Tuesday, October 31, 2023

In the West Bank, a Palestinian child succumbed to injuries sustained from Israeli forces in Zawata on 10/30. Israeli settlers opened fire at Palestinian farmers in Beit Umar, causing damage to a vehicle and forcing the Palestinians to flee. Israeli forces shot and killed 2 Palestinians during raids in Tubas and Beit Umar, including a child and a 70-year-old man. Israeli forces also shot and injured 8 Palestinians during raids in Qabatiya, Tubas, and Dheisheh refugee camp. Elsewhere, Israeli forces demolished the family home of senior Hamas member Saleh al-Arouri in Aroura; Israeli forces placed a flag in the rubble of the house saying Hamas equals ISIS. Israeli forces also uprooted 12 olive trees and razed farmland in Farkha. 52 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarm, and Ramallah. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Gaza, Israeli airstrikes killed more than 200 Palestinians. Israel said it had attacked 300 targets in Gaza and assassinated Hamas commanders Nasim Abu Ajina and Ibrahim Biari in airstrikes. The airstrike that Israel claimed killed Biari killed at least 50 people injured 150 in Jabaliya refugee camp and leveled 30 residential buildings; Hamas denied that Israel had killed Biari. Hamas said it killed an Israeli soldier and damaged 2 vehicles near Gaza City. Israel said 15 soldiers had been killed during the ground invasion today. Rockets were fired at Israel causing damage and injuries. Israel said it shot down a drone near Eliat; the Houthi-led government in Yemen claimed responsibility. In Lebanon, Israel said it intercepted a surface-to-air missile fired at an Israeli drone and killed a member of Hezbollah. (HA 10/30; AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, AP, AP, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, NYT, NYT, NYT, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/31; AJ, AP, HA, HA, HA, HA, NYT 11/1)

The Gaza Ministry of Health said at least 8,525 Palestinians have been killed, including around 5,700 women and children, and 21,543 have been injured in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza since 10/7. 1,800 Palestinians, including 940 children, have been reported missing. In addition, Israeli media reported that 1,500 Palestinian militants have been killed near Gaza. 125 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 35 children. More than 2,209 have been injured. Israel said 15 soldiers were killed in Gaza, leaving the Israeli death toll at around 1,400 Israelis and foreign nationals; 5,431 have been injured since 10/7. The UN reported that over 1.4 million Palestinians, more than half the population in Gaza, 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. As of 10/23, at least 27,781 housing units had been destroyed and 150,000 had been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7. 59 truckloads of aid entered Gaza. UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres called the pace of aid entering Gaza “completely inadequate.” UNICEF spokesperson James Elder described Gaza as “a graveyard for thousands of children” and “a living hell for everyone else.” (AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA 10/31; HA, NYT 11/1)

Amnesty International said Israel had used white phosphorus smoke artillery shells in South Lebanon between 10/10 and 10/16 “indiscriminately, and therefore unlawfully.” Amnesty said Israel injured 9 civilians with white phosphorus in Dhayra on 10/16. The Lebanese civil defense said it was fighting wildfires in South Lebanon that it claimed erupted due to Israel firing white phosphorous shells. (AJ, AP, HA, REU 10/31)

Hamas military spokesperson Abu Obaida said Hamas will release a number of captives who hold non-Israeli passports in the coming days, saying “we do not want to hold them in the Gaza Strip.” Abu Obeida also said the Israeli soldier Israel claimed to have freed on 10/30 was not held by Hamas. Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh met with Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Qatar. Gaza Interior minister, Iyad al-Bazom, said Israel is seeking to separate northern Gaza from the south with its ground invasion. (AJ, AJ, HA, REU 10/31)

Fatah called for a general strike on 11/1 in response to the attack on Jabaliya refugee camp. PA president Mahmoud Abbas spoke with UK prime minister Rishi Sunak, discussing the situation in Gaza and the need for a political solution to the Israeli occupation. (HA, WAFA, WAFA 10/31)

The Shin Bet warned the Israeli government of an “explosion” in violence in the West Bank due to the increase in Israeli settler attacks. (AJ 10/31)

The Israeli military issued an temporary order of 2 year minimum sentences for Palestinians in the West Bank who are convicted of having an association with Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Lions’ Den, and ISIS and 1 year for incitement, attempting to enter a restricted location, and obtaining information about the restricted location in the context of terror organizations. (HA 10/31)

The Wall Street Journal reported that Egyptian prime minister Mustafa Madbouly said Egypt is ready to sacrifice the lives of millions to ensure Palestinians do not flee or are forcefully displaced to Egypt. (HA 10/31)

Bolivia announced that it has severed ties with Israel due to “the aggressive and disproportionate Israeli military offensive taking place in the Gaza Strip.” Israel condemned Bolivia for supporting “terrorism.” Bolivian Israeli ties were restored in 2020 by the right-wing interim President Jaenine Anez after they were first cut by President Evo Morales in 2009. Columbia and Chile recalled their ambassadors from Israel for consultations. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, and Jordan condemned Israel’s massive airstrike on the Jabaliya refugee camp. Qatar called the attack “a new massacre against the defenseless Palestinian people.” Scottish first minister Humza Yousaf said “I am sorry to those innocent men, women and children in Jabalia Refugee Camp that the world could not protect you. This blatant disregard for human life must be condemned unequivocally,” calling for a ceasefire. The Arab League reiterated its call for an immediate ceasefire. (AJ, AP, HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/31; AJ, AJ, AP, HA, HA, REU 11/1)

The Financial Times reported that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked his Austrian and Czech counterparts to lobby EU members to pressure Egypt into taking refugees from Gaza. Germany and France reportedly dismissed the idea. (AJ 10/31)

U.S. president Joe Biden spoke to King Abudullah II of Jordan, discussing humanitarian aid to Gaza. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Israeli president Isaac Herzog discussed aid and the need to protect civilians in Gaza and the West Bank. U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said the U.S. has told Israel that the need for fuel in Gaza was urgent. Responding to a question about Prime Minister Netanyahu comparing Palestinians to the biblical people Amalek, Kirby said, “I am not qualified to speak much on biblical history, but we have been crystal clear on our concern about genocidal behavior about any leader. That is not what we are seeing Israel desire to do,” further claiming that Israel is trying to prevent civilian casualties. U.S. ambassador to the UN Linda-Thomas Greenfield said the U.S. “is deeply concerned by the significant uptick in violence against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank.” The U.S. deployed a F-15E fighter jet squadron and special forces to Jordan. 25 U.S. heavy transport planes also landed in Jordan. The Pentagon said the U.S. has soldiers in Israel helping with identifying captives held by Hamas. The U.S. criticized Lebanon for not filling its presidency, leaving it vacant for 365 days. At the U.S. Senate, a member of Code Pink was removed while castigating Secretary Blinken for U.S. complicity in the Israeli attacks on Gaza, while several others held their hands, covered in red dye, raised. Blinking told the Senate that the U.S. and other countries had discussed the future of Gaza, including having the PA govern there. The U.S. Senate confirmed, in a 53-43 vote, former Treasury secretary Jack Lew as the next U.S. ambassador to Israel. All Democrats and Republican senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rand Paul (R-KY) voted to confirm Lew. (AJ, AP, HA, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, REU, REU, REU 10/31; AJ, NYT, REU 11/1)

EU high representative for foreign affairs Josep Borell discussed the need to restore a “political horizon and relaunch the peace process” with the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and representatives from the OIC. (AJ, HA, WAFA 10/31)

A poll commissioned by the Arab American Institute found that Arab American support for U.S. president Joe Biden has decreased 42% since 2020. 40% of the people polled said they would vote for Donald Trump, 17.4% for Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and 3.8% for Cornel West, while 25.1 said they were undecided. (AJ, HA, REU, REU 10/31)

Virginia attorney general Jason Miyares said he will open an investigation into American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), alleging that the organization was providing support to terrorist organizations and was not fundraising with a proper registration. AMP denied the allegations and said Miyares was “attempting to score political points with hateful extremists.” (AJ, HA 10/31)

4 Belgian transport workers’ unions issued a joint statement calling on their members to refuse to handle military equipment bound for Israel, labelling Israel’s actions in Gaza genocide. (REU 10/31)

Director of the New York office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Craig Mokhiber, resigned in a letter to UN high commissioner for human rights Volker Turk, saying the UN was failing in its mission to stop genocide in reference to the Israeli attacks on Gaza. Mokhiber accused the U.S., the UK, and parts of Europe of being complicit in the Israeli genocide in Gaza. (GDN, NYT 10/31)