Israeli military leaders think Israel is losing “war” – Day 108

Israeli military leaders think Israel is losing “war” – Day 108

Israel rains bombs on 30K sheltering Gazans; Israel may have poisoned their own; Khan Younis sees intense and unrelenting bombing; Palestinian teen killed in West Bank; diplomats, legislators line up to support Palestine rights and sovereignty; US and UK attack sites in Yemen; Israel presents possible 2-month truce plan

By IAK staff, from reports

The New York Times reports: After more than 100 days of war, Israel’s limited progress in dismantling Hamas has raised doubts within the military’s high command about the near-term feasibility of achieving the country’s principal wartime objectives: eradicating Hamas and also liberating the Israeli hostages still in Gaza.

Israel has established control over a smaller part of Gaza at this point in the war than it originally envisaged in battle plans from the start of the invasion, which were reviewed by The New York Times. That slower than expected pace has led some commanders to privately express their frustrations over the civilian government’s strategy for Gaza, and led them to conclude that the freedom of more than 100 Israeli hostages still in Gaza can be secured only through diplomatic rather than military means.

The dual objectives of freeing the hostages and destroying Hamas are now mutually incompatible, according to interviews with four senior military leaders, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not permitted to speak publicly about their personal opinions.

Israeli soldiers run for cover under armored vehicles near the Gaza border as a siren warns of incoming rockets.
Israeli soldiers run for cover under armored vehicles near the Gaza border as a siren warns of incoming rockets. (photo)

Al Jazeera reports: Gaza’s Government Media Office says Israeli forces have bombed shelters at Al-Aqsa University, University College of Applied Sciences, the Khalidiya School, al-Mawasi School and the Khan Younis industry shelter, where 30,000 displaced people have been taking refuge.

“[Israelis] claimed they were safe centers and called on citizens to take refuge in them. Then committed a massacre that left many martyrs. This comes within the framework of a genocidal war launched by the occupation against civilians, children and women, in the Gaza Strip,” a statement on Telegram said.

According to UNICEF, a child in Gaza dies every ten minutes.
According to UNICEF, a child in Gaza dies every ten minutes. (photo)

Al Jazeera reports: Dr Haider Abu Sunima, medical director of Tal al-Sultan Hospital for Women and Obstetrics in Rafah, says there’s an increased number of miscarriages because of the difficult war conditions. In the past few days, Gaza’s Health Ministry said, it recorded hundreds of miscarriages and premature births as a result of “panic and forced flight under brutal bombardment in Gaza”.

About 50,000 pregnant women in displacement camps in southern Rafah city suffer from a lack of food and medicine.

Ha’aretz reports on 3 Israeli hostages who were found dead last month. The mother of at least one of them believes her son was poisoned when Israeli forces pumped poison gas into a Hamas tunnel. After receiving a pathology report, she wrote, “Ron was indeed murdered. Not by Hamas … not by stray bullets and not in an exchange of fire. This was deliberate murder. Bombing with poison gas …”

According to Ha’aretz, IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari “responded evasively,” claiming “it wasn’t possible to determine what killed the three hostages, “and at this point, we can neither deny nor confirm that they were killed due to suffocation, strangulation, poisoning, the effects of the IDF attack or Hamas action.” This response, the editorial suggests, “was apparently meant to silence the discussion and create doubts about the family’s claims, without denying them directly or getting into a fight with bereaved parents.”

Even if Israel did not poison these hostages, Ha’aretz editors inquire, has the army used poison gas – and if so, is it legal under international law? Who gave the order?

“All these questions must be investigated by an outside body – one that will receive all the necessary information from the army and the government and present its conclusions to the public. We cannot wait until after the war ends to carry out this vital investigation.”

Al Jazeera reports: The Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian group Hamas, said it had targeted an Israeli tank with a mortar shell, and was about to fire at it, when “an Israeli rescue unit tried to pull the tank from the location where it was targeted. Our fighters clashed with them and stopped them from advancing towards the vehicle, so the [Israeli] air force struck [its own] tank with several rockets and completely obliterated it with everyone inside.”

Reporting from Rafah, Al Jazeera’s Tareq Abu Azzoum says fighting is ramping up in Khan Younis and clashes are getting closer to the Nasser Hospital – Gaza’s largest remaining medical center.

“We’ve been seeing the illumination of flares being fired in central areas of Khan Younis, and usually these flares are used by the Israeli military there to give a clear vision for the maneuvering troops on the ground,” Abu Azzoum said. “We’ve been hearing the sounds of loud explosions over different parts of the city.”

He added that Israel is pursuing a military tactic of “systematic destruction” of residential buildings in Khan Younis, targeting key infrastructure and forcing people to flee.

More on Khan Younis: There is an intense bombing campaign near the Nasser hospital and also El Amal City Hospital in the western part of the city. Attacks are also targeting Gaza’s largest university where thousands of people are sheltering. The area is being bombed by land, air and sea – there’s no safe corridor for them to escape.

Attack drones are hovering everywhere over Khan Younis shooting at moving objects. So far 12 people have been killed overnight. Very dark days ahead as the situation gets worse by the hour.

RECOMMENDED READING (Al Jazeera): Gaza’s morning ritual: Searching under rubble for dolls, books, loved ones

WAFA reports: Australian Assistant Foreign Minister Tim Watts said that Netanyahu’s statements undermine the prospects for reaching peace, and that “we urge Israel to “fulfill” its obligation to respect international law.” He stressed that his country’s government has always supported the two-state solution, under which Israelis and Palestinians can “live side by side in security and prosperity within internationally agreed borders.

Watts stressed that Netanyahu’s statements were “extremely disappointing,” stressing that the Australian government “supports the aspirations of the Palestinian people for self-determination, and ultimately to establish their own state.”

He said that there is another obstacle to peace, which is illegal settlement activity in the West Bank. He added that the loss of innocent lives in Gaza was “horrific” and must stop.

Slain teenager Yamen Mohammed Husseti.
Slain teenager Yamen Mohammed Husseti. (photo)

WAFA reports: A Palestinian teenager was killed Monday night during confrontations with Israeli occupation forces in the town of Araba, south of Jenin. A 17-year-old teen, Yamen Mohammed Husseti, died of critical gunfire wounds in the abdomen he sustained after being shot by Israeli forces’ live bullet during confrontations that broke out in the town of Araba.

TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THE ECONOMIC CRISIS IN THE WEST BANK, VIEW Israel approves plan to transfer Gaza tax funds to Norway (3 min)

Al Jazeera reports on yesterday’s killing of Palestinian-American teen Tawfiq Ajaq: The Biden administration has said it is “devastated” by the killing of 17-year-old Tawfiq Ajaq in the occupied West Bank.

“We have called for an urgent investigation to determine the circumstance of his death and accountability be met as appropriate as well,” US Department of State spokesperson Vedant Patel told reporters.

The US similarly demanded an investigation when Israeli forces killed US citizens Omar Assad and Al Jazeera’s Shireen Abu Akleh in 2022. But the Biden administration appeared to drop the cases and push on with its support for Israel after Israeli authorities refused to pursue criminal probes in both incidents.

The New Arab reports that American and British forces have launched raids on the Yemeni capital of Sanaa and other parts of Yemen.

Al-Masirah, a Houthi-affiliated television channel, reported that the Al-Dailami military base, situated north of Sanaa and under rebel control, was hit by four airstrikes.

Here is part of the joint statement from the US-led coalition on the strikes:

“Today, the militaries of the United States and United Kingdom, at the direction of their respective governments with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands, conducted an additional round of proportionate and necessary strikes against 8 Houthi targets in Yemen in response to the Houthis’ continued attacks against international and commercial shipping as well as naval vessels transiting the Red Sea. 

The reason for the Houthi threat, which the US does not address, is Israel’s brutal war against Gaza.

Armed men stand on the beach as the Galaxy Leader commercial ship, seized by Yemen's Houthis in December, is anchored off the coast of al-Salif, Yemen, December 5, 2023.
Armed men stand on the beach as the Galaxy Leader commercial ship, seized by Yemen’s Houthis in December, is anchored off the coast of al-Salif, Yemen, December 5, 2023. (photo)

Irish MEP Mike Wallace made a fiery speech to the European Parliament:

The Houthis have made a humanitarian intervention in the Red Sea in an effort to bring the genocide in Gaza to an end.

The Houthis have killed nobody while disrupting shipping in the Red Sea – ships which were facilitating the Israeli genocide. The Israeli regime has killed over 23,000 civilians, over 10,000 of them are children. So who do the US and the UK attack?

No, they didn’t attack the Israeli regime because they are supporting the genocide. They attacked the Houthis instead, killing at least six people.

So Western powers are prepared to kill people to protect the movement of goods but the same Western powers kill thousands with sanctions in Iran, in Syria, in Venezuela.

The Houthis are showing solidarity with the Palestinian people, just like South Africa did in the Hague. But sadly the EU’s solidarity is with the US empire and the Zionists. Shame on the EU.

A displaced Palestinian boy at a tent camp in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, January 18, 2024
A displaced Palestinian boy at a tent camp in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, January 18, 2024 (photo)

Axios reports: Israel has given Hamas a proposal through Qatari and Egyptian mediators that includes up to two months of a pause in the fighting as part of a multi-phase deal that would include the release of all remaining hostages held in Gaza, two Israeli officials said. While the proposal doesn’t include an agreement to end the war, it is the longest period of ceasefire that Israel has offered Hamas since the start of the war.

According to the proposal, the deal would include the release of all remaining hostages who are alive and the return of the bodies of dead hostages in several phases.

The Israeli officials said the proposal includes Israel redeploying Israeli Defense Forces so that some would be moved out of main population centers in the enclave and allowing a gradual return of Palestinian civilians to Gaza city and the northern Gaza strip as the deal is being implemented.

The Israeli officials said the proposal makes clear Israel will not agree to end the war and will not agree to release all 6,000 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons, but Israeli officials said they are ready to release a significant number of Palestinian prisoners if Hamas agrees to the offer.

They admit if the deal is implemented, IDF operations in Gaza would be significantly smaller in scope and intensity after the two month pause in fighting.

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said, “We don’t support a general ceasefire, which is usually put in place in the expectation that you’re going to end a conflict and lead to specific negotiations – no change to our policy there.”

An injured Palestinian mother and daughter at Nasser Medical Complex for treatment
An injured Palestinian mother and daughter at Nasser Medical Complex for treatment (photo)

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) President Mary Kay Henry released the following statement today: “SEIU’s almost two million members believe that wherever violence, fear and hatred thrive, working people cannot. We condemn antisemitism, Islamophobia, racism and hate in all its forms around the world…

As a union family strongly committed to justice and democracy, we believe all people across the globe deserve to live safely and free of fear, with dignity and respect for their human rights, as well as access to food, water, shelter, medicine and other necessities. SEIU members understand that working people often feel the impact of war most deeply and bear the brunt of its terrible consequences.

Our call for a ceasefire is a call for peace, rooted in the pain that SEIU members are feeling, from the Jewish member concerned for her son’s safety in Tel Aviv, to the Muslim member who immigrated to this country from the Middle East to escape war and violence, to the hundreds of thousands of SEIU healthcare workers who see themselves in the healthcare workers in Gaza who have been killed trying to save lives.


Palestinian death toll from October 7 – January 22: at least 25,682* (~25,295 in Gaza* (over 11,000 children, 7,500 women), and at least 387 in the West Bank (98 children). This does not include an estimated 7,000 more still buried under rubble (70% women and children). Euro-Med Monitor reports 32,246 Palestinian deaths.

About 1.7 million people have been displaced (about 85% of the population). 

Palestinian injuries from October 7 – January 22: at least 67,334** (including at least 63,000 in Gaza and 4,334 in the West Bank).  

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

Reported Israeli death toll from October 7 – January 22: ~1,139  (9 killed in West Bank, 196 in Gaza), including 32 Americans, and 8,730 injured, approximately 36 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.

*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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