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Qatar: IDF Gaza bombing complicates talks to restore truce

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Qatar: IDF Gaza bombing complicates talks to restore truce



The IDF’s aerial bombing of Gaza complicated mediation efforts to reach an agreement to restore a “pause” to the war in exchange for hostages release, Qatar’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

“The Ministry stresses [that] the continued bombing of the Gaza Strip in the first hours after the end of the pause complicates mediation efforts and exacerbates the humanitarian catastrophe in the Strip,” the ministry said.

Qatar calls on the “international community to move quickly to stop the violence,” it said, as it underscored that efforts were ongoing to mediate a second truce that would include hostage releases.

It spoke up after a fragile temporary truce that had begun on the morning of November 24th, and which accompanied a hostage deal, fell apart at 7 a.m.

The resumption of Israel’s military campaign to oust Hamas from Gaza, which had begun on October 7, marked an end to an emotional week in which Hamas released 81 Israeli captives in seven separate groups.

A screenshot of the alert map published by the IDF for Gaza civilians. (credit: screenshot)

The deal was based on a formula of a release of at least 10 live hostages for every 24 hours of a lull in the war.

Why did the ceasefire end?

7 a.m., when Hamas failed to produce a list of live Israeli captives to be released, hostilities resumed. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s efforts to ensure the continuation of the pause during his visit to Israel on Thursday were unsuccessful.

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It has been estimated that only about 100 of some 240 captives held by Hamas could have been freed under the existing deal, which saw the release of some 240 jailed Palestinian women and minors held on security-related offenses.

Israel accused Hamas of breaking the agreement by which Israel paused the Gaza War on November 24th.

Hamas “violated the deal” and did not live up to its duty to release all the female captives today,” the Prime Minister’s Office said, adding the terror group had also “launched rockets at the citizens of Israel.”

“With the resumption of the war, we emphasize that the Israeli government is committed to achieving the goals of the war.”

“These goals are“to eliminate Hamas and ensure that Gaza will never again pose a threat to the residents of Israel,” the PMO stated.

Hamas said Israel bore responsibility for the end of the truce, for rejecting terms to free more hostages and extend it.

“What Israel did not achieve during the fifty days before the truce, it will not achieve by continuing its aggression after the truce,” Ezzat El Rashq, a member of the Hamas political bureau, said on the group’s website.

The Kremlin on Friday said that it was continuing efforts to free Russian nationals held by Hamas in Gaza.

In a call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that an extension of a week-long ceasefire between Israel and Hamas would have been more appropriate than Friday’s resumption of fighting, given the scale of suffering in the territory.

It had secured the unilateral release of one Israeli with Russian citizenship during the last week and was able to ensure that at least two other dual-national women were freed under the contest of the existing deal.

Hamas also released one Filipino and 24 Thai citizens in a separate agreement.

It had always been pressured that a second and more complex hostage deal would have to be worked out because it was assumed that Hamas would demand a higher price for the male hostages, particularly those serving in the IDF.

Hamas seized some 240 Israelis hostage when it infiltrated Israel on October 7, killing over 1,200 people. Hamas has asserted that close to 15,000 Palestinians have been killed in violence related to the IDF’s military campaign against Gaza sparked by that attack.

Israeli warplanes resumed pounding Gaza and Palestinian civilians fled for shelter and rocket sirens blared in southern Israel as the war resumed on Friday.

As the deadline lapsed, Reuters journalists in Khan Younis in southern Gaza saw eastern areas come under intensive bombardment, sending columns of smoke rising into the sky. Residents took to the streets fleeing for shelter further west.

In the north of the enclave, the main war zone for weeks, huge plumes of smoke rose above the ruins, seen from across the fence in Israel. The rattle of gunfire and thud of explosions rang out above the sound of barking dogs. Barely two hours after the truce expired, Gaza health officials reported that 35 people had already been killed and dozens wounded in air strikes that hit at least eight homes.

Medics and witnesses said the bombing was most intensive in Khan Younis and Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip and also targeted houses in central and northern areas.

“Anas, my son, I don’t have anyone but you my son!” wailed the mother of Anas Anwar al-Masri, a boy lying on a stretcher with a head injury in the corridor of Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis. “He is my only boy!”

Reuters contributed to this report.





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Jewish diaspora expresses concern as Iranian drones launch toward Israel

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Jewish diaspora expresses concern as Iranian drones launch toward Israel



Jewish diaspora organizations expressed concern for Israel and increased their own security preparedness as Iran launched drones against Israel on Saturday night.

The Jewish Federation said it was comforted by IDF statements that the situation was under control and by the statements of support by the United States of America, but was watching “Iran’s launch of an attack on Israel with extreme concern.”

“We are monitoring the situation very closely and join in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Israel.”

Preparing for attacks in the diaspora

The Conference of European Rabbis said that Jewish communities in Europe were raising their level of preparedness, given the history of Iranian proxies attacking Jewish targets on the continent.

A drone is launched during a military exercise in an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on October 4, 2023. (credit: IRANIAN ARMY/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY)/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

“We are closely monitoring the Iranian attack on Israel and its implications for the security of Jews in the diaspora,” said conference president Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt. ‘We are in contact with all the leaders of the Jewish communities and security officials across the continent. I call on all Jews across Europe to remain vigilant in community institutions and to act responsibly in the public sphere.” 





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Dozens of Palestinians and Jews injured in West Bank altercations

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Dozens of Palestinians and Jews injured in West Bank altercations



The IDF said on Saturday night that dozens of Jews and Palestinians had been injured in altercations in the West Bank following the terrorist murder of 14-year-old shepherd, Binyamin Achimair.

Though he was murdered on Friday, his death was only confirmed Saturday afternoon, with the subsequent violence between Jewish extremists and Palestinians being declared the largest battles in the area not involving IDF forces since February 2023.

In February 2023, dozens or more of extremist Jews burned large swaths of Palestinian property in Huwara in the West Bank, injured a number of Palestinians, and killed at least one Palestinian.

The IDF said it had significantly beefed up its forces in the area to try to maintain order, but it appeared to be on a significant delay from after multiple rounds of attempts by Jewish extremists to take revenge on nearby Palestinians villages, though these extremists did not have any specific information about who might have committed the murder.

After February 2023, the IDF apologized for failing to react fast enough to protect Palestinians and had said it would preemptively beef up to be ready for future potential reactions by Jewish extremists to the killing of Jews in the West Bank by Palestinians.

Binyamin Achimair, Missing 14-year-old boy from Samaria, Police are requesting help in searching, April 12, 2024. (credit: ISRAEL POLICE)

One area attacked by Jewish extremists on Saturday was the Duma village, south of Nablus.

A mix of Israeli, Arab, and US media reported that Jewish extremists also attacked over Friday and Saturday al-Mughayyir, Deir Dibwan, and Beitin, east of Ramallah and the town of Sinjil, northeast of Ramallah.

Violence from both sides

There were also reports of Palestinian counterattacks.

It was unclear which reports involved live fire, which lower grade rock-throwing style violence and how much violence was committed by each side.

Reports did say that dozens of Palestinians’ cars or structures were set on fire by extremist Jews, with some reports of Palestinian deaths.

By Shin Bet statistics, most extremist Jews, though not all, involved in violence come from a specific list of West Bank settlements or outposts.





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Israeli drone shot down by Hezbollah was worth $10 million

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Israeli drone shot down by Hezbollah was worth $10 million



An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was shot down last Saturday by Hezbollah. The UAV was later revealed as an Elbit Systems Hermes 900 Kochav, valued at around $10 million. 

The Hermes 900 is Elbit’s largest drone and has been sold to the Israeli Air Force, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and according to foreign reports, Azerbaijan. The UAV is a relatively large and expensive drone capable of staying in the air for approximately 30 straight hours.

Hermes 900 UAV (credit: ELBIT SYSTEMS)

The IDF’s response to Hezbollah terror

Following the downing of the UAV, the IDF struck targets in Baalbek deep in Lebanon, on the border with Syria. Missiles were fired in the next morning towards the Golan Heights, and in the afternoon towards Kibbutz Manara and Moshav Margaliot.

Proceeding this, about a month and a half ago, the IDF announced that an Israeli Air Force UAV was shot down by Hezbollah in Lebanese territory. In response, the IDF struck targets of the terrorist organization in the Baalbek area in Lebanon for the first time since the Second Lebanon War. Baalbek is approximately 100 km. north of the border and is the northernmost target that the IDF has struck since the beginning of the war.





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