Israel undecided about Iran response, but carries on against Gaza, West Bank – Day 191

Israel undecided about Iran response, but carries on against Gaza, West Bank – Day 191

Northern Gaza starts to eat again; others unearth dead bodies; Rafah attack postponed; Gaza land stolen as “buffer zone”; Iran accuses US, others, of hypocrisy; Israeli diplomat accuses Iran of Nazism; questions of whether and how Israel will respond to Iran’s retaliation; West Bank attacks, deaths continue; after all this, Biden pushes for extra Israel funding

By IAK staff, from reports


Flour, other food supplies increasingly available in northern Gaza–for now

Al Jazeera reports: Moath al-Kahlout, reporting from Jabalia, northern Gaza, says markets are witnessing a small recovery after flour, food and supplies entered through al-Rashid Street.

“Finally, you can see flour in the markets, food, tomatoes and potatoes. Sellers have something to offer after more than half a year of being closed and markets destroyed,” he said.

“They have expensive products, but the prices are dropping every day, so today’s prices are cheaper than yesterday’s.”

He added that while the influx of flour is alleviating the long lines at the only bakery operating in Gaza City, people are still asking for the arrival of more trucks to solve the humanitarian problem.

Palestinians wait in long queues for hours in order to buy bread in Gaza City
Palestinians wait in long queues for hours in order to buy bread in Gaza City (photo)

Gazans discover bodies under sand mounds in Beit Lahia

Al Jazeera reports: The withdrawal of Israeli forces from northern Gaza revealed the bodies, which were discovered under mounds the forces had erected in northern Gaza.

The bodies were shown in a video published by Palestinian journalist Hossam Shabat and verified by Al Jazeera.

“The land had served as a temporary cemetery, and Israeli forces constructed their base by excavating the land and placing their sand barriers on top of the deceased bodies,” Shabbat wrote on social media alongside a video of the sand mounds.

In the video, several Palestinians can be seen digging the bodies out from underneath the sand and placing them on white burial cloths.

Netanyahu postpones military offensive in Rafah

Andalou Agency reports: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to postpone the ground invasion of the city of Rafah in southern Gaza Strip, following an unprecedented retaliatory attack by Iran on Israel, the country’s public broadcaster reported on Sunday.

Claiming it to be “the last stronghold of Hamas,” Netanyahu has insisted on invading Rafah, where around 1.4 million displaced Palestinians have taken refuge from the incessant attacks.

Despite growing international outcry over the invasion plan, the prime minister last week, “This victory requires entry into Rafah and the elimination of the terrorist battalions there. It will happen – there is a date.”

According to the public broadcaster, the postponement of the ground operation came after consultations with the Israeli security apparatus.

Destruction in the vicinity of Al Shifa Hospital, Gaza, April 2, 2024
Destruction in the vicinity of Al Shifa Hospital, Gaza, April 2, 2024 (photo)

Ha’aretz reports: A UN Satellite Center report published last week examined the destruction and damage caused to buildings within a kilometer of the Israeli border, where the army is methodically demolishing structures.

It found that 90 percent of the structures within the buffer zone have been destroyed or damaged since the images were last analyzed on February 29. That translates into 3,033 buildings completely demolished, 327 seriously damaged and 266 moderately damaged, according to the report.

The actual number in the buffer zone could be higher. Haaretz recently published an analysis indicating that the damage from the project extends 1,200 meters from the border, which is 200 meters further than the area the report analyzed.

NOTE: If fully realized, the buffer zone would reportedly reduce the area of the 25-mile-long enclave by 16%. The Biden administration is opposed to the plan and has warned against any proposal that would threaten the territorial integrity of the Gaza Strip, which at around 140 square miles is about the size of Philadelphia. In some places, the strip is less than 4 miles wide.
According to UN human rights chief Volker Turk, “Destructions carried out to create a ‘buffer zone’ for general security purposes do not appear consistent with the narrow ‘military operations’ exception set out in international humanitarian law.”


US, UK, France have shown ‘hypocritical behavior’: Iran’s ambassador

Al Jazeera reports: Iran’s ambassador to the UN, Amir Saeid Iravani, said, “In response to the Israeli regime’s recurring military aggression, particularly its armed attack on April 1 2024 against Iranian diplomatic premises” and in line with the second article of the UN charter, the Iranian military “carried out a series of military strikes on Israeli military objectives” using missiles and drones.

The operation, he said, “was entirely in the exercise of Iran’s inherent right to self-defense”.

He then highlighted the US, UK and France as having chosen “to turn a blind eye to reality and overlook the root causes contributing to the current situation”.

“In hypocritical behavior, these three countries falsely blamed and accused Iran without considering their own failures: to uphold the international commitment to peace and security in the region.

“They made unsuccessful attempts to use lies, manipulate the narrative, spread disinformation and engage in a destructive blame game.

“For over six months now, these countries, especially the United States, have shielded Israel from any responsibility for the Gaza massacre.

“While they have denied Iran the inherent right to self-defense against the Israeli armed attack on our diplomatic premises, at the same time, they shamefully justified a massacre and genocide against the defenseless Palestinian people”.

No direct Israeli injuries were reported from Iran's overnight missile attack on Israel
No direct Israeli injuries were reported from Iran’s overnight missile attack on Israel (photo)

Israel’s ambassador compares Iran with Nazis

Israel National News reports: Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, says: “From the moment I began my tenure here, in every speech and in countless letters, I rang the warning bell regarding Iran.

“I called on this council to take concrete action against the Ayatollah regime. I made it clear that Iran and its hegemonic ambitions of global domination must be stopped before it drives the world to a point of no return, to a regional war that can escalate to a world war.

“Last night, the world witnessed an unprecedented escalation that serves as the clearest proof for what happens when warnings aren’t heeded.”

He then said that Iran’s goal “has been and continues to be world domination by exporting its radical [Shia] revolution across the globe”.

“The Islamic regime of today is no different from the Third Reich and Khamenei is no different from Adolf Hitler,” he added.

US won’t join any Israeli retaliation against Iran, says US official

Israeli cabinet wants response to Iran attack, divided over timing and scale

IMEMC: In One Month, Israel Killed 60 Palestinians From One Family
Ha’aretz: Netanyahu Owes an Apology Not Just to Biden, but to Jordan Too
The Hill: Majority of Americans want Biden to encourage Israel to cease or reduce military action in Gaza
IMEMC News Reports


Palestinian death toll from October 7 – April 14: 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 14: 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 14: ~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.

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