Monday, October 16, 2023

In the West Bank, a Palestinian succumbed to injuries sustained from Israeli forces in Tulkarm on 10/13. Israeli settlers vandalized 3 water wells, uprooted 70 olive tree saplings, and removed barbed wire in Susiya. Israeli forces shot and killed 2 Palestinians during raids in Aqabat Jaber refugee camp and Jenin. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinians in Aqabat Jaber refugee camp and Fawwar refugee camp, injuring 4 with live ammunition. At least 70 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Hebron, Tulkarm, Nablus, Ramallah, Nil’in, Qarawat Bani Hassan, Bethlehem, and Jericho. In Gaza, Israeli airstrikes killed more than 100 Palestinians and caused extensive damage. Israeli forces also attacked the Rafah crossing for the fourth time since 10/7. Rockets were fired at Israel, causing damage and injuries. In Lebanon, Israel said it attacked Hezbollah targets. (AP 10/7; AJ, HA 10/15; AJ, HA, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/16; AJ, HA 10/17)

The Gaza Ministry of Health said at least 2,808 Palestinians have been killed and 10,850 have been injured in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza since 10/7, including 47 entire families consisting of 500 people. In addition, Israeli media reported that 1,500 Palestinian militants have been killed near Gaza. 58 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 12 children. More than 1,176 have been injured, including at least 300 with live ammunition. Israeli officials recorded no new fatalities, leaving the Israeli death toll at around 1,300 Israelis and foreign nationals; 4,121 have been injured since 10/7. The UN reported that over 1 million Palestinians have been displaced since 10/7 and that since 11 p.m. on 10/12 there has been a complete electricity blackout due to the Israeli blockade. At least 11,887 housing units have been destroyed in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7. The Palestinian civil defense team said that more than 1,000 Palestinians were under the rubble of buildings in Gaza. 7 members of the civil defense team were killed in Israeli airstrikes on the Palestinian civil defense headquarters in at-Tuffah, bringing the number of humanitarian staff killed since 10/7 to 31. The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate said 11 Palestinian journalists have been killed in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7. (AJ, HA 10/15; AJ, HA, REU, REU, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/16; AJ 10/17)

UNRWA said in a tweet that people claiming to be from the Gaza Ministry of Health seized fuel and medical equipment from its compound in Gaza City, before later deleting the tweet. An UNRWA statement later said that there had been no looting of UNRWA warehouses. (HA, HA 10/16; HA 10/17)

Palestinian prisoner Kayed al-Fafsous suspended his 75-day hunger strike after his family urged him to end it, fearing that Israel will let him die as part of its campaign against Palestinians related to the war with Hamas. Al-Fafsous was protesting being held in administrative detention. (WAFA 10/16)

Hamas released a video of one of its captives, a 21-year-old dual French Israeli citizen, who said in the video, “I'm in Gaza. I came back early on Saturday morning from a party in the Sderot area. I was seriously injured in the arm. They brought me to Gaza, and they took me to the hospital here for three hours. They've been taking care of me, providing medication. I'm just asking that you bring me back home as soon as possible to my family, my parents, my siblings. Please get me out of here as quickly as possible.” Hamas military spokesperson Abu Obeida said Hamas is holding around 200-250 people captive and that they are being treated with dignity and respect. He added that 22 captives have been killed in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7 and that non-Israeli captives will be released when “circumstances allow.” (AJ 10/15; AJ, HA, HA, NYT, REU 10/16; HA, REU, REU 10/17)

Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh spoke with Turkish foreign minister Hakan Fidan about the release of Hamas-held captives and with Malaysian prime minister Anwar Ibrahim. (AJ 10/15; AJ, HA, REU, REU 10/16)

PLO secretary-general Hussein al-Sheikh met with UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process Tor Wennesland in Ramallah, discussing the need for an immediate ceasefire and humanitarian aid to enter Gaza. PA president Mahmoud Abbas spoke with UK prime minister Rishi Sunak and Russian president Vladimir Putin. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/16)

Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari said 199 people have been taking captive by Hamas in Gaza. The Israeli prime minister’s office denied reports that there will be a ceasefire to allow foreigners to leave Gaza. (AJ 10/15; AJ 10/16)

Israel said it allowed some aid to enter Gaza via the Rafah crossing but did not allow fuel to enter. Egypt said humanitarian aid for Gaza is stuck in Egypt as Israel is not cooperating in allowing the aid to enter Gaza. The EU said it would launch a humanitarian air bridge to Egypt with aid to Gaza and the UN began shipping aid to Egypt in anticipation of being able to enter Gaza. (AJ 10/15; AJ, AP, HA, HA, NYT, REU, REU, REU 10/16; WAFA 10/17)

Hezbollah said it started destroying Israeli surveillance cameras near the Blue Line. (AP 10/16)

The Israeli military said it will evacuate Israeli residents from 28 communities within 1.2 miles of the Blue Line. (HA, REU, REU 10/16; HA, HA 10/17)

The Knesset National Security Committee approved new regulations making it easier for Israelis to obtain a gun license. 41,000 Israelis have applied for a license since 10/7. (HA 10/16; WAFA 10/17; HA 10/24)

The U.S. said 30 U.S. citizens were killed since 10/7 and 13 are unaccounted for. (HA 10/15; HA 10/16)

Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told Iranian state TV that a “preemptive strike” against Israel could be expected as Israel continues to attack Gaza. Amir-Abdollahian suggested the strike would be carried out by Hezbollah and would be related to a potential Israeli ground invasion of Gaza. Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said that Iran considers the U.S. militarily involved in the conflict. (AJ 10/15; AJ, AJ, HA, NYT, REU, REU 10/16; AJ 10/17)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu told President Putin that Israel would not end its attacks on Gaza until Israel had eliminated Hamas’ military and governmental capabilities. Netanyahu also spoke with UAE president Mohammed bin Zayed. (AJ 10/15; HA, REU 10/16; HA, REU 10/17)

U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken visited Israel again after touring the Middle East over the weekend, meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, the Israeli war cabinet, and President Isaac Herzog. Blinken said Israel had agreed to develop a plan to get humanitarian aid to Gaza without it benefiting Hamas. Blinken also spoke with Foreign Minister Fidan, who condemned Israel’s “inhumane” actions in Gaza. President Joe Biden spoke with German chancellor Olaf Scholz and Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi. The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. has prepared around 2,000 soldiers for potential deployment to Israel to serve as advisors and for medical support. (AJ 10/15; AJ, HA, NYT, REU, REU 10/16; AP, HA, REU 10/17; HA 10/18)

The UN Security Council rejected a Russian resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire and condemning violence and terrorism against civilians. 5 countries voted for the resolution (China, Russia the UAE, Gabon, and Mozambique), 4 voted against (the U.S., the UK, France, and Japan), while 6 abstained. The U.S. criticized the resolution for not condemning Hamas. (AJ, HA, REU 10/16; AP, WAFA 10/17)

U.S. senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Peter Welch (D-VT) called on Israel to protect civilians in Gaza. 14 U.S. senators, 8 Democrats, 5 Republican, and 1 independent, called on President Biden to freeze $6 billion in Iranian assets held in Qatar that the U.S. exchanged for the release of people held in Iran last month. 13 members of the House co-sponsored a resolution urging Biden to call for an immediate ceasefire. The resolution spearheaded was by Cori Bush (D-MO), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Summer Lee (D-PA), Delia Ramirez (D-IL), and Andre Carson (D-IN). (AJ 10/15; AJ, AJ, HA 10/16)

Pakistani foreign minister Jalil Abbas Jilani called Israel’s attacks on Gaza genocide. Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau called for the opening of a humanitarian corridor in Gaza to allow delivery of food, fuel, and water. Scottish first minister Humza Yousaf said that he fears that his in-laws, who are visiting Gaza, could die any day as they are running out of water and food. Prime Minister Sunak characterized the Hamas operation on 10/7 as a “pogrom” while addressing the House of Commons and said, “Israel must defend itself in line with international humanitarian law.” Sunak said 6 UK citizens have been killed and 10 are missing. Furthermore, Sunak said the UK would increase its aid to Palestinians by $12.12 million. Sunak also spoke to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who warned him about making “provocative steps” and reminded him of the “unkept promises [made] to Palestine.” (AJ 10/15; HA, HA, REU, REU, REU, REU 10/16; HA 10/17)

U.S. police arrested 50 demonstrators outside the White House who were calling for a ceasefire. The demonstration was arranged by Jewish American groups, including IfNotNow. (AJ 10/15; HA 10/16)

The BBC apologized for describing thousands of protesters in London on 10/14 as backing Hamas, calling the reporting misleading. (AJ 10/15)

The New York Times reported that Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, was accused of suppressing pro-Palestinian content on its platforms. (NYT 10/16)

The UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel, concluded that “Israeli forces used lethal forces without justification under international human rights law,” when soldiers killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Jenin in 5/11/2022. (AJ 10/15; AJ 10/16)

Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. president Donald Trump said he would expel immigrants who are anti-Zionists, support Hamas, or are Communist, Marxist, or Fascist. (HA, REU 10/16)