Land Day commemorates land lost to Israeli confiscation – Day 176

Land Day commemorates land lost to Israeli confiscation – Day 176

On Land Day, Palestinians control less of their land than ever; 400 Palestinians reportedly dead in hospital siege; US-Israel intel sharing may be contributing to civilian deaths in Gaza; Israel comes clean on 2 (out of 33,000) Gazan deaths; yet another flour massacre; UK playing fast and loose with int’l law; more

By IAK staff, from reports

MARCH 30 IS LAND DAY IN PALESTINEIsrael has seized 27,000 dunams (27 square kilometers or 6,672 acres) of Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank since October 7, according a Land Day statement by the Colonization & Wall Resistance Commission (CWRC).

The governmental commission affiliated to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) found that the Israeli government approved 1,895 settlement units and displaced 25 Bedouin communities from Palestinian territory.

It also erected 840 checkpoints and gates in the West Bank, where illegal settlers and the Israeli military carried out 9,700 attacks against Palestinian residents and their properties.

The organization added that 9,600 trees were destroyed, uprooted or poisoned around settlements in an attempt to evict Palestinians and create a buffer zone.

NOTE: Every year on March 30, Palestinians hold protests and vigils and plant olive trees to reaffirm their connection to the land. Read about it here (Al Jazeera): Land Day: What happened in Palestine in 1976?
Palestinians in Gaza joined the Land Day protests near the eastern Gaza borders, March 30, 2022
Palestinians in Gaza joined the Land Day protests near the eastern Gaza borders, March 30, 2022 (photo)

400 PALESTINIANS DEAD IN HOSPITAL SIEGE – Al Jazeera reports: Gaza’s media office says the Israeli military killed more than 400 Palestinians and destroyed, burned or otherwise targeted 1,050 homes in the vicinity of the al-Shifa Hospital after laying siege to it for 13 days.

“We condemn the international silence towards this crime,” the office said in a statement on its Telegram channel, adding that the Israeli military has also arrested and “tortured” hundreds of patients, displaced people and medical staff inside and around the key hospital in Gaza City.

As Israeli military’s siege on the hospital drags on, there are still 107 patients and 60 medical staff remaining inside.

The Palestinians inside, which include 30 paralyzed patients, are reportedly sheltering at the Human Resources Development Building without water, electricity or medicine.

“The occupation has prevented all attempts to evacuate these patients through international institution,” it said, warning the lives of the patients are in grave danger and saving them requires “urgent action”.

A Palestinian elder sits amid the rubble after an overnight airstrike in Khan Younis, March 29, 2024
A Palestinian elder sits amid the rubble after an overnight airstrike in Khan Younis, March 29, 2024 (photo)

US-ISRAEL INTEL SHARING MAY BE CONTRIBUTING TO CIVILIAN DEATHS – Wall Street Journal reports: A secret memorandum that expanded intelligence sharing with Israel since October 7th has led to growing concerns in Washington about whether the information is contributing to civilian deaths, according to people familiar with the issue.

Among the worries is that there is little independent oversight to confirm that U.S.-supplied intelligence isn’t used in strikes that unnecessarily kill civilians or damage infrastructure, the people said.

The secret U.S.-Israeli intelligence-sharing agreement has received less public scrutiny than U.S. weapons sales to Israel. But it is prompting increasing questions from Democratic lawmakers and human-rights groups, even as alarm mounts within the Biden administration over how Israel is conducting its military campaign in Gaza.

Rep. Jason Crow (D., Colo.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, met separately with a senior Israeli military figure and U.S. intelligence officials and said there were “some pretty big inconsistencies” in the two sides’ accounts of the civilian toll.

Israeli military spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said in a press briefing Tuesday that in his 30 years in Israel’s military, the level of intelligence and military cooperation between Israel and the U.S. has never been higher. 

“Israel provides assurances that operations making use of U.S. intelligence are conducted in a manner consistent with international law, including the Law of Armed Conflict, which calls for the protection of civilians,” a senior U.S. intelligence official said.

NOTE: Israel has not proven itself a trustworthy partner. Among Israel’s lies are numerous atrocity stories about the October 7th attack that have since been proven untrue (more examples here). In addition, a number of the Israeli soldiers and civilians killed on October 7 were shown to have been killed by Israeli fire – a fact that is absent from the official Israeli narrative. The Israeli military has also disseminated false stories about civilians captured. Previously, Israel has been caught in many lies – for example, this and this and this.

A view of damaged building belonging to the Musa family at Maghazi refugee camp after Israeli attack in Deir al-Balah on Friday
A view of damaged building belonging to the Musa family at Maghazi refugee camp after Israeli attack in Deir al-Balah on Friday (photo)

ISRAEL COMES CLEAN ON 2 (OUT OF 33,000) GAZAN DEATHS – Reuters reports: Israel has admitted that its troops shot dead two Palestinians and wounded a third on Gaza’s beach, responding to a video that showed one man falling to the ground after walking in an open area and then a bulldozer pushing two bodies into the garbage-strewn sand.

The military said troops opened fire after the men allegedly ignored warning shots.

The video was broadcast earlier this week by the Al Jazeera television network. The origin of the footage remains unknown, as is the date of the incident. Al Jazeera said at least two of the three men seen in the blurry videos were waving white flags before being shot at.

The video follows a number of similar clips that have surfaced in recent months, showing Palestinians in war-stricken Gaza being fired at or killed while seeming to pose little threat to Israeli forces nearby. In January, footage showed a man being shot dead while walking in a group of people waving a white flag. Another video broadcast by Al Jazeera last week appeared to show an Israeli strike killing at least four Palestinians walking on a sandy path in southern Gaza.

FLOUR MASSACRE ONCE AGAIN – WAFA reports: 12 Palestinian civilians were brutally murdered and 30 others wounded by Israeli bombardment and gunfire Saturday night while desperately waiting for the arrival of aid trucks near the Kuwait roundabout southeast of Gaza City, according to local sources.

The sources reported that Israeli occupation forces fired shells and opened fire towards a crowd of civilians who were waiting for aid trucks at the Kuwait roundabout.

NOTE: As of March 23, Israel had killed at least 560 Palestinians and injured 1,523 in similar incidents, the most deadly on February 29, when over 100 were killed and 760 were injured. UN experts reported that “the 29 February massacre followed a pattern of Israeli attacks against Palestinian civilians seeking aid, with over 14 recorded incidents of shooting, shelling and targeting groups gathered to receive urgently needed supplies from trucks or airdrops between mid-January and the end of February 2024.”

DYING FOR AN ONION – Middle East Monitor’s correspondent in Gaza reported that Israeli forces opened fire on civilians trying to access their farms for harvesting crops and waiting for humanitarian aid deliveries in the Sheikh Zayed area of northern Gaza. These children describe how 2 were killed as they attempted to harvest onions and collect firewood.

WEST BANK DEATH – WAFA reportsA 13-year-old Palestinian youth, Nabil Abu Abed, 13, was shot and killed and two others were injured, one of them critically, during an Israeli military incursion at dawn Saturday into the town of Qabatiya, south of Jenin.

Israeli occupation forces impeded the arrival of ambulance vehicles to the town to transport the wounded to hospital.

UK REPORTEDLY CONCEALING EVIDENCE IN ORDER TO SELL WEAPONS TO ISRAEL – The Guardian reports: The British government has received advice from its own lawyers stating that Israel has breached international humanitarian law in Gaza but has failed to make it public, according to a leaked recording obtained by the Observer.

The comments, made by the Conservative chair of the House of Commons select committee on foreign affairs, Alicia Kearns, at a Tory fundraising event on 13 March are at odds with repeated ministerial denials and evasion on the issue.

The revelation will place Lord Cameron and prime minister Rishi Sunak under intense pressure because any such legal advice would mean the UK had to cease all arms sales to Israel without delay.

Legal experts said that not to do so would risk putting the UK in breach of international law itself, as it would be seen as aiding and abetting war crimes by a country it was exporting arms to.

ISRAEL’S PURSUIT OF “INDEPENDENCE” FROM GLOBAL ARMS MANUFACTURERS – In the context of worldwide condemnation of the Biden administration’s most recent transfer of $2.5 billion worth of weapons to Israel, Ha’aretz reports: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel needs to increase domestic weapons production.

Referring to the defense budget, Netanyahu said: “We of course need to adapt it to the needs realized in this war, which also exist in the world. We need to be much more independent in the production capacity of the weapons we need.” He explained this by saying that “we need to be immune from external pressures because we need to make our own decisions.”

NOTE: While receiving billions in military aid from the US, Netanyahu has consistently ignored US advice and warnings on the targeting of civilians and the possible invasion of Rafah in southern Gaza.
The US has made special efforts to create loopholes for Israel, and has bypassed Congressional oversight on at least two major weapons transfers since October 7th, and “quietly approved and delivered more than 100 separate foreign military sales to Israel since the Gaza war began.”
Israel has long used Gaza as a testing ground for new weaponry that it later markets around the world. Avi Hasson, chief executive of Startup Nation Central, an Israeli tech incubator, recently said, “In general the war in Gaza presents threats, but also opportunities to test emerging technologies in the field.”

More news

Al Jazeera: World warns Israel to obey ICJ on Gaza aid as Netanyahu plans Rafah assault
Middle East Monitor: Thousands in Sweden cancel Easter celebrations, march in support of Gaza
IMEMC: Palestinian Killed, Two Israelis Injured at Beersheba Bus Station


Palestinian death toll from October 7 – March 30: at least 33,545* (33,084 in Gaza* (14,280 children, 9,340 women), and at least 461 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 41 Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons (27 from Gaza, 14 from West Bank)

At least 31 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 30: at least 80,092 (including at least 75,092 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 – March 30: ~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); 252 military forces since the ground invasion began in Gaza;, 16 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.

**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.

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