Israel-Palestine conflict: Netanyahu pulls negotiators from Qatar

Israel says attempts to agree an extension to the truce with Hamas and more hostage releases have reached a "dead end"

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (pictured middle) called his Mossad negotiation team back from Qatar. (photo: DW)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (pictured middle) called his Mossad negotiation team back from Qatar. (photo: DW)
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  • Mossad negotiators called home from Qatar as truce extension talks fail

  • Israel has struck southern Gaza on Saturday, saying it hit some 50 targets in Khan Younis

  • Syria's government reported overnight airstrikes by Israel near Damascus, but no casualties

  • Aid groups urged for a deal to ensure supplies could continue entering Gaza, as was possible during the truce

Israel says negotiating team in Qatar ordered home

Israel said Saturday, 2 December that it has reached a "dead end" in negotiations in Qatar over an end to the fighting in Gaza and has ordered its team to leave the Gulf Arab country.

"Due to the dead end in negotiations, and following instructions from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mossad head David Barnea ordered the negotiating team in Doha to return home," a statement from Netanyahu’s office published by the Times of Israel said.

"The Hamas terror group did not fulfill its obligations under the agreement that included releasing all the women and children that were on the list provided to Hamas that had authorized it," the statement continued.

It added a note of thanks to the CIA, Egypt and Qatar's prime minister for their mediation efforts that led to the release of 110 hostages during the weeklong truce between Israel and Hamas.

Qatar has been mediating efforts to secure a renewed pause in the conflict after the pause in fighting ended on Friday despite a third attempt at an extension.

The new talks focused on the potential release of new categories of Israeli hostages other than women and children and the parameters of a truce, Reuters news agency reported, citing a source briefed on the negotiations.

Israel and Hamas have traded blame over the reasons for the collapse of the truce.

Israel accused Hamas of refusing to release all the women it held. A Palestinian official said the breakdown occurred over female Israeli soldiers.

Aid trucks enter Gaza for first time since truce collapse

At least 50 aid trucks entered the Gaza Strip from Egypt on Saturday, in what is believed to be the first aid shipment since a weeklong truce collapsed and fighting resumed. Gaza is currently under a blockade from both Israel and Egypt.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said it received 50 trucks from its Egyptian counterpart via the Rafah border crossing.

"The trucks contain food, water, relief aid, medical supplies and medicines," the Palestinian Red Crescent said on social media.

At least 193 people have been killed in Gaza since the fighting resumed on Friday, according to the Hamas-controlled health authorities in Gaza. This brings the total death toll Gaza since October 7 to 15,207.

Hamas terror attacks on Israel on October 7 triggered the current Israeli military operation in Gaza.


Israeli military issues evacuation map for Gaza residents

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has issued what is effectively an evacuation map to the residents of the besieged Gaza Strip, announcing Israel had "resumed strong action against Hamas and other terrorist organizations" in Gaza.

The IDF called on residents in the north to "immediately" evacuate their houses and move to shelters and schools in the west.

IDF Arabic Spokesman Avichay Adraee listed certain areas whose residents needed to evacuate, including Jabaliya, Shijaiyah, Zeitoun and Gaza's Old City.

He singled out six buildings in Jabalia, listing them by name and asking their residents to evacuate.

Gaza City residents were asked to move westward and to other neighborhoods.

Before a one-week truce paused fighting in Gaza, the IDF had continuously called on Gaza's citizens to move southward.

IDF ramps up south Gaza strikes following truce collapse

Israel struck a total of over 400 "terrorist targets" in Gaza since the collapse of the truce with Hamas, the Israel Defense Forces said on social media platform X.

In its operational updates, the IDF said it struck over 50 targets in the area of Khan Younis in southern Gaza. Fighter jets "struck an Islamic Jihad’s operational command center inside a mosque," it added.

The Israeli Navy attacked military targets used by Hamas Naval Forces, the update said.

The truce between Israel and militant Islamist Hamas ended without an extension on Friday, leading to renewed fighting. Israel and Hamas have traded blame over who is responsible for the collapse of the truce.

Israel began its military operation against Hamas in Gaza following terror attacks by Hamas on October 7. The terror attacks led to around 1,200 people in Israel being killed by Hamas.


Syrian government, media reports Israeli airstrikes

Syria's Defense Ministry and state media reported overnight Israeli airstrikes near Damascus on Saturday, 2 December, albeit not reporting any casualties or injuries.

"At approximately 1:35 a.m. today (Friday, 2235 GMT/UTC), the Israeli enemy carried out an air assualt from the direction of the occupied Golan Heights, targeting some points near the city of Damascus," the Syrian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry statement followed similar reports on state television.

Israel has struck government-controlled territory in Syria on a relatively small scale several times since Hamas' October 7 attacks and also on a fairly regular basis since the start of the Syrian civil war back in 2011.

It's comparatively rare, however, for Israel to comment on the strikes, which often target Iran-backed Hezbollah militants in Syria or other similar groups.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor based in the UK, said the strikes hit in the area of the south Damascus suburb of Sayyida Zeinab, where it said that "there are military forces working with the Lebanese Hezbollah."

Hamas is a militant, Islamist, Palestinian group. The European Union as well as the United States, Germany and several other countries classify Hamas as a terrorist organization.

Hezbollah is an Iran-backed Shiite political party and militant group in Lebanon. Hezbollah is considered a terrorist organization by the US, Germany and several Sunni Arab countries, while the EU lists its armed wing as a terrorist group.

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Published: 03 Dec 2023, 8:23 AM
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