Bombing and death ongoing, babies abandoned to die by Israel possible crime against humanity, evacuation horrors, West Bank violence against Palestinians, US leaders continue pro-Israel rhetoric, Netanyahu corruption trial and his boast of manipulating the US, updated casualty figures
Updates to be added throughout the day. Find latest statistics at the bottom of this report.
‘Flooded with dead bodies’: Since the early morning, hospitals in Gaza have been receiving dozens of bodies as Israeli air strikes continue to pound the enclave for a fourth consecutive day after the collapse of the truce. “We are flooded with an influx of dead bodies,” Munir al-Bursh, director-general of Gaza’s Health Ministry, told Al Jazeera. “All our hospitals can no longer offer any kind of help to victims. All our medical equipment was destroyed by the Israeli occupation soldiers,” al-Bursh said.
In a few hours, he said, the Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza will be out of electricity. Ambulances and medics have repeatedly been targeted, including a healthcare worker who was shot while carrying a victim towards al-Awda Hospital. “This is a belligerent murderous enemy; with one target only: killing civilians in cold blood,” he added. (10:55 GMT)
Deaths of babies may be “crime against humanity”: There are calls for an independent international investigation committee to be established to look into the deaths of five newborn Palestinian children left on their own after medical staff were forcibly evacuated by the Israeli army from Al-Nasr Hospital for Children in Gaza.
According to Euro-Med Monitor’s documentation, the five infants were abandoned for three weeks before being found dead. Their bodies were discovered in a decomposing state in the Al-Nasr Hospital nursery, in what may amount to a horrifying execution and a crime against humanity.
Israel’s onslaught may be the next stage of the “Dahiya Doctrine”:
The Dahiya Doctrine was coined by current Minister Gadi Eisenkot when he was Chief of Northern Command in 2008. The military doctrine, named after the Dahiya quarter of Beirut that Israel targeted and leveled during the 2006 war, outlines “what will happen” to any enemy that dares attack Israel:
“What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on,” Eisenkot declared in Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot in March 2008. “We will apply disproportionate force on [the village] and cause great damage and destruction there. From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages, they are military bases…..”
Israel’s iconic late Defense Minister Moshe Dayan once said “Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.” Variations on this idea have been repeated by Israeli officials time and again.
Humanitarian aid: On 3 December, aid trucks carrying humanitarian supplies entered from Egypt into Gaza. However, their number and content were unclear.
Evacuation update: Israel has ordered Palestinians to evacuate several more areas as it widens its bombardment of the Gaza Strip, killing hundreds. Al Jazeera journalists on the ground say it is difficult to heed the orders in real time, with nowhere safe remaining in the enclave.
Israel published a map on Friday, dividing Gaza into “evacuation zones” and asking people to follow their announcements for their safety. However, the maps, which include nearly 2,500 grids, have confused many, while unreliable internet and electricity make keeping updated a challenge.
On Monday, an update with three arrows pointing south was issued. The instruction came the day after the Israeli military said it had expanded its ground operation to all of Gaza, targeting “Hamas centers in all” of the enclave.
Israel’s evacuation maps are causing fear and panic said Melanie Ward, chief executive of humanitarian organization Medical Aid for Palestinians. “I cannot overstate the fear, panic and confusion that these Israeli maps are causing civilians in #Gaza, including my own staff. People cannot run from place to place to try to escape Israel’s bombs, nor does international law expect them to. “What is being done is unconscionable,” Ward said in a post on X on Sunday.
Destruction of justice: Israeli media has published footage of the moment the High Court of Justice building in central Gaza was blown up on Sunday:
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) December 4, 2023
Deaths: Palestinian officials said that at least two Palestinians were killed Monday morning during an Israeli army raid in Qalqilya in the north. Local sources said that both bodies were taken away by the Israeli forces.
A Palestinian man identified as Ali Ibrahim Alqam, 33, was killed today during an Israeli army raid of Qalandia refugee camp, north of Jerusalem, according to the Ministry of Health. A total of 256 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since October 7, including six prisoners who died in Israeli custody
Prisoners: About 3,540 West Bank Palestinians have been “arrested,” and many are being held without charges.
Palestinian teen, one of the last prisoners to be released by Israel in the prisoner exchange, described his imprisonment without charge or trial: He had been shot in the elbow by Israeli forces last November, losing 70 percent use of his arm. He had been undergoing post-surgical treatment but Israeli authorities denied him treatment.”
“I told the Israelis over and over that my arm was injured. They didn’t care, in fact, it seemed to amuse them to shackle my hands anyway,” Ubai said. “Even the prison doctor laughed at me when I asked for medicine. Made me think that this guy is a jailer in a doctor’s coat.
Washington Post reports: “The Palestinians released were women and teens. Some, like Bseso, were charged with offenses such as throwing rocks, fireworks or molotov cocktails at Israeli troops during raids on Palestinian towns. Almost half were boys ages 14 to 17. Several emerged with stories of deprivation and, in some cases, physical abuse.”; a skinny high school math whiz was detained for three months before his release. He spent some of his days in windowless solitary confinement. “Israel has refused to release prisoners charged with murder or other major crimes.
Palestinians in the West Bank are tried in Israeli military courts, where conviction rates approach 100 percent, according to the United Nations. The majority of those freed last week had never been convicted of a crime; many had never had a day in court. Israel’s practice of administrative detention allows Palestinian detainees to be held for months or years without trial or charge.
A Palestinian man was ordered by Israeli forces to demolish his own house near occupied East Jerusalem. Locals say Israeli authorities gave him an ultimatum to either tear down his home or have the Israeli municipality demolish it. He was told he would have to pay steep fees if he chose the latter option.
Palestinians in East Jerusalem are often threatened with home demolition by Israel, accusing them of unauthorised building. This year, Israeli authorities have demolished more than 600 homes in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem under this pretext, according to rights organization B’tselem.
Other Israeli settler and/or military violence:
- Israeli colonists, backed by army, attacked a Bedouin community west of Jericho.
- Colonists attacked Palestinian civilians and bulldozeed five dunums of land in the northern Jordan Valley.
- Two Palestinian children were injured after they were shot by Israeli settlers near Ramallah.
- Israeli occupation forces raided a northern East Jerusalem neighborhood, injuring several people.
License to kill: The head of the Firearms Licensing Department in Israel has quit his post after learning that Israel’s far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s staff issued gun permits to Israeli citizens without proper training. “They are handing out guns like candy,” a security official told Haaretz.
Ben-Gvir defended his weapons distribution policy as “clear and continuous”. Since October 7, Ben-Gvir and Netanyahu have encouraged the arming of civilians.
According to Channel 13 TV, there have been 150,000 applications for gun licenses since the war started – compared to 42 applications in the same period last year.
Israeli deaths: The Israel Defense Forces announced the deaths of three troops killed fighting against Hamas in the Gaza Strip yesterday, bringing the military death toll since Israel’s ground offensive in late October to 77.
The firing of rockets by Palestinian armed groups towards Israeli population centers has continued over the past 24 hours, with no reported fatalities. (Information on rocket attacks is here.) It appears that the last time a rocket killed an Israeli was October 7-8, as reported by Ha’aretz and the Times of Israel. 15 Israelis were killed – 10 of them Palestinian Israelis who reportedly had no access to bomb shelters. Rockets have killed a total of 35 Israelis over the 22 years they’ve been fired,.
More lies from Israeli government: According to investigative journalist Max Blumenthal, the Israeli govt has published a new FAKE photo purporting to show a victim of rape by Hamas militants at the Nova music festival on October 7 The image predates 10/7 and likely shows a female Kurdish fighter killed in action whose corpse was defiled. Also see this and this.
US speaks, but Israel has its own plan: Tamer Qarmout, assistant professor at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, says while it is “clear” that the US has given Israel the green light to continue its war efforts, it is still Israel that’s calling the shots. “They do coordinate with the Americans, but they have their own plan; the Americans talk the talk, but we haven’t seen them using any real pressure to stop the Israelis or to reduce the suffering of the Palestinians,” Qarmout told Al Jazeera.
He said that pressure from the US could come in the form of stopping weapon deliveries to Israel. “If it’s sincere, they [the US] could have a serious talk with the Israelis and stop them or make some corrections, but we don’t see this really happening,” he said. (11:40 GMT)
Netanyahu boasts of ignoring/manipulating US:
The Times of Israel reports: “Netanyahu reportedly also told the Likud lawmakers that the Biden administration did not want Israel to launch a ground incursion in Gaza and did not want the IDF to enter Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital where a Hamas command center is located underneath. Netanyahu reportedly boasted about having gone against the US wishes in both of those cases.”
“I have known Biden for more than 40 years, and know how to speak to the American public,” Netanyahu as told Likud backbenchers in individual meetings. (The US gives Israel billions of dollars. due to the influence of the Israel lobby.)
RECOMMENDED READING: US senator Lindsey Graham tries to justify Israel targeting civilians in Gaza
Israel has a right to defend itself, and we will remain steadfast in that conviction..
As Israel does so, it matters how. Too many innocent Palestinians have been killed. As Israel pursues its military objectives in Gaza, we believe Israel must do more to protect innocent civilians.
Even as the US sends this message, it is also sending Israel more bombs and other weapons for use in Gaza.
Corruption trial of Israeli PM Netanyahu resumes: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to face the resumption of his long-running trial on numerous corruption charges, after a pause due to the war in Gaza. A court in Jerusalem is set to start hearing the case, which is focused on several corruption charges against Netanyahu, on Monday, according to reports in the Israeli media. The trial was paused on an emergency order from the country’s justice minister following Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7.
Israel’s longest-serving prime minister has denied any wrongdoing. He claims to be the victim of a politically orchestrated “witch-hunt” by rivals and the media to remove him from office.
RECOMMENDED READING: Are Netanyahu’s legal troubles behind push for judicial change?
I have arrived in Gaza, where people’s suffering is intolerable.
I repeat our urgent call for civilians to be protected in line with the laws of war and for aid to enter unimpeded.
— Mirjana Spoljaric (@ICRCPresident) December 4, 2023
In #Rafah where people are being forced to flee, no place is safe, not there and not anywhere in #Gaza read below from our @TomWhiteGaza @UNRWA, a brutal war continues, unabated https://t.co/P7B6sAisNe
— UNRWA (@UNRWA) December 4, 2023
Statistics as of Dec. 3:
Palestinian death toll: OCHA reports at least 15,684* (~15,428 in Gaza** (4,257 women and 6,387 children), and at least 256 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 incident. Israel 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: 44,595** (including at least 41,316 in Gaza** and 3,279 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.
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 here. For more news, go here and here.**** Live broadcast news from the region is here.
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