As the world rang in the new year, Palestinians in Gaza “ran for their lives” – Day 86

As the world rang in the new year, Palestinians in Gaza “ran for their lives” – Day 86

A deadly day for Palestinian prisoners in Israel and Gaza; report on violence against Palestinians in Jerusalem; 2023 saw highest ever settler violence; Israeli friendly fire

As the world was celebrating a new year with fireworks and festivities, Palestinians in Gaza were running for their lives and looking for places to shelter. Overnight, the central area of the Gaza Strip was pounded repeatedly – this is an area that was designated a safe zone for Palestinians to evacuate to. There were reports of people killed.

As of now, we’re looking at more than 85 percent of the population displaced. Most of them are living in tents [in Rafah]. We are seeing people queue for long hours [for food and essentials] in Rafah – the centers are very small compared with the number of who need aid. The amount of food is a trickle – a small amount of rice, a small amount of bread. But sometimes they go for one or two days without any food.

Palestinians protest in solidarity with Gaza in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, on January 1, 2024
Palestinians protest in solidarity with Gaza in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, on January 1, 2024, unfurling a banner with the names of the Gaza dead. (photo)

On New Year’s Eve, Palestinian armed groups launched a salvo of 20 long-range missiles towards Israeli cities. 10 were intercepted, according to Israeli news sites. A missile fragment fell on the Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot, causing no casualties.

Israeli Military Police have launched an investigation into the killing of a Palestinian detainee in the Gaza Strip, allegedly by a soldier who was supposed to be guarding him. The Palestinian suspect was arrested last night, and after being questioned by field interrogators, he was handed over to another soldier to be guarded.

The Israel Defense Forces says that at a certain point, the soldier guarding the suspect allegedly opened fire and killed him. The soldier claimed he felt in danger after the terror suspect allegedly attacked him, and therefore opened fire. “

Hamas official Zaher Jabarin said in a statement, “This crime comes amid reports of summary executions, barbaric torture and inhumane conditions that our heroic prisoners are facing.”

A Palestinian prisoner was also killed in Megiddo Prison in Israel, according to the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs. The Israeli Prison Services reportedly assassinated prisoner Abdul Rahman Bassem Al-Bahsh, 23, from Nablus, in Megiddo.

They said that he has been detained since May 31, 2022, and has been sentenced to prison for a period of 35 months. He was the 4th prisoner to be killed in that prison.

Al Jazeera reports that the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel said that “many disturbing question marks are accumulating” after seven Palestinian prisoners died in Israeli prisons since October 7. An unknown number have also died in Gaza.

The Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners Affairs Authority also said on Sunday that a large number of prisoners from Ofer Prison were poisoned because spoiled meals were served to them. The Commission’s lawyer confirmed that the prisoners were poisoned, after difficult attempts to visit the prison on 12/28/2023, when the prisoners felt severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting, immediately after eating food.

The Jerusalem Governorate issued its annual report on the crimes and violations of the Israeli occupation in the occupied capital during the past year, 2023, which included:

  • the killing of 51 Jerusalemites (20 of them minors)
  • about 224 attacks by colonists, 50 of which involved physical abuse
  • 543 injuries as a result of excessive force by the occupation forces against Jerusalemites
  • 55,158 Israeli colonists stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque, with heavy protection from heavily armed special forces
  • about 3,081 cases of arrest, including 318 children and 135 women

According to Israeli human rights group Yesh Din, Israeli settlers killed at least 10 Palestinians and set alight dozens of homes in the occupied West Bank in 2023, making it the “most violent” year on record for settler attacks. The violence spiked after October 7. The organization began monitoring settler violence against Palestinians in 2006.

The Israeli army has confirmed that out of the 170 ground troops it says it has lost in Gaza since launching its land offensive in late October, a considerable 29 were killed in instances of friendly fire. It said in a report that two soldiers were killed by gunfire that was not intended to hit them, and nine were killed in accidents, including unintentional weapon discharges, being run over by armored vehicles, and being hit by shrapnel from controlled demolitions.

If Americans Knew has not been reporting on the situation in the Red Sea so far – but here is a potentially important development:

Tensions are rising, after the US killed 10 members of the Houthis in the Red Sea. This was the first time since the beginning of escalation in the Red Sea that we have seen killings. The US carried out the first killings in the Red Sea “standoff” Sunday, risking escalation: US helicopters repelled an attack by Iran-backed Houthi militants on a container vessel in the Red Sea, sinking three ships and killing 10 Houthi militants, according to accounts by American, Maersk, and Houthi officials on Sunday.


Palestinian death toll since October 7: at least 21,826* (~21,507 in Gaza* (at least 8,800 children), and at least 319 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 30,034 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 61,502** (including at least 57,697 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.

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