Mandela: “our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians” – Day 95

Mandela: “our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians” – Day 95

A special bond between Palestine and South Africa; Israel’s bombing and climate change; OCHA reports on Israel’s antagonism over humanitarian aid; deadly airstrike in Deir Al Balah; white-flag-waving grandmother killed; Blinken claims don’t pass the smell test; ADL number-crunching; Palestinian prisoner annual report

A sacred space in Ramallah: A gift from Johannesburg Municipality in 2016, the 20-foot statue of the late South African leader Nelson Mandela, which is a replica of the statue in the South African city, stands in the center of the square and symbolizes the universality of the Palestinian cause and the solidarity of the South African people with the Palestinian people.

Mandela’s legacy and struggle against apartheid resonates with Palestine and efforts to resist the occupation. Preserved on the site are the famous words of Mandela: “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

These words articulate the depth of the relationship between the people of Palestine and the people of South Africa, a relationship that continues to today through the twinning of the Ramallah and Johannesburg municipalities.

The International Court of Justice begins hearing arguments on Thursday in a case that could damage Israel’s reputation amongst allies. Middle East Eye reports:

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague will hold hearings on Thursday and Friday in response to South Africa’s accusation of genocide against Israel.

South Africa wants an emergency order calling on Israel to suspend its military campaign, which it launched after an attack by Hamas-led Palestinian fighters on 7 October, which killed 1,140 people, according to Israeli officials.

The state filed the lawsuit at the end of December, citing statements made by Israeli public officials and the actions of its military.

It is the first time Israel is being tried under the United Nations’ Genocide Convention, which was drawn up after the Second World War in light of the atrocities committed against Jews and other persecuted minorities during the Holocaust.


Residents carry an injured Palestinian man after rescuing him under the rubble during the search and rescue operation around the rubble of the building demolished after Israeli attacks in Deir al-Balah, Gaza on January 10, 2024
Residents carry an injured Palestinian man after rescuing him under the rubble during the search and rescue operation around the rubble of the building demolished after Israeli attacks in Deir al-Balah, Gaza on January 10, 2024 (photo)

New research reveals that the planet-warming emissions generated during the first two months of the war in Gaza were greater than the annual carbon footprint of more than 20 of the world’s most climate-vulnerable nations. The Guardian reports,

The vast majority (over 99%) of the 281,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2 equivalent) estimated to have been generated in the first 60 days following the 7 October Hamas attack can be attributed to Israel’s aerial bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis by researchers in the UK and US.

According to the study, which is based on only a handful of carbon-intensive activities and is therefore probably a significant underestimate, the climate cost of the first 60 days of Israel’s military response was equivalent to burning at least 150,000 tonnes of coal…

Hamas rockets fired into Israel during the same period generated about 713 tonnes of CO2, which is equivalent to approximately 300 tonnes of coal – underscoring the asymmetry of each side’s war machinery. (Read the full article here.)

Video by IAK

OCHA reports on humanitarian aid:

Between 1 and 10 January, only 14 per cent (3 of 21) planned aid deliveries of food, medicines, water, and other lifesaving supplies to the north of Wadi Gaza proceeded. Humanitarian partners were forced to cancel or delay missions in two instances due to excessive delays at Israeli checkpoints or because the agreed routes were unpassable.

Of note, multiple planned missions (between 7 and 10 January) to deliver urgent medical supplies to the Central Drug Store in Gaza city, as well as planned missions to deliver fuel to water and sanitation facilities in Gaza city and the north, were denied by the Israeli authorities. This marked the fifth denial of a mission to the Central Drug Store in Gaza city since 26 December. As a result, hospitals in northern Gaza remain without sufficient access to life-saving medical supplies and equipment.

The same recent denial also marked the sixth denial of fuel delivery to water and sanitation facilities, leaving people without access to clean water and increasing the risk of sewage overflows, rapidly increasing the spread of communicable diseases. On 10 January, the Director-General of the WHO stated that: “WHO has had to cancel 6 planned missions to northern Gaza since the 26th of December…The barrier to delivering humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza is not the capabilities of the UN, WHO or our partners. The barrier is access.”

Overall, the rate of access denials seen in January so far presents a significant deterioration when compared to those of December 2023, where more than 70 per cent (13 out of 18) of planned UN missions to the north were coordinated and undertaken.

On 10 January, four members of the Palestine Red Crescent Society’s (PRCS) ambulance crew and two injured people were killed when an ambulance was struck at the entrance of Deir al Balah, according to PRCS. The UN Human Rights Office expressed concern that Israel forces, “have placed civilian lives at serious risk by ordering residents from various parts of Middle Gaza to relocate to Deir Al Balah – while continuing to conduct airstrikes on the city.

In Deir al Balah and Khan Younis, three hospitals – Al Aqsa, Nasser, and Gaza European – are at risk of closure due to the issuance of evacuation orders in adjacent areas and the ongoing conduct of hostilities nearby.

An aerial view of a destroyed UNRWA school following Israeli attacks hit the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza on December 12, 2023. Israel has targeted schools, hospitals and residential areas during its 96-day military campaign
An aerial view of a destroyed UNRWA school following Israeli attacks hit the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza on December 12, 2023. Israel has targeted schools, hospitals and residential areas during its 96-day military campaign (photo)

A massive Israeli airstrike next to the Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al Balah the central Gaza Strip resulted in dozens of casualties on Wednesday, including dead and wounded. The building was a shelter for evacuees.

This area had been targeted multiple times by quadcopter drones, and has been widely threatened by Israeli fire since the expansion of the military operations in the middle governorate.

Among those killed was another journalist, Ahmed Badir, said the government media office in Gaza. Badir, who worked for Al Hadaf media outlet (TW disturbing video of the blast).

The Palestinian Ministry of Health says that around 113 journalists have been killed by Israeli attacks on Gaza since 7 October.

An Israeli sniper shot dead a Palestinian woman whose grandson was holding a white flag as they attempted to flee from Gaza City to a “safe zone” in the south of the embattled territory, Middle East Eye can reveal. The incident happened on November 12.

One of the woman’s daughters said, “At around 11am there was the sound of snipers and bombs, and our neighbors were shouting ‘leave, leave,’ so we picked up our things, held the white flags and left, while warplanes circled above our heads and live ammunition was being fired at us randomly.” (Read the full story here. TW disturbing video below.)

Destroyed building in Gaza surrounded by a crowd. The majority of the carbon dioxide estimated to have been produced can be attributed to Israel’s aerial bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza.
Destroyed building in Gaza surrounded by a crowd. (photo)

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has opened a digital platform to enable people to submit complaints online with evidence of Israeli war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide or aggression. Anyone can upload information that the ICC can use, including videos and images.

“You do not necessarily need to be a victim or witness of the alleged crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC listed above. Information can also be submitted collectively or through an organization, as long as there is an identifiable sender,” the office said in a statement.

The US State Department issued a statement on the meeting between Blinken and Abbas Wednesday in Ramallah. It said, in part,

Secretary Blinken discussed ongoing efforts to minimize civilian harm in Gaza and accelerate and increase the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians throughout Gaza.

The Secretary noted increased volatility in the West Bank and discussed U.S. efforts to address extremist violence.  He also underscored the United States’ position that all Palestinian tax revenues collected by Israel should be consistently conveyed to the Palestinian Authority in accordance with prior agreements.

The Secretary reaffirmed that the United States supports tangible steps towards the creation of a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel, with both living in peace and security.

Notably, the Netanyahu government is aware of these US positions, and disagrees or has made no noticeable progress toward achieving them – in spite of US military aid amounting to over $10 million a day.

aftermath of Israeli attacks on homes in Rafah
aftermath of Israeli attacks on homes in Rafah (photo)

The Times of Israel reports, An Israeli official with the military body in charge of Palestinian affairs, the Coordinator of Government Activity in the Territories (COGAT), has denied that there is a food shortage in Gaza despite overwhelming evidence that Israel’s assault has plunged the Gaza Strip’s population into a severe hunger crisis.

“The assessment we all [have], with the UN and other organizations, show that there is sufficient aid,” said Moshe Tetro, blaming international aid groups for struggling to process aid. “In terms of food, the reserves in the Gaza Strip are sufficient for the near term. There is no food shortage in Gaza.”

The UN recently announced that one out of every four Palestinians in Gaza is starving, and has pointed out that Israel’s border crossing policies are to blame.

WEST BANK: According to the Palestinian prisoners’ affairs authority’s annual report, at least 5,780 Palestinians have been arrested by Israel since October 7.

The total number of Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails at the end of December 2023 reached 8,800, including 80 women.

In the first two weeks after October 7, Israel doubled the number of Palestinians in its custody from 5,200 people to more than 10,000.

Israeli forces inflicted heavy damage on the British charity-funded health center for children, Action Around Bethlehem Children with Disabilities (ABCD) Bethlehem during a major raid in Nur Shams refugee camp last week. according to the center’s manager,

They ransacked the building, destroyed equipment, damaged all the rooms, and destroyed essential paperwork for the 250 children who receive treatment at the center.

They also stole food and winter clothing and even printer ink. They then threw many items out on the street.

The Anti-Defamation League released a report Wednesday listing more than 3,000 alleged antisemitic incidents committed in the three months since Oct. 7, a stunning figure that tops full-year tallies every year except 2022 — but roughly 1,300 of these, or 40 percent, appear to be rallies featuring ‘anti-Zionist chants and slogans,’ events that have not been counted in any previous tally,” Arno Rosenfeld, who covers anti-Semitism for the Forward, wrote in a social media post.

The ADL acknowledged in a statement to the Forward that it significantly broadened its definition of antisemitic incidents following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack to include rallies that feature “anti-Zionist chants and slogans,” events that appear to account for around 1,317 of the total count.

The ADL is an Israel advocacy organization, and has on numerous occasions lobbied against free speech when it involved criticism of Israel. It relies on the (false) assumption that criticism of Israel is antisemitic.

Israeli attack in Beirut was ‘clearly’ in violation of international law, according to UN special rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism Ben Saul. “It’s not a new phenomenon, of course Israel has been assassinating its perceived enemies for many, many decades,” he added, referring to Israel’s many assassination operations inside other sovereign nations.

“Hamas’s original attack on Israel on October 7 came from the territory of Gaza, it did not come from Lebanon, and by escalating the conflict to the territory of Lebanon by striking Hamas leaders there Israel is clearly in violation of international law.”

Speaking from Bahrain, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that continued Houthi attacks represent a “clear threat” to the nations of the world, and pledged to continue to work to thwart them. Blinken decried the “hundreds of attacks” the Yemeni group has carried out on commercial ships in the Red Sea, saying that the biggest one came yesterday.

He said that the attacks are “having a real-life impact on people” in the form of a rise in the price of consumer goods due to the effect they have had disrupting shipping.

The reason for the Houthi threat, which Blinken has yet to address, is Israel’s brutal war against Gaza.


Palestinian death toll since October 7: at least 23,054 (22,722 in Gaza* (at least 9,600 children), and at least 332 in the West Bank, about 83 of them children). This does not include an estimated 8,000 more still buried under rubble (4,900 women and children). Euro-Med Monitor reports 30,676 Palestinian deaths.

*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.

About 1.9 million people have been displaced (about 85% of the population).

Palestinian injuries since October 7: at least 63,264** (including at least 59,410 in Gaza** and 4,097 in the West Bank). **NOTE: it is impossible to provide an accurate number of injuries in Gaza due to the ongoing bombardment and communication disruption. 

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

Reported Israeli death toll since October 7: ~1,139  (8 killed in West Bank, 187 in Gaza), including 32 Americans, and 8,730 injured, approximately 33 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.

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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