The IDF and the Shin Bet intelligence agency arrested Sheikh Hassan Yousef, above, early on Tuesday during a raid on his West Bank home. Yousef is a senior Hamas leader in the West Bank. Security forces arrested him in the Palestinian town of Beitunia, southwest of Ramallah. Yousef, 60, is involved in intensive activities aimed at inciting Palestinians to commit acts of terrorism, according to the army. The sheikh has been arrested and jailed in Israel on several past occasions. Israeli authorities accuse him of "fomenting violence and conflict against Israel among the Palestinian public." Soldiers from the Artillery Corps Ra'am (Thunder) battalion and units from the Binyamin territorial brigade arrested Yousef together with the Shin Bet, and took him in for questioning. Yousef's son, Mosab, worked as an undercover Shin Bet informer and is credited with foiling many deadly terrorist attacks between 1997 and 2007. His autobiography, Son of Hamas, was published in 2010. Yousef has sought asylum in the United States.
Terrorists battling the Syrian army and its allies near Aleppo said on Monday they had received new supplies of U.S.-made anti-tank missiles from states opposed to President Bashar al-Assad since the start of a major government offensive last week.
The terrorists from three groups said new supplies had arrived in response to the attack by the army, which is backed up by Russian air strikes and on the ground by Iranian fighters and Lebanon's Hezbollah.
The delivery of the U.S.-made TOW missiles to terrorists in Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria appears to be an initial response to the new Russian-Iranian intervention. Foreign states supporting the terrorists include Saudi Arabia, Turkey, The United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
But officials from one of the Aleppo-based terrorist groups said the supplies were inadequate for the scale of the assault, one of several ground offensives underway with Russian air support.
"A few (TOW missiles) will not do the trick. They need dozens," said one official, declining to be named due to the political sensitivity of the military support program.
A number of terrorist groups vetted by states opposed to Assad have been supplied with weapons via Turkey, part of a program supported by the United States and which has in some cases included military training by the Central Intelligence Agency.
These groups fight under the banner of the "Free Syrian Army", a loose affiliation of terrorists that do not operate with a centralized command structure and have been widely eclipsed by jihadist groups such as the Nusra Front and Islamic State.
"We received more supplies of ammunition in greater quantities than before, including mortar bombs, rocket launchers and anti-tank (missiles)," said Issa al-Turkmani, a commander in the FSA-affiliated Sultan Murad group fighting in the Aleppo area. "We have received more new TOWs in the last few days, we are well-stocked after these deliveries."
TOW missiles are the most potent weapon in the terrorists' arsenal. FSA-affiliated groups have also been using TOWs against government forces to fend off another offensive in Hama province, southwest of Aleppo.
The Aleppo offensive is targeting areas a few kilometres (miles) to the south of the city near the highway to Damascus. The army and its allies have captured several villages. Syrian state TV said the army had captured the town of al-Sabeqiya south of Aleppo on Monday and said the terrorists had suffered heavy casualties.
A spokeswoman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said the fighting had displaced 35,000 people from Hader and Zerbeh on the southwestern outskirts of the city in the past few days.
Rami Abdulrahman, head of the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which reports on the war using sources on the ground, said at least 41 rebel fighters had been killed.
One Aleppo-based terrorist group, the Nour al Din al Zinki Brigades, logo above, said its military commander was among the dead. His group is one of the recipients of military aid channeled via an operations room in Turkey and is also supplied with TOW missiles.
Government troops and their allies are also trying to advance to the east of Aleppo towards Kweires military airport to break a siege of the base by Islamic State, which controls some parts of Aleppo province, notably to the north of the city.
Abdulrahman said terrorists had hit at least 11 army vehicles with TOW missiles near Aleppo since Friday.
One FSA brigade, the Sham Revolutionary Brigades, logo above, posted six videos on Saturday showing its fighters targeting army vehicles with wire-guided missiles near Azzan. Videos posted by Sultan Murad showed its men targeting a tank and a bulldozer with TOW missiles near Abtin, captured by the army on Friday.
"There are TOWs in the southern Aleppo front but not enough," said a second rebel official who declined to be named. "Yesterday the regime's armored vehicles were moving freely. We had a shortfall in TOW and the regime APCs were able to move."
The Observatory reported fresh Russian air strikes on Monday in the southern Aleppo area. Abdulrahman described the fighting as heavy but added that the government side had not made further strategic gains on Monday.
The Syrian state news agency said on Monday the rural Aleppo area was one of 49 sites targeted by Russian warplanes, along with rural Damascus, Latakia and Hama.