In Gaza, starvation has become a reality, not just a risk – still Israel withholds aid; Khan Younis under intense bombardment as refugees try to flee; UN’s Francesca Albanese says withholding funding from UNRWA aids and abets genocide; Gideon Levy describes West Bank shepherds going bankrupt; Israelis hold conference about resettling Gaza; Arab Americans don’t want to talk politics with Biden “while there’s a genocide unfolding”; Nancy Pelosi goes full McCarthy, alleging a link between Palestine protesters and Putin; US leaders blame Iran for deaths of 3 American troops in Jordan – Iran begs to differ
By IAK staff, from reports
Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor reports: Born in August 2023 in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun, a baby boy called Jamal Mahmoud Jamal Al-Kafarna died from starvation along with his mother. Jamal’s grandmother, Samah Youssef Al-Kafarna, informed the Euro-Med Monitor team that they had been forced to flee to a tent in a Jabalia schoolyard at the start of the Israeli military assaults on the Gaza Strip, and that they were experiencing a growing scarcity of humanitarian supplies.
As per the grandmother, Jamal’s mother gradually became unable to breastfeed her child because of dehydration brought on by the scarcity of food, forcing her to drink salt water and gradually lose her milk.
Thus, the baby became flabby and severely dehydrated due to the lack of food and the strict siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, especially with the lack of any alternatives to artificial infant formula. According to his grandmother, the infant starved to death on 18 January 2024 in his mother’s arms.
Euro-Med Monitor reported that a similar incident occurred involving one-and-a-half-year-old Gaza City resident Baraa Al-Haddad, who starved to death on 30 December 2023.
According to testimony received by the human rights organization, a number of elderly people in the Gaza Strip have also died as a result of starvation and dehydration, including Samira Abu Barbar, 59, Issam Al-Najjar, 63, and Jawda Zidane Shaker Al-Agha, 81.
The organization previously documented several similar cases of people starved to death in the Gaza Strip, including Jana Deeb Qudeih, a girl with cerebral palsy who was proclaimed dead on 8 December 2023 at the Taiba School in the Strip’s southern town of Abasan Al Kabira, east of Khan Yunis; she died from malnourishment and a shortage of oxygen, which was required for her condition.
Euro-Med Monitor reiterated that Israel has disregarded United Nations Security Council Resolution No. 2720, which was issued a month ago, regarding expanding humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, and is still using starvation as a weapon of war against Palestinian civilians.
OCHA reports: On 26 January, the head of the UN Human Rights Office () for the Occupied Palestinian Territory said that the people displaced who reached Rafah are resorting to living in the street, with sewage running in the streets and “conditions of desperation conducive to a complete breakdown in order.
An overspilling of violence in Rafah would have severe implications for the more than 1.3 million people who are already crowded into the city.
Heavy rainfall has aggravated the humanitarian situation in tent encampments where IDPs have sought shelter, with UNRWA that an unknown number of tents of displaced people in Rafah were flooded and that “thousands of families sleeping on the ground are now freezing and unable to keep dry.”
None of the 22 requests by the United Nations to the Israeli military to open checkpoints early to access areas north of Wadi Gaza (in January) were facilitated. Given the heavy congestion around UN warehouses and the high levels of needs, early movement is essential for security, programmatic and protection reasons.
The humanitarian community has consistently called for both main supply routes (MSRs) to be open in Gaza, and for checkpoints to open at 6:00 every day. Only one of the two main supply routes has been made available for aid missions so far.
Al Jazeera reports: The Israeli military issued another order for residents of multiple Khan Younis neighborhoods to evacuate “immediately” as it intensifies its assault on the southern city, and go to al-Mawasi where hundreds of thousands were previously forced to move to.
The Israeli army’s air force also confirmed “intense fighting” is ongoing in Khan Younis, and it conducted multiple air strikes on Sunday.
A correspondent in Rafah adds: The entire city of Khan Younis continues to be pounded by Israeli bombardment.
Thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate and are going through security checkpoints with facial recognition technology. Women and children are separated from the men. A large number of people have been detained and dehumanized during the process.
Video shows as people tried to flee the horror on different routes away from the bombing they were targeted by tank and artillery shells and small-arms fire, and also Israeli attack drones that hovered low over the city. There are reports of many people killed.
🚨The PRCS warns of the inability of medical teams at Al-Amal Hospital in #KhanYunis to perform surgical operations due to oxygen depletion.#ALAmalHospital #Gaza
#NotATarget ❌#IHL pic.twitter.com/keAJoZ7yHq
— PRCS (@PalestineRCS) January 28, 2024
— Euro-Med Monitor (@EuroMedHR) January 29, 2024
The Guardian reports: Francesca Albanese, the UN special rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian territories, has warned that countries pausing funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees were breaching an international court of justice order to provide effective aid in Gaza. “This will entail legal responsibilities – or the demise of the (international) legal system,” she wrote on X.
Britain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Finland joined the United States, Australia and Canada in pausing funding after UNRWA revealed an investigation had been launched into 12 members of staff who allegedly took part in the 7 October attack led by Hamas that killed 1,140 people.
In another post, she added, “The day after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) concluded that Israel is plausibly committing Genocide in Gaza, some states decided to defund UNRWA,” which could in essence be “violating their obligations under the Genocide Convention”.
Albanese also described the decision taken by several UNWRA donors as “collectively punishing millions of Palestinians at the most critical time”.
Post by Ramy Abdu, Assist. Prof of Law & Finance and Chairman of Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor:
Hebrew newspaper “Kol Ha’ir”: The bombs dropped by the Israeli army on Gaza in 4 months surpass those used by Russia in its war on Ukraine over two years. Estimates suggest the quantity of bombs used by the Israeli army on Gaza exceeds those employed by Hitler in World War II. pic.twitter.com/B6p8e3MsPg
— Ramy Abdu| رامي عبده (@RamAbdu) January 28, 2024
OCHA reports: On 28 January, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths stated: “The people of Gaza have been enduring unthinkable horrors and deprivation for months. Their needs have never been higher – and our humanitarian capacity to assist them has never been under such threat. We need to be at full stretch to give the people of Gaza a moment of hope.”
WEST BANK: Israeli journalist Gideon Levy reports in Ha’aretz: “Israeli Settlers Have Found a New Way to Abuse Palestinian Shepherds: Bankrupting Them – This week police impounded 700 sheep, claiming they had passed through a forbidden zone. To retrieve the animals the shepherds paid 150,000 shekels to the settlers’ regional council”
Their owners, Palestinian shepherds, had to pay the inconceivable, draconian sum of 150,000 shekels (almost $40,000) in order to get the animals back.
This new measure has the aim of making their lives miserable and ultimately cleansing the region of their presence.
Settler violence, arrests, fences, land expropriations, home demolitions, prevention of pasturing of animals, and all the other means have now been supplemented by this new method. The money goes straight into the settlers’ coffers, with police backing. (Read the full story here.)
Middle East Eye reports: Thousands, including ministers from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party, gathered in Jerusalem on Sunday for a conference calling to resettle the Gaza Strip, illegal under international law.
During the conference, a plan was presented for the re-establishment of 15 Israeli settlements and the addition to six new ones.
The proposals are located on destroyed Palestinian communities.
In order to settle in Gaza, Israel would have to transfer Palestinians out of the Strip. Israeli settlements and settlers on Palestinian land are a violation of international law. Forced transfer of a people group is a crime against humanity.
Beni Suhila, Khan Younis |
Neighborhoods blown up by Israeli soldiers pic.twitter.com/ya3GbG1z38
— Younis Tirawi | يونس (@ytirawi) January 28, 2024
“It’s unfathomable at this point in time that we’re trying to talk about electoral politics with a genocide unfolding,” said Abdullah Hammoud, mayor of Dearborn, a Detroit suburb.
“This is not a time to talk about politics. This is a time for our humanity to be recognized, and for us to be sitting down with decision-makers and policymakers to talk about a change of course of what’s unfolding overseas.”
Osama Siblani, the publisher of the Dearborn-based Arab American News, met with Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez this week to deliver a scathing message to her face, he said.
“Biden is telling Israel, ‘Here is the money; here’s ammunition; here’s the political power; here’s whatever you need, go and kill.’ That is a war criminal. That’s how we see it,” Siblani said he told the campaign manager.
(Read the full story here.)
According to a recent poll by the Economist/YouGov, 50% of Democrats and 60% of liberals in America believe Israel is committing genocide.
New York Times reports: Representative Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California and the former House speaker, on Sunday called for the F.B.I. to investigate protesters demanding a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas conflict, suggesting without evidence that some activists may have ties to Russia and President Vladimir V. Putin.
“For them to call for a cease-fire is Mr. Putin’s message,” Ms. Pelosi said during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Make no mistake, this is directly connected to what he would like to see. Same thing with Ukraine. It’s about Putin’s message. I think some of these protesters are spontaneous and organic and sincere. Some, I think, are connected to Russia.”
When pressed on whether she believed some of the demonstrators were “Russian plants,” Ms. Pelosi said: “Seeds or plants. I think some financing should be investigated. And I want to ask the F.B.I. to investigate that.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned Ms. Pelosi’s comments as “an unsubstantiated smear” and “downright authoritarian.”
“Her comments once again show the negative impact of decades of dehumanization of the Palestinian people by those supporting Israeli apartheid,” Nihad Awad, the group’s national executive director, said in a statement.
“Instead of baselessly smearing those Americans as Russian collaborators, former House Speaker Pelosi and other political leaders should respect the will of the American people by calling for an end to the Netanyahu government’s genocidal war on the people of Gaza.”
Andalou Agency reports: “On Jan. 28, three US service members were killed and 25 injured from a one-way attack UAS (drone) that impacted at a base in northeast Jordan*, near the Syria border,” the US Central Command said in a press release.
In a statement from the White House, US President Joe Biden said: “Today, America’s heart is heavy. Last night, three U.S. service members were killed – and many wounded – during an unmanned aerial drone attack on our forces stationed in northeast Jordan near the Syria border.”
“While we are still gathering the facts of this attack, we know it was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq,” he added [without providing evidence].
Later Sunday, an Iraqi group calling itself Islamic Resistance said that it was responsible for the attack.
*NOTE: Jordan has stated that the base is actually outside Jordanian borders, in Syria.
Statement From Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III: I am outraged and deeply saddened by the deaths of three of our U.S. service members and the wounding of other American troops in an attack last night against U.S. and Coalition forces, who were deployed to a site in northeastern Jordan near the Syrian border to work for the lasting defeat of ISIS.
These brave Americans and their families are in my prayers, and the entire Department of Defense mourns their loss.
Iran-backed militias are responsible for these continued attacks on U.S. forces, and we will respond at a time and place of our choosing.
The President and I will not tolerate attacks on American forces, and we will take all necessary actions to defend the United States, our troops, and our interests.
“As we have clearly stated before, the resistance groups in the region are responding [to] the war crimes and genocide of the child-killing Zionist regime and… they do not take orders from the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Nasser Kanaani was quoted saying by IRNA on Monday.
“These groups decide and act based on their own principles and priorities as well as the interests of their country and people.”
Agnes Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International, writes:
Sickening heartless decision of the richest countries in the world to punish the most vulnerable population on earth because of the alleged crimes of 12 people. Right after the ICJ ruling finding risk of genocide. Sickening. https://t.co/ARrPqUdyHA
— Agnes Callamard (@AgnesCallamard) January 28, 2024
STATISTICS OCTOBER 7 – JANUARY 28:
Palestinian death toll from October 7 – January 28: at least 26,792* (26,422 in Gaza* (over 11,000 children, 7,500 women), and at least 370 in the West Bank (98 children). This does not include an estimated 7,000 more still buried under rubble (70% women and children). Euro-Med Monitor reports 33,360 Palestinian deaths.
About 1.7 million people have been displaced (about 85% of the population).
Reported Israeli death toll from October 7 – January 28: ~1,705 (~1,139 on October 7, 2023, 9 in West Bank, 557 soldiers in Gaza; including ~32 Americans and approximately 36 children) and ~8,730 injured.
NBC reports: “According to the latest available IDF data… nearly 1 in 5, or 17%, of all Israel’s losses have come not at the hands of Hamas but from mishaps on its own side.”
*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.
Find previous daily casualty figures and daily news updates here.
- 12 Essential Facts for Understanding the Current Israel-Gaza Violence
- Falk: Israel used Oct 7 attack as a pretext for its plan to expel Palestinians
- Synopsis of ICJ’s decision on Israeli genocide, reactions, and take-aways
- The West’s complete contempt for the lives of Palestinians will not be forgotten
- Israel has repeatedly rejected Hamas truce offers
- Why the Guardian’s ‘Hamas mass rape’ story doesn’t pass the sniff test
- Israel’s torture and humiliation of female and male Gazan prisoners
- Coverage of Gaza War in NYTimes & other major papers heavily favored Israel, analysis shows
- Two reports debunk New York Times ‘investigative report’ of mass rape on October 7th
- Israel’s Assault on Gaza Is Unlike Any War in Recent Memory
- US poised to give Israel $18 billion in aid this year
- Gaza Civilians, Under Israeli Barrage, Are Being Killed at Historic Pace
- Essential facts and stats about the Hamas-Gaza-Israel war