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Update and Assessment: Israel - Hamas Conflict


Date: 11/10/2023, 16:00

Situation Report

Update October 11, 2023
  • Israel formed an emergency government and a war management cabinet. The emergency unit government was approved by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz.

  • Hamas reportedly claimed that they were targeting southern and central Israel with rockets. It has been reported that a rocket from Gaza struck a hospital in Ashkelon, south of Israel.

  • Gaza’s power authority announced that the only power plant ran out of fuel. People in Gaza will have to rely on generators for as long as fuel is available.

  • Hospital conditions in Gaza are deteriorating due to overcrowding and shortages of medical supplies. With no power and fuel, hospitals can only rely on their own generators. It is reported that some hospitals have fuel for only a few days.

  • Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia threatened the United States to attack American bases if they intervened in the Israel-Hamas war.

  • Israel struck inside Lebanon after anti-tank missiles were launched and landed at an IDF post, in the north of Israel. Hezbollah said they fired in response to the killing of three of its members. The United States warned Lebanese Hezbollah against escalating confrontations at the border.

  • As of 16:00 on 11/10/2023, at least 1055 people in Gaza and at least 1,200 Israelis have been killed since Saturday. Hamas militants have abducted over 100 hostages, Israel says up to 150, both soldiers and civilians. At least 7 journalists and 9 UN workers lost their lives in Gaza. More than 260000 people have been displaced in the strip. Fighting from both sides continues.

Update October 10, 2023
  • Air raid sirens sounded in Tel Aviv as well as Ashdod. Israeli airstrikes on Gaza continue as well as Hamas’ rocket attacks in the south of Israel, especially on Ashkelon. Two kibbutzim in the South have been hit by Hamas.

  • The IDF found more than 100 bodies in the Israeli Kibbutz Be’eri and said 1,500 bodies of Hamas militants were recovered since Saturday.

  • The only border crossing between Gaza and Egypt was struck by Israeli warplanes. It is not yet confirmed where exactly the crossing was hit, but workers were evacuated. The crossing is the only available crossing for people fleeing Gaza.

  • The IDF responded to reports of aerial infiltration in the northern areas of the Golan Heights and Upper Galilee. Later in the day, Israel shelled Syria after rockets hit the Golan Heights. It has been reported a Palestinian faction conducted the strike from Syrian territory.

Update October 9, 2023
  • On the night of 09/10/2023, the IDF launched another 200 airstrikes. Hamas responded threatening to kill civilian hostages if the aerial attacks continue without warning.

  • On 09/10/2023, the IDF said that they had regained control of towns on the border with the Gaza Strip, though there could still be Hamas militants in the south. Gunfights continued between IDF forces and Hamas militants in Zikim, on the border between Gaza and Israel.

  • In response to the assault, the IDF declared a “complete siege” of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli defense minister has extended the pre-existing blockade of electricity, food, and fuel to Gaza. Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza has displaced 100,000 people.

Foreign response:
  • On Wednesday 11/10/2023, the Arab League is holding an emergency summit, as requested by the Palestine delegation, to discuss the efforts needed to “stop Israeli aggression.” The outcome of the meeting remains unclear. Egypt stated its intention to keep out of the conflict, even as a mediator, as national elections approach. On the same day, Jordan’s King Abdullah claimed that no peace would be endorsed without the emergence of an independent Palestine state.

  • The US is flowing military supplies to Israel like munition, aircraft, equipment, and interceptors to sustain the Iron Dome defense system. The IDF stated that the first U.S. replenishment of munition arrived in Israel on the morning of 11/10/2023. On 10/10/2023, US President Biden had a call with Israeli PM Netanyahu. Reportedly, Biden did not urge Netanyahu to exercise restraint in Gaza. Rather, the US President stated that “Israel has the duty to respond to Hamas.” The US also strengthened its military force posture in the region, moving the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group to the eastern Mediterranean and increasing fighter aircraft presence, as a deterrent to regional actors like Iran or the Lebanese group Hezbollah. On 10/10/2023, it was announced that US Secretary of State Blinken would travel to Israel and Jordan on October 11-13 to meet with senior officials.

  • On Tuesday 10/10/2023, Turkey's President Erdogan criticized the US decision to move a carrier strike group closer to Israel and bolstered their aircraft presence, stating that it would lead to a massacre. On the same day, Erdogan renewed his offer to act as a mediator to de-escalate the situation. He also announced that Israeli PM Netanyahu could visit Turkey in October or November to discuss further cooperation. On 11/10/2023, Erdogan stated that Israel is “not acting as a state” due to its violent counterattacks in the Gaza Strip.

  • On Tuesday 10/10/2023, European Union Foreign Ministers held an emergency meeting to discuss the ongoing situation. The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission Josep Borrell announced that EU aid to Palestinian authority would not be suspended. While there is no official statement, there are indications that the EU is willing to work toward a two-state solution to achieve peace in the Middle East. Such European orientation is also suggested by Oman’s Foreign Minister’s statements after the strategic dialogue session held between the EU and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

  • Russia stated on 10/10/2023 to maintain diplomatic ties with both Israel and Palestine. On 09/10/2023 the Russian Foreign Minister suggested talks for a two-state solution. Allegedly, Palestinian President Abbas is planning a visit to Moscow, although Russia has not released an official statement yet. On Tuesday 10/10/2023 the Kremlin released a statement about a phone call with Turkish President Erdogan, expressing both leaders’ concern for civilian casualties and stressing the need for “resumption of the negotiation process.” Earlier on 10/10/2023, Putin stated that the creation of a Palestinian state is “necessary” and blamed U.S. policy in the Middle East for the conflict. On the same day, Putin hosted a meeting with Iraqi PM Sudani to discuss cooperation in OPEC+. Sudani, who supports the Palestinian cause, incited Russia to use its status as a permanent member of the Security Council to stop Israeli attacks.

  • It is reported that Iranian President Raisi spoke with Hamas on 08/10/2023, suggesting financial and military support to the Palestinian militant group. While the U.S. believes Iran has supplied and trained Hamas, intelligence has not yet found conclusive evidence. On 09/10/2023, Ayatollah Khamenei, while praising the militias’ attack, stated that Iran was not involved in Hamas’ operation. On 10/10/2023, French President Macron stated that although “it’s likely that Hamas was offered help”, there is no proof of Iran’s support for the attack.

  • Lebanon militant group Hezbollah congratulated Hamas for the attacks against Israel’s occupation and declared to have been in contact with Hamas before and during the operation. However, the Lebanese PM stated that Lebanon does not wish to be involved in the Hamas-Israel conflict. On 10/10/2023, Yemenese Houthi’s leader warned that they would respond “by firing drones and missiles” if the United States actively intervened in the conflict. On 10/10/2023, Iraqi Kata’ib Hezbollah warned that they would target U.S. bases if Washington intervened.

  • Many governments are organizing evacuation flights and arrangements for their citizens. However, countries such as the United States and the UK are not planning any emergency evacuation from Israel yet. It is reported that on 11/10/2023, the US government discussed with partner countries, like Egypt and Israel, to ensure safe passage for American nationals and other civilians out of Gaza.

  • Pro-Palestinian demonstrations keep taking place in most Middle Eastern countries, such as Jordan, Yemen, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran, and Syria. In Europe, pro-Palestine rallies occurred, among others, in London, Berlin, Barcelona, Rotterdam, and the Hague, while pro-Israel protests were held in Paris and Rome. On 09/10/2023, German President Steinmeier stated that no public celebration of the attack on Israel would be tolerated. In the US, pro-Israel and pro-Palestine rallies are spreading across the country, also sparking clashes. Canada condemned pro-Gaza demonstrations, defining the support as a “glorification of violence”. On 10/10/2023, Israeli and American flags were burned during protests in Pakistan.

  • Many European states have heightened their alert and security measures for Jewish institutions, facilities, and communities. On 11/10/2023, the French government reported an unprecedented number of anti-Semitic acts. On 10/10/2023, Australian authorities raised the level of alert for Jewish communities and opened investigations over alleged anti-Semitism during pro-Palestine protests. On 10/10/2023, Volker Türk, High Commissioner of Human Rights, expressed his concern for the surge in hate speech, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia worldwide.

Cyber attacks:
  • RedAlert: On 11/10/2023, AnonGhost, a hacktivist group, claimed to have interrupted service again of Israel’s RedAlert app, a smartphone application that tracks reports of rocket attacks in real-time. Since 07/10/2023, there have been statements published by Russian-sympathetic cybercriminals, Anonymous Sudan, indicating that outages began at least 06:50 CET on that day, though this doesn’t necessarily indicate that the group is responsible.

  • Industrial and Infrastructure Control Systems: On 10/10/2023 through the morning of 11/10/2023, several groups of cyber criminals targeted industrial control systems. Specific targets included various GPS systems, Building Control Systems, and the MEKOROT national water company of Israel. Groups claiming to be involved included the Cyber Av3ngers, SiegedSec, and Anonymous Sudan. Statements by Israeli cybersecurity experts assert that this round of attacks is of minimal concern and that attackers have only managed to enter the feeds of insecure CCTV cameras.

  • Media Institutions: 11/10/2023 has been the Jerusalem Post’s first day of consistent service since the weekend. It is notable that the Jerusalem Post was trying to provide live updates of attacks throughout the country right up until the outages began in the afternoon of 08/10/2023.

  • Flight Booking Portals: On the afternoon of 10/10/2023, AnonGhost asked for volunteers to assist in targeting several internet portals for booking flights out of Israel with DDoS attacks.

Brief conflict analysis:

  • Hamas Attack Trigger: Recent developments in Israel’s regional economic relations with Arab nations, especially Saudi Arabia, may have increased animosity from Hamas leaders over the years. During 2023, in addition, Netanyahu’s government policies further marginalized Palestine and tensions between Palestinians and Israeli settlers have been particularly high in the West Bank. Between the country-wide protests and the tensions in the West Bank, the Israeli forces partially shifted away from the south and focused on the north. This may have compelled Hamas to launch its large-scale attack.

  • Hamas Objectives: In the short term, Hamas wants to exchange hostages for Palestinian prisoners and deter Israeli violations of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. However, their endgame is still unclear. Hamas may be trying to provoke Israel and prompt a reaction to gather wider Arab and international solidarity against Tel Aviv, further escalating the conflict.

  • Plausible Consequences: The conflict could jeopardize Israel’s recent gains in regional international relations and halt ongoing talks – especially the prospective deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia. As the conflict progresses, it will be increasingly difficult for Saudi Arabia to justify a normalization of relations with Israel. This would favor Iran, which can capitalize on the situation and push for reigniting a nuclear deal and lifting some of the current US sanctions on the country.

  • Key Points to Monitor: In the upcoming days, it will be important to monitor Hezbollah’s involvement in Lebanon, Hamas’ treatment of hostages, the international reaction, and the cohesion of the Israeli government.


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