Biden announces: $26B in US tax money to Israel will “make the world safer” – Day 201

Biden announces: $26B in US tax money to Israel will “make the world safer” – Day 201

Biden signs over more money to Israel, as its military may be using internationally banned weapons, burying civilians alive, killing another journalist, enabling famine and disease, and preparing to invade the most densely populated region of the world; meanwhile, teenager killed in West Bank, Turkiye is being pressured to stop a massive aid shipment from sailing to Gaza; meanwhile, college campuses’ growing outcry against the genocide in Gaza, and more

By IAK staff, from reports

Biden signs foreign aid package for Israel et al

The Guardian reports: Joe Biden has signed into law a bill that rushes $95bn in foreign aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, a bipartisan legislative victory he hailed as a “good day for world peace” after months of congressional gridlock.

“It’s going to make America safer. It’s going to make the world safer,” Biden said, in remarks delivered from the White House, shortly after signing the bill.

He also promoted the bill as an investment in America’s industrial base, spurring the production of military equipment in states like Alabama, Arizona, Ohio and Pennsylvania, where some of the factories are located.

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)

Biden emphasized that the bill also increases humanitarian assistance to Gaza [which is needed because Israel blockades it and continues to bomb it with weaponry and money supplied by the US], touting his administration’s efforts* to pressure Israel to allow more aid into the devastated territory. But House Republicans added a provision to the bill prohibiting funds to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, a “lifeline for the Palestinian people in Gaza” that Israel has sought to disband.

“We’re going to immediately secure that aid and surge it, including food, medical supplies, clean water, and Israel must make sure all this aid reaches the Palestinians in Gaza without delay,” Biden said.

In total the legislation includes $60.8bn to replenish Ukraine’s war chest as it seeks to repel Russia from its territory; $26.3bn for Israel and humanitarian relief for civilians in conflict zones, including Gaza; and $8.1bn for the Indo-Pacific region to bolster its defenses against China.

NOTE:*The Biden administration’s “efforts to pressure Israel” to get more aid into Gaza have largely failed, as Israel has consistently made it difficult for thousands of aid trucks to enter Gaza. Israel employs complicated and arbitrary procedures; when aid has gotten into Gaza, the people have many times been shot at as they tried to obtain food. Israeli forces have targeted trucks themselves and humanitarian aid staff. US leaders have called on Israel to do better, but it has refused.

Rafah: doctor suspects Israel used internationally prohibited weapons

Several Palestinians were killed and others were injured, most of them seriously, as a result of Israeli army shelling of a house this evening in the Yabna refugee camp in the centre of Rafah, southern Gaza Strip.

Dr Suhaib al-Hams, the director of the Kuwaiti hospital, confirmed the arrival of the victims, telling Al Jazeera, “The Israeli occupation uses internationally prohibited weapons, and the type of injuries we receive is unprecedented, such as amputation of limbs and laceration of the body,” al-Hams said.”

Amnesty’s Executive Director Paul O’Brien states:

At least 20 people may have been buried alive in Nasser hospital mass grave: Civil Defense

Middle East Eye reports: Gaza’s Civil Defense said that it believes at least 20 people have been buried alive by Israeli forces in the mass grave at Nasser hospital, Khan Younis.

“The Israeli occupation buried a number of bodies in the Nasser Complex in plastic bags at a depth of 3 meters, which quickly decomposed them,” it added.

The Civil Defense also said that Israel committed “field executions” and called for an international investigation.

“We discovered traces of torture on the bodies of some martyrs in Nasser hospital.”

They added that bodies of children were among those found in the mass grave.

NOTE: Read more about the mass graves in this Amnesty International statement.
Mass graves at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis
Mass graves at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis (photo)

UN spokesperson says ‘all parties’ must agree to mass graves investigation

Al Jazeera reports: The deputy spokesperson for the head of the UN, Farhan Haq,  says “all of the parties” who have the power to allow investigators access into Gaza must agree to any potential independent probe into the mass graves discovered in the vicinity of Gaza’s two largest hospitals.

More than 300 bodies have been recovered so far from mass graves at Khan Younis’s Nasser Hospital, and more than 380 bodies have been recovered from Gaza City’s al-Shifa Medical Complex, according to civil defense crews.

International outcry and demands from an independent probe are quickly growing.

“For any investigations to be effective, all of the parties…would need to agree to it,” Haq told Al Jazeera.

This means Israel, which has been widely accused of being responsible for the mass graves, must agree to cooperate with the investigation.

Haq reiterated that an “independent, effective and transparent investigation” into the killings at Nasser and al-Shifa hospitals must be conducted.

NOTE: Israel has a track record of refusing to cooperate with investigations.

Israeli air strike kills journalist in Rafah: media office

The Gaza government’s media office said that a Falastin Al An reporter, Mohammad Bassam al-Jamal, was killed in an Israeli air strike on his home in Rafah.

The media office says that a total of 141 journalists have been killed in Gaza since the start of the war.

Palestinians mourn relatives killed in Israeli air strikes on Rafah
Palestinians mourn relatives killed in Israeli air strikes on Rafah (photo)

Gaza could surpass famine thresholds in six weeks, WFP official says

Reuters reports: The Gaza Strip could surpass famine thresholds of food insecurity, malnutrition and mortality in six weeks, an official from the World Food Program said on Wednesday.

“We are getting closer by the day to a famine situation,” said Gian Caro Cirri, Geneva director of the World Food Programme (WFP).

“There is reasonable evidence that all three famine thresholds — food insecurity, malnutrition and mortality — will be passed in the next six weeks.”

“We need to scale up massively our assistance… But under the current conditions, I’m afraid the situation will further deteriorate.”

Red Crescent warns of rapid spread of infectious diseases in Gaza

WAFA reports: The Executive Director of the Red Crescent Society in the Gaza Strip, Bashar Murad, today confirmed that there is no environment suitable for life in the Gaza Strip, anticipating a large spread of infectious diseases among displaced people.

In an interview with Voice of Palestine, Murad said that the health sector is facing a real catastrophe and crisis that threatens the elderly and children, pointing to the widespread spread of epidemic liver disease among  displaced people as a result of the serious overcrowding inside tents, the scarcity of water, and the lack of electricity to preserve food supplies.

Murad warned of the deterioration of the health conditions of patients with chronic conditions and the injured due to the lack of equipment, medical supplies and medicines.

Children play among the ruins of Gaza City during Eid al-Fitr
Children play among the ruins of Gaza City during Eid al-Fitr (photo)

Residents of northern Gaza flee again as Israel intensifies attacks

Palestinian civilians are fleeing their homes again in northern Gaza.

Israeli shelling is focused for a second day on Beit Lahiya where the Israeli military ordered four neighborhoods to evacuate, warning residents they’re in a “dangerous combat zone”.

People in the suburbs of Gaza City also reported heavy shelling.

Amjad Aleway, an emergency doctor in Gaza City, speaking in the ruins of al-Shifa Hospital, said: “The number of casualties is overwhelming, and we lack sufficient operating theatres to address them.”

IDF informs government it is prepared for Rafah operation as soon as one is approved

Ha’aretz reports: The Israeli army has informed the government that its forces have completed their preparations for an upcoming operation in Rafah, and that the date for such an operation is to be decided by the cabinet.

The IDF awaits the government’s decision, and when it comes, it will begin evacuating Rafah. As of today, about 150,000 Gazans have left Rafah toward Khan Younis and Al-Mawasi. According to army estimations, the evacuation of the remaining population of Rafah – about one million people – will take weeks, and forces will enter the territory only after it is completed.

NOTE: The Biden administration has been clear in its disapproval of Israel’s plan to invade Rafah, but has funded it anyway, in spite of worldwide calls for an end to arms transfers and an end to the war, and despite the International Court of Justice’s ruling that Israel is plausibly committing genocide. Netanyahu has ignored almost all Biden administration demands thus far.
Israel's army has deployed some AI-enabled military tech in the war in Gaza
Israel’s army has deployed some AI-enabled military tech in the war in Gaza (photo)

How Israel could achieve peace in short order

Associated Press reports: A top Hamas political official told The Associated Press the Islamic militant group is willing to agree to a truce of five years or more with Israel and that it would lay down its weapons and convert into a political party if an independent Palestinian state is established along pre-1967 borders.

The comments by Khalil al-Hayya in an interview Wednesday came amid a stalemate in months of cease-fire talks. The suggestion that Hamas would disarm appeared to be a significant concession by the militant group officially committed to Israel’s destruction.

But it’s unlikely Israel would consider such a scenario. It has vowed to crush Hamas following the deadly Oct. 7 attacks that triggered the war [the attacks were triggered by 75 years of dispossession], and its current leadership is adamantly opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state on lands Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war.

Speaking to the AP in Istanbul, Al-Hayya said Hamas wants to join the Palestine Liberation Organization, headed by the rival Fatah faction, to form a unified government for Gaza and the West Bank. He said Hamas would accept “a fully sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the return of Palestinian refugees in accordance with the international resolutions,” along Israel’s pre-1967 borders.

If that happens, he said, the group’s military wing would dissolve.

Israel's war on the Gaza Strip is generating destruction comparable in scale to the most devastating urban warfare in the modern record.
Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip is generating destruction comparable in scale to the most devastating urban warfare in the modern record. (photo)

Palestinian teen killed by Israeli forces during Ramallah raid

WAFA reports: A Palestinian teen was Thursday dawn killed after being shot by Israeli occupation forces during a raid into the city of Ramallah, sources confirmed.

Khaled Raed Arouq, 16, from Jenin, was killed after being shot by Israeli gunfire in the abdomen.


Freedom Flotilla stuck in Turkiye port due to reported US pressure

Middle East Monitor reports: The new Freedom Flotilla carrying urgent and lifesaving aid to Gaza in an effort to break Israel’s siege on the strip is reportedly being delayed from setting off from Turkiye due to pressure from the United States.

The flotilla – currently consisting of three ships loaded with approximately 5,500 tonnes of food and other essential supplies – was set to depart from the Turkish port of Tuzla near Istanbul in recent days, with the international team waiting for final approval by the Turkish government for the launch.

In a post on X on Monday, American author and activist Medea Benjamin, a leading figure in the flotilla coalition, called for help in lobbying the US to cease any pressure on the flotilla’s journey. “The US is exerting immense pressure on Turkey to prevent us from sailing to Gaza with much-needed food and medicine. But we won’t be deterred,” she said.

Benjamin also wrote in a recent article that the best outcome of the situation is that the ships “will reach Gaza and accomplish our mission”, but that another possible scenario is that “the Turkish government might cave to pressure from Israel, the United States and Germany, and prevent the boats from even leaving Istanbul.”

Stating that the “Freedom Flotilla Coalition is entering rough and uncharted waters”, Benjamin concluded by calling on “countries around the world to pressure Israel to allow us ‘free and safe passage’ to Gaza. In the US, we are asking for help from our Congress, but having just approved another USD 26 billion to Israel, it is doubtful that we can count on their support.”

NOTE: We will bring regular updates about the 2024 Freedom Flotilla until it arrives in Gaza.
NOTE: Read about the individuals who launched the flotilla movement over 16 years ago here.


Administrators at New York University (NYU) in Manhattan constructed a wall on Tuesday to block anti-war demonstrators from capturing key campus real estate. The wall, made out of plywood and guarded by about half a dozen police officers, immediately became the subject of ridicule by students and passersby, many of whom expressed shock at the new construction.
Administrators at New York University (NYU) in Manhattan constructed a wall on Tuesday to block anti-war demonstrators from capturing key campus real estate. The wall, made out of plywood and guarded by about half a dozen police officers, immediately became the subject of ridicule by students and passersby, many of whom expressed shock at the new construction. (photo)

The right to protest at US universities is under fire

Middle East Eye reports: Student encampments for Palestine have now reached 30 universities over the past few days, with students from several others signalling their intention to join what is being seen as one of the largest mobilizations against war and the US military-industrial complex since the Vietnam War.

“Our universities have chosen profit and reputation over the lives of the people of Palestine and our will as students. We must recognize the power and strength of the united students, staff, and faculty committed to realizing justice and upholding Palestinian liberation on campus,” the U Texas-Austin chapter of the Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC) said in a statement.

On Tuesday afternoon, a little more than 12 hours after NYU called in the NYPD to dismantle the encampment in Gould Plaza at NYU when more than 120 students and faculty were arrested, administrators constructed a wooden wall blocking entry to NYU’s Stern School of Business.

The construction of the wall, students said, exemplified the way the university had dealt with students and faculty who dared to raise the topic of Palestine or what they call the unfolding genocide in Gaza over the past six months. They narrated a culture of intimidation, fear and gaslighting that has also resulted in students being suspended and faculty staff contracts terminated.

“NYU has provided us an example about how the violence of empire always comes home. But walls and empires alike will fall,” one student said.

Many Columbia U faculty members ‘furious’ over arrest of student protesters

Al Jazeera reports: A lecturer at Columbia University, Professor Bassam Khawaja, says a number of faculty members are “really furious” over the arrest of more than 100 pro-Palestine protesters who gathered at the school’s campus in New York City.

Khawaja said that when the university president made the decision to call the police onto campus, despite the university senate’s objection, many faculty members were “furious”.

“One hundred of us came to and stood on the steps to protest this decision, [and] 54 members of the law school’s permanent faculty wrote to the president objecting to it,” he told Al Jazeera.

“So, there’s quite a bit of anger among the faculty,” he said.

“Anti-Semitism has no place on our campus … we need to be clear that advocating for Palestinian rights is not itself anti-Semitic,” he added.

What’s happening on America’s college campuses is horrific. Antisemitic mobs have taken over leading universities. They call for the annihilation of Israel, they attack Jewish students, they attack Jewish faculty.

This is reminiscent of what happened in German universities in the 1930s. (Israeli PM Netanyahu)

The repeated calls of “free Palestine” or “ceasefire now” are not about the legitimate claims of one group of people. They are about marginalizing a group of people, forcibly silencing and shoving them out of public spaces — not because of what they might believe, but simply because of who they are.

Columbia is a preview of a future where persecution has been normalized. (Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League)

[Today is a] good day for world peace,” and “It’s going to make America safer. It’s going to make the world safer.” (President Biden, after signing into law a bill giving Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan $95 billion in aid, including $26 billion in mostly military aid to Israel)


Al Jazeera: Columbia extends deadline to end Gaza war protest by 48 hours
Al Jazeera: Uncovering of mass grave at Gaza’s Nasser Hospital: What you need to know
Al Jazeera: What are US colleges’ financial ties to Israel?
Electronic Intifada: Sprouting from death (susan abulhawa)
Middle East Monitor: UK suspends legal assessments on Israel’s compliance with international law
Middle East Eye: Washington has lost touch with reality. If it doesn’t adapt, the world will pay
IMEMC News Reports


Palestinian death toll from October 7 – April 24: at least 35,147* (34,649 in Gaza* (at least 14,690 children, 9,680 women), and at least 498 in the West Bank (117 children). This does not include an estimated 7,000 more still buried under rubble (4,900 women and children). Euro-Med Monitor reports 42,510 Palestinian deaths.

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 – April 24: at least 81,664 (including at least 77,229 in Gaza and 5,000 in the West Bank).

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

Reported Israeli death toll from October 7 – April 24: ~1,407 (~1,139 on October 7, 2023, of which ~32 were Americans, and ~36 were children); 259 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.

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.