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Israel Weekly War Summary Week 9 | December 3-9, 2023

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

Low-rank Hamas terrorists surrender to IDF soldiers in the Gaza Stri

Overview

  • During the 9th week of the war in Israel, there are signs of anarchy and civil disobedience developing among Gazans. Several videos were published in which Gazans with their faces and identities revealed are slandering Hamas publicly. The order is breaking down as civilians are pillaging aid trucks and are willing to steal from Hamas. Hamas in turn has cracked down on Gazans who are taking aid.

  • Israel’s Air Force (IAF) has attacked hundreds of different targets, including terrorist infrastructure in mosques and schools, weapons storage facilities and weapon factories. In a single day, the IDF attacked more than 450 military targets.

  • From the start of the war the IDF has located 800 terrorist tunnel openings and has destroyed 500 of them.

  • Palestinians are reporting that the IDF has secured Gaza’s main road, Saleh Al Din that bisects the Gaza Strip, from north to south.

  • Hezbollah has increased its attacks on Israel. Israel has attacked in Lebanon using the IAF and artillery to destroy many command posts.

  • Increasing clashes in Judea and Samaria and more arrests of terrorists. There is a campaign by Hamas and PIJ to attack Jews during Hannukah as a deterrent to prevent them from going to the Temple Mount (Al Aqsa). Hamas has ramped up its incitement campaign using computer graphic such as posters to liken shooting attacks against Jews to a video game.

  • From the beginning of the war over 2200 arrested in Judea and Samaria, 1175 of them are Hamas affiliated. Over 1600 administratively detained.

  • The Houthis are increasing their attacks against Israeli-affiliated ships in the Red Sea and are threatening to attack any ship traveling to or from Israel.

  • US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken suggests that Israel has only a few weeks left to complete the war. The UN Secretary General triggered article 99, for the 4th time in the UN’s history in order to convene the Security Council to call for a ceasefire. The US vetoed the decision with France supporting it and the UK abstaining in their vote.

  • US Congressional hearing regarding rising antisemitism on US college campuses: The Presidents of MIT, Penn and Harvard were exposed in a Congressional hearing for refusing to consider calls for the genocide of Jews as violating their school’s code of conduct. The outrage among the general public as well as many high-profile Jewish donors led to the resignation of the President of the University of Pennsylvania, with many calling for the resignation of the two others.

  • US Senate fails to advance a stand-alone aid package to Israel, as the Biden Administration and Democrats want to tie funding to Israel to funding for Ukraine which has stiff opposition among Republicans.

  • State Department bypasses Congress and supplies Israel with tanks and munitions in order to expedite the process of transferring aid to Israel.

  • Arab media is reporting that under certain conditions, Egypt is willing to temporarily accept hundreds of thousands of Gaza civilians in Sinai.

  • US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken hosted a summit in Washington DC which included the foreign ministers of Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey in order to push for a ceasefire and increasing humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Hamas terrorists surrender to IDF soldiers in Gaza

Gaza Strip

The fighting in southern Gaza has increased and gained momentum. The IDF has instructed Gazans in the South to head towards Rafah from Khan Younis as it expands its offensive. The IDF’s offensive in the Northen Gaza has slowed down in comparison to previous weeks.

Hamas has improved its fighting technique and has placed IEDs near tunnel openings, which resulted in several Israeli casualties including former IDF Chief of Staff and current War Cabinet Member Gadi Eizenkot’s son, Gal as well as his nephew Maor.

In what is seen in Israel as symbolic victorious images, the IDF destroyed Hamas’ own Supreme Court building, as well as Palestine Square in Gaza City from which the last batch of hostages were paraded before mobs of Palestinians who jeered them, important symbols in Palestinian society. Palestine Square became a symbol for resistance during the first Intifada. It has been used as a place of preaching to destroy Israel. Hamas leader and director of the October 7 Massacre, Yahya Sinwar’s own house was also conquered by the IDF which discovered the largest weapons cache it found to date, l which included long range missiles, hundreds of other missiles, RPGs, IEDs, mortars and more adjacent to a nursery and school.

12 rockets launched to Beer Sheba on December 6th from a crowded area where civilians are gathered in a tent city

  • Israel seemingly succumbed to American pressure and agreed to triple the supply of fuel to Gaza at 180,000 liters per day, effectively terminating the fuel blockade. Israel claimed this minimal fuel was required for water pumps, disease prevention and other humanitarian purposes.

  • Several Hamas battalion commanders were killed including- Shati and Shajaeya. Out of the five Hamas divisions in Gaza, two are almost completely eliminated, according to IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi.

  • There were several days that Gaza did not have Internet service.

  • Hamas still operates underground in areas that were conquered by the IDF and emerges from terror tunnel openings and conduct hit and run attacks.

  • Dozens of Hamas terrorists surrendered and detained by the IDF.

  • According to a WSJ article, Israel has built a series of pumps near Al Shati that it will use to flood the Hamas tunnels.

  • Hamas fired rockets from El Mawasi area which is a place where Gaza civilians had sought refuge from the fighting.

  • According to the Wahington Post, over 5,000 Hamas terrorist have been killed, 17% of its fighters. Over 60% of the buildings in Gaza have been damaged.

  • 97 IDF soldiers have been killed in Gaza since the onset of the ground incursion. With the fighting becoming more intense in the heart of terror cities, the number of IDF casualties increased to 27 this week.

  • 12 rockets were shot at Beer Sheva on Wednesday December 6th.

  • Over 22,000 targets have been hit since the beginning of the war.

Judea and Samaria

  • The IDF continued to carry out raids targeting terrorists and terror infrastructure and has located terror tunnel openings, weapons labs, and many improvised weapons.

  • Over 1500 terrorist attacks have been launched at Israelis since the beginning of the war.

  • The IDF Operated in the Nur al-Shams refugee camp in Tulkarm, detaining many operatives. The IDF uncovered IEDs planted under the roads. Camps have turned into fortifications to fight the IDF.

  • 3 IDF soldiers have been killed since the beginning of the war. No soldiers were killed this week.

  • Over the weekend, there have been 5 shooting attacks, a runover attack, and 3 attacks of throwing rocks at passing cars on highways. One of the attackers is a released prisoner from the recent hostage deal with Hamas.

  • Hamas and PIJ have targeted their propaganda on two dates: December 7th, which marks 2 months since the start of the war, and December 9th which is the 36th anniversary to the start of the first Intifada. The latter date is presented in a narrative of the “resistance that has never stopped”. The incitement texts have included calls to kill Jews especially in Judea and Samaria on their way to prayer and to direct the attacks at places of worship. These calls are also directed towards Israeli Arabs. The posters Hamas uses started using a red triangle as a target for attack in a graphic that is reminiscent of a video game. These video game-like graphics are popular among young Palestinians.


Pro-Hamas computer graphics running viral on social media: “36 years to the first Intifada, our revolution won’t stop until liberation”

Weapons and other terrorist infrastructure found in Judea and Samaria in an IDF raid with Border Patrol and Shin Bet on December 6th

Lebanon

  • According to the sources “close to Hezbollah,” Hezbollah rejects any attempt to reach a deal that would condition the implementation of Resolution 1701 on the identity of the next Lebanese president or any other political deal. It will not give up its “freedom of military and security movement” in south Lebanon or tie its strategic presence to political issues.

  • Hezbollah has been acting recklessly and bolder and on December 3rd have used an anti-tank missile to attack an Israeli AFV, just missing 11 Israeli soldiers by a few seconds who were only mildly injured. On the night of December 3, 2023, mortar shells were fired from Lebanese territory at the Shtula area. Three IDF soldiers were wounded and mortar shells were fired at an IDF post in the Yiftah area

  • IDF attacked a Hezbollah compound, one Lebanese Army soldier was killed. Israel said the Lebanese Army was not the target. According to UNIFIL this was the first time that a Lebanese Soldier was killed in a border confrontation. In retaliation, Hezbollah claimed that it attacked IDF troops in the Manara region with guided missiles.

  • Al-Jama’ah al-Islamiyya, a Sunni Islamist terrorist group, claimed responsibility for firing two barrages of rockets at IDF posts near Kiryat Shmona.

  • On December 4-5, 2023, Hezbollah continued its attacks against IDF posts and forces on the Lebanese border. Hezbollah claimed responsibility for 12 attacks, including attacks on Biranit, Shtula, Hanita, Manara and Mount Dov.

  • Hamas announced the establishment of an organization called Pioneers of Operation al-Aqsa Storm in Lebanon, calling on young and adult Palestinians in Lebanon to join. This was not coordinated with Hezbollah and Hamas made it clear that they had no intention to establish a military organization, but rather a general project of the “resistance” and to win hearts and minds. A Hamas spokesperson denied the objective was to take over the Palestinian camps in Lebanon, saying that Hamas had no intention of establishing “Hamasland.” The memory of the Fatahland in Lebanon during the 1970’s is part of the Lebanese collective psyche, and is evident by Hamas being pressured to clarify its intentions.

  • 98 Hezbollah fighters have been killed since the beginning of the war.

  • 8 IDF soldiers on the Lebanon front have been killed since the beginning of the war.

A video released by Hezbollah, purporting to show an attack against an Israeli military base

IDF attack on manned Hezbollah posts (IDF Spokesperson)

Syria and Iraq

  • Iranian backed militias have attacked American bases using missiles and drones. The Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for 2 drone attacks- the American base of Ayn al-Assad in western Iraq and another one against the American base in al-Qarya al-Khadra (the Green Zone). It also claimed responsibility for a missile attack against the Kharab al-Jir base in northeastern Syria.

  • According to local sources, Syrian defense system intercepted a barrage of “hostile Israeli missiles” launched at southern Homs.

  • CENTCOM reported that on December 3, 2023, rockets originating from Iraq were launched at the American base in Rmelan, Syria. They reportedly located the source of the launch and advised the Iraqi security forces, who came to investigate the site. A fuel truck was found at the site that had been converted into a launcher capable of launching up to 20 rockets. CENTCOM also confirmed that on December 3, 2023, American forces attacked five Nujaba militia operatives in the Kirkuk area of Iraq who were attempting to launch a drone. Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid met in Baghdad with Mohammad Bagheri, chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces. Rashid stressed the importance of developing relations between the two countries from a security, political and economic perspective.

  • There have been 123 attacks against American bases killed since the beginning of the war.

Yemen

  • Houthis have attacked German and Japanese owned vessels using missiles and drones.

  • USS Carney has intercepted missiles launched by Houthis at Israel (December 3rd)

  • An apparent Houthi weapons stockpile explodes in Yemen. No country takes responsibility.

  • The British maritime security company Embry reported that a British ship flying the flag of the Bahamas was hit by a rocket while sailing in the Red Sea about 35 nautical miles off of Yemen’s west coast. It was later reported that the ship, with dozens of containers aboard, was sinking (December 3rd).

  • The Arrow anti-ballistic missile system shot down ballistic missiles above the Red Sea on December 6th.

  • Spokesman for the Houthi armed forces announced that their naval forces had attacked two Israeli ships in the Bab al-Mandeb Strait, Houthi aggression against Israel would continue unless the Gaza war stops (December 3rd).

  • American National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said they were holding talks with other countries regarding the establishment of a maritime task force of ships from partner countries alongside the United States to work to ensure the safe passage of ships in the Red Sea (December 5th).

  • The commander of the coastal defense of the Houthi rebels in Yemen threatened that they would turn the Red Sea into a “graveyard for Israeli ships.” He stressed that the rebel leader had warned Israel in the past that the Red Sea was a forbidden zone for them. He said the Houthis’ actions did not compromise international shipping lanes or other commercial ships, but only Israeli ships (December 4th).

The IDF has released videos of a large stock of caught missiles, rockets, rocket launchers, IEDs and attack drones in Gaza, in the near proximity of a school and a medical center (IDF Spokesperson)


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