Humanitarian crisis, danger from Israeli attacks worsen; more Gazans kidnapped, stripped, & filmed; Rafah may be next target; West Bank news; Israeli PM thanks Biden for veto and weapons; over 17,000 Gazans killed, 52,000 injured
Today marks the 75th anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. On the occasion, Palestinian Foreign minister Riyad Al Malaki stated,
The rights of the Palestinian people have been violated for 75 years, foremost among them the right to life.
The UN’s Declaration of Human Rights, adopted on December 10, 1948, sets out basic rights and freedoms, including the right to life and freedom of movement, of all individuals, regardless of “nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, language, or any other status”.
Number of Gazans killed since the Biden administration vetoed UNSC ceasefire resolution: at least 300 (approximately 139 children)
On 9 December as of 22:00, 100 trucks carrying humanitarian supplies entered from Egypt into Gaza, the same number as the previous day. This is well below the daily average of 500 truckloads (including fuel) that entered every working day prior to 7 October
Extreme overcrowding, Israeli attacks in Rafah: Palestinians seeking shelter in Rafah in southern Gaza are experiencing extreme overcrowding, the UN relief agency in the occupied Palestinian Territories has said in its latest daily update. Rafah is almost the only place in Gaza where some limited aid deliveries are taking place but it is also still coming under air and sea attacks from Israel, the UN added.
RECOMMENDED VIEWING: Palestinians displaced to south Gaza’s overcrowded areas living on streets
Israeli forces shoot at ambulance, assault paramedic: Israel’s military has shot at an ambulance carrying critically wounded patients while beating up and abusing a paramedic, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) says. The attack came as six ambulances belonging to the PRCS carried 11 patients from al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City to another hospital in the south, the organization said in a statement on X. The trip was coordinated with the UN, which escorted the ambulances.
The PRCS said the ambulances had to stop for hours at several checkpoints and for military inspections, during which one of the wounded patients died. Near one of the checkpoints, Israeli forces opened fire on one of the ambulances. At a separate checkpoint while heading south, Israeli forces detained, beat up and stripped one of the traveling paramedics, the PRCS said. The medic was then forced to walk across a checkpoint handcuffed and unclothed, it added.
Hospital surrounded: On 9 December, for the third consecutive day, Al Awda Hospital in Jabalia is reportedly surrounded by Israeli troops and tanks, and fighting is ongoing in its vicinity. Two health workers were reportedly shot and killed.
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The ability of the UN to receive incoming aid has been significantly impaired over the past few days by several factors. These include a shortage of trucks within Gaza; telecommunications blackouts; and the increasing number of staff who were unable to travel to the Rafah crossing due to the intensity of hostilities.
RECOMMENDED READING: Does Israel want to wipe Gaza off the map?
The following are among the deadliest incidents reported in the past 24 hours, involving the striking of residential buildings:
- On 9 December, at about 3:00, six Palestinians were reportedly killed in Khan Yunis.
- On 9 December, at about 4:30, five Palestinians were reportedly killed in Western Rafah.
- On 9 December, at about 5:20, six Palestinians were reportedly killed in An Nuseirat Camp, Middle area.
Other Gaza news
More images show Palestinian men detained, stripped and blindfolded; some were tortured: More images of Palestinians in Gaza detained by Israeli forces are circulating in Israeli media. GLZ radio, operated by the Israeli army, and The Times of Israel shared pictures of men blindfolded and stripped to their underwear. Captions accompanying the photos suggest these men were detained in Jabalia in northern Gaza.
Images first emerged on Thursday showing groups of men rounded up by Israeli forces in northern Gaza stripped and with their heads bowed down. Palestinian men were also loaded onto trucks and carried away to unknown locations.
Such treatment drew condemnation from human rights groups which described it as “inhumane”. Some of those detained were later released.
Some of the 100 or so men who were partially stripped and blindfolded say they were tortured by their captors.
Mark Regev, a senior advisor to the Israeli PM Netanyahu, has defended controversial video and images, saying “remember it’s the Middle East and it’s warmer here, and especially during the day when it’s sunny, to be asked to take off your shirt, it might not be pleasant, but it’s not the end of the world,” Regev said.
[NOTE: These photos were first described as a group of Hamas fighters who had “surrendered.” Read more about it here.]
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RECOMMENDED VIEWING: Gaza men and boys allege beatings, abuse by Israeli forces
Jabaliya to be ‘fully captured’ in the next day: Israeli media, citing unnamed officials, are reporting that the Israeli army expects it will “fully capture” the city of Jabaliya in northern Gaza within the next day. The city has been under attack for the past week.
Is Rafah next? Main road wrecked by overnight bombardment: At 2am (00:00 GMT), about 30 air strikes destroyed the two main roads connecting Rafah city to Khan Younis and the rest of the Gaza Strip. This is making movement very difficult for people trying to flee to Rafah from Khan Younis.
There is growing concern that Israel’s military operation is expanding to Rafah city. People fear this will feed into their permanent displacement, as there will be nowhere to go to except the border with Egypt.
“Intense” war for two more months”: According to Israeli media, Israeli officials have claimed that “intense” war in Gaza may continue for another two months. Current levels of fighting will continue for the next two months, Israel’s Kan public broadcaster reported, and will not be followed by a ceasefire but by “localized operations” in the enclave.
“Israel clearly aims to erase Palestinian culture and history”: It wishes to weaken the collective identity of Palestinians. The Israelis understand that culture and heritage are integral parts of our sense of belonging. Our heritage sites are symbols of our existence.
The Great Mosque in Gaza City – also known as the al-Omari mosque – is now in ruins…[It] has been a Muslim place of worship since the seventh century.
The Palace of Justice contained an extensive collection of files, including both unresolved cases and adjudicated ones that are still awaiting resolution…[Before it was bombed,] “the Palace of Justice was a symbol of civil society, detached from the military or politics,” Ali al-Naouq, a prominent Palestinian lawyer, said. “Its destruction signifies the loss of a part of our civilization and our pride.”
Israel has also bombed the central archives building in Gaza City. Thousands of historical documents were destroyed as a result. This is a reprehensible act. It reflects Israel’s contempt for the rich history and cultural heritage of Palestine.
West Bank, Jerusalem news
Settler violence, including thefts of property, are a common occurrence in the occupied West Bank under the colonial Israeli military regime in the territory.
Israeli occupation forces arrested 28 Palestinians, including a women, in locations all over the West Bank.
RECOMMENDED VIEWING: Mentally scarred by Israeli detention: A former teenage detainee struggles to recover
General strike to be observed throughout West Bank Monday: The strike, which has been called for by all Palestinian factions, affects businesses, banks, schools and universities. Public institutions also said they were observing the strike. The call comes after the US vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution for a ceasefire in Gaza.
A campaign circulated by activists on social media is calling on people all over the world to also strike on Monday, 11 December to urge their states to push for an end to the war on Gaza.
RECOMMENDED READING: Palestinian families kept apart by Israeli ‘rules’ mourn loved ones in Gaza
Netanyahu thanks US for ammunition, UNSC veto: Israeli PM Netanyahu has thanked the US president for providing Israel with “important ammunition” for the continuation of the war in Gaza. At the beginning of a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, he thanked Biden for the military aid and the US veto of the UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire.
Israel’s military is bolstered by more than $3.8bn of military aid a year from the US, thanks to a record $38bn deal over 10 years signed under former US President Barack Obama in 2016.
RECOMMENDED READING: How big is Israel’s military and how much funding does it get from the US? ALSO SEE Daily U.S. Aid to Israel and the Palestinians
The firing of rockets by Palestinian armed groups towards Israeli population centers has continued over the past 24 hours, with no reported fatalities.
(Information on rocket attacks is here.) It appears that the last time a rocket killed an Israeli was October 7-8, as reported by Ha’aretz and the Times of Israel. 15 Israelis were killed – 10 of them Palestinian Israelis who reportedly had no access to bomb shelters. Rockets have killed a total of 35 Israelis over the 22 years they’ve been fired.
Latest from US & elsewhere
UNRWA chief fears “second Nakba” in op-ed: Israel may be preparing to force Palestinians in Gaza en masse into Egypt, according to the head of the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees. UNRWA head Philippe Lazzarini issued the warning in an op-ed for the LA Times on Saturday, as 1.9 million Palestinians remain trapped on the southern edge of the Gaza Strip amid dire humanitarian conditions:
The developments we are witnessing point to attempts to move Palestinians into Egypt, regardless of whether they stay there or are resettled elsewhere,”
The decimation of northern Gaza and the displacement of millions of Gazans to the south is the first stage of such a scenario, and it is already complete. The next stage is underway — forcing people out of the urban center in Khan Yunis and closer to the Egyptian border.
If this path continues, leading to what many are already calling a second Nakba, Gaza will not be a land for Palestinians anymore.
A different trajectory can still be pursued, starting with a steady humanitarian cease-fire that leads to the release of all hostages, firm compliance with international humanitarian law by all parties, a freeze of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and a genuine discussion about the future with a negotiated political solution, including a Palestinian state that encompasses the occupied Palestinian territory.
In parallel, there must be justice and accountability for both the atrocities of Oct. 7, including the taking of hostages, and the disproportionate killing of civilians and the destruction of Gaza. Without this there will not be peace and stability. The International Criminal Court should investigate and adjudicate evidence of alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
RECOMMENDED READING: Biden seeks to dismiss lawsuit that says he is failing to prevent genocide of Palestinians
US is “enabling Israel to commit the most heinous crimes”: Husam Zomlot, Palestinian ambassador to the UK, says the US and the West are “incapable” of playing the role of an honest mediator.
“Today, we are faced with the very serious reality that the US is simply enabling Israel to commit the most heinous crimes against humanity,” he told Al Jazeera at the Doha Forum.
“It is genocide of an entire people, killing more than 17,000 of them – 70 percent of them are women and children. Israel is destroying the majority of our homes, hospitals, schools and infrastructure. It is turning Gaza as per the plan to become unlivable.”
RECOMMENDED VIEWING: Calls to reform UN Security Council after US vetoes Gaza ceasefire
Head of University of Pennsylvania quits amid backlash to remarks on antisemitism: “Worn down by months of relentless external attacks, she was not herself last Tuesday. Over prepared and over lawyered given the hostile forum and high stakes, she provided a legalistic answer to a moral question, and that was wrong. It made for a dreadful 30-second sound bite in what was more than five hours of testimony,” Scott Bok, chair of the university’s board of trustees, said in a statement.
Bok also announced his resignation in a separate statement. According to Ha’aretz, Julie Platt, chair of the Jewish Federations of North America, will replace Bok as interim board chair. She stated,
In my view, given the opportunity to choose between right and wrong, the three university presidents testifying in the United States House of Representatives failed. The leadership change at the university was therefore necessary and appropriate. I will continue as a board member of the university to use my knowledge and experience of Jewish life in North America and at Penn to accelerate this critical work.
Platt is part of The 10/7 Project, a “new centralized communications operation to promote continued US bipartisan support for Israel, push for accurate, complete coverage of the Israel-Hamas war, and put a stronger focus on October 7th [Israeli] victims.
"Food, water and fuel are being systematically used as weapons of war in📍#Gaza, as is disinformation."@UNLazzarini @latimes: Humanitarian assistance is being manipulated to serve political and military objectives – another breach among many in this war.https://t.co/YQZpgYcwNB
— UNRWA (@UNRWA) December 10, 2023
Most of #Gaza is off limits or unsafe for humanitarian organizations to reach and provide critical assistance. A recent survey has found that one in every three respondent families is experiencing severe hunger.
Stay informed with Flash Update #64:
— OCHA oPt (Palestine) (@ochaopt) December 10, 2023
Statistics as of Dec. 9:
Palestinian death toll: OCHA reports at least 17,476* (~17,203 in Gaza* (6,121 women and 7,870 children), and at least 273 in the West Bank). This does not include an estimated 7,780 more still buried under rubble. Euro-Med Monitor reports 20,360 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 incident. Israel is blocking an international investigation. Israel killed more Palestinians in a little over a month after Oct. 7 than in all the previous 22 years combined.
Palestinian injuries: 52,731** (including at least 49,300 in Gaza** and 3,431 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.
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 here. For more news, go here and here. Live broadcast news from the region is here.
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