Israel and the West Bank
Israeli security forces uncovered an illegal Palestinian gun factory during an overnight raid near the West Bank city of Hebron. At the scene troops found bullets, milling machines, and other gun parts.
The IDF conducted a drill on December 5 simulating a Hamas infiltration from Gaza-based tunnels. The focus on cooperation between the different military services for a shoreline incursion.
In response to gunfire targeting two IDF soldiers, an Israeli tank shelled a Hamas outpost on December 19. The soldiers had been protecting civilians working on the border fence with Gaza.
Hamas held a rally in Gaza earlier this month to celebrate the 29th anniversary of its founding. The gathering attracted tens of thousands of people, and included a show of force with masked gunman marching and children dressed in suicide vests.
Hamas has begun using kites and mini action cameras, such as GoPros, to monitor Israeli troop movements near the border with Gaza. The IDF responds to every detected kite deployment, but the terrorist movement is often quick to remove them.
Al-Aqsa Radio announced that officials with the Hamas-run government in Gaza recovered three bodies from a flooded tunnel connecting Gaza and Egypt in early December.
The Egyptian army announced on December 6, that it had killed eight militants and arrested 12 others during an operation in northern Sinai. Security forces also destroyed buildings used as a weapons cache.
Islamic State in Sinai claimed that it launched two grad rockets at the Nitzana border crossing in southern Israel. Even though Israeli alert sirens activated, the rockets failed to reach Israel.
The Times of Israel reported that Hamas is still providing weapons and medical assistance to Islamic State’s Sinai affiliate. Arab sources say that these weapons include anti-tank missile and improvised explosive devices.
Colombia will deploy 165 troops to serve with the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) peacekeeping force stationed in Sinai.
Hamas said one of its engineers had been shot and killed in Tunisia in mid-December. Mohammed Alzoari had been a member of Hamas’s military wing for the past 10 years and help developed drones for the group. The Israeli government declined to comment on the incident.