IRAN UPDATE, JUNE 8, 2024

Israeli forces rescued four Hamas-held hostages during a complex operation in the central Gaza Strip.[1] Hamas captured the four hostages from the Nova music festival during the October 7 attack.[2] This marks the second successful rescue of living hostages by Israel during the war.[3] Israeli forces engaged Palestinian fighters during the rescue and Palestinian fighters killed one Israeli officer during the engagement.[4] Hamas fighters fired a man portable air defense system at an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) helicopter in Nuseirat, where the rescue occurred.[5] The IDF acknowledged the presence of civilians in the area and estimated the number of casualties to be under 100. Palestinian reports said that hundreds of civilians died during the rescue.[6] An Israeli Army Radio correspondent reported that the IDF recently launched raids in eastern Bureij and eastern Deir al Balah in the central Gaza Strip prior to ”provide cover” for the rescue operation.[7] US officials speaking to Western media said that the United States provided some intelligence to support the hostage rescue operation.[8]

The spokesperson for Hamas’ military wing threatened to capture more hostages and noted that most hostages remain in Hamas’ hands in response to the Israeli hostage rescue.[9] Hamas referenced its May 2024 claims that it captured Israeli soldiers in Jabalia as evidence of its ability to take additional hostages.[10] The IDF has previously denied that Hamas kidnapped an Israeli soldier in Jabalia in May 2024.[11] Hamas also said that Israel killed other hostages while conducting the rescue.[12] Hamas stated that Israel’s rescue operation does not alter what it calls Israel’s “strategic failure” in the Gaza Strip.[13] Hamas commended its fighters who engaged Israeli forces during the rescue and criticized the United States for its involvement in the operation.[14]

Israeli war cabinet minister Benny Gantz canceled his June 8 speech, in which he was expected to announce his resignation from the coalition government.[15] He made this decision following the Israeli hostage rescue. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Gantz not to leave the government during ”this time for unity.”[16]

Key Takeaways:

  • Gaza Strip: The IDF rescued four hostages in an operation in Nuseirat, central Gaza Strip. Palestinian fighters killed one Israeli officer during the rescue. Separately, Israeli War Cabinet minister Benny Gantz canceled a speech in which he was expected to announce his resignation from the Israeli coalition government.
  • West Bank: Israeli forces engaged Palestinian fighters in at least six locations across the West Bank since CTP-ISW’s last data cut off on June 7.
  • Lebanon: Lebanese Hezbollah has conducted at least 11 attacks into northern Israel since CTP-ISW’s last data cutoff on June 7.
  • Yemen: US CENTCOM destroyed a Houthi patrol boat in the Red Sea on June 7.

Gaza Strip

Axis of Resistance objectives:

Erode the will of the Israeli political establishment and public to sustain clearing operations in the Gaza Strip
Reestablish Hamas as the governing authority in the Gaza Strip

The IDF 99th Division continued to operate along the Netzarim Corridor in southern Gaza City on June 8.[17] Palestinian Islamic Jihad fighters mortared Israeli forces operating along the corridor.[18] Hamas claimed two attacks targeting Israeli forces in Gaza City’s Zaytoun neighborhood.[19]

The IDF continued clearing operations in eastern Deir al Balah and eastern Bureij.[20] The IDF Air Force struck militia infrastructure in the area and reported that there were secondary explosions caused by the airstrike. A Palestinian activist reported violent clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian militia fighters east of Bureij and Maghazi.[21] Palestinian militias claimed attacks targeting Israeli forces using mortars and small arms in eastern Deir al Balah.[22] An Israeli Army Radio correspondent said that the IDF launched raids in the central Gaza Strip as a cover for the hostage rescue operation in Nuseirat.[23] It is unclear if the IDF will continue operations in eastern Deir al Balah and eastern Bureij following the rescue operation.

Israeli forces continued clearing operations in western Rafah on June 8.[24] The IDF 401st Brigade raided Tal al Sultan, western Rafah, and destroyed a Hamas training facility.[25] Palestinian militias claimed attacks in several sectors of Rafah, including western Rafah.[26]

The IDF began “reinforcing security” near the US-constructed temporary pier in Gaza City to begin facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid.[27] US CENTCOM reattached its temporary pier off the coast of the Gaza Strip on June 7 after it suspended operations due to damage sustained at sea.[28]

Palestinian militias conducted one indirect fire attack from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel on June 8.[29]

West Bank

Axis of Resistance objectives:

Establish the West Bank as a viable front against Israel

Israeli forces engaged Palestinian fighters in at least six locations across the West Bank since CTP-ISW’s last data cut off on June 7.[30]

Southern Lebanon and Golan Heights

Axis of Resistance objectives:

Deter Israel from conducting a ground operation into Lebanon
Prepare for an expanded and protracted conflict with Israel in the near term
Expel the United States from Syria

Lebanese Hezbollah has conducted at least 11 attacks into northern Israel since CTP-ISW’s last data cutoff on June 7.[31]

Iran and Axis of Resistance

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed on June 7 that it launched a drone at an unspecified target in Israeli territory.[32] Saraya Awliya al Dam, an Iraqi militia facade group with suspected ties to Kataib Sayyida al Shuhada and Kataib Hezbollah, said on June 8 that the Islamic Resistance in Iraq targeted the Rabin power station in Caesarea, Israel.[33]

US CENTCOM destroyed a Houthi patrol boat in the Red Sea on June 7.[34]

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