Sunday, March 17, 2024

In the West Bank, Israeli forces arrest 25 Palestinians during raids in and around Qalqilya, Hebron, Bethlehem, Tulkarm, Ramallah, and Jenin. In Gaza, Israeli forces bomb Nuseirat refugee camp, Dayr al-Balah, Khan Yunis, al-Bureij, and Gaza City, killing at least 92 people. In Lebanon, Israeli forces bomb Naqoura, Aitaroun, Ayta ash Shab, Marwahin, and Hamool. Hezbollah forces fire anti-tank missiles at Metula; there are no reports of injuries or damage. In Syria, Israeli forces bomb the southern part of the country, wounding a Syrian soldier. (AJ, AP, HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/17; UNOCHA 3/18)

More than 31,645 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 13,400 children and 8,900 women, and around 73,676 have been injured since 10/7/2023. At least 7,000 people are missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 426 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7/2023, including 111 children. More than 4,665 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, 247 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 1,476 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. 192 trucks carrying aid enter Gaza, including 13 trucks that arrive in Jabalia refugee camp and Gaza City. The aid arriving in Jabalia is the first in 4 months. U.S. forces airdrop 28,000 meals and 34,500 bottles of water over northern Gaza. (AJ, HA, REU, WAFA 3/17; UNOCHA, UNOCHA 3/18)

Adalah says it has documented 19 clear cases of torture in Israeli prisons since 10/7/2023, including sexual violence. (AJ 3/17)

Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh meets with a delegation of Chinese diplomats in Doha, discussing the situation in Gaza and the political situation in Palestine. (AJ 3/17)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas meets with Brazilian foreign minister Mauro Vieira in Ramallah, warning against the humanitarian consequences of an Israeli invasion of Rafah. (AJ, WAFA 3/17)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu says during a press conference with German chancellor Olaf Scholz that Israel will invade Rafah, but that Israel will enable civilians to leave the city. Scholz says an invasion of Rafah would make regional peace “very difficult.” Scholz also says Israel has a “right to defend itself” but adds the humanitarian cost of Israel’s attacks on Gaza is “extremely high, many will argue much too high.” (AJ, AJ, HA, REU, REU 3/17)

Haaretz reports that Israeli finance minister and minister with a portfolio at the Defense Ministry Bezalel Smotrich is trying to appoint a settler, Hillel Roth, from the Yitzhar settlement as the deputy head of the Civil Administration and transfer authority over settlement building regulations to him instead of the military’s Central Command. (HA 3/17; HA 3/18)

Qatari prime minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani meets with UAE foreign minister Abdullah bin Zayed in Doha, discussing ceasefire negotiations. (AJ 3/17)

U.S. president Joe Biden meets with Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar, saying that a ceasefire and more humanitarian aid is needed in Gaza. Varadkar says Irish solidarity with Palestinians is rooted in the Irish “story of displacement, of dispossession, a national identity questioned and denied, forced emigration, discrimination, and now hunger.” (HA 3/15; AJ, HA, NYT 3/17)

U.S. senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) says in an interview that Israel’s claim that UNRWA is a Hamas proxy is “just flat-out lies” and says Prime Minister Netanyahu wants to get rid of UNRWA because he wants to destroy hopes of a 2-state solution. (AJ 3/17)

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reiterates his support for Israel’s attacks on Gaza, saying Israel should “finish it up and do it quickly and get back to the world of peace,” claiming he would make a normalization agreement between Iran and Israel. (AJ, HA, HA 3/17)