Chaos in Gaza, West Bank, and spreading – Day 266

Chaos in Gaza, West Bank, and spreading – Day 266

Israel impedes Gaza emergency services, hygiene and trash disposal; Israeli forces killed with their own (repurposed) bomb; US has sent Israel tens of thousands of bombs; debate notes;

updates on Lebanon, ICC arrest warrants; Israel is starving Palestinian prisoners, approving new settlements; Gaza pier shutting down again; more.

By IAK staff, from reports.

Israeli forces prevented civil defense from responding to 23 emergency calls

Al Jazeera reports: Mohammed al-Moghayyar, director of the civil defense’s supply department in Gaza, says Israeli forces continue to deliberately target their teams across the Strip to prevent them from providing humanitarian assistance.

“We are also denied access to many of the ravaged areas simply for being cordoned by the Israeli tanks as well as opening fire on our teams,” he told Al Jazeera.

Last night, they received 23 emergency calls from the al-Shakoush neighborhood but could not help anyone as Israeli forces denied them access.

Due to a lack of fuel, the civil defense has lost more than 80 percent of its capabilities, al-Moghayyar added.

On Thursday four of their vehicles were completely destroyed in the Israeli bombardment of Nuseirat refugee camp. All the ambulance teams and light vehicles the crew has are out of operation, he said.

Ambulance services in Gaza are critical but dangerous, with paramedics and ambulances often targeted. Such targeting is a war crime under international law. Israeli forces have detained over 300 health workers, subjecting some to torture.
Ambulance services in Gaza are critical but dangerous, with paramedics and ambulances often targeted. Such targeting is a war crime under international law. Israeli forces have detained over 300 health workers, subjecting some to torture. (screengrab)

Trash crisis stems from Israel’s refusal to allow removal:

Al Jazeera reports: Mounds of trash rotting in the heat are piling up close to where displaced people are sheltering in Gaza, a UN official has said, raising fears about the further spread of disease.

Louise Wateridge, an aid worker with the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), said that a pile of waste weighing an estimated 100,000 tonnes has been building up near people’s tents in central Gaza.

“It just keeps getting worse. And with the temperatures rising, it’s really adding misery to the living conditions here,” she told journalists via videolink from Gaza.

Israel has refused repeated requests to allow UNRWA to empty the main landfill sites, meaning temporary ones are emerging, she said. Even if permission is granted, Wateridge said UNRWA’s humanitarian missions such as waste collection have all but halted due to Israeli refusals to allow fuel imports.

NOTE: According to OCHA, The ongoing constraints on the entry of sufficient fuel supplies continue to severely reduce people’s access to WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) services across the Gaza Strip and further disrupt water trucking, network repairs, sewage pumping, and solid waste collection.
According to the WASH Cluster, in the week of 15 – 23 June, an average of only 3,200 liters of fuel per day, were received – less than 5% of the estimated daily requirement of 70,000 liters to operate critical WASH services that remain accessible.
Solid waste piles up in Gaza due to fuel shortages, impacting essential services and increasing disease risk.
Solid waste piles up in Gaza due to fuel shortages, impacting essential services and increasing disease risk, May 23 (photo)

Israeli forces ambushed with their own bomb, Palestinians on the run again

In a statement on Friday, al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, said it blew up a booby-trapped residential building in Shujayea, killing four Israeli soldiers and wounding five others.

The improvised explosive device used was an undetonated F-16 missile recovered intact after it was fired from an Israeli warplane, it said.

Other incidents Friday:

    • Palestinian civilians left Gaza City on foot carrying their meagre belongings through rubble-strewn streets in the intense summer heat. Israel displaced at least 60,000 people from Gaza City since Thursday, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Friday.
    • Palestinian health officials said tank shelling in Rafah killed at least 11 people on Friday. Displaced Palestinian families fled what they said was intensifying Israeli fire to seek shelter further north, describing chaotic scenes as fighting drew closer.
    • The UN’s Dujarric said Israeli incursions into al-Mawasi – declared an “evacuation zone” by Israel’s army – resulted in many casualties and displacement of at least 5,000 people.
    • A woman and a child were killed in an Israeli attack Friday, and at least five others were wounded when Israeli fighter jets targeted a residential home in Gaza City.
    • Two additional civilians were further killed following another strike in the same city.
    • According to medical sources, at least 11 Palestinians were killed and more than 40 others were injured when Israeli forces targeted the tents of displaced persons in the Al-Mawassi area west of Rafah in southern Gaza.
    • Two Palestinians were killed and several others were injured when Israeli occupation forces opened fire on a group of civilians west of the Nuseirat refugee camp.

US has sent Israel thousands of 2,000-pound bombs since Oct. 7:

Reuters reports: The Biden administration has sent to Israel large numbers of munitions, including more than 10,000 highly destructive 2,000-pound bombs and thousands of Hellfire missiles, since the start of the war in Gaza, said two US officials briefed on an updated list of weapons shipments.

Between the war’s start last October and recent days, the United States has transferred at least 14,000 of the MK-84 2,000-pound bombs, 6,500 500-pound bombs, 3,000 Hellfire precision-guided air-to-ground missiles, 1,000 bunker-buster bombs, 2,600 air-dropped small-diameter bombs, and other munitions, according to the officials, who were not authorized to speak publicly.

While the officials didn’t give a timeline for the shipments, the totals suggest there has been no significant drop-off in US military support for its ally [sic], despite international calls to limit weapons supplies and a recent administration decision to pause a shipment of powerful bombs.

NOTE: The 2,000-lb MK-84 is capable of forming a crater 50 feet wide and 36 ft deep. It can penetrate up to 15 inches of metal or 11 ft of concrete, depending on the height from which it is dropped, and causes lethal fragmentation to a radius of 400 yards.
The 500-lb MK-82 will produce a crater with a diameter of between 15-35 ft and depth between 2.5 and 14 ft.
New York Times investigation in December found that US-made 2,000-pound bombs were responsible for some of the worst attacks on Palestinian civilians since the war in Gaza began.
RECOMMENDED READING: Rafah Attack: Netanyahu’s Lies Expose The Truth About Israel
Residents in Gaza filmed the moment an Israeli strike hit a nearby building in a dense neighborhood in Gaza during the early weeks of the war. The Israeli Air Force said at that point it had already dropped about 6,000 bombs on the crowded enclave.
Residents in Gaza filmed the moment an Israeli strike hit a nearby building in a dense neighborhood in Gaza during the early weeks of the war. The Israeli Air Force said at that point it had already dropped about 6,000 bombs on the crowded enclave. (screengrab)

Over 500 Israeli armored vehicles in Gaza damaged since last October:

Andalou Agency reports: More than 500 Israeli armored vehicles have incurred damage in the Gaza Strip since the start of war last October, the Israeli newspaper Maariv has reported. Dozens have been completely decommissioned and removed from service.

The Gaza war is said to have consumed far more weapons than the Israeli army had expected, and usage remains high.

Israeli tanks patrol Israeli Border, January 2023
Israeli tanks patrol Israeli Border, January 2023 (photo)

Israel causing massive destruction in southern Lebanon:

Financial Times reports that Israel’s military has laid waste to swaths of southern Lebanon, destroying or badly damaging buildings and infrastructure, farmland and forests, as well as striking Hezbollah military targets. Some entire neighborhoods have been leveled.

Most of the destruction has taken place within a 5km corridor just north of the Blue Line, the UN-drawn border between the two countries, where the Israeli military has used force to create a new reality on the ground – a strip of land resembling the “buffer zone” that Israel wants to establish in Lebanon.

Mohammad Srour, the mayor of a Lebanese town near the border calls it “systematic destruction,” adding that Israeli forces are “destroying the infrastructure, to make it impossible for you to return and live here.”

More than 95,000 people have been forcibly displaced in Lebanon’s south, according to the UN. Israeli strikes have killed more than 90 civilians and 300 Hezbollah fighters, Financial Times estimates.

Hezbollah’s attacks on northern Israel have reportedly killed more than two dozen and displaced about 60,000.

The militant group insists it will not agree a deal until there is a ceasefire in Gaza.

Aftermath of an Israeli attack on Shebaa, Lebanon, June 26
Aftermath of an Israeli attack on Shebaa, Lebanon, June 26 (photo)

Iran says ‘obliterating war will ensue’ if Israel attacks Lebanon:

Iran’s mission to the UN has warned Israel that it will face an “obliterating war” if it launches a full-scale attack against Hezbollah in Lebanon.

“All options, [including] the full involvement of all Resistance Fronts, are on the table,” the mission wrote in a post on X, referring to Iran-backed armed groups stationed across the region.

ICC decision on Netanyahu arrest warrant may be delayed by UK:

The Guardian reports: An intervention by the UK government at the international criminal court is expected to delay a decision over whether an arrest warrant can be issued against the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, for alleged war crimes in Gaza.

Judges at the ICC ruled on Thursday they would allow the UK to make legal arguments in the case as they consider whether to approve requests made by the ICC’s chief prosecutor for warrants against Netanyahu and his defense minister, Yoav Gallant.

The decision to allow the UK to submit arguments in the case has caused concern among some international law experts that Britain’s intervention is politically motivated.

The UK intervention is, notably, not related to Netanyahu’s or Gallant’s guilt or innocence, but about the ICC’s jurisdiction over Israeli citizens.

RECOMMENDED READING: Spying & threats: Israel spent 9 years trying to keep the ICC off the trail of Israel’s war crimes.

Spain to join South Africa’s genocide case against Israel:

The International Court of Justice says Spain has requested to join the case filed by South Africa at the World Court, which accuses Israel of violating its obligations under the Genocide Convention in its war on the Gaza Strip.

South Africa brought its case against Israel in late December, accusing it of committing genocide against Palestinians in the besieged territory. [See this]

Report – Israeli Officials Hiding Data About Forced Starvation of Gaza Prisoners:

According to Ha’aretz, Israeli prison officials are concealing information about reductions in food rations for Palestinians held in the Gaza Strip, where detainees—who have also reported horrific abuse including alleged rape and deadly torture—have been deliberately driven “to the point of starvation.”

Security sources said  that the Israel Prison Service (IPS) is intentionally cutting Palestinian prisoners’ caloric intake, a move confirmed by Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who called the policy a “deterrent.”

“The Palestinian detainees will receive the minimum rights and the minimum food, and I will ensure that this policy is implemented,” Ben-Gvir, who leads the far-right Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party, said Thursday in response to a query from Israel’s Supreme Court.

“There is no starvation, but my policy does call for reducing conditions, including food and calories,” Ben-Gvir added.

RECOMMENDED READING: Hostages of Israeli revenge in the Gaza Strip: Testimonies of 100 released Palestinian detainees reveal crimes of torture, cruel treatment.

Israel Approves Smotrich’s Plan to Legalize Five Settlements:

Palestine Chronicle reports: The Israeli Cabinet has approved steps proposed by Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich aimed at “legalizing” settlement outposts in the West Bank and imposing sanctions on the Palestinian Authority.

Israel’s official broadcasting authority KAN reported on Friday that the Security Cabinet approved Smotrich’s plan to counter Palestinian statehood recognition and actions against Israel in international courts.

The plan includes measures against the Palestinian Authority, the legalization of five settlement outposts in the West Bank, and the issuance of tenders for thousands of new housing units in settlements.

Smotrich’s proposal specifically addresses the recognition and regularization of five settlement outposts in response to the five countries officially recognizing Palestine as a state after October 7: Spain, Norway, Ireland, Slovenia, and Armenia.

NOTE: Israel has already 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. Settlers, moreover, have a history of violence against Palestinians, often with the assistance of Israeli military forces.

West Bank – illegal Israel settlers set fire to Palestinians’ grain crops, olive trees:

Andalou Agency reports: Illegal Israeli settlers on Friday set fire to Palestinian agricultural lands near Nablus city in the occupied West Bank, reducing grain crops and olive trees to ashes.

A group of illegal Israeli settlers reportedly set fire to fields in the town of Bayt Furik, east of Nablus. The flames engulfed a large area of grain crops and olive trees, despite Palestinians’ efforts to extinguish them, the witnesses said.

Separately, illegal Israeli settlers in multiple areas damaged Palestinian crops by grazing their sheep among the plants, local sources told Anadolu.

In recent months, illegal Israeli settlers have escalated their rampage against Palestinians and their properties throughout the occupied West Bank, ranging from arson attacks, stone-throwing on Palestinians and their vehicles, crop and olive tree uprooting, home attacks, and livestock theft.

IMEMC reports they shot a woman.


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West Bank – Israel orders demolition of kindergarten, stop construction of structures in Bethlehem-governorate village:

Israeli occupation forces Friday ordered the demolition of a kindergarten and the stop on the construction of other structures in al-Jaba‘ village, southwest of Bethlehem, according to a local official.

Occupation forces handed orders not only for the demolition of a 110-square-meter kindergarten, but also for a halt on the construction of a public park as well as a car wash shop.

US aid pier removed from Gaza due to high seas for a third time:

The New Arab reports: A temporary US aid pier has again been removed from the Gaza coast due to high seas and will be towed to an Israeli port, the Pentagon said on Friday.

It is the third time the pier has been detached from the shore because of weather conditions since its initial installation in mid-May.

“Due to high sea states expected this weekend, Central Command has removed the temporary pier from its anchored position in Gaza and will tow it back to Ashdod, Israel,” Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh told journalists, referring to the military command responsible for the Middle East.

The pier was first anchored to the Gaza coast in mid-May, but was damaged by bad weather later in the month and had to be removed for repairs.

It was then reattached on June 7, but was moved to Ashdod on June 14 to protect it from anticipated high seas – a situation that is now being repeated.

NOTE: Before the most recent shutdown, CENTCOM reportedly facilitated the delivery of more than 8,831 metric tons of humanitarian aid. The UN indicates that one truckload of aid might contain roughly 20 metric tons. Based on this estimate, since the pier began operating on May 17, it has averaged about 11 trucks per day.
Prior to the start of hostilities, an average of 500 truckloads entered Gaza every working day.

Trump used “Palestinian” as a slur during debate, Biden says he’s biggest supporter of Israel

Al Jazeera reported: During the first presidential debate with Biden in Atlanta, Georgia on Thursday, former President Trump said Biden was “a very bad Palestinian” who does not want to help Israel “finish the job” against Hamas in its war on Gaza – a conflict in which the International Court of Justice has labeled Israel’s part “plausible genocide.”

Ayah Ziyadeh, director of American Muslims for Palestine, told Al Jazeera that Trump’s use of the term “bad Palestinian” was “very blatantly racist”.

“Using Palestinian as a slur shows the depths of racism that exists here,” Ziyadeh said.

Trump made a similar comment at a campaign rally in Virginia on Friday: “[Schumer has] become a Palestinian. He was very loyal to Israel and to Jewish people. But he’s become a Palestinian because they have a couple more votes or something,” he said.

Earlier this month, Trump also attacked Schumer over his previous criticism of Israel’s handling of the war in Gaza, saying the top-ranking Jewish Democrat had “become like a Palestinian,” adding, “Chuck Schumer. Jewish. Always strong for Israel. He’s become like a Palestinian,” Trump said, likely referring to Schumer’s floor speech in March, criticizing Netanyahu.

“It’s a very bad thing. It’s a very sad thing, and it’s a very dangerous thing,” Trump added.

Biden retorted he’s “never heard so much foolishness.” Biden assured voters that his administration is “providing Israel with all the weapons they need and when they need them.”

“We are the biggest producer of support for Israel than anyone in the world,” Biden said. [Related: Billionaires secretly worked to shape U.S. public opinion on Israel’s war against Gaza.]

Pro-Israel debate moderators Jake Tapper and Dana Bash:

JTA’s report on the moderators states: “They’ve both infused their Jewish identity into their reporting.”

“Bash and Tapper are congregants at the same Washington synagogue: Temple Micah, a Reform congregation known for its progressive advocacy and for attracting members from the city’s political, government and media elite.”

“Temple Micah has a deep, rich, and committed relationship with Israel.” (source)

Tapper has a history of anti-Palestinian comments and of extolling Israelis. He was taught in school to recognize the “essential importance” of Israel.

Bash recently anchored a program in which she featured false claims about Hamas. Bash has a history of anti-Palestinian, pro-Israel propaganda.


IMEMC Daily Reports.
Mondoweiss: Stories of survival and suffering: inside Gaza’s Al-Aqsa Hospital.
Electronic Intifada: The anti-Palestinian canards of Congressman Chip Roy.
Middle East Eye: US officials concerned Israeli offensive on Hezbollah could drag in Russia.

Palestinian death toll from October 7 – June 28: at least 38,386* (37,834 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 552 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 – June 28: at least 91,799 (including at least 86,429 in Gaza and 5,370 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 – June 28: ~1,466 (~1,139 on October 7, 2023, of which ~32 were Americans, and ~36 were children); 315 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.

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