• Sweet Success with Sugar Defender
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    For years, I struggled with managing my blood sugar levels. Constant cravings, energy dips, and general unease were a regular part of my life. After making some dietary changes, I decided to explore natural supplements to further support my health. That's when I discovered Sugar Defender.

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    Sweet Success with Sugar Defender https://sugardefender24.com/d/order-now.php#aff=Khan8045 For years, I struggled with managing my blood sugar levels. Constant cravings, energy dips, and general unease were a regular part of my life. After making some dietary changes, I decided to explore natural supplements to further support my health. That's when I discovered Sugar Defender. **Natural Ingredients, Big Impact** What initially drew me to Sugar Defender was its focus on natural ingredients. The formula includes herbs like Gymnema Sylvestre and Bitter Melon, known for their traditional use in blood sugar management. Having a transparent ingredient list gave me peace of mind. **Easy to Take, Noticeable Results** Sugar Defender comes in a convenient liquid form. The drops are easy to integrate into my daily routine, and I haven't experienced any unpleasant taste or side effects. Within a few weeks of consistent use, I started noticing a positive difference. My energy levels became more stable, and the afternoon crashes became a thing of the past. **Curbing Cravings, Embracing Control** Perhaps the most significant change has been the reduction in sugar cravings. Before Sugar Defender, resisting sugary treats was a constant battle. Now, I find myself making healthier choices naturally. This newfound control over my cravings has been a game-changer. **Not a Magic Bullet, but a Powerful Ally** It's important to remember that Sugar Defender is a supplement, not a miracle cure. A healthy diet and exercise are still crucial. However, Sugar Defender has become a valuable ally in my journey towards better blood sugar management. **Overall, I highly recommend Sugar Defender to anyone seeking a natural way to support healthy blood sugar levels. It's easy to use, effective, and has helped me regain control of my well-being.**
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  • IS ELON MUSK A FRONTMAN FOR THE GLOBAL CULT AGENDA? | DOT-CONNECTOR WITH DAVID ICKE
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 179: Israel kills 7 international aid workers in central Gaza, passes law banning Al Jazeera
    The World Central Kitchen called the attack that killed seven of its aid workers “unforgivable” as Israeli forces killed 71 people across the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, the Israeli government voted to approve a bill banning Al Jazeera.

    Qassam MuaddiApril 2, 2024
    Palestinians inspect the heavily damaged vehicle after the Israeli attack targeting the international and local officials with the World Central Kitchen, Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, April 2, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Palestinians inspect the heavily damaged vehicle after the Israeli attack targeting the international and local officials with the World Central Kitchen, Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, April 2, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Casualties

    32,916+ killed* and at least 75,494 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    451+ 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 3,302 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 kills 71 Palestinians and wounds 102 in the Gaza Strip in 7 different massacres, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
    Israeli army kills seven aid workers of British, Polish, and Australian nationalities belonging to the World Central Kitchen (WCK) in Deir al-Balah. WCK announces halt of operations in light of attack.
    Israeli government votes on a bill to ban Al Jazeera and other media outlets, Netanyahu accuses Al Jazeera of incitement against Israel.
    Gaza’s health ministry calls upon Palestinians to evacuate hospitals unless they are patients or wounded.
    In the West Bank, one Palestinian dies of wounds sustained during Israeli army raid in Jenin.
    Israeli army raids Qalandia refugee camp north of Jerusalem, arresting seven people.
    Israeli forces kill 71 Palestinians, wound 102 across Gaza

    The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza said in a statement Tuesday that Israeli forces committed seven massacres against families in the Gaza Strip since Monday, killing 71 Palestinians and wounding 102, bringing the death toll of Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip since October 7 to 32,916.

    The ministry pointed out that medical teams haven’t been able to recover many more bodies buried under the rubble.

    In Gaza City, Israel’s withdrawal from al-Shifa Hospital revealed the total destruction of the medical complex and its facilities. Accounts from residents in the area describe dead bodies with tied hands, indicating potential cases of execution.

    In a statement, Gaza’s Government Media Office said that at least 400 Palestinians were killed and 900 were wounded during the two-week-long Israeli raid on Gaza’s largest hospital.

    In the central Gaza Strip, Israeli forces bombed the al-Bashir mosque, killing one child and wounding 20 more people. Israeli artillery also bombed the village of al-Mighraqa north of the Nuseirat refugee camp.

    In the southern Gaza Strip, two separate Israeli bombings killed 12 Palestinians in Rafah, including six people, in a bombing of the Zuurub family home. Meanwhile, Israeli artillery continued bombing the western neighborhoods of Khan Younis.

    Israeli strike kills seven international aid workers in Deir al-Balah

    Seven international aid workers were killed by an Israeli strike in Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip on Monday. The aid workers belonged to the U.S.-based international humanitarian organization, the World Central Kitchen.

    The victims were of British, Canadian, Polish, and Australian, nationalities, and some had dual U.S. and Palestinian citizenship.

    Passports of the international volunteers with the World Central Kitchen killed in a targeted Israeli airstrike, Deir al-Balah, central Gaza. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Passports of the international volunteers with the World Central Kitchen killed in a targeted Israeli airstrike, Deir al-Balah, central Gaza. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    The World Central Kitchen said in a statement that its workers were leaving the organization’s warehouse in Deir al-Balah, moving through a “deconflicted zone” in three vehicles when the Israeli strike occurred, “despite coordinating movements” with the Israeli army.

    “This is an attack on humanitarian organizations showing up in the most dire of situations where food is being used as a weapon of war, this is unforgivable,” said the WCK statement. The organization also announced the suspension of its operations in the Gaza Strip.

    The World Central Kitchen had been engaged in delivering meals to Palestinians in the besieged Gaza strip, where the UN has warned of famine induced by Israel’s blocking of humanitarian aid from entering the Strip. At least 31 people have died of starvation.

    Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed the death of a 44-year-old Australian citizen among the team, calling the killing “completely unacceptable.” Albanese also said that his cabinet will call in Israel’s ambassador.

    Israeli media quoted the Israeli army as saying that it will open an investigation into the incident.

    Since October 7, Israeli strikes killed at least 170 international humanitarian workers in the Gaza Strip, according to Human Rights Watch.

    Israeli government votes bill into law banning Al Jazeera

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Monday to shut down the Qatari media network Al Jazeera’s operations in Palestine soon.

    The law, dubbed the “Al Jazeera law,” was introduced after the Israeli army claimed it found one Al Jazeera worker to be a member of Hamas, without providing more details.

    The law sets the ground for the Israeli war cabinet to put a ban on the Qatari media network into effect. However, according to the Israeli daily newspaper Israel Hayom, Netanyahu and his cabinet “are not in a rush” to ban Al Jazeera from broadcasting, given Qatar’s role in mediating negotiations with Hamas.

    On Monday, Netanyahu accused Al Jazeera of incitement against Israel and “actively taking part in the October 7 attack.”

    Since October 7, Israeli strikes have killed 139 journalists in the Gaza Strip, including Al Jazeera cameraman Samer Abu Daqa. Back in December, only two months into Israel’s assault on Gaza, the Committee for the Protection of Journalists said that the Strip was the most dangerous place for journalists in the world.

    One Palestinian killed in Jenin as Israel continues raids across the West Bank

    A Palestinian was pronounced dead in Jenin on Tuesday after succumbing to his wounds caused earlier by Israeli forces during a military raid on the town of Qabatiya, south of Jenin.

    The martyr was identified as 20-year-old Rabea Faisal Zakarna, who was wounded on Saturday by Israeli forces that raided his town.

    Meanwhile, Israeli forces raided the Qalandia refugee camp north of Jerusalem late on Monday, where they were confronted by local youth throwing stones as well as armed clashes with Palestinian fighters. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society reported several injuries in Qalandia by Israeli fire.

    Across the West Bank, Israeli forces raided several towns in the Nablus, Hebron, and Jericho governorates, arresting at least 40 Palestinians, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club.

    Since October 7, Israel has arrested more than 7,600 Palestinians. Currently, Israel continues to hold 9,100 Palestinians in its jails, including 50 women, 200 children, and at least 3,500 detainees without charge or trial as part of its policy of administrative detention.

    With the death of Rabea Zakarneh, the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank rose to 456 since October 7 and 139 since the beginning of the year.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/04/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-179-israel-kills-7-international-aid-workers-in-central-gaza-passes-law-banning-al-jazeera/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 179: Israel kills 7 international aid workers in central Gaza, passes law banning Al Jazeera The World Central Kitchen called the attack that killed seven of its aid workers “unforgivable” as Israeli forces killed 71 people across the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, the Israeli government voted to approve a bill banning Al Jazeera. Qassam MuaddiApril 2, 2024 Palestinians inspect the heavily damaged vehicle after the Israeli attack targeting the international and local officials with the World Central Kitchen, Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, April 2, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Palestinians inspect the heavily damaged vehicle after the Israeli attack targeting the international and local officials with the World Central Kitchen, Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, April 2, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Casualties 32,916+ killed* and at least 75,494 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 451+ 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 3,302 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 kills 71 Palestinians and wounds 102 in the Gaza Strip in 7 different massacres, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Israeli army kills seven aid workers of British, Polish, and Australian nationalities belonging to the World Central Kitchen (WCK) in Deir al-Balah. WCK announces halt of operations in light of attack. Israeli government votes on a bill to ban Al Jazeera and other media outlets, Netanyahu accuses Al Jazeera of incitement against Israel. Gaza’s health ministry calls upon Palestinians to evacuate hospitals unless they are patients or wounded. In the West Bank, one Palestinian dies of wounds sustained during Israeli army raid in Jenin. Israeli army raids Qalandia refugee camp north of Jerusalem, arresting seven people. Israeli forces kill 71 Palestinians, wound 102 across Gaza The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza said in a statement Tuesday that Israeli forces committed seven massacres against families in the Gaza Strip since Monday, killing 71 Palestinians and wounding 102, bringing the death toll of Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip since October 7 to 32,916. The ministry pointed out that medical teams haven’t been able to recover many more bodies buried under the rubble. In Gaza City, Israel’s withdrawal from al-Shifa Hospital revealed the total destruction of the medical complex and its facilities. Accounts from residents in the area describe dead bodies with tied hands, indicating potential cases of execution. In a statement, Gaza’s Government Media Office said that at least 400 Palestinians were killed and 900 were wounded during the two-week-long Israeli raid on Gaza’s largest hospital. In the central Gaza Strip, Israeli forces bombed the al-Bashir mosque, killing one child and wounding 20 more people. Israeli artillery also bombed the village of al-Mighraqa north of the Nuseirat refugee camp. In the southern Gaza Strip, two separate Israeli bombings killed 12 Palestinians in Rafah, including six people, in a bombing of the Zuurub family home. Meanwhile, Israeli artillery continued bombing the western neighborhoods of Khan Younis. Israeli strike kills seven international aid workers in Deir al-Balah Seven international aid workers were killed by an Israeli strike in Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip on Monday. The aid workers belonged to the U.S.-based international humanitarian organization, the World Central Kitchen. The victims were of British, Canadian, Polish, and Australian, nationalities, and some had dual U.S. and Palestinian citizenship. Passports of the international volunteers with the World Central Kitchen killed in a targeted Israeli airstrike, Deir al-Balah, central Gaza. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Passports of the international volunteers with the World Central Kitchen killed in a targeted Israeli airstrike, Deir al-Balah, central Gaza. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) The World Central Kitchen said in a statement that its workers were leaving the organization’s warehouse in Deir al-Balah, moving through a “deconflicted zone” in three vehicles when the Israeli strike occurred, “despite coordinating movements” with the Israeli army. “This is an attack on humanitarian organizations showing up in the most dire of situations where food is being used as a weapon of war, this is unforgivable,” said the WCK statement. The organization also announced the suspension of its operations in the Gaza Strip. The World Central Kitchen had been engaged in delivering meals to Palestinians in the besieged Gaza strip, where the UN has warned of famine induced by Israel’s blocking of humanitarian aid from entering the Strip. At least 31 people have died of starvation. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed the death of a 44-year-old Australian citizen among the team, calling the killing “completely unacceptable.” Albanese also said that his cabinet will call in Israel’s ambassador. Israeli media quoted the Israeli army as saying that it will open an investigation into the incident. Since October 7, Israeli strikes killed at least 170 international humanitarian workers in the Gaza Strip, according to Human Rights Watch. Israeli government votes bill into law banning Al Jazeera Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Monday to shut down the Qatari media network Al Jazeera’s operations in Palestine soon. The law, dubbed the “Al Jazeera law,” was introduced after the Israeli army claimed it found one Al Jazeera worker to be a member of Hamas, without providing more details. The law sets the ground for the Israeli war cabinet to put a ban on the Qatari media network into effect. However, according to the Israeli daily newspaper Israel Hayom, Netanyahu and his cabinet “are not in a rush” to ban Al Jazeera from broadcasting, given Qatar’s role in mediating negotiations with Hamas. On Monday, Netanyahu accused Al Jazeera of incitement against Israel and “actively taking part in the October 7 attack.” Since October 7, Israeli strikes have killed 139 journalists in the Gaza Strip, including Al Jazeera cameraman Samer Abu Daqa. Back in December, only two months into Israel’s assault on Gaza, the Committee for the Protection of Journalists said that the Strip was the most dangerous place for journalists in the world. One Palestinian killed in Jenin as Israel continues raids across the West Bank A Palestinian was pronounced dead in Jenin on Tuesday after succumbing to his wounds caused earlier by Israeli forces during a military raid on the town of Qabatiya, south of Jenin. The martyr was identified as 20-year-old Rabea Faisal Zakarna, who was wounded on Saturday by Israeli forces that raided his town. Meanwhile, Israeli forces raided the Qalandia refugee camp north of Jerusalem late on Monday, where they were confronted by local youth throwing stones as well as armed clashes with Palestinian fighters. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society reported several injuries in Qalandia by Israeli fire. Across the West Bank, Israeli forces raided several towns in the Nablus, Hebron, and Jericho governorates, arresting at least 40 Palestinians, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club. Since October 7, Israel has arrested more than 7,600 Palestinians. Currently, Israel continues to hold 9,100 Palestinians in its jails, including 50 women, 200 children, and at least 3,500 detainees without charge or trial as part of its policy of administrative detention. With the death of Rabea Zakarneh, the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank rose to 456 since October 7 and 139 since the beginning of the year. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/04/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-179-israel-kills-7-international-aid-workers-in-central-gaza-passes-law-banning-al-jazeera/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 179: Israel kills 7 international aid workers in central Gaza, passes law banning Al Jazeera
    The World Central Kitchen called the attack that killed seven of its aid workers “unforgivable” as Israeli forces killed 71 people across the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, the Israeli government voted to approve a bill banning Al Jazeera.
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  • Fresh testimonies of Israeli army-perpetrated robberies, looting around Al-Shifa Medical Complex
    Fresh testimonies of Israeli army-perpetrated robberies, looting around Al-Shifa Medical Complex
    Palestinian Territory – Israel’s army has committed numerous thefts and robberies of Palestinian residents’ property, among other crimes that continue for the second consecutive week in the vicinity of Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Medical Complex.

    The Israeli army has been conducting a massive military assault on Al-Shifa Medical Complex and the surrounding areas, in the west of Gaza City, since 18 March. During this operation, Israel’s army has committed a number of crimes, including extrajudicial executions, murder, physical liquidations, and arbitrary arrests. Additionally, fresh testimonies have surfaced, exposing the involvement of Israeli forces in stealing cash and valuable property from Palestinian homes after forcibly evacuating their owners.

    Israel’s army condones and occasionally even encourages its members to steal money and property from Palestinian homes and residents in the Gaza Strip, and does not hold the perpetrators accountable for these violations, since they are frequently carried out without official documentation.

    The Israeli army has been caught stealing gold jewelry and cash from homes it has raided and from people it drove into the southern Gaza Valley. After forcing the owners of these houses out of their homes, Israeli soldiers took everything they owned, including their personal belongings.

    Euro-Med Monitor has previously documented systematic thefts since the Israeli army began carrying out ground military operations inside the Gaza Strip on 27 October 2023. These operations have become systematically practised, as evidenced by the frequent storming of residential areas, the raiding of homes, and the launching of random arrest campaigns.

    As part of an Israeli strategy centred on collective retaliation and the dehumanisation and decimation of the Palestinian populace, soldiers have set fire to, bombed, and destroyed many of the homes in the Strip after looting and robbing them first.

    “When the Israeli army stormed the house where we were staying in western Gaza, they searched the entire place,” a doctor called Yahya Khalil Deeb Al-Kayyali, 59, told Euro-Med Monitor. “They found jewelry and gold belonging to my son’s bride, as well as gold belonging to other women from the Al-Ifranji family. Along with other personal belongings, we also had bags containing deposits totaling more than $100,000 [USD].” Al-Kayyali stated that the total value of all of these belongings was more than $200,000 USD, explaining that the Israeli soldiers broke laptops apart with their feet and “took everything away”: “The soldiers stopped my wife when she attempted to take the bags. I informed the officer that there was a sizable quantity of cash.” The officer laughed and said the cash would be distributed among the soldiers.

    “I told them that we were civilians,” Al-Kayyali continued. “I spoke to them in English. They asked the males to take off all their clothes completely, so we got naked except for our boxers. We were led to the restroom and held there. They took my 30-year-old son, Amer, to a neighbouring room and subjected him to severe interrogation and torture.

    “I was hearing him screaming, as they asked him for information. He told them that he had recently come from Germany and knew nothing. They then put me through an interrogation and made death threats. I was verbally abused amid very cold weather.

    “Then, while I was still undressed, a soldier asked me to go down to the Bseiso family’s house and call them. He said that he would shoot me if I [tried to run away]. I approached [the Bseiso family] and instructed them to raise their hands. The soldier was standing on the balcony when they went out.

    “There was a blind man and a disabled man with them,” added Al-Kayyali. “But the soldier insisted on taking off their clothes and asked me to bring them home. They took the women to another place in the house before using them as a human shield during an exchange of fire with gunmen.”

    Social media videos of Israeli soldiers boasting about stealing cash and valuables are circulating online, along with footage showing them purposefully damaging civilian houses in the Gaza Strip by setting them on fire or writing racist or Zionist slogans on the walls.

    Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor calls for a comprehensive and impartial international investigation into the grave violations and war crimes being committed by the Israeli army against the people of the Gaza Strip and their property. The international community must act swiftly to ensure legal accountability.


    Fresh testimonies of Israeli army-perpetrated robberies, looting around Al-Shifa Medical Complex

    Euro-Med Monitor
    https://euromedmonitor.org/en/article/6253
    Fresh testimonies of Israeli army-perpetrated robberies, looting around Al-Shifa Medical Complex Fresh testimonies of Israeli army-perpetrated robberies, looting around Al-Shifa Medical Complex Palestinian Territory – Israel’s army has committed numerous thefts and robberies of Palestinian residents’ property, among other crimes that continue for the second consecutive week in the vicinity of Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Medical Complex. The Israeli army has been conducting a massive military assault on Al-Shifa Medical Complex and the surrounding areas, in the west of Gaza City, since 18 March. During this operation, Israel’s army has committed a number of crimes, including extrajudicial executions, murder, physical liquidations, and arbitrary arrests. Additionally, fresh testimonies have surfaced, exposing the involvement of Israeli forces in stealing cash and valuable property from Palestinian homes after forcibly evacuating their owners. Israel’s army condones and occasionally even encourages its members to steal money and property from Palestinian homes and residents in the Gaza Strip, and does not hold the perpetrators accountable for these violations, since they are frequently carried out without official documentation. The Israeli army has been caught stealing gold jewelry and cash from homes it has raided and from people it drove into the southern Gaza Valley. After forcing the owners of these houses out of their homes, Israeli soldiers took everything they owned, including their personal belongings. Euro-Med Monitor has previously documented systematic thefts since the Israeli army began carrying out ground military operations inside the Gaza Strip on 27 October 2023. These operations have become systematically practised, as evidenced by the frequent storming of residential areas, the raiding of homes, and the launching of random arrest campaigns. As part of an Israeli strategy centred on collective retaliation and the dehumanisation and decimation of the Palestinian populace, soldiers have set fire to, bombed, and destroyed many of the homes in the Strip after looting and robbing them first. “When the Israeli army stormed the house where we were staying in western Gaza, they searched the entire place,” a doctor called Yahya Khalil Deeb Al-Kayyali, 59, told Euro-Med Monitor. “They found jewelry and gold belonging to my son’s bride, as well as gold belonging to other women from the Al-Ifranji family. Along with other personal belongings, we also had bags containing deposits totaling more than $100,000 [USD].” Al-Kayyali stated that the total value of all of these belongings was more than $200,000 USD, explaining that the Israeli soldiers broke laptops apart with their feet and “took everything away”: “The soldiers stopped my wife when she attempted to take the bags. I informed the officer that there was a sizable quantity of cash.” The officer laughed and said the cash would be distributed among the soldiers. “I told them that we were civilians,” Al-Kayyali continued. “I spoke to them in English. They asked the males to take off all their clothes completely, so we got naked except for our boxers. We were led to the restroom and held there. They took my 30-year-old son, Amer, to a neighbouring room and subjected him to severe interrogation and torture. “I was hearing him screaming, as they asked him for information. He told them that he had recently come from Germany and knew nothing. They then put me through an interrogation and made death threats. I was verbally abused amid very cold weather. “Then, while I was still undressed, a soldier asked me to go down to the Bseiso family’s house and call them. He said that he would shoot me if I [tried to run away]. I approached [the Bseiso family] and instructed them to raise their hands. The soldier was standing on the balcony when they went out. “There was a blind man and a disabled man with them,” added Al-Kayyali. “But the soldier insisted on taking off their clothes and asked me to bring them home. They took the women to another place in the house before using them as a human shield during an exchange of fire with gunmen.” Social media videos of Israeli soldiers boasting about stealing cash and valuables are circulating online, along with footage showing them purposefully damaging civilian houses in the Gaza Strip by setting them on fire or writing racist or Zionist slogans on the walls. Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor calls for a comprehensive and impartial international investigation into the grave violations and war crimes being committed by the Israeli army against the people of the Gaza Strip and their property. The international community must act swiftly to ensure legal accountability. Fresh testimonies of Israeli army-perpetrated robberies, looting around Al-Shifa Medical Complex Euro-Med Monitor https://euromedmonitor.org/en/article/6253
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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.

    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/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘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 Silent Shame of Health Institutions
    J.R. Bruning
    For how much longer will health policy ignore multimorbidity, that looming, giant elephant in the room, that propagates and amplifies suffering? For how much longer will the ‘trend’ of increasing diagnoses of multiple health conditions, at younger and younger ages be rendered down by government agencies to better and more efficient services, screening modalities, and drug choices?

    Multimorbidity, the presence of many chronic conditions, is the silent shame of health policy.

    All too often chronic conditions overlap and accumulate. From cancer, to diabetes, to digestive system diseases, to high blood pressure, to skin conditions in cascades of suffering. Heartbreakingly, these conditions commonly overlap with mental illnesses or disorders. It’s increasingly common for people to be diagnosed with multiple mental conditions, such as having anxiety and depression, or anxiety and schizophrenia.

    Calls for equity tend to revolve around medical treatment, even as absurdities and injustices accrue.

    Multimorbidity occurs a decade earlier in socioeconomically deprived communities. Doctors are diagnosing multimorbidity at younger and younger ages.

    Treatment regimens for people with multiple conditions necessarily entail a polypharmacy approach – the prescribing of multiple medications. One condition may require multiple medications. Thus, with multimorbidity comes increased risk of adverse outcomes and polyiatrogenesis – ‘medical harm caused by medical treatments on multiple fronts simultaneously and in conjunction with one another.’

    Side effects, whether short-term or patients’ concerns about long-term harm, are the main reason for non-adherence to prescribed medications.

    So ‘equity’ which only implies drug treatment doesn’t involve equity at all.

    Poor diets may be foundational to the Western world’s health crisis. But are governments considering this?

    The antinomies are piling up.

    We are amid a global epidemic of metabolic syndrome. Insulin resistance, obesity, elevated triglyceride levels and low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and elevated blood pressure haunt the people queuing up to see doctors.

    Research, from individual cases to clinical trials, consistently show that diets containing high levels of ultra-processed foods and carbohydrates amplify inflammation, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance. What researchers and scientists are also identifying, at the cellular level, in clinical and medical practice, and at the global level – is that insulin resistance, inflammation, oxidative stress, and nutrient deficiencies from poor diets not only drive metabolic illness, but mental illnesses, compounding suffering.

    There is also ample evidence that the metabolic and mental health epidemic that is driving years lost due to disease, reducing productivity, and creating mayhem in personal lives – may be preventable and reversible.

    Doctors generally recognise that poor diets are a problem. Ultra-processed foods are strongly associated with adult and childhood ill health. Ultra-processed foods are

    ‘formulations of ingredients, mostly of exclusive industrial use, typically created by series of industrial techniques and processes (hence ‘ultra-processed’).’

    In the USA young people under age 19 consume on average 67% of their diet, while adults consume around 60% of their diet in ultra-processed food. Ultra-processed food contributes 60% of UK children’s calories; 42% of Australian children’s calories and over half the dietary calories for children and adolescents in Canada. In New Zealand in 2009-2010, ultra-processed foods contributed to the 45% (12 months), 42% (24 months), and 51% (60 months) of energy intake to the diets of children.

    All too frequently, doctors are diagnosing both metabolic and mental illnesses.

    What may be predictable is that a person is likely to develop insulin resistance, inflammation, oxidative stress, and nutrient deficiencies from chronic exposure to ultra-processed food. How this will manifest in a disease or syndrome condition is reflective of a human equivalent of quantum entanglement.

    Cascades, feedback loops, and other interdependencies often leave doctors and patients bouncing from one condition to another, and managing medicine side effects and drug-drug relationships as they go.

    In New Zealand it is more common to have multiple conditions than a single condition. The costs of having two NCDs simultaneously is typically superadditive and ‘more so for younger adults.’

    This information is outside the ‘work programme’ of the top echelons in the Ministry of Health:

    Official Information Act (OIA) requests confirm that the Ministries’ Directors General who are responsible for setting policy and long-term strategy aren’t considering these issues. The problem of multimorbidity and the overlapping, entangled relationship with ultra-processed food is outside of the scope of the work programme of the top directorates in our health agency.

    New Zealand’s Ministry of Health’s top deputy directors general might be earning a quarter of a million dollars each, but they are ignorant of the relationship of dietary nutrition and mental health. Nor are they seemingly aware of the extent of multimorbidity and the overlap between metabolic and mental illnesses.

    Neither the Public Health Agency Deputy Director-General – Dr Andrew Old, nor the Deputy Director-General Evidence, Research and Innovation, Dean Rutherford, nor the Deputy Director-General of Strategy Policy and Legislation, Maree Roberts, nor the Clinical, Community and Mental Health Deputy Director-General Robyn Shearer have been briefed on these relationships.

    If they’re not being briefed, policy won’t be developed to address dietary nutrition. Diet will be lower-order.

    The OIA request revealed that New Zealand’s Ministry of Health ‘does not widely use the metabolic syndrome classification.’ When I asked ‘How do you classify, or what term do you use to classify the cluster of symptoms characterised by central obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and insulin resistance?’, they responded:

    ‘The conditions referred to are considered either on their own or as part of a broader cardiovascular disease risk calculation.’

    This is interesting. What if governments should be calculating insulin resistance first, in order to then calculate a broader cardiovascular risk? What if insulin resistance, inflammation, and oxidative stress are appearing at younger and younger ages, and ultra-processed food is the major driver?

    Pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes are driven by too much blood glucose. Type 1 diabetics can’t make insulin, while Type 2 diabetics can’t make enough to compensate for their dietary intake of carbohydrates. One of insulin’s (many) jobs is to tuck away that blood glucose into cells (as fat) but when there are too many dietary carbohydrates pumping up blood glucose, the body can’t keep up. New Zealand practitioners use the HbA1c blood test, which measures the average blood glucose level over the past 2-3 months. In New Zealand, doctors diagnose pre-diabetes if HbA1c levels are 41-49 nmol/mol, and diabetes at levels of 50 nmol/mol and above.

    Type 2 diabetes management guidelines recommend that sugar intake should be reduced, while people should aim for consistent carbohydrates across the day. The New Zealand government does not recommend paleo or low-carbohydrate diets.

    If you have diabetes you are twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke, and at a younger age. Prediabetes, which apparently 20% of Kiwis have, is also high-risk due to, as the Ministry of Health states: ‘increased risk of macrovascular complications and early death.’

    The question might become – should we be looking at insulin levels, to more sensitively gauge risk at an early stage?

    Without more sensitive screens at younger ages these opportunities to repivot to avoid chronic disease are likely to be missed. Currently, Ministry of Health policies are unlikely to justify the funding of tests for insulin resistance by using three simple blood tests: fasting insulin, fasting lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides), and fasting glucose – to estimate where children, young people, and adults stand on the insulin resistance spectrum when other diagnoses pop up.

    Yet insulin plays a powerful role in brain health.

    Insulin supports neurotransmitter function and brain energy, directly impacting mood and behaviours. Insulin resistance might arrive before mental illness. Harvard-based psychiatrist Chris Palmer recounts in the book Brain Energy, a large 15,000-participant study of young people from age 0-24:

    ‘Children who had persistently high insulin levels (a sign of insulin resistance) beginning at age nine were five times more likely to be at risk for psychosis, meaning they were showing at least some worrisome signs, and they were three times for likely to already be diagnosed with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia by the time they turned twenty-four. This study clearly demonstrated that insulin resistance comes first, then psychosis.’

    Psychiatrist Georgia Ede suggests that high blood glucose and high insulin levels act like a ‘deadly one-two punch’ for the brain, triggering waves of inflammation and oxidative stress. The blood-brain barrier becomes increasingly resistant to chronic high insulin levels. Even though the body might have higher blood insulin, the same may not be true for the brain. As Ede maintains, ‘cells deprived of adequate insulin ‘sputter and struggle to maintain normal operations.’

    Looking at the relationship between brain health and high blood glucose and high insulin simply might not be on the programme for strategists looking at long-term planning.

    Nor are Directors General in a position to assess the role of food addiction. Ultra-processed food has addictive qualities designed into the product formulations. Food addiction is increasingly recognised as pervasive and difficult to manage as any substance addiction.

    But how many children and young people have insulin resistance and are showing markers for inflammation and oxidative stress – in the body and in the brain? To what extent do young people have both insulin resistance and depression resistance or ADHD or bipolar disorder?

    This kind of thinking is completely outside the work programme. But insulin levels, inflammation, and oxidative stress may not only be driving chronic illness – but driving the global mental health tsunami.

    Metabolic disorders are involved in complex pathways and feedback loops across body systems, and doctors learn this at medical school. Patterns and relationships between hormones, the brain, the gastrointestinal system, kidneys, and liver; as well as problems with joints and bone health, autoimmunity, nerves, and sensory conditions evolve from and revolve around metabolic health.

    Nutrition and diet are downplayed in medical school. What doctors don’t learn so much – the cognitive dissonance that they must accept throughout their training – is that metabolic health is commonly (except for some instances) shaped by the quality of dietary nutrition. The aetiology of a given condition can be very different, while the evidence that common chronic and mental illnesses are accompanied by oxidative stress, inflammation, and insulin resistance are primarily driven by diet – is growing stronger and stronger.

    But without recognising the overlapping relationships, policy to support healthy diets will remain limp.

    What we witness are notions of equity that support pharmaceutical delivery – not health delivery.

    What also inevitably happens is that ‘equity’ focuses on medical treatment. When the Ministry of Health prefers to atomise the different conditions or associate them with heart disease – they become single conditions to treat with single drugs. They’re lots of small problems, not one big problem, and insulin resistance is downplayed.

    But just as insulin resistance, inflammation, and oxidative stress send cascading impacts across body systems, systemic ignorance sends cascading effects across government departments tasked with ‘improving, promoting, and protecting health.’

    It’s an injustice. The literature solidly points to lower socio-economic status driving much poorer diets and increased exposures to ultra-processed food, but the treatments exclusively involve drugs and therapy.

    Briefings to Incoming Ministers with the election of new Governments show how ignorance cascades across responsible authorities.

    Health New Zealand, Te Whatu Ora’s November 2023 Briefing to the new government outlined the agency’s obligations. However, the ‘health’ targets are medical, and the agency’s focus is on infrastructure, staff, and servicing. The promotion of health, and health equity, which can only be addressed by addressing the determinants of health, is not addressed.

    The Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand Joint Briefing to the Incoming Minister for Mental Health does not address the role of diet and nutrition as a driver of mental illness and disorder in New Zealand. The issue of multimorbidity, the related problem of commensurate metabolic illness, and diet as a driver is outside scope. When the Briefing states that it is important to address the ‘social, cultural, environmental and economic determinants of mental health,’ without any sound policy footing, real movement to address diet will not happen, or will only happen ad hoc.

    The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, Te Hiringa Mahara’s November 2023 Briefing to Incoming Ministers that went to the Ministers for Health and Mental Health might use the term ‘well-being’ over 120 times – but was silent on the related and overlapping drivers of mental illness which include metabolic or multimorbidity, nutrition, or diet.

    Five years earlier, He Ara Ora, New Zealand’s 2018 Mental Health and Addiction enquiry had recognised that tāngata whaiora, people seeking wellness, or service users, also tend to have multiple health conditions. The enquiry recommended that a whole of government approach to well-being, prevention, and social determinants was required. Vague nods were made to diet and nutrition, but this was not sufficiently emphasised as to be a priority.

    He Ara Ora was followed by 2020 Long-term pathway to mental well-being viewed nutrition as being one of a range of factors. No policy framework strategically prioritised diet, nutrition, and healthy food. No governmental obligation or commitment was built into policy to improve access to healthy food or nutrition education.

    Understanding the science, the relationships, and the drivers of the global epidemic, is ‘outside the work programmes’ of New Zealand’s Ministry of Health and outside the scope of all the related authorities. There is an extraordinary amount of data in the scientific literature, so many case studies, cohort studies, and clinical trials. Popular books are being written, however government agencies remain ignorant.

    In the meantime, doctors must deal with the suffering in front of them without an adequate toolkit.

    Doctors and pharmacists are faced with a Hobson’s choice of managing multiple chronic conditions and complex drug cocktails, in patients at younger and younger ages. Ultimately, they are treating a patient whom they recognise will only become sicker, cost the health system more, and suffer more.

    Currently there is little support for New Zealand medical doctors (known as general practitioners, or GPs) in changing practices and recommendations to support non-pharmaceutical drug treatment approaches. Their medical education does not equip them to recognise the extent to which multiple co-existing conditions may be alleviated or reversed. Doctors are paid to prescribe, to inject, and to screen, not to ameliorate or reverse disease and lessen prescribing. The prescribing of nutrients is discouraged and as doctors do not have nutritional training, they hesitate to prescribe nutrients.

    Many do not want to risk going outside treatment guidelines. Recent surges in protocols and guidelines for medical doctors reduce flexibility and narrow treatment choices for doctors. If they were to be reported to the Medical Council of New Zealand, they would risk losing their medical license. They would then be unable to practice.

    Inevitably, without Ministry of Health leadership, medical doctors in New Zealand are unlikely to voluntarily prescribe non-drug modalities such as nutritional options to any meaningful extent, for fear of being reported.

    Yet some doctors are proactive, such as Dr Glen Davies in Taupo, New Zealand. Some doctors are in a better ‘place’ to work to alleviate and reverse long-term conditions. They may be later in their career, with 10-20 years of research into metabolism, dietary nutrition, and patient care, and motivated to guide a patient through a personal care regime which might alleviate or reverse a patient’s suffering.

    Barriers include resourcing. Doctors aren’t paid for reversing disease and taking patients off medications.

    Doctors witness daily the hopelessness felt by their patients in dealing with chronic conditions in their short 15-minute consultations, and the vigilance required for dealing with adverse drug effects. Drug non-compliance is associated with adverse effects suffered by patients. Yet without wrap-around support changing treatments, even if it has potential to alleviate multiple conditions, to reduce symptoms, lower prescribing and therefore lessen side effects, is just too uncertain.

    They saw what happened to disobedient doctors during Covid-19.

    Given such context, what are we to do?

    Have open public discussions about doctor-patient relationships and trust. Inform and overlay such conversations by drawing attention to the foundational Hippocratic Oath made by doctors, to first do no harm.

    Questions can be asked. If patients were to understand that diet may be an underlying driver of multiple conditions, and a change in diet and improvement in micronutrient status might alleviate suffering – would patients be more likely to change?

    Economically, if wrap-around services were provided in clinics to support dietary change, would less harm occur to patients from worsening conditions that accompany many diseases (such as Type 2 diabetes) and the ever-present problem of drug side-effects? Would education and wrap-around services in early childhood and youth delay or prevent the onset of multimorbid diagnoses?

    Is it more ethical to give young people a choice of treatment? Could doctors prescribe dietary changes and multinutrients and support change with wrap-around support when children and young people are first diagnosed with a mental health condition – from the clinic, to school, to after school? If that doesn’t work, then prescribe pharmaceutical drugs.

    Should children and young people be educated to appreciate the extent to which their consumption of ultra-processed food likely drives their metabolic and mental health conditions? Not just in a blithe ‘eat healthy’ fashion that patently avoids discussing addiction. Through deeper policy mechanisms, including cooking classes and nutritional biology by the implementation of nourishing, low-carbohydrate cooked school lunches.

    With officials uninformed, it’s easy to see why funding for Green Prescriptions that would support dietary changes have sputtered out. It’s easy to understand why neither the Ministry of Health nor Pharmac have proactively sourced multi-nutrient treatments that improve resilience to stress and trauma for low-income young people. Why there’s no discussion on a lower side-effect risk for multinutrient treatments. Why are there no policies in the education curriculum diving into the relationship between ultra-processed food and mental and physical health? It’s not in the work programme.

    There’s another surfacing dilemma.

    Currently, if doctors tell their patients that there is very good evidence that their disease or syndrome could be reversed, and this information is not held as factual information by New Zealand’s Ministry of Health – do doctors risk being accused of spreading misinformation?

    Government agencies have pivoted in the past 5 years to focus intensively on the problem of dis- and misinformation. New Zealand’s disinformation project states that

    Disinformation is false or modified information knowingly and deliberately shared to cause harm or achieve a broader aim.
    Misinformation is information that is false or misleading, though not created or shared with the direct intention of causing harm.
    Unfortunately, as we see, there is no division inside the Ministry of Health that reviews the latest evidence in the scientific literature, to ensure that policy decisions correctly reflect the latest evidence.

    There is no scientific agency outside the Ministry of Health that has flexibility and the capacity to undertake autonomous, long-term monitoring and research in nutrition, diet, and health. There is no independent, autonomous, public health research facility with sufficient long-term funding to translate dietary and nutritional evidence into policy, particularly if it contradicted current policy positions.

    Despite excellent research being undertaken, it is highly controlled, ad hoc, and frequently short-term. Problematically, there is no resourcing for those scientists to meaningfully feedback that information to either the Ministry of Health or to Members of Parliament and government Ministers.

    Dietary guidelines can become locked in, and contradictions can fail to be chewed over. Without the capacity to address errors, information can become outdated and misleading. Government agencies and elected members – from local councils all the way up to government Ministers, are dependent on being informed by the Ministry of Health, when it comes to government policy.

    When it comes to complex health conditions, and alleviating and reversing metabolic or mental illness, based on different patient capacity – from socio-economic, to cultural, to social, and taking into account capacity for change, what is sound, evidence-based information and what is misinformation?

    In the impasse, who can we trust?

    Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
    For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author.

    Author

    J.R. Bruning is a consultant sociologist (B.Bus.Agribusiness; MA Sociology) based in New Zealand. Her work explores governance cultures, policy and the production of scientific and technical knowledge. Her Master’s thesis explored the ways science policy creates barriers to funding, stymying scientists’ efforts to explore upstream drivers of harm. Bruning is a trustee of Physicians & Scientists for Global Responsibility (PSGR.org.nz). Papers and writing can be found at TalkingRisk.NZ and at JRBruning.Substack.com and at Talking Risk on Rumble.

    View all posts
    Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work.

    https://brownstone.org/articles/the-silent-shame-of-health-institutions/
    The Silent Shame of Health Institutions J.R. Bruning For how much longer will health policy ignore multimorbidity, that looming, giant elephant in the room, that propagates and amplifies suffering? For how much longer will the ‘trend’ of increasing diagnoses of multiple health conditions, at younger and younger ages be rendered down by government agencies to better and more efficient services, screening modalities, and drug choices? Multimorbidity, the presence of many chronic conditions, is the silent shame of health policy. All too often chronic conditions overlap and accumulate. From cancer, to diabetes, to digestive system diseases, to high blood pressure, to skin conditions in cascades of suffering. Heartbreakingly, these conditions commonly overlap with mental illnesses or disorders. It’s increasingly common for people to be diagnosed with multiple mental conditions, such as having anxiety and depression, or anxiety and schizophrenia. Calls for equity tend to revolve around medical treatment, even as absurdities and injustices accrue. Multimorbidity occurs a decade earlier in socioeconomically deprived communities. Doctors are diagnosing multimorbidity at younger and younger ages. Treatment regimens for people with multiple conditions necessarily entail a polypharmacy approach – the prescribing of multiple medications. One condition may require multiple medications. Thus, with multimorbidity comes increased risk of adverse outcomes and polyiatrogenesis – ‘medical harm caused by medical treatments on multiple fronts simultaneously and in conjunction with one another.’ Side effects, whether short-term or patients’ concerns about long-term harm, are the main reason for non-adherence to prescribed medications. So ‘equity’ which only implies drug treatment doesn’t involve equity at all. Poor diets may be foundational to the Western world’s health crisis. But are governments considering this? The antinomies are piling up. We are amid a global epidemic of metabolic syndrome. Insulin resistance, obesity, elevated triglyceride levels and low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and elevated blood pressure haunt the people queuing up to see doctors. Research, from individual cases to clinical trials, consistently show that diets containing high levels of ultra-processed foods and carbohydrates amplify inflammation, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance. What researchers and scientists are also identifying, at the cellular level, in clinical and medical practice, and at the global level – is that insulin resistance, inflammation, oxidative stress, and nutrient deficiencies from poor diets not only drive metabolic illness, but mental illnesses, compounding suffering. There is also ample evidence that the metabolic and mental health epidemic that is driving years lost due to disease, reducing productivity, and creating mayhem in personal lives – may be preventable and reversible. Doctors generally recognise that poor diets are a problem. Ultra-processed foods are strongly associated with adult and childhood ill health. Ultra-processed foods are ‘formulations of ingredients, mostly of exclusive industrial use, typically created by series of industrial techniques and processes (hence ‘ultra-processed’).’ In the USA young people under age 19 consume on average 67% of their diet, while adults consume around 60% of their diet in ultra-processed food. Ultra-processed food contributes 60% of UK children’s calories; 42% of Australian children’s calories and over half the dietary calories for children and adolescents in Canada. In New Zealand in 2009-2010, ultra-processed foods contributed to the 45% (12 months), 42% (24 months), and 51% (60 months) of energy intake to the diets of children. All too frequently, doctors are diagnosing both metabolic and mental illnesses. What may be predictable is that a person is likely to develop insulin resistance, inflammation, oxidative stress, and nutrient deficiencies from chronic exposure to ultra-processed food. How this will manifest in a disease or syndrome condition is reflective of a human equivalent of quantum entanglement. Cascades, feedback loops, and other interdependencies often leave doctors and patients bouncing from one condition to another, and managing medicine side effects and drug-drug relationships as they go. In New Zealand it is more common to have multiple conditions than a single condition. The costs of having two NCDs simultaneously is typically superadditive and ‘more so for younger adults.’ This information is outside the ‘work programme’ of the top echelons in the Ministry of Health: Official Information Act (OIA) requests confirm that the Ministries’ Directors General who are responsible for setting policy and long-term strategy aren’t considering these issues. The problem of multimorbidity and the overlapping, entangled relationship with ultra-processed food is outside of the scope of the work programme of the top directorates in our health agency. New Zealand’s Ministry of Health’s top deputy directors general might be earning a quarter of a million dollars each, but they are ignorant of the relationship of dietary nutrition and mental health. Nor are they seemingly aware of the extent of multimorbidity and the overlap between metabolic and mental illnesses. Neither the Public Health Agency Deputy Director-General – Dr Andrew Old, nor the Deputy Director-General Evidence, Research and Innovation, Dean Rutherford, nor the Deputy Director-General of Strategy Policy and Legislation, Maree Roberts, nor the Clinical, Community and Mental Health Deputy Director-General Robyn Shearer have been briefed on these relationships. If they’re not being briefed, policy won’t be developed to address dietary nutrition. Diet will be lower-order. The OIA request revealed that New Zealand’s Ministry of Health ‘does not widely use the metabolic syndrome classification.’ When I asked ‘How do you classify, or what term do you use to classify the cluster of symptoms characterised by central obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and insulin resistance?’, they responded: ‘The conditions referred to are considered either on their own or as part of a broader cardiovascular disease risk calculation.’ This is interesting. What if governments should be calculating insulin resistance first, in order to then calculate a broader cardiovascular risk? What if insulin resistance, inflammation, and oxidative stress are appearing at younger and younger ages, and ultra-processed food is the major driver? Pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes are driven by too much blood glucose. Type 1 diabetics can’t make insulin, while Type 2 diabetics can’t make enough to compensate for their dietary intake of carbohydrates. One of insulin’s (many) jobs is to tuck away that blood glucose into cells (as fat) but when there are too many dietary carbohydrates pumping up blood glucose, the body can’t keep up. New Zealand practitioners use the HbA1c blood test, which measures the average blood glucose level over the past 2-3 months. In New Zealand, doctors diagnose pre-diabetes if HbA1c levels are 41-49 nmol/mol, and diabetes at levels of 50 nmol/mol and above. Type 2 diabetes management guidelines recommend that sugar intake should be reduced, while people should aim for consistent carbohydrates across the day. The New Zealand government does not recommend paleo or low-carbohydrate diets. If you have diabetes you are twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke, and at a younger age. Prediabetes, which apparently 20% of Kiwis have, is also high-risk due to, as the Ministry of Health states: ‘increased risk of macrovascular complications and early death.’ The question might become – should we be looking at insulin levels, to more sensitively gauge risk at an early stage? Without more sensitive screens at younger ages these opportunities to repivot to avoid chronic disease are likely to be missed. Currently, Ministry of Health policies are unlikely to justify the funding of tests for insulin resistance by using three simple blood tests: fasting insulin, fasting lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides), and fasting glucose – to estimate where children, young people, and adults stand on the insulin resistance spectrum when other diagnoses pop up. Yet insulin plays a powerful role in brain health. Insulin supports neurotransmitter function and brain energy, directly impacting mood and behaviours. Insulin resistance might arrive before mental illness. Harvard-based psychiatrist Chris Palmer recounts in the book Brain Energy, a large 15,000-participant study of young people from age 0-24: ‘Children who had persistently high insulin levels (a sign of insulin resistance) beginning at age nine were five times more likely to be at risk for psychosis, meaning they were showing at least some worrisome signs, and they were three times for likely to already be diagnosed with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia by the time they turned twenty-four. This study clearly demonstrated that insulin resistance comes first, then psychosis.’ Psychiatrist Georgia Ede suggests that high blood glucose and high insulin levels act like a ‘deadly one-two punch’ for the brain, triggering waves of inflammation and oxidative stress. The blood-brain barrier becomes increasingly resistant to chronic high insulin levels. Even though the body might have higher blood insulin, the same may not be true for the brain. As Ede maintains, ‘cells deprived of adequate insulin ‘sputter and struggle to maintain normal operations.’ Looking at the relationship between brain health and high blood glucose and high insulin simply might not be on the programme for strategists looking at long-term planning. Nor are Directors General in a position to assess the role of food addiction. Ultra-processed food has addictive qualities designed into the product formulations. Food addiction is increasingly recognised as pervasive and difficult to manage as any substance addiction. But how many children and young people have insulin resistance and are showing markers for inflammation and oxidative stress – in the body and in the brain? To what extent do young people have both insulin resistance and depression resistance or ADHD or bipolar disorder? This kind of thinking is completely outside the work programme. But insulin levels, inflammation, and oxidative stress may not only be driving chronic illness – but driving the global mental health tsunami. Metabolic disorders are involved in complex pathways and feedback loops across body systems, and doctors learn this at medical school. Patterns and relationships between hormones, the brain, the gastrointestinal system, kidneys, and liver; as well as problems with joints and bone health, autoimmunity, nerves, and sensory conditions evolve from and revolve around metabolic health. Nutrition and diet are downplayed in medical school. What doctors don’t learn so much – the cognitive dissonance that they must accept throughout their training – is that metabolic health is commonly (except for some instances) shaped by the quality of dietary nutrition. The aetiology of a given condition can be very different, while the evidence that common chronic and mental illnesses are accompanied by oxidative stress, inflammation, and insulin resistance are primarily driven by diet – is growing stronger and stronger. But without recognising the overlapping relationships, policy to support healthy diets will remain limp. What we witness are notions of equity that support pharmaceutical delivery – not health delivery. What also inevitably happens is that ‘equity’ focuses on medical treatment. When the Ministry of Health prefers to atomise the different conditions or associate them with heart disease – they become single conditions to treat with single drugs. They’re lots of small problems, not one big problem, and insulin resistance is downplayed. But just as insulin resistance, inflammation, and oxidative stress send cascading impacts across body systems, systemic ignorance sends cascading effects across government departments tasked with ‘improving, promoting, and protecting health.’ It’s an injustice. The literature solidly points to lower socio-economic status driving much poorer diets and increased exposures to ultra-processed food, but the treatments exclusively involve drugs and therapy. Briefings to Incoming Ministers with the election of new Governments show how ignorance cascades across responsible authorities. Health New Zealand, Te Whatu Ora’s November 2023 Briefing to the new government outlined the agency’s obligations. However, the ‘health’ targets are medical, and the agency’s focus is on infrastructure, staff, and servicing. The promotion of health, and health equity, which can only be addressed by addressing the determinants of health, is not addressed. The Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand Joint Briefing to the Incoming Minister for Mental Health does not address the role of diet and nutrition as a driver of mental illness and disorder in New Zealand. The issue of multimorbidity, the related problem of commensurate metabolic illness, and diet as a driver is outside scope. When the Briefing states that it is important to address the ‘social, cultural, environmental and economic determinants of mental health,’ without any sound policy footing, real movement to address diet will not happen, or will only happen ad hoc. The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, Te Hiringa Mahara’s November 2023 Briefing to Incoming Ministers that went to the Ministers for Health and Mental Health might use the term ‘well-being’ over 120 times – but was silent on the related and overlapping drivers of mental illness which include metabolic or multimorbidity, nutrition, or diet. Five years earlier, He Ara Ora, New Zealand’s 2018 Mental Health and Addiction enquiry had recognised that tāngata whaiora, people seeking wellness, or service users, also tend to have multiple health conditions. The enquiry recommended that a whole of government approach to well-being, prevention, and social determinants was required. Vague nods were made to diet and nutrition, but this was not sufficiently emphasised as to be a priority. He Ara Ora was followed by 2020 Long-term pathway to mental well-being viewed nutrition as being one of a range of factors. No policy framework strategically prioritised diet, nutrition, and healthy food. No governmental obligation or commitment was built into policy to improve access to healthy food or nutrition education. Understanding the science, the relationships, and the drivers of the global epidemic, is ‘outside the work programmes’ of New Zealand’s Ministry of Health and outside the scope of all the related authorities. There is an extraordinary amount of data in the scientific literature, so many case studies, cohort studies, and clinical trials. Popular books are being written, however government agencies remain ignorant. In the meantime, doctors must deal with the suffering in front of them without an adequate toolkit. Doctors and pharmacists are faced with a Hobson’s choice of managing multiple chronic conditions and complex drug cocktails, in patients at younger and younger ages. Ultimately, they are treating a patient whom they recognise will only become sicker, cost the health system more, and suffer more. Currently there is little support for New Zealand medical doctors (known as general practitioners, or GPs) in changing practices and recommendations to support non-pharmaceutical drug treatment approaches. Their medical education does not equip them to recognise the extent to which multiple co-existing conditions may be alleviated or reversed. Doctors are paid to prescribe, to inject, and to screen, not to ameliorate or reverse disease and lessen prescribing. The prescribing of nutrients is discouraged and as doctors do not have nutritional training, they hesitate to prescribe nutrients. Many do not want to risk going outside treatment guidelines. Recent surges in protocols and guidelines for medical doctors reduce flexibility and narrow treatment choices for doctors. If they were to be reported to the Medical Council of New Zealand, they would risk losing their medical license. They would then be unable to practice. Inevitably, without Ministry of Health leadership, medical doctors in New Zealand are unlikely to voluntarily prescribe non-drug modalities such as nutritional options to any meaningful extent, for fear of being reported. Yet some doctors are proactive, such as Dr Glen Davies in Taupo, New Zealand. Some doctors are in a better ‘place’ to work to alleviate and reverse long-term conditions. They may be later in their career, with 10-20 years of research into metabolism, dietary nutrition, and patient care, and motivated to guide a patient through a personal care regime which might alleviate or reverse a patient’s suffering. Barriers include resourcing. Doctors aren’t paid for reversing disease and taking patients off medications. Doctors witness daily the hopelessness felt by their patients in dealing with chronic conditions in their short 15-minute consultations, and the vigilance required for dealing with adverse drug effects. Drug non-compliance is associated with adverse effects suffered by patients. Yet without wrap-around support changing treatments, even if it has potential to alleviate multiple conditions, to reduce symptoms, lower prescribing and therefore lessen side effects, is just too uncertain. They saw what happened to disobedient doctors during Covid-19. Given such context, what are we to do? Have open public discussions about doctor-patient relationships and trust. Inform and overlay such conversations by drawing attention to the foundational Hippocratic Oath made by doctors, to first do no harm. Questions can be asked. If patients were to understand that diet may be an underlying driver of multiple conditions, and a change in diet and improvement in micronutrient status might alleviate suffering – would patients be more likely to change? Economically, if wrap-around services were provided in clinics to support dietary change, would less harm occur to patients from worsening conditions that accompany many diseases (such as Type 2 diabetes) and the ever-present problem of drug side-effects? Would education and wrap-around services in early childhood and youth delay or prevent the onset of multimorbid diagnoses? Is it more ethical to give young people a choice of treatment? Could doctors prescribe dietary changes and multinutrients and support change with wrap-around support when children and young people are first diagnosed with a mental health condition – from the clinic, to school, to after school? If that doesn’t work, then prescribe pharmaceutical drugs. Should children and young people be educated to appreciate the extent to which their consumption of ultra-processed food likely drives their metabolic and mental health conditions? Not just in a blithe ‘eat healthy’ fashion that patently avoids discussing addiction. Through deeper policy mechanisms, including cooking classes and nutritional biology by the implementation of nourishing, low-carbohydrate cooked school lunches. With officials uninformed, it’s easy to see why funding for Green Prescriptions that would support dietary changes have sputtered out. It’s easy to understand why neither the Ministry of Health nor Pharmac have proactively sourced multi-nutrient treatments that improve resilience to stress and trauma for low-income young people. Why there’s no discussion on a lower side-effect risk for multinutrient treatments. Why are there no policies in the education curriculum diving into the relationship between ultra-processed food and mental and physical health? It’s not in the work programme. There’s another surfacing dilemma. Currently, if doctors tell their patients that there is very good evidence that their disease or syndrome could be reversed, and this information is not held as factual information by New Zealand’s Ministry of Health – do doctors risk being accused of spreading misinformation? Government agencies have pivoted in the past 5 years to focus intensively on the problem of dis- and misinformation. New Zealand’s disinformation project states that Disinformation is false or modified information knowingly and deliberately shared to cause harm or achieve a broader aim. Misinformation is information that is false or misleading, though not created or shared with the direct intention of causing harm. Unfortunately, as we see, there is no division inside the Ministry of Health that reviews the latest evidence in the scientific literature, to ensure that policy decisions correctly reflect the latest evidence. There is no scientific agency outside the Ministry of Health that has flexibility and the capacity to undertake autonomous, long-term monitoring and research in nutrition, diet, and health. There is no independent, autonomous, public health research facility with sufficient long-term funding to translate dietary and nutritional evidence into policy, particularly if it contradicted current policy positions. Despite excellent research being undertaken, it is highly controlled, ad hoc, and frequently short-term. Problematically, there is no resourcing for those scientists to meaningfully feedback that information to either the Ministry of Health or to Members of Parliament and government Ministers. Dietary guidelines can become locked in, and contradictions can fail to be chewed over. Without the capacity to address errors, information can become outdated and misleading. Government agencies and elected members – from local councils all the way up to government Ministers, are dependent on being informed by the Ministry of Health, when it comes to government policy. When it comes to complex health conditions, and alleviating and reversing metabolic or mental illness, based on different patient capacity – from socio-economic, to cultural, to social, and taking into account capacity for change, what is sound, evidence-based information and what is misinformation? In the impasse, who can we trust? Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Author J.R. Bruning is a consultant sociologist (B.Bus.Agribusiness; MA Sociology) based in New Zealand. Her work explores governance cultures, policy and the production of scientific and technical knowledge. Her Master’s thesis explored the ways science policy creates barriers to funding, stymying scientists’ efforts to explore upstream drivers of harm. Bruning is a trustee of Physicians & Scientists for Global Responsibility (PSGR.org.nz). Papers and writing can be found at TalkingRisk.NZ and at JRBruning.Substack.com and at Talking Risk on Rumble. View all posts Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. https://brownstone.org/articles/the-silent-shame-of-health-institutions/
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    The Silent Shame of Health Institutions ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    There is no scientific agency outside the Ministry of Health that has flexibility and the capacity to undertake autonomous, long-term monitoring and research in nutrition, diet and health.
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  • The story of Yazan Kafarneh, the boy who starved to death in Gaza
    Tareq S. HajjajMarch 25, 2024
    Yazan Kafarneh after dying of starvation. (Photo: Rabee' Abu Naqirah)
    Yazan Kafarneh after dying of starvation. (Photo: Rabee’ Abu Naqirah)
    This is not a photo of a mummy or an embalmed body retrieved from one of Gaza’s ancient cemeteries. This is a photo of Yazan Kafarneh, a child who died of severe malnutrition during Israel’s genocidal war on the Gaza Strip.

    Yazan’s family now lives in the Rab’a School in the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood in Rafah City. His father, Sharif Kafarneh, along with his mother, Marwa, and his three younger brothers, had fled Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza early on in the war.

    Yazan Kafarneh died at the age of nine, the eldest of four brothers — Mouin, 6, Ramzi, 4, and Muhammad, born during the war in a shelter four months ago.

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    Living in conditions not fit for human habitation, the grieving family had witnessed Yazan’s death before their eyes. It didn’t happen all at once but unfolded gradually over time, his frail body wasting away one day after another until there was nothing left of Yazan but skin and bones.

    Sharif was unable to do anything for his son. He died due to a congenital illness that required a special dietary regimen to keep him healthy. Israel’s systematic prevention of food from reaching the civilian population in Gaza meant that severe malnutrition — suffered by most children in the besieged enclave — in the case of Yazan meant death.

    “We first left from Beit Hanoun to Jabalia refugee camp,” Sharif told Mondoweiss. “Then the occupation called us again and warned us against staying where we were. So we left for Gaza City. Then, the occupation forced us to flee further south, and we did.”

    Yazan Kafarneh's parents and three brothers in their shelter in Rafah. (Photo: Tareq Hajjaj/Mondoweiss)
    Sharif Kafarneh’ (left), his wife Marwa (right), and their three surviving sons (center) in their shelter in Rafah. (Photo: Tareq Hajjaj/Mondoweiss)
    “If it weren’t for Yazan, I would have never left my home,” Sharif maintained. “Yazan required special care and nutrition.”

    Yazan suffered from a congenital form of muscular atrophy that made movement and speech difficult, but Sharif said that it never caused him much grief in his nine short years before the war.

    “He just had advanced nutritional needs,” Sharif explained. “But getting that food for him was never an issue before the war.”

    It was a point of pride for Sharif that he, a taxi driver, had never left his child wanting or deprived.

    “That changed in the war. The specific foods that he needed were cut off,” he said. “For instance, Yazan had to have milk and bananas for dinner every day. He can’t go a day without it, and sometimes he can have only bananas. This is what the doctors told us.”

    “After the war, I couldn’t get a single banana,” Sharif continued. “And for lunch, he had to have boiled vegetables and fruits that were pureed in a blender. We had no electricity for the blender, and there were no fruits or vegetables anymore.”

    As for breakfast, Yazan’s regimen demanded that he eat eggs. “Of course, there aren’t any more eggs in Rafah City,” Sharif said. “No fruits, no vegetables, no eggs, no bananas, nothing.”

    “But our child’s needs were never a problem for us,” Sharif rushed to add. “We loved taking care of him. He was the spoiled child of the family, and his younger brothers loved him and took care of him, too. God gave me a living so I could take care of him.”

    Due to his special needs, charitable societies used to visit Yazan’s home in Beit Hanoun before the war, providing various treatments such as physical therapy and speech therapy. All in all, Yazan had a functional, happy childhood.

    ‘He got thinner and thinner’

    The family continued to take care of Yazan throughout the war. They tried to make do with what they could find, trying as much as possible to find alternatives to the foods Yazan required. “I replaced bananas with halawa [a tahini-based confection], and I replaced eggs with bread soaked in tea,” Sharif said. “But these foods did not contain the nutrients that Yazan needed.”

    In addition to his nutritional needs, Yazan had specific medicines to take. Sharif used to bring him brain and muscle stimulants that helped him stay alive and mobile, allowing him to move around and crawl throughout their home. Those medicines ran out during the second week of the war.

    With the lack of nutrition and medication, his health took a turn for the worse. “I noticed him getting sick, and his body was becoming emaciated,” Sharif recounts. “He got thinner and thinner.”

    His family took him to al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah, where his health continued to deteriorate over the course of eleven days.

    “Even after we took him to the hospital, they couldn’t do anything for him,” Sharif continued. “All they were able to give him were IV fluids, and when his situation got worse, the hospital staff placed a feeding tube in his nose.”

    “My son required a tube with a 14-unit measurement, but all the hospital had was an 8-unit,” he added.

    When asked what was the most important factor that led to the deterioration of his son’s condition, Sharif said that it was the environment he lived in. “Before the war, he was in the right environment. After, everything was wrong. He was in his own home, but then he was uprooted to a shelter in Rafah.”

    “The situation we’re living in isn’t fit for humans, let alone a sick child,” Sharif explained. “In the camps, people would light fires to keep themselves warm, but the smoke would cause Yazan to cough and suffocate, and we weren’t able to tell them to turn their fires off because everyone was so cold.”

    Dr. Muhammad al-Sabe’, a pediatric surgeon in Rafah who works at the al-Awda, al-Najjar, and al-Kuwaiti hospitals, took a special interest in Yazan’s case.

    “The harsh conditions Yazan had to endure, including malnutrition, were the main factors contributing to the deterioration of his health and his ultimate death,” Dr. al-Sabe’ told Mondoweiss. “This is a genetic and congenital illness, and it requires special care every day, including specific proteins, IV medicines, and daily physical therapy, which isn’t available at Rafah.”

    “If things don’t change, if they stay the way they are, we’re going to witness mass death among children.”
    Dr. Muhammad al-Sabe’normal
    Dr. al-Sabe’ said that most foods administered to patients who cannot feed themselves through feeding tubes are unavailable in Gaza. “The occupation prevents these specific foods and medicines from coming in,” he explained. “Including a medicine called Ensure.”

    Ensure is a special nutritional supplement used in medical settings for what is called “enteral nutrition” — feeding patients through a nasal tube.

    “Special treatment for patients, especially children, is nonexistent,” Dr. al-Sabe’ added. “We don’t even have diapers, let alone baby formula and nutritional supplements.”

    “If things don’t change, if they stay the way they are, we’re going to witness mass death among children,” he stressed. “If any child doesn’t receive nutrition for an entire week, that child will eventually die. And even if malnourished children are eventually provided with nutrition, they will likely suffer lifelong health consequences.”

    “If medicine is cut off from children who need it for one week, this will also likely lead to their death,” he continued.

    Yazan Kafarneh after dying of starvation. (Photo: Rabee' Abu Naqirah)
    Images of Yazan Kafarneh’s emaciated body circulated widely on social media. (Photo: Rabee’ Abu Naqirah)
    Children disproportionately affected by famine

    According to a UNICEF humanitarian situation report on March 22, 2.23 million people in Gaza suffer at least from “acute food insecurity,” while half of that population (1.1 million people) suffers from “catastrophic food insecurity,” meaning that “famine is imminent for half of the population.”

    An earlier report in December 2023 had already concluded that all children in Gaza under five years old (estimated to be 335,000 children) are “at high risk of severe malnutrition and preventable death.” UNICEF’s most recent March 22 report estimates that the famine threshold for “acute food insecurity” has already been “far exceeded,” while it is highly likely that the famine threshold for “acute malnutrition” has also been exceeded. Moreover, UNICEF said that the Famine Review Committee predicted that famine would manifest in Gaza anywhere between March and May of this year.

    Dr. al-Sabe’ stresses that such dire conditions disproportionately affect children, who have advanced nutritional needs compared to adults.

    “Their bodies are weak, and they don’t have large stores of muscle and fat,” he explained. “Even one day of no food for a young child will lead to consequences that are difficult to control in the future.”

    “An adult male may go a week without food before signs of malnutrition begin to show,” he continued. “Not so with children. Their muscle mass increases whenever they eat, which in turn leads to a greater need for nutrients.”

    The lack of nutrients means that children will grow weak, the pediatric surgeon said, and that they will quickly begin to exhibit symptoms such as fatigue, sleepiness, diarrhea, vomiting, anemia, sunken eyes, and joint pains. For the same reason, Dr. al-Sabe maintained, children also respond to treatment fairly quickly — but “on the condition that they have not experienced malnutrition for more than a week.”

    After one week, reversing the effects of malnutrition becomes much more difficult. Al-Sabe’ asserts that children’s digestive tracts will slow down, they might begin to suffer from kidney failure, and their bellies can swell with fluids.

    That is what is particularly devastating for Gaza — over 335,000 children have undergone varying degrees of extreme malnutrition for months on end. The consequences are difficult to fathom on a population-wide level and for future generations. As of the time of writing, over 30 children have already died due to malnutrition in northern Gaza, but the real number is likely much higher given the lack of reporting in many areas in the north.

    ‘He didn’t need a miracle to save him’

    Yazan’s mother, Marwa Kafarneh, could barely contain her tears as she spoke of her son.

    “He was a normal boy despite his illness,” she told Mondoweiss. “He played with his brothers. He crawled and moved about, and he could open closets and use the phone, and he would watch things on it for hours.”

    “He could have lived a long life, a normal life,” she continued. “His father would have brought him everything that he needed. He wouldn’t have had to feel hungry for even a single day.”

    When she saw that the images of her son’s emaciated body had gone viral on social media, Marwa said that she preferred death over looking at the photos. “My eldest son died in front of my eyes, in front of all of our eyes,” she said. “We weren’t able to save him. And he didn’t need a miracle to save him either. All he needed was the food that we’ve always been able to provide for him.”

    Reflecting as she cried, she added: “But finding that food in Gaza today takes nothing less than a miracle.”

    Tareq S. Hajjaj
    Tareq S. Hajjaj is the Mondoweiss Gaza Correspondent and a member of the Palestinian Writers Union. He studied English Literature at Al-Azhar University in Gaza. He started his career in journalism in 2015, working as a news writer and translator for the local newspaper Donia al-Watan. He has reported for Elbadi, Middle East Eye, and Al-Monitor. Follow him on Twitter at @Tareqshajjaj.

    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/the-story-of-yazan-kafarneh-the-boy-who-starved-to-death-in-gaza/
    The story of Yazan Kafarneh, the boy who starved to death in Gaza Tareq S. HajjajMarch 25, 2024 Yazan Kafarneh after dying of starvation. (Photo: Rabee' Abu Naqirah) Yazan Kafarneh after dying of starvation. (Photo: Rabee’ Abu Naqirah) This is not a photo of a mummy or an embalmed body retrieved from one of Gaza’s ancient cemeteries. This is a photo of Yazan Kafarneh, a child who died of severe malnutrition during Israel’s genocidal war on the Gaza Strip. Yazan’s family now lives in the Rab’a School in the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood in Rafah City. His father, Sharif Kafarneh, along with his mother, Marwa, and his three younger brothers, had fled Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza early on in the war. Yazan Kafarneh died at the age of nine, the eldest of four brothers — Mouin, 6, Ramzi, 4, and Muhammad, born during the war in a shelter four months ago. Advertisement Watch now: ANGELA DAVIS on Witnessing Palestine with Frank Barat Living in conditions not fit for human habitation, the grieving family had witnessed Yazan’s death before their eyes. It didn’t happen all at once but unfolded gradually over time, his frail body wasting away one day after another until there was nothing left of Yazan but skin and bones. Sharif was unable to do anything for his son. He died due to a congenital illness that required a special dietary regimen to keep him healthy. Israel’s systematic prevention of food from reaching the civilian population in Gaza meant that severe malnutrition — suffered by most children in the besieged enclave — in the case of Yazan meant death. “We first left from Beit Hanoun to Jabalia refugee camp,” Sharif told Mondoweiss. “Then the occupation called us again and warned us against staying where we were. So we left for Gaza City. Then, the occupation forced us to flee further south, and we did.” Yazan Kafarneh's parents and three brothers in their shelter in Rafah. (Photo: Tareq Hajjaj/Mondoweiss) Sharif Kafarneh’ (left), his wife Marwa (right), and their three surviving sons (center) in their shelter in Rafah. (Photo: Tareq Hajjaj/Mondoweiss) “If it weren’t for Yazan, I would have never left my home,” Sharif maintained. “Yazan required special care and nutrition.” Yazan suffered from a congenital form of muscular atrophy that made movement and speech difficult, but Sharif said that it never caused him much grief in his nine short years before the war. “He just had advanced nutritional needs,” Sharif explained. “But getting that food for him was never an issue before the war.” It was a point of pride for Sharif that he, a taxi driver, had never left his child wanting or deprived. “That changed in the war. The specific foods that he needed were cut off,” he said. “For instance, Yazan had to have milk and bananas for dinner every day. He can’t go a day without it, and sometimes he can have only bananas. This is what the doctors told us.” “After the war, I couldn’t get a single banana,” Sharif continued. “And for lunch, he had to have boiled vegetables and fruits that were pureed in a blender. We had no electricity for the blender, and there were no fruits or vegetables anymore.” As for breakfast, Yazan’s regimen demanded that he eat eggs. “Of course, there aren’t any more eggs in Rafah City,” Sharif said. “No fruits, no vegetables, no eggs, no bananas, nothing.” “But our child’s needs were never a problem for us,” Sharif rushed to add. “We loved taking care of him. He was the spoiled child of the family, and his younger brothers loved him and took care of him, too. God gave me a living so I could take care of him.” Due to his special needs, charitable societies used to visit Yazan’s home in Beit Hanoun before the war, providing various treatments such as physical therapy and speech therapy. All in all, Yazan had a functional, happy childhood. ‘He got thinner and thinner’ The family continued to take care of Yazan throughout the war. They tried to make do with what they could find, trying as much as possible to find alternatives to the foods Yazan required. “I replaced bananas with halawa [a tahini-based confection], and I replaced eggs with bread soaked in tea,” Sharif said. “But these foods did not contain the nutrients that Yazan needed.” In addition to his nutritional needs, Yazan had specific medicines to take. Sharif used to bring him brain and muscle stimulants that helped him stay alive and mobile, allowing him to move around and crawl throughout their home. Those medicines ran out during the second week of the war. With the lack of nutrition and medication, his health took a turn for the worse. “I noticed him getting sick, and his body was becoming emaciated,” Sharif recounts. “He got thinner and thinner.” His family took him to al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah, where his health continued to deteriorate over the course of eleven days. “Even after we took him to the hospital, they couldn’t do anything for him,” Sharif continued. “All they were able to give him were IV fluids, and when his situation got worse, the hospital staff placed a feeding tube in his nose.” “My son required a tube with a 14-unit measurement, but all the hospital had was an 8-unit,” he added. When asked what was the most important factor that led to the deterioration of his son’s condition, Sharif said that it was the environment he lived in. “Before the war, he was in the right environment. After, everything was wrong. He was in his own home, but then he was uprooted to a shelter in Rafah.” “The situation we’re living in isn’t fit for humans, let alone a sick child,” Sharif explained. “In the camps, people would light fires to keep themselves warm, but the smoke would cause Yazan to cough and suffocate, and we weren’t able to tell them to turn their fires off because everyone was so cold.” Dr. Muhammad al-Sabe’, a pediatric surgeon in Rafah who works at the al-Awda, al-Najjar, and al-Kuwaiti hospitals, took a special interest in Yazan’s case. “The harsh conditions Yazan had to endure, including malnutrition, were the main factors contributing to the deterioration of his health and his ultimate death,” Dr. al-Sabe’ told Mondoweiss. “This is a genetic and congenital illness, and it requires special care every day, including specific proteins, IV medicines, and daily physical therapy, which isn’t available at Rafah.” “If things don’t change, if they stay the way they are, we’re going to witness mass death among children.” Dr. Muhammad al-Sabe’normal Dr. al-Sabe’ said that most foods administered to patients who cannot feed themselves through feeding tubes are unavailable in Gaza. “The occupation prevents these specific foods and medicines from coming in,” he explained. “Including a medicine called Ensure.” Ensure is a special nutritional supplement used in medical settings for what is called “enteral nutrition” — feeding patients through a nasal tube. “Special treatment for patients, especially children, is nonexistent,” Dr. al-Sabe’ added. “We don’t even have diapers, let alone baby formula and nutritional supplements.” “If things don’t change, if they stay the way they are, we’re going to witness mass death among children,” he stressed. “If any child doesn’t receive nutrition for an entire week, that child will eventually die. And even if malnourished children are eventually provided with nutrition, they will likely suffer lifelong health consequences.” “If medicine is cut off from children who need it for one week, this will also likely lead to their death,” he continued. Yazan Kafarneh after dying of starvation. (Photo: Rabee' Abu Naqirah) Images of Yazan Kafarneh’s emaciated body circulated widely on social media. (Photo: Rabee’ Abu Naqirah) Children disproportionately affected by famine According to a UNICEF humanitarian situation report on March 22, 2.23 million people in Gaza suffer at least from “acute food insecurity,” while half of that population (1.1 million people) suffers from “catastrophic food insecurity,” meaning that “famine is imminent for half of the population.” An earlier report in December 2023 had already concluded that all children in Gaza under five years old (estimated to be 335,000 children) are “at high risk of severe malnutrition and preventable death.” UNICEF’s most recent March 22 report estimates that the famine threshold for “acute food insecurity” has already been “far exceeded,” while it is highly likely that the famine threshold for “acute malnutrition” has also been exceeded. Moreover, UNICEF said that the Famine Review Committee predicted that famine would manifest in Gaza anywhere between March and May of this year. Dr. al-Sabe’ stresses that such dire conditions disproportionately affect children, who have advanced nutritional needs compared to adults. “Their bodies are weak, and they don’t have large stores of muscle and fat,” he explained. “Even one day of no food for a young child will lead to consequences that are difficult to control in the future.” “An adult male may go a week without food before signs of malnutrition begin to show,” he continued. “Not so with children. Their muscle mass increases whenever they eat, which in turn leads to a greater need for nutrients.” The lack of nutrients means that children will grow weak, the pediatric surgeon said, and that they will quickly begin to exhibit symptoms such as fatigue, sleepiness, diarrhea, vomiting, anemia, sunken eyes, and joint pains. For the same reason, Dr. al-Sabe maintained, children also respond to treatment fairly quickly — but “on the condition that they have not experienced malnutrition for more than a week.” After one week, reversing the effects of malnutrition becomes much more difficult. Al-Sabe’ asserts that children’s digestive tracts will slow down, they might begin to suffer from kidney failure, and their bellies can swell with fluids. That is what is particularly devastating for Gaza — over 335,000 children have undergone varying degrees of extreme malnutrition for months on end. The consequences are difficult to fathom on a population-wide level and for future generations. As of the time of writing, over 30 children have already died due to malnutrition in northern Gaza, but the real number is likely much higher given the lack of reporting in many areas in the north. ‘He didn’t need a miracle to save him’ Yazan’s mother, Marwa Kafarneh, could barely contain her tears as she spoke of her son. “He was a normal boy despite his illness,” she told Mondoweiss. “He played with his brothers. He crawled and moved about, and he could open closets and use the phone, and he would watch things on it for hours.” “He could have lived a long life, a normal life,” she continued. “His father would have brought him everything that he needed. He wouldn’t have had to feel hungry for even a single day.” When she saw that the images of her son’s emaciated body had gone viral on social media, Marwa said that she preferred death over looking at the photos. “My eldest son died in front of my eyes, in front of all of our eyes,” she said. “We weren’t able to save him. And he didn’t need a miracle to save him either. All he needed was the food that we’ve always been able to provide for him.” Reflecting as she cried, she added: “But finding that food in Gaza today takes nothing less than a miracle.” Tareq S. Hajjaj Tareq S. Hajjaj is the Mondoweiss Gaza Correspondent and a member of the Palestinian Writers Union. He studied English Literature at Al-Azhar University in Gaza. He started his career in journalism in 2015, working as a news writer and translator for the local newspaper Donia al-Watan. He has reported for Elbadi, Middle East Eye, and Al-Monitor. Follow him on Twitter at @Tareqshajjaj. 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/the-story-of-yazan-kafarneh-the-boy-who-starved-to-death-in-gaza/
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    The story of Yazan Kafarneh, the boy who starved to death in Gaza
    9-year-old Yazan Kafarneh died of a congenital illness turned deadly by severe malnutrition under Israel’s genocidal siege. “He didn’t need a miracle to save him,” cries his mother. “All he needed was the food we’ve always been able to provide him.”
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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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  • Win Real Money Online Instantly: Proven Methods for Immediate Financial Gain

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    In recent years, the quest to win real money online instantly has driven many towards innovative online platforms. Games like Slots Cash™ on the App Store and mobile gaming platforms provided by Skillz showcase how digital arenas are becoming lucrative sources of income for players worldwide 12. With platforms such as Swagbucks and InboxDollars, individuals have multiple pathways to earn by engaging in games, surveys, and various online tasks, enhancing the accessibility to instant financial gains 2.

    As technology advances, options to win span across a broad spectrum, including traditional and digital game forms. From classic slots with high Return to Player (RTP) percentages like Mega Joker and Blood Suckers, to engaging in the gig economy through apps that offer micro-jobs, users have a plethora of opportunities to win real money online instantly 32. This article explores proven methods for immediate financial gain, delving into the worlds of cashback apps, cryptocurrency, stock trading platforms, and more, providing readers with insights on navigating the digital landscape profitably.

    Exploring Micro-Jobs and Gig Economy Platforms

    Exploring the gig economy and micro-job platforms unveils a dynamic landscape where individuals can monetize their skills and services efficiently. Key platforms facilitating this include:

    Appen and Clickworker: Specializing in tasks that train artificial intelligence, ranging from object recognition in images to human interaction simulations 7.
    Amazon Mechanical Turk and Neevo: Offering a wide array of micro-tasks, these platforms help businesses outsource small, yet significant tasks, such as data annotation and manual task training for AI 7.
    Fiverr and Upwork: These platforms allow professionals to sell their services across various fields like design, writing, and music, catering to a broad audience looking for specialized skills 8.
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    Stock and Cryptocurrency Trading Apps:Robinhood: Offers commission-free trading in stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies, making it a popular choice for beginners. No minimum deposit required 22.E*TRADE: Provides a user-friendly mobile app and access to a wide range of investment options including stocks, options, ETFs, and mutual funds. Charges $0 commission for online US-listed stock, ETF, and options trades 22.TD Ameritrade: Known for its educational resources and tools, this platform also offers a robust mobile app and access to a broad spectrum of investment options. No minimum deposit required 22.
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    This exploration into the myriad ways to win real money online has illuminated a diverse landscape of opportunities, each catering to different interests, skills, and investment levels. The gig economy, cashback and rebate apps, the sharing economy, and digital investing platforms are proven pathways that can lead to immediate financial gain. These methods reinforce the notion that with the right strategies and platforms, individuals can effectively navigate the digital realm to enhance their financial situation.

    Moreover, the significance of these opportunities extends beyond individual gain, highlighting a shift towards a more accessible and flexible economic landscape. As we venture further into this digital era, the potential for innovation and growth in these areas is immense, promising even more avenues for financial success. Embracing these options not only offers immediate benefits but also sets the stage for ongoing financial empowerment and independence, urging readers to explore these avenues with keen interest and informed perspective.

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    Win Real Money Online Instantly: Proven Methods for Immediate Financial Gain Win Real Money Online Instantly Join Here 👇👇 https://grabify.link/S7MPC7 In recent years, the quest to win real money online instantly has driven many towards innovative online platforms. Games like Slots Cash™ on the App Store and mobile gaming platforms provided by Skillz showcase how digital arenas are becoming lucrative sources of income for players worldwide 12. With platforms such as Swagbucks and InboxDollars, individuals have multiple pathways to earn by engaging in games, surveys, and various online tasks, enhancing the accessibility to instant financial gains 2. As technology advances, options to win span across a broad spectrum, including traditional and digital game forms. From classic slots with high Return to Player (RTP) percentages like Mega Joker and Blood Suckers, to engaging in the gig economy through apps that offer micro-jobs, users have a plethora of opportunities to win real money online instantly 32. This article explores proven methods for immediate financial gain, delving into the worlds of cashback apps, cryptocurrency, stock trading platforms, and more, providing readers with insights on navigating the digital landscape profitably. Exploring Micro-Jobs and Gig Economy Platforms Exploring the gig economy and micro-job platforms unveils a dynamic landscape where individuals can monetize their skills and services efficiently. Key platforms facilitating this include: Appen and Clickworker: Specializing in tasks that train artificial intelligence, ranging from object recognition in images to human interaction simulations 7. Amazon Mechanical Turk and Neevo: Offering a wide array of micro-tasks, these platforms help businesses outsource small, yet significant tasks, such as data annotation and manual task training for AI 7. Fiverr and Upwork: These platforms allow professionals to sell their services across various fields like design, writing, and music, catering to a broad audience looking for specialized skills 8. Moreover, platforms like TaskRabbit and PeoplePerHour provide opportunities for individuals to offer their services both locally and globally, thus expanding the potential for financial gain 89. The gig economy's flexibility and the diversity of available tasks make it an attractive option for those looking to win real money online instantly 6789. Leveraging Cashback and Rebate Apps Leveraging cashback and rebate apps is a savvy strategy for those looking to win real money online instantly. These apps offer a variety of ways to earn back a portion of your spending through everyday purchases, dining, and even travel. Here's a breakdown of some top-rated apps and their unique features: Ibotta and Rakuten: Both apps provide users with cashback on a wide range of shopping options. Ibotta requires users to activate offers and clip digital coupons, while Rakuten offers cash back on eligible purchases through their platform or browser extension. Users can receive their savings via bank deposit, PayPal, or gift cards once they reach the minimum threshold 12. Dosh and Upside: Dosh offers automatic cashback without the need to scan receipts, making it a hassle-free option. Upside provides cashback at grocery stores, restaurants, and gas stations, with some users earning up to 25 cents back per gallon of gas 1213. Specialty Apps:Fetch: Redeem any purchase receipts for points, exchangeable for gift cards. Despite some users finding it slow to accumulate rewards, the app boasts high ratings 11.Coupons.com: Online Promo Codes and Free Printable Coupons: Focuses on grocery coupons, automatically applying discounts when you link your store loyalty card 11.RetailMeNot: Known for coupons, this app also offers a cashback program, though not all stores participate 11. Each app has its own set of advantages and potential drawbacks, from ease of use to the range of participating retailers. By choosing the right combination of apps, users can maximize their cashback earnings and move closer to achieving their goal of winning real money online instantly 10111213. Win Real Money Online Instantly Here is the Way 👇👇 https://grabify.link/S7MPC7 Participating in the Sharing Economy Participating in the sharing economy can be a lucrative way to win real money online instantly. This sector allows individuals to capitalize on their unused or spare resources, from accommodation and transportation to personal belongings and skills. Here are some key opportunities: Accommodation & Space:List empty rooms or entire houses on platforms like Airbnb, Vrbo, or Booking.com: The largest selection of hotels, homes, and vacation rentals 14.Rent out underutilized spaces such as driveways, gardens, or parking spots through Neighbor | The Cheaper, Closer & Safer Storage Marketplace or Campspace 16. Transportation:Share your car via Turo or Getaround, or become a ride-sharing driver with Uber or Lyft 14.Unique options like turning your car into a moving billboard with Carvertise - Advertise On Uber, Lyft, and Grubhub Cars offer additional income streams 14. Personal Belongings & Skills:Platforms like Poshmark or Spinlister allow you to rent out clothes or sports equipment 14.Share your knowledge by creating online courses on Udemy or Teachable 14. The sharing economy's flexibility and low entry barriers make it an appealing option for those looking to supplement their income. With the industry projected to grow significantly, exploring these avenues could lead to substantial financial benefits 17. Investing in Cryptocurrency and Stock Trading Apps Investing in the digital currency and stock markets offers a diverse range of options for those aiming to win real money online instantly. Key platforms and their features include: Cryptocurrency Exchanges:Crypto Trading Platform | Buy, Sell, & Trade Crypto in the US | Binance.US: Offers trading in over 150 coins with fees starting at 0.57 percent for less-common coins, decreasing for high-volume traders. A 5 percent discount on fees is available with BNB payment 19.Coinbase: Known for its wide selection of cryptocurrencies, with fees typically at least 1.99 percent. Lower fees are available through Coinbase Advanced Trade 19.Kraken: Features a vast selection of 236 cryptocurrencies, with fees starting at 0.26 percent. Additional fees apply for card and online banking transactions 19. Stock and Cryptocurrency Trading Apps:Robinhood: Offers commission-free trading in stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies, making it a popular choice for beginners. No minimum deposit required 22.E*TRADE: Provides a user-friendly mobile app and access to a wide range of investment options including stocks, options, ETFs, and mutual funds. Charges $0 commission for online US-listed stock, ETF, and options trades 22.TD Ameritrade: Known for its educational resources and tools, this platform also offers a robust mobile app and access to a broad spectrum of investment options. No minimum deposit required 22. These platforms provide various features tailored to different investing needs, from simple peer-to-peer payments to advanced trading strategies. By carefully selecting the right platform, individuals can enhance their prospects of financial gain in the digital marketplace 18192022. Conclusion This exploration into the myriad ways to win real money online has illuminated a diverse landscape of opportunities, each catering to different interests, skills, and investment levels. The gig economy, cashback and rebate apps, the sharing economy, and digital investing platforms are proven pathways that can lead to immediate financial gain. These methods reinforce the notion that with the right strategies and platforms, individuals can effectively navigate the digital realm to enhance their financial situation. Moreover, the significance of these opportunities extends beyond individual gain, highlighting a shift towards a more accessible and flexible economic landscape. As we venture further into this digital era, the potential for innovation and growth in these areas is immense, promising even more avenues for financial success. Embracing these options not only offers immediate benefits but also sets the stage for ongoing financial empowerment and independence, urging readers to explore these avenues with keen interest and informed perspective. FAQs How can I quickly earn legitimate money? To earn money quickly and legitimately, you can adopt various strategies such as: Driving for rideshare services Freelancing in your area of expertise Selling unused gift cards Renting out your car or parking space Referring friends to apps Searching for unclaimed money Delivering groceries or takeout Selling your clothes online What apps can pay me real money immediately? Some popular apps that pay out real money instantly include: Gaming Apps: Play games and compete with others for rewards (e.g., Mistplay, Lucktastic, Swagbucks Games). Survey Apps: Provide your opinions on various products and services to earn cash or gift cards. What are some methods to get money right away? You can obtain money instantly by: Selling spare electronics Selling unused gift cards Pawning items Working for immediate pay Seeking community loans and assistance Requesting bill forbearance Asking for a payroll advance Which app is the most trustworthy for earning money? Some of the most reliable apps for making money include: Swagbucks: Best for earning gift cards Survey Junkie: Best for completing online surveys Rocket Money: Best for managing finances DoorDash: Best for delivery drivers Rakuten Rewards: Best for cash back on purchases Upside: Best for rewards at gas stations Upwork: Best for freelancers looking for gigs Win Real Money Instantly Here 👇👇 https://grabify.link/S7MPC7 #onlinemoney #makemoney #realmoney #cashapp #giveaway #cashappblessing #giftcard #freegiftcard
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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
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    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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