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.