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IDF orders evacuation of suspected Sinwar hideout as ceasefire ends



An Israeli military helicopter releases a flare over the Israel-Gaza border, after a temporary truce between Israel and the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas ended, as seen from southern Israel, December 1, 2023.(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
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Attempts to extend the ceasefire and secure the release of additional hostages appeared to have failed overnight.

The IDF ordered civilians in Khan Yunis, the city where Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar is believed to be hiding, to evacuate on Friday morning as the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas ended, warning “the city of Khan Yunis is a dangerous combat zone,” according to Palestinian reports."> js">">

On Friday morning, Hamas renewed rocket fire toward southern Israel and failed to provide an adequate list of hostages to release to extend the ceasefire deal, with Israel announcing that this stood in violation of the ceasefire agreement and that the war was resuming.

Over an hour before the ceasefire was set to end at 7 a.m., a rocket was fired from Gaza toward southern Israel, with a second round of rocket fire reported a few minutes before the end of the ceasefire. The rocket fire continued throughout the day, with over 45 rockets fired into Israel as of Thursday afternoon.

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Three IDF soldiers were moderately wounded and two others were lightly wounded after a mortar fell near them near Nirim on Friday morning as the ceasefire ended. Rockets fell in a number of locations in southern Israel, hitting a vehicle in Meflasim and damaging a number of homes in a town in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council.

After the ceasefire ended, intense clashes were reported in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City in northern Gaza, with Palestinian media reporting Israeli airstrikes throughout Gaza as well. The clashes expanded to additional areas in northern and central Gaza and Israeli airstrikes continued throughout the Strip.

Palestinians inspect the damage following an Israeli strike on a house after a temporary ceasefire between Hamas and Israel ended, in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, December 1, 2023 (credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/REUTERS)

Gaza’s Hamas-run Health Ministry reported that at least 32 Palestinians were killed and others had been injured in Israeli airstrikes throughout the Gaza Strip on Friday morning.

The IDF dropped leaflets over southern Gaza warning residents of several neighborhoods in Khan Yunis to evacuate to shelter areas in Rafah, warning “the city of Khan Yunis is a dangerous combat zone,” according to Palestinian reports.
In mid-November, Israeli media reported that Sinwar and the commander of the Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades, Mohammed Deif, were believed to be hiding in Khan Yunis.

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Mediators had been working to extend the ceasefire for an additional day overnight by reaching an agreement on a further release of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners, but those efforts appeared to have failed.

Shortly after the ceasefire ended, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit stated on Friday morning that “Hamas violated the agreement and additionally fired toward Israeli territory. The IDF has renewed combat with the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip.”
The Prime Minister’s Office stated on Friday morning that “The terrorist organization Hamas-ISIS violated the agreement, did not live up to its commitment to release all the kidnapped women today, and launched rockets at the citizens of Israel.”

“With the return to fighting we emphasize: The Israeli government is committed to achieving the goals of the war – to release our hostages, eliminate Hamas, and ensure that Gaza will never again pose a threat to the residents of Israel.”

Home Front Command reinstates restrictions in southern and northern Israel

The Home Front Command tightened restrictions for communities near the the Gaza border and the Lebanese and Syrian borders on Friday morning shortly before the ceasefire ended.

In communities near the Gaza border, gatherings in open areas were restricted to 10 people in open areas and up to 50 people indoors. Businesses will only be allowed to operate in they have a shelter and no schools will operate.

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In the western Lachish region, some of the towns in the southern Golan Heights, all of the towns in the northern Golan Heights, and towns and cities along the confrontation line on the northern border, gatherings in open areas were restricted to up to 30 people outdoors and up to 300 people indoors. Businesses will only be allowed to operate in they have a shelter and only schools with easily accessible shelters will be allowed operate.

In many cities in central and southern Israel, only schools which have an easily accessible shelter will be allowed to operate.
The Holon municipality in central Israel announced on Friday morning that schools would not operate on Friday due to the end of the ceasefire.

After the fighting resumed, Highway four from Zikim southward and Highway 34 from Nir Am northward were closed to traffic.

Hamas blames US for giving Israel ‘green light’ to resume war

The Hamas-run government media office in Gaza responded to the end of the ceasefire, accusing the US of “giving [Israel] the green light to continue the war without any regard to the laws of war and international and humanitarian laws.”

“Our Palestinian people have the right to defend themselves by all means, and they have the right to gain their freedom and independence, establish their Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, and completely remove the occupation from their lands in accordance with international and UN laws.”

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