October 29: Today’s news on Palestine & Israel

October 29: Today’s news on Palestine & Israel

Bombing intensifies; hospital crisis; hostage update; 3 killed in West Bank; Israel vs Elon Musk; UN Sec’y-General statement; and more. (Photos & videos are at bottom of post)

This is a developing story, check back for updates

Find daily casualty figures and previous daily news updates here. For more news, go here and here. Live news is here.

Latest statistics:

Palestinian death toll 7,648* (7,534 in Gaza* (including 3,342 children, 2,062 women, and at least 114 in the West Bank); 21,754 injured (19,743 in Gaza and over 2,011 in the West Bank). It remains unknown how many Americans are among the casualties. About 1.4 million people have been displaced. The number missing and presumed to be under rubble is currently unknown, following heavy overnight bombing and communications blackout. Check back for updates.

*NOTE: The official OCHA 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 in dispute; although much evidence points to Israel as the culprit, experts are still looking into the incidentIsrael is blocking an international investigation.

Israeli death toll remains near 1,400 (1 killed in West Bank, 1 in Gaza), including 32 Americans, and 5,431 injured. (It is unclear how many of the Israeli deaths and injuries may have been caused by Israeli soldiers.)

The names of those killed: Palestinians killed in Gaza are here (an English translation appears to be here). The names of the Israelis killed are here.

Hover over each bar for exact numbers.
Source: IsraelPalestineTimeline.org

Largest US anti-war protests in 20 years, but little media coverage.

Mondoweiss reports that mainstream media is ignoring the biggest anti-war protests since the Iraq war, and Americans are asking the right questions: “‘Why am I supporting this? ‘Why am I complicit in this?’ Average Americans are seeing this carnage and wondering why they are subsidizing this genocide.” Polls show a change in attitude:

A new survey from Data for Progress found that 66% of voters “strongly agree” or “somewhat agree” that the use should call for a ceasefire and a deescalation of violence in the region. This includes 57% of Independents, 56% of Republicans, and a staggering 80% of Democrats.

To find a protest near you, go here.

Hospitals at serious risk

The Palestinian Red Crescent (PRCS) says they received “serious threats” from the Israeli forces to “immediately evacuate the Al-Quds Hospital as it is going to be bombed.”

Since this morning, there have been raids 50 meters away from the hospital, a statement on X said.

The hospital is located in the Tel al-Hawa area of Gaza City, in the north of Gaza.

Health ministry officials have stated that at least 30 hospitals and health centers have shut down in Gaza since Israel’s bombardment began. They have run out of medical supplies and fuel.

Several more hospitals are only partly open.

More hospitals are expected to shut down soon if no aid is allowed into Gaza.

Learn more about Israel’s threats against Gaza hospitals, and Gazan doctors’ response here and here.

Intense airstrikes, white phosphorus over Gaza

CNN reported that Friday night’s bombardment of Gaza was “strong, it was active, it was busy,” but Saturday was even worse. Added to the sound of airstrikes from fighter jets was artillery and machine gun fire. Explosions were “the loudest…in weeks,” according to one reporter. “It made the room shake…and we are 6 miles from the border with Gaza.”

Read about Israel’s advanced weaponry here, see a comparison of Israel’s arsenal vs Hamas’ here.

Middle East Monitor reports, “Israel has intensified its use of white phosphorus bombs in Gaza, with footage verified by Human Rights Watch. The chemical weapon consists of toxic substances employed with the deliberate intention to cause harm, incapacitate, or cause fatalities among human populations.”

A specialist told Al Jazeera, “White phosphorus can burn the skin down to the bone, and the chemicals can be absorbed by the body, causing dysfunction in multiple organs, including the liver, kidneys and heart.

Read more about white phosphorus here.

Hostage update

After a high-pressure meeting with families of the Israeli hostages, PM Netanyahu vowed to do everything possible to bring the hostages home safely.

Hamas’s leader in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar, says the group is ready for an “immediate” prisoner swap with Israel.

Hamas is reportedly holding about 220 prisoners, with plans to exchange them for some of the 10,000 Palestinian political prisoners currently held by Israel. Hamas says that 50 Israeli hostages have been killed in Israeli airstrikes.

The idea of a swap deal of hostages for Palestinian prisoners has been discussed within the Israeli war cabinet but there was no decision on the move.

Read what one of the released hostages said here. Some Israelis called her press conference, in which she said her captors were kind and attentive, was a “PR disaster.”

3 Palestinians killed in West Bank

IMEMC, the International Middle East Media Center, reports that 3 Palestinians were killed early Sunday by Israeli troops.

In 3 separate incidents in Tubas, Nablus, and Ramallah, Israeli forces invaded with many vehicles and met protests.

Soldiers also attacked an ambulance with an armored vehicle, and blocked its crews from approaching the injured.

According to the Palestinian Authority health ministry, Israeli forces and settlers have killed 114 West Bank Palestinians since October 7.

Israel vs Elon Musk, update on Gaza communication blackout

As IAK reported yesterday, virtually all communication in and out of Gaza was cut off on Friday. Soon, the hashtag #starlinkforgaza went viral, calling for Elon Musk to provide internet access to Gaza via his Starlink satellite.

Musk replied on X (formerly Twitter), “Starlink will support connectivity to internationally recognized aid organizations in Gaza.”

In response, Israel’s communication minister Shlomo Karhi vowed that Israel will fight Elon Musk using “all means at its disposal,” adding that Hamas “will use [Starlink] for terrorist activities.”

In separate post, Musk revealed, “No terminals from Gaza have attempted to communicate with our constellation.”

Meanwhile, Paltel Group, which provides communications services in Gaza, announced on Sunday that landline, mobile and internet services were gradually being restored after being disrupted by “ongoing aggression.”

“Our technical teams are diligently addressing the damage to the internal network infrastructure under challenging conditions,” the telecom said in a statement.

“May God protect you all and our Country.”

One Al Jazeera reporter filed this update: “Communication lines are not fully back on in Gaza. The phone signal is extremely weak … it comes and goes. Mobile data has not been restored. Only landlines are working at the moment.”

Humanitarian groups had warned that the communications blackout could be used by Israel as a cover for war crimes.

Netanyahu statement

“The war inside Gaza is going to be long. This is our second independence war. We’re going to save our country,” Netanyahu said.

He added, “Our heroic fighters have one goal: To destroy this enemy and to make sure the existence of our country [sic]. Never again. ‘Never again,’ is now.”

He also stated, “This mission is not a simple or easy one…It will be long and difficult. We are ready.”

UN statements

After the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution for a humanitarian truce in Gaza on Friday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated on Saturday his surprise at the “unprecedented escalation” of bombardments in Gaza by Israel.

I was encouraged in the last days by what seemed to be a growing consensus in the international community, including the countries supporting Israel, for the need of at least a humanitarian pause in the fighting to facilitate the release of hostages in Gaza, the evacuation of third country nationals and the necessary massive scale up of the delivery of humanitarian aid to the people in Gaza.

Regrettably, instead of the pause, I was surprised by an unprecedented escalation of the bombardments and their devastating impacts, undermining the referred humanitarian objectives..

Separately, UNRWA, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinians, reports that thousands of Gazans have broken into distribution centers and warehouses to get flour and “basic survival items.” The organization stated,

This is a worrying sign that civil order is starting to break down after three weeks of war and a tight siege on Gaza…

People are scared, frustrated and desperate. Tensions and fear are made worse by the cuts in the phones and internet communication lines. They feel that they are on their own, cut off from their families inside Gaza and the rest of the world.

Supplies on the market are running out while the humanitarian aid coming into the Gaza Strip on trucks from Egypt is insufficient.

The chair of the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel discussed their recent report and the current situation – video here.

Learn more about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza here and here.

Gaza reporter describes devastation

Tareq Abu Azzoum, journalist in the Gaza Strip for Al Jazeera, reported at around 1 am local time that Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza had taken intensive bombardment, and “dozens of residential buildings were completely wiped out.”

He added, “Israel keeps pounding different areas inside the Gaza Strip, leveling to the ground hundreds of residential buildings, without any kind of prior warning in the north and central areas of the Gaza Strip.”

Other news

What to do with the quantity of dead bodies? Palestinians say this war is robbing them not only of their loved ones but also of the funeral rites that long have offered mourners some dignity and closure in the midst of unbearable grief. Israeli strikes have killed so many people so quickly that they’ve overwhelmed hospitals and morgues, making the normal rituals of death all but impossible.

An estimated 1,700 people remain trapped beneath the rubble as Israel’s air raids impede and imperil civil defense workers, one of whom was killed during a rescue mission Friday. Sometimes it takes days for medics to recover bodies. By then corpses are often too swollen and disfigured to be recognizable.

“We have hundreds of people being killed every day,” said Inas Hamdan, a Gaza-based communications officer for the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency. “The whole system in Gaza is overwhelmed. People are dealing with the dead however they can.” Read the full article here.

No humanitarian aid on Saturday. A Red Crescent spokesperson stated that, due to Israel’s communications blackout, it was impossible to coordinate the entrance of aid trucks on Saturday, and no deliveries were made of life-saving supplies waiting just outside Gaza.

Before Saturday, Israel had allowed a total of 84 aid trucks into Gaza. 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.



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