In the week beginning December 10th, 2023, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) continued its extensive military operations against Hamas in the northern and southern parts of the Gaza Strip, while conducting targeted strikes against Hezbollah in Lebanon in response to attacks on Israel’s North.  

Hezbollah intensified its fire strikes on the northern border, killing a reservist and injuring two more soldiers in an explosive drone attack in the Margaliot area.

In Gaza, key operations included targeted strikes on terror infrastructure in Jabaliya, Shujai’yya, and Khan Younis, the dismantling of tunnel networks, and direct close-quarter engagements with enemy combatants.

The Air Force played a significant role in precision strikes, while ground forces were involved in close-quarter combat in Gaza, and striking Hezbollah targets in the North.

The IDF remains committed to its strategic objectives of dismantling the Hamas terror army in Gaza and retrieving hostages.

The military operations are being conducted with a focus on precision and minimizing civilian casualties, while simultaneously dealing with the complex challenges posed by asymmetric warfare.

Number of Israeli civilian casualties: Over 770

Number of IDF casualties: 450

Number of IDF casualties since the ground offensive on October 28: 121

Number of Israeli police casualties: 58

Number of ISA casualties: 10

Total Israeli casualties since Oct. 7: 1200+

Israeli Hostages in Gaza: 129

Number of Israeli evacuees in the north: ~ 61,000

Number of rockets launched by Hamas: 11,000+

Number of terror targets struck in Gaza by IDF: 22,000+

This week’s northern events:

Warrant Officer (res.) Yehezkel Azaria, 53, from Petah Tikva, an Armored Corps soldier from Battalion 129, Brigade 8 was killed in action in the Margaliot area following a Hezbollah explosive UAV attack, which also injured two other IDF reservists.

Hezbollah has increased its activities in Lebanon, launching rockets and deploying anti-tank missiles, as well as launching explosive drone attacks.

IDF fighter jets executed multiple strikes on Hezbollah targets, including terrorist infrastructure, launchers, and military compounds. Artillery cannons have been used to strike the source of fire from Lebanon, as well as tanks.

Several Hezbollah cells firing anti-tank missiles were struck, such as the terrorist cell attempting to launch anti-tank missiles near Zar’it in northern Israel. The IDF’s efforts are ongoing, with ongoing strikes on Hezbollah terror targets in Lebanese territory, though in a targeted and defensive manner thus far, restricted to the border area.

The IDF targeted Hezbollah launch positions, terror infrastructures, and terrorist cells.

An Arabic media report claimed that an Israeli UAV conducted a strike on a target 40 kilometers north of the Litani River in Lebanon, in the town of Houmeine El-Tahta.

This week’s Southern events:

The IDF has revealed a Hamas tunnel on a strategic scale. Built by Yahya Sinwar’s brother, it measures 4 km long, 50 meters deep, and spans from the Erez crossing down to the Rafah area. Reportedly has sub-tunnels, rails, blast doors, a communications network, and more. Discovered early on in the ground offensive, the tunnel was so vast in obstacles and blast-doors, Yahalom and combat engineer units took weeks to clear the tunnel network before presenting. Defense Minister Gallant toured the tunnel network after it was deemed secure.

Hamas continued its rocket attacks on Israeli cities, and terrorists continued to conduct hit-and-run attacks on IDF units in Gaza from tunnels.

The IDF and the Shin Bet have employed a new underground warfare technique involving the planting of explosives and a camera in an underground tunnel, and setting them off when Hamas terrorists passed by, killing them.

There are 129 confirmed hostages and efforts are ongoing for their recovery.

The bodies of Elia Toledano, CPL Nik Beizer, and SGT Ron Sherman, taken hostage earlier, were recovered.

During the fighting in Shejaiya, the IDF mistakenly identified three hostages as a threat. As a result, the soldiers fired at them and they were killed.

3 Israeli Hostages, Yotam Haim, Samar Talalka, and Alon (Lulu) Shamriz were Killed yesterday in the Eastern Gaza Neighborhood of Shejaiya by Israeli Forces.

After the shooting, during a search and examination, immediate suspicion arose regarding the identity of those killed. Their bodies were quickly transferred for examination in Israel, where they were identified as hostages.

Representatives of the IDF and the Israel Police notified the families.

The IDF and ISA operated in the area of the Kamal Adwan Hospital, which had been used by Hamas as a major command and control center in Jabaliya. The troops apprehended approximately 80 terrorists, some of whom took part in the October 7th massacre. In addition, the troops destroyed terror infrastructure in the area and located numerous weapons including AK-47s, RPGs, explosive devices, Nukhba military equipment, technological equipment, and Hamas intelligence documents.

The IDF attacked terror infrastructures in the Rafah area, through which combat means were smuggled into the Gaza Strip.

During the activity in the hospital, IDF and ISA forces questioned the hospital workers. The workers confessed that weapons were hidden in incubators in the NICU, incubators that were supposed to be used to treat premature babies. Following the questioning, IDF troops located weapons, classified documents, and tactical communications equipment.

This Week’s humanitarian efforts:

More than 4000 trucks containing 70,000+ tons of aid, as well as fuel and gas tankers have entered the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the war.

Despite the ongoing conflict, the IDF has been facilitating humanitarian aid in Gaza, ensuring the delivery of essential supplies to civilians. Efforts are being made to prevent the diversion of aid by Hamas for military purposes.

This week’s West Bank events:

Four terrorists were killed by an IDF UAV Strike in Tul Karem.

IDF forces neutralized a terrorist who fired at them in the Judea Brigade sector. A soldier was moderately injured during the incident.

In Tubas, 14 wanted individuals were arrested. Hunting rifles and Carlo rifles were found. Similar firearms and airsoft guns were also confiscated in Hebron, Nablus, and Qalandiya.

Wanted individuals were arrested in Balata. In Beit Ula, a building belonging to a Hamas charity organization was sealed.

The IDF initiated an operation in the Jenin camp. A UAV responded to a cell that threw explosive devices. Dozens of wanted individuals were arrested.

Continued Operation in Jenin Camp: The operation in the Jenin refugee camp continued, with over 400 buildings searched. Thirty weapons, ammunition, and six explosive laboratories were confiscated. After 60 hours, the operation in the Jenin refugee camp concluded. Sixty wanted individuals were arrested, 50 weapons and 100,000 NIS were confiscated, along with ten underground tunnels.

Foiled Stabbing Attack Near Nablus:

Red Sea Arena events:

The Fifth Fleet of the US Central Command, operating in the Red Sea, shot down 14 unmanned aerial vehicles that were launched from an area controlled by the Houthis in the area of Yemen, near Hodeida, on their way to the State of Israel. IDF Chief of Staff LT. Gen. Herzi Halevi holds consultations in Tel Aviv with the Head of the US Central Command Gen. Michael E. Kurilla. Together with the Israeli Navy, the IDF Intelligence Directorate is building a joint picture with the US Fifth Fleet of Red Sea threats. The Houthis fired on and threatened seven commercial vessels in the Red Sea Bab Al-Mandab Straits, forcing a number of shipping companies to cancel their services through this strategic lane.

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