Home Frontline Defense Frontline Defense: March 21, 2017

Frontline Defense: March 21, 2017

An IDF soldier launches a Skylark drone in 2013. (Photo: IDF)

Israel and the West Bank

A military court in Judea sentence Muhammad Haruv to four life sentences in prison. He was convicted of shooting and killing four people, including American Ezra Schwartz, during a terrorist attack in November 2015.  

A Palestinian terrorist injured two border policeman during a stabbing attack near the Lion’s Gate in Jerusalem on March 13. The assailant, Ibrahim Mattar, was shot dead by one of the officers at the scene.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman designated the Palestinian National Fund as a terrorist organization on March 16. In a statement released to the press, the Defense Minister accused the fund of “continuous and sustained support to entities responsible for serious terrorist activity against Israel,” such as paying the families of convicted terrorists.

A Palestinian police officer was shot and killed during a raid by the Palestinian security forces at the Balata refugee camp in the West Bank. The raid’s target, Ahmed Al-Zabour, was accused of murder and was an enemy of the Nablus governor.

Golan Heights

The Arrow 2 missile system intercepted an SA-5 surface-to-air missile that the Syrian government launched at an Israeli fighter jet on March 17. While Arrow 2 is designed to destroy SCUD missiles in flight, military commanders thought that the SA-5’s trajectory could threaten Israeli “cities and towns.” IAF officials characterized the mission in Syria as successful, saying it had destroyed “high-value assets” headed for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Defense Minister Liberman also warned that Israel could target Syrian air defense system if government forces fire anti-aircraft missile again at Israeli aircraft.

An IDF spokesperson acknowledged that the Israeli military lost a UAV over Quneitra, Syria on March 20, but disputed the accusation it was shot down. Sources close to Hezbollah claimed they shot down a Skylark drone, releasing pictures it on Twitter.

An airstrike from an Israeli drone reportedly killed a fighter loyal to the Syrian government in Quneitra on March 19. The pro-Asad militia National Defense Force named the man as Yasser Hussien Assayed and published pictures of the alleged bombing.

The Iraqi Shia terror group Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba announced that it would seek to “liberate” the Golan Heights from Israel. The organization has received funding, training, and weapons from Tehran, including Russian-made T-90 tanks and Iranian rockets.

A top general in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps claimed that Iran had assisted Hezbollah in long-range rocket production in Lebanon, according to Kuwaiti media.


A roadside bomb killed a police Colonel during a patrol in el-Arish on March 8, according to an Egyptian Interior Ministry announcement.  No one claimed responsibility for the attack, which came days after the government claimed to arrest 12 leaders of the Islamic State in Sinai.


Israel launched airstrikes against Hamas facilities in Gaza in retaliation for rocket launchings from the enclave on March 18. An Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility for the provocation.

A Skylark drone on routine patrol crashed in northern Gaza on March 15. The Israeli army said it would investigate the incident, as the UAV had been operated by the IDF’s artillery corps.

A Hamas military court in Gaza sentenced two drug dealers to death on March 19. Recent reports have indicated an increase in Marijuana and prescription painkillers smuggled into the enclave.