‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 92: International community rejects Israeli calls for Gaza ethnic cleansing as assault nears three-month mark
Bombardment, death, and starvation continue to take their toll on Gaza, as the international community denounces Israeli ministers’ calls for the ethnic cleansing of the devastated Palestinian territory.

Mondoweiss Palestine BureauJanuary 6, 2024
People look on as the Jordanian army carries an airdrop of medicines and supplies at the Jordanian field hospital in Khan Younis, January 4, 2024. (Photo: © Haitham Imad/EFE via ZUMA Press/APA Images)
Palestinians look on as the Jordanian army carries out an airdrop of medicines and supplies at the Jordanian field hospital in Khan Younis, January 4, 2024. (Photo: © Haitham Imad/EFE via ZUMA Press/APA Images)
Casualties:

22,722 killed* and at least 58,166 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
322 Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem
*This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on January 6. Due to breakdowns in communication networks within the Gaza Strip, the Ministry of Health in Gaza has been unable to regularly and accurately update its tolls since mid-November. Some rights groups say the death toll is higher than 30,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

Key Developments

Israel continues to bombard Gaza relentlessly, killing 122 Palestinians and injuring 256 more in the span of 24 hours.
Gaza’s government media office reports allegations that Israeli forces desecrated graves, seized bodies in al-Tuffah cemetery.
The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor estimated that 4% of Gaza’s population is either dead, wounded, or missing, as UNICEF warns that 90 percent of children under the age of two are subjected to ‘severe food poverty.’
World Health Organization records almost 600 attacks on Gaza’s healthcare sector since October 7.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths: “We continue to demand an immediate end to the war, not just for the people of Gaza and its threatened neighbors, but for the generations to come who will never forget these 90 days of hell and of assaults on the most basic precepts of humanity.”
Meanwhile, Israel’s Knesset hosts calls for UNRWA, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, to be shuttered.
The international community reacts strongly to Israeli ministers’ calls for Palestinians to be expelled from Gaza, with Scotland’s first minister saying: “That is the textbook definition of ethnic cleansing.”
Congo, Rwanda, and Chad deny reports that their governments have been in talks with Israel to host thousands of Palestinian refugees.
Hezbollah fires dozens of rockets toward northern Israel and occupied Lebanese territories, calling it “the first response” to the assassination of Hamas senior leader Saleh al-Aruri, while Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warns that time is running out to de-escalate hostilities with Lebanon.
“Destruction” is one of the three pillars of peace, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu writes in a Jerusalem Post Op-Ed.
Turkey formally arrests 15 people suspected of having ties with Israel’s Mossad.
Palestinians mourn as bodies of deceased loved one are taken out of the mortuary of Al-Aqsa Hospital for burial in Deir El-Balah, Gaza on January 05, 2024. (Photo: Ali Hamad/APA Images)
Palestinians mourn as bodies of deceased loved one are taken out of the mortuary of Al-Aqsa Hospital for burial in Deir El-Balah, Gaza on January 05, 2024. (Photo: Ali Hamad/APA Images)
Gaza: The war must end, aid groups implore

As the three-month mark since October 7 nears, humanitarian and rights groups are ramping up their pleas for the war to come to an end, as Israeli-inflicted bombardments, death, injury, sickness, and famine plague the entire population of Gaza.

According to WAFA news agency, Israeli airstrikes hit the areas of al-Zawaida, al-Maghazi, Khuza’a, Beit Lahia, and Khan Younis since Friday, adding that Israeli snipers were targeting civilians trying to flee in central Gaza.

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Israeli forces reportedly targeted the vicinity of a number of medical centers, including the European, Al-Amal, and Nasser hospitals in Khan Younis, and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Hospital in Deir al-Balah. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “hospitals in Gaza and other vital medical infrastructure have been attacked nearly 600 times” since October 7 – averaging more than six attacks per day on Gaza’s strained healthcare system.

According to the Gaza Ministry of Health on Saturday, Israeli forces killed at least 122 Palestinians and injured 256 more in the span of 24 hours, raising the total toll to 22,722 killed and 58,166 wounded since October 7. Thousands more are believed to be either missing or stuck under the rubble.

According to the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, 4 percent of the Gaza Strip’s 2.3 million inhabitants – or around 90,000 people – “are now dead, wounded, or missing,” noting that the onslaught has been a “mass-disabling event.”

Meanwhile, Palestinian resistance groups reported ongoing fighting with Israeli ground forces in the areas of Gaza City, Khan Younis, Bani Suheila, and al-Maghazi.

The Government Media Office reported on Saturday that Israeli bulldozers had flattened through a cemetery in the eastern Gaza City neighborhood of al-Tuffah, destroying graves, running over corpses, and allegedly seizing the bodies of 150 recently deceased Palestinians. “This raises suspicions of another crime, namely the theft of organs of the martyrs,” the office said in a statement. Palestinians have long accused Israel of harvesting the organs of dead Palestinians without their families’ consent, claims that have been corroborated in the past by Israeli doctors.

Almost exactly three months to the day since October 7, humanitarian and human rights groups are multiplying desperate calls for an end to the multifaceted and relentless devastation in Gaza caused by Israel’s merciless pummelling of the small occupied territory.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Al Mezan, and Al-Haq denounced in a statement on Friday Israel’s deliberate attacks on internally displaced people in Gaza.

“The plight of 1.9 million displaced Palestinians, with hundreds of thousands subjected to repeated evacuations amid continuous Israeli bombing, has reached an intolerable level, leaving an indelible mark of shame on the world. Many in Gaza have been compelled to move multiple times, in harsh cold weather, leaving behind all their belongings. They are crammed into limited geographical areas without healthcare and at a time when communicable diseases and epidemics are spreading. People endure starvation and thirst, while Israeli relentless attacks persist,” the rights groups said.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on X that France and Jordan had airdropped aid into Gaza, while British Foreign Secretary David Cameron reiterated on Friday his calls for the entry of more humanitarian aid.

According to UNICEF, 90 percent of children under two in Gaza are now subject to “severe food poverty,” while cases of diarrhea in children under the age of 5 have skyrocketed to 3,200 new cases per day, compared to an average of 2,000 per month prior to October, due to the absence of sufficient hygiene facilities and products and Israel’s destruction of critical infrastructure in Gaza.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) meanwhile reported that Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza was “severely flooded with water and waste […] the consequence of damage to the Abu Rasheed reservoir pumping station and infiltration from the lagoon in Jabalia.” “This poses life-threatening risks of contamination and outbreak of communicable diseases among already vulnerable communities residing in overcrowded conditions,” OCHA wrote.

OCHA Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths delivered an impassioned plea on Friday calling for the international community to bring the deadly conflict to an end.

“We continue to demand an immediate end to the war, not just for the people of Gaza and its threatened neighbors, but for the generations to come who will never forget these 90 days of hell and of assaults on the most basic precepts of humanity,” Griffiths wrote.

“This war should never have started. But it’s long past time for it to end.”

Palestinian children collect firewood at the destroyed Hamad Town residential complex in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on January 06, 2024. (Photo: Bashar Taleb/APA Images)
Palestinian children collect firewood at the destroyed Hamad Town residential complex in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on January 06, 2024. (Photo: Bashar Taleb/APA Images)
Hezbollah fires rockets, as Israeli forces injure dozens in the West Bank

One day after a much anticipated speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in the wake of Israel’s assassination of Hamas senior leader Saleh al-Aruri in the suburbs of Beirut, the Lebanese resistance movement fired a volley of rockets towards northern Israel and the occupied Shebaa Farms on Saturday.

Hezbollah said it had launched more than 60 rockets early on Saturday, calling it “the first response to the crime of assassinating the great leader Saleh al-Aruri.” Israeli media reported that rocket sirens were continuing to sound across northern Israel throughout the morning.

Lebanese media meanwhile reported that the Israeli army had carried out a number of strikes in southern Lebanon, injuring at least one person.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meanwhile warned on Friday that time was running out to de-escalate tensions with Hezbollah and prevent the outbreak of a full-blown war on the northern front.

“We prefer the path of an agreed-upon diplomatic settlement, but we are getting close to the point where the hourglass will turn over,” the Times of Israel quoted him as saying.

Hezbollah is only one of several non-state actors in the region to have taken up arms in support of Palestinians in recent months. The Islamic Resistance in Iraq group claimed on Friday to have launched yet another rocket attack on a U.S. military base in Erbil, while a “maritime security event” was reported on Saturday in the Red Sea, where the Yemeni Houthi group has been launching a series of attacks on commercial vessels in solidarity with Gaza, disrupting a major global trade route.

In the occupied West Bank, local Palestinian resistance groups reported armed confrontations with Israeli forces in Balata refugee camp, Qalqilya, Nablus, Ya’bad, and Tulkarem.

WAFA news agency reported that Israeli soldiers and settlers injured several Palestinians, including a 12-year-old boy, in Tulkarem, Anabta, Shweika, Ya’bad, Tura, Surif, Qabatiya, Madama, and Qatana. Israeli forces reportedly detained two women in Shweika, both wives of Palestinians currently or formerly imprisoned by Israel.

International community rejects Israeli ministers’ calls for Gaza ethnic cleansing

Meanwhile, the international community has been slamming calls by far-right Israeli ministers to expel the majority of Gaza’s population to other countries.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh has reportedly been in contact with senior European Union officials expressing fears that Israel may take advantage of the international community’s humanitarian initiative, such as the transfer of wounded Palestinians for treatment abroad, to permanently displace large swathes of the population.

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna was quoted by WAFA as saying that the calls by Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir were “irresponsible and keep us away from a solution.”

“Gaza is a Palestinian land that wants to become part of the future Palestinian state,” she said, seemingly in response to high-level, unilateral discussions within Israeli leadership about the future of Gaza.

While states such as Bahrain and Japan also expressed concern, Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf strongly condemned any plans for Israel to expel Palestinians from Gaza. “That is the textbook definition of ethnic cleansing and must be called out,” he said.

Meanwhile, the governments of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Chad have publicly denied Israeli media reports alleging that the three countries were in talks with Israel to take in thousands of Palestinians.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Turkey on Saturday on the first leg of his latest Mideast tour, where he met President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and reportedly discussed the situation in Gaza.

In a statement on Saturday, Hamas politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh said the Palestinian group hoped “that Mr. Blinken has drawn lessons from the past three months and realized the magnitude of the mistakes made by the United States in its blind support of the Zionist occupation […] We also hope that his focus this time will be on ending the aggression as a step towards ending the occupation of all Palestinian land.”

Yet former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who was visiting Israel on Friday, said it was “so important that the U.S. makes it clear that we are with Israel today, we will be with Israel tomorrow and we will be with Israel every day until the threat of Hamas is eliminated.”

Both Donald Trump, under whom Pence served, and current U.S. President Joe Biden have been staunch supporters of Israel.

Israel’s politicians remain divided on the details

Cracks within the Israeli leadership are becoming more and more apparent after reports emerged this week of shouting matches between the country’s military leadership and the most far-right elements of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government.

Retired army general and former Netanyahu political rival Benny Gantz – who became a war cabinet minister after October 7 – warned the premier that it was his “responsibility to fix this, and to choose between unity and security, or politics.”

As Israeli outlets like Haaretz predict that the opposition against Netanyahu, which had been put on the back burner for the past three months, could once again come to the fore, the embattled prime minister stood his ground in an Op-Ed published by the Jerusalem Post.

“Peace rests upon the three pillars of destruction, demilitarization, and deradicalization,” he wrote, adding that Hamas’ “destruction is the only proportional response to prevent the repeat of such horrific atrocities” committed on October 7.

In his own Op-Ed in the same newspaper, Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid criticized Netanyahu and his government’s continued refusal for the P.A. to be involved in the administration of the Gaza Strip after the war, while noting that none of his opponents within Israel have advocated for this option.

“Netanyahu has fabricated a fictional adversary that he pledges to subdue. Let’s hope that at least in this regard, he will do a better job than he has against the real enemies we’ve been fighting in Gaza and on Israel’s northern border,” Lapid wrote.

“What is good for the State of Israel is bad for the maintenance of his government,” he added. “You cannot shape reality when you are dependent on a group of people who deny the existence of that reality.”

As various Israeli political factions debate the finer points of a “day after” plan for which they refuse to involve Palestinians themselves, the families of six Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza landed in Qatar on Friday in hopes of reviving talks for another hostage swap deal, amid growing fears that more of their loved ones could die amid continued Israeli bombardment and starvation of the Gaza Strip.

BEFORE YOU GO – At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever.

Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses.

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https://mondoweiss.net/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-92-international-community-rejects-israeli-calls-for-gaza-ethnic-cleansing-as-assault-nears-three-month-mark/
‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 92: International community rejects Israeli calls for Gaza ethnic cleansing as assault nears three-month mark Bombardment, death, and starvation continue to take their toll on Gaza, as the international community denounces Israeli ministers’ calls for the ethnic cleansing of the devastated Palestinian territory. Mondoweiss Palestine BureauJanuary 6, 2024 People look on as the Jordanian army carries an airdrop of medicines and supplies at the Jordanian field hospital in Khan Younis, January 4, 2024. (Photo: © Haitham Imad/EFE via ZUMA Press/APA Images) Palestinians look on as the Jordanian army carries out an airdrop of medicines and supplies at the Jordanian field hospital in Khan Younis, January 4, 2024. (Photo: © Haitham Imad/EFE via ZUMA Press/APA Images) Casualties: 22,722 killed* and at least 58,166 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 322 Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on January 6. Due to breakdowns in communication networks within the Gaza Strip, the Ministry of Health in Gaza has been unable to regularly and accurately update its tolls since mid-November. Some rights groups say the death toll is higher than 30,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. Key Developments Israel continues to bombard Gaza relentlessly, killing 122 Palestinians and injuring 256 more in the span of 24 hours. Gaza’s government media office reports allegations that Israeli forces desecrated graves, seized bodies in al-Tuffah cemetery. The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor estimated that 4% of Gaza’s population is either dead, wounded, or missing, as UNICEF warns that 90 percent of children under the age of two are subjected to ‘severe food poverty.’ World Health Organization records almost 600 attacks on Gaza’s healthcare sector since October 7. UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths: “We continue to demand an immediate end to the war, not just for the people of Gaza and its threatened neighbors, but for the generations to come who will never forget these 90 days of hell and of assaults on the most basic precepts of humanity.” Meanwhile, Israel’s Knesset hosts calls for UNRWA, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, to be shuttered. The international community reacts strongly to Israeli ministers’ calls for Palestinians to be expelled from Gaza, with Scotland’s first minister saying: “That is the textbook definition of ethnic cleansing.” Congo, Rwanda, and Chad deny reports that their governments have been in talks with Israel to host thousands of Palestinian refugees. Hezbollah fires dozens of rockets toward northern Israel and occupied Lebanese territories, calling it “the first response” to the assassination of Hamas senior leader Saleh al-Aruri, while Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warns that time is running out to de-escalate hostilities with Lebanon. “Destruction” is one of the three pillars of peace, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu writes in a Jerusalem Post Op-Ed. Turkey formally arrests 15 people suspected of having ties with Israel’s Mossad. Palestinians mourn as bodies of deceased loved one are taken out of the mortuary of Al-Aqsa Hospital for burial in Deir El-Balah, Gaza on January 05, 2024. (Photo: Ali Hamad/APA Images) Palestinians mourn as bodies of deceased loved one are taken out of the mortuary of Al-Aqsa Hospital for burial in Deir El-Balah, Gaza on January 05, 2024. (Photo: Ali Hamad/APA Images) Gaza: The war must end, aid groups implore As the three-month mark since October 7 nears, humanitarian and rights groups are ramping up their pleas for the war to come to an end, as Israeli-inflicted bombardments, death, injury, sickness, and famine plague the entire population of Gaza. According to WAFA news agency, Israeli airstrikes hit the areas of al-Zawaida, al-Maghazi, Khuza’a, Beit Lahia, and Khan Younis since Friday, adding that Israeli snipers were targeting civilians trying to flee in central Gaza. Advertisement Are you tired of Twitter? Follow Mondoweiss on the Mastodon social network. Israeli forces reportedly targeted the vicinity of a number of medical centers, including the European, Al-Amal, and Nasser hospitals in Khan Younis, and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Hospital in Deir al-Balah. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “hospitals in Gaza and other vital medical infrastructure have been attacked nearly 600 times” since October 7 – averaging more than six attacks per day on Gaza’s strained healthcare system. According to the Gaza Ministry of Health on Saturday, Israeli forces killed at least 122 Palestinians and injured 256 more in the span of 24 hours, raising the total toll to 22,722 killed and 58,166 wounded since October 7. Thousands more are believed to be either missing or stuck under the rubble. According to the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, 4 percent of the Gaza Strip’s 2.3 million inhabitants – or around 90,000 people – “are now dead, wounded, or missing,” noting that the onslaught has been a “mass-disabling event.” Meanwhile, Palestinian resistance groups reported ongoing fighting with Israeli ground forces in the areas of Gaza City, Khan Younis, Bani Suheila, and al-Maghazi. The Government Media Office reported on Saturday that Israeli bulldozers had flattened through a cemetery in the eastern Gaza City neighborhood of al-Tuffah, destroying graves, running over corpses, and allegedly seizing the bodies of 150 recently deceased Palestinians. “This raises suspicions of another crime, namely the theft of organs of the martyrs,” the office said in a statement. Palestinians have long accused Israel of harvesting the organs of dead Palestinians without their families’ consent, claims that have been corroborated in the past by Israeli doctors. Almost exactly three months to the day since October 7, humanitarian and human rights groups are multiplying desperate calls for an end to the multifaceted and relentless devastation in Gaza caused by Israel’s merciless pummelling of the small occupied territory. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Al Mezan, and Al-Haq denounced in a statement on Friday Israel’s deliberate attacks on internally displaced people in Gaza. “The plight of 1.9 million displaced Palestinians, with hundreds of thousands subjected to repeated evacuations amid continuous Israeli bombing, has reached an intolerable level, leaving an indelible mark of shame on the world. Many in Gaza have been compelled to move multiple times, in harsh cold weather, leaving behind all their belongings. They are crammed into limited geographical areas without healthcare and at a time when communicable diseases and epidemics are spreading. People endure starvation and thirst, while Israeli relentless attacks persist,” the rights groups said. French President Emmanuel Macron said on X that France and Jordan had airdropped aid into Gaza, while British Foreign Secretary David Cameron reiterated on Friday his calls for the entry of more humanitarian aid. According to UNICEF, 90 percent of children under two in Gaza are now subject to “severe food poverty,” while cases of diarrhea in children under the age of 5 have skyrocketed to 3,200 new cases per day, compared to an average of 2,000 per month prior to October, due to the absence of sufficient hygiene facilities and products and Israel’s destruction of critical infrastructure in Gaza. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) meanwhile reported that Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza was “severely flooded with water and waste […] the consequence of damage to the Abu Rasheed reservoir pumping station and infiltration from the lagoon in Jabalia.” “This poses life-threatening risks of contamination and outbreak of communicable diseases among already vulnerable communities residing in overcrowded conditions,” OCHA wrote. OCHA Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths delivered an impassioned plea on Friday calling for the international community to bring the deadly conflict to an end. “We continue to demand an immediate end to the war, not just for the people of Gaza and its threatened neighbors, but for the generations to come who will never forget these 90 days of hell and of assaults on the most basic precepts of humanity,” Griffiths wrote. “This war should never have started. But it’s long past time for it to end.” Palestinian children collect firewood at the destroyed Hamad Town residential complex in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on January 06, 2024. (Photo: Bashar Taleb/APA Images) Palestinian children collect firewood at the destroyed Hamad Town residential complex in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on January 06, 2024. (Photo: Bashar Taleb/APA Images) Hezbollah fires rockets, as Israeli forces injure dozens in the West Bank One day after a much anticipated speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in the wake of Israel’s assassination of Hamas senior leader Saleh al-Aruri in the suburbs of Beirut, the Lebanese resistance movement fired a volley of rockets towards northern Israel and the occupied Shebaa Farms on Saturday. Hezbollah said it had launched more than 60 rockets early on Saturday, calling it “the first response to the crime of assassinating the great leader Saleh al-Aruri.” Israeli media reported that rocket sirens were continuing to sound across northern Israel throughout the morning. Lebanese media meanwhile reported that the Israeli army had carried out a number of strikes in southern Lebanon, injuring at least one person. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meanwhile warned on Friday that time was running out to de-escalate tensions with Hezbollah and prevent the outbreak of a full-blown war on the northern front. “We prefer the path of an agreed-upon diplomatic settlement, but we are getting close to the point where the hourglass will turn over,” the Times of Israel quoted him as saying. Hezbollah is only one of several non-state actors in the region to have taken up arms in support of Palestinians in recent months. The Islamic Resistance in Iraq group claimed on Friday to have launched yet another rocket attack on a U.S. military base in Erbil, while a “maritime security event” was reported on Saturday in the Red Sea, where the Yemeni Houthi group has been launching a series of attacks on commercial vessels in solidarity with Gaza, disrupting a major global trade route. In the occupied West Bank, local Palestinian resistance groups reported armed confrontations with Israeli forces in Balata refugee camp, Qalqilya, Nablus, Ya’bad, and Tulkarem. WAFA news agency reported that Israeli soldiers and settlers injured several Palestinians, including a 12-year-old boy, in Tulkarem, Anabta, Shweika, Ya’bad, Tura, Surif, Qabatiya, Madama, and Qatana. Israeli forces reportedly detained two women in Shweika, both wives of Palestinians currently or formerly imprisoned by Israel. International community rejects Israeli ministers’ calls for Gaza ethnic cleansing Meanwhile, the international community has been slamming calls by far-right Israeli ministers to expel the majority of Gaza’s population to other countries. Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh has reportedly been in contact with senior European Union officials expressing fears that Israel may take advantage of the international community’s humanitarian initiative, such as the transfer of wounded Palestinians for treatment abroad, to permanently displace large swathes of the population. French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna was quoted by WAFA as saying that the calls by Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir were “irresponsible and keep us away from a solution.” “Gaza is a Palestinian land that wants to become part of the future Palestinian state,” she said, seemingly in response to high-level, unilateral discussions within Israeli leadership about the future of Gaza. While states such as Bahrain and Japan also expressed concern, Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf strongly condemned any plans for Israel to expel Palestinians from Gaza. “That is the textbook definition of ethnic cleansing and must be called out,” he said. Meanwhile, the governments of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Chad have publicly denied Israeli media reports alleging that the three countries were in talks with Israel to take in thousands of Palestinians. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Turkey on Saturday on the first leg of his latest Mideast tour, where he met President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and reportedly discussed the situation in Gaza. In a statement on Saturday, Hamas politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh said the Palestinian group hoped “that Mr. Blinken has drawn lessons from the past three months and realized the magnitude of the mistakes made by the United States in its blind support of the Zionist occupation […] We also hope that his focus this time will be on ending the aggression as a step towards ending the occupation of all Palestinian land.” Yet former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who was visiting Israel on Friday, said it was “so important that the U.S. makes it clear that we are with Israel today, we will be with Israel tomorrow and we will be with Israel every day until the threat of Hamas is eliminated.” Both Donald Trump, under whom Pence served, and current U.S. President Joe Biden have been staunch supporters of Israel. Israel’s politicians remain divided on the details Cracks within the Israeli leadership are becoming more and more apparent after reports emerged this week of shouting matches between the country’s military leadership and the most far-right elements of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government. Retired army general and former Netanyahu political rival Benny Gantz – who became a war cabinet minister after October 7 – warned the premier that it was his “responsibility to fix this, and to choose between unity and security, or politics.” As Israeli outlets like Haaretz predict that the opposition against Netanyahu, which had been put on the back burner for the past three months, could once again come to the fore, the embattled prime minister stood his ground in an Op-Ed published by the Jerusalem Post. “Peace rests upon the three pillars of destruction, demilitarization, and deradicalization,” he wrote, adding that Hamas’ “destruction is the only proportional response to prevent the repeat of such horrific atrocities” committed on October 7. In his own Op-Ed in the same newspaper, Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid criticized Netanyahu and his government’s continued refusal for the P.A. to be involved in the administration of the Gaza Strip after the war, while noting that none of his opponents within Israel have advocated for this option. “Netanyahu has fabricated a fictional adversary that he pledges to subdue. Let’s hope that at least in this regard, he will do a better job than he has against the real enemies we’ve been fighting in Gaza and on Israel’s northern border,” Lapid wrote. “What is good for the State of Israel is bad for the maintenance of his government,” he added. “You cannot shape reality when you are dependent on a group of people who deny the existence of that reality.” As various Israeli political factions debate the finer points of a “day after” plan for which they refuse to involve Palestinians themselves, the families of six Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza landed in Qatar on Friday in hopes of reviving talks for another hostage swap deal, amid growing fears that more of their loved ones could die amid continued Israeli bombardment and starvation of the Gaza Strip. BEFORE YOU GO – At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever. Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses. Support our journalists with a donation today. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-92-international-community-rejects-israeli-calls-for-gaza-ethnic-cleansing-as-assault-nears-three-month-mark/
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‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 92: International community rejects Israeli calls for Gaza ethnic cleansing as assault nears three-month mark
Bombardment, death, and starvation continue to take their toll on Gaza, as the international community denounces Israeli ministers’ calls for the ethnic cleansing of the devastated Palestinian territory.
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