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Israel suffers losses in Gaza and Lebanon border area amid fighting on multiple fronts


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FDD Long War Journal

Seth Frantzman

December 7, 2023

Hezbollah attacks in northern Israel killed an Israeli civilian on Thursday, December 7. Additionally, the son of the former IDF Chief of Staff, Gadi Eisenkot, was killed in action with the IDF in Gaza. The IDF has now lost 416 soldiers since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, two months ago. The IDF continued to battle in the heart of Khan Yunis on Thursday. Hamas fired rockets at Sderot and several border communities near Gaza.  

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Hezbollah attacks on northern Israel escalated on December 7. Hezbollah renewed attacks on Israel when the pause in fighting ended in Gaza on December 1. However, those attacks increased on Thursday. They began in the morning and continued around noon and then in the afternoon. The attacks targeted the community of Margaliot, the Bedouin community of Arab al-Aramshe, and an anti-tank missile killed an Israeli civilian in the Mattat, a small community less than a mile from Lebanon. The IDF said that “fighter jets struck a series of Hezbollah terror targets in Lebanese territory. Among the targets struck were terrorist infrastructure, launch posts, military posts, and military sites belonging to the Hezbollah terrorist organization.” The IDF also responded with helicopters, tank fire, and artillery to launches from Lebanon. The tensions occurred as Israel and the U.S. both looked for ways to get Hezbollah to withdraw north of the border, reports said this week.  

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Israeli forces also continued to target Hamas commanders and key elements of the group’s command and control. The Israel Air Force targeted Abdel Aziz Rantisi, a senior terrorist operative from Hamas’ military intelligence unit, the IDF said on Thursday. The attack took place several days ago but was only revealed on December 7. “Rantisi had been responsible for field intelligence in the Gaza Strip and participated in the planning of the October 7 massacre.” The Hamas member shares the same name as Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi, a co-founder of Hamas who was killed in 2004 in an Israeli strike. The IDF did not say if they were related. The IDF also said it eliminated Ahmed Ayush, a member of the Hamas’ Qarara Battalion observation unit. The IDF said it struck him at a command center, which was a “significant strategic hub for Hamas to direct combat activities, supporting attacks on IDF soldiers.” 

In addition, Israeli authorities said on Thursday that Mohammed Al-Atrash, an Israeli Bedouin from the village of Sawa and a father of 13, is being held hostage in Gaza. He was declared missing after October 7, and he is now confirmed to be in Gaza, bringing the total number of hostages to 138. 

The U.S. also resumed drone flights over Gaza, according to a statement from the Pentagon, reported by Reuters. 

 

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