Amid escalating tensions, the Axis of Resistance orchestrated strategic campaigns aimed at weakening Israeli military and political resolve, particularly around the Gaza Strip. The objectives included diminishing Israeli public and political willingness for a sustained ground operation in Gaza and undermining the material resources and morale of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in the vicinity.

Israel Hamas war map
Graphics used with permission of The Institute for the Study of War.

Attack at Erez

On October 29, a notable assault occurred at the Erez checkpoint, orchestrated by the al Qassem Brigade, the militant arm of Hamas. Militants infiltrated Israeli territory via a tunnel, clashing with IDF forces. The militants employed anti-armor munitions against Israeli vehicles, causing several casualties. The IDF retaliated, inflicting casualties among the assailants, though precise details were not disclosed. The al-Qassem Brigade further launched rocket and mortar strikes to hinder reinforcement to the Israeli troops at Erez, as claimed by Hamas leader Ismail Radwan. However, independent verification of these claims was unavailable.

On the same day, the al Qassem Brigades and Saraya al Quds, the militant wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), jointly claimed an ambush on IDF forces in al Amiriya. The militants used a mix of anti-tank rocket launchers, indirect fire, snipers, and a one-way attack drone to target IDF forces advancing toward Beit Lahia Yasin. This operation reportedly aimed to halt the IDF’s advance, showcasing the coordination between Hamas and PIJ in their military endeavors against Israel. A week prior, key figures from the Axis of Resistance held a meeting in Beirut to plan and coordinate their actions.

Attacks from Gaza
Graphics used with permission of The Institute for the Study of War.

Saraya al Quds Rocket Launch

The IDF, in a bid to secure the Gaza Strip coastline, faced a complex attack from Saraya al Quds on October 29. Militants launched two waves of rocket and mortar attacks on IDF troops advancing along the coast, with the IDF Air Force retaliating by targeting Hamas military structures, anti-tank positions, and other military assets in Gaza. The al Qassem Brigade also claimed an anti-tank guided missile attack on an IDF convoy, showcasing a Russian-made Kornet missile striking an Israeli armored personnel carrier.

Reports emerged of Palestinian militants ambushing an IDF unit attempting to cross into the Gaza Strip east of Rafah, forcing them to retreat after hours of engagement. Meanwhile, IDF’s clearing operations in Gaza continued, although there were claims of Palestinian militants destroying two IDF tanks and halting their advance towards Beit Hanoun. Still, these claims were unverified.

The West Bank

In the West Bank, the Axis of Resistance sought to divert IDF resources by inciting clashes and anti-Israel demonstrations. The growing violence could potentially amplify anti-Israel sentiments, further straining IDF resources. Similarly, in northern Israel, Iranian-backed militants, including Lebanese Hezbollah, orchestrated attacks to draw IDF assets and attention away from other fronts, setting the stage for successive campaigns into northern Israel.
On a broader scale, Iran and its Axis of Resistance pursued a regional strategy to display their capability and willingness to confront the United States and Israel on multiple fronts, aspiring to set the groundwork for a regional war. On October 29, Iranian-backed militants targeted US forces in Syria, marking a string of attacks since October 18.

Furthermore, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, in a bid to galvanize Arab support against Israel, highlighted the alleged failure of the IDF’s ground operation in Gaza and emphasized the Axis of Resistance’s discontent with Israeli actions.

West Bank
Graphics used with permission of The Institute for the Study of War.

Iranian Morality Police Kill 16-Year-Old Kurdish Girl

The death of a young Iranian Kurdish girl, Armita Geravand, on October 28 prompted public outcries against the Iranian regime on both the following and preceding day. The 16-year-old reportedly faced assault from the Iranian morality police on a Tehran subway on October 1 due to her alleged non-compliance with the compulsory hijab law, which subsequently led to her falling into a coma and later succumbing to her injuries. Following her passing, a group of people assembled at her burial site on October 29, vocalizing their dissent against the regime through various slogans.