Updated Friday,10November2023-21:17

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  • War War: Israel to launch four-hour humanitarian pauses in northern Gaza as negotiations for a comprehensive truce move forward
  • Israel Hits Gaza Hospitals as West Bank Experiences Its Deadliest Day

War, pause, and war. The thirty-fifth day of the full-scale confrontation between Israel and Hamas was marked by a truce limited to a few hours and areas and by fighting and attacks for the rest of the day. At the same time, northern Gaza is registering the evacuation of Palestinian inhabitants to the south and the entry of Israeli tanks with the aim of taking control of the fundamentalist group's centers in the heart of the city. At the same time, the two sides are following with detail and veto the negotiations for the release of a large number of the 239 hostages in the Gaza Strip and a ceasefire lasting several days. What happens on the war front influences the negotiating table and vice versa.

The four-hour humanitarian pause extended by Israel in two corridors on Friday allowed the evacuation of thousands of residents from northern Gaza to the theoretically safer southern area. It is estimated that more than 100,000 residents were part of the exit line in the last two days in an action that mixes relief at leaving the most dangerous area and fear of not being able to return to their homes. The spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid (OCHA), Jens Laerke, criticized Israel for not coordinating the humanitarian pause so that it is done "safely, effectively and for humanitarian purposes."

The Israeli army increased pressure in Gaza City and surrounded three hospitals (Shifa, Rantisi and Nasser) with tanks to evacuate them to the south before the hand-to-hand fighting with the Nukhba unit that staged the October 7 attack.

Hamas denounced that three hospitals, including the most important in the Palestinian enclave Shifa, and a school were hit by Israeli strikes, causing the death of several dozen, while Israel put the number of militants killed in the assault on Hamas strongholds last day in northern Gaza at 150.

Palestinian leaders denounce that the army carries out "war crimes" and Israel warns of the presence of militants in the basement of several Gazan health centers, accusing Hamas of trying to prevent the evacuation of civilians by considering them "human shields". If Israel finally orders its soldiers to be sent to Shifa, it will not be easy beyond the diplomatic-media aspect, even if it alleges that Hamas turned the hospital into an armed target. Today, he detects four segments of the population in the hospital: the sick and wounded, health workers, displaced people who found refuge from the bombings, and Hamas troops (not necessarily their leaders). In recent weeks, efforts have multiplied for the creation of floating hospitals (as announced by France) or field hospitals (United Arab Emirates) to alleviate the dramatic situation of Gazans.

Since the Hamas attack on October 7 in southern Israel (1,400 dead and 239 kidnapped), the Israeli army has attacked some 15,000 targets to fulfill the two declared missions (to end Hamas and free the hostages) of the massive operation that is causing unprecedented destruction in the Gaza Strip. According to Hamas' health ministry, more than 11,000 Palestinians, including 4,000 children, have been killed while Israel, which has thousands of militants killed, has nearly 40 casualties in its ranks in Gaza.

After the advance from different directions of three divisions of its Army (162, 252 and 36) in the ground operation that began exactly two weeks ago, Israeli tanks were already in central areas of Gaza on Friday. Backed by the Air Force, which in many cases decides on combat, the soldiers have taken control of several bases and positions, including Hamas' operational headquarters and, on Friday, a position where, according to the military, at least "30 terrorists were neutralized." In interviews with Israeli journalists embedded with their forces in Gaza, uniformed officers confirm that the territory is full of tunnel entrances and explain that they found weapons caches, rocket launchers and tunnels in residential buildings, schools and mosques.

The tactic of the militiamen is to appear, attack the invading force and disappear since the longer they are exposed, the more likely they are to be shot down by land and air. Surrender is not in the vocabulary of Hamas leader Yahia Sinwar. Surely in constant motion in the depths of the Gaza Metro, he is responsible for preventing the military and the fall of the Hamas regime but also for the custody of the hostages. This is an unprecedented mission, especially because of its high numbers and low military siege. If Israel gets its head, the most sought after since the 7-0 lead, it is believed that the size and duration of the war would be shortened.

The one-off humanitarian pauses were officially announced by U.S. President Joe Biden. This is no coincidence. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu downplayed its significance, noting that for many days his army has allowed humanitarian corridors to encourage evacuation to southern Gaza. Heavily criticized at home after suffering the biggest attack in its history and with adverse polls, Netanyahu is aware that the majority of Israelis are demanding the return of the hostages through a truce.

Friday began with Israel's announcement of the death of several ringleaders on Hamas ground, but also the attack on a militia in Syria over its responsibility for the drone that exploded in a school in Israel's southernmost city, Eilat. It was initially thought to be the work of Yemen. Further north, three explosive drones burst into Israeli airspace with only one of them intercepted. Hezbollah also claimed responsibility for an anti-tank missile. In total, five Israeli soldiers were wounded. In the afternoon, Israel launched a new and forceful aerial retaliation against positions of the pro-Iranian group in Lebanon in an almost routine skirmish.

An equally hot but much closer front is the West Bank. On Friday, the funeral of many of the more than 10 militants killed in the latest ground operation in Jenin took place. One image that did not escape the radar of Israel and the Palestinian National Authority (PA) was the black flag of the Islamic State next to those of Hamas and Palestinians. However, their presence in the West Bank is still minimal. For days, the US has been calling on the Israeli government to crack down on extremist elements among the settlers to prevent further attacks on Palestinians, which is already raising tensions in an area that sees clashes between the Israeli army and militias almost every night.

Unlike previous escalations, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas receives many calls and requests. The reason is that it can play an important role in the Gaza Strip without Hamas control. Mahmoud Abbas wants to regain control of the body from which he was expelled in 2007 by Islamists but demands that it be part of a comprehensive solution for the creation of a Palestinian state in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

  • Israel
  • Gaza Strip
  • Articles Emilio Amade