Famine, desperation in Gaza as Israel continues to restrict aid access; 3 Palestinians killed in West Bank; 1 Israeli killed in car-ramming; Iran bombs Israeli “spy HQ” in Iraq; Houthi news; South Africa coming after US and UK; more American troops headed for Middle East; UK allegedly smuggling weapons into Israel
CNN reports: “Hundreds of thousands are starving in Gaza as famine arrives at ‘incredible speed.” Israel’s war in Gaza has brought famine the United Nations’ emergency relief chief told CNN on Monday. Martin Griffiths said the war “has brought famine with such incredible speed to the front of the lines.”
Aid has been trickling into Gaza slowly from two border crossings in the south but agencies have been warning it is a fraction of what is needed.
“People in Gaza risk dying of hunger just miles from trucks filled with food,” warned WFP’s Executive Director Cindy McCain. “Every hour lost puts countless lives at risk. We can keep famine at bay but only if we can deliver sufficient supplies and have safe access to everyone in need, wherever they are.”
Gaza’s 350,000 children under the age of 5 are especially vulnerable, UNICEF said. The agency warned that in the next few weeks, child wasting, which is the most life-threatening form of malnutrition in children, could affect up to 10,000 children.
“Some of the material we desperately need to repair and increase water supply remain restricted from entering Gaza. The lives of children and their families are hanging in the balance. Every minute counts,” according to UNICEF.
A joint statement by the World Food Program (WFP), UNICEF, the World Health Organization and UNRWA said the quantities of aid reaching residents of the enclave “fall far short of what is needed to prevent a deadly combination of hunger, malnutrition, and disease”. The appeal comes after a UN analysis confirmed that the entire population of Gaza is facing at least crisis levels of food insecurity.
The agencies called on Israel to use the Port of Ashdod, which is roughly 40km (35 miles) to the north of Gaza, to let in more aid. It also called on authorities to open more crossings into the enclave and let in commercial traffic.
“People in Gaza are suffering from a lack of food, water, medicines and adequate healthcare. Famine will make an already terrible situation catastrophic because sick people are more likely to succumb to starvation and starving people are more vulnerable to disease”, said WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights has published one Gazan paramedic’s story of abduction and torture by the Israeli military, including beatings, electric shocks, exposure to extreme temperatures, hallucinogenic drugs, and starvation.
RECOMMENDED READING: How Israel killed Palestinians waiting for food trucks in northern Gaza
— Richard Hardigan (@RichardHardigan) January 15, 2024
Israeli forces kill three Palestinians in occupied West Bank:
37-year-old Fares Khalifa was shot dead by the Israeli occupation forces Monday evening at a checkpoint east of Tulkarem in the West Bank. He was shot by Israeli gunfire; ambulance crews were prevented from reaching him and he was left bleeding on the ground until he died.
22-year-old Mohammed Hasan Abu Sabaa and 23-year-old female Ahed Mahmoud Mohammed were also killed Monday by Israeli forces in the town of Dura, south of Hebron. Abu Sabaa was shot in the heart; Mohammed was shot in the head.
According to the UN agency OCHA, Israeli forces have killed 30 Palestinians in West Bank so far this year – 7 of them minors.
2 Israeli captives were reportedly killed in Israeli air strikes: Hamas’s Qassam Brigades released a video that depicts what appear to be the bodies of two Israeli captives, Yossi Sharabi and Itay Svirsky.
In the video, another captive, Noa Argamani, says that she was injured in an Israeli air strike that killed Sharabi, before adding that Svirsky was then killed in another strike. The claims made in the video cannot be independently verified.
Andalou Agency reports: After South Africa filed a case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for genocide in Gaza [see presentations here], the country’s nearly 50 lawyers are preparing a separate lawsuit against the US and UK governments on the grounds that they are complicit in Israeli forces’ war crimes in Palestine.
The initiative, led by South African lawyer Wikus Van Rensburg ,who has been writing letters to various countries and the ICJ for the last few weeks demanding that Israel and its supporters be prosecuted, has begun preparations to file a lawsuit against the two Western countries, with the support of his colleagues.
“The United States must now be held accountable for the crimes it committed,” Rensburg told Anadolu in an interview, detailing the process by which Washington and London will be tried as complicit in Tel Aviv’s war crimes against the people of Gaza.
The Houthis’ military spokesperson, Yahya Sarea, said that Houthi forces had hit “an American ship in the Gulf of Aden, with a number of appropriate naval missiles, and the hit was accurate and direct”. “All American and British ships and warships involved in the aggression against our country are considered hostile targets,” Sarea said, before adding that no future American or British attack on Yemen would go “unpunished”.
Sarea reiterated that the Houthis would “block Israeli navigation in the Arabian Sea and the Red Sea until the aggression stops and the siege on the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip is lifted”.
RECOMMENDED READING: Is Egypt demanding huge bribes from people leaving Gaza?
The Cradle reports: The US is set to send 1,500 soldiers to Syria and Iraq, ostensibly in order to join the fight against ISIS, CBS Philadelphia reported on 14 January. Within the latter half of 2023, the US sent a wave of 2,500 soldiers to Syria and deployed over 900 soldiers to Iraq on two separate occasions. The deployment of these soldiers was to protect US interests against “Iran-affiliated forces.”
According to Axios, the US military presence in the region reached about 45,400 as of October 2023. The majority is in Kuwait, with 13,500; followed by Bahrain at 9,000; and Qatar at 8,000.
This is happening while US-opposed forces in Iraq and Syria have targeted US bases at least 130 times since the start of the war in Gaza.
Al Jazeera reports: Monitors and media reports claim that Britain is supplying Israel’s army for its war in Gaza from military bases in Cyprus. Since the latest escalation of the Israel-Palestine conflict began on October 7, locals have seen a “daily” increase in the number of flights leaving Akrotiri, said Charis Pashias, head of the Cyprus Peace Council. The base is about 40 minutes flying time from Tel Aviv.
Britain’s Ministry of Defense has released some information on RAF flights between Akrotiri and Israel but refuses to specify what is being transported and will not disclose details of US activity from Cyprus.
Defense Minister Grant Shapps told parliament on December 5 that the UK would provide “only defensive materiel, or materiel that might help with the recovery of hostages” during the conflict.
People have also “become aware of the illegal presence of thousands of American soldiers now stationed in Akrotiri,” he added.
'No limit' but after you limit the kinds of goods that go in, where they can go, who is allowed to ship them in & from where, while not engaging in real deconfliction w/humanitarian actors distributing aid, does it really matter? In practice you are limiting the amount of aid. https://t.co/gAV5TXV3x2
— Tania Hary (@taniahary) January 15, 2024
I am from the generation born with the Nakba, with its massacres, its tents and its hardships. I never thought I would see it happen again in my lifetime.
70% of Palestinians in Gaza are already refugees, who were denied their right of return for decades now. Many of the people… pic.twitter.com/k0wKgQVZHp
— Ambassador Majed Bamya 🇵🇸 (@majedbamya) January 14, 2024
STATISTICS OCTOBER 7 – JANUARY 14:
Palestinian death toll since October 7: at least 24,452* (~24,100 in Gaza* (over 10,000 children), and at least 352 in the West Bank. This does not include an estimated 7,000 more still buried under rubble (4,900 women and children). Euro-Med Monitor reports 31,497 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 60,834 in Gaza** and 4,176 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.
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.
- 12 Essential Facts for Understanding the Current Israel-Gaza Violence
- Israel’s torture and humiliation of female and male Gazan prisoners
- 2023 in review: 12 months of blood on Israeli and American hands
- Coverage of Gaza War in NYTimes & other major papers heavily favored Israel, analysis shows
- Two reports debunk New York Times ‘investigative report’ of mass rape on October 7th
- John Mearsheimer: Genocide in Gaza
- Flashback: Israeli Journalist said Israel is pushing US into war with Iran
- Israel’s Assault on Gaza Is Unlike Any War in Recent Memory
- US poised to give Israel $18 billion in aid this year
- Gaza Civilians, Under Israeli Barrage, Are Being Killed at Historic Pace
- Essential facts and stats about the Hamas-Gaza-Israel war
- What media reports fail to tell you about October 7