Jabaliya attack continues; Gaza situation; West Bank raids; border crossing; hostage update; Israeli military deaths; US involvement
Palestinian death toll 8,448* (8,325 in Gaza* (including at least 3,648 children and 2,187 women – among these fatalities, 995 have not been identified yet, including at least 248 children.), and at least 123 in the West Bank); 23,751 injured (21,543 in Gaza and over 2,209 in the West Bank). It remains unknown how many Americans are among the casualties. About 1.4 million people have been displaced; more than 1,950 missing (1,050 children) and presumed to be under rubble.
*NOTE: The official UN death toll includes 471 Gazans killed in the Al Ahli hospital blast. IAK does not yet include those deaths since the source of the projectile is being disputed; although much evidence points to Israel as the culprit, experts are still looking into the incident. Israel is blocking an international investigation.
**NOTE: It is unknown at this time how many of the Israeli deaths and injuries 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.
The Committee to Protect Journalists has said,”More members of the press have died in the first weeks of the Israel-Gaza war than any other conflict since at least 1992.”
As of November 1:
- 33 journalists and media workers were confirmed dead: 28 Palestinian, 4 Israeli, and 1 Lebanese.
- 8 journalists were reported injured.
- 9 journalists were reported missing or detained.
- Continued attacks, arrests, threats, censorship and killings of family members.
Humanitarian update: The Palestinian Red Crescent Society says 55 trucks brought water, food, medicine and medical supplies into Gaza today (Wednesday). The average number of trucks allowed into Gaza prior to the hostilities was about 500 per day. Fuel, which is desperately needed, remains banned by the Israeli authorities.
Defense for Children International-Palestine has accused the US of being complicit in the killing of children in the Gaza Strip, “constituting the crime of genocide.” The group stated:
President Biden’s statements over the last few weeks suggest he is completely unconcerned by the scope and scale of Palestinian civilian harm—including the killings of 3,650 children—as a result of Israeli military attacks in Gaza.
He is actively becoming evermore complicit in an Israeli military campaign where Israeli forces are killing Palestinian children with impunity, constituting the crime of genocide.
Biden is not listening to experts on the Israel-Gaza situation: Writing for Al Jazeera, Kimberly Halkett says,
There’s enormous pressure [on Biden to rein in Israel] and it’s both visible and … invisible, in terms of it’s happening within the government where the public can’t see it.
Of course, we’re all seeing the public protests that are happening on a global scale…
[T]here are [also] members of the Biden administration that are not comfortable with the president’s Israel policy and are becoming increasingly vocal…
And what we’re being told is that the president is not listening to the experts, but instead is aligning himself with a very tightly knit circle of advisers, who are essentially giving him advice on how to proceed.
Gaza situation: Israeli airstrikes have hit apartment buildings in the Jabaliya refugee camp near Gaza City for a second day in a row, causing many more deaths and injuries. Yesterday’s attack on the camp was massive and deadly.
Survivors and eyewitness spoke of apocalyptic scenes in the aftermath of the strike, which tore a massive crater through the middle of the crowded camp. One said, “I was waiting in line to buy bread when suddenly and without any prior warning seven to eight missiles fell. There were seven to eight huge holes in the ground, full of killed people, body parts all over the place. It felt like the end of the world.”
Another said, “Children were carrying other injured children and running, with grey dust filling the air. Bodies were hanging on the rubble, many of them unrecognized. Some were bleeding and others were burnt.”
The UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated the “level of humanitarian assistance that has been allowed into Gaza up to this point is completely inadequate and not commensurate with the needs of people in Gaza, compounding the humanitarian tragedy.” Guterres also reiterated his “appeal for the immediate and unconditional release of those civilians held hostage by Hamas,” as well as “for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.”
Many Palestinian women have resorted to taking menstruation-delaying pills due to the desperate, unsanitary circumstances. Pregnant women and their unborn children in Gaza are among those in danger from Israel’s bombardment and siege. Thousands of expectant mothers have no medical care and don’t know where they will give birth.
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Communication is being restored in Gaza after another widespread outage of internet and phone service in Gaza for several hours early Wednesday. The blackout is similar to one last weekend. The inability to communicate puts the work of humanitarian agencies on the ground in jeopardy as they lose contact with their team members and the people in need of help.
- Recommended reading: Essential facts about the Hamas-Gaza-Israel war
- Recommended reading: Human rights reports on Israel-Palestine (regularly updated)
Border crossing: In the first opening of the Rafah crossing out of Gaza since October 7, the first batch of foreign nationals and dual nationals crossed today into Egypt. Ambulances carrying about 80 seriously wounded Palestinians also left. The government in Gaza published a list of about 500 names of people with permission to leave. Hundreds more arrived at the crossing, insisting on leaving. They have been waiting to leave Gaza for three weeks, and have made many calls and appeals to their embassies and government officials – but got no response.Due to the communication blackout that Israel imposed yesterday, some who are on the list may not have heard that they are permitted to leave today.
Recommended reading: State Department struggles to explain why American citizens still can’t exit Gaza
West Bank news: There have been multiple raids in the occupied West Bank, with the biggest one in the Jenin refugee camp. It began around midnight and ended about 7am, and was by far one of the largest raids since October 7. Some say at least 100 soldiers and multiple armored vehicles were involved in the raid. Israeli soldiers arrested a senior leader of the Fatah party, This is a surprise, since October 7, the Israeli army has been focused on Hamas leaders and activists within the occupied West Bank.
At least 4 Palestinians were killed in the Jenin raid.
In a new report entitled The other mass displacement: while eyes are on Gaza, settlers advance on West Bank herders, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) explains:
In 15 herding communities across the West Bank, at least 98 households comprising 828 people, including 313 children, have been displaced amid settler violence or increased movement restrictions since 7 October…Since then, Israeli settler violence has increased significantly, from an already high average of three incidents per day thus far in 2023 to a current average of seven per day…
Settlements are illegal under international humanitarian law and, compounded by settler violence, they have for many years resulted in increased risks and heightened humanitarian needs among Palestinians.
- Recommended reading: It’s not just Gaza – Israel is also killing scores in the West Bank
Hostage update: Hamas reports that 7 civilian detainees were killed in the Israeli massacre on Jabalia yesterday, including 3 holders of foreign passports. Hamas said last week about 50 captives had been killed in Israeli strikes.
Israel says it will continue the airstrikes even though that will likely cause more deaths of prisoners held by resistance groups in Gaza – including Americans. The US gives Israel $13 million per day and now is planning to send more, while begging Israel to start obeying international law.
In Tel Aviv, Biden promised an “unprecedented” package of aid to Israel of over $14.3 billion. The request includes funding for air and missile defense, military financing and embassy support.
The armed wing of the Palestinian group Hamas says it will release some foreign captives from Gaza in the coming days, without offering more specifics. The group has already released 4 hostages and allegedly offered to release more.
The detention of about 240 Israelis in Gaza is fueling Israeli anger against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Says NBC, “In addition to blaming Netanyahu for failing to protect Israelis from the assault, many think he has not been sufficiently proactive, sympathetic or communicative with families of the captives. A growing number also disapprove of prioritizing a military campaign in Gaza over the hostages’ safe return.” More and more seem open to the possibility of a prisoner swap. Israel currently holds about 10,000 Palestinian political prisoners.
News from US: The New York Times reports
American commandos on the ground in Israel are helping locate the more than 200 hostages seized during Hamas’s surprise cross-border attacks on Oct. 7, the Pentagon’s top special operations policy official said on Tuesday.
“We’re actively helping the Israelis to do a number of things,” Christopher P. Maier, an assistant secretary of defense, told a special operations conference in Washington. He said that a main task was to help Israel “identify hostages, including American hostages. It’s really our responsibility to do so.”…
The U.S. Special Operations forces are not assigned any combatant roles in Israel, but they are talking through with their Israeli counterparts “what is going to be a very complex fight going forward” in Gaza, Mr. Maier said.
Several Western countries have secretly moved small teams of their own special forces closer to Israel to help with any potential rescue operation and to be nearby to assist in any large-scale evacuations of their citizens from Israel or Lebanon.
- Recommended reading: Media bias in Western coverage of Israel’s war on Gaza
Israel news: The Israeli army says it has hit more than 11,000 military targets in Gaza “belonging to terrorist organizations” since the war began about three weeks ago.
In private conversations with American counterparts, Israeli officials referred to how the United States and other allied powers resorted to devastating bombings in Germany and Japan during World War II – including the dropping of the two atomic warheads in Hiroshima and Nagasaki – to try to defeat those countries…[It has become] evident to US officials that Israeli leaders believed mass civilian casualties were an acceptable price in the military campaign.
- Recommended reading: Israel told US it is modeling Gaza attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Israeli military deaths: Israel reports the deaths of 13 soldiers killed in ground battles in Gaza in the past 24 hours. Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant called the loss “a hard and painful blow” and a “heavy price.”
Wider Middle East: Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed on Tuesday that they launched a “large number” of ballistic missiles and drones towards Israel and warned of more attacks to come. A spokesperson for the Houthi’s military said today’s operation was the third targeting Israel.
Aditional updates here
MORE RECENT NEWS ON GAZA:
- Media bias in Western coverage of Israel’s war on Gaza
- What Americans Need to Know about Gaza and Israel Right Now
- Hersh: Israel considering flooding Gaza tunnels (this would kill hostages)
- Essential facts about the Hamas-Gaza-Israel war
- Sec’y Blinken (indirectly) calls Israel’s treatment of Gazans “barbaric”
- WATCH: What was happening in Gaza BEFORE the Hamas attack…
- October 31: Today’s news on Palestine & Israel