• ‘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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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 171: ‘Horrific’ eyewitness accounts continue to emerge from Israel’s siege on Gaza’s hospitals
    Leila WarahMarch 25, 2024
    Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir El-Balah for treatment following the Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip, on March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir El-Balah for treatment following the Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip, on March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Casualties

    32,333 + killed* and at least 74,694 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    435+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.**
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
    594 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.***
    *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel. Some rights groups estimate the death toll to be much higher when accounting for those presumed dead.

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

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

    Key Developments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Underreporting of sexual violence against Palestinians

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

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

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

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

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

    “Horrific scenes” at European Hospital

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Israel bars UNRWA from northern Gaza

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    UN Resolution for ceasefire

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

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

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

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

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

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

    No progress on negotiations.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-171-horrific-eyewitness-accounts-continue-to-emerge-from-israels-siege-on-gazas-hospitals/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 171: ‘Horrific’ eyewitness accounts continue to emerge from Israel’s siege on Gaza’s hospitals Leila WarahMarch 25, 2024 Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir El-Balah for treatment following the Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip, on March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Injured Palestinians, including children, are brought to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir El-Balah for treatment following the Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip, on March 23, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Casualties 32,333 + killed* and at least 74,694 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 435+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.** Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147. 594 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.*** *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel. Some rights groups estimate the death toll to be much higher when accounting for those presumed dead. ** The death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to the PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure. *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Key Developments UNRWA: Israel says no more UNRWA food convoys to north Gaza. UNRWA chief: Israeli decision to deny all UNRWA food convoys to northern Gaza is “obstruct[ing] lifesaving assistance during a man-made famine.” Doctors Without Borders “deeply concerned” after medical staff arrested at al-Shifa Hospital amid “heavy air strikes by Israeli forces and fierce fighting” nearby. Tanks crushed bodies, ambulances at al-Shifa Hospital, reports AP News, citing witnesses. Footage emerges of Israeli soldiers assaulting Palestinian boy Casualties in Israeli attack on aid distributors at Kuwaiti roundabout in Gaza City, reports Al Jazeera. Israeli forces raid Al Aqsa mosque during nightly prayers, assault and expel worshipers, reports Al Jazeera journalist. WHO Chief: Israel must reverse decision on blocking north Gaza aid. Israeli war cabinet minister threatens to quit if bill exempting ultra-Orthodox Jews from conscription passes UNRWA: U.S. funding cut will ‘compromise access to food’ in Gaza. UN special rapporteurs decry underreporting of sexual violence against Palestinians. Israel blocks access to Jerusalem for West Bank Christians on Palm Sunday, reports Wafa. PRCS says it has lost radio contact with staff at al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis. Euro-Med: Israel’s attacks on academics in line with Gaza ‘genocide’ WAFA correspondent killed along with son Israeli airstrike on Gaza MAP report: Doctor says conditions inside European Gaza Hospital ‘unimaginable’ Gaza: Three Hospitals under military siege The Israeli military has imposed ongoing sieges on at least three medical facilities in the besieged enclave, terrorizing, injuring, and killing thousands of civilians in the process. Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza has entered its seventh day under siege, and the civilians able to flee are reporting ruthless massacres in and around the medical complex. A teenage Palestinian boy, Farouk Mohammed Hamd, told Al Jazeera he witnessed Israeli soldiers executing a group of eight people, including his father and brother, inside al-Shifa Hospital. He said he and the others were stripped of their clothing and moved several times inside the al-Shifa Hospital building in central Gaza over the course of hours before being taken to the top floor of the facility. “They left us for about three hours, then said, ‘You are safe. You can go south.” “We stood up, but then they opened fire. We all laid down on the floor again. Then, the snipers entertained themselves by shooting us one after the other.” Hamad said his father told him before being killed to run away if he could, and he managed to run, but not before seeing the unresponsive bodies of the executed group. On Sunday, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said its staff have reported “heavy air strikes by Israeli forces and fierce fighting” in the vicinity of al-Shifa hospital, “endangering patients, medical staff and people trapped inside with very few supplies.” Jameel al-Ayoubi, one of the thousands of Palestinians sheltering at the hospital, saw Israeli tanks and armored bulldozers drive over at least four bodies in the hospital courtyard, AP News reports. Ambulances were also crushed, he says. Kareem Ayman Hathat, who lived in a five-story building about 100 meters (328 feet) from the hospital, told AP he hid in his kitchen for days waiting as explosions shook the building. “From time to time, the tank would fire a shell,” he said. “It was to terrorise us.” MSF added that Israeli forces have carried out a mass-arrest campaign of medical staff and other people and that the organization is “deeply concerned” for the safety of those detained. Meanwhile, another two hospitals in Khan Younis have been under Israeli military siege for the last 24 hours: al-Amal and Nasser hospitals, reports Al Jazeera correspondent Hani Mahmoud from Gaza. “Military vehicles, tanks and attack drones are encircling these two facilities. They’re also blocking the entrance with piles of sand, preventing medical staff, patients and injured people inside from leaving safely and constantly failing to provide a safe corridor for people and evacuees trapped inside the hospital,” Mahmoud said. Palestinian Red Crescent (PRCS) gave their latest update on the situation in al Amal hospital on Sunday afternoon, saying Israeli tanks and armored vehicles have completely surrounded all entrances to the hospital and control any movement in and out. Israeli forces attacked the hospital earlier on Sunday, surrounding it with tanks and forcing nearly everyone inside, from patients to displaced Palestinians sheltering there, to evacuate. “What we’re getting confirmed from al-Amal Hospital is that not only has it been under constant bombing and tank shells, but loudspeakers are ordering people inside the hospital to come out only with their underwear on. And that has been confirmed by multiple sources and witnesses on the ground, those who managed to flee the harrowing situation,” Mahmoud added. On Sunday evening, the PRCS announced that they lost radio contact with their staff at the hospital. While all displaced Palestinians and patients who could move independently were evacuated towards the al-Mawasi area west of Khan Younis, hospital staff remain, along with nine patients and their ten companions and a displaced family with children who have disabilities. PCRS says all of them need to be safely evacuated. PRCS added that staff member Amir Abu Aisha and a wounded individual who was being treated at the hospital after being shot in the head by the Israeli military were both killed, and their bodies need to be removed. In a statement, Hamas said the Israeli military is systematically targeting hospitals across Gaza with the goal of displacing all Palestinians from their lands, showing Israel wants to continue its “war of extermination” against Palestinians and forcibly displace them from their land “by destroying all means of life in the Gaza Strip, especially hospitals,” reported Al Jazeera. Underreporting of sexual violence against Palestinians Witnesses at al-Shifa hospital have reported that “Palestinian women have been subjected to rape, torture, and execution by Israeli forces.” Reem Alsalem, the UN special rapporteur on violence against women and girls, said in a post on X that it is “abhorrent” that reports of rape by Israeli forces keep coming out without any consequences. “Rape and other forms of sexual violence can constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity or a constitutive act with respect to genocide! It must stop!” Francesca Albanese, the UN special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territory, similarly said, “I lost count of how many renowned journalists interviewed me on the alleged mistreatment of/sexual abuse against Palestinian women by Israeli forces, and never published any article on this.” “What we can see on the ground is a systematic creation of a corrosive environment in which Israel, with its destruction of neighborhoods and hospitals, is making Gaza unliveable for the majority of Palestinians,” said Al Jazeera co-respondent, Tareq Abu Azzoum from Gaza while reporting on the besieged hospitals. “Horrific scenes” at European Hospital Meanwhile, at Gaza’s European Hospital near Khan Younis, one of the last functioning medical facilities, medical staff report “horrific scenes” at the hospital with patients “dying from infections with evidence of serious malnutrition,” reported Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP). Husam Basheer, an orthopedic surgeon working at the hospital, says he and his staff are “managing with the bare minimum of resources” at the medical facility due to Israeli restrictions on medical aid entering the besieged enclave. “One day we wanted to do a plate and screw, which is a standard procedure for bone fixation, but we didn’t have the right equipment. Sometimes we’ve also lacked gauze which is a basic supply for surgery. We worked around the challenges we faced and managed in a different way, but the staff here are overwhelmed,” he said. Similarly, Konstantina Ilia Karydi, an anesthetist, described the situation inside the medical facility as “unimaginable.” “This hospital had an original capacity of just 200 beds. Now, it has expanded to 1,000 beds,” she said. “There are around 22,000 displaced people sheltering in the corridors and in tents inside the hospital because people feel that it’s safer to be here than anywhere else.” Israel bars UNRWA from northern Gaza The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) announced on Sunday that Israel has officially barred it from making aid deliveries in northern Gaza, where the threat of famine is highest. “This is outrageous [and] makes it intentional to obstruct lifesaving assistance during a man-made famine. These restrictions must be lifted,” the head of the UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini, wrote in an X post. Famine is likely to occur by May in northern Gaza and could spread across the enclave by July, according to the world’s hunger watchdog, Integrated Food-Security Phase Classification (IPC), said last week. Lazzarini warned that Israel’s decision would speed up the coming of famine in the north of the Strip and said that “many more will die of hunger, dehydration.” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), says Israel must “urgently reverse” its decision to block the entry of food convoys organized by UNRWA into northern Gaza, where humanitarian needs are most urgent. “The levels of hunger are acute. All efforts to deliver food should not only be permitted but there should be an immediate acceleration of food deliveries,” Ghebreyesus said in a post on X. Martin Griffiths, the undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator at the UN, says he repeatedly urged Israel to lift all its restrictions on aid to Gaza. Still, it has now done the exact opposite. “UNRWA is the beating heart of the humanitarian response in Gaza,” Griffiths said on X , “The decision to block its food convoys to the north only pushes thousands closer to famine. It must be revoked.” No other agency is able to provide lifesaving assistance in Gaza in the same way as UNRWA, Natalie Boucly, the deputy commissioner-general of the UN agency, has said on X. Boucly added that attempts to “isolate” UNRWA will result in more people dying, “UNRWA is part of the UN and it was given a specific mandate by the General Assembly.” In January, several countries cut funding to UNRWA following unverified Israeli allegations that less than a dozen employees participated in Hamas’s operation on October 7. While some countries, including Canada and Sweden, have since reinstated their funding, several countries, including the US, have yet to follow suit, which will have severe implications for Palestinians in Gaza and the region. Israel is using famine as a “weapon of war” in Gaza to put pressure on the Palestinian people to leave the besieged enclave, Adel Abdel Ghafar, an analyst at the Middle East Council on Global Affairs, told Al Jazeera. “In Gaza, the humanitarian community is racing against the clock to avert famine. As the backbone of the humanitarian response, any gap in funding to UNRWA will compromise access to food, shelter, primary health care & education at a time of deep trauma,” the organization’s chief, Lazzarini, wrote on X. “Palestine Refugees are counting on the international community to step up support to meet their basic needs.” Israel is using famine as a “weapon of war” in Gaza to put pressure on the Palestinian people to leave the besieged enclave, Adel Abdel Ghafar, an analyst at the Middle East Council on Global Affairs, told Al Jazeera. The “dream” of many far-right politicians in Israel is to make Gaza “uninhabitable” for Palestinians, with the goal of re-establishing settlements for the Israelis, Ghafar continued. “The destruction of schools, hospitals, infrastructure [is making Gaza] almost unlivable and it will force the international community to take further refugees and thin out the population of Gaza,” he said. “I think Israel wants to have a big chunk of the population leave and become refugees elsewhere.” UN Resolution for ceasefire On Monday, the UN Security Council is expected to vote on yet another resolution regarding Israel’s war on Gaza. Since October seven, only two of eight resolutions have been accepted, with both mainly dealing with humanitarian aid to the besieged enclave. Guterres says the most recent UN Security Council resolution does not link a ceasefire in Gaza to the release of Israeli captives, reported Al Jazeera. In the resolution, “a ceasefire is required together with, but not in a linkage with, the unconditional release of all hostages,” he said. “And we have also claimed the need for that release.” Diplomats told the AFP news agency that the resolution had been worked on with the U.S. to avoid a veto, reported France 24. The U.S. has vetoed three resolutions calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. “We expect, barring a last-minute twist, that the resolution will be adopted and that the US will not vote against it,” one diplomat told AFP. Last Friday, the Security Council voted on a draft submitted by the U.S. that called for an “immediate” ceasefire linked to the release of captives. China and Russia vetoed the resolution, criticizing it for stopping short of explicitly demanding Israel halt its campaign. No progress on negotiations. Meanwhile, Israel and Hamas have continued negotiations mediated by Qatar with little progress. Hamas’s political bureau official Basem Naim says a lot of “misinformation” has recently been circulated through the media regarding the ongoing truce talks in Doha, reported Al Jazeera. Naim said the Israelis are focusing on only one aspect of the negotiations, the release of captives, and are unwilling to discuss Hamas’s three demands – a permanent end to the war, “total withdrawal” from Gaza, and the return of displaced people to their homes. Hamas had proposed the release of some 100 Israeli captives in phases in exchange for a permanent end to the war, total withdrawal of Israeli troops, and the return of displaced people to their homes; however, according to Al Jazeera, Israel rejected the demand to end the war and withdraw troops from Gaza. Al Jazeera added that Israeli negotiators said they would allow only 2,000 Palestinians to return to their homes each day, meaning it would take more than two years for all displaced Palestinians to leave Rafah. Meanwhile, Israel wants all Israeli captives released immediately. Hamas has indicated it will only release women and children in the first phase. As negotiations continue, Yossi Amrosi, an ex-senior official of Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security service, was quoted by The Jerusalem Post as admitting that the Israeli army does not have the means to return all captives currently held in Gaza by Hamas and other Palestinian groups. Hamas’s armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, said at the start of the war that it had taken 250 captives during its October 7 incursion into Israel. According to the Qassam Brigades, 50 captives have been killed in Israeli air raids. Israeli intelligence officers say 30 captives have died in Gaza so far since they were taken to the enclave. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-171-horrific-eyewitness-accounts-continue-to-emerge-from-israels-siege-on-gazas-hospitals/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 171: ‘Horrific’ eyewitness accounts continue to emerge from Israel’s siege on Gaza’s hospitals
    Eyewitness accounts continue to emerge from Gaza’s hospitals, including rape, torture, mass executions, and soldiers crushing Palestinian bodies with tanks. Hamas says Israel’s systematic attack on hospitals is central to its “war of extermination.”
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  • Inside the anti-Syria lobby’s Capitol Hill push for more starvation sanctions
    Hekmat AboukhaterMarch 20, 2024

    A week from the 13th anniversary of the US-backed Syrian dirty war, the American Coalition for Syria held its annual day of advocacy in Washington DC. I went undercover into meetings with Senate policy advisors and witnessed the lobby’s cynical campaign to starve Syria into submission.

    On the morning of March 7, as the US Capitol teemed with lobbyists securing earmarks ahead of appropriations week and activists decrying the Gaza genocide, one special interest group on the Hill stood out. In the corridors of the Rayburn building, a group of roughly 50 people prepared for a busy day of advocating for sanctions to be levied against their homeland.

    They were the Anti-Syria lobby — and had I infiltrated their influence campaign.

    Throughout the day, I watched as this group pushed US officials to accept their policy of starvation sanctions while cynically ignoring famished Palestinians in Gaza.

    Among the lobbyists was Raed Saleh, the head of the Syrian White Helmets, who were to propagandize for regime change from behind humanitarian cover.

    I attended a total of seven meetings with policy teams representing Senators Sherrod Brown, Maggie Hassan, Ben Cardin, Mark Kelly, Chris Van Hollen, John Fetterman, and Rick Scott. Throughout these sessions, I witnessed the anti-Syria Lobby attempt to bully and manipulate US officials into accepting their policy of starvation while cynically throwing starving Palestinians in Gaza under the bus.

    At one moment, Raed Saleh, head of the Syrian White Helmets, which was founded by British intelligence, and funded by NATO states, painted Israeli air strikes against Syria in a positive light.

    During a separate meeting, Wa’el Alzayat of the pro-Zionist Muslim outreach Emgage even demanded Senator Chris Van Hollen’s office support the approval of aid for Al Qaeda-linked militias in Syria.

    “Stop freaking out about the stuff going to terrorists,” he insisted, adding that “the Brits are doing it, the Turks are doing it, [and] the Qataris are doing it.”

    Purporting to be a voice for all Syrians, the anti-Syria lobby is spearheaded by the American Coalition for Syria (ACS), an umbrella organization representing opposition groups such as the Syrian American Council (SAC), the Syrian Forum, and a handful of others located in the US and Turkey.

    Emgage, meanwhile, has been credited with getting the diaspora vote out for then-candidate Joe Biden in November 2020. The group has since fallen under criticism for acting as a de facto extension of the Biden White House and Democratic Party within the Muslim community. Emgage board member Farooq Mitha formally went to work for the Biden Pentagon in March 2021. On March 7, Alzayat aimed to weaponize Emgage’s influence against Democratic Senators who seemed uncomfortable with an escalating sanctions policy.

    “I need a good story for my voters,” he explained to Senator Van Hollen’s team.

    Throughout their sanctions campaign on the Hill, Alzayat and his cohorts operated like a miniature version of their Israel lobby allies, supplying roughly 50 volunteers with folders outlining talking points and the biographies of congressional representatives. The bios included a comprehensive list of the Senator or Representative’s recorded stance on Syria, such as their votes on the extension of the AUMF, the US military withdrawal from Syria, and previous sanctions packages targeting the country.



    The handouts also laid out the lobby’s key legislative requests, which largely focused on securing development aid for militia-controlled territory in Syria — including that held by Al Qaeda’s local ally in the country — and ensuring passage of the ‘Assad Regime Anti Normalization Bill,’ which seeks to extend and expand sanctions targeting Damascus.

    The Anti-Syria Lobby’s resemblance to their Israeli counterparts was no mistake. As Republican Florida Sen. Rick Scott’s chief of staff reassured us, “the Israelis want you guys in charge.”


    Syrian Civil War map|Syrian Civil War map (November 24, 2023) via Wikimedia Commons. Edited by author
    More Starvation Sanctions

    Ever since the US included Syria on its inaugural State Sponsor of Terrorism (SST) list over Damascus’ support for the Palestinian resistance in 1979, Washington has gradually ratcheted up its financial war on the Syrian people. When decades of covert hybrid war erupted into an all-out proxy battle for the country’s territory—and survival—in 2011, the Anti-Syria Lobby officially began to take shape in Washington.


    Syria is the unrivaled champion of the SST having never been delisted since the list’s inception in 1979.
    In 2019, as Syria’s government emerged victorious from a multi-year battle with foreign-backed militias, Washington decided that while Damascus may have won the war, it would not win the peace. That January, New York Rep. Eliot Engel, a recipient of $1.8 million in AIPAC donations, introduced a sanctions package known as the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act. Trump signed the bill as part of the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2020.


    The US has a 45-year long tradition of sanctioning and isolating Syria economically in response to the country’s support of Palestinian resistance
    The bill was unprecedented in both the way that it sanctioned broad sectors of the Syrian economy rather than only specific individuals, and in its deployment of so-called “secondary sanctions.” Secondary sanctions are imposed on parties that do business with a sanctioned entity even if those exchanges occur outside of the sanctioning entity’s jurisdiction.

    Syria’s economy has been in free fall ever since the Caesar sanctions came into effect. Today, over 12 million Syrians representing more than half of the total population face food insecurity — a 51% increase from 2019. Meanwhile, 90 percent of the population lives under the poverty line. In 2019, the US dollar exchanged for 500 Syrian Pounds. Today, that number is more like 14,100— figures that represent a 2,720 percent devaluation.


    The Syrian currency has devalued by 35,150% since the initial exchange rate of 40 SYP to 1 USD early 2011
    Though H.R. 3202 appears to be focused on addressing UN aid divergence, and sanctioning previously unsanctioned entities like Asma Al Assad’s Syria Trust for Development and the Syrian Red Crescent, the real agenda of the bill is found deep within its 22-page text.

    With the Caesar Sanctions set to expire by the end of 2024, H.R. 3202 seeks to quietly extend the aggressive financial measures until 2032.


    The new bill’s main aim, which received very little attention, is the extension of the Caesar Act for 8 more years.
    Having passed the House with overwhelming enthusiasm, H.R. 3202’s sister bill in the Senate can only pass with Democratic support. It was introduced by Israeli lobby-funded Republican Idaho Sen. James Risch last September and has since been co-sponsored by arch-neoconservative Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

    Because S. 2935 can only pass with Democratic sponsorship, the Anti-Syria Lobby chose Sen. Ben Cardin, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and sponsor of the anti-Russia Magnitsky Act, as a crucial target for influence.

    After meeting with Sherrod Brown’s office, Cardin’s Research and Legislative Assistant, Christopher Barr, hosted us in the Senator’s office. There, Raed Saleh of the White Helmets complained to Barr that USAID had slashed funding for his organization from $12 million to $3 million in recent years.

    Next, it was time to discuss the true purpose of our visit: the passage of S. 2935.

    Barr appeared uneasy from the outset and even expressed displeasure about the bill, complaining, “What passed the House was kind of a lot… the list of targets is vast.”

    “Syria has already been so heavily sanctioned,” he added.

    In response, Ghanem revealed a critical piece of information about the forces driving the dirty war on Syria, explaining that the impetus to expand and extend Caesar did not come from the Anti-Syria Lobby itself, but someone on Capitol Hill. Ghanem explained that the Hill source actually contacted the American Coalition for Syria to alert them to the fact that Caesar was set to expire, lamenting the fact that its sunset would amount to a loss of “US leverage over the Syrian regime.”

    This line echoed the disturbing language of officials representing both the Biden and Trump administration alike. In 2019, neoconservative operative Dana Stroul declared that thanks to Caesar, Washington “holds a card on preventing reconstruction aid and technical expertise from going back,” to Syria. She lauded the fact that the U.S. could weaponize that “leverage” to keep Syria in “rubble.” Two years later, she would take up post as Deputy Secretary of Defense for the Middle East under Biden.


    Similarly, during an event at the neoconservative think tank, WINEP, the following year, the Special Envoy for Syria under Trump, Joel Rayburn, boasted that Caesar “lowers the bar” for evidence-based sanctions and allows for the broad targeting of any and all reconstruction projects in Syria.


    “We don’t have to prove, for example, that a company that’s going in to do a reconstruction project in the Damascus region is dealing directly with the Assad regime,” Rayburn explained.

    “We don’t have to have the evidence to prove that link,” he continued. “We just have to have the evidence that proves that a company or an individual is investing in […] the construction sector, the engineering sector, most of the aviation sector, the finance sector, energy sector, and so on.”

    These public confessions did not stop the Anti-Syria Lobby from lying to the faces of congressional staffers throughout their March 7 campaign. During a meeting with Sen. Mark Kelly’s office, Ghanem falsely stated that the Caesar Sanctions were “targeted,” “not sectoral,” and “not [an] embargo, nothing punishing to civilians.”

    Yet Alena Douhan, the UN Special Rapporteur on Sanctions who visited Syria to document the effects of Washington’s unilateral sanctions regime on Syria, disagrees. In her 19-page report she clearly states that the sanctions are both illegal and inhumane in the way they affect the average Syrian.

    Stabilization for me but not for thee

    The second legislative ask came in the form of a well rehearsed speech by Ghanem, Zayat, and others, outlining what US tax dollars do and don’t fund in Syria. US aid packages are typically divided into two categories: “humanitarian funding” earmarked for goods such as food, water, and basic medical supplies or “stabilization” funding designed to secure a country as it transitions out of a period of turmoil. Unlike humanitarian assistance, stabilization funding may be used to support major investment and infrastructure projects such as roads, schools, healthcare facilities, and government services.

    The US is the primary funder of humanitarian aid in both North East (NE) and NW Syria. However, while the US spends abundantly on stabilization needs in NE Syria, it spends $0 on the NW. That is because while Washington has long dreamed of establishing a secessionist Kurdish state in Syria’s Northeast, it neglected to send stabilization funds to the Northwest in order to avoid providing direct support to HTS, the Al Qaeda offshoot that governs the territory. The Anti-Syria Lobby was in Washington to change that.

    Leading the push for US funds to Al Qaeda-affiliated elements in Northwest Syria was Wa’el Alzayat, a Syrian expat who proudly served in Iraq’s Green Zone under George Bush’s State Department and more recently published a shocking Washington Post oped begging US officials not to “lift sanctions to help Syria earthquake victims.” In the office of Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Alzayat voiced his frustration with US hesitation in the Northwest.

    “Stop freaking out about the stuff going to terrorists,” he demanded, adding that “the Brits are doing it, the Turks are doing it, the Qataris are doing it.”




    We’re missing out on a golden opportunity here to stabilize the region and leverage it for a political settlement,” he pleaded. In other words, Alzayat was openly lobbying US officials to strengthen Al Qaeda’s position in Syria in order to leverage the terrorist group against the country’s government.

    Alzayat then weaponized his six-figure salary as head of Emgage to bully Van Hollen’s office into bowing before the anti-Syria Lobby, falsely claiming that his AIPAC-linked organization was “behind” the “Uncommitted” vote campaigns that damaged Biden’s primary performance in Michigan and Minnesota.




    Towards the end of the meeting, the regime change lobbyist cynically invoked Israel’s slaughter of 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza to make the case for Al Qaeda in Syria one last time.

    He argued that although “his community” is up in arms about the Biden administration’s funding and arming of the Gaza genocide, they would gladly flock back to the Democratic Party if the US funded roads and schools in Al Qaeda-controlled Idlib.

    “I need a good story for my voters,” Alzayat explained, noting the Muslim community’s disapproval of the Biden Administration’s policy in Gaza and Yemen.

    “You’re upset about all these disappointments,” he continued, play-acting a scenario in which he convinced a Muslim constituent to vote for Biden, again. “Guess what? They’re pumping 50 million into the school sector in the North [of Syria]!”




    Overtures Towards Israel

    The Israel-Palestine crisis loomed large throughout the ACS lobbying trip. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s secretary happened to be a hijabi Muslim woman sporting a pendant outlining the map of Palestine around her neck. As she greeted us, Farouk Belal, the head of the Syrian American Council, grumbled to Ghanem and me: “I hope she’s not with the resistance.”

    When I asked him to clarify what he meant as we exited the office, he explained that people aligned with the Palestinian cause in Washington “don’t like us.”

    Meanwhile, in Sen. Cardin’s office, Raed Salah of the White Helmets painted Israeli strikes on Syria which have crippled Syrian infrastructure, regularly damaged the country’s International civilian airports, and killed hundreds of Syrian Soldiers and civilians alike in a positive light:

    “The situation in Syria is very complicated. Every day we hear of Israeli strikes on the dens, or the bases of the IRGC and its militias. Even we as Syrians did not know the extent to which the Iranians were entrenched in the country…”




    For Saleh, the Israeli strikes do nothing but highlight the presence of the Syrian government-invited Iranian military presence in Syria.

    Later that day, Ghanem attempted to capitalize on Sen. Fetterman’s fanatical pro-Israel antics by describing recent developments in Syria to a 20-something staffer. Referring to the Syrian government’s successful campaign to retake southern territory, he explained that the South is “where they lob missiles on Israel, by the way.” The aide dutifully transcribed this seemingly random piece of information in her notepad. Towards the end of the meeting, Fetterman was discussed as a potential Democratic sponsor of S. 2935 in the Senate.

    In Senator Rick Scott’s office, a Cuban American Government Relations Associate for ACS, Alberto Hernandez, accidentally said the quiet part out loud. When Senator Scott’s ultra-Zionist National Security Advisor, Paul Bonicelli, asked if our group had connected with our “counterparts” in the Israeli lobby so that they could “vet” our proposals — revealing that Scott has apparently outsourced his brain to Zionists — Hernandez remarked: “Formally? No. Informally.”

    He then turned to the rest of the ACS team in the meeting room and said: “You didn’t hear me say that.”

    That admission prompted Bonicelli to suggest that ACS directly coordinate with groups such as the Aramaic Church in Israel, which has supported regime change efforts in Damascus despite overwhelming Christian support of the government within Syria itself.

    As the meeting wound to a close, Bonicelli informed us that he agreed with ACS on the necessity to oppose Iran and Russia.

    “If Obama had done the right thing in 2012, we wouldn’t be here,” he lamented, adding: “the Israelis want you guys in charge.”


    At one point during the meeting in Rick Scott’s Office, Alberto Hernandez, and Sarah Salas, a Cuban American legislative aide, expressed full agreement with US use of unilateral sanctions as means to “push” governments that “we don’t like.”
    Starving Syrians Without A Mandate

    Though several ACS volunteers shared painful personal encounters with the Syrian government throughout the day, many were simply too far removed from Syria to truly represent the voice of Syrian people, especially the 12 million plus civilians currently living in Syrian government-controlled territory.

    One 24-year-old woman who did not speak Arabic and has not been to Syria since 2003 described the Syrian Army’s 2016 liberation of Aleppo from Al Qaeda-linked militants as “the fall of Aleppo.”

    Other Syrians like myself experienced the terror of the West’s proxy war in Syria firsthand. In 2012, my aunt and cousins watched in horror as the Turkish-backed Liwa’ Al Tawhid, an umbrella group of takfiri jihadist militias, arrived on their street in the Seryan El Jdideh neighborhood of Aleppo. The militants proceeded to execute a local pick-up truck driver and steal his vehicle, leaving his bleeding corpse on the street. Shahba, where my family lived up until 2015, was located just a stone’s throw away from these sectarian death squads during our final months there.

    The Syrian dirty war was bloody and gruesome, yet the picture that ACS paints is entirely one-sided. Unfortunately, while organizations like ACS have flocked to the Beltway swamp throughout the last 13 years, there are no Syrians present in Washington DC to counter them. While these groups claim to speak on behalf of the Syrian people, those of us who have lived and still live in areas controlled by Syrian government — regardless of our political affiliations—are rendered voiceless in the very center of power where our perspective should matter most. Even Syria’s embassy has been shuttered since 2014, while Syrian diplomats at the UN in New York are heavily monitored and restricted from traveling beyond the NYC metro area.

    As I witnessed on Capitol Hill, there are few obstacles to the anti-Syria lobby’s ruthless push to prevent the majority of Syrians from emerging from the ruins of war.

    https://thegrayzone.com/2024/03/20/anti-syria-lobbys-capitol-hill-sanctions/
    Inside the anti-Syria lobby’s Capitol Hill push for more starvation sanctions Hekmat AboukhaterMarch 20, 2024 A week from the 13th anniversary of the US-backed Syrian dirty war, the American Coalition for Syria held its annual day of advocacy in Washington DC. I went undercover into meetings with Senate policy advisors and witnessed the lobby’s cynical campaign to starve Syria into submission. On the morning of March 7, as the US Capitol teemed with lobbyists securing earmarks ahead of appropriations week and activists decrying the Gaza genocide, one special interest group on the Hill stood out. In the corridors of the Rayburn building, a group of roughly 50 people prepared for a busy day of advocating for sanctions to be levied against their homeland. They were the Anti-Syria lobby — and had I infiltrated their influence campaign. Throughout the day, I watched as this group pushed US officials to accept their policy of starvation sanctions while cynically ignoring famished Palestinians in Gaza. Among the lobbyists was Raed Saleh, the head of the Syrian White Helmets, who were to propagandize for regime change from behind humanitarian cover. I attended a total of seven meetings with policy teams representing Senators Sherrod Brown, Maggie Hassan, Ben Cardin, Mark Kelly, Chris Van Hollen, John Fetterman, and Rick Scott. Throughout these sessions, I witnessed the anti-Syria Lobby attempt to bully and manipulate US officials into accepting their policy of starvation while cynically throwing starving Palestinians in Gaza under the bus. At one moment, Raed Saleh, head of the Syrian White Helmets, which was founded by British intelligence, and funded by NATO states, painted Israeli air strikes against Syria in a positive light. During a separate meeting, Wa’el Alzayat of the pro-Zionist Muslim outreach Emgage even demanded Senator Chris Van Hollen’s office support the approval of aid for Al Qaeda-linked militias in Syria. “Stop freaking out about the stuff going to terrorists,” he insisted, adding that “the Brits are doing it, the Turks are doing it, [and] the Qataris are doing it.” Purporting to be a voice for all Syrians, the anti-Syria lobby is spearheaded by the American Coalition for Syria (ACS), an umbrella organization representing opposition groups such as the Syrian American Council (SAC), the Syrian Forum, and a handful of others located in the US and Turkey. Emgage, meanwhile, has been credited with getting the diaspora vote out for then-candidate Joe Biden in November 2020. The group has since fallen under criticism for acting as a de facto extension of the Biden White House and Democratic Party within the Muslim community. Emgage board member Farooq Mitha formally went to work for the Biden Pentagon in March 2021. On March 7, Alzayat aimed to weaponize Emgage’s influence against Democratic Senators who seemed uncomfortable with an escalating sanctions policy. “I need a good story for my voters,” he explained to Senator Van Hollen’s team. Throughout their sanctions campaign on the Hill, Alzayat and his cohorts operated like a miniature version of their Israel lobby allies, supplying roughly 50 volunteers with folders outlining talking points and the biographies of congressional representatives. The bios included a comprehensive list of the Senator or Representative’s recorded stance on Syria, such as their votes on the extension of the AUMF, the US military withdrawal from Syria, and previous sanctions packages targeting the country. The handouts also laid out the lobby’s key legislative requests, which largely focused on securing development aid for militia-controlled territory in Syria — including that held by Al Qaeda’s local ally in the country — and ensuring passage of the ‘Assad Regime Anti Normalization Bill,’ which seeks to extend and expand sanctions targeting Damascus. The Anti-Syria Lobby’s resemblance to their Israeli counterparts was no mistake. As Republican Florida Sen. Rick Scott’s chief of staff reassured us, “the Israelis want you guys in charge.” Syrian Civil War map|Syrian Civil War map (November 24, 2023) via Wikimedia Commons. Edited by author More Starvation Sanctions Ever since the US included Syria on its inaugural State Sponsor of Terrorism (SST) list over Damascus’ support for the Palestinian resistance in 1979, Washington has gradually ratcheted up its financial war on the Syrian people. When decades of covert hybrid war erupted into an all-out proxy battle for the country’s territory—and survival—in 2011, the Anti-Syria Lobby officially began to take shape in Washington. Syria is the unrivaled champion of the SST having never been delisted since the list’s inception in 1979. In 2019, as Syria’s government emerged victorious from a multi-year battle with foreign-backed militias, Washington decided that while Damascus may have won the war, it would not win the peace. That January, New York Rep. Eliot Engel, a recipient of $1.8 million in AIPAC donations, introduced a sanctions package known as the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act. Trump signed the bill as part of the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2020. The US has a 45-year long tradition of sanctioning and isolating Syria economically in response to the country’s support of Palestinian resistance The bill was unprecedented in both the way that it sanctioned broad sectors of the Syrian economy rather than only specific individuals, and in its deployment of so-called “secondary sanctions.” Secondary sanctions are imposed on parties that do business with a sanctioned entity even if those exchanges occur outside of the sanctioning entity’s jurisdiction. Syria’s economy has been in free fall ever since the Caesar sanctions came into effect. Today, over 12 million Syrians representing more than half of the total population face food insecurity — a 51% increase from 2019. Meanwhile, 90 percent of the population lives under the poverty line. In 2019, the US dollar exchanged for 500 Syrian Pounds. Today, that number is more like 14,100— figures that represent a 2,720 percent devaluation. The Syrian currency has devalued by 35,150% since the initial exchange rate of 40 SYP to 1 USD early 2011 Though H.R. 3202 appears to be focused on addressing UN aid divergence, and sanctioning previously unsanctioned entities like Asma Al Assad’s Syria Trust for Development and the Syrian Red Crescent, the real agenda of the bill is found deep within its 22-page text. With the Caesar Sanctions set to expire by the end of 2024, H.R. 3202 seeks to quietly extend the aggressive financial measures until 2032. The new bill’s main aim, which received very little attention, is the extension of the Caesar Act for 8 more years. Having passed the House with overwhelming enthusiasm, H.R. 3202’s sister bill in the Senate can only pass with Democratic support. It was introduced by Israeli lobby-funded Republican Idaho Sen. James Risch last September and has since been co-sponsored by arch-neoconservative Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Because S. 2935 can only pass with Democratic sponsorship, the Anti-Syria Lobby chose Sen. Ben Cardin, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and sponsor of the anti-Russia Magnitsky Act, as a crucial target for influence. After meeting with Sherrod Brown’s office, Cardin’s Research and Legislative Assistant, Christopher Barr, hosted us in the Senator’s office. There, Raed Saleh of the White Helmets complained to Barr that USAID had slashed funding for his organization from $12 million to $3 million in recent years. Next, it was time to discuss the true purpose of our visit: the passage of S. 2935. Barr appeared uneasy from the outset and even expressed displeasure about the bill, complaining, “What passed the House was kind of a lot… the list of targets is vast.” “Syria has already been so heavily sanctioned,” he added. In response, Ghanem revealed a critical piece of information about the forces driving the dirty war on Syria, explaining that the impetus to expand and extend Caesar did not come from the Anti-Syria Lobby itself, but someone on Capitol Hill. Ghanem explained that the Hill source actually contacted the American Coalition for Syria to alert them to the fact that Caesar was set to expire, lamenting the fact that its sunset would amount to a loss of “US leverage over the Syrian regime.” This line echoed the disturbing language of officials representing both the Biden and Trump administration alike. In 2019, neoconservative operative Dana Stroul declared that thanks to Caesar, Washington “holds a card on preventing reconstruction aid and technical expertise from going back,” to Syria. She lauded the fact that the U.S. could weaponize that “leverage” to keep Syria in “rubble.” Two years later, she would take up post as Deputy Secretary of Defense for the Middle East under Biden. Similarly, during an event at the neoconservative think tank, WINEP, the following year, the Special Envoy for Syria under Trump, Joel Rayburn, boasted that Caesar “lowers the bar” for evidence-based sanctions and allows for the broad targeting of any and all reconstruction projects in Syria. “We don’t have to prove, for example, that a company that’s going in to do a reconstruction project in the Damascus region is dealing directly with the Assad regime,” Rayburn explained. “We don’t have to have the evidence to prove that link,” he continued. “We just have to have the evidence that proves that a company or an individual is investing in […] the construction sector, the engineering sector, most of the aviation sector, the finance sector, energy sector, and so on.” These public confessions did not stop the Anti-Syria Lobby from lying to the faces of congressional staffers throughout their March 7 campaign. During a meeting with Sen. Mark Kelly’s office, Ghanem falsely stated that the Caesar Sanctions were “targeted,” “not sectoral,” and “not [an] embargo, nothing punishing to civilians.” Yet Alena Douhan, the UN Special Rapporteur on Sanctions who visited Syria to document the effects of Washington’s unilateral sanctions regime on Syria, disagrees. In her 19-page report she clearly states that the sanctions are both illegal and inhumane in the way they affect the average Syrian. Stabilization for me but not for thee The second legislative ask came in the form of a well rehearsed speech by Ghanem, Zayat, and others, outlining what US tax dollars do and don’t fund in Syria. US aid packages are typically divided into two categories: “humanitarian funding” earmarked for goods such as food, water, and basic medical supplies or “stabilization” funding designed to secure a country as it transitions out of a period of turmoil. Unlike humanitarian assistance, stabilization funding may be used to support major investment and infrastructure projects such as roads, schools, healthcare facilities, and government services. The US is the primary funder of humanitarian aid in both North East (NE) and NW Syria. However, while the US spends abundantly on stabilization needs in NE Syria, it spends $0 on the NW. That is because while Washington has long dreamed of establishing a secessionist Kurdish state in Syria’s Northeast, it neglected to send stabilization funds to the Northwest in order to avoid providing direct support to HTS, the Al Qaeda offshoot that governs the territory. The Anti-Syria Lobby was in Washington to change that. Leading the push for US funds to Al Qaeda-affiliated elements in Northwest Syria was Wa’el Alzayat, a Syrian expat who proudly served in Iraq’s Green Zone under George Bush’s State Department and more recently published a shocking Washington Post oped begging US officials not to “lift sanctions to help Syria earthquake victims.” In the office of Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Alzayat voiced his frustration with US hesitation in the Northwest. “Stop freaking out about the stuff going to terrorists,” he demanded, adding that “the Brits are doing it, the Turks are doing it, the Qataris are doing it.” We’re missing out on a golden opportunity here to stabilize the region and leverage it for a political settlement,” he pleaded. In other words, Alzayat was openly lobbying US officials to strengthen Al Qaeda’s position in Syria in order to leverage the terrorist group against the country’s government. Alzayat then weaponized his six-figure salary as head of Emgage to bully Van Hollen’s office into bowing before the anti-Syria Lobby, falsely claiming that his AIPAC-linked organization was “behind” the “Uncommitted” vote campaigns that damaged Biden’s primary performance in Michigan and Minnesota. Towards the end of the meeting, the regime change lobbyist cynically invoked Israel’s slaughter of 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza to make the case for Al Qaeda in Syria one last time. He argued that although “his community” is up in arms about the Biden administration’s funding and arming of the Gaza genocide, they would gladly flock back to the Democratic Party if the US funded roads and schools in Al Qaeda-controlled Idlib. “I need a good story for my voters,” Alzayat explained, noting the Muslim community’s disapproval of the Biden Administration’s policy in Gaza and Yemen. “You’re upset about all these disappointments,” he continued, play-acting a scenario in which he convinced a Muslim constituent to vote for Biden, again. “Guess what? They’re pumping 50 million into the school sector in the North [of Syria]!” Overtures Towards Israel The Israel-Palestine crisis loomed large throughout the ACS lobbying trip. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s secretary happened to be a hijabi Muslim woman sporting a pendant outlining the map of Palestine around her neck. As she greeted us, Farouk Belal, the head of the Syrian American Council, grumbled to Ghanem and me: “I hope she’s not with the resistance.” When I asked him to clarify what he meant as we exited the office, he explained that people aligned with the Palestinian cause in Washington “don’t like us.” Meanwhile, in Sen. Cardin’s office, Raed Salah of the White Helmets painted Israeli strikes on Syria which have crippled Syrian infrastructure, regularly damaged the country’s International civilian airports, and killed hundreds of Syrian Soldiers and civilians alike in a positive light: “The situation in Syria is very complicated. Every day we hear of Israeli strikes on the dens, or the bases of the IRGC and its militias. Even we as Syrians did not know the extent to which the Iranians were entrenched in the country…” For Saleh, the Israeli strikes do nothing but highlight the presence of the Syrian government-invited Iranian military presence in Syria. Later that day, Ghanem attempted to capitalize on Sen. Fetterman’s fanatical pro-Israel antics by describing recent developments in Syria to a 20-something staffer. Referring to the Syrian government’s successful campaign to retake southern territory, he explained that the South is “where they lob missiles on Israel, by the way.” The aide dutifully transcribed this seemingly random piece of information in her notepad. Towards the end of the meeting, Fetterman was discussed as a potential Democratic sponsor of S. 2935 in the Senate. In Senator Rick Scott’s office, a Cuban American Government Relations Associate for ACS, Alberto Hernandez, accidentally said the quiet part out loud. When Senator Scott’s ultra-Zionist National Security Advisor, Paul Bonicelli, asked if our group had connected with our “counterparts” in the Israeli lobby so that they could “vet” our proposals — revealing that Scott has apparently outsourced his brain to Zionists — Hernandez remarked: “Formally? No. Informally.” He then turned to the rest of the ACS team in the meeting room and said: “You didn’t hear me say that.” That admission prompted Bonicelli to suggest that ACS directly coordinate with groups such as the Aramaic Church in Israel, which has supported regime change efforts in Damascus despite overwhelming Christian support of the government within Syria itself. As the meeting wound to a close, Bonicelli informed us that he agreed with ACS on the necessity to oppose Iran and Russia. “If Obama had done the right thing in 2012, we wouldn’t be here,” he lamented, adding: “the Israelis want you guys in charge.” At one point during the meeting in Rick Scott’s Office, Alberto Hernandez, and Sarah Salas, a Cuban American legislative aide, expressed full agreement with US use of unilateral sanctions as means to “push” governments that “we don’t like.” Starving Syrians Without A Mandate Though several ACS volunteers shared painful personal encounters with the Syrian government throughout the day, many were simply too far removed from Syria to truly represent the voice of Syrian people, especially the 12 million plus civilians currently living in Syrian government-controlled territory. One 24-year-old woman who did not speak Arabic and has not been to Syria since 2003 described the Syrian Army’s 2016 liberation of Aleppo from Al Qaeda-linked militants as “the fall of Aleppo.” Other Syrians like myself experienced the terror of the West’s proxy war in Syria firsthand. In 2012, my aunt and cousins watched in horror as the Turkish-backed Liwa’ Al Tawhid, an umbrella group of takfiri jihadist militias, arrived on their street in the Seryan El Jdideh neighborhood of Aleppo. The militants proceeded to execute a local pick-up truck driver and steal his vehicle, leaving his bleeding corpse on the street. Shahba, where my family lived up until 2015, was located just a stone’s throw away from these sectarian death squads during our final months there. The Syrian dirty war was bloody and gruesome, yet the picture that ACS paints is entirely one-sided. Unfortunately, while organizations like ACS have flocked to the Beltway swamp throughout the last 13 years, there are no Syrians present in Washington DC to counter them. While these groups claim to speak on behalf of the Syrian people, those of us who have lived and still live in areas controlled by Syrian government — regardless of our political affiliations—are rendered voiceless in the very center of power where our perspective should matter most. Even Syria’s embassy has been shuttered since 2014, while Syrian diplomats at the UN in New York are heavily monitored and restricted from traveling beyond the NYC metro area. As I witnessed on Capitol Hill, there are few obstacles to the anti-Syria lobby’s ruthless push to prevent the majority of Syrians from emerging from the ruins of war. https://thegrayzone.com/2024/03/20/anti-syria-lobbys-capitol-hill-sanctions/
    THEGRAYZONE.COM
    Inside the anti-Syria lobby's Capitol Hill push for more starvation sanctions - The Grayzone
    A week from the 13th anniversary of the US-backed Syrian dirty war, the American Coalition for Syria held its annual day of advocacy in Washington DC. I went undercover into meetings with Senate policy advisors and witnessed the lobby’s cynical campaign to starve Syria into submission. On the morning of March 7, as the US Capitol teemed with lobbyists securing earmarks ahead of appropriations week and activists decrying the Gaza genocide, one special interest group on the Hill stood out. […]
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 165: Israeli attacks escalate on Rafah, al-Shifa Hospital invasion enters second day
    Mustafa Abu SneinehMarch 19, 2024
    A Palestinian man inspects a destroyed building following an Israeli air attack on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, March 19 2024. (Photo: © Abed Rahim Khatib/dpa via ZUMA Press APA Images)
    A Palestinian man inspects a destroyed building following an Israeli air attack on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, March 19 2024. (Photo: © Abed Rahim Khatib/dpa via ZUMA Press APA Images)
    Casualties

    31,819 + killed* and at least 73,934 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    435+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.**
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
    594 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.***
    *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 40,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

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

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

    Key Developments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    “Hospitals should never be battlegrounds”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Israel denies entry for UNRWA chief to Rafah

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    https://telegra.ph/Operation-Al-Aqsa-Flood-Day-165-Israeli-attacks-escalate-on-Rafah-al-Shifa-Hospital-invasion-enters-second-day-03-20
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 165: Israeli attacks escalate on Rafah, al-Shifa Hospital invasion enters second day Mustafa Abu SneinehMarch 19, 2024 A Palestinian man inspects a destroyed building following an Israeli air attack on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, March 19 2024. (Photo: © Abed Rahim Khatib/dpa via ZUMA Press APA Images) A Palestinian man inspects a destroyed building following an Israeli air attack on Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, March 19 2024. (Photo: © Abed Rahim Khatib/dpa via ZUMA Press APA Images) Casualties 31,819 + killed* and at least 73,934 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 435+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.** Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147. 594 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.*** *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 40,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** The death toll in West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure. *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Key Developments Palestinian Authority warns that Israel started offensive on Rafah without official announcement to avoid international pressure. Majed Al-Ansari, spokesperson for Qatar’s Foreign Ministry, says Israeli attack on Rafah will negatively affect the ceasefire talks in Doha. Ansari says “it is still too early to talk about any breakthrough in the negotiations” between Israel and Hamas, but mediators remain “optimistic.” All communication with Palestinian medical staff trapped inside al-Shifa Hospital went silent on Monday evening Israel arrests Al-Jazeera correspondent Ismail Al-Ghoul in al-Shifa Hospital. He says Israeli forces detained them for 12 hours, destroyed media tent, and seized smartphones, cameras, and laptops from journalists. WHO chief says, “hospitals should never be battlegrounds. We are terribly worried about the situation at al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza, which is endangering health workers, patients, and civilians.” Israel bombs several houses on Al-Jalaa Street in north Gaza, close to al-Shifa Hospital, killing and injuring several Palestinians and causing immense damage. Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA chief, was barred entry by Israel to Rafah, while Tel Aviv says he did not follow “proper procedure.” Lazzarini says his visit “was supposed to coordinate and improve the humanitarian response. This man-made starvation under our watch is a stain on our collective humanity.” Israeli settlers vandalize UNRWA’s headquarters in occupied Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and affix posters on main gate calling for its closure. In Jerusalem, only 25,000 Palestinians were allowed by Israeli forces to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque to perform Ramadan’s prayer on the ninth night. Ahmed Al-Tibi, Palestinian Knesset member, warns that the life of national figure and Fatah leader Marwan Al-Barghouti is at risk inside Israeli prison. PA warns that “Israel began to destroy Rafah” The Palestinian Authority (PA) warned that Israel has started an offensive on Rafah without an official announcement to avoid international pressure. Overnight, Israel heavily bombed Rafah, killing at least 14 Palestinians in the area where more than one million people are displaced, the majority of them living in tents. “Israel began to destroy Rafah on a daily basis and in a systematic manner through repeated attacks on homes, bombing them, and killing and wounding dozens of civilians,” the PA’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday. It added that to avoid condemnation and international pressure to halt such attacks, “Israel… did not wait for permission from anyone, and did not announce” the operation publicly. The escalation of Israeli airstrikes and artillery shelling in Rafah comes as the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is visiting the region where talks between Israel and Hamas continue in Qatar, but has not seen any breakthrough to reach a ceasefire and hostages’ exchange deal. Israel has bombed several areas in Rafah overnight, targeting mainly Palestinian homes and residential blocks, according to Wafa, including the neighborhoods of Musabah, Khirbet Al-Adas, and Al-Jeneina. On Tuesday, Majed Al-Ansari, the spokesperson for Qatar’s Foreign Ministry, said that an attack on Rafah would negatively affect the ceasefire talks in Doha. “Any attack on Rafah will lead to a humanitarian catastrophe and will negatively affect the progress of the talks,” he said. Ansari added that mediators are working on a temporary ceasefire deal to allow humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip. “It is still too early to talk about any breakthrough in the negotiations, but we are optimistic about that,” he said, according to Al-Jazeera Arabic. Displaced Palestinians fleeing from the vicinity of Gaza City's al-Shifa hospital arrive at the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on March 18, 2024. (Photo: Naaman Omar/APA Images) Displaced Palestinians fleeing from the vicinity of Gaza City’s al-Shifa hospital arrive at the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on March 18, 2024. (Photo: Naaman Omar/APA Images) Al-Shifa Hospital under Israeli control for second day In north Gaza, Israel forces storming of the al-Shifa Hospital has been ongoing since late on Sunday. All communication with medical staff trapped inside the hospital went silent on Monday evening. This is the second time Israeli forces stormed the al-Shifa Hospital since October, this time claiming that there were Hamas figures inside it, but has yet to provide evidence. A fire broke out in the al-Shifa’s specialized surgery building after the Israeli assault began. Around 25,000 Palestinians were sheltering in the medical complex, and Israel arrested 90 Palestinians, including journalists from inside al-Shifa. Among them was Al-Jazeera’s correspondent in north Gaza, Ismail al-Ghoul, who was released after 12 hours of detention. Al-Ghoul later said that Israeli forces destroyed the media tent inside the al-Shifa Hospital and seized smartphones, cameras, and laptops from journalists who were arrested and stripped of their clothes. “The [Israeli] occupation forces handcuffed and blindfolded us and interrogated all the journalists present in the place,” he told Al-Jazeera Arabic in a phone call on Monday. Al-Ghoul is one of the few journalists who report from north Gaza to a mainstream TV channel. He recently reported Israeli forces killing hundreds of Palestinians who gathered to get flour, aid and food near the Al-Nabulsi roundabout and Al-Rashid Street in Gaza City. “Hospitals should never be battlegrounds” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the chief of World Health Organization (WHO), said that “hospitals should never be battlegrounds. We are terribly worried about the situation at al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza, which is endangering health workers, patients, and civilians.” Ghebreyesus added that the al-Shifa Hospital is partially operating. In November, Israeli forces stormed the complex following days of siege, claiming that Hamas hosted a “command center” underneath the facility and has yet to present a proof. Israel also bombed several houses on Al-Jalaa Street in north Gaza, which is close to the al-Shifa Hospital, killing and injuring several Palestinians and causing immense damage to the area. Some Palestinians were walking on Al-Jalaa Street at the time of the air raids, others came back from getting flour to find their apartments bombed while their families were inside. In the past 24 hours, Israeli forces committed several massacres in various areas of the Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health on Telegram, killing at least 93 people and injuring 142. Thousands remain under the rubble of bombed buildings. Israeli bombing killed 16 Palestinians in north Gaza overnight. At least 15 people were killed in an Israeli air raid on a house of the Muqbel family in central Gaza City. The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said that 14 members have been killed since the Israeli aggression started on Gaza in October. In north Gaza, Israel bombed the house of the Al-Banna family in Jabalia, killing at least eight people, Wafa reported. Hundreds of Palestinians saw their tents sink or blown away as a result of strong wind and torrential rain in Deir al-Balah, Rafah, and the Al-Mawasi area in Khan Younis overnight, Wafa reported. Israel denies entry for UNRWA chief to Rafah Philippe Lazzarini, the chief of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), was barred entry to Rafah by Israel, as Tel Aviv claimed he did not follow “proper procedure.” Last month, Lazzarini accused Israel of aiming to destroy UNRWA and defended the organization’s relentless work in offering humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. “I intended to go to Rafah today, but I have been informed an hour ago that my entry into Rafah is declined,” Lazzarini said during a press conference in Cairo on Monday alongside the Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry. Shoukry said that Lazzarini was barred by Israel. “You were declined by the Israeli government, refused the entry, which is an unprecedented move for a representative at this high position,” he said. Although the Rafah crossing is an entry point between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, Israel is in charge of who can enter or leave the enclave, according to the Israeli-Egyptian agreement. Lazzarini also accused Israel of creating a man-made famine in Gaza and said that UNRWA was “engaged in a race against the clock to try to reverse the impact of the spreading hunger and the looming famine in the Gaza Strip.” He added that his visit “was supposed to coordinate and improve the humanitarian response. This man-made starvation under our watch is a stain on our collective humanity.” “Too much time was wasted, all land crossings must open now. Famine can be averted with political will,” Lazzarini said. Francesca Albanese, the UN Special Rapporteur for Palestine, wrote on X platform that “Israel wants no witnesses, no truth-tellers”, in a comment on Lazzarini’s entry denial. On Monday, Israeli settlers vandalized the headquarters of UNRWA in occupied Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. They have affixed posters on the main gate calling for the shutdown of UNRWA agency, which also provides humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Jerusalem’s refugee camps, and operate in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. Muslims who managed to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque are seen performing tarawih and night prayers during holy month of Ramadan in Jerusalem on March 17, 2024. (Photo: Department of Islamic Awqaf in Jerusalem/APA Images) Muslims who managed to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque are seen performing tarawih and night prayers during holy month of Ramadan in Jerusalem on March 17, 2024. (Photo: Department of Islamic Waqf in Jerusalem/APA Images) Israeli settlers attack Deir Istiya village Overnight, Israeli forces arrested several Palestinians from the occupied West Bank towns of Hebron, Jenin, Qalqilya, Nablus, and the Balata refugee camp. In Jerusalem, only 25,000 Palestinians were allowed by Israeli forces to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque to perform Ramadan’s Al-Tarawih prayer on the ninth night. This is a sharp drop from the 60,000 Palestinians who performed Al-Tarawih on Saturday night. Israeli authorities are still limiting the number of Palestinians from the West Bank to enter Jerusalem. Last week, Israeli forces set up at least 30 makeshift checkpoints on the outskirts of the Old City, at the city’s gates and the entrances of Al-Aqsa Mosque. Since October, Israel has issued 100 deportation orders against Palestinian residents of Jerusalem and Palestinian citizens of Israel, barring 55 of them from entry to Jerusalem and 45 to Al-Aqsa Mosque, according to Wadi Hilweh Human Rights Information Center. Wadi Hilweh added that this has become a routine policy “to deprive Palestinians of their right to worship and visit Al-Aqsa,” especially around religious occasions such as Ramadan. In the north of the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked Deir Istiya village near Salfit, stole contents from an agricultural room owned by Youssef Salman, and destroyed the solar panels, Wafa reported. Marwan Al-Barghouti’s life is in danger inside Israeli prison Ahmed Al-Tibi, the Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset, warned that the life of Marwan Al-Barghouti is at risk inside Israeli prison. Barghouti, a popular national figure and Fatah leader was put in solitary confinement in Megiddo prison. Since October, he has moved between several detention centers, including Ofer, Ramla, and Rimonim. “Marwan Al-Barghouti’s life is in danger inside the prison due to the assault on him and other detainees. I hold Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responsible for any harm caused to him, his life, or the lives of the prisoners,” Al-Tibi said in a video post on the X platform. He added that Barghouti was assaulted and bled as a result, and warned that since October, 13 Palestinians died inside Israeli jail, “some of them were found murdered, according to families and judges, due to violence and torture.” Barghouti is seen by Palestinians as a national figure who could bridge the schism between Fatah and Hamas and lead a future Palestinian state. Hamas insisted that Barghouti will be among the prisoners that will be released in any exchange deal with Israel. Last month, Itamar Ben-Gvir, the National Security Minister, said that he ordered the transfer of Barghouti to solitary confinement in prison “following information about a planned uprising” in the occupied West Bank. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-165-israeli-attacks-escalate-on-rafah-al-shifa-hospital-invasion-enters-second-day/ https://telegra.ph/Operation-Al-Aqsa-Flood-Day-165-Israeli-attacks-escalate-on-Rafah-al-Shifa-Hospital-invasion-enters-second-day-03-20
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 165: Israeli attacks escalate on Rafah, al-Shifa Hospital invasion enters second day
    After a night of heavy bombardment the PA warns Israel’s Rafah offensive has begun. Meanwhile, the invasion of al-Shifa hospital continues; all communication with medical staff trapped inside the hospital has been silent since Monday evening.
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  • Toward another Zionist Massacre in Gaza Strip: Netanyahu approves Rafah Operation Plan | VT Foreign Policy
    March 16, 2024
    VT Condemns the ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINIANS by USA/Israel

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

    Benjamin Netanyahu said the IDF is prepared to conduct the attack and evacuate the civilian population

    VERSIONE IN ITALIANO CON ANALISI GEOPOLITICA

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected the latest truce and prisoner-exchange proposal by Hamas and has approved an IDF plan to launch an operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, Israeli media reported on Friday.

    ”The IDF is prepared for the operation and to evacuate the [civilian] population,” the PM’s office said in a statement, as cited by the Times of Israel.

    Earlier in the day, Hamas announced on social media that it had presented its “vision” of a prisoner swap with Israel to Qatari and Egyptian mediators and was looking towards a ceasefire agreement which would involve the withdrawal ofIsrael Defense Forces from Gaza.

    As reported by Reuters, which has seen the proposal, the Palestinian militants proposed the release of Israeli women, including female soldiers, children, the elderly and ill hostages, in exchange for Israel freeing between 700 and 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. Once the prisoner exchange is complete, Hamas said it would be ready to negotiate a date for a permanent ceasefire.

    The Jewish state, however, dismissed the proposal and accused Hamas of making “unrealistic demands.” On Thursday, Netanyahu also reiterated Israel’s determination to complete its mission of “eliminating” Hamas.

    Israel’s decision to proceed with a ground incursion into Rafah comes after repeated warnings from the international community, including the US and Egypt, not to enter the city where some 1.5 million Palestinians are currently sheltering.

    After Hamas militants launched a surprise attack on Israeli settlements last October 7, which saw 1,100 people killed and 250 taken hostage, Israel has been conducting a relentless siege on Gaza.

    According to the latest information from Palestinian health authorities, at least 31,341 people have been killed and 73,134 others injured in Israeli airstrikes and ground operations in the enclave over the past half a year.

    READ MORE: Hamas issues terms for permanent ceasefire with Israel – Reuters

    Originally published by Russia Today

    All links to Gospa News articles have been added aftermath

    Subscribe to the Gospa News Newsletter to read the news as soon as it is published

    Fabio G. C. Carisio
    Fabio is investigative journalist since 1991. Now geopolitics, intelligence, military, SARS-Cov-2 manmade, NWO expert and Director-founder of Gospa News: a Christian Information Journal.

    His articles were published on many international media and website as SouthFront, Reseau International, Sputnik Italia, United Nation Association Westminster, Global Research, Kolozeg and more…

    Most popolar investigation on VT is:

    Rumsfeld Shady Heritage in Pandemic: GILEAD’s Intrigues with WHO & Wuhan Lab. Bio-Weapons’ Tests with CIA & Pentagon

    Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio, born on 24/2/1967 in Borgosesia, started working as a reporter when he was only 19 years old in the alpine area of Valsesia, Piedmont, his birth region in Italy. After studying literature and history at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, he became director of the local newspaper Notizia Oggi Vercelli and specialized in judicial reporting.

    For about 15 years he is a correspondent from Northern Italy for the Italian newspapers Libero and Il Giornale, also writing important revelations on the Ustica massacre, a report on Freemasonry and organized crime.

    With independent investigations, he collaborates with Carabinieri and Guardia di Finanza in important investigations that conclude with the arrest of Camorra entrepreneurs or corrupt politicians.

    In July 2018 he found the counter-information web media Gospa News focused on geopolitics, terrorism, Middle East, and military intelligence.

    In 2020 published the book, in Italian only, WUHAN-GATES – The New World Order Plot on SARS-Cov-2 manmade focused on the cycle of investigations Wuhan-Gates

    His investigations was quoted also by The Gateway Pundit, Tasnim and others

    He worked for many years for the magazine Art & Wine as an art critic and curator.

    VETERANS TODAY OLD POSTS

    www.gospanews.net/

    ATTENTION READERS

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

    About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy
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    https://www.vtforeignpolicy.com/2024/03/toward-another-zionist-massacre-in-gaza-strip-netanyahu-approves-rafah-operation-plan/
    Toward another Zionist Massacre in Gaza Strip: Netanyahu approves Rafah Operation Plan | VT Foreign Policy March 16, 2024 VT Condemns the ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINIANS by USA/Israel $ 280 BILLION US TAXPAYER DOLLARS INVESTED since 1948 in US/Israeli Ethnic Cleansing and Occupation Operation; $ 150B direct "aid" and $ 130B in "Offense" contracts Source: Embassy of Israel, Washington, D.C. and US Department of State. Benjamin Netanyahu said the IDF is prepared to conduct the attack and evacuate the civilian population VERSIONE IN ITALIANO CON ANALISI GEOPOLITICA Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected the latest truce and prisoner-exchange proposal by Hamas and has approved an IDF plan to launch an operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, Israeli media reported on Friday. ”The IDF is prepared for the operation and to evacuate the [civilian] population,” the PM’s office said in a statement, as cited by the Times of Israel. Earlier in the day, Hamas announced on social media that it had presented its “vision” of a prisoner swap with Israel to Qatari and Egyptian mediators and was looking towards a ceasefire agreement which would involve the withdrawal ofIsrael Defense Forces from Gaza. As reported by Reuters, which has seen the proposal, the Palestinian militants proposed the release of Israeli women, including female soldiers, children, the elderly and ill hostages, in exchange for Israel freeing between 700 and 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. Once the prisoner exchange is complete, Hamas said it would be ready to negotiate a date for a permanent ceasefire. The Jewish state, however, dismissed the proposal and accused Hamas of making “unrealistic demands.” On Thursday, Netanyahu also reiterated Israel’s determination to complete its mission of “eliminating” Hamas. Israel’s decision to proceed with a ground incursion into Rafah comes after repeated warnings from the international community, including the US and Egypt, not to enter the city where some 1.5 million Palestinians are currently sheltering. After Hamas militants launched a surprise attack on Israeli settlements last October 7, which saw 1,100 people killed and 250 taken hostage, Israel has been conducting a relentless siege on Gaza. According to the latest information from Palestinian health authorities, at least 31,341 people have been killed and 73,134 others injured in Israeli airstrikes and ground operations in the enclave over the past half a year. READ MORE: Hamas issues terms for permanent ceasefire with Israel – Reuters Originally published by Russia Today All links to Gospa News articles have been added aftermath Subscribe to the Gospa News Newsletter to read the news as soon as it is published Fabio G. C. Carisio Fabio is investigative journalist since 1991. Now geopolitics, intelligence, military, SARS-Cov-2 manmade, NWO expert and Director-founder of Gospa News: a Christian Information Journal. His articles were published on many international media and website as SouthFront, Reseau International, Sputnik Italia, United Nation Association Westminster, Global Research, Kolozeg and more… Most popolar investigation on VT is: Rumsfeld Shady Heritage in Pandemic: GILEAD’s Intrigues with WHO & Wuhan Lab. Bio-Weapons’ Tests with CIA & Pentagon Fabio Giuseppe Carlo Carisio, born on 24/2/1967 in Borgosesia, started working as a reporter when he was only 19 years old in the alpine area of Valsesia, Piedmont, his birth region in Italy. After studying literature and history at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, he became director of the local newspaper Notizia Oggi Vercelli and specialized in judicial reporting. For about 15 years he is a correspondent from Northern Italy for the Italian newspapers Libero and Il Giornale, also writing important revelations on the Ustica massacre, a report on Freemasonry and organized crime. With independent investigations, he collaborates with Carabinieri and Guardia di Finanza in important investigations that conclude with the arrest of Camorra entrepreneurs or corrupt politicians. In July 2018 he found the counter-information web media Gospa News focused on geopolitics, terrorism, Middle East, and military intelligence. In 2020 published the book, in Italian only, WUHAN-GATES – The New World Order Plot on SARS-Cov-2 manmade focused on the cycle of investigations Wuhan-Gates His investigations was quoted also by The Gateway Pundit, Tasnim and others He worked for many years for the magazine Art & Wine as an art critic and curator. VETERANS TODAY OLD POSTS www.gospanews.net/ ATTENTION READERS We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion. About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT. https://www.vtforeignpolicy.com/2024/03/toward-another-zionist-massacre-in-gaza-strip-netanyahu-approves-rafah-operation-plan/
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    Toward another Zionist Massacre in Gaza Strip: Netanyahu approves Rafah Operation Plan
    Benjamin Netanyahu said the IDF is prepared to conduct the attack and evacuate the civilian population VERSIONE IN ITALIANO CON ANALISI GEOPOLITICA Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected the latest truce and prisoner-exchange proposal by Hamas and has approved an IDF plan to launch an operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, Israeli...
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 156: Israel deploys 15,000 troops in West Bank as Ramadan starts
    Ceasefire talks falter as Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades spokesperson says Israel is using “deception and evasion.” Israel deploys thousands of troops in the West Bank and Jerusalem ahead of plans to restrict access to Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan.

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

    31,045+ killed* and at least 72,645 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, 25 children in Gaza have died of malnutrition and dehydration since the beginning of March.
    423+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.**
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
    588 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.***
    *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 40,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

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

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

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    Key Developments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Rescue teams transfer 37 bodies to Al-Aqsa Hospital

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Israeli soldiers cheer killing of Palestinian during home raid

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Spain to recognize Palestinian state by 2027

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Support our journalists with a donation today.


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

    https://telegra.ph/Operation-Al-Aqsa-Flood-Day-156-Israel-deploys-15000-troops-in-West-Bank-as-Ramadan-starts-03-11
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 156: Israel deploys 15,000 troops in West Bank as Ramadan starts Ceasefire talks falter as Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades spokesperson says Israel is using “deception and evasion.” Israel deploys thousands of troops in the West Bank and Jerusalem ahead of plans to restrict access to Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan. Mustafa Abu SneinehMarch 10, 2024 Palestinians attempt to collect some personal belongings after returning briefly to check on what remains of their homes in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on March 9, 2024. (Photo: Saeed Jaras/ APA Images) Palestinians attempt to collect some personal belongings after returning briefly to check on what remains of their homes in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on March 9, 2024. (Photo: Saeed Jaras/ APA Images) Casualties 31,045+ killed* and at least 72,645 wounded in the Gaza Strip. According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, 25 children in Gaza have died of malnutrition and dehydration since the beginning of March. 423+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.** Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147. 588 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.*** *Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 40,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** The death toll in West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. This is the latest figure according to PA’s Ministry of Health as of March 6. *** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Advertisement Follow the Mondoweiss channel on WhatsApp! Key Developments Israel deploys 15,000 soldiers and military police in West Bank and Jerusalem ahead of Ramadan, including 5,000 reservists, 24 battalions, 20 Border Police companies, and two special forces units. Hamas’s Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades spokesperson rules out any breakthrough in ceasefire talks, and describes Israel’s position as “deceptive.” Abu Obaida warns that Israel’s campaign of starvation against Palestinians in Gaza is affecting Israeli captives, some of whom “suffer from hunger, malnutrition and dehydration.” Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades announces names of four out of seven Israeli captives who died “due to the aggressive Israeli raids on the Gaza Strip.” 25 Palestinian children have died of malnutrition and dehydration since March. The total death toll in Gaza surpasses 31,000 people, 72 percent of whom are women and children. Gaza City municipality says Israel destroyed a one-million-meter square of roads in the Gaza Strip. Gaza City municipality needs heavy vehicles and fuel supplies to clean rubble and nearly 70,000 tons of rubbish. Rescue teams transfer 37 bodies of Palestinian martyrs and 118 injured people to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah overnight. U.S. to send army vessel to Eastern Mediterranean to deliver aid and supplies to Gaza. Wafa reports that Israeli bombing of tents of displaced Palestinians killed 15 people in Al-Mawasi area, west of Khan Younis. Spain is considering recognizing a Palestinian state by 2027, according to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. Ceasefire talks falter as Israel braces for Ramadan The meditated talks between Israel and Hamas have faltered after weeks of expectations and efforts to agree on a permanent ceasefire and the release of hostages and prisoners. The month of Ramadan is due to start tomorrow, March 11, and Israel is set to restrict access of Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank to the Al-Aqsa Mosque while it is bombing the Gaza Strip, starving Palestinians, and shunning calls to allow humanitarian supplies into Gaza. Ramadan is a month of fasting, prayer, and contemplation for millions of Muslims. But it has an extra layer of holiness for Palestinians in the West Bank, who are barred from entering Jerusalem all year round without an Israeli permit. Ramadan, hence, is an opportunity to reconnect with their capital city and pray in the Al-Aqsa. Israel’s plan to restrict access to Jerusalem marks an escalation and will likely lead to violence. Knowing this, the Israeli government has already deployed 15,000 soldiers and military police in the West Bank and Jerusalem since Friday. Those include 5,000 reservists, 24 battalions, 20 Border Police companies, and two special forces units. Hamas describes Israel’s position in ceasefire talks as “deceptive” It remains unclear if a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip can be reached on Sunday at the eleventh hour. Some Israeli officials appear to be optimistic that this could be done. According to Ynet, Israel’s external intelligence, the Mossad, involved alongside the CIA with the mediated talks with Hamas, said on Saturday evening that “contacts and cooperation with the mediators [of Qatar and Egypt] continue all the time in an effort to narrow the gaps and reach agreements.” For thousands of families in the Gaza Strip, they will spend Ramadan in tents, shelters, or amid the shattered walls and rubble of what is left of their bombed houses and neighborhoods. The 2.5 million Palestinians in Gaza are also barred entry by Israel to visit Jerusalem without a permit. Some of them, who were displaced from north Gaza since October, are now blocked from going back to their houses by Israeli forces stationed on Salah El-Din Street, which splits Gaza into north and south. The U.S. has exerted pressure on meditators to convince Hamas to agree to a six-week truce, including the month of Ramadan, in which hostages and prisoners would be released, and sufficient aid would be supplied. The U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said on Saturday that “the ball is in their court,” referring to Hamas. “We’re working intensely on it and we’ll see what they do.” Hamas has been adamant that it will only agree to a permanent truce, which would end Israel’s bombing of Gaza and permit the return of thousands of families to north Gaza. During a speech on Friday evening, Abu Obaida, the spokesperson of Hamas’s Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, ruled out any breakthrough in the talks of a ceasefire. Abu Obaida said Israel was using “deception and evasion” during the talks, and its position was cloaked with “confusion and inconsistency”. He said that Hamas’s ultimate goal from any truce is “stopping [Israeli] aggression, Gaza’s reconstruction, and the withdrawal of [Israeli] forces” from the Gaza Strip. He warned that the campaign of starvation Israel is launching against the people of Gaza is affecting Israeli captives, some of whom “suffer from hunger and deprivation, lack of food and medicine, and suffer malnutrition, dehydration, and emaciation.” “The ball is in their court to save whoever of them can be saved,” Abu Obaida said, addressing Israelis and adding that the Israeli government “insists on receiving [the captives] in coffins.” Later, Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades announced the names of four out of seven captives who died “due to the aggressive Israeli raids on the Gaza Strip, and we have [previously] disclosed the identities of three of them.” Rescue teams transfer 37 bodies to Al-Aqsa Hospital In the past 24 hours, Israeli forces committed eight “massacres” in various areas of the Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health on Telegram, killing at least 85 people and injuring 130. The total death toll in Gaza has now surpassed 31,000 people, 72 percent of whom are women and children. The ministry added that 25 children have died of malnutrition and dehydration since March. Assem Nabih, a member of Gaza City’s emergency department, told Al-Jazeera Arabic that since October, Israel has destroyed one-million-meter square of roads in the Gaza Strip. The Gaza City municipality needs heavy vehicles and fuel supplies to clean rubble and nearly 70,000 tons of rubbish. Nabih said that insufficient aid is trickling into Gaza, while water in Gaza’s wells is drying out as summer approaches. On Sunday morning, Dr. Khalil Al-Daqran, the spokesperson of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah told Al-Jazeera Arabic that rescue teams transferred 37 bodies of Palestinian martyrs and 118 injured people to the hospital overnight. “However, we can’t treat all the injured due to the lack of capabilities and medical supplies,” he said, adding that all hospitals close to the Al-Aqsa Hospital are out of service. “What we are offering is modest medical care to the injured as there is not enough operation rooms,” Al-Daqran said, calling international organizations to send medical and fuel supplies urgently. U.S. sending army vessel to deliver aid to Gaza On Saturday evening, the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said it is sending an army vessel to the Eastern Mediterranean, following President Biden’s State of the Union address on Friday, in which he pledged to build a floating pier near Gaza’s shore to facilitate the delivery of aid and food. “Besson, a logistics support vessel, is carrying the first equipment to establish a temporary pier to deliver vital humanitarian supplies,” CENTCOM wrote on the X platform. The floating pier would take up to 60 days to be built and was proposed by Biden after the U.S. airdropped aid on north Gaza in the past weeks, an expensive and cumbersome method to deliver aid, which killed five Palestinians as the parachutes malfunctioned last week. “There are more efficient and faster ways to get assistance to Gazans: Biden can pressure Israel to allow the entry of hundreds of aid trucks that are needed in the territory each day,” Mohamad Bazzi, the director of the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, wrote in The Guardian. “Instead, Biden and his administration are complicit in prolonging a war in which a U.S. ally has killed more than 30,000 Palestinians and is intentionally starving the population into submission,” he added. Israeli soldiers cheer killing of Palestinian during home raid The Israeli aggression on Gaza has entered six months. There is plenty of footage documenting Israeli brutality and acts of genocide. Lately, head-cam footage was released of Israeli soldiers cheering the killing of a 72-year-old Palestinian civilian with four bullets when they stormed a home in Gaza. Al-Jazeera Arabic also released Israeli drone footage showing a Palestinian child lying dead on the ground after being shot by Israeli forces near Al-Fakhura School in Jabalia, in north Gaza, in December. On Saturday, an Israeli bombing on a house of the Al-Nuwairi family west of Nuseirat camp in central Gaza killed ten people, Wafa news agency reported. Wafa reported that the Israeli bombing killed 15 displaced Palestinians in the Al-Mawasi area, west of Khan Younis. One Palestinian was killed and three injured when Israel bombed a vehicle driving on Salah El-Din Street near the city of Rafah, south of Gaza. In Gaza City’s Al-Zaytoun neighborhood, Israeli forces killed five Palestinians who were among people waiting for aid trucks to arrive near the Kuwait roundabout on Saturday. In Beit Lahia, an Israeli air raid on the house of the Abu Nasser family killed and injured several people, Wafa reported. Thousands of Palestinian students had attended a makeshift school in Rafah. Since October, students in the Gaza Strip have not attended lessons as their schools have either been bombed by Israel or turned into shelters. Palestinian kids were sitting on the ground in a “classroom” made of groundsheets and without a roof, Wafa reported. On Saturday, millions of people protested worldwide in cities of Hannover, Berlin, Paris, Tunis, Copenhagen, Milan, London, Manchester, Sarajevo, Seoul, and Auckland, among others, in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, calling for an immediate ceasefire. Spain to recognize Palestinian state by 2027 Spain is mulling the recognition of a Palestinian state, however, by the year 2027, according to Pedro Sanchez, the Spanish Prime Minister. Sanchez’s mandate ends by 2027. He said on Saturday that he will put the recognition of a Palestinian state to vote by the Spanish parliament’s lower half. “We will do it because of moral conviction, because it’s a just cause, but also because it is the only way that two states – Israel and Palestine – can live together and co-exist in peace and security,” Sanchez wrote on X platform. Spain has been supportive of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip since October, and unlike other European countries who suspended funding to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), Madrid pledged to pay $22m extra to help UNRWA’s aid operations in Gaza. In the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces have arrested 7,505 Palestinians since October. Overnight, 15 Palestinians were detained from Nablus, Tubas, Ramallah, and Hebron, Wafa reported. A recent Israeli soldier’s arrest of a 7-year-old girl in Jenin was described as “kidnapping.” In released video footage, Israeli soldiers appear to drag the girl from her home into a military jeep as she resisted and pushed her into the vehicle. “Israeli army stormed Jenin city, in the West Bank, yesterday and kidnapped a 7 years old girl from her family’s house!” the Palestinian embassy in Romania wrote on X platform on Sunday. “This is not a first, they have long history of kidnapping and arresting Palestinian kids,” it added. Overnight, Israeli forces stormed Silat Al-Dhahr and Al-Fandqumiya villages, south of Jenin, and confiscated surveillance cameras. Wafa reported that Israeli forces raided several houses in the two villages following a shooting and booby trap attack on Israeli soldiers near the illegal settlement of Homesh last week, which injured seven Israeli soldiers. BEFORE YOU GO – At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever. Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses. Support our journalists with a donation today. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/03/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-156-israel-deploys-15000-troops-in-west-bank-as-ramadan-starts/ https://telegra.ph/Operation-Al-Aqsa-Flood-Day-156-Israel-deploys-15000-troops-in-West-Bank-as-Ramadan-starts-03-11
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    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 156: Israel deploys 15,000 troops in West Bank as Ramadan starts
    Ceasefire talks falter as Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades spokesperson says Israel is using “deception and evasion.” Israel deploys thousands of troops in the West Bank and Jerusalem ahead of plans to restrict access to Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan.
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 142: UN experts call for immediate arms embargo on Israel
    Israel bombs near Egypt’s fortified wall with Rafah as talks resume to reach a captive exchange with Hamas. UN experts call for arms embargo against Israel and say states supplying weapons, ammunition or intelligence risk violating international law.

    Mustafa Abu SneinehFebruary 25, 2024
    Palestinian women grieve over the bodies of their loved ones killed in Israeli airstrikes in Deir Al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip.
    Relatives of the Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks mourn as they receive the bodies of their loved ones at the the morgue of Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir Al-Balah, central Gaza, on February 24, 2024. (Bashar Taleb/apaimages)
    Casualties

    29,606+ killed* and at least 69,737 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    380+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
    579 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.**
    *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on Telegram channel on February 24. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 38,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

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

    Key Developments

    CNN satellite imagery shows Egypt built more than two-mile-wide buffer zone along wall with Rafah, in southern Gaza, to keep displaced Palestinians at bay.
    Egyptian buffer zone is planned to stretch east-to-west from Kerem Abu Salem Crossing to the Mediterranean Sea.
    Several Palestinians in Gaza sound call of prayer through loudspeakers from windows in city where mosques have not held a Friday prior since October.
    UN experts call states to immediately cease transferring arms, and ammunition to Israel or share it with intelligence that could be used in Gaza Strip and violate international law.
    UN experts says that “military intelligence must also not be shared [with Israel] where there is a clear risk that it would be used to violate international humanitarian law.”
    So far, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Netherlands halted arms transfers to Israel, while Japan trade giant, Itochu Corporation, suspended agreement to supply Israel with military technology.
    Senior Hamas figure tells Al-Jazeera Arabic that “atmosphere of optimism” regarding prisoners’ exchange deal with Israel and ceasefire “does not reflect the truth.”
    EU chief of foreign policy Josep Borrell says Israel’s government plan to expand settlements in occupied West Bank is “inflammatory and dangerous”.
    In 2023, Israeli forces and settlers seized 43 agricultural tractors, 293 vehicles, and 296 sheep from Palestinian Bedouin communities in Jordan valley, inflicting heavy losses and disturbing their lives.
    Israeli forces bomb areas near Egypt’s border with Rafah

    In the past 24 hours, Israeli forces bombed several Palestinian neighborhoods in Deir Al-Balah, Rafah and north Gaza, killing and injuring tens of people.

    Israel’s warplanes launched bombs on a vast open area near the Egyptian border with Rafah, in southern Gaza, where thousands of Palestinians are sheltering.

    A video shows Palestinians fleeing from the bombs close to Egypt’s fortified wall to keep displaced people at bay from entering the Sinai Peninsula.

    All of the 1.4 million Palestinians who sought refuge in Rafah cannot enter Sinai except those who obtained a travel permit. Recent satellite imagery obtained by CNN reveals that Egypt had built more than a two-mile-wide buffer zone along the wall with Rafah.

    In early February, Egyptian bulldozers and cranes started working on the buffer zone as Israeli politicians threatened to invade Rafah. The Egyptian buffer zone is planned to stretch east-to-west from Kerem Abu Salem Crossing to the Mediterranean Sea.

    Overnight, Wafa news agency reported that Israeli forces bombed Al-Sabra neighborhood in Gaza City, and launched an air raid on Al-Shaaf area in Gaza. Armed clashes between Palestinian resistance fighters and Israeli forces were reported in the Al-Zaytoun neighborhood.

    Several Palestinians in Gaza sounded the call of prayer through loudspeakers from windows in a city where mosques have not held a Friday prior since October as most of it has been either damaged or destroyed by Israel, including the ancient Al-Omari Mosque.

    In the Al-Shati refugee camp, Israeli forces killed two Palestinians and injured four in an airstrike overnight. It also bombed Beit Lahia, Rafah, and Deir Al-Balah.

    On Sunday, Gaza’s Ministry of Health did not update the casualty’s number for the past 24 hours. Yesterday, it said that Israeli forces committed eight “massacres” in various areas of the Gaza Strip, killing at least 92 Palestinian martyrs and injuring 123 people.

    UN experts call for immediate arms embargo on Israel

    Supplying arms to Israel to bomb, destroy, kill, and maim Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and also in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem has taken center stage in the past weeks.

    A UN report concluded that states should cease immediately from transferring arms and ammunition to Israel or supplying it with intelligence that could be used in the Gaza Strip, risking the violation of international law.

    So far, the U.S., Germany, the U.K., France, Canada and Australia have been at the helm of supplying weapons to Israel since October, with Washington and Berlin as the largest exporters of munitions.

    “States must accordingly refrain from transferring any weapon or ammunition – or parts for them – if it is expected, given the facts or past patterns of behavior, that they would be used to violate international law,” the UN experts said.

    They added that “as long there is a clear risk” of violating the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty and that arms will be used to commit crimes, exports of weapons and munitions to Israel should not go ahead.

    This also extends to sharing military intelligence. The U.S. and the U.K. have reportedly fed Israel with intelligence, dispatching military personnel to advise Israel early in October and operated reconnaissance flights over the Gaza Strip, eavesdropping on Palestinians in a bid to locate Israeli captives and help Tel Aviv destroy Hamas movement.

    “Military intelligence must also not be shared where there is a clear risk that it would be used to violate international humanitarian law,” the UN experts wrote.

    They added that there is a need for an arms embargo on Israel following the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling on January 26 ordering Israel to prevent genocide in Gaza. However, Israel has killed nearly four thousand Palestinians since then.

    “This necessitates halting arms exports in the present circumstances,” the experts said.

    Belgium, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands are the only EU countries to halt arms transfers to Israel, while Japan trade giant, Itochu Corporation, has suspended an agreement to supply Israel with military technology.

    Early in February, the Netherlands halted a deal to export F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel following a court decision that found that Israeli forces would use these parts “to commit or facilitate serious violations of international humanitarian law.”

    “There are many indications that Israel has violated the humanitarian law of war in a not insignificant number of cases,” the UN report added.

    Deal between Hamas and Israel swings between optimism and despair

    On Sunday morning, hopes were dashed again of reaching a deal between Israel and Hamas, despite high expectations over the weekend as Qatari and Egyptian mediators traveled back to Paris to hold talks with CIA and Israeli officials.

    A senior Hamas figure told Al-Jazeera Arabic that “the atmosphere of optimism”, regarding a possible prisoners exchange deal with Israel and ceasefire, “does not reflect the truth.”

    He accused Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of “evading” to engage with Hamas counter-proposal for four and half months of ceasefire, the exchange of hostages and prisoners, and the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip.

    He added that Israel’s starvation policy in the Gaza Strip, blocking aid trucks from reaching north Gaza, could hinder any efforts to reach a deal.

    Israel’s Kan news reported on Sunday that they were “optimistic” about reaching a deal before the month of Ramadan, on March 10, but that would not discourage Israel from invading Rafah. An Israeli delegation is expected to fly to Qatar, Al-Jazeera reported.

    Scores of arrests in Tel Aviv as Netanyahu’s options narrow down

    On Saturday, the police arrested 18 Israelis as thousands protested in Tel Aviv, calling Netanyahu’s resignation and for a deal to be made on the release of Israeli captives in Gaza.

    The Israeli analyst at Haaretz, Amos Harel, wrote that Netanyahu’s government is facing three options at the current stage, either to strike a deal with Hamas, invade Rafah or “more empty promises” for Israelis and the US administration.

    A deal with Hamas, would mean a political headache for Netanyahu from his coalition government and threats of resignation from Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich. Invading Rafah would be a gamble as it risks deteriorating ties with Egypt, igniting the region, and massacring tens of thousands of Palestinians.

    “According to the third scenario,” Harel wrote, “things will continue as they have until now: Netanyahu will continue to provoke the Biden administration, will continue to promise ‘total victory,’ will evade promoting a hostage release deal, and will possibly antagonize Benny Gantz,” to push him to resign from war cabinet.

    Settlement expansion in West Banks is ‘dangerous’, officials warn

    Josep Borrell, the EU chief of foreign policy, said on Saturday that Israel’s government plan to expand settlements in the occupied West Bank is “inflammatory and dangerous”.

    “Settlements make Israelis and Palestinians less safe, fuel tensions, obstruct peace efforts, and constitute a grave breach of international law,” he added.

    Israel’s Finance Minister Smotrich announced on Thursday a plan of constructing 3,300 housing units as a “response” to a shooting attack carried out by three Palestinians near Ma’ale Adumim settlement in occupied East Jerusalem, killing at least one Israeli and wounding five others.

    “The serious attack on Ma’ale Adumim must have a decisive security response but also an answer from the settlements… Our enemies know that any harm to us will lead to more construction and more development and more of our control across the entire country,” Smotrich said.

    Following the attack, Israeli military prevented Palestinian vehicles from travelling on a main road leading to the Al-Eizariya neighborhood, close to Ma’ale Adumim’s main entrance, between 9pm and 6am the next morning.

    Over the past 24 hours, Israeli forces arrested 15 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank towns of Hebron, Nablus, Jericho, Jenin, and Ramallah. Sami Al-Shami, a journalist and former political prisoner, was arrested from his home in Asira Al-Qibliya, south of Nablus.

    North of the West Bank, Israeli forces stormed the towns of Qalqilya and Nabi Saleh, raiding several Palestinian houses.

    The Prisoners’ Club said around 7,225 Palestinians were arrested by Israel in the West Bank since October. Some of them were released.

    On Sunday morning, Israeli settlers stole sheep from the Palestinian community of Arab Malihat, northwest of the city of Jericho, Wafa reported.

    Hassan Malihat, an activist in the community, said 30 sheep belonged to Suleiman Atallah Malihat were stolen by settlers. Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley rely on raising livestock and agricultural farm to make a living.

    Wafa reported that Israeli forces and settlers seized 43 agricultural tractors, 293 vehicles, and 296 sheep in 2023, inflicting heavy losses on these communities and disturbing their lives.

    As Ramadan is approaching in a couple of weeks, Israeli settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque on Sunday and performed silent Jewish prayers. These storming have become an almost daily act for over two decades and threaten to escalate tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/02/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-142-un-experts-call-for-immediate-arms-embargo-on-israel/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 142: UN experts call for immediate arms embargo on Israel Israel bombs near Egypt’s fortified wall with Rafah as talks resume to reach a captive exchange with Hamas. UN experts call for arms embargo against Israel and say states supplying weapons, ammunition or intelligence risk violating international law. Mustafa Abu SneinehFebruary 25, 2024 Palestinian women grieve over the bodies of their loved ones killed in Israeli airstrikes in Deir Al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip. Relatives of the Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks mourn as they receive the bodies of their loved ones at the the morgue of Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir Al-Balah, central Gaza, on February 24, 2024. (Bashar Taleb/apaimages) Casualties 29,606+ killed* and at least 69,737 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 380+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147. 579 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.** *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on Telegram channel on February 24. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 38,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Key Developments CNN satellite imagery shows Egypt built more than two-mile-wide buffer zone along wall with Rafah, in southern Gaza, to keep displaced Palestinians at bay. Egyptian buffer zone is planned to stretch east-to-west from Kerem Abu Salem Crossing to the Mediterranean Sea. Several Palestinians in Gaza sound call of prayer through loudspeakers from windows in city where mosques have not held a Friday prior since October. UN experts call states to immediately cease transferring arms, and ammunition to Israel or share it with intelligence that could be used in Gaza Strip and violate international law. UN experts says that “military intelligence must also not be shared [with Israel] where there is a clear risk that it would be used to violate international humanitarian law.” So far, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Netherlands halted arms transfers to Israel, while Japan trade giant, Itochu Corporation, suspended agreement to supply Israel with military technology. Senior Hamas figure tells Al-Jazeera Arabic that “atmosphere of optimism” regarding prisoners’ exchange deal with Israel and ceasefire “does not reflect the truth.” EU chief of foreign policy Josep Borrell says Israel’s government plan to expand settlements in occupied West Bank is “inflammatory and dangerous”. In 2023, Israeli forces and settlers seized 43 agricultural tractors, 293 vehicles, and 296 sheep from Palestinian Bedouin communities in Jordan valley, inflicting heavy losses and disturbing their lives. Israeli forces bomb areas near Egypt’s border with Rafah In the past 24 hours, Israeli forces bombed several Palestinian neighborhoods in Deir Al-Balah, Rafah and north Gaza, killing and injuring tens of people. Israel’s warplanes launched bombs on a vast open area near the Egyptian border with Rafah, in southern Gaza, where thousands of Palestinians are sheltering. A video shows Palestinians fleeing from the bombs close to Egypt’s fortified wall to keep displaced people at bay from entering the Sinai Peninsula. All of the 1.4 million Palestinians who sought refuge in Rafah cannot enter Sinai except those who obtained a travel permit. Recent satellite imagery obtained by CNN reveals that Egypt had built more than a two-mile-wide buffer zone along the wall with Rafah. In early February, Egyptian bulldozers and cranes started working on the buffer zone as Israeli politicians threatened to invade Rafah. The Egyptian buffer zone is planned to stretch east-to-west from Kerem Abu Salem Crossing to the Mediterranean Sea. Overnight, Wafa news agency reported that Israeli forces bombed Al-Sabra neighborhood in Gaza City, and launched an air raid on Al-Shaaf area in Gaza. Armed clashes between Palestinian resistance fighters and Israeli forces were reported in the Al-Zaytoun neighborhood. Several Palestinians in Gaza sounded the call of prayer through loudspeakers from windows in a city where mosques have not held a Friday prior since October as most of it has been either damaged or destroyed by Israel, including the ancient Al-Omari Mosque. In the Al-Shati refugee camp, Israeli forces killed two Palestinians and injured four in an airstrike overnight. It also bombed Beit Lahia, Rafah, and Deir Al-Balah. On Sunday, Gaza’s Ministry of Health did not update the casualty’s number for the past 24 hours. Yesterday, it said that Israeli forces committed eight “massacres” in various areas of the Gaza Strip, killing at least 92 Palestinian martyrs and injuring 123 people. UN experts call for immediate arms embargo on Israel Supplying arms to Israel to bomb, destroy, kill, and maim Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and also in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem has taken center stage in the past weeks. A UN report concluded that states should cease immediately from transferring arms and ammunition to Israel or supplying it with intelligence that could be used in the Gaza Strip, risking the violation of international law. So far, the U.S., Germany, the U.K., France, Canada and Australia have been at the helm of supplying weapons to Israel since October, with Washington and Berlin as the largest exporters of munitions. “States must accordingly refrain from transferring any weapon or ammunition – or parts for them – if it is expected, given the facts or past patterns of behavior, that they would be used to violate international law,” the UN experts said. They added that “as long there is a clear risk” of violating the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty and that arms will be used to commit crimes, exports of weapons and munitions to Israel should not go ahead. This also extends to sharing military intelligence. The U.S. and the U.K. have reportedly fed Israel with intelligence, dispatching military personnel to advise Israel early in October and operated reconnaissance flights over the Gaza Strip, eavesdropping on Palestinians in a bid to locate Israeli captives and help Tel Aviv destroy Hamas movement. “Military intelligence must also not be shared where there is a clear risk that it would be used to violate international humanitarian law,” the UN experts wrote. They added that there is a need for an arms embargo on Israel following the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling on January 26 ordering Israel to prevent genocide in Gaza. However, Israel has killed nearly four thousand Palestinians since then. “This necessitates halting arms exports in the present circumstances,” the experts said. Belgium, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands are the only EU countries to halt arms transfers to Israel, while Japan trade giant, Itochu Corporation, has suspended an agreement to supply Israel with military technology. Early in February, the Netherlands halted a deal to export F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel following a court decision that found that Israeli forces would use these parts “to commit or facilitate serious violations of international humanitarian law.” “There are many indications that Israel has violated the humanitarian law of war in a not insignificant number of cases,” the UN report added. Deal between Hamas and Israel swings between optimism and despair On Sunday morning, hopes were dashed again of reaching a deal between Israel and Hamas, despite high expectations over the weekend as Qatari and Egyptian mediators traveled back to Paris to hold talks with CIA and Israeli officials. A senior Hamas figure told Al-Jazeera Arabic that “the atmosphere of optimism”, regarding a possible prisoners exchange deal with Israel and ceasefire, “does not reflect the truth.” He accused Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of “evading” to engage with Hamas counter-proposal for four and half months of ceasefire, the exchange of hostages and prisoners, and the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip. He added that Israel’s starvation policy in the Gaza Strip, blocking aid trucks from reaching north Gaza, could hinder any efforts to reach a deal. Israel’s Kan news reported on Sunday that they were “optimistic” about reaching a deal before the month of Ramadan, on March 10, but that would not discourage Israel from invading Rafah. An Israeli delegation is expected to fly to Qatar, Al-Jazeera reported. Scores of arrests in Tel Aviv as Netanyahu’s options narrow down On Saturday, the police arrested 18 Israelis as thousands protested in Tel Aviv, calling Netanyahu’s resignation and for a deal to be made on the release of Israeli captives in Gaza. The Israeli analyst at Haaretz, Amos Harel, wrote that Netanyahu’s government is facing three options at the current stage, either to strike a deal with Hamas, invade Rafah or “more empty promises” for Israelis and the US administration. A deal with Hamas, would mean a political headache for Netanyahu from his coalition government and threats of resignation from Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich. Invading Rafah would be a gamble as it risks deteriorating ties with Egypt, igniting the region, and massacring tens of thousands of Palestinians. “According to the third scenario,” Harel wrote, “things will continue as they have until now: Netanyahu will continue to provoke the Biden administration, will continue to promise ‘total victory,’ will evade promoting a hostage release deal, and will possibly antagonize Benny Gantz,” to push him to resign from war cabinet. Settlement expansion in West Banks is ‘dangerous’, officials warn Josep Borrell, the EU chief of foreign policy, said on Saturday that Israel’s government plan to expand settlements in the occupied West Bank is “inflammatory and dangerous”. “Settlements make Israelis and Palestinians less safe, fuel tensions, obstruct peace efforts, and constitute a grave breach of international law,” he added. Israel’s Finance Minister Smotrich announced on Thursday a plan of constructing 3,300 housing units as a “response” to a shooting attack carried out by three Palestinians near Ma’ale Adumim settlement in occupied East Jerusalem, killing at least one Israeli and wounding five others. “The serious attack on Ma’ale Adumim must have a decisive security response but also an answer from the settlements… Our enemies know that any harm to us will lead to more construction and more development and more of our control across the entire country,” Smotrich said. Following the attack, Israeli military prevented Palestinian vehicles from travelling on a main road leading to the Al-Eizariya neighborhood, close to Ma’ale Adumim’s main entrance, between 9pm and 6am the next morning. Over the past 24 hours, Israeli forces arrested 15 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank towns of Hebron, Nablus, Jericho, Jenin, and Ramallah. Sami Al-Shami, a journalist and former political prisoner, was arrested from his home in Asira Al-Qibliya, south of Nablus. North of the West Bank, Israeli forces stormed the towns of Qalqilya and Nabi Saleh, raiding several Palestinian houses. The Prisoners’ Club said around 7,225 Palestinians were arrested by Israel in the West Bank since October. Some of them were released. On Sunday morning, Israeli settlers stole sheep from the Palestinian community of Arab Malihat, northwest of the city of Jericho, Wafa reported. Hassan Malihat, an activist in the community, said 30 sheep belonged to Suleiman Atallah Malihat were stolen by settlers. Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley rely on raising livestock and agricultural farm to make a living. Wafa reported that Israeli forces and settlers seized 43 agricultural tractors, 293 vehicles, and 296 sheep in 2023, inflicting heavy losses on these communities and disturbing their lives. As Ramadan is approaching in a couple of weeks, Israeli settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque on Sunday and performed silent Jewish prayers. These storming have become an almost daily act for over two decades and threaten to escalate tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/02/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-142-un-experts-call-for-immediate-arms-embargo-on-israel/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 142: UN experts call for immediate arms embargo on Israel
    Israel bombs near Egypt’s fortified wall with Rafah as talks resume to reach a captive exchange with Hamas. UN experts call for arms embargo against Israel and say states supplying weapons, ammunition or intelligence risk violating international law.
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 133: Israel cuts electricity to critical Nasser Hospital patients, forces staff to evacuate
    Anna Lekas MillerFebruary 15, 2024
    Relatives of Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks, mourn as they receive their bodies from the morgue of Al-Aqsa Hospital for burial in Deir El-Balah, Gaza on February 15, 2023. (Photo: Ali Hamad/APA Images)
    Relatives of Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks, mourn as they receive their bodies from the morgue of Al-Aqsa Hospital for burial in Deir El-Balah, Gaza on February 15, 2023. (Photo: Ali Hamad/APA Images)
    Casualties:

    28,775+ Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, including at least 12,000 children, and 68,552+ Palestinians have been injured.
    394+ 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.
    569 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.**
    *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 36,500 when accounting for those presumed dead.

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

    Key Developments:

    A dire situation at the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis is unfolding, as Israel’s raid continues, forcing displaced people and medical staff to evacuate the building.
    World Health Organization (WHO) is trying to access Nasser Hospital to deliver humanitarian aid
    UNWRA: 84 percent of healthcare facilities in Gaza affected by Israeli aggression
    Satellite imagery shows the construction of a wall along the border between Gaza and Egypt, raising suspicion that Palestinians might be forced to evacuate into the Sinai Desert
    Gaza Media Office: 130 journalists killed in Gaza since October 7, 2023
    West Bank: Israeli military raids 15 homes in the town of Silat ad-Dhahr
    At least two dead in “suspected terror” shooting attack in southern Israel
    Lebanon submits a formal complaint to the UN Security Council, following Israel’s attacks in Nabatiyeh
    Russia invites Hamas and other Palestinian factions to Moscow for “inter-Palestinian” talks on Gaza, and other Middle East issues
    Germany approves the deployment of armed forces in an EU mission to thwart Houthi attacks in the Red Sea
    Biden administration meets with Jewish and Muslim community leaders to discuss rising antisemitism and Islamophobia
    Dire situation unfolds at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis

    A dire situation at the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis is unfolding as Israel continues its raid on the largest functioning medical facility remaining in the Gaza Strip.

    “We are forced to transfer all the patients and the wounded to the hospital’s old building,” Dr. Nahed Abu Taima, the Director of the Nasser Medical Complex told Al Jazeera.

    “Electric power was cut off from the entire medical complex,” he continued, describing how the raid is impacting the 450 patients at the hospital, many of whom are in critical condition. “Many patients in ICUs and those on oxygen supply, and also those on dialysis are left fighting for their lives.”

    Meanwhile, most medical staff has been forced to evacuate—including the Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF) staff, leaving behind patients in critical condition. Israel’s incursion on the Nasser Hospital is part of a string of attacks targeting medical facilities and healthcare workers that have brought Gaza’s healthcare infrastructure to its knees, making it increasingly difficult to treat life-threatening injuries and carry out essential medical procedures.

    “After the bombing yesterday morning, our cadres reported an atmosphere of chaos, with an unknown number of dead and wounded,” Medicins Sans Frontiers wrote in a report on X, after their staff was forced to flee. According to UNRWA, 84 percent of health facilities in Gaza have now been impacted by Israeli aggression, and 70 percent of civilian infrastructure has been destroyed or severely damaged.

    “The Israeli forces set up a checkpoint for people as they left the compound, and one of our colleagues was arrested at the checkpoint,” MSF added.

    While the Israeli Army has claimed that their raid on the Nasser Hospital has lead to the arrest of “dozens of terrorists,” and could reveal hiding places of Israeli hostages, Hamas denies any presence at the hospital, emphasizing that they are not engaging in military activity near public or civilian institutions. There has been no evidence found of Israeli hostages.

    “We have repeatedly said the policy of our Palestinian resistance is and remains to distance public and civilian institutions and the health sector from any military activity.” Hamas said, in a statement.

    “We have asked the United Nations and relevant organizations on several occasions to bring an international committee to examine the hospitals and prove that Israel’s narrative is a lie. But our demands have not been heard.”

    Up until recently, there were around 10,000 displaced Palestinians sheltering in the Nasser Hospital, hoping that it would keep them safe from Israel’s bombardment. However, when the Israeli forces began their incursion a few days ago, people were forced to leave.

    Now, Israeli forces are storming the maternity unit of the besieged hospital—and so far, two women have given birth in these conditions, as dozens evacuate.

    Satellite imagery shows a border wall being constructed between Gaza and Egypt

    Those who are evacuating have almost nowhere left to turn. While Rafah, the southernmost district of the Gaza Strip is now home to more than one million displaced Palestinians, those who are sheltering there are preparing for a ground invasion—which several global leaders, including most recently those in Australia, Canada and New Zealand have all said would be “catastrophic.”

    “With the humanitarian situation in Gaza already dire, the impact on Palestinian civilians from an expanded military operation would be devastating,” Anthony Albanese, Justin Trudeau and Christopher Luxon said, in a joint statement.

    “We urge the Israeli government to go down this path,” it continues, echoing calls from countries like Spain and Ireland who have both recently applied pressure to the European Commission to review whether or not Israel is complying with human rights obligations in Gaza.

    New evidence of a border wall being constructed between Egypt and Gaza suggests that the Israeli army might be preparing to force Palestinians sheltering in Rafah to evacuate to the Sinai Desert, officially pushing them out of Gaza. It is already straining Israel’s relationship with Egypt; Egyptian officials are afraid that a massive exodus of refugees would strain the Egyptian economy in the short term, and that in the long term, Israel would not allow Palestinian refugees to return to Gaza, cementing another Nakba and obfuscating the Palestinian right of return.

    Families of hostages pressure government for a truce, Netanyahu rejects a Palestinian state

    Over in the West Bank, the Israeli military has raided more than fifteen homes in the town of Silat ad-Dhahr, arresting dozens of young men. Now, there have been at least 7,040 Palestinians detained in raids across the West Bank since October 7th, and at least 394 Palestinians killed and 4,400 injured in Israeli army fire.

    Meanwhile in Tel Aviv, families of Israeli captives are increasing pressure on the Israeli government to reach a ceasefire agreement with Hamas, accusing Netanyahu’s government of squandering an opportunity to release the remaining hostages. Dozens have started staging rallies outside of the Israeli Defense Ministry, echoing the international community’s calls for an urgent ceasefire, at least until the hostages have been released.

    However, the Israeli government is trying to avoid any possibility of a Palestinian state—and Netanyahu is quoted as saying that this would be a “huge reward” for Hamas.

    “We will in no way agree to this plan, which says Palestinians deserve a prize for the terrible massacre they carried out against us: a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital,” Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich told Reuters, following the news that the United States is working with Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar on a post-war timeline that would involve establishing a Palestinian state.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/02/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-133-israel-cuts-electricity-to-critical-nasser-hospital-patients-forces-staff-to-evacuate/

    https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/02/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-133-israel.html
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 133: Israel cuts electricity to critical Nasser Hospital patients, forces staff to evacuate Anna Lekas MillerFebruary 15, 2024 Relatives of Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks, mourn as they receive their bodies from the morgue of Al-Aqsa Hospital for burial in Deir El-Balah, Gaza on February 15, 2023. (Photo: Ali Hamad/APA Images) Relatives of Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks, mourn as they receive their bodies from the morgue of Al-Aqsa Hospital for burial in Deir El-Balah, Gaza on February 15, 2023. (Photo: Ali Hamad/APA Images) Casualties: 28,775+ Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, including at least 12,000 children, and 68,552+ Palestinians have been injured. 394+ 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. 569 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.** *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 36,500 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Key Developments: A dire situation at the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis is unfolding, as Israel’s raid continues, forcing displaced people and medical staff to evacuate the building. World Health Organization (WHO) is trying to access Nasser Hospital to deliver humanitarian aid UNWRA: 84 percent of healthcare facilities in Gaza affected by Israeli aggression Satellite imagery shows the construction of a wall along the border between Gaza and Egypt, raising suspicion that Palestinians might be forced to evacuate into the Sinai Desert Gaza Media Office: 130 journalists killed in Gaza since October 7, 2023 West Bank: Israeli military raids 15 homes in the town of Silat ad-Dhahr At least two dead in “suspected terror” shooting attack in southern Israel Lebanon submits a formal complaint to the UN Security Council, following Israel’s attacks in Nabatiyeh Russia invites Hamas and other Palestinian factions to Moscow for “inter-Palestinian” talks on Gaza, and other Middle East issues Germany approves the deployment of armed forces in an EU mission to thwart Houthi attacks in the Red Sea Biden administration meets with Jewish and Muslim community leaders to discuss rising antisemitism and Islamophobia Dire situation unfolds at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis A dire situation at the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis is unfolding as Israel continues its raid on the largest functioning medical facility remaining in the Gaza Strip. “We are forced to transfer all the patients and the wounded to the hospital’s old building,” Dr. Nahed Abu Taima, the Director of the Nasser Medical Complex told Al Jazeera. “Electric power was cut off from the entire medical complex,” he continued, describing how the raid is impacting the 450 patients at the hospital, many of whom are in critical condition. “Many patients in ICUs and those on oxygen supply, and also those on dialysis are left fighting for their lives.” Meanwhile, most medical staff has been forced to evacuate—including the Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF) staff, leaving behind patients in critical condition. Israel’s incursion on the Nasser Hospital is part of a string of attacks targeting medical facilities and healthcare workers that have brought Gaza’s healthcare infrastructure to its knees, making it increasingly difficult to treat life-threatening injuries and carry out essential medical procedures. “After the bombing yesterday morning, our cadres reported an atmosphere of chaos, with an unknown number of dead and wounded,” Medicins Sans Frontiers wrote in a report on X, after their staff was forced to flee. According to UNRWA, 84 percent of health facilities in Gaza have now been impacted by Israeli aggression, and 70 percent of civilian infrastructure has been destroyed or severely damaged. “The Israeli forces set up a checkpoint for people as they left the compound, and one of our colleagues was arrested at the checkpoint,” MSF added. While the Israeli Army has claimed that their raid on the Nasser Hospital has lead to the arrest of “dozens of terrorists,” and could reveal hiding places of Israeli hostages, Hamas denies any presence at the hospital, emphasizing that they are not engaging in military activity near public or civilian institutions. There has been no evidence found of Israeli hostages. “We have repeatedly said the policy of our Palestinian resistance is and remains to distance public and civilian institutions and the health sector from any military activity.” Hamas said, in a statement. “We have asked the United Nations and relevant organizations on several occasions to bring an international committee to examine the hospitals and prove that Israel’s narrative is a lie. But our demands have not been heard.” Up until recently, there were around 10,000 displaced Palestinians sheltering in the Nasser Hospital, hoping that it would keep them safe from Israel’s bombardment. However, when the Israeli forces began their incursion a few days ago, people were forced to leave. Now, Israeli forces are storming the maternity unit of the besieged hospital—and so far, two women have given birth in these conditions, as dozens evacuate. Satellite imagery shows a border wall being constructed between Gaza and Egypt Those who are evacuating have almost nowhere left to turn. While Rafah, the southernmost district of the Gaza Strip is now home to more than one million displaced Palestinians, those who are sheltering there are preparing for a ground invasion—which several global leaders, including most recently those in Australia, Canada and New Zealand have all said would be “catastrophic.” “With the humanitarian situation in Gaza already dire, the impact on Palestinian civilians from an expanded military operation would be devastating,” Anthony Albanese, Justin Trudeau and Christopher Luxon said, in a joint statement. “We urge the Israeli government to go down this path,” it continues, echoing calls from countries like Spain and Ireland who have both recently applied pressure to the European Commission to review whether or not Israel is complying with human rights obligations in Gaza. New evidence of a border wall being constructed between Egypt and Gaza suggests that the Israeli army might be preparing to force Palestinians sheltering in Rafah to evacuate to the Sinai Desert, officially pushing them out of Gaza. It is already straining Israel’s relationship with Egypt; Egyptian officials are afraid that a massive exodus of refugees would strain the Egyptian economy in the short term, and that in the long term, Israel would not allow Palestinian refugees to return to Gaza, cementing another Nakba and obfuscating the Palestinian right of return. Families of hostages pressure government for a truce, Netanyahu rejects a Palestinian state Over in the West Bank, the Israeli military has raided more than fifteen homes in the town of Silat ad-Dhahr, arresting dozens of young men. Now, there have been at least 7,040 Palestinians detained in raids across the West Bank since October 7th, and at least 394 Palestinians killed and 4,400 injured in Israeli army fire. Meanwhile in Tel Aviv, families of Israeli captives are increasing pressure on the Israeli government to reach a ceasefire agreement with Hamas, accusing Netanyahu’s government of squandering an opportunity to release the remaining hostages. Dozens have started staging rallies outside of the Israeli Defense Ministry, echoing the international community’s calls for an urgent ceasefire, at least until the hostages have been released. However, the Israeli government is trying to avoid any possibility of a Palestinian state—and Netanyahu is quoted as saying that this would be a “huge reward” for Hamas. “We will in no way agree to this plan, which says Palestinians deserve a prize for the terrible massacre they carried out against us: a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital,” Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich told Reuters, following the news that the United States is working with Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar on a post-war timeline that would involve establishing a Palestinian state. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/02/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-133-israel-cuts-electricity-to-critical-nasser-hospital-patients-forces-staff-to-evacuate/ https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/02/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-133-israel.html
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 133: Israel cuts electricity to critical Nasser Hospital patients, forces staff to evacuate
    Medicins Sans Frontiers reports “an unknown number of dead and wounded” following Israel’s attack on Nasser Hospital. UNRWA says 84% of Gaza health facilities have been impacted by Israeli attacks, and 70% of civilian infrastructure has been damaged.
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  • https://allnewsadvertisment-website.blogspot.com/2024/02/hamas-responded-to-qatar-and-egypts.html
    https://allnewsadvertisment-website.blogspot.com/2024/02/hamas-responded-to-qatar-and-egypts.html
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    Hamas responded to Qatar and Egypt's proposals for a ceasefire
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 117: Israel besieges Nasser Hospital for tenth consecutive day
    Mustafa Abu SneinehJanuary 31, 2024
    Palestinians wait in line in front of bakeries for hours to buy bread that is available in limited quantities in Deir al-Balah, January 30, 2024. (Photo: Naaman Omar/APA Images)
    Palestinians wait in line in front of bakeries for hours to buy bread that is available in limited quantities in Deir al-Balah, January 30, 2024. (Photo: Naaman Omar/APA Images)
    Casualties

    26,900+ killed* and at least 65,949 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    387+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
    560 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.**
    *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 32,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** This figure is released by the Israeli military.

    Key Developments

    Palestinians bury bodies of 100 people in mass grave in Rafah city following weeks of being held in Israel.
    Wafa reports Palestinian medics found organs missing from martyrs’ bodies, accuse Israeli authorities of stealing them.
    Al-Amal and Nasser Hospitals under siege by Israeli tanks in Khan Younis for tenth consecutive day.
    PRCS says Israeli forces kill security employee in Al-Amal Hospital while standing near backdoor.
    Nasser Hospital warns electrical generators will stop within two days due to fuel shortages, waste accumulates inside facility as Israeli forces refuse to allow it to be transported out.
    Israeli forces start flooding some tunnels in Gaza by pumping large amounts of sea water.
    BBC says Israeli bombardment destroyed or damaged more than half of Gaza’s buildings between October 12 last year and January 29.
    The Washington Post reports U.S. “has not independently verified Israel’s claims” about UNRWA employees’ alleged involvement in October 7 attack.
    Nine UNRWA employees could return to work if found innocent, were “pre-emptively dismissed” and have “right of recourse,” according to UNRWA spokesperson.
    Israel’s Netanyahu says truce and exchange deal with Hamas won’t happen on his watch.
    Israeli authorities in Jerusalem force Palestinian to demolish his own house in Jabal al-Mukabbir.
    100 Palestinian bodies buried in a mass grave in Rafah

    Palestinians buried the bodies of 100 people in a mass grave in Rafah city on Tuesday afternoon, following weeks of being held in Israel.

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    Wafa news agency reported that some of the Palestinian martyrs could not be identified due to decomposition, while medics accused Israeli authorities of stealing organs from some of them.

    Israeli forces handed the bodies at Kerem Abu Salem crossing, south of the Gaza Strip, and Palestinians laid the bodies in a long grave, wrapped in dark navy sheets, and used a bulldozer to cover them with soil.

    Wafa reported that it is unclear when and where Israel killed those Palestinians since October. It added that Israeli forces rampaged through Palestinian cemeteries and took several bodies of those buried there.

    As Israeli forces advanced into Al-Shifa Hospital in November, the army exhumed graves in north Gaza and took 110 bodies to inspect whether any of them were Israeli captives.

    According to the BCC, Israeli forces have destroyed nearly half a dozen graveyards in the Gaza Strip since October, including the cemeteries of al-Faluga, Beit Lahia, al-Shuja’iyya and Beit Hanoun, among others.

    Wafa reported that Palestinian medics found missing organs from the martyrs’ bodies and accused Israeli authorities of stealing them.

    Israeli tanks besiege Al-Amal and Nasser Hospitals in Khan Younis

    Gaza’s Ministry of Health said on Wednesday that Israeli forces killed 150 Palestinians and injured 313 others in 16 massacres in the past 24 hours. The number of Palestinians killed in the Israeli aggression on Gaza now stands at 26,900 martyrs, and 65,949 were injured since October.

    For the tenth consecutive day, both the Al-Amal and Nasser Hospitals are under siege by Israeli tanks and forces in Khan Younis, south of Gaza, the second-largest city in the enclave.

    There are 36 hospitals in the Gaza Strip, but only 14 of them are partially operating — nine of them in southern Gaza, including al-Amal and Nasser Hospitals.

    Gaza’s Ministry of Health spokesperson Dr. Ashraf al-Qidra said yesterday that there were 150 medical staff, 450 injured patients, and 3,000 displaced Palestinians trapped in the Nasser Hospital, and that they are at risk of Israeli fire if they attempt to leave.

    Wafa reported that Israeli forces also fired bullets at anyone who moved in the vicinity of the al-Amal Hospital, which is run by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS).

    Israeli forces stormed the al-Amal Hospital courtyard on Tuesday and the PRCS offices.

    “Israeli tanks are currently stationed in A-Amal hospital front yard, firing live ammunition and smoke grenades at the displaced individuals and PRCS staff,” PRCS wrote on X on Tuesday afternoon.

    “We deeply worry for the safety of our teams, the wounded, the sick, and thousands of displaced people in the building. Fires have broken out in tents within the confines of the PRCS Headquarters,” it added.

    PRCS said on Wednesday that Israeli forces shot and killed a security employee in al-Amal as he was standing near a rear door.

    “Intense and ongoing targeting in the vicinity of Amal Hospital and the launch of smoke grenades,” PRCS wrote on X on Wednesday morning.

    The Nasser Hospital has warned that electrical generators will stop within two days due to fuel shortages and that waste has accumulated inside the facility as Israeli forces refuse to allow it to be transported out.

    Israel begins flooding Gaza tunnels

    Israeli forces announced on Tuesday evening that they started flooding tunnels in Gaza where “suitable,” pumping large amounts of sea water into them.

    Following a report in December about the Israeli plan to flood Gaza tunnels used by Palestinian resistance fighters, concerns were raised regarding the damage salted seawater could cause to the soil, environment, and fresh water in the Gaza Strip, which would affect the livelihoods of nearly 2.3 million Palestinians.

    The Guardian reported then that flooding under Gaza would amount to “ruining the basic conditions for life in Gaza” and cause “an ecological catastrophe,” which would constitute one element of the crime of genocide.

    Israel destroyed half of Gaza’s buildings

    In the past 24 hours, Israel continued to bombard Gaza from land and air. Wafa reported that at least six Palestinians were killed in Khan Younis by Israeli artillery and airstrikes. Israel also bombed the neighborhoods of al-Daraj, al-Zaytoun, Sina, and al-Rimal, on the outskirts of Gaza City. Palestinian medics and ambulances faced difficulties reaching these areas to retrieve the bodies of Palestinians and rescue the injured.

    In the Tal al-Zaatar neighborhood in Jabalia, Israel artillery targeted al-Awda Hospital while bombing the vicinity of al-Dawa Mosque, north of Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.

    In Khan Younis, Israeli forces bombed the al-Namsawi (The Austrian) neighborhood and the city center. Wafa reported that Israeli bulldozers razed and swept parts of Al-Shuhada Street in Gaza City under the protection of tanks and air forces.

    An Israeli airstrike killed at least 11 Palestinians in Deir al-Balah on Tuesday evening.

    The BBC released a report saying that more than half of the Gaza Strip buildings were destroyed or damaged in the Israeli bombardment campaign. The report covers the period from October 12 last year till January 29, based on satellite imagery.

    “Across Gaza, residential areas have been left ruined, previously busy shopping streets reduced to rubble, universities destroyed and farmlands churned up, with tent cities springing up on the southern border to house many thousands of people left homeless,” BBC reported.

    Since December, Khan Younis saw immense destruction by Israeli forces. BBC analysis revealed that “between 144,000 and 175,000 buildings across the whole Gaza Strip have been damaged or destroyed. That’s between 50% and 61% of Gaza’s buildings.”

    Nearly two million Palestinians have been internally displaced, the majority having fled from northern and central Gaza to Rafah city, which borders Egypt in the south.

    Israeli bombardment chased them there, however, and in recent weeks, rain and cold weather has made daily life miserable for thousands of families amid a lack of sufficient food, fresh water, and efficient sources of heating.

    ‘Withdrawing funds from UNRWA is perilous‘

    The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) warned again of the abrupt ending of donations by the U.S. and other states, which would lead to the shutting down of humanitarian operations in the Gaza Strip.

    Last week, the U.S., the biggest donor to UNRWA, said it was suspending the money it pledged to the UN agency after Israel claimed that 12 UNRWA employees were involved in Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on October 7.

    UNRWA said that it fired nine of the employees, and a tenth is still being identified, while the remaining two were killed in the October attack.

    “Withdrawing funds from UNRWA is perilous and would result in the collapse of the humanitarian system in Gaza, with far-reaching humanitarian and human rights consequences in the occupied Palestinian territory and across the region,” UNRWA said in a statement on Tuesday.

    UNRWA employs 30,000 workers, 13,000 of them in the Gaza Strip, and the rest are in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and the West Bank.

    Israeli politicians have long aimed to weaken and bring UNRWA to an end long before October 7, as the agency highlighted the plight of millions of Palestinian refugees and their right of return to their homes and lands inside modern-day Israel.

    The Washington Post reported that the U.S. “has not independently verified Israel’s claims [about UNRWA’s employees], which are based on intercepted communications, phone location data, interrogations of Hamas fighters and documents that the Israeli military has recovered in Gaza.”

    It added that one of the reasons the U.S. rushed to end donations to UNRWA is to compel the agency to conduct a thorough investigation “or risk permanently losing funding from Western governments whose donations are critical to its survival.”

    However, U.S. officials acknowledge that there is no alternative to UNRWA to supply humanitarian aid in Gaza. The case is not sealed yet, and the nine UNRWA employees could return to work if they are found innocent, as they were “pre-emptively dismissed” and have “the right of recourse,” an UNRWA spokesperson told Al-Jazeera.

    Israel’s Netanyahu says truce and exchange deal with Hamas won’t happen

    As details of a potential truce and captive exchange deal leaked to the media, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assured Israelis that such a deal will not take place on his watch.

    According to the potential deal, a 45-day pause of fighting would be announced by Israel and Palestinian resistance movements, during which Hamas will release 35 Israeli captives in return for 4,000 Palestinian prisoners.

    Netanyahu said on Tuesday evening, “we will not remove the IDF from the Gaza Strip and we will not release thousands of terrorists.”

    “None of this will happen. What will happen? Absolute victory!” he added during a speech at the Bnei David academy in the illegal settlement of Eli in the occupied West Bank.

    The deal is yet to be confirmed, and Hamas is studying it before replying through Qatar and Egypt.

    Yair Lapid, an opposition figure who served for a stint as prime minister, said that there will be “a safety net” in the Knesset for Netanyahu’s government to help advance “any deal that brings the hostages home.”

    Lapid’s words came after several right-wing ministers threatened to collapse the government if Netanyahu pushed ahead with the deal, which if successful, will be the biggest since 1985.

    Israeli forces have arrested 1,000 Palestinians from Jenin since October

    Israeli forces arrested 16 Palestinians from the occupied West Bank, including two women, on Wednesday. During the arrest campaign, carried out during the night, military forces raided Azzun, Nablus, Bethlehem, Beit Fajjar, Qalandia refugee camp, Ramallah, and Jaba near Jenin.

    According to the Prisoner’s Club, Israel arrested 1,000 Palestinians from the Jenin area since October, making up nearly a sixth of the total 6,420 detainees.

    On Tuesday, Israeli authorities in occupied Jerusalem forced Jamil Sarri to self-demolish his house in the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood, rendering his family homeless.

    The house of 100 square meters was built without an Israeli permit, and if authorities demolished it, Sarri would have to have paid the costs of the demolition.

    Israel rejects 98 percent of Palestinian applications for building permits in Jerusalem while continuing to build and plan for the construction of thousands of new settler housing units.

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

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

    Support our journalists with a donation today.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-117-israel-besieges-nasser-hospital-for-tenth-consecutive-day/

    https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-117-israel.html
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 117: Israel besieges Nasser Hospital for tenth consecutive day Mustafa Abu SneinehJanuary 31, 2024 Palestinians wait in line in front of bakeries for hours to buy bread that is available in limited quantities in Deir al-Balah, January 30, 2024. (Photo: Naaman Omar/APA Images) Palestinians wait in line in front of bakeries for hours to buy bread that is available in limited quantities in Deir al-Balah, January 30, 2024. (Photo: Naaman Omar/APA Images) Casualties 26,900+ killed* and at least 65,949 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 387+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147. 560 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.** *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 32,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** This figure is released by the Israeli military. Key Developments Palestinians bury bodies of 100 people in mass grave in Rafah city following weeks of being held in Israel. Wafa reports Palestinian medics found organs missing from martyrs’ bodies, accuse Israeli authorities of stealing them. Al-Amal and Nasser Hospitals under siege by Israeli tanks in Khan Younis for tenth consecutive day. PRCS says Israeli forces kill security employee in Al-Amal Hospital while standing near backdoor. Nasser Hospital warns electrical generators will stop within two days due to fuel shortages, waste accumulates inside facility as Israeli forces refuse to allow it to be transported out. Israeli forces start flooding some tunnels in Gaza by pumping large amounts of sea water. BBC says Israeli bombardment destroyed or damaged more than half of Gaza’s buildings between October 12 last year and January 29. The Washington Post reports U.S. “has not independently verified Israel’s claims” about UNRWA employees’ alleged involvement in October 7 attack. Nine UNRWA employees could return to work if found innocent, were “pre-emptively dismissed” and have “right of recourse,” according to UNRWA spokesperson. Israel’s Netanyahu says truce and exchange deal with Hamas won’t happen on his watch. Israeli authorities in Jerusalem force Palestinian to demolish his own house in Jabal al-Mukabbir. 100 Palestinian bodies buried in a mass grave in Rafah Palestinians buried the bodies of 100 people in a mass grave in Rafah city on Tuesday afternoon, following weeks of being held in Israel. Advertisement Mondoweiss publishes news and analysis about Palestine for people taking action. Donate today. Wafa news agency reported that some of the Palestinian martyrs could not be identified due to decomposition, while medics accused Israeli authorities of stealing organs from some of them. Israeli forces handed the bodies at Kerem Abu Salem crossing, south of the Gaza Strip, and Palestinians laid the bodies in a long grave, wrapped in dark navy sheets, and used a bulldozer to cover them with soil. Wafa reported that it is unclear when and where Israel killed those Palestinians since October. It added that Israeli forces rampaged through Palestinian cemeteries and took several bodies of those buried there. As Israeli forces advanced into Al-Shifa Hospital in November, the army exhumed graves in north Gaza and took 110 bodies to inspect whether any of them were Israeli captives. According to the BCC, Israeli forces have destroyed nearly half a dozen graveyards in the Gaza Strip since October, including the cemeteries of al-Faluga, Beit Lahia, al-Shuja’iyya and Beit Hanoun, among others. Wafa reported that Palestinian medics found missing organs from the martyrs’ bodies and accused Israeli authorities of stealing them. Israeli tanks besiege Al-Amal and Nasser Hospitals in Khan Younis Gaza’s Ministry of Health said on Wednesday that Israeli forces killed 150 Palestinians and injured 313 others in 16 massacres in the past 24 hours. The number of Palestinians killed in the Israeli aggression on Gaza now stands at 26,900 martyrs, and 65,949 were injured since October. For the tenth consecutive day, both the Al-Amal and Nasser Hospitals are under siege by Israeli tanks and forces in Khan Younis, south of Gaza, the second-largest city in the enclave. There are 36 hospitals in the Gaza Strip, but only 14 of them are partially operating — nine of them in southern Gaza, including al-Amal and Nasser Hospitals. Gaza’s Ministry of Health spokesperson Dr. Ashraf al-Qidra said yesterday that there were 150 medical staff, 450 injured patients, and 3,000 displaced Palestinians trapped in the Nasser Hospital, and that they are at risk of Israeli fire if they attempt to leave. Wafa reported that Israeli forces also fired bullets at anyone who moved in the vicinity of the al-Amal Hospital, which is run by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS). Israeli forces stormed the al-Amal Hospital courtyard on Tuesday and the PRCS offices. “Israeli tanks are currently stationed in A-Amal hospital front yard, firing live ammunition and smoke grenades at the displaced individuals and PRCS staff,” PRCS wrote on X on Tuesday afternoon. “We deeply worry for the safety of our teams, the wounded, the sick, and thousands of displaced people in the building. Fires have broken out in tents within the confines of the PRCS Headquarters,” it added. PRCS said on Wednesday that Israeli forces shot and killed a security employee in al-Amal as he was standing near a rear door. “Intense and ongoing targeting in the vicinity of Amal Hospital and the launch of smoke grenades,” PRCS wrote on X on Wednesday morning. The Nasser Hospital has warned that electrical generators will stop within two days due to fuel shortages and that waste has accumulated inside the facility as Israeli forces refuse to allow it to be transported out. Israel begins flooding Gaza tunnels Israeli forces announced on Tuesday evening that they started flooding tunnels in Gaza where “suitable,” pumping large amounts of sea water into them. Following a report in December about the Israeli plan to flood Gaza tunnels used by Palestinian resistance fighters, concerns were raised regarding the damage salted seawater could cause to the soil, environment, and fresh water in the Gaza Strip, which would affect the livelihoods of nearly 2.3 million Palestinians. The Guardian reported then that flooding under Gaza would amount to “ruining the basic conditions for life in Gaza” and cause “an ecological catastrophe,” which would constitute one element of the crime of genocide. Israel destroyed half of Gaza’s buildings In the past 24 hours, Israel continued to bombard Gaza from land and air. Wafa reported that at least six Palestinians were killed in Khan Younis by Israeli artillery and airstrikes. Israel also bombed the neighborhoods of al-Daraj, al-Zaytoun, Sina, and al-Rimal, on the outskirts of Gaza City. Palestinian medics and ambulances faced difficulties reaching these areas to retrieve the bodies of Palestinians and rescue the injured. In the Tal al-Zaatar neighborhood in Jabalia, Israel artillery targeted al-Awda Hospital while bombing the vicinity of al-Dawa Mosque, north of Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza. In Khan Younis, Israeli forces bombed the al-Namsawi (The Austrian) neighborhood and the city center. Wafa reported that Israeli bulldozers razed and swept parts of Al-Shuhada Street in Gaza City under the protection of tanks and air forces. An Israeli airstrike killed at least 11 Palestinians in Deir al-Balah on Tuesday evening. The BBC released a report saying that more than half of the Gaza Strip buildings were destroyed or damaged in the Israeli bombardment campaign. The report covers the period from October 12 last year till January 29, based on satellite imagery. “Across Gaza, residential areas have been left ruined, previously busy shopping streets reduced to rubble, universities destroyed and farmlands churned up, with tent cities springing up on the southern border to house many thousands of people left homeless,” BBC reported. Since December, Khan Younis saw immense destruction by Israeli forces. BBC analysis revealed that “between 144,000 and 175,000 buildings across the whole Gaza Strip have been damaged or destroyed. That’s between 50% and 61% of Gaza’s buildings.” Nearly two million Palestinians have been internally displaced, the majority having fled from northern and central Gaza to Rafah city, which borders Egypt in the south. Israeli bombardment chased them there, however, and in recent weeks, rain and cold weather has made daily life miserable for thousands of families amid a lack of sufficient food, fresh water, and efficient sources of heating. ‘Withdrawing funds from UNRWA is perilous‘ The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) warned again of the abrupt ending of donations by the U.S. and other states, which would lead to the shutting down of humanitarian operations in the Gaza Strip. Last week, the U.S., the biggest donor to UNRWA, said it was suspending the money it pledged to the UN agency after Israel claimed that 12 UNRWA employees were involved in Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on October 7. UNRWA said that it fired nine of the employees, and a tenth is still being identified, while the remaining two were killed in the October attack. “Withdrawing funds from UNRWA is perilous and would result in the collapse of the humanitarian system in Gaza, with far-reaching humanitarian and human rights consequences in the occupied Palestinian territory and across the region,” UNRWA said in a statement on Tuesday. UNRWA employs 30,000 workers, 13,000 of them in the Gaza Strip, and the rest are in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and the West Bank. Israeli politicians have long aimed to weaken and bring UNRWA to an end long before October 7, as the agency highlighted the plight of millions of Palestinian refugees and their right of return to their homes and lands inside modern-day Israel. The Washington Post reported that the U.S. “has not independently verified Israel’s claims [about UNRWA’s employees], which are based on intercepted communications, phone location data, interrogations of Hamas fighters and documents that the Israeli military has recovered in Gaza.” It added that one of the reasons the U.S. rushed to end donations to UNRWA is to compel the agency to conduct a thorough investigation “or risk permanently losing funding from Western governments whose donations are critical to its survival.” However, U.S. officials acknowledge that there is no alternative to UNRWA to supply humanitarian aid in Gaza. The case is not sealed yet, and the nine UNRWA employees could return to work if they are found innocent, as they were “pre-emptively dismissed” and have “the right of recourse,” an UNRWA spokesperson told Al-Jazeera. Israel’s Netanyahu says truce and exchange deal with Hamas won’t happen As details of a potential truce and captive exchange deal leaked to the media, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assured Israelis that such a deal will not take place on his watch. According to the potential deal, a 45-day pause of fighting would be announced by Israel and Palestinian resistance movements, during which Hamas will release 35 Israeli captives in return for 4,000 Palestinian prisoners. Netanyahu said on Tuesday evening, “we will not remove the IDF from the Gaza Strip and we will not release thousands of terrorists.” “None of this will happen. What will happen? Absolute victory!” he added during a speech at the Bnei David academy in the illegal settlement of Eli in the occupied West Bank. The deal is yet to be confirmed, and Hamas is studying it before replying through Qatar and Egypt. Yair Lapid, an opposition figure who served for a stint as prime minister, said that there will be “a safety net” in the Knesset for Netanyahu’s government to help advance “any deal that brings the hostages home.” Lapid’s words came after several right-wing ministers threatened to collapse the government if Netanyahu pushed ahead with the deal, which if successful, will be the biggest since 1985. Israeli forces have arrested 1,000 Palestinians from Jenin since October Israeli forces arrested 16 Palestinians from the occupied West Bank, including two women, on Wednesday. During the arrest campaign, carried out during the night, military forces raided Azzun, Nablus, Bethlehem, Beit Fajjar, Qalandia refugee camp, Ramallah, and Jaba near Jenin. According to the Prisoner’s Club, Israel arrested 1,000 Palestinians from the Jenin area since October, making up nearly a sixth of the total 6,420 detainees. On Tuesday, Israeli authorities in occupied Jerusalem forced Jamil Sarri to self-demolish his house in the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood, rendering his family homeless. The house of 100 square meters was built without an Israeli permit, and if authorities demolished it, Sarri would have to have paid the costs of the demolition. Israel rejects 98 percent of Palestinian applications for building permits in Jerusalem while continuing to build and plan for the construction of thousands of new settler housing units. BEFORE YOU GO – At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever. Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses. Support our journalists with a donation today. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-117-israel-besieges-nasser-hospital-for-tenth-consecutive-day/ https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-117-israel.html
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 117: Israel besieges Nasser Hospital for tenth consecutive day
    Palestinians buried 100 bodies held by Israel in a mass grave in Rafah. Netanyahu says a truce and exchange deal won’t happen on his watch, while Israeli forces started flooding Gaza tunnels.
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 116: Israeli forces carry out assassination raid inside Jenin hospital disguised as doctors
    Israeli forces continue to besiege Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, and carried out an assassination raid inside a Jenin hospital disguised as doctors and civilians. A truce and captive exchange deal between Israel and Hamas could be confirmed soon.

    Mustafa Abu SneinehJanuary 30, 2024
    Screenshot from CCTV footage of Israeli forces raiding Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin while disguised as doctors and civilians. (Video: Social Media)
    Screenshot from CCTV footage of Israeli forces raiding Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin while disguised as doctors and civilians. (Video: Social Media)
    Casualties

    26,751+ killed* and at least 65,636 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    387+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
    557 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.**
    *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 33,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** This figure is released by the Israeli military.

    Key Developments

    Israeli force of ten soldiers storm Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin and kill three Palestinians with silenced pistols.
    Israeli forces siege Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, bar entry and exit to Palestinians.
    Dr. Asharf al-Qudra says Israeli forces are besieging Nasser Hospital for a second consecutive week, trapping 150 medical staff, 450 injured, and 3,000 displaced Palestinians.
    The Palestine Red Crescent Society loses communication with team sent to rescue 6-year-old girl in Gaza.
    Israeli forces push Palestinians sheltering in Al-Shifa’ Hospital to eastern areas as it bombs southern and western Gaza City.
    Israel bombs house of Madoukh family in the Al-Sabra neighborhood in Gaza City, killing at least 20 people. It also bombs Rafah’s El-Geneina neighborhood, Nuseirat camp, Batn al-Sameen area, and Al-Amal neighborhood in Khan Younis.
    Israeli protest attempts to block aid trucks entering into Gaza Strip from the Kerem Abu Salem crossing.
    Israeli “Order 9” movement calls on government to bar entry to humanitarian aid into Gaza as long as Hamas holds Israeli captives.
    UN warns, “If the funding is not resumed, UNRWA will not be able to continue its services and operations across the region, including in Gaza, beyond the end of February.”
    According to a potential deal between Israel and Hamas, there will be 45-day pause of fighting, during which Hamas will release 35 Israeli captives in return for 4,000 Palestinian prisoners.
    Hamas launches barrage of rockets on Tel Aviv on Monday from Khan Younis and published footage of targeting Israeli tanks with 105mm Al-Yaseen anti-tank shells.
    Israeli forces kill three Palestinians in Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin

    In the past 24 hours, Israeli forces have targeted hospitals in the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank, killing and injuring several Palestinians.

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    On Tuesday morning, an Israeli force of ten soldiers stormed the Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin town, killing three Palestinians with silenced pistols.

    The Israeli unit was disguised as doctors, nurses, and civilians. Footage of the moment they stormed Ibn Sina shows shocked medical staff and patients who were threatened at gunpoint.


    Palestinian resistance fighters clashed with the Israeli forces, which stormed Jenin and its refugee camp overnight.

    Israel has killed more than 380 Palestinians in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem since October; 62 of them since January.

    The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Minister of Health, Dr. Mai al-Kaila, condemned the Israeli attack.

    “This crime comes after dozens of crimes committed by the [Israeli] occupation forces against health centers and staff… International law provides general and specific protection for civilian sites, including hospitals,” said al-Kaila.

    The three Palestinians killed in the Ibn Sina Hospital were identified as the brothers Muhammad and Basil Ayman Al-Ghazawi, and Muhammad Walid Jalamna, according to Wafa news agency.

    Basel has been injured during a previous Israeli raid of Jenin and has been in the Ibn Sina since October 25, Wafa reported. Israel said the Palestinians in the hospital were a “Hamas unit.”

    In the last 48 hours Israeli forces have killed at least nine Palestinians in the West Bank (more below).

    Israel puts Nasser Hospital under siege for a second week

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces has put the Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis under a brutal siege, barring entry and exit to the facility, which has forced Palestinian families to bury their relatives in the hospital’s yards.

    The Nasser Hospital is the biggest and most vital health facility in south Gaza and has the highest number of beds, doctors, and operation rooms. It offers medical services to Palestinians as far as Rafah, the most southern town in Gaza.

    Gaza’s Ministry of Health spokesperson Dr. Asharf al-Qudra said on Tuesday that Israeli forces are besieging the hospital for the second consecutive week.

    Currently, there are 150 medical staff, 450 injured patients, and 3,000 displaced Palestinians trapped in the facility, and they are at risk of Israeli fire if they attempt to leave.

    “Electrical generators at Nasser Medical Complex will stop within two days due to fuel shortages,” Dr. al-Qudra said in a statement on Telegram.

    “Waste accumulates in the sections and courtyards of the Nasser Medical Complex, and the occupation refuses to allow it to be transported out,” he added.

    The ministry said that Israeli forces killed 114 Palestinians and injured 249 others in 13 massacres in Gaza in the past 24 hours.

    “A number of victims are still under rubble and on the roads. The occupation prevents ambulance and civil defense crews from reaching them,” it added.

    The number of Palestinians killed in the Israeli aggression on Gaza now stands at 26,751 martyrs, and 65,636 were injured since October.

    Red Crescent loses communication with team rescuing girl in Gaza

    One of those victims is Hind, a 6-year-old girl, who found herself surrounded by Israeli tanks in Gaza City.

    The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said that it lost communication with a team dispatched to rescue Hind, who was inside a vehicle.

    “We remain unaware of their fate and whether they succeeded in evacuating her or not,” PRCS said.

    Israeli forces had targeted Hind’s family, killing her father, mother, and four brothers. The girl was trapped inside a car in a designated military zone in Gaza.

    Israeli forces placed the Al-Shifa’ Hospital under siege again in north Gaza. Al-Shifa’ dominated the headlines when Israel stormed it in November in search of a purported Hamas command center underneath it, which proved to not exist.

    On Monday, Israeli forces pushed Palestinians sheltering in the Al-Shifaa to areas east of Gaza City as it bombed southern and western Gaza.

    A Palestinian woman, who was sheltering in Al-Rimal school near the Al-Shifa, told Al-Jazeera Arabic that Israeli tanks kept approaching until it stopped at the gates of the school.

    “We fled. We were scared and terrorized. I can’t remember how we escaped. We walked all the way, pushed by fear. My daughter is injured. The tanks were at the school gates for an hour,” she said.

    “We left while it was dark, tumbling over each other. We walked over the bodies of martyrs in the dark. There were 13 of them,” she said.

    In Rafah, thousands of Palestinians have been living under heavy rain, lacking drinking water and food. Some could not find a tent, which a used one could cost around $1,000 USD on the open market.

    The desperate situation pushed some families to rent warehouses, a corridor in residential buildings, or even a barn in Rafah.

    Al-Akhbar newspaper’s correspondent, Youssef Faris, spoke to a family who rented a barn to shelter from the rain after it lost its home in an Israeli attack.

    “The owners agreed to rent [the barn] to us for $600 a month. We worked hard for a week to clean it, and now we live in it,” he reported.

    Israel had turned the Gaza Strip into a hell on earth, with nearly two million Palestinians currently displaced and thousands buried under the rubble.

    Israel also kept bombing Gaza, killing hundreds of Palestinians each day, despite its announcement early in January that it was moving to a “less intense stage” of military operations.

    On Monday evening, the Israeli military bombed the house of the Madoukh family in the Al-Sabra neighborhood in Gaza City, killing at least 20 people. It also bombed Rafah’s El-Geneina neighborhood, Nuseirat camp, Batn al-Sameen area, and the Al-Amal neighborhood in Khan Younis.

    Israeli activists attempt to block aid trucks entering Gaza

    For the seventh consecutive day, an Israeli protest organized by the Order 9 movement, attempted to block aid trucks entering into the Gaza Strip from the Kerem Abu Salem crossing.

    The Order 9 movement, whose slogan is “The Victory Depends on You!” in Hebrew, is calling for the Israeli government to bar entry to humanitarian aid into Gaza as long as Israeli captives are held by Hamas.

    Skirmishes between the activists and Israeli military police took place over the past two days.

    An Israeli reserve soldier was arrested at the Kerem Abu Salem crossing along with 13 others on Monday. Minister of Defence, Yoav Gallant, was faced with a protest by reserve soldiers who called him to block aid going into Gaza.

    Gaza is already under a severe shortage of medical, food, water, and fuel supplies. A number of states, including the U.S., had suspended its donations to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) after Israel claimed that 12 UNRWA employees were involved in the Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on October 7.

    UNRWA said that it sacked nine of the employees, and the tenth is still being identified. The remaining two were killed in the October attack. UNRWA employs 30,000 workers, 13,000 of them are in the Gaza Strip, and the rest are in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and the West Bank.

    The agency warned that “If the funding is not resumed, UNRWA will not be able to continue its services and operations across the region, including in Gaza, beyond the end of February.”

    Potential Hamas-Israel deal for 45-day truce and captive exchange

    On Tuesday, Hamas political chief, Ismail Haniyeh said the movement received a proposal following Paris talks over the weekend, mediated by Qatar, Egypt, and the CIA, to reach a truce and captive exchange deal.

    Haniyeh said that Hamas is studying the proposal, and its priority remains “to stop the brutal aggression against Gaza and the complete withdrawal of the [Israeli] occupation forces from the [Gaza] Strip.”

    According to the potential deal, a 45-day pause of fighting will be announced by Israel and Palestinian resistance movements, during which Hamas will release 35 Israeli captives in return for 4,000 Palestinian prisoners. If successful, the deal will be the biggest since 1985, when Israel released more than 1,150 Palestinian and some Arab national prisoners in exchange for three Israeli soldiers captured in Lebanon.

    Hamas launched a barrage of rockets on Tel Aviv on Monday from the area of Khan Younis, where Israeli tanks and forces are launching bombardment and military strikes.

    Hamas’s armed wing, the Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, also published footage of its forces targeting Israeli tanks with 105mm Al-Yaseen anti-tank shells.

    Israeli forces raid West Bank towns and kill nine Palestinians in 48 hours

    Israeli forces raided more than a dozen Palestinian towns and villages in the occupied West Bank, and killed at least nine people in less than 48 hours.

    The Palestinian Prisoners Club said Israel arrested 18 Palestinians overnight, bringing the number of arrest cases to 6,390 since last October 7, some of them were later released.

    Israeli forces killed five Palestinians on Monday. Obaida Hassan Abdel Rahman Hamed, 18, was shot dead in Silwad village, east of Ramallah, during an Israeli raid.

    In Nablus, an Israeli force shot at a Palestinian vehicle driving on a road between Aqraba and Osrin villages. The two brothers escaped death; however, bullets damaged their car windscreen and body, Wafa reported.

    Overnight, Israeli forces raided the Palestinian towns of Sinjil, Tulkarm, Noor Shams refugee camp, Nahalin near Bethlehem, Al-Aroub refugee camp, Oum Safa, Jenin, Bani Naim near Hebron, Nablus, Silwan in Jerusalem, Qalandia, Kisan, Qabatia, Al-Samou and Qalqilya.

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

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

    Support our journalists with a donation today.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-116-israeli-forces-carry-out-assassination-raid-inside-jenin-hospital-disguised-as-doctors/

    https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-116-israeli.html
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 116: Israeli forces carry out assassination raid inside Jenin hospital disguised as doctors Israeli forces continue to besiege Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, and carried out an assassination raid inside a Jenin hospital disguised as doctors and civilians. A truce and captive exchange deal between Israel and Hamas could be confirmed soon. Mustafa Abu SneinehJanuary 30, 2024 Screenshot from CCTV footage of Israeli forces raiding Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin while disguised as doctors and civilians. (Video: Social Media) Screenshot from CCTV footage of Israeli forces raiding Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin while disguised as doctors and civilians. (Video: Social Media) Casualties 26,751+ killed* and at least 65,636 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 387+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147. 557 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.** *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 33,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** This figure is released by the Israeli military. Key Developments Israeli force of ten soldiers storm Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin and kill three Palestinians with silenced pistols. Israeli forces siege Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, bar entry and exit to Palestinians. Dr. Asharf al-Qudra says Israeli forces are besieging Nasser Hospital for a second consecutive week, trapping 150 medical staff, 450 injured, and 3,000 displaced Palestinians. The Palestine Red Crescent Society loses communication with team sent to rescue 6-year-old girl in Gaza. Israeli forces push Palestinians sheltering in Al-Shifa’ Hospital to eastern areas as it bombs southern and western Gaza City. Israel bombs house of Madoukh family in the Al-Sabra neighborhood in Gaza City, killing at least 20 people. It also bombs Rafah’s El-Geneina neighborhood, Nuseirat camp, Batn al-Sameen area, and Al-Amal neighborhood in Khan Younis. Israeli protest attempts to block aid trucks entering into Gaza Strip from the Kerem Abu Salem crossing. Israeli “Order 9” movement calls on government to bar entry to humanitarian aid into Gaza as long as Hamas holds Israeli captives. UN warns, “If the funding is not resumed, UNRWA will not be able to continue its services and operations across the region, including in Gaza, beyond the end of February.” According to a potential deal between Israel and Hamas, there will be 45-day pause of fighting, during which Hamas will release 35 Israeli captives in return for 4,000 Palestinian prisoners. Hamas launches barrage of rockets on Tel Aviv on Monday from Khan Younis and published footage of targeting Israeli tanks with 105mm Al-Yaseen anti-tank shells. Israeli forces kill three Palestinians in Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin In the past 24 hours, Israeli forces have targeted hospitals in the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank, killing and injuring several Palestinians. Advertisement Join the Mondoweiss channel on Telegram! On Tuesday morning, an Israeli force of ten soldiers stormed the Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin town, killing three Palestinians with silenced pistols. The Israeli unit was disguised as doctors, nurses, and civilians. Footage of the moment they stormed Ibn Sina shows shocked medical staff and patients who were threatened at gunpoint. Palestinian resistance fighters clashed with the Israeli forces, which stormed Jenin and its refugee camp overnight. Israel has killed more than 380 Palestinians in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem since October; 62 of them since January. The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Minister of Health, Dr. Mai al-Kaila, condemned the Israeli attack. “This crime comes after dozens of crimes committed by the [Israeli] occupation forces against health centers and staff… International law provides general and specific protection for civilian sites, including hospitals,” said al-Kaila. The three Palestinians killed in the Ibn Sina Hospital were identified as the brothers Muhammad and Basil Ayman Al-Ghazawi, and Muhammad Walid Jalamna, according to Wafa news agency. Basel has been injured during a previous Israeli raid of Jenin and has been in the Ibn Sina since October 25, Wafa reported. Israel said the Palestinians in the hospital were a “Hamas unit.” In the last 48 hours Israeli forces have killed at least nine Palestinians in the West Bank (more below). Israel puts Nasser Hospital under siege for a second week In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces has put the Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis under a brutal siege, barring entry and exit to the facility, which has forced Palestinian families to bury their relatives in the hospital’s yards. The Nasser Hospital is the biggest and most vital health facility in south Gaza and has the highest number of beds, doctors, and operation rooms. It offers medical services to Palestinians as far as Rafah, the most southern town in Gaza. Gaza’s Ministry of Health spokesperson Dr. Asharf al-Qudra said on Tuesday that Israeli forces are besieging the hospital for the second consecutive week. Currently, there are 150 medical staff, 450 injured patients, and 3,000 displaced Palestinians trapped in the facility, and they are at risk of Israeli fire if they attempt to leave. “Electrical generators at Nasser Medical Complex will stop within two days due to fuel shortages,” Dr. al-Qudra said in a statement on Telegram. “Waste accumulates in the sections and courtyards of the Nasser Medical Complex, and the occupation refuses to allow it to be transported out,” he added. The ministry said that Israeli forces killed 114 Palestinians and injured 249 others in 13 massacres in Gaza in the past 24 hours. “A number of victims are still under rubble and on the roads. The occupation prevents ambulance and civil defense crews from reaching them,” it added. The number of Palestinians killed in the Israeli aggression on Gaza now stands at 26,751 martyrs, and 65,636 were injured since October. Red Crescent loses communication with team rescuing girl in Gaza One of those victims is Hind, a 6-year-old girl, who found herself surrounded by Israeli tanks in Gaza City. The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said that it lost communication with a team dispatched to rescue Hind, who was inside a vehicle. “We remain unaware of their fate and whether they succeeded in evacuating her or not,” PRCS said. Israeli forces had targeted Hind’s family, killing her father, mother, and four brothers. The girl was trapped inside a car in a designated military zone in Gaza. Israeli forces placed the Al-Shifa’ Hospital under siege again in north Gaza. Al-Shifa’ dominated the headlines when Israel stormed it in November in search of a purported Hamas command center underneath it, which proved to not exist. On Monday, Israeli forces pushed Palestinians sheltering in the Al-Shifaa to areas east of Gaza City as it bombed southern and western Gaza. A Palestinian woman, who was sheltering in Al-Rimal school near the Al-Shifa, told Al-Jazeera Arabic that Israeli tanks kept approaching until it stopped at the gates of the school. “We fled. We were scared and terrorized. I can’t remember how we escaped. We walked all the way, pushed by fear. My daughter is injured. The tanks were at the school gates for an hour,” she said. “We left while it was dark, tumbling over each other. We walked over the bodies of martyrs in the dark. There were 13 of them,” she said. In Rafah, thousands of Palestinians have been living under heavy rain, lacking drinking water and food. Some could not find a tent, which a used one could cost around $1,000 USD on the open market. The desperate situation pushed some families to rent warehouses, a corridor in residential buildings, or even a barn in Rafah. Al-Akhbar newspaper’s correspondent, Youssef Faris, spoke to a family who rented a barn to shelter from the rain after it lost its home in an Israeli attack. “The owners agreed to rent [the barn] to us for $600 a month. We worked hard for a week to clean it, and now we live in it,” he reported. Israel had turned the Gaza Strip into a hell on earth, with nearly two million Palestinians currently displaced and thousands buried under the rubble. Israel also kept bombing Gaza, killing hundreds of Palestinians each day, despite its announcement early in January that it was moving to a “less intense stage” of military operations. On Monday evening, the Israeli military bombed the house of the Madoukh family in the Al-Sabra neighborhood in Gaza City, killing at least 20 people. It also bombed Rafah’s El-Geneina neighborhood, Nuseirat camp, Batn al-Sameen area, and the Al-Amal neighborhood in Khan Younis. Israeli activists attempt to block aid trucks entering Gaza For the seventh consecutive day, an Israeli protest organized by the Order 9 movement, attempted to block aid trucks entering into the Gaza Strip from the Kerem Abu Salem crossing. The Order 9 movement, whose slogan is “The Victory Depends on You!” in Hebrew, is calling for the Israeli government to bar entry to humanitarian aid into Gaza as long as Israeli captives are held by Hamas. Skirmishes between the activists and Israeli military police took place over the past two days. An Israeli reserve soldier was arrested at the Kerem Abu Salem crossing along with 13 others on Monday. Minister of Defence, Yoav Gallant, was faced with a protest by reserve soldiers who called him to block aid going into Gaza. Gaza is already under a severe shortage of medical, food, water, and fuel supplies. A number of states, including the U.S., had suspended its donations to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) after Israel claimed that 12 UNRWA employees were involved in the Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on October 7. UNRWA said that it sacked nine of the employees, and the tenth is still being identified. The remaining two were killed in the October attack. UNRWA employs 30,000 workers, 13,000 of them are in the Gaza Strip, and the rest are in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and the West Bank. The agency warned that “If the funding is not resumed, UNRWA will not be able to continue its services and operations across the region, including in Gaza, beyond the end of February.” Potential Hamas-Israel deal for 45-day truce and captive exchange On Tuesday, Hamas political chief, Ismail Haniyeh said the movement received a proposal following Paris talks over the weekend, mediated by Qatar, Egypt, and the CIA, to reach a truce and captive exchange deal. Haniyeh said that Hamas is studying the proposal, and its priority remains “to stop the brutal aggression against Gaza and the complete withdrawal of the [Israeli] occupation forces from the [Gaza] Strip.” According to the potential deal, a 45-day pause of fighting will be announced by Israel and Palestinian resistance movements, during which Hamas will release 35 Israeli captives in return for 4,000 Palestinian prisoners. If successful, the deal will be the biggest since 1985, when Israel released more than 1,150 Palestinian and some Arab national prisoners in exchange for three Israeli soldiers captured in Lebanon. Hamas launched a barrage of rockets on Tel Aviv on Monday from the area of Khan Younis, where Israeli tanks and forces are launching bombardment and military strikes. Hamas’s armed wing, the Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, also published footage of its forces targeting Israeli tanks with 105mm Al-Yaseen anti-tank shells. Israeli forces raid West Bank towns and kill nine Palestinians in 48 hours Israeli forces raided more than a dozen Palestinian towns and villages in the occupied West Bank, and killed at least nine people in less than 48 hours. The Palestinian Prisoners Club said Israel arrested 18 Palestinians overnight, bringing the number of arrest cases to 6,390 since last October 7, some of them were later released. Israeli forces killed five Palestinians on Monday. Obaida Hassan Abdel Rahman Hamed, 18, was shot dead in Silwad village, east of Ramallah, during an Israeli raid. In Nablus, an Israeli force shot at a Palestinian vehicle driving on a road between Aqraba and Osrin villages. The two brothers escaped death; however, bullets damaged their car windscreen and body, Wafa reported. Overnight, Israeli forces raided the Palestinian towns of Sinjil, Tulkarm, Noor Shams refugee camp, Nahalin near Bethlehem, Al-Aroub refugee camp, Oum Safa, Jenin, Bani Naim near Hebron, Nablus, Silwan in Jerusalem, Qalandia, Kisan, Qabatia, Al-Samou and Qalqilya. BEFORE YOU GO – At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever. Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses. Support our journalists with a donation today. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-116-israeli-forces-carry-out-assassination-raid-inside-jenin-hospital-disguised-as-doctors/ https://donshafi911.blogspot.com/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-116-israeli.html
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    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 116: Israeli forces carry out assassination raid inside Jenin hospital disguised as doctors
    Israeli forces continue to besiege Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, and carried out an assassination raid inside a Jenin hospital disguised as doctors and civilians. A truce and captive exchange deal between Israel and Hamas could be confirmed soon.
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 111: Hospitals under siege, UNRWA shelter bombed in southern Gaza
    Leila WarahJanuary 25, 2024
    A view of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) school in Nuseirat, used as a shelter for displaced Palestinians, November 25, 2023. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    A view of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) school in Nuseirat, used as a shelter for displaced Palestinians, November 25, 2023. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Casualties

    25,700+ killed* and at least 63,740 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    387+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
    556 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.**
    *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 33,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** This figure is released by the Israeli military.

    Key Developments

    Israeli forces are bombing Gaza’s perimeter in order to facilitate future land grab, buffer zone.
    ICJ: Verdict on South Africa genocide case against Israel to be announced Friday.
    Palestinian man shot dead at point blank-range south of Jenin in occupied West Bank.
    Israeli forces re-arrest 17-year-old Youssef al-Khatib, whom Israel freed in November swap deal with Hamas.
    Nasser Hospital and al-Amal hospitals in Khan Younis subjected to siege by Israeli military, hundreds of lives at risk.
    UN: Israel bombs UNRWA Shelter, killing at least 12, injuring 75
    Egypt’s President accuses Israel of delaying Gaza aid deliveries as a pressure tactic.
    5,000 Israeli protestors call for immediate deal to return all Israeli captives.
    Netanyahu allegedly criticizes Qatar mediating role as “problematic,” despite facilitating return of over 100 Israeli captives.
    Gaza Hospitals have a target on their back.

    In Khan Younis, Palestinians continue to face constant Israeli attacks, including those on medical centers, further crippling Gaza’s healthcare infrastructure and institutions.

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    The Israeli military has put several medical complexes under siege in Khan Younis, the second-largest city in Gaza, located in the southern district.

    At Nasser Hospital, The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) reports that “no one can enter or exit” because of the nearby bombardment .

    In addition to about 400 dialysis patients at Nasser Hospital who cannot access treatment, hundreds of wounded people, sick patients, and maternity cases are facing serious complications as a result of the lack of access to the hospital.

    “Health staff is reported to be digging graves on hospital grounds due to the large numbers of fatalities anticipated and the need to manage burials,” the UNOCHA report continued.

    The Israeli army has also surrounded the al-Amal Hospital and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) headquarters in Khan Younis. Israeli troops are “enforcing restrictions on movement around both the building and the hospital,” PRCS said in a post on X.

    “The intense shelling around the hospital, gunfire, and the military vehicles approaching from all directions are ongoing violations of international laws and the Geneva Conventions,” PRCS added.

    “The occupation prohibits the movement of humanitarian teams, including ambulances, in blatant disregard for established norms.”

    In al-Amal Hospital, medical staff are running out of blood due to the inability to access the blood bank as a result of the ongoing siege. To combat the shortage, groups of displaced people sheltering at the hospital are donating blood.

    William Schomburg, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), warns that immediate action is required to prevent a complete shutdown of medical services in Gaza.

    “Every functioning hospital in the Gaza Strip is overcrowded and short on medical supplies, fuel, food and water. Many are housing thousands of displaced families. And now two more facilities risk being lost due to the fighting,” Schomburg said in a statement.

    “The cumulative impact on the health system is devastating and urgent action must be taken.”

    Israel attacks UN shelter, kills 12

    Israeli forces attacked a UN shelter housing thousands of displaced people in the city of Khan Younis on Wednesday during the intensified fighting at and around the center.

    According to UNOCHA, at least 12 people were killed and 75 wounded, including 15 people who are in critical condition.

    “It seems that three shells have been landed inside the…training centre of Khan Younis that belongs to UNRWA,” UNRWA spokesman Adnan Abu Hasna, who is based in Rafah, told Al Jazeera on Wednesday.

    “The building has been set on fire,” he said, adding that “there are many casualties.”

    Asked if there had been any warning, he replied: “No.”

    “We have not been able to get in and from the compound in the last 48 hours because the Israeli tanks actually [were] very close to the compound,” he said, describing the situation as “very dangerous.”

    Abu Hasna said this was far from the first time that an UNRWA facility in Gaza had been hit, but noted that it was “maybe the first time that we see such a huge fire.”

    “People are screaming, crying, asking for help. We hope that we will not find so many people to have been killed and injured.”

    “Another horrific day in Gaza. The number of those killed is likely higher. Khan Younis vocational training centre is one of the largest UNRWA facilities sheltering nearly 30,000 displaced people,” UNRWA leader Philippe Lazzarini said in a social media post.

    “The compound is a clearly marked UN facility and its coordinates were shared with Israeli Authorities as we do for all our facilities. Once again a blatant disregard of basic rules of war.”

    “Persistent attacks on civilian sites in Khan Younis are utterly unacceptable and must stop immediately,” Thomas White, the Director of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, said in a statement on behalf of UNOCHA.

    “The situation in Khan Younis underscores a consistent failure to uphold the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law: distinction, proportionality, and precautions in carrying out attacks. This is unacceptable and abhorrent and must stop,” stated White.

    About 800 displaced people were sheltering in the center, White added. Teams from UNRWA and the WHO are trying to reach the building via a route agreed upon with the Israeli army, but they have been blocked, he continued.

    Food used as a ‘weapon of war’

    As the situation in Gaza continued to deteriorate amid Israel’s ongoing attacks on civilians, residents of the enclave are still facing extreme shortages of basic necessities due to the Israeli ongoing blockade.

    Although the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza is open 24/7, Israeli procedures hamper the entrance of lifesaving humanitarian aid.

    Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has accused Israel of delaying aid deliveries into Gaza as a pressure tactic.

    “This is a form of pressure on the Gaza Strip and its people over the conflict and the release of hostages. They are using this as a pressure tool on the people of the Strip,” Sisi said, as cited by Reuters.

    Meanwhile, at the Israel-controlled Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) between Gaza and Israel, Israeli protests, including family members of captives in Gaza, gathered on Wednesday to prevent aid trucks from entering Gaza.

    The protestors, who are part of a group known as Order Nine Movement, are calling for an end to all aid from entering Gaza, including medical supplies, until all Israeli captives are released, reported Al Jazeera.

    Over the last two weeks, only 80 trucks a day have been allowed to enter the Gaza Strip due to Israel’s lengthy process of clearance and security checks, Al Jazeera added.

    UN agencies and humanitarian organizations working on the ground say that the aid that gets through is “a drop in the ocean” of what is needed amid the unfolding crisis in Gaza, which is said to be on the brink of famine.

    For context, before October 7, about 500 delivery trucks would enter Gaza every day.

    Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian physician and humanitarian activist, told Al Jazeera that Israel is weaponizing aid restrictions against Gaza.

    “It is a deliberate governmental plan to eradicate the people of Gaza — through disease, through bombing and through non-availability of medical supplies and medical services, and famine and the lack of water,” Gilbert said.

    “This is one of the most gruesome, concerted attacks on public health that I have ever seen.”

    He added that the humanitarian catastrophe is man-made. “This is a war crime. This is a weapon of mass destruction used deliberately by Israel.”

    British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said he told Netanyahu that more aid trucks must be able to enter Gaza and that an immediate “humanitarian pause” is needed to help those trapped in a “desperate situation.”

    “The scale of suffering in Gaza is unimaginable. More must be done faster to help people trapped in this desperate situation,” Cameron continued.

    “We have trebled our assistance for Gaza…But our efforts will only make a difference if aid gets to those who need it most.

    “As I said to Netanyahu … far more trucks need to be able to enter Gaza and more crossings need to open. We need an immediate humanitarian pause to get aid in and hostages out, followed by a sustainable ceasefire.”

    UN chief Guterres has once again called for “rapid, safe, unhindered, expanded & sustained humanitarian access throughout Gaza” in a post on X.

    Netanyahu disparages Qatari mediating role in prisoner exchange negotiations

    As Israel’s attacks on Gaza continue, Israeli society is growing increasingly frustrated with the Netanyahu administration’s lack of regard for the Israeli captives held in Gaza.

    On Wednesday night in Tel Aviv, 5,000 Israeli anti-government protestors gathered to call for an immediate deal to return all the hostages and chanting, “Stop the world, our brothers are there.”

    “We came to say to the government, ‘It’s enough. We want all the hostages back home, we want a ceasefire now,'” said protester Sapir Sluzker Amran, Al Jazeera reported.

    “There is no military solution, only a diplomatic solution — only agreements will bring the hostages back,” Amran continued.

    However, Netanyahu is adamant the war will continue.

    The Israeli Prime Minister said on Tuesday that Israel “will not stop fighting until absolute victory,” advocating for an additional six months of Israel’s aggression on Gaza.

    In response, the Palestinian Authority (PA) Foreign Ministry has said Israel is demonstrating a disregard for the UN and international calls for an immediate ceasefire.

    In a statement on Wednesday, the PA Foreign Ministry said Netanyahu’s comments mean “the continuation of genocide and forced displacement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.”

    “Netanyahu derives his courage from the failure of the international institutions to bear their legal and moral responsibilities to end the occupation,” the statement added.

    The Israeli Prime Minister has also allegedly criticized Qatar’s role as a mediator between Israel and Hamas as “problematic,” despite the Gulf country’s facilitation of the return of over 100 Israeli captives.

    In response, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Majed al-Ansari, said, “We are appalled by the alleged remarks attributed to the Israeli Prime Minister in various media reports about Qatar’s mediation role. These remarks, if validated, are irresponsible and destructive to the efforts to save innocent lives, but are not surprising.”

    “If the reported remarks are found to be true, the Israeli PM would only be obstructing and undermining the mediation process, for reasons that appear to serve his political career instead of prioritizing saving innocent lives, including Israeli hostages,” al-Ansari added.

    On Wednesday, Israeli forces rearrested 17-year-old Youssef al-Khatib, whom Israel freed in a swap deal with Hamas in November, sparking outrage by Palestinian groups.

    The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society called the arrest a “blatant violation” of the terms of the swap agreement and a “dangerous” indicator that Israel is willing to re-arrest freed prisoners, according to Al Jazeera.

    Hamas has warned of the “ramifications” of the teen’s rearrest while also calling on the mediators of the November deal to interfere and pressure Israel to “live up to what was agreed upon.”

    Preparing for land grabs

    As the death toll in Gaza rises, the Israeli military is making space for its occupation of Gaza.

    The army demolished hundreds of buildings in Gaza within 1km of the fence, seeking to create a buffer zone, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing a new Hebrew University study.

    According to the study, about 40 percent of the 2,824 buildings in Gaza located within 1km of the border have been razed since October 7.

    “Everything has been flattened. It was mostly agriculture. Now it’s a military zone, a complete no man’s land,” one soldier is quoted as saying.

    Around Khan Younis city in southern Gaza, which has been under constant Israeli attacks for weeks, 67 percent of buildings within 1km of the border have been destroyed.

    Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker says Israel claims the plan is needed to “establish security” and prevent attacks. But this risks “diminishing an already tiny strip of Gaza, whose population has been stuck between walls and the sea” for years.

    The United States has opposed the creation of a buffer zone, saying there should be no permanent change to Palestinian territory.

    “However, it’s happening, Israel is executing it, and this of course is something the Palestinians and the wider international community does see as a land grab,” said Dekker.

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

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

    Support our journalists with a donation today.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-111-hospitals-under-siege-unrwa-shelter-bombed-in-southern-gaza/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 111: Hospitals under siege, UNRWA shelter bombed in southern Gaza Leila WarahJanuary 25, 2024 A view of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) school in Nuseirat, used as a shelter for displaced Palestinians, November 25, 2023. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) A view of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) school in Nuseirat, used as a shelter for displaced Palestinians, November 25, 2023. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Casualties 25,700+ killed* and at least 63,740 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 387+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147. 556 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.** *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 33,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** This figure is released by the Israeli military. Key Developments Israeli forces are bombing Gaza’s perimeter in order to facilitate future land grab, buffer zone. ICJ: Verdict on South Africa genocide case against Israel to be announced Friday. Palestinian man shot dead at point blank-range south of Jenin in occupied West Bank. Israeli forces re-arrest 17-year-old Youssef al-Khatib, whom Israel freed in November swap deal with Hamas. Nasser Hospital and al-Amal hospitals in Khan Younis subjected to siege by Israeli military, hundreds of lives at risk. UN: Israel bombs UNRWA Shelter, killing at least 12, injuring 75 Egypt’s President accuses Israel of delaying Gaza aid deliveries as a pressure tactic. 5,000 Israeli protestors call for immediate deal to return all Israeli captives. Netanyahu allegedly criticizes Qatar mediating role as “problematic,” despite facilitating return of over 100 Israeli captives. Gaza Hospitals have a target on their back. In Khan Younis, Palestinians continue to face constant Israeli attacks, including those on medical centers, further crippling Gaza’s healthcare infrastructure and institutions. Advertisement Help Mondoweiss reach 100,000 subscribers on YouTube! The Israeli military has put several medical complexes under siege in Khan Younis, the second-largest city in Gaza, located in the southern district. At Nasser Hospital, The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) reports that “no one can enter or exit” because of the nearby bombardment . In addition to about 400 dialysis patients at Nasser Hospital who cannot access treatment, hundreds of wounded people, sick patients, and maternity cases are facing serious complications as a result of the lack of access to the hospital. “Health staff is reported to be digging graves on hospital grounds due to the large numbers of fatalities anticipated and the need to manage burials,” the UNOCHA report continued. The Israeli army has also surrounded the al-Amal Hospital and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) headquarters in Khan Younis. Israeli troops are “enforcing restrictions on movement around both the building and the hospital,” PRCS said in a post on X. “The intense shelling around the hospital, gunfire, and the military vehicles approaching from all directions are ongoing violations of international laws and the Geneva Conventions,” PRCS added. “The occupation prohibits the movement of humanitarian teams, including ambulances, in blatant disregard for established norms.” In al-Amal Hospital, medical staff are running out of blood due to the inability to access the blood bank as a result of the ongoing siege. To combat the shortage, groups of displaced people sheltering at the hospital are donating blood. William Schomburg, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), warns that immediate action is required to prevent a complete shutdown of medical services in Gaza. “Every functioning hospital in the Gaza Strip is overcrowded and short on medical supplies, fuel, food and water. Many are housing thousands of displaced families. And now two more facilities risk being lost due to the fighting,” Schomburg said in a statement. “The cumulative impact on the health system is devastating and urgent action must be taken.” Israel attacks UN shelter, kills 12 Israeli forces attacked a UN shelter housing thousands of displaced people in the city of Khan Younis on Wednesday during the intensified fighting at and around the center. According to UNOCHA, at least 12 people were killed and 75 wounded, including 15 people who are in critical condition. “It seems that three shells have been landed inside the…training centre of Khan Younis that belongs to UNRWA,” UNRWA spokesman Adnan Abu Hasna, who is based in Rafah, told Al Jazeera on Wednesday. “The building has been set on fire,” he said, adding that “there are many casualties.” Asked if there had been any warning, he replied: “No.” “We have not been able to get in and from the compound in the last 48 hours because the Israeli tanks actually [were] very close to the compound,” he said, describing the situation as “very dangerous.” Abu Hasna said this was far from the first time that an UNRWA facility in Gaza had been hit, but noted that it was “maybe the first time that we see such a huge fire.” “People are screaming, crying, asking for help. We hope that we will not find so many people to have been killed and injured.” “Another horrific day in Gaza. The number of those killed is likely higher. Khan Younis vocational training centre is one of the largest UNRWA facilities sheltering nearly 30,000 displaced people,” UNRWA leader Philippe Lazzarini said in a social media post. “The compound is a clearly marked UN facility and its coordinates were shared with Israeli Authorities as we do for all our facilities. Once again a blatant disregard of basic rules of war.” “Persistent attacks on civilian sites in Khan Younis are utterly unacceptable and must stop immediately,” Thomas White, the Director of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, said in a statement on behalf of UNOCHA. “The situation in Khan Younis underscores a consistent failure to uphold the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law: distinction, proportionality, and precautions in carrying out attacks. This is unacceptable and abhorrent and must stop,” stated White. About 800 displaced people were sheltering in the center, White added. Teams from UNRWA and the WHO are trying to reach the building via a route agreed upon with the Israeli army, but they have been blocked, he continued. Food used as a ‘weapon of war’ As the situation in Gaza continued to deteriorate amid Israel’s ongoing attacks on civilians, residents of the enclave are still facing extreme shortages of basic necessities due to the Israeli ongoing blockade. Although the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza is open 24/7, Israeli procedures hamper the entrance of lifesaving humanitarian aid. Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has accused Israel of delaying aid deliveries into Gaza as a pressure tactic. “This is a form of pressure on the Gaza Strip and its people over the conflict and the release of hostages. They are using this as a pressure tool on the people of the Strip,” Sisi said, as cited by Reuters. Meanwhile, at the Israel-controlled Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) between Gaza and Israel, Israeli protests, including family members of captives in Gaza, gathered on Wednesday to prevent aid trucks from entering Gaza. The protestors, who are part of a group known as Order Nine Movement, are calling for an end to all aid from entering Gaza, including medical supplies, until all Israeli captives are released, reported Al Jazeera. Over the last two weeks, only 80 trucks a day have been allowed to enter the Gaza Strip due to Israel’s lengthy process of clearance and security checks, Al Jazeera added. UN agencies and humanitarian organizations working on the ground say that the aid that gets through is “a drop in the ocean” of what is needed amid the unfolding crisis in Gaza, which is said to be on the brink of famine. For context, before October 7, about 500 delivery trucks would enter Gaza every day. Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian physician and humanitarian activist, told Al Jazeera that Israel is weaponizing aid restrictions against Gaza. “It is a deliberate governmental plan to eradicate the people of Gaza — through disease, through bombing and through non-availability of medical supplies and medical services, and famine and the lack of water,” Gilbert said. “This is one of the most gruesome, concerted attacks on public health that I have ever seen.” He added that the humanitarian catastrophe is man-made. “This is a war crime. This is a weapon of mass destruction used deliberately by Israel.” British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said he told Netanyahu that more aid trucks must be able to enter Gaza and that an immediate “humanitarian pause” is needed to help those trapped in a “desperate situation.” “The scale of suffering in Gaza is unimaginable. More must be done faster to help people trapped in this desperate situation,” Cameron continued. “We have trebled our assistance for Gaza…But our efforts will only make a difference if aid gets to those who need it most. “As I said to Netanyahu … far more trucks need to be able to enter Gaza and more crossings need to open. We need an immediate humanitarian pause to get aid in and hostages out, followed by a sustainable ceasefire.” UN chief Guterres has once again called for “rapid, safe, unhindered, expanded & sustained humanitarian access throughout Gaza” in a post on X. Netanyahu disparages Qatari mediating role in prisoner exchange negotiations As Israel’s attacks on Gaza continue, Israeli society is growing increasingly frustrated with the Netanyahu administration’s lack of regard for the Israeli captives held in Gaza. On Wednesday night in Tel Aviv, 5,000 Israeli anti-government protestors gathered to call for an immediate deal to return all the hostages and chanting, “Stop the world, our brothers are there.” “We came to say to the government, ‘It’s enough. We want all the hostages back home, we want a ceasefire now,'” said protester Sapir Sluzker Amran, Al Jazeera reported. “There is no military solution, only a diplomatic solution — only agreements will bring the hostages back,” Amran continued. However, Netanyahu is adamant the war will continue. The Israeli Prime Minister said on Tuesday that Israel “will not stop fighting until absolute victory,” advocating for an additional six months of Israel’s aggression on Gaza. In response, the Palestinian Authority (PA) Foreign Ministry has said Israel is demonstrating a disregard for the UN and international calls for an immediate ceasefire. In a statement on Wednesday, the PA Foreign Ministry said Netanyahu’s comments mean “the continuation of genocide and forced displacement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.” “Netanyahu derives his courage from the failure of the international institutions to bear their legal and moral responsibilities to end the occupation,” the statement added. The Israeli Prime Minister has also allegedly criticized Qatar’s role as a mediator between Israel and Hamas as “problematic,” despite the Gulf country’s facilitation of the return of over 100 Israeli captives. In response, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Majed al-Ansari, said, “We are appalled by the alleged remarks attributed to the Israeli Prime Minister in various media reports about Qatar’s mediation role. These remarks, if validated, are irresponsible and destructive to the efforts to save innocent lives, but are not surprising.” “If the reported remarks are found to be true, the Israeli PM would only be obstructing and undermining the mediation process, for reasons that appear to serve his political career instead of prioritizing saving innocent lives, including Israeli hostages,” al-Ansari added. On Wednesday, Israeli forces rearrested 17-year-old Youssef al-Khatib, whom Israel freed in a swap deal with Hamas in November, sparking outrage by Palestinian groups. The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society called the arrest a “blatant violation” of the terms of the swap agreement and a “dangerous” indicator that Israel is willing to re-arrest freed prisoners, according to Al Jazeera. Hamas has warned of the “ramifications” of the teen’s rearrest while also calling on the mediators of the November deal to interfere and pressure Israel to “live up to what was agreed upon.” Preparing for land grabs As the death toll in Gaza rises, the Israeli military is making space for its occupation of Gaza. The army demolished hundreds of buildings in Gaza within 1km of the fence, seeking to create a buffer zone, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing a new Hebrew University study. According to the study, about 40 percent of the 2,824 buildings in Gaza located within 1km of the border have been razed since October 7. “Everything has been flattened. It was mostly agriculture. Now it’s a military zone, a complete no man’s land,” one soldier is quoted as saying. Around Khan Younis city in southern Gaza, which has been under constant Israeli attacks for weeks, 67 percent of buildings within 1km of the border have been destroyed. Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker says Israel claims the plan is needed to “establish security” and prevent attacks. But this risks “diminishing an already tiny strip of Gaza, whose population has been stuck between walls and the sea” for years. The United States has opposed the creation of a buffer zone, saying there should be no permanent change to Palestinian territory. “However, it’s happening, Israel is executing it, and this of course is something the Palestinians and the wider international community does see as a land grab,” said Dekker. BEFORE YOU GO – At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever. Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses. Support our journalists with a donation today. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-111-hospitals-under-siege-unrwa-shelter-bombed-in-southern-gaza/
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    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 111: Hospitals under siege, UNRWA shelter bombed in southern Gaza
    Israeli forces bomb Gaza’s perimeter to prepare for a “buffer zone” as medical staff in Nasser Hospital dig graves in anticipation of a large number of fatalities due to Israel’s ongoing siege on the hospital.
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 110: Israeli forces encircle Khan Younis as Gazans risk famine
    As Netanyahu attempts to prolong war on Gaza, Israeli forces and tanks bomb Khan Yunis and lay siege around the city’s major hospitals. Meanwhile, Gazans are turning to animal fodder for food as starvation sets in.

    Mustafa Abu SneinehJanuary 24, 2024
    Palestinians wait to collect food at a donation point in a refugee camp in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on December 24, 2023. Leading human rights groups have warned that due to Israel's more than 3-month siege on Gaza, millions of Gazans are at risk of famine and starvation. (Photo: APA Images)
    Palestinians wait to collect food at a donation point in a refugee camp in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on December 24, 2023. Leading human rights groups have warned that due to Israel’s more than 3-month siege on Gaza, millions of Gazans are at risk of famine and starvation. (Photo: APA Images)
    Casualties

    25,700+ killed* and at least 63,740 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    387+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
    556 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.**
    *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 32,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** This figure is released by the Israeli military.

    Key Developments

    UNRWA says 570,000 Palestinians in Gaza are now facing “catastrophic hunger”.
    UNRWA says it delivered protein-based flour, dairy items, and high-energy biscuits to 320,000 Palestinian families in Gaza, leaving thousands others without food.
    ActionAid UK appeals that “the humanitarian situation in Gaza is still catastrophic. As winter sets in, people are struggling without proper shelters, food, water and warm clothes.”
    Israeli military says it encircled Khan Yunis, second-largest city in Gaza Strip, and one of the major southern cities where Gazans fled to from the north earlier on in the war upon Israeli army instruction.
    Wafa reports Israeli forces fired directly at buildings in Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis. In December, Israeli shells directly hit the maternity ward in Nasser, killing a baby girl and wounding seven others.
    WHO says its teams managed to resupply 19,000 liters of fuel to Al-Shifa Hospital in north Gaza.
    Wafa reports Israel killed at least 50 Palestinians and injured 120 others in bombings of Khan Yunis.
    The Al-Khair and Nasser Hospitals are minimally operating and totally inaccessible following Israeli siege of Khan Yunis.
    Reuters reports Hamas and Israel broadly agreed in principle during mediated talks on month-long ceasefire and exchange of prisoners and captives.
    Palestinian Authority condemns Israeli PM Netanyahu’s attempts to prolong war in Gaza for six months.
    Israeli forces blow up house of Basil Shehadeh, Palestinian prisoner detained in June 2023, in his hometown of Urif, south of Nablus in the West Bank.
    The Wall and Settlement Resistance Committee records 120 Israeli settler attacks in West Bank since January, 35 carried out by settlers dressed in military attire and 23 attacks happened under watch of Israeli soldiers.
    In Gaza, ‘there is no fresh water, no food, no flour‘

    Starvation and hunger are spreading among half a million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, as they facing rainy, cold weather and insufficient food due to the ongoing Israeli aggression since October.

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    Some Palestinian families used whatever ingredients they had to feed their children, such as grinding fodder, which is hay or straw normally fed to cattle, to bake bread.

    “People need to make bread; sometimes they manage to make it [using fodder] and sometimes not. We are living a famine,” a Palestinian in Gaza told Al-Jazeera Arabic.

    “We live in a polluted condition. There is no fresh water, no food, no drink, no flour. This flour you see here was made from livestock fodder,” he said, showing a sack of fodder that contained insects and needed palming before being crushed.

    UNRWA said on Tuesday that 570,000 Palestinians in Gaza are now facing “catastrophic hunger.”

    “Intense fighting, access denials & restrictions + communications blackouts are hampering UNRWA’s ability to safely & effectively deliver aid,” the UN agency for Palestinian refugees said.

    “As risk of famine grows, UN calls for a critical increase in humanitarian access,” it added.

    UNRWA worries were reiterated by the World Food Programme (WFP), which believes that numerous areas of Gaza are on the verge of being plunged into famine pockets as Israeli bombardment and siege never eased for over three months, except for the ten-day truce in November.

    “This is why we’re seeing people becoming more desperate and being impatient to wait for food distributions, because it’s very sporadic,” the WFP spokesperson Abeer Etefa said.

    Both UNRWA and WFP are struggling to deliver sufficient aid and food supplies inside the Gaza Strip. UNRWA said it managed, alongside its partners, to deliver protein-based, flour, dairy items, and high-energy biscuits to 320,000 families in January, which still leave thousands of other Palestinians without food in Gaza.

    Palestinians in Gaza have been blocked by the Israeli military from accessing the agricultural fields to the east of the Gaza Strip since October, a significant portion of which have been leveled and destroyed. This has added to the lack of sufficient food and to starvation in Gaza for 2.3 million Palestinians, the majority of whom are now displaced.

    “The humanitarian situation in Gaza is still catastrophic. As winter sets in, people are struggling without proper shelters, food, water and warm clothes,” ActionAid UK appealed in a petition.

    “The health system has collapsed in Gaza and outbreak of disease such as diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections threatens more lives,” it added.

    Israel kills members of Zamel family and encircles Khan Younis hospitals

    Israel has killed at least 25,700 Palestinian martyrs and injured 63,740 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip since October.

    In the past 24 hours, Gaza’s Ministry of Health said that Israel killed 210 Palestinians and injured 386 people. Israel has continued to kill hundreds of Palestinians each day, despite language from the Israeli and U.S. governments and mainstream media, that Israel has moved to a “less intense” phase of the war in Gaza.

    The Israeli military announced on Tuesday that it had encircled Khan Younis, the second-largest city in the Gaza Strip, claiming that Hamas leaders are hiding in tunnels underneath it. In December, Israeli forces said that “within days,” they will be in the heart of Khan Younis, before being met with fierce Palestinian resistance fire.

    Israeli forces are now cutting off the seaside road of Khan Younis, barring Palestinians from traveling southward to Rafah city, the southernmost city in the Gaza Strip bordering Egypt. It has been encircling two Palestinian hospitals, Al-Amal and Nasser, and has stormed a third one, the Al-Khair Hospital, arresting several medical staff this week.

    Khan Younis saw the worst round of Israeli bombardment in the past 24 hours, according to Wafa news agency.

    Wafa reported that Israeli artillery bombed a seaside house west of Al-Mawasi, an area designated as “safe” by Israel in December, killing at least four people and injuring several others, who were hospitalized in the Abu Youssef al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah.

    Israeli forces also bombed the Harun Al-Rashid Road in Khan Younis and were stationed around Al-Aqsa University buildings. Ambulances could not reach the Al-Amal and Nasser Hospitals as Israeli forces blocked all roads leading to them.

    Wafa reported that Israeli forces fired directly at buildings in the Nasser Hospital compound. In December, an Israeli shell directly hit the maternity ward in the facility, killing a baby girl and wounding seven others.

    Palestinian rescue teams transported 20 Palestinian martyrs to the Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza. Israel’s bombardment of west Gaza destroyed a number of houses and apartments in the area, leaving dozens of Palestinians under the rubble, Wafa said.

    The Al-Shifa Hospital is one of seven medical facilities operating in a limited capacity in northern Gaza. The WHO said that its teams managed to resupply 19,000 liters of fuel to Al-Shifa on Monday.

    “The roads leading to the hospital were severely damaged, and the desperation in northern Gaza was apparent, as thousands of civilians surrounded the UN vehicles and fuel truck in the hopes of finding food and water, also delaying the mission,” WHO described the conditions in Gaza.

    Wafa reported that at least 50 Palestinians were killed and 120 injured in the Israeli bombardment of Khan Younis in the past 24 hours. The Al-Khair and Nasser Hospitals are minimally operating and totally inaccessible following the Israeli siege of of the city

    “WHO is extremely concerned about reports of Al-Kheir Hospital, a small NGO-run hospital with around 30 beds, facing military incursions and several health workers being detained. Communication with the hospital is no longer possible,” the WHO said on Wednesday.

    The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said that three people were killed in the Israeli bombardment of its offices in Khan Younis. Doctors without Borders (MSF) published an update from its team working at the Nasser Hospital on Tuesday evening, saying that the Israeli army ordered medical staff and patients to evacuate the area.

    “MSF staff members can hear bombs and heavy gunfire close to Nasser. They are currently unable to evacuate along with the thousands of people in the hospital, including 850 patients, due to roads to and from the building being either inaccessible or too dangerous,” MSF wrote on X.


    In Jabalia in northern Gaza, the Israeli army killed fourteen Palestinians in a bombing of the Zamel family home. Some of them were identified as Duaa, Mahmoud, Mariam, Ali, Suaad, Noor, and Fatima Zamel, according to Wafa.

    The Zamel house was turned into rubble, according to a report by Al-Jazeera Arabic. A relative of the Zamel family said that the Israeli bombing hit the home, which was housing around 50 people, in the evening without warning.

    “The ceilings collapsed, and children were lying in the road. We used phone torches to find and rescue them,” he said.

    Hamas and Israel engage in mediated talks to reach prisoner exchange deal

    Reuters reported on Wednesday that Hamas and Israel had broadly agreed in principle during mediated talks on a month-long ceasefire, in which Palestinian prisoners will be exchanged with Israeli captives held in Gaza. These reports are yet to be confirmed, while agreements regarding a permanent ceasefire remain a thorny issue for Israel, which the Hamas leadership has stipulated as a precondition for any exchange deal.

    This comes a day after Axios reported that Israel submitted a proposal through Qatar and Egypt to pause the war for two months in return for the release of all the 130 Israeli captives in Gaza. Hamas is yet to comment on both reports. The movement made clear in the past months that it won’t accept any deal without a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

    On Wednesday, hundreds of Israeli captives’ families blocked aid convoys going into the Gaza Strip through the Karam Abu Salem crossing to choke Palestinians off from aid and put pressure on Hamas to release the Israeli captives, according to The Jerusalem Post.

    PA condemns Netanyahu’s attempt to prolong war, settler attacks rise in West Bank

    The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attempt to prolong the war in Gaza for six months.

    Netanyahu said on Tuesday that the 3rd phase of the war in Gaza could last for half a year. The PA said Israel would use this period to destroy homes and expel more Palestinians from their neighborhoods and towns in the Gaza Strip.

    Meanwhile, over the past 24 hours in the West Bank, Israeli forces arrested 35 Palestinians from Nablus, Salfit, Ramallah, Hizma, Jericho, Al-Jalazoun refugee camp, Hebron and Jenin.

    The Prisoner’s Club and the Commission for Ex-Prisoners’ Affairs said on Wednesday that Israel arrested a total of 6,255 Palestinians since October, some of whom have since been released.

    On Wednesday morning, Israeli forces stormed the village of Urif, south of Nablus, and blew up the house of Basil Shehadeh, a Palestinian prisoner detained in June 2023 on charges of assisting two Palestinian shooters who killed four Israeli settlers near the Eli settlement.

    Wafa reported that a large Israeli force stormed Urif, barring the exit and entry of any Palestinians from the area and wiring explosives inside Shehadeh’s house before blowing it up.

    The PA’s Wall and Settlement Resistance Committee said in a report that 120 Israeli settler attacks have been recorded in the West Bank since January.

    These include shootings at Palestinians, arson attacks, and vandalism of property. The report said that 35 attacks were carried out by settlers dressed in military attire, while 23 attacks occurred under the watch of Israeli soldiers.

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

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

    Support our journalists with a donation today.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-110-israeli-forces-encircle-khan-yunis-as-gazans-risk-famine/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 110: Israeli forces encircle Khan Younis as Gazans risk famine As Netanyahu attempts to prolong war on Gaza, Israeli forces and tanks bomb Khan Yunis and lay siege around the city’s major hospitals. Meanwhile, Gazans are turning to animal fodder for food as starvation sets in. Mustafa Abu SneinehJanuary 24, 2024 Palestinians wait to collect food at a donation point in a refugee camp in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on December 24, 2023. Leading human rights groups have warned that due to Israel's more than 3-month siege on Gaza, millions of Gazans are at risk of famine and starvation. (Photo: APA Images) Palestinians wait to collect food at a donation point in a refugee camp in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on December 24, 2023. Leading human rights groups have warned that due to Israel’s more than 3-month siege on Gaza, millions of Gazans are at risk of famine and starvation. (Photo: APA Images) Casualties 25,700+ killed* and at least 63,740 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 387+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147. 556 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.** *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 32,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** This figure is released by the Israeli military. Key Developments UNRWA says 570,000 Palestinians in Gaza are now facing “catastrophic hunger”. UNRWA says it delivered protein-based flour, dairy items, and high-energy biscuits to 320,000 Palestinian families in Gaza, leaving thousands others without food. ActionAid UK appeals that “the humanitarian situation in Gaza is still catastrophic. As winter sets in, people are struggling without proper shelters, food, water and warm clothes.” Israeli military says it encircled Khan Yunis, second-largest city in Gaza Strip, and one of the major southern cities where Gazans fled to from the north earlier on in the war upon Israeli army instruction. Wafa reports Israeli forces fired directly at buildings in Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis. In December, Israeli shells directly hit the maternity ward in Nasser, killing a baby girl and wounding seven others. WHO says its teams managed to resupply 19,000 liters of fuel to Al-Shifa Hospital in north Gaza. Wafa reports Israel killed at least 50 Palestinians and injured 120 others in bombings of Khan Yunis. The Al-Khair and Nasser Hospitals are minimally operating and totally inaccessible following Israeli siege of Khan Yunis. Reuters reports Hamas and Israel broadly agreed in principle during mediated talks on month-long ceasefire and exchange of prisoners and captives. Palestinian Authority condemns Israeli PM Netanyahu’s attempts to prolong war in Gaza for six months. Israeli forces blow up house of Basil Shehadeh, Palestinian prisoner detained in June 2023, in his hometown of Urif, south of Nablus in the West Bank. The Wall and Settlement Resistance Committee records 120 Israeli settler attacks in West Bank since January, 35 carried out by settlers dressed in military attire and 23 attacks happened under watch of Israeli soldiers. In Gaza, ‘there is no fresh water, no food, no flour‘ Starvation and hunger are spreading among half a million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, as they facing rainy, cold weather and insufficient food due to the ongoing Israeli aggression since October. Advertisement Help Mondoweiss reach 100,000 subscribers on YouTube! Some Palestinian families used whatever ingredients they had to feed their children, such as grinding fodder, which is hay or straw normally fed to cattle, to bake bread. “People need to make bread; sometimes they manage to make it [using fodder] and sometimes not. We are living a famine,” a Palestinian in Gaza told Al-Jazeera Arabic. “We live in a polluted condition. There is no fresh water, no food, no drink, no flour. This flour you see here was made from livestock fodder,” he said, showing a sack of fodder that contained insects and needed palming before being crushed. UNRWA said on Tuesday that 570,000 Palestinians in Gaza are now facing “catastrophic hunger.” “Intense fighting, access denials & restrictions + communications blackouts are hampering UNRWA’s ability to safely & effectively deliver aid,” the UN agency for Palestinian refugees said. “As risk of famine grows, UN calls for a critical increase in humanitarian access,” it added. UNRWA worries were reiterated by the World Food Programme (WFP), which believes that numerous areas of Gaza are on the verge of being plunged into famine pockets as Israeli bombardment and siege never eased for over three months, except for the ten-day truce in November. “This is why we’re seeing people becoming more desperate and being impatient to wait for food distributions, because it’s very sporadic,” the WFP spokesperson Abeer Etefa said. Both UNRWA and WFP are struggling to deliver sufficient aid and food supplies inside the Gaza Strip. UNRWA said it managed, alongside its partners, to deliver protein-based, flour, dairy items, and high-energy biscuits to 320,000 families in January, which still leave thousands of other Palestinians without food in Gaza. Palestinians in Gaza have been blocked by the Israeli military from accessing the agricultural fields to the east of the Gaza Strip since October, a significant portion of which have been leveled and destroyed. This has added to the lack of sufficient food and to starvation in Gaza for 2.3 million Palestinians, the majority of whom are now displaced. “The humanitarian situation in Gaza is still catastrophic. As winter sets in, people are struggling without proper shelters, food, water and warm clothes,” ActionAid UK appealed in a petition. “The health system has collapsed in Gaza and outbreak of disease such as diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections threatens more lives,” it added. Israel kills members of Zamel family and encircles Khan Younis hospitals Israel has killed at least 25,700 Palestinian martyrs and injured 63,740 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip since October. In the past 24 hours, Gaza’s Ministry of Health said that Israel killed 210 Palestinians and injured 386 people. Israel has continued to kill hundreds of Palestinians each day, despite language from the Israeli and U.S. governments and mainstream media, that Israel has moved to a “less intense” phase of the war in Gaza. The Israeli military announced on Tuesday that it had encircled Khan Younis, the second-largest city in the Gaza Strip, claiming that Hamas leaders are hiding in tunnels underneath it. In December, Israeli forces said that “within days,” they will be in the heart of Khan Younis, before being met with fierce Palestinian resistance fire. Israeli forces are now cutting off the seaside road of Khan Younis, barring Palestinians from traveling southward to Rafah city, the southernmost city in the Gaza Strip bordering Egypt. It has been encircling two Palestinian hospitals, Al-Amal and Nasser, and has stormed a third one, the Al-Khair Hospital, arresting several medical staff this week. Khan Younis saw the worst round of Israeli bombardment in the past 24 hours, according to Wafa news agency. Wafa reported that Israeli artillery bombed a seaside house west of Al-Mawasi, an area designated as “safe” by Israel in December, killing at least four people and injuring several others, who were hospitalized in the Abu Youssef al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah. Israeli forces also bombed the Harun Al-Rashid Road in Khan Younis and were stationed around Al-Aqsa University buildings. Ambulances could not reach the Al-Amal and Nasser Hospitals as Israeli forces blocked all roads leading to them. Wafa reported that Israeli forces fired directly at buildings in the Nasser Hospital compound. In December, an Israeli shell directly hit the maternity ward in the facility, killing a baby girl and wounding seven others. Palestinian rescue teams transported 20 Palestinian martyrs to the Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza. Israel’s bombardment of west Gaza destroyed a number of houses and apartments in the area, leaving dozens of Palestinians under the rubble, Wafa said. The Al-Shifa Hospital is one of seven medical facilities operating in a limited capacity in northern Gaza. The WHO said that its teams managed to resupply 19,000 liters of fuel to Al-Shifa on Monday. “The roads leading to the hospital were severely damaged, and the desperation in northern Gaza was apparent, as thousands of civilians surrounded the UN vehicles and fuel truck in the hopes of finding food and water, also delaying the mission,” WHO described the conditions in Gaza. Wafa reported that at least 50 Palestinians were killed and 120 injured in the Israeli bombardment of Khan Younis in the past 24 hours. The Al-Khair and Nasser Hospitals are minimally operating and totally inaccessible following the Israeli siege of of the city “WHO is extremely concerned about reports of Al-Kheir Hospital, a small NGO-run hospital with around 30 beds, facing military incursions and several health workers being detained. Communication with the hospital is no longer possible,” the WHO said on Wednesday. The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said that three people were killed in the Israeli bombardment of its offices in Khan Younis. Doctors without Borders (MSF) published an update from its team working at the Nasser Hospital on Tuesday evening, saying that the Israeli army ordered medical staff and patients to evacuate the area. “MSF staff members can hear bombs and heavy gunfire close to Nasser. They are currently unable to evacuate along with the thousands of people in the hospital, including 850 patients, due to roads to and from the building being either inaccessible or too dangerous,” MSF wrote on X. In Jabalia in northern Gaza, the Israeli army killed fourteen Palestinians in a bombing of the Zamel family home. Some of them were identified as Duaa, Mahmoud, Mariam, Ali, Suaad, Noor, and Fatima Zamel, according to Wafa. The Zamel house was turned into rubble, according to a report by Al-Jazeera Arabic. A relative of the Zamel family said that the Israeli bombing hit the home, which was housing around 50 people, in the evening without warning. “The ceilings collapsed, and children were lying in the road. We used phone torches to find and rescue them,” he said. Hamas and Israel engage in mediated talks to reach prisoner exchange deal Reuters reported on Wednesday that Hamas and Israel had broadly agreed in principle during mediated talks on a month-long ceasefire, in which Palestinian prisoners will be exchanged with Israeli captives held in Gaza. These reports are yet to be confirmed, while agreements regarding a permanent ceasefire remain a thorny issue for Israel, which the Hamas leadership has stipulated as a precondition for any exchange deal. This comes a day after Axios reported that Israel submitted a proposal through Qatar and Egypt to pause the war for two months in return for the release of all the 130 Israeli captives in Gaza. Hamas is yet to comment on both reports. The movement made clear in the past months that it won’t accept any deal without a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. On Wednesday, hundreds of Israeli captives’ families blocked aid convoys going into the Gaza Strip through the Karam Abu Salem crossing to choke Palestinians off from aid and put pressure on Hamas to release the Israeli captives, according to The Jerusalem Post. PA condemns Netanyahu’s attempt to prolong war, settler attacks rise in West Bank The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attempt to prolong the war in Gaza for six months. Netanyahu said on Tuesday that the 3rd phase of the war in Gaza could last for half a year. The PA said Israel would use this period to destroy homes and expel more Palestinians from their neighborhoods and towns in the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, over the past 24 hours in the West Bank, Israeli forces arrested 35 Palestinians from Nablus, Salfit, Ramallah, Hizma, Jericho, Al-Jalazoun refugee camp, Hebron and Jenin. The Prisoner’s Club and the Commission for Ex-Prisoners’ Affairs said on Wednesday that Israel arrested a total of 6,255 Palestinians since October, some of whom have since been released. On Wednesday morning, Israeli forces stormed the village of Urif, south of Nablus, and blew up the house of Basil Shehadeh, a Palestinian prisoner detained in June 2023 on charges of assisting two Palestinian shooters who killed four Israeli settlers near the Eli settlement. Wafa reported that a large Israeli force stormed Urif, barring the exit and entry of any Palestinians from the area and wiring explosives inside Shehadeh’s house before blowing it up. The PA’s Wall and Settlement Resistance Committee said in a report that 120 Israeli settler attacks have been recorded in the West Bank since January. These include shootings at Palestinians, arson attacks, and vandalism of property. The report said that 35 attacks were carried out by settlers dressed in military attire, while 23 attacks occurred under the watch of Israeli soldiers. BEFORE YOU GO – At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever. Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses. Support our journalists with a donation today. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-110-israeli-forces-encircle-khan-yunis-as-gazans-risk-famine/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 110: Israeli forces encircle Khan Younis as Gazans risk famine
    As Netanyahu attempts to prolong war on Gaza, Israeli forces and tanks bomb Khan Yunis and lay siege around the city’s major hospitals. Meanwhile, Gazans are turning to animal fodder for food as starvation sets in.
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 104: Israel’s unrelenting assault continues – ‘If we’re not killed by bombs, we die from the cold, starvation, or disease’
    Leila WarahJanuary 18, 2024
    Palestinians injured in Israeli air strikes being treated at Al-Aqsa Hospital on January 6, 2024 in Deir El-Balah, Gaza. (Photo: Ali Hamad/APA Images)
    Palestinians injured in Israeli air strikes being treated at Al-Aqsa Hospital on January 6, 2024 in Deir El-Balah, Gaza. (Photo: Ali Hamad/APA Images)
    Casualties

    24,448+ killed* and at least 61,504 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    388+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
    549 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.**
    *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on January 16. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 31,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

    **This figure is released by the Israeli military.

    Key Developments

    Occupied West Bank: Deadly military raid in Tulkarem continues for second day.
    UN: Every single person in Gaza is hungry, and a quarter are facing starvation
    PRCS: Two ambulance workers wounded by Israeli fire in the West Bank while trying to reach victims of air attack in Tulkarem refugee camp.
    U.S. designates Ansar Allah as a “terrorist” group for its attacks on shipping vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.
    $15bn needed to rebuild Gaza’s 350,000 homes after the war
    300% increase in Gaza miscarriages since October 7
    At least 16 Palestinians, including children, killed in an Israeli shelling of a house east of Rafah.
    Medicine and aid entered Gaza for Palestinian civilians and Israeli hostages as per Qatari-mediated deal.
    UNOCHA: Israeli missile strikes UNRWA health clinic in Daraj, in Gaza City.
    Gaza’s telecommunications blackout imposed by Israel enters seventh day.
    Hundreds in Gaza killed every day

    Every day, the situation in Gaza grows exponentially worse amid Israel’s bombardment and ongoing blockade, leaving the majority of the besieged enclave’s population displaced with little to no belongings and nowhere safe to run.

    Advertisement

    Are you tired of Twitter? Follow Mondoweiss on the Mastodon social network.
    In Rafah, southern Gaza, 16 people were killed by Israeli forces on Thursday when the home sheltering them was bombed, reported Al Jazeera, which expects the death toll to rise as more bodies are found in the rubble.

    Abu Khaled, a relative of those killed in the attack, told the network, “They fled their homes in Gaza City to the Bureij refugee camp to Khan Younis before coming to Rafah because they thought it was safer.”

    Although the U.S. claims that Israel is beginning to lower the intensity of their attacks on Gaza, Palestinians living in the besieged enclave have noticed no changes in Israel’s bombardment.

    “The strikes have not stopped over the last few hours across the Gaza Strip, despite the fact that Israel says that they’re moving to a completely new phase with low-intensity bombing,” Al Jazeera correspondent Tareq Abu Azzoum reported from Rafah in southern Gaza.

    “We can see that the death toll and casualties among civilians keeps rising, to reach more than 163 Palestinians killed in the past 24 hours,” Abu Azzoum said Wednesday evening.

    “Every day, hundreds of us are killed,” Abu Khaled added, “If we’re not killed by the bombs, we die from the cold, or starvation, or from disease.”

    According to the UN, every single person in the Gaza Strip is hungry, with a quarter of the population facing starvation. Residents of the besieged enclaves make up 80 percent of the world’s collective population facing famine or catastrophic hunger.

    “In addition, all children under five – 335,000 of them – are at high risk of severe malnutrition as the risk of famine conditions continues to increase, a whole generation is now in danger of suffering from stunting,” the humanitarian group said.

    The UN’s humanitarian agency’s (OCHA) latest update, which has been limited to Israel’s ongoing telecommunications blackout imposed on the besieged enclave, said that a missile reportedly struck the UNRWA health clinic in Daraj, in Gaza City on Wednesday.

    The humanitarian group also reported heavy bombardment in the Khan Younis area for the last two days, targeting residential buildings, a cemetery, and hospitals.

    “Initial reports and video footage show that much of the al-Namsawi cemetery was destroyed and graves empty with some corpses reportedly missing,” it said.

    “The people of Gaza have moved from the sheer shock of losing everything – in some cases every member of their family – to a debilitating struggle to stay alive and protect their loved ones,” said UNRWA Commissioner Philippe Lazzarini after his fourth trip to Gaza since October 7.

    Amnesty International has said the telecommunications blackout, which has entered its seventh day, has put civilians at risk, hampered the work of rescue services, and complicated aid delivery efforts.

    “These recurrent and life-threatening blackouts must not be normalized. An immediate ceasefire is critical to urgently restore power and connectivity to Gazans,” the group said, adding that the communications blackout is the ninth imposed by Israeli forces since the beginning of the current round of fighting.

    “This has gone on for far too long. There are no winners in these wars. There is endless chaos and growing despair. I call once again for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to bring some respite,” Lazzarini added.

    Healthcare: Still a target

    Over 61,000 people have been wounded by Israel’s aggression on Gaza, which has left healthcare workers and humanitarian staff overwhelmed as undersupplied hospitals witness people die in front of them every day.

    “I’ve seen children full of shrapnel dying on the floor because there are not the supplies in the emergency department, and the healthcare workers … to care for them,” Sean Casey of the World Health Organization said after a visit to several of Gaza’s hospitals.

    “Doctors can’t find anything to treat their patients, now they just use salt. Even salt is $13 per kilogramme. Can you imagine putting salt on people’s wounds to disinfect them?” displaced Palestinian Ibrahim Baraikat told Al Jazeera.

    “We’ve reached a critical point. People are dying and they don’t even have painkillers.”

    To make matters worse, hospitals have been repeatedly targeted by Israel’s military, making it impossible for patients to remain safe as they receive treatment.

    On Wednesday, the Jordanian field hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis was badly damaged as a result of Israeli shelling in the vicinity.

    Wafa reported that a Palestinian citizen, who was receiving treatment in the ICU, was injured by shrapnel and a bullet during the Israeli attack and that the hospital was subjected to severe material damage as a result of the continuous Israeli bombing.

    Despite the damages, the hospital remains adamant that it will continue to operate.

    The Jordanian Armed Forces have said they hold Israel fully accountable for the safety of the hospital’s staff, who are performing their humanitarian role by international laws and norms, added Wafa.

    Meanwhile, pregnant women in Gaza are experiencing a 300% increase in miscarriages, which has been caused by the limited medical supplies and access to health centers, putting them at an increased risk of infection, Nour Beydoun, regional adviser on protection and gender in emergencies for humanitarian agency CARE, told Jezebel.

    Beydoun added that another reason for the increase is that pregnant women lack proper food and nutrition, resulting in poor fetal health.

    Israel’s “draconian” measure to restrict dissent

    Meanwhile, in Israel, authorities have been cracking down on Palestinians “for simply expressing their views or opinions on various online platforms, through a variety of measures including censorship, surveillance and arrests,” says 7amleh, The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media, as cited by Al Jazeera.

    7amleh says since October 7, Israel has introduced “draconian legislation” to restrict freedom of expression and criticism of its actions in Gaza.

    “The most notable measures included mass content removals and extensive ‘shadowbanning’ of users criticizing Israel or posting in support of Palestinians. During Israel’s war on Gaza, these content restrictions and removals soared to unprecedented levels,” it noted.

    “Users of Meta’s platforms, including journalists, activists, media pages, and those simply documenting reality on the ground or posting in support of Palestinian rights, were subject to account banning, content removal, and other restrictive measures,” the group continued.

    Israel has also planned to indict Israeli politician Ofer Cassif, a member of the Knesset for the Hadash-Ta’al party, on charges of aggravated assault on a police officer that took place in 2022, The Times of Israel reports.

    It is unclear why the indictment is proceeding in January 2024, however, it is essential to note that Cassif recently declared his backing for South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

    The politician has also been in the spotlight for his comments against members of the government, saying they are “calling for ethnic cleansing and even actual genocide” against Palestinians.

    U.S. intimidation tactics not working on Yemen

    On Wednesday, the U.S. designated Ansar Allah as a “terrorist” group for its attacks on shipping vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

    “Today, in response to these continuing threats and attacks, the United States announced the designation of Ansar Allah, also known as the Houthis, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist,” White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon.

    The designation comes into effect in 30 days and could be reevaluated if the Yemeni group ceases attacks in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

    “This designation is more like an insult. It’s the old glove in the face – slap someone with your glove. You’re sort of challenging but not really hurting them,” Nabeel Khoury, a former deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Yemen, told Al Jazeera.

    Khoury said Ansar Allah would likely see the move as an “insult” and “provocation” that could lead to further escalation. He called the Biden administration’s strategic motivation “baffling.”

    “I think the idea from the Biden administration is this will intimidate and this will stop further widening of the war,” Khoury said. “But if it has the opposite effect, which I think is more likely, then you are widening the war and opening yourself up and American presence to further attacks. And so the only possible thing I see is negative or potential further escalation.”

    Ansar Allah spokesperson Mohammed Abdulsalam told Al Jazeera that the group would not stop its attacks on ships heading to Israel from the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea.

    Abdulsalam said the group would “not back down in its position in support of the Palestinian people,” adding that the U.S. had no power to implement its decision against the Houthis and denied reports that Iran has been supplying arms to the group.

    Hours after the U.S. announcement, the Yemeni group targeted a U.S. ship in the Gulf of Aden, achieving “precise and direct” hits.

    “The Yemeni armed forces reaffirm that the response to the American and British aggression is inevitable, and no aggression will pass without response or punishment,” said Ansar Allah.

    The U.S. later launched yet another barrage of missiles at Yemen.

    Sullivan’s statement added that the re-designation of Ansar Allah, which comes with harsh sanctions, will not hurt the people of Yemen since the sanctions will include “unprecedented” humanitarian carve-outs.

    Still, “rights advocates have warned that blacklisting the Houthis would complicate the work of humanitarian organizations operating in areas under the group’s control. Yemen is enduring one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises where millions of people are dependent on international aid,” reported Al Jazeera.

    Hamas has denounced the U.S. designation of Ansar Allah as a ‘terrorist’ group, describing the Biden administration’s decision as “politicized,” saying that the move shows Washington’s “blatant bias” and aims to protect Israel as it continues its “barbaric aggression and genocide” in Gaza.

    Over 30 hours of Israeli terror in West Bank city

    In the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces have continued their overnight rampages in Palestinian neighborhoods and cities, which often turn deadly and have resulted in dozens of arrests.

    The military has wreaked havoc in Tulkarem for two days straight now, demolishing infrastructure, destroying homes, beating and arresting residents, and killing the Palestinian city’s youth. It is unclear when the deadly raid will end.

    Since the military invasion began, seven Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces.

    The Office of the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said the killings of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank have raised concerns of “unlawful” lethal attacks by the Israeli military.

    “Unlawful killings of Palestinians must end,” the OHCHR’s Palestine office said.

    “Israel must ensure a prompt, independent and effective investigation” of the killings, as “according to initial information, both cases raise concerns of unlawful killings,” it continued.

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

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

    Support our journalists with a donation today.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-104-israels-unrelenting-assault-continues-if-were-not-killed-by-bombs-we-die-from-the-cold-starvation-or-disease/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 104: Israel’s unrelenting assault continues – ‘If we’re not killed by bombs, we die from the cold, starvation, or disease’ Leila WarahJanuary 18, 2024 Palestinians injured in Israeli air strikes being treated at Al-Aqsa Hospital on January 6, 2024 in Deir El-Balah, Gaza. (Photo: Ali Hamad/APA Images) Palestinians injured in Israeli air strikes being treated at Al-Aqsa Hospital on January 6, 2024 in Deir El-Balah, Gaza. (Photo: Ali Hamad/APA Images) Casualties 24,448+ killed* and at least 61,504 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 388+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147. 549 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.** *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on January 16. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 31,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. **This figure is released by the Israeli military. Key Developments Occupied West Bank: Deadly military raid in Tulkarem continues for second day. UN: Every single person in Gaza is hungry, and a quarter are facing starvation PRCS: Two ambulance workers wounded by Israeli fire in the West Bank while trying to reach victims of air attack in Tulkarem refugee camp. U.S. designates Ansar Allah as a “terrorist” group for its attacks on shipping vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. $15bn needed to rebuild Gaza’s 350,000 homes after the war 300% increase in Gaza miscarriages since October 7 At least 16 Palestinians, including children, killed in an Israeli shelling of a house east of Rafah. Medicine and aid entered Gaza for Palestinian civilians and Israeli hostages as per Qatari-mediated deal. UNOCHA: Israeli missile strikes UNRWA health clinic in Daraj, in Gaza City. Gaza’s telecommunications blackout imposed by Israel enters seventh day. Hundreds in Gaza killed every day Every day, the situation in Gaza grows exponentially worse amid Israel’s bombardment and ongoing blockade, leaving the majority of the besieged enclave’s population displaced with little to no belongings and nowhere safe to run. Advertisement Are you tired of Twitter? Follow Mondoweiss on the Mastodon social network. In Rafah, southern Gaza, 16 people were killed by Israeli forces on Thursday when the home sheltering them was bombed, reported Al Jazeera, which expects the death toll to rise as more bodies are found in the rubble. Abu Khaled, a relative of those killed in the attack, told the network, “They fled their homes in Gaza City to the Bureij refugee camp to Khan Younis before coming to Rafah because they thought it was safer.” Although the U.S. claims that Israel is beginning to lower the intensity of their attacks on Gaza, Palestinians living in the besieged enclave have noticed no changes in Israel’s bombardment. “The strikes have not stopped over the last few hours across the Gaza Strip, despite the fact that Israel says that they’re moving to a completely new phase with low-intensity bombing,” Al Jazeera correspondent Tareq Abu Azzoum reported from Rafah in southern Gaza. “We can see that the death toll and casualties among civilians keeps rising, to reach more than 163 Palestinians killed in the past 24 hours,” Abu Azzoum said Wednesday evening. “Every day, hundreds of us are killed,” Abu Khaled added, “If we’re not killed by the bombs, we die from the cold, or starvation, or from disease.” According to the UN, every single person in the Gaza Strip is hungry, with a quarter of the population facing starvation. Residents of the besieged enclaves make up 80 percent of the world’s collective population facing famine or catastrophic hunger. “In addition, all children under five – 335,000 of them – are at high risk of severe malnutrition as the risk of famine conditions continues to increase, a whole generation is now in danger of suffering from stunting,” the humanitarian group said. The UN’s humanitarian agency’s (OCHA) latest update, which has been limited to Israel’s ongoing telecommunications blackout imposed on the besieged enclave, said that a missile reportedly struck the UNRWA health clinic in Daraj, in Gaza City on Wednesday. The humanitarian group also reported heavy bombardment in the Khan Younis area for the last two days, targeting residential buildings, a cemetery, and hospitals. “Initial reports and video footage show that much of the al-Namsawi cemetery was destroyed and graves empty with some corpses reportedly missing,” it said. “The people of Gaza have moved from the sheer shock of losing everything – in some cases every member of their family – to a debilitating struggle to stay alive and protect their loved ones,” said UNRWA Commissioner Philippe Lazzarini after his fourth trip to Gaza since October 7. Amnesty International has said the telecommunications blackout, which has entered its seventh day, has put civilians at risk, hampered the work of rescue services, and complicated aid delivery efforts. “These recurrent and life-threatening blackouts must not be normalized. An immediate ceasefire is critical to urgently restore power and connectivity to Gazans,” the group said, adding that the communications blackout is the ninth imposed by Israeli forces since the beginning of the current round of fighting. “This has gone on for far too long. There are no winners in these wars. There is endless chaos and growing despair. I call once again for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to bring some respite,” Lazzarini added. Healthcare: Still a target Over 61,000 people have been wounded by Israel’s aggression on Gaza, which has left healthcare workers and humanitarian staff overwhelmed as undersupplied hospitals witness people die in front of them every day. “I’ve seen children full of shrapnel dying on the floor because there are not the supplies in the emergency department, and the healthcare workers … to care for them,” Sean Casey of the World Health Organization said after a visit to several of Gaza’s hospitals. “Doctors can’t find anything to treat their patients, now they just use salt. Even salt is $13 per kilogramme. Can you imagine putting salt on people’s wounds to disinfect them?” displaced Palestinian Ibrahim Baraikat told Al Jazeera. “We’ve reached a critical point. People are dying and they don’t even have painkillers.” To make matters worse, hospitals have been repeatedly targeted by Israel’s military, making it impossible for patients to remain safe as they receive treatment. On Wednesday, the Jordanian field hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis was badly damaged as a result of Israeli shelling in the vicinity. Wafa reported that a Palestinian citizen, who was receiving treatment in the ICU, was injured by shrapnel and a bullet during the Israeli attack and that the hospital was subjected to severe material damage as a result of the continuous Israeli bombing. Despite the damages, the hospital remains adamant that it will continue to operate. The Jordanian Armed Forces have said they hold Israel fully accountable for the safety of the hospital’s staff, who are performing their humanitarian role by international laws and norms, added Wafa. Meanwhile, pregnant women in Gaza are experiencing a 300% increase in miscarriages, which has been caused by the limited medical supplies and access to health centers, putting them at an increased risk of infection, Nour Beydoun, regional adviser on protection and gender in emergencies for humanitarian agency CARE, told Jezebel. Beydoun added that another reason for the increase is that pregnant women lack proper food and nutrition, resulting in poor fetal health. Israel’s “draconian” measure to restrict dissent Meanwhile, in Israel, authorities have been cracking down on Palestinians “for simply expressing their views or opinions on various online platforms, through a variety of measures including censorship, surveillance and arrests,” says 7amleh, The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media, as cited by Al Jazeera. 7amleh says since October 7, Israel has introduced “draconian legislation” to restrict freedom of expression and criticism of its actions in Gaza. “The most notable measures included mass content removals and extensive ‘shadowbanning’ of users criticizing Israel or posting in support of Palestinians. During Israel’s war on Gaza, these content restrictions and removals soared to unprecedented levels,” it noted. “Users of Meta’s platforms, including journalists, activists, media pages, and those simply documenting reality on the ground or posting in support of Palestinian rights, were subject to account banning, content removal, and other restrictive measures,” the group continued. Israel has also planned to indict Israeli politician Ofer Cassif, a member of the Knesset for the Hadash-Ta’al party, on charges of aggravated assault on a police officer that took place in 2022, The Times of Israel reports. It is unclear why the indictment is proceeding in January 2024, however, it is essential to note that Cassif recently declared his backing for South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The politician has also been in the spotlight for his comments against members of the government, saying they are “calling for ethnic cleansing and even actual genocide” against Palestinians. U.S. intimidation tactics not working on Yemen On Wednesday, the U.S. designated Ansar Allah as a “terrorist” group for its attacks on shipping vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. “Today, in response to these continuing threats and attacks, the United States announced the designation of Ansar Allah, also known as the Houthis, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist,” White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon. The designation comes into effect in 30 days and could be reevaluated if the Yemeni group ceases attacks in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. “This designation is more like an insult. It’s the old glove in the face – slap someone with your glove. You’re sort of challenging but not really hurting them,” Nabeel Khoury, a former deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Yemen, told Al Jazeera. Khoury said Ansar Allah would likely see the move as an “insult” and “provocation” that could lead to further escalation. He called the Biden administration’s strategic motivation “baffling.” “I think the idea from the Biden administration is this will intimidate and this will stop further widening of the war,” Khoury said. “But if it has the opposite effect, which I think is more likely, then you are widening the war and opening yourself up and American presence to further attacks. And so the only possible thing I see is negative or potential further escalation.” Ansar Allah spokesperson Mohammed Abdulsalam told Al Jazeera that the group would not stop its attacks on ships heading to Israel from the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea. Abdulsalam said the group would “not back down in its position in support of the Palestinian people,” adding that the U.S. had no power to implement its decision against the Houthis and denied reports that Iran has been supplying arms to the group. Hours after the U.S. announcement, the Yemeni group targeted a U.S. ship in the Gulf of Aden, achieving “precise and direct” hits. “The Yemeni armed forces reaffirm that the response to the American and British aggression is inevitable, and no aggression will pass without response or punishment,” said Ansar Allah. The U.S. later launched yet another barrage of missiles at Yemen. Sullivan’s statement added that the re-designation of Ansar Allah, which comes with harsh sanctions, will not hurt the people of Yemen since the sanctions will include “unprecedented” humanitarian carve-outs. Still, “rights advocates have warned that blacklisting the Houthis would complicate the work of humanitarian organizations operating in areas under the group’s control. Yemen is enduring one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises where millions of people are dependent on international aid,” reported Al Jazeera. Hamas has denounced the U.S. designation of Ansar Allah as a ‘terrorist’ group, describing the Biden administration’s decision as “politicized,” saying that the move shows Washington’s “blatant bias” and aims to protect Israel as it continues its “barbaric aggression and genocide” in Gaza. Over 30 hours of Israeli terror in West Bank city In the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces have continued their overnight rampages in Palestinian neighborhoods and cities, which often turn deadly and have resulted in dozens of arrests. The military has wreaked havoc in Tulkarem for two days straight now, demolishing infrastructure, destroying homes, beating and arresting residents, and killing the Palestinian city’s youth. It is unclear when the deadly raid will end. Since the military invasion began, seven Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces. The Office of the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said the killings of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank have raised concerns of “unlawful” lethal attacks by the Israeli military. “Unlawful killings of Palestinians must end,” the OHCHR’s Palestine office said. “Israel must ensure a prompt, independent and effective investigation” of the killings, as “according to initial information, both cases raise concerns of unlawful killings,” it continued. BEFORE YOU GO – At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever. Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses. Support our journalists with a donation today. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/01/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-104-israels-unrelenting-assault-continues-if-were-not-killed-by-bombs-we-die-from-the-cold-starvation-or-disease/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 104: Israel’s unrelenting assault continues – ‘If we’re not killed by bombs, we die from the cold, starvation, or disease’
    As Palestinians in Gaza continue to be starved and bombed by Israel, the U.S. has designated Yemen’s Ansar Allah group as terrorists in hopes of intimidating their resistance against Israel’s ongoing aggression.
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  • Twenty-six Things About the Islamic State (ISIS-ISIL-Daesh) That the U.S. Government Does Not Want You to Know About
    Michel Chossudovsky
    [This article was originally published by Global Research in November 2014.]

    Introductory Note

    In 2014 President Obama launched a “counterterrorism campaign” allegedly directed against the Islamic State (ISIS-Daesh). The operation consisted in providing a justification for the extensive bombing of Iraq and Syria, largely targeting residential areas and civilians.

    In turn, ISIS-Daesh was covertly supported and funded by the U.S. and its allies including Israel.

    Israel was directly involved in President Obama’s “counterterrorism” bombing raids directed against Syria, while also supporting Al Qaeda and ISIS mercenaries out of the Golan Heights.

    —Michel Chossudovsky, January 14, 2024


    Going after ” Islamic terrorists”, carrying out a worldwide pre-emptive war to “Protect the American Homeland” are used to justify a military agenda.

    The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is a creation of US intelligence. Washington’s “Counter-terrorism Agenda” in Iraq and Syria consists in Supporting the Terrorists.

    The incursion of the Islamic State (IS) brigades into Iraq starting in June 2014 was part of a carefully planned military-intelligence operation supported covertly by the US, NATO and Israel.

    The counter-terrorism mandate is a fiction. America is the Number One “State Sponsor of Terrorism.”

    The Islamic State is protected by the US and its allies. If they had wanted to eliminate the Islamic State brigades, they could have “carpet” bombed their convoys of Toyota pickup trucks when they crossed the desert from Syria into Iraq in June.

    The Syro-Arabian Desert is open territory (see map below). With state of the art jet fighter aircraft (F15, F22 Raptor, CF-18) it would have been — from a military standpoint — a rapid and expedient surgical operation.


    It could not have been undertaken without the unbending support of the Western media which has upheld Obama’s initiative as a counter-terrorism operation.

    Twenty Six Things

    A. The Historical Origins of Al Qaeda

    1. The US has supported Al Qaeda and its affiliated organizations for almost half a century since the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war.

    2. CIA training camps were set up in Pakistan. In the ten year period from 1982 to 1992, some 35,000 jihadists from 43 Islamic countries were recruited by the CIA to fight in the Afghan jihad.

    “Advertisements, paid for from CIA funds, were placed in newspapers and newsletters around the world offering inducements and motivations to join the Jihad.”

    3. Since the Reagan Administration, Washington has supported the Islamic terror network.

    Ronald Reagan called the terrorists “freedom fighters”. The US supplied weapons to the Islamic brigades. It was all for “a good cause”: fighting the Soviet Union and regime change, leading to the demise of a secular government in Afghanistan.


    Ronald Reagan meets Afghan Mujahideen Commanders at the White House in 1985 (Reagan Archives)
    4. Jihadist textbooks were published by the University of Nebraska. “The United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings.”

    5. Osama bin Laden, America’s bogyman and founder of Al Qaeda was recruited by the CIA in 1979 at the very outset of the US sponsored jihadist war against Afghanistan. He was 22 years old and was trained in a CIA sponsored guerrilla training camp.

    Al Qaeda was not behind the 9/11 Attacks. September 11, 2001 provided a justification for waging a war against Afghanistan on the grounds that Afghanistan was a state sponsor of terrorism, supportive of Al Qaeda. The 9/11 attacks were instrumental in the formulation of the “Global War on Terrorism”.

    B. The Islamic State (ISIL)

    6. The Islamic State (ISIL) was originally an Al Qaeda affiliated entity created by US intelligence with the support of Britain’s MI6, Israel’s Mossad, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Saudi Arabia’s General Intelligence Presidency (GIP), Ri’āsat Al-Istikhbārāt Al-’Āmah ( رئاسة الاستخبارات العامة‎).

    7. The ISIL brigades were involved in the US-NATO supported insurgency in Syria directed against the government of Bashar al Assad.

    8. NATO and the Turkish High Command were responsible for the recruitment of ISIL and Al Nusrah mercenaries from the outset of the Syrian insurgency in March 2011. According to Israeli intelligence sources, this initiative consisted in:

    “a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels. The Turkish army would house these volunteers, train them and secure their passage into Syria. (DEBKAfile, NATO to give rebels anti-tank weapons, August 14, 2011.)

    9. There are Western Special Forces and Western intelligence operatives within the ranks of the ISIL. British Special Forces and MI6 have been involved in training jihadist rebels in Syria.

    10. Western military specialists on contract to the Pentagon have trained the terrorists in the use of chemical weapons.

    “The United States and some European allies are using defense contractors to train Syrian rebels on how to secure chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria, a senior U.S. official and several senior diplomats told CNN Sunday. (CNN Report, December 9, 2012)

    11. The ISIL’s practice of beheadings is part of the US-sponsored terrorist training programs implemented in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

    12. Recruited by America’s ally, a large number of ISIL mercenaries are convicted criminals released from Saudi prisons on condition they join the ISIL. Saudi death row inmates were recruited to join the terror brigades.

    13. Israel has supported the ISIL and Al Nusrah brigades out of the Golan Heights.

    Jihadist fighters have met Israeli IDF officers as well as Prime Minister Netanyahu. The IDF top brass tacitly acknowledges that “global jihad elements inside Syria” [ISIL and Al Nusrah] are supported by Israel. (See image below)

    “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon next to a wounded mercenary, Israeli military field hospital at the occupied Golan Heights’ border with Syria, 18 February 2014″


    C. Syria and Iraq

    14. The ISIL are the foot soldiers of the Western military alliance. Their unspoken mandate is to wreck havoc and destruction in Syria and Iraq, acting on behalf of their US sponsors.

    15. US Senator John McCain has met up with jihadist terrorist leaders in Syria.

    16. The Islamic State (IS) militia, which is currently the alleged target of a US-NATO bombing campaign under a “counter-terrorism” mandate, continues to be supported covertly by the US. Washington and its allies continue to provide military aid to the Islamic State.

    17. US and allied bombings are not targeting the ISIL, they are bombing the economic infrastructure of Iraq and Syria including factories and oil refineries.

    18. The IS caliphate project is part of a longstanding US foreign policy agenda to carve up Iraq and Syria into separate territories: a Sunni Islamist Caliphate, an Arab Shia Republic, a Republic of Kurdistan.

    D. The Global War on Terrorism (GWOT)

    19. “The Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT) is presented as a “Clash of Civilizations”, a war between competing values and religions, when in reality it is an outright war of conquest, guided by strategic and economic objectives.

    20. U.S.-sponsored Al Qaeda terror brigades (covertly supported by Western intelligence) have been deployed in Mali, Niger, Nigeria, the Central African Republic, Somalia and Yemen.

    These various affiliated Al Qaeda entities in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia are CIA sponsored “intelligence assets”. They are used by Washington to wreck havoc, create internal conflicts and destabilize sovereign countries.

    21. Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al Shabab in Somalia, the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) (supported by NATO in 2011), Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Jemaah Islamiah (JI) in Indonesia, among other Al Qaeda affiliated groups are supported covertly by Western intelligence.

    22. The US is also supporting Al Qaeda affiliated terrorist organizations in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region of China. The underlying objective is to trigger political instability in Western China.

    Chinese jihadists are reported to have received “terrorist training” from the Islamic State “in order to conduct attacks in China”. The declared objective of these Chinese-based jihadist entities (which serves the interests of the US) is to establish a Islamic caliphate extending into Western China. (Michel Chossudovsky, America’s War on Terrorism, Global Research, Montreal, 2005, Chapter 2).

    E. Homegrown Terrorists

    23. The Terrorists R Us: While the US is the unspoken architect of the Islamic State, Obama’s holy mandate is to protect America against ISIL attacks.

    24. The homegrown terrorist threat is a fabrication. It is promoted by Western governments and the media with a view to repealing civil liberties and installing a police state. The terror attacks by alleged jihadists and terror warnings are invariably staged events. They are used to create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation.

    In turn, the arrests, trials and sentences of “Islamic terrorists” sustain the legitimacy of America’s Homeland Security State and law enforcement apparatus, which has become increasingly militarized.

    The ultimate objective is to instill in the minds of millions of Americans that the enemy is real and the U.S. Administration will protect the lives of its citizens.

    25. The “counter-terrorism” campaign against the Islamic State has contributed to the demonization of Muslims, who in the eyes of Western public opinion are increasingly associated with the jihadists.

    26. Anybody who dares to question the validity of the “Global War on Terrorism” is branded a terrorist and subjected to the anti-terrorist laws.

    The ultimate objective of the “Global War on Terrorism” is to subdue the citizens, totally depoliticize social life in America, prevent people from thinking and conceptualizing, from analyzing facts and challenging the legitimacy of the inquisitorial social order which rules America.

    The Obama Administration has imposed a diabolical consensus with the support of its allies, not to mention the complicit role of the United Nations Security Council. The Western media has embraced the consensus; it has described the Islamic State as an independent entity, an outside enemy which threatens the Western World.

    The Big Lie has become the Truth.

    Say no to the Big Lie. Spread the message.

    The truth is ultimately a powerful weapon.

    [Read this article on Global Research.]

    https://open.substack.com/pub/michelchossudovsky/p/twenty-six-things-islamic-state?r=29hg4d&utm_medium=ios&utm_campaign=post
    Twenty-six Things About the Islamic State (ISIS-ISIL-Daesh) That the U.S. Government Does Not Want You to Know About Michel Chossudovsky [This article was originally published by Global Research in November 2014.] Introductory Note In 2014 President Obama launched a “counterterrorism campaign” allegedly directed against the Islamic State (ISIS-Daesh). The operation consisted in providing a justification for the extensive bombing of Iraq and Syria, largely targeting residential areas and civilians. In turn, ISIS-Daesh was covertly supported and funded by the U.S. and its allies including Israel. Israel was directly involved in President Obama’s “counterterrorism” bombing raids directed against Syria, while also supporting Al Qaeda and ISIS mercenaries out of the Golan Heights. —Michel Chossudovsky, January 14, 2024 Going after ” Islamic terrorists”, carrying out a worldwide pre-emptive war to “Protect the American Homeland” are used to justify a military agenda. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is a creation of US intelligence. Washington’s “Counter-terrorism Agenda” in Iraq and Syria consists in Supporting the Terrorists. The incursion of the Islamic State (IS) brigades into Iraq starting in June 2014 was part of a carefully planned military-intelligence operation supported covertly by the US, NATO and Israel. The counter-terrorism mandate is a fiction. America is the Number One “State Sponsor of Terrorism.” The Islamic State is protected by the US and its allies. If they had wanted to eliminate the Islamic State brigades, they could have “carpet” bombed their convoys of Toyota pickup trucks when they crossed the desert from Syria into Iraq in June. The Syro-Arabian Desert is open territory (see map below). With state of the art jet fighter aircraft (F15, F22 Raptor, CF-18) it would have been — from a military standpoint — a rapid and expedient surgical operation. It could not have been undertaken without the unbending support of the Western media which has upheld Obama’s initiative as a counter-terrorism operation. Twenty Six Things A. The Historical Origins of Al Qaeda 1. The US has supported Al Qaeda and its affiliated organizations for almost half a century since the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war. 2. CIA training camps were set up in Pakistan. In the ten year period from 1982 to 1992, some 35,000 jihadists from 43 Islamic countries were recruited by the CIA to fight in the Afghan jihad. “Advertisements, paid for from CIA funds, were placed in newspapers and newsletters around the world offering inducements and motivations to join the Jihad.” 3. Since the Reagan Administration, Washington has supported the Islamic terror network. Ronald Reagan called the terrorists “freedom fighters”. The US supplied weapons to the Islamic brigades. It was all for “a good cause”: fighting the Soviet Union and regime change, leading to the demise of a secular government in Afghanistan. Ronald Reagan meets Afghan Mujahideen Commanders at the White House in 1985 (Reagan Archives) 4. Jihadist textbooks were published by the University of Nebraska. “The United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings.” 5. Osama bin Laden, America’s bogyman and founder of Al Qaeda was recruited by the CIA in 1979 at the very outset of the US sponsored jihadist war against Afghanistan. He was 22 years old and was trained in a CIA sponsored guerrilla training camp. Al Qaeda was not behind the 9/11 Attacks. September 11, 2001 provided a justification for waging a war against Afghanistan on the grounds that Afghanistan was a state sponsor of terrorism, supportive of Al Qaeda. The 9/11 attacks were instrumental in the formulation of the “Global War on Terrorism”. B. The Islamic State (ISIL) 6. The Islamic State (ISIL) was originally an Al Qaeda affiliated entity created by US intelligence with the support of Britain’s MI6, Israel’s Mossad, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Saudi Arabia’s General Intelligence Presidency (GIP), Ri’āsat Al-Istikhbārāt Al-’Āmah ( رئاسة الاستخبارات العامة‎). 7. The ISIL brigades were involved in the US-NATO supported insurgency in Syria directed against the government of Bashar al Assad. 8. NATO and the Turkish High Command were responsible for the recruitment of ISIL and Al Nusrah mercenaries from the outset of the Syrian insurgency in March 2011. According to Israeli intelligence sources, this initiative consisted in: “a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels. The Turkish army would house these volunteers, train them and secure their passage into Syria. (DEBKAfile, NATO to give rebels anti-tank weapons, August 14, 2011.) 9. There are Western Special Forces and Western intelligence operatives within the ranks of the ISIL. British Special Forces and MI6 have been involved in training jihadist rebels in Syria. 10. Western military specialists on contract to the Pentagon have trained the terrorists in the use of chemical weapons. “The United States and some European allies are using defense contractors to train Syrian rebels on how to secure chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria, a senior U.S. official and several senior diplomats told CNN Sunday. (CNN Report, December 9, 2012) 11. The ISIL’s practice of beheadings is part of the US-sponsored terrorist training programs implemented in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. 12. Recruited by America’s ally, a large number of ISIL mercenaries are convicted criminals released from Saudi prisons on condition they join the ISIL. Saudi death row inmates were recruited to join the terror brigades. 13. Israel has supported the ISIL and Al Nusrah brigades out of the Golan Heights. Jihadist fighters have met Israeli IDF officers as well as Prime Minister Netanyahu. The IDF top brass tacitly acknowledges that “global jihad elements inside Syria” [ISIL and Al Nusrah] are supported by Israel. (See image below) “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon next to a wounded mercenary, Israeli military field hospital at the occupied Golan Heights’ border with Syria, 18 February 2014″ C. Syria and Iraq 14. The ISIL are the foot soldiers of the Western military alliance. Their unspoken mandate is to wreck havoc and destruction in Syria and Iraq, acting on behalf of their US sponsors. 15. US Senator John McCain has met up with jihadist terrorist leaders in Syria. 16. The Islamic State (IS) militia, which is currently the alleged target of a US-NATO bombing campaign under a “counter-terrorism” mandate, continues to be supported covertly by the US. Washington and its allies continue to provide military aid to the Islamic State. 17. US and allied bombings are not targeting the ISIL, they are bombing the economic infrastructure of Iraq and Syria including factories and oil refineries. 18. The IS caliphate project is part of a longstanding US foreign policy agenda to carve up Iraq and Syria into separate territories: a Sunni Islamist Caliphate, an Arab Shia Republic, a Republic of Kurdistan. D. The Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) 19. “The Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT) is presented as a “Clash of Civilizations”, a war between competing values and religions, when in reality it is an outright war of conquest, guided by strategic and economic objectives. 20. U.S.-sponsored Al Qaeda terror brigades (covertly supported by Western intelligence) have been deployed in Mali, Niger, Nigeria, the Central African Republic, Somalia and Yemen. These various affiliated Al Qaeda entities in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia are CIA sponsored “intelligence assets”. They are used by Washington to wreck havoc, create internal conflicts and destabilize sovereign countries. 21. Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al Shabab in Somalia, the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) (supported by NATO in 2011), Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Jemaah Islamiah (JI) in Indonesia, among other Al Qaeda affiliated groups are supported covertly by Western intelligence. 22. The US is also supporting Al Qaeda affiliated terrorist organizations in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region of China. The underlying objective is to trigger political instability in Western China. Chinese jihadists are reported to have received “terrorist training” from the Islamic State “in order to conduct attacks in China”. The declared objective of these Chinese-based jihadist entities (which serves the interests of the US) is to establish a Islamic caliphate extending into Western China. (Michel Chossudovsky, America’s War on Terrorism, Global Research, Montreal, 2005, Chapter 2). E. Homegrown Terrorists 23. The Terrorists R Us: While the US is the unspoken architect of the Islamic State, Obama’s holy mandate is to protect America against ISIL attacks. 24. The homegrown terrorist threat is a fabrication. It is promoted by Western governments and the media with a view to repealing civil liberties and installing a police state. The terror attacks by alleged jihadists and terror warnings are invariably staged events. They are used to create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. In turn, the arrests, trials and sentences of “Islamic terrorists” sustain the legitimacy of America’s Homeland Security State and law enforcement apparatus, which has become increasingly militarized. The ultimate objective is to instill in the minds of millions of Americans that the enemy is real and the U.S. Administration will protect the lives of its citizens. 25. The “counter-terrorism” campaign against the Islamic State has contributed to the demonization of Muslims, who in the eyes of Western public opinion are increasingly associated with the jihadists. 26. Anybody who dares to question the validity of the “Global War on Terrorism” is branded a terrorist and subjected to the anti-terrorist laws. The ultimate objective of the “Global War on Terrorism” is to subdue the citizens, totally depoliticize social life in America, prevent people from thinking and conceptualizing, from analyzing facts and challenging the legitimacy of the inquisitorial social order which rules America. The Obama Administration has imposed a diabolical consensus with the support of its allies, not to mention the complicit role of the United Nations Security Council. The Western media has embraced the consensus; it has described the Islamic State as an independent entity, an outside enemy which threatens the Western World. The Big Lie has become the Truth. Say no to the Big Lie. Spread the message. The truth is ultimately a powerful weapon. [Read this article on Global Research.] https://open.substack.com/pub/michelchossudovsky/p/twenty-six-things-islamic-state?r=29hg4d&utm_medium=ios&utm_campaign=post
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    Twenty-six Things About the Islamic State (ISIS-ISIL-Daesh) That the U.S. Government Does Not Want You to Know About
    In 2014 President Obama launched a “counterterrorism campaign” allegedly directed against the Islamic State (ISIS-Daesh). The operation consisted in providing a justification for the extensive bombing of Iraq and Syria, largely targeting residential areas and civilians.
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