November 22, 2023 | Israel at War Situation Report
Israel SitRep: Nov. 22, 2023
November 22, 2023 Israel at War Situation Report
Israel SitRep: Nov. 22, 2023
Today’s Issue: Israeli Cabinet Approves Hostage Deal | Details of Israeli Cabinet Decision on the Hostage Deal | Terror Victims Group Petitions Israel’s High Court on Hostage Deal | IDF Breaks Through Blast Door of Tunnel Underneath Shifa Hospital in Gaza | Latest FDD Analysis
Israeli Cabinet Approves Hostage Deal: Early Wednesday morning, Israel’s Cabinet approved a Qatar-mediated hostage deal. According to its terms, 50 Israeli women and children hostages will be exchanged for 150 Palestinian security prisoners held in Israeli jails. The cabinet approved the deal by a vote of 35 to three, and the IDF, Mossad, and Shin Bet backed it. The 50 Israeli hostages will be released over the course of four days, and during that time there will be “a lull in the fighting,” according to an Israeli government statement. The deal also includes Red Cross access to the hostages who remain in Gaza, and Israel will allow more fuel to enter the strip. During the lulls in the fighting, Israel will stop drone flights over Gaza for six hours a day.
Details of Israeli Cabinet Decision on the Hostage Deal: On Wednesday, the Israeli government published the cabinet decision on the hostage exchange deal. According to its terms, after the first 50 hostages are freed, Israel will release 150 Palestinian prisoners. The release of the 50 hostages will take place in four phases, over the course of four days, with at least 10 released each time. The four-day period will also include a ceasefire. Specifically, according to the statement, “For each additional release of 10 hostages there will be an additional pause in fighting of 24 hours.” In a second phase, if “up to” 50 more hostages are freed, Israel will release “up to” 150 more Palestinian security prisoners. The decision notes that the 300 Palestinian prisoners eligible for release will be freed only if 100 living hostages are released. It also states that “immediately after the end of the pause in fighting needed to secure the release of the hostages, fighting will resume in the Gaza Strip in order to destroy the military and organizational capabilities of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza and to create the conditions for the return of all the hostages.”
Terror Victims Group Petitions Israel’s High Court on Hostage Deal: The Almagor Terror Victims Association on Wednesday petitioned the High Court of Justice to request a delay in implementing the hostage deal approved yesterday by the Israeli Cabinet. According to the group, the deal violates the terms of a 2012 report by the Shamgar Commission, which says that for each Israeli hostage released, Israel may release only a small number of prisoners. The petition also refers to the High Court’s 2011 ruling in connection with the deal to free Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, which said that the most serious objections to the deal were that the terrorists released would endanger Israelis in the future. The petition also asks the court to order the government to prove that the deal will not endanger the lives of Israeli hostages.
IDF Breaks Through Blast Door of Tunnel Underneath Shifa Hospital in Gaza: On Tuesday, the IDF announced that it breached the blast door of a tunnel underneath Shifa hospital in Gaza that soldiers discovered last week. It also published photos of the open door and a portion of the tunnel. The army had previously released footage showing part of the tunnel as well as the tunnel’s blast door. On Wednesday, the army tweeted that since the start of its ground offensive in Gaza, it has destroyed about 400 tunnel shafts. The IDF announced on Tuesday that it will launch an interactive website in both Arabic and English to show how Hamas uses hospitals for its operations.
Latest FDD Analysis:
“There’s only one way forward after Gaza. Israelis must accept it.” Reuel Marc Gerecht, The Washington Post
“The US should immediately prosecute culpable Hamas leaders,” Orde Kittrie and Steven W. Pelak, The Hill
“How many aid groups knew Hamas was hiding in a hospital and lied about it?” Richard Goldberg, New York Post
“U.S. adds Iranian-backed militia, five commanders, and an IRGC operative to list of designated terrorists,” Joe Truzman and Bill Roggio, FDD’s Long War Journal
“Hezbollah increases attacks, IDF degrades Hamas battalions,” Seth J. Frantzman, FDD’s Long War Journal
“Israel considers Gaza ceasefire as Hezbollah expands attacks,” Seth J. Frantzman, FDD’s Long War Journal
“The challenge for Israel: Prevail against Hamas while preventing an Iranian nuclear breakout,” Jacob Nagel and Mark Dubowitz, The Jerusalem Post
“Hamas Using Hospital as Cover for Attacks,” FDD Experts, FDD Flash Brief
“IDF Strikes 250 Terror Targets in Gaza,” FDD Experts, FDD Flash Brief
“Israel Agrees to Pause in Fighting to Recover At Least 50 Hostages,” FDD Experts, FDD Flash Brief
“Israel Poised for Possible Recovery of Some Hostages,” FDD Experts, FDD Flash Brief