Tuesday, May 7, 2024

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers raid al-Muarajat and Khan al-Ahmar, stealing tents and vandalizing homes. Israeli forces demolish a Palestinian home in al-Juwaya in the Masafer Yatta area. Israeli forces also seize a bulldozer and arrest the driver in Qarawat Bani Hassan. Meanwhile, Israeli forces arrest 22 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Tulkarm, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Nablus, Jericho, and Tubas. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers attack UNRWA’s headquarters in Sheikh Jarrah. In Gaza, Israeli forces bomb Rafah, Nuseirat refugee camp, Jabalia refugee camp, Beit Hanun, Shati’ refugee camp, and Gaza City, killing at least 54 people. Israeli forces also continue its invasion of eastern Rafah, including the Rafah crossing, firing tank shells at buildings. Patients and displaced people flee the Mohammed Yousef El-Najar Hospital in Rafah. In the Red Sea, Houthi forces launch 3 drones and a ballistic missile at a vessel; no damage is reported. (AJ, AX, NYT, NYT, REU, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/7; AJ, AP, UNOCHA 5/8)

More than 34,780 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 14,520 children and 10,000 women, and around 78,204 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. The Karem Abu Salem (Karem Shalom) crossing is closed for the third day in a row while the Rafah crossing is also closed after Israel took control of the Palestinian side on 5/6. The UN reports that Gaza is running out of fuel to power water pumps, bakeries, and other essential facilities, adding the UN only has 30,000 liters of fuel left and that Israel is denying the UN access to the Rafah crossing. Doctors Without Borders says it has begun discharging patients from Rafah’s Indonesian Field Hospital and suspended activities at the Shaboura Clinic. It will also handover its operations at al-Helal al-Emirati Maternity Hospital to the Ministry of Health in Gaza and relocate its staff to the Nasser Hospital on 5/8. (AJ, AJ, AJ, HA, NYT, NYT, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/7; AJ, AP, UNOCHA 5/8)

Hamas spokesperson Osama Hamdan says Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking to prevent a ceasefire agreement by attacking the Rafah crossing. A Hamas statement calls Israel “the Nazi occupation” that is subjecting Palestinians in Gaza “to a war of extermination and systematic starvation.” Hamas negotiators, led by Khalil al-Hayya, arrive in Cairo from Doha to continue ceasefire talks. Israeli negotiators also arrive in Cairo. Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant tells Israeli soldiers in Rafah that Israel will expand the operation if ceasefire talks fail. Hamas says an Israeli captive has succumbed to injuries sustained last month in an Israeli airstrike. The PA calls on the U.S. to intervene to stop the Israeli invasion of Rafah. (AJ, AX, HA, HA, REU, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA 5/7; NYT 5/8)

Israel tells international organizations to leave the areas of Rafah where it has called for evacuations. UNRWA said on 5/6 that it would not comply with the order. (AJ 5/7)

The PA says Israel is withholding $1.6 billion in tax revenue. (WAFA 5/7)

The U.S. military announces that it has completed work on the offshore pier that will facilitate deliveries of aid to Gaza via sea, but states that the weather is making it unsafe to move the pier into place. (AJ 5/7; AP 5/8)

U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller claims that Hamas did not accept the ceasefire proposal on 5/6 but rather responded to it, making several suggestions. The New York Times reports that the changes are “minor wording changes.” Miller also says that Israel has committed to reopening the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing on 5/8. Lastly, Miller says that it is not the U.S.’s assessment that Israel has begun “a major military operation” in Rafah. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby says Israel has informed the U.S. that the Rafah invasion is limited and focused on preventing the smuggling of weapons and money to Gaza. Haaretz reports that Israel committed to the U.S. and Egypt to limit the invasion of Rafah to the eastern part of the city and the crossing. The newspaper also reports that the 3 parties agreed to have a private American security company take control of the Palestinian side of the crossing when Israel withdraws from it. Miller says when asked about the private security company that he is not aware of such an agreement. PLO secretary-general Hussein al-Sheikh says the PA will not accept “any form of guardianship over the Rafah crossing.” (NYT 5/6; AJ, AJ, AX, HA, HA, HA 5/7; HA, WAFA 5/8)

Jordanian king Abdullah II meets with U.S. secretary of defense Lloyd Austin, while Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi speaks with Secretary of State Antony Blinken. (HA 5/7; HA 5/8)

U.S. president Joe Biden says in a speech hosted by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum at the Capitol that the attack on Israel on 10/7/2023 was driven by “ancient desire to wipe out the Jewish people off the face of the earth” and links the attack to the Holocaust. (AP, HA, NYT, NYT, NYT 5/7)

Several media outlets report that the U.S. decided to withhold a transfer of 3,500 2,000-pound and 500-pound bombs to Israel last week to dissuade Israel from invading Rafah. Reuters reports that the Biden administration will miss its own deadline to have the State Department report to Congress on whether Israeli claims that it is acting within U.S. and international law are credible. 9 U.S. senators call on the administration to apply the Leahy Law, which bans the U.S. from supplying foreign military units that violate human rights. (HA 5/6; AJ, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, POL, REU, REU 5/7; AJ, AJ, AP, AP, AP, AX, HA, REU 5/8)

Bahamas announces that it has formally recognized the State of Palestine, becoming the 142nd country to do so. Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago have also recently recognized the State of Palestine. (AJ, WAFA, WAFA 5/8)

Mexico, Egypt, Turkey, and Brazil condemn Israel’s assault on Rafah. UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres calls for an immediate ceasefire and for Israeli allies to use their leverage to stop the invasion of Rafah and on Israel to immediately reopen the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) and Rafah crossings. German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock warns Israel against “a major offensive in Rafah,” saying a “million people cannot simply vanish into thin air. They need protection.” Baerbock also calls on Israel to reopen the Rafah and Karem Abu Salem crossings. Jordanian foreign minister Ayman Safadi calls on the UN Security Council to “act firmly and immediately” against the Israeli invasion of Rafah, saying “[Prime Minister] Netanyahu must face real consequences.” China calls on Israel to stop the invasion of Rafah. (AJ, AJ, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/7; AJ 5/8)

German police remove pro-Palestine protesters from the Free University in Berlin. Dutch police violently disperse student protesters at Amsterdam University, arresting 169 people. Students have set up encampments in support of Palestine in the U.S., the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Canada, Finland, Ireland, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, France, and the UK, including at Cambridge University and Oxford University. (AJ, HA, NYT, REU, WAFA, WAFA 5/7; AJ, AP, REU 5/8)