Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon revealed that the IDF destroyed approximately 80% of Hamas’s rocket and mortar arsenals in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. Accordingly, the terrorist organization only retains about 2,000 rockets.
Hamas arrested a militant who launched a rocket at Israel in mid-September. The rocket, which caused no injuries, has been the only one launched into Israel since the end of the summer’s war.
Highlighting the work of Israel’s Navy Squadron 916, The Jerusalem Post described how the unit has foiled multiple attempts to smuggle weapons into Gaza from the Sinai by sea. Meanwhile, Hamas has tested several rockets by firing them into the Mediterranean.
Cmdr. Eli Soholitski, outgoing head of Squadron 916, addresses sailors. (Photo: IDF)
During a speech to the UN General Assembly on October 3rd, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas asked for $4 billion in emergency aid relief to Gaza and another $4.5 billion for his government through 2017. On Arabic language Al-Awad television, Fatah spokesman Ahmad Assaf accused Hamas of corruption, saying the terrorist group stole $700 million in donations meant to rebuild Gaza.
Concluding a three-month manhunt, Israeli forces raided the Hebron hideout of Marwan Kawasme and Amer Abu Aysha, the two Hamas members suspected of having kidnapped and murdered three Jewish teenagers earlier this summer. After refusing to surrender peacefully and firing at Israeli troops, the two suspects were killed during the subsequent firefight.
Two Palestinians in possession of explosive materials were arrested by the Israeli Border Police on October 2nd near the West Bank town of Ariel. In a separate incident on the same day, police launched an investigation into the stoning of a car, with two teenage girls inside, by a “gang of youths” near the A-Tur neighborhood in East Jerusalem.
The IDF shot down a Syrian Sukhoi 24 fighter jet with a Patriot missile on September 23rd. The plane had entered Israeli airspace over the Golan and was in the process of returning to Syria when it was hit. In a video posted online, two pilots ejected from the jet and can be seen parachuting to the ground near Quneitra, Syria. Israel’s Air Force maintains a zero tolerance policy for military aircraft incursions, even if the pilots strayed out of Syria unintentionally.
According to a recent UN report, UNDOF peacekeepers in the Golan Heights were subjected to horrific scenes created by al-Qaeda-linked militants fighting in Syria. Following an al-Nusra takeover of a Syrian army base in April, the rebels murdered and decapitated government soldiers, displaying their heads outside UN position 80. Al-Nusra fighters in Syria also reportedly seized weapons, uniforms and vehicles belonging to UN peacekeepers and looted UN property after the mission left the area due to security concerns. The Philippines announced it would withdraw all its peacekeepers following their retreat into Israel last month.
A Syrian fighter jet is seen in flames after it was hit by the Israeli military. (Photo: AFP)
A shell from Syria landed near an Israeli news reporter in the Golan Heights on September 17th, the second such incident in a week. On October 3rd, the IDF launched an investigation into another explosion in the Golan, after a shell landed near an IDF unit patrolling the area.
Today, Hezbollah claimed responsibility for an IED that destroyed an Israeli tank and wounded two Israeli soldiers near Har Dov along the northern tip of the Israeli Golan. In response, the IDF fired artillery into Lebanon. The bombing comes two days after Israeli soldiers opened fire on two or three suspects trying to infiltrate Israel from Lebanon. After one person in the group was injured, the cell retreated north across the border.
Outgoing District Commander Col. Efi Mishov told Israeli media that a confrontation with Hezbollah in Lebanon could prove to be much more destructive to the Israeli homeland than the previous conflict with Hamas. The IDF estimates that Hezbollah has 100,000 rockets, an arsenal ten times the size of Hamas’s, and the terrorist organization possesses 5,000 long range rockets capable of targeting central Israel.
According to an Armed Forces spokesman, Egyptian security forces killed 26 “terrorists” during operations in the governorates of North Sinai, Ismailia, Port Said, and Daqahliyah in late September.
The Sinai based terrorist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis released a video in early October showing the beheading of three men accused of collaborating with Israeli intelligence. This is the second video released by the group, which executed four other men in late August. Militants in Sinai also kidnapped a Sufi leader in Sheikh Zuweid on October 3rd, according to local tribesmen in the area.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that Washington will finally deliver 10 Apache helicopters to the Egyptian army to assist in the fight against Islamic insurgents in Sinai. The helicopter delivery has been suspended for over a year since the military coup that deposed former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.