#ISRAELHAMASWAR. Qatar: truce in Gaza closer. South Lebanon: Hezbollah bases hit, Israeli barracks and patrols hit

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The Israeli army acknowledged the deaths of 2 new soldiers in Gaza, bringing the toll to 65. In 2014, 66 Israeli soldiers died in the last Israeli ground attack. To this toll, however, today we must add the soldiers killed on 7 October. And we get to 388.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, after the killing of soldiers in Gaza, said: “I want to cut off the heads of the elite Palestinian resistance fighters, one by one.” At the moment, however, the Knesset has blocked the law proposed by his party which also calls for the death penalty for those who carry out activities against Israel. The fear, especially on the part of the prisoners’ families, is that the liberation process could be blocked.

US President Joe Biden said the United States of America will continue to work closely with Lebanon and partners in the Middle East region to maintain peace and prevent the conflict from expanding. According to what we understand from the Israeli media, the War Council was ready to give the go-ahead for the ground attack in southern Lebanon against Hezbollah settlements, south of the Litani, before Amos J. Hochstein arrived and asked for not to risk it due to the danger of an all-front regional war against Israel, so the Council changed the idea and was content to direct attacks against the party and Iran in Syria and Lebanon.

On November 20, US President Joe Biden said: “I believe an agreement on the release of the hostages will come soon.” On the evening of the 20th, Israeli TV declared that: “Israel has given the green light to the agreement and awaits Hamas’ response.” On the subject of hostages, Hamas reported that the resistance factions are all united on the ground and in political decisions, and the truce agreement includes everyone. While Ben Gvir said: “They keep me away from the details of the prisoner exchange agreement and I fear that we are heading towards a great catastrophe. It is said that Israel is about to make a very serious mistake, similar to the one we made in the Shalit case.” On November 21, the Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesperson reported: “Qatar mediation has come the closest to reaching a truce in Gaza, and we hope it will be successful.”

And now a look at the front between Israel and Hamas updated at 3pm on November 21st.

Israeli troops continue to strike the Gaza Strip and prepare for a new phase of the ground operation. In the north, the Israelis control the outskirts of Beit Hanoun and attempt to advance urban development.

To the south-west an Israeli armored group reached the vicinity of the Indonesian hospital. A series of attacks on the institution claimed at least ten lives and the generator powering the medical complex was deactivated.

In the west, IDF units are consolidating their position in the coastal area and seeking to expand their control. Hamas militants are also active, ambushing and trapping Israelis in city streets.

One of the targets of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam group’s attacks was the Al-Ranthisi hospital, which was seized by Israeli soldiers. The militants managed to enter the building, but due to the lack of records it is difficult to assess the outcome of the operation.

South of Gaza, Israeli units have taken control of the Supreme Court building. It is possible that the building itself will be demolished after the photo shoot, similar to the previously destroyed legislative assembly.

Meanwhile, Palestinian units continue to fire rockets at Israeli settlements. Be’eri, Mivtahim and Hatzerim Air Base also came under fire. As for Israel’s northern border, the situation remains relatively unchanged. Hezbollah fighters attacked IDF strongholds and facilities, prompting the Israelis to respond with heavy fire on launch sites.

According to analysts in the social sphere, the Israeli army’s radars did not detect the drones launched by Hezbollah on November 20 that successfully hit their targets. Furthermore, again via social media, we learn that the Israeli army has deployed 100,000 soldiers on the border with Lebanon. The day of November 20 was ultimately defined as a very strong day of fighting in the north, perhaps the most important since the beginning of the war.

Since the 20th evening, the Houthis have shared online videos of the attack and seizure of the ship Galaxi Leader.

Here is a summary of the operations claimed by Hezbollah on November 21: attack on the Zibdin military base at 6.40 am; attack on Branit military headquarters at 8.00 with Burkan rockets; attack on the Branit military headquarters at 8.20 am with Burkan rockets; artillery attack on a group of Israeli soldiers near Al-Duhayra at 10:15 am; attack on a group of Israeli soldiers near Al-Karantina Hill at 10:30 am; attack on a group of Israeli soldiers in Al-Tayhat Square at 11.30 am; attack on an Israeli army base in Qiryat Shmona at 1.10pm with suicide drones; artillery attack on an Israeli army base in Qiryat Shmona at 1.15pm. Total Hezbollah deaths 77.

The Head of the Metulla Settlement Council called for the creation of a security belt in the north, 4 to 5 kilometers long. While according to the Maariv newspaper, “the approach to a real war is recognised; a direct clash with the Lebanese Hezbollah seems inevitable.”

On the morning of November 21, Israeli bombing damaged a Lebanese army center in Wazzani. The Israeli army is ready for any development in the north. The air force is on high alert and is using only 10% of its forces in the Gaza Strip.

IDF aircraft have identified and struck three armed terrorist cells in the border area with Lebanon. Additionally, IDF fighter jets struck a number of Hezbollah targets, including military infrastructure and facilities used to direct terrorist activity. The journalist and photographer of al Mayadeen die in the Israeli attack: Farah Omar, Rabie Al-Maamari. In the November 21st attacks, Israel killed the deputy commander of the Al-Qassam Brigades in Lebanon, Khalil Kharaz, also known in Israel as “Abu Khaled”. He is a prominent member of Hamas’ military wing who has served for years in leadership positions and activities at the Hamas headquarters in southern Lebanon, where he was killed today in a raid along with his comrades in southern Lebanon. He expects confirmation from al Qassam. 

Antonio Albanese e Graziella Giangiulio

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