Sunday, October 15, 2023

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles and stole an olive harvest near Burqa. Israeli settlers also used pepper spray against 2 Palestinians at the Awarta checkpoint. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers opened fire at Palestinian vehicles in Shaab al-Butum in the Masafer Yatta area, causing damage. Israeli settlers also assaulted a Palestinian man in Deir Istiya. Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian minor in Beita. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters, injuring 2 with live ammunition, in Tubas. 52 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin, Nablus, Deir Istiya, and Ramallah. In Gaza, Israeli airstrikes killed around 450 Palestinians and caused extensive damage. Israel also assassinated Hamas commander in the Khan Yunis Battalion Bilal al-Kadra. Rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel, causing injuries. In Lebanon, UNIFIL said its headquarters in southern Lebanon was hit by a rocket. Hamas said it had fired 20 rockets from Lebanon at Israel. Hezbollah said it had hit 2 tanks and an armored vehicle “in response to the killing of journalists and civilians.” An Israeli was killed and 3 were wounded by anti-tank missiles fired by Hezbollah at Shtula. (AP 10/7; AJ, HA 10/14; AJ, AJ, AP, HA, REU, REU, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/15; HA, HA, HA 10/16)

The Gaza Ministry of Health said at least 2,670 Palestinians have been killed and 9,600 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. Due to a lack of space in cemeteries, about 100 unidentified Palestinian bodies were laid to rest in mass graves in Gaza City. 55 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 12 children. More than 1,173 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; 3,436 have been injured since 10/7. The UN reported that nearly 600,000 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. The UN acknowledged that the number of displaced Palestinians was likely much higher because of the Israel order for Palestinians in the north to leave for the south. At least 11,887 housing units have been destroyed in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7. (AJ 10/14; AJ, AP, HA, HA, REU, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/15; AJ, HA, REU 10/16; HA 10/20)

The WHO said 4 hospitals in northern Gaza have been made nonoperational due to Israeli attacks and 21 hospitals have been ordered to evacuate by Israel. WHO also said it delivered medical supplies to 2,000 patients in Gaza “[d]espite the Israeli airstrikes.” There were reports of aid amassing near the Rafah crossing as Israel has not promised safe passage for the aid to enter Gaza. The U.S. said Israel had agree to supply water to some areas of Gaza. Hamas said the water had not started running as of 10/16. UNRWA said that water has run out at UN facilities sheltering Palestinians who have fled their homes. The remaining seawater distillation plant in Gaza closed due to a lack of fuel. (AJ 10/14; AJ, AP, HA, HA, REU, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA 10/15; AJ, HA, REU 10/16)

UNRWA commissioner-general Philippe Lazzarini said “Gaza is running out of water, and Gaza is running out of life. Soon, I believe, with this there will be no food or medicine either.” Lazzarini said UNRWA was no longer able to provide humanitarian assistance in Gaza. 14 UNRWA employees have been killed and 13,000 displaced from their homes. (AJ, HA, WAFA 10/15)

The Commission of Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners’ Affairs and the Prisoners’ Society said Palestinian workers from Gaza were being detained by Israel at Anatot camp. It was unclear how many were being kept in the camp. (WAFA 10/15; HA 10/17)

The New York Times reported that Israel had “loosened” its rules of engagement for its planned ground invasion in Gaza. (AJ 10/14)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas told Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro that Hamas’ actions and policies do not represent the Palestinian people. After the phone call, Maduro said that Venezuela would send 30 tones of humanitarian aid to Gaza. Abbas also spoke to U.S. president Joe Biden. (AJ 10/14; HA, REU 10/15; WAFA 10/16)

A landlord in Planfield, Illinois stabbed and killed a 6-year-old Palestinian American boy and severely injured his mother. The man screamed “you Muslims must die!” as he attacked the 2 in their apartment. President Biden called the killing a “horrific act of hate.” (AJ 10/14; AJ, AJ, HA 10/15; HA, WAFA 10/16)

Israeli communications minister Shlomo Karhi said he will ask the cabinet to close Al Jazeera’s office in Israel. Karhi also promoted emergency regulations titled, “Limiting Aid to the Enemy through Communications,” that would allow him to direct Israeli police to arrest people, remove them from their homes, and seize their property if he believes they have spread information that could harm national morale or serve as enemy propaganda. (HA, HA 10/15)

U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken said President Abbas and “virtually every other leader that I have talked to in the region” warned against the idea of transferring Palestinians from Gaza to the Sinai Peninsula. Blinken also met with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, announcing the Rafah crossing was open. It was unclear if it was only open for aid or for travel; reporting suggested it was not open for either. El-Sisi criticized Blinken for his remarks in Israel earlier in the week, when Blinken said he came to Israel “as a Jew,” and el-Sisi said the Israeli attacks on Gaza go beyond self-defense and amount to collective punishment. Blinken also met with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman who, after letting Blinken wait for hours for the meeting, urged him to help stop the attacks, make Israel respect international law, and lift the siege on Gaza. Blinken has also visited the UAE, Qatar, and Bahrain since leaving Jordan on 10/13. (AJ 10/14; DOS, HA, HA, REU, REU 10/15; AJ 10/16; HA 10/18)

President Biden tweeted “[w]e must not lose sight of the fact that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians had nothing to do with Hamas’s appealing attacks, and are suffering as a result of them.” Biden also told 60 Minutes that it would be a big mistake for Israel to reoccupy Gaza. Biden further said Hamas needs to be eliminated, while there needs to be a Palestinian authority in Gaza and a path to a Palestinian state. (AJ, HA, REU 10/15; HA 10/16)

U.S. senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), and Jackie Rosen (D-NV) traveled to Israel, meeting with President Isaac Herzog. (HA 10/15)

Israel suspended security exports to Colombia in response to a tweet on 10/9 by President Gustavo Petro comparing Israel’s response to Gaza, particularly its language about Palestinians and the total blockade of Gaza, to that of the Nazis. (AJ, HA 10/15)

The African Union and Arab League issued a joint statement saying an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza could lead to “genocide of unprecedented proportions.” (AJ 10/14)

King Abdullah II of Jordan met with UK prime minister Rishi Sunak in London in his first visit to Europe as part of his effort to convince European leaders to help end the war on Gaza. (HA 10/15)

Algeria said it would host “all official and non-official matches involving the Palestinian [national soccer] team’s preparation for qualification to the 2026 World Cup and 2027 Asian Cup and to assume all associated costs.” (AJ 10/14; AJ 10/17)