‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 105: Israel destroys Gaza’s last university as Netanyahu doubles down on rejection of a Palestinian state
Netanyahu vows there won’t be a Palestinian state so long as he’s in office, while Joe Biden admits strikes against Yemen’s Ansar Allah aren’t working.

Mondoweiss Palestine BureauJanuary 19, 2024
Screen grab of the moment the Israeli army detonated al-Israa University (Photo: Screenshot/Social Media)
Screen grab of the moment the Israeli army detonated al-Israa University (Photo: Screenshot/Social Media)
Casualties:

24,762 killed* and at least 62,108 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
388+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem
Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
550 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, including 194 since the beginning of the ground invasion, and at least 3,221 injured.**
*This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on January 16. Some rights groups put the death toll at more than 31,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

**This figure is released by the Israeli military.

Key Developments

Telecom blackout in Gaza continues for eighth day in a row, affecting news coming out of Gaza.
Israel continues to pummel Gaza, destroying key buildings at al-Isra University, the last institution of higher learning left standing in Gaza.
Yemen’s Ansar Allah continues to attack ships in Red Sea, Joe Biden admits U.S. strikes ineffective in deterring rebels but vows to continue anyway.
Embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterates opposition to Palestinian state, insists on Israeli control over all territory “west of the Jordan River.”
Israeli army wraps up 45-hour long devastating raid in Tulkarem refugee camp.
Israeli army admits to digging up graves and seizing bodies in Gaza, claiming to be searching for dead hostages.
The Guardian reveals longstanding policies by successive U.S. governments to shield Israel from U.S. laws supposed to prevent U.S. funding of human rights abuses abroad.
Cases of Hepatitis A soar amid overcrowded and unsanitary conditions in shelters, with organizations warning of worsening health crisis in Gaza.
Israeli daily Haaretz reports that mental health growing concern among Israeli troops, with high number of soldiers leaving front due to “mental issues.”
Knesset extends ban preventing Palestinian prisoners from Gaza from meeting with lawyers.
Extreme right-wing Knesset member Almog Cohen questioned by Israeli police after bragging on social media about beating Palestinian citizens of Israel while serving as police officer in 2013.
Gaza: University destroyed, number of hepatitis cases grows

Israel continues to wage a merciless campaign of destruction in Gaza, killing scores of Palestinians in the past day and wiping out civilian institutions off the map. The Israeli-engineered telecommunications blackout in the decimated Palestinian territory continued for the eighth day in a row, the longest disruption since October 7, which has been denounced by rights groups as a “weapon of war”.

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Official Palestinian Authority news agency WAFA reported deadly airstrikes since Thursday in Gaza City (including near Al-Shifa Medical Complex and al-Nour mosque), Jabalia, Khan Younis (including in the area around Al-Amal Hospital), Bani Suheila, Deir al-Balah, Qizan al-Najjar, near Abu Yousef Al-Najjar Hospital east of Rafah, Abasan, Beit Hanoun, Beit Lahia, Nuseirat, and al-Maghazi refugee camp.

A compound that housed medical staff from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) in Khan Younis was damaged by a missile strike on Thursday, IRC reported, displacing them and affecting their ability to work at Nasser Hospital.

Among those recently killed are Wael Fanouna, the manager of the Al-Quds Today TV channel, and Ahmad al-Durrah, the brother of Mohammed al-Durrah, whose killing by Israeli forces in 2000 when he was 12 years old became one of the enduring images of the Second Intifada.

The Ministry of Health in Gaza reported on Friday that Israel had killed 142 Palestinians and injured 278 more in the span of 24 hours, bringing the toll since October 7 to 24,762 killed and 62,108 wounded.

Meanwhile, shocking footage has circulated this week of Israeli forces detonating al-Isra University on Wednesday, effectively destroying the last remaining university in the Gaza Strip.

“The Israeli occupiers, through these actions, aim to propagate a culture of ignorance, keeping our people away from the march of knowledge and civilization, and forcibly displacing intellectuals outside of Palestine,” the university said in a statement.

Meanwhile, even as the Israeli army claimed to have razed Hamas’s main weapons manufacturing location, Palestinian factions reported ongoing fighting with Israeli ground forces from northern to southern Gaza, including Jabalia, Gaza City, Bani Suheila, Abasan, and Khan Younis.

Israeli forces reported the death of one soldier on Friday, raising the official Israeli toll to 194 soldiers since the beginning of its ground invasion in Gaza. The army meanwhile confirmed to NBC that its forces have indeed been digging up graves and seizing bodies in Gaza — claiming that it did so while looking for dead hostages.

Meanwhile, mental health has been flagged by Israeli media as a growing concern among Israeli troops. “In some combat units, the number of soldiers who have pulled out due to mental issues is higher than or equal to the number of soldiers who were wounded in battle,” Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Thursday.

At the humanitarian level, organizations continue to raise the alarm about the calamitous situation facing Palestinians in Gaza.

“Since my last visit, the situation has gone from catastrophic to near collapse. UNICEF has described the Gaza Strip as the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. We have said this is a war on children. But these truths do not seem to be getting through,” UNICEF deputy executive director Ted Chaiban lamented Thursday.

The agency estimates that some 20,000 babies have been born in Gaza since October 7 in dangerous conditions, where children under the age of two face “severe risk” of starvation and malnutrition.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said some 8,000 cases of Hepatitis A had been recorded in Gaza amid overcrowding and unsanitary conditions in shelters — further confirming warnings by Palestinian rights organizations that internally displaced Palestinians faced serious threats of epidemic and disease.

“The inhumane living conditions — barely any clean water, clean toilets and possibility to keep the surroundings clean — will enable Hepatitis A to spread further and highlight how explosively dangerous the environment is for the spread of disease,” World Health Organization head Tedros Ghebreyesus wrote on X.

West Bank: Israeli army withdraws from Tulkarem after nearly two-day raid

In the occupied West Bank, armed clashes were reported between Israeli forces and Palestinians in Tulkarem and Nour Shams refugee camps, as well as in the vicinity of the Jalameh checkpoint.

Israeli forces reportedly retreated from Tulkarem refugee camp after 45 hours, one of the longest raids in the West Bank since October 7, leaving behind widespread destruction. WAFA reported that Israeli forces prevented ambulances from reaching wounded Palestinians during the raid, adding that Israeli forces tied the legs of one Palestinian man, identified as Abdulrahman Othman, with a rope and dragged him on the ground.

In a sign of how undeniably the situation in the occupied West Bank has devolved, the BBC reported on the killing of seven Palestinians, including four brothers, earlier this month, compiling evidence from witnesses and paramedics corroborating that the men were neither armed nor constituting a threat when an Israeli airstrike killed them.

While Israeli officials are reportedly discussing transferring the Palestinian Authority tax revenue it has been unlawfully withholding via a third party — seemingly in a bid not to lose face after some ministers’ repeated assertions that the money wouldn’t be sent to the PA — Israeli settlers have seized more lands and established an illegal outpost in the northern occupied West Bank, settlement watchdog Peace Now reported.

Israel: Netanyahu doubles down as his own party plots his exit

Despite growing international outrage and continued calls for a ceasefire within Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remains steadfastly committed to opposing the establishment of a Palestinian state, implying that he was the only thing standing between Israelis and a two-state solution.

“Whoever is talking about the ‘day after Netanyahu’ is essentially talking about the establishment of a Palestinian state with the Palestinian Authority,” he said during a press conference on Thursday, in which he accused Israeli media of undermining the war efforts, and opposed calls for elections from the Israeli opposition.

The PA presidency responded to Netanyahu’s latest comments, saying it confirmed “that this [Israeli] government is determined to push the entire region into the abyss.”

“The entire region is on the verge of a volcanic eruption due to the aggressive policies pursued by the Israeli occupation authorities against the Palestinian people and their legitimate rights,” Nabil Abu Rdeineh, spokesman for the PA presidency, said on Thursday.

Netanyahu’s comments, which fly in the face of the U.S.’s stated goals for the region, have also garnered criticism within Israel, where some news outlets have called him “delusional.”

In an interview aired on Israel’s Channel 12 on Thursday night, war cabinet minister and former Israeli army chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot said he didn’t believe Israel’s leadership was telling the public the truth.

“Whoever speaks of absolute defeat [of Hamas] is not speaking the truth,” Eisenkot said. “Today, the situation already in the Gaza Strip is such that the goals of the war have not yet been achieved.”

Eisenkot added that he and fellow war cabinet member Benny Gantz thwarted government plans to strike the Lebanese Hezbollah movement in the early days of the war, likely averting an immediate regional escalation.

Even within Netanyahu’s own Likud party, a growing number of members are allegedly planning for a future without the embattled premier, whose corruption trial has resumed since December, at its helm.

Meanwhile, Israel remains committed to discriminating against Palestinians at every level. Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, extended a ban preventing Palestinian prisoners from Gaza from meeting with their lawyers by an additional four months. The country’s much-decried mass distribution of guns to civilians, meanwhile, has unsurprisingly been revealed not to extend to Palestinian citizens of Israel, even if their communities are closer to zones of conflict than other Jewish-majority municipalities.

Biden admits strikes on Yemeni forces don’t work, vows to continue anyway

Yemen’s Ansar Allah rebels continue to target vessels in the Red Sea in solidarity with Palestinians, as the group — commonly known as “the Houthis ” — remains defiant in the face of American and British airstrikes.

U.S. President Joe Biden admitted on Thursday that Washington’s strikes were unlikely to deter the Yemeni group, but showed no sign of reassessing this strategy.

“Well, when you say working, are they [the strikes] stopping the Houthis? No,” Biden told reporters. “Are they gonna continue? Yes.”

Egypt is reportedly holding talks with Ansar Allah and Iran in a bid to de-escalate tensions in the Red Sea, as the international community fears London and Washington are worsening an already volatile situation in the Middle East.

After the umpteenth report that Biden is growing frustrated with Netanyahu, The Guardian revealed on Thursday that the U.S. has for years used “special mechanisms… to shield Israel from U.S. human rights laws, even as other allies’ military units who receive U.S. support — including, sources say, Ukraine — have privately been sanctioned and faced consequences for committing human rights violations.”

Former U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy — after whom the Leahy law, aiming to prevent U.S. complicity in foreign military’s human rights violations, is named — told the British newspaper that he has seen his legacy repeatedly flouted by successive U.S. governments when it came to Israel. “The law has not been applied consistently,” Leahy said, “and what we have seen in the West Bank and Gaza is a stark example of that.”

In the European Union, Parliament members adopted a resolution on Thursday calling for a permanent ceasefire and the resumption of diplomatic efforts to establish a Palestinian state.

Mexico and Chile have meanwhile called for the International Criminal Court to investigate Israel over war crimes committed in Gaza.

The Financial Times reported that unnamed Arab states were working on a ceasefire proposal that would guarantee the release of Israeli hostages and further normalization between Tel Aviv and Arab countries in exchange for “irreversible” steps toward the creation of a Palestinian state.

Protests calling for a ceasefire in Gaza are scheduled to take place on Friday in Yemen, Iraq, Jordan, Germany, Mauritania, the U.S., and Canada, Al Jazeera reported.

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-105-israel-destroys-gazas-last-university-as-netanyahu-doubles-down-on-rejection-of-a-palestinian-state/
‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 105: Israel destroys Gaza’s last university as Netanyahu doubles down on rejection of a Palestinian state Netanyahu vows there won’t be a Palestinian state so long as he’s in office, while Joe Biden admits strikes against Yemen’s Ansar Allah aren’t working. Mondoweiss Palestine BureauJanuary 19, 2024 Screen grab of the moment the Israeli army detonated al-Israa University (Photo: Screenshot/Social Media) Screen grab of the moment the Israeli army detonated al-Israa University (Photo: Screenshot/Social Media) Casualties: 24,762 killed* and at least 62,108 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 388+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147. 550 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, including 194 since the beginning of the ground invasion, and at least 3,221 injured.** *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on January 16. Some rights groups put the death toll at more than 31,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. **This figure is released by the Israeli military. Key Developments Telecom blackout in Gaza continues for eighth day in a row, affecting news coming out of Gaza. Israel continues to pummel Gaza, destroying key buildings at al-Isra University, the last institution of higher learning left standing in Gaza. Yemen’s Ansar Allah continues to attack ships in Red Sea, Joe Biden admits U.S. strikes ineffective in deterring rebels but vows to continue anyway. Embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterates opposition to Palestinian state, insists on Israeli control over all territory “west of the Jordan River.” Israeli army wraps up 45-hour long devastating raid in Tulkarem refugee camp. Israeli army admits to digging up graves and seizing bodies in Gaza, claiming to be searching for dead hostages. The Guardian reveals longstanding policies by successive U.S. governments to shield Israel from U.S. laws supposed to prevent U.S. funding of human rights abuses abroad. Cases of Hepatitis A soar amid overcrowded and unsanitary conditions in shelters, with organizations warning of worsening health crisis in Gaza. Israeli daily Haaretz reports that mental health growing concern among Israeli troops, with high number of soldiers leaving front due to “mental issues.” Knesset extends ban preventing Palestinian prisoners from Gaza from meeting with lawyers. Extreme right-wing Knesset member Almog Cohen questioned by Israeli police after bragging on social media about beating Palestinian citizens of Israel while serving as police officer in 2013. Gaza: University destroyed, number of hepatitis cases grows Israel continues to wage a merciless campaign of destruction in Gaza, killing scores of Palestinians in the past day and wiping out civilian institutions off the map. The Israeli-engineered telecommunications blackout in the decimated Palestinian territory continued for the eighth day in a row, the longest disruption since October 7, which has been denounced by rights groups as a “weapon of war”. Advertisement Are you tired of Twitter? Follow Mondoweiss on the Mastodon social network. Official Palestinian Authority news agency WAFA reported deadly airstrikes since Thursday in Gaza City (including near Al-Shifa Medical Complex and al-Nour mosque), Jabalia, Khan Younis (including in the area around Al-Amal Hospital), Bani Suheila, Deir al-Balah, Qizan al-Najjar, near Abu Yousef Al-Najjar Hospital east of Rafah, Abasan, Beit Hanoun, Beit Lahia, Nuseirat, and al-Maghazi refugee camp. A compound that housed medical staff from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) in Khan Younis was damaged by a missile strike on Thursday, IRC reported, displacing them and affecting their ability to work at Nasser Hospital. Among those recently killed are Wael Fanouna, the manager of the Al-Quds Today TV channel, and Ahmad al-Durrah, the brother of Mohammed al-Durrah, whose killing by Israeli forces in 2000 when he was 12 years old became one of the enduring images of the Second Intifada. The Ministry of Health in Gaza reported on Friday that Israel had killed 142 Palestinians and injured 278 more in the span of 24 hours, bringing the toll since October 7 to 24,762 killed and 62,108 wounded. Meanwhile, shocking footage has circulated this week of Israeli forces detonating al-Isra University on Wednesday, effectively destroying the last remaining university in the Gaza Strip. “The Israeli occupiers, through these actions, aim to propagate a culture of ignorance, keeping our people away from the march of knowledge and civilization, and forcibly displacing intellectuals outside of Palestine,” the university said in a statement. Meanwhile, even as the Israeli army claimed to have razed Hamas’s main weapons manufacturing location, Palestinian factions reported ongoing fighting with Israeli ground forces from northern to southern Gaza, including Jabalia, Gaza City, Bani Suheila, Abasan, and Khan Younis. Israeli forces reported the death of one soldier on Friday, raising the official Israeli toll to 194 soldiers since the beginning of its ground invasion in Gaza. The army meanwhile confirmed to NBC that its forces have indeed been digging up graves and seizing bodies in Gaza — claiming that it did so while looking for dead hostages. Meanwhile, mental health has been flagged by Israeli media as a growing concern among Israeli troops. “In some combat units, the number of soldiers who have pulled out due to mental issues is higher than or equal to the number of soldiers who were wounded in battle,” Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Thursday. At the humanitarian level, organizations continue to raise the alarm about the calamitous situation facing Palestinians in Gaza. “Since my last visit, the situation has gone from catastrophic to near collapse. UNICEF has described the Gaza Strip as the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. We have said this is a war on children. But these truths do not seem to be getting through,” UNICEF deputy executive director Ted Chaiban lamented Thursday. The agency estimates that some 20,000 babies have been born in Gaza since October 7 in dangerous conditions, where children under the age of two face “severe risk” of starvation and malnutrition. Meanwhile, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said some 8,000 cases of Hepatitis A had been recorded in Gaza amid overcrowding and unsanitary conditions in shelters — further confirming warnings by Palestinian rights organizations that internally displaced Palestinians faced serious threats of epidemic and disease. “The inhumane living conditions — barely any clean water, clean toilets and possibility to keep the surroundings clean — will enable Hepatitis A to spread further and highlight how explosively dangerous the environment is for the spread of disease,” World Health Organization head Tedros Ghebreyesus wrote on X. West Bank: Israeli army withdraws from Tulkarem after nearly two-day raid In the occupied West Bank, armed clashes were reported between Israeli forces and Palestinians in Tulkarem and Nour Shams refugee camps, as well as in the vicinity of the Jalameh checkpoint. Israeli forces reportedly retreated from Tulkarem refugee camp after 45 hours, one of the longest raids in the West Bank since October 7, leaving behind widespread destruction. WAFA reported that Israeli forces prevented ambulances from reaching wounded Palestinians during the raid, adding that Israeli forces tied the legs of one Palestinian man, identified as Abdulrahman Othman, with a rope and dragged him on the ground. In a sign of how undeniably the situation in the occupied West Bank has devolved, the BBC reported on the killing of seven Palestinians, including four brothers, earlier this month, compiling evidence from witnesses and paramedics corroborating that the men were neither armed nor constituting a threat when an Israeli airstrike killed them. While Israeli officials are reportedly discussing transferring the Palestinian Authority tax revenue it has been unlawfully withholding via a third party — seemingly in a bid not to lose face after some ministers’ repeated assertions that the money wouldn’t be sent to the PA — Israeli settlers have seized more lands and established an illegal outpost in the northern occupied West Bank, settlement watchdog Peace Now reported. Israel: Netanyahu doubles down as his own party plots his exit Despite growing international outrage and continued calls for a ceasefire within Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remains steadfastly committed to opposing the establishment of a Palestinian state, implying that he was the only thing standing between Israelis and a two-state solution. “Whoever is talking about the ‘day after Netanyahu’ is essentially talking about the establishment of a Palestinian state with the Palestinian Authority,” he said during a press conference on Thursday, in which he accused Israeli media of undermining the war efforts, and opposed calls for elections from the Israeli opposition. The PA presidency responded to Netanyahu’s latest comments, saying it confirmed “that this [Israeli] government is determined to push the entire region into the abyss.” “The entire region is on the verge of a volcanic eruption due to the aggressive policies pursued by the Israeli occupation authorities against the Palestinian people and their legitimate rights,” Nabil Abu Rdeineh, spokesman for the PA presidency, said on Thursday. Netanyahu’s comments, which fly in the face of the U.S.’s stated goals for the region, have also garnered criticism within Israel, where some news outlets have called him “delusional.” In an interview aired on Israel’s Channel 12 on Thursday night, war cabinet minister and former Israeli army chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot said he didn’t believe Israel’s leadership was telling the public the truth. “Whoever speaks of absolute defeat [of Hamas] is not speaking the truth,” Eisenkot said. “Today, the situation already in the Gaza Strip is such that the goals of the war have not yet been achieved.” Eisenkot added that he and fellow war cabinet member Benny Gantz thwarted government plans to strike the Lebanese Hezbollah movement in the early days of the war, likely averting an immediate regional escalation. Even within Netanyahu’s own Likud party, a growing number of members are allegedly planning for a future without the embattled premier, whose corruption trial has resumed since December, at its helm. Meanwhile, Israel remains committed to discriminating against Palestinians at every level. Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, extended a ban preventing Palestinian prisoners from Gaza from meeting with their lawyers by an additional four months. The country’s much-decried mass distribution of guns to civilians, meanwhile, has unsurprisingly been revealed not to extend to Palestinian citizens of Israel, even if their communities are closer to zones of conflict than other Jewish-majority municipalities. Biden admits strikes on Yemeni forces don’t work, vows to continue anyway Yemen’s Ansar Allah rebels continue to target vessels in the Red Sea in solidarity with Palestinians, as the group — commonly known as “the Houthis ” — remains defiant in the face of American and British airstrikes. U.S. President Joe Biden admitted on Thursday that Washington’s strikes were unlikely to deter the Yemeni group, but showed no sign of reassessing this strategy. “Well, when you say working, are they [the strikes] stopping the Houthis? No,” Biden told reporters. “Are they gonna continue? Yes.” Egypt is reportedly holding talks with Ansar Allah and Iran in a bid to de-escalate tensions in the Red Sea, as the international community fears London and Washington are worsening an already volatile situation in the Middle East. After the umpteenth report that Biden is growing frustrated with Netanyahu, The Guardian revealed on Thursday that the U.S. has for years used “special mechanisms… to shield Israel from U.S. human rights laws, even as other allies’ military units who receive U.S. support — including, sources say, Ukraine — have privately been sanctioned and faced consequences for committing human rights violations.” Former U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy — after whom the Leahy law, aiming to prevent U.S. complicity in foreign military’s human rights violations, is named — told the British newspaper that he has seen his legacy repeatedly flouted by successive U.S. governments when it came to Israel. “The law has not been applied consistently,” Leahy said, “and what we have seen in the West Bank and Gaza is a stark example of that.” In the European Union, Parliament members adopted a resolution on Thursday calling for a permanent ceasefire and the resumption of diplomatic efforts to establish a Palestinian state. Mexico and Chile have meanwhile called for the International Criminal Court to investigate Israel over war crimes committed in Gaza. The Financial Times reported that unnamed Arab states were working on a ceasefire proposal that would guarantee the release of Israeli hostages and further normalization between Tel Aviv and Arab countries in exchange for “irreversible” steps toward the creation of a Palestinian state. Protests calling for a ceasefire in Gaza are scheduled to take place on Friday in Yemen, Iraq, Jordan, Germany, Mauritania, the U.S., and Canada, Al Jazeera reported. 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-105-israel-destroys-gazas-last-university-as-netanyahu-doubles-down-on-rejection-of-a-palestinian-state/
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‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 105: Israel destroys Gaza’s last university as Netanyahu doubles down on rejection of a Palestinian state
Netanyahu vows there won’t be a Palestinian state so long as he’s in office, while Joe Biden admits strikes against Yemen’s Ansar Allah aren’t working.
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