Israel rejects 14-truck convoy of food aid, as Gazans starve – Day 151

Israel rejects 14-truck convoy of food aid, as Gazans starve – Day 151

Food aid convoy turned away after trend through February shows 75% rejection for northern Gaza aid; UNRWA reports on extensive abuse of Palestinian prisoners; another Gazan journalist killed; reports on ceasefire progress; Gallup poll shows Israel’s popularity is waning; West Bank deaths, arrests; New York Times piece on Hamas rape debunked again; Girl Scout troop harassed for supporting Gazan children; more

By IAK staff, from reports

GAZA – UNRWA reports that around 17,000 children in Gaza are orphaned.

NORTHERN GAZA AID – Israeli forces have turned back a 14-truck food aid convoy bound for northern Gaza following a three-hour wait at a checkpoint, according to the World Food Programme (WFP). The convoy was then rerouted, but later stopped by a large crowd of desperate people who took the food.

Later, the agency airdropped food for some 20,000 people into northern Gaza, which has almost been cut off from aid since late October.

Airdrops are a last resort and will not avert famine,” said Carl Skau, WFP’s deputy executive director. “We need entry points to northern Gaza that will allow us to deliver enough food for half a million people in desperate need.”

A view of a truck carrying food that, according to Thomas White, Director of UNRWA Affairs Gaza, was hit by Israeli naval gunfire, in this picture obtained from social media on February 5.
A view of a truck carrying food that, according to Thomas White, Director of UNRWA Affairs Gaza, was hit by Israeli naval gunfire, in this picture obtained from social media on February 5. (photo)

NORTHERN GAZA AID – OCHA reports: In February, the UN and its humanitarian partners planned 24 missions to areas north of Gaza, of which six (25%) were facilitated. This stands in stark contrast to January, when 61 missions were planned to the north, with nine (15%) facilitated.

The decrease in planned and facilitated missions was primarily the result of an operational pause taken after a UN-coordinated food convoy was directly hit by Israeli naval fire on 5 February while waiting at a holding point as required by the Israeli military.

This and other incidents led the UN and its partners to temporarily halt coordinated aid missions to the north of Gaza, to allow the Israeli military to produce a framework that would adequately safeguard UN personnel, partners, and contractors from the risk of attack, abuse, or detainment by the Israeli military.

However, when little progress was shown, the UN nevertheless attempted two food convoys to the north on 18 and 19 February; but the lack of law and order – and aggressive stance by the Israeli military towards approaching crowds – necessitated the renewal of the pause.

PRISONER ABUSE – The Guardian reports: An internal UN report describes widespread abuse of Palestinian detainees in Israeli detention centers. The report was compiled by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA) and is largely based on interviews of Palestinian detainees released at the Kerem Shalom crossing point since December, when UNRWA staff were present to provide humanitarian support.

The report says that just over 1,000 detainees have been released since December. But it estimates that more than 4,000 men, women and children have been rounded up in Gaza since the start of the current conflict.

The UNRWA report says: “Methods of ill-treatment reported included physical beatings, forced stress positions for extended periods of time, threats of harm to detainees and their families, attacks by dogs, insults to personal dignity and humiliation such as being made to act like animals or getting urinated on, use of loud music and noises, deprivation of water, food, sleep and toilets, denial of the right to practice their religion (to pray) and prolonged use of tightly locked handcuffs causing open wounds and friction injuries.

“The beatings included blunt force trauma to the head, shoulders, kidneys, neck, back and legs with metal bars and the butts of guns and boots, in some cases resulting in broken ribs, separated shoulders and lasting injuries,” the report alleges.

The report also said that among the 1,002 detainees released since December at the Kerem Shalom crossing, there were 29 children as young as six, 80 women, and 21 UNRWA staff. Some had Alzheimer’s or were cancer patients.

(Read the full article here.)

RECOMMENDED READING (If Americans Knew): Israeli rapes of Palestinian women and children, past & present
RECOMMENDED READING (If Americans Knew): No Access, No Information: Thousands of Gazans “Forcibly Disappeared” by Israeli Forces 

JOURNALIST DEATHJournalist Mohamed Salama, broadcaster on Al-Aqsa satellite channel was killed in the bombing of a house in the city of Deir al-Balah, according to the Government Media Office, bringing the number of journalist killed in Gaza since the war began on October 7 to 133.

Journalists working in conflict areas are protected under international humanitarian law.

FACTOID – Rosena Allin-Khanm, a Labour member of the UK Parliament, says that Israeli authorities have denied entry of a British shipment of water filters and solar lights to Gaza.

Buildings destroyed by Israeli strikes in the Nuseirat refugee camp
Buildings destroyed by Israeli strikes in the Nuseirat refugee camp (photo)

CEASEFIRE – In a press conference, Hamas official Osama Hamdan said, there will be no prisoner exchange until after the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. If the conditions of resistance are not met, the prisoners issue is not on the table. … It is Israel that is blocking the reaching of a ceasefire agreement in the Gaza Strip.

He also had a message for Washington: rather than dropping aid, stop the supply of weapons to Israel.

CEASEFIRE – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, we have an opportunity for an immediate ceasefire that can bring the hostages home and dramatically increase the amount of aid that gets into Gaza. It is on Hamas to make decisions about whether it is prepared to engage in that ceasefire.

RECOMMENDED READING (If Americans Knew): An open letter to VP Kamala Harris on the occasion of her ceasefire speech

CEASEFIRE – Al Jazeera reports: Three days of negotiations over a ceasefire in Gaza held in the Egyptian capital Cairo have ended without a breakthrough, less than a week before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Jihad Taha, a Hamas spokesperson, said the negotiations were continuing, but “the ball is in the Israeli court.” He told The Associated Press news agency that Israel had refused Hamas’s demands for people who fled northern Gaza to be allowed to return and for guarantees of a ceasefire and full withdrawal.

“Hamas is open to proposals and initiatives that are consistent with its position calling for a ceasefire, withdrawal, the return of the displaced, the entry of relief convoys and reconstruction,” Taha said.

Two Egyptian officials said that Hamas presented a proposal that mediators would discuss with Israel in the coming days.

Demonstrators protest in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, October 21
Demonstrators protest in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, October 21 (photo)

AMERICANS POLLED – A new Gallup poll published Monday shows how much Israel’s image has declined: 58 percent of Americans have a “very” or “mostly favorable” view of Israel, which is down from 68 percent last year. This is the lowest favorable rating for Israel in over two decades.

Young American adults, the poll highlights, “show the biggest decline in ratings of Israel, dropping from 64 percent favorable among 18- to 34-year-olds in 2023 to 38 percent. Middle-aged adults (those aged 35 to 54) show a smaller but still significant drop, from 66 percent to 55 percent.”

Majorities of young adults (53%) and Democrats (57%) believe the U.S. should put more pressure on the Israelis, while about half as many in each group — 27% and 24%, respectively — think the U.S. should pressure the Palestinians more.

WEST BANK – WAFA reports: The Israeli occupation forces shot and killed Palestinian Muhammad Hisham Shehada, age 16, in the town of Huwwara, south of Nablus, according to local sources. He was shot in the head; the sources reported that the military forces prevented the ambulance crews from approaching the injured teenager.

According to The Times of Israel, Shehada allegedly stabbed a man before he was shot. The man is in critical condition.

WEST BANK – WAFA reports: A young Palestinian youth, Nooruddin Ibrahim Yasin, age 18, succumbed to critical wounds he sustained during an Israeli military incursion into the Jenin area in the occupied West Bank, on February 29.

WEST BANK – The Palestine Red Crescent Society says that since October 7, Israeli occupation forces have committed 427 violations against its medical missions operating in the occupied West Bank.

Under international law, Israel as an occupying power must facilitate the humanitarian mission of medical teams.

WEST BANK – The Israeli army has re-arrested 11 Palestinian children and women released in November as part of a prisoner exchange deal with Hamas, the Prisoners Affairs Commission said.

Mainstream media routinely downplay Palestinian Gazan suffering and Israeli violence.
Mainstream media routinely downplay Palestinian suffering and Israeli violence. (photo)

MEDIA BIAS – The Intercept reports: After its bombshell debut in December, and subsequent discrediting on multiple platforms, the New York Times  article, “‘Screams Without Words’: How Hamas Weaponized Sexual Violence on Oct. 7,” has been further repudiated.

Two of the three victims specifically singled out by the New York Times were not in fact victims of sexual assault, according to the spokesperson for the Kibbutz Be’eri, which the Times identified as the location of the attack.

When asked about the claims made by the New York Times, Kibbutz Be’eri spokesperson Michal Paikin independently raised their names. “You’re talking about the Sharabi girls?” she said. “No, they just — they were shot. I’m saying ‘just,’ but they were shot and were not subjected to sexual abuse.”

Paikin also disputed the graphic and highly detailed claims of the Israeli special forces paramedic who served as the source for the allegation. “It’s not true,” she told The Intercept, referring to the paramedic’s claims about the girls. “They were not sexually abused.” (Read the full article here.)

HAMAS – Al Jazeera reports: Hamas has strongly rejected the report issued by UN official Pramila Patten regarding the allegation that Palestinian resistance fighters committed incidents of “rape and sexual violence” on October 7.

“Despite Patten’s claim and her false accusations against Palestinian resistance fighters, her report did not document any testimony from what she calls the victims of these cases, but rather relied in her report on Israeli institutions, soldiers, and witnesses who were chosen by the occupation authorities,” the statement said.

ISRAEL – Times of Israel reports: A man was stabbed on Neve Yaakov Street in northeast Jerusalem on Wednesday, medics say. The Magen David Adom ambulance service says the man, 64, is in good-to-moderate condition.

Ha’aretz update: The Israeli police arrested a 14-year-old Palestinian boy who they suspect carried out the attack and fled the scene, and allegedly found a knife in the vicinity.

Since Jan. 13, the members of former Girl Scouts Troop 149 have sold more than 2,000 friendship bracelets — totaling more than $10,000 in donations — to benefit child war victims in Gaza.
Since Jan. 13, the members of former Girl Scouts Troop 149 have sold more than 2,000 friendship bracelets — totaling more than $10,000 in donations — to benefit child war victims in Gaza. (photo)

GIRL SCOUTS – Associated Press reports: a Girl Scout Troop in Missouri was uncomfortable selling Girl Scout Cookies while people are starving in Gaza, and decided to make and sell bracelets the color of the Palestine flag, and donate the proceeds to the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, a U.S.-based charity.

The girls are of Pakistani, Indian, Somali, Syrian, Palestinian and Jordanian heritage; their leader is Palestinian-American.

In the past, troops have been allowed to raise funds to help victims of the Hawaii wildfires and the war in Ukraine.

Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri sent an email to the troop last month threatening legal action if they continued to sell the bracelets, according to the Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. That’s when the troop disbanded from the national organization.

The controversy has so boosted bracelet orders that the girls suspended sales last week because they couldn’t keep up. The leader, Nawal Abuhamdeh, invited members of the public to help them make bracelets at a mosque on Saturday, and about 100 volunteers showed up.

Thanks to that “solidarity and humanity,” they have raised more than $10,000, Abuhamdeh said.

PRIMARIES – In Minnesota’s Super Tuesday primary, almost 20 percent of Democratic voters, or over 45,000 individuals, voted “uncommitted.”

President Joe Biden speaks as he meets Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Jerusalem, Israel, July 14, 2022.
President Joe Biden speaks as he meets Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Jerusalem, Israel, July 14, 2022. (photo)


New report from B’Tselem: Since October 7th, Israel is drastically restricting movement in the West Bank

Al Jazeera: Israeli closures in Hebron Old City lead to economic paralysis: Official

Palestine Chronicle: ‘Comply with the Law’ – Canada Faces Lawsuit against Military Export to Israel

Social Media: Australia’s PM Referred to ICC Over Support for Israel


Palestinian death toll from October 7 – March 5: at least 31,469* (30,631 in Gaza* (over 13,430 children, 8,900 women), and at least 421 in the West Bank (107 children). This does not include an estimated 7,000 more still buried under rubble (4,900 women and children). Euro-Med Monitor reports 38,066 Palestinian deaths.

11 Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons

18 Palestinians 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 Famine levels of food insecurity.

Palestinian injuries from October 7 – March 5: at least 76,654** (including at least 72,043 in Gaza and 4,650 in the West Bank).

It remains unknown how many Americans are among the casualties in Gaza.

Reported Israeli death toll from October 7 – March 5: ~1,397 (~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); 245 military forces since the ground invasion began in Gaza;, 15 in the West Bank) 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.”

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.

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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