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Very High2023-12-30T00:00:00Z

As per reports, at least 21,507 people have died in Gaza and around 55,915 wounded since the war began, according to the Gaza Health Ministry on Friday (29 December).

• South Africa instituted proceedings against Israel at the International Court of Justice, calling on the Court to find that in its war in Gaza, Israel had violated the Genocide Convention of 1948, which codified genocide as an international crime.
• Israel castigated South Africa for the same, stating that its accusations were ‘baseless’ and a ‘blood libel.’ It also stated that Israeli military operations in Gaza are directed against Hamas and ‘other terror factions,’ adding that ‘the residents of the Gaza Strip are not the enemy.’
• US President Joe Biden extended duty-free reciprocal trade terms and concessions for Israel on specified quantities of certain agricultural products for one year on 31 December 2024. Additionally, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken approved the sale of 155 mm artillery shells and related equipment, worth USD 147.5 million, to Israel by invoking an emergency authority that bypasses the standard congressional review for arms sales.
• Qatari mediators reportedly informed Israel that Hamas agreed, ‘in principle,’ to resume negotiations for the release of around 40 hostages, including women, men over 60 and those with serious medical issues, in exchange for a halt in military operations in the Gaza Strip for a week or two and the release of Palestinian security prisoners.
• Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allegedly barred Mossad chief and Shin Bet head from participating in a recent meeting with the Israeli Defense Minister and the IDF Chief of Staff to discuss military operations, raising questions regarding potential security implications. The Prime Minister’s Office denied the reports.
• The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced that it located and demolished a hideout apartment belonging to Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar in northern Gaza, along with a large tunnel system under it. Additionally, the military announced carrying out airstrikes against Hezbollah between Thursday and Friday (28 and 29 December), with the aim of pushing the group away from Israel’s northern border. Targets were hit in all areas of Lebanon, including rocket launch sites, military compounds, terror infrastructure, terror cells, on ground and in buildings. The IDF also announced that 80 percent of the rockets fired by Hezbollah at Israel on Friday (29 December) fell inside Lebanon, which violates the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 and puts Lebanese lives at risk.
• After warning sirens were sounded in several towns in the northern Golan Heights, the IDF confirmed they were triggered by rockets launched from Syria. Projectiles landed in open areas after which Israeli forces began shelling the source of the fire.

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