Saturday, December 30, 2023

In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian who allegedly rammed an Israeli at a checkpoint near Fawwar refugee camp. Israeli forces were also filmed abusing and assaulting a gas station worker in the refugee camp. Elsewhere, Israeli forces shot and injured 2 Palestinians with baton rounds and arrested 4 others during a raid in Bayt Awa. Israeli forces also issued demolition notices for the family homes of 3 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces on 11/16 near Bayt Jala. 14 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Nablus, Qalqilya, the Masafer Yatta area, Hebron, and Ramallah. In Gaza, Israeli forces bombed Khan Yunis, Rafah, Jabalia refugee camp, Nuseirat refugee camp, Maghazi, al-Bureij refugee camp, and Dayr al-Balah, killing at least 165 people, including Al-Quds journalist Jabr Abu Hadros and 6 members of his family in Nuseirat refugee camp and former Palestinian minister of awqaf and religious affairs and al-Aqsa Mosque preacher Sheikh Yousef Salameh in Maghazi. Israel also bombed near the Rafah crossing and hit the European Hospital, killing at least 5 people. 2 Israeli soldiers were killed and 13 were injured in combat. In Lebanon, Israel said it attacked several Hezbollah positions. In Syria, Israeli airstrikes killed 23 people, including 5 Syrians and 6 Iraqis, and wounded 18, near the Iraqi border. Israeli forces also bombed near Aleppo. (AJ, AJ, HA, NYT, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/30; AJ, HA, WAFA 12/31; AJ 1/2)

More than 21,672 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 8,800 children and 6,300 women, and around 56,165 have been injured since 10/7. At least 7,000 people were missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 312 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 79 children. More than 3,812 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. 168 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 955 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 12/23, at least 65,000 housing units had been destroyed and 290,000 had been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7, constituting over 60% of all housing units. UNOCHA said more than 100,000 people have fled to Rafah in the past few days. UNICEF delivered 600,000 doses of vaccines to Gaza, saying that more than 16,800 infants have missed routine vaccines. UNRWA said 40% of Palestinians in Gaza were at risk of famine. 103 trucks carrying aid entered Gaza. (AJ, UNOCHA, UNOCHA 12/30)

The Gaza Ministry of Health held a press conference saying Palestinians captured by Israeli forces in Gaza were being tortured and held in poor condition. The ministry also said it had been able to reopen the medical facilities al-Arabi Hospital, Patient Friend’s Benevolent Society, Assahaba Medical Complex, al-Helou International Hospital, and several first aid centers. Lastly, it said that 5,300 people in critical condition needed to be evacuated to hospitals outside of Gaza to save their lives. 13 out of 36 hospitals in Gaza are partially functioning, 9 of which are located in the south, the rest are out of service. (AJ, UNOCHA 12/30)

The armed wing of the PFLP, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, released a picture it said showed the body of 1 of the Israeli soldiers held captive in Gaza, saying he was killed by Israeli forces when they tried to rescue him. It was unclear if the soldier was taken captive on 10/7 or during the ongoing ground invasion. (AJ, HA, REU 12/30)

The PA foreign ministry said Israel was targeting UNRWA to expel the agency from Gaza. (AJ 12/30)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a press conference that the border zone between Egypt and Gaza, known as the Philadelphi Corridor, must be under Israeli control. Netanyahu also said Israel will attack Iran if Hezbollah expands its attacks on Israel. Ynet reported that Israel wants an underground wall along the Gaza border with Egypt. Netanyahu reportedly invited Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and war cabinet member Benny Gantz to participate in the press conference, which they declined. PLO secretary-general Hussein al-Sheikh said Netanyahu’s plans were “a blatant violation of agreements with Egypt and a termination of all agreements with the PLO,” calling on a unified Palestinian and Arab stance against it. (AJ, HA, REU, REU 12/30; AJ, AJ, WAFA, WAFA 12/31)

Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich said Israeli leaders will discuss resettling Palestinians in Gaza after the war. (AJ 12/30)

Israeli forces hacked the broadcast of the radio channel Voice of Palestine, issuing threats to people in Gaza. (WAFA 12/30)

The Wall Street Journal said that by mid-December Israel had dropped 29,000 bombs on Gaza, destroying 70% of homes, making Israel’s attacks “comparable in scale to the most devastating warfare in the modern record.” (AJ, HA 12/30; AJ, WAFA 12/31)

The New York Times reported that the Israeli military was so ill-prepared for Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on 10/7 that soldiers used WhatsApp groups and social media posts to decide where to target. (AJ, NYT 12/30)