Israeli soldier threatens mutiny – “We want to annihilate them” – Day 232

Israeli soldier threatens mutiny – “We want to annihilate them” – Day 232

Israeli strikes kill Palestinians just trying to survive; more evacuations; Israeli torture methods; Gaza hospitals in crisis; Israel searches for loopholes in ICJ ruling; 2nd grade Jewish girls meet with White House officials; Hamas rockets hit Tel Aviv; Gaza pier can’t take the rough seas; Hamas claims it captured Israeli soldiers, Israel denies; EU visits West Bank, condemn settler violence; campus protests in Germany, more.

By IAK staff, from reports.

Suspected Israeli reservist threatens mutiny – “We want to annihilate them”:

Middle East Eye reports: A suspected Israeli reservist has threatened mutiny if the war on Gaza ends before “complete victory”, saying he wants to annihilate Palestinians in the besieged enclave.

Masked Israeli reservist threatening slaughter in Gaza
Masked Israeli reservist threatening slaughter in Gaza (photo)

He said in a video posted on Friday, “Yoav Gallant, you can’t win the war. Resign. You can’t win this war. You can’t command us.

“I am telling you, Mr Yoav Gallant, if we do not continue until victory, 100,000 reservists will remain on the fence and we will call residents of the State of Israel to come to Gaza under our protection,” he added, referring to the boundary fence between Israel and Gaza.

The Israeli military has opened an investigation into the video, saying the behavior in it was a “serious violation” of army orders and values and constitutes a suspected criminal offense, according to Israeli media.

An “immediate command meeting” has also been convened by the chief of staff, a military spokesperson told Haaretz.

The video was addressed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and it came after Gallant clashed with him over the so-called “post-war plan” in Gaza.

Earlier this month, Gallant publicly rejected open-ended Israeli governance over Gaza, demanding civilian affairs be handled by a Palestinian body.

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this video is intended for you, we are reserve soldiers who do not intend on passing the keys of Gaza to any entity; be it Hamas, PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization] or any other Arab entity,” the soldier said in the video.

“The reserve soldiers are behind your back, and we want to win. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You have 100,000 soldiers that are ready to give their souls to the People of Israel … We will stay here until the end, until victory.”

The soldier went on to say they would take orders only from Netanyahu, not Gallant or the chief of staff.

He added that soldiers want to “tear to pieces whoever is left here”.

“Whoever celebrated when we were slaughtered, all those little kids that stepped on our soldiers and brothers heads when they stepped foot on Gaza’s soil, all those people, we want to kill,” he said.

“No one will stay alive, whoever hurt the people of Israel, whoever hurt our brothers, the Jews, the Druze, the Bedouins, we want to annihilate them.

“You [Gallant] wanted a military coup? So I’m telling you, we are reservists who cannot go home – we’ll show you what surrender and victory are, and we’ll show you how real Jews win.”

Joint statement: Gaza’s famine should be officially declared amidst Israel’s use of starvation as a weapon:

Euro-Med Monitor reports: All relevant official authorities and competent UN and international institutions should officially declare famine in the Gaza Strip in light of the current rapid spread of famine and the rates of acute malnutrition and its expansion geographically and among all groups, especially among children, said over 50 organizations in a joint statement on Saturday.

Food insecurity is increasing throughout the Gaza Strip due to Israel’s use of starvation as a weapon of war against the Palestinian people, which the organizations said is part of a larger crime of genocide.

The organizations stated that food security levels have significantly declined as a result of the Israeli army’s ground operation in Rafah City, south of the Gaza Strip, which began on 7 May and was preceded the day before by blocking the entry of humanitarian aid trucks through the Rafah crossing. Thousands of trucks on the other side of the Rafah crossing have been at a standstill for weeks and are inaccessible to the residents whose lives depend on them due to Israel’s decision to starve the people of the Gaza Strip, close the crossings. and prevent the entrv of aid.

They called on Israel to act immediately to implement the precautionary measures announced by the International Court of Justice regarding the opening of the Rafah crossing in order to provide basic services and much-needed humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza.

The majority of goods entering the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom (Kerem Abu Salem) crossing are intended for merchants [Israel is prioritizing inspection of private sector vehicles over humanitarian aid trucks], and the residents, many of whom have lost their livelihoods, must purchase them. Despite the limited aid provided by Israel, it is insufficient to meet the increasing needs of the growing number of displaced people in the south.

(Read the full statement here.)

Palestinian children queue with their containers for food at Rafah’s last remaining food distribution center
Palestinian children queue with their containers for food at Rafah’s last remaining food distribution center (photo)

‘Children were playing’ when Jabaliya school attacked: witness:

Victims of an Israeli attack on a school near Jabalia refugee camp have poured into al-Ahli Hospital, according to footage reviewed by Al Jazeera’s Sanad verification agency.

The attack is now reported to have killed at least 10 people and injured another 17, including children.

“The children were playing in the schoolyard, and suddenly we were bombed,” said one displaced woman whose daughter was injured in the attack.

Targeted while fetching water:

Also in Jabaliya, an Israeli airstrike hit an elementary school where there are hundreds of refugees.

A group of Palestinians were filling up gallons of water there when Israeli forces targeted them with air strikes.

Palestinians killed waiting for aid:

Palestinians gathered in the Wadi Gaza area, a spot frequented by people waiting for aid, were targeted by Israeli quadcopters, reports Al Jazeera’s Hani Mahmoud, killing at least six.

Palestinians desperate for aid often gather in Wadi Gaza to try and reach aid trucks coming from the floating pier near Gaza City. Others must cross the area to return to their homes, said Mahmoud.

Israel orders more evacuations for Jabalia operation:

The Israeli military has continued its operation in the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, targeting more residential buildings and public facilities, including schools and UNRWA facilities.

The entire population of the camp has been pushed out towards the western part of Gaza City, apart from the people trapped inside at the evacuation centers due to the Israeli operation.

There has been no water or food supplied to the camp for the last 17 days. There is an actual famine going on there.

Separately in Jabalia, an attack on a three-story residential building reportedly killed three people, with several injured, in what seem to be a targeted assault.

Rights monitor outlines Israeli torture methods of Palestinian prisoners:

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor says it documented 42 forms of torture and inhumane and degrading treatment committed by Israeli forces against Palestinian prisoners since the start of the war on Gaza.

Some of the forms of abuse reported by the Geneva-based group, based on 100 testimonies, include:

    • Breaking bones and teeth.
    • Threats of rape.
    • Electric shocks.
    • Strip searches and forced nudity.
    • Urinating and spitting on detainees.
    • Humiliation by dressing detainees in diapers.

Kuwait Hospital in Rafah is about to run out of fuel:

Al Jazeera reports: The director of the Kuwait Specialty Hospital in Rafah is warning the medical facility will run out of fuel in less than 24 hours.

“We are sounding the alarm and urging the World Health Organization to live up to its responsibilities and provide the hospital with the necessary fuel to power the generators. We have an amount of fuel that is enough only for 24 hours,” Shuaib al-Hams told Al Jazeera.

Kamal Adwan Hospital surrounded by Israeli forces:

Dr Hussam Abu Safiya, the head of pediatrics at Kamal Adwan Hospital in Gaza, has told Al Jazeera that Israeli forces are still surrounding the hospital.

He added that the hospital is out of service due to the continuous siege. Some patients and premature babies are still inside the hospital.

Gaza Health Ministry says 20,000 patients awaiting treatment as Israel maintains Rafah crossing closed:

Andalou Agency reports: Over 20,000 patients are waiting for the opening of the Rafah crossing to leave the Gaza Strip for treatment, the Health Ministry in besieged Palestinain enclave said on Saturday.

A child suffered injuries and burns all over her body after the bombing of Al-Amal Hospital in the city of Khan Yunis. Photo: Belal Khaled
A child suffered injuries and burns all over her body after the bombing of Al-Amal Hospital in the city of Khan Yunis. Photo: Belal Khaled (social media)

In a statement, ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qudra said “since Israel reoccupied the Rafah crossing, no patients have been able to leave the Gaza Strip,” noting that “even those who are abroad cannot return to their homeland.”

“More than 20,000 patients suffering of cancer, heart and blood diseases are waiting for the opening of the crossing in inhumane conditions due to the occupation, siege and war of extermination imposed on civilians in Gaza.”

The official termed it “a war crime and a blatant violation of the health rights of patients stipulated in international humanitarian law.”

He urged the international community to intervene and save the victims from complications and death, highlighting Israeli attacks on health care facilities have rendered them inoperative.

World Court’s order on Rafah does not rule out entire offensive, Israel says:

Reuters reports: Israel considers that an order by the World Court to halt its military offensive on Rafah in southern Gaza allows room for some military action there, Israeli officials said.

“What they are asking us, is not to commit genocide in Rafah. We did not commit genocide and we will not commit genocide,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s national security adviser, Tzachi Hanegbi, told Israel’s N12 TV on Saturday.

Asked whether the Rafah offensive would continue, Hanegbi said: “According to international law, we have the right to defend ourselves and the evidence is that the court is not preventing us from continuing to defend ourselves.”

NOTE: South Africa accused Israel of genocide, and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled by an overwhelming majority, that there was a “plausible” case for genocide. Numerous experts and human rights organizations have joined in declaring Israel’s actions against Gaza (and the West Bank) to be genocide, while the US government is nearly alone in denying it. American mainstream media have tried to hide this from readers.

Continuing the Reuters report: Another Israeli official pointed to the phrasing of the ruling by the International Court of Justice, or World Court, depicting it as conditional.

“The order in regard to the Rafah operation is not a general order,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

Reading out the ruling, the ICJ’s president, Nawaf Salam, said the situation in Gaza had deteriorated since the court last ordered Israel to take steps to improve it, and conditions had been met for a new emergency order.

“The state of Israel shall (…) immediately halt its military offensive, and any other action in the Rafah governorate, which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part,” Salam said.

That wording did not rule out all military action, the Israeli official said.

“We have never, and we will not, conduct any military action in Rafah or elsewhere which may inflict any conditions of life to bring about the destruction of the civilian population in Gaza, not in whole and not in part,” the official said.

NOTE: Israel consistently claims it is upholding international law – but the facts as reported by human rights organizations and judged by international bodies do not match these claims. In addition, Israel has been claiming throughout the war that it is doing its part to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza, while again, the facts contradict these statements.
Palestinian children check a destroyed building in the aftermath of the Israeli raid on Jenin
Palestinian children check a destroyed building in the aftermath of the Israeli raid on Jenin (photo)

After Tel Aviv Area Rocket Barrage, Defense Chief Says Israel’s Mission in Rafah ‘Clearer’:

Ha’aretz reports: According to police, the roof of a home in Herzliya was damaged by shrapnel following a rocket barrage over central Israel. A woman who was inside the home was lightly injured while trying to move to safety.

Defense Chief Yoav Gallant reportedly took the incident to mean the need to get rid of Hamas is more urgent than ever.

Shrapnel from Hamas rockets on Sunday in Herzliya, Israel
Shrapnel from Hamas rockets on Sunday in Herzliya, Israel (photo)

Vessels supporting US-built, $320 million Gaza aid pier wash away in rough seas:

Al Jazeera reports: Waves have swept away vessels supporting the United States-built pier installed to transfer aid to Gaza, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) has said.

In a statement on Saturday, CENTCOM noted that during the transportation of humanitarian aid, the US floating dock was disconnected from the small boat tugging it and the vessels broke free from their moorings with two of them now anchored on the beach near the pier.

Part of the dock later drifted towards Israel’s Ashdod shore, while the third and fourth vessels have beached on the coast of Israel near Ashkelon, CENTCOM added.

No injuries have been reported so far and efforts to recover the vessels are under way with assistance from the Israeli and US navies.

Reporting from Washington DC, Al Jazeera’s Heidi Zhou-Castro said that the Pentagon has stressed that the pier still remained fully functional.

The construction of the $320m floating pier was completed in mid-May to provide aid to the Gaza Strip.

The pier has been criticised as a complicated and costly alternative that tries to deflect attention from demanding a much simpler solution – for Israel to fully open all land crossings to Gaza and to secure aid trucks going in.

NOTE: Thousands of aid trucks are reportedly waiting at the southern border of Gaza, where Israel has made it extremely difficult to pass, employing complicated and arbitrary procedures. Israel has on multiple occasions fired at individuals waiting for food aid (recently killing over 100 at one time); Israel has also attacked food aid convoys and those who accompanied them several times. Additionally, Israeli citizens have blocked a border crossing for weeks, and attacked trucks they believed were heading to Gaza, destroying their contents and in some cases starting them on fire – all with no meaningful attempt by Israel to stop them.
In mid-March, Israel promised to “flood” Gaza with aid, but has failed to do so.
The US has for months expressed its desire to see appropriate amounts of humanitarian aid reaching the starving people of Gaza on one hand, while undermining Gaza’s largest aid organization on the other. 
Meanwhile, the US has built a “temporary pier” off the Gaza coast to receive aid by sea – at a cost of at least $320 million – and has, along with other countries, airdropped packages of aid into Gaza – a practice that has caused over 20 Palestinian deaths due to malfunction.
The Biden administration has so far not used its leverage as the provider of billions of dollars in military aid to and for Israel (with one exception), a move that could potentially end the war in short order.

NOTE: the UN indicates that one truckload of aid might contain 20 metric tons. If the US pier has facilitated the delivery of 1,005 metric tons of aid since the pier began operating on May 17, that is the equivalent of 5 trucks per day.

Hamas says it captured members of Israeli force in ambush:

Middle East Eye reports: Hamas said Palestinian fighters captured members of an Israeli force in an ambush inside the Gaza Strip on Saturday, a claim denied by the Israeli military.

Abu Obaida, spokesman for the group’s armed wing, al-Qassam Brigades, said fighters killed, wounded or captured members of the Israeli force during fighting in Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza.

He did not say how many had been abducted and provided no further information about their identities. He said more details would follow soon.

“Our fighters lured a Zionist force into an ambush inside a tunnel … The fighters withdrew after they left all members of the force dead, wounded, and captured,” Abu Obaida said in a recorded message broadcast by Al Jazeera early on Sunday.

The Israeli military was quick to deny the claim.

NOTE: According to Israeli protocol, when a soldier is captured, one possible response is to implement the Hannibal Directive, which calls for an Israeli military policy that stipulates the use of maximum force in the event a soldier is kidnapped. The use of force is carried out even at the risk of killing a captive soldier. Israeli forces reportedly implemented the Hannibal Directive on October 7th, resulting in the deaths of an unknown number of Israeli citizens – deaths that are blamed on Hamas.
An Israeli tank maneuvers, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, near the Israel-Gaza Border, in southern Israel, May 7, 2024
An Israeli tank maneuvers, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, near the Israel-Gaza Border, in southern Israel, May 7, 2024 (photo)

Representatives of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, and UK condemn Israeli West Bank policies

Statement: Representatives from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, made a joint visit to the Palestinian communities in the Northern Jordan Valley. in light of the alarming increase in settler violence and forced displacements. Ireland supports this statement.

During their visit, diplomats witnessed first-hand the distressing impact of settler violence on Palestinian communities, including the recent displacement of families in As-Sukhun community following relentless attacks from Israeli settler outposts and the destruction of multiple properties in Al-Jiftlik area neat Jericho. The delegation also condemned the recent declaration of 800 hectares of land as state land in Aqraba by Israeli authorities, exacerbating the coercive environment faced by these communities.

The delegation expressed deep concern over the surge in settler violence, which has led to numerous displacements and casualties throughout the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley.

While acknowledging some measures, recently announced, taken by Israeli authorities, the diplomats stressed the need for effective implementation and more robust actions to hold perpetrators of settler violence accountable and prevent further intolerable situations for Palestinians.  Diplomats call on Israel to respect all its obligations under Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, including the prohibition on forcible transfer, and reiterated their opposition to illegal settlements, which fuel violence and impede the two-state solution.

Israeli forces drive during a raid on the al-Faraa camp for Palestinian refugees in the occupied West Bank on 12 April 2024
Israeli forces drive during a raid on the al-Faraa camp for Palestinian refugees in the occupied West Bank on 12 April 2024 (photo)

Punched, choked, kicked: German police crack down on student protests:

Al Jazeera reports: Campus activism in Germany has stepped up in recent weeks as students, following their American counterparts, have established occupations or encampments on university grounds in Berlin, Munich, Cologne and other cities.

While some protests have proceeded peacefully, others have been dispersed by police, sparking public debate about whether students have exceeded the limits of protected speech and protest in Germany, or whether authorities have infringed on those same rights in order to suppress antiwar activism.

One student occupier at Berlin’s Humboldt University told Al Jazeera that police punched his head repeatedly and kicked him as they broke up protesters’ occupation of a campus building, sending him to the hospital with a concussion.

(Read the full story here.)

A pro-Palestinian protester at the department of social sciences at Berlin’s Humboldt University is removed from the building by police.
A pro-Palestinian protester at the department of social sciences at Berlin’s Humboldt University is removed from the building by police. (photo)

German Vice Chancellor says Israel is breaking international law by continuing its offensive against Rafah:

His remarks represent a shift in rhetoric of senior German government representatives, who previously have warned Israel not to attack Rafah but have been reluctant to make such direct accusations.

“The famine, the suffering of the Palestinian population, the attacks in the Gaza Strip are — as we are now seeing in court — incompatible with international law,” Habeck said.

“In other words, it is indeed the case that Israel has crossed a line there, and it must not do so,” said Habeck , who is also economy minister.

Jewish 2nd grade girls meet with Kirby, White House officials:

Jewish Insider reports: “For a group of Jewish 2nd grade girls, a lesson in advocacy — and a life-changing trip to Washington.
The classmates at a Chicago Jewish day school met with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and White House spokesperson John Kirby during their trip.”

The extraordinary access was initiated by one of the girl’s mothers, who works at AIPAC. Their day began on Capitol Hill, in meetings with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and the chief of staff to Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and a private tour of the Capitol.

Afterward, they went to the White House for a visit that included conversations with White House national security spokesperson John Kirby, White House Gender Policy Council Director Jennifer Klein and Deputy Director Rachel Vogelstein, and Rebecca Lissner, deputy national security advisor to Vice President Kamala Harris.

The girls wore pins featuring two Israeli flags, the words “Jewish Girls Rights,” and  a blue Star of David. Kirby also wore a pin.

“Each girl had a clipboard with printed-out copies of the scripts for their meetings. An Israeli student mentioned her family members who had to “leave their houses because of Hamas,” according to the prepared script. “We want to visit them and get them presents and I miss them.” Another student said she is proud because Israel is the only Jewish country in the world, and also because it has had a female leader, “and we should have a female president in America,” the script stated.”

Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) with 2nd grade girls from Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School in Chicago. Each girl had a clipboard with printed-out copies of the scripts for their meetings and wore buttons featuring 2 Israeli flags. (photo)

Wasserman Schultz commented: “I was very impressed by how they had a keen sense of the ancient prejudices that fuel this recent rise in antisemitism.”

There is no indication that the girls have been told that Israeli forces have killed thousands of children in Gaza and that Israel is intentionally starving the entire population.

RECOMMENDED READING: Netanyahu purveyed a fictional history of Israel to Jordan Peterson


Middle East Monitor: For the Love of Gaza
Middle East Monitor: The slaughter of Palestinian scholars in Gaza is a deliberate Israeli tactic
Andalou Agency: Former Israeli premier says Israel can neither achieve victory in Gaza, nor destroy Hamas
IMEMC Reports.

Palestinian death toll from October 7 – May 25: at least 36,501* (35,984 in Gaza* – 4,959 women (20%), 7,797 children (32%). This is expected to be a significant undercount since thousands of those hilled have yet to be identified – and at least 517 in the West Bank (~117 children). This does not include an estimated 10,000 more still buried under rubble (4,900 women and children). Euro-Med Monitor reports 43,640 Palestinian deaths. (Ralph Nader has estimated 200,000 Palestinians may have been killed in Gaza.)

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 1.1 million (out of total population of 2.3 million) are facing Catastrophic levels of food insecurity.

Palestinian injuries from October 7 – May 25: at least 85,603 (including at least 80,643 in Gaza and 5,040 in the West Bank).

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

Reported Israeli death toll from October 7 – May 25: ~1,440 (~1,139 on October 7, 2023, of which ~32 were Americans, and ~36 were children); 285 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.

Hover over each bar for exact numbers.

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