As ceasefire moves closer, Netanyahu trying to “sabotage” deal; Gaza death toll passes 38,000 – Day 271

As ceasefire moves closer, Netanyahu trying to “sabotage” deal; Gaza death toll passes 38,000 – Day 271

Netanyahu thwarts ceasefire; more people killed in Gaza; vital humanitarian aid at a standstill; pro-Israel influencers with millions of followers attend Israel-sponsored strategy summit in NYC ; no more special treatment for Israeli prisoners; Israel destroys 600-year-old mosque; largest Israeli West Bank land grab in three decades; Palestinian citizens of Israel are an “existential threat”; leaked document shows Israel’s plan to ethnically cleanse Gazans; more.

By IAK staff, from reports.

Netanyahu and allies trying to sabotage ceasefire, Israeli report says

Middle East Eye reports: Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office is teaming up with extremist elements of the Israeli government to try to thwart any possibility of reaching a deal with Hamas.

While the Israeli government’s official statement is that it would examine Hamas’ latest response to the ceasefire deal, Yedioth Ahronoth says Netanyahu’s office, along with some far-right allies, had been working on stopping any deal even before Wednesday’s announcement.

The Israeli outlet says security and intelligence officials see this as an attempt by Netanyahu and far-right elements to “thwart even the possibility of resuming contacts for a deal”.

“It is impossible to exaggerate the severity of the situation,” the outlet quoted a security official knowledgeable of the ceasefire deal saying. “There is a situation [in which] the abductees will be sacrificed because he wants to delay until after the end of the session and the speech in [US] Congress.”

FROM HA’ARETZ: Sources familiar with Hamas’ response to the hostage release proposal expressed optimism following the group’s remarks on the deal’s outline on Wednesday.According to one of the sources, Hamas’ response is a “positive document” and its response could form the basis for advancing negotiations toward a deal.

According to one of the sources, Hamas’ response is a “positive document” and its response could form the basis for advancing negotiations toward a deal.

ALSO FROM MIDDLE EAST EYE: US President Joe Biden is expected to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in July when he travels to Washington to address a joint session of Congress, according to a report by CNN. Netanyahu was invited to address Congress by the Republican and Democratic House leadership, but ties with the Biden administration are under strain.

More people killed in Gaza

Seven Palestinians killed by Israeli drone strike in Gaza
Two female Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrike on Nuseirat refugee camp
Five civilians killed in Israeli airstrike on Gaza City

In Gaza, vital humanitarian aid at a standstill

La Croix International reports:

The takeover of the Rafah terminal by the Israeli army in early May has complicated and slowed the distribution of humanitarian aid to Gaza, where the population suffers from malnutrition.

On the ground, UN agencies and NGOs speak of an “unprecedented” situation…

Destruction in Gaza Strip follwing Israeli bombings in October 2023. (Photo by Saleh Najm and Anas Sharif/Wikimedia Commons) (source)

JTA: 300 Pro-Israel influencers with tens of millions of followers attend strategy conference

The Jewish telegraphic agency JTA reports: that the Combat Antisemitism Movement and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted hundreds of online Jewish activists at a two-day summit called “Voices for Truth: Influencers United Against Antisemitism.”

The conference aimed to help Jewish content creators connect and hear from each other about why and how they’ve made their platforms more outwardly Jewish and in some cases, staunchly pro-Israel since Oct. 7.

More than 300 online activists and influencers attended the conference in New York, which was held at The Glasshouse event space in Hell’s Kitchen. The event brought together content creators with millions of followers combined.

Andy Cohen, the executive producer of “The Real Housewives” franchise and the host of “Watch What Happens Live!” on Bravo, was a keynote speaker at the conference’s opening gala and hosted his own panel called “Shaping the Discourse.”

Other speakers at the conference included NYC Mayor Eric Adams, Rep. Richie Torres and Israeli Consul General Ofir Akunis. Celebrities included the musician Matisyahu and Julia Haart of “My Unorthodox Life,” and Holocaust survivors.

The topics of the panels ranged from “Refuting Misconceptions About Israel and the Gaza War” to “Shaping the Discourse” and “Navigating the Science of Social Media to Maximize Impact.”

The idea for the conference came about after CAM brought influencers Montana Tucker and Ariel Martin, who goes by Baby Ariel online, travelled to Israel to document the country’s experience after Oct. 7. The two have a combined following of more than 60 million across Instagram and TikTok,

“We saw the impact immediately,” Nisell told the New York Jewish Week. “Every post that they have done for Israel and against antisemitism has millions of views and shares and follows.

The conference organizers recruited attendees by DMing anyone who posts in support of Israel or against antisemitism, and who has more than 50,000 followers.

The goal was to attract influencers who have large numbers of non-Jewish followers, and who therefore may be able to reach people who don’t know much about Jews or Israel.

Rep. Ritchie Torres addresses the summit for “Influencers United Against Antisemitism.” (source)

Israeli captives to face conditions similar to Palestinian prisoners

The Cradle reports: The military spokesman for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement’s Quds Brigades, Abu Hamza, confirmed in a statement on 3 July that the group has implemented a policy depriving Israeli captives of certain rights and privileges.

The decision was taken following the massacre committed by Israel in the Nuseirat refugee camp last month, where the Israeli army killed nearly 300 Palestinian civilians in an operation to rescue four captives [NOTE: read about the Nuseirat massacre here], and as a response to the brutality against Palestinians across Israeli jails [read about treatment of Palestinian prisoners here].

“A number of enemy prisoners have attempted actual suicide with determination as a result of the intense frustration they feel due to their government’s neglect of their case and the different treatment by the security units in the Quds Brigades,” Abu Hamza said.

Abu Hamza confirmed that the Quds Brigades have been “depriving [the prisoners] of some of the privileges that were provided to them prior to the heinous Nuseirat [massacre] committed by the criminal Nazi enemy army that killed hundreds of innocent Palestinians.”

“Our decision in the Quds Brigades to treat enemy prisoners the same way our prisoners inside [Israeli] prisons are being treated will remain in effect as long as the terrorist government continues its unjust measures towards our people and our prisoners, and those who have warned have been excused.”

Palestinians who have been detained by Israel in Gaza and held in detention centers during the ongoing war have also suffered severe abuse, and many have given shocking testimonies of torture and mistreatment by Israeli soldiers.

RECOMMENDED READING (Euro-Med Monitor): Hostages of Israeli revenge in the Gaza Strip: Testimonies of 100 released Palestinian detainees reveal crimes of torture, cruel treatment.

Israel destroys second largest historical mosque in Gaza (600 years old)

Middle East Monitor reports: Israeli occupation forces yesterday reportedly destroyed the second largest historical mosque in Gaza, turning it into rubble.

Israeli warplanes fired several missiles at the Ibn Uthman Mosque, in the Shuja’iyya neighborhood, in central Gaza City, a week after starting a ruthless offensive on the neighborhood.

According to specialists, the mosque is the second largest archaeological mosque in the Gaza Strip after the Great Al-Omari Mosque, in the Al-Daraj neighborhood in the center of the city, and proof of the ancient history of Gaza City.

Israel makes largest West Bank land seizure in three decades

Al Arabiya reports: An anti-settlement watchdog says Israel has approved the largest seizure of land in the occupied West Bank in over three decades.

The Israeli group Peace Now said Wednesday that authorities recently approved the appropriation of 12.7 square kilometers (nearly 5 square miles) of land in the Jordan Valley. The group’s data indicate it was the largest single appropriation approved since the 1993 Oslo accords at the start of the peace process.

The land seizure, which was approved late last month but only publicized on Wednesday, comes after the seizure of 8 square kilometers (roughly 3 square miles) of land in the West Bank in March and 2.6 square kilometers (1 square mile) in February.

That makes 2024 by far the peak year for Israeli land seizure in the West Bank, Peace Now said.

The parcels are contiguous and located northeast of the West Bank city of Ramallah, where the Western-backed Palestinian Authority is headquartered. By declaring them state lands, the Israeli government has opened them up to being leased to Israelis and prohibited private Palestinian ownership.

NOTE: Israel has illegally built around 280 settlements on Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, which are home to more than 700,000 illegal settlers. Israeli settlements and settlers on Palestinian land are a violation of international law, and considered by many Palestinians to be the main barrier to any lasting peace agreement.. Settlers, moreover, have a history of violence against Palestinians, often with the assistance of Israeli military forces.
An Israeli settlement, built on Palestinian land. Settlements are considered illegal under international law.
An Israeli settlement, built on Palestinian land. Settlements are considered illegal under international law. (screengrab)

Israel to approve 5,300 colonial units in the West Bank

WAFA reports: Israeli occupation authorities intend to approve the construction of 5,300 colonial units in the occupied West Bank, despite mounting international criticism. [NOTE: Al Jazeera reports “over 6,000 units.”]

The United Nations confirmed that colonization in the occupied territories is illegal, and has been calling for decades to stop it, and warned that it undermines the chances of resolving the conflict according to the principle of a two-state solution.

Israeli media said on Wednesday that “the Israeli Supreme Planning Council (governmental) will meet today and tomorrow to approve the construction of 5,300 colonial units throughout the West Bank.”

It quoted Israeli finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who said: “we develop colonialism and thwart the threat of establishing a Palestinian state.”

Two days ago, Smotrich vowed to build a new colony for every new international recognition of the State of Palestine.

West Bank – Israeli forces fatally shoot Palestinian man, 23, in Jenin

WAFA reports: The Ministry of Health announced the death of 23-year-old Nidal Ziyad al-Amer who was shot dead by the occupation forces in the city.

Medical and security sources said that a special unit in the Israeli occupation army, in a civilian car with a Palestinian license plate, sneaked into the industrial zone of the city, where they opened gunfire towards al-Amer, killing him.

West Bank – Palestinian killed by Israeli settler near Hebron

Al Jazeera’s correspondent reports that a man was shot dead by an Israeli settler while herding sheep near the town of as-Samu, south of the city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank.

This is the moment when 8-year-old Adam al-Ghoul was shot in the head and killed by Israeli soldiers during a raid in Jenin in the occupied West Bank. A 15-year-old boy was also killed in the same raid.
This is the moment when 8-year-old Adam al-Ghoul was shot in the head and killed by Israeli soldiers during a raid in Jenin in the occupied West Bank. A 15-year-old boy was also killed in the same raid. November 2023 (screenshot)

Smotrich: Palestinian citizens of Israel are ‘existential threat’

Middle East Monitor reports: Far-right Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich described Arab citizens of Israel as “an existential threat to the state”.

Speaking during a radio interview on Tuesday, Smotrich said: “It is impossible not to talk about the great threat posed by Israeli Arabs, as there are huge numbers of Arabs within our country.”

Smotrich claimed “they possess quantities of weapons and ammunition, and have missiles for sabotage and hand grenades stolen from Israeli army bases, and they live in communities.”

“God forbid if the Iranian occupation plan comes true, and there is an invasion from many places, and Israeli Arabs who own hundreds and thousands of weapons participate in the war, while they are among us… and this is an existential threat to the state of Israel,” he added.

Palestinians constitute about 21 per cent of the Israeli population.

Ethnic cleansing – leaked document exposes Israel’s plan to displace Palestinians to Egypt

Middle East Monitor reports: A document leaked from the ministry of intelligence has exposed the Israeli regime’s plan to displace the Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip to Egypt. Dated October last year, the plan refers to the “forcible” transfer of residents from the Palestinian enclave to Sinai, which will have “positive and long-term strategic results.”

A three-stage process is outlined in the document, involving the establishment of tent cities in Sinai, opening a humanitarian corridor, building cities in North Sinai and not allowing the displaced persons to return to any activity or residence near the Israeli border. Israeli Minister of Intelligence Gila Gamliel apparently strongly supports the forced displacement plan and recommended that it be implemented at the end of the war.

This is seen as the “preferred” option of three proposed for the future of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Evacuations, it recommends, should take place even as the war is ongoing, with foreign states led by the US implementing them. Total displacement is said to be the desired outcome of the war and, once displaced, the Palestinians will not be allowed to return to their homes in Gaza.

An official in the ministry of intelligence confirmed that the document was authentic and was distributed on behalf of the ministry’s policy division and was not supposed to reach the media. However, the Calcalist website obtained a copy of the document and published it.

Palestinians flee Khan Younis once again under Israeli military evacuation orders.
Palestinians flee Khan Younis once again under Israeli military evacuation orders. (screenshot)

UN experts condemn decades of unfair trials for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank

UN Human Rights Council statement: Palestinians’ right to due process guarantees have been violated for 57 years UN experts said today, denouncing the lack of fair trial in the occupied West Bank since June 1967.

On 7 June 1967, the Israeli military commander issued three proclamations concerning the military’s executive, security, public order, and judicial authority in the occupied West Bank. These provisions were later amended into Military Order No. 378, which established military courts.

“In the occupied West Bank, the functions of police, investigator, prosecutor, and judge are vested in the same hierarchical institution – the Israeli military,” the experts said.

The Order establishes vague procedural instructions and broad powers to military forces for the conduct of proceedings.

“This military system has served to control many aspects of Palestinians’ daily lives, including public health, education, and land and property law. It also criminalises many forms of political and cultural expression, association, movement, nonviolent protest, traffic offenses, and other acts that might be considered methods for opposing the occupation and its policies,” the experts said.

“This translates into a situation where military judges in military courts consistently provide legal and judicial cover for acts of torture, cruel and degrading treatment against Palestinian detainees carried out by their colleagues in the armed forces and intelligence agencies. It also makes legal defence impossible,” they said.

(Read the full statement here.)

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
“The immense numbers of civilian casualties in Gaza and widespread destruction of civilian objects and infrastructure were the inevitable result of a strategy undertaken with intent to cause maximum damage, disregarding the principles of distinction, proportionality and adequate precautions" UN Commission of Inquiry.
“The immense numbers of civilian casualties in Gaza and widespread destruction of civilian objects and infrastructure were the inevitable result of a strategy undertaken with intent to cause maximum damage, disregarding the principles of distinction, proportionality and adequate precautions” UN Commission of Inquiry. (source)

Israeli reservists tell NGO why they refuse to keep fighting in Gaza

“The vibe is ‘You can fire wherever you want,’” one Israeli reservist identified as Michael, an infantry control officer, told the NGO Breaking the Silence.

“You have to get permission, but there will be permission. It’s only bureaucratic. I can count on one hand the times when we were told: ‘You can’t fire there,’” he said, according to a post on X.

Read more on this thread:

JTA: From Kamala Harris to Josh Shapiro, these are the talked-about contenders to replace Joe Biden, and their Jewish stories

The Jewish telegraphic agency JTA reports: “Marianne Williamson, the Jewish self-help author who challenged Biden in the primaries, reopened her campaign this week and called for an open convention.

“A few more names are in the mix, from Vice President Kamala Harris to a number of governors and other officials, and they all have Jewish connections…


IMEMC Daily Reports.
Electronic Intifada: Atrocity amnesia undercuts UN commission report

Palestinian death toll from October 7 – July 3: at least 38,567* (38,011 in Gaza* – 11,445 women (30%), 15,747 children as of June 17.

This is expected to be a significant undercount since thousands of those killed have yet to be identified – and at least 556 in the West Bank (~134 children). This does not include an estimated 10,000 more still buried under rubble (4,900 women and children). Euro-Med Monitor reports 45,223 Palestinian deaths. (Ralph Nader has estimated 200,000 Palestinians may have been killed in Gaza.)

  • At least 45 Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons (27 from Gaza, 18 from West Bank).
  • At least 40 Palestinians have died due to malnutrition**.
  • About 1.7 million, or 75% of Gaza’s population are currently displaced.
  • 2.15 million (out of total population of 2.3 million) are projected to face Crisis or worse levels of food insecurity.

Palestinian injuries from October 7 – July 3: at least 92,865 (including at least 87,445 in Gaza and 5,420 in the West Bank, including 830 children).

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

Reported Israeli death toll from October 7 – July 3: ~1,478 (~1,139 on October 7, 2023, of which ~32 were Americans, and ~36 were children); 323 military forces since the ground invasion began in Gaza; 16 in the West Bank) and~8,730 injured.

Times of Israel reports: The IDF 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. 

† For most of the conflict, women and children accounted for about 70% of deaths in Gaza, with children making up a little over 40% of those killed, according to official statistics.

Find previous daily casualty figures and daily news updates here.

Hover over each bar for exact numbers.

Enter your email address below to receive our latest articles right in your inbox.