Israeli forces massacre Gazans, attack Palestinian worshipers as Ramadan begins – Day 156

Israeli forces massacre Gazans, attack Palestinian worshipers as Ramadan begins – Day 156

Ramadan is off to rough start; Children being starved at fastest rate; 200,000 Gazans dead? Rafah invasion will happen, but not imminent; Israeli sniper drone killed a Gazan boy, zoomed in for a close-up; Israel has decimated education, infrastructure in Gaza; over 1/4 of Gazans face catastrophic hunger; Netanyahu says “make room in the prisons – many new inmates expected; more

By IAK staff, from reports

WEST BANK/EAST JERUSALEM – Al Jazeera reports: Thousands of Israeli forces have been deployed around the narrow streets of the Old City in al-Quds, where tens of thousands of worshippers are expected every day at the holy compound, according to Israeli Army Radio.

The Israeli army is deploying 24 battalions, 20 MGB companies and two special units in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, as well as 5,000 reservists already stationed in the Palestinian territories.

AL AQSA –Middle East Monitor reports: Israeli occupation forces prevented hundreds of Palestinian worshippers from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque and beat a number of them as they tried to reach the Muslim holy site on the first night of Ramadan, eyewitnesses reported.

Only Palestinians aged over 40 were allowed into Al-Aqsa Sunday to perform Taraweeh prayers.

The eyewitnesses reported that Israeli occupation forces attacked worshippers and prevented them from entering through Bab Al-Majlis, one of the gates of Al-Aqsa, last night.

Earlier yesterday, the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tasked himself with making the decision on whether or not occupation forces would storm Al-Aqsa during the month of Ramadan.

Over the past few weeks, Israel’s internal security service, Shin Bet, and the army called on Netanyahu to make the decision himself because of the possible consequences of such a move, according to the authority.

It believed that this is a result of their lack of confidence in National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.

Translation: A very bad start to Ramadan. Police beat with batons praying people at the Al-Aqsa gate before the first Taraweeh prayer. It has been proven once again who the real prime minister is in this country.

MEDICAL AID CEO MELANIE WARD TELLS CNN “children are being starved at the fastest rate the world has ever seen.”

RALPH NADER CONCLUDES: “From accounts of people on the ground, videos and photographs of deadly episode after episode, plus the resultant mortalities from blocking or smashing the crucial necessities of life, a more likely estimate, in my appraisal, is that at least 200,000 Palestinians must have perished by now and the toll is accelerating by the hour.

ISRAEL ON POSSIBLE RAFAH INVASION – CNN reports: An Israeli offensive into Rafah is not imminent, multiple Israeli officials said Monday.

While the necessary force build-up could be enacted in short order, a major civilian evacuation is expected to take at least two weeks, the officials said.

And the Israeli cabinet has not yet signed off on plans submitted by the Israel Defense Forces for an evacuation and incursion, officials on both the military and political sides said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said he would push ahead with a military offensive in Rafah, where 1.5 million displaced Palestinians are sheltering, despite US President Joe Biden’s warning that doing so would be a “red line.”

Netanyahu said the operation in the southern city would not last more than two months, but did not provide specifics on the timeline.

Khan Younis, March 9
Khan Younis, March 9 (photo)

ISRAELI SNIPER DRONEAl Jazeera has obtained photos of an Israeli drone that captured the moment soldiers sniped an unarmed Palestinian boy in the northern Gaza Strip. The images were obtained from the camera of an Israeli drone that was later shot down in northern Gaza.

The incident took place during the forces’ incursion into the vicinity of Al Fakhoura School in Jabalia refugee camp last December.

The Israeli drone photographed the defenseless Palestinian boy covered in his blood after being sniped before taking close-up pictures of him.

Palestinians line up for food in Rafah, Gaza Strip, in December.
Palestinians line up for food in Rafah, Gaza Strip, in December. (photo)

EDUCATION IN GAZA – Al Jazeera reports: According to Sadeq al-Khadour, a spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of Education, 52 students have been killed in the occupied West Bank since October 7, and another 10,000 students and faculty were wounded in the besieged coastal enclave.

“More than 261 faculty have been killed since the war began,” he told Al Jazeera. “Almost 286 out of 307 government school buildings sustained some damage.”

“We must remember that 620,000 students in the Gaza Strip have been out of school since October 7, including 320,000 in government facilities and 300,000 in UNRWA [UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees] and private schools.”

In one of the most infamous examples of Israel’s attacks on Palestinian educational institutions, footage showed the complete demolition of a Gaza university:

GAZA DESTRUCTION – Al Jazeera reports:  Asem al-Nabeh, a member of the Gaza Municipality’s emergency committee, told Al Jazeera that Israel has destroyed one million square meters of roads in Gaza City.

“Municipalities need machinery, heavy equipment and fuel,” he said, adding that the city has accumulated 70,000 tonnes (over 770,000 tons) of waste.

Nabih also said that while food aid that has arrived is important, it does not meet the needs of citizens. Groundwater reserves in Gaza are also in danger, he added.

“The per capita share of water in the Gaza municipality is now two liters per day,” he said.

Everyone in Gaza is unable to meet their food needs. More than a quarter are now experiencing catastrophic levels of hunger.
Everyone in Gaza is unable to meet their food needs. More than a quarter are now experiencing catastrophic levels of hunger. (graphic)

PALESTINIAN PRISONERS – Times of Israel reports: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed the finance, defense and national security ministers to prepare space for thousands of new detainees and prisoners in Israel’s prisons.

The directive comes after an IDF and Shin Bet assessment which concluded that thousands of “terror suspects and operatives” will be arrested in Gaza and the West Bank throughout 2024, which will lead to a lack of space in the prisons if preparations are not made.

NOTE: Israel is currently holding over 9,000 Palestinian prisoners in inhumane conditions where many are systematically tortured – 200 of them are children, 51 are women, and over 3,500 are administrative detainees – being held without charge or trial. Administrative detention is intended to be used only in “exceptional” circumstances, but Israel uses it widely. Read more here.

What resources were available in this Rafah are now depleted, and the displaced people there are largely reliant on sporadic, sparse aid deliveries and meals prepared by volunteer organizations.
What resources were available in this Rafah are now depleted, and the displaced people there are largely reliant on sporadic, sparse aid deliveries and meals prepared by volunteer organizations. (photo)

Other news & commentary:

Middle East Eye: How the “Fight Against Antisemitism” Became a Shield for Israel’s Genocide
New York Times: U.N. Human Rights Chief Warns That Israeli Settlements Could Amount to War Crimes
Al Jazeera: About 75 percent of Jewish Israelis back military operation in overcrowded Rafah
CNN: Israeli road splitting Gaza in two has reached the Mediterranean coast, satellite imagery shows
Palestine Chronicle: Send “World’s Armed Forces” to Escort Aid Trucks into Gaza – South Africa (VIDEO)
Unz Review: “The Jewish Roots of the Gaza Rampage”


Palestinian death toll from October 7 – March 10: at least 31,536* (31,112 in Gaza* (over 13,430 children, 9,000 women), and at least 424 in the West Bank (113 children). This does not include an estimated 7,000 more still buried under rubble (4,900 women and children). Euro-Med Monitor reports 39,178 Palestinian deaths.

At least 38 Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons (27 from Gaza, 11 from West Bank)

At least 25 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 10: at least 77,425 (including at least 72,760 in Gaza and 4,665 in the West Bank).

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

Reported Israeli death toll from October 7 – March 10: ~1,403 (~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); 249 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.

** Ralph Nader suggests 200,000 Palestinians must have perished; 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.

Enter your email address below to receive our latest articles right in your inbox.