Israel has now killed over 24,000 Palestinians – Day 97

Israel has now killed over 24,000 Palestinians – Day 97

Brief summary of Israel’s defense against allegations of genocide (with citations); another Gaza hospital crisis; West Bank deaths; Houthis attacked, their message ignored

Judges at the International Court of Justice attend a hearing of the genocide case against Israel brought by South Africa in The Hague
Judges at the International Court of Justice attend a hearing of the genocide case against Israel brought by South Africa in The Hague (photo)

Brief summary of Israel’s defense against allegations of genocide – with citations

(for a summary of Thursday’s arguments by South Africa, go here):

  • In Israel’s opening statements, Tal Becker, legal adviser of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, alleged that South Africa’s argument had “ignored” the events of October 7 and that Israel had the right to defend itself. He implied that nothing from before October 7 is relevant, when in fact Israel has been occupying, oppressing, and committing apartheid against Palestinians since the birth of the state (see this and this, for example).
  • Becker also stated that the court should apply provisional measures against South Africa, accusing it of maintaining close ties with Hamas, implying that South Africa is a partner in the genocide of Israelis. As many countries and organizations have pointed out, however, it is the United States that is colluding with Israel in genocide (see this and this, for example).
  • Malcolm Shaw, a British professor of international law, argued against South Africa’s claim the two countries were in a “dispute” instead labelling it a “unispute.” In fact many countries and human rights orgs, and even the Pope, have denounced Israel’s actions (see this and this, for example).
  • Galit Raguan, acting director of the international justice division at Israel’s Justice Ministry, blamed Hamas for the high civilian toll in Gaza and asserted that Israel had not bombed hospitals, despite ample evidence to the contrary (see this and this, for example).
  • Christopher Staker, an international lawyer previously on the criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, claimed that Israel had facilitated humanitarian aid, despite the fact that multiple human rights orgs on the ground – and US senators – have asserted that Israel is making the delivery of aid nearly impossible (see this and this, for example).
  • Gilad Noam, Israel’s deputy attorney general for international affairs, argued against the use of provisional measures, listing several reasons, including that Hamas had committed “a large-scale terrorist attack,” without acknowledging the many reports that indicate Israel was responsible for many of the violent deaths that day (see this and this, for example).
  • The defense claimed that October 7 included rape and other allegations that have long ago been debunked (see this and this, for examples).
  • The defense showed photos of weapons that had allegedly been found inside hospitals, even inside an incubator, although previous similar claims have been debunked (see this and this for example). Targeting hospitals is a war crime.
  • The defense claimed that Israel is and always has been committed to compliance with international law, a statement that flies in the face of all evidence (see this and this, for example).
  • The defense defended Israelis’ genocidal statements by declaring that comments, even “troubling and obscene,” are an exercise of free speech, but that a comment calling for harm to civilians is contradictory to Israel’s policy, and could be investigated – although even Israel’s prime minister and high level cabinet members repeatedly made such statements (see this and this, for example).

Following Israel’s defense at the International Court of Justice Ronald Lamola, who led the South African delegation, told reporters in The Hague: that Israel had “failed to disprove” the genocide complaint. “No matter what some individual within the group of Palestine and Gaza may have done, and no matter how great the threat to Israel citizens might be, genocidal attacks on the whole of Gaza … with the intent of destroying them cannot be justified at all.”

“We believe and remain very confident that those facts [are] still in violation of the Genocide Convention,” he added.

RECOMMENDED READING: Israel’s Assault on Gaza Is Unlike Any War in Recent Memory

An official from Israel’s Foreign Ministry has expressed appreciation to the German government after it announced that it would speak in Israel’s defense as a third party at the International Court of Justice, denying charges that Israel is committing genocidal acts in Gaza. The official called Germany a “true friend”.

Euromed Monitor reported on Jan 9

The Israeli army has killed 2,124 Palestinians and injured 3,463 others since South Africa filed a lawsuit in the International Court for Justice (ICJ) on 29 December 2023, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said on Tuesday. The lawsuit accuses Israel of committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, in violation of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Since the suit’s filing, the Israeli army has carried out almost 16 massacres per day during its military attacks against inhabited homes, the majority of which have included displaced people. Each attack has destroyed homes above the heads of the residents inside, killing and wounding dozens of civilians.

Euro-Med Monitor pointed out that the killings, executions, and sniping operations carried out by the Israeli army in shelters, hospitals, and streets have mainly targeted civilians, stressing that 70% of the victims have been women and children.

Israel continues to pound southern Gaza more than three months into the war
Israel continues to pound southern Gaza more than three months into the war (photo)

Al-Aqsa Hospital, in the central area of the Gaza Strip, is in a full blackout, as the fuel for the generators has completely run out. The hospital contains hundreds of patients who are in very desperate need of electricity to keep them provided with medical treatment, as well as displaced people.

A group of babies are in a very risky situation right now, as they might lose their lives if this blackout continues.

The vicinity of the hospital had been widely attacked by the Israeli military as a number of residential buildings there had been destroyed, alongside the fact that the hospital exists in an area that is considered to be a battle zone.

Targeting hospitals is a war crime.

WEST BANK: Wafa reports that Israeli troops conducted another lengthy raid of the Nur Shams refugee camp. They left behind widespread damage to sanitation, water, and electricity infrastructure. A spokesperson for the municipality said, “There is no street inside the camp or alley that has not been destroyed.”

Israeli forces killed two Palestinians in separate incidents Friday – one from gunshots, one from beating – according to Wafa.

According to the Associated Press, the Israeli army said Friday it also killed three Palestinian men who infiltrated a West Bank settlement and fired upon soldiers who were patrolling the settlement of Adora. They returned fire, killing three men, according to Israel’s Army Radio.

Israeli settlements and settlers on Palestinian land are a violation of international law.

The Palestinian Health Ministry says Israeli forces have killed 344 Palestinians in the West Bank since Oct. 7.

Latest on the Houthi issue

Bloomberg reports: President Joe Biden faces the biggest test yet of his ability to avert a wider war in the Middle East following US-led air strikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen aimed at halting their campaign of attacks on shipping traffic in the Red Sea.

In the early hours of Friday morning Yemen time, the US and the UK launched airstrikes on more than 60 Houthi targets, escalating a conflict with an Iranian-backed militia responsible for attacks that have disrupted commercial shipping for nearly two months. The strikes were by far the most wide-ranging military action undertaken by the US in recent months.

Pentagon spokesperson Pat Ryder said that attacks by the US and the UK targeted “military targets inside Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen that included missile storage facilities, UAV storage facilities, coastal radar, all targets intended to degrade and destruct their ability to conduct these kinds of reckless attacks in the future”.

Yahya Saree, spokesperson for the Houthis, says the US and UK bear full responsibility for “criminal aggression” against the Yemeni people and their attacks will not go unanswered or unpunished.

“The American-British enemy, as part of its support for the continuation of Israeli crime in Gaza, launched a brutal aggression against the Republic of Yemen with seventy-three raids, targeting the capital, Sana’a, and the governorates of Hodeidah, Taiz, Hajjah, and Saada,” Saree said in a press statement. “The raids led to the death of five individuals and the wounding of six others.”

“The aggression will not deter us from our position supporting the Palestinian people,” he added.

In remarks on the campaign trail, US President Joe Biden said, “I don’t think there’s any civilian casualties, that’s another reason why [the attack on locations in Yemen] a success,” Biden said during a campaign trip on Friday.

Notably, Biden also refused to believe the Gaza Health Ministry’s death toll.

Tens of thousands of Yemenis gathered in several cities to hear their leaders condemn US and British attacks on their country in response to attacks by Houthis on Red Sea shipping. “Your strikes on Yemen are terrorism,” said Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a member of the Houthi Supreme Political Council, referring to the US. “The United States is the Devil.”

The Houthis began attacking shipping lanes and firing drones and missiles towards Israel, saying they would not stop until Israel’s offensive on Gaza, launched after Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, stopped.

The Houthi Minister of Defense Muhammad Nasser al-Atifi says in a statement via Yemen’s news agency Saba that the group is “ready to deter and respond” after its positions were attacked by the US and UK early this morning. 

Meanwhile, the Houthi’s foreign ministry said that it “holds America and Britain responsible for threatening navigation and international trade”.

It called the attacks by both countries “a miserable attempt to cover up the war crimes and genocide committed by the Israeli enemy against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip”.

RECOMMENDED READING: Who are the Houthis? A simple guide to the Yemeni group

US President Joe Biden has said that he is worried that ongoing fighting in the Middle East could impact the price of oil.

Oil prices ticked up slightly on Friday following a series of strikes by the US and the UK on the Houthis in Yemen, prompting concerns of wider regional escalation.

Reuters: U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday called Yemen’s Houthi forces a “terrorist” group, after American and British warplanes, ships and submarines launched dozens of air strikes across Yemen overnight. Biden said Washington will respond to the Houthis if they continued behavior that he called “outrageous.”

London and Washington say their strikes in Yemen were in retaliation for months of attacks by the movement on Red Sea shipping.

The reason for the Houthi threat, which Western powers appear not to be addressing, is Israel’s brutal war against Gaza.

RECOMMENDED READING (Mondoweiss): White House strategy to counter Islamophobia means nothing while funding the slaughter of Muslims abroad


Palestinian death toll: at least 24,708* (over 10,000 children). This does not include an estimated 7,000 more still buried under rubble (4,900 women and children). Euro-Med Monitor reports 30,676 Palestinian deaths.

*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.

About 1.9 million people have been displaced (about 85% of the population).

Palestinian injuries: at least 63,264** (including at least 60,005 in Gaza** and 4,157 in the West Bank). **NOTE: it is impossible to provide 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**.

Reported Israeli death: ~1,346, including 32 Americans, and 6,499 injured, approximately 33 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 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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