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ONGOING DIPLOMACY EFFORTS, GAZA ENCIRCLEMENT, AND HUMANITARIAN SITUATION: ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR UPDATES

(The Situation Update Report [SUR] is a near real-time brief of a possible threat or situation being monitored by The Counter Threat Center. The information is accurate at the time of reporting, but may be subject to change.)


Ignacio Minuesa, Sebastien Chapel, Gabriel Helupka

Jennifer Loy, Chief Editor

November 7, 2023


Gaza Strip Map[1]


Current Situation: The shape of international diplomacy continues changing after the visit to Israel of the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, on November 5, and the meeting held the next day between the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, with the Iraqi Prime Minister, Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani, in Tehran. The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) continues the ground incursion in Gaza City, supported by the Israeli Air Force (IAF), and opposed by Hamas. On the northern border with Lebanon, Hezbollah and the IDF continue exchanging attacks. In the meanwhile, the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip has deteriorated.


Diplomacy: On November 5, the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, visited the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, West Bank. Blinkin reaffirmed the commitment of the US to delivering humanitarian assistance and the restoration of essential services in the Gaza Strip.[2] Afterward, Blinken met the Republic of Cyprus President, Nikos Christodoulides, to discuss shared efforts to include Cyprus’ leadership in humanitarian operations in support of Gaza civilians.[3] On November 5, Blinkin posted to his official X account, “We remain committed to working towards a durable and sustainable peace in the region, including the establishment of a Palestinian state.”[4] He met the Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) staff in Gaza to expedite assistance for the refugees.[5]


On November 5, Khamenei declared via X that he met with “the Chairman of the Hamas’ political bureau, Mr. Ismail Haniyeh, and his accompanying delegation.”[6]


On November 6, Khamenei, and Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani, met in Tehran where they highlighted “the need to intensify political pressure on the United States and Israel to stop the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip.”[7]


On November 6, various UN heads of bodies called for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza as Israeli strikes intensified a month after the Hamas terrorist attacks. While UN agency leaders argued that “enough is enough.''[8] Israel has dismissed a ceasefire possibility by arguing that hostages taken on October 7 should be released first.[9]


On November 6, the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hadja Lahbib, condemned Hamas attacks against Israel. Lahbib asked for an immediate ceasefire due to humanitarian reasons, based on the Jordanian UN resolution which called for an “immediate and sustained ‘humanitarian truce’."[10] Lahbib also cited the risk involving the 150 Belgian nationals who are blocked within the Gaza Strip. According to the ministry, “Hamas is blocking their transfer as they demand the evacuation of wounded Palestinians by the Raffah gate.”[11]


On November 6, South Africa recalled its diplomatic delegation from Israel. The Foreign Minister, Naledi Pandor is “extremely concerned at the continued killing of children and innocent civilians."[12] South Africa has rallied behind the Palestinian cause and a longstanding peace in the Middle East since 1994.


Military: On November 3, the IDF located Hamas tunnels built under civilian infrastructure, used to attack the Israeli troops. The IDF claimed to complete the encirclement of Gaza, securing areas to the north, south, and east, manifesting to continue the operations against Hamas. The Israeli forces reported 338 IDF soldiers fallen in the incursion until the day, and 241 hostages remaining in Gaza.[13] On November 4, the IDF reported killing 10 Hamas ranks equivalent to the brigade commander, in conjunction with the Israel Securities Authority (ISA). On the border with Lebanon, the IDF struck Hezbollah's anti-tank firing positions, in response to the anti-tank attack launched by the terrorist group from Lebanon.[14]


On November 5, the IDF reported to continue the incursion, in combination with the aerial support of the IAF. A total of over 2,500 terrorist targets have been struck since the beginning of the war. In the north, the IDF is assured to maintain a high level of readiness, prepared for any development in the area against Hezbollah. The Israeli army reported a total of 345 Israeli soldiers and security forces killed since the beginning of the war.[15]


On November 6, the IDF claimed to have reached the coast of Gaza, south of Gaza City, separating Hamas strongholds in the north from the south, and an intensification of the ground operations in the north of the Gaza Strip. The war continued in northern Israel, with an exchange of attacks between the Israeli forces and Hezbollah. The Chief of the General Staff, LTG Herzi Halevi, stated, “We are ready to strike in the north at any moment.”[16]


Humanitarian: On November 4, the IDF reported that 68 trucks of humanitarian goods entered the Gaza Strip on November 2. In total, over 300 trucks of goods have entered the Gaza Strip in the past ten days.[17] From the 21st of October, a minimum of 451 trucks have entered Gaza. Among these, at least 158 trucks transported food, 102 conveyed health supplies, 44 carried water or hygiene products, 32 transported non-food items, and eight transported nutrition supplies. The remaining trucks carried mixed cargo.[18] According to the World Food Program and ReliefWeb, basic services like food, electricity, water and sanitation, fuel, and healthcare supplies are on the verge of running out within the next 1-3 days.[19] The European Commission increased humanitarian aid contributions to $25 million.[20] There are “about 1.5 million people in Gaza who are internally displaced (IDPs).”[21] On November 6, the IDF confirmed that Humanitarian aid continues to enter Gaza with 75 trucks crossing into Gaza.[22] The Israeli forces also confirmed that a total of 240 hostages remain in captivity in Gaza.[23]


On November 4, a Palestinian Ministry of Health (MOH) spokesperson declared that after 29 days of the “Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, the death toll rose to 9,488 “martyrs” and 24,158 injured.”[24]


On November 5, the Director of the Emergency Center at the MOH, Dr. Moatasem Salah, stated that at least 3,900 children were killed, while 8,067 were injured since “the start of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip.”[25]


On November 5, there were no recorded departures of dual nationals or patients from Gaza to Egypt via the Rafah crossing for the second consecutive day. This absence reportedly stems from the failure of Hamas, Israel, and Egypt to reach an agreement on the safe evacuation of patients from northern Gaza.[26]


On November 6, Health officials in Hamas-controlled Gaza said more than 9,770 Palestinians have been killed in the war since Hamas killed 1,400 people and seized more than 240 hostages on October 7.[27] The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) restated the numbers and said that “it brings the reported fatality toll since the start of the hostilities to 9,770 including 4,008 children and 2,550 women, according to the MOH.”[28]


On November 7, OCHA stated that the death toll has passed 10,000 and over 717,000 are sheltering in 149 UNRWA facilities across the Gaza Strip.[29] Day/Time of event: November 7, 2023


What is the current threat:

  • The IDF ground invasion will very likely continue with the aerial support of the IAF. The continuation of the Israeli Forces attack will very likely deteriorate the diplomatic ties Israel has with other countries. The last diplomatic problems Israel has been facing were analyzed by CTG on November 3.[30]

  • The exchange of attacks between Hezbollah and the IDF will very likely continue on the Israeli-Lebanese border.

  • The US diplomatic efforts in the region will unlikely take any effect as long as Israel continues the incursion on the Gaza Strip. The Iranian government almost certainly will continue supporting Hamas, very likely intensifying the diplomatic missions for international support.

  • Food, electricity, water and sanitation, fuel, and healthcare are very likely to run out in the Gaza Strip, almost certainly increasing the humanitarian crisis. This event will almost certainly increase the migration pressure on the border with Egypt.

Who will it directly impact:

  • Israel civilians

  • IDF personnel

  • Gaza civilians

  • Hamas fighters

  • Hamas hostages

  • Hezbollah fighters

  • Aid workers

  • Healthcare personnel

  • UN personnel

  • NGO personnel

  • Egyptian military personnel

  • Egyptian border security


The Counter Threat Center (CTC) is providing regular updates on the evolving situation and war between Israel and Hamas. This report is being provided under our Global Public Good mandate to assist in providing situational awareness and actionable intelligence to protect and save lives. If you or your organization need intelligence reports of this kind and more to protect you, your people, or your organization please subscribe. Try us for 7 days free. We work each day to detect, deter, and defeat terrorism and threats that cause harm through intelligence and other solutions. Click here to learn more: https://www.counterthreatcenter.com/subscriptions

 

[1] Gaza Strip Map by Wix images

[2] Secretary Antony Blinken, from X, via CyberHUMINT

[3] Ibid

[4] Ibid

[5] Ibid

[6] Khamenei.ir, from X, via CyberHUMINT (https://twitter.com/khamenei_ir/status/1721175373151391837)

[7] Iran’s Khamenei values Iraq’s support for Gaza, Iraqi News, November 2023, https://www.iraqinews.com/iraq/irans-khamenei-values-iraqs-support-for-gaza/

[8] UN leaders say Gaza war must 'stop now', as dozens more die, Reuters, November 2023, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/pressure-israel-over-civilians-steps-up-ceasefire-calls-rebuffed-2023-11-06/

[9] Ibid

[10] UN General Assembly adopts Gaza resolution calling for immediate and sustained ‘humanitarian truce’, United Nations, October 2023, https://news.un.org/en/story/2023/10/1142847

[11] L’invité de Matin Première, Rtbf.be, November 2023, https://auvio.rtbf.be/emission/l-invite-de-matin-premiere-9707 (translated by Sebastien Chapel)

[12] South Africa recalls diplomats from Israel to assess its position -minister, Reuters, November 2023, https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/south-africa-recalls-diplomats-israel-assess-its-position-minister-2023-11-06/

[13] Ibid

[14] Ibid

[15] Ibid

[16] Ibid

[18] Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel | Flash Update #30, ReliefWeb, November 2023, https://reliefweb.int/report/occupied-palestinian-territory/hostilities-gaza-strip-and-israel-flash-update-30-enarhe

[19] Ibid

[20] EU increases humanitarian aid to Gaza by €25 million, ReliefWeb, November 2023, https://reliefweb.int/report/occupied-palestinian-territory/eu-increases-humanitarian-aid-gaza-eu25-million

[21] Ibid

[23] Ibid

[24] The highlights of the press conference of the Ministry of Health spokesman on the twenty-ninth day of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Ministry of Health, November 2023, https://www.moh.gov.ps/portal/the-highlights-of-the-press-conference-of-the-ministry-of-health-spokesman-on-the-twenty-ninth-day-of-the-israeli-aggression-on-the-gaza-strip/

[25] MOH: The Israeli occupation kills one child and injures two children every ten minutes, Palestinian Ministry of Health, November 2023, https://www.moh.gov.ps/portal/moh-the-israeli-occupation-kills-one-child-and-injures-two-children-every-ten-minutes/

[26] Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel | Flash Update #30, ReliefWeb, November 2023, https://reliefweb.int/report/occupied-palestinian-territory/hostilities-gaza-strip-and-israel-flash-update-30-enarhe

[27] UN leaders say Gaza war must 'stop now', as dozens more die, Reuters, November 2023, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/pressure-israel-over-civilians-steps-up-ceasefire-calls-rebuffed-2023-11-06/

[28] Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel | Flash Update #31, ReliefWeb, November 2023, https://reliefweb.int/report/occupied-palestinian-territory/hostilities-gaza-strip-and-israel-flash-update-31-enarhe

[29] Israel-Palestine crisis: UN humanitarians plead for ‘access, access, access’, ReliefWeb, November 2023, https://reliefweb.int/report/occupied-palestinian-territory/israel-palestine-crisis-un-humanitarians-plead-access-access-access

[30] The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) GLOBAL DIPLOMATIC MOVEMENTS AROUND THE ISRAELI-HAMAS WAR by Gabriel Helupka, Sebastien Chapel, Wissal Mabrouk, Ignacio Minuesa

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