Military and Diplomatic Highlights:
· On December 4th, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) struck 200 Hamas targets in Gaza. These targets included:
o Hamas infrastructure that was located inside a school with two tunnels.
o Several vehicles containing missiles, mortar shells and weapons.
o Naval observation posts and infrastructure at the Gaza harbor.
· On December 5th, IDF gained control of central Hamas positions in Jabaliya and located weapons and terrorist infrastructure.
· IDF forces targeted and destroyed a Hezbollah launch area and observation post near al-Awadi on December 5th. However, this strike injured several soldiers of the Lebanese Armed Forces.
· The Prime Minister’s Office announced on December 4th that the threat level for Israeli citizens in several countries (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Brazil, Argentina Australia, and Russia) has been increased. Complete details are available here.
Civil Protection and Humanitarian Assistance Highlights (Gaza Strip):
· On December 5th a residential building was struck, and Magen David Adom treated and transported two people to the nearest hospital.
· The time between the afternoon of December 3rd to the afternoon of December 4th saw some of the heaviest shelling in Gaza so far. Israeli bombardments from air, land, and sea across Gaza, as well as ground operations and fighting significantly intensified, while the firing of rockets by Hamas to Israel continued.
· The IDF instructed the residents of Gaza on December 5th, to refrain from using the Salah al-Din Road and instead use different routes.
· Israeli forces are still observing local tactical pauses for the purpose of allowing the entrance of further humanitarian aid.
· Currently, 1.9 million people (over 85% of the population) have been displaced across the Gaza Strip.
· As of December 3rd, almost 1.2 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were sheltering in 156 UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) installations across the Gaza Strip:
o UNRWA reports that the shelters in the South are beyond or over capacity.
· The UNRWA is reporting that 600,000 people are under Israeli evacuation orders in Southern Gaza. Nearly half of them were already forced to leave their homes in Northern and Central Gaza.
· Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) teams are still responding to the developments on the ground in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
· The PRCS reports that all forms of communication have been lost with the Central Operations Room in the Gaza Strip because of the Israeli communications blackout.
· On December 4th, 100 aid trucks carrying humanitarian supplies and 69,000 liters of fuel entered from Egypt into Gaza, about the same as the previous day. This is well below the daily average of 170 trucks and 110,000 liters of fuel that had entered during the humanitarian pause implemented between November 24-30.
· The Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory has stated that “the conditions required to deliver aid to the people of Gaza do not exist.
· World Central Kitchen and the American Near East Refugee Aid are continuing to provide meals in Gaza. The kitchen in Rafah produces 15,000 meals a day. In total they have served more than 6.5 million meals.
· Aid Distribution Update:
o Rafah was the only governorate in Gaza where limited aid distributions, primarily of flour and water, took place.
o In the adjacent Khan Younis governorate, aid distribution largely stopped due to the intensity of hostilities.
o The Middle Area was largely disconnected from the south, following Israeli forces’ restrictions of movement along the main roads, including for humanitarian supplies.
o Access from the south to areas north of Wadi Gaza came to a halt on December 1st, with the resumption of hostilities.
· 25 wounded people and 583 foreign or dual nationals were evacuated from Gaza on December 4th to Egypt and ten humanitarian staff have entered Gaza.
· Healthcare and Public Health Update:
o The fuel crisis in PRCS’ Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis persists as consumption is reduced to the minimum level.
o On December 5th, the World Health Organization (WHO) had to move medical supplies from the warehouse in Khan Yunis to a smaller warehouse in Rafah. This resulted in a postponement of the planned delivery of medicines to Doctors Without Borders and UNRWA health facilities.
o WHO visited the Nasser Medical Complex in southern Gaza. Conditions at the hospital are worsening:
ü Currently, the hospital is operating three times beyond its capacity. There are 1,000 patients and hundreds seeking safety at the hospital.
ü The healthcare workers are exhausted and medical supplies are running dangerously low.
· As of December 4th, the main telecommunication provider in Gaza announced that all telecom services had shut down due to cuts in the main fiber routes. This followed a partial shutdown in Gaza city and northern Gaza a few hours earlier due to ongoing hostilities.
Violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL):
· The IDF reports that there are still 137 people being held as hostages by Hamas. Seven of these hostages are children.
· A total of 130 UNRWA employees have now been killed.
· On December 4th, PRCS Volunteer paramedic Osama Tayeh was killed while he was at his home in the Al-Faluga area.
· On December 3rd and 4th, intense bombardments and fighting took place around three out of the four partially operational hospitals in the north of Gaza, and the Nasser hospital in the south. Some of these hospitals were directly hit, leading to casualties and damage to the hospital facilities.
· The President of the International Committee of the Red Cross continues to call for the protection of civilians in Gaza and the release of hostages.
· Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel | Flash Update #59
· Palestine Red Crescent Society: Response Report as of Saturday, October 7th 2023, 6:00 PM Until Monday, December 4th 2023, 00:00 AM
· UNRWA Situation Report #45 on the situation in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem (Information is valid as of 3 December 2023 at 22:30 (local time) Day 58 of Hostilities (Published 4 December 2023)
· Prime Minister of Israel Twitter Page
· Israeli Defense Forces Twitter Page
· Magen David Adom Facebook Page
· Palestine Red Crescent Society Twitter Page
· UN Agency for Palestine Refugees Twitter Page
· WHO Occupied Palestinian Territory Twitter Page
· ICRC Twitter Page
· World Central Kitchen Twitter Page
ADL, We Stand with Israel Website
· UN Crisis Relief, Occupied Palestinian Territories
· WHO Foundation, Gaza Crisis: Help Save Lives
· UN Migration Agency, Gaza