Latest casualty figures for Gaza and Israel, catastrophic humanitarian situation, Rashida Tlaib censure, G7 and Blinken statements.
Some people are led to be skeptical of the Al Jazeera news network. However, the network has won several Emmys, a Peabody and the Overseas Press Association’s Edward R. Murrow award, among many other honors. The New York Times reports that “its reporting hews to international journalistic standards and provides a unique view on events in the Middle East.” it’s important to remember that all news sources may potentially have bias. For example, CNN uses anchors who used to work for the Israel Lobby, who have lifelong attachment to Israel, and who often exhibit pro-Israel spin and omission in their broadcasts. Similarly, Fox News is strongly influenced by Rupert Murdoch, who has a strong attachment to Israel, and who may have fired Tucker Carlson, the network’s most popular host, in part due to the host’s opposition to war and his pattern of failing to exhibit sufficient devotion to Israel).
Palestinian death toll: 10,261* (10,098 in Gaza** (including at least 4,237 children and 2,719 women), and at least 163 in the West Bank). *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.
Palestinian injuries: 28,331** (including at least 25,956 in Gaza** and 2,375 in the West Bank). **NOTE: it is impossible to offer an accurate number of injuries in Gaza due to the ongoing bombardment and communication disruption. The Associated Press has reported ~32,000 in Gaza, while the UN number is 25,956. Our total for Gaza and the West Bank is based on the conservative figure.
***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.
Bernie stands with Rashida: Senator Bernie Sanders scolded the House of Representatives for its treatment of Rep. Rashida Tlaib (see below). In a tweet, he said,
The House should pass desperately needed aid for Gaza, work to stop the conflict in the Middle East, and address the pressing needs of the American people…Instead they voted to censure my friend @RashidaTlaib, the only Palestinian-American in Congress. Pathetic and shameful! (18:25 GMT)
Israeli high court says No to free speech: Israel’s Supreme Court has rejected petitions against a police decision to ban protests calling for an end to the war in Gaza. The decision states: “Despite the right to protest’s high standing, the complicated reality in which we find ourselves affects the way it is balanced.” (18:15 GMT)
Humanitarian aid: 81 trucks with humanitarian aid entered Gaza on 7 November, bringing the number of trucks that have entered Gaza since 21 October to 650. Prior to the start of hostilities, an average of 500 truckloads entered Gaza every working day. The entry of fuel, which is desperately needed to operate electricity generators to run life-saving equipment, remains banned by the Israeli authorities.
Humanitarian aid convoy attacked: Two trucks were damaged and a driver lightly wounded as the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) convoy, which was carrying “lifesaving medical supplies to health facilities including to Al Quds hospital of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society,” was hit by fire, the medical NGO said on Tuesday. The ICRC said it was “deeply troubled” about the incident and reminded the warring “parties of their obligation under international humanitarian law to respect and protect humanitarian workers at all times”.
The statement did not identify the source of the fire on the convoy, which consisted of five trucks and two ICRC vehicles; however, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) blamed Israel. Israeli leaders have not commented on the incident. (05:30 EST)
Assistance from Italy: Italy will reportedly send a hospital ship with 170 staff members and 30 people trained for medical emergencies close to the coast of Gaza to help treat victims. Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto suggested that two naval vessels that were already sent to the region would likely remain there.
- RECOMMENDED READING: US poised to give Israel $18 billion in aid this year
Food catastrophe: Access to bread remains a challenge in southern Gaza, with the only operative mill in the enclave unable to grind wheat due to a lack of electricity and fuel. According to OCHA,“During the day, many people desperately looking for food broke into the last three bakeries with remaining stocks of wheat flour and took about 38 metric tons.” When bread is available, people queue for long hours where they are exposed to potential Israeli airstrikes, OCHA said.
Around 9,000 tons of wheat grain is stored in mills in Gaza but a significant portion is inaccessible due to destruction and security concerns, coupled with fuel and electricity shortages, it added. (03:15 EST)
Exit from Gaza: On 7 November, about 600 foreign and dual nationals, and 17 injured people were allowed to leave Gaza. Some of the latter were transported from northern Gaza in an ambulance convoy led by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Update on evacuation from the north: Waving white flags and holding identification papers aloft, residents of northern Gaza were seen fleeing south during a four-hour window allotted by the Israel Defense Forces for civilians to escape Tuesday. Evacuees include children, women and elderly people. Many have been walking for hours, some carrying nothing but water bottles.
Al Quds hospital update: The situation for the Al Quds Hospital is “catastrophic.” Half of its ambulances are out of service, and the central storage area has been partially destroyed. The Israeli attack destroyed an estimated $5 million worth of medications and equipment. On Sunday, Israeli air strikes bombed the entrance of the hospital, killing 4 and injuring 35 people. (13:40 GMT)
The Palestine Red Crescent Society said on X, “Israeli bombardment has been ongoing since last night in the vicinity of al-Quds Hospital from the western side. All roads to the hospital are closed. Medical teams are unable to leave the hospital to reach the injured persons.” (12:55 GMT)
- RECOMMENDED READING: for a description of another Gaza hospital’s fight to survive and help its patients survive, read Why is Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital at the heart of Israel’s war?
Mosque leveled: In Khan Younis, a short distance from a hospital and a busy market, the largest mosque in the area was bombed and completely destroyed. (13:21 GMT)
Other Gaza bombings: as Israeli soldiers move toward the center of Gaza City, Israeli bombings have been reported in Jabalia refugee camp, Shujaiya neighborhood in eastern Gaza City, eastern Khan Younis, and Nuseirat refugee camp. Near the coast, Israeli gunboats have reportedly targeted a public school full of displaced people. (11:25 GMT)
Hostage update: Qatar is reportedly mediating between Israel and Hamas for the potential release of 10-15 captives in exchange for a short ceasefire, AFP reports. “Negotiations mediated by the Qataris in coordination with the US are ongoing to secure the release of 10-15 hostages in exchange for a one- to two-day ceasefire,” an anonymous source told the news agency. (13:45 GMT)
War crime allegations: Balakrishnan Rajagopal, UN special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, stated that the widespread and systematic bombardment of housing and civilian infrastructure in Gaza amounts to a war crime and a crime against humanity. About 50% of all housing units have been destroyed or damaged in Israel’s month-long strikes, “Carrying out hostilities with the knowledge that they will systematically destroy and damage civilian housing and infrastructure – rendering an entire city such as Gaza City uninhabitable for civilians – is a war crime,” said Rajagopal. When such acts are “directed against a civilian population, they also amount to crimes against humanity.” (12:45 GMT)
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Censure for Tlaib: The US House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to censure its sole Palestinian-American lawmaker, Rashida Tlaib, for her comments on the Israel-Hamas war. The resolution, which was backed by some 22 members of her Democratic party, claimed Tlaib had been “promoting false narratives” and seeking “destruction of Israel.” The second accusation is based on her use of the slogan, “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
The wording of the popular chant mirrors the founding charter of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party: “Between the sea and the Jordan there will only be Israeli sovereignty.”
College pressured to drop course on apartheid: An Israeli diplomat tried to persuade Bard College in New York to cancel a course about the growing debate over whether the Jewish state practices a form of apartheid in the occupied Palestinian territories. The objection, on the grounds that it breached the controversial International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism. Bard refused to cancel the course.
G7 summit takeaways: To G7 diplomates meeting in Tokyo discussed the situation in Gaza. The ministers “unequivocally” condemned Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel and its subsequent rocket attacks, and emphasized Israel’s right to defend itself. They also called for humanitarian pauses and supported a two-state solution. There was no mention of a ceasefire or Israel’s destruction and mass killing in Gaza. (12:35 GMT)
Blinken statement: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has escalated his opposition to a ceasefire in Gaza in comments made Wednesday, saying “those calling for an immediate ceasefire have an obligation to explain how to address the unacceptable result that would likely bring.” (05:45 EST)
Blinken also said that it’s “clear that Israel cannot occupy Gaza,” but “there may be a need for some transition period at the end of the conflict” between Israel and Hamas. The top US diplomat’s mention of a “transition period” came in response to comments from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who earlier this week said Israel will have the “overall security responsibility” in Gaza for an “indefinite period” after the war with Hamas ends. (09:00 EST)
- RECOMMENDED READING: U.S. diplomats slam Biden’s Israel policy in leaked memo
Palestinian children in Gaza hold a news conference outside Al Shifa hospital, where they sought refuge.
“We want to live. We want peace. We want food, medicine and education. Not bombs… we want to live as the other children live.” via @Shepherds4Good
— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) November 7, 2023
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) chokes up while condemning the resolution to censure her that the House is considering:
“Speaking up to save lives, Mr. Chair, no matter faith, no matter ethnicity, should not be controversial in this chamber.” pic.twitter.com/4ob7W6NZIB
— The Recount (@therecount) November 7, 2023
Israel's total blockade on fuel entering Gaza is seriously affecting critical functions in all hospitals, risking the lives of patients in neonatal incubators, intensive care units and those requiring dialysis, and impeding the movement of ambulances.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) November 8, 2023
My best friend Maisara Alrayyes and his family were killed in an Israeli airstrike 2 days ago. His 2 brothers who survived have been trying to get the bodies from under the rubble. Today another airstrike killed the 2 brothers while they were getting the bodies out. pic.twitter.com/GfL1kqjnOH
— Anas Ismail (@anasismail95) November 8, 2023
There's only one thing on everyone's mind in Gaza right now: how to secure access to food and water.
The fear of death from air strikes has become secondary to the unavoidable necessity of eating.
— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) November 8, 2023
Democratic representative Ilhan Omar criticised the measure pushed by Republican representative Rich McCormick to censure Democratic representative Rachida Tlaib over her comments on the Israel-Palestine war on Tuesday, describing it as "glaring hypocrisy". pic.twitter.com/KMhtE0nlO9
— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) November 8, 2023