• ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 118: Mass grave found of Palestinians tied up, killed ‘execution-style’
    Leila WarahFebruary 1, 2024
    Crowds of Palestinians wait to be given cans of food at a school for the displaced in Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip. (APA Images)
    Displaced Palestinians in a school run by the United Nations Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) crowd around a window to receive cans of food in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip on January 29, 2024. (Omar Ashtawy/ APA Images_
    Casualties

    27,019+ killed* and at least 66,139 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    387+ 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.
    558 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.**
    *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on February 1. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 33,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** This figure is released by the Israeli military.

    Key Developments

    Over 70 U.S. cities pass symbolic resolutions calling for ceasefire in Gaza.
    Palestinian officials accuse Israeli forces of “execution-style” killings in Gaza following reports of bodies with blindfolds and tied hands discovered in mass grave in northern Gaza.
    UN: unemployment in Gaza reached nearly 80 percent in December.
    Doctors without borders: Israeli forces have rejected aid deliveries to north Gaza “almost systematically,” medical facilities under constant attack by Israeli forces.
    UNRWA Gaza Chief: UNRWA staff and thousands of displaced Gazans forced to leave Khan Younis due to Israeli aggression.
    Human Rights Watch: UNRWA funding freeze could hasten famine in Gaza.
    UNOCHA:184,000 people sheltering on western outskirts of Khan Younis
    UNRWA: Facilities for displaced families in Gaza attacked at least 270 times since October 7.
    Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh is expected in Cairo as the Palestinian group reviews a proposal for a six-week truce.
    Netenyahu: Israel has “red lines” in its ongoing negotiations.
    PCRS: Israeli forces storm Al-Amal Hospital square and fire heavily around the medical complex.
    Khan Younis hospitals under attack and starving

    The situation in the Gaza Strip remains dire as the besieged enclave continues to be ruthlessly attacked by the Israeli military.

    The two main medical complexes in Khan Younis, the second-most southern district in Gaza, have been under military siege and subject to Israeli attacks for several days.

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    Watch now: ANGELA DAVIS on Witnessing Palestine with Frank Barat
    On Wednesday evening, the Gaza Health Ministry released an update on the dire situation at the two besieged hospitals, Nasser and al-Amal, where things are “getting worse.”

    The situation “threatens the death of many wounded and sick people as a result of targeting and the lack of medical capabilities,” the ministry said, adding that both hospitals have run out of food.

    “We hold the Israeli occupation fully responsible for the lives of medical staff, patients, and displaced persons in Nasser Medical Complex and al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis,” the ministry’s statement concluded, adding a call for the Red Cross and the UN to intervene to protect the lives of patients and displaced Palestinians sheltering there and for the urgent delivery of food and supplies.

    Al-Amal Hospital is surrounded by Israeli tanks, attack drones, and heavy machine guns, which are “shooting at every moving object inside the medical compound,” reported Al Jazeera.

    On Wednesday, the Israeli forces stormed the hospital, and a security guard was shot dead by one of the quadcopters hovering at a low level in the sky, Al Jazeera added.

    An Al Jazeera analysis of satellite images taken on January 29 captured the impact of Israel’s military operations near al-Amal Hospital, revealing the damage the Israeli military has caused.

    The images showed about 25 Israeli vehicles were stationed in the area, including more than 20 vehicles located roughly 500 meters west of the hospital building.

    The images also reveal extensive leveling operations carried out by Israeli vehicles on the northern side of the hospital building and widespread destruction by Israeli forces in the western area of the hospital, where thousands of displaced people lived before having to evacuate.

    On Wednesday evening, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PCRS) said that Israeli forces were raiding the square of Al-Amal Hospital, with heavy firing reported.

    “Urgent: Occupation forces are currently raiding Al-Amal Hospital square, stationed in front of the external gate of the reception and emergency department, and firing heavily,” the group said in a social media post.

    “Despite ongoing bombardment and gunfire, the medical teams at PRCS Al-Amal Hospital in #KhanYunis persist in treating the wounded and patients,” PCRS later added on x.

    The humanitarian organization added that they received seven bodies at its headquarters in Khan Younis, including a member of its staff. It also said that it received nine injuries.

    The lack of supplies at al-Amal Hospital has also had fatal effects.

    PRCS released a video showing the burial of an infant girl and an elderly woman, aged 75, in the yard of al-Amal Hospital. The two died after oxygen had run out in the medical facility.

    Dr Chris Hook of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) told Al Jazeera that the situation around Khan Younis is “one of the most devastating things” he has seen in his career.

    Hook spoke of large numbers of casualties, many of them women and children, continuously arriving at the barely functioning Nasser Hospital, where thousands of displaced people were already taking shelter.

    If the children are “fortunate enough to survive,” he said they would continue to suffer from “terrible injuries, huge burns covering 50-70% of their body and massively broken limbs”.

    “They’re going to need long-term care; lots of them will never walk properly, if at all,” Hook said.

    Leo Cans, the director of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) for the Palestinian territories, told Al Jazeera that assaults on medical facilities have become a common feature of Israel’s offensive.

    “Since the start of the war, there have been systematic attacks on health facilities, which is unprecedented for MSF,” he said. “In war, these places are always sensitive areas, and there are always incidents, but this is systematic,” Cans said.

    About 184,000 people have registered for humanitarian assistance in the western outskirts of Khan Younis in recent days, the UN humanitarian agency, OCHA, reported.

    “They were displaced from western Khan Younis city in recent days amid evacuation orders and continued hostilities,” UNOCHA said.

    The humanitarian group added that the UN’s relief agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) has also relocated to the western outskirts of the city, as it was forced to abandon health centers and shelters in western Khan Younis.

    “We’ve lost a health clinic, major shelters – facilities that were supporting the people of Khan Younis,” said Thomas White, UNRWA’s director of Gaza affairs.

    Bodies found tied up and executed

    At least 30 Palestinian bodies with alleged signs of torture were found dumped inside a schoolyard in northern Gaza on Wednesday.

    The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has called for an international investigation team to look into accusations that Israeli forces executed Palestinians that it took captive in Gaza.

    “According to testimonies of Palestinian citizens, more than 30 decomposing bodies of Palestinian martyrs were discovered buried in the northern Gaza Strip,” the ministry said in a statement, as reported by Al Jazeera. “They were killed while blindfolded and with their hands tied, as clear evidence that they were executed… in the most horrific forms.”

    “As we were cleaning, we came across a pile of rubble inside the schoolyard. We were shocked to find out that dozens of dead bodies were buried under this pile,” a witness told Al Jazeera.

    “The moment we opened the black plastic bags, we found the bodies, already decomposed. They were blindfolded, legs and hands tied. The plastic cuffs were used on their hands and legs and cloth straps around their eyes and heads,” the witness continued.

    The Palestinian Foreign Ministry continued: “the discovery of this mass grave in this brutal form reflects the scale of the tragedy to which Palestinian civilians are exposed, the mass massacres and executions of even detainees, in flagrant and gross violation of all relevant international norms and laws.”

    The Hamas government media office has also called on human rights organizations “to document this horrific crime.”

    It added that Israel is continuing to “exterminate” the Palestinian people without regard to the decisions of the International Court of Justice, “which demanded that they stop the crime of genocide and ethnic cleansing.”

    Similarly, Palestinian human rights lawyer Diana Buttu says these bodies are evidence that bolsters the ICJ’s ruling that there is a plausible risk Israel is committing genocide in the besieged strip.

    “This is precisely why Israel was taken to the ICJ,” the Ramallah-based attorney told Al Jazeera, adding that Israel has been committing war crimes against Palestinians since 1948, and yet, nobody has ever held Israel to account.

    This incident, Buttu pressed, is a war crime, and the world should do something about it. She said this type of evidence needs to be preserved, but that can only happen under a ceasefire.

    Israel is making Gaza uninhabitable

    As Israeli forces kill Palestinians in Gaza at alarming rates, the military is systematically destroying civilian infrastructure and making the besieged enclave uninhabitable.

    In recent weeks, commanders in the Israeli military have begun instructing soldiers to set fire to residential homes in Gaza without the necessary legal approval, reports Haaretz.

    Citing unnamed sources, Haaretz added that soldiers have destroyed several hundred buildings this way.

    Israel has also been accused of creating a “buffer zone” between itself and Gaza after satellite imagery showed that it had demolished hundreds of buildings within the besieged enclave that sits within 1km of the border.

    Moreover, a report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has found that Israel’s campaign in Gaza precipitated a 24 percent contraction in GDP.

    “The level of destruction from the latest Israeli military operation rendered [Gaza] uninhabitable,” it states.

    Even if Israel’s military operations end immediately and Gaza returns to previous growth trends of 0.4 percent each year, pre-war GDP levels will not be restored until 2092, the report continued.

    Risk of famine in Gaza grows

    As Israel’s hostilities continue, Gaza’s population is on the brink of famine due to the ongoing blockade imposed by Israel and now exacerbated by international funding cuts to UNRWA.

    Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a statement released on Wednesday that UNRWA’s work is “vital” in “averting a humanitarian catastrophe and the risk of famine” in Gaza.

    The decision by 18 governments to suspend funding to UNRWA comes months after “Israeli authorities cut off essential services, including water and electricity,” HRW said.

    Israeli forces are “deliberately blocking the delivery of water, food, and fuel, willfully impeding humanitarian assistance [and] apparently razing agricultural areas,” HRW said.

    Meanwhile, Israel’s far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to stop trucks from delivering humanitarian assistance into Gaza in a letter, saying that allowing aid into the strip harms Israeli unity.

    “The people of Israel are now fighting a war that has no choice but to defend the State of Israel against those who oppose it, and these images harm the unity of the people, the social cohesion, and the war effort,” the letter states.

    “In light of the above, I demand an immediate halt to the passage of the trucks through the border crossings,” it concluded.

    Talks of a hostage deal

    As Israel’s hostilities in Gaza approach the four-month mark, Israel and Hamas are reportedly discussing the possibility of a truce.

    The Israeli news outlet Channel 12 reported that Mossad chief David Barnea presented the Israeli war cabinet with a prospective nine-point outline of a potential deal to release 136 captives who remain in Gaza, reported Al Jazeera.

    The first stage of the deal would include the release of 35 captives in exchange for a 35-day truce, with an emphasis on women, sick, injured, and elderly captives.

    The truce could then be extended to allow for discussion regarding the second round of releases, which would include Israeli combatants.

    While details regarding the number of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons were limited, the report suggests that Israel would prioritize the release of low-level prisoners.

    In a video message released on his X account, Netanyahu says that Israel has “red lines” in its ongoing negotiations to strike a deal that would see Israeli captives held in Gaza released.

    “We will not end the war, we will not pull the [Israeli military] out of the Strip, we will not release thousands of terrorists,” Netanyahu said in his message.

    The prime minister said that in addition to working on getting the captives out, Israel is working towards its other goals in the war – “the elimination of Hamas and to ensure that Gaza never again represents a threat.”

    “We are working on all three of them together, and we will not give up on any of them.”

    However, Hamas has repeatedly said they will not agree to a pause, only a permanent ceasefire.

    “There is clearly a movement, and there is clearly an interest on both sides. Israel is interested in getting the captives back, and Hamas is interested in ending the fighting,” said Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst Marwan Bishara, expressing caution amid widespread optimism.

    “But there is a huge gap between Hamas and Israel on what is required. Usually, in cases like this, when the gap is too huge, it’s the US that would need to step in with the help of others and provide guarantees to both sides.”

    US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said from a press briefing at the White House: “We are looking at an extended pause [in fighting] as the goal … longer than what we saw in November, which was about a week,”

    “The goal of an extended level pause is so you can get the maximum amount of [Israeli] hostages out … [this] is all a part of the discussions right now,” Kirby continued.

    West Bank: Children scared to go to school

    The effects of Israel’s aggression on Gaza continue to spill into the occupied West Bank, where the Israeli army and settlers conduct rampages with impunity.

    Israeli fire has killed ninety-nine children in the West Bank since October 7, Jonathan Crickx, the chief of communication and advocacy at UNICEF in Palestine, told Al Jazeera.

    “That is more than double the entire year of 2022, and that is happening amid increased military and law enforcement operations,” he said from occupied East Jerusalem.

    “It is also important to note that 600 children have also been injured,” he said, noting that the violence was “creating fear.”

    “So many children, especially in Jenin and Nablus, are scared of going to school,” he said.

    “So, the overall situation in the education system is very concerning, and what is really required in order for children to go to school is a long, lasting ceasefire,” Crickx said. “Education is where hope lies. It is where children can actually build their own future and hopefully a better future.”

    Federal case against Biden dismissed

    The civil case filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of Palestinian human rights organizations and Palestinians in Gaza accusing US President Joe Biden and other senior officials of being complicit in Israel’s “genocide” in Gaza has been dismissed by a US federal court judge on jurisdiction grounds.

    However, the court did “implore” the defendants to examine their role in the war on Gaza.

    “There are rare cases in which the preferred outcome is inaccessible to the court. This is one of those cases,” it said.

    “This court implores defendants to examine the results of their unflagging support of the military siege against the Palestinians in Gaza.”

    Human rights lawyer Noura Erakat says a US judge dismissing such a case “was to be expected.”

    However, “the coup is that the judge was so compelled by the evidence that he made powerful statements on behalf of the plaintiffs regarding genocide,” Erakat added in a post on social media.

    Mohammed Monadel Herzallah, who testified in the civil case, says it is still essential for a US “federal court to hear Palestinian voices for the first time,” in a statement released by the Center for Constitutional Rights.

    “Currently, my family lacks food, medicine, and the most basic necessities for survival,” Herzallah continued, “As Palestinians, we know this is a hard struggle, and as plaintiffs, we will continue to do everything in our power to save our people’s lives.”

    Herzallah’s lawyer, Katherine Gallagher, senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, added that together with their plaintiffs, they plan to “pursue all legal avenues to stop the genocide and save Palestinian lives.”

    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/2024/02/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-118-mass-grave-found-of-palestinians-tied-up-killed-execution-style/


    https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/02/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-118-mass.html
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 118: Mass grave found of Palestinians tied up, killed ‘execution-style’ Leila WarahFebruary 1, 2024 Crowds of Palestinians wait to be given cans of food at a school for the displaced in Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip. (APA Images) Displaced Palestinians in a school run by the United Nations Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) crowd around a window to receive cans of food in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip on January 29, 2024. (Omar Ashtawy/ APA Images_ Casualties 27,019+ killed* and at least 66,139 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 387+ 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. 558 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.** *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on February 1. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 33,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** This figure is released by the Israeli military. Key Developments Over 70 U.S. cities pass symbolic resolutions calling for ceasefire in Gaza. Palestinian officials accuse Israeli forces of “execution-style” killings in Gaza following reports of bodies with blindfolds and tied hands discovered in mass grave in northern Gaza. UN: unemployment in Gaza reached nearly 80 percent in December. Doctors without borders: Israeli forces have rejected aid deliveries to north Gaza “almost systematically,” medical facilities under constant attack by Israeli forces. UNRWA Gaza Chief: UNRWA staff and thousands of displaced Gazans forced to leave Khan Younis due to Israeli aggression. Human Rights Watch: UNRWA funding freeze could hasten famine in Gaza. UNOCHA:184,000 people sheltering on western outskirts of Khan Younis UNRWA: Facilities for displaced families in Gaza attacked at least 270 times since October 7. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh is expected in Cairo as the Palestinian group reviews a proposal for a six-week truce. Netenyahu: Israel has “red lines” in its ongoing negotiations. PCRS: Israeli forces storm Al-Amal Hospital square and fire heavily around the medical complex. Khan Younis hospitals under attack and starving The situation in the Gaza Strip remains dire as the besieged enclave continues to be ruthlessly attacked by the Israeli military. The two main medical complexes in Khan Younis, the second-most southern district in Gaza, have been under military siege and subject to Israeli attacks for several days. Advertisement Watch now: ANGELA DAVIS on Witnessing Palestine with Frank Barat On Wednesday evening, the Gaza Health Ministry released an update on the dire situation at the two besieged hospitals, Nasser and al-Amal, where things are “getting worse.” The situation “threatens the death of many wounded and sick people as a result of targeting and the lack of medical capabilities,” the ministry said, adding that both hospitals have run out of food. “We hold the Israeli occupation fully responsible for the lives of medical staff, patients, and displaced persons in Nasser Medical Complex and al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis,” the ministry’s statement concluded, adding a call for the Red Cross and the UN to intervene to protect the lives of patients and displaced Palestinians sheltering there and for the urgent delivery of food and supplies. Al-Amal Hospital is surrounded by Israeli tanks, attack drones, and heavy machine guns, which are “shooting at every moving object inside the medical compound,” reported Al Jazeera. On Wednesday, the Israeli forces stormed the hospital, and a security guard was shot dead by one of the quadcopters hovering at a low level in the sky, Al Jazeera added. An Al Jazeera analysis of satellite images taken on January 29 captured the impact of Israel’s military operations near al-Amal Hospital, revealing the damage the Israeli military has caused. The images showed about 25 Israeli vehicles were stationed in the area, including more than 20 vehicles located roughly 500 meters west of the hospital building. The images also reveal extensive leveling operations carried out by Israeli vehicles on the northern side of the hospital building and widespread destruction by Israeli forces in the western area of the hospital, where thousands of displaced people lived before having to evacuate. On Wednesday evening, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PCRS) said that Israeli forces were raiding the square of Al-Amal Hospital, with heavy firing reported. “Urgent: Occupation forces are currently raiding Al-Amal Hospital square, stationed in front of the external gate of the reception and emergency department, and firing heavily,” the group said in a social media post. “Despite ongoing bombardment and gunfire, the medical teams at PRCS Al-Amal Hospital in #KhanYunis persist in treating the wounded and patients,” PCRS later added on x. The humanitarian organization added that they received seven bodies at its headquarters in Khan Younis, including a member of its staff. It also said that it received nine injuries. The lack of supplies at al-Amal Hospital has also had fatal effects. PRCS released a video showing the burial of an infant girl and an elderly woman, aged 75, in the yard of al-Amal Hospital. The two died after oxygen had run out in the medical facility. Dr Chris Hook of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) told Al Jazeera that the situation around Khan Younis is “one of the most devastating things” he has seen in his career. Hook spoke of large numbers of casualties, many of them women and children, continuously arriving at the barely functioning Nasser Hospital, where thousands of displaced people were already taking shelter. If the children are “fortunate enough to survive,” he said they would continue to suffer from “terrible injuries, huge burns covering 50-70% of their body and massively broken limbs”. “They’re going to need long-term care; lots of them will never walk properly, if at all,” Hook said. Leo Cans, the director of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) for the Palestinian territories, told Al Jazeera that assaults on medical facilities have become a common feature of Israel’s offensive. “Since the start of the war, there have been systematic attacks on health facilities, which is unprecedented for MSF,” he said. “In war, these places are always sensitive areas, and there are always incidents, but this is systematic,” Cans said. About 184,000 people have registered for humanitarian assistance in the western outskirts of Khan Younis in recent days, the UN humanitarian agency, OCHA, reported. “They were displaced from western Khan Younis city in recent days amid evacuation orders and continued hostilities,” UNOCHA said. The humanitarian group added that the UN’s relief agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) has also relocated to the western outskirts of the city, as it was forced to abandon health centers and shelters in western Khan Younis. “We’ve lost a health clinic, major shelters – facilities that were supporting the people of Khan Younis,” said Thomas White, UNRWA’s director of Gaza affairs. Bodies found tied up and executed At least 30 Palestinian bodies with alleged signs of torture were found dumped inside a schoolyard in northern Gaza on Wednesday. The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has called for an international investigation team to look into accusations that Israeli forces executed Palestinians that it took captive in Gaza. “According to testimonies of Palestinian citizens, more than 30 decomposing bodies of Palestinian martyrs were discovered buried in the northern Gaza Strip,” the ministry said in a statement, as reported by Al Jazeera. “They were killed while blindfolded and with their hands tied, as clear evidence that they were executed… in the most horrific forms.” “As we were cleaning, we came across a pile of rubble inside the schoolyard. We were shocked to find out that dozens of dead bodies were buried under this pile,” a witness told Al Jazeera. “The moment we opened the black plastic bags, we found the bodies, already decomposed. They were blindfolded, legs and hands tied. The plastic cuffs were used on their hands and legs and cloth straps around their eyes and heads,” the witness continued. The Palestinian Foreign Ministry continued: “the discovery of this mass grave in this brutal form reflects the scale of the tragedy to which Palestinian civilians are exposed, the mass massacres and executions of even detainees, in flagrant and gross violation of all relevant international norms and laws.” The Hamas government media office has also called on human rights organizations “to document this horrific crime.” It added that Israel is continuing to “exterminate” the Palestinian people without regard to the decisions of the International Court of Justice, “which demanded that they stop the crime of genocide and ethnic cleansing.” Similarly, Palestinian human rights lawyer Diana Buttu says these bodies are evidence that bolsters the ICJ’s ruling that there is a plausible risk Israel is committing genocide in the besieged strip. “This is precisely why Israel was taken to the ICJ,” the Ramallah-based attorney told Al Jazeera, adding that Israel has been committing war crimes against Palestinians since 1948, and yet, nobody has ever held Israel to account. This incident, Buttu pressed, is a war crime, and the world should do something about it. She said this type of evidence needs to be preserved, but that can only happen under a ceasefire. Israel is making Gaza uninhabitable As Israeli forces kill Palestinians in Gaza at alarming rates, the military is systematically destroying civilian infrastructure and making the besieged enclave uninhabitable. In recent weeks, commanders in the Israeli military have begun instructing soldiers to set fire to residential homes in Gaza without the necessary legal approval, reports Haaretz. Citing unnamed sources, Haaretz added that soldiers have destroyed several hundred buildings this way. Israel has also been accused of creating a “buffer zone” between itself and Gaza after satellite imagery showed that it had demolished hundreds of buildings within the besieged enclave that sits within 1km of the border. Moreover, a report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has found that Israel’s campaign in Gaza precipitated a 24 percent contraction in GDP. “The level of destruction from the latest Israeli military operation rendered [Gaza] uninhabitable,” it states. Even if Israel’s military operations end immediately and Gaza returns to previous growth trends of 0.4 percent each year, pre-war GDP levels will not be restored until 2092, the report continued. Risk of famine in Gaza grows As Israel’s hostilities continue, Gaza’s population is on the brink of famine due to the ongoing blockade imposed by Israel and now exacerbated by international funding cuts to UNRWA. Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a statement released on Wednesday that UNRWA’s work is “vital” in “averting a humanitarian catastrophe and the risk of famine” in Gaza. The decision by 18 governments to suspend funding to UNRWA comes months after “Israeli authorities cut off essential services, including water and electricity,” HRW said. Israeli forces are “deliberately blocking the delivery of water, food, and fuel, willfully impeding humanitarian assistance [and] apparently razing agricultural areas,” HRW said. Meanwhile, Israel’s far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to stop trucks from delivering humanitarian assistance into Gaza in a letter, saying that allowing aid into the strip harms Israeli unity. “The people of Israel are now fighting a war that has no choice but to defend the State of Israel against those who oppose it, and these images harm the unity of the people, the social cohesion, and the war effort,” the letter states. “In light of the above, I demand an immediate halt to the passage of the trucks through the border crossings,” it concluded. Talks of a hostage deal As Israel’s hostilities in Gaza approach the four-month mark, Israel and Hamas are reportedly discussing the possibility of a truce. The Israeli news outlet Channel 12 reported that Mossad chief David Barnea presented the Israeli war cabinet with a prospective nine-point outline of a potential deal to release 136 captives who remain in Gaza, reported Al Jazeera. The first stage of the deal would include the release of 35 captives in exchange for a 35-day truce, with an emphasis on women, sick, injured, and elderly captives. The truce could then be extended to allow for discussion regarding the second round of releases, which would include Israeli combatants. While details regarding the number of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons were limited, the report suggests that Israel would prioritize the release of low-level prisoners. In a video message released on his X account, Netanyahu says that Israel has “red lines” in its ongoing negotiations to strike a deal that would see Israeli captives held in Gaza released. “We will not end the war, we will not pull the [Israeli military] out of the Strip, we will not release thousands of terrorists,” Netanyahu said in his message. The prime minister said that in addition to working on getting the captives out, Israel is working towards its other goals in the war – “the elimination of Hamas and to ensure that Gaza never again represents a threat.” “We are working on all three of them together, and we will not give up on any of them.” However, Hamas has repeatedly said they will not agree to a pause, only a permanent ceasefire. “There is clearly a movement, and there is clearly an interest on both sides. Israel is interested in getting the captives back, and Hamas is interested in ending the fighting,” said Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst Marwan Bishara, expressing caution amid widespread optimism. “But there is a huge gap between Hamas and Israel on what is required. Usually, in cases like this, when the gap is too huge, it’s the US that would need to step in with the help of others and provide guarantees to both sides.” US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said from a press briefing at the White House: “We are looking at an extended pause [in fighting] as the goal … longer than what we saw in November, which was about a week,” “The goal of an extended level pause is so you can get the maximum amount of [Israeli] hostages out … [this] is all a part of the discussions right now,” Kirby continued. West Bank: Children scared to go to school The effects of Israel’s aggression on Gaza continue to spill into the occupied West Bank, where the Israeli army and settlers conduct rampages with impunity. Israeli fire has killed ninety-nine children in the West Bank since October 7, Jonathan Crickx, the chief of communication and advocacy at UNICEF in Palestine, told Al Jazeera. “That is more than double the entire year of 2022, and that is happening amid increased military and law enforcement operations,” he said from occupied East Jerusalem. “It is also important to note that 600 children have also been injured,” he said, noting that the violence was “creating fear.” “So many children, especially in Jenin and Nablus, are scared of going to school,” he said. “So, the overall situation in the education system is very concerning, and what is really required in order for children to go to school is a long, lasting ceasefire,” Crickx said. “Education is where hope lies. It is where children can actually build their own future and hopefully a better future.” Federal case against Biden dismissed The civil case filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights on behalf of Palestinian human rights organizations and Palestinians in Gaza accusing US President Joe Biden and other senior officials of being complicit in Israel’s “genocide” in Gaza has been dismissed by a US federal court judge on jurisdiction grounds. However, the court did “implore” the defendants to examine their role in the war on Gaza. “There are rare cases in which the preferred outcome is inaccessible to the court. This is one of those cases,” it said. “This court implores defendants to examine the results of their unflagging support of the military siege against the Palestinians in Gaza.” Human rights lawyer Noura Erakat says a US judge dismissing such a case “was to be expected.” However, “the coup is that the judge was so compelled by the evidence that he made powerful statements on behalf of the plaintiffs regarding genocide,” Erakat added in a post on social media. Mohammed Monadel Herzallah, who testified in the civil case, says it is still essential for a US “federal court to hear Palestinian voices for the first time,” in a statement released by the Center for Constitutional Rights. “Currently, my family lacks food, medicine, and the most basic necessities for survival,” Herzallah continued, “As Palestinians, we know this is a hard struggle, and as plaintiffs, we will continue to do everything in our power to save our people’s lives.” Herzallah’s lawyer, Katherine Gallagher, senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, added that together with their plaintiffs, they plan to “pursue all legal avenues to stop the genocide and save Palestinian lives.” 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/2024/02/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-118-mass-grave-found-of-palestinians-tied-up-killed-execution-style/ https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/02/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-118-mass.html
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    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 118: Mass grave found of Palestinians tied up, killed ‘execution-style’
    A mass grave in northern Gaza was found following the withdrawal of Israeli forces. The already decomposing bodies were tied up, blindfolded, and dumped after allegedly being killed execution-style.
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