#ISRAELHAMASWAR. No prisoner exchanges. Fourth day of clashes in Jenin, Israeli women on the front line

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According to CNN sources: Israel cancels Mossad chief’s trip to Qatar to negotiate a new deal with detainees. While on December 13th Qatar expelled three Hamas leaders because there was an Israeli bounty on them: the three would have been sent to Algeria.

According to Israel’s Channel 13: Gallant and Netanyahu believe they should wait for some indication from Hamas about its interest in a swap deal, which has not happened. Hamas and Islamic Jihad call for a complete ceasefire for the release of prisoners.

The Israeli army distributed leaflets in the Gaza Strip, promising large cash rewards to anyone who provided information on the whereabouts of senior Hamas officials.

Also from the Israeli side we learn that the women’s battalion has been recalled for “special tasks” in the Gaza Strip. The Caracal was called in for a “special covert operation” in the Gaza Strip, media reported.

The newspaper quoted the battalion commander, Major Shira, as saying his team had been called to carry out special “covert” missions in the Gaza Strip to support Israeli army forces in the Strip. There are no further details. Major Shira explained that the battalion joined ground forces and special forces deep in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Foreign Minister Cohen said Gaza’s war against Hamas will continue “with or without international support.”

US Senator Bernie Sanders in a speech to the President of the United States said: “Israel has the right to go to war against Hamas, but not against innocent civilians in Gaza. The Israeli bombing of Gaza is carried out with American bombs, which makes us complicit in this massacre. Israel’s current approach to the war in Gaza is contrary to international law.” And he went on to say, “It would be inappropriate to provide $10 billion in military aid to the Netanyahu government.”

The US State Department has made it known that the Israeli army is faced with organizations with great military capabilities.

According to Haaretz, there is Israeli concern that the US National Security Advisor proposed a deadline during his visit to end the military operation. An American official said: “We will come to Israel to make sure that Netanyahu does not use the prolongation of the war to his political advantage.”

Echoing these words are those of the Israeli opposition leader Lapid: “Netanyahu cannot continue to lead the country because he is too dangerous.”

Adding to the concerns are the words of a Fatah leader, Abbas Zaki, who told al Al Jazeera: “We have a decision: there is no state in Gaza and no state without Gaza. Israel has become a burden for the American president. Washington is in great embarrassment after the deterioration of the situation in the Red Sea”

The Houthis managed to achieve a strategic success: the Israeli Navy was in fact forced to transfer a Sa’ar 6 corvette from the group blocking Gaza into the Red Sea. The British Maritime Trade Center reported the incident in the Bab al-Mandab Strait, about 50 nautical miles from the Houthi-controlled port of Hodeidah. A new maritime accident occurred this time off the coast of Oman. According to the British Maritime Trade Center in the Bab al-Mandab Strait the Ardmore Encounter oil tanker was approached by a boat carrying three people and the tanker’s crew opened fire. The Houthis then ordered her to change course, after which her crew recorded an explosion about 200 meters from the ship.

Israel continues its phase of arrests in the West Bank, has arrested 17 people from various locations in the West Bank, bringing the total number of detainees since October 7 to over 4,400. And again we learn from Channel 12: “The settler leaders are preparing to hold a preliminary meeting next week to begin preparations for the settlement in the Gaza Strip.”

And now a look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at 3pm on December 14th.

The IDF’s slow offensive continues in the northern Gaza Strip. The Israelis occupied and destroyed a cemetery and a school in the Al-Fallujah area, and fighting is ongoing in Jabaliya and Beit Lahia.

In Khan Yunis the situation has not changed: Palestinians shoot at concentrations of Israeli equipment on Fifth Avenue and in the Az-Zilal mosque area.

Airstrikes are being carried out throughout the Gaza Strip and the weather is making the situation worse for civilians. Some refugee camps were partially or completely flooded after heavy rains and the supply of food and fuel was interrupted.

The situation on the Lebanese border continues not to change. Hezbollah attacks military bases and border posts, the IDF responds with artillery at missile launch sites and actively uses UAVs. In Yarun, two civilians were killed and another was injured in a drone attack.

The Israeli Air Force is active in the north of the enclave. IDF bulldozers are clearing debris and destroying a local cemetery. Although there is no progress in the northern sector, heavy fighting is ongoing in the Kamal Adwan hospital area. The Israelis are bringing in reinforcements and methodically destroying Hamas’ infrastructure.

Things are different in the southern part of the enclave, with Palestinian sources reporting IDF sorties in the neighborhoods of Al Zahra and Al Mughraqa. The Israelis are also active in the Juhor ad Dik area. The Palestinians respond with mortar and rocket fire.

The IDF is also steadily advancing in the Khan Yunis neighborhoods. In the northwest, clashes broke out in Al-Dahra Street, near a stadium. Palestinian factions are trying to slow the Israeli advance with counterattacks and mortar fire.

The IDF also advanced into southern Khan Yunis. A concentration of Israeli forces is reported near the Al-Zilal Mosque and IDF tanks are sighted near the Indonesian mosque. The city itself was systematically shelled and bombed.

Clashes with Palestinian protesters have intensified in the West Bank. Israeli security forces arrested protesters en masse. More than 800 Palestinians were detained in Jenin following armed protests. There are dead and wounded on both sides.

The IDF and Hezbollah continue to exchange attacks along the entire Lebanese border. Hezbollah attacks border posts with anti-tank missiles and mortars. The IDF in turn launches air and artillery strikes on suspected Hezbollah rocket launch sites.

Third day of Israeli attacks on Jenin. There would be 1300 soldiers involved. The operation will continue, perhaps longer than Operation House and Garden, and will therefore be the largest and longest operation since the second Palestinian Intifada.

Hezbollah in the late evening of December 13 claimed responsibility for the following attacks: “Malkia military site with Burkan rocket at 1.45pm; Ramia military site at 1.50pm; Shumera barracks 2.00 pm; Naqouta Naval Base at 2.12pm; Soldiers group area near Duhayra military base at 3.30pm; Al-Manara military site at 3.30pm”.

Major Keren Hajioff, after Rear Admiral Hagari’s statement, explained the current Israeli tactics in the field: “After Hamas violated the humanitarian pause on December 1, we have entered a new phase of our war against Hamas.” “In Shejaiya, Khan Yunis, Rimal and Jabalya, our troops found large caches of weapons and tunnels in several schools. […] The fact of the matter is that Hamas has spent the last 16 years entrenching itself in and beneath the civilian areas of Gaza. This is the logic of Hamas’s inhumane strategy. By attacking civilians from behind, Hamas seeks to thwart the IDF’s efforts to distinguish between civilians and terrorists.”

“However, the complexity of the battlefield will not deter us from our efforts in this regard. As an army committed to international law and a moral code of conduct, we are dedicating vast resources to minimize harm to civilians whom Hamas has forced into the role of human shields,” he added.

“Our war is against Hamas, not against the people of Gaza. It is difficult to remain indifferent to the loss of innocent lives – Israeli or Palestinian. […] But actions speak louder than words. This is why yesterday we also opened the Kerem Shalom terminal for inspection, to increase the flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza. This is in addition to our existing efforts, which have already seen over 4,000 aid trucks – carrying 70,000 tons of food, water, medicine, medical equipment and shelter enter Gaza since the start of this war,” Hajioff said. 

Antonio Albanese e Graziella Giangiulio

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