Tuesday, December 12, 2023

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers stole around 30 cows in ‘Ain al-Hilweh. Israeli settlers also erected a large menorah on Palestinian-owned land in Tal Ma’in in the Masafer Yatta area. Israeli forces raided Jenin for the majority of the day and into 12/13, killing 6 Palestinians, including 4 in a drone strike, and arresting at least 100; 1 ill Palestinian child died in an ambulance that was unable to reach a hospital that was under Israeli siege. Israeli forces also shot and injured 3 Palestinians, including a child, during raids in Ni’lin and Kobar. Israeli forces also demolished 2 agricultural structures in ‘Anata. In addition to the 100 people detained and arrested in Jenin, 50 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus, and Tubas. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Gaza, Israeli forces bombed Khan Yunis, Dayr al-Balah, Rafah, Nuseirat refugee camp, and Gaza City, killing at least 217 Palestinians and injuring 455. Israeli forces raided the Kamal Adwan Hospital, arresting 71 medical staffers and bombed an UNRWA school in Beit Hanun; there were reports that medical staff had been shot and killed in the hospital. 10 Israeli soldiers were killed in combat, including 9 in the Shuja’iyya neighborhood of Gaza City. In Lebanon, Israeli forces attacked a site they claimed was used by Hezbollah. Hezbollah said it attacked 2 Israeli military positions. In Syria, Israeli forces attacked several places, saying 3 missiles were fired at the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. In the Red Sea, Israel deployed 4 warships. (AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, HA, HA, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/12; AJ, AP, HA, HA, NYT, REU 12/13; NYT 12/14)

More than 18,412 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 7,729 children and 5,153 women, and around 50,100 have been injured since 10/7. At least 8,000 people were missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 274 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 70 children. More than 3,387 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. 115 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 600 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. 107 trucks carrying aid, including fuel, entered Gaza via the Rafah crossing. Israel said it had inspected aid trucks at the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing and the trucks sent to the Rafah crossing in Egypt before entering Gaza. An injured Palestinian and 399 dual nationals were evacuated to Egypt. Israel said it found the bodies of 2 Israeli captives in Gaza, including a soldier and a civilian. The Gaza Ministry of Health said it has document 360,000 cases of infectious diseases in shelters. The WHO said it has recorded cases of meningitis, jaundice, impetigo, chickenpox, and upper respiratory infections. (AJ, AJ, AX, NYT, UNOCHA, UNOCHA 12/12)

The Israeli military released data showing at least 20 out of 115 soldiers killed in Gaza have been killed in friendly fire and in accidents, including 13 that were mistaken for Palestinians. Israel said it believed that 19 of the remaining 135 Hamas-held captives were dead (AJ, HA, HA, YNET 12/12; HA 12/13)

Hamas called on the PA to end its security coordination with Israel, saying Israel does not want a political settlement but to consolidate the occupation. (AJ 12/12)

The UN General Assembly adopted an Egyptian-drafted resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the immediate and unconditional release of all captives with 153 votes in favor, 10 against, and 23 abstentions. Austria, Czechia, Guatemala, Israel, Liberia, Micronesia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, and the U.S. voted against the non-binding resolution. Amendments put forward by the U.S. and Austria failed to reach the 2/3 threshold with 84 voting in favor of the U.S. amendment and 89 voting in favor of the Austrian amendment. Hamas welcomed the resolution. U.S. ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the U.S. opposed the “one-sided” resolution because it did not condemn Hamas (AJ, AJ, AP, AP, AP, HA, NYT, REU, REU 12/12; AJ, AJ, AJ, HA, WAFA 12/13)

U.S. president Joe Biden gave a speech at a campaign reception, reiterating narratives that have proven to be false, including that Hamas militants beheaded babies on 10/7 and calling Hamas animals. Biden also said Israel has to strengthen the PA and said Israel was “starting to lose that support [from the EU] by the indiscriminate bombing that takes place” in Gaza. He further complained about Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition partners, naming National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir. Lastly, he said “I believe, without Israel as a freestanding state, not a Jew in the world is safe,” despite more than a quarter of the world’s Jewry living in the U.S. In response to Biden’s speech, PLO secretary-general Hussein al-Sheikh said the U.S. should call for an immediate ceasefire and put forward a comprehensive peace plan. Israeli minister of communications Shlomo Karhi said in response to Biden’s call for a 2-state solution that Israel would not accept a Palestinian state. (AJ, AJ, AP, AP, AX, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, REU, REU WAFA, White House 12/12; AJ, HA 12/13)

Prime Minister Netanyahu said in a statement that “Gaza will be neither a Hamas-stan nor Fatah-stan.” Netanyahu also told the Israeli Public Broadcasting Cooperation that the Gaza “Strip will be under Israeli military control. After the war, a civilian administration will operate in Gaza and the Strip will be rehabilitated under the leadership of the Gulf states. We will not give in to international pressure.” He added he will not “let Israel repeat the mistake of Oslo.” (AJ, HA 12/12; NYT 12/13)

Haaretz reported that the Israeli military’s Influencing Department was operating a Telegram channel called 72 Virgins – Uncensored where Israelis share footage and videos of Israelis attacking Palestinians and of dead Palestinians. The channel had 5,300 followers. (AJ, HA, HA 12/12)

The Wall Street Journal reported that Israel had begun pumping seawater into the tunnel system under Gaza, citing multiple U.S. officials. (AJ, HA 12/12; HA 12/13)

The World Bank said it expected the Palestinian economy to contract by 3.7% in 2023 and 6% in 2024 due to the impact of the Israeli war on Gaza. The World Bank had expected the economy to grow by 3% in 2024. (AJ 12/12)

The lower house of the Swiss parliament moved to cut the government’s aid to UNRWA. The decision was overturned by the upper house on 12/14 (AJ, HA 12/12; REU 12/13)

German sports brand Puma announced it was ending its sponsorship of the Israeli national soccer team in 2024, saying the move was decided last year and was unrelated to the war on Gaza. BDS activists have targeted Puma for its sponsorship of Israel’s national team since it was announced in 2018. (AJ, WAFA 12/12)