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Israel Weekly War Summary #21 February 25-March 2,2024

Account of the main events in the Israel-Hamas war and hostilities by the Iranian Axis


Ballot box for soldiers designated for vote in the Israeli municipal election in the Gaza City southern neighborhood of Zeitoun | Source: Amit Segal on Telegram, t.me/amitsegal


Overview

  • A terrorist attack in Eli left 2 dead including a 16-year-old teen. The attacker was killed by an IDF officer who had just returned from Gaza, who was on scene. The terrorist’s house was mapped before demolition and security forces found stacks of weapons and ammunition there. The same gas station near Eli saw another shooting attack just last year, killing 4 Israelis.

  • In the Democratic Presidential primary in Michigan, American voters expressed their opposition to the Biden Administration’s handling of the war in Gaza. 101,436 Democrats or 13.2% of the Democratic electorate in Michigan voted ‘uncommitted’ at the behest of Michigan’s Palestinian-American Democratic Congresswoman, Rashida Tlaib who encouraged voters to protest the Biden Administration’s support for Israel. Michigan is a key swing state, with a significant Arab-American population that has 15 electoral votes and is considered a vital state for Biden in the November general election.

  • IDF spokesperson, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, announced that Israel will provide humanitarian assistance and food in advance of an Israeli operation to evacuate civilians from the Rafah area to a safe zone.

  • For the first time during this war, the US has announced that it will airdrop supplies to Gaza.

  • Hamas is softening its negotiation positions on a hostage/temporary cease-fire deal and is setting expectations to justify this move to its supporters by claiming that their flexibility is designed to save Palestinian lives.


Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu visiting the bereaved family of Staff Sergeant Neria Belete who was killed in Gaza | Credit: GPO


  • IDF Chief of Staff, Herzi Halevi, and Shin Bet Director, Ronen Bar, conducted a visit in Egypt to assuage Egypt’s concerns of an alleged intent to direct Gaza civilians into the Sinai.

  • On Thursday, an aid truck was looted by a mob in an incident in which according to the Hamas-run Health ministry, over 100 people were killed, although this number remains extremely unreliable. According to the IDF statement, most of the Palestinians died as a result of the trucks inadvertently running over them during a chaotic stampede that resulted in the crushing of multiple Gazans. Meanwhile, IDF soldiers were at the near proximity of the aid trucks shot some of the people in self-defense after following the rules of engagement and shooting in the air, then to lower body mass as they were feeling clear and present danger. The IDF reported that it will conduct an investigation of the incident.


Sergeant Oz Daniel (announced dead this week after being killed on October 7, his body is still held in Gaza),


  • The incident highlights the unchanged reflex among some international media outlets and forums to instantly make accusations of Israel rather than commit to prudent factfinding during war, much like the “Al Ahli al Arab” hospital incident.

  • IDF Spokesperson, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, said that over the past 10 days more than 450 terrorists were eliminated and since the start of the war, 13,000 terrorists have been killed. More than 1000 rocket launchers and launching pits have been discovered and destroyed.

  • According to the Institute for the Study of War, between February 19-28, there were 92 attacks by terrorists in northern Gaza. This indicates that despite IDF claims that it has demolished the northern battalions, there are battalions such as Zaitun and Sabra that are still functional.


sraeli soldiers who were killed this week in Gaza – Major Iftah Shahar


  • EU’s Head of Foreign Action Service Josep Borrell echoed a biased HRW report against Israel by falsely claiming it is using starvation methods against Gazans, thereby committing war crimes.

  • The IDF targeted Baalbeck, a Hezbollah stronghold and other targets more than 100 km from the Israeli border. These were the furthest strikes into Lebanese territory.

  • PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called on the world to recognize a Palestinian state. After coordinating with the US, he submitted his resignation letter to PA President Abbas as part of the PA government’s reshuffling and its attempt to demonstrate its willingness to reform.

  • The Houthis have reportedly damaged the underwater fiber optic cables responsible for internet traffic between Asia and Europe. This is the first time that the Houthis actually attacked this kind of critical infrastructure. These cables are believed to belong to the AAE-1, Seacom, EIG, and TGN systems.


A stampede of Gazan mob storming an aid truck in Gaza, resulting in the crushing and runover of possibly dozens of Palestinians. IDF soldiers also fired toward Gazans who came dangerously close to them | Credit: IDF Spokesperson




International

World politics and the war in Gaza

  • American voters the Democratic Presidential primary in Michigan expressed their opposition to the Biden Administration’s handling of the war in Gaza. 101,436 Democrats or 13.2% of the Democratic electorate in Michigan voted ‘uncommitted’ at the behest of Michigan’s Palestinian-American Democratic Congresswoman, Rashida Tlaib who encouraged voters to protest the Biden Administration’s support for Israel. Michigan is a key swing state, with a significant Arab-American population that has 15 electoral votes and is considered a vital state for Biden in the November general election.

  • US President Joe Biden appeared on the popular Seth Meyers late night talk show and said that Israel risks losing support from the world if it does not do enough to protect civilians. He mentioned radical elements in the Israeli government including Minister Ben Gvir, by name, and said that Israel’s government does act in Israel’s own interests.

  • In the UK, Far Left anti-Israel politician and broadcaster George Galloway won the by-election in Rochdale a town with a significant Muslim constituency. He is a committed anti-Zionist who has expressed sympathy for Hezbollah and Hamas in their resistance against “occupying Israel.” He has said that Israel has no right to exist and refers to Israel as the “Zionist Apartheid State.” While he only captured 12,335 votes in the low turnout (under 40%) election, his elevation to Parliament will provide one of the most polarizing pro-Hezbollah/Hamas elected officials with a valuable platform. In his victory speech, he criticized the UK political establishment and attacked Labor Party Chairman, Keir Starmer and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for “not supporting Palestine”. He proclaimed, “this is for Gaza”. Galloway is expected be an irritant for the Labor Party.  There are at least 30 constituencies in which support for Hamas will likely pose a significant election issue which could affect the overall approach of Labor and other Left-wing parties, as they attempt to gain support from British- Muslims that reportedly represents 7% of the UK population. Responding to Galloway’s victory, and other threats targeting elected officials, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak held a press conference in front of 10 Downing Street in which he said that radicals are trying to sow seeds of divisions and their violence is a threat to democracy.

  • Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy has said that the situation in Gaza is a disaster, and that Israel is in violation of international law by using starvation as a weapon of war and collective punishment. He said that Israel’s use of force is disproportionate. It is noteworthy that Borrell echoes here claims made by Human Rights Watch and B’tselem, which shows the inextricable bond between the EU and reports issued by its funded partial NGOs. These reports are extremely biased against Israel and use bogus buzzwords in order to shape public opinion without significant evidence, yet they are echoed by the senior leadership of the EU.

  • New Zealand classified Hamas as a terrorist organization and imposed sanctions on “radical settlers.”


A Yahya Sinwar caricature posted in a Gaza-based Telegram channel, that reads: Allah will take you, you destroyed the people | Source: Jihad Land on Telegram, t.me/eretzh


United Nations

  • The United States prevented a joint statement against Israel in the UN Security Council, following the severe incident in which dozens of Palestinians were killed during chaos that erupted while distributing humanitarian aid. The closed-door discussion in the Council was held at the request of Algeria, which proposed to issue a statement expressing not only “deep concern” following the incident but also the assignment of responsibility on Israel and the determination that the tragedy was caused “by Israeli forces opening fire.”

  • At the insistence of Britain and the United States, the text was softened, and referred to the casualties as “in the incident involving Israeli forces.” The United States opposed mentioning Israel by name but added that discussions on the wording of the joint statement are ongoing. Robert Wood, the Deputy US Ambassador to the UN, said that the parties are currently discussing the wording and trying to reach an agreed-upon solution. “The problem is that we don’t know all the facts,” Wood said, emphasizing that the wording needs to be especially careful regarding assigning blame.



Israeli soldier who were killed this week in Gaza – Sergeant Dolev Malca Of Blessed Memory
  • The PA representative in the UN (Permanent Observer) Riyad Mansour, said that the UN Security Council must fulfill its duty and demand the end of the war, the passage of humanitarian aid and the prosecution of Israel for war crimes. Barbara Woodward, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations, called on the Security Council to pressure Israel to allow more aid to be distributed across Gaza. She said that the fighting must stop in order to reach a long-term ceasefire. Robert A. Wood, Alternate Representative of the United States for Special Political Affairs in the United Nations, emphasized that Israel needs to invest more efforts into protection of Gaza civilians and open border crossings to allow more aid to pass.

  • The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, stated in his speech to the Human Rights Council in Geneva that war crimes have been committed by all sides in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, calling for their investigation and holding those responsible accountable.

  • Türk, who presented a report on the human rights situation in Gaza and the West Bank, said that his office documented ‘clear violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, including war crimes and possibly other crimes under international law, committed by all sides.’

  • He added that his office documented “many incidents that could amount to war crimes by Israeli forces” and that there are indications that Israeli forces engaged in “indiscriminate or disproportionate targeting” while violating international law.



Gaza Strip

Diplomatic – hostages deal and possible cease-fire

The US announced that Israel agreed to the draft of the agreement and is waiting for Hamas to review it. The sources noted in this context, Hamas believes Israel is trying to buy time to avoid reaching a final agreement, as it would cause an internal crisis in Israel. The sources revealed that the exchange ratio of prisoners between Hamas and Israel went from 1:30Israeli hostages for three Palestinian jailed terrorists to a ratio ranging from 3 to 13 Palestinian terrorists for each Israeli hostage. So far Hamas and PIJ officials have rejected any agreement that does not include and an end to the war, confirmed by the US and the international community. They said that any agreement that allows Israel to continue the war at a later date would not be accepted.

“Exclusive Palestinian sources” describing the meeting in Paris on hostage negotiations, blamed Israel for preventing a final agreement, and that the gap between the two sides is still wide due to Israel’s opposition to a permanent ceasefire and a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.



Abdullah King of Jordan participating in the airborne distribution of humanitarian aid to Gaza | Source: Abu Ali Express on Telegram, t.me/abualiexpress

  • Hamas sent a delegation to Moscow to meet with top Russian officials along with other PLO officials for the third time since the beginning of the war. They discussed the recognition of a Palestinian State, and Russia as a possible mediator in the conflict. The Palestinian factions held a summit in Moscow and called for national unity and listed the urgent tasks on the agenda: Dealing with the war in the Gaza Strip, opposing attempts to “uproot our people from its homeland Palestine,” forcing the IDF to withdraw from Gaza, addressing “occupation violations” at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and “full support for prisoners in Israeli prisons.”Israel said that it will not continue negotiations with Hamas before it released an updated list of all hostages who are alive.

  • French President, Emmanuel Macron, met with the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamed in order to reach a deal with Hamas and reach a ceasefire. The Emir said in a speech afterwards that the “genocide of the Palestinian People” must end.

  • Macron told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, that France is willing to work with Saudi Arabia to stop the conflict from spreading and called for the need for a ceasefire. Macron agreed with MBS to pledge $200 million to support the Palestinian people. The pair called to open all border crossings with Gaza.

  • Biden pressures Israel to accept a ceasefire and said that it could happen in the coming days. He said that his goal is to prevent a humanitarian disaster that would likely occur if Israel initiates its operations during Ramadan.



Israeli soldier who were killed this week in Gaza – Captain Itai Seif Of Blessed Memory
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went on a foreign media blitz, giving a series of interviews to English-speaking networks, explaining Israel’s war aims and the casualty ratios between civilians and terrorists. This was communicated by Hamas Senior Leader Ismail Haniyyeh in a televised address, who also accused Israel of starving Gazans to secure a better settlement for itself. Haniyyeh called on Palestinians from Israel, Judea, and Samaria to go to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the first day of Ramadan and to resist what he falsely described as “Israeli infringement of religious freedoms”.

  • Palestinian Authority President Abbas met with King Abdullah II of Jordan in Amman to discuss recent developments in the Palestinian arena and efforts to achieve a cessation of “Israeli aggression.” Abbas warned against Israel’s intention to impose restrictions on worshippers’ entry to the Al-Aqsa Mosque during the month of Ramadan. King Abdullah II emphasized the need for an immediate ceasefire and stated that Jordan will continue to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza residents. He also cautioned against continuing the conflict during Ramadan, which, in his view, would deepen the likelihood of the conflict spreading.



Resigning Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh | Source: “Ministry of Health employees – Palestine” Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/employees.MoH.Palestine and Abu Ali Express on Telegram, t.me/abualiexpress

Upcoming operation in Rafah

IDF spokesperson, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, has said that Israel will provide humanitarian assistance and food in advance of an Israeli operation to evacuate civilians from the Rafah area to a safe zone. Hamas is urging countries around the world to pressure Israel not to proceed with the plans to seize Rafah and even stated its willingness to be more flexible in its positions. Hamas is softening its negotiation positions on a hostage/temporary cease-fire deal and is setting expectations to justify this move to its supporters by claiming that their flexibility is designed to save Palestinian lives.

  • The WSJ is reporting on a meeting in Doha at the beginning of February of Hamas leaders who received a message from Yahya Sinwar, leader of Hamas in Gaza that he is pleased with the war, believes he would win and the ‘he has the Israelis right where we want them’. According to the report, Sinwar also told the Hamas officials that the terror group is prepared for Israel’s expected operation in Rafah, the Gaza Strip’s southernmost city, and is relying on the high civilian death toll reported by the Hamas-run health ministry to cause enough global outcry that Israel is forced to withdraw.

  • IDF Chief of Staff, Herzi Halevi, and Shin Bet Director, Ronen Bar, conducted a visit in Egypt to assuage Egypt’s concerns of an alleged intent to direct Gaza civilians into Sinai. They said that an operation to clear the underground tunnels under Rafah would be coordinated with Egyptian security forces and there would be no breach of Egyptian sovereignty.

  • The Biden Administration asked Israel to stop killing Hamas policemen as they maintain civil order and without it there will be no orderly delivery of food which would exacerbate the hunger and the humanitarian crisis. So far, Hamas and other gangs have stolen food and aid, hoarded much of it in secret locations and used it as a leverage against the civilian population and re-sell the items on the black market at a very high price.



According to this poster, Hamas could be plotting another October 7-like attacks on other fronts if the result of the war in Gaza be interpreted as victory for Hamas | Source: t.me/mutared4

AI graphics shows a young Palestinian terrorist observing IDF soldiers in an urban setting | Source: t.me/mutared4

Humanitarian aid and the future of UNRWA

  • For the first time during this war, the US has announced that it will airdrop supplies to Gaza. Samantha Power, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development and former US ambassador to the UN, landed in Jordan to discuss collaboration in delivering aid. Egypt has also announced that it will airdrop aid after Jordan conducted an aerial drop campaign with the participation of King Abdullah II. Many aid organizations and other “humanitarian” organizations known for their hostility towards Israel rejected Biden’s plan to airdrop food claiming that the move would distract from meaningful measures of lifting the siege on Gaza. This comes as a reminder that many aid groups prefer to exacerbate the suffering of the civilian population if they estimate that it will increase the pressure on Israel.

  • UN General Assembly President Dennis Francis gave an interview in which he insisted that investigations into allegations of collusion between UNRWA and Hamas militants were ongoing; and that until these findings are made public, the UN must not be seen to be “walking away” from Gazans. Until then, UNRWA should be supported. He condemned “the indiscriminate targeting of innocent civilians in the Gaza Strip, and the scale of destruction of critical infrastructure by Israel” after receiving a request to deal with the UNRWA situation, initiated by a letter sent by Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA Commissioner General.

  • UN warns that more than 570,000 Gazans are facing “catastrophic levels of deprivation and starvation”. The source for this claim remains unclear as Gazans receive regular humanitarian aid deliveries including hundreds of trucks per day and airborne packages.

  • The EU announced it would increase its funding to UNRWA this year from an initial 82 million and add 68 million euros. It would disburse 50 million euros next week. This comes after multiple countries froze aid to UNRWA amid evidence of its employees collaborating with Hamas and participating in the October 7th massacre. In total over $450 million have been withheld from the agency.

  • The US is bypassing UNRWA and announced that it would deliver $53 million worth of aid through the UN World Food Program (WFP) and other non-governmental bodies.


The terrorist from Eli, Mohammed Manasra from the Palestinian Authority’s security apparatus | Source: t.me/mutared4

Operational

On Thursday an aid truck was looted by a mob in an incident in which according to the Hamas-run Health ministry, over 100 people were killed. IDF soldiers were near the aid trucks and shot in self-defense some people who were threatening to stampede them. According to the IDF 10 people were shot by the IDF. The IDF reported that it will conduct an investigation of the incident. Palestinian propaganda presented the incident as an instance in which Israel intentionally killed refugees seeking food from aid trucks. The IDF said the large number of casualties was a result of a stampede by the mob of looters that jumped on the trucks with truck drivers inadvertently running over civilians. In addition, the IDF released drone footage to substantiate its claims.

 

The incident highlights the unchanged reflex among some international media outlets and forums to instantly make accusations of Israel rather than commit to prudent factfinding during war. Much like the “Al Ahli al Arab” hospital incident, in which a PIJ rocket landed in the parking lot, an international outcry followed while directly quoting Hamas numbers, rather than wait for a thorough investigation to be conducted. Hamas and its supporters are well aware of this propaganda tool, and attempt to pressure Israel by tarnishing its global image and branding the death of the Palestinians around the aid trucks as an Israeli massacre.

  • The Paratroopers Brigade pulled out of Khan Younis after more than 3 months of fighting for a ‘refreshment period.’ Replacing the paratroopers is the Bislamach Brigade who have had time to re-energize since leaving Gaza in December. 5 brigades, including from Division 98, remain in southern Gaza to continue fighting, including Khan Younis.

  • IDF Spokesperson, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, said that over the past 10 days more than 450 terrorists were eliminated and since the start of the war, 13,000 terrorists have been killed. More than 1000 rocket launchers and launching pits have been discovered and destroyed.

  • The Givati Brigade is advancing on Abasan el Kabir, the largest Hamas center in the outskirts of Khan Younis.

  • There has been an increase in frequency of attacks by Hamas and other terrorist factions like PIJ, and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in northern Gaza. According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), between February 19-28, there were 92 attacks by terrorists in northern Gaza. This indicates that despite IDF claims that it demolished the northern battalions, battalions such as Zaitun and Sabra and other northern battalions remain functional. The terrorists have managed to smuggle weapons and fighters through the tunnels to continue their confrontation with the IDF which includes sniper fire, IEDs, mortars and anti-tank missiles.

  • Troops from the Commando Brigade continue their operations in western Khan Younis- locating weapons, killing and arresting dozens of terrorists on a daily basis. The Paratroopers brigade have received an injection of new troops from the August 2023 recruitment to the IDF who joined the fight in Gaza.

  • The map of Khan Younis has barely changed in the past 2 weeks and could potentially change after the likely imminent fall of Abasan el Kabir.

  • Troops from the Shayetet 13 Unit finished their operation at the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis and apprehended over 200 terrorists. They supplied the hospital staff with food, aid, medical supplies, and fuel for the generators.



Lebanon

Operational

Hezbollah and Israel expanded the range of attacks along with escalations from both sides and maintaining “the equations,” yet without a complete breakdown of them.

  • The IDF targeted Baalbeck, a Hezbollah stronghold and other targets more than 100 km from the Israeli border. This is the IDF’s deepest strike into Lebanese territory. Hezbollah retaliated with one of the largest barrages of rockets since the start of the war, that included 30 rockets in the morning and a total of 10 attacks in one day. Hezbollah managed to hit an IDF base and shot four missiles toward Haifa for the second time since the start of the war.

  • The IDF conducted an aerial strike on a Radwan commando forces warehouse and a band of terrorists in Southern Lebanon. It also conducted a series of artillery attacks.

  • Hezbollah shot down an Israeli drone, the Hermes 450 by Elbit. Hezbollah already uses weapons that were sent from Iran after they were reverse engineered from captured weaponry used by Israel.

  • Lebanese media reported another attack in the area of ​​Al-Nakoura (southwest Lebanon), in which a vehicle was successfully targeted from the air. According to reports from Lebanon, the three occupants of the vehicle were killed. Remarkably, the IDF took responsibility for targeting the vehicle in Al-Nakoura.

  • The IDF eliminated a vehicle in southern Lebanon belonging to militants affiliated with the Amama Division of Hezbollah, who have previously launched rocket fire into Israeli territory. Military structures and infrastructure of the Hezbollah terrorist organization were targeted overnight and this morning.ֿ


idsf website

The Amama Division is a combat militia directly trained by Iranians and originates from Syria. It is an elite fighting force with strong operational capabilities and advanced weaponry provided directly by Iranians. The militia assists Hezbollah in Lebanon in the conflict against Israel and is responsible, among other things, for launching rockets and precision missiles.




The IDF irregularly took responsibility for a targeted killing that eliminated three terrorists in the area of Al-Nakoura (southwest Lebanon) inside their vehicle | Source: Jihad Land on Telegram, t.me/eretzh

Diplomatic

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that Israel is planning to increase the intensity of fire against Hezbollah, which has so far, failed to find replacements for the commanders that Israel has eliminated. In the event of a temporary ceasefire in Gaza – Israel would intensify the fire on Hezbollah. “The goal is simple – to push Hezbollah to where it needs to be. Either in an agreement – or we’ll do it by force.”

Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri informed the American representative, Amos Hochstein, “Targeting Beirut will result in an attack on Tel Aviv.




Judea and Samaria

  • A terrorist attack in Eli left 2 dead including a 16-year-old teen. The attacker was killed by an IDF officer who had just returned from Gaza, who was on scene. The terrorist’s house was mapped before demolition and security forces found stacks of weapons and ammunition there. The same gas station near Eli saw another shooting attack just last year, that left 4 Israelis dead.

  • PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called on the world to recognize a Palestinian state. After coordinating with the US, he submitted his resignation letter to PA President Abbas as part of the PA government’s reshuffling and its attempts to demonstrate its willingness to reform itself ahead of a possible American recognition of a Palestinian State in ‘the day after the war.’



Toward Ramadan, Pro-Hamas Telegram channels call for an uprising (“Intifada”) in Judea and Samaria and a general strike while using hashtags such as #TotalStrike and #StrikeForGaza. They call for “going out to friction points to confront the occupier” and “getting used (to occupation) is treachery… rise up and oppose” | Source: Daffa Media on Telegram, t.me/daffamedia

According to the Lebanese network “Al-Mayadeen,” the resigning government will continue to serve as a transitional government. The resignation is seen as a move to address the pressures exerted by regional and international powers, especially the United States, on the Palestinian Authority. This direction is intended to bring about an end to the conflict and to provide international guarantees for the withdrawal of IDF forces and the lifting of the economic siege on the PA. The source added that once these goals are achieved, a national unity government will be formed, comprising of representatives of all Palestinian factions, including Hamas. Matthew Miller, spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, praised the reforms undertaken by the Palestinian Authority and the steps it has taken “to revive itself.” He noted that these are positive and important steps towards achieving the unity of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority.



sraeli murdered in the February 29 shooting attack in the gas station near Eli, Rabbi Yitzhak Zeiger | Source: Hatzalah in Judea and Samaria on Telegram, t.me/hatzhalhyosh


The two Israelis murdered in the February 29 shooting attack in the gas station near Eli, Rabbi Yitzhak Zeiger and Oriyah Hartom | Source: Hatzalah in Judea and Samaria on Telegram, t.me/hatzhalhyosh

  • Hamas and its supporters emphasize that the Judea and Samaria front is a weak point for Israel, and that Israel fears escalated tensions and is trying to avoid simultaneous warfare on multiple fronts. Inciting Israeli Arabs to help instigate the Judea and Samaria front, is part of the multi-stage plan proposed by the Iranians, which Hamas and later Hezbollah could implement.

  • Riyad al-Maliki, Foreign Minister of the Palestinian Authority, stated that it is not the right time for a government including Hamas to be formed, as it would be sanctioned by several countries, as has happened in the past. Later, when the situation is appropriate, they may consider this option. He noted that they believe that Hamas supports the idea of establishing a technocratic government, and once the situation stabilizes, they may consider elections to determine the form of government that will then rule the State of Palestine. Hamas rejects a technocratic government as its leaders’ state that it is a scheme to impose upon them something that is contrary to the Palestinian people’s interests.



Iraq and Syria

A number of leaders from Shia militias in Iraq expressed their willingness to increase the pressure on the US and claimed that America only understands the language of power. On the other hand, a Shia cleric met with the American ambassador to discuss security cooperation and to condemn American attacks against militias in the country. This was not the first time that the Iraqi government balanced on a thin line of appeasement between Washington and Tehran. The Prime Minister, Al Sudani met with the Iranian Ambassador, who is also a top IRGC official, to discuss the relationship between the countries.

  • Russian gas giant Gazprom received a license to search for oil in Iraq, demonstrating the close relations that Baghdad wants to maintain with Moscow as part of its web of alliances. The government in not self-sufficient and has to maintain a decent relationship with the West as well as the Iranian-Russian axis. Sources from Syria report an Israeli airstrike on three targets in the Hajira – Saida Zeinab area in Damascus. According to reports from sources associated with the Syrian opposition, there were casualties in the airstrikes, and ambulances made their way to the scene. In addition to the airstrike in Damascus, sources in Syria report that the IDF has targeted with artillery fire the 4th Division of Assad’s army in the Beit Jinn area.

  • Reports from Syria: The Israeli Air Force destroyed a battery of surface-to-air missiles that had targeted the aircraft involved in the bombing of the Saida Zeinab area in the capital Damascus.




Sergeant Inon Itzhak – Israeli soldier who were killed this week in Gaza Of Blessed Memory

Yemen

  • The Houthis have reportedly damaged the underwater fiber optic cables responsible for internet traffic between Asia and Europe. This is the first time that the Houthis managed to compromise this type of critical infrastructure. These cables are believed to belong to the AAE-1, Seacom, EIG, and TGN systems

  • The Houthis claim that the UK and the US attacked 4 different areas near the Al Houdaida port, in response to the 54 attacks on ships by the Houthis since the start of the war according to their spokesperson. ISW counted 97 attack attempts with 36 ships that were hit. The rest of the attacks were intercepted thanks to the UK, US, Germany, and France Navies.

  • CENTCOM reported intercepting 3 UAVs launched towards and oil tanker.



Sergeant Afik Tery – Israeli soldier who were killed this week in Gaza Of Blessed Memory

Iran

Hossein Amir Abdollahian, the Iranian Foreign Minister, stated in an interview that despite the military support from the United States, Israel has not been able to achieve any of its objectives in the war. He noted that Israel seeks to expand the conflict and involve the United States in it, yet there is still no apparent willingness from the U.S. to bring an end to the war. Abdollahian added that his discussions with leaders of the “resistance” and Palestinian leaders indicate that both Lebanese and Palestinian resistance are in the best possible condition and have the ability and means to continue the fight for an extended period. Regarding developments in the Red Sea, the Foreign Minister said that once the “massacre” in the Gaza Strip stops, the situation in the Red Sea will return to normal. He reiterated that Iran has no “agents” in the region and that “resistance” groups operate according to their own interests and make their own decisions.



Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian meeting Mirjana Spoljaric, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva | Source: www.tasnimnews.com/

Meanwhile, Revolutionary Guards began producing unmanned suicide drones in the city of Albukamal, in eastern Syria, in the Deir ez-Zor region, under the supervision of Haji Esgher, the commander of pro-Iranian militias in the city. According to reports, the militias brought in Iranian electronic engineering experts to manufacture the special engines for the drones. It was also noted that experimental flights are expected to take place soon in the desert reef area in southern Albukamal.




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