As aid dribbles into Gaza, displacement and death prevail – Day 225

As aid dribbles into Gaza, displacement and death prevail – Day 225

Gazans killed while fetching water, waiting for medical evacuation; just months after arriving in Rafah, massive numbers of people are leaving; Israeli violence in West Bank and East Jerusalem; medical negligence in Israeli prisons; accusations against Meta and WhatsApp for leaking Palestinian info for targeted killings; Israel claims young children are informers; former Mossad leader says Israel is losing the war…

By IAK staff, from reports

Eight Palestinians including children were killed while fetching water:

Al Jazeera reports: At least eight people, including women and children, have been reported killed and 10 were wounded after Israeli artillery shelling targeted a group of Palestinians filling water containers in the al-Faluja area, west of Jabalia camp, in northern Gaza today.

“We were displaced to the Faluja area, which is considered a safe area, and suddenly this place was shelled by the Israelis. We do not know where to go,” a witness said.

Video footage shared online and verified by Al Jazeera showed how the attack turned the area into a pool of blood, as well as the impact of shrapnel on shops and homes at the site of the bombing.

Gaza is plagued by unhygienic conditions and the territory's residents have to drink unsanitary water due to Israel's war and siege
Gaza is plagued by unhygienic conditions and the territory’s residents have to drink unsanitary water due to Israel’s war and siege (photo)

Scores of the wounded and sick die due to Rafah crossing closure:

Euro-Med Monitor reports: The ongoing closure of the Rafah land crossing, which connects the Gaza Strip to Egypt, has resulted in a dire humanitarian crisis for Palestinian civilians and has accelerated the genocide that has been taking place since 7 October.

The closure of the Rafah crossing has made it impossible for more than 11,000 wounded people to get the urgent medical care they need outside the Gaza Strip, while over 10,000 cancer patients and at least 2,000 patients with other diseases—of whom about 750 are children—require treatment outside the Gaza Strip.

Fewer than 4,000 cancer patients have been granted permission to leave Gaza to receive treatment abroad since October 2023, according to officials at the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza and medical relief organizations. However, in practice, only about 600 patients have done so, and the remaining patients currently face an uncertain future due to the closure of the Rafah crossing, knowing that the majority of cancer treatments are not available inside Gaza.

(Read the full report here.)

As Israel claims to be carrying out a "limited operation" in Rafah, Israeli tanks amass in southern Israel near the border with Gaza
As Israel claims to be carrying out a “limited operation” in Rafah, Israeli tanks amass in southern Israel near the border with Gaza (photo)

Nearly 800,000 are now displaced from Rafah, almost zero aid is entering Gaza:

UN News reports: Nearly 800,000 Palestinians have been displaced from Rafah since Israel launched its offensive against the southern Gaza city last week, Philippe Lazzarini, the head of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, has said.

Lazzarini decried the repeated displacement of Palestinians in the statement on Saturday.

“Since the war in Gaza began, Palestinians have been forced to flee multiple times in search of safety that they have never found, including in UNRWA shelters,” Lazzarini said.

“When people move, they are exposed, without safe passage or protection. Every time, they are forced to leave behind the few belongings they have:  mattresses, tents, cooking utensils and basic supplies that they cannot carry or pay to transport.

“Every time, they have to start from scratch, all over again.

“Since 6 May, only 33 aid trucks made it through to southern Gaza. This is a small trickle amid the growing humanitarian needs and mass displacement. While we welcome reports on first shipments arriving at the new floating dock, land routes remain the most viable, effective, efficient and safest aid delivery method.”

AL JAZEERA ADDS: We have confirmation of about 90 trucks filled with humanitarian aid were loaded at the temporary pier at Gaza City’s shore yesterday.

Ninety trucks a day is not nearly enough to feed and respond to the needs of displaced Palestinians.

A TWEET FROM PRESIDENT BIDEN: US President Joe Biden has confirmed that USAID has used the pier to deliver “nutrient-rich food bars to support 11,000 of the most vulnerable children and adults, ready-to-use therapeutic foods, and supplies to support shelter, clean water, and hygiene for over 33,000 people.”

Biden also said that the US continues to “work with Israel to further increase the amount of aid getting into Gaza by land”.

NOTE: The US has for months expressed its desire to see appropriate amounts of humanitarian aid reaching the starving people of Gaza on one hand, while undermining Gaza’s largest aid organization on the other; meanwhile Israel has consistently stalled efforts.
In mid-March, Israel promised to “flood” Gaza with aid, but has failed to do so.
Meanwhile, the US has built a “temporary pier” off the Gaza coast to receive a relatively small amount of aid by sea – at a cost of at least $320 million – and has, along with other countries, airdropped packages of aid into Gaza – a practice that has caused over 20 Palestinian deaths due to malfunction.
The Biden administration has so far not used its leverage as the provider of billions of dollars in military aid to Israel (with one exception), a move that could potentially end the war in short order.
Smoke billows after an Israeli bombardment in the southern city of Rafah in Gaza on May 6
Smoke billows after an Israeli bombardment in the southern city of Rafah in Gaza on May 6 (photo)

West Bank: Israeli occupation forces arrest two children east of Ramallah:

WAFA reports: Israeli occupation forces arrested two Palestinian children this evening during a raid on the village of Kafr Malik, east of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, according to local sources.

The sources reported that 15-year-old Ahmed Jihad Ghanimat was arrested after being chased by the forces. Ghanimat suffered a broken leg after falling from a height during the chase.

Additionally, 14-year-old Amjad Jihad Sari was detained by the Israeli forces during confrontations that erupted following their incursion into the village.

Israeli forces fatally shoot young man southeast of occupied Jerusalem:

WAFA reports: Israeli occupation forces stationed at a military checkpoint southeast of occupied Jerusalem fatally shot a Palestinian young man this afternoon, according to local sources and witnesses.

The sources reported that Israeli occupation soldiers opened fire intensively at Rami Taqatqa, 44 years old, from the town of Beit Fajjar, south of Bethlehem, as he was passing through the Container military separating the central and southern West Bank.

Medical teams and ambulances were blocked from reaching him to provide medical assistance, witnesses added.

Israeli prison authorities are accused of medical negligence of Palestinian prisoners:

The Commission for Detainees’ Affairs reports that its lawyers were able to visit three detainees in Ramon prison, in southeast Israel, who accused prison authorities of neglecting their illnesses and dire health conditions.

Mohammed Tous and Murad Abu Alrub, who are serving life in prison, and Taher Saleh, who has been in administrative detention for the past four years, have said that Israeli authorities are carrying out “systematic negligence of detainees, including withholding medicine, leaving them to fall victim to illnesses”.

Tous, who has been in prison since 1985, told lawyers he has not witnessed this kind of mistreatment since his detention about 40 years ago. He confirmed to the commission’s legal team that his already poor vision deteriorated after prison authorities suspended his treatment since October 7.

Alrub spoke about the spread of skin diseases among detainees due to the lack of sanitizers and cleaning supplies, in addition to the lack of clothes and bed linens.

“The commission warns of an escalation in the medical crimes that threaten the lives of hundreds of sick detainees,” it said in a statement, adding that international intervention by rights and legal groups is needed.

NOTE: Israel’s military court system is part of its overriding structure of discrimination against Palestinians. The courts are known to use torture and threats to extract false confessions – including from children – and other illegal practices. According to Israeli army figures, between 2018 and April 2021, 99.6 percent of the sentences at military courts ended in conviction.
RECOMMENDED READING: Israel’s military courts for Palestinians are a stain on international justice

Sada Social Calls for Investigation into Meta’s Leak of WhatsApp Users’ Data to the Israeli Military:

Press Release: Sada Social, a Palestinian NGO dedicated to monitoring and documenting digital violations against Palestinian content, has been tracking the collective dissent voiced by numerous Meta employees, encompassing Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Threads, regarding the Meta company’s complicity in the genocidal war against the Gaza Strip, its endorsement of the Israeli occupation, and its fueling of the “Lavender” artificial intelligence system used by the Israeli military to kill Palestinian individuals within the Gaza enclave.

The “Lavender” is an artificial intelligence platform employed by the Israeli military for the purpose of conducting airstrikes against Palestinians in Gaza

Sada has ascertained that one of the inputs to the “Lavender” system relies on data collected from WhatsApp groups containing names of Palestinians or activists who are wanted by ‘Israel’.

This development follows a series of admonitions issued by Sada Social concerning Meta’s violation of privacy on WhatsApp, which the company describes as an “end-to-end encrypted” application, denoting a security protocol wherein messages are shielded through encryption mechanisms that the company itself can’t see or monitor.

Since the onset of the genocidal war on October 7, the violation of users’ privacy through WhatsApp has escalated, with more than 670 Palestinian users being banned, over 78% of whom are journalists and users in the Gaza Strip.

Sada Social calls upon Meta management to adhere to responsibility and transparency across its various platforms, and to release transparency reports that have been withheld since the onset of the genocidal war.

It also urges the Independent Supervisory Board to conduct an urgent and genuine investigation into Meta’s leak of Palestinian data and its involvement in the Israeli genocide.

Israeli military claims to expose Palestinian children as ‘Hamas informants’:

The Israeli military has released names and information of a number of small Palestinian children in Israeli custody that the IDF claims are informing on Hamas.

Palestinian children arbitrarily arrested and detained by the Israeli army are often coerced into becoming collaborators or informants, according to Francesca Albanese, UN special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories.

RECOMMENDED READING: Fact Sheet: Palestinian Children in Israeli Military Detention

Israel is on losing end in Gaza war says former Mossad deputy chief:

Al Jazeera reports: Israeli Knesset member and former Mossad deputy chief Ram Ben-Barak said the ongoing war in Gaza is “futile”, asserting that Israel is on the losing end and facing economic collapse.

“This war lacks a clear objective, and it’s evident that we’re unequivocally losing it,” Ben-Barak told Israeli public radio.

“We are forced to engage in fighting in the same areas and end up losing more soldiers. We’re also facing setbacks on the international stage, our relations with the US deteriorating significantly, and the Israeli economy in decline,” he said, adding, “Show me one thing we have succeeded in.”


Mondoweiss: ‘Do No Harm’: A week in the life of ‘democracy’ and the betrayal of the university student.
Mondoweiss: Unpacking the Israeli campaign to deny the Gaza genocide
IMEMC Reports

Palestinian death toll from October 7 – May 18: at least 35,968* (35,456 in Gaza* – 4,959 women (20%), 7,797 children (32%) identified – and at least 512 in the West Bank (117 children). This does not include an estimated 10,000 more still buried under rubble (4,900 women and children). Euro-Med Monitor reports 43,640 Palestinian deaths. (Information on Gaza statistics here.)

At least 42 Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons (27 from Gaza, 14 from West Bank).

At least 31 Palestinian children and several adults have died due to malnutrition**.

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

About 1.1 million (out of total population of 2.3 million) are facing Catastrophic levels of food insecurity.

Palestinian injuries from October 7 – May 18: at least 84,406 (including at least 79,476 in Gaza and 5,040 in the West Bank).

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

Reported Israeli death toll from October 7 – May 18: ~1,433 (~1,139 on October 7, 2023, of which ~32 were Americans, and ~36 were children); 281 military forces since the ground invasion began in Gaza; 16 in the West Bank) and~8,730 injured.

Times of Israel reports: The IDF also listed 41 soldiers killed due to friendly fire in Gaza and other military-related accidents – nearly 16%.

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.

**Euro-Med Monitor reports that Gaza’s elderly are dying at an alarmingly high rate. The majority die at home and are buried either close to their residences or in makeshift graves dispersed across the Strip. There are currently more than 140 such cemeteries. Additionally, according to Euromed, thousands have died from starvation, malnourishment, and inadequate medical care; these are considered indirect victims as they were not registered in hospitals. 

Find previous daily casualty figures and daily news updates here.

Hover over each bar for exact numbers.


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