Iran retaliates against Israeli aggression, as Gaza and West Bank struggle – Day 190

Iran retaliates against Israeli aggression, as Gaza and West Bank struggle – Day 190

Iran’s unprecedented retaliatory attack on Israel; US experts say Israel trying to involve US in war against Iran; Israel’s ongoing massacres, threats against Gaza; Israel’s allies’ attempt to bully pro-Palestinian, pro-justice voices; West Bank struggles against massive settler attacks

By IAK staff, from reports

Israel v. Iran

CNN reports: Iran says attack targeted Israeli base used to conduct strike on Iranian consulate in Damascus

The attack targeted the Nevatim airbase, an Iranian army official said, stating that this is where Israel’s April 1 strike on the Iranian embassy complex in Damascus was launched from.

[The Israeli attack killed seven people. According to the US State Department, “An attack on an embassy is considered an attack on the country it represents.]

More than 300 projectiles – including around 170 drones and over 120 ballistic missiles – were fired toward Israel in the immense aerial attack overnight. However, “99%” of them were intercepted by Israel’s aerial defense systems and its “partners,” according to the Israeli military. Only “a small number” of ballistic missiles reached Israel.

The Guardian reports that the Iranian government said that as far as it was concerned the military operation was now over, saying it had struck most of the military targets it had intended as a reprisal for the Israeli assault

Chief of the Iranian general staff Gen Mohammad Bagheri said the only targets had been military and Iran had been acting in self-defence.

Iran’s foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said Tehran had informed the US that its attack on Israel would be “limited” and also told regional neighbours of its planned strikes 72 hours in advance.

Iran president Ebrahim Raisi urged Israel’s allies to appreciate that Iran’s actions had been “proportionate and responsible” in contrast to six months of Israeli breaches of international law.

Mohsen Abdollahi, a Tehran -based professor, said: “Iran’s defensive attacks against a decade of Israeli cyber and military attacks on civilian targets and individuals in Iran were limited and had the lowest human casualties – why? Because Iran did not want to expand the war in the region. The message of Iran’s attack is: ‘Stop the attack on Iran or you will face a real attack.’”

Abdolrasool Divsallar, an Iranian working for the UN Institute for Disarmament Research, said: “The only remaining way now to de-escalate and prevent a full-scale war in the Middle East is to convince Israel to refrain from response and avoid hitting back. The US, UK and EU could have a major role in conflict management now, instead of side-taking.”

[The US, France and Britain blocked a UN security council statement prepared the day after the strike on the Iranian consulate that would have criticised Israel for violating the sanctity of a diplomatic building.]

The New York Times reports: The U.S. military said that it had shot down dozens of the drones and missiles that Iran fired at Israel on Saturday, a strong demonstration that despite recent criticism of Israel’s conduct of the war in Gaza, Washington was firmly committed to protecting a key ally from Iran, a mutual adversary.

President Biden said that the United States had “helped Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles,” in part thanks to aircraft and military ships the Pentagon had moved to the region in the past week.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed that Britain had helped defend Israel against the Iranian attack, saying that Britain’s air force had shot down “a number of Iranian attack drones”

The cabinet of Jordan, a staunch critic of Israel’s war effort in Gaza, said on Sunday that its military had shot down aircraft and missiles that entered its airspace during the Iranian attack.

Middle East Eye reports: Israel likely used over $1billion worth of defensive systems to stop Iran’s attacks overnight, according to a former financial adviser to Israel’s military, Reem Aminoach, former financial adviser to the Israeli military’s chief of staff, in an interview with Israel’s Ynet news.

CNN reports: Iran has warned that it will respond with more force if Israel retaliates over this weekend’s strikes. “The Islamic Republic of Iran will not hesitate to exercise its inherent right of self-defense when required,” Iran’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN, Amir Saeid Iravani, said in a statement.

The statement also criticizes the United Nations Security Council for “failing to uphold international peace,” allowing Israel to “breach” established international norms and “escalate” regional tensions.

CNN reports: US President Joe Biden will meet with G7 leaders Sunday “to coordinate a united diplomatic response to Iran’s brazen attack,” according to a statement released by the White House.

My team will engage with their counterparts across the region. And we will stay in close touch with Israel’s leaders…And while we have not seen attacks on our forces or facilities today, we will remain vigilant to all threats and will not hesitate to take all necessary action to protect our people.

British journalist Jonathan Cook writes: “

Israel incited the Hamas attack on October 7 because for 17 years it throttled Gaza, destroying its economy and denying its people the most basic freedoms, and executed or kneecapped any Palestinian who tried to protest – all in breach of international law.

* Israel incited Iran’s missile strike tonight because it goaded Iran over and over again, killing its citizens with impunity, violating its sovereignty, and making a mockery of its national security – all in breach of international law.

* Israel left Hamas and Iran with a stark choice: either continue to be serially humiliated or strike back. When they finally did strike back, Israel, the US and Europe denounced them both for supposed ‘aggression’.

US experts have suggested that Israel’s provocative attack was intended to involve the US in a war against Iran:

[More info here}

Israel v. Gaza

Israeli army conducted 16 massacres in Gaza per day since Oct. 7

Andalou Agency reports: The Israeli army has been committing an average of 16 massacres daily in the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7 where it has been carrying out attacks for over six months, according to the Gaza government.

The Gaza government’s Media Office issued a statement detailing the 190-day-long bombardment carried out by Israel on Gaza.

The statement reported that the Israeli army has committed “2,973 massacres in the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7, 2023.”

The report stated that during the Israeli military’s assaults on the Gaza Strip, 14,560 children and 9,582 women were killed.

Additionally, 7,000 individuals are either trapped under the rubble or missing, with hospitals receiving a total of 33,686 fatalities and 76,309 individuals sustaining injuries.

It was reported that 72% of those exposed to Israeli attacks in Gaza are women and children.

It was highlighted that in Gaza, where Israel’s actions have led to starvation, a humanitarian crisis has emerged due to the blockade of aid.

Read more here.

Gazans make their way north in an attempt to return to their homes
Gazans make their way north in an attempt to return to their homes (photo)

Israeli army shells hundreds of displaced Palestinians returning to northern Gaza

Andalou Agency reports: The Israeli army on Sunday shelled hundreds of displaced Palestinians trying to return to their homes in the northern Gaza Strip.

An Anadolu correspondent reported that Israeli artillery shelling targeted hundreds of displaced Palestinians during their attempts to return to the northern Gaza Strip. There were no initial reports of casualties.

Earlier on Sunday, the Israeli army spokesman Avichay Adraee wrote on X: “Reports on Israeli army forces allowing the return of the Palestinian population to the northern Gaza Strip area are false and completely baseless rumors.”

“The Israeli army does not allow the return of residents, neither through Salah al-Din Street nor through Al-Rashid Street Street.”

Adraee warned the Palestinians against approaching the Israeli forces operating in the northern Gaza Strip.

“The northern Gaza Strip is still a war zone and we will not allow a return to it,” he added.

Israel and its allies v. truth, peace

‘They bury the evidence and silence the witnesses’

Al Jazeera reports: Ghassan Abu-Sitta, a British Palestinian doctor who volunteered in Gaza hospitals during the first weeks of Israel’s war, says he was denied entry to Germany after being interrogated at the airport and banned from participating in a conference where he was scheduled to give testimony of his experience in the Strip.

“Upon arrival, I was stopped at the passport office, escorted to the basement of the airport and questioned for around 3.5 hours,” Abu-Sitta told the Middle East Eye.

Abu-Sitta claimed that following the interrogation, German authorities said he was not allowed to enter the country and warned him of a fine or up to one year in prison should he have tried to link via Zoom or Facetime with the event.

“This is exactly what accomplices to a crime do. They bury the evidence, and they silence or harass or intimidate the witnesses,” Abu-Sitta said.

Germany bans former Greek finance minister over Gaza

Middle East Monitor reports: Germany’s Interior Ministry has issued a ban against former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis from entering the country in what has been condemned as an attack on free speech and an authoritarian overreach by the government.

Varoufakis was set to speak at the Palestine Congress in Berlin. German authorities extended the ban to digital participation, preventing him from delivering his speech via Zoom or a video recording as German police cracked down on the event and eventually cancelled it. Varoufakis has, nonetheless, posted his speech online advocating for universal human rights in Israel-Palestine.

Varoufakis’ important speech is below.

More on the topic:
Mondoweiss: Police raid Berlin conference as repression of Palestine activism escalates in Germany
Owen Jones video: Germany Arrests Jewish Activists, Shuts Down Palestine Congress, Acts Deranged

‘Enough! Stop!’: Pope calls for an end to Gaza conflict

Al Jazeera reports: Pope Francis has called for an immediate end to the war in Gaza. “May there be an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, where a humanitarian catastrophe is ongoing. May aid be allowed to reach the Palestinian people who are suffering greatly, and may the hostages taken in October be released,” the 87-year-old said in a message to the Al Arabiya network to mark the end of the Ramadan that was released by the Vatican.

Francis also cited “war-torn Syria, Lebanon and the entire Middle East”.

“Enough! Stop!” said the pope.

“Please, put an end to the clash of arms and think of the children, all the children, as you do your own children. They need homes, parks and schools, not tombs and mass graves.”

In northern Gaza, Palestinians are surviving on an average of 245 calories a day since January, Oxfam reports, and the Nutrition Cluster estimates that more than 50,000 children under five are acutely malnourished.
In northern Gaza, Palestinians are surviving on an average of 245 calories a day since January, Oxfam reports, and the Nutrition Cluster estimates that more than 50,000 children under five are acutely malnourished. (photo)

Where do the Gaza ceasefire negotiations stand?

Al Jazeera reports: Hamas said on Saturday it had delivered its response to the latest proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza and a prisoner exchange deal.

The group did not explicitly reject the draft deal but reiterated its longstanding demands for a permanent ceasefire and the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip, which Israeli officials have repeatedly opposed.

Hamas has demanded a “clear written commitment” that Israel would withdraw from the Gaza Strip during the second of a three-phase ceasefire deal, with an unnamed official telling Reuters: “We confirm our readiness to reach a deal regarding a serious exchange of prisoners between the two sides.”

Israeli PM Netanyahu, who insists on launching a ground invasion of Rafah in southern Gaza, accused Hamas on Saturday of being the “only obstacle” to the deal.

Israel v. West Bank

3 Palestinians Killed; 55 Wounded Since Friday in West Bank as settler attacks escalate

IMEMC reports: The Ministry of Health announced on Saturday evening that three Palestinian civilians had been killed in the West Bank, since dawn on Friday, bringing the number of civilians killed in the West Bank since the seventh of October 2023 to 463 killed, in addition to the injury of more than 4,800 Palestinians. This is separate from the over 34,000 Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip since October 7th – including nearly 15,000 children.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported the murder of two young men, Mohammad Issam Shahmawi (22 years old) and Mohammad Rasoul Daraghmeh (26 years old) by the Israeli occupation forces in Tubas, and Jihad Afif Sidqi Abu Alia (25 years old) in the village of Al-Mughayir, northeast of Ramallah, following an attack by Israeli paramilitary colonizers and Israeli occupation forces on the village, on Friday.

According to the Israeli paper Ha’aretz, a 14-year-old Israeli boy, Binyamin Ahimeir, went missing on Friday morning, after he went out to herd sheep near the colony of Malachei HaShalom in the West Bank, where he and his family lived on stolen Palestinian land. His body was later found by a police drone, and Israeli authorities declared it a ‘terror attack’.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health indicated that hospitals in the West Bank dealt with more than 55 injuries, most of whom were wounded by the Israeli occupation forces and the Israeli paramilitary settlers in the neighborhood, including about 10 serious injuries, in addition to dozens of injuries that ambulance crews dealt with in the field.

Since Friday, the Israeli paramilitary settlers continued their terrorist attacks, under the protection of the Israeli occupation forces, against several Palestinian villages and towns, especially in southern Nablus and northeast of Ramallah, in conjunction with the escalation of the incursions of the Israeli occupation forces into cities, villages and camps in the various northern governorates.

NOTE: As of Sunday morning, the violence continues: read from Palestine Chronicle: Palestinian Teenager Killed as Settlers Continue Rampage on West Bank
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.


Palestinian death toll from October 7 – April 13: at least 34,582* (34,108 in Gaza* (at least 14,560 children, 9,582 women), and at least 474 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 40,042 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 2.2 million (out of total population of 2.3 million) are facing Crisis, Emergency, or Catastrophic levels of food insecurity.

Palestinian injuries from October 7 – April 13: at least 80,933 (including at least 75,933 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 – April 13: ~1,407 (~1,139 on October 7, 2023, of which ~574 were civilians, 373 or 337 were security and/or military forces, ~32 were Americans, and ~36 were children); 259 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.

For more news, go here and hereBroadcast news from the region is here.

Hover over each bar for exact numbers.

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