Monday, February 19, 2024

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set a house and a car on fire in Burqa. Israeli settlers also throw stones at a home and damage 10 vehicles in Huwwara. Israeli forces shoot and injure 2 Palestinians during a raid in Sarra. Israeli forces also shoot and injure a Palestinian woman in Zeita. Elsewhere, Israeli forces shoot and injure a Palestinian man, while others suffer tear-gas related injuries during a raid in al-Arroub refugee camp. Israeli forces also raze land in Husan. Meanwhile, Israeli forces arrest 25 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus, and Jericho; a crew of journalists from Palestine TV are detained, cuffed, and blindfolded during the raid in Jericho. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers tour the Haram al-Sharif compound. Israeli settlers also fence off a tract of Palestinian-owned land in Silwan. Israeli forces assault a Palestinian man in Silwan, stealing his phone and cash. Israeli forces also deliver a demolition notice for a sports club and a school in Isawiya. In Gaza, Israeli forces bomb Khan Yunis, Rafah, Gaza City, Dayr al-Balah, Nuseirat refugee camp, Maghazi, Beit Lahiya, and al-Bureij refugee camp, killing at least 107 people. Israeli forces also open fire at Palestinians waiting to receive aid in Gaza City, killing 5 people and injuring at least 10.18 patients are evacuated from the Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis. In Lebanon, Israeli forces bomb Ghaziyeh, injuring 14 people. Israeli forces also bomb Dhayra. Hezbollah attacks Barkat Risha. In Yemen, the Houthi movement says its forces shot down a U.S. MQ9 drone over Hodeidah. (AJ, AJ, HA, HA, HA, NYT, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/19; AJ, AP, AP, UNOCHA 2/20)

More than 29,092 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 12,000 children and 7,200 women, and around 69,028 have been injured since 10/7/2023. At least 8,000 people are missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 393 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7/2023, including 100 children. More than 4,511 people have been injured. Israel reports that 1,139 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed and 5,400 have been injured in Israel since 10/7/2023, including Israeli soldiers. In addition, 233 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 1,373 injured in Gaza since the ground invasion began on 10/27/2023. Over 1.93 million Palestinians, nearly 85% of the population of Gaza, have been displaced since 10/7/2023. There has been a complete electricity blackout in Gaza since 10/12/2023 due to the Israeli blockade. At least 70,000 housing units have been destroyed and 290,000 have been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7/2023, constituting over 60% of all housing units. 9 trucks carrying aid enter Gaza. Israelis block the Nitzana crossing between Israel and Egypt, preventing aid entering Gaza via crossing. The Global Nutrition Cluster finds that 16% of children under the age of 2 in northern Gaza are “acutely malnourished” and that 90% of children under 5 in Gaza are infected by 1 or more infectious diseases.” (AJ, HA, UNOCHA, UNOCHA, WAFA 2/19; AP, AP 2/20; UNOCHA 2/22)

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) says it has received information that Palestinian women and girls have been “arbitrarily executed in Gaza, often together with family members, including their children.” The office also expresses alarm over the arbitrary detention of hundreds of women and girls in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including reports of sexual assault of detainees, including rape. U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller says the U.S. “strongly encourage[s] Israel to thoroughly and transparently investigate credible allegations and ensure accountability for abuses and violations” in response to the OHCHR’s statement. (AJ 2/19; AJ, HA, WAFA, WAFA 2/20)

Hamas says Israel has killed 6,000 of its armed forces since 10/7/2023, contradicting Israel’s claim that the number is 12,000. (HA 2/19)

The Institute for the Study of War and the Critical Threats Project say Israeli forces are constructing a road across Gaza, dividing the north and the south. (AJ 2/20)

The ICJ begins hearings in the case of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories. 52 countries will present oral and written arguments before the court between 2/19 and 2/26. The case was triggered on 12/30/2022 when a majority of members of the UN General Assembly voted to seek an opinion on the legal consequences of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. PA foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki, PA ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour, and academics and legal experts address the ICJ judges on the first day of the hearings. Al-Maliki urges the judges to order an end to the Israeli occupation. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel does not recognize the legitimacy of the ICJ proceedings. (HA 2/18; AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, HA, HA, NYT, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/19)

At the UN Security Council, the U.S. circulates a draft resolution calling for a temporary ceasefire and calls an invasion of Rafah, under the current circumstances, dangerous to civilians and damaging for regional security. (AJ, HA, HA 2/19; NYT 2/20)

Prime Minister Netanyahu says he will submit legislation to the Knesset to reject “international efforts to force on us a Palestinian state.” Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich tells his Religious Zionism party that he has called on Netanyahu to end the Oslo Accords if “unilateral steps [are] taken against the state of Israel,” including ending all transfers of funds to the PA. (AJ, HA, HA 2/19)

The Knesset fails to expel MK Ofer Cassif, reaching 85 out of 90 required votes. The campaign to expel Cassif follows his support of the South African genocide case against Israel at the ICJ. 11 MKs voted against the expulsion while 24 were absent. (AJ, HA, HA, REU 2/19; NYT 2/20)

The Qatari foreign ministry says Prime Minister Netanyahu is seeking to prolong the war on Gaza by calling on Qatar to pressure Hamas into releasing Israeli captives. (HA 2/18; AJ, HA, REU 2/19; HA 2/20)

EU high commissioner for foreign policy Josep Borrell says 26 of 27 EU members call for an immediate pause in fighting in Gaza. The only country not to support the statement is Hungary. (AJ, HA, REU 2/19)

Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva recalls the Brazilian ambassador to Israel in response to Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz saying Lula will not be welcome in Israel until he retracts comments comparing Israel’s assault on Gaza to the Holocaust. The presidents of Colombia and Bolivia express support for Lula’s comments. (AJ, AJ, AP, HA, NYT, REU, REU, WAFA 2/19; AJ, HA, NYT 2/20; AJ, HA, HA, NYT, REU, WAFA 2/21)

Spanish foreign minister Jose Manuel Albares says that if the EU does not take action against violent Israeli settlers then Spain will proceed with sanctions unilaterally. (AJ, HA, REU 2/19)

A report by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health projects that between 2/7 and 8/6/2024 the excess number of deaths in Gaza could range from 4,200 to 259,680. In the best scenario where a ceasefire is reached and no epidemics occur the mean estimate is 6,550 excess deaths while in the worst scenario where the attacks escalate and epidemics occur the mean estimate of excess deaths is 85,750. However, projections show that the number could be upwards of 259,680. (Gaza-Projections 2/19; NYT 2/21)