Author Archives: Seth Frantzman

Reporting from Israel, Seth J. Frantzman is an adjunct fellow at FDD and a contributor to FDD’s Long War Journal. He is the acting news editor and senior Middle East correspondent and analyst at The Jerusalem Post. 

Israel’s Defense Minister details new humanitarian focus in Gaza

Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant noted Israel’s challenges in Gaza on the humanitarian front, saying that aid has increased in phases and he supports increasing the amount of aid and number of crossings into Gaza for the aid. In addition, he praised the US-Israel relationship and discussed how Hamas has ceased to exist as a military organization in many parts of Gaza.

IDF trains to confront threats from Hezbollah

The Israel Defense Forces conducted a training in the north that brought together an IDF division, police, search and rescue, navy and air force units. It focused on “multi-branch and multi-organizational cooperation.” In addition, Israel’s Minister of Defense spoke with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

IDF ends operations in Khan Younis as Gaza war reaches six months

The Israel Defense Forces withdrew the 98th division and the 7th armored brigade from Khan Younis after four months of battles in the city. Israel’s Defense Minister said “the withdrawal of troops from Khan Younis was carried out once Hamas ceased to exist as a military framework in the city.” The shift in forces is being watched closely across the region as Israel continues to say it will enter the southern Gaza city of Rafah in order to defeat Hamas.

Israel faces renewed rocket threat from Gaza

Rocket fire from Gaza targeted the Israeli cities of Netivot, Sderot and Ashkelon on April 4. Although rocket fire has increased in recent days, this is the first attack on Netivot since January. In Gaza, the IDF operated in Beit Hanoun, Khan Younis and other areas, and clarified that while it is generally on high alert due to the multi-front conflict, it has not changed home front guidelines amid increased Iranian threats.

Israel beefs up air defenses, calls on reservists as Iran vows to avenge IRGC assassinations

Israel called up reservists for air defense units amid Iranian threats to respond to an airstrike in Damascus which killed IRGC leaders. After Hezbollah launched numerous rockets at northern Israel on the afternoon of April 3, Israel responded with artillery fire and airstrikes. Israel’s IDF also said it had determined the explosion that wounded several UN observers in Lebanon was the result of an explosive device planted by Hezbollah.

Israel’s multi-front war takes shape

Iran blamed Israel for an airstrike in Damascus that killed a senior IRGC Quds Force commander. Iranian-backed groups in Iraq targeted Eilat with a drone, while clashes in the West Bank between armed groups and the Palestinian Authority are increasing. Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Israel is currently in a “multi-front war.”

IDF ends two-week Shifa hospital raid

The Israel Defense Forces wrapped up a two-week operation at Shifa hospital in Gaza. The IDF said it detained more than 900 suspects during the raid, 513 of which were confirmed to be members of Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad. That the IDF continued to face mortar threats throughout the duration of the raid on Shifa suggests that Hamas maintains cells in northern Gaza that still pose a threat.

IDF raids in Gaza capture terrorists and uncover weapons

IDF forces have been operating in the Amal and Qarara neighborhoods of Khan Younis for one week and have found weapons and ammunition in addition to carrying out numerous airstrikes and eliminating suspected terrorists. This is a contrast to the IDF’s ongoing operation in and around the Shifa hospital complex. The multi-pronged offensive here may pave the way for future IDF operations in Rafah.

Israel’s Minister of Defense in Washington for key meetings

Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant is on a multi-day visit to Washington, D.C, where he has met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. Meanwhile, Israel conducted airstrikes deep in Lebanon in response to rocket fire from Hezbollah that targeted an IDF base on Mount Meron in northern Israel.

Hamas launches rockets at major Israeli cities

Hamas launches rockets at Ashdod and Ashkelon, two large Israeli coastal cities. The IDF says the rockets fired at Ashdod were fired from Deir al-Balah in central Gaza. The IDF continued to operate at Shifa hospital, detaining more terrorist suspects. In southern Gaza, Israeli forces struck dozens of targets.

Israel warns Hezbollah as attacks continue in north

Israel responded to daily attacks by Hezbollah by targeting the group’s infrastructure using warplanes and artillery. Israeli Chief of Staff Herzi HaLevi said that Israel has damaged Hezbollah capabilities and that the Iranian-backed terrorist organization is paying a heavy price.

IDF targets Hamas leaders in Gaza

Israel targeted senior Hamas leaders, including Marwan Issa, the deputy of Mohammad Deif, in an airstrike overnight between March 10 and 11. Hamas continues to operate from the area of Nuseirat and other areas in the “central camps” area of Gaza, where the strike took place. Israel is still assessing the results of the strike, the IDF said on March 11.

Israel targets Hezbollah drones

In addition to launching drone attacks, Hezbollah carried out dozens of missile attacks on Israel on March 10 and 11. The Israel Defense Forces responded by conducting airstrikes more than 80 miles inside Lebanon. The IDF practiced resupplying troops on the ground using C-130s.

An IDF raid in Gaza spotlights Israel’s new strategy

The Israel Defense Forces carried out an operation in the Hamad Towers area near Khan Younis and apprehended 250 terrorists. Weapons and terrorist infrastructure were found in the area. In northern Gaza, the IDF targeted Hamas in Beit Hanoun. These smaller, more precise operations illustrate Israel’s new tactics in Gaza.

Hezbollah barrages of rockets target northern Israel

Hezbollah launched more than two dozen rockets at the northern Israeli city of Kiryat Shmona on March 5. The IDF retaliated with strikes on several Hezbollah sites in Lebanon. Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant met with US envoy Amos Hochstein.

Rocket fire by Hamas, Hezbollah targets Israel on two fronts

Hezbollah targeted a community in northern Israel, killing one person and wounding nine others. The IDF intercepted a drone launched from Lebanon, and the IDF retaliated for rocket attacks by Hezbollah. Sirens sounded in Sderot, a city on the Gaza border, one day after Israeli school children returned to school in the border community.

Airdrops increase in Gaza as new method to deliver aid

Israel is coordinating with Jordan, the UAE, France, Egypt and the US to have humanitarian aid airdropped into Gaza. Jordan has carried out numerous airdrops since the war began, with France and the UAE recently joining Jordan and the US and Canada considering additional participation. Israel has used airdrops to supply its troops in Gaza and drop leaflets that warn civilians of areas to avoid.

Israel rotates units as Khan Younis battles continue

Israeli forces continue to operate in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis to dismantle terrorist infrastructure and search for terrorists. The IDF redeployed a paratrooper unit and is rotating new forces into the city. Although fighting has become less intense in the last month, terrorist threats continue with the IDF discovering weapons caches and uncovering other threats daily.

Israel faces less battles with Hamas in Gaza as next phase looms

The Israel Defense Forces continue to operate in parts of Gaza. Fighting in recent weeks has become less intense with the IDF searching for Hamas terrorists in neighborhoods such as Khan Younis, Zaytun and central Gaza. With hostage talks ongoing and discussion of an Israeli operation in Rafah looming, the IDF is now operating at some of its lowest intensity in almost five months of war in Gaza.

Hezbollah escalates attacks on Israel

Hezbollah fired barrages of rockets at Israel on February 27, targeting a sensitive IDF military site on Mount Meron. One missile did strike the site, and the IDF retaliated. IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi visited northern Israel and vowed that the IDF would operate against the ongoing threats.

Israeli Navy exercise occurs as Israel looks to threats in the north and Red Sea 

Israel’s navy conducted a drill aimed toward “readiness in the northern arena” as threats from Hezbollah continue. The navy practiced countering drone threats and refueling at sea. Israeli aircraft struck Hezbollah terrorist infrastructure in Lebanon and Israel’s Arrow air defense system intercepted a ballistic missile fired by the Houthis in Yemen on February 22.

Israel looks to ‘day after’ in Gaza

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented a ‘day after’ plan to Israel’s security cabinet which aims to demilitarize Gaza and enable locals to control civil affairs. Meanwhile inside Gaza, Israeli forces have created a security corridor south of Gaza City.

Hezbollah increases attacks on northern Israel

Hezbollah carried out multiple rocket, drone and ATGM attacks on Israel between February 19 and 21. New reports revealed Hezbollah concerns about Hamas operations in Gaza as well as insights into Hezbollah’s decision to not launch a larger war in early October.

IDF shifts forces as rocket threat is reduced in Gaza

The Israel Defense Forces continue to redeploy reserve units from Gaza after months of war, with several reserve brigades having been withdrawn in the last two weeks. With fighting in Gaza reduced, these reservists are able to return home. In Gaza, the IDF has increased its ability to respond to rocket fire and eliminate perpetrators of rocket launches and other types of attacks.

Israel again contends with Hamas’ use of human shields in hospitals

While the IDF is in control of most of Khan Younis, the area surrounding Nasser Hospital remains a focal point of IDF operations. In the northern Gaza city of Shati, the IDF re-entered an area that it had previously taken control of from Hamas in November and continued to conduct sweeps for terrorist infrastructure. 

Rocket fire from Lebanon strikes IDF base

Rockets fired from Lebanon at the northern Israeli city of Safed killed one soldier and wounded eight others. The attack is an escalation, and the Israel Defense Forces launched numerous airstrikes in retaliation. Israel’s Chief of Staff told members of northern communities who remain evacuated that the IDF would enable them to return to their homes.