Israel agrees to daily pauses to let Gazans flee south; Islamic Jihad ‘ready to release two hostages’

Israel agrees to daily pauses to let Gazans flee south; Islamic Jihad ‘ready to release two hostages’
A shell fired by Israeli artillery towards southern Lebanon, observed from Moshav Kfar Yuval in northern Israel, on 9 November 2023. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Ayal Margolin)

Israel will pause its military operations in areas of northern Gaza for four hours every day, the White House said, amid international pressure for moves that will ease the delivery of aid and evacuation of civilians.

Israel’s military said pauses in its operations would enable more Palestinians from northern Gaza, where the army is pushing deeper into Hamas strongholds, to escape to the territory’s south. About 50,000 people fled in that direction on Wednesday, an acceleration from the previous few days, the United Nations said.

Palestinian officials in the West Bank reported that eight people were killed there in clashes with the Israeli army. Islamic Jihad — which, like Hamas, is classified as a terrorist organisation by the US — said it was ready to release two hostages held in Gaza.

Latest developments

Israel army says pauses are to let Gazans move south 

Israel will enact “tactical local pauses for humanitarian aid, which are limited in time and area”, army spokesperson Richard Hecht told reporters in a briefing, speaking after the White House said that Israel planned daily four-hour pauses in the fighting in some areas.

Hecht said one purpose of the plan was to allow civilians in Gaza to move from the territory’s north, where the heaviest fighting was taking place, to the south. He said the pauses didn’t represent a shift in strategy and Israel was already doing something similar.

Islamic Jihad says it’s ready to release two hostages

Islamic Jihad’s military wing said it was ready to release two captives, an elderly woman and a young boy for “humanitarian and health reasons”, Al Jazeera TV reported, citing a spokesperson for Abu Hamza. The release would happen as soon as conditions were suitable, Abu Hamza said.

School in Israeli Red Sea resort hit by drone 

A civilian building in the Israeli Red Sea resort of Eilat was hit by an unidentified unmanned aerial vehicle, Israel’s military said, without giving further detail. There were no reports of casualties or claims of responsibility.

The Jerusalem Post said that the building was an elementary school and that initial reports suggested it may have been hit by a falling Israeli drone. Israel has also been targeted by attempted missile strikes from rebels in Yemen, which is at the opposite end of the Red Sea from Eilat.

Israel to begin pauses in Gaza fighting, says Kirby 

Israel would begin to implement four-hour pauses in areas of northern Gaza each day, with an announcement to be made three hours before the pauses begin, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters.

“We’ve been told by the Israelis that there will be no military operations in these areas over the duration of the pause and that this process is starting today,” Kirby said.

There was no immediate corresponding announcement by Israel. On Wednesday, Israeli military officials said there had already been pauses in the campaign to enable Palestinians to escape from northern Gaza to the south.

Israel, Hezbollah exchange fire in north 

The Israeli military said tanks and artillery fired at targets in Lebanon after mortar shells were aimed across the border, including some directed at an Israeli army post in Metula. Hezbollah said it had targeted Israeli infantry near the border.

West Bank health ministry says eight killed

Eight people were killed and 12 more injured in clashes with Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the Health Ministry in the West Bank said. Six of the deaths were caused by a drone attack in the Jenin camp, Palestinian Authority official news agency Wafa reported.

Israel says head of Hamas unit killed 

Israel’s army said it killed the head of a Hamas anti-tank missile unit blamed for carrying out numerous launches aimed at Israeli soldiers and civilians. A fighter jet targeted Ibrahim Abu-Maghsib of the Central Camps Brigade, who — based on an intelligence assessment of Israel’s army and security services — died in the attack, according to a statement. Bloomberg News was unable to verify the claim, while Al Arabiya reported that Hamas didn’t immediately confirm or deny the death of Maghsib.

The IDF separately released footage of a Hamas weapons and storage facility that it said was found in a residential building.

About 50,000 people evacuated to southern Gaza, says UN

The UN agency for humanitarian affairs said about 50,000 more people evacuated to the south of Gaza through a “corridor” opened by the Israeli military on Wednesday. Hundreds of thousands of people, including internally displaced persons, were still in the north of the strip, the agency added.

Shelters were overwhelmed by the number of internally displaced persons and the daily volume of aid only “meets a fraction of people’s needs”. The drinking water that enters Gaza was sufficient for only 4% of its residents, it said. DM

Read more in Daily Maverick: Israel-Palestine War


Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted


This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.

Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options