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  • October 17, 2023

    In Gaza, an Israeli airstrike killed 471 Palestinians in al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City. The hospital, which was filled with patients and Palestinians seeking shelter from Israeli bombardment...

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  • January 14, 2000

    Israeli FM Levy announces that on 1/20, PM Barak will take a break fr. negotiations with the Syrians (set begin 1/19) to meet with Arafat, Clinton regarding final status talks. (NYT 1/15)

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In Gaza, an Israeli airstrike killed 471 Palestinians in al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City. The hospital, which was filled with patients and Palestinians seeking shelter from Israeli bombardment, had received evacuation warnings from Israel on 10/14, 10/15, and 10/16. Israel claimed it was an errant rocket fired by Hamas that caused the mass casualties, however all evidence presented by Israel was debunked in subsequent investigations. Other Israeli airstrikes killed around 200 Palestinians, mostly in Rafah and Khan Yunis. Israel also assassinated the head of Hamas’ Shura Council Osama Mazini, who led negotiations on the prisoner exchange that saw Gilad Shalit transferred to Israel in exchange for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in 2011, and Hamas commanders Muhammad Alwadia, Ayman Nofal, and Akram Hijaz. Israeli airstrikes also reportedly killed 3 members of Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh’s family. 6 were killed in an airstrike on an UNRWA school sheltering Palestinians in al-Maghazi. Rockets were fired at Israel, causing damage. In the West Bank, there were large demonstrations against the PA and the Israeli bombing of the al-Ahli Arab Hospital throughout the West Bank, with PA forces violently dispersing Palestinian protesters, killing a 12-year-old girl in Jenin with live ammunition, and injuring many others with tear gas. Israeli forces shot and killed 2 Palestinians, including a minor, during raids in Halhul and Nabi Salih. An elderly Palestinian succumbed to injuries sustained from Israeli forces on 10/13 in Nablus. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinians, injuring 8 with live ammunition in Nablus. Elsewhere, Israeli forces assaulted an ambulance driver near al-Arroub refugee camp, causing a fractured arm and bruises. Israeli forces arrested Palestinian Legislative Council speaker Aziz Dweik during a raid. 115 others were arrested during raids in and around Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Nablus, including 50 Palestinians from Gaza who were employed in Israel before being expelled to the West Bank. The Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners’ Affairs Authority said Israel has arrested 680 Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Lebanon, Israeli forces attacked targets north of the Blue Line. Hezbollah said it fired an anti-tank missile at a vehicle in Metula; 3 were reportedly injured. Israel said it killed 4 people who had entered Israel from Lebanon. 4 were also killed in an Israeli airstrike west of Yarine. In Jordan, protesters attempted to storm the Israeli embassy in Amman. (AP 10/7; AJ, AP, HA, REU 10/16; AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, AP, AP, AP, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, NYT, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/17; AJ, AJ, AP, AP, AP, HA, HA, NYT, REU, REU, WAFA 10/18)

The Gaza Ministry of Health said at least 3,500 Palestinians have been killed and 12,500 have been injured in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza since 10/7, including 47 entire families consisting of 500 people. In addition, Israeli media reported that 1,500 Palestinian militants have been killed near Gaza. 61 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 13 children. More than 1,230 had been injured, including at least 300 with live ammunition. Israeli officials recorded no new fatalities, leaving the Israeli death toll at around 1,300 Israelis and foreign nationals; 4,229 have been injured since 10/7. The UN reported that over 1 million Palestinians have been displaced since 10/7 and that since 11 p.m. on 10/12 there has been a complete electricity blackout due to the Israeli blockade. At least 11,887 housing units have been destroyed in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7. The number is likely much higher as the latest data is from 10/14. The Palestinian civil defense team said that more than 1,000 Palestinians were under the rubble of buildings in Gaza. The Committee to Protect Journalists said 13 Palestinian, 3 Israeli, and 1 Lebanese journalist have been killed in attacks relating to the Israel-Hamas war since 10/7. (AJ 10/16; AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, HA, HA, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA 10/17; HA 10/18)

UNRWA said parts of southern Gaza, containing about 14% of the population, received water for 3 hours. The remaining seawater desalination plant in Gaza shut down due to a lack of fuel. (AJ 10/16; HA 10/17)

Hundreds of trucks carrying aid to Gaza were stuck near the Rafah crossing as Israel continued to prevent safe passage into Gaza. Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry said the crossing was not officially closed but was not functioning due to being targeted 4 times by Israel. (AJ 10/16; HA, REU, REU 10/17)

UN human rights office spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said Israel’s siege and order to evacuate northern Gaza could breach international law. (AJ, REU 10/17)

Israel attempted to deny that it killed hundreds of Palestinian civilians in an airstrike on al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, presenting a range of questionable evidence to put the blame on Islamic Jihad. Israeli government social media accounts published what it claimed to be evidence that it was a rocket misfire not an airstrike, but later deleted the videos when a New York Times journalist questioned the timing of the videos. Military spokesperson Daniel Hagari said “[a]ccording to our intelligence, Hamas checked reports and understood it was a Palestinian Islamic Jihad misfire, then launched a global media campaign to inflate numbers of casualties.” Israel has previously employed misinformation campaigns to deflect blame for atrocities, on occasion then taking responsibility long after the event, as in the case of the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh. A UK Channel 4 investigation said evidence presented by Israel was both likely fabricated and contradictory, but did not reach a conclusion regarding the origin of the blast. Israeli president Isaac Herzog called reports that Israel conducted the airstrike “21st century blood libel.” Many Western leaders called for an investigation or referred to the loss of life without condemning the perpetrators. Leaders in the Middle East were unequivocal in their condemnation of the Israeli airstrike. King Abdullah II of Jordan, PA president Mahmoud Abbas, and Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi canceled meetings with U.S. president Joe Biden scheduled for 10/18 in Amman. The UAE and Russia called a meeting of the UN Security Council on 10/18 on the attack on the hospital. U.S. Defense Department spokesperson Sabrina Singh said in response to questions about the incident that Hamas puts “their command and control units inside hospitals,” adding the U.S. does not know who the perpetrator was. Biden said he spoke to Prime Minister Netanyahu and that his national security team will gather information about the incident. Large demonstrations were held in Washington D.C., Turkey, Jordan, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, and Morocco. (AJ, AP 10/16; AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, NYT, REU, REU, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/17; AJ, AJ, AP, C4, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, NYT, REU, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/18)

The PA foreign ministry accused Israel of ethnic cleansing and genocide aimed at removing all Palestinians from Gaza. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics said Israel has killed at least 3,057 Palestinians since the beginning of 2023, including 2,793 in Gaza and 264 in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. (WAFA, WAFA 10/17)

Fatah’s military wing, al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, called on President Abbas to step down as the head of Fatah’s Martyrs and Prisoners Commission. (AJ 10/18)

Military spokesperson Hagari ruled out a ceasefire, saying Israel continues to “prepare for the next stages of war.” Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said the Israeli campaign would take several months. The Israeli military also said that it could not confirm that white phosphorus was used in attacks on Gaza but maintained that it would not be “unlawful” in certain situations. Israeli police commissioner Kobi Shabtai said, “[w]hoever wants to become an Israeli citizen, welcome. Anyone who wants to identify with Gaza is welcome. I will put him on the buses heading there now.” Shabtai also said he had outlawed demonstrations in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza. (HA 10/17; AJ, HA, WAFA 10/18; AJ 10/19)

After the Israeli airstrike on al-Ahli Arab Hospital, President Abbas traveled back from Amman to Ramallah to hold an emergency meeting. In a speech Abbas called the airstrike a heinous crime and declared 3 days of mourning. Earlier in the day Abbas met with U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken in Amman. Blinken later called Abbas to offer condolences on the massacre at al-Ahli Arab Hospital. PA envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour called on the UN Security Council to intervene by demanding a ceasefire. (AJ 10/16; AJ, HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/17; AJ, HA, WAFA, WAFA 10/18)

Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh spoke with South African foreign minister Nalendi Pandor, who conveyed support for Palestine and expressed sadness for the loss of innocent life in Gaza and Israel. (AJ 10/16; REU 10/18)

The Knesset National Security Committee approved legislation allowing Israeli prisons to admit new inmates above their legal capacity, which would worsen conditions for Palestinian prisoners. Since 10/7, family visits have been suspended, public phones have been blocked, and all electrical devices have been cut off from power. The Hadassah University Hospital refused to treat a Palestinian militant captured by Israel, saying it would “offend national feelings.” (HA, HA 10/17)

The U.S. announced that President Biden will visit Israel on 10/18. The New York Times reported that Biden’s visit will postpone Israel’s planned ground operation in Gaza by at least 24 hours. The Times also reported that Israel has asked the U.S. for $10 billion in emergency aid. Secretary of State Blinken said the announcement was made after Prime Minister Netanyahu committed to allowing aid to enter Gaza and to establishing safe zones at an 8-hour long meeting of the Israeli war cabinet that Blinken attended. New York governor Kathy Hochul said she will visit Israel. Biden also said he will visit Jordan. Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said he would push through an emergency aid package to Israel “as quickly as possible.” 6 Republican senators introduced legislation to end all U.S. funding for UNRWA. All senators except Rand Paul (I-KY) sponsored a resolution in support of Israel’s war against Hamas. (AJ, HA 10/16; AJ, HA, HA, REU, REU 10/17; HA 10/18)

King Abdullah II said Jordan and Egypt would not take in Palestinian refugees from Gaza, calling it a red line. Abdullah II also met with German chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin. Scholz warned Hezbollah and Iran to stay out of the Hamas-Israel war. Scholz later traveled to Israel where he met with Prime Minister Netanyahu, invoking the German genocide of the Jewish people as a reason for Germany to “ensure Israel’s existence and security.” Lebanese foreign minister Abdallah Bou Habib said Israel was “pouring oil on fire” at the Lebanese border. Turkish foreign minister Hakan Fidan said Egypt will host a summit on the situation in Gaza on 10/21. (AJ 10/16; HA, REU, REU, REU 10/17; AP, HA 10/18)

Iranian sources told Al Jazeera that the U.S. had sent the Iranian UN representative a message warning Iran of war if it enters the conflict. (HA 10/17)

U.S. Central Command commander Michael Kurilla arrived in Israel for meetings with Israeli military leaders. The U.S. also sent 2,000 Marines to the Middle East. (AJ, HA, HA, HA 10/16; HA, REU 10/17; AP 10/18)

Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping discussed the Palestinian-Israeli conflict during a meeting in Beijing. (AJ, AJ, HA 10/17)

159 U.S. citizens were evacuated from Israel headed for Cyprus on a cruise ship. Nearly 1,000 U.S. citizens have left Israel on State Department-charted planes to Europe since 10/13. (AJ, HA, HA 10/16; HA 10/17)

Japanese foreign minister Yoko Kamikawa said Japan will donate $10 million in emergency aid to Gaza. Spain said it would donate $1 million in humanitarian aid to Gaza. The Netherlands pledged $10 million in humanitarian aid to Gaza. (AJ 10/16; HA, REU, REU, REU 10/17)

The EU held a video conference for the leaders of its 27 members to discuss the situation in Gaza and find a unified stance after EU member states had expressed dissatisfaction with the EU leadership’s pro-Israel statements, including European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen’s failure to call on Israel to abide by international law during her visit on 10/17. Irish president Michael D Higgins called von der Leyen’s comments about Israel’s attacks “thoughtless and even reckless,” questioning where she gets the authority to speak on behalf of the EU on the issue. After the meeting, the EU leadership agreed to condemn Hamas’ operation in Israel on 10/7, expressed solidarity with the people of Israel, said Israel has a right to defend itself in line with humanitarian and international law, and called on Hamas to release all captives. (AJ 10/15; AJ 10/16; AJ, EU, HA, REU 10/17)

Germany’s Mainz 05 soccer club suspended Dutch Egyptian player Anwar El Ghazi for a pro-Palestinian social media post. (AJ 10/17)

Israeli FM Levy announces that on 1/20, PM Barak will take a break fr. negotiations with the Syrians (set begin 1/19) to meet with Arafat, Clinton regarding final status talks. (NYT 1/15)

A Palestinian detainee dies in an Israeli jail outside Nablus. Israeli police say that Lafi al-Rajab strangled himself, but an autopsy shows signs of torture. (LAW 1/19; WP, WT 1/20)

Based on information that Islamic Jihad is planning an attack, Israel carries out a series of "preventive" arrests of Palestinians nr. Hebron, Jinin, and Ramallah, detaining at least 20 Palestinians. (NYT 1/15; JP 1/21)

The 50-mbr. Shura Council of Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood closes a 3-day mtg. to discuss internal divisions in the wake of the government's fall 1999 crackdown on Hamas. (SA 1/25 in WNC 1/27)

Austrian police announce that they have arrested Halima Nimr, a Palestinian closely linked to Abu Nidal, whose organization staged deadly attacks in Vienna in 1981, 1982, 1985. (AFP 1/14 in WNC 1/18; NYT 1/15; MM 1/17)