Tuesday, March 26, 2024

In the West Bank, Israeli forces shoot and injure 2 Palestinians during a raid in Qabatiya. Israeli forces also arrest 30 Palestinians during raids in and around Jalazone refugee camp, Hebron, Tulkarm, Nablus, Jenin, and Tubas. In Gaza, Israeli forces bomb Rafah, Gaza City, Khan Yunis, Jabalia refugee camp, Nuseirat refugee camp, and Maghazi, killing at least 81 people, including 30 people sheltering in a home near al-Shifa Hospital. Israeli forces also continue to besiege the Nasser, al-Shifa, and al-Amal hospitals. In Lebanon, Israeli forces bomb Tayr Harfa, Baalbek, Hermel, Ayta ash Shaab, Kafr Kila, and Dhahirah, killing 3 people. Hezbollah forces fire rockets at Avivim, damaging a winery, and at the Mount Meron air base. In Jordan, police violently disperse protesters outside of the Israeli embassy. In Syria, Israeli forces bomb Deir ez-Zor, killing 17 people, including a WHO staffer and an Iranian military advisor. (AJ, AP, HA, NYT, REU, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/26; AJ, NYT, UNOCHA 3/27)

More than 32,414 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 13,400 children and 8,900 women, and around 74,787 have been injured since 10/7/2023. At least 7,000 people are missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 440 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, 251 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 1,509 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. 193 trucks carrying aid enter Gaza. The Gaza Media Office says 12 people have drowned trying to retrieve airdropped aid that landed in the sea and 6 have been killed in stampedes while trying to reach airdropped aid in the past week. (AJ, NYT, REU 3/26; UNOCHA 3/27; UNOCHA 3/29)

Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh meets Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Tehran. Haniyeh says in a press conference that the UN Security Council resolution demanding a ceasefire from 3/25 indicates that “the Israeli occupation is experiencing unprecedented political isolation” and that Israel has not been able to achieve “any of its military or strategic objectives” in Gaza. (AJ, REU 3/26)

Israel recalls its negotiating team from Qatar, saying Hamas insists on “extreme demands: immediately ending to the war, a complete withdrawal of the IDF from the Gaza Strip and to remain in power.” Reuters reports that the negotiation team has been recalled for consultations and a small Israeli team remains in Doha. (AP, AX, HA, REU 3/26)

Israel’s military spokesperson Daniel Hagari says Hamas deputy military commander Marwan Issa was killed on 3/11. The U.S. announced on 3/18 that Issa had been killed. (AJ, AJ, HA 3/26)

Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant meets with U.S. secretary of defense Lloyd Austin in Washington, D.C. Austin calls the situation in Gaza a “human catastrophe” and says the civilian death toll is “far too high.” Gallant says Gaza will not be governed by Hamas or Israel after the war. German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock calls for unhindered access for aid to Gaza and says the “humanitarian situation in Gaza is hell” during a visit to Israel. (AJ, AJ, AP, HA, REU 3/26)

U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller says an Israeli ground invasion of Rafah “would hurt Israel’s national security,” citing the potential to further isolate Israel globally. Miller also says Israel’s assertion that the passing of the UN Security Council ceasefire resolution had an impact on the ceasefire negotiations is “inaccurate in almost every respect,” noting Hamas’s response to the Israeli proposal was prepared before the Security Council vote. Lastly, Miller says the U.S. has not made a conclusive determination as to whether Israel is using U.S.-supplied weapons in accordance with international law or hindering U.S. aid from entering Gaza. (AJ, HA 3/26; AP, HA 3/27) 

During a speech at the UN Human Rights Council, UN special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories Francesca Albanese says “Israel has committed 3 acts of genocide causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part, and imposing measures intended to prevent birth within the group.” Albanese also says Israel has dropped 25,000 tonnes of explosives on Gaza since 10/7/2023, equivalent to 2 nuclear bombs. Albanese released a report on Israel’s attacks on Gaza on 3/25. (AJ, HA 3/26)

UNRWA commissioner-general Philippe Lazzarini says UNRWA only has funds to run operations until the end of May. (AJ 3/26)

Colombian president Gustavo Petro says the international community should break diplomatic relations with Israel if Israel does not comply with the Security Council ceasefire resolution. (AJ, HA 3/26)

An Israeli woman held captive in Gaza until she was released on 11/30/2023 tells the New York Times that she was sexually assaulted by one of the people guarding her. Hamas official Basem Naim tells the Times that the allegation will be investigated but that it cannot be done at the moment due to “the current circumstances.” (NYT 3/26)