Operation Iron Swords – Day 234 – 27 May 2024

Al-Alam TV [Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting] correspondent in Deir al-Balah reported that the occupation army claimed that it targeted Palestinian resistance fighters in this raid, but it did not announce that the targeted place was a displacement center northwest of Rafah Governorate , and the occupation had declared it a safe center for displacement and had previously called on people to go to this center. He stated that the occupation forces' bombing of displacement and safe shelter centers in the Gaza Strip within 24 hours resulted in the death and injury of at least about 200 people.

IDF published a map showing the Rafah incident was outside the designated humanitarian zone. Contrary to Hamas’ misinformation, the strike did not take place in the Al-Mawasi Humanitarian Area. The attack was not carried out in the humanitarian area in El Mawasi, where the IDF called on the population to evacuate. The Chief Military Prosecutor, Maj. Gen. Yifat Tomer Yerushalmi, directed the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s investigation mechanism to investigate the attack in Rafah.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the deadly overnight Rafah strike by the IDF a “tragic error.” He said “In Rafah, we have evacuated about one million civilians. Tragically, despite our immense efforts to avoid harming non-combatants, an incident occurred yesterday. We are investigating it thoroughly and will learn from it, as is our policy and longstanding conduct. For us, any non-combatant hurt is a tragedy; for Hamas, it is a strategy. That is the core difference.”

Last night (Sunday), an aircraft attacked significant terrorist targets in Rafah, including senior officials in the West Bank headquarters of the terrorist organization Hamas, who directed attacks by Hamas operatives in Judea and Samaria and carried out murderous attacks against the citizens of the State of Israel. The attack was carried out based on preliminary intelligence information about the terrorists’ inventions on the spot.

Aircraft attacked a Hamas compound in Rafah where key terrorists of the organization were staying. The attack was carried out against terrorists who are a target for attack in accordance with international law, using precision weaponry, and based on preliminary intelligence indicating the use of Hamas terrorists in the area. Israel’s army noted that it took several steps to prevent civilian casualties ahead of the attack, including aerial surveillance and reducing the payload on the precision-guided munitions used.

Aircraft of the Air Force under the intelligence guidance of the Amman and the Shin Bet attacked this evening and killed the terrorist Yassin Rabia, the head of the West Bank headquarters of Hamas, and the terrorist Khaled Nagar, a senior member of the West Bank headquarters of Hamas. The attack was carried out in the Tel Alsaltan area in the northwest of Rafah and based on accurate intelligence. The Hagada headquarters in Hamas is responsible for the direction, financing and support of carrying out terrorist attacks in the territories of Judea and Samaria and in the interior of the country. The terrorist Yassin Rabia managed all the military formations of the West Bank headquarters of Hamas, was involved in the transfer of funds for terrorist purposes and directed attacks by Hamas operatives in Judea and Samaria. Yassin has committed several murderous attacks in the past, including attacks in 2001 and 2002 in which IDF soldiers were killed.

The terrorist Khaled Nagar, a senior member of the West Bank headquarters of Hamas, orchestrated shooting attacks and other acts of terrorism in Judea and Samaria, and was involved in the transfer of funds destined for terrorism for Hamas in the Gaza Strip. In the past, the terrorist Khaled carried out a number of murderous attacks, including attacks in the years 2001-2003 in which Israeli civilians were murdered, and additional soldiers were killed and wounded.

There are reports that as a result of the attack and a fire that broke out in the area, a number of non-involved people were injured, the incident is under investigation.

Prior to the attack, many steps were taken to reduce the chance of harm to non-involved people, including checking contracts from the air, the use of precision weaponry and additional intelligence information, based on which it was estimated that no harm was expected to non-involved civilians. The incident is being investigated by the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s investigation mechanism, an independent body responsible for examining unusual incidents in combat. The mechanism is investigating the circumstances of the deaths of civilians in the area of the attack. The IDF deplores any injury to those not involved in the fighting.

An Israeli government spokesman said that preliminary results of an investigation into a large number of deaths and injuries in a bombing that struck a camp for displaced people in the southern Gaza Strip indicate that “an air strike targeted Hamas leaders that caused a fire that killed civilians in Rafah,” according to Reuters.

The Ministry of Health in Gaza announced that the death toll from the Israeli bombing that targeted a camp for displaced people in Rafah, south of the Strip, had risen to at least 45 people and the injury of 249 others, sparking widespread international reactions.

The Wafa news agency, quoting the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), said that many of those who died were “burned alive” inside their tents in the Tal as-Sultan area. It put the death toll at 40, while the Reuters news agency quoted Ashraf al-Qudra, the spokesman for Gaza’s Ministry of Health, saying 35 people had been killed and dozens others injured. Witnesses told local media that at least eight missiles had struck the camp on Sunday at about 8:45 pm local time (17:45 GMT).

Al Jazeera’s Sanad fact-checking agency said the attacks targeted the Brix camp to the west of the city of Rafah. An aerial photograph taken on May 24 shows hundreds of tents in the area, which was close to a UNRWA warehouse.

The Israeli attack followed Hamas’s first rocket attack on Tel Aviv in months. Israel said the eight Hamas rockets were launched from the Rafah area, where its forces have continued a ground assault despite an order from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to halt operations there.

The Israeli airstrike on a refugee camp in Rafah sparked international outrage and condemnation, with humanitarian organizations and foreign officials decrying the attack that left numerous civilians dead and wounded.

Commenting on the Rafah massacre, the Hamas movement said : The occupation army committed a heinous massacre against the displaced people west of the city of Rafah in defiance and disregard of the decision of the International Court of Justice, holding the US administration and President Biden in particular fully responsible for this massacre. It called for the immediate and urgent implementation of the decisions of the International Court of Justice and pressure to stop this massacre.

Hamas senior official Osama Hamdan condemned the Israeli massacre in Rafah, saying it was an “attempt at revenge” amid “Israel’s” consistent failure against the Palestinian Resistance. In a press conference, Hamdan held the US administration fully responsible for the massacre in Rafah and those in all of Gaza, affirming that they are exposing the US and Israeli fabricated claims of the existence of safe zones in the Strip.

He further stated that the timing of the massacres over the past two days has been a clear challenge by Netanyahu against the International Court of Justice. He also slammed the Israeli claims of the presence of Hamas fighters at the refugee camp where “Israel” committed its crime as “insolent”, with images of the camp, which was located far away from any operation area, and civilian martyrs refuting these allegations.

For its part, the Islamic Jihad Movement said in response to the Rafah massacre: The massacre is a war crime added to the war crimes of genocide, pointing out that targeting civilians in the displaced camps in Rafah confirms the depth of the military failure suffered by the enemy. It added that the enemy is targeting civilians to compensate for the failure it suffered in the field and as a result of the cover provided by Washington and European governments.

Addressing the international community, particularly the ICJ, Hamdan demanded that it implement international decisions to sanction and punish the Israeli occupation, while simultaneously urging Egypt to open the Rafah crossing for humanitarian aid deliveries. Hamdan concluded his statement by calling on Palestinians in the West Bank and the 1948-occupied territories to revolt as a means to champion their people in Gaza.

A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has condemned the Israeli attack on Tal as-Sultan as a “massacre that exceeds all boundaries,” according to the Wafa news agency. Nabil Abu Rudeineh “stressed the urgent need for an intervention to stop the crimes committed against the Palestinian people immediately” and said the “heinous massacre” is a challenge to international orders, including “the lucid and candid ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordering Israel to cease its military offensive against the city of Rafah and provide protection to the Palestinian people.” Abu Rudeineh said he held the administration of US President Biden responsible for Israeli crimes and demanded that Washington “compel Israel to stop the madness and genocide it is committing in Gaza.”

The global humanitarian group ActionAid expressed profound outrage and heartbreak over a recent Israeli airstrike in West Rafah. Israeli fighter jets launched eight missiles at makeshift shelters housing internally displaced persons (IDPs) next to UNRWA warehouses, which were storing vital aid. “The images coming from our partners of burned bodies are a scar on the face of humanity and the global community, which so far has failed to protect the people of Gaza,” ActionAid stated. “One of our own colleagues narrowly escaped this atrocity, having left the shelter just a day before the attack. But nobody’s safety is guaranteed in Gaza.”

The attack has drawn international condemnation. Belgium’s Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib described the Palestinian Authority as a “partner for peace” and expressed readiness to assist in reform efforts. “Belgium is working for a recognition with rights and freedoms for Palestinians,” she wrote on X after meeting PA Prime Minister Mohammed Mustafa. Qatar’s Foreign Ministry warned that the attack could hinder mediation efforts for a ceasefire and an exchange deal for Palestinian prisoners and Israeli captives.

Norway’s Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide, speaking in Brussels, emphasized the importance of recognizing the state of Palestine. “For many years, we and so many other countries were expecting to recognize at the end of a peace process. But then a few years ago, we realized that we actually needed to think outside the box,” Eide stated. Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares, speaking alongside his Norwegian and Irish counterparts, called for an immediate ceasefire. “Yesterday’s bombing (on Rafah) is one more day with innocent Palestinian civilians being killed. This stresses what the three of our countries have been calling for a long time – an immediate ceasefire,” Albares said. Ireland’s Foreign Minister Micheal Martin condemned the attack as “barbaric” and urged Israel to halt its military operations in Rafah. “Gaza is a very small enclave, densely populated,” Martin said. “One cannot bomb an area like that without shocking consequences in terms of innocent children and civilians.”

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his “outrage” over Israeli strikes on Rafah, stating that the operations must cease immediately and calling for full compliance with international law and an immediate ceasefire. “Outraged by the Israeli strikes that have killed many displaced persons in Rafah,” Macron wrote on X, emphasizing the urgent need for cessation of these operations. He added, “These operations must stop. There are no safe areas in Rafah for Palestinian civilians. I call for full respect for international law and an immediate ceasefire.”

Shashank Joshi reported “Israel’s Military Advocate General, Major General Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi, said on Monday that the IDF is investigating about 70 cases of suspected violations of the laws of war”.

War Termination

Israel submitted an answer to the mediators as part of the attempts to renew the negotiations and tomorrow (Tuesday) it is expected to reach Hamas. A source familiar with the details described the answer as “far-reaching”, due to the expansion of the mandate to the appointed team, but clarified that the issue of the demand for a cessation of hostilities remains open. In the war cabinet, there is an agreement of the ministers and the heads of the defense establishment that it is right to end the activity in Rafah and give priority to the hostage deal, but Prime Minister Netanyahu opposes. The supporters of the process believe that Israel should enter the first phase of a deal and thus promote a dynamic for agreement later on.

In a conversation with the parents of the abducted soldiers and female soldiers, Chief of Staff Herzi Halevy referred to the order of operations required for his capture. Halevy clarified that the ultimate goal is indeed the dismantling of Hamas, but at this stage there is a chronological progression for the release of the abductees.

Referring to Hamas’s demand to stop the war, Halevi said that the IDF knew how to return and fight. The Chief of Staff also emphasized that there is a great deal of significance to the military pressure now, and added – if we take the pressure off completely, it will be difficult to reach an agreement.

Meanwhile, the conflict in the War Cabinet over the negotiation issue continued. Last night, the person in charge of the negotiations for the return of the abductees, Maj. Gen. Alon, did not come to the cabinet meeting – after his alarming statements against the government. Those around him explained that he was not supposed to come to the meeting in the first place.

At the beginning of the meeting, Netanyahu reprimanded: “The leaks coming out of the negotiation team are a scandal. We agreed on confidentiality. I have always expanded the mandate at your request when necessary. The briefings against me are false, you are harming the negotiations.” Netanyahu made a similar public statement on the Knesset podium when he claimed that he had already approved the expansion of the mandate five times.

the Hebrew newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth quoted informed sources as saying that despite the occupation Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s obstruction of any prisoner exchange deal with the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), even before it was matured, there is only one offer currently being talked about for the exchange. The newspaper reported, citing those sources, that the only offer currently being talked about for exchange is a comprehensive deal to return all the prisoners. The sources said that if the Israeli War Council receives an offer for a prisoner exchange deal, Netanyahu will be in the minority.

In light of the renewed attempts to start negotiations with Hamas , Netanyahu’s office talked about a possible discussion based on new proposals led by mediators, but sources familiar with the details say that the only proposal on the table is the familiar proposal, a comprehensive agreement to return all prisoners. Senior officials accused Netanyahu last night that while the war cabinet could discuss the first phase of the deal, the prime minister was working to avoid reaching that point.

“Netanyahu is not clearly thwarting the agreement, but he is doing so before the matter is even ripe, so basically every opportunity is missed,” one senior official said. He added that the messages from Netanyahu’s office are actually aimed at reassuring the families of Israeli prisoners in Gaza, “but there is nothing real behind them, and as long as Netanyahu does not agree to discuss Hamas’s conditions, no agreement can discuss them.”

The newspaper says that Netanyahu’s office responded harshly and attacked the negotiating team itself. After several weeks of stalemate, the War Council decided last week to expand the negotiating team’s mandate, following the latest round of talks in Paris, in which the mediators agreed to make efforts to resume the talks. CNN reported last night, citing an Egyptian source, that the talks will resume in Cairo next Tuesday.

Operational Update

There was a shooting incident on the Egyptian border, the subject of the investigation, a dialogue is taking place with the Egyptian side. The Israeli KodKod news site said there were no injuries among the Israeli occupation forces but two Egyptian soldiers had been killed in the incident. The Israeli Ynet newspaper, meanwhile, claimed that only one Egyptian soldier was killed and several others were wounded in the cross-border confrontation.

After the exchange of fire with an IDF force, both sides do not want to turn the tactical event into a strategic one, especially in the background of the talks to find a solution for reopening the crossing. The incident in which an Egyptian soldier was killed by IDF fire occurred at 11:30 in the morning when an IDF engineering force was engaged in an activity in a tunnel on the Egyptian border, on the Philadelphia axis. During the operation, an Egyptian soldier shot at a truck of the force from a relatively short range. Fighters securing the force, who were inside an engineering APC, returned fire using a “lethal” system – a machine gun mounted on the APC – at the shooting soldier. As a result of the shooting, the Egyptian soldier was killed and others were injured – this was announced this evening (Monday) in the evening news at Kan 11.

Israeli Channel 14 reported that Egyptian soldiers opened fire on Israeli soldiers inside the Rafah crossing, without causing any casualties. However, Israeli media said that Egyptian security opened fire on an Israeli truck, and Israeli soldiers responded with gunfire, leading to casualties. Israeli media initially indicated that the army forces responded with fire as a warning, but they later confirmed that a “clash” or exchange of fire had occurred between the two sides, which led to the death of at least one Egyptian soldier. The Israeli army radio confirmed that the exchange of fire with the Egyptian forces took place with weapons without the participation of tanks, and that the Israeli forces participating in the exchange of fire were from the 401st Armored Brigade.

Israeli military sources who spoke to the website of the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth accused the Egyptian soldiers of being the ones who first opened fire on the Israeli soldiers at the Rafah crossing, who responded by opening fire on their own. OSINTdefender reported “According to Sources with the Israel Defense Force, a Unit of the Israeli Combat Engineering Corps was Exploring a Hamas Tunnel that had been Discovered crossing between Egypt and the Southern Gaza Strip near the Rafah Border Crossing. During the Exploration they were spotted by a Group of Egyptian Soldiers who Opened Fire on the Unit, forcing them to Return Fire causing the Death and Injury of several of the Egyptian Soldiers. The Incident is believed to have been a Case of Mistaken Identity, with the Egyptian Soldiers not knowing that the Engineers were with the IDF.”

During the day, the IDF refused to provide details about the incident due to the strained relations with Egypt. Immediately after the unusual incident, IDF representatives spoke with representatives from the Egyptian army and both sides began a joint investigation of the incident. The IDF stated that “there was a shooting incident on the Egyptian border, the subject is under investigation, a dialogue is taking place with the Egyptian side.”

An Egyptian official commented on the incident in which an Egyptian army soldier was killed in an exchange of fire with IDF forces at the Rafah crossing in a conversation with Kan News that “it is not in anyone’s interest to increase the issue and cause it to take on a political or popular context.” According to him, “there have been such incidents in the past that were contained.” .

Egypt published a brief statement about the unusual incident, but it is not certain that Cairo has an interest in increasing tensions between the countries surrounding the incident. The Egyptian announcement said that the incident was being investigated by the relevant authorities and that a soldier had been killed. On the face of it, Egypt left itself room for maneuver in this event, to escalate or calm down.

The understanding is that both Israeli and Egyptian sides do not want to turn this tactical event into a strategic one, especially after the Egyptians resumed the supply of humanitarian aid through the Kerem Shalom crossing and in the background of the talks to find a solution for the reopening of the Rafah crossing.

Operational Update – Gaza

Israeli war cabinet member Gabby Eisenkot addressed the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee in a closed discussion on Monday, according to Israeli reports, breaking away from longstanding rhetoric in Israeli politics. He said it was incorrect to speak in terms of securing the release of all the hostages or the end of the war because the fight with Hamas will continue for years. Contrary to Defense Minister Yoav Gallant’s claims that most of Hamas’s battalions have been destroyed or mostly incapacitated during the fighting, Eizenkot said that 21 of the battalions remain at a medium to high capacity to continue the fighting.

Gaza war unit tracker [@2023gazawar] noted “What does dismantled mean? IDF reports battalions as “dismantled” not when all of its fighters have been defeated, but when the subordinate companies are no longer in contact with each other. Usually when a battalion is dismantled in this way, the subordinate companies simply continue operating exactly as before. In my opinion, it is not the most useful metric, because there is zero difference on the ground whether a battalion is dismantled or not.

“Hamas operates decentrally on a cell by cell level. The companies, battalions, brigades and so on don’t engage in large coordinated attacks. They could of course, but the fighters would just die. Hence why Hamas fights asymmetrically. I believe however that there is a value in tracking “battalions” in so far as to get a general feel of the amount of forces and coordination in a given area. To compliment this I also track remaining companies of destroyed battalions, because without this any analysis would be incomplete.

“So, were the 3 battalions in Jabaliya previously “dismantled”? Yes, but that doesn’t mean much. Not all of their units were destroyed, not all of their fighters were eliminated. This is why they can quickly rebuild. It’s important not to solely rely on “battalions” but to also track other factors.”

Fighters of the Israel Defense Forces 460 are fighting in the heart of Jabalia with several armored combat battalions, infantry and engineering. The forces destroyed over a hundred terrorist infrastructures and located and destroyed shafts and combat compounds of Hamas. In recent days, the forces have located dozens of weapons, explosives, rockets, mortar bombs and more.

During the advance of the forces, the fighters arrested a terrorist who surrendered in the field. The terrorist was quickly interrogated by a field investigator from unit 504 who obtained a lot of intelligence from him about stockpiles of weapons in the area. The forces raided the combat reserves at the direction of the terrorist. In the compound, the fighters located and destroyed communication devices, explosive barrels, hand grenades, ‘Kalashnikov’ type rifles and other means of sabotage and combat.

The fighters of the combat team are fighting against terrorist squads hiding in civilian guise and firing anti-tank missiles at them from inside schools. In the documentation you can see the dozens of weapons that the forces located hidden in UNRA bags in the school, and the tank of the 198th battalion that continued to fight after an anti-tank missile was fired at it . “We are here in a school, a space where Gazan citizens were inside a school,” said Maj. Gen. 198, Lt. Col. Tzuri, “here we can see another cynical use of Hamas, which actually hid behind humanitarian civilian plays and uses the military to damage our forces. In the last day, anti-tank missiles were fired from here, from this school, at our forces and during the last day we destroyed about 20 Hamas operatives. As evidence here, one of the tanks was hit by an anti-tank missile and continued to fight.”

The 679th Brigade’s combat team has been fighting in the Gaza Strip for the past few weeks. For the past week, the forces have been operating in the area of the Sabra neighborhood in the center of the Gaza Strip with the aim of destroying terrorist infrastructure, eliminating terrorists, locating and destroying the underground infrastructure. In recent days, the fighters of the 98th Division expanded their activities to East Jabaliya, during which the fighters of the 7th Brigade Combat Team eliminated a number of terrorists in face-to-face encounters and located many weapons including Kalashnikov rifles, mortar bombs, explosives and other military equipment.

The forces of the combat team of the 460th brigade located and destroyed a laboratory for the production of explosives and several tunnel shafts, the fighters of the combat team of the paratrooper brigade eliminated a number of terrorists and destroyed dozens of terrorist infrastructures and weapons. Aircraft attacked a launch area in Jabalia from which launches were made to Ashkelon during the war. Fighters of the 99th Division continue their operation in the center of the Gaza Strip, they eliminated a number of terrorists in encounters and tank fire, including terrorists who were observing our forces, and fighter jets attacked a rocket launcher ready to be launched into the territory of the country located in the center of the Gaza Strip.

During the last day, aircraft and fighter jets of the Air Force attacked and destroyed more than 75 terrorist targets throughout the Gaza Strip. Among the targets that were attacked, IDF warehouses, terrorist squads, rocket launchers, military buildings, observation posts, and other military infrastructures.

Operational Update – Judea-Samaria

On Monday, large forces of the occupation army stormed the town of Tammoun, south of Tubas, and besieged a Palestinian house. Al-Alam TV correspondent in Hebron reported that the occupation forces, while besieging the house, asked one of the Palestinians to surrender himself via loudspeakers. Al-Alam’s correspondent quoted medical sources as saying that a Palestinian child was injured by occupation bullets in the foot and was transferred to the hospital to receive treatment.

Al-Alam’s correspondent said that the occupation army arrested 14 citizens from all over the West Bank, especially from the city of Hebron, where the occupation forces stormed this city and arrested 4 Palestinian citizens after raiding their homes in this area. Al-Alam’s correspondent added that a strike was announced in some towns in Hebron to mourn the souls of the martyrs of the Rafah massacre yesterday. He confirmed that the people of Ramallah will shortly organize a march in solidarity with the people of Gaza and to denounce the crime of the occupation in Rafah.

Hebrew media reported that a huge explosion occurred in the Tel Aviv-Holon area, causing a minibus to catch fire and resulting in a serious injury. The media reported that a huge explosion was heard in the aforementioned area, after which residents reported that a minibus had caught fire at the Holon Junction in Tel Aviv .

The Israeli occupation forces stormed the town of Kafrdan, west of Jenin , at dawn on Monday , according to what was announced by the Palestinian News Agency, Wafa. It reported that the occupation army stormed the town, blew up a number of vehicles, and seized a number of others. Confrontations broke out between young men and the occupation forces, who fired bullets, poison gas bombs, and sound bombs without causing any casualties. The sources explained that the occupation forces raided a number of homes in the town, and soldiers also mounted the roofs of a number of them.

Operational Update – Lebanon

Last night (Sunday), the IDF force from Unit 869 identified a terrorist cell operating in a Hezbollah military structure in the Yaron region of southern Lebanon. In a quick closing circle, Air Force fighter jets attacked the military structure where the terrorists were staying. Also, an Air Force aircraft attacked a terrorist squad of the organization, which was identified by a Golani patrol force operating in the Hola region. During the night, fighter jets and air force aircraft attacked additional Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon. Among the targets that were attacked, a weapons warehouse and a Hezbollah military building in the Miss al-Jabal area, along with terrorist infrastructures in the al-Khyam area and other military buildings in the Khula area.

Fighter jets attacked Hezbollah launchers from which the launches were made towards the Miron area. Following the alert in the Kiryat Shmona area, about 25 launches were detected that crossed towards the area, some of them were intercepted. Aircraft attacked and killed this morning in the Einta area in southern Lebanon a terrorist identified in the area from which launches were made towards the Malkia area. In addition, warplanes attacked a Hezbollah military structure in the Eitaron area in southern Lebanon.

In recent weeks, the 146th Division and the 205th Brigade held a divisional and brigade exercise simulating a maneuver in Lebanon, the exercise simulated combat scenarios in the northern arena, the rapid deployment of forces in the field, the functioning of the division and brigade headquarters and the readiness of the forces for an attack.

The fighters and commanders of the Half Fire Brigade (551) fought fiercely in the Gaza Strip, and are now carrying out operational employment on the Lebanese border. At the same time, a divisional exercise was held, led by the National Land Training Center (NTL), in the northern contour which included battle procedures, validation of attack plans on the northern front, recruitment and equipping, learning about Lebanon’s challenges and day and night operational models in a tangled terrain that simulates as much as possible the fighting in the depths of Lebanon.

In addition, the forces practiced the logistics and IT envelope in depth, movement in a tangled terrain, progress along a mountainous axis, multi-level fire and combat in a built-up area as part of increasing competence in the northern sector.

The Lebanese Hezbollah published a summary of the operations it carried out against the Israeli army on Monday, “in support of the steadfast Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and in support of their brave and honorable resistance.” “Hezbollah” bombs several settlements in northern Israel with dozens of missiles and “burns” Kiryat Shmona (videos). Hezbollah’s military media indicated that “the Islamic Resistance carried out a number of operations against the positions and deployment of the Israeli enemy army on the Lebanese-Palestinian border on Monday, May 27, 2024, according to the following”: «

Eastern sector (southern Lebanon):
- At 8:25: Targeting a building used by Israeli enemy soldiers in the Margaliot settlement with appropriate weapons and confirming casualties, as a response to the Israeli enemy’s attacks on the steadfast southern villages and safe houses.
- At 12:25: The newly developed spy equipment at the Miskaf General site was targeted and directly hit, leading to its destruction.
- At 12:40: An air attack was launched with assault marches on the Beit Hilal base (headquarters of the Plain Battalion of the 769th Brigade) and the positioning of the Iron Dome platforms, targeting their crews, officers and soldiers in their places of presence and positioning and hitting the targets accurately, as a response to the Israeli attack on the town square. Hula and the citizens there.
- 17:00: After observing a group of Israeli enemy soldiers entering one of the buildings northeast of the Metulla settlement, the Islamic Resistance Mujahideen targeted it with appropriate weapons and caused confirmed casualties, as a response to the Israeli attacks on the steadfast southern villages and safe houses, the last of which was in the town of Aitaroun.
- 18:30: The Kiryat Shmona colony was targeted with dozens of Katyusha rockets and a Falaq launcher, in response to the Israeli enemy attack that targeted the Martyr Salah Ghandour Hospital in Bint Jbeil and injured civilians.
- At 18:15: The Al-Samaqa site in the occupied Lebanese Kfar Shuba hills was targeted with missile weapons and was directly hit.
- At 18:15: The Zibdin barracks in the occupied Lebanese Shebaa Farms was targeted with missile weapons and was directly hit.

Western sector (southern Lebanon):
- At 23:30 on the night of Sunday, May 26: After monitoring and anticipating the Israeli enemy forces at the Al-Malikiyah site and while vehicles were entering it, the Mujahideen of the Islamic Resistance targeted it with artillery shells, and hit it directly.
- At 8:30: A focused fire attack was launched on the Al-Malikiyah site with guided missiles and artillery shells, targeting its garrison, its equipment, and the positions of its soldiers. The attack drones also dropped their shells on targets inside the site and hit them accurately, as a response to the Israeli attacks on the steadfast southern villages and safe civilian homes.
- 16:50: The settlements of Meron, Safsofa, and Tasfa’un were targeted with dozens of Katyusha rockets, in response to the Israeli enemy attack that targeted the Martyr Salah Ghandour Hospital in Bint Jbeil, wounding civilians.
- At 21:30: A night air attack was launched with assault marches on the established positions of the 411th Artillery Battalion east of Nahariya, targeting the places of settlement and positioning of its officers and soldiers and hitting its targets accurately and leaving them dead and wounded, as a response to the Israeli attacks on the steadfast southern villages and the safe houses, especially The attack on the Martyr Salah Ghandour Hospital in Bint Jbeil. 

Operational Update – Syria / Iraq

Al-Sumaria News Agency announced that the ” KFC ” restaurant, affiliated with the American restaurant chain , was attacked on Sunday morning by an explosive device that exploded in front of the restaurant’s door. The restaurant referred to is a branch of an American agency that owns several branches around the world and Iraq, including Baghdad , and is being subjected to a wide boycott campaign within the framework of “ boycotting products that support Israel.”

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq said in a statement: “In continuation of our approach to resisting the occupation and supporting our people in Gaza, and in response to the massacres committed by the usurping entity against Palestinian civilians, including children, women and the elderly, the Mujahideen of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq targeted military targets in Eilat.” Al-Rashrash” in our occupied territories today, Monday, May 27, 2024, using three drones, and the Islamic Resistance confirms its continued destruction of enemy strongholds. Israeli media reported that sirens sounded in Eilat on suspicion of infiltration by “enemy aircraft.”

Operational Update – Yemen

The Yemeni Ansar Allah movement (Houthis) announced that it targeted 3 ships, American, Israeli, and a third whose nationality was not mentioned, and two American destroyers, in the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. The military spokesman for the Houthis, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, said in a statement: “The naval forces and the missile force of the Yemeni armed forces carried out three joint operations, as follows:”

The first targeted the American ship “LAREGO DESERT” in the Indian Ocean.
The second targeted the Israeli ship "MSC MECHELA" in the Indian Ocean.
The third targeted the ship “MINERVA LISA” in the Red Sea for violating the decision to ban entry to the ports of occupied Palestine.” 

With the help of God Almighty, the Air Force targeted the drone with two high-quality, destructive American military operations in the Red Sea, and the operations successfully achieved their goals, thanks to God.” The statement added: “The Yemeni armed forces will continue to triumph over the oppression of the Palestinian people until the aggression stops and the siege on the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip is lifted.” It is noteworthy that the Houthis in Yemen have been carrying out attacks in the Red Sea on Israeli ships or heading to Israel since last November, “in support and victory for the Palestinian people and Gaza.” They also announced earlier the beginning of the implementation of the fourth phase of escalation against ships “until the Mediterranean” in order to support the Palestinians in Gaza.

Maps

All maps are lies. “Not only is it easy to lie with maps, it is essential,” wrote cartographer Mark Monmoneir in his book How to Lie with Maps. He showed that condensing complex, three-dimensional spaces onto a two-dimensional sheet of paper [in old days] is bound to be reductive.

But it is impossible to comprehend the war in Gaza without reference to maps, otherwise the entire conflict is reduced to an endless series of meaningless acts of random violence and the suffering of civilians. The first characteristic of guerrilla warfare is the loss of a front line.

Evidently, different mappers have different ideas of how to depict the war in Gaza, notably those that seek to depict Israeli progress in the ground campaign. Part of the problem is latency. The news that forms the basis of the maps takes time to filter out to mappers, and the cartographers take time in crafting their maps, and it takes time to curate them. These processes are uneven among mappers, so their maps may differ in detail. Probably there is some ideological bias, or at least thematic apperception, which is understandable in wartime. It may come as no surprise that al-Jazeera maps depict rather less Israeli territorial progress than other sources.

Finally, there remains the epistemological question of just exactly what are the colored in areas depicting. Naively, this might be understood as areas of Israeli control, that are no longer contested by the HAMAS. Or possibly these are areas of Israeli presence, in many of which the possibility of an RPG-wielding HAMAS militant popping out of a tunnel unexpectedly remains a live possibility. With the “zero-range” combat characterized by small unit tactics on both sides, maps may be prey to a fallacy of misplaced concreteness.

Bystanders

Amnesty International urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate three Israeli attacks in Gaza that resulted in the deaths of 44 Palestinian civilians, including 32 children, in April. The attacks included a strike that killed children playing foosball at the Maghazi refugee camp on April 16 and two strikes on residential buildings in Rafah on April 19 and 20, the rights group said. In all three cases, there was no evidence of military targets in or around the affected locations and no indication of prior warning, it said.

“Our findings offer crucial evidence of unlawful attacks by the Israeli military as the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court applies for arrest warrants for senior Israeli and Hamas officials, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. As the Israeli military continues to escalate its ground incursion in Rafah, these cases also illustrate the urgent need for an immediate ceasefire,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Amnesty International’s senior director for research, advocacy, policy and campaigns.

“The cases documented here illustrate a clear pattern of attacks over the past seven months in which the Israeli military has flouted international law, killing Palestinian civilians with total impunity and displaying a callous disregard for human lives.”

Meanwhile, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said it is “horrified” by the Israeli attack on Sunday on the camp for displaced Palestinians in Tal as-Sultan and that the “deadly event” shows once again that nowhere is safe in Gaza. The medical charity said more than 15 dead bodies and dozens of wounded people were brought to a trauma stabilization point that it supports in Gaza. It reiterated its call for an immediate and sustained ceasefire.

Balakrishnan Rajagopal, the UN special rapporteur on the right to housing, has called for action against Israel in the wake of its latest attack on displaced Palestinians in Rafah. “Attacking women and children while they cower in their shelters in Rafah is a monstrous atrocity. We need concerted global action to stop Israel’s actions now,” he said in a post on X.

Francesca Albanese, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territory, described Israel’s attack on the tent camp in Rafah as “more horror.” “This cruelty, along with blatant defiance of international law and system, is unacceptable,” she said in a post on X. “The #GazaGenocide will not easily end without external pressure: Israel must face sanctions, justice, suspension of agreements, trade, partnership and investments, as well as participation in international forums.”

Triestino Mariniello, a lawyer with the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCGR), told Al Jazeera that Israel’s latest attack on an area designated as a safe zone in Rafah shows that Israel is still ignoring the ICJ. “These horrible images that arrive from Rafah show that the Israeli authorities are completely disregarding the binding, provisional measures issued by the International Court of Justice, which just two days ago ordered Israel to stop any military action in Rafah,” he said.

Mariniello added that Israel’s “completely arbitrary” designation of safe zones could amount to a “crime against humanity of forcible transfer of a population, considering there is no safe place in Gaza.” He said that it was now up to the UN Security Council to ensure Israel follows the ICJ’s rulings. “The urgent action by the international community should be an immediate session by the Security Council. This should have happened already.”

Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said it filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) over Palestinian journalists killed or wounded by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in Gaza. The organization said it inquired an in investigation into alleged war crimes committed by the Israeli army against at least nine Palestinian reporters between December 15 and May 20. “RSF has filed this third complaint with the Hague-based ICC because the number of journalists killed in Gaza by the IDF is continuing to grow after passing the 100 mark, in an eradication of the Palestinian media,” read the RSF statement.

“Impunity endangers journalists not only in Palestine but also throughout the world,” stated Antoine Bernard, RSF’s advocacy and assistance director. “Those who kill journalists are attacking the public’s right to information, which is even more essential in times of conflict. They must be held accountable, and RSF will continue to work to this end, in solidarity with Gaza’s reporters.” The complaint includes Mustapha Thuraya and Hamza al-Dahdouh, two freelance reporters working for Al Jazeera in Rafah when they were killed by a targeted Israeli drone attack on January 7, said RSF. Hazem Rajab is said to have been wounded in the same attack.

Axis of Resistance

One of the fundamental principles of Iran’s foreign policy is providing support for the Palestinian people and resistance groups, the Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson said, noting that this unshakable approach won’t change after the recent loss of the president and foreign minister. Speaking to reporters at a weekly press conference on Monday, Nasser Kanaani said the presence of over 60 high-ranking foreign delegations in Tehran in the commemorative ceremonies for late President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian illustrated Iran’s outstanding regional and international position.

Supporting the Palestinian nation’s resistance against the Zionist regime is based upon the Islamic Revolution’s tenets, Kanaani noted, stressing that Iran will continue to support Palestine, its resistance currents, and the rights of its people. “Supporting the Palestinian nation is a moral duty and an international responsibility,” the spokesman underlined.

Since the Al-Qassam Brigades broadcast, the day before yesterday, Saturday, footage of the process of luring an Israeli force into a tunnel and killing all its members and capturing some of them, social networking sites have been filled with these footage, which received great interaction and widespread praise for the valor of the Palestinian resistance and its brutality against the occupation despite the siege, hunger, and the unequal power and circumstances on both sides.

Among the scenes that activists focused on greatly was the shot of the Al-Qassam fighter dragging the body of an Israeli soldier after he was killed, where he appeared wearing simple “ Ghazawi slippers ,” often made in Hebron. The activists commented that with these simple capabilities, great patience, and God’s help, Al-Qassam members were able to undermine the myth of the invincible army and trample on the heads of the occupation soldiers.

As part of the reactions to these clips, the Jordanian satirical content creator, Ayman Abli, posted a video clip on his Instagram account in which he discussed these heroic scenes of resistance in his sarcastic way. “Abali” began by showing off the “Ghazawi slipper” that appeared on the foot of the Al-Qassam fighter. He bought a new copy of it and began to brag about it and praise the resistance. The Jordanian activist strongly mocked the occupation army, which the resistance had humiliated with very simple capabilities, and said sarcastically that “these flip-flops will be the fashion of 2024.”

He said while holding a copy of the flip-flops and mocked occupation Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu : “Hebron is pretending and Al-Ghazawi is hitting… I discovered that it is a flip-flop to trample the occupation.”

Allied for Democracy

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Galant have not spoken to each other since the press conference that Galant held about two weeks ago, in which he attacked Netanyahu and demanded that he declare that there will be no military government in Gaza – this was published this evening (Monday) in the evening news at Kaan 11. Netanyahu told reporters the following day that he would speak About this with Gallant, but such a conversation has not taken place so far.

More than a month ago, news was published here that Netanyahu accused the defense minister before the expanded political-security cabinet of leaks from the meetings, and told the ministers: “Every time I sit down for limited meetings with the defense minister, the head of the Mossad and the head of the Shin Bet – everything is leaked,” adding: I know it’s not the head of the Mossad or the head of the Shin Bet, so who could it be?

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid strongly attacked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and responded to his words in the Knesset plenary session. Yair Lapid addressed Netanyahu by saying: “Why are you still prime minister? How can you not go up to this podium now and ask the people for forgiveness and return to your home?” Lapid added: “You (Netanyahu) did not do your part. You failed miserably. You are an illegitimate prime minister and this government is illegitimate!”

He continued: “Reservists serve for 150 days and others for 170 and 180 days, and they risk their lives, and they are killed and injured while you are busy with malicious political tricks. You are not a real prime minister, but rather you are a hostage of extremists like Ben Gvir (extremist National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir) and Smotrich (Minister Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich) The Israeli opposition leader added, addressing Netanyahu: “I expelled you from the Prime Minister’s Office once, and I will do it again.” He continued: “The ministers in your government steal public money, cause us problems with the people, and destroy the future of our children. Under this government, we will not achieve victory in the war. We need to hold immediate elections to form a balanced and serious government.”

In a recent survey conducted by the Jerusalem Center for Foreign Affairs (JCFA), a significant 64 percent of the Israeli public expressed opposition to the establishment of a Palestinian state as part of the normalization process with Saudi Arabia, according to the Jerusalem Post on Monday. The full report is set to be unveiled at the 13th Annual Jerusalem Post Conference in New York next week. The survey, conducted in collaboration with the Panels Politics research institute led by Menachem Lazar, sheds light on the perspectives of both Jewish and Arab Israelis on this pivotal political issue.

The survey results reveal substantial political divides: 84 percent of right-wing voters, 54 percent of centrist voters, and 24 percent of left-wing voters oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state. Conversely, a similar percentage of left-wing voters support the idea unconditionally. Support for a Palestinian state under conditions of recognition and demilitarization dropped notably among respondents aged 60 and above, from 44 percent to 32 percent. Similar declines were observed among those with academic education (from 29 percent to 20 percent) and high-income individuals (from 33 percent to 20 percent).

Opposition was particularly high among younger respondents (70 percent of those aged 18-29), individuals with lower education levels (72 percent), and traditional, religious, and ultra-Orthodox respondents (74 percent, 88 percent, and 91 percent, respectively). Among secular respondents, the opposition rate stood at 54 percent.

The Washington Post published a report in which it said that Donald Trump told donors to his election campaign that he would crush supporters of Palestine and deport the demonstrators. The former president did not express a clear position on the ongoing Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip since October, but he told wealthy donors behind closed doors that he supports Israel’s right to continue its “war” against what he called “terrorism.”

The newspaper reported that Trump told a room full of donors, which he joked represented “98% of my Jewish friends,” that he would crush pro-Palestine demonstrators on American universities and deport the demonstrators, according to people who participated in a roundtable meeting in New York. In the meeting held on May 14, he said: “One thing I will do: I will throw the students who demonstrated out of the country. As you know, there are a lot of foreign students. The moment they hear these words, their behavior will change,” he said.

When one of the attendees complained that some of the students and professors participating in the demonstrations could one day hold positions of power, Trump responded that the demonstrators were part of a “radical revolution” and swore he would defeat it. He praised the New York City police officers who attacked a sit-in camp at Columbia University, and said that other cities should follow New York’s example, and that “this must stop now.” He added: “Well, if you help elect me, and you should, we will set this movement back 25 or 30 years,” according to donors who requested anonymity.

The Washington Post indicated that Trump expressed to public opinion hesitant positions regarding whether the Israeli entity should continue the aggression against Gaza or should it stop, as he said: “End the matter, return to peace, and stop killing people.” However, major donors to the Republican Party have pressured him in recent months to show a strong position and support “Israel” and its Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Trump did not provide specific details regarding his dealings with the Israeli entity in his second term. In an interview with Time magazine, he doubted the possibility of the emergence of a viable Palestinian state, and said: “I am not sure if the two-state solution will succeed,” adding: “Maybe there is no other idea,” even though the two-state solution has been the policy of Republican and Democratic administrations for decades.

The newspaper says that Biden and Trump found it difficult to deal during their election campaigns with policies related to the “Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Biden’s camp is deeply divided over the war, but Trump’s limited rhetoric regarding this war has limited his ability to capitalize on the problems that the camp opposing him suffers from.

Operation Iron Swords – By the Numbers

1,900,000 IDPs in Gaza
80,843 Gazans injured, 28% adult male
70,000 tons of explosives dropped on Gaza
70,000 Gaza housing units completely destroyed
70,000 Israeli IDPs from Lebanon border
45,000 bombs dropped in Gaza
45,000 Gazans killed, including buried under rubble
35,984 Gazans martyred
33,000 Gaza targets attacked
20,528 Palestinians in Israeli prisons [Haaretz, 20 Mar 2024]
15,140 Israelis injured [i24 TV]
15,000 terror operatives killed in Gaza [Israeli officials]
15,000 rockets launched from Gaza
14,520 Gazan children martyred
13,000 HAMAS combatants killed [N12]
13,000 HAMAS combatants killed [IDF]
11,000 arrested by Israelis in the West Bank in 2023
10,000 Gazans missing under the rubble
9,920 Gazan women martyred
9,400 Palestinians in Israeli prisons
9,000 IDF needing psychological assistance
8,890 arrested by Israelis in the West Bank since Oct.7th
7,209 IDF injured admitted to rehabilitation [IDF]
6,800 IDF officers and soldiers injured [Channel 12]
6,000 HAMAS combatants killed [HAMAS]
5,500 IDF wounded [reports]
5,000 West Bank Palestinians wounded
4,700 sites targetted in Lebanon
3,850 wanted persons arrested throughout Judea and Samaria
3,600 administrative detainees
3,188 IDF wounded [IDF]
2,100 Gazan women are missing
1,609 terrorists killed on the first day
1,650 wanted persons arrested throughout Judea and Samaria affiliated with Hamas
1,160 Israelis killed on the first day
635 Israeli officers and soldiers killed since the start of the war
518 West Bank Palestinians martyred
364 people [including fighters] killed in Lebanon
283 Israeli officers and soldiers killed in Gaza
240 Hezbollah fighters killed in Lebanon
126 people recovered, including 91 Israelis, 11 bodies, and 24 foreign workers
86 living hostages in Palestinian custody
70 civilians killed in Lebanon
39 dead hostages in Palestinian custody
29 IDF deaths were caused by "friendly fire"
15 Israelis killed in the West Bank and Israel 

Not every number is reported every day, so sudden jumps generally reflect reporting artifacts rather than actual upticks. Many of these numbers fluctate, up and down, with no apparent explanation. This list records the highest number reliably reported for each matter, under the theory that reality with catch up with reports, as is relentlessly the case.

Some reports claimed that the UN cut in half its earlier estimates of women and children killed in Gaza. Initially, they reported 9,500 women and 14,500 children killed, but later revised it to 4,959 women and 7,797 children on 08 May 2024. The UN acknowledged its inability to independently verify casualty figures. The seeming discrepancy is that HAMAS had about 10K KIA bodies on hand for which they do not have positive ID. It is possible to report the gender and approximate age [ie, juvenile] without knowing the name of the deceased.

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