Monday, December 4, 2023

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers razed 5 dunams (1.2 acres) of land and threw stones at Palestinians and Israeli activists in Khirbet al-Farisiyya. Israeli settlers also vandalized 15 vehicles in Umm Safa. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers wearing military uniforms raided Khirbet Zanuta, demolishing a residential structure, 2 agricultural structures, and part of an EU-funded school. Israeli forces shot and killed 5 Palestinians during raids in Qalqilya, Sa’ir, and Qalandia. Israeli forces also shot and injured 35 Palestinians, including 5 children, during raids in Bani Naim, Qalqilya, and Qalandia. Elsewhere, Israeli forces demolished 6 agricultural structures in al-Ubeidiya. 60 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Dheisheh refugee camp, Jericho, Ramallah, Silwad, Jalazone refugee camp, and Abu Dis. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces raided Kafr ‘Aqab, injuring 10 with live ammunition, 1 with a baton round, 3 with beatings, and others with tear gas. In Gaza, Paltel said telecommunications were cut off in all of Gaza. At least 349 people were killed and 750 injured in Israeli attacks, including 108 in Beit Lahiya and 40 in Khan Yunis and others in Gaza City and Khan Yunis. Israeli forces ordered Palestinians in the Dayr al-Balah district to evacuate south as Israel continued to heavily bomb the Rafah and Khan Yunis districts. Israeli forces also demolished Gaza’s main courthouse with explosives. 5 Israeli soldiers were killed in combat. Hamas’ military spokesperson Abu Obeida said Hamas had destroyed 28 Israeli military vehicles in the past 24 hours. Rockets were fired at Israel; no injuries were reported. In Lebanon, Israel conducted airstrikes, saying mortar shells were fired at Israel, injuring 3 soldiers. (AJ, AJ, AJ, HA, HA, HA, NYT, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/4; AJ, AX, HA, HA, UNOCHA 12/5)

More than 15,899 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 6,387 children and 4,257 women, and around 41,316 have been injured since 10/7. At least 7,000 people were missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 251 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 65 children. More than 3,313 people have been injured. Israel reported that 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed and 5,431 have been injured since 10/7. 85 Israeli soldiers have been killed in Gaza since the ground invasion began on 10/27. Over 1.9 million Palestinians, nearly 85% of the population of Gaza, have been displaced since 10/7. There has been a complete electricity blackout in Gaza since 10/12 due to the Israeli blockade. As of 11/18, at least 45,000 housing units had been destroyed and 233,000 had been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7, constituting 60% of all housing units. 100 trucks carrying aid, including around 13,000 gallons of fuel, entered Gaza. Aid was only distributed in Rafah for the second day in a row. 25 wounded Palestinians and 583 foreign nationals were evacuated to Egypt. The WHO said Israel had ordered the organization to remove its supplies from its medical warehouse in southern Gaza within 24 hours. (AJ, HA, HA, UNOCHA 12/4; AJ, AJ 12/5)

Israel announced that it had approved the Lower Aqueduct plan in East Jerusalem, the first major new settlement plan to be fully approved in East Jerusalem since 2012, according to Ir Amim. The final approval greenlit the construction of 1,792 housing units on 186 dunams (46 acres) of land, including on privately owned land belonging to Palestinians in Umm Tuba. Jordan condemned the approval. The PA Foreign Ministry called on the international community to stop the implementation of the plan. (AJ 12/4; AJ, TOI, WAFA 12/5; PCN 12/6)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas spoke with U.S. vice president Kamala Harris in a phone call, discussing the situation in Palestine and need for aid to enter Gaza. PA prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh met with a delegation from the EU parliament in Ramallah. Harris also spoke with Israeli president Isaac Herzog about plans for Gaza after Israel is done with its assault. (HA 12/3; NYT WAFA, WAFA 12/4)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Argentinian president-elect Javier Milei, thanking him for saying he will move the Argentinian embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and inviting him to Israel. (HA 12/3; AJ, REU 12/4)

The corruption trial against Prime Minister Netanyahu resumed. Netanyahu did not attend the hearing. The judge presiding over the trial agreed to hold 2 hearings a week instead of 3 as happened before 10/7. (NYT 12/4; AJ, HA 12/5)

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Prime Minister Netanyahu will be tried as a war criminal for Israel’s attacks on Gaza. (HA, REU 12/4)

U.S. senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) called the proposed U.S. military aid package to Israel “absolutely irresponsible,” labelling Israel’s attacks on Gaza immoral and in violation of international law during a speech at the Senate. (AJ, HA 12/5)

Haaretz said that several stories about Hamas militants’ actions during Operation Al-Aqsa flood were unfounded, including that 40 babies were killed, some of which were said to be beheaded, a story recounted by U.S. president Biden. Other stories recounted by Prime Minister Netanyahu, such as children being bound together and burned, also appeared to be false. Netanyahu’s wife Sara also relayed a false story in a letter to Biden’s wife Jill, saying one of the captives held by Hamas was pregnant and had given birth in captivity. The woman, who has since been released, was not pregnant. (HA 12/4)

The Wall Street Journal reported that Israel is considering flooding the tunnels in Gaza with seawater. (HA, WSJ 12/4; HA, HA, REU 12/5)

3 human rights organizations in the Netherlands sued the Dutch state over its export of F-35 parts to Israel. (AJ, HA, HA 12/4)

Former State Department office of public and congressional affairs director Josh Paul, who resigned on 10/18 in protest over the Biden administration’s policy toward Israel’s attacks on Gaza, told CNN that Israel had raided the offices of Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI – Palestine) in 2021 after the State Department had shared credible evidence of a Palestinian child being raped at al-Mascobiyya Interrogation Center in Jerusalem with Israel. DCI – Palestine’s office was raided on 7/29/2021 and the organization declared a terrorist organization on 10/22/2021 along with 5 other groups. Paul suggested a link between the sharing of the DCI – Palestine investigation and the Israeli terrorist designation. (X 12/4)