Israel-Gaza Situation Report: Arrow Interceptor Downs Ballistic Missile Over Red Sea (Updated)

The Houthis claimed a missile and drone attack on Israel Tuesday and that there would be more such attacks if the war continues.

byHoward Altman|
Israel photo
IAI
Share

Israel on Tuesday said it used its Arrow ballistic missile defense system for the first time during this war, intercepting a medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) launched from the “Red Sea region.” A spokesman from Yemen's Houthi rebels took credit for launching missile as well as drones toward Eilat in Israel Tuesday, further raising concerns about the Israel-Hamas conflict expanding across the region.

The Iranian-backed Houthis say they launched a "large number" of drones and ballistic missiles towards Israel on Tuesday, according to Reuters. The operation was the third targeting Israel and there would be more, Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Saree said in a televised statement.

Saree said the attacks would continue until "Israeli aggression" stopped, referring to the war against Hamas.

The Yemeni Armed Forces are prepared to launch more attacks on enemy targets in the coming hours, Houthi Brigadier General Bin Amer told the Al-Mayadeen Telegram channel.

On Tuesday, the IAF said its “detection systems” followed the missile trajectory from the Red Sea area and intercepted it “at the most appropriate operational time and location.” 

The Arrow system fills the upper-most tier of Israel’s integrated air defense system (IADS). 

“The Arrow 3, developed jointly by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Boeing...is primarily intended to defeat ballistic missile threats, especially those flying at very high altitudes and at extremely high speeds. The Arrow 3 entered operational service in January 2017.”

“The Arrow 3’s interceptor component carries a kinetic kill vehicle outside of the Earth’s atmosphere (exo-atmospheric), where it physically slams into the target, destroying it in its mid-course flight phase.”

The less capable Arrow 2 is also operational with the IDF.

During a Tuesday press briefing, Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon's top spokesman, said the IDF intercepted a Houthi missile.

In addition to the missile interception, IAF fighters “were scrambled this morning due to an aerial threat identified in the area of the Red Sea and intercepted aerial threats that flew in the area,” the IDF said on Telegram Tuesday. “All aerial threats were intercepted outside of Israeli territory. No infiltrations were identified into Israeli territory.”

Tuesday's incident is the latest episode of increasing belligerence from the Houthis. On Friday an IAF fighter intercepted a target over the Red Sea — apparently a drone heading for Israel — shortly after an unmanned aerial vehicle slammed into the Egyptian town of Taba on the Red Sea, wounding six people, according to the Times of Israel.

That follows the Oct. 19 launching of at least four land attack cruise missiles and nearly 20 drones by the Houthis intercepted by the Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney in a nine-hour engagement. Saudi Arabia also engaged aerial targets during this hours-long incident.

There is also consistent fire between Israel and Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah, including several more occurances Tuesday.

Hezbollah just released an ominous message on social media.

The video shows Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah signing a document of some kind. Nasrallah is set to deliver a speech on Friday, according to The Times of Israel, his first public address since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas.

The speech is scheduled for 3 p.m. Israel time, during a ceremony to honor the “martyrs who died on the road to Jerusalem,” according to pro-Hezbollah news outlet Al Mayadeen.

In addition, worries grow about the expansion of hostilities in Syria, where Israel has carried airstrikes on airports and rockets have been launched into Israel. Moreover, suspected Iranian-backed militias have repeatedly fired on U.S. forces, who have now responded with airstrikes

UN Envoy to Syria Geir Pedersen on Monday told the Security Council that, on top of violence from the Syrian conflict, the Syrian people now face “a terrifying prospect of a potential wider escalation” following Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks on Israel and the ongoing retaliatory military action, according to The Associated Press.

“Spillover into Syria is not just a risk; it has already begun,” Pedersen said.

Israel is continuing what it calls "expanded ground operations" in Gaza, saying "numerous Hamas terrorists have been killed; Hundreds of additional military targets were struck."

"Over the last day, combined IDF combat forces struck approximately 300 targets, including anti-tank missile and rocket launch posts below shafts, as well as military compounds inside underground tunnels belonging to the Hamas terrorist organization," the IDF said Tuesday on Telegram.

"During the forces' ground operations, the soldiers had several engagements with terrorist cells that fired both anti-tank missiles and machine gun fire toward them. The soldiers killed terrorists and directed air forces to real-time strikes on targets and terror infrastructure."

"Over the last few hours, combined forces led by IDF ground troops, struck a Hamas terrorist outpost in the northern Gaza Strip," the IDF said on Telegram. "In addition, the forces killed dozens of terrorists, struck anti-tank missile launching cells and anti-tank missile launch and observation posts, and confiscated numerous weapons, including guns and explosive devices."

 

Israel conducted conducted a route clearance operation moving from near Juhor ad Dik to the Salah al Din road in the Gaza Strip before withdrawing, according to the latest assessment from the Institute for the Study of War.

"Palestinian media, Hamas and Axis of Resistance media claimed that the al Qassem Brigades and National Resistance Brigades engaged IDF forces in the northwestern Gaza Strip on October 30," ISW reported.

IDF Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman told soldiers preparing to enter Gaza that the goal is victory.

“We are striking Hamas and the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip," Finkelman said, according to the IDF Telegram channel. "We have one goal - victory. No matter how long or how hard the fighting will be, there is no other outcome than victory. We will fight with professionalism and strength, based first and foremost on the IDF values which were instilled in us - Dedication to Mission and the Pursuit of Victory."

"We will fight in alleys, we will fight in tunnels, we will fight wherever necessary. We will eliminate the abominable enemy before whom we stand...”

Hamas said the invasion of Gaza will be a "graveyard" for Israeli troops.

"The ground incursions of the Zionist occupation army into various areas of Gaza City, under heavy cover of air and artillery bombardment; It is a miserable attempt by the occupation war council to achieve an imaginary achievement to cover up their military and security failure and restore their image of their strategic defeat on the seventh of glorious October," Hamas said on Telegram.

"The Al-Qassam Brigades and the valiant resistance fight heroic battles, clashing forcefully with columns of tanks and military vehicles penetrating north and south of Gaza City, inflicting direct losses on more than one axis. The occupation is pushing its soldiers into Gaza, the pride that was and will remain a graveyard for the invaders."

Health officials in Gaza claim that more than 8,300 people have been killed in Israeli bombardment, including more than 3,400 children.

Hamas released video it says shows its troops engaging Israeli forces near the Erez crossing in Gaza Sunday. In the video, IDF troops are approached by Hamas fighters armed with automatic rifles and RPGs, as they exit a tunnel. They open fire at the IDF forces and the firefight ensues.

Israel said it killed another senior Hamas leader in Gaza Tuesday.

"Yesterday, based on IDF and ISA intelligence, IDF fighter jets struck the Commander of the Beit Lahia Battalion of Hamas' Northern Brigade, Nasim Abu Ajina, who directed the massacre on October 7th in the Kibbutz Erez and Moshav Netiv HaAsara," the IDF said on Telegram. "In the past, Abu Ajina commanded Hamas' Aerial Array, and took part in the development of the UAVs and paragliders of the terrorist organization. His elimination significantly harms the efforts of the Hamas terrorist organization to disrupt the IDF's ground activities."

The IDF said it is also continuing its raids against Hamas targets on the West Bank.

Hamas also continued its rocket attacks inside Israel, launching a barrage against Tel Aviv Tuesday.

One of the biggest concerns Israel has for an incursion into Gaza is the hundreds of miles of tunnels, known as "The Metro," Hamas has established. You can get a sense of that network in the access Hamas gave to the Russian RT media outlet seen in this video below.

Iranian TV also gave a tunnel tour.

As it enters Gaza, Israel is taking a page out of the war in Ukraine, protecting its Merkava tanks against drone attacks with cope cages. You can read our report on this development for IDF armor, here.

More humanitarian aid is flowing into Gaza through the Rafah crossing, a key border control point between Gaza and Egypt a pace that has far exceeded what we have previously seen in recent days.

"Right now we're up to almost 60," trucks per day heading into Gaza, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during Congressional testimony

Tuesday. "We're trying to get to 100 this week. That is the bare minimum, what's needed, but wegot to do it, and we believe we have mechanisms in place to make sure that that system."

Egyptian officials say the Rafah crossing, will be opened tomorrow to allow wounded Palestinians to seek medical treatment.

Yesterday, IDF private Uri Magidish was rescued during a military operation in Gaza. Today, video emerged of her being reunited with her family.

The number of hostages still held by Hamas has grown to 240, according to the IDF.

This is a developing story. We will update it when there is more news to report about the Israel-Hamas war.

UPDATE: 4PM EST—

The wreckage of a Houthi land-attack cruise missile fired at Israel has emerged in Jordan. It is unclear if it was shot down or crashed. It appears to be a Quds-3 or similar variant, which is an Iranian design based on the Soviet Kh-55.

Hamas just released video of a shore-launched 'torpedo' that it says can attack Israeli vessels offshore. No mistaking what it is considering the giant 'TORPEDO' written on its side. It isn't clear what this is capable of, if anything, but it looks more like a remote controlled shallow submersible drone than a torpedo.

Wolf Blitzer pressed the IDF's international spokesperson on all the civilians killed during the aerial attack on the Jabaliya refugee camp today:

UPDATE: 8:53PM EST—

There has been another shoot down of a weapon launched presumably from Yemen that headed north along the Red Sea and was intercepted over Eilat.

Contact the author: howard@thewarzone.com

stripe