October 17, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Battles Terrorists on Two Fronts

October 17, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Battles Terrorists on Two Fronts

Latest Developments

Israel reported multiple hostile actions by Hezbollah on the Jewish state’s northern border on the morning of October 17. At the same time, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) continued to target Hamas assets in Gaza by air and by sea. Sirens continued to send Israelis into shelters across the country, with no sign of the rocket fire from Gaza abating. Meanwhile, the IDF continues to signal its intent to launch a ground operation in Gaza.

President Joe Biden will visit Israel on October 18. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz confirmed media reports that he would also visit Israel, and French President Emmanuel Macron is reportedly also set to visit this week. Macron’s visit was announced after Hamas released a video of a French national being held hostage by Hamas in Gaza.

Expert Analysis

“The visits this week of three global leaders belonging to the United Nations Security Council will likely delay any dramatic escalation in the coming days. While the visits broadcast strong support for the Jewish state, Biden, Macron, and Scholz will likely also wish to rein in Israel’s actions in Gaza and push Netanyahu to further ease the ongoing siege.” Enia Krivine, Senior Director, FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

“The quantity of explosively formed penetrators displayed in a single cache that was seized from Hamas is worrying. The armor-piercing EFP is a signature weapon of Iran, and these weapons were used by Iranian-backed Shia militias in Iraq against U.S. forces with deadly effect. Hundreds of American soldiers were killed in EFP attacks. Iran has clearly helped Hamas establish one or more EFP factories to help bolster its ability to target Israeli armor.” — Bill Roggio, FDD Senior Fellow and Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal

Israel’s Northern Border Still Active

An IDF drone thwarted terrorists from Lebanon attempting to infiltrate Israel’s northern border on October 17. Later in the day, anti-tank guided missiles were fired from Lebanese territory towards the Israeli town of Metula, injuring three. Hezbollah reportedly took responsibility for the missile fire. The IDF responded by shelling the launch site in Lebanon. Israel subsequently came under fire from more anti-tank missiles from Lebanon in addition to small arms fire.

IDF Learns More About Deadly Hamas Operation

On October 16, the IDF released pictures of weapons it claims to have seized from Hamas fighters in recent days. FDD’s Long War Journal analyzed the images, identifying an array of deadly munitions in the terror group’s possession, including armor piercing EFPs, shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, shoulder-fired anti-tank rockets, and various types of powerful explosives. Based on the information made public by the IDF, the Long War Journal has concluded that Hamas has one or more facilities in Gaza capable of producing EFPs.

Tensions Escalate Along Lebanese Border as Israel Evacuates 28 Communities,” FDD Flash Brief

One week since the war broke, initial conclusions, and where we are heading?” by Jacob Nagel

Ten Things to Know About Hamas,” FDD Insight


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