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Israel and Palestinian Territories in February 2024

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2024-2-7

  1. Al Jazeera Reports on Fierce Confrontations and Heavy Casualties.
    Clashes between Hamas’s Al-Qassam Brigades and Islamic Jihad’s Al-Quds Brigades, and Israeli forces have escalated in Gaza. The Palestinian claims to have targeted an Israeli Apache helicopter and engaged Israeli vehicles and a Merkava tank with missiles and explosives in Khan Yunis. 
  2. IDF Encircles Hamas Stronghold in Khan Yunis.
    Israeli forces have strategically encircled the Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, identified as a critical stronghold of Hamas leadership in the southern Gaza city. This operation is part of a broader IDF offensive, which saw Israeli Air Force fighter jets conducting targeted strikes around the hospital premises early Tuesday morning. The military’s actions are underpinned by intelligence indicating that senior Hamas officers and commanders are using the hospital as a hideout. Concurrently, ground troops from the 98th Division and the Paratroopers Brigade have been active in Khan Yunis, engaging Hamas terrorists operating from civilian areas. These operations have led to the killing of dozens of terrorists and the arrest of some 80 suspects involved in previous attacks, including the October 7 massacre. Givati Brigade snipers and the 646th Brigade Combat Team have been particularly effective, eliminating more than 15 terrorists and dismantling a Hamas observation post within the city.
  3. Financial Ties Exposed: Iran’s $154 Million Support to Hamas.
    Israel has disclosed evidence of Iran’s substantial financial support to Hamas, specifically to its leader Yahya Sinwar, with documents showing $154 million transferred from 2014 to 2020. Notably, the IDF uncovered over NIS 20 million ($5.5 million) in cash in a Gaza Strip tunnel. 
  4. Ceasefire Stalemate Continues.
    Despite ongoing efforts, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken acknowledges significant hurdles remain in reaching a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Hamas’s proposal for a permanent end to hostilities includes a three-stage, four-and-a-half-month plan demanding the release of all hostages for Palestinian prisoners, which Israel is unlikely to accept. This proposition, although indicating Hamas’s readiness for dialogue, faces Israeli reluctance, particularly against the backdrop of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s stance against Palestinian statehood. With both sides holding firm on their demands, the path to a ceasefire and the resolution of the hostage crisis remains fraught with complexity.
  5. IDF Confirms Deaths Amid Ongoing Efforts for Hostages’ Release.
    The hostage situation in Gaza, following Hamas’s Oct. 7 terrorist onslaught, has taken a grim turn with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confirming the death of 32 out of the 136 hostages still unaccounted for. This confirmation comes amid Israeli intelligence reports indicating that an additional 20 hostages may also have perished, suggesting that over one-fifth of those captured might have been killed. The IDF has notified the families of the 32 confirmed deceased, marking a sorrowful acknowledgement of the loss endured by the communities affected.
  6. Qatar Proposes Israel-Hamas Deal: 3,000-5,000 Prisoners for Hostage Release.
    Qatar has communicated to Hamas that Israel might be open to releasing 3,000-5,000 Palestinian prisoners, chosen by Hamas, in exchange for hostages. Despite Netanyahu’s opposition to releasing a large number of terrorists, this development is part of Qatar’s broader effort to mediate a ceasefire. Qatar’s proposal also includes measures to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, such as allowing displaced residents to return, improving refugee camps, and restoring essential services.
  7. Global Solidarity with Israel Intensifies.
    Canada has announced sanctions against senior leaders of Hamas, including Yahya Al-Sinwar and Muhammad Al-Deif, in response to the October 7 attack on Israel, targeting a total of 11 individuals from Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement. This move by the Canadian Foreign Ministry underscores the perceived threat these groups pose to regional security. In a parallel show of support, Argentine President Javier Milli, upon his arrival in Israel, declared his intention to relocate Argentina’s embassy to Jerusalem. This announcement was made during discussions with Israeli officials, including Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz, as part of Milli’s visit aimed at strengthening bilateral relations. Milli’s visit, which includes meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and participation in events commemorating the October 7 attack, signifies a deepening of diplomatic ties between Argentina and Israel, with potential religious conversion highlighting the personal significance of this gesture.
  8. Israeli Strikes on Syrian Military Positions Near Homs.
    In the latest development, Israeli missiles targeted several Syrian army outposts and an airbase in the vicinity of Homs, according to Syrian state media. The strikes, part of Israel’s escalated response following the October 7 attack by Hamas, aimed at Iranian-backed militia positions in Syria as well as Syrian army defenses and forces. Syrian air defenses reportedly intercepted some of the missiles, though specifics on the targets impacted were not disclosed. The Shuyrat airbase and other strategic locations near Homs were confirmed as targets. The attack resulted in casualties, injuries, and property damage, with state television broadcasting the immediate aftermath. This incident underscores Israel’s ongoing efforts to counter Iran’s influence in Syria, which has significantly increased since Tehran’s intervention in the Syrian civil war beginning in 2011.

2024-2-8

  1. Israeli Military Mobilizes in Rafah Despite Cairo Ceasefire Talks.
    The Israeli military prepares for intervention in Rafah, Gaza, despite ongoing talks in Cairo for a ceasefire with Hamas. This decision follows Hamas’ rejection of a ceasefire proposal, despite reassurances from the US State Department about the potential for an agreement. Israeli airstrikes targeted the border area between Egypt and Gaza, causing casualties among displaced individuals. The severity of the strikes sparked horrific panic among the displaced population. Egyptian military helicopters patrolled the Philadelphia axis area in response to the airstrikes. The Egyptian military reinforced concrete walls and installed barbed wire to prevent Palestinian migration toward North Sinai. 
  2. Israeli Army Neutralizes Hamas Fighters and Uncovers Hostage Site in Gaza Clashes.
    The Israeli army successfully neutralized more than 20 Hamas fighters during violent clashes and discovered various combat equipment, including RPG launchers and ammunition. Commando units, paratroopers, the Nahal Brigade, and Unit 414 contributed to these operations, aiming to dismantle Hamas’ military infrastructure. Additionally, the army uncovered a hostage-taking site within a large Hamas tunnel in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza. The tunnel was used to detain 12 hostages at different times, three of whom have returned to Israel. The operation, led by elite combat engineering units “Yahalom” and other special forces, revealed a complex tunnel network extending approximately one kilometer, including facilities for guarding the hostages such as a bathroom and rest area.
  3. Israeli Plan Echoes Arafat’s 1982 Exile Amid Hamas Demands for Gaza.
    Israeli leaders are considering the possibility of exiling Yahya Al-Sanwar, Hamas’s leader in Gaza, and other key figures from the group, as part of a plan to achieve stability in the region. This proposal, reminiscent of Yasser Arafat’s exile in 1982, is contingent upon the release of all detained hostages and aims to replace Hamas’s governance with a more moderate regime. Meanwhile, Hamas is pressing for various demands, including the withdrawal of IDF forces from Gaza, the release of prisoners, and halting Jewish visits to the Temple Mount. Additionally, they seek significant humanitarian aid, infrastructure repair, and the establishment of shelter camps for civilians.
  4. Hezbollah Commander Killed, Israeli Soldiers Injured.
    A Hezbollah commander was killed, and Israeli soldiers were injured in clashes. The Israeli army reported that an officer and two soldiers sustained injuries, one of them serious, following a missile attack launched from Lebanon by Hezbollah. In response, an Israeli drone strike targeted and killed Hezbollah’s military commander, Abbas Al-Debs, in Nabatieh, southern Lebanon. Subsequently, the Israeli army retaliated by targeting Hezbollah’s military infrastructure in the Khiam area, following the launch of anti-tank missiles from Lebanon. 

2024-2-13

  1. Hamas Operative Captured in Jenin Raid; Israeli Forces Wounded.
    Israeli forces captured a senior Hamas operative, Omar Fayed, during an operation in Jenin, where two Border Police officers were lightly wounded. Fayed, responsible for attacks on Israeli forces, was apprehended along with 18 other terrorism suspects across Judea and Samaria. The operation also uncovered booby-trapped tunnels and seized illegal weapons. Additionally, Israeli forces thwarted a vehicular assault in Gush Etzion. These efforts signify ongoing Israeli measures to combat terrorism in the region, with over 3,100 arrests made since October, targeting Hamas affiliates in particular.
  2. Senate Passes $95 Billion Aid Bill.
    In a pre-dawn session, the Democrat-led US Senate approved a $95.34 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan with a 70-29 vote, surpassing the required threshold. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer hailed the bipartisan support, emphasizing the bill’s significance for national and allied security. However, the bill faces uncertainty in the Republican-controlled House, where Speaker Mike Johnson criticized its lack of conservative border provisions. Despite President Biden’s urging, the bill’s fate remains uncertain, highlighting the complex dynamics shaping US foreign aid policy.
  3. Israeli Army Reports Loss of Soldiers in Khan Yunis Battle.
    The Israeli army confirmed the deaths of three reserve soldiers, including a senior officer, in clashes in Khan Yunis, adding to the toll of Israeli forces in the Gaza ground offensive, which now stands at 232. Lieutenant Colonel Nathaniel Yacoub al-Kubi, Major Yair Cohen, and Sergeant Ziv Chen, all from the 630th Battalion of the Southern Brigade, were killed in the southern Gaza Strip. Two other soldiers sustained serious injuries in the same engagement. 

2024-2-14

  1. Missile Attack from Lebanon Hits Israeli City of Safed.
    A missile barrage launched from Hezbollah-controlled regions in Lebanon struck the northern Israeli city of Safed, resulting in the death of Sergeant Omer Sarah Benjo, aged 20, and injuries to seven others. Described by Israeli media as a severe assault, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia reportedly utilized precision missiles in the attack, launching eight missiles in two volleys that inflicted significant casualties and damage. This incident, marking a rare escalation on the northern front in recent years, has heightened tensions significantly.
    Israeli National Security Minister Itman Ben Gvir interpreted the strike as an act of war, prompting calls for an immediate security cabinet convening. Defense Minister Benny Gantz attributed responsibility not only to Hezbollah and other terrorist factions but also to the Lebanese government, criticizing it for permitting missile launches from its territory.
    In retaliation, the Israeli military executed strikes in Lebanon, reportedly eliminating at least four individuals. Among the targets were positions of Hezbollah’s Al-Radwan Special Forces. Tragically, a Lebanese security source reported to Agence France-Presse that a woman, her child, and her husband’s son were among those killed in a raid targeting Al-Sowaneh, with a fourth civilian fatality occurring in Edchit. Additionally, nine individuals were wounded in the Israeli counter strikes on southern Lebanon, marking a significant flare-up in the longstanding conflict between Israel and Hezbollah.
  2. Hamas and Islamic Jihad Engage Israeli Forces.
    The Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, targeted a house with Israeli forces near Khan Yunis, resulting in Palestinian casualties, including women and children, due to Israeli airstrikes and artillery. The Gaza Health Ministry reported 103 deaths and 145 new infections within 24 hours, while the Israeli army confirmed 15 soldiers injured. Additionally, the Al-Quds Brigades – Jenin Brigade, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad Movement, reported clashes with the Israeli army in Jenin city. In other related news, The World Health Organization warned of a potential health system collapse if Rafah is attacked, with the UN cautioning against a possible massacre. Gaza hospitals struggle with overcrowding and supply shortages, leading to amputations due to treatment shortages.
  3. West Bank Developments: Raids and Arrests.
    Israeli army forces stormed towns in Hebron, Nablus, and Ramallah. The Palestinian Prisoners’ Club and the Prisoners Affairs Authority reported the arrest of more than 7,000 Palestinians, pointing to systematic Israeli violations and brutality. In Qalqilya, the young man, Muhammad Sharif Hassan Salmi, was killed by Israeli bullets, in an incident that sparked widespread anger. France and Britain imposed sanctions on extremist settlers, in response to increasing violence against Palestinians, reflecting mounting international condemnation against Israel’s policies. Attacks on Palestinians and their property by settlers, protected by forces, have increased significantly.
  4. Israel-Hamas Talks Stalled as Truce Negotiations Hit Roadblock.
    Despite diplomatic efforts, Israel and Hamas remain deadlocked in negotiations. Israel considers extending the truce but demands a reduction in Palestinian prisoner release requests. Talks in Cairo, led by Mossad Chief David Barnea, failed to yield progress, focusing on assessing proposals rather than presenting new Israeli initiatives. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rejection of an Israeli security services-crafted truce proposal has sparked tensions. Meanwhile, Hamas engages in negotiations with American, Qatari, and Egyptian officials to seek common ground amidst ongoing impasses.
  5. Moody’s Downgrades Israel’s Credit Rating.
    Moody’s adjusts Israel’s credit rating to “negative outlook,” citing growing financial and social challenges. The assessment highlights fiscal weaknesses, exacerbated by the new government’s policies since December 2022, diminishing Israel’s ability to manage debt and deficits. Expectations of larger deficits and increased public debt, coupled with growing social risks, raise concerns about Israel’s stability. The negative outlook warns of potential downgrades unless the government addresses these challenges effectively.

2024-2-16

  1. Multiple Fatalities, Injuries Reported, Bus Stop Shooting.
    In a shooting incident at a bus stop in Kiryat Malachi, east of Ashdod, the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation announced that a gunman killed two and wounded four, while Israeli ambulance services reported three deaths and five injuries. The Inspector General of Police described the incident as serious. Reports suggest the shooter attempted to continue his attack before responders neutralized him. Authorities instructed residents of neighboring areas to stay indoors, and guard teams declared a state of alert in those towns.
  2. Israeli Paratrooper Killed in Southern Gaza Clash.
    Staff Sergeant Noam Haba, a 20-year-old Israeli soldier from the 202nd Battalion of the Paratroopers Brigade and a resident of Jerusalem, was killed in battle in the southern Gaza Strip. His killing comes 35 years after his uncle Yossi was killed in military operations in Gaza. Since the attacks began on October 7, 572 Israeli soldiers have been killed, 235 of them since the ground incursion. In the same battle, another paratrooper was seriously injured and other soldiers sustained varying injuries, all of whom were evacuated to the hospital for treatment.
  3. West Bank Raids Result in 1 Fatality and 15 Injuries.
    In a sharp escalation of tensions in the West Bank, Israeli forces launched multiple raids across towns, including Ramallah, Nablus, Tulkarm, and Hebron, resulting in one Palestinian death and fifteen injuries. The operations involved deploying snipers, destroying a lathe in Beitunia with gas bombs, and arresting four individuals in Alar, among them an Islamic Jihad leader. Concurrently, theGreat Dawn campaign, promoting dawn prayers, saw a decrease in Al-Aqsa Mosque attendees due to settler incursions under police protection. This period also witnessed heightened settler aggression in Kisan village, with the burning of property and livestock. 
  4. Fatal Shootings of Two American Teens in the West Bank.
    In recent incidents in the West Bank, two American teenagers, Mohammad Khdour and Tawfic Abdel Jabbar, were fatally shot in separate events. Khdour, aiming for a law degree in the U.S., and Abdel Jabbar, planning to continue his studies, both lost their lives under circumstances involving alleged Israeli military fire. Khdour died in a Ramallah hospital after a shooting, with the incident’s details under scrutiny as Israeli forces’ involvement is suggested but not confirmed. Abdel Jabbar’s death, described as unprovoked by a vehicle passenger, also points to Israeli soldiers’ potential role, challenging initial claims of the teenagers’ aggressive behavior. 
  5. Hamas Leader Killed, Israeli Army Achieves Objectives in Gaza.
    Ahmed Gul, a commander from the Hamas Beach Brigade involved in a massacre in southern Israel and the abduction and subsequent killing of soldier Noa Marciano at Shifa Hospital in Gaza, was killed in a drone airstrike. Gul’s death comes amid continued Israeli air and ground strikes targeting military infrastructure and rocket launchers of Hamas, designated as a terrorist organization by several countries. These operations have included commando raids in Khan Yunis, where terrorist targets were destroyed, and weapons and explosives were seized. Additionally, an attempt by a terrorist group to approach Israeli forces was thwarted, resulting in the targeted killing of 15 Hamas members.
  6. Nasser Hospital Operation: IDF Arrests 20.
    On February 15 and 16, 2024, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) carried out a precise operation at Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis, Gaza. This operation led to the arrest of 20 individuals suspected of participating in the October 7 attacks, based on intelligence that Hamas was utilizing the medical facility for military purposes. Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari emphasized the operation’s meticulous planning, underscoring the delivery of essential supplies to the hospital and the provision of safe evacuation routes for staff and patients. According to the Palestinian News Agency (Wafa), the operation contributed to the deaths of four patients due to oxygen shortages amidst a power outage, highlighting the severe conditions within the hospital, which include shortages of food, baby formula, and water, impacting patients, medical staff, and their families. The World Health Organization expressed significant concern for those trapped inside the facility, stressing the dire need for medical supplies and fuel to continue life-saving services.
  7. Netanyahu Halts Cairo Talks, Vows Action in Rafah.
    Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu paused Israeli involvement in Cairo’s hostage discussions, bypassing the War Council, causing uproar among its members and the hostages’ families. He linked negotiation progress to Hamas dropping its unrealistic demands and confirmed ongoing strikes in Rafah, hinting at a potential ground assault despite the risk of exacerbating the refugee situation. This move shocked the detainees’ families, who saw it as abandoning the hostages.
  8. Arab States Aid Israel’s Blockade Evasion; Arab League Counters.
    In February 2024, revelations emerged that Israel bypassed the Yemeni blockade in the Red Sea with assistance from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, enabling goods to reach Israel via Haifa, amidst Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei’s call for Islamic nations to cut ties with Israel to support Palestinians. This act of circumvention faced criticism as complicity with Israeli policies against Gaza. In response to the ongoing conflict, the Arab League, on February 15, 2024, designated 60 Israeli organizations as part of its “Arab National Terrorist Lists” and announced a boycott of 97 companies operating in Israeli settlements. The League also condemned attempts to undermine the UNRWA and urged for support to Palestinian children affected by the conflict, highlighting the dire situation and forced displacement of Palestinians as threats to Arab national security and regional peace.

2024-2-20

  1. Israeli Airstrikes Target Hamas in Gaza.
    Israeli forces conducted airstrikes and artillery shelling across the Gaza Strip, targeting areas such as Rafah, Khan Yunis, and the Al-Zaytoun neighborhood in Gaza City. The operations aimed at Hamas strongholds have led to the death of dozens of Palestinian militants and injured several Israeli soldiers. Amidst the conflict, over a million people have been displaced, moving towards Rafah in search of safety.

2024-2-21

  1. Gaza Protests Erupt, Israel Targets Hamas.
    Civilians in Jabaliya and Rafah, Gaza, demonstrated against Hamas leadership, with videos showing direct criticism of Yaha Sinwar. In a parallel operation, the IDF neutralized three Qassam Brigades operatives and arrested 14 suspects in Jenin. Qatar’s confirmation of Hamas distributing medical supplies to Israeli hostages highlights the evolving situation. One Israeli soldier killed and two others were reported seriously wounded in north Gaza, this Wednesday. The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza said that 118 people were killed in Gaza during the last day. 
  2. Israel Strikes Hezbollah.
    In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, Israel began its airstrikes campaign against Hezbollah headquarters. The raids covered massive areas in southern Lebanon and involved airstrikes, air-to-surface missiles, and bombs resulting in visible destruction. Two hours later, Hezbollah claimed they targeted groups of Israeli soldiers in northern Israeli settlements.   
  3. Israel Strikes Syria.
    Israeli airstrikes targeted Damascus in two separate incidents on Wednesday, resulting in at least two fatalities. The initial attack struck an apartment in the Kafr Sousa neighborhood, a known base for Iranian militias, causing two deaths of non-Syrians. Local Damascus sources said the two apartments targeted were inhibited by an Iranian leader and his escort. Later, a second strike hit the Dimas area, northwest of Damascus.

2024-2-22

  1.  Systematic Sexual Violence by Hamas Detailed in UN Report.
    The Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel submitted a report to the UN, detailing Hamas’s systematic use of sexual violence during their October 7 attack on Israel and against hostages in Gaza. Authored by Dr. Carmit Klar Chalamish and Noa Berger, the 35-page document reveals rape as a deliberate strategy by Hamas across various locations, including the Supernova music festival and military bases, with tactics such as genital mutilation and weapon penetration. Despite challenges in quantifying the full extent due to the mass-casualty nature of the attacks, numerous eyewitness testimonies were collected. The report’s submission aims to break the silence on these atrocities, amidst criticism of international groups for their delayed or absent condemnation of the sexual violence.
  2. Allegations of Sexual Misconduct by Hamas Leader Sinwar.
    Yahya Sinwar, a leader of the Hamas movement, along with his brother Muhammed, faces accusations from within their ranks of sexual assault, rape, and pedophilia. These allegations, revealed by Baruch Yedid on 103FM, date back to their time in Israeli prison and extend to their roles within Hamas in Gaza. Despite reports to Yahya about Muhammed’s misconduct, including acts against young boys and Hamas operatives, Yahya dismissed these concerns and prohibited any investigations that he did not sanction personally. Israeli and Palestinian sources confirm Yahya’s protective stance over his brother, even amid suspicions of Muhammed’s collaboration with Israeli security. Additional claims from Palestinian sources in Ramallah suggest Yahya himself engaged in sexual abuse, with released prisoners providing testimony about his behavior in Ashkelon prison.
  3. Israel’s Arrow Defense System Intercepts Houthi Missile Bound for Eilat.
    Israel’s Arrow air defense system successfully intercepted a ballistic missile over the Red Sea, likely launched by the Iran-backed Houthis targeting Eilat, early on February 22, 2024. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported that the missile, aimed at Israel’s southernmost city, did not breach Israeli airspace, and precautionary sirens were activated in Eilat to warn of potential shrapnel fallout. This incident marks the Arrow system’s sixth ballistic missile interception.
  4. Terror Attack Near Jerusalem Checkpoint: One Dead, 11 Injured.
    An Israeli man was killed and 11 others wounded in a terror shooting near a Jerusalem checkpoint, involving three Palestinian gunmen. The attackers targeted Israelis in traffic near Ma’ale Adumim, leading to the death of 26-year-old Matan Elmaliah and injuries ranging from serious to minor, including a pregnant woman in significant surgery. Two gunmen were killed at the scene, and one was captured. The attackers, identified as residents of the Bethlehem area, were armed with assault rifles and a grenade. Itamar Ben Gvir advocated for stricter Palestinian movement restrictions and defended civilian weapon distribution, emphasizing life’s primacy over movement and dismissing the existence of a Palestinian people. Israeli army forces and border guards raided the town of Zaatara near Bethlehem, from which the two brothers Muhammad and Kazem Al-Zawahra, in addition to Ahmed Al-Wahsh, set off to carry out a bloody attack during which they used automatic weapons. Hamas praised the attack describing it as a “heroic operation”. 
  5. IDF’s Strategic Considerations for Gaza Operation.
    Despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s calls for a defined strategy for evacuating civilians from Rafah, Israeli officials admit to lacking a concrete plan for the city’s invasion, the last Hamas stronghold in Gaza. While the IDF is projected to complete the high-intensity phase of the war by early May, aiming to dismantle four Hamas battalions in Rafah by the end of April, concerns over the operation’s execution and the safety of the remaining 132 hostages weigh heavily. Meanwhile, the Israeli army launched a strike on Rafah killing seven Palestinians and injuring dozens, with a separate air strike in Jabalia killing one. The Gaza Health Ministry reports 29,410 deaths and 69,465 injuries since the war’s onset.
  6. Baath Official’s Trip Post-Damascus Strikes.
    Following Israeli strikes targeting Iranian figures in Damascus, Baath Party official Mutaa Al-Sarhan fled to Israel. Al-Sarhan, a key reconciliation committee member living near the Israeli border, was reportedly arrested by Israeli forces outside his Al-Rafid home in Quneitra on February 21, 2024. Accounts vary, with some stating he was apprehended within Syrian territory and others suggesting he sought asylum in Israel. 

2024-2-28

  1. Rift Grows in Israeli Government Over Ramadan Security.
    Ramadan security challenges in Jerusalem are causing more rift within the Israeli government. After Ben Gavir recent decree to restrict the entry of Palestinians from the West Bank and is pushing for banning Arab Israeli citizens below the age of 70 from visiting the site during the Muslim’s holy month. Shortly after the October 7 Hamas assault on Israel which is called Operation Al-Aqsa Floodin an attempt to claim religious and Arab legitimacy, Mohammad Deif, the group’s military leader, called on Arabs in Jerusalem and inside Israel to “set the earth on fire under the fleet of the occupiers.” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant speaking at an assessment at the IDF Central Command, pointed that Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas are aiming to take advantage of Ramadan to turn it into the second-stage of October 7, and ignite the ground.” In comments aimed at the National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, Gallant warned about giving Hamas the chance to converge the combat fronts, stressing against irresponsible statements from people who are supposed to be responsibleleading to provoked escalation soon. Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’ political bureau chairman, in a video speech at the Jerusalem Institution Conference in Beirut, discussed the recent cease-fire talks. He stated that Hamas was flexible in negotiations, criticized Israel for its military actions targeting civilians, and urged Arabs in Israel, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank to gather at the Al-Aqsa Mosque for Ramadan, emphasizing the importance of doing the Islamic retreats inside the mosque for the whole month. Israeli Channel 12 reported on Wednesday that the War Council has removed authority over Al-Aqsa Mosque access from National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir. Palestinians and Jerusalemites will face no entry restrictions to Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan.
  2. Jordanian Aid for Gaza Lost at Sea Despite King’s Oversight.
    King Abdullah of Jordan personally oversaw the second airdrop of aid to Gaza after the initial shipment was lost in the water. Despite these efforts, the parachuted supplies once again ended up in the sea. Additionally, aid intended for Gaza, dispatched from Egypt and parachuted into the Rafah area, mistakenly landed back on Egyptian territory.
  3. U.S. Probes Finkelstein Metals for Subsidy Violations.
    The U.S. government initiates an investigation into allegations that Finkelstein Metals received illegal government subsidies, leading to inflated prices in the U.S. market. Despite controlling less than 3% of the U.S. market share, sanctions against the company threaten its operational capacity and the broader Israeli defense industry, including Iron Dome’s production chain. This unprecedented inquiry, according to Israeli media, risks disrupting the longstanding trade relationship between Israel and the U.S. Israeli officials and the Manufacturers’ Association have stepped in, warning of the potential damage to Israeli exporters and the defense sector.
  4. Iranian Hackers Target Israeli Cyber Space with Hostage Decoy Site.
    Iranian hackers affiliated with the IRGC, known as UNC1546 or Tortoiseshell, are launching sophisticated cyberattacks on aerospace, defense, and cybersecurity sectors in Israel and the UAE. They use deceptive tactics like spear phishing, watering hole attacks, and a fake site promoting the “Bring Them Home Now” movement to distribute malware, compromise systems, and steal sensitive information. Google’s Mandiant reports these activities, revealing a strategic shift by the hackers to gather intelligence for Iran’s interests, with potential targets expanding to Turkey, India, and Albania.
  5. IDF Strikes Gaza, Lebanon, And Syria.
    Lebanese media reports about an Israeli strike that targeted the house of Hezbollah leader commander, Ali Wehbe in Bint Jbeil, while also bombing Beit Leef, Ramyeh, Ainata, and Al-Khraybeh. Using 40 Grad rockets, Hamas responds targeting Hero Camp and the airstrip in Beit Hillal. The IDF retaliates with airstrikes on southern Lebanon, targeting Hezbollah’s munition storage and military infrastructure without causing injuries in Kiryat Shmona.
    Later in the evening, Israel strikes Sayida Zainab’s neighborhood and Sulimani Military Camp in Babilya. The exact death toll results have not been reported as of it.

 

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