchers. More than 40 air and ground attacks were carried out, including attacks on ten armed squads along the northern border during 72 hours, in addition to launching surface-to-air missiles after the interception of the Hermes 900 UAV (May 30 – June 1, 2024) (IDF spokesperson, May 27 – June 3, 2024).
 Locations of IDF strikes in south Lebanon between May 30 and June 1, 2024 (IDF spokesperson, June 1, 2024)    Attack on a Hezbollah ATV in south Lebanon.
Right: Attack on a Hezbollah ATV in south Lebanon. Left: Locations of IDF strikes in south Lebanon between May 30 and June 1, 2024 (IDF spokesperson, June 1, 2024)
Hezbollah casualties
  • Hezbollah reported the deaths of four operatives (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, May 27 – June 2, 2024).
    • Samer Kamal Yassin, aka Fidaa, born in 1982, from Houla.
    • Hussein Muhammad Atwi, aka Alaa, born in 1970, from Houla.
    • Abbas Haidar Bousi, aka Abu al-Fadhel, born in 1990, from Bint Jbeil.
    • Ahmed Muhammad Taboush, aka Bilal Sadek, born in 1991, from Kfar Malki.
Hezbollah casualties (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, May 27 - June 1, 2024)
Hezbollah casualties (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, May 27 – June 1, 2024)
Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) casualty
  • The Jerusalem Brigades, the PIJ’s military wing, reported the death of its operative, Muhammad Mahmoud Suleiman, 30 years old, who belonged to the organization’s branch in Syria, killed in south Lebanon (Jerusalem Brigades combat information Telegram channel, May 27, 2024).
 PIJ operative killed Syria (Jerusalem Brigades combat information Telegram channel, May 27, 2024)
PIJ operative killed Syria (Jerusalem Brigades combat information Telegram channel, May 27, 2024)
Other casualties
  • Hezbollah reported the death of Haidar Mahmoud Juhayr, aka Amir, born in 1979 in al-Naqoura, a paramedic in the Hezbollah’s civil defense unit (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, May 30, 2024).
 Paramedic casualty (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, May 31, 2024)
Paramedic casualty (Hezbollah combat information Telegram channel, May 31, 2024)
Senior Hezbollah operatives killed
  • Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant visited the Northern Command, where he displayed photographs of the nine senior Hezbollah commanders killed in IDF strikes in Lebanon since the beginning of the current campaign. He confirmed that Wissam Hassan al-Tawil (Abu Jawad), who was killed in an airstrike in Lebanon on January 8, 2024, was a commander in Hezbollah’s elite Radwan Force (Behind Closed Doors YouTube channel, May 29, 2024).
The poster of the dead (Roee Kayse's X account, May 29, 2024)     The Israeli defense minister displays the Hezbollah commanders who were killed in IDF strikes in Lebanon (YouTube channel behind closed doors, May 29, 2024).
Right: The Israeli defense minister displays the Hezbollah commanders who were killed in IDF strikes in Lebanon (YouTube channel behind closed doors, May 29, 2024). Left: The poster of the dead (Roee Kayse’s X account, May 29, 2024)
Hezbollah’s race to strength its offensive capabilities
  • Ibrahim al-Amin, the editor-in-chief of the Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese daily al-Akhbar, wrote an analysis of the fighting in the north in which he claimed that Hezbollah was preparing for all possibilities, including an all-out war, while at the same time working ceaselessly to develop its strengths. He said it was a task whose importance would increase when the fighting was over, and whose objective was to strengthen the firepower and technology of the “resistance.” He claimed no one would be able to stop Hezbollah (al-Akhbar, May 29, 2024).
Hezbollah campaign to raise money for UAVs and missiles
  • On May 27, 2024, Hezbollah’s charitable association, the Islamic Resistance Support Association,[3] launched a fundraising drive to finance the organization’s military activities. Its theme was, “Participate in the project [funding] the cost of a missile” (the Telegram channel of Simiya, Hezbollah’s electronic network, May 27, 2024). Reportedly, the cost of a single missile ranges between $1,000 and $150,000, while the price of a single UAV ranges from $3,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars (Spot Shot, May 29, 2024).
  • In the campaign videos, Hezbollah called on its supporters to donate money and gold jewelry to finance the acquisition of missiles and UAVs for the organization. According to one video, “Your aid will arrive at the speed of a missile” while in the background there were Hezbollah attacks on Israeli targets in the north of the country. In another video, a call was made to help finance the purchase of UAVs on background shots of UAVs launched at Israel (Simia Telegram channel, May 27, 2024).
A call to participate in financing a UAV (Simia Telegram channel, May 27, 2024)     Request for a donation in banknotes and gold jewelry.    
Right: Request for a donation in banknotes and gold jewelry. Left: A call to participate in financing a UAV (Simia Telegram channel, May 27, 2024)
Speeches and Statements by Senior Hezbollah Figures
Two speeches by Nasrallah
  • Hassan Nasrallah, secretary general of Hezbollah, gave two speeches last week. The first, given on May 28, 2024, focused on his farewell to his mother, Nahdia Safi al-Din, who died three days earlier, and expressed gratitude to those who offered condolences. The second, given on May 31, 2024 , was in memory of Sheikh Ali Korani, one of the founders of Hezbollah, who died recently.[4] In both speeches Nasrallah related to the current fighting in south Lebanon and the overall struggle of the “resistance” against Israel (al-Manar, May 28 and 312024):
    • Call for the destruction of Israel: Nasrallah called for action day and night to eliminate Israel, which he called a “cancerous lesion.” He expressed his confidence that “Palestine” would eventually be liberated, Israel would be eliminated and the people of the “resistance” would pray in al-Aqsa. He warned that if Israel were to win the war it would have devastating consequences for the entire region, while Israel’s defeat would have magnificently positive consequences for Lebanon and the entire region. He pointed out that the Lebanese front was important and helped “Palestine” as well as helping create “a different strategic, security and economic destiny for Lebanon and the region.”
    • Israel is on the “brink of collapse:” He claimed that when you followed what senior Israeli government and opposition officials and senior IDF commanders said, you understood Israel’s helplessness. He claimed the IDF had been defeated and was exhausted from fighting, and even senior government officials said nothing had been achieved. He referred to what Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant claimed, that the IDF had driven Hezbollah away from the border, while the attack close to the border on May 28 (see above) showed that the decision-makers in Israel were either disconnected from or denied reality.
    • Public support for Hezbollah in Lebanon: He claimed that there was support for the “resistance” and “Palestine” from all sectarian denominations in Lebanon and that the Lebanese people were prepared to make sacrifices. He claimed Hezbollah had the biggest force and support base in Lebanon, which showed that the majority of Lebanese supported the organization.
    • Efforts for a settlement on the Lebanese border: He said there were two proposals, French and American, for a settlement in Lebanon, which involved the withdrawal of Hezbollah and Israel from disputed border points. He claimed the borders were already demarcated and internationally recognized and Israel had to withdraw unconditionally from all the “conquered places.” He called on the heads of the Lebanese government not to surrender to international pressure.
    • The issue of Rafah: Nasrallah alleged Israel had committed a “massacre” in Rafah in violation of international law and the ruling of the International Court of Justice. He said he hoped the “massacre in Rafah” would stop the war, adding that “this blood spilled in Rafah will mark the defeat and death of the cruel Nazi entity.”
    • The student protests around the world: He claimed that American support for Israel swayed public opinion around the world, and one of the good things was the activity of students in the United States and elsewhere on behalf of the Palestinians. He pointed out that the condemnation around the world for Israel’s [alleged] “slaughter and aggression” and their recognition of a “Palestinian state” were welcome and the result of Operation al-Aqsa Flood. He claimed it was the first time that the idea of ​​”resistance” [the destruction of the State of Israel] had spread to such an extent, and that student activity against Israel was an integral part of the “resistance.”
Nasrallah gives a speech in memory of Korani (SPOT SHOT, May 31, 2024)     Nasrallah gives a speech in memory of his mother (al-Manar, May 28, 2024).
Right: Nasrallah gives a speech in memory of his mother (al-Manar, May 28, 2024). Left: Nasrallah gives a speech in memory of Korani (SPOT SHOT, May 31, 2024)
Nasrallah visits his mother before her death
  • After the death of Hassan Nasrallah’s mother on May 25, 2024, a rare picture showed him outside the bunker, visiting his mother on her deathbed in a hospital in Beirut (al-Manar, May 29, 2024).
 Nasrallah visits his mother in the hospital (al-Manar, May 29, 2024)     Nasrallah visits his mother in the hospital (al-Manar, May 29, 2024)
Nasrallah visits his mother in the hospital (al-Manar, May 29, 2024)
Statements from other senior Hezbollah figures
  • Na’im Qassem, Hezbollah deputy secretary general, spoke at the 33rd Arab National Conference in Beirut and claimed that Israel was facing collapse. He said the liberation of “Palestine” would not be achieved through negotiations, politics and world powers, but through “resistance,” jihad and the blood of the Palestinian people. He said Hezbollah would continue to support the Gaza Strip until a ceasefire, after which they would be prepared to provide any assistance necessary until “liberation” (al-‘Ahed, May 31, 2024).
  • Ali Damoush, the deputy chairman of Hezbollah’s Executive Council, spoke at a ceremony in Tibnin in memory of two of the organization’s operatives, and claimed that the “resistance” had made significant achievements in the fighting in south Lebanon and succeeded in displacing approximately 90,000 residents from northern Israel, disrupting life and industry in the area. He added that the [external] pressures exerted on Lebanon to stop the fighting proved how much it affected Israel. He said that despite the “painful” human and material cost that Hezbollah was paying in the current conflict, the operatives and the families of the dead agreed to endure it “due to the awareness of the nature of the battle and its importance” (Lebanese News Agency, May 30, 2024). He also participated in a ceremony at a high school in Beirut, where he claimed that without the “resistance” and “deterrent equations” on the battlefield, Israeli “aggression” against Lebanon would have been more extensive than it currently was. He added that the Israeli attacks on towns and civilians are Israel’s “desperate attempt” to get out of the deadlock and put pressure on the “resistance” (Lebanon 24, May 29, 2024).
  • A senior Hezbollah official stated that the prognosis for the end of the war was unclear, did not seem close, and now it was a “game” of a war of nerves between the “resistance” and Israel, and ruled out the possibility of an all-out war. He added that Israel had escalated and moved to attacking “optional” targets after attacking “sure and certain” targets. He claimed it was a new phase that the “resistance” would deal with in a way that suited it, with the possibility of escalating attacks to wider ranges because of the pressure that the Israeli leadership is under from the displaced residents of the north (al-Liwaa, May 29, 2024).
Criticism of Hezbollah
  • Ghassan Hasbani, a member of Lebanese Parliament and a member of the Strong Republic bloc of the Lebanese forces, stated that the connection between south Lebanon and the Gaza Strip was dangerous and not in the interest of Lebanon (Sawt Beirut International, June 2, 2024).
The Lebanese Government
Contacts for the demarcating the Israel-Lebanon land border
  • Nabih Berri, the speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, stated that when a ceasefire was reached in the Gaza Strip it would automatically apply to south Lebanon as well, and that the next day Amos Hochstein, the mediator on behalf of the American government, would arrive in Lebanon to complete the border negotiations. Berri claimed he had reached an agreement with Hochstein on some of the basic points of the final agreement, especially regarding Israel’s withdrawal from the “occupied” positions on the border. He also said that UN Security Council Resolution 1701 is the only regulator of the “day after” in south Lebanon (al-Joumhouria, June 3, 2024).
  • The Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese daily al-Akhbar reported that Nabih Berri was responsible for Lebanon’s negotiations with Hochstein, and that Hochstein recommended restoring the situation on the Israel-Lebanon border to normal on the evening of October 7, 2023 (al-Akhbar, June 2, 2024 ).
  • According to another report, Amos Hochstein intends to increase the negotiations between Israel and Lebanon, as soon as a ceasefire is reached in the Gaza Strip. In a conversation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, Hochstein stated that his goal was to propose a phased plan based on the return of the situation to what it was before October 7, 2023 (al-Sharq al-Awsat, June 1, 2024). He said, “I’m not expecting peace, everlasting peace, between Hezbollah and Israel…But if we can reach a set of understandings and … take away some of the impetus for conflict and establish for the first time ever, a recognized border between the two, I think that will go a long way.” The first phase, he said, would be to allow for people in northern communities in Israel to return to their homes and those in southern communities in Lebanon to return to their homes. Part of that would require a strengthening of the Lebanese armed forces, including recruiting, training and equipping forces, Hochstein said, without detailing how that would happen. The second phase would involve an economic package for Lebanon, the expansion of the electricity grid, and in the last phase, a land border agreement between Lebanon and Israel. If politics and the economy are stabilized in Lebanon, it could help reduce Iran’s influence there, he said, adding that “The ability of outside forces of any consequence to influence Lebanon will diminish dramatically” (Reuters, May 31, 2024).
  • “Officials” said that Jean-Yves Le Drian, the special envoy of the French president, formulated a proposal together with the Americans for a political settlement that would the fighting in south Lebanon and the violations of Resolution 1701. The officials added that they were waiting for the implementation of the proposal to end the war in the Gaza Strip, as presented by American President Joe Biden, and the way it would affect Lebanon (al-Joumhouria, June 3, 2024).
Lebanese foreign ministry condemns [alleged] Israeli “aggression” in Rafah
  • Lebanon’s foreign ministry condemned the [alleged] Israeli “aggression” against civilians in the Gaza Strip, in particular in Rafah, and called on the international community to act immediately to stop Israel’s activities in the Gaza Strip (al-Jadeed, May 28, 2024).
UNIFIL
  • At the celebrations of the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces International Day, Aroldo Lazzaro, the UNIFIL commander, said that UNIFIL soldiers, who come from 49 different countries, are present in all their areas of activity and concentrate on keeping the conflict from escalating into an all-out war (al-Nashra, 29 May 2024).
Internal Lebanese Affairs
Reparations for the residents of south Lebanon
  • On May 28, 2024, the Lebanese government transferred approximately $1 million in local currency to the Southern Council as aid for the families of those killed and displaced as a result of the fighting in south Lebanon (Lebanese News Agency, May 29, 2024). The director of the Southern Council, Hashem Haidar, said that $20,000 dollars would be transferred as compensation to all the families of the deceased, including the families of Hezbollah operatives (L’Orient Today, May 30, 2024). Ali al-Amin, a political commentator, pointed out that Hezbollah was the dominant force in the security, political and economic systems in Lebanon, and therefore the aid to the families came through Hezbollah. He added that each family of a dead or injured person received financial compensation of $25,000, in addition to a fixed monthly salary, health insurance and additional assistance (al-Sharq al-Awsat, May 26, 2024).
The Battle for Hearts and Minds
X blocks Hezbollah’s account
  • On May 28, 2024, the X network blocked a number of accounts identified with Hezbollah, among them accounts of Ali Shoeib and Hussein Murtada, both correspondents working for Hezbollah. However, within two days new accounts were opened for them under other names and tens of thousands of followers have since joined them. It is another example of the challenges for social networks in the fight against the spread of propaganda and incitement by terrorist organizations on popular websites.
Syria
  • A Syrian “military source” stated that shortly after midnight on June 3, 2024, Israeli airstrikes were carried out against several targets in the Aleppo region. According to the source, several people were killed and material damage was caused (SANA, June 3, 2024). According to reports, the targets of the attack were a copper factory and a warehouse in the town of Hayyan, about ten kilometers northwest of Aleppo. Sixteen pro-Iranian militia operatives, most of them Syrians, were killed and others were wounded. The town of Hayyan is under the control of the militias (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, June 3, 2024). An independent Syrian news site quoted a “military source” who said that the factory was under direct Iranian supervision and was used for the production of missiles. According to the source, among the dead were two Hezbollah operatives, Ibrahim Saeed al-Ali and Mohammed Ihsan Shahada (North Press Agency, June 3, 2024).
  • According to reports, airstrikes targeted trucks belonging to the pro-Iranian militias in Syria while they were in the al-Furqlus region, about 30 km southeast of Homs. It was also reported that three Hezbollah operatives were killed (Television Syria, May 29, 2024). However, Hezbollah sources denied the presence of Hezbollah operatives in the trucks and claimed that the truck driver was not injured (al-Mayadeen, May 30, 2024).
Yemen
  • It was reported that a number of Hezbollah operatives and members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Guards were killed in American-British airstrikes on al-Hudaydah in an area controlled by the Houthi forces in Yemen (al-Arabiya, May 31, 2024).

[1] Click https://www.terrorism-info.org.il/en to subscribe and receive the ITIC's daily updates as well as its other publications.
[2] The Hermes 900, aka Kokhav (Star), is a large multi-mission which can remain aloft for about 30 hours and carry a load of up to 350 kg (770 lb). A similar UAV was shot down in April 2024.
[3] The Islamic Resistance Support Association, established in 1990, collects donations for Hezbollah and is part of the organization's financial structure. The association, which has been sanctioned by the United States since August 2006, works to raise donations within Lebanon and among Shi'ite communities around the world, with the funds mainly intended for the purchase of weapons. For further information, see the ITIC February 11, 2019 report, "Hezbollah Launched a Campaign to Raise Money for Military Purposes Using the Islamic Resistance Support Association;" and the March 5, 2019 report, "Funding Terrorism: The method for transferring donations to Hezbollah through the Islamic Resistance Support Association."
[4] Sheikh Ali Korani, who died at the age of 79 on May 19, 2024 in the city of Qom in Iran, was a Shi'ite scholar born in Lebanon who moved to Iran after the Islamic Revolution. He was one of the founders of Hezbollah and called for an armed struggle against Israel. His son, Yasser Ali Korani, was killed fighting the IDF in Lebanon