Israel’s Operation Swords of Iron Update 10/13


Ari Cicurel – Assistant Director of Foreign Policy
Yoni Tobin – Policy Analyst
Zachary Schildcrout – Policy Analyst
Anna Schaftel – Programs and Outreach Associate

On October 7, Hamas launched an unprovoked and unprecedented multi-pronged attack on Israel by land, air, and sea. JINSA issued a NatSec Brief with an early assessment of the war on October 8 and has produced daily updates during the war. JINSA also held a webinar yesterday about lessons learned from past Israel-Gaza wars with JINSA Director of Foreign Policy Jonathan Ruhe, JINSA Distinguished Fellow LTC Geoffrey S. Corn, USA (ret.), and JINSA Hybrid Warfare Policy Project Member Lt Gen Thomas “Tom” Trask, USAF (ret.). Below are updated information and analysis, which JINSA will continue to produce throughout the conflict.

Last 24 Hours

Attacks Against Israel

  • At least 6,000 rockets, mortars, drones, and other projectiles have been fired from Gaza during the war.
    • There were roughly 1,000 rockets targeting Israel in the last 24 hours.
      • On Friday, at least seven rockets hit Sderot and several more struck Ashkelon, which faced at least three bombardments in the span of forty-five minutes. No injuries were reported. Infiltration sirens sounded in the southern kibbutz Nahal Oz.
      • Sirens sounded in northern Israel, near Tzfat and east of Haifa. The IDF confirmed it had intercepted one rocket over Haifa. Hamas claimed responsibility in what appeared to be the furthest location in Israel Hamas had targeted since the war began.
    • At least three rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israel on October 12, with sirens sounding on the Lebanese border in the towns of She’ar Yeshuv, HaGoshrim, and Dafna.
    • On October 12, two Israeli policemen were shot and injured, one moderately and one seriously, after a terrorist attack at the Shalem police station in Jerusalem, and on October 13, a terrorist was shot and killed near Ashkelon by Israeli forces.
    • On October 12, the Israeli Foreign Ministry warned that rallies planned for October 13 inspired by Hamas’ call for a “Day of Rage” across the globe present risks to Jews, and Israelis abroad should take caution.
      • On October 13, a teacher in Arras, France, was killed in a terrorist attack by an individual known to authorities for ties to radical Islamism.
    • An Israeli embassy employee in Beijing was attacked and hospitalized on Friday. It is not clear who carried out the attack.
    • Reports from October 11 alleged, according to researchers at cybersecurity firm Group-IB, that the Palestinian hacking group AnonGhost conducted an operation to send a fake nuclear attack threat through the Red Alert application in Israel by exploiting vulnerabilities in the application.
      • According to Cybernews, the hackers disseminated false messages to the application’s users that said a “nuclear bomb is coming,” per screenshots reportedly posted to AnonGhost’s Telegram channel.

IDF Operations

  • The IDF stated it has launched strikes on 2,687 targets in Gaza since the war began.
  • The IDF carried out airstrikes against at least 750 targets belonging to Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza throughout Thursday night.
  • Syrian media reported on October 12 that Israel had conducted an airstrike near the Damascus International Airport and Aleppo International Airport, as noted in JINSA’s update about the war yesterday.
  • On October 12, an IDF airstrike in Gaza killed Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades leader Sami al-Abd al-Hassani, the terrorist group confirmed.
  • The IDF released a video showing its airstrikes destroying dozens of drone launch sites located on the roofs of residential buildings in Gaza.
  • On October 13, the IDF released a statement calling for Gaza City residents to move south in the Gaza Strip for their own safety.
    • The IDF sent a message, along with a map, to Palestinians saying “civilians of Gaza City, evacuate south for your own safety and the safety of your families and distance yourself from Hamas terrorists who are using you as human shields. In the following days, the IDF will continue to operate significantly in Gaza City and make extensive efforts to avoid harming civilians.”
      • It was not immediately clear how the message was conveyed to Gaza residents.
    • A similar statement, as relayed to the United Nations by IDF liaisons, included an Israeli call for “the entire population of Gaza north of Wadi Gaza [to] relocate to southern Gaza within the next 24 hours.”
    • Hamas responded to the Israeli warning by telling Palestinians to stay put, with a senior leader urging Gaza residents to “remain steadfast in your homes and to stand firm in the face of this disgusting psychological war waged by the occupation.”

Casualties and Hostages

  • Over 1,300 people in Israel have died and another 3,200 have been injured in the war.
  • According to the Gaza Health Ministry, 1,537 people have been killed in Gaza and 6,612 have been injured during the war.
  • According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, thirty-six people have been killed and an additional 610 have been injured in the West Bank, including twenty-one injuries on October 12.
  • Foreign nationals also remain missing, including at least twenty Americans, twenty French nationals, fifteen Argentinian nationals, six Russian nationals, three Canadian nationals, five Philippines nationals, three Austrian nationals, three Brazilian nationals, two Italian nationals, one Chilean national, two Paraguayan nationals, two Peruvian nationals, two Sri Lankan nationals, two Tanzanian nationals, and one Irish national.
    • Several German nationals, eleven Thai nationals, two Colombian nationals, and two Mexican nationals have been taken hostage by Hamas.

Iranian Involvement

  • On October 12, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian arrived in Beirut and met with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on October 13.
    • The foreign minister reportedly said upon arriving, “I offer congratulations from the Palestinian people on Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, which is a response to Netanyahu’s war crimes.”
    • Iran state-run agency IRNA reported that Adollahian said that “the continuation of aggression, war crimes and the siege of Gaza, the opening of other fronts is a real possibility” and that “Iran strongly continues its political and media support for the Palestinian resistance.”
    • Abdollahian also reportedly met with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Foreign Minister Abdallah Bouhabib during the visit.
    • Abdollahian had already visited Iraq and plans to travel to Syria. The Israeli airstrikes against Syrian airports on October 12 may have caused him to push forward his Lebanon trip.

U.S. and International Response

  • The United States reportedly delivered roughly 500 U.S. small diameter bombs (SDB) to Israel on October 12, with approximately 500 more of the precision-guided munitions expected to arrive on October 13. The United States is also reportedly providing roughly 100,000 rounds of 7.62 small-arms ammunition.
  • Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced on October 13 that a new tranche of American munitions had arrived in Israel, without giving further details.
  • During a press conference with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel on October 12, Blinken said, “I come before you not only as the United States Secretary of State, but also as a Jew. My grandfather, Maurice Blinken, fled pogroms in Russia. My stepfather, Samuel Pisar, survived concentration camps – Auschwitz, Dachau, Majdanek.”
    • Blinken said further, “this was just one of Hamas’s countless acts of terror – in a litany of brutality and inhumanity that, yes, brings to mind the worst of ISIS. Babies slaughtered. Bodies desecrated. Young people burned alive. Women raped. Parents executed in front of their children, children in front of their parents. How are we even to understand this, to digest this?”
    • Blinken reiteratedS. support for Israel by reassuring, “you may be strong enough on your own to defend yourself – but as long as America exists, you will never, ever have to. We will always be there, by your side.”
    • Blinken noted that the United States is “supplying ammunition, interceptors to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome, alongside other defense materiel. The first shipments of U.S. military support have already arrived in Israel, and more is on the way.”
  • During a press conference with Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Israel on October 12, Blinken said, “The United States stands with Israel today, tomorrow, every day.”
    • Blinken also said, “here in the Middle East, there is the path of integration, cooperation, normalization, and equal measures of justice, opportunity, dignity for all peoples, including the Palestinians. Or there’s the path that Hamas has shown to the world these last few days: terror, destruction, malice, a path that leads to nowhere for anyone except to the darkest places in our souls.”
  • President Biden spoke with Emirati President Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan on October 12 to discuss the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.
  • On October 12, Secretary Blinken spoke with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita about Hamas’ attacks, efforts to impede escalation in the region, and securing the release of hostages.
  • Secretary Blinken told ABC News on October 12 that the United States is determined to “explore every possible option” to free American hostages in Gaza and that the U.S. is working with third-party countries “who may have leverage with Hamas to use that leverage in favor of getting the hostages home.”
  • On October 12, the U.S. State Department announced forthcoming visits by Secretary Blinken to Qatar, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan as part of his current Middle East tour.
  • On October 11, the U.S. State Department issued a Level 3 travel advisory for Israel and the West Bank, indicating that Americans should reconsider travel to these locations.
  • On October 13, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin traveled to Israel and met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.
    • During his meeting with Netanyahu, he stressed that the United States will “have your back” and told the prime minister, “as you know, I was the guy that initially put the ISIS campaign together and I know a lot about ISIS, and this is worse than what I saw with ISIS.”
    • Standing alongside Gallant at a press conference, Austin said, “this is no time for neutrality, or for false equivalence, or for excuses for the inexcusable…anyone who wants lasting peace and security for this region must condemn and isolate Hamas.”
  • The UN Security Council will meet on October 13 in New York to discuss the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas after Brazil, currently holder of the rotating presidency of the council, called a meeting.
  • AFP reported on October 13 that Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Russian television that an Israeli ground operation in Gaza would lead to “absolutely unacceptable” civilian casualties.
  • On October 12 during a televised address, French President Emmanuel Macron denounced Hamas’s “blind murderous hatred” and “absolute cruelty,” and he said further that Israel reserves the right to “[eliminate] terrorist groups, including Hamas, with targeted actions but preserving the civilian population,” and the “only response to terrorism is one that is… strong but fair.”
  • On October 12, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz promised to crack down on support for Hamas within Germany.
    • The German Defense Ministry agreed to fulfill an Israeli request to use two Heron TP drones under lease by Germany’s military in Israel for training German personnel, and the ministry agreed to discuss Israeli requests for ammunition for its German-made warships.
  • On October 13, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen arrived in Israel along with European Parliament President Roberta Metsola.
    • Von der Leyen expressed Europe’s “solidarity with the Israeli people in the wake of the horrific Hamas terrorist attack” in an October 13 social media post.


  • The Biden administration’s rapid deployment of small diameter bombs to Israel is critical for Israel’s ability to minimize collateral damage.
    • This is particularly important considering terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah frequently place their weapons arsenals, launchpads, and command-and-control sites in civilian locations, such as residential buildings, hospitals, schools, and mosques.
    • JINSA had recommended that the United States expedite the delivery of SDB and other precision munitions to Israel since 2018, as well as resupply the obsolete and depletedS. stockpile of U.S.-owned weaponry in Israel, called War Reserve Stockpile Ammunition (WRSA-I), which Israel can draw upon in an emergency
  • Israel’s explicit warning on October 13 that residents of Gaza City should evacuate within 24 hours, and that all Gazan residents should move to the southern part of the Gaza Strip and not remain north of Wadi Gaza, makes almost certain a large-scale Israeli ground operation into Gaza in the coming days.

Click here to read Israel’s Operation Swords of Iron Update.