Monday, May 6, 2024

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers block a road, stopping an aid convoy headed to Gaza from Jordan, and stealing some of the aid. Israeli settlers also set up a new outpost near al-‘Awja. Israeli forces raid Tulkarm and Tulkarm refugee camp, shooting and killing a Palestinian, injuring 2 others with live ammunition and attack dogs, blowing up a Red Crescent medical point, uprooting paved streets, and damaging Palestinian homes and vehicles. Israeli forces also shoot and injure 3 Palestinians during a raid in Beit Furik and cause tear-gas related injuries. Elsewhere, Israeli forces shoot and injure an 8-year-old boy before arresting him in Aqabat Jaber refugee camp. Israeli forces also demolish the second floor of a Palestinian home in Ras Karkar. Meanwhile, Israeli forces raid a home in Jalbun, turning it into a military outpost. Israeli forces also arrest 15 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Qalqilya, Ramallah, Hebron, Jericho, Bethlehem, and Salfit. In Gaza, Israeli forces bomb Rafah, Jabalia refugee camp, Beit Lahiya, Beit Hanun, Nuseirat refugee camp, al-Bureij refugee camp, and Gaza City, killing at least 52 people. Israeli forces also drop leaflets telling Palestinians to evacuate eastern Rafah to al-Mawasi by the Mediterranean Sea, later invading the Rafah crossing and intensifying the bombing of Rafah. Palestinian militants fire rockets at Sderot and Nir Am. In Lebanon, Israeli forces bomb Ramyah, Ayta ash Shaab, Marwahin, Safri, and Jabal Blat, injuring 3 in Safri. Hezbollah forces fire rockets and launch a drone at Metula and Kidmat Zvi, killing 2 Israeli soldiers in Metula. In Syria, a Syrian soldier succumbs to wounds sustained in the Israeli shelling of Deraa province on 5/5. (AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, AP, AX, AX, HA, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/6; AJ, HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA 5/7; UNOCHA 5/8)

More than 34,735 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 14,520 children and 10,000 women, and around 78,108 have been injured since 10/7/2023. At least 10,000 people are missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 487 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7/2023, including 117 children. More than 5,000 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, 266 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 1,605 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 79,000 housing units have been destroyed and 370,000 have been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7/2023. Israel keeps the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing closed for the second day in a row. (AJ, AP, REU, UNOCHA, UNOCHA 5/6)

Hamas announces that it has accepted the ceasefire proposal. The proposal includes 3 stages of 42 days, with first seeing 33 Israeli captives, mainly women, children, and elderly, released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, a gradual Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, and a plan to allow displaced Palestinians to return to their homes. The second stage will see all remaining captives exchanged for Palestinian prisoners and a complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza. The third stage includes an exchange of bodies, the reconstruction of Gaza, and an end to the Israeli siege. Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh speaks with Islamic Jihad secretary-general Ziyad al-Nakhalah, discussing the Hamas decision. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the ceasefire proposal Hamas accepted does not meet basic Israeli demands, but that a team will be sent to Egypt for negotiations. (AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AX, HA, NYT, NYT, NYT, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, WAFA 5/6; AP, AP, AP, HA, NYT, NYT 5/7; NYT 5/8)

The Israeli war cabinet decides to begin its operation in Rafah. PA presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh says Israel is “preparing to commit the greatest crime of genocide by invading Rafah,” adding the U.S. is encouraging Israel to commit massacres against the Palestinian people. U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller says the U.S. “cannot support an operation in Rafah as it is currently envisioned.” EU high commissioner for foreign affairs Josep Borell calls the Israeli evacuation orders in Rafah “unacceptable.” Germany and France reiterate their opposition to a Rafah invasion. Saudi Arabia calls on the international community to “stop the genocide carried out by the occupation forces.” UNRWA says it will not comply with the Israeli evacuation order for eastern Rafah. (AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, HA, REU, REU, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/6; AJ, AP, AP 5/7; NYT 5/8)

7 UN special rapporteurs issue a statement condemning violence, including sexual violence and forced disappearances, by Israeli forces in Gaza. (AJ, WAFA 5/6)

U.S. president Joe Biden speaks with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, discussing ceasefire negotiations and the planned Israeli invasion of Rafah. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks with Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant, who tells him that Israel has no choice but to invade Rafah. President Biden also meets Jordanian king Abdullah II at the White House, discussing the situation in Gaza. (AX, AX, HA, REU, REU 5/6; AP, HA 5/7)

Ynet reports that in 2018 Prime Minister Netanyahu sent a letter to the Qatari government asking it to provide Hamas with $30 million in funding a month. At the time the U.S. reportedly promised Qatar that the funding would not be considered funding for terrorism. (AJ 5/6)

Israeli ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan calls on the U.S. to stop funding the UN if the General Assembly passes a draft resolution recognizing Palestine as qualified to become a full UN member. The vote is scheduled for 5/10. (REU 5/6; AJ 5/7)

Belgian deputy prime minister Petra De Sutter says Belgium will “continue to push for recognition of the State of Palestine and full UN membership” after a meeting with PA president Mahmoud Abbas’s advisor on international affairs, Riyad al-Maliki. Belgian media reports that Prime Minister Alezander De Croo told aides that he does not think that Belgium can continue considering Israel as a trading partner and that Ireland, Luxembourg, and Malta would also consider ending trade relations with Israel if Belgium leads the way. (AJ, HA, WAFA 5/6)

State Department spokesperson Miller says the U.S. is “quite concerned” about Israel’s closure of Al Jazeera operations. (AJ, HA, REU 5/6)

Zeteo publishes a letter sent to ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan by 12 Republican senators on 4/24, warning him, his staff, and their families of U.S. sanctions if he issues arrest warrants for Israeli officials. The senators wrote “[t]arget Israel and we will target you . . . You have been warned.” (Zeteo 5/6)

Columbia University cancels its main commencement ceremony, citing pro-Palestine protests on campus. Police arrest 64 people at a pro-Palestine encampment at the University of California San Diego. (AJ, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/6; AJ, AJ, HA 5/7)

The Pulitzer board awards the 2024 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation to “Journalists and Media Workers Covering the War in Gaza.” The phrasing is criticized for not mentioning Palestinians. (AJ 5/6)