5 Gazans killed by defective airdrop; US says “it wasn’t ours” – Day 154

5 Gazans killed by defective airdrop; US says “it wasn’t ours” – Day 154

US says it is not at fault for the parachute that malfunctioned, killing 5 Palestinians in Gaza; US “temporary pier” will take too long – children need food now; UNRWA employees say they were forced into falsely confessing that workers participated in October 7th; West Bank news includes surge in settler violence; Biden will have a “come to Jesus” moment with Netanyahu; alleged Hamas sexual violence back on the table after being thoroughly debunked; more

By IAK staff, from reports

AIR DROPS – CNN reports: Five people have been killed and 10 injured in Gaza when they were hit by a pallet of aid parachuted into the territory as part of a humanitarian airdrop. The parachute failed to deploy properly, and fell on a group waiting for food.

The US and Jordan are among the countries to have carried out airdrops in northern Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of people are facing dire conditions after more than five months of war.

A US defense official said, “the US did not cause the fatalities during our airdrop in Gaza,” while a Jordanian military source said none of the kingdom’s four aircraft that took part in the operation were involved in the fatalities.

“We are aware of reports of civilians killed as a result of humanitarian airdrops. We express sympathies to the families of those who were killed. Contrary to some reports, this was not the result of U.S. airdrops,” US central command said in a post on X late on Friday.

OCTOBER 7TH – An investigation conducted by KAN, the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation, revealed that the Israeli army knew that there were Israelis in a house that it targeted with two tank shells in the Be’eri settlement in the Gaza Strip on October 7.

GAZA AID – Al Jazeera reports: Children in Gaza are dying from starvation and disease and cannot wait for the time it will take to build a temporary pier off the coast, or for airdropped aid to reach them, Save the Children says.

“Children in Gaza cannot wait to eat. They are already dying from malnutrition and saving their lives is a matter of hours or days – not weeks,” Jason Lee, country director for the occupied territory, said in a statement to Al Jazeera.

“There is already a tried and tested system in place to effectively coordinate aid, but trucks of food and medicines that could save lives are waiting at crossings while children are starving just miles away,” Lee added.

“Airdrops, with no on-the-ground coordination of who it reaches, and maritime corridors like the one announced yesterday are no solutions to keep children alive. Neither are substitutes for unimpeded humanitarian assistance via the established land routes.”

Alternative methods of aid delivery are costly, inefficient, and “a distraction from the critical solution to save the lives of children and families in Gaza”, he said, calling for an immediate ceasefire.

GAZA/UNRWA – Reuters reports: The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees said some employees released into Gaza from Israeli detention reported having been pressured by Israeli authorities into falsely stating that the agency has Hamas links and that staff took part in the Oct. 7 attacks.

The assertions are contained in a report by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) reviewed by Reuters and dated February 2024 which detailed allegations of mistreatment in Israeli detention made by unidentified Palestinians, including several working for UNRWA.

UNRWA, which provides aid and essential services to Palestinian refugees, is at the center of a crisis over Israeli allegations made in January that 12 of its 13,000 staff in Gaza took part in the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

The Israeli accusations led 16 countries including the United States to pause $450 million in UNRWA funding, throwing its operations into crisis.

Palestinians walk amid the rubble in Khan Younis, Gaza, on Friday
Palestinians walk amid the rubble in Khan Younis, Gaza, on Friday (photo)


Al Jazeera: Three more children die of hunger at al-Shifa Hospital
Social Media: ‘Catastrophic situation’: Canada to resume UNRWA funding
Al Jazeera: Israelis bring legal action against UNRWA

WEST BANK – WAFA reports: A 40-year-old Palestinian identified as Mohammad Adel Shalabi succumbed to his injuries Friday afternoon, after he had been shot by Israeli occupation forces during the raid on the town of Silat al-Harithiya, located northwest of Jenin in the occupied West Bank, according to local sources.

Shalabi succumbed to his injuries after being showered with bullets at point blank range by the Israeli forces. He was arrested in critical condition by the forces, and was pronounced dead of his wounds a few hours later. His body is still held by the Israeli army.

WEST BANK – In a report to the UN Human Rights Council, Volker Turk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, declared that the policies of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Government appear aligned, to an unprecedented extent, with the goals of the Israeli settler movement to expand long-term control over the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and to steadily integrate this occupied territory into the State of Israel.

The West Bank is already in crisis”, Mr. Türk said. “Yet, settler violence and settlement-related violations have reached shocking new levels, and risk eliminating any practical possibility of establishing a viable Palestinian State”.

Since 7 October, there have been 603 settler attacks against Palestinians; 1,222 Palestinians from 19 herding communities have been displaced as a direct result of settler violence.

Since 7 October, 592 people, including 282 children, have been displaced in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, after their homes were demolished due to the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are almost impossible to obtain, OHCHR said.

A boy in the Bedouin refugee community of Um al Khayr in the South Hebron Hills where large scale home demolitions by Israeli authorities took place.
A boy in the Bedouin refugee community of Um al Khayr in the South Hebron Hills where large scale home demolitions by Israeli authorities took place. (unrwa)

WEST BANK – WAFA reports: Israeli occupation forces set up iron barriers and violently assaulted worshipers Friday at one of the main entrances to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem. Witnesses reported that forces brutally beat worshipers, arrested two of them, and prevented many of them from entering the mosque for prayers.

UNITED STATES – Reuters reports: President Joe Biden says he told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the two leaders are headed for a “come to Jesus” meeting over the issue of getting humanitarian aid into Gaza.

In the video posted on social media, Senator Michael Bennett can be heard telling Biden there is a need to keep pushing Israel to allow more humanitarian aid.

“I told him, Bibi, and don’t repeat this, but you and I are going to have a ‘come to Jesus’ meeting,” Biden said, referring to Netanyahu by his nickname. “I’m on a hot mic here. Good. That’s good.”

“Come to Jesus” is an American expression for having a blunt conversation.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Joe Biden meet in New York on Sept. 20.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Joe Biden meet in New York on Sept. 20, 2023 (photo)

WORLD – The European Commission, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, the Republic of Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States have “announced their intent to open a maritime corridor to deliver much-needed additional amounts of humanitarian assistance by sea,” according to a joint statement.

This is to work in tandem with the temporary pier the US has promised to build. Notably, the pier would be only a few kilometers from the Rafah border, where hundreds of trucks are lined up waiting for permission to enter.

SEXUAL VIOLENCE – Senior American officials met with the UN’s rapporteur on sexual violence in conflict to discuss a report on allegations made during the October 7 Hamas attack.

US Deputy National Security Adviser Jon Finer and White House Gender Policy Council Director Jennifer Klein were among officials in the meeting with Pramila Patten, according to a readout by the White House.

“White House officials conveyed President Biden and Vice President Harris’s deep concern about the horrific reports of sexual violence committed by Hamas terrorists on October 7 and reports of ongoing acts of gender-based violence against those in captivity,” it said.

The White House didn’t mention UN findings on sexual violence against Palestinians by Israeli forces.

NOTE: Electronic Intifada has pointed out: Patten is not an unbiased UN official seeking the truth. During her visit to Israel, she reportedly “consistently expressed her solidarity, empathy and sympathy towards Israel.”
Her report admits to being based almost entirely on Israeli government and military sources. A key conclusion buried in the report concedes that the UN team “was unable to establish the prevalence of sexual violence,” and “no tangible indications of rape could be identified.”
Not a single specific victim of sexual assault has been positively identified, living or dead.
Other websites have also reported about the lack of any genuine evidence of sexual violence on October 7th.

9,000 women in Gaza have been killed since October 7th


Palestinian death toll from October 7 – March 8: at least 31,384* (30,960 in Gaza* (over 13,430 children, 9,000 women), and at least 424 in the West Bank (113 children). This does not include an estimated 7,000 more still buried under rubble (4,900 women and children). Euro-Med Monitor reports 39,178 Palestinian deaths.

38 Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons (27 from Gaza, 11 from West Bank)

20 Palestinians have died due to malnutrition

About 1.7 million, or 75% of Gaza’s population are currently displaced.

About 2.2 million (out of total population of 2.3 million) are facing Crisis, Emergency, or Famine levels of food insecurity.

Palestinian injuries from October 7 – March 8: at least 77,189** (including at least 72,524 in Gaza and 4,665 in the West Bank).

It remains unknown how many Americans are among the casualties in Gaza.

Reported Israeli death toll from October 7 – March 8: ~1,399 (~1,139 on October 7, 2023, of which ~574 were civilians, 373 or 337 were security and/or military forces, ~32 were Americans, and ~36 were children); 245 military forces since the ground invasion began in Gaza;, 15 in the West Bank) and~8,730 injured.

NBC reports: “According to the latest available IDF data… nearly 1 in 5, or 17%, of all Israel’s losses have come not at the hands of Hamas but from mishaps on its own side.”

NOTE: It is unknown at this time how many of the deaths and injuries in Israel on October 7 were caused by Israeli soldiers.

*Previously, IAK did not include 471 Gazans killed in the Al Ahli hospital blast since the source of the projectile was being disputed. However, given that much evidence points to Israel as the culprit, Israel had previously bombed the hospital and has attacked many others, Israel is prohibiting outside experts from investigating the scene, and since the UN and other agencies are including the deaths from the attack in their cumulative totals, if Americans knew is now also doing so.

Find previous daily casualty figures and daily news updates here.

For more news, go here and hereBroadcast news from the region is here.

Hover over each bar for exact numbers.
Source: IsraelPalestineTimeline.org

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