November 4, 2023 | Flash Brief

Hamas Attacks Israeli Soldiers as the IDF Prepares Safe Passage for Gazans on Main Highway     

November 4, 2023 | Flash Brief

Hamas Attacks Israeli Soldiers as the IDF Prepares Safe Passage for Gazans on Main Highway     

Latest Developments

Hamas terrorists attacked Israeli forces working to provide a safe passage for Gaza residents to flee south from Gaza City on November 4. The attack came after Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Arabic language spokesman Lt. Col. Avichay Adraee announced a three-hour safe passage arrangement along a main Gaza Strip road for displaced Palestinians. Adraee said the IDF would enable Palestinians to move southward along Salah al-Din Road between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. as part of its now three-week-old effort to encourage civilians to leave the Gaza City area, where Hamas targets are concentrated.  The IDF said Hamas launched mortars and guided anti-tank missiles at soldiers working to open the road, adding that no soldiers were hurt during the attack.    

Expert Analysis

“Hamas is responsible for the death and destruction in Israel and Gaza. This safe passage arrangement will test whether those Palestinians remaining in the war zone will be able to leave, or whether — despite having a guaranteed access route — they will remain as human shields for Hamas, willingly or not. The question too few are asking is why Egypt will not open its border with Gaza for a humanitarian passage to allow civilians to seek refuge in the Egyptian-controlled Sinai, which is a mostly uninhabited area where they can stay in safety until the war is over.” Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“Israel continues to provide for and allow for humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza. The Israeli leadership knows that is important to sustain international support for its legitimate and just war. The Israelis have repeatedly said that the battle is against the Iran-backed Hamas terrorist group. It is not a battle against the people of Gaza. But more light must be shed on the actions taken by Hamas to prevent the exodus of Gazans from the north. There is also a need to investigate reports out of Israel which suggest Hamas may be smuggling humanitarian goods from the south to the north via tunnels.” Jonathan Schanzer, FDD Senior Vice President for Research

Most Gazans Evacuated

Israel’s safe passage measure followed calls by the United States for Israel to consider a “humanitarian pause” in the war. Israel has ruled this out unless Hamas releases some 240 people taken captive by the terrorists during the October 7 cross-border onslaught.

U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Humanitarian Issues David Satterfield, said between 800,000 and 1 million Palestinians have moved southward during nearly a month of fighting, while 350,000 to 400,000 remain in northern Gaza. Israel has called on Gazan civilians to evacuate the northern Gaza Strip towards the south past Wadi Gaza — approximately 30 minutes by vehicle or four hours on foot from Gaza City.

Aid Continues into Gaza as U.S. Warns of Hamas Aid Theft

The Palestinian Red Cresent said on November 3 that 374 trucks containing humanitarian aid have entered Gaza. On October 18, the United States pledged $100 million in humanitarian assistance to Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank. Starting on October 21, Israel in cooperation with Egypt agreed to allow aid convoys to enter the coastal enclave through the Rafah Crossing on the Egyptian border after inspections by Israel. On November 3, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Inspector General warned of the high risk for potential diversion and misuse by Hamas and urged nongovernmental organizations, UN agencies, and contractors in those areas to report efforts to misuse aid. Satterfield said on November 4 that U.S. officials have so far not been notified that Hamas was blocking or diverting the aid; however, a UN agency announced the theft of fuel and medical supplies on social media before taking down the post and denying the theft took place.

10 Things to Know about Hamas,” FDD Insight

10 Things to Know About Hamas and Hospitals,” FDD Insight

Blinken Calls for ‘Pauses’ in Gaza War,” FDD Flash Brief


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