Photo: One of two Hezbollah Kornet ATGM missiles striking the outside of the Greek Orthodox Church in Iqrit on Dec 26, wounding almost everyone outside. This included 1 civilian with the first missile and 9 soldiers with the second who came to evacuate him. Hezbollah claimed this was the IDF Shomera barracks in the beginning of their released footage of the attack.
“Our mission is to return residents (of the northern communities) safely – and that will take time.” Lt. Gen. Halevi held a situation assessment and approval of plans together with the commander of the Northern Command, Major General Uri Gordin, and other commanders. “We need to be ready for an attack, if necessary,” Halevi said, “the IDF and the Northern Command within it are on high alert. The campaign here is managed in a correct and strict manner”
Hezbollah is continuing its ongoing escalation, launching rocket and ATGM attacks toward Israeli civilian communities, throughout the Galilee region.
Last night, the IDF, attacked and killed the Hezbollah terrorist that fired at the Greek Orthodox Church in the village of Iqrit near the Shomera area of Western Galilee, an attack that injured an 80-year-old Christian worshiper who was attending the church for Christmas prayers.
The Lebanon National News Agency reported that the IDF attacked a house in Bint Jbeil in the south of the country during the night and that three people were killed in this attack.
08:30 this morning, Hezbollah accredited to launching 12 rockets from the Shaba farms area towards IDF outposts in the northern Galilee.
Later this morning, at 10:02 and 10:15, Hezbollah terrorists launched two volleys of 18 rockets toward Rosh Hanikra in western Galilee. 8 rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome array, and the remainder of the rockets fell in open areas.
At noon, more launches toward the community of Arab al-Aramshe, IDF Air Defense Forces successfully intercepted several launches. The additional rockets were not intercepted according to policy. The IDF responded attacking the sources of fire.
This afternoon, three hostile aircraft that crossed from Lebanon fell in the area of Mount Dov.
IAF fighter jets completed a targeted attack on terrorist targets in Lebanon. As part of the attack, several terrorist infrastructures were destroyed alongside Hezbollah military sites.
At 16:30 and onward, sirens were sounded in the Israeli northern town of Kiryat Shmona and the communities of Tel Hai and Margaliot, due to a rocket barrage from south Lebanon. According to municipality sources, at this point, 11 launches are known to have been launched into the city, of which at least 4 exploded inside Kiryat Shmona and 3 were intercepted by the Iron Dome array. Extensive damage was caused to property, vehicles, and infrastructure, but no injuries were reported. Hezbollah claimed responsibility for launching 30 rockets at Kiryat Shmona: “in response to damage to houses in Bint Jabil.”
Hamas continues to launch lethal rockets toward Israeli towns and communities.
IDF ground, air, and naval troops are continuing to strike terror targets in the Gaza Strip. About 200 terrorist targets were attacked in the last day from the air, sea and land.
During IDF activity in Shuja’iyya, troops spotted terrorists passing between buildings in a Hamas battle zone, from which rounds were fired at IDF troops. The troops directed an IAF aircraft to strike and kill the terrorists. The impact caused additional explosions, indicating that the area was equipped with explosives intended to assault IDF troops. In addition, IDF soldiers observed two terrorists entering a vehicle. When the terrorists arrived at a compound suspected to be a weapons storage facility, the troops directed an IAF aircraft that attacked and killed the terrorists. IDF troops operating in the Daraj Tuffah area spotted a terrorist ready to launch a short-range anti-tank missile at them. The troops then directed tanks to attack the terrorist and kill the terrorist before he could launch the missile at them.
Overnight, Israeli Navy troops detected and struck terror suspects in a compound that posed a threat to IDF ground forces. Furthermore, Israeli Navy forces struck Hamas terrorist objectives along the shoreline in support of IDF maneuvering forces.
Infantry and armor units from the 50th Battalion’s combat squad attacked an area of orchards in the Daraj Tuffah region where they discovered five underground attack shafts and numerous launching pits. During the operation, the fighters encountered several terrorists who launched RPG missiles and small arms fire at them. The terrorists were eliminated with pinpoint accuracy. During the attack, armored forces spotted two terrorists crawling with weapons towards the soldiers and eliminated them with a tank round. Furthermore, an anti-tank missile was fired at the force during the engagement, but it did not hit the tank; the armored troops recognized the source of the gunfire and eliminated the terrorists who attempted to attack them.
White House National Security Council spokesperson: “We are very concerned” about the International Atomic Energy Agency’s report on Iran’s increase in uranium enrichment, “Iran’s nuclear escalation is all the more worrying at a time when the elements supported by it continue their dangerous and destabilizing activities in the region.”
Iranian Revolutionary Guards spokesperson: “Our response to the assassination of Razi Mousavi will be a precise action in combination with an action of the resistance front. These retaliatory actions will continue at different times and places.”
The leader of the Houthis Abdel-Malek al-Houthi in an appeal to the Arab countries: “Let America enter into a direct war with us.”
CENTCOM: “U.S. assets, including the USS LABOON (DDG 58) and F/A-18 Super Hornets from the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, shot down 12 one-way attack UAVs, 3 anti-ship ballistic missiles, and 2 land attack cruise missiles in the Southern Red Sea.”
The German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd has announced that despite the establishment of the multinational coalition in the southern Red Sea – it is still an unsafe shipping route, and therefore it will continue to avoid sailing there and will divert the traffic of its ships towards the Cape of Good Hope.
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, during a tour he conducted for foreign ambassadors on the northern border warned: “Nasrallah should understand that he is next in line. If he does not want to be next, he should immediately implement Resolution 1701 of the UN Security Council and push Hezbollah further north of the Litani.” According to him, Israel will work to exhaust the political options, but all options are “on the table.”
“Lobby 1701”, a group that represents about 60,000 Israeli residents of the north, sent an angry letter to the US president and stated that “your diplomatic policy makes us refugees in our country”. The lobby demands to ensure the withdrawal of Hezbollah forces to the north of the Litani River, as stipulated in UN Security Council Resolution 1701 (hence the group’s name).
The White House reported that National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer held a four-hour meeting in Washington, where they discussed “planning for governance and security issues in the Strip” the day after the war. The two also discussed the efforts to return the abductees who are still being held in Gaza, and the transition to another phase of the fighting, aimed at targeting high-value Hamas targets.
Hezbollah deliberately attacked the Church in Iqrit:
UNIFIL says they don’t have the mandate…