Israel Faces Multi-Front Confrontation After Assault On Al-Aqsa MosqueSouth Front

April 12, 2023

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Israel Faces Multi-Front Confrontation After Assault On Al-Aqsa Mosque

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Israel Faces Multi-Front Confrontation After Assault On Al-Aqsa Mosque
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Israel Faces Multi-Front Confrontation After Assault On Al-Aqsa Mosque

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A series of rocket attacks targeted Israel’s southern and northern regions in a rare multi-front confrontation following an assault on the al-Aqsa mosque, one of Islam’s holiest sites, in Jerusalem city

Israeli Police officers stormed al-Aqsa early on April 5 during Ramadan prayers, arresting more than 350 Palestinians worshipers and wounding many others.

The assault drew condemnation from across the Arab and Muslim world, including from both Iran and Saudi Arabia who recently restored relations ending a rift that played in favor of Israel for most of the past two decades.

In a response to the provocation at al-Aqsa mosque, Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip fired nine rockets at nearby settlements. The rocket fire didn’t result in any casualties. However, in the southern Israeli city of Sedort material losses were reported.

Tel Aviv held the Hamas Movement, the de-facto ruler of Gaza, responsible for the attack. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) launched a series of retaliatory strikes on the strip on April 5 morning. Several targets were hit, including a weapons factory and a weapons storage facility belonging to the military wing of Hamas, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. No casualties were reported after the strikes.

The next day, April 6, a barrage of 34 rockets was launched from southern Lebanon at several towns in northern Israel in the largest attack on the front since the war of 2006. The rocket impacts caused two minor injuries and some damage.

Hamas, who maintains a presence in Palestinian refugee camps in south Lebanon, was again blamed for the rocket fire.

The IDF retaliates with two waves of strikes on Gaza. Three tunnels, four weapon production sites, a series of observation posts as well as anti-aircraft machine gun and missile launcher of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades were targeted. A third wave of strikes hit alleged positions of Hamas in the outskirts of the southern Lebanese city of Tyre. The strikes on both Gaza and Lebanon didn’t result in any casualties.

Later on April 8 and 9, two salvos of six rockets were fired from southern Syria at the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The attack, which was the first to be launched from Syria in more than three years, didn’t result in any casualties or material losses.

No group claimed responsibility for the rocket fire. Still, Israel held the Syrian government responsible for the attack. In an initial response, Israeli combat drones targeted the launchers used to fire the rockets. Later, the IDF said its fighter jets carried out airstrikes against a military compound belonging to the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Division, as well as a radar and artillery posts in southern Syria.

The unprecedented multi-front confrontation shows how Israel’s excessive use of force is backfiring. Tel Aviv deterrence against the Axis of Resistance appears to be collapsing. On the fronts with Gaza and Lebanon, IDF operations remain restricted. Meanwhile, the Syria front is heating up.

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