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Copyright © 2019 The American Israel Public Affairs Committee

Escalating Attacks by Iranian Proxies Against Israel

The inside of the largest Hezbollah attack tunnel, equipped with lighting, ventilation, communications and railway systems.

For decades, Iran has used proxies—such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in the Gaza Strip—to attack Israel.


Below are some recent attacks by Iranian proxies against the Jewish state:


To the North

  • June 12: A Hezbollah drone penetrates Israeli airspace.

  • June 1: Iranian-backed forces launch two rockets from Syria toward Mount Hermon in Israel.

  • May 29: Israel seals the largest and most sophisticated of the six Hezbollah attack tunnels that crossed into Israel. The 262-footdeep tunnel was built to attack northern Israeli communities.

To the South

  • June 13: Hamas launches two rockets into Israel, striking a school in southern Israel.

  • June 12: Hamas launches a wave of balloons carrying incendiary and explosive devices into Israel, igniting fires throughout southern Israel.

  • May 4-5: PIJ and Hamas launch 700 rockets at Israel, killing four Israelis and injuring many more.


The United States must continue the economic and diplomatic pressure on the Iranian regime to return to nuclear negotiations and end its regional aggression.


The United States must ensure Israel has the means to defend its citizens against attacks from Iran’s terrorist proxies.


Over the past six weeks, Iran and its terrorist proxies have increased their attacks throughout the region. From Israel and the Green Zone in Iraq, to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf of Oman, these attacks target U.S. allies and interests.


The below timeline details only some of the recent actions Iran and its proxies have taken against American interests and our allies, and efforts to disrupt global stability:


  • June 20: Iran shoots down a U.S. surveillance drone operating in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.

  • June 15: The Iranian-backed Houthis launch multiple drone attacks at Saudi Arabia’s Jizan and Abha airports.

  • June 13: Iran attempts to shoot down a U.S. drone as it surveyed the attacked tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

  • June 13: Saudi Arabia intercepts five Houthi-fired drones launched at the Abha airport and the city of Khamis Mushait.

  • June 13: A Japanese oil tanker and a Taiwanese and Norwegian oil vessel are attacked in the Gulf of Oman, forcing 44 crewmembers to abandon ship.

  • June 12: The Houthis launch a cruise missile at Saudi Arabia’s airport in Abha, injuring 26 travelers.

  • June 11: The Houthis launch two Qasef-2K drones on the Saudi city of Khamis Mushait, home to a Saudi airbase.

  • June 6: With direct Iranian assistance, the Houthis use a surfaceto-air missile to shoot down a U.S. drone in Yemen.

  • May 23: The Houthis launch another drone attack on a Patriot missile battery at the Saudi Najran airport—the fourth strike attempt in four days.

  • May 19: Iranian proxies in Iraq launch a rocket that landed inside Iraq’s fortified Green Zone, near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

  • May 14: The Houthis launch a coordinated attack of seven armed drones, hitting two of Saudi Arabia’s oil and energy installations and taking a major oil pipeline out of service.

  • May 12: Four commercial ships—two Saudi oil vessels, a Norwegian tanker and a United Arab Emirates (UAE) ship— are sabotaged near the Strait of Hormuz.


Type: Memo