Situation Report: Israel-Hamas Conflict
Read on for our ongoing analysis and updates related to the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Last updated: 11:30 am CT | December 1, 2023
SitRep: December 1, 2023
Ceasefire Ends, Israel Signals Second Phase of War, Chances for Further Pauses in Fighting Uncertain
The week-long truce in Gaza has ended, and Israel and Hamas have resumed fighting. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said, “Hamas violated the operational pause, and in addition, fired towards Israeli territory. The IDF has resumed combat against the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip.” Hamas and other Palestinian militant factions said they had fired rockets at southern Israeli towns in retaliation for the renewed strikes without claiming responsibility for the launches from inside Gaza. Qatari officials said negotiations between the two sides were continuing in a bid to return to the truce but warned the swift return to bombing in Gaza “complicates mediation efforts and exacerbates the humanitarian catastrophe in the strip.” Within hours of the truce expiring, Gaza health officials reported over 100 people had been killed and dozens wounded in air strikes.
The pause in hostilities frayed after a shooting in Jerusalem where at least three people were killed and more injured; Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack, according to various international media sources. Negotiations also seem to have been stalling; an official close to the situation said Hamas was struggling to find 10 women and children to hand over in line with the original agreement. Hamas insisted during Thursday’s negotiations it made offers to return hostages, including elderly captives. The fighting marks an end to the short-lived respite for Gazan civilians. Palestinian officials said more than 14,800 people in Gaza have been killed in Israel’s assault, and the UN estimated that 1.8 million people have fled their homes.
Demonstrations to Persist Through the Weekend
Demonstrations over the Israel-Hamas war are expected in major cities through the weekend as activists continue to call for a permanent ceasefire. The resumption of fighting has also led some groups to organize “emergency protests” and will likely lead to increased turnouts at events that were already planned. In the United States on Saturday, several groups are organizing a rally at Manhattan’s American Museum of Natural History, and demonstrators in Los Angeles will march to the city’s Federal Building. In Denver, demonstrations at and around the Colorado Convention Center are planned as the Colorado Palestine Coalition continues efforts to “shutdown” the Global Conference for Israel. A rally and march at the Colorado State Capitol is planned for Saturday afternoon, and on Sunday, organizers are calling for a “car rally” at Auraria Campus starting at 11:00 am. An additional action, dubbed “Jews Against Genocide,” is planned for 11:30 am, although further information was not immediately available.
- Also, on Saturday, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign is calling for a “Day of Action” with dozens of rallies planned across the United Kingdom. More than 50 actions are planned over the course of the weekend, including several marches in London and a gathering near the US Consulate in Edinburgh.
- Demonstrators in Dublin, Ireland, plan to march from the Garden of Remembrance to the Dáil on Saturday at 1:00 pm. The event was rescheduled from last weekend due to the outbreak of rioting in Dublin following a stabbing attack.
- Demonstrations in support of Palestine are also continuing outside of Europe and North America. In Jakarta, Indonesia, the Alumni Brotherhood (PA) 212, a prominent Muslim group, plans to hold a large rally at the National Monument Saturday morning. The following day, in Johannesburg, South Africa, groups are organizing a “Walk for Freedom” at Zoo Lake as they call for a ceasefire.
Despite the resumption of fighting, Qatar said negotiations are continuing, leaving some hope there will be a further truce in exchange for the release of additional hostages. However, the likelihood of this outcome is uncertain. A senior US Department of State official reportedly said that a pause could come again as early as today, while the Israeli newspaper Haaretz said that chances of renewing a ceasefire are low. Among the difficulties negotiators appear to be facing are disagreements over who should be considered a civilian and Hamas experiencing difficulties accessing some hostages held by other groups.
There are signs that Israel intends to expand its military activities in southern Gaza. Leaflets were reportedly dropped in Khan Younis, instructing residents to move further south to Rafah. The IDF also published a map dividing the Gaza Strip into numbered zones, saying that it will allow “residents of Gaza to orient themselves and to evacuate from specific places for their safety if required.” The map appears to be an attempt by Israel to show the international community that they are taking steps to limit civilian casualties as they prepare what officials are referring to as “the second phase of the war.”
With the resumption of hostilities in Gaza, fighting is also expected to increase along the Lebanon-Israel border. Hezbollah and Israel have already engaged in tit-for-tat strikes, with Hezbollah claiming to have attacked Israeli soldiers “with appropriate weapons.” Israel said that two launches were successfully intercepted in the Kiryat Shmona area and that they also struck a Hezbollah cell in southern Lebanon. Hezbollah-affiliated media reported that two people, a mother and son, were killed during Israeli shelling on the town of Hula. The fighting renews concerns of a broader, regional war.
Researched and written by the Global Intelligence Team at AlertMedia