Israel says it has hit more than 400 targets in Gaza since end of truce with Hamas
Updated December 2, 2023 at 12:10 PM ET
TEL AVIV, Israel — The Israeli military says it attacked more than 400 targets throughout Gaza in the 24 hours since the end of a week-long cease-fire with Hamas sparked a resumption of combat operations.
The Israel Defense Forces released video and photos of Israeli soldiers conducting ground operations and aerial footage showing airstrikes on buildings and infrastructure. One video, that appeared to target a human figure walking in a street, was described by the IDF as "a strike on terrorists" in western Jabalia, an area in Gaza's north.
In a statement, the IDF said that air force fighter jets had struck more than 50 targets around Khan Younis, a city in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
The heavy bombardment and ground operations across Gaza killed nearly 200 Palestinians and wounded hundreds more in the first day of resumed fighting, according to the Health Ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza.
The temporary truce that collapsed early Friday followed seven weeks of fighting in Gaza sparked by simultaneous attacks on southern Israel by Hamas militants on Oct. 7. The attacks killed 1,200 people, Israel says. The militants also seized around 240 captives, more than 100 of whom were subsequently freed in a series of hostages-for-prisoners swaps during the cease-fire. Israel released nearly 250 Palestinian prisoners and detainees as part of the deal.
VP Harris says Israel "must do more to protect innocent civilians"
Vice President Harris told reporters on Saturday that Israel must do more to protect civilians in Gaza. Speaking in Dubai, the site of the COP28 climate summit, She said Israel had a right to "eliminate the threat of Hamas" after the Oct. 7 attack, but she emphasized that "it matters how."
"Too many innocent Palestinians have been killed. Frankly, the scale of civilian suffering and the images and videos coming from Gaza are devastating," she said.
"We believe Israel must do more to protect innocent civilians," Harris said.
Israel pulls back from cease-fire talks in Qatar
The pause in fighting and exchange of captives — an agreement originally slated to last four days — was extended another three days to facilitate more hostages-for-prisoners swaps.
Earlier this week, CIA Director William Burns and David Barnea, the chief of Israel's spy agency, Mossad, held talks with Egypt Intelligence Minister Gen. Abbas Kamel and Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani in Qatar on the possibility of further extending the cease-fire.
There was some hope that the deal could be revived even after the resumption of hostilities in Gaza.
However, on Saturday, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement saying that Barnea had "ordered his team in Doha to return to Israel." It added that Hamas "did not fulfill its part of the agreement, which included the release of all children and women according to a list that was forwarded to Hamas and approved by it."
"The head of the Mossad thanks the head of the CIA, the Egyptian Minister of Intelligence and the Prime Minister of Qatar for their partnership in the tremendous mediation efforts that led to the release of 84 children and women from the Gaza Strip in addition to 24 foreign citizens," the statement said.
Harris declined to comment on details of talks to free more hostages.
Israel has notified at least five Israeli families that their loved ones taken hostage by Hamas are no longer alive. More than 100 others remain in captivity, according to Israel's military.
Fewer aid trucks enter Gaza after truce collapses
A United Nations official tells NPR that about 50 aid trucks managed to enter Gaza via a border crossing with Egypt and were waiting to be unloaded Saturday morning. However, the vehicles did not reach Gaza's hardest-hit north. The number of trucks delivering aid on Friday was also far fewer than the around 200 per day during the week-long pause in fighting — a number that relief officials have said is far too small to meet the needs of Gaza's 2.2 million people.
Even so, a senior official of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the cease-fire "offered a glimpse of what can happen when the guns fall silent."
"We need to maintain – and build on – the progress in aid delivery," Martin Griffiths, OCHA's under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, said. "We need civilians and the life-sustaining infrastructure they rely on to be protected. We need the remaining hostages to be released immediately and unconditionally. We need a humanitarian ceasefire. We need the fighting to stop."
Israel won't renew top U.N. aid official's visa
Amid what international groups have described as a growing humanitarian crisis in besieged Gaza, Israel says it will not renew the visa of the top U.N. aid official for the Palestinian territories.
Nearly three years ago, Canadian-born Lynn Hastings was named deputy special envoy for the Middle East peace process and the resident coordinator for the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
But a spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said on Friday that the U.N. had been informed by Israeli authorities "that they would not renew the visa of Miss Hastings past its due date at some point later this month," according to Israeli media.
In a statement to NPR, Israel's foreign ministry confirmed that Hastings' visa would not be renewed. Citing what it calls the U.N.'s "one-sided and biased attitude" in the conflict in Gaza, the foreign ministry said it had decided "not to automatically approve the granting of visas to U.N. representatives in Israel and to examine each case individually."
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