10:55 a.m. ET, December 1, 2023
Israel Conducts Offensive Operations in Southern Gaza
Ilia Yefimovich/picture alliance/Getty Images
Israel’s current offensive operations in Gaza, following the expiration of a truce with Hamas, include southern areas of the strip, as reported by the Israel Defense Forces on Friday.
“Over the last few hours, ground, air and naval forces struck terror targets in the north and south of the Gaza Strip, including in Khan Yunis and Rafah,” the IDF said.
Over 200 targets have been struck since 7 a.m. local time (12 a.m. ET), the IDF said. The targets included “areas booby-trapped with explosives, terror tunnel shafts, launch posts, and operational command centres designated by Hamas for use in the renewed fighting,” according to the military.
“Widening the framework”: In a video statement on Friday, Israel war cabinet member and former Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Israel had “prepared for widening the framework” in order to bring the remaining hostages home.
“During last week, we prepared for widening the framework due to our determination to return the hostages and knowledge that we have to change the reality in the south and also in the north. As we promised, we came back and are carrying this out,” said Gantz, who joined Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an emergency unity government following the October 7 attacks.
“Especially this week, I thought of those that haven’t yet returned. I met and spoke to several of the families of the abductees that haven’t yet returned, and today when we again attack, I want to stress that we are also fighting for them,” he said.
Gantz reiterated that “this victory also foremost includes the effort to return the hostages, as well as eliminating the threat from Hamas.”
The IDF said the new map was meant to reduce casualties when it carries out strikes in civilian areas where it says Hamas has placed military infrastructure.
Earlier Friday, the IDF dropped leaflets in the southern city of Khan Younis, calling it a “fighting zone” and telling residents to evacuate. The leaflets included a QR code that connects to a map when scanned; however, extensive damage to telecommunications and power infrastructure in Gaza has left many residents without access to the internet.