Operation Iron Swords Update 6/6


  • In the north, Hezbollah continues to fire at Israeli targets, triggering significant Israeli retaliations. Hezbollah has launched thousands of projectiles at Israel, including a surge of drone attacks, on a near-daily basis since October 8. These attacks have resulted in at least 24 total deaths, dozens of injuries, and massive destruction of property. 
    • Yesterday, a Hezbollah drone exploded in a soccer field in the Druze village of Hurfeish in Galilee, killing one Israeli soldier, seriously wounding another, and wounding ten other people. The IDF is currently investigating why no siren sounded before the attack.
    • There was a 36% increase in Hezbollah fire against Israel in May over the previous month.
    • The IDF is also concerned that Hezbollah is developing ways to overcome the Iron Dome defense system, mainly by using drones flying at very low altitudes, which are challenging for thenIron Dome to shoot down. The Israel Air Force is looking at ways to remedy this. 
    • In addition, when a rocket is headed to an unpopulated area, the Iron Dome is not activated (mainly due to the very high cost of each interception). In recent days, rockets hitting fields have ignited numerous large wildfires due to the area's intense summer heat and dryness. It is estimated that the land will take several years to recover. 
    • Hezbollah has named 326 terrorists that have been killed by the IDF in Syria and Lebanon in retaliation for these strikes, including senior officials, since October 7.
    • With the increased rocket fire, and some 100,000 evacuees from the region, there are mounting calls in Israel to launch a wider counter-attack against Hezbollah. The IDF is said to have completed plans for a larger war in the north, taking into account multiple possible scenarios. Other voices, however, suggest that Hezbollah would end its attacks if a ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas were reached.
  • Rocket fire from Hamas in Gaza seems to have slowed, after having been on the rise in the last few weeks. Recent weeks had seen regular fire at Sderot and other locations near the Strip, including one barrage aimed at central Israel, including Tel Aviv.
  • In the Red Sea, the US, the UK, and Israel continue to defend against attacks by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. The US military continues to strike at pro-Iranian targets in Syria and Iraq. Earlier this week, Israel’s anti-rocket Arrow System intercepted a projectile headed for Eilat.

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Activities

  • An Israeli soldier was killed today when a Hamas cell of four terrorists carrying RPG launchers and rifles attempted to cross the Gaza border into Israel near Kerem Shalom. The four were detected as they approached the fence and three of them were killed; the fourth escaped back into Gaza.
  • The IDF has located and destroyed a major Hamas tunnel in Rafah, next to the border crossing with Egypt. The tunnel was used by the terror group to smuggle weapons into Gaza. Troops had found several tunnel shafts in the Rafah area (including one in a child’s bedroom), which led to the discovery of the 1.2-mile-long underground route.



  • Last week, US President Joe Biden announced the contours of a new potential hostage deal.
    • According to many reports, the deal Biden suggested was an Israeli proposal. Biden himself said that Israel was willing to make very generous compromises and that the responsibility for a ceasefire was now on Hamas.
    • While some members of the Israeli government expressed outrage at the deal that could potentially leave Hamas in power (and/or with some remaining fighting capabilities), it is believed that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has the numbers to ensure that the government votes to approve the proposed agreement. Israel’s two ultra-Orthodox parties, both members of the governing coalition, said they would vote in favor of the deal.
    • Earlier today, Arab media reported that Hamas had rejected the deal. As a result, Israel’s War Cabinet and the extended Security Cabinet, both of which were to convene this evening to discuss the deal, have canceled their meetings.

Over the weekend, the IDF announced that four of the hostages held had been killed a few weeks ago and that their bodies were being held by Hamas. The four men, Nadav Popplewell (52), Amiram Cooper (85), Yoram Metzger (80), and Haim Perry (80), had been held in Khan Yuneis and were killed together. The circumstances of their deaths are not yet clear, but confirmation that the four were dead was based on intelligence data that recently came to light. Nadav Popplewell had appeared in a video sent out by Hamas a month ago in which his face appeared to be badly bruised. The other three victims also appeared in a Hamas video together last December.

Humanitarian Aid

  • The World Central Kitchen (WCK) organization said on Tuesday that it is bringing trucks of food aid into Gaza “at a fairly good clip” and can distribute them to its community kitchens in different areas of the territory.
  • The temporary pier constructed by the US military to transport aid into Gaza broke apart and sustained damage in heavy seas last week. The pier was “damaged and sections of the pier need rebuilding and repairing,” the Pentagon deputy said.

See more figures on humanitarian aid here.

Stories of Heartbreak, Heroism, and Hope

  • Read this story of 35-year-old Dolev Yehud, wife of Sigal and father of four young children between the ages of eight months and nine years.  Dolev was described by loved ones as a man full of joy, color, and creativity. On the morning of October 7, Dolev, who was a volunteer medic, left his home to save the lives of his neighbors on Kibbutz Nir Oz. He never returned home. Nine days later, his daughter Dor was born. Until this week, it was believed that Dolev was being held in Hamas captivity. His body was burned so badly on the kibbutz that it took eight months to confirm his death. 
  • Emily Damari, 27, was taken hostage on October 7 by Hamas terrorists who attacked Kibbutz Kfar Aza. Damari is a British-Israeli dual citizen whose last message was recaround 10 a.m. on October 7, when she wrote that terrorists were in her neighborhood and shooting around her apartment.


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