• ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 178: Israel withdraws from al-Shifa Hospital, leaving evidence of a massacre in its wake
    Dozens of bodies are still being recovered from the rubble of a destroyed and burnt al-Shifa Hospital, following a two-week Israeli raid and siege on the hospital.

    Qassam MuaddiApril 1, 2024
    A destroyed and bombed out hospital room in the al-Shifa Hospital in the foreground; a burned edifice of the al-Shifa Hospital complex in the background.
    Palestinians assess the damage and search the rubble in the area of the destroyed al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on April 1, 2024. The Israeli army said Monday that it wrapped up its military operation at the al-Shifa Hospital complex following a 14-day siege and attack that resulted in scores of casualties and hundreds of arrests. (Khaled Daoud /apaimages)
    Casualties

    32,623 + killed* and at least 75,092 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    450+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.**
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,139.
    600 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7, and at least 6,800 injured.***
    *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel. Some rights groups estimate the death toll to be much higher when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** The death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to the PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure.

    *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.”

    Key Developments

    Israel has killed 140 Palestinians and wounded 202 in the Gaza Strip since Saturday morning, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
    Israeli army withdraws from al-Shifa Hospital complex after two-week siege, leaving total destruction in its wake and dozens of dead. Israeli military sources say al-Shifa “will not come back to operation” after withdrawal.
    Gaza’s interior ministry announces the arrest of 10 intelligence officers from the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, claiming that they entered Gaza in coordination with Israel to “destabilize the internal front.” Ramallah officially denies the claims.
    Gaza’s health ministry calls upon the international community to intervene to reopen Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, which was put out of service by Israeli forces after sustained attacks in recent weeks.
    Israel announces killing of Hezbollah military commander in strike on southern Lebanon. Israeli strikes hit the Lebanese towns of al-Khyam and Markaba, while Hezbollah fires rockets on Israeli settlements and military bases in the Galilee.
    Israeli forces raid Jenin in the occupied West Bank amid arrest wave.
    Palestinians in Israel and West Bank march in commemoration of Palestinian Land Day protesting Gaza genocide.
    Israeli Channel 12: Over 6,800 Israeli soldiers wounded since October 7th.
    Israel kills 140 Palestinians in Gaza, including 10 journalists in targeted strike

    The Palestinian health ministry reported that Israeli forces committed 14 massacres across the Gaza Strip since Saturday, killing 140 Palestinians and wounding 202, raising the death toll of Israel’s assault since October 7 to 32,782 with more than 75,392 wounded.

    In Gaza City, medical sources reported finding at least 50 dead bodies in the surroundings of al-Shifa hospital after the Israeli army withdrew from the medical complex following two weeks of raids. The health ministry said in a statement on Sunday that medical staff are unable to recover the bodies and the wounded under the rubble.

    Palestinians search the rubble of destroyed and burned buildings of the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City following a two-week Israeli raid.
    Palestinians search the rubble of destroyed and burned buildings of the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City following a two-week Israeli raid that claimed hundreds of casualties. The Israeli military said that the hospital will be inoperable following the withdrawal of its forces. (APA Images)
    On Sunday, Israeli airstrikes hit a residential building in the al-Daraj neighborhood in Gaza City, killing an unspecified number of Palestinians. In western Gaza City, Israeli strikes killed at least two Palestinians and wounded 10 in al-Shati refugee camp.

    In the central Gaza Strip, Israeli forces killed six Palestinians in a strike on a family house in al-Maghazi refugee camp. Israeli strikes also killed four Palestinians and wounded 15, including 10 journalists in a strike on a tent in the courtyard of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah.

    In the southern Gaza Strip, Israeli strikes continued over the weekend on Khan Younis and its surrounding villages. In Bani Suhaila, west of Khan Younis, Palestinian medical teams recovered five more bodies. Local media sources also reported that Israeli armored vehicles opened fire at Palestinian houses in Khuza’a, east of Khan Younis.

    Israeli army withdraws from al-Shifa Hospital after two-week attack, leaving ‘total destruction’

    The Israeli army withdrew from al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City early on Monday, following 14 days of raids on Gaza’s largest medical complex. Testimonies from the ground reported finding at least 50 dead bodies in the complex, while medical sources said that “hundreds of bodies” continue to be found in the hospital’s vicinity.

    Israeli media quoted the Israeli army spokesperson saying that Israeli forces have “ended their operation” at al-Shifa, killing 200 Palestinians whom it claims to be members of Palestinian resistance groups, including a senior commander of Hamas’s military wing.

    The Israeli army repeated throughout the two-week-long raid that it took “precautions” to avoid harming civilians and civilian infrastructure. However, testimonies from journalists and civilians of executions and torture inside the hospital and photos of a completely burnt hospital indicate otherwise.

    Palestinians look on at the damaged and burned remaining edifice of al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza's largest hospital, which was destroyed by the Israeli military in a deadly two-week raid.
    Palestinians look on at the damaged and burned remaining edifice of al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest hospital, which was destroyed by the Israeli military in a deadly two-week raid. April 1, 2024 (APA Images)
    Palestinians rushed into al-Shifa following the withdrawal of Israeli forces, with reports from local media sources describing the “total destruction” of the hospital’s facilities.

    According to medical sources at al-Shifa, Israeli troops completely destroyed the specialized surgeries building and set fire to the rest of the building. Sources also indicated that Israeli soldiers also torched the reception and emergency buildings, destroying dozens of rooms and all of its equipment.

    Local sources added that Israeli forces destroyed or torched several residential buildings surrounding al-Shifa and that residents have recovered dozens of dead bodies in the streets surrounding the complex.

    On Monday, the Haboush family told news outlet Arab 48 as they evacuated the area that they had spent nine days with very little water at their home in al-Shifa’s vicinity. The family said that their eldest son was killed by an Israeli quadcopter drone and was left to bleed to death and then decompose before their eyes, as they couldn’t risk recovering his body under Israeli fire.

    On the second day of the Israeli raid, Palestinian Gaza-based journalist Bayan Abu Sultan reported through her X account that Israeli forces killed her brother in the surroundings of al-Shifa.

    Palestinian medical sources said in the aftermath of Israel’s withdrawal from al-Shifa that the medical complex was completely inoperational and that it will be “very difficult to resume work in al-Shifa in the current stage.”

    Hours prior to Israeli forces’ withdrawal, the Director General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhom Ghebreyesus, called upon opening a humanitarian corridor to al-Shifa.

    Ghebreyesus added that 21 Palestinian patients have died inside al-Shifa during the Israeli raid since March 19 and that 107 more patients are still inside the hospital in inappropriate medical conditions, including four children and 28 in critical condition. Ghebreyesus indicated that the patients include some with wound inflammation, due to the lack of clean water.

    Israeli army sources also said through the Israeli army radio that al-Shifa Hospital “will not come back to work” after the destruction it suffered during the Israeli military raid.

    Israeli forces had raided al-Shifa in November and forced Palestinians, including patients and medical staff, to exit, leaving behind several newborn babies without functioning incubators.

    Palestinians returned to al-Shifa following the first Israeli withdrawal from the hospital in December, where journalists reported finding the left-behind-babies decomposing.

    Gaza interior ministry accuses PA intelligence of ‘infiltrating Gaza in coordination with Israel


    The Gaza-based Palestinian interior ministry, which is administered by Hamas, said on Monday that an intelligence force belonging to the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, led by Hamas’ political rival Fatah, entered the Gaza Strip on Saturday.

    The ministry announced arresting the force’s members, whom it claimed were on a mission to “sabotage the internal front” in Gaza. A Palestinian Authority senior official denied accusations on Monday in statements to the PA-affiliated Wafa agency.

    According to Gaza authorities, the intelligence force entered on Saturday in Egyptian Red Crescent trucks that were allegedly allowed into the Strip by Israel. Gaza officials added that Egyptian authorities denied having any knowledge of the alleged infiltration.

    An official in the Gaza interior ministry said that the force entered by direct orders of the Ramallah-based Palestinian general intelligence apparatus chief, Majed Faraj, with the mission of “spreading chaos,” and in coordination with the Israeli army and the Israeli internal security intelligence – the Shin Bet, or as it’s known locally, the Shabak.

    The official noted that the Gaza security forces received instructions from the ‘Palestinian resistance factions joint operation group,’ the coordinating body of a dozen Palestinian armed factions in the Strip. The instructions, according to the official, were to intercept the alleged force “and any security force that enters Gaza other than through the resistance.”

    On Monday, the Palestinian Authority’s official Wafa news agency quoted a senior PA official calling the Gaza interior ministry statement “an enraged media campaign to cover up the suffering of our people in Gaza.”

    The Israeli Kan channel had reported earlier that Israel’s war minister Yoav Gallant had proposed Majed Faraj take charge of running the Strip after the war in cooperation with local figures who wouldn’t include members of Hamas.

    Last week, The White House spokesperson Mathew Miller said that one of the U.S. administration’s orders for a post-war Gaza is that the PA must run both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Miller added that the U.S. is discussing with the PA and other countries in the region all the issues concerning the administration of the Strip after the war, without giving further details.

    600 Israeli soldiers killed, 6,800 wounded as fighting with Palestinian resistance continues

    The Israeli army announced on Monday that a soldier from its 77th brigade was killed in combat with the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip, as Israeli media outlets reported that 600 Israeli soldiers and officers have been killed since October 7, and 6,800 have been wounded.

    The Israeli army, which delays the announcement of its losses under strict military censorship, has so far admitted the loss of 264 soldiers and officers since the beginning of its ground invasion of the Gaza Strip in November.

    Meanwhile, the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, announced that its fighters targeted an Israeli tank in Khan Younis with an armor-piercing explosive device and that Israeli military helicopters rushed to evacuate casualties.

    Al-Qassam also announced that its fighters engaged Israeli soldiers with an anti-fortification projectile inside a house near the Nasser Hospital, west of Khan Younis. Al-Qassam added that it targeted Israeli troops in the vicinity of al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City with mortar rounds.

    Simultaneously, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad -PIJ announced that its fighters engaged Israeli forces in the al-Qarara neighborhood in Khan Younis.

    For its part, the Israeli army announced that it continues to fight Palestinian factions in al-Qarara and that 81 soldiers were wounded in the southern Gaza Strip in the past week.

    Qassam Muaddi
    Qassam Muaddi is the Palestine Staff Writer for Mondoweiss.



    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/04/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-178-israel-withdraws-from-al-shifa-hospital-leaving-evidence-of-a-massacre-in-its-wake/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 178: Israel withdraws from al-Shifa Hospital, leaving evidence of a massacre in its wake Dozens of bodies are still being recovered from the rubble of a destroyed and burnt al-Shifa Hospital, following a two-week Israeli raid and siege on the hospital. Qassam MuaddiApril 1, 2024 A destroyed and bombed out hospital room in the al-Shifa Hospital in the foreground; a burned edifice of the al-Shifa Hospital complex in the background. Palestinians assess the damage and search the rubble in the area of the destroyed al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on April 1, 2024. The Israeli army said Monday that it wrapped up its military operation at the al-Shifa Hospital complex following a 14-day siege and attack that resulted in scores of casualties and hundreds of arrests. (Khaled Daoud /apaimages) Casualties 32,623 + killed* and at least 75,092 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 450+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.** Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,139. 600 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7, and at least 6,800 injured.*** *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel. Some rights groups estimate the death toll to be much higher when accounting for those presumed dead. ** The death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to the PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure. *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Key Developments Israel has killed 140 Palestinians and wounded 202 in the Gaza Strip since Saturday morning, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Israeli army withdraws from al-Shifa Hospital complex after two-week siege, leaving total destruction in its wake and dozens of dead. Israeli military sources say al-Shifa “will not come back to operation” after withdrawal. Gaza’s interior ministry announces the arrest of 10 intelligence officers from the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, claiming that they entered Gaza in coordination with Israel to “destabilize the internal front.” Ramallah officially denies the claims. Gaza’s health ministry calls upon the international community to intervene to reopen Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, which was put out of service by Israeli forces after sustained attacks in recent weeks. Israel announces killing of Hezbollah military commander in strike on southern Lebanon. Israeli strikes hit the Lebanese towns of al-Khyam and Markaba, while Hezbollah fires rockets on Israeli settlements and military bases in the Galilee. Israeli forces raid Jenin in the occupied West Bank amid arrest wave. Palestinians in Israel and West Bank march in commemoration of Palestinian Land Day protesting Gaza genocide. Israeli Channel 12: Over 6,800 Israeli soldiers wounded since October 7th. Israel kills 140 Palestinians in Gaza, including 10 journalists in targeted strike The Palestinian health ministry reported that Israeli forces committed 14 massacres across the Gaza Strip since Saturday, killing 140 Palestinians and wounding 202, raising the death toll of Israel’s assault since October 7 to 32,782 with more than 75,392 wounded. In Gaza City, medical sources reported finding at least 50 dead bodies in the surroundings of al-Shifa hospital after the Israeli army withdrew from the medical complex following two weeks of raids. The health ministry said in a statement on Sunday that medical staff are unable to recover the bodies and the wounded under the rubble. Palestinians search the rubble of destroyed and burned buildings of the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City following a two-week Israeli raid. Palestinians search the rubble of destroyed and burned buildings of the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City following a two-week Israeli raid that claimed hundreds of casualties. The Israeli military said that the hospital will be inoperable following the withdrawal of its forces. (APA Images) On Sunday, Israeli airstrikes hit a residential building in the al-Daraj neighborhood in Gaza City, killing an unspecified number of Palestinians. In western Gaza City, Israeli strikes killed at least two Palestinians and wounded 10 in al-Shati refugee camp. In the central Gaza Strip, Israeli forces killed six Palestinians in a strike on a family house in al-Maghazi refugee camp. Israeli strikes also killed four Palestinians and wounded 15, including 10 journalists in a strike on a tent in the courtyard of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah. In the southern Gaza Strip, Israeli strikes continued over the weekend on Khan Younis and its surrounding villages. In Bani Suhaila, west of Khan Younis, Palestinian medical teams recovered five more bodies. Local media sources also reported that Israeli armored vehicles opened fire at Palestinian houses in Khuza’a, east of Khan Younis. Israeli army withdraws from al-Shifa Hospital after two-week attack, leaving ‘total destruction’ The Israeli army withdrew from al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City early on Monday, following 14 days of raids on Gaza’s largest medical complex. Testimonies from the ground reported finding at least 50 dead bodies in the complex, while medical sources said that “hundreds of bodies” continue to be found in the hospital’s vicinity. Israeli media quoted the Israeli army spokesperson saying that Israeli forces have “ended their operation” at al-Shifa, killing 200 Palestinians whom it claims to be members of Palestinian resistance groups, including a senior commander of Hamas’s military wing. The Israeli army repeated throughout the two-week-long raid that it took “precautions” to avoid harming civilians and civilian infrastructure. However, testimonies from journalists and civilians of executions and torture inside the hospital and photos of a completely burnt hospital indicate otherwise. Palestinians look on at the damaged and burned remaining edifice of al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza's largest hospital, which was destroyed by the Israeli military in a deadly two-week raid. Palestinians look on at the damaged and burned remaining edifice of al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest hospital, which was destroyed by the Israeli military in a deadly two-week raid. April 1, 2024 (APA Images) Palestinians rushed into al-Shifa following the withdrawal of Israeli forces, with reports from local media sources describing the “total destruction” of the hospital’s facilities. According to medical sources at al-Shifa, Israeli troops completely destroyed the specialized surgeries building and set fire to the rest of the building. Sources also indicated that Israeli soldiers also torched the reception and emergency buildings, destroying dozens of rooms and all of its equipment. Local sources added that Israeli forces destroyed or torched several residential buildings surrounding al-Shifa and that residents have recovered dozens of dead bodies in the streets surrounding the complex. On Monday, the Haboush family told news outlet Arab 48 as they evacuated the area that they had spent nine days with very little water at their home in al-Shifa’s vicinity. The family said that their eldest son was killed by an Israeli quadcopter drone and was left to bleed to death and then decompose before their eyes, as they couldn’t risk recovering his body under Israeli fire. On the second day of the Israeli raid, Palestinian Gaza-based journalist Bayan Abu Sultan reported through her X account that Israeli forces killed her brother in the surroundings of al-Shifa. Palestinian medical sources said in the aftermath of Israel’s withdrawal from al-Shifa that the medical complex was completely inoperational and that it will be “very difficult to resume work in al-Shifa in the current stage.” Hours prior to Israeli forces’ withdrawal, the Director General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhom Ghebreyesus, called upon opening a humanitarian corridor to al-Shifa. Ghebreyesus added that 21 Palestinian patients have died inside al-Shifa during the Israeli raid since March 19 and that 107 more patients are still inside the hospital in inappropriate medical conditions, including four children and 28 in critical condition. Ghebreyesus indicated that the patients include some with wound inflammation, due to the lack of clean water. Israeli army sources also said through the Israeli army radio that al-Shifa Hospital “will not come back to work” after the destruction it suffered during the Israeli military raid. Israeli forces had raided al-Shifa in November and forced Palestinians, including patients and medical staff, to exit, leaving behind several newborn babies without functioning incubators. Palestinians returned to al-Shifa following the first Israeli withdrawal from the hospital in December, where journalists reported finding the left-behind-babies decomposing. Gaza interior ministry accuses PA intelligence of ‘infiltrating Gaza in coordination with Israel The Gaza-based Palestinian interior ministry, which is administered by Hamas, said on Monday that an intelligence force belonging to the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, led by Hamas’ political rival Fatah, entered the Gaza Strip on Saturday. The ministry announced arresting the force’s members, whom it claimed were on a mission to “sabotage the internal front” in Gaza. A Palestinian Authority senior official denied accusations on Monday in statements to the PA-affiliated Wafa agency. According to Gaza authorities, the intelligence force entered on Saturday in Egyptian Red Crescent trucks that were allegedly allowed into the Strip by Israel. Gaza officials added that Egyptian authorities denied having any knowledge of the alleged infiltration. An official in the Gaza interior ministry said that the force entered by direct orders of the Ramallah-based Palestinian general intelligence apparatus chief, Majed Faraj, with the mission of “spreading chaos,” and in coordination with the Israeli army and the Israeli internal security intelligence – the Shin Bet, or as it’s known locally, the Shabak. The official noted that the Gaza security forces received instructions from the ‘Palestinian resistance factions joint operation group,’ the coordinating body of a dozen Palestinian armed factions in the Strip. The instructions, according to the official, were to intercept the alleged force “and any security force that enters Gaza other than through the resistance.” On Monday, the Palestinian Authority’s official Wafa news agency quoted a senior PA official calling the Gaza interior ministry statement “an enraged media campaign to cover up the suffering of our people in Gaza.” The Israeli Kan channel had reported earlier that Israel’s war minister Yoav Gallant had proposed Majed Faraj take charge of running the Strip after the war in cooperation with local figures who wouldn’t include members of Hamas. Last week, The White House spokesperson Mathew Miller said that one of the U.S. administration’s orders for a post-war Gaza is that the PA must run both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Miller added that the U.S. is discussing with the PA and other countries in the region all the issues concerning the administration of the Strip after the war, without giving further details. 600 Israeli soldiers killed, 6,800 wounded as fighting with Palestinian resistance continues The Israeli army announced on Monday that a soldier from its 77th brigade was killed in combat with the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip, as Israeli media outlets reported that 600 Israeli soldiers and officers have been killed since October 7, and 6,800 have been wounded. The Israeli army, which delays the announcement of its losses under strict military censorship, has so far admitted the loss of 264 soldiers and officers since the beginning of its ground invasion of the Gaza Strip in November. Meanwhile, the al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, announced that its fighters targeted an Israeli tank in Khan Younis with an armor-piercing explosive device and that Israeli military helicopters rushed to evacuate casualties. Al-Qassam also announced that its fighters engaged Israeli soldiers with an anti-fortification projectile inside a house near the Nasser Hospital, west of Khan Younis. Al-Qassam added that it targeted Israeli troops in the vicinity of al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City with mortar rounds. Simultaneously, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad -PIJ announced that its fighters engaged Israeli forces in the al-Qarara neighborhood in Khan Younis. For its part, the Israeli army announced that it continues to fight Palestinian factions in al-Qarara and that 81 soldiers were wounded in the southern Gaza Strip in the past week. Qassam Muaddi Qassam Muaddi is the Palestine Staff Writer for Mondoweiss. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/04/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-178-israel-withdraws-from-al-shifa-hospital-leaving-evidence-of-a-massacre-in-its-wake/
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    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 178: Israel withdraws from al-Shifa Hospital, leaving evidence of a massacre in its wake
    Dozens of bodies are still being recovered from the rubble of a destroyed and burnt al-Shifa Hospital, following a two-week Israeli raid and siege on the hospital.
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  • The IDF’s war crimes are a perfect reflection of Israeli society
    Miko Peled, author and former member of IDF Special Forces, explains how Israel indoctrinates its citizens in anti-Palestinian racism from the cradle to the grave.


    Three months into Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, the atrocities the IDF has committed against Palestinians are too numerous to name. Israel is staging a prolonged assault on the Palestinian people’s very means of existence—destroying homes, hospitals, sanitation infrastructure, food and water sources, schools, and more. To understand the genocidal campaign unfolding before our eyes, we must examine the roots of Israeli society. Israel is a settler colonial state whose existence depends on the elimination of Palestinians. Accordingly, Israel is a deeply militarized society whose citizens are raised in an environment of historical revisionism and indoctrination that whitewashes Israel’s crimes while cultivating a deep-seated racism against Palestinians. Miko Peled, former IDF Special Forces and author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine, joins The Chris Hedges Report for a frank conversation on the distortions of history and reality at the foundations of Israeli identity.

    Studio Production: David Hebden, Adam Coley, Cameron Granadino
    Post-Production: Adam Coley

    Transcript

    Chris Hedges: The Israeli army, known as the Israel Defense Force or IDF, is integral to understanding Israeli society. Nearly all Israelis do three years of military service, most continue to serve in the reserves until middle age. Its generals often retire to occupy senior positions in government and industry. The dominance of the military in Israeli society helps explain why war, militaristic nationalism, and violence are so deeply embedded in Zionist ideology.

    Israel is the outgrowth of a militarized settler colonial movement that seeks its legitimacy in biblical myth. It has always sought to solve nearly every conflict; The ethnic cleansing and massacres against Palestinians known as the Nakba or catastrophe in the years between 1947 and 1949, the Suez War of 1956, the 1967 and 1973 wars with Arab neighbors, the two invasions of Lebanon, the Palestinian intifadas, and the series of military strikes on Gaza, including the most recent, with violence. The long campaign to occupy Palestinian land and ethnically cleanse Palestinians is rooted in the Zionist paramilitaries that formed the Israeli state and continue within the IDF.

    The overriding goal of settler colonialism is the total conquest of Palestinian land. The few Israeli leaders who have sought to reign in the military, such as Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, have been pushed aside by the generals. The military setbacks suffered by Israel in the 1973 war with Egypt and Syria, and during Israel’s invasions of Lebanon only fuel the extreme nationalists who have abandoned all pretense of a liberal democracy. They speak in the open language of apartheid and genocide. These extremists were behind the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Israel’s failure to live up to the Oslo Accords.

    This extremism has now been exacerbated by the attack of October 7, which killed about 1,200 Israelis. The few Israelis who oppose this militaristic nationalism, especially after October 7, have been silenced and persecuted in Israel. Genocidal violence is almost exclusively the language Israeli leaders, and now Israeli citizens, use to speak to the Palestinians and the Arab world.

    Joining me to discuss the role of the military in Israeli society is Miko Peled. Miko’s father was a general in the Israeli army. Miko was a member of Israel’s special forces and, although disillusioned with the military, moved from his role as a combatant to that of a medic. After the 1982 war in Lebanon, he buried his service pin. He is the author of, The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.

    You grew up, you were a child when your father was a general in the IDF. This inculcation of that military ethos has begun very young and begun in the schools. Can you talk about that?

    Miko Peled: Sure, thanks for having me, Chris. It’s good to be with you again and talk to you. So it begins before the military. It begins in preschool. It begins as soon as kids are able to talk and walk. I always say I knew the order of the ranks in the military before I knew my alphabet and this is true for many Israeli kids. The Israeli education system is such that it leads young Israelis to become soldiers, to serve the apartheid state, and to serve in this genocidal state, which is the state of Israel. It’s an enormous part of that. And with me, it came with mega-doses of that because when your father’s a general, and particularly of that generation of the 1967 generals, they were like gods of Olympus. Everybody knew their names.

    On Independence Day, I remember in the schools you would have little flags, not just flags of Israel, but flags of the IDF with pictures of IDF generals, pictures of the military, all kinds of military symbols, and so on. It’s everywhere. When I was a kid they still had a military parade. It’s everywhere and it’s inescapable. And you hear it when you walk down the street, you hear it in the news, you hear it in conversations, you hear it in schools, you read it in the textbooks, and there’s no place to develop dissent. There’s no place to develop a sense that dissent is okay, that dissent is possible. And the few cases where people do become dissenters, it’s either because their families have a tradition of being communist or more progressive and somehow it’s part of their tradition but this is a minority of a minority. By and large, Israel stands with the army, and Israel is the army. You can’t separate Israel from its army, from its military.

    Chris Hedges: Let’s juxtapose the myth that you were taught in school about the IDF with the reality.

    Miko Peled: The myth that I was… Again, this was given to me in larger doses at home because my father and his comrades were all part of the 1948 mythology. We were small and we were resourceful, and we were clever, and therefore, in 1948, we were able to defeat these Arab armies and these Arab killers who came to try to kill us and so on and destroy our fledgling little Jewish state. And because of our heroism – And you talked about the biblical connection – Because we are the descendants of King David, and we are the descendants of the Maccabees, and we have this resourcefulness and strength in our genes, we were able to create a state and then every time they attacked, we were there. We were able to defend ourselves and prevail and so on. It’s everywhere. Then again, in my case, it’s every time the larger, more extended family got together or my parents got together with their friends. And in many cases, the fathers were also comrades in arms.

    The stories of the battles, the stories of the conquests; Every city in Israel has an IDF plaza. Street names after different units of different generals are all over the country, street names of battles, so it’s everywhere. It wasn’t until I was probably 40 or a little less than 40, that it was the first time that I encountered the other narrative, the Palestinian story, and it was unbelievable. Somebody was telling me the day is night and night is day, or the world is flat, or whatever the comparison you want to make, it was incredible. They are telling me that what I know to be true – ‘Cause I heard it in school and I read it in books and I heard it from my father and my mother and friends – That all of this is not true. And what you find out if you go along the path that I chose to take, this journey of an Israeli to Palestine, is that it was one horrifying crime against humanity.

    That’s what this so-called heroism was, it was no heroism at all. It was a well-trained, highly motivated, well-indoctrinated, well-armed militia that then became the IDF. But when it started, it was still a militia or today they would be called a terrorist organization, that went up against the people who had never had a military force, who never had a tank, who never had a warplane, who never prepared, even remotely, for battle or an assault. Then you have to make a choice: How do you bridge this? The differences are not nuanced, the differences are enormous. The choice that I made is to investigate for myself and find out who’s telling the truth and who isn’t. And my side was not telling the truth.

    Chris Hedges: How did they explain incidents such as the Nakba, the massacres that took place in ’48 and ’56, and the massive ethnic cleansing that took place in ’67? How was that explained to you within that mythic narrative? Many of the activities that the IDF has had to carry out are quite brutal, quite savage. The indiscriminate killing of civilians – We can talk about Gaza in a minute – What did that do to society? The people who carried out those killings, and eventually huge prisons, torture, and everything else? But let’s begin with how the myth coped with those incidents and then talk about the trauma that is carried within Israeli society for carrying out those war crimes.

    Miko Peled: My generation, we knew that there were several instances of bad apples that committed terrible crimes. And we admitted, so there was Deir Yassin, which was a village on the outskirts of Jerusalem, a peaceful village where a horrible massacre took place. Then we knew that Ariel Sharon was a bit of a lunatic and he took the commandos that he commanded in the ’50s and went to the West Bank and went into Gaza and committed acts of terrible massacres. He was still a hero, held in high regard by everyone, but we knew that there were certain instances… And every military, every nation makes its mistakes and then these things happen But there was never any sense that this somehow discounted or hurt the image of us being a moral army.

    There are lots of stories of how soldiers went and they decided to, out of the kindness of their hearts, they didn’t harm civilians. And those same civilians went and then warned the enemy that they were coming. And these same good Israeli soldiers would then pay the price and were killed. So it’s presented as limited cases. Nakba was not something that was ever discussed. I’m sure it’s not discussed today, certainly not in schools. In Israeli schools today, you’re not allowed to mention the Nakba. There’s a directive by the Ministry of Education that even Palestinians are not allowed to mention the Nakba. But nobody ever talked about that. And the Arabs left, what are you going to do? There was a war and all these people left and this is the way it is.

    So none of that ever hurt, in any way, the image of us being this glorious heroic army, descendants of King David, and other great traditions of Jewish heroism. None of that ever hurt itself. So there’s no trauma because we did nothing wrong. If somebody did something wrong, well, it was a case of bad apples, it was limited to a particular circumstance, a particular person, a particular unit, and you get crazy people everywhere. What are you going to do? It’s never been presented as systemic. Today, we have a history so we can look back and if we do pay attention, and if we do read the literature, and if we do listen to Palestinians – And today there’s this great NGO called Zochrot, whose mission is to maintain the memory of the towns and cities that were destroyed in 1948 and to revive the stories of what took place in 1948 – They are uncovering new massacres all the time. Because as that generation is dying off, both the Israelis who committed the crimes and the Palestinians who were still alive at the time and survived, are opening up and telling more and more stories.

    So we know of churches that were filled with civilians and were burned down. We know of a mosque in Lydd that was filled with people and a young man went and shot a Fiat missile into it. All of these horrific stories are still coming out but Israelis are not paying attention, Israelis are not listening. Whenever there’s an attack on Gaza – And as you know very well, these attacks began in the fifties with Ariel Sharon, by the way – There is always a reason. Because at first they were infiltrators, and then they were terrorists, and now they’re called Hamas, and whatever the devil’s name may be there’s always a very good reason to go in there because these are people who are raised to hate and kill and so on. So it’s a tightly-knit and tightly-orchestrated narrative that is being perpetuated and Israelis don’t seem to have a problem with that.

    Chris Hedges: And yet carrying out acts of brutality. The occupation – Huge numbers, a million Israelis are in the states. Large numbers of Israelis have left the country. I’m wondering how many of those are people who have a conscience and are repulsed by what they have seen in the West Bank and Gaza. Perhaps I’m incorrect about that.

    Miko Peled: I don’t know. In the few encounters that I’ve had with Israelis in the US over the years, the vast majority support Israel, support Israel’s actions. It’s interesting that you mentioned that because I got an email from someone representing a group of alumni of Jewish Day Schools. These are Zionist schools all over countries where they indoctrinate the worst Zionism: secular Zionism. And they are now appalled by the indoctrination to serve in the IDF. A very high percentage of these students grew up, went to Israel, joined the IDF, took part in APEC events, and so on. And now they’re looking back and they’re reflecting and they’re feeling a sense of anger that they were put through this and lied through their entire lives about this.

    So that’s an interesting development. And if that grows, then that might be a game changer because these are the most loyal American Jews. The most loyal to Israel. But by and large, Israelis that I meet, with few exceptions, support Israel and they’re here for whatever reasons people come to America: They’re not unique, they’re not necessarily here because they were fed up or they were angry, or they were dissenters in any way, shape, or form. Around DC and Maryland, there are many Israelis. Sometimes you’ll sit in a coffee shop or go somewhere, you hear the conversations, and there’s no lack of support for Israel among these Israelis as far as I can see.

    Chris Hedges: Let’s talk about the armies. You were in the Special Forces elite unit. Talk about that indoctrination. I remember visiting Auschwitz a few years ago, and there were Israeli groups and people flying Israeli flags. But speak about that form of indoctrination and its link, in particular, to the Holocaust.

    Miko Peled: The myth is that Israel is a response to the Holocaust. And that the IDF is a response to the Holocaust; We must be strong, we must be willing to fight, and we must always have a gun in one hand or a weapon in one hand so that this will never happen again. And what’s interesting is, when you talk to Holocaust survivors who are not indoctrinated, who did not get pulled into Zionism – Which there are very, very many – They’ll say the notion that a militarized state is somehow the answer to the Holocaust is absurd because the answer to the Holocaust is tolerance and education and humanity, not violence and racism. But nobody wants to ruin a good myth with the facts. So that’s the story.

    The story is because of Auschwitz, we represent all those that were killed, perished by the Nazis, and so on, and therefore we need to be strong. And the Israeli flag represents them, and the Israeli military represents them. It’s absurd, it’s absolute madness. I went to serve in the army willingly, as most young Israelis do. In my environment, refusing or not going was not heard of, although there were some voices in the wilderness that were refusing and questioning morality. But I never did. Nobody around me ever did until I began the training and you began patrolling. I remember – You and I may have talked about this once – We were an infantry unit, a commando infantry unit. And suddenly we were given batons and these plastic handcuffs and were told to patrol in Ramallah.

    And I’m going, what the hell’s going on? What are we doing here? And then we’re told if anybody looks at you funny, you break every bone in their body. And I thought, everybody’s going to look at us, we’re commandos while marching through a city. Who’s not going to look at us? I was behind. I didn’t realize that everybody already understood that this is how it is, this is how it’s supposed to be. I thought, wait, this is wrong. Why are we doing this? We’re supposed to be the good guys here.

    And then there was the Lebanon invasion of ’82 and so on. So that broke that in my mind, that was a serious crack in the wall of belief and the wall of patriotism that was in me. But this whole notion that somehow being violent and militaristic and racist and being conquerors is somehow a response to the horrors of the Holocaust is absolute madness. But when you’re in it nobody around you is asking questions. You don’t ask questions either unless you’re willing to stand out and be smacked on the head.

    Chris Hedges: Within the military, within the IDF, how did they speak about Palestinians and Arabs?

    Miko Peled: The discourse, the hatred, the racism, is horrifying. First of all, they’re the animals. They’re nothing. It’s a joke, you see, it’s horrifying. They think it’s funny to stop people and ask them for their ID and to chase them and to chase kids and to shoot. It all seems like entertainment, you know? I never heard that discourse until I was in it. Then afterward, when I would meet Israelis who served, even here in the US, the way they joked around about what they did in the West Bank, the way they joked around about killing or stopping people or making them take their clothes off and dance naked, it’s entertainment.

    They think it’s funny. They don’t see that there’s a problem here because racism is so ingrained from such a young age that it’s almost organic. And I don’t think it’s surprising. When you have a racist society, and you have a racist education system that is so methodical, that’s what you get. And the racism doesn’t stop with Palestinians or with Arabs; It goes on to the Black people, it goes on to people of color, it goes to Jews or Israelis who come from other countries who are dark-skinned, for some reason. The racism crosses all these boundaries and it’s completely part of the culture.

    Chris Hedges: You have very little criticism of the IDF, almost none within the Israeli press, although there is quite a bit of criticism right now, of Netanyahu and his mismanagement and his corruption. Talk a little bit about the deification of the IDF within the public discourse and mainstream media and what that means for what’s happening in Gaza.

    Miko Peled: Well, the military is above the law. It’s above reproach, except from time to time. So after the ’73 war, there was an investigation. Earlier this week, there was, in the cabinet meeting… The cabinet meets every Sunday. And the army chief of staff was there and he was… This was leaked from the cabinet meeting. It was leaked that some of the more right-wing partners – It’s funny to say right-wing partners because they’re all this right-wing lunacy in the Israeli cabinet – But the more right-wing settlers that are in the cabinet were attacking the army, were attacking the chief of staff because he decided to start an inquiry because it was catastrophic when the Palestinian fighters came in from Gaza, there was nobody home. They took over half of their country back. They took 22 Israeli settlements and cities.

    They took over the army base of the Gaza brigade, which is supposed to defend the country from exactly this happening. And there was nobody in the… They took over the base. So he initiated an internal inquiry within the army, and they’re criticizing him and what you see in the Israeli press is two very interesting things: One is something went horribly wrong and we need to find out why, but we should wait because we shouldn’t do it during wartime. We shouldn’t criticize the army during wartime. We shouldn’t make the soldiers feel like they have to hold back because if they need to shoot, they should be allowed to shoot. And the other thing we see is that politically, everybody is eating each other up. They’re killing each other politically in the press. So everybody that’s against Netanyahu and wants to see it is attacking him.

    His people are attacking the others for attacking the government. It seems like there’s this paralysis as a result of this infighting that is affecting the functionality of the state as a state. Israelis are not living in the country, Israel is not the state that it was prior to October 7, it was paralyzed for several weeks, and now it’s still paralyzed in many ways. You’ve got missiles coming from the north, you’ve got missiles coming from the south. You’ve got very large numbers of Israeli soldiers being killed and thousands being injured and the war’s not ending. They’re not able to defeat the Palestinians in Gaza, the armed resistance, and so on.

    So all of this is taking place and you read the Israeli press and it’s like this cesspool that’s bubbling and bubbling and bubbling, and everybody’s attacking everybody else. And the army, it’s true, they are above reproach mostly, but this particular time the settlers are very angry. Another reason is because the the military decided to pull back some of the ground troops, understandably, since they’re being hit so hard. And I remember that happening before when the army pulled back out of Gaza, they were being attacked for stopping the killing, for not continuing these mass killings of Palestinians.

    Chris Hedges: Well, you had what? 70 fatalities in the Golani Brigade? And they were pulled back. This is a very elite unit.

    Miko Peled: Yeah, it’s very interesting because many of the casualties are high-ranking officers. You have colonels, lieutenant colonels, and very high-ranking commanders within Israeli special forces who are being killed. And they’re usually killed in big bunches because they’ll be in an armored personnel carrier or they’ll be marching together. And in Jenin a few days ago, they blew up a military vehicle and killed a bunch of soldiers. So Israelis are scratching their heads, not knowing what the hell is going on and what to do, because number one, they were not protected as they thought they were.

    And I’m sure you know this, the Israeli settlements, the kibbutzim, the cities in the south that border Gaza, [inaudible 00:25:59], they enjoy some of the highest standards of living among Israelis. It’s a beautiful lifestyle. It’s warm, it’s lovely. Agriculture is… And I don’t think it ever occurred to them that Palestinians would dare to come out of Gaza fighting and succeeding the way they did. The army was bankrupt. It was gone, the intelligence apparatus was bankrupt, and nothing worked. And it is reminiscent of what happened in 1973. This is far worse but it is reminiscent. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the October 7 attacks were exactly 50 years and one day after the 1973 October war began and the whole system collapsed. So that’s what we’re seeing right now.

    Chris Hedges: How do you read what’s happening in Gaza, militarily?

    Miko Peled: The Palestinians are able to hold on and kill many Israelis. And even though the Israelis have the firepower and they’ve got the logistics, supply chains are not a problem. Whereas Palestinians, I don’t know where they’re getting supplies. I don’t know where they’re getting food to continue fighting. They’re putting up a fierce resistance. I don’t think that militarily there’s a strategy here. This is revenge; Israel was humiliated, the army was humiliated, and they needed to take it out on somebody.

    So they found the weakest victims they could lay their hands on, and these are the Palestinian civilians in Gaza. And so they’re killing them by the tens of thousands. I don’t think anybody believes in such a thing as getting rid of Hamas. I don’t think anybody believes that that’s possible. I don’t believe anybody takes seriously or believes that you can take too many people out of Gaza and spread them around the world and into other places, even though that’s what they’re saying. But as long as Israel is allowed to kill, and as long as the supply chain isn’t interrupted, they’re going to continue to kill.

    Chris Hedges: And they’re also creating a humanitarian crisis. So it’s not just the bombs and the shells, but it’s now starvation. Diarrhea is an epidemic, sanitation is broken. I’m wondering at what point this humanitarian crisis becomes so pronounced that the choice is you leave or you die.

    Miko Peled: That’s always the big question for Palestinians. And the sad thing is that Palestinians are always being placed in these situations where they have to make that choice. It’s the worst form of injustice. And you know this, you’ve been in war zones. We don’t know how many bodies are buried under the rubble and what that’s going to bring up. And there are hundreds of thousands now who are suffering from all kinds of diseases as a result of this environmental catastrophe. And you remember, what was it? 2016 or something, 2017? The UN came out with a report that by 2020, Gaza would be uninhabitable. I don’t think the Gaza Strip has ever been inhabitable. It’s been a humanitarian disaster since it was created in the late forties and early fifties because they suddenly threw all these refugees there with no infrastructure and that was it, and then began killing them.

    I was talking to some people the other day, as Americans, as taxpayers, wouldn’t we want the Sixth Fleet, which is in the Mediterranean, the US Navy Sixth Fleet, to aid the Palestinians? To provide them support? To create a no-fly zone over these innocent people that are being massacred? As Americans, shouldn’t that be the natural ask, the natural desire to demand our politicians to use? Because American naval vessels have been used for humanitarian causes before. Why aren’t they supporting the Palestinians? Why aren’t they providing them aid? Why aren’t they helping them rebuild? Why are American tax dollars going to continue this genocide rather than stop it and aid the victims?

    These are questions Americans need to ask themselves because it makes absolutely no sense. It is absolute madness that people are allowing their government to support a genocide that’s not even done in secret. It’s not even done in hiding it. It’s on prime time. Everybody sees it. Everybody knows what’s going on. And again, for some strange reason, Americans are allowing their military and their government to aid the genocide. And there’s no question that it’s genocide. The definition of the crime of genocide is so absolutely clear, that anybody can look it up and compare it to what’s been going on in Palestine. So that to me is the greatest question: Why aren’t Americans demanding that the US support the Palestinians?

    Chris Hedges: Well, according to opinion polls, most Americans want a ceasefire. But the Congress is bought and paid for by the Israel lobby. Biden is one of the largest recipients of aid or campaign financing from the Israel lobby. This is true for both parties. Chuck Schumer was at the rally saying no ceasefire.

    Miko Peled: Which is odd. A ceasefire is a very small ask and I don’t know why we always ask for the bare minimum for Palestinians. But let’s talk about ceasefire. Israeli soldiers are being killed as well in very large numbers. How has ceasefire suddenly become an anti-Israeli demand? But it’s a very small ask. I don’t know how it was or where it was that this idea of demanding a ceasefire came up because that is not a serious demand. Ceasefire gets violated by Israel anyway, within 24-48 hours. You know that historically Israel always violated ceasefires. What is required here are severe sanctions, a no-fly zone, immediate aid to the Palestinians, and stopping this and providing guarantees for the safety and security of Palestinians forever moving forward so this can never happen again.

    That’s what needs to be asked. At this point, after having sacrificed so much, after having shown much of what I believe is immense courage, Palestinians deserve everything. We as people of conscience need to demand not to ceasefire, we need to demand a dismantling of the apartheid state and a full stop and absolute end to the genocide and guarantees put in place that Palestinian kids will be safe. I was talking to Issa Amro earlier in Hebron. It’s ridiculous when nobody even talks about what happens in the West Bank. Friends of mine who are Palestinian citizens of Israel, nobody dares to leave the house, nobody dares to text. They’re afraid to walk down the streets. Their safety is not guaranteed by anyone.

    Palestinian safety and security are left to the whims of any Israeli, and that should be the conversation right now, after such horrendous violence. That needs to be the demand. That needs to be the ask when we go to protests when we make these demands like a ceasefire. And even that, Israel is not willing. And these bouts of political supporters of Israel here in America are not willing to entertain a ceasefire. I believe it’s a crazy part of history that we’re experiencing right now and it’s a watershed moment. October 7 created an opportunity to end this for good, to end the suffering of Palestinians, the oppression, and the genocide for good. And if we being people of conscience don’t take advantage of this now and bring it to an end, we will regret this for generations.

    Chris Hedges: The Netanyahu government is talking about this assault on Gaza, this genocide continuing for months. There are strikes, and have been strikes against, now Hezbollah leaders. What concerns you? How could this all go terribly wrong?

    Miko Peled: It’s already gone terribly wrong because of the death and destruction of so many innocent lives is… I don’t even know that there’s a word for it. It’s beyond horrifying. Netanyahu is relying on the restraint of Hezbollah and the restraint of Iran and the restraint of the Arab governments has all been neutralized either through destruct, being destroyed, or through normalization. So he’s relying on that and he knows that he can keep triggering, he can keep bombing Lebanon, bombing Syria, instigating all of these things and it won’t turn into an all-out war. Because at the end of the day, even though Lebanese, Hezbollah, and Palestinian fighters have shown that they’re superior as fighters, they don’t have the supply chains, they don’t have the warplanes, they don’t have the tanks. So more and more civilians are going to be hurt.

    So I don’t think it’s going to turn into a regional war by any stretch of the imagination. And so Netanyahu is betting on that, and that’s why he’s allowing this to go on. And for him, this is a win-win. There’s no way that he can be unseated by anybody that’s around him. There’s no opposition. And as long as this goes on, as long as everybody’s in a state of crisis, he can continue to sit in the Prime Minister’s seat, which for him is the end all and be all of everything. And the world is supporting. The world, as governments of the world, I should say.

    I do interviews with African TV stations, Indian TV stations, and Europeans; Everybody is supporting Israel. Everybody listens to what I have to say, and they think I am a lunatic for supporting terrorism or whatever it is they, however, it is that they frame it. But I don’t see this ending unless there is massive pressure by people of conscience on their governments to force change, to force sanctions, to force the end of the genocide, and the end of the apartheid state.

    Chris Hedges: I want to talk about the shift within Zionism itself from the dominance of a secular leadership to – We see it in the government of Netanyahu – The rise of a religious Zionism, which is also true now within the IDF. And I wondered if you could talk about the consequences of that.

    Miko Peled: Sure. So originally, traditionally, and historically, Zionism and Judaism were at odds. And even to this day ultra-orthodox Jews reject Zionism and reject Israel by and large. But after 1967, there was this new creation of the Zionist religious movement. And these are the settlers who went to the West Bank and they became the new pioneers. And they are today, they make up a large portion of the officers and those who joined the special forces and so on. In the past, in the army, the unofficial policy was that these guys, should not be allowed to advance. The current chief of staff comes from that world, which is a huge change. There are several generals and high-ranking commanders and so on who come from that world. The reason that it was the unofficial policy that these guys should not be promoted was that it’s an incredibly toxic combination, this messianic form of Judaism, which is an aberration.

    It’s not Judaism at all, with this nationalist fanaticism. This combination is toxic and look what it created. It created some of the worst racists, some of the most violent thugs that we’ve seen, certainly in the short history of the state of Israel, although I don’t know that they’re any less violent than the generation of Zionists of my father who are secular. This was a big concern in the past but now they’re everywhere and look at its current government. They hold the finance ministry, they hold the national security ministry, certainly in the military they’re everywhere, they hold many sub-cabinets, and they’re heads of committees in the Knesset, and so on. And they’ve done their work. They worked very hard to get to where they are today, which is where they call the shots. And Netanyahu’s guaranteed to remain in power.

    They’re his support group. That’s why you could have had, as we had earlier this year, hundreds of thousands of Israelis protesting in the streets and it didn’t affect him because he has his block in the Knesset that will never leave him as long as he allows them to play their game. And this is what’s happening. So in terms of violence and the facts on the ground, I don’t think these guys are any worse again than my parents’ generation who were young Zionists and zealots at the time and committed the 1948 Nakba and ran the country and operated the apartheid state for the first few decades. But it’s a new form of fanaticism being that it is religious as well as fascist. So it’s very toxic. And they have more of a stomach for killing civilians than we’ve ever seen before, even for Israelis. These numbers are beyond belief, even for Israel.

    Chris Hedges: I’m wondering if this religious Zionism probably has its profoundest effect within Israel, in terms of shutting down dissidents, civil liberties, this kind of stuff.

    Miko Peled: Well, Israelis love them. Israelis love these guys because they’re religious but they dress like us. They don’t look like the old Jews with the big beards and everything; They’re cool. They wear jeans. And the reason I say this is because one of their objectives is to take over Al-Aqsa and build a Jewish temple. They’re destroying Al-Aqsa and they conduct these tours. In the old city of Jerusalem, there’s a particular path that you take from where the western wall is up to Al-Aqsa, which is open for non-Muslims. And so they hold tours and there’s several odd times throughout the day. I’ve taken some of these tours to see what it’s about, what these guys do, you know?

    These are prayer tours and hundreds of thousands of Israelis go on these tours. And these are Israelis who are not religious at all, these are secular people. I see the people that go on the tours. To give you an idea of what this is about, you go up on that bridge and then you wait until the tour starts because you have to go in a group. And there’s a massive model of the new temple, of the Jewish temple that is going to be built there. And then you have a huge group of armed police –They’re not soldiers, they’re police but dressed completely militarized. And Muslim Palestinians are not allowed – That accompany the tour all around and they stop and they pray and they stop and they pray and they stop and pray at various places. The whole thing takes maybe an hour. But the interesting thing is that the people who go on these tours are secular Israelis. And then as I was doing this, I was remembering, even as a kid growing up completely secular, we would sing songs about the day that we build a temple.

    Why did we sing songs about building a temple? Because it went beyond our religious significance and became a national significance. And there’s no question in my mind that Netanyahu and secular Israelis would love to see this idea of destroying Al-Aqsa and having a Jewish temple there. It’s a sign that we’re back, King David is back. Even though it has nothing to do with history and there’s no truth in it, the connection that we are descendants of King David is something Israelis love. That’s what this is about, the relationship between the so-called settlers. That’s what they’re called in Israeli jargon. They’re called the settlers. Regular secular Israelis are an interesting one because on the one hand, they’re looked down upon because they’re religious, but on the other hand, they’re a cool religious. So there is an affinity.

    Chris Hedges: Great. That was Miko Peled, author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five. I want to thank the Real News Network and its production team: Cameron Granandino, Adam Coley, David Hebden, and Kayla Rivara. You can find me at chrishedges.substack.com.

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    https://therealnews.com/the-idfs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-israeli-society

    https://telegra.ph/The-IDFs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-Israeli-society-04-02
    The IDF’s war crimes are a perfect reflection of Israeli society Miko Peled, author and former member of IDF Special Forces, explains how Israel indoctrinates its citizens in anti-Palestinian racism from the cradle to the grave. Three months into Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, the atrocities the IDF has committed against Palestinians are too numerous to name. Israel is staging a prolonged assault on the Palestinian people’s very means of existence—destroying homes, hospitals, sanitation infrastructure, food and water sources, schools, and more. To understand the genocidal campaign unfolding before our eyes, we must examine the roots of Israeli society. Israel is a settler colonial state whose existence depends on the elimination of Palestinians. Accordingly, Israel is a deeply militarized society whose citizens are raised in an environment of historical revisionism and indoctrination that whitewashes Israel’s crimes while cultivating a deep-seated racism against Palestinians. Miko Peled, former IDF Special Forces and author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine, joins The Chris Hedges Report for a frank conversation on the distortions of history and reality at the foundations of Israeli identity. Studio Production: David Hebden, Adam Coley, Cameron Granadino Post-Production: Adam Coley Transcript Chris Hedges: The Israeli army, known as the Israel Defense Force or IDF, is integral to understanding Israeli society. Nearly all Israelis do three years of military service, most continue to serve in the reserves until middle age. Its generals often retire to occupy senior positions in government and industry. The dominance of the military in Israeli society helps explain why war, militaristic nationalism, and violence are so deeply embedded in Zionist ideology. Israel is the outgrowth of a militarized settler colonial movement that seeks its legitimacy in biblical myth. It has always sought to solve nearly every conflict; The ethnic cleansing and massacres against Palestinians known as the Nakba or catastrophe in the years between 1947 and 1949, the Suez War of 1956, the 1967 and 1973 wars with Arab neighbors, the two invasions of Lebanon, the Palestinian intifadas, and the series of military strikes on Gaza, including the most recent, with violence. The long campaign to occupy Palestinian land and ethnically cleanse Palestinians is rooted in the Zionist paramilitaries that formed the Israeli state and continue within the IDF. The overriding goal of settler colonialism is the total conquest of Palestinian land. The few Israeli leaders who have sought to reign in the military, such as Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, have been pushed aside by the generals. The military setbacks suffered by Israel in the 1973 war with Egypt and Syria, and during Israel’s invasions of Lebanon only fuel the extreme nationalists who have abandoned all pretense of a liberal democracy. They speak in the open language of apartheid and genocide. These extremists were behind the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Israel’s failure to live up to the Oslo Accords. This extremism has now been exacerbated by the attack of October 7, which killed about 1,200 Israelis. The few Israelis who oppose this militaristic nationalism, especially after October 7, have been silenced and persecuted in Israel. Genocidal violence is almost exclusively the language Israeli leaders, and now Israeli citizens, use to speak to the Palestinians and the Arab world. Joining me to discuss the role of the military in Israeli society is Miko Peled. Miko’s father was a general in the Israeli army. Miko was a member of Israel’s special forces and, although disillusioned with the military, moved from his role as a combatant to that of a medic. After the 1982 war in Lebanon, he buried his service pin. He is the author of, The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five. You grew up, you were a child when your father was a general in the IDF. This inculcation of that military ethos has begun very young and begun in the schools. Can you talk about that? Miko Peled: Sure, thanks for having me, Chris. It’s good to be with you again and talk to you. So it begins before the military. It begins in preschool. It begins as soon as kids are able to talk and walk. I always say I knew the order of the ranks in the military before I knew my alphabet and this is true for many Israeli kids. The Israeli education system is such that it leads young Israelis to become soldiers, to serve the apartheid state, and to serve in this genocidal state, which is the state of Israel. It’s an enormous part of that. And with me, it came with mega-doses of that because when your father’s a general, and particularly of that generation of the 1967 generals, they were like gods of Olympus. Everybody knew their names. On Independence Day, I remember in the schools you would have little flags, not just flags of Israel, but flags of the IDF with pictures of IDF generals, pictures of the military, all kinds of military symbols, and so on. It’s everywhere. When I was a kid they still had a military parade. It’s everywhere and it’s inescapable. And you hear it when you walk down the street, you hear it in the news, you hear it in conversations, you hear it in schools, you read it in the textbooks, and there’s no place to develop dissent. There’s no place to develop a sense that dissent is okay, that dissent is possible. And the few cases where people do become dissenters, it’s either because their families have a tradition of being communist or more progressive and somehow it’s part of their tradition but this is a minority of a minority. By and large, Israel stands with the army, and Israel is the army. You can’t separate Israel from its army, from its military. Chris Hedges: Let’s juxtapose the myth that you were taught in school about the IDF with the reality. Miko Peled: The myth that I was… Again, this was given to me in larger doses at home because my father and his comrades were all part of the 1948 mythology. We were small and we were resourceful, and we were clever, and therefore, in 1948, we were able to defeat these Arab armies and these Arab killers who came to try to kill us and so on and destroy our fledgling little Jewish state. And because of our heroism – And you talked about the biblical connection – Because we are the descendants of King David, and we are the descendants of the Maccabees, and we have this resourcefulness and strength in our genes, we were able to create a state and then every time they attacked, we were there. We were able to defend ourselves and prevail and so on. It’s everywhere. Then again, in my case, it’s every time the larger, more extended family got together or my parents got together with their friends. And in many cases, the fathers were also comrades in arms. The stories of the battles, the stories of the conquests; Every city in Israel has an IDF plaza. Street names after different units of different generals are all over the country, street names of battles, so it’s everywhere. It wasn’t until I was probably 40 or a little less than 40, that it was the first time that I encountered the other narrative, the Palestinian story, and it was unbelievable. Somebody was telling me the day is night and night is day, or the world is flat, or whatever the comparison you want to make, it was incredible. They are telling me that what I know to be true – ‘Cause I heard it in school and I read it in books and I heard it from my father and my mother and friends – That all of this is not true. And what you find out if you go along the path that I chose to take, this journey of an Israeli to Palestine, is that it was one horrifying crime against humanity. That’s what this so-called heroism was, it was no heroism at all. It was a well-trained, highly motivated, well-indoctrinated, well-armed militia that then became the IDF. But when it started, it was still a militia or today they would be called a terrorist organization, that went up against the people who had never had a military force, who never had a tank, who never had a warplane, who never prepared, even remotely, for battle or an assault. Then you have to make a choice: How do you bridge this? The differences are not nuanced, the differences are enormous. The choice that I made is to investigate for myself and find out who’s telling the truth and who isn’t. And my side was not telling the truth. Chris Hedges: How did they explain incidents such as the Nakba, the massacres that took place in ’48 and ’56, and the massive ethnic cleansing that took place in ’67? How was that explained to you within that mythic narrative? Many of the activities that the IDF has had to carry out are quite brutal, quite savage. The indiscriminate killing of civilians – We can talk about Gaza in a minute – What did that do to society? The people who carried out those killings, and eventually huge prisons, torture, and everything else? But let’s begin with how the myth coped with those incidents and then talk about the trauma that is carried within Israeli society for carrying out those war crimes. Miko Peled: My generation, we knew that there were several instances of bad apples that committed terrible crimes. And we admitted, so there was Deir Yassin, which was a village on the outskirts of Jerusalem, a peaceful village where a horrible massacre took place. Then we knew that Ariel Sharon was a bit of a lunatic and he took the commandos that he commanded in the ’50s and went to the West Bank and went into Gaza and committed acts of terrible massacres. He was still a hero, held in high regard by everyone, but we knew that there were certain instances… And every military, every nation makes its mistakes and then these things happen But there was never any sense that this somehow discounted or hurt the image of us being a moral army. There are lots of stories of how soldiers went and they decided to, out of the kindness of their hearts, they didn’t harm civilians. And those same civilians went and then warned the enemy that they were coming. And these same good Israeli soldiers would then pay the price and were killed. So it’s presented as limited cases. Nakba was not something that was ever discussed. I’m sure it’s not discussed today, certainly not in schools. In Israeli schools today, you’re not allowed to mention the Nakba. There’s a directive by the Ministry of Education that even Palestinians are not allowed to mention the Nakba. But nobody ever talked about that. And the Arabs left, what are you going to do? There was a war and all these people left and this is the way it is. So none of that ever hurt, in any way, the image of us being this glorious heroic army, descendants of King David, and other great traditions of Jewish heroism. None of that ever hurt itself. So there’s no trauma because we did nothing wrong. If somebody did something wrong, well, it was a case of bad apples, it was limited to a particular circumstance, a particular person, a particular unit, and you get crazy people everywhere. What are you going to do? It’s never been presented as systemic. Today, we have a history so we can look back and if we do pay attention, and if we do read the literature, and if we do listen to Palestinians – And today there’s this great NGO called Zochrot, whose mission is to maintain the memory of the towns and cities that were destroyed in 1948 and to revive the stories of what took place in 1948 – They are uncovering new massacres all the time. Because as that generation is dying off, both the Israelis who committed the crimes and the Palestinians who were still alive at the time and survived, are opening up and telling more and more stories. So we know of churches that were filled with civilians and were burned down. We know of a mosque in Lydd that was filled with people and a young man went and shot a Fiat missile into it. All of these horrific stories are still coming out but Israelis are not paying attention, Israelis are not listening. Whenever there’s an attack on Gaza – And as you know very well, these attacks began in the fifties with Ariel Sharon, by the way – There is always a reason. Because at first they were infiltrators, and then they were terrorists, and now they’re called Hamas, and whatever the devil’s name may be there’s always a very good reason to go in there because these are people who are raised to hate and kill and so on. So it’s a tightly-knit and tightly-orchestrated narrative that is being perpetuated and Israelis don’t seem to have a problem with that. Chris Hedges: And yet carrying out acts of brutality. The occupation – Huge numbers, a million Israelis are in the states. Large numbers of Israelis have left the country. I’m wondering how many of those are people who have a conscience and are repulsed by what they have seen in the West Bank and Gaza. Perhaps I’m incorrect about that. Miko Peled: I don’t know. In the few encounters that I’ve had with Israelis in the US over the years, the vast majority support Israel, support Israel’s actions. It’s interesting that you mentioned that because I got an email from someone representing a group of alumni of Jewish Day Schools. These are Zionist schools all over countries where they indoctrinate the worst Zionism: secular Zionism. And they are now appalled by the indoctrination to serve in the IDF. A very high percentage of these students grew up, went to Israel, joined the IDF, took part in APEC events, and so on. And now they’re looking back and they’re reflecting and they’re feeling a sense of anger that they were put through this and lied through their entire lives about this. So that’s an interesting development. And if that grows, then that might be a game changer because these are the most loyal American Jews. The most loyal to Israel. But by and large, Israelis that I meet, with few exceptions, support Israel and they’re here for whatever reasons people come to America: They’re not unique, they’re not necessarily here because they were fed up or they were angry, or they were dissenters in any way, shape, or form. Around DC and Maryland, there are many Israelis. Sometimes you’ll sit in a coffee shop or go somewhere, you hear the conversations, and there’s no lack of support for Israel among these Israelis as far as I can see. Chris Hedges: Let’s talk about the armies. You were in the Special Forces elite unit. Talk about that indoctrination. I remember visiting Auschwitz a few years ago, and there were Israeli groups and people flying Israeli flags. But speak about that form of indoctrination and its link, in particular, to the Holocaust. Miko Peled: The myth is that Israel is a response to the Holocaust. And that the IDF is a response to the Holocaust; We must be strong, we must be willing to fight, and we must always have a gun in one hand or a weapon in one hand so that this will never happen again. And what’s interesting is, when you talk to Holocaust survivors who are not indoctrinated, who did not get pulled into Zionism – Which there are very, very many – They’ll say the notion that a militarized state is somehow the answer to the Holocaust is absurd because the answer to the Holocaust is tolerance and education and humanity, not violence and racism. But nobody wants to ruin a good myth with the facts. So that’s the story. The story is because of Auschwitz, we represent all those that were killed, perished by the Nazis, and so on, and therefore we need to be strong. And the Israeli flag represents them, and the Israeli military represents them. It’s absurd, it’s absolute madness. I went to serve in the army willingly, as most young Israelis do. In my environment, refusing or not going was not heard of, although there were some voices in the wilderness that were refusing and questioning morality. But I never did. Nobody around me ever did until I began the training and you began patrolling. I remember – You and I may have talked about this once – We were an infantry unit, a commando infantry unit. And suddenly we were given batons and these plastic handcuffs and were told to patrol in Ramallah. And I’m going, what the hell’s going on? What are we doing here? And then we’re told if anybody looks at you funny, you break every bone in their body. And I thought, everybody’s going to look at us, we’re commandos while marching through a city. Who’s not going to look at us? I was behind. I didn’t realize that everybody already understood that this is how it is, this is how it’s supposed to be. I thought, wait, this is wrong. Why are we doing this? We’re supposed to be the good guys here. And then there was the Lebanon invasion of ’82 and so on. So that broke that in my mind, that was a serious crack in the wall of belief and the wall of patriotism that was in me. But this whole notion that somehow being violent and militaristic and racist and being conquerors is somehow a response to the horrors of the Holocaust is absolute madness. But when you’re in it nobody around you is asking questions. You don’t ask questions either unless you’re willing to stand out and be smacked on the head. Chris Hedges: Within the military, within the IDF, how did they speak about Palestinians and Arabs? Miko Peled: The discourse, the hatred, the racism, is horrifying. First of all, they’re the animals. They’re nothing. It’s a joke, you see, it’s horrifying. They think it’s funny to stop people and ask them for their ID and to chase them and to chase kids and to shoot. It all seems like entertainment, you know? I never heard that discourse until I was in it. Then afterward, when I would meet Israelis who served, even here in the US, the way they joked around about what they did in the West Bank, the way they joked around about killing or stopping people or making them take their clothes off and dance naked, it’s entertainment. They think it’s funny. They don’t see that there’s a problem here because racism is so ingrained from such a young age that it’s almost organic. And I don’t think it’s surprising. When you have a racist society, and you have a racist education system that is so methodical, that’s what you get. And the racism doesn’t stop with Palestinians or with Arabs; It goes on to the Black people, it goes on to people of color, it goes to Jews or Israelis who come from other countries who are dark-skinned, for some reason. The racism crosses all these boundaries and it’s completely part of the culture. Chris Hedges: You have very little criticism of the IDF, almost none within the Israeli press, although there is quite a bit of criticism right now, of Netanyahu and his mismanagement and his corruption. Talk a little bit about the deification of the IDF within the public discourse and mainstream media and what that means for what’s happening in Gaza. Miko Peled: Well, the military is above the law. It’s above reproach, except from time to time. So after the ’73 war, there was an investigation. Earlier this week, there was, in the cabinet meeting… The cabinet meets every Sunday. And the army chief of staff was there and he was… This was leaked from the cabinet meeting. It was leaked that some of the more right-wing partners – It’s funny to say right-wing partners because they’re all this right-wing lunacy in the Israeli cabinet – But the more right-wing settlers that are in the cabinet were attacking the army, were attacking the chief of staff because he decided to start an inquiry because it was catastrophic when the Palestinian fighters came in from Gaza, there was nobody home. They took over half of their country back. They took 22 Israeli settlements and cities. They took over the army base of the Gaza brigade, which is supposed to defend the country from exactly this happening. And there was nobody in the… They took over the base. So he initiated an internal inquiry within the army, and they’re criticizing him and what you see in the Israeli press is two very interesting things: One is something went horribly wrong and we need to find out why, but we should wait because we shouldn’t do it during wartime. We shouldn’t criticize the army during wartime. We shouldn’t make the soldiers feel like they have to hold back because if they need to shoot, they should be allowed to shoot. And the other thing we see is that politically, everybody is eating each other up. They’re killing each other politically in the press. So everybody that’s against Netanyahu and wants to see it is attacking him. His people are attacking the others for attacking the government. It seems like there’s this paralysis as a result of this infighting that is affecting the functionality of the state as a state. Israelis are not living in the country, Israel is not the state that it was prior to October 7, it was paralyzed for several weeks, and now it’s still paralyzed in many ways. You’ve got missiles coming from the north, you’ve got missiles coming from the south. You’ve got very large numbers of Israeli soldiers being killed and thousands being injured and the war’s not ending. They’re not able to defeat the Palestinians in Gaza, the armed resistance, and so on. So all of this is taking place and you read the Israeli press and it’s like this cesspool that’s bubbling and bubbling and bubbling, and everybody’s attacking everybody else. And the army, it’s true, they are above reproach mostly, but this particular time the settlers are very angry. Another reason is because the the military decided to pull back some of the ground troops, understandably, since they’re being hit so hard. And I remember that happening before when the army pulled back out of Gaza, they were being attacked for stopping the killing, for not continuing these mass killings of Palestinians. Chris Hedges: Well, you had what? 70 fatalities in the Golani Brigade? And they were pulled back. This is a very elite unit. Miko Peled: Yeah, it’s very interesting because many of the casualties are high-ranking officers. You have colonels, lieutenant colonels, and very high-ranking commanders within Israeli special forces who are being killed. And they’re usually killed in big bunches because they’ll be in an armored personnel carrier or they’ll be marching together. And in Jenin a few days ago, they blew up a military vehicle and killed a bunch of soldiers. So Israelis are scratching their heads, not knowing what the hell is going on and what to do, because number one, they were not protected as they thought they were. And I’m sure you know this, the Israeli settlements, the kibbutzim, the cities in the south that border Gaza, [inaudible 00:25:59], they enjoy some of the highest standards of living among Israelis. It’s a beautiful lifestyle. It’s warm, it’s lovely. Agriculture is… And I don’t think it ever occurred to them that Palestinians would dare to come out of Gaza fighting and succeeding the way they did. The army was bankrupt. It was gone, the intelligence apparatus was bankrupt, and nothing worked. And it is reminiscent of what happened in 1973. This is far worse but it is reminiscent. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the October 7 attacks were exactly 50 years and one day after the 1973 October war began and the whole system collapsed. So that’s what we’re seeing right now. Chris Hedges: How do you read what’s happening in Gaza, militarily? Miko Peled: The Palestinians are able to hold on and kill many Israelis. And even though the Israelis have the firepower and they’ve got the logistics, supply chains are not a problem. Whereas Palestinians, I don’t know where they’re getting supplies. I don’t know where they’re getting food to continue fighting. They’re putting up a fierce resistance. I don’t think that militarily there’s a strategy here. This is revenge; Israel was humiliated, the army was humiliated, and they needed to take it out on somebody. So they found the weakest victims they could lay their hands on, and these are the Palestinian civilians in Gaza. And so they’re killing them by the tens of thousands. I don’t think anybody believes in such a thing as getting rid of Hamas. I don’t think anybody believes that that’s possible. I don’t believe anybody takes seriously or believes that you can take too many people out of Gaza and spread them around the world and into other places, even though that’s what they’re saying. But as long as Israel is allowed to kill, and as long as the supply chain isn’t interrupted, they’re going to continue to kill. Chris Hedges: And they’re also creating a humanitarian crisis. So it’s not just the bombs and the shells, but it’s now starvation. Diarrhea is an epidemic, sanitation is broken. I’m wondering at what point this humanitarian crisis becomes so pronounced that the choice is you leave or you die. Miko Peled: That’s always the big question for Palestinians. And the sad thing is that Palestinians are always being placed in these situations where they have to make that choice. It’s the worst form of injustice. And you know this, you’ve been in war zones. We don’t know how many bodies are buried under the rubble and what that’s going to bring up. And there are hundreds of thousands now who are suffering from all kinds of diseases as a result of this environmental catastrophe. And you remember, what was it? 2016 or something, 2017? The UN came out with a report that by 2020, Gaza would be uninhabitable. I don’t think the Gaza Strip has ever been inhabitable. It’s been a humanitarian disaster since it was created in the late forties and early fifties because they suddenly threw all these refugees there with no infrastructure and that was it, and then began killing them. I was talking to some people the other day, as Americans, as taxpayers, wouldn’t we want the Sixth Fleet, which is in the Mediterranean, the US Navy Sixth Fleet, to aid the Palestinians? To provide them support? To create a no-fly zone over these innocent people that are being massacred? As Americans, shouldn’t that be the natural ask, the natural desire to demand our politicians to use? Because American naval vessels have been used for humanitarian causes before. Why aren’t they supporting the Palestinians? Why aren’t they providing them aid? Why aren’t they helping them rebuild? Why are American tax dollars going to continue this genocide rather than stop it and aid the victims? These are questions Americans need to ask themselves because it makes absolutely no sense. It is absolute madness that people are allowing their government to support a genocide that’s not even done in secret. It’s not even done in hiding it. It’s on prime time. Everybody sees it. Everybody knows what’s going on. And again, for some strange reason, Americans are allowing their military and their government to aid the genocide. And there’s no question that it’s genocide. The definition of the crime of genocide is so absolutely clear, that anybody can look it up and compare it to what’s been going on in Palestine. So that to me is the greatest question: Why aren’t Americans demanding that the US support the Palestinians? Chris Hedges: Well, according to opinion polls, most Americans want a ceasefire. But the Congress is bought and paid for by the Israel lobby. Biden is one of the largest recipients of aid or campaign financing from the Israel lobby. This is true for both parties. Chuck Schumer was at the rally saying no ceasefire. Miko Peled: Which is odd. A ceasefire is a very small ask and I don’t know why we always ask for the bare minimum for Palestinians. But let’s talk about ceasefire. Israeli soldiers are being killed as well in very large numbers. How has ceasefire suddenly become an anti-Israeli demand? But it’s a very small ask. I don’t know how it was or where it was that this idea of demanding a ceasefire came up because that is not a serious demand. Ceasefire gets violated by Israel anyway, within 24-48 hours. You know that historically Israel always violated ceasefires. What is required here are severe sanctions, a no-fly zone, immediate aid to the Palestinians, and stopping this and providing guarantees for the safety and security of Palestinians forever moving forward so this can never happen again. That’s what needs to be asked. At this point, after having sacrificed so much, after having shown much of what I believe is immense courage, Palestinians deserve everything. We as people of conscience need to demand not to ceasefire, we need to demand a dismantling of the apartheid state and a full stop and absolute end to the genocide and guarantees put in place that Palestinian kids will be safe. I was talking to Issa Amro earlier in Hebron. It’s ridiculous when nobody even talks about what happens in the West Bank. Friends of mine who are Palestinian citizens of Israel, nobody dares to leave the house, nobody dares to text. They’re afraid to walk down the streets. Their safety is not guaranteed by anyone. Palestinian safety and security are left to the whims of any Israeli, and that should be the conversation right now, after such horrendous violence. That needs to be the demand. That needs to be the ask when we go to protests when we make these demands like a ceasefire. And even that, Israel is not willing. And these bouts of political supporters of Israel here in America are not willing to entertain a ceasefire. I believe it’s a crazy part of history that we’re experiencing right now and it’s a watershed moment. October 7 created an opportunity to end this for good, to end the suffering of Palestinians, the oppression, and the genocide for good. And if we being people of conscience don’t take advantage of this now and bring it to an end, we will regret this for generations. Chris Hedges: The Netanyahu government is talking about this assault on Gaza, this genocide continuing for months. There are strikes, and have been strikes against, now Hezbollah leaders. What concerns you? How could this all go terribly wrong? Miko Peled: It’s already gone terribly wrong because of the death and destruction of so many innocent lives is… I don’t even know that there’s a word for it. It’s beyond horrifying. Netanyahu is relying on the restraint of Hezbollah and the restraint of Iran and the restraint of the Arab governments has all been neutralized either through destruct, being destroyed, or through normalization. So he’s relying on that and he knows that he can keep triggering, he can keep bombing Lebanon, bombing Syria, instigating all of these things and it won’t turn into an all-out war. Because at the end of the day, even though Lebanese, Hezbollah, and Palestinian fighters have shown that they’re superior as fighters, they don’t have the supply chains, they don’t have the warplanes, they don’t have the tanks. So more and more civilians are going to be hurt. So I don’t think it’s going to turn into a regional war by any stretch of the imagination. And so Netanyahu is betting on that, and that’s why he’s allowing this to go on. And for him, this is a win-win. There’s no way that he can be unseated by anybody that’s around him. There’s no opposition. And as long as this goes on, as long as everybody’s in a state of crisis, he can continue to sit in the Prime Minister’s seat, which for him is the end all and be all of everything. And the world is supporting. The world, as governments of the world, I should say. I do interviews with African TV stations, Indian TV stations, and Europeans; Everybody is supporting Israel. Everybody listens to what I have to say, and they think I am a lunatic for supporting terrorism or whatever it is they, however, it is that they frame it. But I don’t see this ending unless there is massive pressure by people of conscience on their governments to force change, to force sanctions, to force the end of the genocide, and the end of the apartheid state. Chris Hedges: I want to talk about the shift within Zionism itself from the dominance of a secular leadership to – We see it in the government of Netanyahu – The rise of a religious Zionism, which is also true now within the IDF. And I wondered if you could talk about the consequences of that. Miko Peled: Sure. So originally, traditionally, and historically, Zionism and Judaism were at odds. And even to this day ultra-orthodox Jews reject Zionism and reject Israel by and large. But after 1967, there was this new creation of the Zionist religious movement. And these are the settlers who went to the West Bank and they became the new pioneers. And they are today, they make up a large portion of the officers and those who joined the special forces and so on. In the past, in the army, the unofficial policy was that these guys, should not be allowed to advance. The current chief of staff comes from that world, which is a huge change. There are several generals and high-ranking commanders and so on who come from that world. The reason that it was the unofficial policy that these guys should not be promoted was that it’s an incredibly toxic combination, this messianic form of Judaism, which is an aberration. It’s not Judaism at all, with this nationalist fanaticism. This combination is toxic and look what it created. It created some of the worst racists, some of the most violent thugs that we’ve seen, certainly in the short history of the state of Israel, although I don’t know that they’re any less violent than the generation of Zionists of my father who are secular. This was a big concern in the past but now they’re everywhere and look at its current government. They hold the finance ministry, they hold the national security ministry, certainly in the military they’re everywhere, they hold many sub-cabinets, and they’re heads of committees in the Knesset, and so on. And they’ve done their work. They worked very hard to get to where they are today, which is where they call the shots. And Netanyahu’s guaranteed to remain in power. They’re his support group. That’s why you could have had, as we had earlier this year, hundreds of thousands of Israelis protesting in the streets and it didn’t affect him because he has his block in the Knesset that will never leave him as long as he allows them to play their game. And this is what’s happening. So in terms of violence and the facts on the ground, I don’t think these guys are any worse again than my parents’ generation who were young Zionists and zealots at the time and committed the 1948 Nakba and ran the country and operated the apartheid state for the first few decades. But it’s a new form of fanaticism being that it is religious as well as fascist. So it’s very toxic. And they have more of a stomach for killing civilians than we’ve ever seen before, even for Israelis. These numbers are beyond belief, even for Israel. Chris Hedges: I’m wondering if this religious Zionism probably has its profoundest effect within Israel, in terms of shutting down dissidents, civil liberties, this kind of stuff. Miko Peled: Well, Israelis love them. Israelis love these guys because they’re religious but they dress like us. They don’t look like the old Jews with the big beards and everything; They’re cool. They wear jeans. And the reason I say this is because one of their objectives is to take over Al-Aqsa and build a Jewish temple. They’re destroying Al-Aqsa and they conduct these tours. In the old city of Jerusalem, there’s a particular path that you take from where the western wall is up to Al-Aqsa, which is open for non-Muslims. And so they hold tours and there’s several odd times throughout the day. I’ve taken some of these tours to see what it’s about, what these guys do, you know? These are prayer tours and hundreds of thousands of Israelis go on these tours. And these are Israelis who are not religious at all, these are secular people. I see the people that go on the tours. To give you an idea of what this is about, you go up on that bridge and then you wait until the tour starts because you have to go in a group. And there’s a massive model of the new temple, of the Jewish temple that is going to be built there. And then you have a huge group of armed police –They’re not soldiers, they’re police but dressed completely militarized. And Muslim Palestinians are not allowed – That accompany the tour all around and they stop and they pray and they stop and they pray and they stop and pray at various places. The whole thing takes maybe an hour. But the interesting thing is that the people who go on these tours are secular Israelis. And then as I was doing this, I was remembering, even as a kid growing up completely secular, we would sing songs about the day that we build a temple. Why did we sing songs about building a temple? Because it went beyond our religious significance and became a national significance. And there’s no question in my mind that Netanyahu and secular Israelis would love to see this idea of destroying Al-Aqsa and having a Jewish temple there. It’s a sign that we’re back, King David is back. Even though it has nothing to do with history and there’s no truth in it, the connection that we are descendants of King David is something Israelis love. That’s what this is about, the relationship between the so-called settlers. That’s what they’re called in Israeli jargon. They’re called the settlers. Regular secular Israelis are an interesting one because on the one hand, they’re looked down upon because they’re religious, but on the other hand, they’re a cool religious. So there is an affinity. Chris Hedges: Great. That was Miko Peled, author of The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine and Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five. I want to thank the Real News Network and its production team: Cameron Granandino, Adam Coley, David Hebden, and Kayla Rivara. You can find me at chrishedges.substack.com. Creative Commons License Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license. https://therealnews.com/the-idfs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-israeli-society https://telegra.ph/The-IDFs-war-crimes-are-a-perfect-reflection-of-Israeli-society-04-02
    THEREALNEWS.COM
    The IDF's war crimes are a perfect reflection of Israeli society
    Miko Peled, author and former member of IDF Special Forces, explains how Israel indoctrinates its citizens in anti-Palestinian racism from the cradle to the grave.
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  • I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this? -John 11:25-26
    #ResurrectionSunday #Resurrection #HeIsRisen #ChristIsRisen #JesusChrist #Christ #Jesus #HappyEaster #Easter2024 #Easter
    I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this? -John 11:25-26 #ResurrectionSunday #Resurrection #HeIsRisen #ChristIsRisen #JesusChrist #Christ #Jesus #HappyEaster #Easter2024 #Easter
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 171: ‘Horrific’ eyewitness accounts continue to emerge from Israel’s siege on Gaza’s hospitals
    Leila WarahMarch 25, 2024
    Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir El-Balah for treatment following the Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip, on March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir El-Balah for treatment following the Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip, on March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Casualties

    32,333 + killed* and at least 74,694 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    435+ 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.
    594 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.***
    *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel. Some rights groups estimate the death toll to be much higher when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** The death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to the PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure.

    *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.”

    Key Developments

    UNRWA: Israel says no more UNRWA food convoys to north Gaza.
    UNRWA chief: Israeli decision to deny all UNRWA food convoys to northern Gaza is “obstruct[ing] lifesaving assistance during a man-made famine.”
    Doctors Without Borders “deeply concerned” after medical staff arrested at al-Shifa Hospital amid “heavy air strikes by Israeli forces and fierce fighting” nearby.
    Tanks crushed bodies, ambulances at al-Shifa Hospital, reports AP News, citing witnesses.
    Footage emerges of Israeli soldiers assaulting Palestinian boy
    Casualties in Israeli attack on aid distributors at Kuwaiti roundabout in Gaza City, reports Al Jazeera.
    Israeli forces raid Al Aqsa mosque during nightly prayers, assault and expel worshipers, reports Al Jazeera journalist.
    WHO Chief: Israel must reverse decision on blocking north Gaza aid.
    Israeli war cabinet minister threatens to quit if bill exempting ultra-Orthodox Jews from conscription passes
    UNRWA: U.S. funding cut will ‘compromise access to food’ in Gaza.
    UN special rapporteurs decry underreporting of sexual violence against Palestinians.
    Israel blocks access to Jerusalem for West Bank Christians on Palm Sunday, reports Wafa.
    PRCS says it has lost radio contact with staff at al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis.
    Euro-Med: Israel’s attacks on academics in line with Gaza ‘genocide’
    WAFA correspondent killed along with son Israeli airstrike on Gaza
    MAP report: Doctor says conditions inside European Gaza Hospital ‘unimaginable’
    Gaza: Three Hospitals under military siege

    The Israeli military has imposed ongoing sieges on at least three medical facilities in the besieged enclave, terrorizing, injuring, and killing thousands of civilians in the process.

    Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza has entered its seventh day under siege, and the civilians able to flee are reporting ruthless massacres in and around the medical complex.

    A teenage Palestinian boy, Farouk Mohammed Hamd, told Al Jazeera he witnessed Israeli soldiers executing a group of eight people, including his father and brother, inside al-Shifa Hospital.

    He said he and the others were stripped of their clothing and moved several times inside the al-Shifa Hospital building in central Gaza over the course of hours before being taken to the top floor of the facility.

    “They left us for about three hours, then said, ‘You are safe. You can go south.”

    “We stood up, but then they opened fire. We all laid down on the floor again. Then, the snipers entertained themselves by shooting us one after the other.”

    Hamad said his father told him before being killed to run away if he could, and he managed to run, but not before seeing the unresponsive bodies of the executed group.

    On Sunday, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said its staff have reported “heavy air strikes by Israeli forces and fierce fighting” in the vicinity of al-Shifa hospital, “endangering patients, medical staff and people trapped inside with very few supplies.”

    Jameel al-Ayoubi, one of the thousands of Palestinians sheltering at the hospital, saw Israeli tanks and armored bulldozers drive over at least four bodies in the hospital courtyard, AP News reports. Ambulances were also crushed, he says.

    Kareem Ayman Hathat, who lived in a five-story building about 100 meters (328 feet) from the hospital, told AP he hid in his kitchen for days waiting as explosions shook the building.

    “From time to time, the tank would fire a shell,” he said. “It was to terrorise us.”

    MSF added that Israeli forces have carried out a mass-arrest campaign of medical staff and other people and that the organization is “deeply concerned” for the safety of those detained.

    Meanwhile, another two hospitals in Khan Younis have been under Israeli military siege for the last 24 hours: al-Amal and Nasser hospitals, reports Al Jazeera correspondent Hani Mahmoud from Gaza.

    “Military vehicles, tanks and attack drones are encircling these two facilities. They’re also blocking the entrance with piles of sand, preventing medical staff, patients and injured people inside from leaving safely and constantly failing to provide a safe corridor for people and evacuees trapped inside the hospital,” Mahmoud said.

    Palestinian Red Crescent (PRCS) gave their latest update on the situation in al Amal hospital on Sunday afternoon, saying Israeli tanks and armored vehicles have completely surrounded all entrances to the hospital and control any movement in and out.

    Israeli forces attacked the hospital earlier on Sunday, surrounding it with tanks and forcing nearly everyone inside, from patients to displaced Palestinians sheltering there, to evacuate.

    “What we’re getting confirmed from al-Amal Hospital is that not only has it been under constant bombing and tank shells, but loudspeakers are ordering people inside the hospital to come out only with their underwear on. And that has been confirmed by multiple sources and witnesses on the ground, those who managed to flee the harrowing situation,” Mahmoud added.

    On Sunday evening, the PRCS announced that they lost radio contact with their staff at the hospital.

    While all displaced Palestinians and patients who could move independently were evacuated towards the al-Mawasi area west of Khan Younis, hospital staff remain, along with nine patients and their ten companions and a displaced family with children who have disabilities. PCRS says all of them need to be safely evacuated.

    PRCS added that staff member Amir Abu Aisha and a wounded individual who was being treated at the hospital after being shot in the head by the Israeli military were both killed, and their bodies need to be removed.

    In a statement, Hamas said the Israeli military is systematically targeting hospitals across Gaza with the goal of displacing all Palestinians from their lands, showing Israel wants to continue its “war of extermination” against Palestinians and forcibly displace them from their land “by destroying all means of life in the Gaza Strip, especially hospitals,” reported Al Jazeera.

    Underreporting of sexual violence against Palestinians

    Witnesses at al-Shifa hospital have reported that “Palestinian women have been subjected to rape, torture, and execution by Israeli forces.”

    Reem Alsalem, the UN special rapporteur on violence against women and girls, said in a post on X that it is “abhorrent” that reports of rape by Israeli forces keep coming out without any consequences.

    “Rape and other forms of sexual violence can constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity or a constitutive act with respect to genocide! It must stop!”

    Francesca Albanese, the UN special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territory, similarly said, “I lost count of how many renowned journalists interviewed me on the alleged mistreatment of/sexual abuse against Palestinian women by Israeli forces, and never published any article on this.”

    “What we can see on the ground is a systematic creation of a corrosive environment in which Israel, with its destruction of neighborhoods and hospitals, is making Gaza unliveable for the majority of Palestinians,” said Al Jazeera co-respondent, Tareq Abu Azzoum from Gaza while reporting on the besieged hospitals.

    “Horrific scenes” at European Hospital

    Meanwhile, at Gaza’s European Hospital near Khan Younis, one of the last functioning medical facilities, medical staff report “horrific scenes” at the hospital with patients “dying from infections with evidence of serious malnutrition,” reported Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP).

    Husam Basheer, an orthopedic surgeon working at the hospital, says he and his staff are “managing with the bare minimum of resources” at the medical facility due to Israeli restrictions on medical aid entering the besieged enclave.

    “One day we wanted to do a plate and screw, which is a standard procedure for bone fixation, but we didn’t have the right equipment. Sometimes we’ve also lacked gauze which is a basic supply for surgery. We worked around the challenges we faced and managed in a different way, but the staff here are overwhelmed,” he said.

    Similarly, Konstantina Ilia Karydi, an anesthetist, described the situation inside the medical facility as “unimaginable.”

    “This hospital had an original capacity of just 200 beds. Now, it has expanded to 1,000 beds,” she said.

    “There are around 22,000 displaced people sheltering in the corridors and in tents inside the hospital because people feel that it’s safer to be here than anywhere else.”

    Israel bars UNRWA from northern Gaza

    The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) announced on Sunday that Israel has officially barred it from making aid deliveries in northern Gaza, where the threat of famine is highest.

    “This is outrageous [and] makes it intentional to obstruct lifesaving assistance during a man-made famine. These restrictions must be lifted,” the head of the UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini, wrote in an X post.

    Famine is likely to occur by May in northern Gaza and could spread across the enclave by July, according to the world’s hunger watchdog, Integrated Food-Security Phase Classification (IPC), said last week.

    Lazzarini warned that Israel’s decision would speed up the coming of famine in the north of the Strip and said that “many more will die of hunger, dehydration.”

    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), says Israel must “urgently reverse” its decision to block the entry of food convoys organized by UNRWA into northern Gaza, where humanitarian needs are most urgent.

    “The levels of hunger are acute. All efforts to deliver food should not only be permitted but there should be an immediate acceleration of food deliveries,” Ghebreyesus said in a post on X.

    Martin Griffiths, the undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator at the UN, says he repeatedly urged Israel to lift all its restrictions on aid to Gaza. Still, it has now done the exact opposite.

    “UNRWA is the beating heart of the humanitarian response in Gaza,” Griffiths said on X , “The decision to block its food convoys to the north only pushes thousands closer to famine. It must be revoked.”

    No other agency is able to provide lifesaving assistance in Gaza in the same way as UNRWA, Natalie Boucly, the deputy commissioner-general of the UN agency, has said on X.

    Boucly added that attempts to “isolate” UNRWA will result in more people dying, “UNRWA is part of the UN and it was given a specific mandate by the General Assembly.”

    In January, several countries cut funding to UNRWA following unverified Israeli allegations that less than a dozen employees participated in Hamas’s operation on October 7.

    While some countries, including Canada and Sweden, have since reinstated their funding, several countries, including the US, have yet to follow suit, which will have severe implications for Palestinians in Gaza and the region.

    Israel is using famine as a “weapon of war” in Gaza to put pressure on the Palestinian people to leave the besieged enclave, Adel Abdel Ghafar, an analyst at the Middle East Council on Global Affairs, told Al Jazeera.
    “In Gaza, the humanitarian community is racing against the clock to avert famine. As the backbone of the humanitarian response, any gap in funding to UNRWA will compromise access to food, shelter, primary health care & education at a time of deep trauma,” the organization’s chief, Lazzarini, wrote on X.

    “Palestine Refugees are counting on the international community to step up support to meet their basic needs.”

    Israel is using famine as a “weapon of war” in Gaza to put pressure on the Palestinian people to leave the besieged enclave, Adel Abdel Ghafar, an analyst at the Middle East Council on Global Affairs, told Al Jazeera.

    The “dream” of many far-right politicians in Israel is to make Gaza “uninhabitable” for Palestinians, with the goal of re-establishing settlements for the Israelis, Ghafar continued.

    “The destruction of schools, hospitals, infrastructure [is making Gaza] almost unlivable and it will force the international community to take further refugees and thin out the population of Gaza,” he said.

    “I think Israel wants to have a big chunk of the population leave and become refugees elsewhere.”

    UN Resolution for ceasefire

    On Monday, the UN Security Council is expected to vote on yet another resolution regarding Israel’s war on Gaza. Since October seven, only two of eight resolutions have been accepted, with both mainly dealing with humanitarian aid to the besieged enclave.

    Guterres says the most recent UN Security Council resolution does not link a ceasefire in Gaza to the release of Israeli captives, reported Al Jazeera.

    In the resolution, “a ceasefire is required together with, but not in a linkage with, the unconditional release of all hostages,” he said. “And we have also claimed the need for that release.”

    Diplomats told the AFP news agency that the resolution had been worked on with the U.S. to avoid a veto, reported France 24. The U.S. has vetoed three resolutions calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

    “We expect, barring a last-minute twist, that the resolution will be adopted and that the US will not vote against it,” one diplomat told AFP.

    Last Friday, the Security Council voted on a draft submitted by the U.S. that called for an “immediate” ceasefire linked to the release of captives. China and Russia vetoed the resolution, criticizing it for stopping short of explicitly demanding Israel halt its campaign.

    No progress on negotiations.

    Meanwhile, Israel and Hamas have continued negotiations mediated by Qatar with little progress.

    Hamas’s political bureau official Basem Naim says a lot of “misinformation” has recently been circulated through the media regarding the ongoing truce talks in Doha, reported Al Jazeera.

    Naim said the Israelis are focusing on only one aspect of the negotiations, the release of captives, and are unwilling to discuss Hamas’s three demands – a permanent end to the war, “total withdrawal” from Gaza, and the return of displaced people to their homes.

    Hamas had proposed the release of some 100 Israeli captives in phases in exchange for a permanent end to the war, total withdrawal of Israeli troops, and the return of displaced people to their homes; however, according to Al Jazeera, Israel rejected the demand to end the war and withdraw troops from Gaza.

    Al Jazeera added that Israeli negotiators said they would allow only 2,000 Palestinians to return to their homes each day, meaning it would take more than two years for all displaced Palestinians to leave Rafah.

    Meanwhile, Israel wants all Israeli captives released immediately. Hamas has indicated it will only release women and children in the first phase.

    As negotiations continue, Yossi Amrosi, an ex-senior official of Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security service, was quoted by The Jerusalem Post as admitting that the Israeli army does not have the means to return all captives currently held in Gaza by Hamas and other Palestinian groups.

    Hamas’s armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, said at the start of the war that it had taken 250 captives during its October 7 incursion into Israel.

    According to the Qassam Brigades, 50 captives have been killed in Israeli air raids. Israeli intelligence officers say 30 captives have died in Gaza so far since they were taken to the enclave.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-171-horrific-eyewitness-accounts-continue-to-emerge-from-israels-siege-on-gazas-hospitals/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 171: ‘Horrific’ eyewitness accounts continue to emerge from Israel’s siege on Gaza’s hospitals Leila WarahMarch 25, 2024 Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir El-Balah for treatment following the Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip, on March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir El-Balah for treatment following the Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip, on March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Casualties 32,333 + killed* and at least 74,694 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 435+ 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. 594 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.*** *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel. Some rights groups estimate the death toll to be much higher when accounting for those presumed dead. ** The death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to the PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure. *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Key Developments UNRWA: Israel says no more UNRWA food convoys to north Gaza. UNRWA chief: Israeli decision to deny all UNRWA food convoys to northern Gaza is “obstruct[ing] lifesaving assistance during a man-made famine.” Doctors Without Borders “deeply concerned” after medical staff arrested at al-Shifa Hospital amid “heavy air strikes by Israeli forces and fierce fighting” nearby. Tanks crushed bodies, ambulances at al-Shifa Hospital, reports AP News, citing witnesses. Footage emerges of Israeli soldiers assaulting Palestinian boy Casualties in Israeli attack on aid distributors at Kuwaiti roundabout in Gaza City, reports Al Jazeera. Israeli forces raid Al Aqsa mosque during nightly prayers, assault and expel worshipers, reports Al Jazeera journalist. WHO Chief: Israel must reverse decision on blocking north Gaza aid. Israeli war cabinet minister threatens to quit if bill exempting ultra-Orthodox Jews from conscription passes UNRWA: U.S. funding cut will ‘compromise access to food’ in Gaza. UN special rapporteurs decry underreporting of sexual violence against Palestinians. Israel blocks access to Jerusalem for West Bank Christians on Palm Sunday, reports Wafa. PRCS says it has lost radio contact with staff at al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis. Euro-Med: Israel’s attacks on academics in line with Gaza ‘genocide’ WAFA correspondent killed along with son Israeli airstrike on Gaza MAP report: Doctor says conditions inside European Gaza Hospital ‘unimaginable’ Gaza: Three Hospitals under military siege The Israeli military has imposed ongoing sieges on at least three medical facilities in the besieged enclave, terrorizing, injuring, and killing thousands of civilians in the process. Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza has entered its seventh day under siege, and the civilians able to flee are reporting ruthless massacres in and around the medical complex. A teenage Palestinian boy, Farouk Mohammed Hamd, told Al Jazeera he witnessed Israeli soldiers executing a group of eight people, including his father and brother, inside al-Shifa Hospital. He said he and the others were stripped of their clothing and moved several times inside the al-Shifa Hospital building in central Gaza over the course of hours before being taken to the top floor of the facility. “They left us for about three hours, then said, ‘You are safe. You can go south.” “We stood up, but then they opened fire. We all laid down on the floor again. Then, the snipers entertained themselves by shooting us one after the other.” Hamad said his father told him before being killed to run away if he could, and he managed to run, but not before seeing the unresponsive bodies of the executed group. On Sunday, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said its staff have reported “heavy air strikes by Israeli forces and fierce fighting” in the vicinity of al-Shifa hospital, “endangering patients, medical staff and people trapped inside with very few supplies.” Jameel al-Ayoubi, one of the thousands of Palestinians sheltering at the hospital, saw Israeli tanks and armored bulldozers drive over at least four bodies in the hospital courtyard, AP News reports. Ambulances were also crushed, he says. Kareem Ayman Hathat, who lived in a five-story building about 100 meters (328 feet) from the hospital, told AP he hid in his kitchen for days waiting as explosions shook the building. “From time to time, the tank would fire a shell,” he said. “It was to terrorise us.” MSF added that Israeli forces have carried out a mass-arrest campaign of medical staff and other people and that the organization is “deeply concerned” for the safety of those detained. Meanwhile, another two hospitals in Khan Younis have been under Israeli military siege for the last 24 hours: al-Amal and Nasser hospitals, reports Al Jazeera correspondent Hani Mahmoud from Gaza. “Military vehicles, tanks and attack drones are encircling these two facilities. They’re also blocking the entrance with piles of sand, preventing medical staff, patients and injured people inside from leaving safely and constantly failing to provide a safe corridor for people and evacuees trapped inside the hospital,” Mahmoud said. Palestinian Red Crescent (PRCS) gave their latest update on the situation in al Amal hospital on Sunday afternoon, saying Israeli tanks and armored vehicles have completely surrounded all entrances to the hospital and control any movement in and out. Israeli forces attacked the hospital earlier on Sunday, surrounding it with tanks and forcing nearly everyone inside, from patients to displaced Palestinians sheltering there, to evacuate. “What we’re getting confirmed from al-Amal Hospital is that not only has it been under constant bombing and tank shells, but loudspeakers are ordering people inside the hospital to come out only with their underwear on. And that has been confirmed by multiple sources and witnesses on the ground, those who managed to flee the harrowing situation,” Mahmoud added. On Sunday evening, the PRCS announced that they lost radio contact with their staff at the hospital. While all displaced Palestinians and patients who could move independently were evacuated towards the al-Mawasi area west of Khan Younis, hospital staff remain, along with nine patients and their ten companions and a displaced family with children who have disabilities. PCRS says all of them need to be safely evacuated. PRCS added that staff member Amir Abu Aisha and a wounded individual who was being treated at the hospital after being shot in the head by the Israeli military were both killed, and their bodies need to be removed. In a statement, Hamas said the Israeli military is systematically targeting hospitals across Gaza with the goal of displacing all Palestinians from their lands, showing Israel wants to continue its “war of extermination” against Palestinians and forcibly displace them from their land “by destroying all means of life in the Gaza Strip, especially hospitals,” reported Al Jazeera. Underreporting of sexual violence against Palestinians Witnesses at al-Shifa hospital have reported that “Palestinian women have been subjected to rape, torture, and execution by Israeli forces.” Reem Alsalem, the UN special rapporteur on violence against women and girls, said in a post on X that it is “abhorrent” that reports of rape by Israeli forces keep coming out without any consequences. “Rape and other forms of sexual violence can constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity or a constitutive act with respect to genocide! It must stop!” Francesca Albanese, the UN special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territory, similarly said, “I lost count of how many renowned journalists interviewed me on the alleged mistreatment of/sexual abuse against Palestinian women by Israeli forces, and never published any article on this.” “What we can see on the ground is a systematic creation of a corrosive environment in which Israel, with its destruction of neighborhoods and hospitals, is making Gaza unliveable for the majority of Palestinians,” said Al Jazeera co-respondent, Tareq Abu Azzoum from Gaza while reporting on the besieged hospitals. “Horrific scenes” at European Hospital Meanwhile, at Gaza’s European Hospital near Khan Younis, one of the last functioning medical facilities, medical staff report “horrific scenes” at the hospital with patients “dying from infections with evidence of serious malnutrition,” reported Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP). Husam Basheer, an orthopedic surgeon working at the hospital, says he and his staff are “managing with the bare minimum of resources” at the medical facility due to Israeli restrictions on medical aid entering the besieged enclave. “One day we wanted to do a plate and screw, which is a standard procedure for bone fixation, but we didn’t have the right equipment. Sometimes we’ve also lacked gauze which is a basic supply for surgery. We worked around the challenges we faced and managed in a different way, but the staff here are overwhelmed,” he said. Similarly, Konstantina Ilia Karydi, an anesthetist, described the situation inside the medical facility as “unimaginable.” “This hospital had an original capacity of just 200 beds. Now, it has expanded to 1,000 beds,” she said. “There are around 22,000 displaced people sheltering in the corridors and in tents inside the hospital because people feel that it’s safer to be here than anywhere else.” Israel bars UNRWA from northern Gaza The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) announced on Sunday that Israel has officially barred it from making aid deliveries in northern Gaza, where the threat of famine is highest. “This is outrageous [and] makes it intentional to obstruct lifesaving assistance during a man-made famine. These restrictions must be lifted,” the head of the UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini, wrote in an X post. Famine is likely to occur by May in northern Gaza and could spread across the enclave by July, according to the world’s hunger watchdog, Integrated Food-Security Phase Classification (IPC), said last week. Lazzarini warned that Israel’s decision would speed up the coming of famine in the north of the Strip and said that “many more will die of hunger, dehydration.” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), says Israel must “urgently reverse” its decision to block the entry of food convoys organized by UNRWA into northern Gaza, where humanitarian needs are most urgent. “The levels of hunger are acute. All efforts to deliver food should not only be permitted but there should be an immediate acceleration of food deliveries,” Ghebreyesus said in a post on X. Martin Griffiths, the undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator at the UN, says he repeatedly urged Israel to lift all its restrictions on aid to Gaza. Still, it has now done the exact opposite. “UNRWA is the beating heart of the humanitarian response in Gaza,” Griffiths said on X , “The decision to block its food convoys to the north only pushes thousands closer to famine. It must be revoked.” No other agency is able to provide lifesaving assistance in Gaza in the same way as UNRWA, Natalie Boucly, the deputy commissioner-general of the UN agency, has said on X. Boucly added that attempts to “isolate” UNRWA will result in more people dying, “UNRWA is part of the UN and it was given a specific mandate by the General Assembly.” In January, several countries cut funding to UNRWA following unverified Israeli allegations that less than a dozen employees participated in Hamas’s operation on October 7. While some countries, including Canada and Sweden, have since reinstated their funding, several countries, including the US, have yet to follow suit, which will have severe implications for Palestinians in Gaza and the region. Israel is using famine as a “weapon of war” in Gaza to put pressure on the Palestinian people to leave the besieged enclave, Adel Abdel Ghafar, an analyst at the Middle East Council on Global Affairs, told Al Jazeera. “In Gaza, the humanitarian community is racing against the clock to avert famine. As the backbone of the humanitarian response, any gap in funding to UNRWA will compromise access to food, shelter, primary health care & education at a time of deep trauma,” the organization’s chief, Lazzarini, wrote on X. “Palestine Refugees are counting on the international community to step up support to meet their basic needs.” Israel is using famine as a “weapon of war” in Gaza to put pressure on the Palestinian people to leave the besieged enclave, Adel Abdel Ghafar, an analyst at the Middle East Council on Global Affairs, told Al Jazeera. The “dream” of many far-right politicians in Israel is to make Gaza “uninhabitable” for Palestinians, with the goal of re-establishing settlements for the Israelis, Ghafar continued. “The destruction of schools, hospitals, infrastructure [is making Gaza] almost unlivable and it will force the international community to take further refugees and thin out the population of Gaza,” he said. “I think Israel wants to have a big chunk of the population leave and become refugees elsewhere.” UN Resolution for ceasefire On Monday, the UN Security Council is expected to vote on yet another resolution regarding Israel’s war on Gaza. Since October seven, only two of eight resolutions have been accepted, with both mainly dealing with humanitarian aid to the besieged enclave. Guterres says the most recent UN Security Council resolution does not link a ceasefire in Gaza to the release of Israeli captives, reported Al Jazeera. In the resolution, “a ceasefire is required together with, but not in a linkage with, the unconditional release of all hostages,” he said. “And we have also claimed the need for that release.” Diplomats told the AFP news agency that the resolution had been worked on with the U.S. to avoid a veto, reported France 24. The U.S. has vetoed three resolutions calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. “We expect, barring a last-minute twist, that the resolution will be adopted and that the US will not vote against it,” one diplomat told AFP. Last Friday, the Security Council voted on a draft submitted by the U.S. that called for an “immediate” ceasefire linked to the release of captives. China and Russia vetoed the resolution, criticizing it for stopping short of explicitly demanding Israel halt its campaign. No progress on negotiations. Meanwhile, Israel and Hamas have continued negotiations mediated by Qatar with little progress. Hamas’s political bureau official Basem Naim says a lot of “misinformation” has recently been circulated through the media regarding the ongoing truce talks in Doha, reported Al Jazeera. Naim said the Israelis are focusing on only one aspect of the negotiations, the release of captives, and are unwilling to discuss Hamas’s three demands – a permanent end to the war, “total withdrawal” from Gaza, and the return of displaced people to their homes. Hamas had proposed the release of some 100 Israeli captives in phases in exchange for a permanent end to the war, total withdrawal of Israeli troops, and the return of displaced people to their homes; however, according to Al Jazeera, Israel rejected the demand to end the war and withdraw troops from Gaza. Al Jazeera added that Israeli negotiators said they would allow only 2,000 Palestinians to return to their homes each day, meaning it would take more than two years for all displaced Palestinians to leave Rafah. Meanwhile, Israel wants all Israeli captives released immediately. Hamas has indicated it will only release women and children in the first phase. As negotiations continue, Yossi Amrosi, an ex-senior official of Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security service, was quoted by The Jerusalem Post as admitting that the Israeli army does not have the means to return all captives currently held in Gaza by Hamas and other Palestinian groups. Hamas’s armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, said at the start of the war that it had taken 250 captives during its October 7 incursion into Israel. According to the Qassam Brigades, 50 captives have been killed in Israeli air raids. Israeli intelligence officers say 30 captives have died in Gaza so far since they were taken to the enclave. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-171-horrific-eyewitness-accounts-continue-to-emerge-from-israels-siege-on-gazas-hospitals/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 171: ‘Horrific’ eyewitness accounts continue to emerge from Israel’s siege on Gaza’s hospitals
    Eyewitness accounts continue to emerge from Gaza’s hospitals, including rape, torture, mass executions, and soldiers crushing Palestinian bodies with tanks. Hamas says Israel’s systematic attack on hospitals is central to its “war of extermination.”
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 170: Israel assaults al-Shifa, Nasser, and al-Amal hospitals in one day
    Mustafa Abu SneinehMarch 23, 2024
    Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah for treatment following Israeli airstrikes, March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah for treatment following Israeli airstrikes, March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Casualties

    32,223 + killed* and at least 74,518 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    435+ 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.
    594 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.***
    *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel. Some rights groups estimate the death toll to be much higher when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** The death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to the PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure.

    *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.”

    Key Developments

    Israeli forces commit eight massacres in Gaza, kill at least 84 people and injure 106.
    Israeli forces shell and bomb vicinity of al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis, killing one volunteer with PRCS.
    PRCS says Israeli tanks and forces are “besieging both al-Amal Hospital and al-Naser Hospital amidst very intense shelling and heavy gunfire.”
    Wafa reports infected wounds of injured Palestinians inside al-Shifa due to lack of essential medical supplies.
    Al-Jazeera Arabic reports Israeli tanks ran over evacuating people from al-Shifa Hospital, shows blurred footage of Palestinian with marks of tank wheel on lower body.
    Jamila al-Hissi, survivor of storming of al-Shifa, tells Al-Jazeera Arabic that “Palestinian women have been subjected to rape, torture, and execution by Israeli forces.”
    UN chief Antonio Guterres says “horror and starvation stalk the people of Gaza” in visit to Rafah crossing.
    U.S. Secretary of State warns Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Rafah offensive would “further isolate” Israel in the region.
    Netanyahu hopes to invade Rafah with “the support of the U.S., but if we have to – we will do it alone.”
    Hamas says 34-year-old Israeli captive died in Gaza as “he did not escape the lack of food and medicine.”
    Dozens of settlers storm al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem to mark Jewish holiday of Purim.
    Israeli forces block Palestinian Christians in occupied West Bank from entering Jerusalem to participate in Palm Sunday.
    Al-Amal Hospital in ‘extreme danger’ as Israel attacks

    Gaza’s two major hospitals were under attack on Sunday morning as thousands of Palestinians in the coastal enclave have been living under bombardment for the past 170 days.

    Overnight, Israeli forces committed eight massacres in various areas of the Gaza Strip, according to the Ministry of Health on Telegram, killing at least 84 people and injuring 106. Thousands remain under the rubble of bombed buildings.

    Israeli forces shelled and bombed the vicinity of al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS). Amir Abu Aisha, a volunteer with the PRCS, was killed by Israeli gunfire inside al-Amal.

    His last post on Instagram was a video of Israeli airstrikes near al-Amal.

    PRCS said the medical team inside the facility are “in extreme danger…and are completely immobilized.”

    “They are unable to bury the body of our colleague Amir Abu Aisha within the hospital’s backyard,” PRCS continued as Israeli forces razed and excavated the area.

    Since October, Israeli bombardment killed at least 364 medical workers in the Gaza Strip, including doctors, nurses, and paramedics, and damaged dozens of clinics and ambulances.

    On Sunday morning, PRCS also said that Israeli tanks and forces are “besieging both Al-Amal Hospital and Al-Naser Hospital amidst very intense shelling and heavy gunfire.”

    PRCS said that one of the displaced Palestinians at al-Amal was “injured in the head,” while Israeli drones are ordering that all people inside the hospital “leave it naked.”

    “Smoke bombs are being launched at the hospital to force the staff, wounded, and displaced individuals to leave it,” the PRCS wrote on in a post on X.

    “Israeli vehicles [are] surrounding Al-Amal Hospital and are now bulldozing the area in front and around it and closing the hospital gates with barriers,” the post added.

    Israeli atrocities in al-Shifa, say eyewitnesses

    In northern Gaza, al-Shifa Hospital has been under Israeli assault for a week.

    Israeli forces continued to besiege, shell, and bomb al-Shifa Hospital and its vicinity for the seventh day in a row, saying that Hamas senior leaders had used the facility, a claim which the movement denies.

    Israeli forces killed Palestinian civilians and officials while storming al-Shifa, including Faiq al-Mabhouh, an officer in the Gaza Police force who was responsible for the successful deliveries of food, rice, and flour to thousands of inhabitants of northern Gaza.

    Hamas accused Israel of attempting to spread chaos and civilian disorder by killing officials who coordinate with clans, the UN, and international groups to prevent a famine in the north Gaza.

    On Saturday afternoon, at least five people were killed by Israel and several injured in the al-Shifa medical complex, while Palestinians and medical staff have been living with little food and water. Wafa news agency reported that the wounds of some injured Palestinians inside Al-Shifa got infected and inflamed amid the lack of essential medical supplies.

    Al-Jazeera Arabic reported that Israeli tanks ran over Palestinians who were ordered to evacuate the hospital. Al-Jazeera released blurred footage of a person’s dead body with marks of a tank wheel on his lower body.

    Jamila al-Hissi, a Palestinian woman who survived the Israeli storming of al-Shifa, told Al-Jazeera Arabic that “Palestinian women have been subjected to rape, torture, and execution by Israeli forces.”

    “This is what we witnessed. They raped women. They kidnapped women. they executed women, pulled bodies from under the rubble, and unleashed their dogs to eat them. Is there anything worse?” Al-Hissi told Al-Jazeera in a phone call.

    She left with her daughter, who was bleeding, and evacuated a building belonging to the UN Development Program (UNDP), which was set on fire by Israeli forces, who also burned and destroyed several buildings surrounding al-Shifa in the past days.

    It is unclear how many people remain inside al-Shifa, but prior to Israel’s second storming of the hospital since November, there were 7,000 patients and injured people receiving treatment administered by hundreds of medical staff.

    Al-Shifa is one of Gaza’s oldest medical facilities, built on top of a British barracks in 1946.

    The complex includes several buildings for surgery, internal disease, obstetrics and gynecology, a nursery for premature babies, an emergency department, intensive care units, a radiology department, and a blood bank. Some of these buildings have been damaged, burned by Israel, or have ceased operating fully due to the lack of fuel to generate electricity.

    The complex is built on 45,000 square meters of land west of Gaza City. Prior to October of last year, al-Shifa employed 1,500 medical staff, including 500 doctors and 760 nurses.

    Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, said on Sunday that “Horror & starvation stalk the people of Gaza.”

    “Any further onslaught will make everything worse. Worse for Palestinian civilians, for the hostages, for all people of the region,” he added.

    Guterres visited Egypt on Saturday to inspect the Rafah land crossing, and al-Arish General Hospital in northern Sinai to check on injured Palestinians receiving treatment.

    Israeli forces bomb Rafah, Khan Younis, and Deir al-Balah

    Wafa reported that Israeli forces bombed a house in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip overnight, killing at least eight people in the al-Hakar area. Meanwhile, in Rafah, Palestinian rescue teams recovered the bodies of eight Palestinians under the rubble of a bombed house belonging to the Farwana family in the Jneina neighborhood.

    In Khan Younis, Israeli forces heavily bombed areas in the southeastern part of the city, besieging the Nasser and al-Amal hospitals. In Rafah, they bombed a house near the Rabaa School, killing at least two people, Wafa reported.

    The Israeli government has vowed to invade Rafah, where 1.4 million Palestinians are currently displaced and live in shelters. During his visit to Israel on Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned that an offensive on Rafah would “further isolate” Israel in the region, according to Reuters.

    Blinken, who met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said that “a major military ground operation in Rafah is not the way to do it,” although the U.S. shares Israel’s goal to “defeat Hamas.”

    “It risks further isolating Israel around the world and jeopardizing its long-term security and standing,” Blinken said during a press briefing after the meeting.

    Netanyahu, however, appeared to be undeterred in invading Rafah, stating in a video statement that he told Blinken, “I hope we will do it with the support of the U.S., but if we have to — we will do it alone.”

    Meanwhile, fighting is still ongoing between Israeli forces and Palestinian resistance fighters in the Gaza Strip. On Saturday, Hamas said that a 34-year-old Israeli captive died in Gaza.

    “Although he survived the army’s attack, he did not escape the lack of food and medicine,” the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades wrote in a video message.

    In another video, Hamas fighters fired al-Yaseen 105mm anti-tank shells on Israeli military vehicles in the vicinity of al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza.

    Israel had been blocking sufficient food and medical supplies from entering Gaza, although some of them were funded or sponsored by ally countries such as the UK.

    The Foreign Secretary, Lord David Cameron, accused Israel last week of delaying U.K. aid to Gaza, which was stopped at the crossing point for three weeks.

    Israeli settlers storm al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Pruim

    Dozens of Israeli settlers stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem on Sunday morning to mark the Jewish holiday of Purim, which ends on Monday.

    Israeli forces emptied the al-Aqsa compound of Palestinian worshippers on Saturday evening in preparation for the settlers’ tour, Wafa reported. Israeli forces barred Palestinians from staying overnight in al-Aqsa’s al-Qibli mosque after Ramadan’s tarawih prayers ended, which were attended by 45,000 people.

    During Ramadan, it is worshippers often stay in mosques overnight to pray after tarawih. In 2021, Israeli forces raided the al-Qibli mosque, firing bullets, stun grenades, and tear gas canisters at worshipers who were performing night prayers and reciting the Quran.

    Israeli settlers’ storming of al-Aqsa further escalated tensions in the city, according to Wafa, as Israeli forces prevented Palestinians from entering the site on Sunday morning.

    Wafa said that two settlers were dressed up as Jewish temple priests. Settlers have long stated their wish to rebuild the third Jewish temple in the middle of the al-Aqsa compound atop the Dome of the Rock.

    Meanwhile, Israeli forces blocked Palestinian Christians in the occupied West Bank from entering Jerusalem to take part in the commemoration of Palm Sunday, the anniversary of Jesus’s entry into the city. Those who participated in the ceremony in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher were Palestinians from Jerusalem or from inside Israel.

    Israeli forces arrested 16 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank overnight, from the towns of Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Tulkarem, and also Jerusalem. Since October, 7,755 Palestinians have been detained by Israel. This figure, released by the Ministry of Detainees’ and Ex-Destainees’ Affairs, does not include Palestinians who were released later or those arrested from the Gaza Strip.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-170-israel-assaults-al-shifa-nasser-and-al-amal-hospitals-in-one-day/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 170: Israel assaults al-Shifa, Nasser, and al-Amal hospitals in one day Mustafa Abu SneinehMarch 23, 2024 Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah for treatment following Israeli airstrikes, March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah for treatment following Israeli airstrikes, March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Casualties 32,223 + killed* and at least 74,518 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 435+ 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. 594 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.*** *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel. Some rights groups estimate the death toll to be much higher when accounting for those presumed dead. ** The death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to the PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure. *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Key Developments Israeli forces commit eight massacres in Gaza, kill at least 84 people and injure 106. Israeli forces shell and bomb vicinity of al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis, killing one volunteer with PRCS. PRCS says Israeli tanks and forces are “besieging both al-Amal Hospital and al-Naser Hospital amidst very intense shelling and heavy gunfire.” Wafa reports infected wounds of injured Palestinians inside al-Shifa due to lack of essential medical supplies. Al-Jazeera Arabic reports Israeli tanks ran over evacuating people from al-Shifa Hospital, shows blurred footage of Palestinian with marks of tank wheel on lower body. Jamila al-Hissi, survivor of storming of al-Shifa, tells Al-Jazeera Arabic that “Palestinian women have been subjected to rape, torture, and execution by Israeli forces.” UN chief Antonio Guterres says “horror and starvation stalk the people of Gaza” in visit to Rafah crossing. U.S. Secretary of State warns Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Rafah offensive would “further isolate” Israel in the region. Netanyahu hopes to invade Rafah with “the support of the U.S., but if we have to – we will do it alone.” Hamas says 34-year-old Israeli captive died in Gaza as “he did not escape the lack of food and medicine.” Dozens of settlers storm al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem to mark Jewish holiday of Purim. Israeli forces block Palestinian Christians in occupied West Bank from entering Jerusalem to participate in Palm Sunday. Al-Amal Hospital in ‘extreme danger’ as Israel attacks Gaza’s two major hospitals were under attack on Sunday morning as thousands of Palestinians in the coastal enclave have been living under bombardment for the past 170 days. Overnight, Israeli forces committed eight massacres in various areas of the Gaza Strip, according to the Ministry of Health on Telegram, killing at least 84 people and injuring 106. Thousands remain under the rubble of bombed buildings. Israeli forces shelled and bombed the vicinity of al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS). Amir Abu Aisha, a volunteer with the PRCS, was killed by Israeli gunfire inside al-Amal. His last post on Instagram was a video of Israeli airstrikes near al-Amal. PRCS said the medical team inside the facility are “in extreme danger…and are completely immobilized.” “They are unable to bury the body of our colleague Amir Abu Aisha within the hospital’s backyard,” PRCS continued as Israeli forces razed and excavated the area. Since October, Israeli bombardment killed at least 364 medical workers in the Gaza Strip, including doctors, nurses, and paramedics, and damaged dozens of clinics and ambulances. On Sunday morning, PRCS also said that Israeli tanks and forces are “besieging both Al-Amal Hospital and Al-Naser Hospital amidst very intense shelling and heavy gunfire.” PRCS said that one of the displaced Palestinians at al-Amal was “injured in the head,” while Israeli drones are ordering that all people inside the hospital “leave it naked.” “Smoke bombs are being launched at the hospital to force the staff, wounded, and displaced individuals to leave it,” the PRCS wrote on in a post on X. “Israeli vehicles [are] surrounding Al-Amal Hospital and are now bulldozing the area in front and around it and closing the hospital gates with barriers,” the post added. Israeli atrocities in al-Shifa, say eyewitnesses In northern Gaza, al-Shifa Hospital has been under Israeli assault for a week. Israeli forces continued to besiege, shell, and bomb al-Shifa Hospital and its vicinity for the seventh day in a row, saying that Hamas senior leaders had used the facility, a claim which the movement denies. Israeli forces killed Palestinian civilians and officials while storming al-Shifa, including Faiq al-Mabhouh, an officer in the Gaza Police force who was responsible for the successful deliveries of food, rice, and flour to thousands of inhabitants of northern Gaza. Hamas accused Israel of attempting to spread chaos and civilian disorder by killing officials who coordinate with clans, the UN, and international groups to prevent a famine in the north Gaza. On Saturday afternoon, at least five people were killed by Israel and several injured in the al-Shifa medical complex, while Palestinians and medical staff have been living with little food and water. Wafa news agency reported that the wounds of some injured Palestinians inside Al-Shifa got infected and inflamed amid the lack of essential medical supplies. Al-Jazeera Arabic reported that Israeli tanks ran over Palestinians who were ordered to evacuate the hospital. Al-Jazeera released blurred footage of a person’s dead body with marks of a tank wheel on his lower body. Jamila al-Hissi, a Palestinian woman who survived the Israeli storming of al-Shifa, told Al-Jazeera Arabic that “Palestinian women have been subjected to rape, torture, and execution by Israeli forces.” “This is what we witnessed. They raped women. They kidnapped women. they executed women, pulled bodies from under the rubble, and unleashed their dogs to eat them. Is there anything worse?” Al-Hissi told Al-Jazeera in a phone call. She left with her daughter, who was bleeding, and evacuated a building belonging to the UN Development Program (UNDP), which was set on fire by Israeli forces, who also burned and destroyed several buildings surrounding al-Shifa in the past days. It is unclear how many people remain inside al-Shifa, but prior to Israel’s second storming of the hospital since November, there were 7,000 patients and injured people receiving treatment administered by hundreds of medical staff. Al-Shifa is one of Gaza’s oldest medical facilities, built on top of a British barracks in 1946. The complex includes several buildings for surgery, internal disease, obstetrics and gynecology, a nursery for premature babies, an emergency department, intensive care units, a radiology department, and a blood bank. Some of these buildings have been damaged, burned by Israel, or have ceased operating fully due to the lack of fuel to generate electricity. The complex is built on 45,000 square meters of land west of Gaza City. Prior to October of last year, al-Shifa employed 1,500 medical staff, including 500 doctors and 760 nurses. Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, said on Sunday that “Horror & starvation stalk the people of Gaza.” “Any further onslaught will make everything worse. Worse for Palestinian civilians, for the hostages, for all people of the region,” he added. Guterres visited Egypt on Saturday to inspect the Rafah land crossing, and al-Arish General Hospital in northern Sinai to check on injured Palestinians receiving treatment. Israeli forces bomb Rafah, Khan Younis, and Deir al-Balah Wafa reported that Israeli forces bombed a house in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip overnight, killing at least eight people in the al-Hakar area. Meanwhile, in Rafah, Palestinian rescue teams recovered the bodies of eight Palestinians under the rubble of a bombed house belonging to the Farwana family in the Jneina neighborhood. In Khan Younis, Israeli forces heavily bombed areas in the southeastern part of the city, besieging the Nasser and al-Amal hospitals. In Rafah, they bombed a house near the Rabaa School, killing at least two people, Wafa reported. The Israeli government has vowed to invade Rafah, where 1.4 million Palestinians are currently displaced and live in shelters. During his visit to Israel on Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned that an offensive on Rafah would “further isolate” Israel in the region, according to Reuters. Blinken, who met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said that “a major military ground operation in Rafah is not the way to do it,” although the U.S. shares Israel’s goal to “defeat Hamas.” “It risks further isolating Israel around the world and jeopardizing its long-term security and standing,” Blinken said during a press briefing after the meeting. Netanyahu, however, appeared to be undeterred in invading Rafah, stating in a video statement that he told Blinken, “I hope we will do it with the support of the U.S., but if we have to — we will do it alone.” Meanwhile, fighting is still ongoing between Israeli forces and Palestinian resistance fighters in the Gaza Strip. On Saturday, Hamas said that a 34-year-old Israeli captive died in Gaza. “Although he survived the army’s attack, he did not escape the lack of food and medicine,” the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades wrote in a video message. In another video, Hamas fighters fired al-Yaseen 105mm anti-tank shells on Israeli military vehicles in the vicinity of al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza. Israel had been blocking sufficient food and medical supplies from entering Gaza, although some of them were funded or sponsored by ally countries such as the UK. The Foreign Secretary, Lord David Cameron, accused Israel last week of delaying U.K. aid to Gaza, which was stopped at the crossing point for three weeks. Israeli settlers storm al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Pruim Dozens of Israeli settlers stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem on Sunday morning to mark the Jewish holiday of Purim, which ends on Monday. Israeli forces emptied the al-Aqsa compound of Palestinian worshippers on Saturday evening in preparation for the settlers’ tour, Wafa reported. Israeli forces barred Palestinians from staying overnight in al-Aqsa’s al-Qibli mosque after Ramadan’s tarawih prayers ended, which were attended by 45,000 people. During Ramadan, it is worshippers often stay in mosques overnight to pray after tarawih. In 2021, Israeli forces raided the al-Qibli mosque, firing bullets, stun grenades, and tear gas canisters at worshipers who were performing night prayers and reciting the Quran. Israeli settlers’ storming of al-Aqsa further escalated tensions in the city, according to Wafa, as Israeli forces prevented Palestinians from entering the site on Sunday morning. Wafa said that two settlers were dressed up as Jewish temple priests. Settlers have long stated their wish to rebuild the third Jewish temple in the middle of the al-Aqsa compound atop the Dome of the Rock. Meanwhile, Israeli forces blocked Palestinian Christians in the occupied West Bank from entering Jerusalem to take part in the commemoration of Palm Sunday, the anniversary of Jesus’s entry into the city. Those who participated in the ceremony in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher were Palestinians from Jerusalem or from inside Israel. Israeli forces arrested 16 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank overnight, from the towns of Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Tulkarem, and also Jerusalem. Since October, 7,755 Palestinians have been detained by Israel. This figure, released by the Ministry of Detainees’ and Ex-Destainees’ Affairs, does not include Palestinians who were released later or those arrested from the Gaza Strip. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-170-israel-assaults-al-shifa-nasser-and-al-amal-hospitals-in-one-day/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 170: Israel assaults al-Shifa, Nasser, and al-Amal hospitals in one day
    Israeli forces ordered Palestinians inside al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis to leave “naked,” while survivors of the al-Shifa Hospital raid witnessed numerous atrocities committed by the Israeli army. In Jerusalem, Israeli settlers stormed al-Aqsa.
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  • "It is obviously un-American for the government to develop a ‘hit list’ of citizens to mute in the public square through secret pressure on communications monopolies."

    This Country Can't Afford A SCOTUS Weak On Internet Censorship
    Joy Pullmann
    The Biden administration attempted to distract the Supreme Court from the voluminous evidence of federal abuse of Americans’ speech rights during oral arguments in Murthy v. Missouri Monday. It sounded like several justices followed the feds’ waving red flag.

    “The government may not use coercive threats to suppress speech, but it is entitled to speak for itself by informing, persuading, or criticizing private speakers,” said Biden administration lawyer Brian Fletcher in his opening remarks. He and several justices asserted government speech prerogatives that would flip the Constitution upside down.

    The government doesn’t have constitutional rights. Constitutional rights belong to the people and restrain the government. The people’s right to speak may not be abridged. Government officials’ speaking, in their official capacities, may certainly be abridged. Indeed, it often must be, precisely to restrict officials from abusing the state’s monopoly on violence to bully citizens into serfdom.

    It is obviously un-American and unconstitutional for the government to develop a “hit list” of citizens to mute in the public square through secret pressure on communications monopolies beholden to the government for their monopoly powers. There is simply no way it’s “protected speech” for the feds to use intermediaries to silence anyone who disagrees with them on internet forums where the majority of the nation’s political organizing and information dissemination occurs.

    Bullying, Not the Bully Pulpit

    What’s happening is not government expressing its views to media, or “encouraging press to suppress their own speech,” as Justice Elena Kagan put it. This is government bullying third parties to suppress Americans’ speech that officials dislike.

    In the newspaper analogy, it would be like government threatening an IRS audit or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigation, or pulling the business license of The Washington Post if the Post published an op-ed from Jay Bhattacharya. As Norwood v. Harrison established in 1973, that’s blatantly unconstitutional. Government cannot “induce, encourage or promote private persons to accomplish what it is constitutionally forbidden to accomplish.”

    Yet, notes Matt Taibbi, some justices and Fletcher “re-framed the outing of extravagantly funded, ongoing content-flagging programs, designed by veterans of foreign counterterrorism operations and targeting the domestic population, as a debate about what Fletcher called ‘classic bully pulpit exhortations.’”

    Every Fake Excuse for Censorship Is Already Illegal

    We have laws against all the harms the government and several justices put forth as excuses for government censorship. Terrorism is illegal. Promoting terrorism is illegal, as an incitement to treason and violence. Inciting children to injure or murder themselves by jumping out windows — a “hypothetical” brought up by Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson and discussed at length in oral arguments — is illegal.

    If someone is spreading terrorist incitements to violence on Facebook, law enforcement needs to go after the terrorist plotters, not Facebook. Just like it’s unjust to punish gun, knife, and tire iron manufacturers for the people who use their products to murder, it’s unjust and unconstitutional for government to effectively commandeer Facebook under the pretext of all the evils people use it to spread. If they have a problem with those evils, they should address those evils directly, not pressure Facebook to do what they can’t get through Congress like it’s some kind of substitute legislature.

    It’s also ridiculous to, as Jackson and Fletcher did in oral argument, assume that the government is the only possible solution to every social ill. Do these hypothetically window-jumping children not have parents? Teachers? Older siblings? Neighbors? Would the social media companies not have an interest in preventing their products from being used to promote death, and wouldn’t that be an easy thing to explain publicly? Apparently, Jackson couldn’t conceive of any other solution to problems like these than government censorship, when our society has handled far bigger problems like war, pandemics, and foreign invasion without government censorship for 250 years!

    Voters Auditing Government Is Exactly How Our System Should Work

    Fletcher described it as a “problem” that in this case, “two states and five individuals are trying to use the Article III courts to audit all of the executive branch’s communications with and about social media platforms.” That’s called transparency, and it’s only a problem if the government is trying to escape accountability to voters for its actions.

    The people have a fundamental right to audit what their government is doing with public positions, institutions, and funds! How do we have government by consent of the governed if the people can have no idea what their government is doing?

    Under federal laws, all communications like those this lawsuit uncovered are public records. Yet these public records are really hard to get. The executive branch has been effectively nullifying open records laws by absurdly lengthening disclosure times — to as long as 636 days — increasingly forcing citizens to wage expensive lawsuits to get federal agencies to cough up records years beyond the legal deadline.

    Congress should pass a law forcing the automatic disclosure of all government communications with tech monopolies that don’t concern actual classified information and “national security” designations, which the government expands unlawfully to avoid transparency. No justice should support government secrecy about its speech pressure efforts outside of legitimate national security actions.

    Government Is So Big, It’s Always Coercive

    Fletcher’s argument also claimed to draw a line between government persuasion and government coercion. The size and minute harassment powers of our government long ago obliterated any such line, if it ever existed. Federal agencies now have the power to try citizens in non-Article III courts, outside constitutional protections for due process. Citizens can be bankrupted long before they finally get to appeal to a real court. That’s why most of them just do whatever the agencies say, even when it’s clearly unlawful.

    Federal agencies demand power over almost every facet of life, from puddles in people’s backyards to the temperature of cheese served in a tiny restaurant. If they put a target on any normal citizen’s back, he goes bankrupt after regulatory torture.

    As Franklin Roosevelt’s “brain trust” planned, government is now the “senior partner” of every business, giving every “request” from government officials automatic coercion power. Federal agencies have six ways from Sunday of getting back at a noncompliant company, from the EEOC to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to the Environmental Protection Agency to Health and Human Services to Securities and Exchange Commission investigations and more. Use an accurate pronoun? Investigation. Hire “one too many” white guys? Investigation.

    TikTok legislation going through Congress right now would codify federal power to seize social media companies accused of being owned by foreign interests. Shortly after he acquired X, Elon Musk faced a regulatory shakedown costing him tens of millions, and more on the way. He has money like that, but the rest of us don’t.

    Speech from a private citizen does not have the threat of violence behind it. Speech from a government official, on the other hand, absolutely does and always has. Government officials have powers that other people don’t, and those powers are easily abused, which is exactly why we have a Constitution. SCOTUS needs to take this crucial context into account, making constitutional protections stronger because the government is far, far outside its constitutional bounds.

    Big tech companies’ very business model depends on government regulators and can be destroyed — or kneecapped — at the stroke of an activist president’s pen. Or, at least, that’s what the president said when Facebook and Twitter didn’t do what he wanted: Section 230 should “immediately be revoked.” This is a president who claims the executive power to unilaterally rewrite laws, ignore laws, and ignore Supreme Court decisions. It’s a president who issues orders as press releases so they go into effect months before they can even begin to be challenged in court.

    Constitutionally Protected Speech Isn’t Terrorism

    If justices buy the administration’s nice-guy pretenses of “concern about terrorism,” and “once in a lifetime pandemic measures,” they didn’t read the briefs in this case and see that is simply a cover for the U.S. government turning counterterrorism tools on its own citizens in an attempt to control election outcomes. This is precisely what the First Amendment was designed to check, and we Americans need our Supreme Court to understand that and act to protect us. Elections mean nothing when the government is secretly keeping voters from talking to each other.

    The Supreme Court may not be able to return the country to full constitutional government by eradicating the almost entirely unconstitutional administrative state. But it should enforce as many constitutional boundaries as possible on such agencies. That clearly includes prohibiting all of government from outsourcing to allegedly “private” organizations actions that would be illegal for the government to take.

    That includes not just coercive instructions to social media companies, but also developing social media censorship tools and organizations as cutouts for the rogue security state that is targeting peaceful citizens instead of actual terrorists. Even false speech is not domestic terrorism, and no clearheaded Supreme Court justice looking at the evidence could let the Biden administration weaponize antiterrorism measures to strip law-abiding Americans of our fundamental human rights.

    Joy Pullmann is executive editor of The Federalist, a happy wife, and the mother of six children. Her ebooks include "Classic Books For Young Children," and "101 Strategies For Living Well Amid Inflation." An 18-year education and politics reporter, Joy has testified before nearly two dozen legislatures on education policy and appeared on major media from Fox News to Ben Shapiro to Dennis Prager. Joy is a grateful graduate of the Hillsdale College honors and journalism programs who identifies as native American and gender natural. Her traditionally published books include "The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids," from Encounter Books.


    https://thefederalist.com/2024/03/21/this-country-cannot-afford-a-weak-supreme-court-decision-on-internet-censorship/

    Join @MartinKulldorf
    "It is obviously un-American for the government to develop a ‘hit list’ of citizens to mute in the public square through secret pressure on communications monopolies." This Country Can't Afford A SCOTUS Weak On Internet Censorship Joy Pullmann The Biden administration attempted to distract the Supreme Court from the voluminous evidence of federal abuse of Americans’ speech rights during oral arguments in Murthy v. Missouri Monday. It sounded like several justices followed the feds’ waving red flag. “The government may not use coercive threats to suppress speech, but it is entitled to speak for itself by informing, persuading, or criticizing private speakers,” said Biden administration lawyer Brian Fletcher in his opening remarks. He and several justices asserted government speech prerogatives that would flip the Constitution upside down. The government doesn’t have constitutional rights. Constitutional rights belong to the people and restrain the government. The people’s right to speak may not be abridged. Government officials’ speaking, in their official capacities, may certainly be abridged. Indeed, it often must be, precisely to restrict officials from abusing the state’s monopoly on violence to bully citizens into serfdom. It is obviously un-American and unconstitutional for the government to develop a “hit list” of citizens to mute in the public square through secret pressure on communications monopolies beholden to the government for their monopoly powers. There is simply no way it’s “protected speech” for the feds to use intermediaries to silence anyone who disagrees with them on internet forums where the majority of the nation’s political organizing and information dissemination occurs. Bullying, Not the Bully Pulpit What’s happening is not government expressing its views to media, or “encouraging press to suppress their own speech,” as Justice Elena Kagan put it. This is government bullying third parties to suppress Americans’ speech that officials dislike. In the newspaper analogy, it would be like government threatening an IRS audit or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigation, or pulling the business license of The Washington Post if the Post published an op-ed from Jay Bhattacharya. As Norwood v. Harrison established in 1973, that’s blatantly unconstitutional. Government cannot “induce, encourage or promote private persons to accomplish what it is constitutionally forbidden to accomplish.” Yet, notes Matt Taibbi, some justices and Fletcher “re-framed the outing of extravagantly funded, ongoing content-flagging programs, designed by veterans of foreign counterterrorism operations and targeting the domestic population, as a debate about what Fletcher called ‘classic bully pulpit exhortations.’” Every Fake Excuse for Censorship Is Already Illegal We have laws against all the harms the government and several justices put forth as excuses for government censorship. Terrorism is illegal. Promoting terrorism is illegal, as an incitement to treason and violence. Inciting children to injure or murder themselves by jumping out windows — a “hypothetical” brought up by Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson and discussed at length in oral arguments — is illegal. If someone is spreading terrorist incitements to violence on Facebook, law enforcement needs to go after the terrorist plotters, not Facebook. Just like it’s unjust to punish gun, knife, and tire iron manufacturers for the people who use their products to murder, it’s unjust and unconstitutional for government to effectively commandeer Facebook under the pretext of all the evils people use it to spread. If they have a problem with those evils, they should address those evils directly, not pressure Facebook to do what they can’t get through Congress like it’s some kind of substitute legislature. It’s also ridiculous to, as Jackson and Fletcher did in oral argument, assume that the government is the only possible solution to every social ill. Do these hypothetically window-jumping children not have parents? Teachers? Older siblings? Neighbors? Would the social media companies not have an interest in preventing their products from being used to promote death, and wouldn’t that be an easy thing to explain publicly? Apparently, Jackson couldn’t conceive of any other solution to problems like these than government censorship, when our society has handled far bigger problems like war, pandemics, and foreign invasion without government censorship for 250 years! Voters Auditing Government Is Exactly How Our System Should Work Fletcher described it as a “problem” that in this case, “two states and five individuals are trying to use the Article III courts to audit all of the executive branch’s communications with and about social media platforms.” That’s called transparency, and it’s only a problem if the government is trying to escape accountability to voters for its actions. The people have a fundamental right to audit what their government is doing with public positions, institutions, and funds! How do we have government by consent of the governed if the people can have no idea what their government is doing? Under federal laws, all communications like those this lawsuit uncovered are public records. Yet these public records are really hard to get. The executive branch has been effectively nullifying open records laws by absurdly lengthening disclosure times — to as long as 636 days — increasingly forcing citizens to wage expensive lawsuits to get federal agencies to cough up records years beyond the legal deadline. Congress should pass a law forcing the automatic disclosure of all government communications with tech monopolies that don’t concern actual classified information and “national security” designations, which the government expands unlawfully to avoid transparency. No justice should support government secrecy about its speech pressure efforts outside of legitimate national security actions. Government Is So Big, It’s Always Coercive Fletcher’s argument also claimed to draw a line between government persuasion and government coercion. The size and minute harassment powers of our government long ago obliterated any such line, if it ever existed. Federal agencies now have the power to try citizens in non-Article III courts, outside constitutional protections for due process. Citizens can be bankrupted long before they finally get to appeal to a real court. That’s why most of them just do whatever the agencies say, even when it’s clearly unlawful. Federal agencies demand power over almost every facet of life, from puddles in people’s backyards to the temperature of cheese served in a tiny restaurant. If they put a target on any normal citizen’s back, he goes bankrupt after regulatory torture. As Franklin Roosevelt’s “brain trust” planned, government is now the “senior partner” of every business, giving every “request” from government officials automatic coercion power. Federal agencies have six ways from Sunday of getting back at a noncompliant company, from the EEOC to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to the Environmental Protection Agency to Health and Human Services to Securities and Exchange Commission investigations and more. Use an accurate pronoun? Investigation. Hire “one too many” white guys? Investigation. TikTok legislation going through Congress right now would codify federal power to seize social media companies accused of being owned by foreign interests. Shortly after he acquired X, Elon Musk faced a regulatory shakedown costing him tens of millions, and more on the way. He has money like that, but the rest of us don’t. Speech from a private citizen does not have the threat of violence behind it. Speech from a government official, on the other hand, absolutely does and always has. Government officials have powers that other people don’t, and those powers are easily abused, which is exactly why we have a Constitution. SCOTUS needs to take this crucial context into account, making constitutional protections stronger because the government is far, far outside its constitutional bounds. Big tech companies’ very business model depends on government regulators and can be destroyed — or kneecapped — at the stroke of an activist president’s pen. Or, at least, that’s what the president said when Facebook and Twitter didn’t do what he wanted: Section 230 should “immediately be revoked.” This is a president who claims the executive power to unilaterally rewrite laws, ignore laws, and ignore Supreme Court decisions. It’s a president who issues orders as press releases so they go into effect months before they can even begin to be challenged in court. Constitutionally Protected Speech Isn’t Terrorism If justices buy the administration’s nice-guy pretenses of “concern about terrorism,” and “once in a lifetime pandemic measures,” they didn’t read the briefs in this case and see that is simply a cover for the U.S. government turning counterterrorism tools on its own citizens in an attempt to control election outcomes. This is precisely what the First Amendment was designed to check, and we Americans need our Supreme Court to understand that and act to protect us. Elections mean nothing when the government is secretly keeping voters from talking to each other. The Supreme Court may not be able to return the country to full constitutional government by eradicating the almost entirely unconstitutional administrative state. But it should enforce as many constitutional boundaries as possible on such agencies. That clearly includes prohibiting all of government from outsourcing to allegedly “private” organizations actions that would be illegal for the government to take. That includes not just coercive instructions to social media companies, but also developing social media censorship tools and organizations as cutouts for the rogue security state that is targeting peaceful citizens instead of actual terrorists. Even false speech is not domestic terrorism, and no clearheaded Supreme Court justice looking at the evidence could let the Biden administration weaponize antiterrorism measures to strip law-abiding Americans of our fundamental human rights. Joy Pullmann is executive editor of The Federalist, a happy wife, and the mother of six children. Her ebooks include "Classic Books For Young Children," and "101 Strategies For Living Well Amid Inflation." An 18-year education and politics reporter, Joy has testified before nearly two dozen legislatures on education policy and appeared on major media from Fox News to Ben Shapiro to Dennis Prager. Joy is a grateful graduate of the Hillsdale College honors and journalism programs who identifies as native American and gender natural. Her traditionally published books include "The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids," from Encounter Books. https://thefederalist.com/2024/03/21/this-country-cannot-afford-a-weak-supreme-court-decision-on-internet-censorship/ Join ➡️ @MartinKulldorf
    THEFEDERALIST.COM
    This Country Can't Afford A SCOTUS Weak On Internet Censorship
    It is obviously un-American for the government to develop a 'hit list' of citizens to mute through secret pressure on tech monopolies.
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  • National ARM Sends ‘Vaccine’ Crime Evidence Petition to Washington State and Nevada Governors and Attorney Generals
    Together In Truth
    National ARM Sends ‘Vaccine’ Crime Evidence Petition to Washington State and Nevada Governors and Attorney Generals
    The National American Renaissance Movement (National ARM) has taken action against the distribution of C19 nanoparticle injections by filing Grand Jury petitions in various states. The organization has submitted an 85-90 page document, prepared by its president, David Meiswinkle, to state officials, listing 153 exhibits of evidence and alleging state and federal crimes. The petitions call for an immediate ban on C19 vaccines and the initiation of criminal investigations.

    The Grand Jury petitions have already been submitted to the Governors, Attorney Generals, prosecutors, and sheriffs in Indiana, Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, South Carolina, Ohio, California, Tennessee, Texas, Idaho, Florida, and New Jersey. This latest move sees Washington State and Nevada added to the list, bringing the total to 15 states.

    The evidence presented in the document includes allegations of murder, racketeering, violations of biological weapons laws, treason, and genocide. National ARM intends to share this evidence with local prosecutors and law enforcement agencies in all 50 states to ensure that there is no plausible deniability.

    See also Majority of Vaccinated Patients Found to Have Long COVID: Study

    National ARM has made the Executive Summary and the Full Document available for viewing and download on their website. The Executive Summary for Washington State and Nevada can be accessed through separate links provided by the organization.

    Additionally, National ARM President David R. Meiswinkle has introduced the Grand Jury Petition in a video that outlines the crimes committed. The video can be watched on the provided link.

    In Florida, the Department of Health has recently called for a halt to Covid mRNA injections. In response to this development, a Writ of Mandamus has been filed by an individual in the Supreme Court of Florida. The writ seeks to compel Governor DeSantis to ban the vaccines and Attorney General Ashley Moody to confiscate the vials for forensic analysis.

    National ARM's actions reflect growing concerns about the safety and legality of C19 vaccines. By filing these Grand Jury petitions and taking legal measures, the organization aims to ensure that appropriate investigations are conducted into the alleged crimes associated with the distribution of these vaccines.

    See also Vaccination-Related Acute Psychotic Breakdowns: An Overview

    In conclusion, the National American Renaissance Movement is making significant efforts to halt the distribution of C19 nanoparticle injections. Their Grand Jury petitions, supported by extensive evidence, have been submitted to state officials in multiple states, with Washington State and Nevada being the latest additions. National ARM's actions highlight the need for thorough investigations into the alleged crimes surrounding C19 vaccines.

    Source

    They don't want you to see this... Big Tech does its best to limit what news you see. Make sure you see our Top 10 Articles of the Week — delivered directly to your inbox every Sunday. Click here to subscribe now.

    https://togetherintruth.co/national-arm-vaccine-crime-evidence/
    National ARM Sends ‘Vaccine’ Crime Evidence Petition to Washington State and Nevada Governors and Attorney Generals Together In Truth National ARM Sends ‘Vaccine’ Crime Evidence Petition to Washington State and Nevada Governors and Attorney Generals The National American Renaissance Movement (National ARM) has taken action against the distribution of C19 nanoparticle injections by filing Grand Jury petitions in various states. The organization has submitted an 85-90 page document, prepared by its president, David Meiswinkle, to state officials, listing 153 exhibits of evidence and alleging state and federal crimes. The petitions call for an immediate ban on C19 vaccines and the initiation of criminal investigations. The Grand Jury petitions have already been submitted to the Governors, Attorney Generals, prosecutors, and sheriffs in Indiana, Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, South Carolina, Ohio, California, Tennessee, Texas, Idaho, Florida, and New Jersey. This latest move sees Washington State and Nevada added to the list, bringing the total to 15 states. The evidence presented in the document includes allegations of murder, racketeering, violations of biological weapons laws, treason, and genocide. National ARM intends to share this evidence with local prosecutors and law enforcement agencies in all 50 states to ensure that there is no plausible deniability. See also Majority of Vaccinated Patients Found to Have Long COVID: Study National ARM has made the Executive Summary and the Full Document available for viewing and download on their website. The Executive Summary for Washington State and Nevada can be accessed through separate links provided by the organization. Additionally, National ARM President David R. Meiswinkle has introduced the Grand Jury Petition in a video that outlines the crimes committed. The video can be watched on the provided link. In Florida, the Department of Health has recently called for a halt to Covid mRNA injections. In response to this development, a Writ of Mandamus has been filed by an individual in the Supreme Court of Florida. The writ seeks to compel Governor DeSantis to ban the vaccines and Attorney General Ashley Moody to confiscate the vials for forensic analysis. National ARM's actions reflect growing concerns about the safety and legality of C19 vaccines. By filing these Grand Jury petitions and taking legal measures, the organization aims to ensure that appropriate investigations are conducted into the alleged crimes associated with the distribution of these vaccines. See also Vaccination-Related Acute Psychotic Breakdowns: An Overview In conclusion, the National American Renaissance Movement is making significant efforts to halt the distribution of C19 nanoparticle injections. Their Grand Jury petitions, supported by extensive evidence, have been submitted to state officials in multiple states, with Washington State and Nevada being the latest additions. National ARM's actions highlight the need for thorough investigations into the alleged crimes surrounding C19 vaccines. Source They don't want you to see this... Big Tech does its best to limit what news you see. Make sure you see our Top 10 Articles of the Week — delivered directly to your inbox every Sunday. Click here to subscribe now. https://togetherintruth.co/national-arm-vaccine-crime-evidence/
    TOGETHERINTRUTH.CO
    National ARM Sends 'Vaccine' Crime Evidence Petition to Washington State and Nevada Governors and Attorney Generals
    The National American Renaissance Movement (National ARM) files Grand Jury petitions in multiple states, seeking to ban C19 vaccines and investigate alleged crimes.
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 166: Israel kills Gaza officials handling food delivery to the north; Canada votes to halt arms sales to Israel
    Mustafa Abu SneinehMarch 20, 2024
    Palestinians embrace in a bombed out building that was attacked by Israeli airstrikes in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, killing 27 members of the same family (Photo: APA Images)
    A view from the damaged buildings after Israeli airstrikes on Nuseirat in central Gaza killed 27 members of the same family on March 20, 2024. As a result of the attack, many buildings were destroyed and surrounding buildings were damaged. Palestinians in the area carried out search and rescue operations in the rubble of buildings destroyed in the attack. (Omar Ashtawy/apaimages)
    Casualties

    31,923 + killed* and at least 74,096 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    435+ 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.
    594 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.***
    *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 40,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** The death toll in West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure.

    *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.”

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    Key Developments

    Israel bombs members of Palestinian clans and officers of Gaza’s emergency committee who handled aid supplies and delivery in north Gaza.
    Among people Israel killed on Tuesday evening is Amjad Hathat, director of Gaza’s emergency committee. On Monday, Israel assassinated Faiq Mabhouh, head of police operations in Gaza, who handled delivery of food in north Gaza.
    Hamas accuses Israel of spreading chaos in north Gaza in bid to create “administrative vacuum” by targeting members of emergency committee.
    In north Gaza, every 25 individuals share one kilogram of flour, or 20 loaves of bread, over one or two days. However, thousands of others cannot get a single loaf.
    Doctor who visited Gaza tells UN that “infections are getting worse and worse,” with whole families suffering from explosive injuries and burns.
    Israeli airstrikes on houses in Nuseirat refugee camp kill at least 27 Palestinians from the Habbash family.
    Israel’s Finance Minister says expanding settlements is “holistic Zionist response to [EU] declaration” of planned sanctions on Israeli settlers in the West Bank.
    Israeli forces and settlers kill two Palestinians in the West Bank in separate incidents.
    Canada to halt arms sales to Israel after non-binding vote in parliament.
    Agreement made between White House and U.S. Congress bars U.S. funds to UNRWA until March 2025, according to a Reuters report.
    Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni says, “We will reiterate our opposition to military action on the ground by Israel in Rafah that could have even more catastrophic consequences for the civilians crowded in that area.”
    Israel bombs north Gaza’s Kuwait roundabout, targeting authorities tasked with aid delivery

    Israeli forces bombed a gathering point of dozens of Palestinians near the Kuwait roundabout in Gaza City, killing at least 23 people and injuring dozens on Tuesday evening.

    Most of them were members of Palestinian clans and officers of Gaza’s emergency committee who handled aid supplies and deliveries to starving people in north Gaza.

    Since Saturday, they had successfully ensured the arrival of 35 aid trucks at the Kuwait and Nabulsi roundabouts, unloading the deliveries in shelters and centers of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza’s Al-Tuffah neighborhood and Jabalia refugee camp.

    Such a mission could not have been successful without Gaza Police directing Palestinians not to gather around aid trucks on Al-Rashid and Sala El-Din streets in north Gaza and allowing the emergency committee to do its job of unloading and distributing food.

    The missions between local police, the heads of clans in Gaza, and UNRWA were coordinated in an effort to protect civilians in the north after numerous attacks in recent weeks in which Israeli forces shot and killed hundreds of Palestinians as crowds attempted to get food and flour from trucks in Gaza since late February; a number of the dead were also reportedly killed in the crowd crush.

    In the past few days, Palestinians lined up to get their rations of flour inside the premises of the humanitarian centers in Jabalia and Gaza. Among the people Israel killed on Tuesday evening is Amjad Hathat, the director of Gaza’s emergency committee.

    Hamas says Israel is ‘spreading chaos’ in north Gaza

    In response to the targeting of the local officials in north Gaza, Hamas accused Israel of “spreading chaos” in a bid to create an “administrative vacuum” by targeting the emergency committee. Ismail Al-Thawabteh, a media government spokesperson, told Al-Jazeera Arabic that Israel allows aid trucks to enter north Gaza and then bombs people approaching it.

    On Monday evening, Israel assassinated Faiq Al-Mabhouh, the head of police operations in Gaza, who handled the entry of food trucks and managed to deliver 13 of them to north Gaza. Israel said Mabhouh was “the head of Operations Directorate of the Internal Security Service of Hamas.”

    Tel Aviv is trying to create an authority in the Gaza Strip in place of Hamas, and it views the successful coordination between local clans, Gaza Police and UN agencies to deliver aid as a sign of Hamas’s ability to administer in Gaza.

    Israel is still trying to use food and medical deliveries as a tool to strengthen and push some clan leaders to the front seat and put them in charge of handling the aid, coordinating with Israel and the international agencies.

    However, several Palestinian clans in the Gaza Strip refused to be “an alternative political regime” in the Gaza Strip and coordinate humanitarian missions with Israel.

    One kilogram of flour for every 25 people

    Although dozens of aid trucks reached north Gaza in the past days, where thousands of Palestinians are at risk of famine and starvation, the loads remain short to meet people’s needs.

    Al-Akhbar reported that a flour truck arrived at Abu Bakr al-Razi shelter center in Gaza’s Al-Tuffah neighborhood on Monday, where 8,000 people currently live, and contained 1,000 bags of flour, each weighing 25 kilograms.

    “We give each family what is sufficient for one or two days only. We have no other choice,” a member of the emergency committee told Al-Akhbar’s correspondent.

    “Every 25 individuals share one kilogram of flour. Knowing that a kilogram is enough to make 20 loaves, it means that a large number of people… won’t get even a single loaf of bread,” in Gaza, he added.

    Children in Gaza face grave injuries, malnutrition as hospitals struggle to operate

    A few trucks were also loaded with medical supplies and delivered to the UNRWA clinic in Jabalia, to Al-Awda and Kamal Adwan hospitals in north Gaza, which are depleted and partially operating. Hospitals in the Gaza Strip are still short of fuel, medicine and medical machines, while other hospitals like Al-Shifa in Gaza City have been under Israeli attack since Sunday.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has long warned that Israel is generating a famine in north Gaza, and that “over a million people are expected to face catastrophic hunger unless significantly more food is allowed to enter Gaza.”

    Children have already started dying of malnutrition in Gaza, which has long-term effects, such as “low consumption of nutrient-rich foods, repeated infections, and [the] lack of hygiene and sanitation services slow children’s overall growth,” the WHO added.

    Israel has killed more than 13,000 children in bombing Gaza since October 7, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

    Four doctors from France, the U.S. and the U.K., who visited the Gaza Strip, said during a UN event in New York that the healthcare system in the enclave is collapsing and that they treated children severely burned by Israel’s bombs.

    Nick Maynard, a cancer surgeon with British charity Medical Aid for Palestinians, saw a Palestinian girl so badly burned in an Israeli bombardment that he could see her facial bones.

    “We knew there was no chance of her surviving that but there was no morphine to give her,” Maynard said. “So not only was she inevitably going to die but she would die in agony.”

    Maynar said that an Israeli ground invasion of Rafah “will be apocalyptic, the number of deaths we’re going to see.”

    Amber Alayyan, a pediatrician doctor, said hospitals in Gaza are operating on patients and the injured amid lack of supplies and in dire conditions.

    “The infections are getting worse and worse,” she said.

    “We have seen patients who traveled, who were victims of explosive injuries, a family of 11, for example, a whole family that arrived at our hospital in the south from the north,” Alayyan told the UN.

    “They’ve been moving for three months looking for hospital care. They were victims of explosions. Eleven members of the family were burnt,” she added.

    Israeli attack on Nuseirat refugee camp kills 27 family members

    In the past 24 hours, Israeli forces committed 10 massacres in various areas of the Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health on Telegram, killing at least 104 people and injuring 162. Thousands remain under the rubble of bombed buildings, and nearly 32,000 Palestinians were killed and 74,000 injured.

    Israeli air strikes on houses in Nuseirat refugee camp, in central Gaza, killed at least 27 Palestinians from the Habbash family and injured dozens, Wafa news agency reported.

    In north Gaza, Israel bombed Al-Rimal and Al-Daraj neighborhoods. Palestinian rescue team recovered the bodies of 20 people in Gaza City following an Israeli bombardment.

    In Beit Lahia and Deir Al-Balah, Israeli artillery bombed several areas, while in Bureij refugee camp, six Palestinians were recovered from under the rubble of a bombed house.

    Italian PM opposes Rafah Invasion, Canada votes to stop arms transfers to Israel

    The Israeli government has vowed to press on with its planned invasion of the crowded city of Rafah in southern Gaza, despite warnings from international leaders and humanitarian groups. Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has joined the chorus, saying that her country opposes the planned offensive.

    “We will reiterate our opposition to military action on the ground by Israel in Rafah that could have even more catastrophic consequences for the civilians crowded in that area,” Meloni told lawmakers in the Senate.

    Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said during a meeting with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi this week, that she is “concerned about the risks a full-scale offensive in Rafah would have on the most vulnerable civilian population. This needs to be avoided at all costs.”

    An Israeli invasion of Rafah, the southernmost town in the Gaza Strip where 1.2 million Palestinians are sheltering, could spike tensions with Egypt which watches the western side of the border.

    Some Israeli officials and ministers said their wish is to evacuate Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to Egypt. However, Egypt is closing its borders firmly, and is not allowing mass flux of Palestinians to its territories.

    Meanwhile, Canada’s House of Commons voted on Tuesday to halt arms sales to Israel, with Canadian foreign affairs minister, Mélanie Joly, reaffirming the vote, saying her government would halt future arms shipments to Israel, saying “it is a real thing.”

    Smotrich calls settlements ‘holistic’ response to sanctions

    Israel’s Finance Minister and far-right settler Bezalel Smotrich, suggested that expanding settlement was the “holistic” response to an agreement by the EU on Monday to sanction Israeli settlers, who assaulted Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

    “There is one holistic Zionist response to this [EU] declaration, strengthening and entrenching settlement in all parts of the Land of Israel,” Smotrich said on Tuesday.

    He claimed that the Israeli justice system could deal with incidents of settlers’ violence on Palestinians. Israeli authorities systematically fail to investigate and prosecute ideological crimes against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, and are often documented joining the settlers in their attacks on Palestinian communities.

    The far-right minister is a vocal opponent of the establishment of Palestinian state, and is a supporter of annexing the West Bank into Israel. In January, he said Israel should “encourage the migration of Gaza residents as a solution to the humanitarian crisis”.

    The U.S. has recently sanctioned several Israeli settlers involved in attacks against Palestinians, including two entire outposts for the first time.

    Israeli forces and settlers kill two Palestinians in West Bank

    Two Palestinian were killed in separate incidents in the West Bank on Tuesday afternoon.

    Ziad Farhan Diab Hamran, 31, from the Al-Hashimiyah village in Jenin, was shot by Israeli forces near the entrance of Beit Fajjar village and the settlement of Gush Etzion, near Bethlehem. His body remains in Israel’s custody.

    Israel said that Hamran shot two intelligence officers from the Shin Bet, who were injured in the attack. Hamran succumbed to his wounds on Tuesday evening.

    In Nablus, Israeli settlers killed Fakher Bassem Bani Jaber, 43, from Aqraba village, south of Nablus.

    Wafa reported that Jaber was taken to Rafidiya Hospital where he died. Settlers attacked Khirbet al-Tawil area, near Aqraba village, which prompted Palestinians to defend their lands.In occupied Jerusalem, only 20,000 Palestinians performed Ramadan’s Al-Tarawih prayer on the tenth night as Israeli authorities kept restricting the numbers of Palestinians who could enter Jerusalem from the West Bank. It was also rainy and cold in Jerusalem on Tuesday night, Wafa 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.

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    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-166-israel-kills-gaza-officials-handling-food-delivery-to-the-north-canada-votes-to-halt-arms-sales-to-israel/


    https://telegra.ph/Operation-Al-Aqsa-Flood-Day-166-Israel-kills-Gaza-officials-handling-food-delivery-to-the-north-Canada-votes-to-halt-arms-sales--03-20
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 166: Israel kills Gaza officials handling food delivery to the north; Canada votes to halt arms sales to Israel Mustafa Abu SneinehMarch 20, 2024 Palestinians embrace in a bombed out building that was attacked by Israeli airstrikes in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, killing 27 members of the same family (Photo: APA Images) A view from the damaged buildings after Israeli airstrikes on Nuseirat in central Gaza killed 27 members of the same family on March 20, 2024. As a result of the attack, many buildings were destroyed and surrounding buildings were damaged. Palestinians in the area carried out search and rescue operations in the rubble of buildings destroyed in the attack. (Omar Ashtawy/apaimages) Casualties 31,923 + killed* and at least 74,096 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 435+ 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. 594 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.*** *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 40,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** The death toll in West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure. *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Advertisement Follow the Mondoweiss channel on WhatsApp! Key Developments Israel bombs members of Palestinian clans and officers of Gaza’s emergency committee who handled aid supplies and delivery in north Gaza. Among people Israel killed on Tuesday evening is Amjad Hathat, director of Gaza’s emergency committee. On Monday, Israel assassinated Faiq Mabhouh, head of police operations in Gaza, who handled delivery of food in north Gaza. Hamas accuses Israel of spreading chaos in north Gaza in bid to create “administrative vacuum” by targeting members of emergency committee. In north Gaza, every 25 individuals share one kilogram of flour, or 20 loaves of bread, over one or two days. However, thousands of others cannot get a single loaf. Doctor who visited Gaza tells UN that “infections are getting worse and worse,” with whole families suffering from explosive injuries and burns. Israeli airstrikes on houses in Nuseirat refugee camp kill at least 27 Palestinians from the Habbash family. Israel’s Finance Minister says expanding settlements is “holistic Zionist response to [EU] declaration” of planned sanctions on Israeli settlers in the West Bank. Israeli forces and settlers kill two Palestinians in the West Bank in separate incidents. Canada to halt arms sales to Israel after non-binding vote in parliament. Agreement made between White House and U.S. Congress bars U.S. funds to UNRWA until March 2025, according to a Reuters report. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni says, “We will reiterate our opposition to military action on the ground by Israel in Rafah that could have even more catastrophic consequences for the civilians crowded in that area.” Israel bombs north Gaza’s Kuwait roundabout, targeting authorities tasked with aid delivery Israeli forces bombed a gathering point of dozens of Palestinians near the Kuwait roundabout in Gaza City, killing at least 23 people and injuring dozens on Tuesday evening. Most of them were members of Palestinian clans and officers of Gaza’s emergency committee who handled aid supplies and deliveries to starving people in north Gaza. Since Saturday, they had successfully ensured the arrival of 35 aid trucks at the Kuwait and Nabulsi roundabouts, unloading the deliveries in shelters and centers of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza’s Al-Tuffah neighborhood and Jabalia refugee camp. Such a mission could not have been successful without Gaza Police directing Palestinians not to gather around aid trucks on Al-Rashid and Sala El-Din streets in north Gaza and allowing the emergency committee to do its job of unloading and distributing food. The missions between local police, the heads of clans in Gaza, and UNRWA were coordinated in an effort to protect civilians in the north after numerous attacks in recent weeks in which Israeli forces shot and killed hundreds of Palestinians as crowds attempted to get food and flour from trucks in Gaza since late February; a number of the dead were also reportedly killed in the crowd crush. In the past few days, Palestinians lined up to get their rations of flour inside the premises of the humanitarian centers in Jabalia and Gaza. Among the people Israel killed on Tuesday evening is Amjad Hathat, the director of Gaza’s emergency committee. Hamas says Israel is ‘spreading chaos’ in north Gaza In response to the targeting of the local officials in north Gaza, Hamas accused Israel of “spreading chaos” in a bid to create an “administrative vacuum” by targeting the emergency committee. Ismail Al-Thawabteh, a media government spokesperson, told Al-Jazeera Arabic that Israel allows aid trucks to enter north Gaza and then bombs people approaching it. On Monday evening, Israel assassinated Faiq Al-Mabhouh, the head of police operations in Gaza, who handled the entry of food trucks and managed to deliver 13 of them to north Gaza. Israel said Mabhouh was “the head of Operations Directorate of the Internal Security Service of Hamas.” Tel Aviv is trying to create an authority in the Gaza Strip in place of Hamas, and it views the successful coordination between local clans, Gaza Police and UN agencies to deliver aid as a sign of Hamas’s ability to administer in Gaza. Israel is still trying to use food and medical deliveries as a tool to strengthen and push some clan leaders to the front seat and put them in charge of handling the aid, coordinating with Israel and the international agencies. However, several Palestinian clans in the Gaza Strip refused to be “an alternative political regime” in the Gaza Strip and coordinate humanitarian missions with Israel. One kilogram of flour for every 25 people Although dozens of aid trucks reached north Gaza in the past days, where thousands of Palestinians are at risk of famine and starvation, the loads remain short to meet people’s needs. Al-Akhbar reported that a flour truck arrived at Abu Bakr al-Razi shelter center in Gaza’s Al-Tuffah neighborhood on Monday, where 8,000 people currently live, and contained 1,000 bags of flour, each weighing 25 kilograms. “We give each family what is sufficient for one or two days only. We have no other choice,” a member of the emergency committee told Al-Akhbar’s correspondent. “Every 25 individuals share one kilogram of flour. Knowing that a kilogram is enough to make 20 loaves, it means that a large number of people… won’t get even a single loaf of bread,” in Gaza, he added. Children in Gaza face grave injuries, malnutrition as hospitals struggle to operate A few trucks were also loaded with medical supplies and delivered to the UNRWA clinic in Jabalia, to Al-Awda and Kamal Adwan hospitals in north Gaza, which are depleted and partially operating. Hospitals in the Gaza Strip are still short of fuel, medicine and medical machines, while other hospitals like Al-Shifa in Gaza City have been under Israeli attack since Sunday. The World Health Organization (WHO) has long warned that Israel is generating a famine in north Gaza, and that “over a million people are expected to face catastrophic hunger unless significantly more food is allowed to enter Gaza.” Children have already started dying of malnutrition in Gaza, which has long-term effects, such as “low consumption of nutrient-rich foods, repeated infections, and [the] lack of hygiene and sanitation services slow children’s overall growth,” the WHO added. Israel has killed more than 13,000 children in bombing Gaza since October 7, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Four doctors from France, the U.S. and the U.K., who visited the Gaza Strip, said during a UN event in New York that the healthcare system in the enclave is collapsing and that they treated children severely burned by Israel’s bombs. Nick Maynard, a cancer surgeon with British charity Medical Aid for Palestinians, saw a Palestinian girl so badly burned in an Israeli bombardment that he could see her facial bones. “We knew there was no chance of her surviving that but there was no morphine to give her,” Maynard said. “So not only was she inevitably going to die but she would die in agony.” Maynar said that an Israeli ground invasion of Rafah “will be apocalyptic, the number of deaths we’re going to see.” Amber Alayyan, a pediatrician doctor, said hospitals in Gaza are operating on patients and the injured amid lack of supplies and in dire conditions. “The infections are getting worse and worse,” she said. “We have seen patients who traveled, who were victims of explosive injuries, a family of 11, for example, a whole family that arrived at our hospital in the south from the north,” Alayyan told the UN. “They’ve been moving for three months looking for hospital care. They were victims of explosions. Eleven members of the family were burnt,” she added. Israeli attack on Nuseirat refugee camp kills 27 family members In the past 24 hours, Israeli forces committed 10 massacres in various areas of the Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health on Telegram, killing at least 104 people and injuring 162. Thousands remain under the rubble of bombed buildings, and nearly 32,000 Palestinians were killed and 74,000 injured. Israeli air strikes on houses in Nuseirat refugee camp, in central Gaza, killed at least 27 Palestinians from the Habbash family and injured dozens, Wafa news agency reported. In north Gaza, Israel bombed Al-Rimal and Al-Daraj neighborhoods. Palestinian rescue team recovered the bodies of 20 people in Gaza City following an Israeli bombardment. In Beit Lahia and Deir Al-Balah, Israeli artillery bombed several areas, while in Bureij refugee camp, six Palestinians were recovered from under the rubble of a bombed house. Italian PM opposes Rafah Invasion, Canada votes to stop arms transfers to Israel The Israeli government has vowed to press on with its planned invasion of the crowded city of Rafah in southern Gaza, despite warnings from international leaders and humanitarian groups. Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has joined the chorus, saying that her country opposes the planned offensive. “We will reiterate our opposition to military action on the ground by Israel in Rafah that could have even more catastrophic consequences for the civilians crowded in that area,” Meloni told lawmakers in the Senate. Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said during a meeting with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi this week, that she is “concerned about the risks a full-scale offensive in Rafah would have on the most vulnerable civilian population. This needs to be avoided at all costs.” An Israeli invasion of Rafah, the southernmost town in the Gaza Strip where 1.2 million Palestinians are sheltering, could spike tensions with Egypt which watches the western side of the border. Some Israeli officials and ministers said their wish is to evacuate Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to Egypt. However, Egypt is closing its borders firmly, and is not allowing mass flux of Palestinians to its territories. Meanwhile, Canada’s House of Commons voted on Tuesday to halt arms sales to Israel, with Canadian foreign affairs minister, Mélanie Joly, reaffirming the vote, saying her government would halt future arms shipments to Israel, saying “it is a real thing.” Smotrich calls settlements ‘holistic’ response to sanctions Israel’s Finance Minister and far-right settler Bezalel Smotrich, suggested that expanding settlement was the “holistic” response to an agreement by the EU on Monday to sanction Israeli settlers, who assaulted Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. “There is one holistic Zionist response to this [EU] declaration, strengthening and entrenching settlement in all parts of the Land of Israel,” Smotrich said on Tuesday. He claimed that the Israeli justice system could deal with incidents of settlers’ violence on Palestinians. Israeli authorities systematically fail to investigate and prosecute ideological crimes against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, and are often documented joining the settlers in their attacks on Palestinian communities. The far-right minister is a vocal opponent of the establishment of Palestinian state, and is a supporter of annexing the West Bank into Israel. In January, he said Israel should “encourage the migration of Gaza residents as a solution to the humanitarian crisis”. The U.S. has recently sanctioned several Israeli settlers involved in attacks against Palestinians, including two entire outposts for the first time. Israeli forces and settlers kill two Palestinians in West Bank Two Palestinian were killed in separate incidents in the West Bank on Tuesday afternoon. Ziad Farhan Diab Hamran, 31, from the Al-Hashimiyah village in Jenin, was shot by Israeli forces near the entrance of Beit Fajjar village and the settlement of Gush Etzion, near Bethlehem. His body remains in Israel’s custody. Israel said that Hamran shot two intelligence officers from the Shin Bet, who were injured in the attack. Hamran succumbed to his wounds on Tuesday evening. In Nablus, Israeli settlers killed Fakher Bassem Bani Jaber, 43, from Aqraba village, south of Nablus. Wafa reported that Jaber was taken to Rafidiya Hospital where he died. Settlers attacked Khirbet al-Tawil area, near Aqraba village, which prompted Palestinians to defend their lands.In occupied Jerusalem, only 20,000 Palestinians performed Ramadan’s Al-Tarawih prayer on the tenth night as Israeli authorities kept restricting the numbers of Palestinians who could enter Jerusalem from the West Bank. It was also rainy and cold in Jerusalem on Tuesday night, Wafa 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/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-166-israel-kills-gaza-officials-handling-food-delivery-to-the-north-canada-votes-to-halt-arms-sales-to-israel/ 👉https://telegra.ph/Operation-Al-Aqsa-Flood-Day-166-Israel-kills-Gaza-officials-handling-food-delivery-to-the-north-Canada-votes-to-halt-arms-sales--03-20
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    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 166: Israel kills Gaza officials handling food delivery to the north; Canada votes to halt arms sales to Israel
    Hamas slams Israel for “spreading chaos” after an Israeli airstrike killed two local police officers in charge of securing and delivering food to north Gaza. In the West Bank, Israeli forces and settlers kill two Palestinians.
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 165: Israeli attacks escalate on Rafah, al-Shifa Hospital invasion enters second day
    Mustafa Abu SneinehMarch 19, 2024
    A Palestinian man inspects a destroyed building following an Israeli air attack on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, March 19 2024. (Photo: © Abed Rahim Khatib/dpa via ZUMA Press APA Images)
    A Palestinian man inspects a destroyed building following an Israeli air attack on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, March 19 2024. (Photo: © Abed Rahim Khatib/dpa via ZUMA Press APA Images)
    Casualties

    31,819 + killed* and at least 73,934 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    435+ 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.
    594 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.***
    *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 40,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** The death toll in West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure.

    *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.”

    Key Developments

    Palestinian Authority warns that Israel started offensive on Rafah without official announcement to avoid international pressure.
    Majed Al-Ansari, spokesperson for Qatar’s Foreign Ministry, says Israeli attack on Rafah will negatively affect the ceasefire talks in Doha.
    Ansari says “it is still too early to talk about any breakthrough in the negotiations” between Israel and Hamas, but mediators remain “optimistic.”
    All communication with Palestinian medical staff trapped inside al-Shifa Hospital went silent on Monday evening
    Israel arrests Al-Jazeera correspondent Ismail Al-Ghoul in al-Shifa Hospital. He says Israeli forces detained them for 12 hours, destroyed media tent, and seized smartphones, cameras, and laptops from journalists.
    WHO chief says, “hospitals should never be battlegrounds. We are terribly worried about the situation at al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza, which is endangering health workers, patients, and civilians.”
    Israel bombs several houses on Al-Jalaa Street in north Gaza, close to al-Shifa Hospital, killing and injuring several Palestinians and causing immense damage.
    Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA chief, was barred entry by Israel to Rafah, while Tel Aviv says he did not follow “proper procedure.”
    Lazzarini says his visit “was supposed to coordinate and improve the humanitarian response. This man-made starvation under our watch is a stain on our collective humanity.”
    Israeli settlers vandalize UNRWA’s headquarters in occupied Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and affix posters on main gate calling for its closure.
    In Jerusalem, only 25,000 Palestinians were allowed by Israeli forces to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque to perform Ramadan’s prayer on the ninth night.
    Ahmed Al-Tibi, Palestinian Knesset member, warns that the life of national figure and Fatah leader Marwan Al-Barghouti is at risk inside Israeli prison.
    PA warns that “Israel began to destroy Rafah”

    The Palestinian Authority (PA) warned that Israel has started an offensive on Rafah without an official announcement to avoid international pressure.

    Overnight, Israel heavily bombed Rafah, killing at least 14 Palestinians in the area where more than one million people are displaced, the majority of them living in tents.

    “Israel began to destroy Rafah on a daily basis and in a systematic manner through repeated attacks on homes, bombing them, and killing and wounding dozens of civilians,” the PA’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday.

    It added that to avoid condemnation and international pressure to halt such attacks, “Israel… did not wait for permission from anyone, and did not announce” the operation publicly.

    The escalation of Israeli airstrikes and artillery shelling in Rafah comes as the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is visiting the region where talks between Israel and Hamas continue in Qatar, but has not seen any breakthrough to reach a ceasefire and hostages’ exchange deal.

    Israel has bombed several areas in Rafah overnight, targeting mainly Palestinian homes and residential blocks, according to Wafa, including the neighborhoods of Musabah, Khirbet Al-Adas, and Al-Jeneina.

    On Tuesday, Majed Al-Ansari, the spokesperson for Qatar’s Foreign Ministry, said that an attack on Rafah would negatively affect the ceasefire talks in Doha.

    “Any attack on Rafah will lead to a humanitarian catastrophe and will negatively affect the progress of the talks,” he said. Ansari added that mediators are working on a temporary ceasefire deal to allow humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.

    “It is still too early to talk about any breakthrough in the negotiations, but we are optimistic about that,” he said, according to Al-Jazeera Arabic.

    Displaced Palestinians fleeing from the vicinity of Gaza City's al-Shifa hospital arrive at the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on March 18, 2024. (Photo: Naaman Omar/APA Images)
    Displaced Palestinians fleeing from the vicinity of Gaza City’s al-Shifa hospital arrive at the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on March 18, 2024. (Photo: Naaman Omar/APA Images)
    Al-Shifa Hospital under Israeli control for second day

    In north Gaza, Israel forces storming of the al-Shifa Hospital has been ongoing since late on Sunday.

    All communication with medical staff trapped inside the hospital went silent on Monday evening. This is the second time Israeli forces stormed the al-Shifa Hospital since October, this time claiming that there were Hamas figures inside it, but has yet to provide evidence.

    A fire broke out in the al-Shifa’s specialized surgery building after the Israeli assault began. Around 25,000 Palestinians were sheltering in the medical complex, and Israel arrested 90 Palestinians, including journalists from inside al-Shifa. Among them was Al-Jazeera’s correspondent in north Gaza, Ismail al-Ghoul, who was released after 12 hours of detention.

    Al-Ghoul later said that Israeli forces destroyed the media tent inside the al-Shifa Hospital and seized smartphones, cameras, and laptops from journalists who were arrested and stripped of their clothes.

    “The [Israeli] occupation forces handcuffed and blindfolded us and interrogated all the journalists present in the place,” he told Al-Jazeera Arabic in a phone call on Monday.

    Al-Ghoul is one of the few journalists who report from north Gaza to a mainstream TV channel. He recently reported Israeli forces killing hundreds of Palestinians who gathered to get flour, aid and food near the Al-Nabulsi roundabout and Al-Rashid Street in Gaza City.

    “Hospitals should never be battlegrounds”

    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the chief of World Health Organization (WHO), said that “hospitals should never be battlegrounds. We are terribly worried about the situation at al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza, which is endangering health workers, patients, and civilians.”

    Ghebreyesus added that the al-Shifa Hospital is partially operating. In November, Israeli forces stormed the complex following days of siege, claiming that Hamas hosted a “command center” underneath the facility and has yet to present a proof.

    Israel also bombed several houses on Al-Jalaa Street in north Gaza, which is close to the al-Shifa Hospital, killing and injuring several Palestinians and causing immense damage to the area.

    Some Palestinians were walking on Al-Jalaa Street at the time of the air raids, others came back from getting flour to find their apartments bombed while their families were inside.

    In the past 24 hours, Israeli forces committed several massacres in various areas of the Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health on Telegram, killing at least 93 people and injuring 142. Thousands remain under the rubble of bombed buildings.

    Israeli bombing killed 16 Palestinians in north Gaza overnight. At least 15 people were killed in an Israeli air raid on a house of the Muqbel family in central Gaza City. The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said that 14 members have been killed since the Israeli aggression started on Gaza in October.

    In north Gaza, Israel bombed the house of the Al-Banna family in Jabalia, killing at least eight people, Wafa reported. Hundreds of Palestinians saw their tents sink or blown away as a result of strong wind and torrential rain in Deir al-Balah, Rafah, and the Al-Mawasi area in Khan Younis overnight, Wafa reported.

    Israel denies entry for UNRWA chief to Rafah

    Philippe Lazzarini, the chief of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), was barred entry to Rafah by Israel, as Tel Aviv claimed he did not follow “proper procedure.”

    Last month, Lazzarini accused Israel of aiming to destroy UNRWA and defended the organization’s relentless work in offering humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

    “I intended to go to Rafah today, but I have been informed an hour ago that my entry into Rafah is declined,” Lazzarini said during a press conference in Cairo on Monday alongside the Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry.

    Shoukry said that Lazzarini was barred by Israel. “You were declined by the Israeli government, refused the entry, which is an unprecedented move for a representative at this high position,” he said.

    Although the Rafah crossing is an entry point between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, Israel is in charge of who can enter or leave the enclave, according to the Israeli-Egyptian agreement.

    Lazzarini also accused Israel of creating a man-made famine in Gaza and said that UNRWA was “engaged in a race against the clock to try to reverse the impact of the spreading hunger and the looming famine in the Gaza Strip.”

    He added that his visit “was supposed to coordinate and improve the humanitarian response. This man-made starvation under our watch is a stain on our collective humanity.”

    “Too much time was wasted, all land crossings must open now. Famine can be averted with political will,” Lazzarini said.

    Francesca Albanese, the UN Special Rapporteur for Palestine, wrote on X platform that “Israel wants no witnesses, no truth-tellers”, in a comment on Lazzarini’s entry denial.

    On Monday, Israeli settlers vandalized the headquarters of UNRWA in occupied Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. They have affixed posters on the main gate calling for the shutdown of UNRWA agency, which also provides humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Jerusalem’s refugee camps, and operate in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan.

    Muslims who managed to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque are seen performing tarawih and night prayers during holy month of Ramadan in Jerusalem on March 17, 2024. (Photo: Department of Islamic Awqaf in Jerusalem/APA Images)
    Muslims who managed to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque are seen performing tarawih and night prayers during holy month of Ramadan in Jerusalem on March 17, 2024. (Photo: Department of Islamic Waqf in Jerusalem/APA Images)
    Israeli settlers attack Deir Istiya village

    Overnight, Israeli forces arrested several Palestinians from the occupied West Bank towns of Hebron, Jenin, Qalqilya, Nablus, and the Balata refugee camp.

    In Jerusalem, only 25,000 Palestinians were allowed by Israeli forces to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque to perform Ramadan’s Al-Tarawih prayer on the ninth night. This is a sharp drop from the 60,000 Palestinians who performed Al-Tarawih on Saturday night.

    Israeli authorities are still limiting the number of Palestinians from the West Bank to enter Jerusalem. Last week, Israeli forces set up at least 30 makeshift checkpoints on the outskirts of the Old City, at the city’s gates and the entrances of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

    Since October, Israel has issued 100 deportation orders against Palestinian residents of Jerusalem and Palestinian citizens of Israel, barring 55 of them from entry to Jerusalem and 45 to Al-Aqsa Mosque, according to Wadi Hilweh Human Rights Information Center.

    Wadi Hilweh added that this has become a routine policy “to deprive Palestinians of their right to worship and visit Al-Aqsa,” especially around religious occasions such as Ramadan.

    In the north of the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked Deir Istiya village near Salfit, stole contents from an agricultural room owned by Youssef Salman, and destroyed the solar panels, Wafa reported.

    Marwan Al-Barghouti’s life is in danger inside Israeli prison

    Ahmed Al-Tibi, the Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset, warned that the life of Marwan Al-Barghouti is at risk inside Israeli prison.

    Barghouti, a popular national figure and Fatah leader was put in solitary confinement in Megiddo prison. Since October, he has moved between several detention centers, including Ofer, Ramla, and Rimonim.

    “Marwan Al-Barghouti’s life is in danger inside the prison due to the assault on him and other detainees. I hold Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responsible for any harm caused to him, his life, or the lives of the prisoners,” Al-Tibi said in a video post on the X platform.

    He added that Barghouti was assaulted and bled as a result, and warned that since October, 13 Palestinians died inside Israeli jail, “some of them were found murdered, according to families and judges, due to violence and torture.”

    Barghouti is seen by Palestinians as a national figure who could bridge the schism between Fatah and Hamas and lead a future Palestinian state. Hamas insisted that Barghouti will be among the prisoners that will be released in any exchange deal with Israel.

    Last month, Itamar Ben-Gvir, the National Security Minister, said that he ordered the transfer of Barghouti to solitary confinement in prison “following information about a planned uprising” in the occupied West Bank.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-165-israeli-attacks-escalate-on-rafah-al-shifa-hospital-invasion-enters-second-day/

    https://telegra.ph/Operation-Al-Aqsa-Flood-Day-165-Israeli-attacks-escalate-on-Rafah-al-Shifa-Hospital-invasion-enters-second-day-03-20
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 165: Israeli attacks escalate on Rafah, al-Shifa Hospital invasion enters second day Mustafa Abu SneinehMarch 19, 2024 A Palestinian man inspects a destroyed building following an Israeli air attack on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, March 19 2024. (Photo: © Abed Rahim Khatib/dpa via ZUMA Press APA Images) A Palestinian man inspects a destroyed building following an Israeli air attack on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, March 19 2024. (Photo: © Abed Rahim Khatib/dpa via ZUMA Press APA Images) Casualties 31,819 + killed* and at least 73,934 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 435+ 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. 594 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.*** *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 40,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** The death toll in West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure. *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Key Developments Palestinian Authority warns that Israel started offensive on Rafah without official announcement to avoid international pressure. Majed Al-Ansari, spokesperson for Qatar’s Foreign Ministry, says Israeli attack on Rafah will negatively affect the ceasefire talks in Doha. Ansari says “it is still too early to talk about any breakthrough in the negotiations” between Israel and Hamas, but mediators remain “optimistic.” All communication with Palestinian medical staff trapped inside al-Shifa Hospital went silent on Monday evening Israel arrests Al-Jazeera correspondent Ismail Al-Ghoul in al-Shifa Hospital. He says Israeli forces detained them for 12 hours, destroyed media tent, and seized smartphones, cameras, and laptops from journalists. WHO chief says, “hospitals should never be battlegrounds. We are terribly worried about the situation at al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza, which is endangering health workers, patients, and civilians.” Israel bombs several houses on Al-Jalaa Street in north Gaza, close to al-Shifa Hospital, killing and injuring several Palestinians and causing immense damage. Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA chief, was barred entry by Israel to Rafah, while Tel Aviv says he did not follow “proper procedure.” Lazzarini says his visit “was supposed to coordinate and improve the humanitarian response. This man-made starvation under our watch is a stain on our collective humanity.” Israeli settlers vandalize UNRWA’s headquarters in occupied Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and affix posters on main gate calling for its closure. In Jerusalem, only 25,000 Palestinians were allowed by Israeli forces to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque to perform Ramadan’s prayer on the ninth night. Ahmed Al-Tibi, Palestinian Knesset member, warns that the life of national figure and Fatah leader Marwan Al-Barghouti is at risk inside Israeli prison. PA warns that “Israel began to destroy Rafah” The Palestinian Authority (PA) warned that Israel has started an offensive on Rafah without an official announcement to avoid international pressure. Overnight, Israel heavily bombed Rafah, killing at least 14 Palestinians in the area where more than one million people are displaced, the majority of them living in tents. “Israel began to destroy Rafah on a daily basis and in a systematic manner through repeated attacks on homes, bombing them, and killing and wounding dozens of civilians,” the PA’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday. It added that to avoid condemnation and international pressure to halt such attacks, “Israel… did not wait for permission from anyone, and did not announce” the operation publicly. The escalation of Israeli airstrikes and artillery shelling in Rafah comes as the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is visiting the region where talks between Israel and Hamas continue in Qatar, but has not seen any breakthrough to reach a ceasefire and hostages’ exchange deal. Israel has bombed several areas in Rafah overnight, targeting mainly Palestinian homes and residential blocks, according to Wafa, including the neighborhoods of Musabah, Khirbet Al-Adas, and Al-Jeneina. On Tuesday, Majed Al-Ansari, the spokesperson for Qatar’s Foreign Ministry, said that an attack on Rafah would negatively affect the ceasefire talks in Doha. “Any attack on Rafah will lead to a humanitarian catastrophe and will negatively affect the progress of the talks,” he said. Ansari added that mediators are working on a temporary ceasefire deal to allow humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip. “It is still too early to talk about any breakthrough in the negotiations, but we are optimistic about that,” he said, according to Al-Jazeera Arabic. Displaced Palestinians fleeing from the vicinity of Gaza City's al-Shifa hospital arrive at the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on March 18, 2024. (Photo: Naaman Omar/APA Images) Displaced Palestinians fleeing from the vicinity of Gaza City’s al-Shifa hospital arrive at the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on March 18, 2024. (Photo: Naaman Omar/APA Images) Al-Shifa Hospital under Israeli control for second day In north Gaza, Israel forces storming of the al-Shifa Hospital has been ongoing since late on Sunday. All communication with medical staff trapped inside the hospital went silent on Monday evening. This is the second time Israeli forces stormed the al-Shifa Hospital since October, this time claiming that there were Hamas figures inside it, but has yet to provide evidence. A fire broke out in the al-Shifa’s specialized surgery building after the Israeli assault began. Around 25,000 Palestinians were sheltering in the medical complex, and Israel arrested 90 Palestinians, including journalists from inside al-Shifa. Among them was Al-Jazeera’s correspondent in north Gaza, Ismail al-Ghoul, who was released after 12 hours of detention. Al-Ghoul later said that Israeli forces destroyed the media tent inside the al-Shifa Hospital and seized smartphones, cameras, and laptops from journalists who were arrested and stripped of their clothes. “The [Israeli] occupation forces handcuffed and blindfolded us and interrogated all the journalists present in the place,” he told Al-Jazeera Arabic in a phone call on Monday. Al-Ghoul is one of the few journalists who report from north Gaza to a mainstream TV channel. He recently reported Israeli forces killing hundreds of Palestinians who gathered to get flour, aid and food near the Al-Nabulsi roundabout and Al-Rashid Street in Gaza City. “Hospitals should never be battlegrounds” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the chief of World Health Organization (WHO), said that “hospitals should never be battlegrounds. We are terribly worried about the situation at al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza, which is endangering health workers, patients, and civilians.” Ghebreyesus added that the al-Shifa Hospital is partially operating. In November, Israeli forces stormed the complex following days of siege, claiming that Hamas hosted a “command center” underneath the facility and has yet to present a proof. Israel also bombed several houses on Al-Jalaa Street in north Gaza, which is close to the al-Shifa Hospital, killing and injuring several Palestinians and causing immense damage to the area. Some Palestinians were walking on Al-Jalaa Street at the time of the air raids, others came back from getting flour to find their apartments bombed while their families were inside. In the past 24 hours, Israeli forces committed several massacres in various areas of the Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health on Telegram, killing at least 93 people and injuring 142. Thousands remain under the rubble of bombed buildings. Israeli bombing killed 16 Palestinians in north Gaza overnight. At least 15 people were killed in an Israeli air raid on a house of the Muqbel family in central Gaza City. The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said that 14 members have been killed since the Israeli aggression started on Gaza in October. In north Gaza, Israel bombed the house of the Al-Banna family in Jabalia, killing at least eight people, Wafa reported. Hundreds of Palestinians saw their tents sink or blown away as a result of strong wind and torrential rain in Deir al-Balah, Rafah, and the Al-Mawasi area in Khan Younis overnight, Wafa reported. Israel denies entry for UNRWA chief to Rafah Philippe Lazzarini, the chief of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), was barred entry to Rafah by Israel, as Tel Aviv claimed he did not follow “proper procedure.” Last month, Lazzarini accused Israel of aiming to destroy UNRWA and defended the organization’s relentless work in offering humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. “I intended to go to Rafah today, but I have been informed an hour ago that my entry into Rafah is declined,” Lazzarini said during a press conference in Cairo on Monday alongside the Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry. Shoukry said that Lazzarini was barred by Israel. “You were declined by the Israeli government, refused the entry, which is an unprecedented move for a representative at this high position,” he said. Although the Rafah crossing is an entry point between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, Israel is in charge of who can enter or leave the enclave, according to the Israeli-Egyptian agreement. Lazzarini also accused Israel of creating a man-made famine in Gaza and said that UNRWA was “engaged in a race against the clock to try to reverse the impact of the spreading hunger and the looming famine in the Gaza Strip.” He added that his visit “was supposed to coordinate and improve the humanitarian response. This man-made starvation under our watch is a stain on our collective humanity.” “Too much time was wasted, all land crossings must open now. Famine can be averted with political will,” Lazzarini said. Francesca Albanese, the UN Special Rapporteur for Palestine, wrote on X platform that “Israel wants no witnesses, no truth-tellers”, in a comment on Lazzarini’s entry denial. On Monday, Israeli settlers vandalized the headquarters of UNRWA in occupied Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. They have affixed posters on the main gate calling for the shutdown of UNRWA agency, which also provides humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Jerusalem’s refugee camps, and operate in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. Muslims who managed to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque are seen performing tarawih and night prayers during holy month of Ramadan in Jerusalem on March 17, 2024. (Photo: Department of Islamic Awqaf in Jerusalem/APA Images) Muslims who managed to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque are seen performing tarawih and night prayers during holy month of Ramadan in Jerusalem on March 17, 2024. (Photo: Department of Islamic Waqf in Jerusalem/APA Images) Israeli settlers attack Deir Istiya village Overnight, Israeli forces arrested several Palestinians from the occupied West Bank towns of Hebron, Jenin, Qalqilya, Nablus, and the Balata refugee camp. In Jerusalem, only 25,000 Palestinians were allowed by Israeli forces to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque to perform Ramadan’s Al-Tarawih prayer on the ninth night. This is a sharp drop from the 60,000 Palestinians who performed Al-Tarawih on Saturday night. Israeli authorities are still limiting the number of Palestinians from the West Bank to enter Jerusalem. Last week, Israeli forces set up at least 30 makeshift checkpoints on the outskirts of the Old City, at the city’s gates and the entrances of Al-Aqsa Mosque. Since October, Israel has issued 100 deportation orders against Palestinian residents of Jerusalem and Palestinian citizens of Israel, barring 55 of them from entry to Jerusalem and 45 to Al-Aqsa Mosque, according to Wadi Hilweh Human Rights Information Center. Wadi Hilweh added that this has become a routine policy “to deprive Palestinians of their right to worship and visit Al-Aqsa,” especially around religious occasions such as Ramadan. In the north of the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked Deir Istiya village near Salfit, stole contents from an agricultural room owned by Youssef Salman, and destroyed the solar panels, Wafa reported. Marwan Al-Barghouti’s life is in danger inside Israeli prison Ahmed Al-Tibi, the Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset, warned that the life of Marwan Al-Barghouti is at risk inside Israeli prison. Barghouti, a popular national figure and Fatah leader was put in solitary confinement in Megiddo prison. Since October, he has moved between several detention centers, including Ofer, Ramla, and Rimonim. “Marwan Al-Barghouti’s life is in danger inside the prison due to the assault on him and other detainees. I hold Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responsible for any harm caused to him, his life, or the lives of the prisoners,” Al-Tibi said in a video post on the X platform. He added that Barghouti was assaulted and bled as a result, and warned that since October, 13 Palestinians died inside Israeli jail, “some of them were found murdered, according to families and judges, due to violence and torture.” Barghouti is seen by Palestinians as a national figure who could bridge the schism between Fatah and Hamas and lead a future Palestinian state. Hamas insisted that Barghouti will be among the prisoners that will be released in any exchange deal with Israel. Last month, Itamar Ben-Gvir, the National Security Minister, said that he ordered the transfer of Barghouti to solitary confinement in prison “following information about a planned uprising” in the occupied West Bank. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-165-israeli-attacks-escalate-on-rafah-al-shifa-hospital-invasion-enters-second-day/ https://telegra.ph/Operation-Al-Aqsa-Flood-Day-165-Israeli-attacks-escalate-on-Rafah-al-Shifa-Hospital-invasion-enters-second-day-03-20
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 165: Israeli attacks escalate on Rafah, al-Shifa Hospital invasion enters second day
    After a night of heavy bombardment the PA warns Israel’s Rafah offensive has begun. Meanwhile, the invasion of al-Shifa hospital continues; all communication with medical staff trapped inside the hospital has been silent since Monday evening.
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  • The 'We Are Not The Enemy' book launch on Sunday saw over 250 citizens celebrating, showcasing civil society's resilience amidst heightened suppression of dissent in Singapore.

    https://gutzy.asia/2024/03/19/we-are-not-the-enemy-spotlights-singapores-steadfast-advocacy-amid-authoritarianism/
    The 'We Are Not The Enemy' book launch on Sunday saw over 250 citizens celebrating, showcasing civil society's resilience amidst heightened suppression of dissent in Singapore. https://gutzy.asia/2024/03/19/we-are-not-the-enemy-spotlights-singapores-steadfast-advocacy-amid-authoritarianism/
    GUTZY.ASIA
    “We Are Not The Enemy” spotlights Singapore’s steadfast advocacy amid authoritarianism
    The 'We Are Not The Enemy' book launch on Sunday saw over 250 citizens celebrating, showcasing civil society's resilience amidst heightened suppression of dissent in Singapore.
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 164: Israeli army storms al-Shifa again, aid reaches Jabalia for first time in months
    Leila WarahMarch 19, 2024
    Palestinians gather in front of UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) building to receive flour in Jabalia, Gaza City, March 17, 2024. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)
    Palestinians gather in front of UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) building to receive flour in Jabalia, Gaza City, March 17, 2024. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)
    Casualties

    31,726 + killed* and at least 73,792 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    435+ 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.
    591 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.***
    *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 40,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** The death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to the PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure.

    *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.”

    Key Developments

    Gaza Health Ministry: Israeli military storms al-Shifa Hospital for the fourth time, killing and wounding a number of people.
    30,000 people in al-Shifa Hospital ordered to evacuate to Khan Younis.
    Palestinian Prisoners Society: Thirteenth Palestinian prisoner dies in Israeli custody since October 7.
    UK charity Oxfam accuses Israel of “actively hindering” aid operations in Gaza.
    PRCS provides mental support groups for traumatized Palestinian children, medics.
    IPC: 1.1 million people, about half of Gaza, face “imminent” famine.
    Nineteen aid trucks arrive in Jabalia without being blocked or fired on by Israeli forces in months.
    UNICEF chief Catherine Russell: Airdrops and maritime deliveries are “a drop in a bucket” compared to the scale of humanitarian need.
    UNICEF: one in three babies under the age of two in northern Gaza suffers from acute malnutrition.
    Gaza Health Ministry: Israeli attacks killed 81 Palestinians and wounded 116 in Gaza during the last 24 hours.
    Biden reportedly shouts and swears upon learning Michigan and Georgia poll numbers dropped over handling of Gaza war, according to NBC News.
    Israeli army storms al-Shifa’ hospital…again

    In the early hours of Monday morning, Israeli forces stormed al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza with tanks and heavy gunfire. There have already been a “number of martyrs and wounded” in the ongoing Israeli onslaught, which began around 2:00 a.m.

    Gaza’s Ministry of Health said about 30,000 people, including displaced civilians, wounded patients, and medical staff, are trapped inside the complex. Sniper bullets and quadcopters target anyone who tries to move.

    A fire also broke out at the entrance to the hospital, and cases of suffocation occurred among the displaced women and children inside.

    Less than two hours after the attack began, the Israeli military announced that it was conducting a “precise operation” in the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, claiming that Hamas was using the medical facility to “conduct and promote terrorist activity.”

    “We know that senior Hamas terrorists have regrouped inside the [al-Shifa] Hospital and are using it to command attacks against Israel,” Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari said in a video posted on X.

    The Israeli military used similar unverified claims to justify three prior attacks on the medical complex, killing dozens of Palestinians.

    Hagari added in his English video statement that the Israeli military would be conducting a “humanitarian effort” during the planned assault, providing food and water. At the same time, he emphasized that there is “no obligation” for patients and medical staff to evacuate the hospital.

    However, in Arabic, Israeli military’s spokesman Avichay Adraee called on Palestinians to evacuate the hospital and its surrounding area on X: “In order to maintain your security, you must immediately evacuate the area to the west and then cross Al-Rashid (Al-Bahr) Street to the south to the humanitarian area in Al-Mawasi.”

    Al-Mawasi, a “humanitarian zone” in western Khan Younis, is a severely overcrowded strip of land in the west of the Gaza Strip, serving as one of Gaza’s few designated safe areas despite being subjected to Israeli fire.

    According to Gaza-based Al Jazeera correspondent Hani Mahmoud, “leaflets dropped by the Israeli military told people inside al-Shifa Hospital, its vicinity and the entire residential blocks surrounding the medical complex to evacuate immediately.”

    “People are caught up between whether to leave and trust the statement or stay where they are. We are talking about thousands of Palestinians who have been sheltering inside the complex since the start of the war,” Mahmoud continued.

    “In early December, the Israeli military made a list of allegations and stormed al-Shifa Hospital, destroyed the vast majority of its property, and severely damaged major buildings and medical equipment inside the hospital. About 250 people were arrested from inside the hospital,” Mahmoud said.

    The Times of Israel, citing the Israeli military, reports that the army has taken control of al-Shifa Hospital and detained 80 people since the most recent attack began.

    “The crimes of the [Israeli] occupation will not create any image of victory for Netanyahu and his Nazi army,” Hamas said, as cited by Al Jazeera. “The crimes of the occupation express confusion and loss of hope of achieving a military achievement.”

    In a joint statement, Palestinian factions said targeting hospitals “is a continuation of the war of extermination waged by the occupation against the Palestinian people and a flagrant violation of all international conventions and laws,” reported Al Jazeera.

    Gaza’s Health Ministry has described the assault as a “massacre against the sick, the wounded, the displaced,” and has called on all international institutions to immediately stop the invasion.

    “What the occupation forces are doing is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law,” the Ministry continued. “The Israeli occupation is still using its fabricated narratives to deceive the world and justify the storming of the al-Shifa Medical Complex.”

    ‘Babies don’t even have the energy to cry’

    Meanwhile, Palestinians in the besieged enclave are still being starved by Israel’s ongoing blockade, especially those living in the north, where Israeli forces have repeatedly blocked the entry of aid.

    In a new report, UK charity Oxfam has accused Israel of “actively hindering” aid operations in Gaza, defying orders by the International Court of Justice to prevent genocide in the besieged Palestinian enclave.

    Oxfam outlined seven ways Israel prevents the delivery of aid, including by only opening two crossings into Gaza, imposing a dysfunctional inspection system that keeps supplies help up, and cracking down on humanitarian missions.

    “The ICJ order should have shocked Israeli leaders to change course, but since then, conditions in Gaza have actually worsened,” said Sally Abi Khalil, Oxfam’s Middle East and North Africa Director.

    One in three babies under the age of two in northern Gaza is suffering from acute malnutrition, according to UNICEF.

    Catherine Russell, the executive director of the UN’s children’s agency, says acute malnutrition is when “the body starts to consume itself as it has nothing else, and it’s a painful, painful death for children. I have been in wards where babies are suffering from malnutrition. The whole ward is absolutely quiet because the babies don’t even have the energy to cry.”

    “If we can get therapeutic feeding to them, they can survive, but often, they are stunted for life, and stunted means your cognitive ability is impacted as well, so it is a lifelong challenge for these children — if they survive,” she continued in an interview with CBS News.

    While some aid is being airdropped or delivered by sea, experts, NGOs, and residents say it is nowhere near enough to meet the needs of millions of Palestinians. Russell says that the aid coming in through airdrops and a maritime route is “a drop in a bucket in both cases.”

    “We have so little access right now and it’s very challenging. We are also facing very great bureaucratic challenges moving trucks in by land, which is by far the most efficient and effective way to get aid in,” she added.

    “If things are dual use, sometimes they get rejected. So, we can’t get plastic pipes in, we can’t get some medical kits in if they have little scissors. It’s almost Kafkaesque, sometimes trying to figure out how to get things into this bureaucratic mess.”

    Similarly, displaced Palestinian Zahr Saqr, told Al Jazeera, “The situation is so bad that no one can imagine it, and the ship, even if it helps, will be a drop in the ocean, because the entire region is in need of aid, and people are competing to take aid from the shore.”

    Airdrops have caused chaos and killed several people by falling pallets when parachutes failed to open.

    “We keep waiting for aid. This is not a solution, whether by ship or by plane. We saw planes dropping aid and people fighting over it. There are some children who drowned in the sea for aid,” Wael Miqdad, a Khan Younis resident, said.

    The UN warns that nearly 600,000 people are on the brink of famine.

    “The living situation is very bad. We cannot eat, or drink, and aid is very scarce. They told us there is aid in the south, but it is very scarce,” Iman Wadi, another displaced Palestinian, told Al Jazeera.

    “Israeli authorities are not only failing to facilitate the international aid effort but are actively hindering it. We believe that Israel is failing to take all measures within its power to prevent genocide,” Abi Khalil continued.

    Israel has created “the perfect storm for humanitarian collapse and only the state of Israel can fix it,” she added.

    Over a million Gazans face “imminent famine” as aid reaches Jabalia

    On Sunday evening, Al Jazeera cameras captured a convoy of 19 aid trucks entering the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza. The trucks were carrying flour, rice, and other foodstuffs on their way to a UNRWA distribution center.

    The delivery marks the first convoys to travel from the south to the north of the Gaza Strip without incident in four months.

    The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), the body responsible for assessing and monitoring famine, said that about half of Gaza is facing “imminent” famine.

    “Between mid-March and mid-July, in the most likely scenario and under the assumption of an escalation of the conflict including a ground offensive in Rafah, half of the population of the Gaza Strip (1.11 million people) is expected to face catastrophic conditions (IPC Phase 5), the most severe level in the IPC Acute Food Insecurity scale,” the IPC said in a statement. “This is an increase of 530,000 people (92 percent) compared to the previous analysis.”

    The IPC also said that the rest of Gaza will likely face “a risk of famine” in July 2024 in the event of a “worst-case scenario.”

    “The southern governorates of Deir al-Balah and Khan Younis, and the Governorate of Rafah, are classified in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency),” the IPC said.

    Long way to go until Israeli military goals are achieved

    The Netanyahu administration shows no intention of ending its war on Gaza anytime soon, despite a growing choir of voices, including Israeli allies, calling for the end of the ongoing assault.

    Israeli military Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi said in a press statement that much has been achieved during a “multi-front and complex war,” but that it will take time to achieve more, according to Al Jazeera.

    “We still have a long way to go until the war goals are achieved,” he said.

    Halevi also said the army continues to plan operations in “areas where we have not yet operated,” in reference to Rafah in southern Gaza, where more than 1.5 million Palestinians are sheltering.

    “The military is preparing for offenses in the additional areas and together with the political echelon we will decide on the timing and the appropriate conditions,” he said.

    “We are determined to act wherever Hamas is building its strength. It is wrong to leave Hamas brigades and Hamas battalions functioning.”

    However, former military commander Yitzhak Brick says Israel has already lost its war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

    “You can’t lie to many people for a long time,” Yitzhak Brick said in an article in Israel’s Maariv newspaper, as reported by Al Jazeera. “What is happening in the Gaza Strip and against Hezbollah in Lebanon will blow up in our faces sooner or later.”

    Brick said the Israeli home front “is not prepared for a regional war, which will be thousands of times more difficult and serious than the war in the Gaza Strip.”

    Biden fears upcoming elections

    U.S. President Joe Biden’s endless support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza has jeopardized his chances of winning elections in 2024, reportedly sending him into a frenzy.

    Biden began to shout and swear after learning that his poll numbers in the battleground states of Michigan and Georgia had dropped over his handling of the Gaza war, according to NBC News.

    The report cited a lawmaker familiar with the private meeting in January at the White House, where the scene played out.

    He believed he had been doing what was right despite the political fallout, Biden told the group, according to the lawmaker.

    When asked about the episode, White House spokesman Andrew Bates said: “President Biden makes national security decisions based on the country’s national security needs alone — no other factor.”

    In a post on X, Amnesty International reminded President Biden that Israel used U.S.-made munitions to kill more than 30,000 people in Gaza and called on the President to demand a ceasefire and stop the transfers of arms to Israel.

    On Sunday, during a shamrock ceremony at the White House, the U.S. President said he agreed with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on the need for a truce deal in Gaza, still offering no plans to put material pressure on Israel.

    “The Taoiseach [Irish leader] and I agree about the urgent need to increase humanitarian aid in Gaza and reach a ceasefire deal that brings hostages home and moves toward a two-state solution, which is the only path for lasting peace and security,” Biden said, according to CNN.

    Varadkar says the Irish have such empathy for the Palestinian people because: “We see our history in their eyes, a story of displacement, of dispossession, a national identity questioned and denied, forced emigration, discrimination, and now hunger,” he said.

    The Irish leader, who has previously criticized U.S. arms transfers to Israel, said he “was not shocked” that Washington has decided to continue arming Israel.


    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-164-israeli-army-storms-al-shifa-again-aid-reaches-jabalia/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 164: Israeli army storms al-Shifa again, aid reaches Jabalia for first time in months Leila WarahMarch 19, 2024 Palestinians gather in front of UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) building to receive flour in Jabalia, Gaza City, March 17, 2024. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images) Palestinians gather in front of UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) building to receive flour in Jabalia, Gaza City, March 17, 2024. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images) Casualties 31,726 + killed* and at least 73,792 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 435+ 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. 591 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.*** *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 40,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** The death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to the PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure. *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Key Developments Gaza Health Ministry: Israeli military storms al-Shifa Hospital for the fourth time, killing and wounding a number of people. 30,000 people in al-Shifa Hospital ordered to evacuate to Khan Younis. Palestinian Prisoners Society: Thirteenth Palestinian prisoner dies in Israeli custody since October 7. UK charity Oxfam accuses Israel of “actively hindering” aid operations in Gaza. PRCS provides mental support groups for traumatized Palestinian children, medics. IPC: 1.1 million people, about half of Gaza, face “imminent” famine. Nineteen aid trucks arrive in Jabalia without being blocked or fired on by Israeli forces in months. UNICEF chief Catherine Russell: Airdrops and maritime deliveries are “a drop in a bucket” compared to the scale of humanitarian need. UNICEF: one in three babies under the age of two in northern Gaza suffers from acute malnutrition. Gaza Health Ministry: Israeli attacks killed 81 Palestinians and wounded 116 in Gaza during the last 24 hours. Biden reportedly shouts and swears upon learning Michigan and Georgia poll numbers dropped over handling of Gaza war, according to NBC News. Israeli army storms al-Shifa’ hospital…again In the early hours of Monday morning, Israeli forces stormed al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza with tanks and heavy gunfire. There have already been a “number of martyrs and wounded” in the ongoing Israeli onslaught, which began around 2:00 a.m. Gaza’s Ministry of Health said about 30,000 people, including displaced civilians, wounded patients, and medical staff, are trapped inside the complex. Sniper bullets and quadcopters target anyone who tries to move. A fire also broke out at the entrance to the hospital, and cases of suffocation occurred among the displaced women and children inside. Less than two hours after the attack began, the Israeli military announced that it was conducting a “precise operation” in the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, claiming that Hamas was using the medical facility to “conduct and promote terrorist activity.” “We know that senior Hamas terrorists have regrouped inside the [al-Shifa] Hospital and are using it to command attacks against Israel,” Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari said in a video posted on X. The Israeli military used similar unverified claims to justify three prior attacks on the medical complex, killing dozens of Palestinians. Hagari added in his English video statement that the Israeli military would be conducting a “humanitarian effort” during the planned assault, providing food and water. At the same time, he emphasized that there is “no obligation” for patients and medical staff to evacuate the hospital. However, in Arabic, Israeli military’s spokesman Avichay Adraee called on Palestinians to evacuate the hospital and its surrounding area on X: “In order to maintain your security, you must immediately evacuate the area to the west and then cross Al-Rashid (Al-Bahr) Street to the south to the humanitarian area in Al-Mawasi.” Al-Mawasi, a “humanitarian zone” in western Khan Younis, is a severely overcrowded strip of land in the west of the Gaza Strip, serving as one of Gaza’s few designated safe areas despite being subjected to Israeli fire. According to Gaza-based Al Jazeera correspondent Hani Mahmoud, “leaflets dropped by the Israeli military told people inside al-Shifa Hospital, its vicinity and the entire residential blocks surrounding the medical complex to evacuate immediately.” “People are caught up between whether to leave and trust the statement or stay where they are. We are talking about thousands of Palestinians who have been sheltering inside the complex since the start of the war,” Mahmoud continued. “In early December, the Israeli military made a list of allegations and stormed al-Shifa Hospital, destroyed the vast majority of its property, and severely damaged major buildings and medical equipment inside the hospital. About 250 people were arrested from inside the hospital,” Mahmoud said. The Times of Israel, citing the Israeli military, reports that the army has taken control of al-Shifa Hospital and detained 80 people since the most recent attack began. “The crimes of the [Israeli] occupation will not create any image of victory for Netanyahu and his Nazi army,” Hamas said, as cited by Al Jazeera. “The crimes of the occupation express confusion and loss of hope of achieving a military achievement.” In a joint statement, Palestinian factions said targeting hospitals “is a continuation of the war of extermination waged by the occupation against the Palestinian people and a flagrant violation of all international conventions and laws,” reported Al Jazeera. Gaza’s Health Ministry has described the assault as a “massacre against the sick, the wounded, the displaced,” and has called on all international institutions to immediately stop the invasion. “What the occupation forces are doing is a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law,” the Ministry continued. “The Israeli occupation is still using its fabricated narratives to deceive the world and justify the storming of the al-Shifa Medical Complex.” ‘Babies don’t even have the energy to cry’ Meanwhile, Palestinians in the besieged enclave are still being starved by Israel’s ongoing blockade, especially those living in the north, where Israeli forces have repeatedly blocked the entry of aid. In a new report, UK charity Oxfam has accused Israel of “actively hindering” aid operations in Gaza, defying orders by the International Court of Justice to prevent genocide in the besieged Palestinian enclave. Oxfam outlined seven ways Israel prevents the delivery of aid, including by only opening two crossings into Gaza, imposing a dysfunctional inspection system that keeps supplies help up, and cracking down on humanitarian missions. “The ICJ order should have shocked Israeli leaders to change course, but since then, conditions in Gaza have actually worsened,” said Sally Abi Khalil, Oxfam’s Middle East and North Africa Director. One in three babies under the age of two in northern Gaza is suffering from acute malnutrition, according to UNICEF. Catherine Russell, the executive director of the UN’s children’s agency, says acute malnutrition is when “the body starts to consume itself as it has nothing else, and it’s a painful, painful death for children. I have been in wards where babies are suffering from malnutrition. The whole ward is absolutely quiet because the babies don’t even have the energy to cry.” “If we can get therapeutic feeding to them, they can survive, but often, they are stunted for life, and stunted means your cognitive ability is impacted as well, so it is a lifelong challenge for these children — if they survive,” she continued in an interview with CBS News. While some aid is being airdropped or delivered by sea, experts, NGOs, and residents say it is nowhere near enough to meet the needs of millions of Palestinians. Russell says that the aid coming in through airdrops and a maritime route is “a drop in a bucket in both cases.” “We have so little access right now and it’s very challenging. We are also facing very great bureaucratic challenges moving trucks in by land, which is by far the most efficient and effective way to get aid in,” she added. “If things are dual use, sometimes they get rejected. So, we can’t get plastic pipes in, we can’t get some medical kits in if they have little scissors. It’s almost Kafkaesque, sometimes trying to figure out how to get things into this bureaucratic mess.” Similarly, displaced Palestinian Zahr Saqr, told Al Jazeera, “The situation is so bad that no one can imagine it, and the ship, even if it helps, will be a drop in the ocean, because the entire region is in need of aid, and people are competing to take aid from the shore.” Airdrops have caused chaos and killed several people by falling pallets when parachutes failed to open. “We keep waiting for aid. This is not a solution, whether by ship or by plane. We saw planes dropping aid and people fighting over it. There are some children who drowned in the sea for aid,” Wael Miqdad, a Khan Younis resident, said. The UN warns that nearly 600,000 people are on the brink of famine. “The living situation is very bad. We cannot eat, or drink, and aid is very scarce. They told us there is aid in the south, but it is very scarce,” Iman Wadi, another displaced Palestinian, told Al Jazeera. “Israeli authorities are not only failing to facilitate the international aid effort but are actively hindering it. We believe that Israel is failing to take all measures within its power to prevent genocide,” Abi Khalil continued. Israel has created “the perfect storm for humanitarian collapse and only the state of Israel can fix it,” she added. Over a million Gazans face “imminent famine” as aid reaches Jabalia On Sunday evening, Al Jazeera cameras captured a convoy of 19 aid trucks entering the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza. The trucks were carrying flour, rice, and other foodstuffs on their way to a UNRWA distribution center. The delivery marks the first convoys to travel from the south to the north of the Gaza Strip without incident in four months. The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), the body responsible for assessing and monitoring famine, said that about half of Gaza is facing “imminent” famine. “Between mid-March and mid-July, in the most likely scenario and under the assumption of an escalation of the conflict including a ground offensive in Rafah, half of the population of the Gaza Strip (1.11 million people) is expected to face catastrophic conditions (IPC Phase 5), the most severe level in the IPC Acute Food Insecurity scale,” the IPC said in a statement. “This is an increase of 530,000 people (92 percent) compared to the previous analysis.” The IPC also said that the rest of Gaza will likely face “a risk of famine” in July 2024 in the event of a “worst-case scenario.” “The southern governorates of Deir al-Balah and Khan Younis, and the Governorate of Rafah, are classified in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency),” the IPC said. Long way to go until Israeli military goals are achieved The Netanyahu administration shows no intention of ending its war on Gaza anytime soon, despite a growing choir of voices, including Israeli allies, calling for the end of the ongoing assault. Israeli military Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi said in a press statement that much has been achieved during a “multi-front and complex war,” but that it will take time to achieve more, according to Al Jazeera. “We still have a long way to go until the war goals are achieved,” he said. Halevi also said the army continues to plan operations in “areas where we have not yet operated,” in reference to Rafah in southern Gaza, where more than 1.5 million Palestinians are sheltering. “The military is preparing for offenses in the additional areas and together with the political echelon we will decide on the timing and the appropriate conditions,” he said. “We are determined to act wherever Hamas is building its strength. It is wrong to leave Hamas brigades and Hamas battalions functioning.” However, former military commander Yitzhak Brick says Israel has already lost its war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. “You can’t lie to many people for a long time,” Yitzhak Brick said in an article in Israel’s Maariv newspaper, as reported by Al Jazeera. “What is happening in the Gaza Strip and against Hezbollah in Lebanon will blow up in our faces sooner or later.” Brick said the Israeli home front “is not prepared for a regional war, which will be thousands of times more difficult and serious than the war in the Gaza Strip.” Biden fears upcoming elections U.S. President Joe Biden’s endless support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza has jeopardized his chances of winning elections in 2024, reportedly sending him into a frenzy. Biden began to shout and swear after learning that his poll numbers in the battleground states of Michigan and Georgia had dropped over his handling of the Gaza war, according to NBC News. The report cited a lawmaker familiar with the private meeting in January at the White House, where the scene played out. He believed he had been doing what was right despite the political fallout, Biden told the group, according to the lawmaker. When asked about the episode, White House spokesman Andrew Bates said: “President Biden makes national security decisions based on the country’s national security needs alone — no other factor.” In a post on X, Amnesty International reminded President Biden that Israel used U.S.-made munitions to kill more than 30,000 people in Gaza and called on the President to demand a ceasefire and stop the transfers of arms to Israel. On Sunday, during a shamrock ceremony at the White House, the U.S. President said he agreed with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on the need for a truce deal in Gaza, still offering no plans to put material pressure on Israel. “The Taoiseach [Irish leader] and I agree about the urgent need to increase humanitarian aid in Gaza and reach a ceasefire deal that brings hostages home and moves toward a two-state solution, which is the only path for lasting peace and security,” Biden said, according to CNN. Varadkar says the Irish have such empathy for the Palestinian people because: “We see our history in their eyes, a story of displacement, of dispossession, a national identity questioned and denied, forced emigration, discrimination, and now hunger,” he said. The Irish leader, who has previously criticized U.S. arms transfers to Israel, said he “was not shocked” that Washington has decided to continue arming Israel. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-164-israeli-army-storms-al-shifa-again-aid-reaches-jabalia/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 164: Israeli army storms al-Shifa again, aid reaches Jabalia for first time in months
    Over a million people in Gaza face “imminent” famine as UNRWA aid trucks arrive in northern Gaza for the first time in months. Meanwhile, the Israeli army’s Chief of Staff says “a long way to go” until Israel’s military objectives are achieved.
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 156: Israel deploys 15,000 troops in West Bank as Ramadan starts
    Ceasefire talks falter as Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades spokesperson says Israel is using “deception and evasion.” Israel deploys thousands of troops in the West Bank and Jerusalem ahead of plans to restrict access to Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan.

    Mustafa Abu SneinehMarch 10, 2024
    Palestinians attempt to collect some personal belongings after returning briefly to check on what remains of their homes in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on March 9, 2024. (Photo: Saeed Jaras/ APA Images)
    Palestinians attempt to collect some personal belongings after returning briefly to check on what remains of their homes in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on March 9, 2024. (Photo: Saeed Jaras/ APA Images)
    Casualties

    31,045+ killed* and at least 72,645 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, 25 children in Gaza have died of malnutrition and dehydration since the beginning of March.
    423+ 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.
    588 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.***
    *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 40,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** The death toll in West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. This is the latest figure according to PA’s Ministry of Health as of March 6.

    *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.”

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    Key Developments

    Israel deploys 15,000 soldiers and military police in West Bank and Jerusalem ahead of Ramadan, including 5,000 reservists, 24 battalions, 20 Border Police companies, and two special forces units.
    Hamas’s Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades spokesperson rules out any breakthrough in ceasefire talks, and describes Israel’s position as “deceptive.”
    Abu Obaida warns that Israel’s campaign of starvation against Palestinians in Gaza is affecting Israeli captives, some of whom “suffer from hunger, malnutrition and dehydration.”
    Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades announces names of four out of seven Israeli captives who died “due to the aggressive Israeli raids on the Gaza Strip.”
    25 Palestinian children have died of malnutrition and dehydration since March. The total death toll in Gaza surpasses 31,000 people, 72 percent of whom are women and children.
    Gaza City municipality says Israel destroyed a one-million-meter square of roads in the Gaza Strip.
    Gaza City municipality needs heavy vehicles and fuel supplies to clean rubble and nearly 70,000 tons of rubbish.
    Rescue teams transfer 37 bodies of Palestinian martyrs and 118 injured people to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah overnight.
    U.S. to send army vessel to Eastern Mediterranean to deliver aid and supplies to Gaza.
    Wafa reports that Israeli bombing of tents of displaced Palestinians killed 15 people in Al-Mawasi area, west of Khan Younis.
    Spain is considering recognizing a Palestinian state by 2027, according to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.
    Ceasefire talks falter as Israel braces for Ramadan

    The meditated talks between Israel and Hamas have faltered after weeks of expectations and efforts to agree on a permanent ceasefire and the release of hostages and prisoners.

    The month of Ramadan is due to start tomorrow, March 11, and Israel is set to restrict access of Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank to the Al-Aqsa Mosque while it is bombing the Gaza Strip, starving Palestinians, and shunning calls to allow humanitarian supplies into Gaza.

    Ramadan is a month of fasting, prayer, and contemplation for millions of Muslims. But it has an extra layer of holiness for Palestinians in the West Bank, who are barred from entering Jerusalem all year round without an Israeli permit. Ramadan, hence, is an opportunity to reconnect with their capital city and pray in the Al-Aqsa.

    Israel’s plan to restrict access to Jerusalem marks an escalation and will likely lead to violence. Knowing this, the Israeli government has already deployed 15,000 soldiers and military police in the West Bank and Jerusalem since Friday. Those include 5,000 reservists, 24 battalions, 20 Border Police companies, and two special forces units.

    Hamas describes Israel’s position in ceasefire talks as “deceptive”

    It remains unclear if a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip can be reached on Sunday at the eleventh hour. Some Israeli officials appear to be optimistic that this could be done.

    According to Ynet, Israel’s external intelligence, the Mossad, involved alongside the CIA with the mediated talks with Hamas, said on Saturday evening that “contacts and cooperation with the mediators [of Qatar and Egypt] continue all the time in an effort to narrow the gaps and reach agreements.”

    For thousands of families in the Gaza Strip, they will spend Ramadan in tents, shelters, or amid the shattered walls and rubble of what is left of their bombed houses and neighborhoods.

    The 2.5 million Palestinians in Gaza are also barred entry by Israel to visit Jerusalem without a permit. Some of them, who were displaced from north Gaza since October, are now blocked from going back to their houses by Israeli forces stationed on Salah El-Din Street, which splits Gaza into north and south.

    The U.S. has exerted pressure on meditators to convince Hamas to agree to a six-week truce, including the month of Ramadan, in which hostages and prisoners would be released, and sufficient aid would be supplied.

    The U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said on Saturday that “the ball is in their court,” referring to Hamas. “We’re working intensely on it and we’ll see what they do.”

    Hamas has been adamant that it will only agree to a permanent truce, which would end Israel’s bombing of Gaza and permit the return of thousands of families to north Gaza.

    During a speech on Friday evening, Abu Obaida, the spokesperson of Hamas’s Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, ruled out any breakthrough in the talks of a ceasefire.

    Abu Obaida said Israel was using “deception and evasion” during the talks, and its position was cloaked with “confusion and inconsistency”. He said that Hamas’s ultimate goal from any truce is “stopping [Israeli] aggression, Gaza’s reconstruction, and the withdrawal of [Israeli] forces” from the Gaza Strip.

    He warned that the campaign of starvation Israel is launching against the people of Gaza is affecting Israeli captives, some of whom “suffer from hunger and deprivation, lack of food and medicine, and suffer malnutrition, dehydration, and emaciation.”

    “The ball is in their court to save whoever of them can be saved,” Abu Obaida said, addressing Israelis and adding that the Israeli government “insists on receiving [the captives] in coffins.”

    Later, Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades announced the names of four out of seven captives who died “due to the aggressive Israeli raids on the Gaza Strip, and we have [previously] disclosed the identities of three of them.”

    Rescue teams transfer 37 bodies to Al-Aqsa Hospital

    In the past 24 hours, Israeli forces committed eight “massacres” in various areas of the Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health on Telegram, killing at least 85 people and injuring 130.

    The total death toll in Gaza has now surpassed 31,000 people, 72 percent of whom are women and children. The ministry added that 25 children have died of malnutrition and dehydration since March.

    Assem Nabih, a member of Gaza City’s emergency department, told Al-Jazeera Arabic that since October, Israel has destroyed one-million-meter square of roads in the Gaza Strip.

    The Gaza City municipality needs heavy vehicles and fuel supplies to clean rubble and nearly 70,000 tons of rubbish. Nabih said that insufficient aid is trickling into Gaza, while water in Gaza’s wells is drying out as summer approaches.

    On Sunday morning, Dr. Khalil Al-Daqran, the spokesperson of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah told Al-Jazeera Arabic that rescue teams transferred 37 bodies of Palestinian martyrs and 118 injured people to the hospital overnight.

    “However, we can’t treat all the injured due to the lack of capabilities and medical supplies,” he said, adding that all hospitals close to the Al-Aqsa Hospital are out of service.

    “What we are offering is modest medical care to the injured as there is not enough operation rooms,” Al-Daqran said, calling international organizations to send medical and fuel supplies urgently.

    U.S. sending army vessel to deliver aid to Gaza

    On Saturday evening, the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said it is sending an army vessel to the Eastern Mediterranean, following President Biden’s State of the Union address on Friday, in which he pledged to build a floating pier near Gaza’s shore to facilitate the delivery of aid and food.

    “Besson, a logistics support vessel, is carrying the first equipment to establish a temporary pier to deliver vital humanitarian supplies,” CENTCOM wrote on the X platform.

    The floating pier would take up to 60 days to be built and was proposed by Biden after the U.S. airdropped aid on north Gaza in the past weeks, an expensive and cumbersome method to deliver aid, which killed five Palestinians as the parachutes malfunctioned last week.

    “There are more efficient and faster ways to get assistance to Gazans: Biden can pressure Israel to allow the entry of hundreds of aid trucks that are needed in the territory each day,” Mohamad Bazzi, the director of the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, wrote in The Guardian.

    “Instead, Biden and his administration are complicit in prolonging a war in which a U.S. ally has killed more than 30,000 Palestinians and is intentionally starving the population into submission,” he added.

    Israeli soldiers cheer killing of Palestinian during home raid

    The Israeli aggression on Gaza has entered six months. There is plenty of footage documenting Israeli brutality and acts of genocide. Lately, head-cam footage was released of Israeli soldiers cheering the killing of a 72-year-old Palestinian civilian with four bullets when they stormed a home in Gaza.

    Al-Jazeera Arabic also released Israeli drone footage showing a Palestinian child lying dead on the ground after being shot by Israeli forces near Al-Fakhura School in Jabalia, in north Gaza, in December.

    On Saturday, an Israeli bombing on a house of the Al-Nuwairi family west of Nuseirat camp in central Gaza killed ten people, Wafa news agency reported.

    Wafa reported that the Israeli bombing killed 15 displaced Palestinians in the Al-Mawasi area, west of Khan Younis. One Palestinian was killed and three injured when Israel bombed a vehicle driving on Salah El-Din Street near the city of Rafah, south of Gaza.

    In Gaza City’s Al-Zaytoun neighborhood, Israeli forces killed five Palestinians who were among people waiting for aid trucks to arrive near the Kuwait roundabout on Saturday. In Beit Lahia, an Israeli air raid on the house of the Abu Nasser family killed and injured several people, Wafa reported.

    Thousands of Palestinian students had attended a makeshift school in Rafah. Since October, students in the Gaza Strip have not attended lessons as their schools have either been bombed by Israel or turned into shelters. Palestinian kids were sitting on the ground in a “classroom” made of groundsheets and without a roof, Wafa reported.

    On Saturday, millions of people protested worldwide in cities of Hannover, Berlin, Paris, Tunis, Copenhagen, Milan, London, Manchester, Sarajevo, Seoul, and Auckland, among others, in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, calling for an immediate ceasefire.

    Spain to recognize Palestinian state by 2027

    Spain is mulling the recognition of a Palestinian state, however, by the year 2027, according to Pedro Sanchez, the Spanish Prime Minister.

    Sanchez’s mandate ends by 2027. He said on Saturday that he will put the recognition of a Palestinian state to vote by the Spanish parliament’s lower half.

    “We will do it because of moral conviction, because it’s a just cause, but also because it is the only way that two states – Israel and Palestine – can live together and co-exist in peace and security,” Sanchez wrote on X platform.

    Spain has been supportive of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip since October, and unlike other European countries who suspended funding to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), Madrid pledged to pay $22m extra to help UNRWA’s aid operations in Gaza.

    In the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces have arrested 7,505 Palestinians since October. Overnight, 15 Palestinians were detained from Nablus, Tubas, Ramallah, and Hebron, Wafa reported.

    A recent Israeli soldier’s arrest of a 7-year-old girl in Jenin was described as “kidnapping.” In released video footage, Israeli soldiers appear to drag the girl from her home into a military jeep as she resisted and pushed her into the vehicle.

    “Israeli army stormed Jenin city, in the West Bank, yesterday and kidnapped a 7 years old girl from her family’s house!” the Palestinian embassy in Romania wrote on X platform on Sunday.

    “This is not a first, they have long history of kidnapping and arresting Palestinian kids,” it added.

    Overnight, Israeli forces stormed Silat Al-Dhahr and Al-Fandqumiya villages, south of Jenin, and confiscated surveillance cameras.

    Wafa reported that Israeli forces raided several houses in the two villages following a shooting and booby trap attack on Israeli soldiers near the illegal settlement of Homesh last week, which injured seven Israeli soldiers.

    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/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-156-israel-deploys-15000-troops-in-west-bank-as-ramadan-starts/

    https://telegra.ph/Operation-Al-Aqsa-Flood-Day-156-Israel-deploys-15000-troops-in-West-Bank-as-Ramadan-starts-03-11
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 156: Israel deploys 15,000 troops in West Bank as Ramadan starts Ceasefire talks falter as Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades spokesperson says Israel is using “deception and evasion.” Israel deploys thousands of troops in the West Bank and Jerusalem ahead of plans to restrict access to Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan. Mustafa Abu SneinehMarch 10, 2024 Palestinians attempt to collect some personal belongings after returning briefly to check on what remains of their homes in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on March 9, 2024. (Photo: Saeed Jaras/ APA Images) Palestinians attempt to collect some personal belongings after returning briefly to check on what remains of their homes in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on March 9, 2024. (Photo: Saeed Jaras/ APA Images) Casualties 31,045+ killed* and at least 72,645 wounded in the Gaza Strip. According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, 25 children in Gaza have died of malnutrition and dehydration since the beginning of March. 423+ 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. 588 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.*** *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 40,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** The death toll in West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. This is the latest figure according to PA’s Ministry of Health as of March 6. *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Advertisement Follow the Mondoweiss channel on WhatsApp! Key Developments Israel deploys 15,000 soldiers and military police in West Bank and Jerusalem ahead of Ramadan, including 5,000 reservists, 24 battalions, 20 Border Police companies, and two special forces units. Hamas’s Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades spokesperson rules out any breakthrough in ceasefire talks, and describes Israel’s position as “deceptive.” Abu Obaida warns that Israel’s campaign of starvation against Palestinians in Gaza is affecting Israeli captives, some of whom “suffer from hunger, malnutrition and dehydration.” Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades announces names of four out of seven Israeli captives who died “due to the aggressive Israeli raids on the Gaza Strip.” 25 Palestinian children have died of malnutrition and dehydration since March. The total death toll in Gaza surpasses 31,000 people, 72 percent of whom are women and children. Gaza City municipality says Israel destroyed a one-million-meter square of roads in the Gaza Strip. Gaza City municipality needs heavy vehicles and fuel supplies to clean rubble and nearly 70,000 tons of rubbish. Rescue teams transfer 37 bodies of Palestinian martyrs and 118 injured people to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah overnight. U.S. to send army vessel to Eastern Mediterranean to deliver aid and supplies to Gaza. Wafa reports that Israeli bombing of tents of displaced Palestinians killed 15 people in Al-Mawasi area, west of Khan Younis. Spain is considering recognizing a Palestinian state by 2027, according to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. Ceasefire talks falter as Israel braces for Ramadan The meditated talks between Israel and Hamas have faltered after weeks of expectations and efforts to agree on a permanent ceasefire and the release of hostages and prisoners. The month of Ramadan is due to start tomorrow, March 11, and Israel is set to restrict access of Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank to the Al-Aqsa Mosque while it is bombing the Gaza Strip, starving Palestinians, and shunning calls to allow humanitarian supplies into Gaza. Ramadan is a month of fasting, prayer, and contemplation for millions of Muslims. But it has an extra layer of holiness for Palestinians in the West Bank, who are barred from entering Jerusalem all year round without an Israeli permit. Ramadan, hence, is an opportunity to reconnect with their capital city and pray in the Al-Aqsa. Israel’s plan to restrict access to Jerusalem marks an escalation and will likely lead to violence. Knowing this, the Israeli government has already deployed 15,000 soldiers and military police in the West Bank and Jerusalem since Friday. Those include 5,000 reservists, 24 battalions, 20 Border Police companies, and two special forces units. Hamas describes Israel’s position in ceasefire talks as “deceptive” It remains unclear if a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip can be reached on Sunday at the eleventh hour. Some Israeli officials appear to be optimistic that this could be done. According to Ynet, Israel’s external intelligence, the Mossad, involved alongside the CIA with the mediated talks with Hamas, said on Saturday evening that “contacts and cooperation with the mediators [of Qatar and Egypt] continue all the time in an effort to narrow the gaps and reach agreements.” For thousands of families in the Gaza Strip, they will spend Ramadan in tents, shelters, or amid the shattered walls and rubble of what is left of their bombed houses and neighborhoods. The 2.5 million Palestinians in Gaza are also barred entry by Israel to visit Jerusalem without a permit. Some of them, who were displaced from north Gaza since October, are now blocked from going back to their houses by Israeli forces stationed on Salah El-Din Street, which splits Gaza into north and south. The U.S. has exerted pressure on meditators to convince Hamas to agree to a six-week truce, including the month of Ramadan, in which hostages and prisoners would be released, and sufficient aid would be supplied. The U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said on Saturday that “the ball is in their court,” referring to Hamas. “We’re working intensely on it and we’ll see what they do.” Hamas has been adamant that it will only agree to a permanent truce, which would end Israel’s bombing of Gaza and permit the return of thousands of families to north Gaza. During a speech on Friday evening, Abu Obaida, the spokesperson of Hamas’s Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, ruled out any breakthrough in the talks of a ceasefire. Abu Obaida said Israel was using “deception and evasion” during the talks, and its position was cloaked with “confusion and inconsistency”. He said that Hamas’s ultimate goal from any truce is “stopping [Israeli] aggression, Gaza’s reconstruction, and the withdrawal of [Israeli] forces” from the Gaza Strip. He warned that the campaign of starvation Israel is launching against the people of Gaza is affecting Israeli captives, some of whom “suffer from hunger and deprivation, lack of food and medicine, and suffer malnutrition, dehydration, and emaciation.” “The ball is in their court to save whoever of them can be saved,” Abu Obaida said, addressing Israelis and adding that the Israeli government “insists on receiving [the captives] in coffins.” Later, Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades announced the names of four out of seven captives who died “due to the aggressive Israeli raids on the Gaza Strip, and we have [previously] disclosed the identities of three of them.” Rescue teams transfer 37 bodies to Al-Aqsa Hospital In the past 24 hours, Israeli forces committed eight “massacres” in various areas of the Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health on Telegram, killing at least 85 people and injuring 130. The total death toll in Gaza has now surpassed 31,000 people, 72 percent of whom are women and children. The ministry added that 25 children have died of malnutrition and dehydration since March. Assem Nabih, a member of Gaza City’s emergency department, told Al-Jazeera Arabic that since October, Israel has destroyed one-million-meter square of roads in the Gaza Strip. The Gaza City municipality needs heavy vehicles and fuel supplies to clean rubble and nearly 70,000 tons of rubbish. Nabih said that insufficient aid is trickling into Gaza, while water in Gaza’s wells is drying out as summer approaches. On Sunday morning, Dr. Khalil Al-Daqran, the spokesperson of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah told Al-Jazeera Arabic that rescue teams transferred 37 bodies of Palestinian martyrs and 118 injured people to the hospital overnight. “However, we can’t treat all the injured due to the lack of capabilities and medical supplies,” he said, adding that all hospitals close to the Al-Aqsa Hospital are out of service. “What we are offering is modest medical care to the injured as there is not enough operation rooms,” Al-Daqran said, calling international organizations to send medical and fuel supplies urgently. U.S. sending army vessel to deliver aid to Gaza On Saturday evening, the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said it is sending an army vessel to the Eastern Mediterranean, following President Biden’s State of the Union address on Friday, in which he pledged to build a floating pier near Gaza’s shore to facilitate the delivery of aid and food. “Besson, a logistics support vessel, is carrying the first equipment to establish a temporary pier to deliver vital humanitarian supplies,” CENTCOM wrote on the X platform. The floating pier would take up to 60 days to be built and was proposed by Biden after the U.S. airdropped aid on north Gaza in the past weeks, an expensive and cumbersome method to deliver aid, which killed five Palestinians as the parachutes malfunctioned last week. “There are more efficient and faster ways to get assistance to Gazans: Biden can pressure Israel to allow the entry of hundreds of aid trucks that are needed in the territory each day,” Mohamad Bazzi, the director of the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, wrote in The Guardian. “Instead, Biden and his administration are complicit in prolonging a war in which a U.S. ally has killed more than 30,000 Palestinians and is intentionally starving the population into submission,” he added. Israeli soldiers cheer killing of Palestinian during home raid The Israeli aggression on Gaza has entered six months. There is plenty of footage documenting Israeli brutality and acts of genocide. Lately, head-cam footage was released of Israeli soldiers cheering the killing of a 72-year-old Palestinian civilian with four bullets when they stormed a home in Gaza. Al-Jazeera Arabic also released Israeli drone footage showing a Palestinian child lying dead on the ground after being shot by Israeli forces near Al-Fakhura School in Jabalia, in north Gaza, in December. On Saturday, an Israeli bombing on a house of the Al-Nuwairi family west of Nuseirat camp in central Gaza killed ten people, Wafa news agency reported. Wafa reported that the Israeli bombing killed 15 displaced Palestinians in the Al-Mawasi area, west of Khan Younis. One Palestinian was killed and three injured when Israel bombed a vehicle driving on Salah El-Din Street near the city of Rafah, south of Gaza. In Gaza City’s Al-Zaytoun neighborhood, Israeli forces killed five Palestinians who were among people waiting for aid trucks to arrive near the Kuwait roundabout on Saturday. In Beit Lahia, an Israeli air raid on the house of the Abu Nasser family killed and injured several people, Wafa reported. Thousands of Palestinian students had attended a makeshift school in Rafah. Since October, students in the Gaza Strip have not attended lessons as their schools have either been bombed by Israel or turned into shelters. Palestinian kids were sitting on the ground in a “classroom” made of groundsheets and without a roof, Wafa reported. On Saturday, millions of people protested worldwide in cities of Hannover, Berlin, Paris, Tunis, Copenhagen, Milan, London, Manchester, Sarajevo, Seoul, and Auckland, among others, in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, calling for an immediate ceasefire. Spain to recognize Palestinian state by 2027 Spain is mulling the recognition of a Palestinian state, however, by the year 2027, according to Pedro Sanchez, the Spanish Prime Minister. Sanchez’s mandate ends by 2027. He said on Saturday that he will put the recognition of a Palestinian state to vote by the Spanish parliament’s lower half. “We will do it because of moral conviction, because it’s a just cause, but also because it is the only way that two states – Israel and Palestine – can live together and co-exist in peace and security,” Sanchez wrote on X platform. Spain has been supportive of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip since October, and unlike other European countries who suspended funding to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), Madrid pledged to pay $22m extra to help UNRWA’s aid operations in Gaza. In the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces have arrested 7,505 Palestinians since October. Overnight, 15 Palestinians were detained from Nablus, Tubas, Ramallah, and Hebron, Wafa reported. A recent Israeli soldier’s arrest of a 7-year-old girl in Jenin was described as “kidnapping.” In released video footage, Israeli soldiers appear to drag the girl from her home into a military jeep as she resisted and pushed her into the vehicle. “Israeli army stormed Jenin city, in the West Bank, yesterday and kidnapped a 7 years old girl from her family’s house!” the Palestinian embassy in Romania wrote on X platform on Sunday. “This is not a first, they have long history of kidnapping and arresting Palestinian kids,” it added. Overnight, Israeli forces stormed Silat Al-Dhahr and Al-Fandqumiya villages, south of Jenin, and confiscated surveillance cameras. Wafa reported that Israeli forces raided several houses in the two villages following a shooting and booby trap attack on Israeli soldiers near the illegal settlement of Homesh last week, which injured seven Israeli soldiers. 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/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-156-israel-deploys-15000-troops-in-west-bank-as-ramadan-starts/ https://telegra.ph/Operation-Al-Aqsa-Flood-Day-156-Israel-deploys-15000-troops-in-West-Bank-as-Ramadan-starts-03-11
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 156: Israel deploys 15,000 troops in West Bank as Ramadan starts
    Ceasefire talks falter as Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades spokesperson says Israel is using “deception and evasion.” Israel deploys thousands of troops in the West Bank and Jerusalem ahead of plans to restrict access to Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan.
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  • Netanyahu and Biden: Priests of Satan | VT Foreign Policy
    February 26, 2024
    VT Condemns the ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINIANS by USA/Israel

    $ 280 BILLION US TAXPAYER DOLLARS INVESTED since 1948 in US/Israeli Ethnic Cleansing and Occupation Operation; $ 150B direct "aid" and $ 130B in "Offense" contracts
    Source: Embassy of Israel, Washington, D.C. and US Department of State.

    Netanyahu and Biden: Priests of Satan

    By Paul Yesse

    February 25, 2024

    Today is the second Sunday in Lent. This is the most sacred period of the Christian calendar: the 40 days leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ.

    Every Sunday the churches feature passages from the Bible that are read from the lectern by a member of the congregation. The first reading today was the story of how God told Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac as a burnt offering, then called it off at the last moment. The purpose, says the church, was to test Abraham’s faith. The story is found in Genesis 22.

    In today’s homily, the priest explained that in the days of Abraham, in what became the Holy Land, the local tribes practiced ritual sacrifice of children to appease their pagan gods. He said that the story of Abraham and Isaac showed how the Jews rose above that despicable practice to a more civilized and honorable form of worship.

    After the service, I went up to the priest and asked him why, if the Jews no longer practiced ritual sacrifice, has Israel under Netanyahu murdered tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians, including civilian women and children?

    I will not repeat the priest’s answer, except to say that he found my question quite unexpected and that he gave no satisfying response. He briefly tried to justify the genocide but trailed off, knowing he could not.

    To me, any answer must take into account the obvious fact that the god of today’s Israel and its leader, Netanyahu, and by extension, Netanyahu’s enabler, U.S. President Joe Biden, cannot possibly be the god of Abraham and Isaac, or, by extension, that of Jesus Christ and of Jesus’s true followers.

    The god of Netanyahu and Biden must be, rather, that of the child-sacrificing pagans the Judeo-Christian religion was founded, at least in part, to displace from power. My own belief is that the god of Netanyahu and Biden is actually Satan. As the heads of their respective governments, they do appear to be, in fact, priests of Satan.

    I would go further in Biden’s case, and point to several other aspects of his governance that support my contention. One is Biden’s acquiescence in the ongoing genocide of the Covid “pandemic,” where millions of people have died, either from the government’s protocols when hospitalized, or from the deadly government-approved mRNA “vaccine.” Another pandemic appears to be in the planning stages, for “Disease X.”

    Another instance is Biden’s war policy, not only in backing Netanyahu’s genocidal actions in Gaza, but also the U.S. proxy war against Russia in Ukraine, which the U.S. began by overthrowing the democratically-elected government of Ukraine in 2014, and where the supplying of unlimited money and weapons to the Zelensky regime has led to the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and the emigration of millions more Ukrainians out of their homeland.

    Another is Biden’s personal corruption and that of his family members which is currently under investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives, with impeachment a possibility.

    Yet another is Biden’s “open border” policy that has allowed millions of illegal aliens to enter the country and conceal themselves within our towns and cities with the possible intent to: a) allow criminal cartels and drug gangs to corrupt our nation with deadly drugs and massive human trafficking; b) create a uniparty nation by packing the rolls with millions of new Democratic Party voters; c) generate future indebted victims of the U.S. usury-based banking system; d) enlist millions of cheap non-union workers for menial jobs; and, worst of all, e) possibly to infiltrate an army of terrorists to aid the Deep State and its controllers in their likely plans to replace our constitutional system with a totalitarian takeover of the U.S.

    So, during the Lenten system, we should reflect on where all this is headed for our nation and the world. Those who are able should take action to prevent these abuses. The rest of us, as individuals, can do our own part by respecting the intent of the Lenten season through improving our lives and following Jesus’s injunction to “take up your cross and follow me.” Most inspiring are the words of the old Christian hymn:

    Take Up Your Cross

    Take up your cross, the Savior said,
    If you would my disciple be;
    Deny yourself, the world forsake,
    And humbly follow after me.

    Take up your cross, be not ashamed!
    Let not disgrace your spirit fill!
    For God himself endured to die
    Upon a cross, on Calvary’s hill.

    Take up your cross, which gives you strength,
    Which makes your trembling spirit brave;
    ‘Twill guide you to a better home
    And lead to vict’ry o’er the grave.

    Take up your cross, and follow Christ,
    Nor think till death to lay it down;
    For only they who bear the cross
    May hope to wear the glorious crown.

    Paul Yesse is a pen name.


    ATTENTION READERS

    We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed
    In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion.

    About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy
    Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT.

    https://www.vtforeignpolicy.com/2024/02/netanyahu-and-biden-priests-of-satan/
    Netanyahu and Biden: Priests of Satan | VT Foreign Policy February 26, 2024 VT Condemns the ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINIANS by USA/Israel $ 280 BILLION US TAXPAYER DOLLARS INVESTED since 1948 in US/Israeli Ethnic Cleansing and Occupation Operation; $ 150B direct "aid" and $ 130B in "Offense" contracts Source: Embassy of Israel, Washington, D.C. and US Department of State. Netanyahu and Biden: Priests of Satan By Paul Yesse February 25, 2024 Today is the second Sunday in Lent. This is the most sacred period of the Christian calendar: the 40 days leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ. Every Sunday the churches feature passages from the Bible that are read from the lectern by a member of the congregation. The first reading today was the story of how God told Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac as a burnt offering, then called it off at the last moment. The purpose, says the church, was to test Abraham’s faith. The story is found in Genesis 22. In today’s homily, the priest explained that in the days of Abraham, in what became the Holy Land, the local tribes practiced ritual sacrifice of children to appease their pagan gods. He said that the story of Abraham and Isaac showed how the Jews rose above that despicable practice to a more civilized and honorable form of worship. After the service, I went up to the priest and asked him why, if the Jews no longer practiced ritual sacrifice, has Israel under Netanyahu murdered tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians, including civilian women and children? I will not repeat the priest’s answer, except to say that he found my question quite unexpected and that he gave no satisfying response. He briefly tried to justify the genocide but trailed off, knowing he could not. To me, any answer must take into account the obvious fact that the god of today’s Israel and its leader, Netanyahu, and by extension, Netanyahu’s enabler, U.S. President Joe Biden, cannot possibly be the god of Abraham and Isaac, or, by extension, that of Jesus Christ and of Jesus’s true followers. The god of Netanyahu and Biden must be, rather, that of the child-sacrificing pagans the Judeo-Christian religion was founded, at least in part, to displace from power. My own belief is that the god of Netanyahu and Biden is actually Satan. As the heads of their respective governments, they do appear to be, in fact, priests of Satan. I would go further in Biden’s case, and point to several other aspects of his governance that support my contention. One is Biden’s acquiescence in the ongoing genocide of the Covid “pandemic,” where millions of people have died, either from the government’s protocols when hospitalized, or from the deadly government-approved mRNA “vaccine.” Another pandemic appears to be in the planning stages, for “Disease X.” Another instance is Biden’s war policy, not only in backing Netanyahu’s genocidal actions in Gaza, but also the U.S. proxy war against Russia in Ukraine, which the U.S. began by overthrowing the democratically-elected government of Ukraine in 2014, and where the supplying of unlimited money and weapons to the Zelensky regime has led to the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers and the emigration of millions more Ukrainians out of their homeland. Another is Biden’s personal corruption and that of his family members which is currently under investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives, with impeachment a possibility. Yet another is Biden’s “open border” policy that has allowed millions of illegal aliens to enter the country and conceal themselves within our towns and cities with the possible intent to: a) allow criminal cartels and drug gangs to corrupt our nation with deadly drugs and massive human trafficking; b) create a uniparty nation by packing the rolls with millions of new Democratic Party voters; c) generate future indebted victims of the U.S. usury-based banking system; d) enlist millions of cheap non-union workers for menial jobs; and, worst of all, e) possibly to infiltrate an army of terrorists to aid the Deep State and its controllers in their likely plans to replace our constitutional system with a totalitarian takeover of the U.S. So, during the Lenten system, we should reflect on where all this is headed for our nation and the world. Those who are able should take action to prevent these abuses. The rest of us, as individuals, can do our own part by respecting the intent of the Lenten season through improving our lives and following Jesus’s injunction to “take up your cross and follow me.” Most inspiring are the words of the old Christian hymn: Take Up Your Cross Take up your cross, the Savior said, If you would my disciple be; Deny yourself, the world forsake, And humbly follow after me. Take up your cross, be not ashamed! Let not disgrace your spirit fill! For God himself endured to die Upon a cross, on Calvary’s hill. Take up your cross, which gives you strength, Which makes your trembling spirit brave; ‘Twill guide you to a better home And lead to vict’ry o’er the grave. Take up your cross, and follow Christ, Nor think till death to lay it down; For only they who bear the cross May hope to wear the glorious crown. Paul Yesse is a pen name. ATTENTION READERS We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion. About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT. https://www.vtforeignpolicy.com/2024/02/netanyahu-and-biden-priests-of-satan/
    WWW.VTFOREIGNPOLICY.COM
    Netanyahu and Biden: Priests of Satan
    Netanyahu and Biden: Priests of Satan By Paul Yesse February 25, 2024 Today is the second Sunday in Lent. This is the most sacred period of the Christian calendar: the 40 days leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ. Every Sunday the churches feature...
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 143: Gaza famine is ‘man-made,’ says UNRWA Chief
    UNRWA says that the famine in northern Gaza can be avoided if more food convoys are allowed in, but Israel continues to hold up over 2000 aid trucks. Meanwhile, Netanyahu reaffirms plans to invade Rafah, where 1.5 million Gazans have sought shelter.

    Leila WarahFebruary 26, 2024
    Palestinians stand in line for food aid, Deir al-Balah, February 2, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Palestinians stand in line for food aid, Deir al-Balah, February 2, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Casualties

    29,782+ killed* and at least 70,043 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    380+ 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.
    579 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.**
    *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on Telegram channel on February 24. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 38,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.”

    Key Developments

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stresses that the assault on the crowded city of Rafah will take place but may be delayed by captive exchange deal.
    UNRWA: Famine in northern Gaza can be avoided if more food convoys are allowed in.
    Orthodox Jews take over Muslim shrine, vandalize graves in West Jerusalem.
    WFP: Enough food is waiting across Gaza’s borders to feed entire population.
    Aerial photos show over 2,000 aid trucks on Egyptian side of Rafah crossing.
    Renowned Gazan artist Fat’hi Ghabin dies after being denied treatment abroad.
    Gaza Ministry of Health: Dialysis and intensive care patients facing death in northern Gaza as hospitals run out of fuel.
    18-year-old Israeli woman jailed for refusing to serve in army over war on Gaza.
    UNRWA: Report of two-month-old baby dying in Gaza from hunger “horrific.”
    Israeli defense minister vows to continue targeting Hezbollah regardless of the situation in Gaza.
    Israeli forces partially withdraw from Nasser Hospital on Sunday, reports Al Jazeera.
    Israeli military erects watchtower with surveillance cameras at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
    Israeli forces kill at least 10 people waiting for aid in Gaza City, reports Wafa.
    U.S. airman sets self on fire in protest over Israel’s genocide in Gaza.
    Israel advances construction of 3,344 new illegal housing units in the occupied West Bank.
    Gaza Media Office: Israeli forces have taken Palestinian civilians hostage and used them as human shields in several military operations.
    ‘One in six children in northern Gaza is malnourished’

    While Israel’s violent aggression on Gaza approaches the five-month mark, the situation in the besieged enclave deteriorates by the day as the population undergoes an Israeli-imposed famine as a result of the blockade.

    Following reports of a two-month-old baby starving to death on Friday, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has said the high risk of malnutrition continues to increase, with one in six children in northern Gaza “severely malnourished.”

    “We continue to appeal for regular humanitarian access,” UNRWA said in a post on X.

    Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian physician and humanitarian advocate, says infant death from starvation is a direct consequence of Israeli restrictions on aid entering the coastal enclave.

    “This is not a tragedy; it is man-made. Starvation is being forced upon the people of Gaza by the Israeli occupation forces,” Gilbert, who has more than 30 years of experience working in Gaza hospitals, told Al Jazeera.

    “Just two days ago, the international nutrition cluster came out with a very alarming report … that there is a sharp increase in the drivers of malnutrition in Gaza — food insecurity, a lack of diversity in the diet and decreasing infant and young child feeding possibilities.”

    Gilbert said Israel’s restriction of food and water in the enclave was a “huge war crime.”

    “How can the world just sit idly by and watch children die from starvation?”

    The situation is the worst in the north of Gaza, where UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini says Israel has not allowed food to be delivered since January 25 and that the U.N.’s calls to send food aid have been denied and fallen on deaf ears.

    Since then, Lazzarini said, UNRWA and other UN agencies “have warned against looming famine, appealed for regular humanitarian access, and stated that famine can be averted if more food convoys are allowed into northern Gaza on a regular basis.”

    “This is a man-made disaster. The world committed to never let famine happen again. Famine can still be avoided, through genuine political will to grant access and protection to meaningful assistance. The days to come will once again test our common humanity and values,” he said.

    Similarly, Samer Abdeljaber, the World Food Programme’s (WFP’s) director for emergencies, says enough food is stocked up across Gaza’s borders to feed the entire population. However, it cannot safely reach the war-torn population due to the ongoing violence and extensive Israeli security checks.

    Ariel photos posted by Al Jazeera Arabic show over 2,000 aid trucks piled up on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip.

    “We have enough food across the borders, even from Jordan and Egypt, to be able to support 2.2 million people,” said Abdeljaber, as cited by Al Jazeera.

    “But we need to make sure we have the right access to Gaza from different crossings so that we can actually reach the people — whether they are in the north or the south or in the central areas.”

    “Safe routes is one of our requirements to continue assistance to the north and that can only be guaranteed if that is a speedy process,” Abdelkader said. “Delays at the checkpoints are making it impossible for us to reach deeper into the north.”

    Nada Tarbush, a diplomat at the Palestine Mission to the U.N., has urged world governments to intervene and ensure the “urgent delivery of food, clean water and medicine via airdrops in Gaza.”

    “Blocking the delivery of humanitarian aid is a war crime. Using starvation as a means of warfare is a war crime. Collective punishment is a war crime,” she said in a post on X.

    On Monday afternoon, Israel allowed the entry of 10 aid trucks into the northern part of the Gaza Strip amid reports of starvation, according to Al Jazeera correspondents. However, it is likely to be only a trickle compared to the needs of the desperate population.

    “Clean water is scarce. Solid waste is accumulating. The spread of diseases is on the rise,” UNRWA has said.

    “The situation is catastrophic, but UNRWA teams continue working to provide critical aid.”

    Israeli forces kill Palestinians waiting for aid…again

    Meanwhile, when humanitarian aid is allowed into the besieged enclave, the safety of civilians collecting the assistance is not protected or assured. Several reports continue to surface of Israeli forces targeting Palestinians waiting for humanitarian aid.

    Most recently, on Sunday evening, Israeli forces killed at least ten people waiting for aid in Gaza City by shelling and firing on the crowds of Palestinians waiting for food aid trucks to arrive, reported Wafa.

    At least 15 people were injured in the attack, and they have been transferred to the nearby al-Shifa Hospital.

    According to Al Jazeera, two fishermen were also shot dead at the shore of Khan Younis.

    Israel: Invasion of Rafah will happen no matter what

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has continued planning the Israeli assault on Rafah. Approximately 1.5 million Palestinians are seeking shelter in the southernmost city after being forcibly displaced, many of them several times, from other areas of Gaza.

    Netanyahu has said if Israel and Hamas reach a deal, that it will delay a military operation in Rafah, but stressed to CBS News that Israel would have to invade at a certain point later.

    “If we have a deal, it will be delayed somewhat, but it will happen. If we don’t have a deal, we’ll do it anyway,” Netanyahu said.

    Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri has said that Netanyahu’s remarks have cast doubt over Israel’s willingness to secure a deal.

    “Netanyahu’s comments show he is not concerned about reaching an agreement,” Abu Zuhri told Reuters, accusing the Israeli leader of wanting “to pursue negotiation under bombardment and the bloodshed [of Palestinians].”

    As Israel’s plans advance, global concern has increased over the human cost of the operation.

    The U.S. has called on Israel to present a “credible” plan for protecting civilians crammed into the city before launching the assault. At the same time, Israel’s European allies have warned against the offensive altogether.

    “If the Israeli army were to launch an offensive on Rafah under these conditions, it would be a humanitarian catastrophe,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has said.

    “We think it is impossible to see how you can fight a war amongst these people. There’s nowhere for them to go,” said U.K. Foreign Secretary David Cameron

    UNICEF has also warned that an attack on Rafah would be catastrophic, with more than 600,000 children sheltering in the path of an assault and a severely limited humanitarian lifeline already on the brink of collapse.

    “Thousands more could die in the violence or by lack of essential services, and further disruption of humanitarian assistance. We need Gaza’s last remaining hospitals, shelters, markets and water systems to stay functional. Without them, hunger and disease will skyrocket, taking more child lives,” UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said in a statement.

    Meanwhile, Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant has vowed to continue targeting Hezbollah regardless of the situation in Gaza.

    “If anyone thinks that when we get a hostage release deal and pause in Gaza, it will alleviate what is going on here — they’re wrong,” Gallant said, according to Haaretz.

    He added that Israel would push Hezbollah to retreat from its northern border “either by agreement or by force.”

    Hezbollah and Israel have been exchanging fire since October, and the Lebanese group says it will not stop its attacks until the war on Gaza ends.

    Netanyahu’s office issued a brief statement on Monday morning stating that they presented the War Cabinet with a “plan for evacuating the population from the areas of fighting in the Gaza Strip.”

    It is unclear what those plans are. However, there are fears that Israel plans on forcibly expelling Gaza’s population to Egypt.

    Gaza’s hospitals are still under attack

    Hospitals across the Gaza Strip continue to struggle under Israel’s attacks, making it extremely difficult for Palestinian civilians to receive adequate medical care.

    In Northern Gaza, the Palestinian Ministry of Health has said the situation is “beyond description,” as hospitals run out of fuel. Medical refrigerators have run out of electricity, which risks the destruction of large quantities of sensitive medication.

    The lack of fuel has also had devastating consequences for rescue missions in the war-torn area, as dozens of ambulances and medical services have been taken out of service.

    The effects of this shortage have also left dialysis and intensive care patients facing death due to the lack of basic supplies.

    In Khan Younis, southern Gaza, a UN delegation observed “catastrophic conditions” during a visit to the besieged al-Amal Hospital in the city.

    “The delegation witnessed the extent of the damage caused by Israeli occupation artillery shelling to several floors of the hospital, as well as the catastrophic conditions inside due to severe shortages in food, drinkable water, medical supplies, and medication,” the Palestinian Red Cresent said.

    Meanwhile, at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, “snipers are still in the vicinity of the hospital and, tragically, are still shooting at anything moving near it,” Al Jazeera correspondent Hani Mahmoud reported from Gaza. “Despite the Israeli military’s statement that it has completed operations inside Nasser Hospital.”

    Occupied West Bank: Illegal settlement construction

    While the world’s eyes are on Gaza, Israel is taking the chance to advance the construction of 3,344 new housing units in the occupied West Bank, 2,350 units in the settlement of Maale Adumim, 694 in Efrat, and 300 in Kedar, according to Peace Now.

    “They are significant and expansive projects that will greatly impact the possibility of reaching a two-state solution, especially the plans in Efrat and Kedar,” the Israeli nonprofit said in a statement.

    “The decision to promote thousands of unnecessary and harmful housing units in settlements is a hasty and irresponsible decision by an extremist government that has long lost the trust of the people,” it added.

    Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh resigns

    Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh handed in his resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas at the opening of Monday’s government meeting in Ramallah, reports Reuters.

    Shtayyeh said he was moved to step down due to the “unprecedented escalation” in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem and the “war, genocide and starvation in the Gaza Strip,” as cited by Al Jazeera.

    Shtayyeh noted there are “efforts to make the [Palestinian Authority] an administrative and security authority without political influence, and the PA will continue to struggle to embody the state on the land of Palestine despite the occupation.”

    “I see that the next stage and its challenges require new governmental and political arrangements that take into account the new reality in Gaza and the need for a Palestinian-Palestinian consensus based on Palestinian unity,” he added.

    U.S. military member self-immolation

    A U.S. military service member set himself on fire in an act of protest against the war in Gaza outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington.

    According to Reuters, an Air Force spokesperson confirmed that the incident, which occurred on Sunday afternoon and was live-streamed on Twitch, involved an active-duty airman.

    “I will no longer be complicit in genocide,” said the man, wearing military fatigues, in the live video as he approached the embassy.

    He then doused himself in a clear liquid and set himself on fire, repeatedly screaming, “Free Palestine,” in the viral footage.

    NBC News has reported that the man, identified by social media as Aaron Bushnell, has succumbed to his wounds.

    Similarly, in December 2023, CNN reported a person set themselves on fire outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/02/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-143-gaza-famine-is-man-made-says-unrwa-chief/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 143: Gaza famine is ‘man-made,’ says UNRWA Chief UNRWA says that the famine in northern Gaza can be avoided if more food convoys are allowed in, but Israel continues to hold up over 2000 aid trucks. Meanwhile, Netanyahu reaffirms plans to invade Rafah, where 1.5 million Gazans have sought shelter. Leila WarahFebruary 26, 2024 Palestinians stand in line for food aid, Deir al-Balah, February 2, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Palestinians stand in line for food aid, Deir al-Balah, February 2, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Casualties 29,782+ killed* and at least 70,043 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 380+ 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. 579 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.** *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on Telegram channel on February 24. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 38,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Key Developments Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stresses that the assault on the crowded city of Rafah will take place but may be delayed by captive exchange deal. UNRWA: Famine in northern Gaza can be avoided if more food convoys are allowed in. Orthodox Jews take over Muslim shrine, vandalize graves in West Jerusalem. WFP: Enough food is waiting across Gaza’s borders to feed entire population. Aerial photos show over 2,000 aid trucks on Egyptian side of Rafah crossing. Renowned Gazan artist Fat’hi Ghabin dies after being denied treatment abroad. Gaza Ministry of Health: Dialysis and intensive care patients facing death in northern Gaza as hospitals run out of fuel. 18-year-old Israeli woman jailed for refusing to serve in army over war on Gaza. UNRWA: Report of two-month-old baby dying in Gaza from hunger “horrific.” Israeli defense minister vows to continue targeting Hezbollah regardless of the situation in Gaza. Israeli forces partially withdraw from Nasser Hospital on Sunday, reports Al Jazeera. Israeli military erects watchtower with surveillance cameras at Al-Aqsa Mosque. Israeli forces kill at least 10 people waiting for aid in Gaza City, reports Wafa. U.S. airman sets self on fire in protest over Israel’s genocide in Gaza. Israel advances construction of 3,344 new illegal housing units in the occupied West Bank. Gaza Media Office: Israeli forces have taken Palestinian civilians hostage and used them as human shields in several military operations. ‘One in six children in northern Gaza is malnourished’ While Israel’s violent aggression on Gaza approaches the five-month mark, the situation in the besieged enclave deteriorates by the day as the population undergoes an Israeli-imposed famine as a result of the blockade. Following reports of a two-month-old baby starving to death on Friday, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has said the high risk of malnutrition continues to increase, with one in six children in northern Gaza “severely malnourished.” “We continue to appeal for regular humanitarian access,” UNRWA said in a post on X. Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian physician and humanitarian advocate, says infant death from starvation is a direct consequence of Israeli restrictions on aid entering the coastal enclave. “This is not a tragedy; it is man-made. Starvation is being forced upon the people of Gaza by the Israeli occupation forces,” Gilbert, who has more than 30 years of experience working in Gaza hospitals, told Al Jazeera. “Just two days ago, the international nutrition cluster came out with a very alarming report … that there is a sharp increase in the drivers of malnutrition in Gaza — food insecurity, a lack of diversity in the diet and decreasing infant and young child feeding possibilities.” Gilbert said Israel’s restriction of food and water in the enclave was a “huge war crime.” “How can the world just sit idly by and watch children die from starvation?” The situation is the worst in the north of Gaza, where UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini says Israel has not allowed food to be delivered since January 25 and that the U.N.’s calls to send food aid have been denied and fallen on deaf ears. Since then, Lazzarini said, UNRWA and other UN agencies “have warned against looming famine, appealed for regular humanitarian access, and stated that famine can be averted if more food convoys are allowed into northern Gaza on a regular basis.” “This is a man-made disaster. The world committed to never let famine happen again. Famine can still be avoided, through genuine political will to grant access and protection to meaningful assistance. The days to come will once again test our common humanity and values,” he said. Similarly, Samer Abdeljaber, the World Food Programme’s (WFP’s) director for emergencies, says enough food is stocked up across Gaza’s borders to feed the entire population. However, it cannot safely reach the war-torn population due to the ongoing violence and extensive Israeli security checks. Ariel photos posted by Al Jazeera Arabic show over 2,000 aid trucks piled up on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip. “We have enough food across the borders, even from Jordan and Egypt, to be able to support 2.2 million people,” said Abdeljaber, as cited by Al Jazeera. “But we need to make sure we have the right access to Gaza from different crossings so that we can actually reach the people — whether they are in the north or the south or in the central areas.” “Safe routes is one of our requirements to continue assistance to the north and that can only be guaranteed if that is a speedy process,” Abdelkader said. “Delays at the checkpoints are making it impossible for us to reach deeper into the north.” Nada Tarbush, a diplomat at the Palestine Mission to the U.N., has urged world governments to intervene and ensure the “urgent delivery of food, clean water and medicine via airdrops in Gaza.” “Blocking the delivery of humanitarian aid is a war crime. Using starvation as a means of warfare is a war crime. Collective punishment is a war crime,” she said in a post on X. On Monday afternoon, Israel allowed the entry of 10 aid trucks into the northern part of the Gaza Strip amid reports of starvation, according to Al Jazeera correspondents. However, it is likely to be only a trickle compared to the needs of the desperate population. “Clean water is scarce. Solid waste is accumulating. The spread of diseases is on the rise,” UNRWA has said. “The situation is catastrophic, but UNRWA teams continue working to provide critical aid.” Israeli forces kill Palestinians waiting for aid…again Meanwhile, when humanitarian aid is allowed into the besieged enclave, the safety of civilians collecting the assistance is not protected or assured. Several reports continue to surface of Israeli forces targeting Palestinians waiting for humanitarian aid. Most recently, on Sunday evening, Israeli forces killed at least ten people waiting for aid in Gaza City by shelling and firing on the crowds of Palestinians waiting for food aid trucks to arrive, reported Wafa. At least 15 people were injured in the attack, and they have been transferred to the nearby al-Shifa Hospital. According to Al Jazeera, two fishermen were also shot dead at the shore of Khan Younis. Israel: Invasion of Rafah will happen no matter what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has continued planning the Israeli assault on Rafah. Approximately 1.5 million Palestinians are seeking shelter in the southernmost city after being forcibly displaced, many of them several times, from other areas of Gaza. Netanyahu has said if Israel and Hamas reach a deal, that it will delay a military operation in Rafah, but stressed to CBS News that Israel would have to invade at a certain point later. “If we have a deal, it will be delayed somewhat, but it will happen. If we don’t have a deal, we’ll do it anyway,” Netanyahu said. Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri has said that Netanyahu’s remarks have cast doubt over Israel’s willingness to secure a deal. “Netanyahu’s comments show he is not concerned about reaching an agreement,” Abu Zuhri told Reuters, accusing the Israeli leader of wanting “to pursue negotiation under bombardment and the bloodshed [of Palestinians].” As Israel’s plans advance, global concern has increased over the human cost of the operation. The U.S. has called on Israel to present a “credible” plan for protecting civilians crammed into the city before launching the assault. At the same time, Israel’s European allies have warned against the offensive altogether. “If the Israeli army were to launch an offensive on Rafah under these conditions, it would be a humanitarian catastrophe,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has said. “We think it is impossible to see how you can fight a war amongst these people. There’s nowhere for them to go,” said U.K. Foreign Secretary David Cameron UNICEF has also warned that an attack on Rafah would be catastrophic, with more than 600,000 children sheltering in the path of an assault and a severely limited humanitarian lifeline already on the brink of collapse. “Thousands more could die in the violence or by lack of essential services, and further disruption of humanitarian assistance. We need Gaza’s last remaining hospitals, shelters, markets and water systems to stay functional. Without them, hunger and disease will skyrocket, taking more child lives,” UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said in a statement. Meanwhile, Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant has vowed to continue targeting Hezbollah regardless of the situation in Gaza. “If anyone thinks that when we get a hostage release deal and pause in Gaza, it will alleviate what is going on here — they’re wrong,” Gallant said, according to Haaretz. He added that Israel would push Hezbollah to retreat from its northern border “either by agreement or by force.” Hezbollah and Israel have been exchanging fire since October, and the Lebanese group says it will not stop its attacks until the war on Gaza ends. Netanyahu’s office issued a brief statement on Monday morning stating that they presented the War Cabinet with a “plan for evacuating the population from the areas of fighting in the Gaza Strip.” It is unclear what those plans are. However, there are fears that Israel plans on forcibly expelling Gaza’s population to Egypt. Gaza’s hospitals are still under attack Hospitals across the Gaza Strip continue to struggle under Israel’s attacks, making it extremely difficult for Palestinian civilians to receive adequate medical care. In Northern Gaza, the Palestinian Ministry of Health has said the situation is “beyond description,” as hospitals run out of fuel. Medical refrigerators have run out of electricity, which risks the destruction of large quantities of sensitive medication. The lack of fuel has also had devastating consequences for rescue missions in the war-torn area, as dozens of ambulances and medical services have been taken out of service. The effects of this shortage have also left dialysis and intensive care patients facing death due to the lack of basic supplies. In Khan Younis, southern Gaza, a UN delegation observed “catastrophic conditions” during a visit to the besieged al-Amal Hospital in the city. “The delegation witnessed the extent of the damage caused by Israeli occupation artillery shelling to several floors of the hospital, as well as the catastrophic conditions inside due to severe shortages in food, drinkable water, medical supplies, and medication,” the Palestinian Red Cresent said. Meanwhile, at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, “snipers are still in the vicinity of the hospital and, tragically, are still shooting at anything moving near it,” Al Jazeera correspondent Hani Mahmoud reported from Gaza. “Despite the Israeli military’s statement that it has completed operations inside Nasser Hospital.” Occupied West Bank: Illegal settlement construction While the world’s eyes are on Gaza, Israel is taking the chance to advance the construction of 3,344 new housing units in the occupied West Bank, 2,350 units in the settlement of Maale Adumim, 694 in Efrat, and 300 in Kedar, according to Peace Now. “They are significant and expansive projects that will greatly impact the possibility of reaching a two-state solution, especially the plans in Efrat and Kedar,” the Israeli nonprofit said in a statement. “The decision to promote thousands of unnecessary and harmful housing units in settlements is a hasty and irresponsible decision by an extremist government that has long lost the trust of the people,” it added. Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh resigns Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh handed in his resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas at the opening of Monday’s government meeting in Ramallah, reports Reuters. Shtayyeh said he was moved to step down due to the “unprecedented escalation” in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem and the “war, genocide and starvation in the Gaza Strip,” as cited by Al Jazeera. Shtayyeh noted there are “efforts to make the [Palestinian Authority] an administrative and security authority without political influence, and the PA will continue to struggle to embody the state on the land of Palestine despite the occupation.” “I see that the next stage and its challenges require new governmental and political arrangements that take into account the new reality in Gaza and the need for a Palestinian-Palestinian consensus based on Palestinian unity,” he added. U.S. military member self-immolation A U.S. military service member set himself on fire in an act of protest against the war in Gaza outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington. According to Reuters, an Air Force spokesperson confirmed that the incident, which occurred on Sunday afternoon and was live-streamed on Twitch, involved an active-duty airman. “I will no longer be complicit in genocide,” said the man, wearing military fatigues, in the live video as he approached the embassy. He then doused himself in a clear liquid and set himself on fire, repeatedly screaming, “Free Palestine,” in the viral footage. NBC News has reported that the man, identified by social media as Aaron Bushnell, has succumbed to his wounds. Similarly, in December 2023, CNN reported a person set themselves on fire outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/02/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-143-gaza-famine-is-man-made-says-unrwa-chief/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 143: Gaza famine is ‘man-made,’ says UNRWA Chief
    UNRWA says that the famine in northern Gaza can be avoided if more food convoys are allowed in, but Israel continues to hold up over 2000 aid trucks. Meanwhile, Netanyahu reaffirms plans to invade Rafah, where 1.5 million Gazans have sought shelter.
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  • Chinese Beverage Billionaire Zong Qinghou, Once China’s Richest Person, Dies At 79
    Zong Qinghou, the rags-to-riches founder of one of China’s biggest beverage makers, has died.

    The self-made billionaire, who was once China’s richest man, died of an illness on Sunday at the age of 79, his company Hangzhou Wahaha Group said in a brief statement, without providing further details.
    Read More: https://entertainfact.blogspot.com/2024/02/chinese-beverage-billionaire-zong.html
    #Billionaire #richestman #ZongQinghou #ppt
    Chinese Beverage Billionaire Zong Qinghou, Once China’s Richest Person, Dies At 79 Zong Qinghou, the rags-to-riches founder of one of China’s biggest beverage makers, has died. The self-made billionaire, who was once China’s richest man, died of an illness on Sunday at the age of 79, his company Hangzhou Wahaha Group said in a brief statement, without providing further details. Read More: https://entertainfact.blogspot.com/2024/02/chinese-beverage-billionaire-zong.html #Billionaire #richestman #ZongQinghou #ppt
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