As Gazans die, Biden “unwilling to shift Israel policy,” pushes aid pkg to Israel – Day 147

As Gazans die, Biden “unwilling to shift Israel policy,” pushes aid pkg to Israel – Day 147

Biden apparently not budging on support for Israel, wants to “help ensure that Israel can defend itself” (to the tune of $14 billion in free money), while announcing US would airdrop aid to Gazans; “Flour Massacre” update (spoiler alert: Israel lied); unnecessary airdrops into Gaza; Christiane Amanpour and colleagues confront CNN over “myriad leadership failings” in coverage of Israel’s war on Gaza; NYT claims of Hamas sexual crimes further debunked; West Bank news, more

By IAK staff, from reports

WHITE HOUSE – NBC News reports: US officials told NBC News that the American president “remains unwilling to make any major shifts in his policy toward Israel, including placing conditions on military aid to Israel”.

President Joe Biden attends an event on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, in the Rose Garden.
President Joe Biden attends an event on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, in the Rose Garden. (photo)

The officials also expressed doubt that Israel would “provide a full accounting” of the attack on Palestinians waiting for food aid in Gaza City on Thursday, with one official saying that there is “no question” the deaths would negatively affect continuing negotiations for a ceasefire.

NOTE: Polling shows that a majority of U.S. likely voters support a permanent ceasefire and de-escalation of violence in Gaza — and most prefer that the U.S. prioritize diplomacy and humanitarian aid to curtail violence in the region. The President is not acting in accordance with his constituents.

From the White House: A statement from US President Joe Biden has urged House Republicans to pass a foreign aid bill in order to “help ensure that Israel can defend itself against Hamas* and other threats”. [The foreign aid bill would send $14.1 billion to Israel for military purposes.]

Biden said the bipartisan national security supplemental package, which House Republicans are refusing to hold a vote on, will also provide “critical humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people”.

“Because the truth is, the aid flowing into Gaza is nowhere near enough, and nowhere fast enough. Innocent lives are on the line,” the statement said.

*NOTE: In reality, Israel’s war is not against Hamas, but against all Palestinians. Thanks to the pro-Israel lobby in the US, Congress disburses over $20 million per day of Americans’ tax money directly to and/or on behalf of Israel.

“FLOUR MASSACRE” UPDATE – [Following Israeli statements claiming that the casualties in the incident were not caused by Israeli fire] Associated Press reports: At least 115 Palestinians were killed and more than 750 others injured Thursday, according to health officials, when witnesses said nearby Israeli troops opened fire as huge crowds raced to pull goods off an aid convoy.

Israel said many of the dead were trampled in a crowd surge that started when desperate Palestinians in Gaza rushed the aid trucks. Israel said its troops fired warning shots after the crowd moved toward them in a threatening way.

Dr. Mohammed Salha, the acting director of Al-Awda Hospital, told The Associated Press that of the 176 wounded brought to the facility, 142 (80%) had gunshot wounds and the other 34 showed injuries from a stampede.

Earlier, a UN team who visited al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza also confirmed that many victims had been injured by gunfire.

NOTE: Israel has not proven itself trustworthy in its dealings. Among Israel’s recent lies are numerous atrocity stories about the October 7th attack that have since been proven untrue (additional examples here). Previously, Israel has been caught in many lies – for example, this and this and this.
Fares Afana, the head of the ambulance service at Kamal Adwan Hospital, said the number of casualties was too high to be handled by ambulance. Many were loaded onto a humanitarian aid truck, others were brought to the hospital by donkey cart.
Fares Afana, the head of the ambulance service at Kamal Adwan Hospital, said the number of casualties was too high to be handled by ambulance. Many were loaded onto a humanitarian aid truck, others were brought to the hospital by donkey cart. (photo)

Muhammad Ahmad from one of the aid organizations told Sky News that coordinators for the aid convoy had liaised with Israel, and agreed on the exact location where the delivery would take place.

“The trucks were moving together, and the location of the distribution was disclosed, and that’s [where] people were waiting all night,” Ahmad told Sky News in an interview on Friday, adding, “unfortunately, a moment which would have given us some happiness and relief that aid had reached those in need became a bloodbath.”

NOTE: In addition to this recent incident, Israel has on multiple occasions fired at crowds waiting for food aid , at least once allegedly sending fake text messages to Gazans, telling them to assemble and then shooting at them when they did; Israel has also attacked food aid convoys and those who accompanied them several times. Additionally, Israeli citizens have blocked a border crossing for weeks with no meaningful attempt by Israel to reopen it.

AIR DROPS – U.S. President Joe Biden announced on Friday plans to carry out a first military airdrop of food and supplies into Gaza, a day after the deaths of Palestinians queuing for aid threw a spotlight on an unfolding humanitarian catastrophe in the crowded coastal enclave.

Biden said the U.S. airdrop would take place in the coming days but offered no further specifics. Other countries, including Jordan and France, have already carried out airdrops of aid into Gaza.

“We need to do more and the United States will do more,” Biden told reporters, adding that “aid flowing to Gaza is nowhere nearly enough.”

At the White House, spokesperson John Kirby stressed that airdrops would become “a sustained effort.” He added that the first airdrop would be likely be military MREs, or “meals ready-to-eat.”

UNRWA: There is no limit to the scale of humanitarian needs for people in Gaza. Food production has come to a halt. Famine is looming.
UNRWA: There is no limit to the scale of humanitarian needs for people in Gaza. Food production has come to a halt. Famine is looming. (photo)

Al Jazeera reports: WHO representative Rik Peeperkorn, who has just left Gaza, explains to Al Jazeera that while he is not “against” aid airdrops because they can be lifesaving interventions, the amount of supplies they can deliver is “much lower” and they are more expensive.

“It’s absolutely not needed in Gaza. The simplest, safest way and most effective way to deliver aid to people is through crossings. Not just Rafah. It should [also] be Kerem Shalom,” he said, referring to the crossing with Israel known in Arabic as Karem Abu Salem.

He added that the UN has been “more than ready” to supply Gaza with the aid it desperately needs but “a lot of our missions got delayed [and] denied [by Israel]”.

NOTE: On February 29, Oxfam said it “does not support US airdrops to Gaza, which would mostly serve to relieve the guilty consciences of senior US officials whose policies are contributing to the ongoing atrocities and risk of famine in Gaza,” adding,  “While Palestinians in Gaza have been pushed to the absolute brink, dropping a paltry, symbolic amount of aid into Gaza with no plan for its safe distribution would not help and be deeply degrading to Palestinians. Instead of indiscriminate airdrops in Gaza, the US should cut the flow of weapons to Israel that are used in indiscriminate attacks.”

MEDIA BIAS – The Intercept reports: CNN employees, including the renowned international news anchor Christiane Amanpour, confronted network executives over what the staffers described as myriad leadership failings in coverage of Israel’s war on Gaza, according to a leaked recording of a recent all-hands meeting obtained by The Intercept.

Christiane Amanpour, CNN
Christiane Amanpour, CNN (photo)

One issue that came up repeatedly is CNN’s longtime process for routing almost all coverage relating to Israel and Palestine through the network’s Jerusalem bureau. As The Intercept reported in January, the protocol slows down reporting on Gaza and filters news about the war through journalists in Jerusalem who operate under the shadow of Israel’s military censor.

Amanpour told executives she was distressed by the Jerusalem bureau’s practice of “changing copy, double standards, and all the rest.”

Just this week, CNN described an Israeli massacre of more than 100 starving people who were gathered to get food as a “chaotic incident.” Earlier this month, The Guardian published an extensive story sourced to multiple CNN staffers who described the network’s Gaza coverage as “journalistic malpractice.”

NYT’s bombshell report alleging Hamas sexual violence debunked once again

New details implicate the Times’ upper echelons

Forensic evidence of sexual violence was non-existent… If this has happened in so many places, how can it be that there is no forensic evidence? No documentation?

The Times’s mission appeared to be to bolster a predetermined narrative…

NOTE: For more on the media bias pervasive during this war, start with this and this; for more on the decades-long pro-Israel media bias, check out this and this.

WEST BANK – WAFA reports: A 16-year-old Palestinian youth injured Friday morning by Israeli army gunfire following an Israeli military incursion into the village of Kafr Ni’ma, west of Ramallah, has died of his wounds, according to the Ministry of Health.

It said Muhammad Murad Al-Deek succumbed to his head wounds from live bullets by the occupation soldiers when they raided the village at dawn.

We recommend visiting the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) for more regional news.

Other News

Reuters: Hamas armed wing says seven hostages killed in Gaza

Palestine Chronicle: Palestinians killed while collecting leaves to survive

Middle East Monitor: Protesters call SecDef Lloyd Austin the “Secretary of Genocide”

Andalou Agency: Israeli army ‘urgently’ requires additional 7,000 troops

Al Jazeera: Footage shows barricades preventing access to Al-Aqsa Mosque

Al Jazeera: US senators call on Biden to send hospital ship to Gaza

The New Arab: Israeli far-right ‘break into Gaza’ to build illegal settlement

Al Jazeera: UN probe still waiting on Israeli intelligence backing up allegations against UNRWA

Times of Israel: Palestinian administrative prisoners freed to make space ‘for detainees of higher threat level’

A family mourning in Rafah earlier this month
A family mourning in Rafah earlier this month (photo)


Palestinian death toll from October 7 – March 1: at least 30,451* (30,228 in Gaza* (over 13,230 children, 8,860 women), and at least 417 in the West Bank (100 children). This does not include an estimated 7,000 more still buried under rubble (4,900 women and children). Euro-Med Monitor reports 38,066 Palestinian deaths.

11 Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons

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 1: at least 75,057** (including at least 71,377 in Gaza and 4,611 in the West Bank).

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

Reported Israeli death toll from October 7 – March 1: ~1,392 (~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); 242 military forces since the ground invasion began in Gaza;, 13 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.

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