Promises broken: Israel is still obstructing the entrance of aid to Gaza – Day 194

Promises broken: Israel is still obstructing the entrance of aid to Gaza – Day 194

Israel steadfastly starves Gaza; horror in Beit Hanoun; Israeli settlers displace entire communities of Palestinians; Executing Palestinian detainees best way to combat prison overcrowding – Israeli minister; Netanyahu insists on making Iran decision alone; Biden op-ed begs for more money for Israel…

By IAK staff, from reports

Israeli settlers displaced entire West Bank communities: Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch reports: Israeli settlers have “entirely uprooted” seven communities and displaced many more Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since October 2023, according to a new report from Human Rights Watch (HRW).

“Settlers and soldiers have displaced entire Palestinian communities, destroying every home, with the apparent backing of higher Israeli authorities,” said Bill Van Esveld, associate children’s rights director at HRW.

None of the families have been able to return home, with “one family with seven children, forced to flee on foot from al-Qanub” now living in a cinderblock storeroom, HRW said.

(Read the full report here.)

NOTE: Israel has illegally built around 280 settlements on Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, which arehome to more than 700,000 illegal settlers. Israeli settlements and settlers on Palestinian land are a violation of international law. Settlers, moreover, have ahistory ofviolence against Palestinians, often with the assistance of Israeli military forces.
Palestinian residents inspect the destroyed house and vehicles set on fire by Jewish settlers who infiltrated the village overnight, in Nablus, West Bank on 11 April, 2024
Palestinian residents inspect the destroyed house and vehicles set on fire by Jewish settlers who infiltrated the village overnight, in Nablus, West Bank on 11 April, 2024 (photo)

UN: despite promises, Israel is still obstructing Gaza aid

Reuters reports: The UN continues to struggle to prevent famine in the Gaza Strip with aid deliveries still dealing with hold-ups, a senior UN official says.

Andrea De Domenico, head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian Territory, said aid deliveries within Gaza face significant checkpoint delays. Last week 41 percent of UN requests to deliver relief to northern Gaza were denied, he said.

“We’re dealing with this dance where we do one step forward, two steps backward, or two steps forward, one step backward, which leaves us basically always at the same point,” said De Domenico.

“For every new opportunity that we’ve been given, we will find yet another challenge to deal with. So it’s really, really difficult for us to scale up to where we would like to be.”

NOTE: Thousands of aid trucks are reportedly waiting at the southern border of Gaza, where Israel has made it extremely difficult to pass, employing complicated and arbitrary procedures; when aid has gotten into Gaza, the people have many times been shot at as they tried to obtain food. Israeli forces have targeted trucks themselves and humanitarian aid staff.
Under tremendous global pressure, Israel recently promised to “flood Gaza with aid,” but for the most part has not followed through.
Children wait in line to receive food as Israeli attacks continue in Khan Younis
Children wait in line to receive food as Israeli attacks continue in Khan Younis (photo)

Israeli forces rounded up all the men in Beit Hanoun

Some were told to run for their lives, others were stripped, blindfolded, handcuffed and brought for interrogation, which involved torture and abuse, Al Jazeera reports

Discarded clothes are strewn along a destroyed road in northern Gaza’s Beit Hanoun city. The items of clothing are evidence of what locals say was a campaign of mass arrests by Israeli forces

Watch the full report:

25,000 tonnes of explosives dropped on Gaza, ‘largely’ using AI – UN expert

Al Jazeera reports: Francesca Albanese, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territory, said 250 people were killed per day during the first weeks of Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip when she says 2,000-pound “bunker buster bombs” were “launched on densely populated areas”.

Palestinian Prisoner’s Day, 2024

Al Jazeera reports: The Palestinian National Council chose April 17 as Palestinian Prisoner’s Day in 1974 because it was the date that Mahmoud Bakr Hijazi was released in the first prisoner exchange between Israel and Palestine in 1971.

Hijazi, who had been serving a 30-year prison sentence on charges of trying to blow up the Nehusha Water Institute in central Israel in 1965, was released by Israel in exchange for a 59-year-old Israeli guard named Shmuel Rozenvasser.

How many Palestinians are in Israeli prisons and how are they treated?

In the occupied Palestinian territories, one in every five Palestinians has been arrested and charged at some point.

This rate is twice as high for Palestinian men as it is for women – two in every five men have been arrested and charged.

(Read more about Palestinian Prisoners’ Day 2024 here.)

Israeli National Security Minister: Executing Palestinian detainees best way to combat ‘prison overcrowding’

Middle East Monitor reports: After the Israeli government approved National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s proposal to build about 936 additional prison places to hold Palestinian prisoners, he noted: “I’m glad that the government approved my proposal that will allow the Israel Defence Forces to build 936 (in total 1,600) additional prison places for security prisoners,” referring to Palestinian prisoners.

“The additional construction will allow the prison service to take in more terrorists* and will bring a partial solution to the overcrowding crisis,” he added.

He went on: “The death penalty for terrorists* is the right solution to the overcrowding problem, until then – glad that the government approved the proposal I brought.”

*NOTE: The use of the word “terrorist” for a group that resists occupation and oppression is a political, not fact-based choice. In reality, international law supports the efforts of resistance groups against an occupying power, even to the point of armed resistance. Hamas has clearly and openly stated that its enemy is not the Jewish people, but the racist ideology of Zionism – the ideology under which Israel dispossessed 750,000 Palestinian people and exiled them to Gaza and other locations. 



‘We’ll make our decisions ourselves’, Israeli PM says

Al Jazeera reports: Fresh out of meetings with foreign envoys, Netanyahu says he appreciates the support and counsel of Israel’s allies but the country will ultimately make its own decisions after the attack by archenemy Iran.

“I thank our friends for their support in defending Israel … support both in words and support in actions,” said Netanyahu, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

“They also have all sorts of suggestions and advice, which I appreciate. But I want to make it clear – we will make our decisions ourselves, and the state of Israel will do whatever is necessary to defend itself.

NOTE: The US gives Israel $3.8 billion in direct military aid every year, and expects to have some input into how that aid is used. Netanyahu has rejected advice from the Biden administration throughout this onslaught on Gaza.

Smotrich reportedly refuses to transfer 600 million shekels for infrastructure to increase aid to Gaza

Ha’aretz reports: Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich refuses to transfer 600 million shekels (about $158 million) from the war budget to improve infrastructure that would enable the expansion of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, according to a political source.

The budget is supposed to be used in part for the renovation of Highway 10 – that runs along Israel’s border with Egypt – the opening of a crossing to move goods into northern Gaza, and the expansions of the Kerem Shalom Crossing.

Israel cabinet approves $5 billion plan to rebuild Israeli towns on the Gaza border

Reuters reports: Israel’s cabinet on Wednesday approved a five-year, 19-billion-shekel ($5 billion) plan to rebuild and strengthen communities near the Gaza border after the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas militants, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would invest the funds in housing, infrastructure, education, employment, health and other areas.

“Hamas terrorists* wanted to uproot us – but we will uproot them and deepen our roots,” he said in a statement. “We will build the Land of Israel and protect our country.”

NOTE: These Israeli communities near Gaza are on stolen land; A great deal of the damage in these towns on October 7th was done by Israeli tanks and helicopters; many of the deaths that day were also caused by Israeli fire.
Palestinians in Gaza survey the damage following an Israeli airstrike.
Palestinians in Gaza survey the damage following an Israeli airstrike. (photo)

President Biden’s “Moment of Truth” op-ed for WSJ

The Wall Street Journal carried an op-ed by President Joe Biden on Wednesday. Here is an excerpt:

Iran launched an unprecedented attack against Israel this weekend, with a barrage of missiles and drones. Around the same time, some 1,500 miles north, Russia continued its bombardment of Ukraine, which has intensified dramatically in the last month.

Both Ukraine and Israel defended themselves against these attacks…And both did it with critical help from the U.S.

Now is not the time to abandon our friends [sic]. The House must pass urgent national-security legislation for Ukraine and Israel, as well as desperately needed humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza…

Significantly, Biden added: “If Iran succeeds in significantly escalating its assault on Israel, the US could be drawn in.”

NOTE: Israel carried out its intentionally provocative attack on the Iranian embassy complex in Damascus without consultation with the US.

US reportedly approves Rafah op. in exchange for no Israeli counter-strikes on Iran

Israeli and other media are reporting: The US has approved a potential Israeli Rafah operation in exchange for the Jewish state not conducting counterstrikes on Iran, according to a Thursday report from the Qatari newspaper The New Arab.

A senior official reportedly told The New Arab that “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu managed to obtain American approval for a military operation in Rafah, in exchange for [Israel] refraining from carrying out a wide military operation against Iran in response to its recent attack.”

He claimed that “discourse of an Israeli response to Iran contradicts  the desires of the American administration, and is not realistic, given the Israeli claims that the United States played the major role in repelling the Iranian attack and preventing its success.”

UNSC vote won’t ‘necessarily’ help two-state solution: US ambassador to UN

Ahead of an expected vote Thursday night, Linda Thomas-Greenfield has said a UN Security Council resolution on Palestinian statehood will not “necessarily” lead to a two-state solution supported by the United States.

President Biden has said categorically that we support a two-state solution for addressing the situation in the Middle East, where Palestinians will have a state of their own and Israel is secure in their state. And we are working on the ground to get to that place as quickly as possible. We do not see that doing a resolution in the Security Council will necessarily get us to a place where we can find a two-state solution moving forward.

Thomas-Greenfield did not specifically say whether the US would veto the resolution recommending the State of Palestine for full UN membership currently being considered by members of the UNSC.

Iran and the world

48 countries condemn Iran’s ‘large-scale attack’ on Israel

The United States Mission to the United Nations, Israel, and 46 other countries have issued a joint statement “unequivocally” condemning Iran’s “large-scale attack” on Israel on Saturday night. It reads in part:

We unequivocally condemn the April 13 attacks by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its militant partners on the State of Israel, which involved launching several hundred ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and attack drones against multiple targets, and note this large-scale attack could have caused significant damage and loss of life.

Essential reading on this topic:

Iran’s attack on Israel sought to avoid casualties, says IRGC commander

The New Arab reports: Iran did not intend to cause casualties in the attack mounted last Saturday night on Israel, Iranian Brigadier General Rasoul Sanaei-Rad, the Lieutenant Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said on Wednesday.

The reason Iran’s response to the targeting of the Iranian consulate in Damascus on 1 April sought to avoid casualties was that “if five had died among [Israel’s] women and children, then the Zionists would have prompted an uproar against us”, Sanaei-Rad added in an interview with Iran’s Tasnim news agency.

Iran’s attack on Israel came after it had become clear there was nothing in place to deter Israel from continuing its aggressive acts, he said.

“Therefore we decided to bring a halt to the assassinations and crimes on the one hand and to punish the aggressor on the other” he added.

He indicated that Iran had given the Israelis several days to prepare; “however, if they commit a new act of foolishness, no such opportunity will be given and we will direct a multi-pronged and devastating strike against them.”


Al Jazeera: Columbia president faces anti-Semitism Congress hearing: What’s at stake?
(Related: Glenn Greenwald: What really caused Claudine Gay’s ouster?)
Al Jazeera: Spain leads European push to recognise Palestine, risking Israel’s wrath
Al Jazeera: How well could Iran defend itself against a potential Israeli attack?
Bloomberg: Foiling Iran’s Missile Attack Probably Cost More Than $1 Billion
Electronic Intifada: Joseph Massad responds to fabrications and lies about him in Congress
Palestine Chronicle: “Unparalleled Plans” – Israel accelerates settlement projects across East Jerusalem
The Athletic: Palestinian FA asks FIFA to expel Israel with vote to be held in May at annual congress
The New Arab: World Central Kitchen and how Western-vetted aid helps sanitize genocide in Gaza
IMEMC News Reports


Palestinian death toll from October 7 – April 17: at least 34,751* (34,274 in Gaza* (at least 14,560 children, 9,582 women), and at least 477 in the West Bank (117 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 42 Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons (27 from Gaza, 14 from West Bank)

At least 31 Palestinian children and several adults 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 Catastrophic levels of food insecurity.

Palestinian injuries from October 7 – April 17: at least 81,664 (including at least 76,664 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 – April 17: ~1,407 (~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); 259 military forces since the ground invasion began in Gaza;, 16 in the West Bank) and~8,730 injured.

Times of Israel reports: The IDF also listed 41 soldiers killed due to friendly fire in Gaza and other military-related accidents – nearly 16%.

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.


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