Israeli leaders angry that tortured Gazan prisoners were released, not that they were tortured – Day 269

Israeli leaders angry that tortured Gazan prisoners were released, not that they were tortured – Day 269

More testimonies of Israeli torture; Shujayea attack continues; Khan Younis evacuation orders; Israel plans “humanitarian bubbles” (i.e. more displacement) in Gaza as fighting continues; journalist killed; skin diseases on the rise in Gaza; West Bank woman and child killed; Israel plans ground operation in Lebanon; Israeli settler violence ongoing; widespread condemnation of Israel’s rampant home demolitions; ADL suing foreign countries; Israel needs 10K more soldiers; anti-encampment bill in Congress; more.

By IAK staff, from reports.

Freed Gaza hospital head accuses Israel of repeated torture:

The Guardian reports: The head of the Gaza Strip’s biggest hospital has accused Israel of torturing him and other detainees, following his release after seven months in Israeli prisons and detention facilities.

Mohammed Abu Salmiya, the director of al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, was among about 55 Palestinians freed and returned to Gaza on Monday, according to Israeli authorities.

Director of al-Shifa Hospital, Muhammad Abu Salmiya, recently released from Israeli detention, speaks about his experience and the plight of Palestinian prisoners. He was detained in November, while taking part in a United Nations mission to evacuate patients from the medical complex.
Director of al-Shifa Hospital, Muhammad Abu Salmiya, recently released from Israeli detention, speaks about his experience and the plight of Palestinian prisoners. He was detained in November, while taking part in a United Nations mission to evacuate patients from the medical complex. (screengrab)

The doctor, who had been held by Israel without charge since arrest at his workplace in November, said he and other prisoners were subjected to “almost daily torture,” including assaults with batons and dogs, deprivation of food and medicine, as well as physical and psychological humiliation. Some detainees reportedly had limbs amputated because of poor medical care.

Each prisoner reportedly lost about 30kg (66 pounds) of weight, with food being denied.

The claims could not be independently confirmed but matched other accounts of Palestinians who have been held in Israeli custody.

The release of Abu Salmiya prompted a political row in Israel, with the country’s most senior officials denying prior knowledge of the move.

Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel’s far-right national security minister, who controls the police and prison service, said the release of Abu Salmiya and others constituted “security negligence” and blamed the defense ministry, which denied responsibility. The opposition leader, Yair Lapid, said Abu Salmiya’s release was another sign of the government’s “lawlessness and dysfunction”.

ANDALOU AGENCY: Netanyahu described the release of Dr. Mohammad Abu Salmiya as “a severe mistake and an ethical failure,” according to a statement by his office, adding that Abu Salmiya “belongs in prison,” accusing him of being responsible for “holding and murdering” Israeli captives in Gaza.

THE CRADLE ADDS:  Abu Salmiya said that conditions in Israeli prisons are “tragic, unprecedented in Palestinian history, with severe food shortages and physical humiliation.”

“The Israeli occupation arrests everyone, and medical staff have died in Israeli prisons due to torture and a lack of medical care. The enemy has demonstrated its cruelty in dealing with prisoners and medical personnel. Hundreds of medical staff have been targeted and are being tortured in occupation prisons,” he added.

The hospital director also said that “even the Israeli doctors there [in jails] treat prisoners with cruelty and beat them… This occupation has abandoned all human values.”

FROM AL JAZEERA: Israeli leaders appear unfazed by the actual testimonies of torture, and instead are focused on who to blame for the release of these prisoners.

Released doctor’s life in danger after Israeli incitement: Monitor

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor expressed fear for the life of Dr Muhammad Abu Salmiya “after a storm of violent reactions in the Israeli government regarding his release”.

The rights group said in a statement that the doctor’s life could be in “serious danger” and warned of “the possibility of re-arresting him or targeting him and killing him directly and deliberately”.

“The release of the director of the medical complex and his colleagues without charges is evidence that the pretexts for storming and destroying the hospital are flimsy arguments,” it said.

Ground invasion of Gaza City’s Shujayea area continues for fifth day:

Al Jazeera reports: In central Gaza, there was intense Israeli artillery shelling in the eastern parts of Deir el-Balah.

The ground invasion continues in Gaza City’s Shujayea for the fifth consecutive day. It’s a densely populated area where some people were able to evacuate from but others stayed and were unable to leave; they were trapped in their houses.

People are injured and medical teams cannot reach them. There has been no water, no food for five days and the intensity of air strikes continues. Palestinians surrounding Shujayea are reporting that artillery shelling and air strikes did not stop. Israeli forces are blowing up a complete residential area.

Israeli army forces Palestinians to move to eastern Khan Younis:

The Israeli army instructed Palestinian residents and forcibly displaced people in eastern Khan Younis to move to a so-called “humanitarian zone” on the western side of the city. In the past, Israel has regularly attacked “humanitarian zones” to which it had told Palestinians to flee.

(Descriptions of some of the video footage from the above tweet can be found here.)

Man killed as Israel targets water plant in Gaza City:

Middle East Monitor reports: A man was killed after Israeli occupation forces destroyed a water desalination plant in the Zeitoun neighborhood of southern Gaza City today.

The man had been filling plastic containers with water in the area which is suffering from a severe shortage of water and food.

A GBU missile struck the building in which the plant occupied the ground floor, causing massive damage. Some 50,000 Palestinians relied on the plant for their water needs.

Israel plans to keep Palestinians captive in ‘humanitarian bubbles’ across Gaza:

The Cradle reports: Israel is reportedly preparing to create experimental “humanitarian enclaves” or “bubbles” as part of a plan to replace Hamas governance of Gaza following the current war.

Israel plans to launch a pilot for the scheme in the northern Gaza neighborhoods of Atatra, Beit Hanoun, and Beit Lahia.

Under the scheme, the Israeli military would allow aid to enter from the nearby Western Erez crossing to vetted local Palestinians, who would distribute the aid. The vetted Palestinians would then gradually take over civilian governance of the “bubble” while Israeli forces maintain military control.

If successful, Israel would then expand the enclaves southward to other parts of Gaza.

Israel believes it can use the bubbles to replace Hamas, which has governed the strip while under Israeli siege since 2007.

One person familiar with Israeli thinking said the plan was also a way to add pressure in negotiations for a ceasefire and captive swap.

The proposal has reportedly been “met with incredulity by many people briefed on the plans,” given the continued strength of Hamas’ armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, which continue to battle Israeli forces occupying the strip.

Another person with knowledge of the plan called it a “fantasy” project.

(Read more here.)

Palestinians continue to stream out of the Shujayea neighborhood of Gaza City, as Israeli attacks continue
Palestinians continue to stream out of the Shujayea neighborhood of Gaza City, as Israeli attacks continue (screengrab)

Another journalist killed in Gaza, total over 100

A statement by the office on Telegram says the number of media workers killed since the start of Israel’s war on Gaza has increased to 153.

The office said Muhammad Mahmoud Abu Sharia, a journalist at Shams News Agency, is the latest to be killed in Israel’s attacks.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has noted “an apparent pattern of targeting of journalists and their families by the Israeli military.”

NOTE: The Committee to Protect Journalsits (CPJ) reports that as of July 1, preliminary investigations showed Israeli attacks have killed at least 108 Palestinian journalists and media workers since October 7th.
CPJ is also investigating numerous unconfirmed reports of other journalists being killed, missing, detained, hurt, or threatened, and of damage to media offices and journalists’ homes.
Under international law, journalists are to enjoy full protection as civilians.
Read about the assassination by Israel of one of Palestine’s most beloved journalists, Shireen Abu Akleh, here.

Hepatitis, scabies, and chickenpox outbreaks in central Gaza:

Al Jazeera reports: In a displacement camp in Gaza’s Deir el-Balah, pharmacist Sami Hamid said skin infections are on the rise, particularly among children “because of the hot weather and lack of clean water”.

“The number of skin infections has increased, especially scabies and chickenpox”, as have hepatitis cases probably linked to untreated sewage flowing right beside tents, said Hamid.

Wafaa Elwan, displaced from Gaza City, said “no clean water” or basic hygiene products are available at the tent city.

“We no longer wash our children as before” and “treatment is not widely available”, Elwan said. “My son … can’t stop scratching.”

Devastation in Rafah, Gaza Strip June 20
Devastation in Rafah, Gaza Strip June 20 (screenshot)

Dear Child II — Full Short Film by Chris Hedges:

Written as a letter to a child in Gaza by ‪@ChrisHedgesChannel‬, the film takes the audience on a haunting & realistic journey through Gaza today from a child’s perspective imbued with guilt of a foreign journalist. Stylish, artistic, horrifying, yet hopeful that we can do better. We must.

West Bank – Palestinian woman, child killed by Israeli gunfire in Tulkarm:

WAFA reports: A 15-year-old Palestinian child and a woman were killed and four others were injured by Israeli occupation forces’ bullets, during their large-scale aggression against the city of Tulkarm and its two camps.

Around 556 Palestinians, including 137 children, have been in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, since October 7, 2023.

RECOMMENDED READING: Genocide alert issued over Israeli violence in West Bank

West Bank Israeli settler violence – a sampling of Monday headlines:

Israeli colonists set large swaths of agricultural lands on fire in Nablus.
Palestinians suffer from suffocation following colonists’ assault near Hebron.
Colonists assault and injure three Palestinians near Nablus.

West Bank – foreign envoys condemn largest Israeli demolition since October 7:

Al Jazeera reports: Diplomats based in West Jerusalem and Ramallah condemned Israeli destruction of Palestinian buildings during a visit to Um al-Kheir in Hebron.

Representatives from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, the European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom noted in a joint statement that this was the largest demolition operation in the occupied West Bank since October 7.

Diplomats witnessed the aftermath of the Israeli demolition of residential structures, the community centre, and an electricity generator that supplied power to the community.

The delegation called on Israel to respect its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention, including the prohibition of forcible transfer and to stop demolitions and confiscation of Palestinian property.

Home Demolition
Israel Forces Palestinian to Self Demolish His Home (Silwanic)

ADL Files Lawsuit Against Iran, Syria, N Korea for Alleged Hamas Ties, Oct. 7 Support:

Ha’aretz reports: The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has filed a federal lawsuit against Iran, Syria, and North Korea alleging they provided material support to Hamas, enabling the group’s attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, which resulted in numerous deaths, injuries, and trauma to both U.S. citizens and their families.

ADL director Jonathan Greenblatt
ADL director Jonathan Greenblatt (screenshot)

“In a world in which Jewish pain and suffering is far too often erased, we hope this ground-breaking case will bring justice to some victims,” ADL director Jonathan Greenblatt said.

[Jewish Americans are the wealthiest religious group in the United States. Billionaires have worked to shape US policies,]

“We are doing everything possible to hold Hamas and those who support them accountable, including putting all of ADL’s weight behind this effort.”

[Wikipedia’s editors have voted to declare the Anti-Defamation League “generally unreliable” on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, adding it to a list of banned and partially banned sources.]

NOTE: Hamas has clearly and openly stated that its enemy is not the Jewish people, but the racist ideology of Zionism – the ideology under which Israel dispossessed 750,000 Palestinian people and exiled them to Gaza and other locations. Hamas’ demands for the Palestinian rights of return and self-determination have gone unanswered since the birth of Israel in 1948.  
Many analysts have pointed out that “accountability” for the October 7th attack lies with Israel, for denying these rights and imposing occupation and blockade on Gaza, and with the international community for its failure to demand that Israel comply with international law.
In reality, international law supports the efforts of resistance groups against an occupying power, the UN extending that right to the point of armed resistance
RECOMMENDED READING: ADL faces Wikipedia ban over reliability concerns on Israel, antisemitism

10,000 Israeli soldiers required immediately – Israeli defense chief:

Al Jazeera reports: The Israel Broadcasting Authority has quoted Defense Minister Yoav Gallant as saying the Israeli army needs 10,000 additional soldiers immediately.

He told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that 4,800 of those required can be recruited from Israel’s ultra-Orthodox community, broadcaster N12 News reports.

PALESTINE CHRONICLE ADDS: Meanwhile, Israeli Channel 12 reported that the army has recently recognized a crisis among the command ranks, with a notable trend of officers in the ranks of captain and major leaving their posts.

Since the war began last year, approximately 900 officers have requested to review the release of their contracts.

This crisis has several contributing factors, with the events of October 7 being a notable one. Officers have reported feeling underappreciated and delegitimized by the public and some politicians.

Date for an Israeli ground operation in Lebanon has been set – Report:

According to a report in the German tabloid, Bild, an Israeli ground operation in Lebanon could begin on the third or fourth week of July.

[Israel has targeted Lebanon for decades, while the lobby worked to enable and cover up Israeli violence.]

US lawmaker announces anti-Gaza encampment bill:

Al Jazeera reports: US Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, believed to be on a shortlist of Donald Trump’s potential choices for vice president, says in a statement that she introduced the “No Tax Dollars for College Encampments Act”, which would tie federal accreditation of US universities to the existence of policies aimed at stopping “encampments, campus building takeovers, and other civil disturbances on campuses”.

Her statement says this bill follows “anti-Israel encampments rising up on university grounds across the country”, referring to the worldwide spread of campus protests against the war in Gaza and against universities having financial ties to Israel that kicked off this spring.

“This legislation would prevent the disgraceful mob riots we saw overtake campuses across the country including Columbia University and make sure school leaders are enforcing policies against hostile campus takeovers,” Stefanik’s statement quotes her as saying.

NOTE: Pro-Israel organizations (which may include the US Congress) consistently work to silence Palestine advocacy on campus – a free speech violation. One strategy they use is to pressure universities to officially adopt the IHRA “definition” of antisemitism, which defines legitimate criticism of Israel as antisemitic. Other strategies include blocking prestigious appointments of and events featuring supporters of Palestinian rights, threatening to withhold major donations, and more. But supporters of Palestine on campus are fighting back.
Pro-Palestine demonstrations on college campuses have overall been peaceful and non-confrontational, and have notably included a significant number of Jewish students. When there has been violence, it has come from pro-Israel counter-protesters and police.



IMEMC Daily Reports.
Electronic Intifada: Palestine, Korea and the battle for a new world.
Middle East Eye: Why is Argentina becoming a ‘great friend’ of Israel amid its war crimes in Gaza? Opinion.
Middle East Monitor: Sharon revisited – Netanyahu’s ultimate aim in Gaza and why It will fail.

Palestinian death toll from October 7 – July 1: at least 38,456* (37,900 in Gaza* – 11,445 women (30%), 15,747 children as of June 17.

This is expected to be a significant undercount since thousands of those killed have yet to be identified – and at least 556 in the West Bank (~134 children). This does not include an estimated 10,000 more still buried under rubble (4,900 women and children). Euro-Med Monitor reports 45,223 Palestinian deaths. (Ralph Nader has estimated 200,000 Palestinians may have been killed in Gaza.)

  • At least 45 Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons (27 from Gaza, 18 from West Bank).
  • At least 40 Palestinians have died due to malnutrition**.
  • About 1.7 million, or 75% of Gaza’s population are currently displaced.
  • 2.15 million (out of total population of 2.3 million) are projected to face Crisis or worse levels of food insecurity.

Palestinian injuries from October 7 – July 1: at least 92,511 (including at least 87,141 in Gaza and 5,370 in the West Bank, including 830 children).

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

Reported Israeli death toll from October 7 – July 1: ~1,473 (~1,139 on October 7, 2023, of which ~32 were Americans, and ~36 were children); 318 military forces since the ground invasion began in Gaza; 16 in the West Bank) and~8,730 injured.

Times of Israel reports: The IDF 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. 

† For most of the conflict, women and children accounted for about 70% of deaths in Gaza, with children making up a little over 40% of those killed, according to official statistics.

Find previous daily casualty figures and daily news updates here.

Hover over each bar for exact numbers.


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