ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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IDF has established Gaza ‘deconfliction mechanism’ per US request — Israeli official

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

IDF troops operate in the Gaza Strip before a ceasefire enters effect, in handout photos released for publication on November 24, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
IDF troops operate in the Gaza Strip before a ceasefire enters effect, in handout photos released for publication on November 24, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israel has established a deconfliction mechanism to prevent human rights workers and civilians in Gaza from being caught in the crossfire of the IDF’s fighting targeting Hamas.

“We are working very closely with [US] Ambassador [David] Satterfield and his team, as well as the UN. We have a deconfliction mechanism that we established,” an Israeli official tells The Times of Israel.

Satterfield, who serves as the Biden administration’s envoy for the humanitarian situation in Gaza, said earlier this month that Israel had responded to a US request to create a “deconfliction mechanism” to better ensure that humanitarian workers are protected amid ongoing IDF strikes in Gaza.

“We realized and we impressed upon Israel that more had to be done. There needed to be a single coordinated, functional deconfliction mechanism. It happens in other areas of conflict and it needs to happen now,” David Satterfield said in a November 17 webinar hosted by the Al-Monitor news site.

Explaining the idea of the deconfliction mechanism, a US official told The Times of Israel earlier this month that an IDF officer will be tasked with coordinating between humanitarian organizations and troops on the ground so that the latter do not target areas where aid workers are operating.

Deconfliction efforts to date had not been streamlined, leading to several instances where aid workers and civilians were unnecessarily harmed, a US official said last week.

“We learned lessons from our northern Gaza operations and we are implementing them,” says the Israeli official. “Civilians will be able to receive humanitarian and medical treatment in no-strike zones and shelters.”

“In addition to the Jordanian field hospital that is already operating in Gaza, we are facilitating the construction of several more field hospitals,” the official adds.

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