The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Palestinian militant group Hamas have clashed in Gaza and Israel for almost two weeks, with the death toll on both sides rising.

The violence — from riots and airstrikes to lynchings and rocket volleys — has reignited despite the signing of the Abraham Accords, which normalized relations between Israel and several Arab countries and were seen as potentially reducing tensions in the region.

Behind the headlines and the spotlight, it’s Israel’s special operations units — among the world’s finest — that are moving the pieces and enabling the IDF’s operations against Hamas.

A Mission Gone Awry

A rocket launched from Gaza city controlled by the Palestinian Hamas movement, is intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome aerial defence system, on May 11, 2021
A rocket launched from Gaza City is intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air-defense system, May 11, 2021. (Photo by Mohammed Abed/AFP via Getty Images)

For good reason, most Israeli special operations in Gaza, the West Bank, or East Jerusalem go unreported.