November 3, 2023 | Israel at War Situation Report

Israel SitRep: Nov. 3, 2023

November 3, 2023 Israel at War Situation Report

Israel SitRep: Nov. 3, 2023

Today’s Issue: Hezbollah Intensifies Attacks Ahead of Nasrallah Speech | Is Nasrallah Stepping Back From the Brink? | Israeli Forces Complete Encirclement of Gaza City | Blinken Touches Down in Israel to Begin Mideast Tour | Latest FDD Analysis

Hezbollah Intensifies Attacks Ahead of Nasrallah Speech: Hezbollah claimed on November 2 that it launched two explosives-laden UAVs at an IDF barracks in the Har Dov/Shebaa Farms area. The group also said it targeted 19 IDF sites with guided missiles and artillery shells. The IDF said that its warplanes and helicopters struck Hezbollah targets inside Lebanon in response to attacks. Reported targets included military headquarters, rocket launch positions, and munitions warehouses. Hamas later took credit for launching 12 rockets from Lebanese territory toward Kiryat Shmona northern Israel, where television footage showed both cares and stores on fire.

Is Nasrallah Stepping Back From the Brink?: Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah delivered his highly anticipated speech — his first since the outbreak of war — as flag-waving supporters gathered in Beirut. While offering lavish praise for Hamas actions on October 7, Nasrallah stressed that both the decision to launch the attack and its execution were entirely Palestinian. He said the surprise did not bother the rest of Iran’s “Axis of Resistance” — rather, it demonstrated that the attack did not seek to advance Iranian interests, only Palestinian ones. By endorsing Hamas’s actions but insisting that neither Hezbollah nor its Iranian partners were involved, Nasrallah may be indicating that he plans to keep his forces mainly on the sidelines while conducting enough attacks across Israel’s northern border to show solidarity with Hamas.

Israeli Forces Complete Encirclement of Gaza City: IDF Spokesman Adm. Daniel Hagari reported “our troops have completed the encirclement of Gaza City” and “the term ‘ceasefire’ is not at all on the table at the moment.” According to IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, Israeli forces are also operating “inside significant areas inside Gaza City … inside central Hamas facilities, destroying targets underground and above ground, killing Hamas terrorists and activists.” Halevi also said that should hospitals in Gaza run out of fuel, it will “be transferred with oversight” to the hospitals in need. The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) clarified that it had not approved such a transfer. On November 3, released an audio recording in which a man the IDF identifies as a Gaza health official says Hamas is storing over half a million liters of fuel Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital, a known Hamas command center.

Blinken Touches Down in Israel to Begin Mideast Tour: Following his arrival, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli war cabinet. Blinken also spoke with President Isaac Herzog, after which Blinken said, “We stand strongly for the proposition that Israel has not only the right but the obligation to defend itself,” adding, “How Israel does this matters. And it is very important that when it comes to the protection of civilians who are caught in the crossfire of Hamas’ making, that everything be done to protect them.” Blinken’s visit to Israel is his third since the war began. Reuters reported that the United States has been flying surveillance drones over Gaza to help locate the hostages being held by Hamas.

Latest FDD Analysis:

“The (Against-the-Odds) Fight for Human Rights,” Clifford D. May, Irwin Cotler, and Orde Kittrie, FDD’s Foreign Podicy

“Hamas officials admit its strategy is to use Palestinian civilians as human shields,” Natalie Ecanow, New York Post

“How arming Saudi Arabia helped Israel and the United States,” Bradley Bowman and Ryan Brobst, Defense News

“Iran’s FM threatens Israel in Turkey, after Doha meeting,” Seth J. Frantzman, The Jerusalem Post

“The growing Houthi threat to Israel and the region – analysis,” Seth J. Frantzman, The Jerusalem Post

“Satellite images show Israeli tanks 5 km. into Gaza – New York Times,” Seth J. Frantzman, The Jerusalem Post

“5 Things to Know About the Hamas-Run Gaza Health Ministry,” FDD Experts, FDD Insight

“More Cyber Collaboration Between TSA and Industry Will Put Railroad Operators on the Right Track,” Annie Fixler and Gabrielle Christello, FDD Policy Brief

“Israel claims Syrian militia assisting Hezbollah,” Joe Truzman and Bill Roggio, FDD’s Long War Journal

“Israel encircles Gaza City while facing Hezbollah threats,” Seth J. Frantzman, FDD’s Long War Journal

“Israeli Forces Tighten Net Around Hamas in Gaza City,” FDD Experts, FDD Flash Brief

“Hezbollah’s Nasrallah to Deliver Friday Speech,” FDD Experts, FDD Flash Brief

“Israeli Druze Colonel Killed in Gaza Fighting,” FDD Experts, FDD Flash Brief

“Hezbollah Increases Attacks on Israel With Rockets, Missiles,” FDD Experts, FDD Flash Brief

“FBI Director Warns of Increased Risk of Iranian Cyberattacks,” FDD Experts, FDD Flash Brief


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