Sunday, March 31, 2024

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers assault 4 Palestinians during a raid in Arab ar-Rashaiyda. Israeli settlers also assault a Palestinian man near Dura, threatening to kill him if he continues to herd his sheep in the area. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers steal a tractor in Battir. Israeli settlers also throw stones at Palestinian vehicles traveling between Huwwara and Qalqilya. Israeli forces raid Balata refugee camp, demolishing homes and razing a main street. Israeli forces also arrest 10 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Nablus, Balata refugee camp, Qalqilya, Bethlehem, Hebron, and Jenin. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 5 Palestinians during raids in al-Tur and Shu’fat refugee camp. In Gaza, Israeli forces bomb Maghazi, Dayr al-Balah, Khan Yunis, and Gaza City, killing at least 77 people, including 4 at a tent for journalists outside of al-Aqsa Hospital in Dayr al-Balah where a WHO team is visiting to the assess needs of the hospital. Israeli forces also continue to raid and besiege al-Shifa Hospital. 4 Palestinians die of starvation at the Kamal Adwan Hospital, bringing the number of hunger-related deaths to at least 34. An Israeli soldier is killed in combat and another soldier succumbs to wounds sustained on 3/29. In Ashdod, Israeli forces shoot and kill a Palestinian man who allegedly stabbed and injured 3 Israelis in a shopping mall. In Beersheba, Israeli forces shoot and kill a Palestinian citizen of Israel who allegedly stabbed and injured an Israeli soldier at a bus station. In Jerusalem, tens of thousands of Israelis rally, calling for new elections. In Lebanon, Israeli forces bomb Kounine, killing Hezbollah commander Ismail al-Zin. Israeli forces also bomb Meiss Ej-Jabal, Blida, Markaba, and Kafr Kila. Hezbollah forces attack Israeli military sites in Metulla and al-Manara. In Syria, Israeli forces bomb Damascus, killing 2 people. (AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, HA, HA, NYT, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 3/31; AJ, HA, HA, NYT 4/1; UNOCHA 4/3)

More than 32,782 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 13,400 children and 8,900 women, and around 75,298 have been injured since 10/7/2023. At least 7,000 people are missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 445 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7/2023, including 112 children. More than 4,700 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, 254 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 1,520 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. 226 trucks carrying aid enter Gaza. U.S. forces airdrop 50,000 meals over northern Gaza. UK forces also airdrop aid over Gaza. (AJ, HA, WAFA, WAFA 3/31; UNOCHA 4/3)

Israeli military officials and soldiers tell Haaretz that Israel has designated “kill zones” in Gaza where all Palestinians entering the invisible zone are classified as terrorists and soldiers are ordered to kill all unarmed adult men. (HA 3/31)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas swears in the new PA government headed by prime minister Mohammad Mustafa, who also will be the new foreign minister. (HA 3/30; AJ, WAFA 3/31; WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/1)

A Hamas official tells Al-Aqsa TV that the PA has sent undercover security forces to Gaza using an Egyptian aid convoy and that 6 members of the security forces have been arrested. The PA denies the claim. (AJ, REU 3/31; HA 4/1)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu says in a speech that “the whole world is ganging up on us,” calling on Israelis to unite in defending Israel physically and morally. Netanyahu also says the invasion of Rafah is not delayed due to U.S. pressure and rejects calls for early elections. After the speech Netanyahu undergoes surgery for a hernia, leaving Justice Minister Yariv Levin as acting prime minister. Netanyahu will be released from the hospital on 4/2. (AJ, AP, HA, NYT, REU 3/31; HA, REU 4/1)

Israeli attorney general Gali Baharav-Miara sends letters to the ministers of defense and education, telling them that ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students must be drafted into the military starting on 4/1. (AJ, HA 3/31)

Pope Francis calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the release of captives during his Easter address. (AJ, AJ, HA, NYT, WAFA 3/31)

The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. is concerned that intelligence sharing with Israel is leading to civilian deaths. The Journal also says that the Biden administration wrote a memo after 10/7/2023 expanding the scope of intelligence sharing with Israel. (AJ, HA, WSJ 3/31)

UN sources tell the Guardian that Israeli military chief of staff Herzi Halavi presented to UN officials last week a plan to dismantle UNRWA, which would include the transfer of some UNRWA staff to a replacement agency that would focus on the delivery of aid in Gaza or expanding the World Food Programme’s operations in Gaza. (GDN 3/31; AJ 4/1)