Sunday, July 21, 2024

Iran has something to fear: Israeli strike on Yemen shows IAF can reach Tehran - analysis

In the months since the beginning of the war, the Houthis from Yemen have launched hundreds of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and missiles of various types towards Israel. Still, there was something unusual about the drone that hit Tel Aviv, killing an Israeli citizen and wounding others.

The Israel Air Force identified it in the final stage of entering the Mediterranean Sea but did not classify it as a threat to the Israeli home front. It is possible that the control system thought it was a civilian aircraft or an Egyptian or American UAV and, therefore, did not rush to shoot it down.

In the flight and attack, which lasted for many hours, the Houthis proved not only their ability but also their creativity. At this point, the security establishment probably felt that the Houthies had stepped up with Iran's encouragement.

According to Walla! Netanyahu asked for response options already on Friday. On Saturday, he held consultations with the heads of the security establishment. When he realized there were recommendations for a measured response, he recommended an aggressive response. Due to the risk, he decided to convene the security cabinet, which approved the broad attack.

The IDF has maintained ambiguity regarding the number of aircraft participating in the attack. Still, the fact that the fighter jets reached a range of 1,700 km is enough to demonstrate air power. READ MORE

After deadly Tel Aviv attack, restraint against Houthis was no longer deemed an option

Yemen’s Houthi rebels, another of Iran’s terror proxies avowedly seeking to destroy Israel, have been targeting the country since soon after Hamas’s October 7 invasion and slaughter. And Israel had elected not to strike back, even after a missile scored a direct hit on Eilat in March.

But in the early hours of Friday morning, an apparently upgraded Houthi drone evaded Israel’s defenses — for reasons thus far ascribed by the IDF to “human error” — and exploded in Tel Aviv, striking an apartment bloc and killing a 50-year-old Israeli, Yevgeny Ferder. The Houthis declared that this marked a “new phase” in their operations against Israel.

At this point, Israeli security chiefs are reported to have told cabinet ministers who gathered in an emergency session on Shabbat afternoon, restraint was no longer an option.

Israel’s air force had therefore just targeted the Red Sea port of Hodeida, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the nation in a recorded video statement after Shabbat had ended, because it was the entry point for Iranian weaponry used by the Houthis against Israel and other Iranian enemies in the region. The US-led coalition trying to thwart Houthi attacks on international shipping in the Red Sea has not operated against the port in western Yemen, in part at least because it is also used for civilian purposes.

Hitting facilities over 1,800 kilometers (1,100 miles) away, the strike was among the most complicated ever carried out by Israel, the IDF Spokesman Daniel Hagari said.

Israel plainly recognizes the potential for its unprecedented direct retaliation against the Houthis to trigger still further escalation. It informed the United States ahead of Saturday’s strike, and is understood to have given advance warning to others in the region as well. WATCH

IDF spokesman: We increased the defense systems, are ready on all fronts

IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari on Saturday night spoke to the media, following the IAF's retaliatory strike in Yemen.

The IAF strike followed an early Friday UAV attack on Tel Aviv, which killed one person and injured 10 others.

"Today, Israel has stepped up its actions in self-defense against these attacks," he said. "Israeli Air Force conducted precise strikes on Houthi military targets in Yemen. The military target was the Al Hudaydah Port, used by the Houthis as the main supply route for the transfer of Iranian weapons from Iran to Yemen, like the UAV itself that was used in the attack on Friday morning. In the area of the port, the Israeli Air Force struck dual-use infrastructure used for terrorist activities, including energy infrastructure. Israel's necessary and proportionate strikes were carried out in order to stop the Houthi's terror attacks."

He emphasized that "The Al Hudaydah Port serves as an entryway of Iranian weapons for the Houthi terrorist regime and as a significant economic source for them." The strike, conducted over 1,800 kilometers away from Israel, was one of the furthest-away strikes the IAF ever conducted.

Hagari confirmed that all planes which took part in the attack on Yemen returned safely to Israel, stressing, "We increased the defense systems, and we are prepared on all fronts. At the same time, there are no changes in the Home Front Command's instructions. If there are - we will update." 

He noted that the Houthi threat "goes far beyond Israel. The Houthis target other countries in the Middle East, the United States of America, and the world with their attacks on international shipping in the Red Sea, and not just the Red Sea. Who is behind the Houthis? One country, Iran. The Iranian regime funds, arms, and directs the Houthi's terror activity."

"The international maritime coalition, led by CENTCOM, as well as the IDF, have stopped many of those Houthi attacks in recent months. We see a common interest for all countries attacked by Iranian-backed Houthi terrorism to stand together against this threat."

However, Hagari stressed, "Today, this was an IDF-only action. I want to repeat it: today, this was an IDF-only action. We will continue to defend the people of Israel from all threats near and far."

Responding to the criticism of the fact that Israel retaliates to her enemies' attacks only after they fire on Tel Aviv, he said, "This is the first time that an Iranian UAV has infiltrated the country's territory and killed an Israeli citizen. This is extremely serious. It does not matter where it happened in Israel. This response is cumulative, responding to everything which has happened."Israel National News - Arutz Sheva

Austin and Gallant speak after Israeli attack in Yemen: Followed months of Houthi attacks

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke on Saturday with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant about Israel's response to the Houthi attack that occurred on July 19 in Tel Aviv, killing one Israeli citizen and wounding others.

The Pentagon said in a statement following the conversation that “Secretary Austin acknowledged Israel's action followed months of Houthi attacks against the State of Israel.”

Austin “reaffirmed the United States' ironclad commitment to Israel's security and Israel's right to self-defense,” added the statement.

IAF fighter planes on Saturday afternoon struck 12 Houthi military targets near Yemen's Al Hudaydah Port. The IDF thereafter raised the alert levels for the IAF and the Navy.

Arab media reported that Israel conducted a series of strikes against oil refinery facilities, an energy plant, and additional targets near the port.

The IDF stressed that these strikes were conducted as a response to the "hundreds of attacks" against Israel since October 7.

According to Al Mayadeen, F-35s were among the planes used in the attack. Al-Hadath reported that there were at least 10 strikes.

Several hours before the attack, the Cabinet met for a special secret meeting, attended by the Shabbat-observant ministers as well. The ministers received personal invitations from the National Security Council chief, Tzachi Hanegbi, in order to prevent information from being leaked prior to the attack.

The attack in Yemen followed Thursday night’s Houthi drone attack which hit a residential building in Tel Aviv located one block away from the US Embassy Branch Office.

Thursday night’s attack killed Yevgeny Perder, 50. Perder was found in his bed approximately two hours after the incident.

Footage uploaded to social media shows the Iranian-made Samad-3 drone flying over the beach and the first line of buildings, including the US Embassy Tel Aviv branch office, and exploding slightly further inland.

The Samad-3 is a kamikaze drone which according to the Arab press can fly a distance of 1,500 to 1,700 km. The drone has "advanced technologies," which makes it less detectable. Israel National News - Arutz Sheva

Sirens in Eilat: Arrow system intercepts missile fired from Yemen

Sirens were sounded on Sunday morning, around 6:15 a.m., in Eilat and the surrounding area.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit later announced, “A short while ago, the IDF Aerial Defense Array successfully intercepted a surface-to-surface missile that approached Israeli territory from Yemen using the ‘Arrow 3’ Aerial Defense System.”

“The projectile did not cross into Israeli territory. Rocket and missile sirens were sounded following the possibility of falling shrapnel. The incident has concluded.”

The missile fire from Yemen comes after IAF fighter planes on Saturday afternoon struck 12 Houthi military targets near Yemen's Al Hudaydah Port.

Arab media reported that Israel conducted a series of strikes against oil refinery facilities, an energy plant, and additional targets near the port.

The IDF stressed that these strikes were conducted as a response to the "hundreds of attacks" against Israel since October 7.

According to Al Mayadeen, F-35s were among the planes used in the attack. Al-Hadath reported that there were at least 10 strikes.

Al-Masirah TV, which is affiliated with the Houthis, reported that three people were killed and 87 were wounded in the Israeli strikes. WATCH

The attack in Yemen followed Thursday night’s Houthi drone attack which hit a residential building in Tel Aviv located one block away from the US Embassy Branch Office.

Thursday night’s attack killed Yevgeny Perder, 50. Perder was found in his bed approximately two hours after the incident.

Saturday, July 20, 2024

Israeli jets strike Houthi targets in Yemen in response to attacks, military says

CAIRO – The Israeli military said on Saturday that its fighter jets struck Houthi military targets in the area of Hodeidah port in Yemen in response to hundreds of attacks carried out against Israel in recent months.

Al-Masirah TV, the main television news outlet run by Yemen's Houthi movement, reported that the strikes were directed against oil facilities in the port and caused fatalities.

Hodeidah residents told Reuters by phone that explosions were heard throughout the city during an intensive bombardment.

On Friday, a long-range Iranian-made drone hit the centre of Tel Aviv in an attack claimed by the Houthi militia and which killed one man and wounded others, the Israeli military and emergency services said.

"IDF fighter jets struck military targets of the Houthi terrorist regime in the area of the (Hodeidah) port in Yemen in response to the hundreds of attacks carried out against the state of Israel in recent months," Israel's military said.

The Iranian-backed Houthis have stepped up attacks against Israel and Western targets, saying they are acting in solidarity with the Palestinians.

They began attacking Western ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden after Israel invaded the Gaza Strip following last year's attack by Hamas militants on southern Israel.

"A brutal Israeli aggression targeted civilian buildings, oil facilities and power station in Hodeidah aiming at pressuring Yemen to stop supporting Gaza... but the attack will only increase our determination, steadfastness, continuity," Mohammed Abdulsalam, the chief negotiator for Houthi movement, said in a statement on X.

Hamas stormed Israeli towns on Oct. 7, killing about 1,200 people and taking more than 250 hostages back to Gaza, according to Israeli tallies. Since then, nearly 39,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel's assault on the Gaza Strip, according to health authorities in the enclave.

Hezbollah launches dozens of rockets at north; drone from Lebanon intercepted

Hezbollah launched some 65 rockets from Lebanon at northern Israel on Friday, according to the military, after a senior commander in the Lebanese terror group’s elite Radwan force was killed in an Israeli strike the night before.

A Hezbollah statement claiming responsibility for the rocket fire said the barrages were a response to recent IDF strikes in southern Lebanon, without specifically mentioning Thursday’s airstrike on Ali Jaafar Maatouk and other operatives.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, several of the rockets were shot down by the Iron Dome air defense system, while others impacted open areas.

No injuries were caused and troops shelled the launch sites with artillery, the IDF said.

Later, a rocket launcher used in one of the barrages against the community of Abirim was targeted in a drone strike, alongside a building used by the terror group, in southern Lebanon’s Ayta ash-Shab, the military said.

Meanwhile, the IDF said fighter jets struck Hezbollah weapons depots in Blida, Tayr Harfa and Houla. Another Hezbollah site was also struck in Houla, the IDF added. READ MORE

Houthis’ deadly Tel Aviv drone strike: ‘Lucky shot’ or strategic threat?

Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who claimed a deadly strike far from their borders inside Israel early Friday, have built up a significant drone arsenal.

Since November, the Iran-backed Houthis have carried out dozens of drone and missile attacks against shipping in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, in what they say is an act of solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza amid the Israel-Hamas war there.

The war was sparked by Hamas’s shock October 7 assault, in which thousands of terrorists stormed southern Israel to kill nearly 1,200 people and take 251 hostages.

After repeatedly threatening to expand their operations, the Yemeni rebels claimed a drone attack Friday on Tel Aviv that killed one person and wounded several others.

It marked a “new phase” in their operations against Israel, said the Houthis, who have been steadily developing their drone capabilities since 2014, when they seized the Yemeni capital Sanaa in an Iran-backed rebellion.

Here is background on the Houthis’ technology: READ MORE

World Court: Israeli presence in East Jerusalem, West Bank is illegal and must end

In a conclusive and unambiguous decision, the International Court of Justice declared in a non-binding ruling Friday that Israel’s 56-year long rule in “the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967” is “illegal,” and that it is obligated to bring its presence in that territory to an end “as rapidly as possible.”

In its decision, the ICJ said it determined Israel’s policy of settlement in the West Bank violates international law, and that Israel had effectively annexed large parts of the West Bank — along with East Jerusalem, which was formally annexed in1980 — due to some of the apparently permanent aspects of Israeli rule there.

The legal consequences of its findings, the court ruled, were that Israel must end its control of these areas, cease new settlement activity, “repeal all legislation and measures creating or maintaining the unlawful situation” — including those which it said “discriminate against the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory” — and provide reparations for any damage caused by its “wrongful acts.”

In addition, the court said that all UN member states are obligated not to recognize changes to the status of the territory, and that all states are obligated not to aid or assist Israel’s rule of the territories, and ensure that any impediment “to the exercise of the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination is brought to an end.”

The court also said that despite the complete civilian and military withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, Israel has “remained capable of exercising, and continued to exercise, certain key elements of authority” there. It added “this is even more so” since the Hamas-led October 7 attack that started the ongoing Gaza war.

The ICJ’s decision is an advisory opinion and has no direct legal consequences on Israel or other UN member states, but it could be another blow to the Jewish state’s international standing and add political pressure over its devastating nine-month-old war against Palestinian terror group Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Israel did not take part in the hearings, instead submitting a written contribution that described the questions the court had been asked as “prejudicial” and “tendentious.” READ MORE

Report: Biden won’t give Netanyahu ‘satisfaction’ of quitting before PM’s trip to DC

Joe Biden’s advisers believe the United States president does not want to bow out of the November election before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s trip to Washington this week, as Biden is unwilling to give Netanyahu “the satisfaction” given the two leaders’ tensions over the war in Gaza, The New York Times reported on Friday.

The report, citing several unnamed people close to Biden, came after the Axios news site on Friday cited top Democrats as saying Biden had resigned himself to the pressure on him to quit, and could bow out as soon as this weekend.

But advisors say that Netanyahu’s impending visit could draw out the process of Biden pulling out of the race, with the president unwilling to give Netanyahu the satisfaction, given their strained relations lately over the Gaza war.

US-Israel tensions have simmered in recent months over the civilian toll in Gaza and the shortage of humanitarian aid there; the lack of a tangible plan by Netanyahu for Gaza’s post-war governance; Biden’s withholding arms from Israel over its offensive in Rafah; and Netanyahu’s perceived derailing of talks, mediated in part by the US, to secure a ceasefire and release of hostages held in Gaza. At least one member of Netanyahu’s government has also explicitly endorsed Biden’s rival, former US president Donald Trump, in the upcoming election. READ MORE

IDF Spokesperson: We will not allow Iran and its proxies to terrorize our civilians


IDF Spokesperson, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari: "Iran is funding, arming and directing its terror proxies in their attacks on Israel and the wider world. We will not allow Iran and its proxies to terrorize our civilians and we will continue to do everything we can to protect Israel’s people and borders." WATCH

Blinken: Iran could be weeks away from enough uranium for a bomb

Iran is capable of producing fissile material for use in a nuclear weapon within "one or two weeks," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday, according to a report in the AFP news agency.

Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum, Blinken said that "what we've seen in the last weeks and months is an Iran that's actually moving forward" with its nuclear program.

The Secretary of State blamed the acceleration of Iran’s nuclear capabilities on former President Donald Trump’s decision in 2018 to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

“When this administration came in, we tried to pursue again, nuclear diplomacy with Iran, because if you could at least take one problem off the board, which is Iran potentially with a nuclear weapon, that’s inherently a good thing,” said Blinken.

"Instead of being at least a year away from having the breakout capacity of producing fissile material for a nuclear weapon, (Iran) is now probably one or two weeks away from doing that," he added.

Blinken stressed that Iran had not yet developed a nuclear weapon.

The Secretary of State’s comments follow recent reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) indicating that Iran has accelerated its uranium enrichment.

A report from late June by the UN atomic energy found that Iran has installed half the advanced uranium-enriching machines it said earlier it would quickly add to its Fordow site but has not yet brought them online.

The IAEA's previous report determined that Iran has started up new cascades of advanced centrifuges and plans to install others in the coming weeks after facing criticism over its nuclear program.

The UN agency released a report at the end of May which found that Iran has further increased its stockpile of uranium enriched to near weapons-grade levels. Israel National News - Arutz Sheva

Friday, July 19, 2024

Global technology outage disrupts major airlines, 911 services and businesses

major cyber outage has grounded flights and disrupted businesses and media organizations throughout the world.

The technology glitch caused chaos on Friday morning with Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United Airlines issuing statements saying that their flight operations had been impacted. Emergency response systems were down at police agencies and healthcare providers in Phoenix, Arizona, forcing some police and ambulance providers to dispatch cars manually, per The Arizona Republic.

Banks and financial services firms from Australia to India and Germany warned customers of disruptions. In Britain, booking systems used by doctors were offline, multiple reports from medical officials on X said, while Sky News, one of the country's major news broadcasters was off air, apologizing for being unable to transmit live, and soccer club Manchester United said on X that it had to postpone a scheduled release of tickets. (Read More)

Hezbollah is afraid of starting a war and not for the reason we thought - analysis

One of the reasons why the US is working so hard to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza is to prevent the exchange of fire between Israel and Hezbollah from expanding into a full-scale war.

Arman Mahmoudian, a researcher of Russia and the Middle East at the University of South Florida and the "Global National Security Institute" (GNSI) explained that at the beginning in 1982, Hezbollah's main mission was in southern Lebanon, populated mostly by Shiites, against the IDF and the Free Lebanese Army.

However, over time, Hezbollah became the strongest player in Lebanon in particular, and in the region in general.

Hezbollah grew as a result of the United States' war on terror, specifically the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq.

The American presence in Iraq, strategically located between Iran and Syria, increased the sense of vulnerability of both countries, leading them to increase their ability to attack the US. READ MORE

Report: US privately warned Iran over suspicious nuclear activities

The United States sent a private warning to Iran last month expressing serious concerns about Iranian research and development activities that could be used for the production of a nuclear weapon, US media reported Wednesday.

Both Israel and the US have detected suspicious nuclear activities by Iranian scientists in recent months and fear that Tehran could be using the period in the runup to the US elections for a covert push to nuclear weaponization, according to Axios, which cited three unnamed US and Israeli officials.

Several months ago, US and Israeli intelligence services obtained information that showed Iranian scientists engaging in computer modeling and metallurgical research that could be used for the development of nuclear weapons, Axios said.

The report said that the US used both direct and third-party channels to send their concerns to Iran. The Iranians responded by clarifying their activities and telling the Americans there had been no change in Iran’s official policy.

Axios reported that the Iranian response “somewhat eased anxieties” among Israeli and US officials over the Iranian research and development activities.

“We do not see indications that Iran is currently undertaking the key activities that would be necessary to produce a testable nuclear device,” a US official told Axios. READ MORE

IDF to begin drafting 3,000 Haredi men starting Sunday, in three waves

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant instructed the military on Thursday to send out 3,000 draft orders to members of the Haredi community in three waves, starting next week.

The first 1,000 draft orders to ultra-Orthodox men aged 18-26 were to be sent out on Sunday, with two additional waves of 1,000 every two weeks, according to the ministry and the Israel Defense Forces.

At the end of each wave of draft orders, the ministry said “a learning process will take place in order to improve the following waves.” The IDF noted it currently has no experience with drafting a large number of Haredi soldiers at once.

The army said it had launched a new website for Haredim (Hebrew) with information on available roles and its efforts to accommodate their lifestyle.

The draft orders are the first stage in the screening and evaluation process that the army carries out for new recruits, ahead of enlistment in the military in the coming year. READ MORE

Trump warns those holding US hostages will pay ‘a very big price’ if they’re not freed

MILWAUKEE — Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump warned that countries holding American hostages will pay “a very big price” if they are not released, as he accepted the GOP presidential nomination on Thursday at the Republican National Convention.

“To the entire world, I tell you this: We want our hostages back, and they better be back before I assume office, or you will be paying a very big price,” Trump warned in his speech.

Trump did not specify which hostages he was referring to.

There are more than 60 Americans being held hostage or wrongly detained around the world, including eight Americans being held by Hamas in Gaza, who were among the 251 taken during the terror group’s October 7 massacre, when 1,200 people were murdered in southern Israel.

The parents of an American-Israeli hostage taken in the onslaught addressed the RNC on Wednesday evening.

The Thursday speech, Trump’s first since the attempt on his life last weekend at a rally in Pennsylvania, was among the longest convention speeches in modern history at just under 93 minutes. READ MORE

Following UAV strike: Gallant threatens Iran and Houthis

Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant held an operational situation assessment on Friday following the UAV attack on Tel Aviv that took the life of one and injured several others. Initial assessments indicate that the UAV was launched from Yemen.

Minister Gallant was briefed on the details of the incident and discussed efforts to reinforce Israel’s air defense systems, as well as the operational and intelligence measures that will be conducted in light of the attack.

The briefing was attended by the IDF Chief of the General Staff, Head of the Operations Directorate, Head of the Intelligence Directorate, IAF Chief of Staff, and Head of the IDI’s Research Division.

“The State of Israel has been at war on its southern and northern borders as well as additional arenas, for over nine months. The year 2024 is marked by war – we must be prepared for every scenario and every arena. We must be prepared for defensive and offensive actions. The defense establishment is working to reinforce all defense mechanisms and will bring to justice anyone who harms the State of Israel," Minister of Defense Gallant stated upon completing the discussion.

“I held an operational situation assessment this morning to review the steps required to strengthen our defense arrays in light of events overnight, as well as the intelligence and operational activities required against those responsible for the attack,” he added. Israel National News - Arutz Sheva

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Hezbollah increasing attacks shows willingness to ramp-up tensions with Israel - analysis

Hezbollah claimed a new round of attacks on Israel on Tuesday and Wednesday, as the Iranian-backed Lebanese terrorist group has also been increasing some of its threatening rhetoric lately.

For instance, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has threatened to increase the range of attacks inside Israel in what he claims is a response to attacks by Israel.

According to the Iranian state media IRNA, “Hezbollah announced on Tuesday night that it had targeted the towns of Kfar Hoshen, Or Haganuz, Bar Yohai, Kabri, and Meron with dozens of Katyusha rockets in response to the Israeli regime’s airstrike on southern Lebanon, which resulted in the martyrdom of three civilians.” Hezbollah’s Al-Manar reported the same details.

Hezbollah launched up to 150 rockets in these attacks over a period of 24 hours, which is an increase in attacks. The areas targeted included Kiryat Shmona and Mount Meron on Tuesday and also areas near Nahariya on Wednesday.

Warning against offensive in Lebanon

Nasrallah also gave a speech warning Israel against an offensive in Lebanon. He said Israel would not emerge well from a war in Lebanon and its armored units would be destroyed. He also praised the Houthis in Yemen and the Palestinians. He alluded to his view that Israel is now suffering defeats on multiple fronts and that this generation in the region will see Israel defeated.

The context of the attacks comes amid Iranian-backed escalation on several fronts. The Houthis in Yemen struck a ship with an unmanned surface vessel. Iraqi militias also attempted to attack the Asad base in Iraq where US forces are present. The Iraqi group used two drones in the attack. READ MORE

IDF kills Islamic Jihad naval chief in Gaza; Hamas attacks troops securing aid route

The commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s naval forces in the Gaza City region, Anas Murad, was killed in a recent drone strike, the Israel Defense Forces said Thursday.

In a separate drone strike, the military said it killed Ahmed al-Masri, an Islamic Jihad member who participated in the October 7 onslaught on Israel led by the Palestinian terror group Hamas, which started the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip.

The IDF said al-Masri was also responsible for the firing of a large number of rockets from Gaza City’s Shejaiya neighborhood at communities in southern Israel.

Another recent airstrike killed a Hamas sniper who killed an Israeli soldier in the Gaza Strip, along with some 20 more terror operatives, the IDF and Shin Bet security agency said Thursday.

According to the IDF, the drone strike killed around 20 members of Hamas’s Shati Battalion, including members of the elite Nukhba force, snipers, and operatives who would observe Israeli forces.

Muhammad Abu Hatab, a sniper and a platoon commander in the Shati Battalion, was among those killed. READ MORE

US warned Iran over its nuclear activities

The Biden administration sent a private warning to Iran last month expressing serious concerns about Iranian research and development activities that could be used for the production of a nuclear weapon, three US and Israeli officials told Barak Ravid of Axios, according to a report published on Wednesday.

US officials said the Biden administration conveyed its nuclear concerns to the Iranians several weeks ago, both through a third country and direct channels.

The US officials added that the Iranians came back with a response that included explanations for these nuclear activities, stressing there has been no change in policy and they are not working on a nuclear weapon.

The exchange of messages and other information obtained by the US and Israel addressed some of the concerns and somewhat eased anxieties over the Iranian research and development activities, US and Israeli officials told Axios.

"We do not see indications that Iran is currently undertaking the key activities that would be necessary to produce a testable nuclear device," a US official told the site.

"We take any nuclear escalation by Iran incredibly seriously. And, as the President has made clear, we are committed to never letting Iran obtain a nuclear weapon—and we are prepared to use all elements of national power to ensure that outcome." READ MORE

Nasrallah warns: 'If Israel attacks Lebanon it won't have any tanks left'

Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah continues to threaten Israel against going to war against his organization.

"The resistance (Hezbollah) will assist in battle all nations in the region that were attacked with occupation, massacres, aggression, threats by Israel," he stated.

In a special address for the Ashura holiday, Nasrallah said: "Since October 8th Lebanon has been in a different campaign and has opened a front of support in the al-Aqsa Flood campaign since it is the campaign of the entire Umma (Muslim nation), in addition with the fronts of support in Yemen and Iraq, and together with us Syria and Iran are assisting as well."

According to Nasrallah, "There are three countries that are still suffering from Israeli occupation, aggression, and terror, they are Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria."

In this context, the leader noted that "Yemen managed to prevent ships that belong to the aggressor from passing through the Red Sea to occupied Palestine and it forced a siege on the Eilat Port which has gone bankrupt as the Zionist entities admitted.

"The Israeli occupation forces admitted for the first time that it has a shortage of tanks because of damage of the fronts in Gaza and the north," claimed Nasrallah. "If your tanks enter Lebanon and south Lebanon you won't suffer from a shortage of tanks since you won't have tanks at all."

Sending a message to Israel he warned that "the continued harm of civilians will prod the resistance to attack towns which have not been attacked until now."

The Hezbollah leader confidently declared: "The threat of war hasn't scared us for the past ten months when Israel didn't have a shortage of tanks."

He added: "For the first time, the Israeli entity is in a severe condition on all levels as its leaders admitted, the politicians and the military officials. For the first time, the occupation's leaders and elites are talking about the destruction of the Third Temple, the end, and the riddance." Israel National News - Arutz Sheva