Home Frontline Defense Frontline Defense: August 7, 2018

Frontline Defense: August 7, 2018

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Palestinians prepare to fly a kite near the Gaza border with Israel, east of Jabalia, on August 3, 2018. (Photo: AFP/ Mahmud Hams)

Gaza Strip

Palestinian rioters used airborne incendiary devices to start more than 40 fires in Israel over the weekend of August 4. The Israel Defense Forces indicated two airstrikes against terror cells trying to launch flammable objects, which come in the form of kites, balloons, and drones. Meanwhile, one Palestinian was killed and another 90 injured in clashes with Israel soldiers. Israeli officials say that the Palestinians have burned over 7,000 acres of land.

An Israeli tanked shelled a Hamas outpost on August 7, killing two snipers who attacked IDF soldiers patrolling the border with Gaza. Hamas claimed that the two men were part of its “military wing.” The Israeli government released a video of the men firing small arms.

The Israeli navy intercepted a Swedish-flagged vessel attempting to breach the sea blockade of Gaza on August 4. An Israeli government spokesperson said 12 European and Canadian nationals would be deported after processing. The government reiterated that Israel will permit humanitarian goods to enter the Palestinian enclave through the Israeli port of Ashdod but not allow unauthorized vessels to circumvent the security blockade.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman tweeted a video showing a new land barrier extending into the sea from beaches connecting northern Gaza to Israel. The breakwater will reach 650 feet long by 160 feet wide and is part of a broader campaign to prevent Hamas divers from infiltrating the Jewish state.

Israeli news media website Ynet reported that Iran gives Gaza-based terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad $70 million and $30 million each year, respectively. Furthermore, there is a disagreement among the Hamas leadership over whether to hold reconciliation talks with Fatah, a moved opposed by Saleh al-Arouri, the pro-Iranian head of a terrorist arm of the group and organizer of the 2014 kidnapping and murder of three Israelis at the start of that summer’s Hamas-Israel war.

Syria

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Asad overran the last pockets of rebel fighters near Quneitra in late July, reestablishing the government’s control over the whole border with Israel along the Golan Heights. In response, the Israeli government began dismantling the Mazor Ladach humanitarian assistance camp that was constructed last August as part of Operation Good Neighbor. The facility provided medical assistance to approximately 6,800 Syrians.

Russian military police joined UN peacekeepers returning to the Syrian side of the Golan Heights on August 2, following a campaign to defeat rebels in the area. Russian forces will conduct joint patrols with international observers as Israeli leaders continue to voice concern over Iranian influence in the area.

Israel’s Mossad spy agency planted a car bomb killing Aziz Asbar, a prominent Syrian rocket scientist, on August 5, according to unnamed intelligence officials cited in a New York Times report. The Israeli government suspected Asbar of recreating a weapons facility near the northwestern city of Masyah, a facility that the IDF had attacked before, that utilized both Iranian and Syrian expertise to develop advanced precision-guided missiles that could attack Israeli cities.

West Bank

Israeli authorities released Ahed Tamimi, a 17-year-old Palestinian news media favorite sometimes called “Shirley Temper” by skeptics in Israel, after she served eight months in prison for assaulting an Israeli soldier.

Sinai Peninsula

The Egyptian army released a statement saying it had killed 52 terrorists in Sinai, bringing the death toll of jihadists to more than 300 since launching its anti-insurgency campaign in February.