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  • October 18, 2023

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with a military escort shot and killed a Palestinian man during a raid in Dura al-Qara’. Israeli settlers also shot and injured a Palestinian in Shufa. Elsewhere...

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In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with a military escort shot and killed a Palestinian man during a raid in Dura al-Qara’. Israeli settlers also shot and injured a Palestinian in Shufa. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinians traveling near Burqa, injuring a Palestinian woman. Israeli settlers also opened fire at a Palestinian vehicle near Bizarya, causing damage. Meanwhile, Israeli settlers vandalized olive trees near Tell. Israeli forces shot and killed 3 Palestinians, including 2 minors, during raids in Shuqba and Jamma’in. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Huwwara, Tarqumiyah, and Dar Salah, injuring 3 with live ammunition and others with tear gas. Elsewhere, Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian home in Bayt Hanina. 65 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Hebron, Bethlehem, and Nablus. Around 750 Palestinians have been arrested by Israeli forces since 10/7. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Gaza, Israeli airstrikes killed around 100 Palestinians, including several people sheltering at an UNRWA school in Khan Yunis. Rockets were fired at Israel, causing damage. In Haifa, Israeli police violently dispersed anti-war protesters, arresting 4 and injuring others with batons. In Lebanon, Hezbollah fired an anti-tank missile at Israeli soldiers in Shtula, injuring 5. Israel fired artillery shells and conducted drone strikes in Lebanon. Hezbollah said 2 of its members were killed. Protesters demonstrated outside of the German and U.S. embassies in Beirut. In Syria, Israel conducted airstrikes in the Quneitra province. In Turkey, 60 people, mostly police officers, were injured after protesters in Istanbul attempted to storm the Israeli consulate. There were also demonstrations in Jordan, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Iran, and the West Bank. (AJ, AJ, AP, AP, AP, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, REU, UNOCHA WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/18; AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, HA, NYT, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/19)

The Gaza Ministry of Health said as of 5 p.m. at least 3,500 Palestinians had been killed, including at least 853 children, and 12,500 had 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. 65 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 15 children. More than 1,284 have 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; 4,562 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. (AJ, AJ, HA, UNOCHA 10/18)

Palestinians in the West Bank observed a general strike in protest against the Israeli airstrike that killed 471 people at al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City on 10/17. (WAFA, WAFA 10/18)

The Israeli military again called on Palestinians in northern Gaza to evacuate south to the al-Mawasi area. (AJ 10/17; HA, UNOCHA 10/18)

The PA leadership held an emergency meeting chaired by President Mahmoud Abbas, confirming a July 2023 decision to end security coordination with Israel and reaffirming the Palestinian people’s right to self-defense. (WAFA 10/18)

The Knesset approved temporary legislation to allow Israeli prisons to admit new inmates beyond their legal capacity, allowing worsening conditions for Palestinian prisoners, including reducing living spaces and forcing prisoners to sleep on mattresses on the floor. The bill will be in effect for 3 months. Israel prisons have received 500 new Palestinian prisoners since 10/7, including 118 who crossed from Gaza to Israel in relation to Operation Al-Aqsa Flood. The Israeli High Court of Justice ruled in 2017 that prisoners must be given at least 37.7 square feet of space. The Knesset ethics panel also voted to suspend Jewish Hadash MK Ofer Cassif from the Knesset for 45 days and revoked his salary for 14 days over his anti-war stance. (AJ, HA 10/18; HA 10/19)

U.S. president Joe Biden landed in Israel for meetings with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog, and the war cabinet. Biden was supposed to travel to Amman for meetings with President Abbas, Jordanian king Abdullah II, and Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, but the meetings were cancelled by the 3 leaders after Israel bombed al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, killing 471 people. Biden told Netanyahu during a meeting that “it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you” in reference to the hospital bombing. Biden cautioned Israel not to be consumed by rage, saying the U.S. made mistakes after 9/11. Biden also announced $100 million in humanitarian aid to Palestinians as the Senate was working on passing a bill providing $10 billion in extra military aid to Israel. Biden said aid to Gaza could start arriving on 10/20, as Egypt needs to “patch the road” to the crossing. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) blocked an attempt by Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) to prevent the Biden administration from dispersing the $100 million in aid to Palestinians. 33 Democratic senators urged Secretary of State Antony Blinken to lead efforts to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza. Around 300 Jewish Americans were arrested at the U.S. Capitol while protesting Israel’s war in Gaza. The protest was arranged by Jewish Voice for Peace. (HA 10/17; AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, NYT, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU 10/18; AJ, AP, HA, HA, REU, WAFA 10/19; AJ 10/20)

After President Biden’s meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Netanyahu’s office released a statement saying that Israel will not allow aid from its territory to enter Gaza until the captives are returned. The statement also said Israel demands that the Red Cross be able to visit the captives and that Israel will not “thwart” humanitarian aid from Egypt as long as it only consists of food, water, and medicine. (AJ 10/17; AJ, HA 10/18)

President el-Sisi said during a press conference with German chancellor Olaf Schulz that Israel could allow Palestinians in Gaza to stay in the Naqab desert until Israel can “do what they wish to do with the militant operatives in the Gaza Strip.” El-Sisi also spoke with President Biden about aid coming through the Rafah crossing. Saudi foreign minister Faisal bin Farhan met with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in the sidelines of an OIC meeting in Jeddah, discussing the situation in Gaza. Amir-Abdollahian called on the OIC members to sanction Israel and expel Israeli ambassadors. The OIC called for an immediate ceasefire and for Israel to lift the siege of Gaza. (AP 10/16; AJ 10/17; AJ, HA, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA 10/18; WAFA 10/19)

The U.S. blocked a UN Security Council resolution calling for humanitarian access to Gaza, protection of civilians, and condemning Hamas’ operation in Israel. The resolution, introduced by Brazil, was approved by 12 members of the Security Council, while Russia and the UK abstained. UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres called “for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Middle East.” (AJ 10/17; AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, HA, NYT, REU 10/18)

U.S. State Department director of the office of public and congressional affairs Josh Paul resigned in protest over the Biden administration’s policy toward the Israeli assault on Gaza and its “impulsive reaction built on confirmation bias, political convenience, intellectual bankruptcy, and bureaucratic inertia.” (AJ, HA 10/18; AJ, NYT 10/19)

Jewish Currents reported that the Palestinian academics and analysts Noura Erakat, Yousef Munayyer, and Omar Baddar had their interviews cut from segments on CBS and CNN. MSNBC last week temporarily removed 3 Muslim hosts, Mehdi Hasan, Ali Velshi, and Ayman Mohyeldin, who is Palestinian, from their programming. (JC 10/18)