Disaster unfolds all over Gaza, West Bank – Day 219

Disaster unfolds all over Gaza, West Bank – Day 219

Gaza deaths by airstrike, lack of medical supplies, hunger, torture; what is happening in Gaza is a ‘turkey shoot’; Nobel laureate denounces Gaza invasion at Vatican; Gaza prisoners endure ‘barbaric treatment, systematic torture’ by Israeli forces; 226 buildings in West Bank destroyed or damaged by Israeli army in April; Israeli forces used children as human shields;

Colombia President says Netanyahu will go down in history as ‘genocide perpetrator’

Israeli shelling kills four children in Gaza’s al-Zuwaida: Red Crescent

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) reports that four Palestinians have been killed in the central Gaza town and 10 injured – all of whom are children and one of whom is an infant.

It also released a video showing its medics taking away the body of the baby, who was killed during an Israeli air strike.

‘We have no oxygen for patients’, says Palestinian doctor from Jabalia

Al Jazeera spoke to Imad Abu Zayda, an emergency doctor in Jabalia. He told us about the dire situation there.

“No light due to the lack of fuel and there’s no medical supplement available as Israel has expanded their operation in the area. We have no oxygen to give to patients.”

“Most of the injured are children and women. We are operating with minimum facilities.”

Rafah and Kerem Shalom aid crossings still closed, one week on

The New Arab reports: Gaza’s vital border points at Rafah and Karam Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) are closed for the seventh day in a row, which continues to disrupt aid channels in the war-ravaged Strip.

The Israeli military seized the Rafah crossing last week and sealed it shut. It has blocked the exit of sick and wounded Palestinians who are waiting to be evacuated to hospitals outside the territory, health authorities in Gaza have said.

Israeli forces push into Gaza from north and south

Reuters reports: Israeli forces pushed deep into the ruins of Gaza’s northern edge on Monday to recapture an area where they had claimed to have defeated Hamas months ago, while at the opposite end of the enclave, tanks and troops pushed across a highway into Rafah.

With some of the most intense fighting for weeks now taking place on both the northern and southern edges of Gaza, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have again taken flight, and aid groups warn that a humanitarian crisis could sharply worsen.

Palestinian health officials said they had so far recovered 20 bodies of Palestinians killed in the Sunday night air strikes on Jabalia, while dozens were injured.

In Jabalya, tanks were trying to advance towards the heart of the camp, the biggest of Gaza’s eight historic refugee camps. Residents said tank shells were landing at the center of the camp and that air strikes had destroyed clusters of houses.

Residents and medics said several people were killed and wounded in a series of air strikes on the camp overnight. Medics said they have been unable to send teams to some of the bombed areas because of the intensity of the Israeli bombardment, but they have reports of fatalities.

In Rafah, next to Gaza’s southern border with Egypt, Israel stepped up aerial and ground bombardments on the eastern areas of the city, killing people in an airstrike on a house in the Brazil neighborhood.

Blinken delivers some of the strongest US public criticism of Israel’s conduct of the war in Gaza

Associated Press reports: Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday delivered some of the Biden administration’s strongest public criticism yet of Israel’s conduct of the war in Gaza, saying Israeli tactics have meant “a horrible loss of life of innocent civilians” but failed to neutralize Hamas leaders and fighters and could drive a lasting insurgency.

In a pair of TV interviews, Blinken underscored that the United States believes Israeli forces should “get out of Gaza,” but also is waiting to see credible plans from Israel for security and governance in the territory after the war.

US Secy of State Antony Blinken
US Secy of State Antony Blinken (photo)

“When it comes to the use of weapons, concerns about incidents where given the totality of the damage that’s been done to children, women, men, it was reasonable to assess that, in certain instances, Israel acted in ways that are not consistent with international humanitarian law,” Blinken said. He cited “the horrible loss of life of innocent civilians.”

Civil Defense teams come under fire in Rafah

Al Jazeera reports: The Palestinian Civil Defense in Gaza says its crews came under fire from Israeli forces after they responded to a call about a house that was bombed in the Brazil camp in the southern Gaza city.

“When the ambulance crews arrived, shooting was fired from drones towards the cars, which posed a danger to the crews’ presence there,” the group said on its Telegram channel.

West Bank: Palestinians fend off attack by Israeli colonists and military

WAFA reports: Israeli colonists, protected by the occupation forces, attacked Sunday night the entrance to the town of Qusra, south of Nablus, according to local sources.

Sources said that residents managed to fend off an attack carried out by colonists against the town’s entrance.

Israeli forces providing colonists with protection did nothing to stop the attack, but rather joined in by storming the town amid the firing of rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters.

A Palestinian woman on Sunday suffered from fractures in her limbs after Israeli colonists attacked her, south of Bethlehem.

A young Palestinian man was also injured Sunday night after being attacked and beaten up by Israeli occupation soldiers near the town of Azzoun, east of Qalqilya, according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS).

NOTE: Israel has 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.
A view of heavily damaged car as Jewish settlers reportedly set fire to Palestinian homes and vehicles in Qusra town in Nablus, West Bank on 14 April, 2024
A view of heavily damaged car as Jewish settlers reportedly set fire to Palestinian homes and vehicles in Qusra town in Nablus, West Bank on 14 April, 2024 (photo)

In West Bank, Israeli forces used children as human shields, says children’s rights group

Middle East Eye reports: Defense for Children International (DCI) says it has heard testimonies of three children who described how they were used as human shields by Israeli forces in the West Bank during a recent assault on Tulkarm refugee camp on 5 May.

According to Geneva-based DCI, the children said Israeli soldiers forced them to walk ahead of them as they searched the camp, describing two instances of soldiers placing their rifles on their shoulders.

A 13-year-old recounted how Israeli forces stormed his family’s apartment on 6 May and then forced him to lead them through the apartment block as they searched it. He said the soldiers placed a rifle on his shoulders and fired two shots towards an apartment door.

Another child described how, during a raid on his home, he was forcibly separated from his family and then told to knock on doors in the apartment building, asking residents to leave.

“When we reached the door of one of the apartments and found it empty, the soldiers blew up the door and forced me to enter alone to inspect it,” he said.

NOTE: Israel often accuses Hamas of using the Gaza population as “human shields.” Read about this in Israel’s ‘Human Shields’ Lie Has Been Conclusively, Irrefutably Debunked
Israeli soldiers are seen in Balata, a Palestinian refugee camp in Nablus, West Bank, on Nov. 23
Israeli soldiers are seen in Balata, a Palestinian refugee camp in Nablus, West Bank, on Nov. 23 (photo)

IDF chief of staff and Shin Bet head: State comptroller’s review of army conduct at this time will harm war effort

Ha’aretz reports Israel’s state comptroller wants to begin a review of the conduct of the Israeli military thus far in the war on Gaza, but Israeli military and internal security leaders oppose the review. They have submitted a petition to the Israeli High Court claiming that “the inspection of the army at the present time harms the war effort, the security of the state and the public’s trust.”

NOTE: The US is required by its own laws to withhold military assistance from units and individuals that have committed a gross violation of human rights (GVHR).
While Israel claims to comply with international law, human rights organizations are providing a growing body of evidence that this is often not the cases – yet military aid continues to flow. Groups are beginning to push back against continued American support for Israel as “special treatment.”

226 buildings in West Bank destroyed or damaged by Israeli army in April

The Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Public Works and Housing says almost half of the structures (101) destroyed or damaged during Israeli raids are located in the Nablus governorate, mainly in the villages of Qusra and Duma.

The rest are in the Nur Shams refugee camp in Tulkarem (82) and in the Ramallah area (43).

The ministry said 54,000sq meters (580,000sq ft) of infrastructure has also been destroyed by Israeli forces during raids into Tulkarem and Jenin in April.

Colombia President says Netanyahu will go down in history as ‘genocide perpetrator’

Andalou Agency reports: Colombian President Gustavo Petro blasted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, in response to Netanyahu’s antisemitism accusation.

“Mr. Netanyahu, you will go down in history as a genocide perpetrator. Dropping bombs on thousands of innocent children, women and the elderly does not make you a hero,” Petro said in a post on X.

“You remain alongside those who murdered millions of Jews in Europe. Genocide, whether it is related to religion or not, is genocide. At least stop the onslaught that is continuing,” he said.

Colombia cut diplomatic relations with Israel on May 3, citing the ongoing attacks against the Palestinians in Gaza, where Israel has killed nearly 35,000 people in response to a Hamas incursion on Oct. 7, 2023 that claimed 1,200 lives.

The International Court of Justice in January found it is “plausible” that Israel committed acts that violate the 1948 Genocide Convention. In a provisional order, it said Israel must ensure that its forces do not commit any of the acts prohibited by the convention. The case, brought by South Africa, is ongoing in The Hague.

Brazil postpones Israel arms deal due to Gaza genocide

Brazil´s Defense Minister José Múcio Monteiro has postponed the signing of a contract with the Israeli company Elbit Systems for 36 armoured vehicles with 155 mm howitzers, a type of cannon with great range and precision. According to Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo, the deal involved the import of the self-propelled vehicles for up to 750 million Brazilian reals, equivalent to $145m.

The newspaper mentioned that the postponement of the deal comes one day after human rights organizations and political figures put pressure on the Lula government to end the arms trade with the Israeli government which has been committing genocidal crimes against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip since last October.

What is happening in Gaza is a ‘turkey shoot’: UN special rapporteur

UN Special Rapporteur Balakrishnan Rajagopal says what is happening in Gaza – the Israeli army forcing the population to move from one place to another – is a form of ethnic cleansing “with eventually, I suppose, the goal of not allowing them to live in a normal way”.

“This is a matter of great concern because it is a very grave war crime under international law, particularly given Israel’s status as an occupying power,” he told Al Jazeera.

Balakrishnan said the destruction of vast amounts of infrastructure and housing in Gaza by the Israeli army constitutes a “domicide”.

“What we have seen in the case of Gaza is clearly a case of domicide and constitutes an act of genocide as well because the purpose of that destruction, exceeding 70 to 80 percent across Gaza, is to make the place uninhabitable for the people of Gaza,” he added.

“The way I see it, it’s like a form of what in America we call a ‘turkey shoot’. They are just doing target practice on the people of Gaza. To me, there’s nothing that resembles this in any other conflict in the world.”

Gaza prisoners endure ‘barbaric treatment, systematic torture’ by Israeli forces: Rights group

Prisoner rights group Addameer is calling for an International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation into war crimes against Palestinian detainees and urges international action for accountability.

In a report, Addameer described severe violations against prisoners, including systematic torture during interrogation and assaults, in prisons like Ofer, Naqab (Negev) and others.

Israeli soldiers, the group said, use dogs to attack prisoners. Many are shackled with steel handcuffs, leading to limb amputations, and all are subject to “a deliberate policy of starvation”, it added.

Detainees are not allowed to change their clothes or cut their hair, beard or nails. Showers are few and far between. “They complained about the foul odours emanating from their clothes, saying they feel like they are living in a ‘livestock pen’,” Addameer said.

The group said there is a “reasonable basis to claim that the occupying forces are committing war crimes and crimes against humanity against prisoners from the Gaza Strip”, and it called on the prosecutor of the ICC to conduct an investigation and take measures to hold those responsible to account.

CNN spoke to Israeli whistleblowers who worked at a prison camp that holds Palestinians detained during Israel’s invasion of Gaza. They describe a facility where doctors sometimes amputated prisoners’ limbs due to injuries sustained from constant handcuffing; where the air is filled with the smell of neglected wounds.

Read the new report from Addameer: The Brutal and Degrading Treatment of Detainees in Gaza
NOTE: Israel is currently holding about 9,500 Palestinian prisoners in inhumane conditions where many are systematically tortured – 200 of them are children, 80 are women, and over 3,600 are administrative detainees – being held without charge or trial. Administrative detention is intended to be used only in “exceptional” circumstances, but Israel uses it widely. Read more here. Israel also has a long history of detaining, imprisoning, and even torturing Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank.
Palestinians lined up in an unknown location, with Israeli soldiers guarding them
Palestinians lined up in an unknown location, with Israeli soldiers guarding them (photo)

Israel protests after Nobel laureate denounces Gaza invasion at Vatican

Reuters reports: Israel’s Embassy to the Holy See issued a protest on Monday after a Yemeni Nobel Prize winner accused Israel of “genocide” in Gaza during an event hosted by the Vatican.

The International Court of Justice ruled in January that Israel is plausibly committing genocide.

The Israeli embassy said it felt “indignation and shock” over the comments from rights activist Tawakkol Karman made on Saturday evening during a conference organized by the Fratelli Tutti Foundation created by Pope Francis.

Karman, who won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for her role in the Arab Spring protests, told an audience in the atrium of St. Peter’s Basilica: “The world is silent in front of the genocide and the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people in Gaza.”

In an open letter posted on X on Monday, the Israeli embassy rejected Karman’s accusations as “lies”.

“The site was contaminated by a flagrantly anti-Semitic* speech,” it said.

“We regret that such a speech was pronounced without anyone feeling the moral duty to intervene to stop this disgrace,” it added.

After mentioning Gaza, Karman got a loud round of applause from the audience which was made up of fellow Nobel prize laureates, politicians and church officials. The pope himself was not present.

*NOTE: Actual antisemitism is not as prevalent as Israel partisans would like us to think. A large portion of what they call antisemitism is simply criticism of Israel, the self-proclaimed “Jewish State.” Most of the animosity Israel experiences is opposition to Zionism. Zionism is not a benign philosophy, but a racist ideology – the ideology under which Israel dispossessed 750,000 Palestinian people and exiled them to Gaza and other locations. The so-called “demonization” of Israel is in most cases a legitimate criticism of Israel’s policies of occupation, apartheid, and genocide, and other illegal practices.

Lindsay Graham: Israel should drop atomic bombs on Gaza

NBC News reports: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Sunday compared Israel’s war against Hamas to the U.S. decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan in World War II during an interview on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”

“Israel, do whatever you have to do to survive as a Jewish state. Whatever you have to do.”

More News

Electronic Intifada: Knowledge is going up in smoke
Palestine Chronicle: Hind Rajab and the Student Protests – Unfurling Love from the Window
Middle East Monitor: Palestinians in Gaza strive to study even as Israel’s war destroys their education system
Middle East Eye: The US establishment is detached from reality
IMEMC Reports


Palestinian death toll from October 7 – May 12: at least 35,543* (35,091 in Gaza*, and at least 509 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 – May 12: at least 83,827 (including at least 78,827 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 – May 12: ~1,426 (~1,139 on October 7, 2023, of which ~32 were Americans, and ~36 were children); 272 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.

Hover over each bar for exact numbers.
Source: IsraelPalestineTimeline.org

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