December 4, 2023 | Flash Brief

IDF Takes New Measures to Avoid Harm to Civilians in Gaza

December 4, 2023 | Flash Brief

IDF Takes New Measures to Avoid Harm to Civilians in Gaza

Latest Developments

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is taking measures to avoid harming civilians in southern Gaza as Israel enters a new phase of operations, an IDF spokesperson said on December 4. “While Hamas hides behind civilians, Israel does its best to distinguish between civilians and terrorists,” said Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari. He also said that the IDF used the seven-day pause in fighting last week to increase readiness, refine operational procedures, implement lessons learned from the first 50 days of fighting, and improve efficiency and precision in new operations this month.

Expert Analysis

“As Israel expands operations into the southern Gaza Strip, it will face increasing challenges because of the large number of civilians who fled fighting in the north and have gathered in the south. Hamas commanders hide among these civilians and underneath cities such as Khan Yunis. Providing a way for civilians to flee, while preventing Hamas from escaping with them, is essential to defeating the terrorist group.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“It seems evident that the Israeli military is focusing on the city of Khan Yunis in this particular stage of the war. The challenge of eliminating Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other terror groups from the city is formidable, given its substantial role as a central hub for their operations.” —Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Leaflets Encourage Civilians to Move Away from Fighting

Israel is dropping leaflets in Gaza with a map that has QR codes to help civilians move away from areas where fighting may occur, said Hagari. The map shows the area of the Gaza Strip divided into hundreds of zones, defined by unique numbers, so that Israel can warn Gazans based on where they reside. “We are giving precise instructions to residents near Hamas centers of gravity urging them to move away from the danger Hamas puts them in,” Hagari said.

Urgent Mission to Rescue Hostages

Hagari also called on international organizations to ensure that the Red Cross gains access to the 137 hostages held by Hamas. “The more we hear about the cruel conditions in Hamas captivity, the more urgent our mission, our global mission, to rescue our hostages becomes,” Hagari said. On December 2, Israelis, including hostages whom Hamas had recently freed, rallied in Tel Aviv to support the return of all the hostages. On December 1, the IDF confirmed the deaths of six hostages in Gaza.

Six More Israeli Hostages Died in Hamas Captivity, Israel Says,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas Terrorist Commander Killed in Gaza,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel Deepens Gaza City Push,” FDD Flash Brief


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