October 19, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Strikes Terrorist Targets in Lebanon as UK Prime Minister Visits

October 19, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Strikes Terrorist Targets in Lebanon as UK Prime Minister Visits

Latest Developments

Israel carried out precision strikes against sites in Lebanon on October 19 in response to a barrage of rockets that Hamas and Hezbollah fired from the northern border. Hezbollah has increased its aggression over the last two weeks after Hamas carried out a massacre in Israel on October 7. The terrorist groups targeted northern border communities in Israel with anti-tank missiles and shooting and rocket attacks. The recent escalation came as President Joe Biden was leaving Israel after pledging support for the country. Other world leaders are arriving this week.

Expert Analysis

“Hezbollah is ramping up attacks on Israel to try to create a second front of threats. Iran wants to set the Middle East ablaze by mobilizing its proxy forces in Lebanon and Iraq, threatening the United States and Israel. Hezbollah must be deterred from more attacks.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“Both Israel and the United States have concluded that the rocket that struck the hospital parking lot in Gaza was not fired by Israel. This should not come as a surprise to anyone, since the rockets used by the terror groups in Gaza have a significant fail rate and have caused Palestinian casualties in each prior round of violence. Yet the media immediately ran with the Hamas talking points, blaming Israel, and stoking antisemitism and hatred around the world.” — Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

UK Prime Minister Visits Israel

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrived in Israel on October 19. His visit comes in the wake of increasing global support for Israel. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was in the Jewish state on October 17. Sunak said he backs Israel’s right to defend itself and praised Israel for taking precautions to avoid harm to civilians.

U.S. Concludes Rocket Strike Near Gaza Hospital Fired by Palestinian Group

U.S. intelligence has concluded that a rocket fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad was responsible for striking a parking lot near a hospital in Gaza this week. Hamas exploited the incident, blaming Israel for the blast. “The Senate Intelligence Committee has received and reviewed intelligence related to the attack on al-Ahli hospital in Gaza. Based on this information, we feel confident that the explosion was the result of a failed rocket launch by militant terrorists and not the result of an Israeli airstrike,” Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) said in a statement.

Biden Arrives in Israel as Iran Aims to Destabilize Region,” FDD Flash Brief

Continued Hezbollah Impunity Risks Regional Explosion,” FDD Policy Brief

Iran-Backed Militias Attack U.S Forces in Iraq,” FDD Flash Brief


Hezbollah Iran Iran Global Threat Network Iran-backed Terrorism Israel Israel at War Jihadism Military and Political Power