04 December 2023
- Israel has communicated its intention to create a buffer zone on the Palestinian side of Gaza’s border to neighbouring Arab states, including Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia. The buffer zone is intended to prevent future attacks. While not indicating an immediate end to the offensive, Israel is reaching out beyond traditional mediators to shape post-war Gaza. The proposed buffer zone is part of Israel’s border security plans for Gaza, which include the destruction of Hamas, demilitarization, and de-radicalization. The plan faces opposition amid concerns about the displacement of Palestinians and reducing Gaza’s size. Israel’s defence establishment is examining the depth of the proposed buffer zone. The focus on a buffer zone reflects efforts to address security concerns along the Gaza-Israel border.
- Russian forces have reportedly eased their attacks on the town of Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine, with unofficial reports suggesting they failed to capture Maryinka to the southwest. Moscow’s military has targeted Avdiivka and its coking plant since mid-October. While Russian reports indicated control over Maryinka, unofficial Ukrainian sources suggest they are holding some districts under their control. Avdiivka is reportedly heavily damaged, with the coking plant still under Ukrainian control, despite Russian attempts to breach it. The situation in Maryinka remains unclear, with conflicting reports on control and ongoing intense fighting. Ukrainian forces are countering Russian advances in the east and south.
- North Korea has warned that it would consider any interference with its satellite operations as a declaration of war, vowing to mobilize its war deterrence in response to any imminent attack on its strategic assets. In the statement, the spokesman for North Korea’s Ministry of Defense threatened to eliminate the viability of U.S. spy satellites if the U.S. tried to weaponize the latest technologies and violate North Korea’s sovereign territory. This came after North Korea claimed to have successfully launched its first military spy satellite on November 21, transmitting photos of military facilities in the U.S. mainland, Japan, and Guam. The U.S. Space Command noted that the U.S. could deny an adversary’s space capabilities using various means. In response to the new sanctions imposed by the U.S. after the satellite launch, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry announced countermeasures against individuals and organizations involved in sanctions against the country, arguing that such sanctions violate international law. The situation adds to tensions in the region.