Gaza is “the most dangerous place in the world to be a child” – Day 57

Gaza is “the most dangerous place in the world to be a child” – Day 57

Humanitarian update, evacuation news, Israeli attacks, West Bank news, Biden, CNN under fire, latest statistics, and more

Updates to be added throughout the day. Find latest statistics at the bottom of this report. 

Humanitarian update:

178 Palestinians were killed and at least 589 others were injured in the first day after the truce ended; no Israeli fatalities have been reported in this context.

Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell on the resumption of fighting in Gaza: “Today, the Gaza Strip is once again the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. After seven days of respite from horrific violence, fighting has resumed. More children will surely die as a result.”

Posted on Instagram (image)

Israeli air strike kills prominent Palestinian scientist and scholar: An attack in the northern Gaza Strip killed Sofyan Taya and his family, the Palestinian Ministry of Education says.

Taya was ranked among the top 2 percent of researchers globally; he was a leading researcher in physics and applied mathematics. He was also UNESCO chairperson in astronomy, astrophysics and space sciences in Palestine. He headed the Islamic University of Gaza, the largest university in Gaza (established in 1976, before Hamas), “one of the most advanced & distinguished academic institutions in Palestine.”

Dr. Sofyan Taya (aka Sufian Tayeh) (photo)

NPR reports that “negotiators in the House and Senate” are working behind the scenes on a bill that would give Israel a total of $18 billion of aid – which would work out to $50 million per day.

Hepatitis A outbreak: On 1 December, UNRWA reported a Hepatitis A outbreak in one of its shelters. Separately, the agency has provided 10,000 medical consultations a day in the shelters hosting IDPs. Furthermore, since 4 November, 12,000 children have received vaccinations in UNRWA shelters.

Water availability: Despite the pause, there was almost no improvement in the access of residents in the north to water for drinking and domestic purposes, as most of the main water production facilities remained shut, due to the lack of fuel and some also due to damage. Water is primarily available from small private and UNRWA wells. Serious concerns about waterborne diseases due to water consumption from unsafe sources persist.

Israel bombs hundreds of targets in Gaza: Israel said its ground, air and naval forces struck more than 400 targets in Gaza in its latest attacks. It also called on people to evacuate from Khan Younis as it expands its military operations, urging them to move southwards towards Rafah, close to the border with Egypt.

Al Jazeera’s Hind Khoudary in Deir el-Balah in Gaza said Israeli tanks have not stopped shelling the enclave and the gunboats are attacking the coastline of the Strip. She added,

It was very tough last night with people in Gaza describing it as one of the toughest, as there has been non-stop bombardment in the last 24 hours. Houses have been targeted. At least three mosques were hit. Areas across the Gaza Strip – the north, south and centre, have all been targeted.

The death toll from Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip has reached 15,207 since the start of the conflict on Oct. 7; 70% of the victims are children and women, and more than 40,652 people have been injured (see note* below on why IAK death toll figures are lower).

RECOMMENDED READING: ‘Where to go?’ Palestinians say nowhere safe as Israel resumes Gaza bombing

Israeli attack leaves 100 dead in Jabaliya: More than 100 innocent Palestinian civilians were killed today when Israel bombed a residential building in Jabaliya, north of the Gaza Strip. The building housed hundreds of civilians. Dozens were reportedly injured, and many are still trapped under the debris.

Relatives perform funeral prayers for five members of the Sabah family, killed in Israeli strikes in Deir el-Balah, on Saturday
Relatives perform funeral prayers for five members of the Sabah family, killed in Israeli strikes in Deir el-Balah, on Saturday (photo)

Israel halted humanitarian aid Friday as collective punishment: According to Axios reporter David Barak, After the Hamas terror organization violated the agreement and fired rockets towards Israel we [Israel] stopped allowing humanitarian aid into Gaza in the amounts that were agreed upon as part of the ceasefire agreement.” This was in spite of the US demand that humanitarian aid continue after the truce ended.

Kenneth Roth, former executive director of Human Rights Watch, now visiting professor at Princeton, responded: “Why doesn’t the Israeli government just openly admit it is committing war crimes. The legal duty to allow humanitarian aid to civilians in need is absolute, not contingent on any behavior by Hamas. If the ICC’s @KarimKhanQC is paying attention, he could file charges tomorrow.”

Humanitarian aid passage resumed on Saturday.

Palestinians check the damage of a house destroyed in an Israeli strike on Khan Younis, December 1, 2023
Palestinians check the damage of a house destroyed in an Israeli strike on Khan Younis, December 1, 2023 (photo)

According to Palestinian reports, the IDF dropped leaflets over southern Gaza on Friday warning residents of several neighborhoods in Khan Yunis to evacuate to shelter areas in Rafah, warning “the city of Khan Yunis is a dangerous combat zone.”

It is not clear how civilians can use this system after Israeli air attacks damaged telecommunications and electrical infrastructure – and apparently does not take into account the fact that many Palestinians in Gaza do not have electricity or internet due to the Israeli aggression.

Civilians in the enclave have reported that the Israeli army dropped leaflets calling on them to move toward locations that had just been attacked.

As one Gazan writer described it, “In summary, in the second phase of the war, Israel continues killing and forced displacing but in a more professional manner this time. The world rejected indiscriminate killing, so there’s a shift towards organized killing.”

The UN Rapporteur on the Right to Housing called the scheme “a grim game of turkey shoot.”

A new interactive Gaza map issued by the IDF splits the Strip into hundreds of zones. The IDF said December 1, 2023, that it will be used to notify Palestinian civilians of active combat zones
A new interactive Gaza map issued by the IDF splits the Strip into hundreds of zones. The IDF said December 1, 2023, that it will be used to notify Palestinian civilians of active combat zones (photo)

Israel wants a buffer zone in Gaza after war: Israel has informed several Arab states that it wants to carve out a buffer zone on the Palestinian side of Gaza’s border to prevent future attacks as part of proposals for the enclave after war ends. Asked about plans for a buffer zone, Ophir Falk, foreign policy adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told Reuters: “The plan is more detailed than that. It’s based on a three-tier process for the day after Hamas.”

Outlining the Israeli government’s position, he said the three tiers involved destroying Hamas, demilitarizing Gaza and de-radicalizing the enclave.

Israel has already imposed a buffer zone inside Gaza since 2005. As the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) reported,

Following disengagement from the Gaza Strip in September 2005, Israel unilaterally and illegally established a so-called ‘buffer zone’, an area prohibited to Palestinians along the land and sea borders of the Gaza Strip.

The precise area designated by Israel as a ‘buffer zone’ is not clear and this Israeli policy is typically enforced with live fire. The establishment of the ‘buffer zone’ is illegal under both Israeli and international law.

It prevents Palestinians from accessing their lands and fishing areas, violating numerous provisions of international human rights law, including the right to work, the right to an adequate standard of living, and the right to the highest attainable standard of health.

Enforcing the ‘buffer zone’ through the use of live fire often results in, inter alia, the direct targeting of civilians and/or indiscriminate attacks, both of which constitute war crimes.

People of Gaza ‘terrified’: Martin Griffiths, the UN humanitarian chief, said in a statement that the situation in southern Gaza’s Khan Younis is a “shocking reminder” of what happens in the absence of a ceasefire.

Today, in a matter of hours, scores were reportedly killed and injured. Families were told to evacuate, again. Hopes were dashed. Almost two months into the fighting, the children, women and men of Gaza are all terrified. They have nowhere safe to go and very little to survive on. They live surrounded by disease, destruction and death.

Palestinians drive a cart past a crater following an Israeli air strike
Palestinians drive a cart past a crater following an Israeli air strike (photo)

Hospital attacked: Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) says northern Gaza’s al-Awda Hospital, where its staff works, came under attack and was damaged hours after the truce ended. In a post on X, MSF said it is one of the only hospitals functioning in the battered northern region. It added the hospital never stopped treating patients since October 7 despite coming under attack “several times”. MSF said that the hospital received more than 50 injured individuals today. Al-Awda Hospital is running “dangerously low on medical supplies”, it said, and reiterated calls for a ceasefire.

RECOMMENDED VIEWING: Is Israel meeting its obligations under the laws of war? | Inside Story

West Bank news:

Settler/soldier violence: Settlers, protected by the occupation soldiers, today prevented farmers from plowing their lands in several areas in Masafer Yatta, south of Hebron. Local sources said that colonists and soldiers threatened the farmers in the village of Wadi Jahish against going to plow their lands.

Additional violence was reported in Deir Ballout, where Israeli settlers attacked sheep herders.

Teenager dies in Jenin: A 16-year-old Palestinian boy seriously injured from Israeli army gunfire during a raid in Jenin on October 9 has died today of his wounds. Eleven people were killed and more than 20 were injured, some seriously, on that day.

UN reports ‘dramatic increase’ in number of Palestinians detained by Israel: Since 7 October, over 3,000 Palestinians have been arrested in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, with more than 160 in the past six days, often without direct evidence of an offense, the UN Human Rights Office has said. According to the Office, six Palestinian men have died in Israeli custody during this period, a decades-long high. The surge in arrests, reports of ill-treatment, and failure to adhere to due process raise serious concerns about Israel’s compliance with international law, it said.

RECOMMENDED READING: Is Israel criminalizing Palestinian thoughts too, amid Gaza war?
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)

Home demolitions imminent: The Israeli occupation forces early this morning sealed shut the family homes of the siblings Murad and Ibrahim Nimr, who were killed yesterday after a shooting attack in Jerusalem. Occupation forces stormed the neighborhood and cordoned off the two houses and welded their doors and windows shut to prevent entry to them until the decision to demolish them is implemented.

The punitive demolition of homes belonging to families of alleged attackers is a form of collective punishment, a war crime under international law.

Palestinian ambulance blocked: As Israeli attacks and raids continue in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Red Crescent is saying that Israeli forces prevented its ambulance crew from reaching a young man who was shot at a checkpoint near Nablus.

RECOMMENDED READING: Palestinians in Israeli prisons face dwindling rights, escalating violence, say human rights groups

Other news:

CNN report claiming sexual violence on October 7 relied on non-credible witnesses, some with undisclosed ties to Israeli govt: Mondoweiss reports:

CNN’s Jake Tapper failed to adhere to professional and ethical journalism standards in a story claiming to offer proof of sexual violence by Palestinian fighters on October 7.

On November 18, 2023, CNN aired a report by journalist Jake Tapper. The report claims to provide testimonies on “rape crimes” against Israeli women that allegedly took place on October 7, 2023. Within a few hours of the publication of the CNN report, an international media campaign by Israel and pro-Israeli groups was launched.

Other media outlets, including The Washington Post, based their reporting on CNN’s report. Feminist activists and groups who have been calling for a ceasefire in Gaza were also targeted as part of this campaign.

Samantha Pearson, the director of the Sexual Assault Centre at the University of Alberta in Canada, was fired from her job a few hours after the airing of the report. She had signed a letter on October 25 that stated that the accusation that Palestinians were guilty of sexual violence remains “unverified.” The letter did not say that sexual violence did not occur but that there was no sufficient evidence yet to support these accusations (read the full article here).

Self-immolation: A pro-Palestine protester set herself ablaze Friday afternoon outside an Israeli consulate in downtown Atlanta in what authorities say was “likely an extreme act of political protest.” The woman arrived outside the consulate, draped herself in a Palestinian flag, and began setting herself on fire. A security guard tried to stop the unnamed woman, but couldn’t. She is reportedly in critical condition, with serious burns.

Anat Sultan-Dadon, the consul general of Israel to the southeastern U.S., released a statement criticizing the protester:

We are saddened to learn of the self-immolation at the entrance to the office building. It is tragic to see the hate and incitement toward Israel expressed in such a horrific way. The sanctity of life is our highest value. Our prayers are with the security officer who was injured while trying to prevent this tragic act.

“Netanyahu made a mockery of the Biden administration”: In a statement, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:

The Biden administration must join other governments and the United Nations in demanding the resumption of the ceasefire and negotiations before the extremist Israeli government kills another 14,000 thousand civilians and ethnically cleanses the southern half of Gaza.

Just hours after Secretary Blinken claimed that Israel had made concrete plans to minimize civilian casualties, Benjamin Netanyahu once again made a mockery of the Biden administration by bombing civilian sites, killing more than 100 Palestinians in less than a day.

The Biden administration has taken belated but positive steps in the right direction over the past few weeks, but it now risks destroying that progress by once again giving Benjamin Netanyahu’s racist, far-right government political cover to bomb civilians in Gaza. These war crimes were completely predictable, and the Biden Administration must stop enabling them.

Muslim Americans launch anti-Biden campaign over his handling of war: Axios reports:

Muslim Americans in several swing states are scheduled to gather in Michigan on Saturday to start a campaign they’re calling #AbandonBiden, a reflection of their outrage over President Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war. Arab American and Muslim American anger could hurt Biden’s re-election prospects in most of the 2024 swing states he won in 2020, as those groups have been heavily Democratic.

Muslim American leaders from Michigan, Minnesota, Arizona, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, and Pennsylvania are expected to meet in Dearborn, Mich., to start the new campaign.

More than 1,300 health workers urge Biden, US lawmakers to call for ceasefire: More than 1,300 doctors and medical workers across the US have signed a letter, spearheaded by humanitarian group MedGlobal, calling for unhindered humanitarian aid to Gaza, protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, and a permanent ceasefire:

We, the undersigned organizations, humanitarians, and doctors, are profoundly anguished over the ongoing Israel-Hamas war and its catastrophic impact on the civilian population of Gaza.

In  the wake of the November 22, 2023 ceasefire, now is the time to push all relevant parties to build on this progress and prevent further loss of civilian lives. We call on you to take a historic stand to help bring this conflict to a close…

American president “is taking part in the genocide of Gaza”: A spokesman for the Independent Commission for Human Rights group in Gaza made a statement today. His comments included:

  • People in eastern Khan Younis are being told to move to Rafah, an indication the Israeli forces are trying to further displace people.
  • The US is fully responsible, not only by giving a [green] light to the occupation … and also by being a direct partner in the decision-making.
  • We are directly saying to the American people … that your president is taking part in the genocide in Gaza.
  • The real goal of Israeli forces is collective punishment. The massive number of dead people and injured is a clear indication of this.
  • Israeli forces want to show they are capable of doing anything in Gaza.
  • We urge the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to adopt certain procedures and live up to his obligations.

Statistics as of Dec. 1:

Palestinian death toll: OCHA reports at least 14,984* (~14,736 in Gaza** (including at least 6,150 children and 4,000 women), and at least 248 in the West Bank). This does not include an estimated 7,000 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 incidentIsrael 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: 43,881** (including at least 40,652 in Gaza** and 3,229 in the West Bank). **NOTE: it is impossible to offer 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 1.8 million people have been displaced (nearly 80% of the population); 6,000 are missing and presumed to be under rubble.

Reported Israeli death toll ~1,200  (7 killed in West Bank, 75 in Gaza), including 32 Americans, and ~5,431 injured, approximately 30 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.


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