Monday, December 11, 2023

Israel / Palestine: Map of Control After End of Truce (December 8, 2023)

Hidden image for crawlersThis map shows the approximate situation on November 8, a week after Israel and Hamas resumed fighting in the Gaza Strip after a seven-day "humanitarian pause". To see more maps in this series, view all Israel articles or Palestine articles on PolGeoNow.

Map of who controlled Palestine and Israel's claimed territories early on December 8, 2023, one month into the Israeli (IDF) ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, and a week after the end of the humanitarian pause (ceasefire/truce). Shows both Israeli and Palestinian Authority administration (Fatah and Hamas factions indicated separately). Includes bigger West Bank map (Area A, Area B, and Area C). Map also includes Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, major cities and Israeli settlements, UN peacekeeper deployments (UNIFIL in Lebanon and UNDOF in Syria), no man's land, Golan Heights buffer zone (area of separation, AOS), and Shebaa Farms. Now also shows Israel's closed military zones (closed military areas) and key towns and sites from the news, like Gaza City, Khan Yunis, Beit Hanoun, Jabalia, Erez Crossing, Jenin, and Kiryat Shmona (Qiryat Shemona). Now with improved colorblind accessibility.
Click to enlarge. Map by Evan Centanni, incorporating base map by Koen Adams of onestopmap.com and data from B'Tselem's interactive mapping project. (Contact us for permission to use this map.)

Timeline by Djordje Djukic, with additional reporting by Evan Centanni

Gaza Strip Divided

Just as we were publishing the previous edition of our Israel/Palestine control map, Israel began its long-expected counter-invasion into the Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip, responding to hardline Palestinian group Hamas's unprecedented October 7 invasion of Israel. Now, one month into Israel's counter-invasion and two months into the war, the densely-populated Gaza Strip is divided between Hamas-led forces and the Israeli military. 

Israeli forces have seized large parts of Gaza City, the biggest population center in the densely-populated Strip, and completely surrounded the parts of it and nearby towns that are still under Hamas control. Meanwhile, since the temporary humanitarian ceasefire between Hamas and Israel ended a week ago, Israel has also pushed deep into the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Yunis. For more information on control within the Gaza Strip, maps by online conflict-tracker Suriyak and ISW/Critical Threats give good detailed approximations.

Since our last report, Israel's military has appeared to confirm that it's killed at least about 5,000 Palestinian fighters and 10,000 Palestinian civilians, about ten times the respective numbers of Israeli soldiers and civilians killed by Hamas and allies in their brutal October 7 rampage through the Israeli countryside. This is roughly in line with estimates from the Hamas-affiliated Gaza Health Ministry, which as of Friday estimated a total of 17,000 Palestinians killed, about a third of them adult men (who are assumed to make up the vast majority of Hamas fighters).

West Bank Fighting

Though the Gaza Strip has been by far the most intense battleground in this phase of the war, violence has also been rapidly increasing in the West Bank, the other (much larger) Palestinian territory. Palestinian-governed areas of the West Bank are under the Fatah party, a rival to Hamas that's renounced violence and hesitated to take sides in the war. But Hamas and other groups also have underground fighters in the territory, while some residents have joined militias that are independent or loosely affiliated with Fatah.

These Palestinian armed groups in the West Bank were already confronting Israeli soldiers and militias before this newest war began, but violence in the West Bank has escalated fast since October 7, as Israeli forces have increasingly staged large-scale incursions into Palestinian-governed areas targeting members of hostile armed groups. The northern city of Jenin in particular has been nicknamed "Little Gaza" for being under a near-constant stage of siege. Israeli troops have seized temporary control of the city in major raids, with the mayor once describing it as a "closed military zone", and residents of some neighborhoods evacuating nightly to avoid the violence (see timeline below for more details).

As of Friday, some 280 Palestinians had reportedly died in West Bank violence since October 7, as well as five members of the Israeli security forces.

Change to Map Colors

Returning readers will notice that we've made a change to the colors on our Israel / Palestine control map: The colors representing Hamas-controlled areas have been changed from a more reddish color to a more maroon or purplish color. This is because of feedback we'd received that the previous maps were very difficult to read for people with common forms of colorblindness. We hope, based on simulations we've run, that the new colors will be easier to distinguish. This is part of a longstanding and ongoing PolGeoNow policy of trying to make our maps as colorblind-accessible as we can. If you're colorblind and are still having trouble reading this map, or if you're experiencing any other accessibility issues, we encourage you to get in touch.

What About the Gaza Fishing Zone?

Though the Israeli government makes all decisions regarding rules and law enforcement at sea off the coasts of both Israel proper and the Gaza Strip, earlier versions of this map illustrated the borders of the "Gaza Fishing Zone", an area of sea that Israel's military mostly stayed out of, while granting access to Palestinian civilian fishing boats. Israel has a history of frequently changing the size of the fishing zone or closing it altogether, but it seems to have been open to its full extent on the eve of October 7. 

The fishing zone has been almost entirely absent from the news since the new war began, and given that Israel's government declared a "total blockade" of the Gaza Strip, it was easy to assume that it had been basically abolished, or at least temporarily shut down. Now a bit more reporting has emerged, confirming that going to sea in Gazan waters has been "forbidden" by the Israeli government, though some fishermen say they've defied these orders and gone many miles out to sea - but maybe only during the Hamas-Israeli truce of late November.

Flag of Israel Country Name:  
• Israel (English)
Yisra'el (Hebrew)
ʼIsrāʼīl (Arabic)
Full Declared Name:  
• State of Israel (English) 
• Medinat Yisra'el (Hebrew)
Dawlat ʼIsrāʼīl (Arabic)
Capital: 
• Jerusalem (claimed and real seat of government; officially rejected by most other countries)
Tel Aviv (site of most foreign embassies; no official status)

Israel-Palestine Conflict Timeline: First Month of Israel's Gaza Invasion

The following is a timeline of changes to territorial control and other key happenings in the Israel/Palestine conflict, plus related geopolitical events, since the date of our previous control map report on October 27. This covers the period from the start of Israel's full-scale counter-invasion of the Gaza Strip, through its seven day temporary ceasefire with Hamas, up to about a week later, this past Friday, December 8. (Though this report is being published on December 12, no changes likely to be noticeable on the map have occurred since the 8th.) Sources are provided as links within the text.

October 28, 2023

The Israeli military, known as the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), had begun a new phase in the conflict the previous evening by launching its long-expected ground offensive into the Gaza Strip. The assault was launched along three axes, from the sea and from two points on land. In the northeastern part of Gaza, near the Erez border crossing, the IDF raided several Palestinian positions before withdrawing. Meanwhile, Israeli forces also attacked south of Gaza City, but were repelled due to heavy Palestinian resistance. 

Over the previous 24 hours, 377 Palestinians had reportedly been killed in Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, the previous day, drone explosions had hit two Egyptian towns on the Red Sea (south of Israel, not pictured on map). Israel said the explosions resulted from off-target attacks by the Iran-backed, unrecognized “Houthi” government of Yemen (much farther to the south of Israel, also not pictured on map). Though they’re not the internationally-recognized government of Yemen, the Houthis govern the majority of that country’s populated areas, as seen in PolGeoNow’s Yemen control map series.

October 29, 2023

The IDF advanced along two axes in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, along the coast for 3.5 kilometers (2 miles) and at the Erez border crossing, where it captured a nearby former industrial zone. A further IDF attempt to advance from Erez towards the town of Beit Hanoun was repelled.

Meanwhile, a UN peacekeeper was wounded by shelling along the Israel-Lebanon border, inside Lebanon opposite the Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona, while the headquarters of the UN’s peacekeeping force in the coastal town Naqoura also sustained damage in a separate incident.

October 30, 2023

The IDF opened a new land-based axis of attack on the eastern border of the Gaza Strip, advancing towards the south of Gaza City and cutting off the main evacuation route for civilians towards the southern part of the Strip. The IDF also made a small advance northeast of Beit Hanoun, where it clashed for the first time with Hamas fighters reportedly launching attacks from a tunnel network.

October 31, 2023

The IDF advanced another 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) along Gaza’s coast, while capturing more positions in the northeastern outskirts of Beit Hanoun, including a small part of the town itself. Later in the afternoon and in the evening, IDF forces advanced further along the coast and reached an area in the northwestern outskirts of Gaza City. They also made new gains south of the city, after crossing the road linking the north of the Strip with the south. During close-quarters fighting, 15 Israeli soldiers were killed, becoming the first Israeli casualties since the start of the IDF’s ground assault. The IDF claimed to have seized a Hamas stronghold and killed some 50 fighters. Meanwhile, an Israeli strike on a refugee neighborhood in Jabalia (Jabaliya) reportedly left at least 50 Palestinians dead, while Israel claimed the attack killed the commander of Hamas’s Jabaliya Brigade, Ibrahim Biari. A separate Israeli attack earlier in the day had reportedly killed Nasim Abu Ajina, commander of the Beit Lahia Battalion of Hamas' Northern Brigade.

Meanwhile, Israel shot down a surface-to-surface missile and another unknown “aerial target” over the Red Sea (south of Israel, not shown on map). Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi government said it had launched a “large number” of missiles and drones against Israel in support of the Palestinians, and threatened more attacks. This was the third alleged Houthi attack on Israel since the start of the conflict.

November 1, 2023

The IDF said its troops broke through Hamas’s frontline defense in northern Gaza, while an airstrike killed the commander of Hamas’s anti-tank units, Muhammad A’sar. The IDF continued advancing south of Gaza City towards the coast, while IDF troops advancing from along the coast entered the outskirts of a town to the city’s north. Israeli troops also advanced deep into Beit Hanoun. Elsewhere, IDF troops opened two new axes of advance in the south of the Gaza Strip.

November 2, 2023

The IDF managed to completely encircle Gaza City, after troops advancing south of the city reached the coast, while other troops made new gains along their two axes of advance north of the city. Meanwhile, two refugee camps were hit by Israeli airstrikes, with at least 20 people reportedly killed in one of the attacks. As Israeli troops were advancing, they faced hit-and-run attacks from Hamas-controlled tunnels. In one instance, soldiers were ambushed and surrounded by Hamas fighters emerging from a tunnel, who were eventually beaten back. During the fighting, Lt. Col. Salman Habaka, the commander of the IDF’s 188th Armored Brigade’s 53rd Battalion, was killed. The IDF claimed to have killed 130 Palestinian fighters during the day, while confirming the loss of seven of its own soldiers.

Meanwhile, clashes outside the Gaza Strip in the West Bank left three Palestinians and one Israeli soldier dead. Elsewhere, Israeli airstrikes on southern Lebanon killed five civilians.

It was confirmed that 247 people, including both soldiers and civilians, had been taken captive during the initial Hamas-led invasion of Israel on October 7 and moved to the Gaza Strip. Of that number, four civilians had later been released and one soldier rescued.

November 3, 2023

Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the powerful Hezbollah group, which dominates much of Lebanon and supports Hamas, announced that he now considered the war a multi-front conflict. Hezbollah forces then said they launched two suicide-drone strikes on an Israeli military post in the disputed Shebaa Farms area, the first attack of its kind in the conflict. Hezbollah had already been participating in the war for weeks, launching missiles into Israel and engaging in small ground skirmishes with Israeli troops along the border.

November 3-6, 2023

Eight drone and rocket strikes were conducted by Iran-backed militias against US bases in Syria and Iraq (far to the east of Israel, not shown on map). Overall, 38 attacks had reportedly been conducted on US facilities in the region since the start of the conflict between Israel and Hamas. The US said the rate of such attacks had increased since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas war, but characterized them as just the latest stage of a longer-term Iranian strategy to push American forces out of Iraq and Syria. Three attacks on October 18, one in Syria and two in Iraq, had left 46 US soldiers injured, while one US contractor had died of a heart attack while sheltering from the strikes.

November 4, 2023

Exchanges of fire between the IDF and Hezbollah continued along the border. Hezbollah fired two Burkan short-range ballistic missiles at an Israeli post, marking its first use of that type of weapon against Israel, while Israel conducted its fiercest airstrikes yet on southern Lebanon.

November 5, 2023

The IDF publicly declared that it had encircled Gaza City, cutting off the northern part of the Gaza Strip from the south. During the previous two days, it had made small advances south and northwest of Gaza City, amid rocket attacks by Palestinian fighters on advancing IDF armored vehicles, which were lacking in infantry support.

Meanwhile, clashes along the Israeli-Lebanon border left four Lebanese civilians and one Israeli civilian dead, as well as three Hezbollah fighters.

November 6, 2023

According to the IDF, an airstrike killed the head of Hamas’ special security operations, Jamal Musa. Israel also reported having seized a Hamas outpost in Gaza containing observation posts, training facilities, and tunnels.

November 7, 2023

The IDF captured several blocks in the area of Gaza City’s Salah Khalaf Street, in the north of the city, moving the frontline to Omar Bin Al-Khattab Street, with fighting erupting in the outskirts of a refugee camp. Meanwhile, IDF troops that had cut the city off from the south started advancing northwards along the coast.

November 8, 2023

The Houthis shot down a US MQ-9 Reaper drone, reportedly over international waters, off the coast of Yemen (far to the south of Israel, not shown on map). The downing took place almost three weeks after the US Navy had shot down an earlier batch of alleged Houthi missiles fired at Israel from Yemen.

November 9, 2023

The IDF reportedly captured a Hamas stronghold in the west of Jabalia after a 10-hour battle that involved underground fighting in tunnels. During the same period, IDF forces continued advancing along the coast south of the city.

Elsewhere, new fighting broke out in the West Bank, where the IDF conducted a drone strike in the Palestinian Fatah-governed city of Jenin.

Meanwhile, the United States also conducted airstrikes against what it said was a weapons warehouse belonging to Iran-backed militias in Deir ez-Zor, eastern Syria (far to the northeast of Israel, not shown on map). The strike was described as retaliation for the recent drone and rocket strikes on US bases in Syria and Iraq. Nine militiamen were reported killed in the strikes, including three Syrians. Despite this, four additional attacks on US bases took place after the strikes, with the US confirming that a total of 56 of its troops had been injured in attacks on its bases in Syria and Iraq between October 17 and November 9, at least 25 of them showing traumatic brain injury symptoms.

November 10, 2023

The IDF broke through enemy defenses in Gaza City’s Sheikh Rawdan neighborhood, reaching the city’s Al-Rantisi hospital. Subsequently, both the Al-Rantisi and Al-Nasr hospitals were surrounded and besieged by Israeli troops. In addition, the IDF captured a Hamas outpost and training camp in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, reportedly killing about 30 Hamas fighters. In the evening, IDF troops advancing along the beach from the south captured the city’s Government Complex and several blocks in the southern Rimal district. They reached the outskirts of the Palestinian Legislative Council compound (also known as the “Palestinian Parliament”), where the Hamas-led faction of the Palestinian Authority legislature would previously meet, and approached the Shifa Hospital, the Gaza Strip’s largest. Around the same time, forces advancing from the north captured a site known as the Badr Complex. The two separate forces were two kilometers (1.2 miles) away from being able to link up with each other and cut off the Hamas-controlled areas of Gaza City from the sea.

Meanwhile, an Israeli airstrike in Syria’s central Homs province killed seven Hezbollah fighters.

November 11, 2023

The IDF captured Gaza City’s port and several buildings northwest of Shifa hospital, while IDF tanks advanced to within 20 meters (65 feet) of Al-Quds hospital and were firing on the facility. Later in the day, the IDF was confirmed to have taken control of 40 percent of Beit Hanoun, most of an area north of Jabalia, and the Palestinian Legislative Council building in Gaza City.

November 12, 2023

Heavy fighting took place overnight near Shifa hospital, while Israel conducted a series of airstrikes on Gaza City and its troops made some advances near Al-Nasr hospital. Elsewhere, the IDF captured an area between Beit Hanoun and Jabalia.

In northern Israel, Hezbollah missile strikes wounded 10 Israeli civilians and 7 soldiers, while unknown gunfire wounded a United Nations (UN) peacekeeper along the Israel-Lebanon border. US airstrikes in eastern Syria over the past three days had reportedly killed 17 Iran-backed militiamen.

November 13, 2023

The IDF advanced in Gaza City from the parliament building along Omar al-Mukhtar street amid heavy Palestinian resistance. By this point, it claimed to have killed more than 460 Hamas fighters since the start of the ground invasion.

Meanwhile, an Israeli civilian was killed in a Hezbollah missile attack in northern Israel, while two Israeli soldiers were also wounded in another missile strike. Subsequently, two people were killed in an Israeli strike in southern Lebanon.

November 14, 2023

The IDF confirmed the capture of several Palestinian government buildings in Gaza City, including the Palestinian Legislative Council (parliament) building, which had been reported seized by the Israeli military three days earlier. The next day, the IDF demolished the parliament building. 

By this point, Israeli forces advancing from the south and north had linked up, cutting off Hamas-controlled areas of Gaza City from the sea. The IDF also surrounded Shifa hospital and made more advances in the southern Rimal district, capturing two universities, a police station and a government complex.

Elsewhere, six Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli forces in the West Bank city of Tulkarm (Tulkarem), including three by a drone strike.

November 15, 2023

Israeli forces raided and took control of Shifa hospital, under which it claimed a Hamas command post was located. The IDF also reached a key roundabout in Gaza City’s Rimal district and captured a Hamas training facility known as the Palestine Outpost, which it said was also used to stage attacks against Israel and contained tunnel shafts.

In the Red Sea (south of Israel, not shown on map), the US Navy said one of its warships shot down a Houthi drone that was targeting it.

November 16, 2023

The IDF continued advancing along Omar al-Mukhtar street in Gaza City, entering the As Sabra district and capturing two areas. By this point, the IDF said its troops had fully captured the western part of Gaza City.

Meanwhile, in the area of Shifa hospital, the IDF recovered the bodies of an Israeli civilian and a soldier who had been taken captive on October 7. The death of the soldier had already been confirmed two days earlier, with Hamas reporting that she was killed in an Israeli air strike on November 9. The next day, it would be confirmed that a third hostage, a student from Tanzania, had also been killed.

Elsewhere, a Hamas-linked attack on a checkpoint south of Jerusalem in the West Bank left one Israeli soldier dead and five wounded. Three Palestinian fighters were also killed.

Flag of Palestine Claimed Country Name:  
• Palestine (English)
Filasṭīn (Arabic)
Full Declared Name:  
• State of Palestine (English)
• Dawlat Filasṭin (Arabic)
Capital: 
• Jerusalem (claimed; not controlled)
Ramallah (administrative; Fatah faction)
• Gaza City (administrative; Hamas faction)

November 17, 2023

Four civilians were injured in a Hezbollah missile attack in northern Israel.

November 18, 2023

The IDF expanded its operations into southern Gaza City’s Zeitoun neighborhood, as well as into Jabalia, advancing into the center of Zeitoun. They also made new advances in Beit Hanoun and another town to its northwest. By this point, 70 percent of Beit Hanoun was under Israeli control.

November 19, 2023

Houthi forces seized a cargo ship, the Galaxy Leader, in a helicopter raid in the Red Sea (far to the south of Israel, not shown on map). The ship was reportedly owned by an Israeli billionaire, though it was operated by a Japanese company, officially registered in the Bahamas, and none of its crew was Israeli. Its 25-member crew was taken captive.

November 20, 2023

The IDF advanced north of Gaza City, surrounding the city’s Indonesian Hospital (a facility built in the 2010s with donations from Indonesians). It also made an advance south of Gaza City, capturing the Palace of Justice, the Strip’s main courthouse, home to the Palestinian Supreme Court (presumably a version of the court operating within the Hamas-governed Gaza Strip’s parallel justice system, separate from that of the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority faction in the West Bank).

Meanwhile, a US airstrike in western Iraq (far to the east of Israel, not shown on map) - the first since the start of the Israeli-Hamas war - killed eight Iran-backed fighters following a missile attack on a US military base. The attack on the base injured eight US soldiers. By this point, attacks on US bases in Syria and Iraq since October 17 had left a total of 66 US troops injured.

November 21, 2023

The IDF made new advances in Gaza’s Zeitoun neighborhood, capturing Gaza University, while fighting continued around the Indonesian hospital. The IDF also claimed to have completely surrounded Jabalia.

November 22, 2023

The IDF seized half of a town north of Jabalia, reaching Jabalia’s northern outskirts. It also made small advances in the town south of Gaza City that they had advanced into two days earlier, and took control of half of Gaza City’s southern Rimal district.

November 23, 2023

In the Red Sea (south of Israel, not shown on map), the US said one of its navy warships shot down several Houthi drones that were flying towards Israel.

November 24-December 1, 2023

A four-day “humanitarian pause”, also described as a temporary ceasefire or truce, came into effect in the Gaza Strip, with the aim of exchanging prisoners and providing humanitarian aid to the territory. The pause in fighting had been agreed to between Israel and Hamas after mediation by Qatar, the US, and Egypt. It was subsequently extended until December 1. 

During the ceasefire, 110 captives held by Hamas, including 86 Israelis and 24 foreign citizens, were released in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners of Israel. The captives released by Hamas were mostly either women or children (defined as anyone under 18, but including some as young as 4), while the prisoners released by Israel were all either women or teenagers (ranging from age 13 to 19), most of whom had been arrested for allegedly supporting violence against Israel but held without any formal charges

Fifteen of the prisoners released by Israeli authorities were Arab/Palestinian citizens of Israel, most of whom said they would have preferred to wait and defend themselves in court rather than be associated with a Hamas-negotiated prisoner swap. One more captive of Hamas, a dual citizen of Israel and Russia, was separately released following an agreement between Hamas and the Russian government, which also led to two more Israeli-Russians being included in the prisoner exchanges. A total of 138 people remained in Hamas captivity, including 11 foreign citizens. Five more Israelis were also confirmed to have died in captivity, in addition to the three deaths reported previously.

In the Indian Ocean (far to the southeast of Israel, not shown on map), a Malta-flagged and Israeli-owned container ship, the CMA CGM Symi, was attacked and damaged by a suspected Iranian drone.

November 28-29, 2023

Israel launched a major evening raid into the northern West Bank city of Jenin, centered on the southwestern area of town known as “Jenin Refugee Camp”, a now-permanent neighborhood built in 1953 to house thousands of Palestinians who were unable to return to their homes in then-newly-independent Israel. Jenin’s Palestinian mayor told media that Israel had declared the city a “closed military zone” as the IDF set up checkpoints “around the city”, though the troops reportedly withdrew the following afternoon. The IDF said it killed two “senior terror operatives” in the raid, including the alleged leader of the Hamas-allied Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) group’s Jenin wing, and arrested 17 more people. Two boys aged 15 and 8 were also killed by the IDF, which claimed to have been responding to attackers who “hurled explosive devices” at its troops. 

Despite Jenin being officially under the sole control of the Palestinian Authority, represented here by its Fatah-led faction, this was only the latest of an “ongoing” series of raids conducted “up to three times a week” since October 7, according to Doctors Without Borders (known as MSF, after its French name). By other accounts, the raids were only “almost weekly”, though the frequency was increasing. In the raids, the IDF would typically set up temporary checkpoints to restrict movement and block entry into hospitals. Many civilians living in the Jenin Refugee Camp neighborhood were evacuating nightly to other parts of the city to avoid Israeli attacks.

The Refugee Camp is known as a hotspot for armed opposition to Israel, with it and similar neighborhoods in the city of Nablus described by journalists as mostly lawless even before the 2023 Gaza war began, defended and policed by militias with varying degrees of affiliation with Fatah, Hamas, and the PIJ. Since October 7, Jenin was said to have been nicknamed “Little Gaza” due to its reputation among West Bank Palestinians as an area under Israeli siege. At least 52 Palestinians were reportedly killed in Jenin Refugee Camp from October 7 to December 3.

A few days earlier, Israeli media had reported that IDF raids were also carried out at one of Nablus’s refugee camp neighborhoods and in a town south of Jenin, as well as Jenin itself.

November 30, 2023

Three Israelis were killed and 16 people injured, including two Americans, during a Hamas-claimed attack on a bus stop on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Both Palestinian attackers were also killed. One of the Israelis was killed by an Israeli soldier who apparently mistook him for one of the attackers. The man, who had previously served in the Israeli security forces, had joined the firefight in an attempt to stop the attackers. 

December 2, 2023

The ceasefire in the Gaza Strip ended, with both sides blaming each other for the failure to further extend it. Subsequently, it was reported that 178 Palestinians had been killed in Israeli attacks as the IDF resumed its combat operations in the Strip.

December 1-8, 2023

Shelling along the Israel-Lebanon border reportedly left nine Hezbollah fighters, two Palestinian fighters, three Lebanese civilians, one Canadian citizen of unknown affiliation, one Syrian civilian, one Israeli civilian, and one Lebanese soldier dead, while six Lebanese soldiers and between 15 and 19 Israelis, including seven soldiers, were injured. In contrast to Lebanon’s powerful Hamas-allied Hezbollah military force, the official Lebanese military has not participated in the current war. Though Lebanon and Israel officially consider each other enemy countries, Lebanon’s government has avoided waging war against Israel since 1949.

Reuters reported that though Hezbollah cross-border rocket attacks into Israel had been a “near-daily” occurrence since the current war began on October 7, the area had been “largely calm” during the temporary truce between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The early-December fighting, like the rest of the border clashes since October, took place at scattered locations along the entire length of the border, from the Mediterranean coast in the west to beyond Shebaa Farms in the northeast.

December 3, 2023

The IDF opened a new axis of attack against Hamas, advancing into the southern part of the Gaza Strip northeast of Khan Yunis and cutting off a main road there.

Meanwhile, a US airstrike in northern Iraq (far to the east of Israel, not shown on map) killed five Iran-backed fighters who were reportedly preparing a rocket attack on a US military base.

In the Red Sea (far to the south of Israel, not shown on map), the US said one of its navy warships shot down three Houthi drones and missiles targeting three respective commercial vessels.

December 4, 2023

In the south of Gaza, the IDF continued its advance past the road it had cut off the previous day and reached a town in the middle of the Strip north of Khan Yunis, while in the north of the Gaza Strip it took control of most of Jabalia’s Fallujah neighborhood.

December 5, 2023

Amid the “most intense day” of fighting since the current war began, the IDF proceeded to advance deeper into Jabalia, after its troops surrounded the town’s main refugee camp neighborhood, capturing the Ribat mosque in the northeast of Jabalia. Israeli troops also opened a new axis of advance east of Gaza City to surround the city’s Shujaiyeh district. 

Meanwhile, in the south of the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces entered the city of Khan Yunis, reportedly reaching its center. They also reached another town east of Khan Yunis from two directions. In addition, the IDF claimed to have killed five top commanders of Hamas’s Northern Gaza Brigade after a strike on a Hamas tunnel near the Indonesian Hospital.

December 6, 2023

The IDF reached the center of the town east of Khan Yunis.

Yemen’s Houthis launched a rocket attack on Israeli military targets in Israel’s southernmost town of Eilat. At least one missile was intercepted by Israeli air defenses. Meanwhile, the US said one of its warships shot down a Houthi drone in the Red Sea (south of Israel, not shown on map) while it was flying towards the ship.

December 7, 2023

The IDF continued its push further into Khan Yunis, advancing along Nasser street towards the city center and encircling the house of Hamas leader Yahya Al-Sinwar, as the Israeli Air Force reportedly hit dozens of Hamas targets. According to the IDF, its forces also advanced in the Jabalia refugee camp, capturing a main Hamas outpost, and the IDF was confirmed to have surrounded Hertani School, while fighting continued at the Indonesian and Al-Awda hospitals. In addition, during the past several days the IDF had captured the Palestinian Square and police station in Gaza City’s Shujaiyeh district.

According to Al Jazeera, Israeli raids into one or another of the Palestinian Authority-governed areas of the West Bank had by this time become a “near-daily” occurrence. These incursions were especially common in the northern areas around Jenin, Nablus, and Tulkarm, but a recent one was also reported from near the southern town of Bethlehem.

December 8, 2023

The IDF advanced in several areas north of the Jabalia refugee camp neighborhood, reaching the police station, while they also continued to advance towards the center of Gaza City’s Shujaiyeh district. In the south, the IDF advanced significantly in the west of Khan Yunis amid heavy Palestinian resistance. Israeli troops also completed their control of a town two kilometers southeast of Khan Yunis. In Khan Yunis, the IDF reportedly raided a main base of Hamas’s Deir al-Balah battalion. Since the start of the Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, the IDF said it had suffered 93 fatalities amid bloody fighting.

An Israeli drone strike on the Syria-governed side of the Golan Heights left three Hezbollah members and a Syrian dead.

By this point, the confirmed death toll from the violence during Hamas’s initial invasion of Israel on October 7 was around 1,200 on the Israeli side, including 859 civilians, after Israel had previously claimed the number to be more than 1,400. Nine other Israeli civilians and a Tanzanian student had also died either in Hamas captivity or as part of a Palestinian attack in Jerusalem. The Israeli military said that its forces had killed at least 1,000 Palestinian fighters on Israeli territory, after having previously claimed the number to be closer to 1,500.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry - which is under the Hamas government but includes many non-Hamas officials, and is often evaluated as reliable by Hamas-critical sources - a total of 17,177 Palestinians had been killed in the Gaza Strip since the start of the conflict, about 70 percent of whom were either women or children (defined as anyone under 18). Meanwhile, the Fatah-affiliated Palestinian Authority health ministry said 280 Palestinians had also been killed in the West Bank. The Israeli military, for its part, said “more or less” 5,000 Palestinian fighters had been killed during its invasion of the Gaza Strip, while acknowledging that about twice as many civilians had died, leaving its overall estimate roughly in line with the death toll reported by the Gaza Health Ministry. The Israeli security forces were confirmed, by this point, to have suffered a total of 489 dead since the current war began, including at least 93 killed during their ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, nine killed on the border with Lebanon, and five in the West Bank.

Reported deaths in the fighting along the Israel-Lebanon border since October 7 included 85 Hezbollah fighters (including two members of the Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese Resistance Brigades), 16 Palestinian fighters, one fighter from Lebanon’s Amal Movement, one Lebanese soldier, between 16 and 27 civilians in Lebanon (including a Syrian), and four Israeli civilians. Among the dead in Lebanon was also a Canadian citizen of unknown affiliation. Meanwhile, 14 Syrian soldiers, 13 Hezbollah fighters, three Iranian-backed militiamen, two Iranian soldiers, and two civilians were reported to have been killed in Israeli strikes in Syria. US airstrikes were said to have killed 17 combatants in Syria, as well as 13 in Iraq, while one US contractor had died from cardiac arrest amid a false alarm for a rocket attack on a US base in Iraq.

A large number of foreign citizens, including dual nationals, were among those killed or taken captive in the war. Among the dead (both civilians and soldiers) were 40 French people, 39 Thai people, 33 Americans, 24 Ukrainians, 23 Russians, 12 Portuguese people, 10 Nepalis, 9 Argentines, 8 Canadians, 7 Britons, 7 Ethiopians, and at least 56 nationals of other countries. Three of the Ukrainians and three of the Portuguese citizens had died inside the Gaza Strip.


To check for future updates to this map, view all Israel or Palestine articles on PolGeoNow.