Sewage in streets of Gaza’s tent cities, acute malnutrition – Day 123

Sewage in streets of Gaza’s tent cities, acute malnutrition – Day 123

Hamas’ ceasefire counterproposal; Israeli troops shoot at Gazans waiting for aid, kill another journalist, prepare to invade Rafah; Israeli leaders in denial about torture of Gazans, settler violence; January figures show Israel’s belligerence about humanitarian aid deliveries; investigation starting on possible Israeli killing of its own on October 7th; West Bank violence, terrible prison conditions; Harvard under investigation; Palestinian in Texas stabbed; Pro-Israel billionaires back anti-Palestinian propaganda in US…

By IAK staff, from reports

OCHA reports: Flooding has been a significant issue; the area around Pumping Station 7B is flooded posing a potential crisis with overflow of sewage in the vicinity of the station. This is further compounded by fuel shortage, which impedes the operation of sewage stations.

Reports of people coming into direct contact with sewage-contaminated floodwaters in the streets are deeply troubling. Technical assessments are needed to estimate damage and potential impacts.

The initial findings from screenings for malnutrition indicate a sharp increase in acute malnutrition. About 3,500 children aged 6 to 59 months, were screened; global acute malnutrition (GAM) was found at a rate of 9.6 per cent, representing a twelve-fold increase compared to the GAM rate of 0.8 per cent recorded before the beginning of hostilities.

Furthermore, data from northern Gaza indicate a 16.2 per cent GAM rate, which is above the World Health Organization (WHO) critical threshold of 15 per cent. This sharp rise in acute malnutrition suggests that, without adequate preventive and curative services, the situation will worsen.

Jake Morland of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said he had never before been confronted with “such extreme suffering” as witnessed in Gaza City.

In a video interview, Morland recounts a mission to Gaza City in December to evacuate 12 critically injured patients from the Ahli Arab Hospital.

“As we entered the hospital, we saw wagons driven by five, six-year-old children, donkey carts, being driven into the hospital compound with their dying parents on the wagon behind,” Morland recounts in the video, released on social media by the UN.


Reuters reports: Hamas has proposed a ceasefire to quiet the guns in Gaza for four-and-a-half months, during which all hostages would go free, Israel would withdraw its troops from the Gaza Strip and an agreement would be reached on an end to the war.

The group’s proposal – a response to an offer sent last week by Qatari and Egyptian mediators and cleared by Israel and the United States – came during the biggest diplomatic push yet for an extended halt to the fighting.

Israel’s Channel 13 cited a senior official as saying some of the demands presented by Hamas were not acceptable to Israel, without providing details. Israel has previously said it will not pull its troops out of Gaza until Hamas is wiped out.

The report quoted the unidentified official as saying Israeli authorities would debate whether to reject Hamas’s proposals outright or ask for alternative conditions.

But the Hamas offer, in a document seen by Reuters and confirmed by sources, appears to finesse Hamas’s longstanding demand for a full end to the war as a pre-condition before releasing hostages it seized on Oct. 7 in the raid that precipitated Israel’s assault.

Read the full text of Hamas’ response to the ceasefire proposal here.

Palestinians flee Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, January 26, 2024
Palestinians flee Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, January 26, 2024 (photo)

Al Jazeera’s Hani Mahmoud reports from Rafah: It’s just non-stop Israeli attacks on the people of Gaza, not only people lining up for aid in Gaza City but others fleeing residential homes seeking shelter elsewhere. They’re being fired at either by attack drones or heavy machine guns. Armored vehicles are also raiding evacuation centers in neighborhoods across Gaza City and other northern areas.

Hungry, cold and traumatized people were waiting for aid trucks yesterday when Israeli forces opened fire on them in Gaza City. Many were women and children trying to get their hands on whatever was available. The wounded were rushed to al-Shifa Hospital – overrun and almost out of service. The vast majority of those who arrived lost their lives.

In southern Khan Younis city, the exact same scenario is repeating itself: more bombing, more killing, more maiming. The destruction cycle continues.

RECOMMENDED READING: Gaza: Palestinian returns to his area but hardly recognises where he lived
Women make traditional unleavened bread on an open fire at a shelter for displaced families mainly from northern Gaza, at a UN-run school in Rafah, in the south on October 27. Israel's complete blockade on the Palestinian enclave has triggered severe food shortages.
Women make traditional unleavened bread on an open fire at a shelter for displaced families mainly from northern Gaza, at a UN-run school in Rafah, in the south on October 27. Israel’s complete blockade on the Palestinian enclave has triggered severe food shortages. (photo)

Israel’s +972 Mag reports: In recent days, the Israeli army has dropped leaflets ordering residents to evacuate Khan Younis, and some 120,000 Palestinians have fled the city through a supposedly “safe corridor” spanning from the west of the refugee camp to the area of Al-Mawasi near Al-Aqsa University.

The passage through this corridor, however, which is made up of three Israeli military checkpoints, has for many Palestinians been one of the most harrowing ordeals since the war began. 

According to testimonies from Palestinians who have made the journey, including one of the authors, those passing through the corridor were forced to chant slogans against Hamas; many had their belongings confiscated; and men were separated from their families, stripped, and subjected to hours of physical abuse and deprivation. All the while, thousands remain trapped inside Khan Younis, unable to leave their shelters out of fear of being shot on the streets.

Read some of their stories here.


Al Jazeera reports: Israeli authorities are reviewing military plans for an attack on southern Rafah, a city once called a “safe zone” where Palestinians were ordered to move to.

“Residents of the Gaza Strip will be evacuated from Rafah before initiating military operations there,” Israeli public broadcaster KAN quoted “political sources” as saying.

On Monday, Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant reiterated the military’s “next target” in Gaza will be Rafah, claiming it’s the last remaining Hamas stronghold.

Rights groups have warned against any Israeli offensive in Rafah, which could result in a huge loss of lives with an estimated 1.4 million people sheltering there.


Palestinian Red Crescent personnel check a destroyed ambulance in the central Gaza Strip.
Palestinian Red Crescent personnel check a destroyed ambulance in the central Gaza Strip. (photo)

Quds News Network reports: The Gaza Government Media Office announces the death of Journalist Dr. Rizk Al-Gharabli, director of the Palestinian Media Center in the Gaza Strip, bringing the journalist death toll in Gaza to 123 since the start of the Israeli genocide.

Palestine Chronicle reports: At least 135 crimes were committed by Israeli forces against Palestinian journalists, including the killing of 12 media members, in January.

According to the Freedom Committee at the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, eight journalists were killed by direct missile and small-arms attacks on their homes in the Gaza Strip, and four others died while on the job.

In the occupied West Bank, the Syndicate reported 50 cases of attacks against journalists, including physical assault, detaining press crews, preventing them from doing their job, and targeting them with live fire.

Translation: Sewage water floats on the tents of displaced people in the city of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip.

Times of Israel reports: US State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel said footage of an Israeli soldier standing over a stripped, bound and wounded Palestinian in Gaza is “deeply troubling”.

The short clip, taken inside a school in Gaza City’s Remal neighborhood, was uploaded to Instagram by Yosee Gamzoo, who appears to be the featured soldier. He deleted the post as well as his Instagram account after the post went viral.

The unidentified Palestinian is shown sitting on a chair with his hands bound behind his back. An open wound is seen on one thigh, a nail in one of his bare toes.

Asked about the footage in a briefing, Patel said, “I will leave it to the IDF to speak to those specific situations, but we have been clear to them that the respect for basic human rights, that humanitarian law needs to be respected and that those who do not comply need to be held accountable,” he added.

The IDF says the clip was filmed during questioning, and that the suspect was not hurt.

“After a short questioning, the detainee was released,” the IDF added.

Since October 7th, released Palestinian prisoners have consistently reported torture; the use of torture – including toward children – is a staple of Israeli incarceration of Palestinians.

Al Jazeera reports: Israeli protesters at the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing have blocked 132 humanitarian aid trucks from entering Gaza, according to Israel’s Channel 12. The media outlet also reported that 70 trucks had managed to enter the Gaza Strip before the blockade by the protesters began.

Video footage appears to show very few troops in the area, which was declared a closed military zone in order to keep protesters away.

A young boy carries empty water cannisters in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday
A young boy carries empty water cannisters in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday (photo)

OCHA reports on January humanitarian aid statistics:

Aid to North of Wadi Gaza: 16% of planned aid missions were facilitated.

Aid to South of Wadi Gaza: 57% of planned aid missions were facilitated.

0 of 22 requests for military checkpoints to open early materialized.

Fuel to North Wadi Gaza: 2 (10%) of 21 planned missions were facilitated.

Fuel to South Wadi Gaza: 15 (71%) of 21 planned missions to areas requiring coordination were facilitated.

Aid is delivered on the basis of independent assessments of humanitarian needs and prioritization. In some cases, Israeli forces interfered with mission programs, often forcing their cancellation. At times, the Israeli military required the provision of justifications for fuel quantities for health facilities. In other cases, it facilitated access under the condition that no delivery is made to hospitals.

In some instances, it imposed reductions on the volume of assistance, such as the quantity of food.

Finally, it repeatedly denied access to Nasser hospital for the delivery of fuel, even as other aid missions to the same location were facilitated. The coordination mechanism, which was developed to improve security to aid missions, is undermined when used to restrict their operations.

Among the planned convoys that were not facilitated, there were 13 consecutive access denials for missions destined to water and wastewater pumping stations.

Reuters reports: Israel has begun investigating possible breaches of the law by its forces during the Hamas attack on Oct. 7, the military said on Tuesday, following reports some Israeli civilians may have been killed by friendly fire in the fighting.

“The IDF is operating the Fact Finding and Assessment Mechanism (FFAM) to examine reports and complaints regarding the violation of Israeli and international law during the fighting,” the military said in a statement, adding, “The IDF is committed to conducting a thorough review and investigation.”

NOTE: Israel has a reputation for going through the motions of self-investigating – and finding itself innocent.
RECOMMENDED READING (If Americans Knew): Israel has lost control of the narrative – October 7 truths coming out

New York Times reports: Israeli intelligence officers have concluded that at least 30 of the remaining 136 hostages captured by Hamas and its allies on Oct. 7 have died since the start of the war, according to a confidential assessment that was reviewed by The New York Times. An indeterminate number were killed by Israeli forces. Roughly half of the hostages have been freed.

“We have informed 31 families that their captured loved ones are no longer among the living and that we have pronounced them dead,” Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the military’s chief spokesman, said Tuesday after The Times published a report about the previously undisclosed hostage deaths.

Four officials said that Israeli intelligence officers were also assessing unconfirmed information that indicated that at least 20 other hostages may have also been killed.

“Scores of survivors and families of the hostages have said that the military campaign is endangering their loved ones’ lives. They want the government to make it a priority to reach a new hostage deal instead of pressing ahead with the invasion, lest their relatives be killed in the crossfire. Only one hostage has been freed by an Israeli military rescue operation.”

WEST BANK: WAFA reports: Israeli occupation forces shot and critically injured a young Palestinian man Tuesday at the Beit Furik checkpoint, east of Nablus, after he allegedly attempted to carry out a stabbing attack. The 18-year-old, Mahmoud Soud Titi, succumbed to his critical wounds hours later.

In April, al-Titi’s father, Saud, was also shot and killed by Israeli forces near the Elon Moreh settlement.

The aftermath of Israeli raid in West Bank’s Tulkarem
The aftermath of Israeli raid in West Bank’s Tulkarem (photo)

WEST BANK: Al Jazeera reports: Israeli forces arrested 1,236 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including 30 women and 73 children, in the past month.

This brings the number of detainees in the occupied territory since October 7 to 6,870, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society says.

Those arrested and their families were subjected to attacks that included severe beatings, and the use of relatives as hostages to pressure a wanted person to turn themselves in, it said.

WEST BANK: Middle East Eye reports: The Israeli Public Defender’s Office published a report on Tuesday stating that some Israeli prisons have been declared to be in a state of emergency due to severe overcrowding. 

According to the report, since the start of the war on 7 October at least 3,400 people have been imprisoned. 

The overcrowding has resulted in the violation of the basic rights of people in prison, including many being forced to sleep on the floor.

During a visit by members of the Public Defender’s Office, squalid conditions were noted, including “intolerable overcrowding”, with less than three square meters of space per person; poor sanitary conditions; pest issues; inadequate ventilation, and a lack of basic necessities for the incarcerated. 

Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir attends an event to deliver weapons to local volunteer security group members in Ashkelon, Israel
Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir attends an event to deliver weapons to local volunteer security group members in Ashkelon, Israel (photo)

14-year-old Wadea Shadi Sa'd Elayan
14-year-old Wadea Shadi Sa’d Elayan (social media)

WEST BANK: Defense for Children International-Palestine reports: Israeli forces shot and killed a 14-year-old Palestinian boy east of Jerusalem earlier today. 

Wadea Shadi Sa’d Elayan, 14, was shot by Israeli forces around 12:30 p.m. on February 5 near the illegal Israeli settlement Ma’ale Adumim, east of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International – Palestine.

Wadea allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier at the roundabout leading to Ma’ale Adumim when Israeli forces shot toward him. Wadea ran about five meters (16 feet) before falling to the ground, and an Israeli soldier shot at him again. Israeli forces confiscated Wadea’s body after killing him.

“Wadea grew up in a hypermilitarized environment where Israeli soldiers and settlers enact violence against Palestinians side by side,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Palestinian children cannot rest even in death as Israeli authorities continue confiscating children’s bodies and withholding them from their families indefinitely.”

WEST BANK: Israeli rights group Peace Now says authorities approved millions of dollars in funding for what they’re calling “farm outposts,” or “rural settlements.”

“Although pressure is mounting on Israel to prevent violence by settlers, and there is a risk of the evolvement of a third front in the West Bank, the government sees fit to persist in supporting farms, from which many of the violent attacks of settlers against Palestinians are coming,” Peace Now said.

US: Reuters reports: Police in Austin, Texas, said on Tuesday that they were investigating a reported stabbing of a Palestinian-American man over the weekend as a “bias-motivated incident” and that a hate-crime panel would review the case.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) advocacy group said a group of Muslim Americans were driving home from a pro-Palestinian protest on Sunday when the suspect attacked their vehicle at a stop sign.

The suspect, Bert James Baker, shouted obscenities, attempted to rip a “Free Palestine” flag from their car and stabbed a 23-year-old Palestinian-American in the chest, CAIR said.

The father of the victim said Tuesday his son was trying to subdue Baker when he was stabbed and suffered a broken rib.

Some Americans who listen to conservative talk radio and Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News are taken in by oft-repeated Israeli claims of alleged Hamas atrocities without being aware that most of these turned out to be false.

Many people are also taken in by propaganda ads sponsored by billionaire Israel partisans

Real-estate billionaire Barry Sternlicht launched an anti-Palestinian propaganda project and sought $1 million in donations each from some of the world’s wealthiest individuals. He reportedly reached out to recipients with have a combined net worth of almost $500 billion. They include media tycoon David Geffen, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, Apollo CEO Marc Rowan, investors Michael Milke, Nelson Peltz, and Bill Ackman, and tech tycoons Eric Schmidt and Michael Dell. (photo)

The Harvard Crimson reports: The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights launched an investigation into Harvard University on Tuesday, one week after a group of students filed a complaint alleging the University failed to protect them from anti-Palestinian, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab harassment and intimidation.

The Muslim Legal Fund of America filed the complaint on behalf of more than a dozen anonymous students, which claimed the University violated students’ rights under Title VI, which protects people from discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin.

Chelsea Glover, senior civil litigation staff attorney at the Muslim Legal Fund of America, said, “These students rightly felt abandoned. Harvard’s primary responsibility should be to its current students, not wealthy donors and alumni with personal agendas that harm students who support Palestinian freedom.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III speaks at AIPAC Political Leadership Forum, Washington, DC, Jan. 10, 2023
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III speaks at AIPAC Political Leadership Forum, Washington, DC, Jan. 10, 2023 (photo)

Al Jazeera reports: US Senator Bernie Sanders has slammed “lobbying groups like AIPAC [the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee] and Christians United for Israel [CUFI]” [see essential info on CUFI here]  for using their considerable financial resources to advance “unquestioning support for Israel’s right-wing government”.

In remarks to a US think tank on Tuesday, Sanders said that AIPAC is expected to spend about $100m in a push to remove progressive candidates who have spoken in favour of Palestinian rights during the upcoming election cycle.

“The message was clear: if you criticize Netanyahu, you will be targeted,” Sanders said, linking the influence of lobbying groups.

Elsewhere, Sanders declared, “Through our financial support of Israel, the U.S. is complicit in the humanitarian disaster in Gaza. I will be damned if I’m going to give another nickel to the Netanyahu government in order to continue this war against the Palestinian people.”

RECOMMENDED READING (If Americans Knew): Israel Lobby Organizations & Individuals: The List

An Israeli soldier walks by a destroyed house in Kibbutz Be'eri on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023.
An Israeli soldier walks by a destroyed house in Kibbutz Be’eri on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023. (photo)

Ha’aretz reports: An Israel Defense Forces General Staff team has begun investigating an incident in which 12 hostages held by Hamas terrorists were killed in the home of Pessi Cohen in Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7.

Yasmin Porat and Hadas Dagan, the only two survivors of the incident, say that the house was shelled by a tank. That has raised suspicions that Brig. Gen. Barak Hiram, the commander of the army’s 99th Division who led the fighting in the kibbutz, ordered a tank crew to fire on Cohen’s house even though he knew hostages were being held there.

Over the next several days, the team is expected to summon Hiram to recount his version of the events, and how he and the other commanders on the ground made decisions that day.

In an interview with The New York Times, Hiram said that after negotiations with the terrorists had failed, he ordered a tank “to break in, even at the cost of civilian casualties.”


Palestinian death toll from October 7 – February 6: at least 27,968* (27,585 in Gaza* (over 11,000 children, 7,500 women), and at least 383 in the West Bank (101 children). This does not include an estimated 8,000 more still buried under rubble (70% women and children). Euro-Med Monitor reports 35,096 Palestinian deaths.

About 1.7 million, or 75% of Gaza’s population are currently displaced.

Palestinian injuries from October 7 – February 6: at least 71,395** (including at least 66,978 in Gaza and 4,417 in the West Bank).

It remains unknown how many Americans are among the casualties in Gaza.

Reported Israeli death toll from October 7 – February 6: ~1,374 (~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); 225 military forces since the ground invasion began in Gaza;, 10 in the West Bank) and~8,730 injured.

NBC reports: “According to the latest available IDF data… nearly 1 in 5, or 17%, of all Israel’s losses have come not at the hands of Hamas but from mishaps on its own side.”

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.

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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