900,000 children in Gaza suffer from cold, hunger, and lack of drinking water – Day 84

900,000 children in Gaza suffer from cold, hunger, and lack of drinking water – Day 84

South Africa invokes the Genocide Convention against Israel; Wall Street Journal reports: Gaza “most devastating warfare in the modern record”; Abandon Biden campaign expands; schools in Gaza hard hit; Voice of Palestine radio program hacked; vaccines for kids; Israeli military kills another Israeli hostage

The Gaza Ministry of Health reported that 900,000 children in Gaza are suffering from cold weather, hunger, and lack of drinking water.

Palestinians inspect the damage in their neighbourhood
Palestinians inspect the damage in their neighborhood (photo)

Friday, South Africa invoked the Genocide Convention against Israel, filing an application instituting proceedings against Israel before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), concerning alleged violations by Israel of its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the “Genocide Convention”) in relation to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

From the Application: “This section provides an overview of the acts in which Israel has engaged that are genocidal in character, having regard to their nature, scope and context. These acts are ongoing, and ongoing in a conflict context, where Israel is deliberately imposing telecommunications blackouts on Gaza and restricting access by fact-finding bodies and the international media. (Continue reading here.)

An Israeli spokesperson responded, “Israel rejects with disgust the blood libel spread by South Africa in its application to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).”

Palestinian children sit rubble of what was once their home in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on December 29, 2023. Rafah was a so-called ‘safe zone’ but is now under regular attack by Israel
Palestinian children sit rubble of what was once their home in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on December 29, 2023. Rafah was a so-called ‘safe zone’ but is now under regular attack by Israel (photo)

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the war in Gaza “is generating destruction comparable in scale to the most devastating warfare in the modern record”. In a report published on Saturday, it confirmed that by mid-December Israel had dropped 29,000 bombs, munitions and shells on the besieged enclave, destroying or damaging nearly 70 percent of Gaza’s homes.

US Muslims expand ‘Abandon Biden’ campaign over his handling of the Gaza conflict. The #AbandonBiden campaign was first launched by Muslim leaders from Michigan, Minnesota, Arizona, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania. The leaders say they intend to guarantee Biden’s loss in the upcoming 2024 election over his refusal to call for a ceasefire in Gaza, where Israeli attacks have killed more than 21,000 people, mostly children and women.

“The president betrayed us because he violated the value of dignity and life. What’s the point of voting for you when you deny 2.2 million [in Gaza] people water?” said Hassan Abdel Salam, a spokesperson for the campaign.

Journalist Mahmoud Abusalama has documented the destruction caused by Israeli forces in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza. The video has been verified by Al Jazeera:


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A post shared by Mahmoud Abusalama (@almajd_free)

Several UN agencies and education-focused NGOs report that 352 schools have been damaged or destroyed across the Gaza Strip, affecting 400,700 students, more than half (52 percent) of whom are girls. About 90 percent of school buildings are being used as shelters by internally displaced people, the groups said.

Severity of damage varies from minor (128 schools), moderate (110 schools), major (96 schools) and destruction (8 schools).

RECOMMENDED VIEWING: Class resumes in Rafah: Displaced teacher gives lessons in a tent

As illnesses spiral across Gaza, UNICEF delivers 600,000 vaccine doses for children. The UN agency said more than 16,800 infants have missed one or more routine vaccines, and it will work with the WHO and UNRWA to deliver the arriving vaccines. The vaccines will help protect against diseases such as polio, tuberculosis, measles and hepatitis.

The Palestine Public Broadcasting Corporation has strongly condemned the hacking carried out by Israeli occupation forces today against the main broadcast of its Voice of Palestine radio on the FM frequency 100.1. The hacked broadcast included threatening messages directed at the people of Gaza, marking a new crime against Palestinian media.

In a statement released by the Corporation, it highlighted the severity of Israel’s hacking of the Palestinian media outlets and forcefully seizing their content to serve its aggressive war against the Palestinian people.

Captive Israeli soldier killed in Gaza by Israeli air raid: a spokesperson for Gazan resistance said the air raid took place following a failed attempt by Israeli commandos to free the soldier.


Palestinian death toll since October 7: at least 21,350* (~21,201 in Gaza* (70% women and children), and at least 316 in the West Bank, about 77 of them children). This does not include an estimated 7,000 more still buried under rubble (4,900 women and children). Euro-Med Monitor reports 29,124 Palestinian deaths.

*IAK does not yet include 471 Gazans killed in the Al Ahli hospital blast since the source of the projectile is being disputed; although much evidence points to Israel as the culprit, experts are still looking into the incidentIsrael is blocking an international investigation.

Palestinian injuries since October 7: at least 58,665** (including at least 56,165 in Gaza** and 3,805 in the West Bank). **NOTE: it is impossible to provide an accurate number of injuries in Gaza due to the ongoing bombardment and communication disruption. 

It remains unknown how many Americans are among the casualties. in Gaza**. About 1.9 million people have been displaced (about 85-90% of the population).

Reported Israeli death toll since October 7: ~1,139  (7 killed in West Bank, 170 in Gaza), including 32 Americans, and 8,730 injured, approximately 36 children).

NOTE: It is unknown at this time how many of the deaths and injuries in Israel may have been caused by Israeli soldiers; additionally, since Israel has a policy of universal conscription, it is unknown how many of those attending the outdoor rave a few miles from Gaza on stolen Palestinian land were Israeli soldiers.

Find previous daily casualty figures and daily news updates hereFor more news, go here and here. Live broadcast news from the region is here.

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

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