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Hezbollah’s Ibrahim Aqil – Head of the deadly Radwan unit

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Hezbollah’s Ibrahim Aqil – Head of the deadly Radwan unit



Israel’s Kan reported over the weekend that the man responsible for Hezbollah’s elite Radwan force unit, is Ibrahim Aqil, a Hezbollah terrorist who has been sanctioned in the past by the United States.

The report noted that the Radwan force includes many of Hezbollah’s elite fighters and that this force has suffered casualties in the last sixty days of tension with Israel in the north. Hezbollah has lost more than 100 fighters, injured and killed, since October 7 when Hezbollah began to launch rockets, drones and mortars at Israel to back Hamas.

The report said that Aqil is “also the one who is largely responsible over the last two years for the movement of Radwan personnel toward Israel’s northern border.” The Kan report then noted that under Aqil’s leadership, the elite force has seen several operational failures.

“Dozens of failed launches of anti-tank missiles have led to casualties and damage to property on the Lebanese side.” In addition, “following the [pause in fighting on November 24], the presence of the Radwan force in the border area has decreased compared to the period before October 8, when Hezbollah joined the fighting….Since the fire was renewed yesterday in the north, Aqil continues to conduct his war effort despite the many failures and deaths in the first round.”

Ibrahim Aqil wanted by US State Dept. (credit: US State Dept/Rewards for Justice)

 Hezbollah has failed but real threats persist

The main gist of this discussion is to highlight the fact that this known Hezbollah terrorist has failed. Nevertheless, the Radwan force and Hezbollah in general remain a major threat.

The Alma Research and Education Center noted on November 29 that “Hezbollah’s Radwan unit is capable of invading the Galilee at any given moment.”

That report noted that Hezbollah has had to shift some of its posture in the wake of October 7. “Even if most of the Radwan operatives have distanced themselves from the border since the beginning of the war, in our assessment this does not neutralize their ability to fulfill their main objective. It is our assessment that the Radwan unit is continuing to collect intelligence near the border and is making adjustments to its operational plans.”

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Furthermore, the report noted that “as of this writing, around 90 Hezbollah operatives have been killed since October 7. It seems that some of those killed were operatives and commanders in the Radwan unit. The number of operatives killed has no bearing on Hezbollah’s overall competence or the Radwan unit in particular.”

Aqil is a central figure in Hezbollah. He played a role in Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian war after 2011, according to a July 2021 article by Matthew Levitt at Middle East Institute. He is a member of the group’s “Jihad council.” He was sanctioned by the US to the tune of $7 million in April 2023. The reward noted that  “Ibrahim Aqil, also known as Tahsin, serves on Hizballah’s highest military body, the Jihad Council.

During the 1980s, Aqil was a principal member of the Islamic Jihad Organization—Hizballah’s terrorist cell—that claimed the bombings of the US Embassy in Beirut in April 1983, which killed 63 people, and the US Marine barracks in October 1983, which killed 241 US personnel.” It also noted he had been involved in hostage-taking and that on July 21, 2015, the US Department of the Treasury designated Aqil and in 2019 added him to the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists.

 The overall trajectory of Aqil and his role in the current Hezbollah tensions remains unclear. Whether Hezbollah has failed in Lebanon and this failure has led to losses for the group, or whether the group sees this as a success, will take time to tell. This is because, although Hezbollah has suffered losses, its threats continue. It has a lot of military hardware and numerous fighters. 





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IDF, security forces rescue gazelles and confiscate NIS 70,000 in West Bank raids

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IDF, security forces rescue gazelles and confiscate NIS 70,000 in West Bank raids



IDF soldiers arrested wanted individuals and confiscated over NIS 70,000 in terror funds and materials for making explosives, the IDF announced on Sunday. 

Within the Binyamin Brigade, soldiers arrested two wanted individuals and discovered six gazelles taken to a shelter. 

In Ras al-Ein, a small Arab village in northern Israel, forces arrested an agitator. In Bani Naim, Dahriya, and Dura within the Judea Division, three more wanted individuals were arrested.

Wanted individuals arrested, gazelles taken to shelter

In Beit Ummar and Sa’ir within the Etzion Division, soldiers arrested four wanted individuals.

The arrested individuals and seized combat materials have been transferred to security forces for further investigation. There were no casualties or injuries among IDF soldiers. 

IDF soldiers operating in the West Bank, June 23, 2024. (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT)

To date, approximately 4,150 wanted individuals have been arrested since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war throughout the West Bank and the Jordan Valley, with around 1,750 linked to Hamas.





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For the second time this week: an Israeli citizen entered Kalkilya – and was murdered

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For the second time this week: an Israeli citizen entered Kalkilya – and was murdered



An Israeli citizen who entered Kalkilya on Saturday morning with his car was shot dead by local residents, according to Palestinian reports cited by Israeli media.

A large number of IDF troops entered the city after an Israeli citizen entered the city center with his vehicle was shot at around seven on Saturday morning.

The shooting was carried out on the main street, after which the vehicles were set on fire. About an hour ago, the victim was brought by a medical team of the Red Crescent to the entrance to the city. An IDF medical team pronounced the victim dead.

Photos from the scene show his car being set alight and his driver’s license being taken. Local Palestinians told Israeli media the car was torched well after the shooting.

IDF soldiers operating near Kalkilya in the West Bank, May 5, 2024. (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT)

Kalkilya hotspot

This is the third event in Kalkilya in the last 48 hours.

On Thursday, an Israeli in his 70s was robbed and attacked. The paramedic team met him at the Eliyahu checkpoint, where he was pronounced dead.

On Friday afternoon, two Islamic Jihad operatives, who were on their way to carry out a terror attack against Israelis, were eliminated by the IDF in Qalqilya.

The operation was carried out after the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) gathered intelligence that the two intended to carry out an attack soon.

As a result, the soldiers of the police’s Gideon unit were rushed to the area. After identifying the two, they started an arrest procedure, at the end of which they fired at the two terrorists.





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Armenia recognizes Palestine as a state, foreign ministry announces

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Armenia recognizes Palestine as a state, foreign ministry announces



Armenia recognized Palestine as a state on Friday morning, according to Russian TASS news agency, citing Armenia’s foreign affairs ministry. 

Armenia supports a UN resolution on an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and is in favor of a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the same statement said.

Indeed, Armenia remained notably silent after the October 7 massacre. It became vocal only three weeks later when the United Nations General Assembly put forth a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Gaza. Armenia was one of the 121 countries which voted in favor.

Armenia has become more and more closely associated with Iran in recent years amid the rising tensions with Azerbaijan. Several sources reported 2023 spotting Iranian soldiers on the Armenian side of the border with Azerbaijan. 

According to French reports, Iran sent agents to Yerevan to manage the Blue Mosque, which was built in Armenia during Iran’s rule.

A protester holds up a Palestinian flag as riot police stand guard near the Israel Embassy during a demonstration in support of Palestinians, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Mexico City, Mexico May 28, 2024. (credit: REUTERS/HENRY ROMERO)

Iran and Israel have been consistently opposed, with Iran attacking Israel in a massive bombardment of rockets and missiles in April.

In addition, Armenia is an observer state of the Arab League. Palestine is recognized as a member state in said league.

Antisemitism has been rampant in Armenia since the war broke out, as well, with Jewish communities in the region fearful and having been attacked several times.

Reuters contributed to this report.





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