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  • December 22, 2023

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers stabbed and injured 2 Palestinians near Bethlehem. Israeli settlers also uprooted dozens of olive trees in Qusra. Israeli forces shot and injured 2 Palestinians...

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In the West Bank, Israeli settlers stabbed and injured 2 Palestinians near Bethlehem. Israeli settlers also uprooted dozens of olive trees in Qusra. Israeli forces shot and injured 2 Palestinians in Barta’a while 1 of them tried to move his car after the Israeli soldiers said it was not legally registered. Israeli forces also demolished water pipes in al-Minya. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians trying to reach the Haram al-Sharif compound, beating and injuring 2. In Gaza, Israeli forces bombed Khan Yunis, Rafah, Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City, Nuseirat refugee camp, Jabalia refugee camp, and Bureij refugee camp, killing dozens of people, including 76 from the same family in an airstrike in Gaza City and 40 in airstrikes on 8 buildings in Jabalia refugee camp. Israeli forces also bombed the only water desalination plant in northern Gaza. 5 Israeli soldiers were killed in combat. In Lebanon, rockets were fired toward Israel, killing an Israeli soldier. Israel attacked several places in Lebanon. (AJ, HA, HA, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/22; AJ, AP 12/23; AJ, AJ 12/24; UNOCHA 12/26)

More than 20,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 8,000 children and 6,200 women, and around 54,000 have been injured since 10/7. At least 8,000 people were missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 296 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 75 children. More than 3,800 people have been injured. Israel reported that 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed and 5,400 have been injured since 10/7. 140 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 771 injured in Gaza since the ground invasion began on 10/27. Over 1.93 million Palestinians, nearly 85% of the population of Gaza, have been displaced since 10/7. There has been a complete electricity blackout in Gaza since 10/12 due to the Israeli blockade. As of 12/3, at least 52,000 housing units had been destroyed and 253,000 had been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7, constituting 60% of all housing units. 69 trucks carrying aid entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing, while 23 trucks entered via the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing. The World Food Programme said 9 out of 10 Palestinians go without food for the whole day and there was an acute risk of famine. 70 trucks carrying aid entered Gaza. (AJ, AP, HA, UNOCHA, UNOCHA 12/22; HA 12/23)

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said all 47 Palestinians detained at its ambulance center in Jabalia refugee camp were tortured by Israeli forces. (AJ 12/22)

Hamas political bureau member Husam Badran told Al Jazeera that Hamas seeks Palestinian unity and a uniform political stance by all political factions. (AJ 12/22)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas spoke with Russian president Vladimir Putin, discussing the situation in Gaza. Putin invited Abbas to visit him in Moscow. (HA, REU, WAFA 12/22)

Israel told Palestinians in al-Bureij refugee camp and Nuseirat refugee camp to evacuate south to Dayr al-Balah. Parts of southern Gaza, including large parts of Khan Yunis, are also under evacuation orders. (HA, NYT, NYT, UNOCHA 12/22; AJ 12/23 AJ, AJ, WAFA 12/24; HA 12/25; NYT 12/26)

The UN Security Council passed a resolution calling on the parties to “create the conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities . . . facilitate and enable the immediate, safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance at scale,” and demanding parties “facilitate the use of all available routes to and throughout the entire Gaza Strip” for aid deliveries. It also requested a UN chief of aid disbursement and a UN official for accelerating aid, demanded the release of the captives, and demanded that enough fuel is allowed into Gaza to meet the humanitarian needs. 13 members voted in favor while the U.S. and Russia abstained. Previous versions called for an end to the fighting and later a suspension, but the U.S. rejected these two suggestions. After the vote, PA ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour called the resolution a step in the right direction and said that Palestine, the Arab Group, and the OIC had 3 objectives: an immediate ceasefire, humanitarian assistance at scale, and no forced displacement. Hamas called the resolution insufficient. Israeli foreign minister Eli Cohen said Israel would continue its war on Gaza until all captives were released and Hamas was eliminated and said Israel would continue to screen all aid going to Gaza. Russian ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia called the language ambiguous and had tried to include an amendment calling for a suspension, which was voted down by the U.S. (AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, AP, AX, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, REU, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/22; AJ, AJ, HA, NYT, WAFA 12/23; WAFA 12/24)

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres appointed James Eugene McGoldrick to replace Deputy Special Coordinator and Resident Coordinator Lynn Hasting in the office of the UN special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. Hasting was replaced due to Israel refusing to grant her a visa. (UNOCHA 12/22)

The New York Times reported that an Israeli brigadier general ordered a tank commander to shell a house where he knew Israeli hostages were being held by Palestinian militants in Kibbutz Be’eri, killing 12 Israelis and the Palestinian militants. (HA 12/13; NYT 12/22; HA 12/25; NYT 12/27)

The European Commission approved $130 million in aid to the PA to help with the payment of salaries, allowances for vulnerable families, and payments for medical referrals in East Jerusalem. (AJ, HA, REU, WAFA 12/22)

A poll released by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy found that 96% of Saudis believe their country should not have any ties with Israel. (NYT 12/22)