Home Frontline Defense Frontline Defense: June 19, 2018

Frontline Defense: June 19, 2018

Palestinian protesters fly a kite with a burning rag dangling from its tail to during a protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, April 20, 2018. (Photo: AP/Khalil Hamra)

Gaza Strip

Palestinian terrorists threw several grenades, Molotov cocktails, and a pipe bomb at Israeli Defense Force soldiers located near the Gaza border fence on June 4, 2018.  According to an IDF Spokesman, this recent attack reinforces “the violent nature of the rioting led by Hamas to carry out attacks against IDF forces and Israeli civilians.”

Israel destroyed a Hamas dug tunnel that led from Gaza into the Mediterranean Sea last June 10. Terror groups that dominate the territory intended to use the almost two-mile long tunnel to carry out attacks against Israeli targets. The subterranean passage stretched dozens of yards into the sea granting terrorists a quick exit from Gaza.

The IDF attacked over 65 targets in the Gaza strip bearing allegiance to the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas. The airstrikes targeted a munitions manufacturing site and two military compounds. The airstrikes are in response to the explosive and incendiary kites that have been penetrating Israeli airspace. According to Israeli media outlets, Palestinian terrorists prepared 5,000 additional incendiary kites to mark the end of Ramadan. An Israeli government spokesman added that Israel has struggled to find a solution to the low-tech fire kites that have burned more than 6,000 acres and ignited more than 400 fires. Israel maintains that the Hamas terror group remains responsible for orchestrating the bombardment by incendiary kites.

Ten fires scorched the Be’eri, Kissufim, and Nir Am regions of Israel. Although firefighting forces and security coordinators were able to contain the fires and no injuries were reported, the flames severely damaged to crops and wooded areas.  In response to the ecological disruption, Israeli residents from the Gaza border gathered for a tree-planting ceremony in an attempt to reverse the environmental destruction.

A 24-year-old Palestinian was tampering with an Israeli fortification on the Gaza border June 18 and was killed when the sabotaged barricade exploded. According to the Israeli military “the security infrastructure exploded, and as a result of that, there were casualties among the terrorists.”

The Trump administration has asked Arab monarchies in the Persian Gulf to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into the Gaza Strip to stabilize Gaza’s economy and provide a pathway to an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan after months of violent demonstrations. According to Haaretz, one of the significant projects includes creating a large desalination plant in the Gaza Strip to provide more running water and additional electricity.

West Bank

IDF soldiers conducting a military operation in the Nur Shams refugee camp located in the West Bank opened fire on a car that radically accelerated in their direction on June 10, 2018.

The Israeli Police’s West Bank division has opened an investigation into a bias attack the West Bank village of Burin on June 8th. Eighty-five bales of hay in were burned and Hebrew graffiti surrounded the destroyed crops, in what appears to be the latest instance in a recent rise in hate crimes blamed on extremist Jewish settlers in the West Bank. The phrase “Enough with the agricultural terror” was written in spray paint on the one bale of hay that did not get burned.

Israeli police evicted Jewish settlers from 15 illegally built homes on private Palestinian land in the West Bank. Five hundred protesters demonstrated against the eviction, with some throwing stones and bottles at police. According to Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, the protest resulted in the injury of six officers, as well as the arrest of three demonstrators. However, most of the evictions proceeded without violence.

Palestinian security forces shot stun grenades and tear gas to end an anti-government protest that occurred in Ramallah on June 14.  The protesters were demanding that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas terminate aid restrictions to the Hamas-run administration in Gaza.

IDF soldiers arrested more than 20 members of a Hamas terror cell in Nablus on June 17. The group planned on manufacturing explosives and were allegedly responsible for planning attacks such as suicide bombings in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Golan Heights

Syria recently deployed additional air defense systems near the Israeli border amidst heightened tension over Iran’s cooperation and presence in the country. According to a Reuters report, the air defense reinforcement included the deployment of Russian Pantsir S-1 which updated current Syrian infrastructure. The Israeli Air Force destroyed the previous Syrian air defense system in May 2018 after Iranian forces utilized the system to launch 32 missiles at Israeli troops positioned in the Golan Heights.

The Assad regime has disguised Iran-allied militias and members of Hezbollah as its own fighters, a battlefield tactic to avoid further Israeli airstrikes against Iranian targets in Syria.  According to a Wall Street Journal report, the soldiers have adopted the uniforms of the sectarian Tigers Militia to conceal their Iranian affiliation.