December 19, 2023 | Israel at War Situation Report
Israel SitRep: Dec. 19, 2023
December 19, 2023 Israel at War Situation Report
Israel SitRep: Dec. 19, 2023
Today’s Issue: IDF Completes Beit Hanoun Operations, Heavy Fighting in Shejaiya | IDF Eliminates Hamas Terror Financier, Finds Over 5 Million Shekels in Hamas Official’s Home | Mossad Head in Warsaw to Discuss Hostages, Hamas Publishes Video Showing Three Elderly Hostages | Operations in Khan Younis by the IDF’s Duvdevan Unit | Latest FDD Analysis
IDF Completes Beit Hanoun Operations, Heavy Fighting in Shejaiya: On Tuesday, the IDF announced that its 252nd Reserve Division completed its operations in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza. According to the army, the IDF took over command and control centers and terrorist outposts, including schools and public buildings, where soldiers found tunnel shafts and a large number of weapons. In addition, according to the IDF statement, the operation significantly damaged Hamas’s underground infrastructure in the Beit Hanoun area. Also on Tuesday, the IDF announced that Golani soldiers destroyed Palestine Square in Shejaiya in Gaza City, where Hamas had erected a monument to commemorate the killing of Golani soldiers during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. In heavy fighting with Hamas’s Shejaiya battalion, IDF soldiers destroyed a large number of rocket launchers.
IDF Eliminates Hamas Terror Financier, Finds Over 5 Million Shekels in Hamas Official’s Home: On Tuesday, the Israeli Air Force announced that it killed Hamas financier Subhi Ferwana in an airstrike, guided by intelligence from the Shin Bet and Aman military intelligence. According to the announcement, Ferwana was “a prominent financier involved in transferring tens of millions of dollars” to Hamas and, in particular, its military wing in Gaza. The IDF issued a statement saying that Ferwana, working with his brother, used his company to send tens of millions of dollars to Hamas. The money was used to fund “military forces, terrorists’ salaries and war activities.” According to the IDF, the ability of Hamas’s military wing to fight depends on funds transferred to it by money changers. It added that Ferwana was one of a handful of money changers with the ability to transfer the amount of money needed for fighting to Hamas’s military wing. Also on Tuesday, the IDF published a statement noting that its forces found five million Israeli shekels, worth over one million dollars, in the home of a senior Hamas official.
Mossad Head in Warsaw to Discuss Hostages, Hamas Publishes Video Showing Three Elderly Hostages: On Monday, Hebrew media reported that Mossad head David Barnea was in Warsaw to discuss a new hostage release deal with CIA chief Bill Burns and Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. During the November truce between Israel and Hamas, 105 hostages were released. Close to 130 are believed to remain in captivity. Based on information from IDF soldiers fighting in Gaza, the army has confirmed that 21 hostages are no longer alive. On Monday, Hamas released a video showing three elderly hostages, Chaim Peri, 79, Amiram Cooper, 84, and Yoram Metzger, 80, all from Kibbutz Nir Oz. According to Hebrew media outlets, Israeli officials believe Hamas published the video to exert pressure on Israel in connection with another hostage deal.
Operations in Khan Younis by the IDF’s Duvdevan Unit: The IDF on Tuesday published a statement about two weeks of operations by its Duvdevan Unit in Khan Younis in southern Gaza. Early in the operation, the unit, which specializes in fighting in built-up areas, broke through the Khan Younis Brigade’s defense lines, engaging in face-to-face battles and using precision missile strikes against targets. Duvdevan fighters, along with engineering forces and the Oketz canine unit, found a system of shafts and tunnels, killing terrorists who emerged from the tunnels, then destroying the system of tunnel shafts. In addition, the soldiers found and destroyed a drone-manufacturing lab as well as rocket launchers aimed at Israel.
Latest FDD Analysis:
“Israel Faces Pressure to Shift to ‘Low Intensity’ Conflict in Gaza,” Seth J. Frantzman, The National Interest
“Biden Should Get Tough on Tehran to Better Stand with Israel Against Hamas,” Saeed Ghasseminejad and Behnam Ben Taleblu, The Messenger
“Iran’s goal is to drag Israel into a larger conflict,” Seth J. Frantzman, The Jerusalem Post
“What would a maritime security force mean for the Red Sea?” Seth J. Frantzman, The Jerusalem Post
“Hezbollah threats extend to Israel’s North amid Iran pressure,” Seth J. Frantzman, The Jerusalem Post
“Iraq heads to provincial elections, first in ten years,” Seth J. Frantzman, The Jerusalem Post
“US Secretary of Defense Austin arrives in Kuwait,” Seth J. Frantzman, The Jerusalem Post
“IDF Alexandroni Brigade prepares for second front on Lebanese border,” Seth J. Frantzman, The Jerusalem Post
“IDF Dismantles Hamas Terror Infrastructure, Uncovers Giant Tunnel,” FDD Experts, FDD Flash Brief
“U.S. Secretary of Defense Visits Israel, Bahrain, and Qatar,” FDD Experts, FDD Flash Brief
“Iran Continues to Benefit from Mideast War,” FDD Experts, FDD Flash Brief