Truce collapse spurs 2nd day of Israeli strikes, killing over 200 Palestinians in 24 hours

Ahram Online , Saturday 2 Dec 2023

Israel is striking Gaza for the second day post-truce collapse, killing at least 200 people throughout the Gaza Strip in the first hours 24 hours. Until the truce, Israel had already killed over seven weeks about 15,000 Palestinians — two-thirds of them women and children — and left homeless more than 75 percent of Gaza's 2.3 million residents.

A picture taken from southern Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip on December 2, 2023, shows an explosion and smoke billowing over the Palestinian territory during an Israeli strike as battles resumed between Israel and Hamas militants. AFP


22:15 The armed wing of the Hamas resistance group, the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, issued a statement saying it had bombarded Tel Aviv with a barrage of missiles in response to Israel’s ongoing war on the Gaza Strip. The Ben Gurion International Airport was closed after Hamas launched multiple missiles towards the Israeli city, an Al Arabiya correspondent reported late on Saturday.

22:00 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the "war against Hamas" in the Gaza Strip would continue "until we achieve all its aims" including returning all Israeli captives and eliminating the movement. In his first press conference since the expiry on Friday of a seven-day pause in the fighting with Hamas, he said "our soldiers prepared during the days of truce for total victory against Hamas."

21:30 Egypt and Qatar are still pressing on with efforts to reinstate the Israel-Hamas truce that collapsed on Friday after the Israeli side resumed its brutal bombardments on the Gaza Strip, breaking a week-long ceasefire, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Israel announced the return of a Mossad team from Doha on Saturday, saying negotiations for a new Gaza truce reached a "dead-end."

However, unnamed Egyptian officials told the WSJ that Qatari officials remain in Israel, and Egyptians are in Gaza to keep lines of communication open, WSJ reported citing unnamed Egyptian officials.

During the seven-day truce — mediated by Egypt, Qatar and the US — more than dozens of captives held by Hamas since its 7th October Al-Aqsa Flood operation —in exchange for dozens of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

According to media reports, negotiations have stumbled in recent days, with Israel claiming Hamas refused to release 17 women and children. The Palestinian movement denied having more women and children captives to release and that the women they had were members of the Israeli military.

Deputy Hamas chief, Saleh Al-Arouri, told Al-Jazeera TV on Saturday that no more prisoners would be exchanged with Israel until the war on Gaza is over and all Palestinian detainees are released.

Negotiators told the WSJ that Israel has so far rejected a proposal from Qatari and Egyptian mediators to incorporate other groups of hostages, including civilian men, as well as military reservists after the release of civilian women and children are released.

“We are still talking and sharing updates every hour. Negotiations only collapse when parties stop talking. This is not happening here,” the US paper quoted a senior Egyptian official as saying.

21:00 At almost exactly the same time Israeli negotiators pulled out of deadlocked truce talks in Qatar, Israeli jets sent a prestige Doha-funded housing development in the Gaza Strip up in smoke, AFP reported.

Hamad City is named for the former emir of the Gulf petro-state, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, who laid the foundation stone on a visit 11 years ago.

Inaugurated in 2016, it was still among the newest projects in the Gaza Strip, the housing complex in the city of Khan Yunis boasting an impressive mosque, shops and gardens.

The first flats -- more than 1,000 of them -- were provided to Palestinians whose homes were destroyed in the war between Israel and Hamas two years earlier.

20:00 The Palestinian Red Crescent (PRC) said it received 100 aid trucks through the Rafah crossing as Israel resumed its invasion of the Gaza Strip, following the collapse of a 7-day truce early Friday.

"The trucks contain food, water, relief assistance, medical supplies, and medicines," the Palestinian Red Crescent said  in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Saturday's delivery comes after the Israeli army issued orders on Friday to humanitarian organizations to halt all aid deliveries through the land crossing until further notice.


17:00 French President Emmanuel Macron warned that Israel's aim of eliminating Hamas risks unleashing a decade of war.

Achieving the "total destruction of Hamas" would mean "the war will last 10 years," Macron said at a press conference on the sidelines of the UN's COP28 climate talks in Dubai.

Macron appealed for intensified efforts to reach a lasting ceasefire in Gaza, a day after Israel commenced its war on the strip after a seven-day truce expired on Friday.

"This situation requires stepped-up efforts to reach a lasting ceasefire.. to free all hostages held by Hamas, allow more urgently needed aid into Gaza, and to assure Israel of its security."

15:16 Israel has recalled its team of negotiators from Qatar after reaching a "dead end" in captives talks, the Israeli prime minister's office said.

Only civilian women and children held in captivity in Gaza were to be freed under the agreement sponsored by Qatar, Egypt, and the US. However, Israel later demanded female soldiers be released, which Hamas refused, so Tel Aviv broke the truce by launching deadly strikes across Gaza

A delegation from the Israeli Mossad arrived in Doha on Saturday morning to discuss renewing the truce and exchanging detainees, according to the announcement.

The Mossad visit was supposed to discuss another temporary cessation of the Israeli war on Gaza and focus on the possibility of releasing new categories of Israeli detainees in Gaza other than women and children, the BBC reported.

One of the reasons Israel called back its negotiators was that it said Hamas included, in a list of 10 people to be released, a number of captives who had died, Al Jazeera said.

“Israel wanted the 10 to be released for an extra day of ceasefire to be alive rather than dead. They want that to be a separate thing.”



15:00 US Vice President Kamala Harris told Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi that “under no circumstance, the United States will permit the forced relocation of Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank,” according to a White House statement after a meeting between the two on the sidelines of COP28 in Dubai.

Sisi and Harris discussed plans to rebuild, secure, and govern Gaza, stating that they “can only succeed if they are pursued in the context of a clear political horizon for the Palestinian people toward a state of their own led by a revitalized Palestinian Authority,” the statement added.

14:50 The Palestinian Health Ministry said the death toll of Israel's killings in Gaza has surpassed 15,200 and that 70 percent of them were women and children.

More than 40,000 people have been wounded, the ministry added.

The ministry had only been able to provide sporadic updates since 11 November, amid problems with connectivity and Israeli attacks on hospitals.

The UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) warned that an Israeli assault on southern Gaza could push 1 million refugees to the border with Egypt. The agency said it "continues to deliver supplies but the supplies run out fast."
According to UNRWA, there are around 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza, with over 180 giving birth daily "Post-natal care continues in shelters, but conditions are not at all suitable for newborns," it added.
14:46 The Israeli army issued new evacuation orders for areas in southern Gaza. 

Using a new map, residents of Al-Qarara, Khirbet Khuza'a, Abasan, Bani Suhaila, and Ma'an were all ordered to "evacuate your homes immediately and go to the known shelter centres in Rafah."

The occupation listed more than two dozen parcel numbers in areas around Gaza City in the north and east of Khan Younis. Separately, the military also dropped leaflets with evacuation orders over towns east of Khan Younis.

The maps and leaflets generated panic, fear, and confusion, especially in the crowded south.

Israel pounded the crowded southern half of the Gaza Strip on Saturday, driving up the death toll.

Residents of Khan Younis were seen fleeing their homes.

13:50 Israel has informed several Arab states that it wants to carve out a buffer zone on the Palestinian side of Gaza's border to prevent future attacks as part of proposals for Gaza after the war ends, Egyptian and regional sources said, as reported by Reuters and Al Arabiya TV.

Tel Aviv relayed these plans to its neighbours Egypt and Jordan, along with the United Arab Emirates.

The initiative does not indicate an imminent end to the war, but it shows Israel is reaching out beyond established Arab mediators, such as Egypt or Qatar, as it seeks to shape a post-war Gaza.

No Arab states have shown any willingness to police or administer Gaza in the future and most have roundly condemned Israel's offensive that has killed more than 15,000 people and levelled swathes of Gaza's urban areas. 

“Israel wants this buffer zone between Gaza and Israel from the north to the south to prevent Hamas or other militants from infiltrating or attacking Israel,” said a senior regional security official, one of the three regional sources who asked not to be identified by nationality.

Asked about plans for a buffer zone, Ophir Falk, foreign policy adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told Reuters: “The plan is more detailed than that. It’s based on a three-tier process for the day after Hamas.”

Outlining the Israeli government’s position, he said the three tiers involved destroying Hamas, demilitarizing Gaza, and de-radicalizing the strip.

“A buffer zone may be part of the demilitarization process,” he said. He declined to offer details when asked whether those plans had been raised with international partners, including Arab states.

Arab states have dismissed as impossible Israel’s goal of wiping out Hamas, saying it was more than simply a militant force that could be defeated.

A US official, who declined to be identified, said Israel had “floated” the buffer zone idea without saying to whom. But the official also repeated Washington’s opposition to any plan that reduced the size of Palestinian territory.

13:05 The first aid trucks since the collapse of the Gaza truce have entered through the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing on Saturday, on their way to Awja crossing for inspection before continuing the journey to the Gaza Strip, Egyptian security, and Red Crescent sources told Reuters.

Two fuel trucks and 50 aid trucks went through the Egyptian side, according to Al-Qahera news TV.

The United Nations said the fighting would worsen an extreme humanitarian emergency. “Hell on Earth has returned to Gaza,” said Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN humanitarian office in Geneva.

“Today, in a matter of hours, scores were reportedly killed and injured. Families were told to evacuate, again. Hopes were dashed,” said UN aid chief Martin Griffiths, adding that children, women, and men of Gaza had “nowhere safe to go and very little to survive on.”

Almost two months into the fighting, the children, women, and men of Gaza are all terrified.

Read the full statement here.

13:00 Al Jazeera reported that Israeli planes launched six consecutive raids next to Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, in the south of the Gaza Strip.

Below is footage from the funeral of those killed, filmed from inside Nasser Hospital.

12:35 The Israeli army arrested seven people in its ongoing campaign of mass arrests across the occupied West Bank.

The occupation army said five people were arrested in Nablus, one in the village of Bidya, and one in Kfar Saba.

Since the war started, more than 3,200 Palestinians across the occupied territories have been detained, according to the Palestinian Commission for Detainees. 

Meanwhile, 16-year-old Palestinian Sharif Ahmad Al-Shaer died of his wounds earlier today following an Israeli raid in Jenin on 9 October, WAFA news agency reported.

UN figures indicate that Israel has killed at least 246 civilians, more than a quarter of them children, in the West Bank and Jerusalem since 7 October.

12:30 At least nine people, most of them children, were killed in an Israeli bombardment of a house in Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip.

​Many of Israel's attacks Saturday were focused on the residential Khan Younis area in southern Gaza, where the occupation army said it had struck more than 50 targets with airstrikes, tank fire, and its navy.

The occupation army dropped leaflets the day before warning residents to leave but, as of late Friday, there had been no reports of large numbers of people leaving, according to the United Nations.

“There is no place to go,” lamented Emad Hajar, who fled with his wife and three children from the northern town of Beit Lahia a month ago to seek refuge in Khan Younis.

“They expelled us from the north, and now they are pushing us to leave the south.”

Some two million people — almost Gaza's entire population — are crammed into the territory’s south, where Israel forced people to relocate at the war’s start and has since vowed to extend its ground assault.

Unable to go into north Gaza, their only escape is to move around within the 220-square-kilometer (85-square-mile) area.

In response to US calls to protect civilians, the Israeli occupation army released an online map, but it has done more to confuse than to help.

It divides the Gaza Strip into hundreds of numbered, haphazardly drawn parcels, sometimes across roads or blocks, and asks residents to learn the number of their location in case of an eventual evacuation.

“The publication does not specify where people should evacuate to,” the UN office for coordinating humanitarian issues in the Palestinian territory noted in its daily report. “It is unclear how those residing in Gaza would access the map without electricity and amid recurrent telecommunications cuts.”

In the first use of the map to order evacuations, Avichay Adraee, the Israeli army’s spokesperson, specified areas in the north and the south to be cleared out Saturday in posts on X. He listed numbered zones under the evacuation order - but the highlighted areas on the maps attached to his post did not match the numbered zones.

12:25 Israel’s attacks in Gaza are “state terrorism” and Turkey “cannot stay silent against” it, President Erdogan said.

On his way back from the COP28 summit in the UAE, Erdogan added that “Israeli officials, who have been known as victims of genocide, have now turned into killers of their ancestors.”

Erdogan has said that he expects the International Criminal Court (ICC) would ensure accountability for the "butchers of Gaza," particularly Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He reiterated his stance on Palestinian group Hamas and said he can “never accept” Hamas as a terror group.

"I stand by my position. No matter what anybody says, I can never accept Hamas as a terror group," Erdogan said while speaking to journalists on board the presidential plane returning from Dubai.

He added that Hamas could not be excluded from what the future of the besieged enclave would be.

10:35 More than 20 Palestinians have been killed in an Israeli bombardment of several homes east of the Al-Zaytoun neighborhood, in central Gaza. 

Meanwhile, eastern areas of Khan Younis in southern Gaza came under intense bombardment.

This is how Gaza appears in photos this morning.

10:00 Egypt strongly condemned the breakdown of the ceasefire and the subsequent resumption of extensive Israeli airstrikes and military operations targeting the Gaza Strip.

"The resurgence of heavy Israeli airstrikes has resulted in renewed civilian casualties among Palestinians, signifying a grave setback and a disregard by the Israeli authorities for all recent endeavors to extend the ceasefire. These efforts aimed to preserve the lives of innocent Palestinians and facilitate the urgent delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza's population," read a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday.

Egypt reiterated its warnings against the dangers posed by the expansion of Israeli military actions in southern Gaza and denounced Israeli officials' encouragement of displacing Palestinians beyond Gaza's borders.

"Such actions represent a blatant violation of Israel's obligations as the occupying power and contravene international humanitarian law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949," the statement reaffirmed, stressing Egypt's firm opposition to the forced displacement of Palestinians from their land, considering it a non-negotiable boundary.

Cairo urged influential international entities and relevant UN agencies, especially the Security Council, to fulfill their duties in safeguarding Palestinian civilians in Gaza and to stop any plans compelling them to be displaced from their homeland.

9:48 Al Jazeera reporters from Gaza said that Israeli air attacks hit several targets across the strip, including in the southern cities of Khan Younis and Rafah.

Civilians in the strip reported that the Israeli occupation army dropped leaflets calling on them to move southwards towards Rafah despite overnight attacks in that area.

The Israeli occupation army said it had attacked more than 400 targets since the truce ended.

Air, naval, and ground forces were involved, it said, adding that fighter jets hit more than 50 targets in an extensive attack in the Khan Younis area in the south of the strip.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian health ministry reported that the death toll from the Israeli attacks increased to at least 200. Another 650 people were injured in the last 24 hours.

9:00 Israel carried out deadly bombardments in Gaza on Saturday for a second day after a week-long truce collapsed despite international calls for an extension.

Israeli strikes on houses and buildings killed at least 178 people throughout the strip.

A Palestinian journalist shared video footage showing the heavy air raids on northern Gaza this morning.



The Palestinian resistance also resumed firing rockets into Israel; fighting also broke out between Israel and Hezbollah along Israel's northern border with Lebanon.

Israeli forces have also prohibited the entry of aid trucks through the Rafah crossing, the Palestinian Red Crescent said.

US National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby said Israel blocked trucks from crossing into Gaza on Friday, but would allow some aid to enter at the request of the US government

He said Washington would continue to push to increase the delivery of aid to Gaza at least up to the level during the truce.

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