A moment of hope, a day of outrageous Israeli crimes – Day 169

A moment of hope, a day of outrageous Israeli crimes – Day 169

UN chief Antonio Guterres offers words of solidarity with Gaza; meanwhile, Israel commits another “flour massacre,” reportedly commits atrocities in multiple hospitals; soldiers kill 3 journalists, torch houses with residents still inside; reports of rapes; upcoming UNSC vote on ceasefire, loss of livestock and livelihoods in Gaza, Israeli hostage dies, more

By IAK staff, from reports

WORDS OF HOPE, COMFORT – Al Jazeera reports: On Saturday, UN chief Antonio Guterres spoke at the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. Following are excerpts from his remarks:

Here, from this crossing, we see the heartbreak and heartlessness of it all. A long line of blocked relief trucks on one side of the gates, the long shadow of starvation on the other.

That is more than tragic. It is a moral outrage. Any further onslaught will make things even worse – worse for Palestinian civilians, worse for hostages and worse for all people in the region.

I want Palestinians in Gaza to know: You are not alone. People around the world are outraged by the horrors we are all witnessing in real-time. I carry the voices of the vast majority of the world who have seen enough. Who have had enough. And who still believe that human dignity and decency must define us as a global community.

It’s time to truly flood Gaza with life-saving aid. The choice is clear: either surge or starvation. Let’s choose the side of help – the side of hope – and the right side of history. I will not give up. And all of us must not give up in doing all we can for our common humanity to prevail in Gaza and around the world.

I say again: Nothing justifies the horrific attacks by Hamas on October 7. And nothing justifies the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.

Now more than ever, it is time for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. It is time to silence the guns. Palestinians in Gaza – children, women, men – remain stuck in a non-stop nightmare. Communities obliterated. Homes demolished. Entire families and generations wiped out. With hunger and starvation stalking the population.

‘Here from this crossing, we see the heartbreak and heartlessness of it all,’ said Guterres, and ‘A long line of blocked relief trucks on one side of the gates. The long shadow of starvation on the other'
‘Here from this crossing, we see the heartbreak and heartlessness of it all,’ said Guterres, and ‘A long line of blocked relief trucks on one side of the gates. The long shadow of starvation on the other’ (photo)

YET ANOTHER FLOUR MASSACRE – Al Jazeera reports: At least 19 Palestinians have been killed in an Israeli attack targeting civilians who were waiting for aid southeast of Gaza City, Gaza’s Ministry of Health and its Media Office said.

“The Israeli occupation commits a massacre, killing 19 and injuring 23 civilians while thousands of citizens were waiting for flour and aid near Al-Kuwait roundabout,” Gaza’s media office said in a statement on Saturday.

It said that the Israeli army and tanks opened fire with machine guns “towards the hungry people who were waiting for bags of flour and aid in a place far from posing any danger to the occupation”.

The Israeli military again denied responsibility.

Last Tuesday, 23 Palestinians were killed, and several others were injured by Israeli bombing that targeted Palestinians waiting for humanitarian aid in the northern Gaza Strip.

NOTE: Israel has 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.”

Palestinians including children are treated at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital after being injured in Israeli attacks which killed 40 Palestinians and injured 100 others in Deir el-Balah, Gaza, on February 22, 2024
Palestinians including children are treated at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital after being injured in Israeli attacks which killed 40 Palestinians and injured 100 others in Deir el-Balah, Gaza, on February 22, 2024 (photo)

HOSPITAL HORRORS – Palestine Chronicle reports: The Israeli army threatened to destroy the Al-Shifa Medical Complex in northern Gaza with medical teams and patients inside, the media office in the enclave said on Saturday.

“We received testimonies from inside Al-Shifa Medical Complex indicating that the Israeli occupation army threatened the medical staff and the displaced people sheltering there that it would destroy the hospital buildings with them inside,” the Gaza government media office said in a statement.

The army demanded that the Palestinians inside the hospital “head out for torture, investigation, and execution,” it added.

Since early Monday morning, Israeli forces continued to raid the Al-Shifa Medical Complex, despite the presence of thousands of patients, wounded, and displaced Palestinians inside, alongside killings, shootings, and wide-scale arrests carried out among the displaced inside the hospital, and the shelling of nearby houses.

The Israeli army announced on Saturday that it executed 170 Palestinians and detained hundreds for interrogations, transferring at least 160 of them to Israel.

Gazan journalist Hossam Shabat reports a testimony from al Shifa Hospital: Israeli soldiers assaulted and raped a pregnant Palestinian woman in front of her family and other men, threatening to shoot the men if they closed their eyes.

BREAKING HOSPITAL NEWS – The New Arab reports: Israeli forces besieged two more Gaza hospitals on Sunday, pinning down medical teams under heavy gunfire, the Palestinian Red Crescent said, while also continuing their deadly attacks on Gaza’s main Al-Shifa Hospital.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said one of its staff was killed when Israeli tanks suddenly pushed back into areas around Al-Amal and Nasser hospitals in the southern city of Khan Younis, amid heavy bombardment and gunfire.

Israeli armored forces sealed off Al-Amal Hospital and carried out extensive bulldozing operations in its vicinity, the Red Crescent said in a statement, adding: “All of our teams are in extreme danger at the moment and are completely immobilized.”

It said Israeli forces were now demanding the complete evacuation of staff, patients and displaced people from Al Amal’s premises and were firing smoke bombs into the area to force out its occupants.

SECURITY COUNCIL UPDATE – Associated Press reports: After Russia and China vetoed an American-penned resolution Friday, the 10 elected members of the UN Security Council have put forth a new resolution on Israel’s war on Gaza. A vote is set for Monday.

The new draft resolution demands an immediate humanitarian truce for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan “leading to a permanent sustainable ceasefire.”

It also demands “the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages ” and emphasizes the urgent need to protect civilians and deliver humanitarian aid throughout the Gaza Strip.

The Russian, Chinese and Algerian ambassadors have urged council members to support it, but US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said the text’s current form “fails to support sensitive diplomacy in the region. Worse, it could actually give Hamas an excuse to walk away from the deal on the table”.

JOURNALIST DEATHS – Another three Palestinian journalists were killed in fresh Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip on Saturday, bringing the death toll to 136 since Oct. 7, 2023, media office in the enclave said. The slain journalists were Muhammad Al-Rifi, Abdul Rahman Saima, and Mahmoud Imad Issa.

In an earlier statement, the office said “Israel deliberately killed journalists in Gaza in order to silence the voice of Palestinians, to hide the facts, and to prevent information from reaching the regional and international public.”

ISRAELI FORCES TORCH HOMES IN GAZA – The Geneva-based Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor says the Israeli military is torching residential buildings near al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

“In several incidents, Israeli forces set fire to homes while occupants were inside, preventing evacuation or fire extinguishing,” it says in a statement on X.

“We urge the Secretary-General of the UN and the Commissioner of the EU to intervene immediately, demanding that Israel cease its serious violations against civilians in Gaza City, including burning residential buildings and forcibly displacing residents towards southern Gaza.”

People sit at their destroyed house amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, March 22, 2024
People sit at their destroyed house amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, March 22, 2024 (photo)

LIVESTOCK AND FAMINE – The latest analysis from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization shows famine is imminent in northern Gaza between now and May, says Rein Paulsen, the director of its Office of Emergencies and Resilience.

That is in part because of widespread damage caused by the Israeli military to the agricultural sector in the Gaza Strip.

“When it comes to livestock losses – indispensable for the livelihoods and the survival of families in Gaza – we estimate that 60 percent of the milk cows have been killed,” Paulsen says.

When it comes to meat production, as much as 70 percent of the cattle stock has been killed. About 60 percent of small ruminants such as goats and sheep have been killed.

ISRAELI HOSTAGE DEATH – Andalou Agency reports: An Israeli hostage in Gaza, Yejiv Bukhattaf, died due to a shortage of medicine and food, Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, said on Saturday.

“We previously warned that enemy captives suffer from the same conditions as our people; hunger, deprivation, shortages of food and medicine, and that illness now threatens the lives of many of them,” the armed wing added, and, “Although he survived the Israeli army’s strikes, he did not survive the shortage of food and medicine.”

More News:

Euro-Med Monitor: Israeli army uses Palestinian civilians as human shields in its operation in Shifa Medical Complex and its vicinity
Al Jazeera: Israel seizes 800 hectares of Palestinian land in occupied West Bank
Al Jazeera: AOC decries ‘unfolding genocide’ in Gaza, urges halting weapons to Israel
Mondoweiss: Malcolm X’s final written words were about Zionism. Here is what he said.
Electronic Intifada: “Where is my leg?”
Electronic Intifada: Will Netanyahu outlast Biden?
IMEMC News Reports


Palestinian death toll from October 7 – March 23: at least 32,835* (32,379 in Gaza* (72% women and children), and at least 456 in the West Bank (116 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 23: at least 79,188 (including at least 74,188 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 23: ~1,403 (~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); 251 military forces since the ground invasion began in Gaza;, 15 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.
Source: IsraelPalestineTimeline.org

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