ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 143

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Dec. 1: IDF hits Hamas sites in Gaza, Hezbollah targets in Lebanon after rocket fire

Rockets target south, center, Jerusalem * IDF: Map splitting Gaza into zones will help civilians avoid fighting * US confirms Hamas holds female hostages who fit terms of deal it broke

  • Israeli flares light the sky above Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on December 1, 2023. (Photo by SAID KHATIB / AFP)
    Israeli flares light the sky above Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on December 1, 2023. (Photo by SAID KHATIB / AFP)
  • Rockets are fired toward Israel from the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
    Rockets are fired toward Israel from the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
  • Aryeh Zalmanovich (top right) Maya Goren (top left), Ronen Engel (bottom left), and Eliyahu Margalit (bottom right), all of whom who were taken hostage from Kibbutz Nir Oz by Hamas on October 7 and declared dead on December 1, 2023. (Courtesy; combination image: Times of Israel)
    Aryeh Zalmanovich (top right) Maya Goren (top left), Ronen Engel (bottom left), and Eliyahu Margalit (bottom right), all of whom who were taken hostage from Kibbutz Nir Oz by Hamas on October 7 and declared dead on December 1, 2023. (Courtesy; combination image: Times of Israel)
  • A member of the Israeli security forces checks a destroyed vehicle after it was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in a kibbutz near the border with the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave on December 1, 2023 (JACK GUEZ / AFP)
    A member of the Israeli security forces checks a destroyed vehicle after it was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in a kibbutz near the border with the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave on December 1, 2023 (JACK GUEZ / AFP)
  • This long exposure picture taken from southern Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip shows Israeli flares drifting over north Gaza on December 1, 2023. (John MACDOUGALL / AFP)
    This long exposure picture taken from southern Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip shows Israeli flares drifting over north Gaza on December 1, 2023. (John MACDOUGALL / AFP)
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to the media prior to departure from Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emorates, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
    US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to the media prior to departure from Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emorates, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
  • Pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel demonstrators rally near Columbia University in New York on November 15, 2023. (SPENCER PLATT / Getty Images via AFP)
    Pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel demonstrators rally near Columbia University in New York on November 15, 2023. (SPENCER PLATT / Getty Images via AFP)
  • People walk inside a temporary refuge for displaced people as smoke rises during an Israeli strike in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on December 1, 2023. (Photo by Mahmud HAMS / AFP)
    People walk inside a temporary refuge for displaced people as smoke rises during an Israeli strike in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on December 1, 2023. (Photo by Mahmud HAMS / AFP)
  • Palestinians inspect the destruction following an Israeli strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on December 1, 2023. (SAID KHATIB / AFP)
    Palestinians inspect the destruction following an Israeli strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on December 1, 2023. (SAID KHATIB / AFP)
  • Israeli flares light the sky above Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on December 1, 2023. ( SAID KHATIB / AFP)
    Israeli flares light the sky above Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on December 1, 2023. ( SAID KHATIB / AFP)
  • Ofra Keidar. (Courtesy)
    Ofra Keidar. (Courtesy)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Friday’s events as they unfolded.

Israel opts not to extend UN envoy’s visa

Lynn Hastings, of Canada, United Nations Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for the West Bank and Gaza, speaks during a news conference on May 23, 2021, in Gaza City. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Lynn Hastings, of Canada, United Nations Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for the West Bank and Gaza, speaks during a news conference on May 23, 2021, in Gaza City. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Israel has notified the United Nations that it will not renew the visa of its humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, a UN spokesman says, after Israeli officials said the diplomat could not be impartial.

In December 2020, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres named Canada’s Lynn Hastings as his deputy special envoy for the Middle East peace process and the resident coordinator for the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

“We’ve been informed by the Israeli authorities that they would not renew the visa of Miss Hastings past its due date at some point later this month,” Guterres’ spokesman Stephane Dujarric tells reporters.

Dujarric declined to specify if Hastings, who is based in Jerusalem, will be replaced or if she will continue her work from another base of operations.

He highlights that Guterres retains “full confidence” in Hastings.

“You’ve seen some very public attacks on Twitter against her, which were utterly unacceptable,” the spokesman says.

In late October, the Israeli foreign ministry lashed out at Hastings on X, saying: “According to UN ethics, she is supposed to be impartial and objective, but unfortunately she is neither.”

“Hastings’ dangerous rhetoric endangers innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians,” said the post, which featured a video claiming that Hastings was slow to condemn the October 7 terror onslaught by Hamas.

Other UN representatives have faced criticism from Israeli officials since the start of the conflict.

Israel’s UN envoy Gilad Erdan has repeatedly called for Guterres’ resignation. In late October, he said Israel would no longer grant visas to UN envoys and accused other officials from the world body of having “spread lies” on the situation.

Mansour Abbas calls on armed Palestinian factions to throw down their weapons, work with PA to establish state

Ra'am party head MK Mansour Abbas leads a faction meeting at the Knesset, October 16, 2023. (Noam Revkin Fenton/ Flash90)
Ra'am party head MK Mansour Abbas leads a faction meeting at the Knesset, October 16, 2023. (Noam Revkin Fenton/ Flash90)

Ra’am chairman MK Mansour Abbas becomes the first Arab party leader in Israel’s history to publicly call on the armed Palestinian factions to demilitarize and work with the Palestinian Authority in order to establish a Palestinian state through non-violent means.

“In order to move forward, the Palestinian militant groups need to throw down their arms. They need to work hand in hand with the Palestinian Authority in order to realize a national movement that will aspire for a state of Palestine in a peaceful solution alongside the state of Israel,” Abbas tells CNN in a rare interview with international media.

Abbas, whose Islamist Ra’am party was the first independent Arab-majority faction to join an Israeli coalition — the 2021-22 Naftali Bennett-Yair Lapid government — begins the interview by reiterating his condemnation of the October 7 massacres.

“Any action that is taken against innocent people — against women, children, elderly — is inhumane and it goes against the values of Islam as well. We categorically condemn this. This cannot be discussed or cannot be justified because it goes against all human values and religious values as well,” he says.

“But at the same time, we cannot forget that there is a political struggle that is happening,” Abbas continues.

“But the actions that the armed groups have decided to take and to use violence in order to achieve their means looking at the past have always failed. The victim of each and every one of those militant attempts have been the Palestinian people who were the ones who paid the price. In this current conflict, we look at the number of people killed we’re talking about over 15,000 Palestinians who lost their lives,” he laments.

US backs Israeli claim that Hamas still has female hostages it could release

Rabbi Yaakov Baruch looks at posters with the names and images of Israelis taken hostage by Hamas. (Courtesy of Baruch via JTA)
Rabbi Yaakov Baruch looks at posters with the names and images of Israelis taken hostage by Hamas. (Courtesy of Baruch via JTA)

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby appears to back Israel’s claim that Hamas still has additional women and children hostages who it could release within the framework of the collapsed truce.

Israel says roughly 17 Israeli women and children remain in Gaza and that its truce with Hamas stipulated that the terror group would release all of them before freeing other categories of hostages.

However, Hamas refused to present such a list last night and instead proposed holding talks for the release of other categories of hostages, an Israeli official told Hebrew media, saying that Jerusalem rejected the idea and moved to resume the IDF’s fighting, which began after Hamas again violated the truce by firing a rocket at Israel before it expired this morning.

“We think it’s more than plausible that they have more women and children that do and should qualify for an exchange,” Kirby says during a briefing.

“It’s because of Hamas that this pause ended… The onus is on Hamas to be able to produce a list of hostages.”

Kibbutz Be’eri announces death of resident Ofra Keidar while in Hamas captivity

Ofra Keidar. (Courtesy)
Ofra Keidar. (Courtesy)

Kibbutz Be’eri announces that its resident Ofra Keidar, who was taken hostage into Gaza on October 7, has died while in captivity.

The statement does not detail how and when the 70-year-old woman died.

“Her body is in the hands of Hamas. We demand her return along with the other hostages,” the statement adds.

After just dozens of aid trucks enter Gaza today, US urges Israel to allow delivery to reach truce-time levels

People walk inside a temporary refuge for displaced people as smoke rises during an Israeli strike in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on December 1, 2023. (Photo by Mahmud HAMS / AFP)
People walk inside a temporary refuge for displaced people as smoke rises during an Israeli strike in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on December 1, 2023. (Photo by Mahmud HAMS / AFP)

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby says the US is urging Israel to allow humanitarian aid to enter Gaza at the levels that were delivered during the seven-day pause that ended today.

During the pause, 200 trucks of aid entered Gaza each day in addition to several fuel tankers.

Kirby says it’s a “good sign” that Israel allowed dozens of trucks of aid to enter today at the request of the US.

However, the aid has not included fuel, which the US says is critical for keeping life-saving infrastructure in Gaza operational.

‘Gaza must remain Palestinian land’: US says it opposes reduction of Strip’s territory after PM said to assert it’ll happen

US National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby answers questions during the daily briefing at the White House, August 1, 2022, in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images via AFP)
US National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby answers questions during the daily briefing at the White House, August 1, 2022, in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images via AFP)

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby says the US opposes any reduction in Gaza’s territory after a Kan public broadcaster report reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken yesterday that Israel will create a security buffer zone “deep” into Gaza.

“We don’t support any reduction of the geographic limits of Gaza… Gaza must remain Palestinian land, and cannot be reduced,” Kirby says during a press briefing.

IDF jets strike Hamas sites across Gaza amid ongoing rocket fire at Israel

IDF fighter jets carry out airstrikes against Hamas sites across the Gaza Strip on December 1, 2023. (Screen capture/X)
IDF fighter jets carry out airstrikes against Hamas sites across the Gaza Strip on December 1, 2023. (Screen capture/X)

The IDF says fighter jets carried airstrikes against Hamas sites across the Gaza Strip in the last few hours, including command centers with operatives in them, underground sites, and a site used to launch anti-tank missiles at troops.

Several Hamas cells spotted by observation troops of the Gaza Division were also struck, the IDF says. Airstrikes were also carried out against two mortar-launching squads in Gaza, it adds.

Islamic Jihad says it targeted Jerusalem, as sirens triggered south of capital

Rockets are fired toward Israel from the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Rockets are fired toward Israel from the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Incoming rocket sirens are sounding in the community of Eliav in the Lachish region and the West Bank settlement of Tekoa.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad in a statement claims it fired rockets at Jerusalem and other cities in Israel.

Residents of Jerusalem report hearing booms.

Sirens continue to sound in southern Israel amid rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

IDF spokesperson says Hamas was supposed to release members of Bibas family in truce deal it violated

Shiri Bibas (center) and her sons Ariel, 4, (left) and baby Kfir, who were abducted from Kibbutz Nir Oz by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 (Courtesy)
Shiri Bibas (center) and her sons Ariel, 4, (left) and baby Kfir, who were abducted from Kibbutz Nir Oz by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 (Courtesy)

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari says Hamas was supposed to release members of the Bibas family from the Gaza Strip, as part of the temporary ceasefire deal.

“The Bibas family — it’s an incident we have been following with intelligence and operationally since the beginning of the fighting,” Hagari says in response to a question.

“Yesterday a difficult video was published showing Yarden Bibas. On one hand, it’s a sign of life, on the other it’s cruel manipulative terror carried out by Hamas,” he says.

“We demanded today, like every day during the framework, to return the women and children as agreed-upon in the deal, which Egypt and Qatar had a commitment to. Hamas decided to violate the framework,” Hagari says.

“In the framework, the Bibas family, the mother and the kids, were supposed to be returned to Israel. Hamas decided not to do this,” he adds.

Egypt laments end of Gaza truce, condemns renewed Israeli strikes, mum on Hamas

Palestinians evacuate wounded in Israeli bombardment Rafah, Gaza Strip, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)
Palestinians evacuate wounded in Israeli bombardment Rafah, Gaza Strip, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)

Egypt’s foreign ministry issues a statement condemning the collapse of the truce in Gaza as well as the renewed Israeli airstrikes in the coastal enclave.

The statement makes no mention of Hamas, which violated the truce.

IDF hints it wasn’t behind blast on Houthi weapons depot in Yemen

A screenshot purportedly showing a blast at a weapons depot in Sana'a, Yemen's capital, November 30, 2023. (X video screenshot:  used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
A screenshot purportedly showing a blast at a weapons depot in Sana'a, Yemen's capital, November 30, 2023. (X video screenshot: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari hints that Israel was not behind a blast in Yemen, which some media reports claimed was a strike on a Houthi weapons depot.

“Yemen and the Houthis keep the whole region busy, not just Israel, also the US and other Arab countries. Regarding strikes, I can only comment on things related to the IDF, and I will not comment on what the IDF hasn’t done,” he says.

“There are other players in the area,” he adds.

IDF confirms deaths of hostages Eliyahu Margalit, Mia Goren, Ronen Engel and Aryeh Zalmanovich

Kibbutz Nir Oz resident Eliyahu Margalit's death was confirmed by the IDF on December 1, 2023. His body remains in Gaza. (Courtesy)
Kibbutz Nir Oz resident Eliyahu Margalit's death was confirmed by the IDF on December 1, 2023. His body remains in Gaza. (Courtesy)

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari confirms that the military has declared the deaths of several hostages who were being held in the Gaza Strip.

“We are continuing to invest many intelligence and operational efforts, to bring information on the conditions of the hostages,” Hagari says.

“In the last few days, the IDF and police notified the families of Eliyahu Margalit, Mia Goren, Ronen Engel and Aryeh Zalmanovich of their deaths,” he says.

“This comes after a team of Health Ministry experts, the [Abu Kabir Forensic Institute], the chief rabbi and Religious Affairs Ministry declared their deaths based on findings that were collected and intelligence,” Hagari says.

With truce over, only dozens of aid trucks enter Gaza, none include fuel — COGAT

People walk inside a temporary refuge for displaced people as smoke rises during an Israeli strike in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on December 1, 2023. (Photo by Mahmud HAMS / AFP)
People walk inside a temporary refuge for displaced people as smoke rises during an Israeli strike in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on December 1, 2023. (Photo by Mahmud HAMS / AFP)

The entry of fuel and humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip as part of a ceasefire agreement with Hamas was halted after the terror group violated the truce this morning, the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories says.

In response to a query by The Times of Israel, COGAT confirms that only dozens of trucks with humanitarian aid entered Gaza today.

The aid included only medicine and food but not fuel, COGAT says.

During the temporary ceasefire, some 200 trucks, including four tankers of fuel and four tankers of cooking gas, entered Gaza each day.

“After the Hamas terror organization violated the agreement and in addition fired at Israel, the entry of humanitarian aid was stopped in the manner stipulated in the agreement,” COGAT says.

COGAT says the trucks that entered Gaza today included only water, food, and medical supplies. The trucks were checked by Israeli authorities at the Nitzana crossing before entering Gaza via Egypt’s Rafah crossing.

Libya releases four Hamas members it had jailed at US’ request

Hamas members released by Libya en route to Turkey on December 1, 2023. (Courtesy)
Hamas members released by Libya en route to Turkey on December 1, 2023. (Courtesy)

Libya has reportedly released four Hamas members in an apparent gesture of solidarity with the terror group amid the war in Gaza.

The four men — Marwan al-Ashqar, his son Baraa, Mouayad Abed and Nasib Choubeir — were detained by Libyan police in 2016 at the request of the United States.

They were convicted of trafficking weapons and sentenced in 2019 to jail terms ranging from 17 to 22 years.

But following the outbreak of the war, Hamas began calling on Libya to release its members.

Libya — which just months ago was in talks to normalize ties with Israel — heeded the call and freed the four members.

The four were photographed on a private jet to Istanbul earlier today. From there, they were expected to fly to Qatar, which continues to host Hamas’s leadership while brokering talks between the terror group and Israel.

Hamas fires barrage at central Israel for second time today

Rockets are fired toward Israel from the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Rockets are fired toward Israel from the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Incoming rocket sirens are sounding in central Israel, as Hamas launches long-range rockets for the second time today.

The alerts are activated in Gan Yavne, Ness Ziona, Rishon Lezion, Yavne, Rehovot, Ashdod, and other smaller towns in the area.

Iron Dome interceptor missiles are seen over the area.

Hamas has claimed responsibility for the barrage.

Guy Iluz — 26-year-old taken hostage into Gaza on Oct. 7 — is no longer alive, school announces

Guy Iluz was taken captive by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 from the Supernova desert rave. His death was announced on December 1, 2023. (Courtesy)
Guy Iluz was taken captive by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 from the Supernova desert rave. His death was announced on December 1, 2023. (Courtesy)

Guy Iluz, the 26-year-old Israeli who was taken hostage into Gaza on October 7, is no longer alive, his high school announces.

No details are provided regarding how he died and when.

Iluz was attending the Re’im musical festival when the terror onslaught began.

“For many weeks we hoped and prayed for Guy’s return, but today we were informed that he will not return again,” Iluz’s Raanana high school writes in a Facebook post.

He is the sixth graduate of the high school killed since October 7.

Iluz, a soundman for Israeli musicians Matti Caspi, Shalom Hanoch and others, attempted to flee the terrorists in his white jeep.

Friends in a car behind him were able to escape, but the terrorists shot at Guy’s car, killing his four passengers.

He was able to get out of the car and climb a tree, which is where he was when he last spoke with his family.

Rejecting US stance, PM told Blinken that IDF will create buffer zone ‘deep’ into Gaza — report

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the latter's office in Jerusalem on November 30, 2023. (GPO)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the latter's office in Jerusalem on November 30, 2023. (GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken yesterday in Israel that the IDF will establish a buffer zone “deep” into Gaza after the war, the Kan public broadcaster reports, citing two sources familiar with the matter.

The US has insisted in recent weeks that there be no reduction in Gaza’s territory after the war.

IDF says it carried out strikes against Hezbollah sites in southern Lebanon in response to rocket fire

The IDF strikes southern Lebanon on December 1, 2023. (Screen capture/X)
The IDF strikes southern Lebanon on December 1, 2023. (Screen capture/X)

The IDF says it carried out a strike with a fighter jet, combat helicopter and artillery against a Hezbollah site in southern Lebanon in response to rocket fire on northern Israel today.

Separately, a Hezbollah cell preparing to carry out an attack near the northern community of Malkia was struck by aircraft, the IDF adds.

Hezbollah has claimed responsibility for several attacks on northern Israel today, and has announced the death of one of its members, apparently in one of the IDF strikes.

Suspected drone infiltration alarm triggered in Galilee region; IDF investigating

A suspected drone infiltration alarm is sounding in the Galilee.

The alerts are activated in the northern communities of Ma’alot Tarshiha, Mi’ilya, Maona, Kfar Vradim, Hossen and Hila.

The IDF is investigating the cause.

The incident comes amid attacks by the Hezbollah terror group from southern Lebanon.

Report: Truce fell apart after Hamas proposed new talks to release male hostages instead of freeing remaining female abductees

Photographs of over one thousand persons killed, missing or abducted in the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7 are displayed on empty seats in an exhibit held under the motto "UNITED AGAINST TERRORISM" in the Smolarz Auditorium at Tel Aviv University on Oct. 22, 2023, in Tel Aviv. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg, File)
Photographs of over one thousand persons killed, missing or abducted in the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7 are displayed on empty seats in an exhibit held under the motto "UNITED AGAINST TERRORISM" in the Smolarz Auditorium at Tel Aviv University on Oct. 22, 2023, in Tel Aviv. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg, File)

The truce reportedly collapsed this morning after Hamas refused to release ten female hostages and instead sought to free abductees from other categories.

This violated the terms of the agreement, which specified that Hamas would first release all women and children being held in Gaza in exchange for Israel agreeing to a truce for as long as nine days, the Walla news site reports, citing three Israeli officials.

Hamas failed to send any list of hostages in the final hours of the truce, instead sending a message through Qatari and Egyptian mediators that it was prepared to release male hostages.

Israel responded by saying that it knows Hamas is still holding roughly 17 more women and children and that it would not hold talks on other categories of hostages until they are released.

Mossad chief David Barnea warned Hamas through mediators overnight that the IDF would resume its fighting if another group of women and children weren’t released.

Hamas responded by firing a rocket at Israel roughly one hour before the truce was slated to expire at 7 a.m.

Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan told Al Arabiya that Israel was responsible for the truce collapse, claiming that Jerusalem sought to include female soldiers in the list of hostages it wanted released and refused all other Hamas proposals.

Two Israeli officials told the Walla news site that Hamas recognizes the importance of the remaining female hostages and therefore is trying to hold onto them for longer in order to extract more for their release.

Another Israeli official tells Walla that Hamas doesn’t want to release the remaining female hostages because it doesn’t want them speaking publicly about what they endured on October 7 and during their time in captivity.

The Israeli officials tell Walla that the talks to restart the truce will still take place, albeit under fire.

The officials said that Israel plans to exert significant military pressure on Hamas, which it believes will coax the terror group into releasing more hostages as they say was the case before the truce.

US House expels George Santos after ethics report found he converted campaign donations for personal use

Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., leaves the Capitol after being expelled from the House of Representatives, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)
Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., leaves the Capitol after being expelled from the House of Representatives, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

The US House has voted to expel Republican Rep. George Santos of New York after a critical ethics report on his conduct that accused him of converting campaign donations for his own use. He was just the sixth member in the chamber’s history to be ousted by colleagues.

The vote to expel was 311-114. Expulsion requires support from two-thirds of the House, a purposefully high bar, but a blistering House Ethics Committee report that accused Santos of breaking federal law proved decisive.

As it became clear that he would be expelled, Santos placed his overcoat over his shoulders, shook hands with conservative members who voted against his expulsion and departed the House chamber.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., soon took the gavel, quieted the chamber and solemnly instructed the House clerk to inform the governor of New York that Santos’s former House seat was now vacant.

Santos had fought the expulsion effort, leading his own defense during House floor debate and in conducting a news conference and interviews.

15 New York synagogues hit with false bomb threats

Close up of the NYPD logo on a police car. (Tim Drivas/Getty via JTA)
Close up of the NYPD logo on a police car. (Tim Drivas/Getty via JTA)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Bomb threats were made against 15 synagogues in New York State early this morning, according to a Jewish security agency in New York City.

Threats were made against five synagogues in Manhattan, two in Brooklyn, one on Long Island, two in Westchester County and five in other parts of upstate New York, according to the Community Security Initiative, which coordinates security for Jewish institutions in the New York City area.

The threats were made as part of a campaign intended to interrupt synagogue operations, and there did not appear to be any actual danger to the targets, says CSI Director Mitch Silber.

This morning’s campaign, mostly sent through synagogue websites’ contact forms, appeared similar to dozens of bomb threats that have been made against Jewish institutions since the summer.

Many of those threats were sent via email and all of them were deemed not credible after investigation by law enforcement. In some cases, threats on synagogues have caused Shabbat services to be evacuated.

“There are multiple explosives inside the synagogue,” reads one of the threats sent today via email. “These explosives will go off in a few hours and I will make history. I will make sure you all die.”

Today’s threats also come amid a spike in antisemitic hate crimes in New York City and across the United States following the October 7 Hamas onslaught on Israel and the ensuing war in Gaza. Jews are consistently targeted in hate crimes more than any other group in New York City, with over 230 antisemitic incidents reported to police so far this year.

The New York Police Department says it had responded to threats against synagogues on the Upper East Side, the Upper West Side and in Washington Heights and Inwood. One of the calls reporting the threats came in at 5:29 a.m, a police spokesperson said.

The spokesperson confirms that police officers responded to threats against at least two Orthodox synagogues, one on the Upper West Side and one in Washington Heights. Officers swept the premises, deemed the locations safe, and both congregations resumed operations.

There is no other immediate information available about the locations that may have been targeted.

Blinken says Mideast leaders will have to make ‘tough decisions’ regarding post-war Gaza

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, right, disembarks from a US military airplane upon arrival at Al-Maktoum International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023.(Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, right, disembarks from a US military airplane upon arrival at Al-Maktoum International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023.(Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken notes that in addition to discussing the current war, the US is also focused on planning for the day after and that he discussed the matter with Arab counterparts while in Dubai today.

“How are we thinking about what happens in Gaza itself? How is it governed? Where does the security come from? How do we begin to rebuild? And critically, how do we get on a path to a just and lasting peace. For us, that has to result in a state for the Palestinians,” Blinken says.

“A lot of it requires hard work, tough decisions, commitments that various countries will have to make,” he continues, apparently referencing the US expectation that Arab allies will have to help manage Gaza’s security for an interim period until the Palestinian Authority is ready to take over.

“We know from many years of experience that none of it will be easy, but I think it’s more imperative than ever,” Blinken says.

Blinken gives nod to IDF effort aimed at limiting displacement of Gazans amid fighting

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to the media prior to departure from Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emorates, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to the media prior to departure from Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emorates, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)

Reviewing his diplomacy since the start of the war, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says that one of the main goals of his first trip to the region last month was to coax Israel to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, which it subsequently agreed to do.

The goal of the second trip was to advance a humanitarian pause, which would allow more hostages to come out and aid to go in, which was reached shortly after he left.

The goals of the third trip, which he is currently on, are to secure the release of additional hostages, facilitate the acceleration of more humanitarian aid and ensure that Israel takes actions to protect civilians, as it resumes its military operation, Blinken says.

While in Tel Aviv yesterday, Blinken said he told Israeli leaders that when the IDF resumes its military campaign, it must clearly designate multiple safe zones in northern and central Gaza for civilians to avoid the fighting; avoid further mass displacement of Palestinians; avoid the targeting of “life-critical infrastructure” such as hospitals, power stations and water treatment plants; and allow the eventual return of displaced Palestinians to northern Gaza.

He tells reporters in Dubai that the IDF has begun positively responding to those calls by publishing a map splitting the Gaza Strip into hundreds of small zones, which it will use to notify Palestinian civilians of active combat zones.

The military is expected to use this map to call on Palestinians from specific areas to evacuate when the IDF’s ground offensive expands to the Strip’s south, instead of demanding mass evacuations as it did in the northern part of Gaza.

Blinken says the US will be monitoring this issue closely moving forward while also working on ensuring conflict doesn’t spread to other places.

“We’ve been very clear that we support Israel in its efforts to make sure that October 7 never happens again. We’ve also been very clear about the imperative of doing that in a way that puts a premium on protecting civilians and making sure that humanitarian assistance gets to those who need it,” Blinken says.

Barak: Must seek ‘all for all’ deal; hostages were abandoned by Israel on Oct. 7, mustn’t be sacrificed now

Former prime minister Ehud Barak (Avshalom Sassoni‎‏/Flash90)
Former prime minister Ehud Barak (Avshalom Sassoni‎‏/Flash90)

Former prime minister Ehud Barak says Israel should have announced from the start of the war that it was ready for an “all for all” deal under which it would be prepared to release all Palestinian security prisoners in return for the freeing of all hostages held in Gaza.

He tells Channel 12 this may not have produced a deal at that time but it would have given Israel greater international legitimacy.

Most crucially, he adds, the hostages today are in an entirely different category than any in previous deals. This is not a case of a soldier captured “because of a certain failed action,” Barak says, referring to the Gilad Schalit exchange, nor of a businessman who found himself in captivity through his own actions, he says, apparently referring to a 2004 deal.

“These are people who were abandoned by the State of Israel” when Hamas terrorists rampaged murderously through their communities on October 7, and now Israel has “to decide whether it is also going to sacrifice them.

“We are severing the moral basis of the foundational contract” between the state and its citizens, he warns, “if we don’t do everything in order to get them out, even if that means there will be lots of terrorists released from jail. We’ll settle accounts with [the terrorists] later on , though that may take a long time. Saving the hostages will not be possible if we don’t do it during this war.”

A longtime critic of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Barak also says Netanyahu is constrained by far-right ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir, who can bring him down when they want to, and that Netanyahu has therefore now invented a new self-preservation claim by presenting himself as the only person capable of preventing a Palestinian state.

“Nobody’s talking about a Palestinian state, but about the exit strategy” once Hamas has been defeated in Gaza, says Barak. Israel under Netanyahu, he says, is failing to present a credible vision for Gaza after Hamas has been stripped of its “military and governance capability.”

He says Netanyahu should be working on this with the US, and also with Egypt, Jordan, the UAE and the Saudis. Not doing so is “a grave failure.”

Blinken: Truce came to an end because Hamas reneged on commitments, fired rockets at Israel

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken waves prior to departure from Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emorates, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken waves prior to departure from Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emorates, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken places the blame for the truce coming to an end this morning squarely on Hamas.

“It’s important to understand why the pause came to an end. It came to an end because of Hamas. Hamas reneged on commitments it had made,” he tells reporters before departing from Dubai where he was in town for the day to attend the COP28 climate conference.

“In fact, even before the pause came to an end, it committed an atrocious terrorist attack in Jerusalem, killing three people and wounding others, including Americans,” Blinken continues. “It began firing rockets before the pause ended, and as I said it reneged on the commitments it made in terms of releasing certain hostages.”

Israel says Hamas failed to provide a list of hostages it intended to release by 7 a.m. as stipulated in the truce agreement that had been in place since last Friday.

Blinken clarifies that the US remains committed to getting all of the remaining hostages home and discussed the matter with foreign counterparts while in Dubai.

Gallant observes Air Force’s strikes on Gaza following Hamas ceasefire violation

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant boards an Apache helicopter at the Tel Nof airbase, December 1, 2023. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant boards an Apache helicopter at the Tel Nof airbase, December 1, 2023. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant observed the Israeli Air Force’s wave of strikes in Gaza earlier today from a combat helicopter over the Strip, his office says.

In a video statement from the Tel Nof airbase after the flight, Gallant says “Hamas only understands force.”

“Last night… I approved the continuation of the IDF offensive. This morning, we all saw the meaning of the strikes. It was seen in Israel and by the Hamas terror organization in the Gaza Strip,” Gallant says.

“I watched the attacks and saw their intensity from the cockpit of an Air Force combat helicopter over the Gaza Strip. As I said from the first day, I repeat now, Hamas only understands force,” he continues.

“We will continue to strike [Hamas] until we achieve the goals of the war: Dismantling Hamas, the elimination of its military capabilities and the return of the hostages to their homes. We will continue this mission until a successful ending, and victory over Hamas,” Gallant adds.

According to a statement, Gallant flew in a Boeing AH-64 Apache with the commander of the 190th Squadron, and spoke over the radio with the commander of the 551st Reserve Brigade, Lt. Col. Ido Kass, who is leading ground operations in the Beit Hanoun area.

Bipartisan group of 55 US lawmakers urge deployment of hospital ships for wounded Gazans

Illustrative: The USNS Comfort, a naval hospital ship with a 1,000 bed-capacity, pulls up the Hudson River, Monday, March 30, 2020, before arriving at Pier 90 in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Illustrative: The USNS Comfort, a naval hospital ship with a 1,000 bed-capacity, pulls up the Hudson River, Monday, March 30, 2020, before arriving at Pier 90 in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

A bipartisan group of 55 Congress members have penned a letter to US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin urging him to deploy a pair of hospital ships that are in the US army’s possession in order to treat wounded civilians from Gaza.

The letter is organized by Democratic Reo. Brad Schneider and Republican Rep. Robert Aderholt.

It calls for the ships to be deployed to “the waters off Gaza,” though this is not likely due to the damage sustained by Gaza’s port in Israeli airstrikes. Moreover, the Gaza port isn’t suited for the docking of such large ships.

Accordingly, countries that have announced plans to send hospital ships are deploying them to Egypt in order to dock off the El Arish coast. A floating hospital from France arrived there earlier this week.

Israel has been pushing for field hospitals and other alternatives to the existing medical centers in Gaza, saying that Hamas is operating command centers beneath them.

IDF strikes terror cell in southern Lebanon; 2 rockets fired at Kiryat Shmona intercepted

The IDF strikes a terror cell in southern Lebanon, close to the northern community of Zar'it, on December 1, 2023. (Screen capture/X)
The IDF strikes a terror cell in southern Lebanon, close to the northern community of Zar'it, on December 1, 2023. (Screen capture/X)

The IDF says it struck a terror cell in southern Lebanon, close to the northern community of Zar’it, as Hezbollah resumes attacks on Israel.

Several rockets were also fired from Lebanon at army posts along the border near Rosh Hanikra and Maragaliot, and also at the northern city of Kiryat Shmona, the IDF says.

Two rockets fired at Kiryat Shmona were intercepted by the Iron Dome, it says.

The IDF says it responding with artillery shelling at the source of the fire.

Hezbollah, meanwhile, claims responsibility for attacking IDF positions on the border in the last few hours.

Settlers filmed bashing storefront in Palestinian village in latest West Bank attack

Settlers filmed destroying storefront in Palestinian village of As-Sawiya on December 1, 2023. (Screen capture/X)
Settlers filmed destroying storefront in Palestinian village of As-Sawiya on December 1, 2023. (Screen capture/X)

Roughly half a dozen Israeli settlers are filmed driving up to a storefront last night in the northern West Bank Palestinian village of As-Sawiya and proceeding to smash the glass windows completely with stones and clubs before driving away.

It is the latest attack by violent settlers, which have increased significantly since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war.

The US informed Israel yesterday that it will soon be announcing a series of visa bans against violent settlers.

Rocket sirens triggered in towns across central Israel, as Hamas extends rocket range further

Rockets fired by terrorists in southern Lebanon are intercepted above a position across the border near Kibbutz Dan in northern Israel on November 7, 2023. (Jalaa MAREY / AFP)
Rockets fired by terrorists in southern Lebanon are intercepted above a position across the border near Kibbutz Dan in northern Israel on November 7, 2023. (Jalaa MAREY / AFP)

Incoming rocket sirens are sounding across central Israel, as Hamas appears to further expand the range of fire since the ceasefire collapsed this morning.

The alerts are activated in Rishon LeZion, Lod, Ramla, Be’er Yaakov, Ness Ziona, Or Yehuda, Holon, Ashdod, Rehovot, and many other smaller towns.

Several Iron Dome interceptions have been spotted, as Hamas claims responsibility for the rocket fire.

Rocket sirens triggered in northern towns of Kiryat Shmona and Margaliot

Smoke rises during an exchange of fire between the IDF and Hezbollah on the border between Israel and Lebanon, November 18, 2023. (Ayal Margolin/Flash90)
Smoke rises during an exchange of fire between the IDF and Hezbollah on the border between Israel and Lebanon, November 18, 2023. (Ayal Margolin/Flash90)

Rocket sirens sound in the northern city of Kiryat Shmona and the nearby community of Margaliot.

Channel 12 news reports that at least one rocket was fired at Kiryat Shmona. It is unclear what set off the alarm in Margaliot.

The IDF has not yet commented on the incident.

There are no reports of injuries or damage.

Earlier today, the IDF said it intercepted a “suspicious aerial target” that entered Israeli airspace from Lebanon.

IDF chief meets with top brass ‘ahead of start of 2nd phase of war’

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi meets with the General Staff Forum at the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, December 1, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi meets with the General Staff Forum at the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, December 1, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

The IDF says Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi is meeting with the military’s top brass as fighting resumes in the Gaza Strip.

In a short statement, the IDF says the assessment with the General Staff Forum comes “ahead of the start of the second phase of the war.”

Israel is expected to expand its ground operations into the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

IDF troops recover body of Ofir Tzarfati in Gaza, returning him to Israel for burial

Ofir Tzarfati was presumed captive after going missing following the Supernova music rave massacre by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 (Courtesy)
Ofir Tzarfati was presumed captive after going missing following the Supernova music rave massacre by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 (Courtesy)

Israeli troops operating in the Gaza Strip have recovered the body of Ofir Tzarfati, who was taken hostage by Hamas on October 7.

Tzarfati was declared captive after going missing at the Supernova rave near Re’im following the Hamas massacre there.

Yesterday, Tzarfati’s family was notified of his death.

In a joint IDF and Shin Bet operation, Tzarfati’s body was brought back to Israel this morning for burial. A date of death is not immediately given.

US tells Israel it will announce visa ban on violent settlers in coming weeks — officials

Israeli soldiers restrain Jewish settlers after they stormed the Palestinian West Bank village of Dayr Sharaf following a terror attack in which an Israeli driver was shot dead, November 2, 2023. (Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP)
Israeli soldiers restrain Jewish settlers after they stormed the Palestinian West Bank village of Dayr Sharaf following a terror attack in which an Israeli driver was shot dead, November 2, 2023. (Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken notified Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during meetings yesterday that the Biden administration is preparing to announce a series of visa bans against Israeli settlers involved in attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank, an Israeli official tells The Times of Israel. A US official confirmed the plan to AFP.

The announcement will likely only include the number of settlers being banned from the US, rather than their names, the Israeli official says, explaining that the US hopes that the anonymity will serve as a deterrent against those considering targeting Palestinians who won’t know whether they’ve been black-listed or not.

The visa ban could be imposed as early as next week, the Israeli official says.

The idea was first announced earlier this month in an op-ed US President Joe Biden penned in the Washington Post.

During a press conference last night, Blinken said, “We’re looking to the Israeli government to take some additional steps to really put a stop to this. And at the same time, we’re considering our own steps.”

France’s foreign ministry spokesperson said yesterday that the European Union should also consider sanctioning violent Israeli settlers who attack Palestinians in the West Bank.

An Israeli official told The Times of Israel earlier this month that the government has stepped up its activities to combat the phenomenon, which it says is being perpetrated by a “nucleus” of several hundred extremists at most. Several arrests have indeed been made in recent weeks.

US indicates Hamas to blame for resumed Gaza fighting, says it’s working to restart truce

Smoke rising from buildings after being hit by apparent Israeli strikes in Gaza, on December 1, 2023. (John MacDougall / AFP)
Smoke rising from buildings after being hit by apparent Israeli strikes in Gaza, on December 1, 2023. (John MacDougall / AFP)

The White House indicates that Hamas is responsible for the resumption of fighting in Gaza this morning but says that the US continues to work with Israel, Egypt and Qatar to try and restart the truce.

“Hamas has so far failed to produce a list of hostages that would enable a further extension of the pause,” a White House National Security Council spokesperson says in a statement.

The spokesperson notes that the truce allowed for the release of over 100 hostages and a surge in humanitarian aid into Gaza.

Biden and his national security team “will continue to remain deeply engaged as we look to free the remaining hostages and sustain and expand the international humanitarian response,” the statement adds.

Barrages fired at Ashdod as Hamas expands range of rockets since ceasefire collapse

Rockets are fired toward Israel from the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Rockets are fired toward Israel from the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Incoming rocket sirens are sounding in the coastal city of Ashdod and nearby communities, as Hamas appears to have expanded the range of fire since the temporary ceasefire collapsed this morning.

Throughout today, rocket attacks from Gaza were largely limited to towns close to the border.

There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage in the attacks.

Hamas has taken responsibility for the launches.

IDF: We hit 200 Gaza targets since Hamas ceasefire violation; 50 rockets fired at Israel

Footage of an IDF airstrike in Gaza on December 1, 2023. (Screen capture/X)
Footage of an IDF airstrike in Gaza on December 1, 2023. (Screen capture/X)

The IDF says that since 7 a.m., following Hamas’s violation of the ceasefire, it has carried out airstrikes against some 200 targets across the Gaza Strip.

Several of the strikes took place in southern Gaza’s Khan Younis and Rafah.

Some of the strikes in northern Gaza were directed by forces of the 162nd, 36th, and 252nd divisions.

The IDF says ground troops meanwhile demolished structures that were booby-trapped with explosives, tunnel shafts, rocket launch sites, and other infrastructure belonging to Hamas.

Navy missile boats, tanks and artillery also carried out strikes in Gaza today, it adds.

Meanwhile, roughly 50 rockets have been fired at southern Israeli towns from Gaza.

Kibbutz says resident Ronen Engel murdered by Hamas; family freed from Gaza this week

Engel family (L-R): Yuval, Karina, Mika and Ronen. The family was taken captive by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023, from Kibbutz Nir Oz. Three members were released on November 27, 2023, while father Ronen remains captive in Gaza. (Courtesy)
Engel family (L-R): Yuval, Karina, Mika and Ronen. The family was taken captive by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023, from Kibbutz Nir Oz. Three members were released on November 27, 2023, while father Ronen remains captive in Gaza. (Courtesy)

Kibbutz Nir Oz announces that Ronen Engel, 54, previously thought to be a hostage in Gaza following the October 7 attack, was murdered by Hamas.

Engel’s family were released from captivity on Monday: wife Karina Engel-Bart, 51, and daughters Mika, 18, and Yuval, 11.

The kibbutz does not say when he is thought to have died. His body is believed held by Hamas in Gaza.

It says Engel was a volunteer in Magen David Adom and loved motorcycles.

“May his memory be a blessing,” it says.

UNICEF: ‘Those in power have decided killing of children will recommence’ in Gaza

The UN children’s agency UNICEF condemns the resumption of fighting in Gaza, saying: “Today, those in power have decided that the killing of children would recommence.”

Spokesman James Elder says the “dire” state of health, nutrition, water and sanitation threatens to trigger “a disaster of unparalleled magnitude for the children of Gaza.

“To accept the sacrifice of the children in Gaza is humanity giving up,” he tells the Geneva briefing via video-link from the Palestinian enclave.

IDF says Iron Dome intercepted ‘suspicious aerial target’ from Lebanon

The IDF says the Iron Dome intercepted a “suspicious aerial target” that entered Israeli airspace from Lebanon a short while ago.

The interceptor missile launch set off sirens in a number of communities in the Upper Galilee, it adds.

Incoming rocket sirens sound in the Upper Galilee

File: An Israeli mobile artillery unit takes position in Upper Galilee in northern Israel near the Lebanon border on November 15, 2023 (Jalaa MAREY / AFP)
File: An Israeli mobile artillery unit takes position in Upper Galilee in northern Israel near the Lebanon border on November 15, 2023 (Jalaa MAREY / AFP)

Incoming rocket sirens are sounding in the Upper Galilee.

The alerts are activated in Shear Yeshuv, HaGoshrim, Dafna and Beit Hillel.

There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

Hezbollah has carried out hundreds of rocket and missile attacks from Lebanon on northern Israel in recent weeks, but paused the fire amid a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza over the past week.

Meanwhile, sirens have continued to sound in southern communities throughout the early afternoon.

Kibbutz Nir Oz says kindergarten teacher Maya Goren murdered by Hamas; body in Gaza

Maya Goren, left, was abducted by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 from Kibbutz Nir Oz. Her husband, Avner Goren, was killed. The kibbutz announced on December 1 that she was killed and her body was held by Hamas in Gaza. (Courtesy)
Maya Goren, left, was abducted by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 from Kibbutz Nir Oz. Her husband, Avner Goren, was killed. The kibbutz announced on December 1 that she was killed and her body was held by Hamas in Gaza. (Courtesy)

Kibbutz Nir Oz announces the death of resident Maya Goren, 56, a kindergarten teacher. Her body is held by Hamas.

Her husband Avner was murdered on October 7. She had been considered a hostage until now. It is not clear from the announcement whether Maya died on October 7 or was killed in captivity.

Maya was setting up the kibbutz kindergarten space early Shabbat morning, October 7, when Hamas terrorists attacked the community.

Maya and Avner had four children, ages 18, 21, 23 and 25. They survived.

Israel says 137 hostages are still being held in Gaza

Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy in October, 2023. (Screen capture/X)
Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy in October, 2023. (Screen capture/X)

Israel says that 137 hostages are still being held in the Strip after 110 returned home.

Among those still in captivity after the end of the truce Friday are 115 men, 20 women and two children, government spokesperson Eylon Levy says. Ten of the hostages are 75 and older, he says. The majority, or 126, are Israeli and 11 are foreign nationals, including eight from Thailand.

Levy lists the youngest hostage, 10-month-old Kfir Bibas, his 4-year-old brother Ariel and their mother Shiri as among the hostages. The military has said it is investigating a Hamas claim that the boys and their mother were killed.

Levy says seven people are still missing from the initial attack.

Jordan’s king: War intensifying threats from climate change in Gaza

Jordan King Abdullah II speaks during a plenary session at the COP28 UN Climate Summit, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Jordan King Abdullah II speaks during a plenary session at the COP28 UN Climate Summit, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

Jordan’s king says war is making the threats from climate change even worse in the Gaza Strip, as hostilities resume between Israel and Hamas after a week-long truce.

King Abdullah II tells the UN’s COP28 climate talks in Dubai that “we cannot talk about climate change in isolation from the humanitarian tragedies unfolding around us.

“In Gaza, over 1.7 million Palestinians have been displaced from their homes. Tens of thousands have been injured or killed in a region already on the front lines of climate change,” he tells a gathering of world leaders. “The massive destruction of war makes the environmental threats of water scarcity and food insecurity even more severe. In Gaza our people are living with little clean water and the bare minimum of food supplies, as climate threats magnify the devastation of war.”

Military Police will probe soldier’s accidental killing of civilian in Jerusalem

The scene of a terror shooting at the entrance to Jerusalem, November 30, 2023. (Courtesy)
The scene of a terror shooting at the entrance to Jerusalem, November 30, 2023. (Courtesy)

The Military Police will investigate the killing of Yuval Castleman, the armed civilian who was shot by a soldier during a terror attack in Jerusalem yesterday.

Castleman was engaging the two Palestinian terrorists when soldiers mistook him for an additional assailant. Footage showed that even after Castleman put his gun down and held his hands in the air, he was shot by an off-duty soldier.

The IDF says the Military Police’s investigatory unit — known in Hebrew by its acronym metzach — will join the police and Shin Bet investigation of the attack.

“The IDF expresses sorrow for the death of the civilian,” the military says.

Five soldiers wounded by mortar near southern community

Five IDF soldiers were wounded as a result of a mortar strike near the southern community of Nirim this morning, the military says.

Three of the soldiers are listed in moderate condition, while the other two are lightly hurt.

The IDF says their families have been notified.

Man shot dead in town of Ramle; police investigating

A man aged around 40 has been shot dead in the central town of Ramle.

Paramedics called to the scene declared the man dead. Police are investigating.

Rocket alerts sound in southern communities

Sirens have sounded several times in the last half hour in southern communities near Gaza.

Most of those communities have been emptied of residents since October 7.

Hamas urges UAE to cancel Israeli president’s invitation to climate confab

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) meets with President Isaac Herzog on the sidelines of the COP28 summit in Dubai, December 1, 2023. (Courtesy)
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) meets with President Isaac Herzog on the sidelines of the COP28 summit in Dubai, December 1, 2023. (Courtesy)

Hamas urges the “friendly state” of the United Arab Emirates, host nation of the UN Climate Change Conference COP28, to withdraw its invitation to Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

In a statement, Hamas says that “irrespective of the conference’s nature,” the international community and the UN should not afford “criminal” Herzog a platform, arguing that there is a “political and moral imperative to boycott him” because of his involvement in the war against the terror group in Gaza.

Senior Israeli to TV: ‘If they return women, there’ll be a pause – equation is simple’

A senior Israeli official tells Channel 13: “If they return our women, there will be a day’s pause. The equation is simple.”

Channel 12 cites a diplomatic official as saying “There will be several days of combat. Hamas knows the conditions for a return to the pause.”

France calls for truce resumption between Israel-Hamas

French Foreign Affairs Minister Catherine Colonna leaves the weekly cabinet meeting at the presidential Elysee Palace in Paris on October 12, 2022. (Ludovic Marin/AFP)
French Foreign Affairs Minister Catherine Colonna leaves the weekly cabinet meeting at the presidential Elysee Palace in Paris on October 12, 2022. (Ludovic Marin/AFP)

France says it regrets the end of a truce between Israel and Hamas, and calls for its restoration.

“Rupture of the truce is very bad news, regrettable, because it brings no solution and complicates the resolution of all questions that arise,” Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna says on the sidelines of the UN’s COP28 climate talks in Dubai.

She calls a truce resumption “essential.”

Prominent political scientist Shlomo Avineri dead at 90

Hebrew University professor and former Foreign Ministry chief Shlomo Avineri speaks at a panel on Israeli-German relations in Jerusalem on January 12, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Hebrew University professor and former Foreign Ministry chief Shlomo Avineri speaks at a panel on Israeli-German relations in Jerusalem on January 12, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Prominent political scientist Shlomo Avineri has died at age 90.

Avineri was an Israel Prize laureate, a world-known political science professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a former director-general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

Born in Poland in 1933, his family immigrated to Israel in 1939. He was known for his research into Karl Marx and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.

Kibbutz Nir Oz announces Aryeh Zalmanovich, 85, has died in Hamas captivity

Aryeh Zalmanovich. (Courtesy)
Aryeh Zalmanovich. (Courtesy)

Kibbutz Nir Oz announces that resident Aryeh Zalmanovich, 85, has died in Hamas captivity.

Zalmanovich, one of the founders of the kibbutz, was taken hostage on October 7.

“A father of two and a grandfather to five, Aryeh was a man of the earth his whole life, who worked in agriculture and crops; a man of reading with vast knowledge in history and the land. May his memory be a blessing.”

The terror group had published a video in mid-November in which it appeared to show Zalmanovich looking ill. It claimed he had later died, but this had not been confirmed until today.

Hamas claims Israel wanted ‘female recruits’ released, apparently referencing civilians

Hamas's chief representative in Lebanon Osama Hamdan, left, Hamas Arab relations chief Khalil al-Hayya, center, and secretary general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Talal Naji, arrive for a press conference during a visit to Damascus, October 19, 2022. (Louai Beshara / AFP)
Hamas's chief representative in Lebanon Osama Hamdan, left, Hamas Arab relations chief Khalil al-Hayya, center, and secretary general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Talal Naji, arrive for a press conference during a visit to Damascus, October 19, 2022. (Louai Beshara / AFP)

A senior Hamas member claims the group “offered several proposals” to Israel to continue the truce but was denied.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Khalil al-Hayya, a member of the terror group’s politburo in Qatar, claims Israel demanded the release of “female recruits.”

Israel had demanded the release of young civilian women, of which Hamas is holding several, before any other release. The terror group has routinely referred to such women as potential soldiers, though they are not in service.

Israeli spokesman says Hamas ‘will now take the mother of all thumpings’

A government spokesman says Hamas “will now take the mother of all thumpings” after a truce pausing fighting in the Gaza Strip expired and hostilities resumed.

“Unfortunately, Hamas decided to terminate the pause by failing to release all the kidnapped women,” government spokesman Eylon Levy tells a briefing. “Having chosen to hold onto our women, Hamas will now take the mother of all thumpings.”

Resumption of Gaza hostilities ‘catastrophic’ — UN rights chief

The United Nations human rights chief says the resumption of hostilities between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip is “catastrophic,” with the situation now “beyond crisis point.”

“I urge all parties and states with influence over them to redouble efforts, immediately, to ensure a ceasefire — on humanitarian and human rights grounds,” Volker Turk says in a statement.

UN chief ‘deeply’ regrets resumption of fighting in Gaza

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during an interview at the United Nations headquarters ahead of the COP28 meeting in New York, November 29, 2023 (Andrea RENAULT / AFP)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during an interview at the United Nations headquarters ahead of the COP28 meeting in New York, November 29, 2023 (Andrea RENAULT / AFP)

UN chief Antonio Guterres says he deeply regrets the resumption of hostilities between Israel and Hamas in Gaza and hopes that a truce can be re-established.

“I deeply regret that military operations have started again in Gaza. I still hope that it will be possible to renew the pause that was established. The return to hostilities only shows how important it is to have a true humanitarian ceasefire,” the United Nations secretary-general says on X.

Iran delegates quit COP28 over Israeli presence

Iranian delegates walk out of UN climate talks in the United Arab Emirates in protest over the presence of Israeli representatives, state media reports.

The Iranian side considers Israel’s presence at COP28 “as contrary to the goals and guidelines of the conference and, in protest, it left the conference venue,” Energy Minister Ali Akbar Mehrabian, who heads the Iranian delegation, is quoted as saying by the official news agency IRNA.

Hamas says 32 people killed in Gaza strikes in recent hours

Hours into the renewed offensive, the Health Ministry of Hamas-controlled Gaza says 32 people have been killed in Israeli strikes and dozens wounded.

The figures cannot be independently confirmed, and do not differentiate between combatants and civilians.

Iran blames Israel for renewed fighting with Hamas

Iran blames Israel and the United States for a resumption of fighting in the Gaza Strip.

“After killing more than 15,000 Palestinians, the Zionist criminals have started a new round of killing under the continued support of the American government,” Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani says in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Kanani adds that “the political and legal responsibility for the continuation of the aggression and massacre” rests with Israel, the US and “a few governments that support this apartheid regime.”

Head of Holon hospital: 4 hostages freed last night undergoing medical tests

Dr. Anat Engel, director-general of Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, provides an update on the four freed hostages received there last night.

According to Engel, they are in stable condition and undergoing a variety of medical tests.

During the now-ended ceasefire, the hospital received women of a wide range of ages who were released from captivity in Gaza. Six of them have already been discharged to recover at home with their families. They will receive follow-up medical and psychosocial care through a coordinated effort of the hospital and their health maintenance organizations.

Herzog asks King Charles ‘to use all diplomatic clout’ to help free hostages

Britain's King Charles III (left) shakes hands with President Isaac Herzog on the sidelines of the COP28 summit in Dubai, December 1, 2023. (Courtesy)
Britain's King Charles III (left) shakes hands with President Isaac Herzog on the sidelines of the COP28 summit in Dubai, December 1, 2023. (Courtesy)

In the UAE, President Herzog meets King Charles III and discusses with him efforts to free Israeli hostages from Gaza.

The president asked the king “to use all his diplomatic clout to advance efforts to bring the kidnapped daughters and sons back home,” his office says.

More rockets launched at border towns; one causes damage at Kibbutz Mefalsim

A rocket launched from the Gaza Strip in the last hour caused damage to property in Kibbutz Mefalsim, local authorities say.

There are no injuries as a result of the attack.

Gaza border communities have largely been evacuated amid the war.

Sirens also sounded in Netiv HaAsara and Yad Mordechai. Several projectiles were apparently intercepted by Iron Dome.

Freed hostages Bilal and Aisha Ziyadne reunite with family

Aisha Ziyadne, 17, released by Hamas on November 30, 2023, is reunited with relatives at Soroka Medical Center. (Courtesy: Soroka)
Aisha Ziyadne, 17, released by Hamas on November 30, 2023, is reunited with relatives at Soroka Medical Center. (Courtesy: Soroka)

Photos show released hostages Bilal and Aisha Ziyadne reunited with their family at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba.

The two were released last night.

Bilal Ziyadne, released by Hamas on November 30, 2023, is reunited with relatives at Soroka Medical Center. (Courtesy: Soroka)

Qatar says Israeli bombings ‘complicate efforts’ to return to truce

Qatar’s Foreign Ministry says it “expresses its deep regret at the resumption of the Israeli aggression against Gaza.”

It says talks are continuing to resume the pause in fighting but adds that “the continued bombing of the Gaza Strip in the first hours after the end of the pause complicates mediation efforts and exacerbates the humanitarian catastrophe in the Strip.”

“The State of Qatar reiterates its condemnation of all forms of targeting civilians,” it adds.

Family of civilian shot dead by soldiers during Jerusalem attack says he was ‘executed’

The family of Yuval Doron Castleman, 37, who was killed at the scene of yesterday’s terror attack in Jerusalem by two soldiers who mistook him for a terrorist, says he was “executed.”

Castleman rushed at the terrorists with his firearm and fired at them before being shot at himself by the soldiers. Video from the scene showed him then throw away his gun, fall on his knees and raise his hands in the air while shouting “don’t shoot.” He was then shot again.

Castleman was sent to a hospital in Jerusalem in critical condition and was declared dead shortly before midnight, on what would have been his 38th birthday.

“Yuval noticed a terrorist attack from the other side of the road while driving to his job at the government complex, and stopped his car to stop the terrorists,” his family said. “He had previously served in the security forces and was always a hero and the first to jump in and save lives, which he did this time as well.”

President Herzog speaks with Qatar’s leader in Dubai

Israel's President Isaac Herzog (3rd right) shakes hands with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on the sidelines of the COP28 summit in Dubai, December 1, 2023 (Courtesy)
Israel's President Isaac Herzog (3rd right) shakes hands with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on the sidelines of the COP28 summit in Dubai, December 1, 2023 (Courtesy)

In the UAE, President Isaac Herzog meets and speaks with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, his office says.

It does not offer details.

Herzog is at the UN’s COP28 climate summit for sideline talks with officials on efforts to free Israeli hostages in Gaza.

Hamas says 14 people killed in strikes; group’s armed wing told ‘to resume combat’

Palestinians inspect the destruction following an Israeli strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on December 1, 2023, as fighting resumed shortly after the expiration of a seven-day truce between Israel and Hamas (SAID KHATIB / AFP)
Palestinians inspect the destruction following an Israeli strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on December 1, 2023, as fighting resumed shortly after the expiration of a seven-day truce between Israel and Hamas (SAID KHATIB / AFP)

Ashraf al-Qidra, a spokesperson for the Health Ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza, says 14 people have been killed and dozens wounded in the first hours of Israeli strikes after the truce ended.

The figures cannot be verified.

A source close to Hamas tells AFP the group’s armed wing has received “the order to resume combat” and to “defend the Gaza Strip,” with heavy fighting reported in parts of Gaza City.

IDF says new map splitting Gaza into zones will help residents avoid combat areas

A new interactive Gaza map issued by the IDF splits the Strip into hundreds of zones. The IDF said December 1, 2023, that it will be used to notify Palestinian civilians of active combat zones (screenshot)
A new interactive Gaza map issued by the IDF splits the Strip into hundreds of zones. The IDF said December 1, 2023, that it will be used to notify Palestinian civilians of active combat zones (screenshot)

The IDF has published a map splitting the Gaza Strip into hundreds of small zones, which it will use to notify Palestinian civilians of active combat zones.

It asks Palestinians to pay attention to their area’s number, and follow the IDF’s future updates.

The military may use this map to call on Palestinians from specific areas to evacuate when the IDF’s ground offensive expands to the Strip’s south, instead of demanding mass evacuations as it did in the northern part of Gaza.

“The IDF is operating strongly against terror organizations, while making great efforts to differentiate between civilians and terrorists,” it says in a message to Gazans.

“The people of Gaza are not our enemies. For this reason, as of this morning the IDF is leading controlled and specific evacuations of Gaza residents in order to remove them as much as possible from areas of combat.”

Palestinians say IDF drops flyers in Khan Younis telling residents to move out

Palestinians report the IDF has dropped flyers in Khan Younis calling on residents to move south to Rafah, warning the area is dangerous.

Rocket sirens sound in Ashkelon area

Rocket sirens sound in the Ashkelon area, sending residents rushing to shelters.

There are no immediate reports of impacts.

Reports indicate talks ongoing to resume truce in Gaza

This picture taken from southern Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip shows smoke rising from buildings after being hit by Israeli strikes in the battles between Israel and Hamas on December 1, 2023. (John MACDOUGALL / AFP)
This picture taken from southern Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip shows smoke rising from buildings after being hit by Israeli strikes in the battles between Israel and Hamas on December 1, 2023. (John MACDOUGALL / AFP)

CNN and BBC report that efforts are ongoing to return to the truce in Gaza.

An unnamed Palestinian source tells the BBC talks are ongoing through mediators.

AFP’s Qatari office also cites an unidentified source who says the same.

Hamas says 3 killed in Rafah strike, as explosions heard across Gaza

Israeli airstrikes have hit southern Gaza, including the community of Abassan east of the town of Khan Younis, Hamas officials say. Another strike hit a home northwest of Gaza City.

Loud, continuous explosions are heard coming from the Gaza Strip, and black smoke billows from the territory.

The Hamas-run health ministry says three people have been killed in Israeli air raids in Rafah, in the Strip’s south.

PM’s office: Hamas did not meet obligations; government committed to war’s goals

The Prime Minister’s Office says in a statement that Hamas “violated the framework, did not meet its obligation to release all hostage women, and fired rockets at Israel.”

“Amid the return to combat, we stress the government of Israel is committed to achieving the goals of the war — releasing our hostages, eliminating Hamas and ensuring that Gaza can never again threaten the people of Israel.”

Top doctor who treated hostages: Testimonies hard to bear, Hamas evil and cruel

Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Israel. (Sheba Communications Department)
Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Israel. (Sheba Communications Department)

A top Israeli doctor treating hostages who have returned from the Gaza Strip says he’s heard testimonies that “are hard to bear” about their experiences in captivity.

Individuals have “undergone hardship, physically and mentally,” says Dr. Itai Pessach, Director of Safra Children’s Hospital at Sheba Medical Center, at a press conference.

“I feel the need to make their cry heard,” he says. “The world needs to know how evil and cruel the behavior of Hamas is.”

He says he is not sharing details due to patients’ privacy, and says it is for them to tell their stories to the public.

IDF says jets carrying out wave of airstrikes against Hamas targets in Gaza

The IDF says its fighter jets are carrying out a wave of airstrikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

It says it will provide further details on the strikes soon.

File: Smoke billows during a presumed Israeli bombing in the Gaza Strip on November 16, 2023. (Jack Guez/AFP)

IDF says several rockets were fired at Holit just before 7 a.m.

The Israel Defense Forces says several rockets were fired from Gaza just before 7 a.m., setting off sirens in the southern community of Holit.

It says the Iron Dome was not used to intercept the projectiles as they were headed for uninhabited areas.

This in addition to several launches at around 6 a.m.

Military announces limitations on schools due to renewed fighting

In light of a resumption in fighting, the Home Front Command instructs that schools in much of central and southern Israel will open only if students can reach sheltered spaces in time in the event of rocket attacks.

Schools in the Gaza periphery remain closed.

Israeli airstrikes reported in Gaza City

An AFP journalist reports Israeli airstrikes, artillery fire seen in Gaza City.

Photos on social media claim to show a recent strike.

IDF: Hamas violated ceasefire, we are renewing attacks on group

Hamas did not provide Israel by 7 a.m. a list of hostages to be released today.

The Israel Defense Forces says Hamas has violated the ceasefire agreement and additionally fired rockets at Israel.

In response, the IDF says it has renewed its attacks on the terror group.

Alert sounds in Holit in southern Israel

The IDF says it is investigating after a rocket siren sounded in the community of Holit, near the southern Gaza Strip.

An attack there would be the second Gaza rocket attack in the last hour.

Palestinians report on gunfire, blasts in northern Gaza

The Palestinian Shehab media outlet reports that gunfire and explosions are being heard in the northern Gaza Strip.

The outlet is closely affiliated with Hamas.

There is no comment from the Israeli military about the possible resumption of hostilities, which have been paused since November 24.

 

Israel drawing up plans for global campaign to assassinate Hamas leaders — report

Israel is planning to hunt down Hamas leaders around the world once it shifts away from fighting the group in Gaza, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Spy agencies have been ordered by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  to draw up plans to assassinate the group’s top leaders outside of Gaza, who live in Turkey, Qatar and elsewhere, the paper reports, citing Israeli officials.

In the 1970s, Israel embarked on a years-long campaign to assassinate Palestinian terrorists involved in the Munich Olympics massacre.

According to the report, some called for Israel to immediately assassinate Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and others following the October 7 attack. However, doing so on Qatari or Turkish soil could have strained or torpedoed diplomatic efforts to free hostages, and the idea was pushed off.

Former Chief of Hamas’ Political Bureau Khaled Meshaal speaks during conference in the Qatari capital, Doha on May 1, 2017. (KARIM JAAFAR / AFP)

Netanyahu hinted at Israel’s plans for assassinations abroad in an address in late November, to the ire of some who preferred to keep the future campaign under wraps, according to the WSJ.

The paper also reports that Israel is looking into the possibility of expelling lower-level Hamas fighters from Gaza to shorten the war.

Rocket fired from Gaza shot down, IDF confirms

The Israel Defense Forces confirms that one rocket was fired toward Israeli communities near Gaza, after a siren goes off in Sderot and surrounding areas.

The military says the projectile was shot down by air defense troops.

There are no reports of injuries or damage from the attack, which breaks nearly a week of relative calm.

Blast heard in Sderot footage

In video from Sderot, a blast can be heard shortly after a “red alert” rocket siren sounds in the town, indicating that there was indeed a rocket attack.

The explosion is accompanied by a flash from somewhere to the right of the camera. A second blast can also be heard a few seconds later.

There is no comment on the apparent attack from Israeli officials.

Rocket alarms ring in Sderot

Rocket alert sirens have sounded in Sderot and surrounding areas.

There is no immediate word on possible rocket launches out of Gaza.

The attack would be the first in a week, coming an hour before a seven-day truce is set to expire.

Israel had Hamas’s October 7 battle plan for a year but dismissed it — report

A bombshell report in The New York Times alleges that Israel obtained Hamas’s plans for its assault on October 7 over a year before the devastating attack, but despite the document being seen by several senior officials, it was not acted upon.

According to the report, the 40-page plan, dubbed “Jericho Wall,” laid out almost exactly how Hamas eventually wound up carrying out the attack.

The Times writes: “The document called for a barrage of rockets at the outset of the attack, drones to knock out the security cameras and automated machine guns along the border, and gunmen to pour into Israel en masse in paragliders, on motorcycles and on foot — all of which happened on Oct. 7.”

The document also showed that Hamas had access to sensitive Israeli military information, but officials determined that the terror group was incapable of carrying out an assault of such a large scope, or possibly unwilling, and dismissed concerns about it.

The Times claims that in one instance, a soldier noticed that a Hamas training exercise appeared to dovetail with plans detailed in the report, but a commander said that the drill was part of a “totally imaginative” scenario and did not point to actual battle plans.

Man indicted over antisemitic threats aimed at Nevada senator

File: US Senator Jacky Rosen, a Nevada Democrat, addresses the Jewish Federations of North America in Washington, DC, July 20, 2021. (Office of Jacky Rosen)
File: US Senator Jacky Rosen, a Nevada Democrat, addresses the Jewish Federations of North America in Washington, DC, July 20, 2021. (Office of Jacky Rosen)

A federal grand jury has indicted a Las Vegas man arrested last month on suspicion of making antisemitic threats against US Senator Jacky Rosen and her family, along with the family of another US senator, according to court records.

Rosen, a Democrat from Nevada, is Jewish and has maintained a vocal pro-Israel stance, including support for US aid to Israel. Though the indictment doesn’t identify her specifically, Rosen’s office confirmed to The Associated Press the allegation that she and her family were targeted.

John Miller, 43, is charged with one count of threatening a federal official and two counts of influencing, impeding or retaliating against a federal official by threatening a family member. Miller is also accused of threatening the family of another unnamed US senator, according to court records.

The public defender representing Miller does not return an email request for comment.

Miller allegedly made several threatening calls and voicemails containing antisemitic slurs to Rosen last month, some of them making reference to the Israel-Hamas war and the Holocaust, according to the complaint.

Report: Israel and Hamas agree to keep truce going for eighth day

Israel and Hamas have agreed to extend the truce for an eighth day, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing Egyptian officials.

There has been no official announcement of a truce extension from either side, or from Egypt, Qatar and the US, which have led negotiations for the pause.

The additional day would likely see another 10 Israeli hostages freed, according to the report.

A source close to Palestinian terror group Hamas earlier told AFP it was “willing to extend the truce.”

“The mediators are currently making strong, intense and continuous efforts for an additional day in the truce and then working to extend it again for other days,” the source said on condition of anonymity.

Freed hostages arrive at hospitals to meet relatives

The Health Ministry says all six recently freed hostages have arrived at hospitals in Israel, where they are being reunited with family and checked out medically.

At Soroka Hospital in Be;er Sheba, Aisha Ziyadne, 17, and Bilal Ziyadne, 18, meet relatives, the Walla news site reports.

Another three women have arrived at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, south of Tel Aviv, the ministry says. A fourth woman went to Sheba Hospital at Tel Hashomer east of the city, where another hostage released earlier Thursday is already being treated.

Palestinians freed from Israeli prison arrive in Ramallah

Palestinian inmates released from Israeli prison have arrived in Ramallah from Ofer Prison in the West Bank, Palestinian media outlets report.

A bus carrying 30 former inmates is welcomed with fanfare in the city’s central square, the official Palestinian Wafa news outlet reports.

A video shows one family’s tearful reunion.

The group is released as part of a deal that is supposed to see 10 Israeli hostages released daily for 30 Palestinians, though only 8 Israelis were released Thursday.

An Al Jazeera report claims the bus was hit with tear gas, and some onboard required medical attention.

US House passes measure seeking to block Iran from unfrozen $6 billion

The US House of Representatives has passed a bipartisan measure to block Iran from ever accessing the $6 billion recently unfrozen by the US in a prisoner swap, a step Republicans pushed in response to the nation’s alleged role in the deadly attacks last month by Hamas on Israel.

The measure — titled the No Funds for Iranian Terrorism Act — passes 307-119 as Republicans sought to hold the Biden administration accountable for what they call their complicity in funding Iranian-backed terrorism in the Middle East.

The US and Iran reached the tentative agreement in August that eventually saw the release of five detained Americans in Tehran and an unknown number of Iranians imprisoned in the U.S. after billions of dollars in frozen Iranian assets were transferred from banks in South Korea to Qatar. But days after the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas, the U.S. and Qatar agreed that Iran would not be able to access the money in the meantime, with officials stopping short of a full refreezing of the funds.

Republican critics say that despite the money being restricted to aid, it is fungible, and could free up other funds for Tehran to provide support to Hamas like they believe it did before it attacked Israel in early October.

The GOP-backed resolution, which now goes to the Senate where it is unlikely to be supported by the Democratic majority, would impose new sanctions on the funds to prevent the transfer of any monies to Iran. It also threatens to sanction any government or individual involved in processing the transfer of the funds.

Several Democrats who opposed the measure defended the Biden administration’s decision to transfer the money in exchange for American hostages, especially in light of the American hostages now being kept by Hamas in Gaza.

“Iran, of course, as Hamas, is a murderous and corrupt regime. They’re not pleasant. And this isn’t easy,” Rep. Gregory Meeks, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, says during the floor debate. “But thanks to this agreement, five American families are now home again.”

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