Wednesday, December 20, 2023

In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and killed 2 Palestinians, including a child, in Beit Einun and Husan. Israeli forces shot and injured 2 Palestinians during a raid in al-Yamun. Elsewhere, Israeli forces demolished 2 homes under construction and a warehouse near Ni’lin and 1 residential structure in al-Jiftlik. Israeli forces also seized 10 vehicles in al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya. Meanwhile, Israeli forces delivered notices that they will seize 5 dunams (1.1 acres) of land near Bethlehem to build a settler road. In Gaza, Paltel reported a complete communications blackout in all of Gaza. Israeli forces bombed Jabalia refugee camp, Khan Yunis, Rafah, Dayr al-Balah, and Gaza City; it was unclear how many casualties there were due to the communications blackout. Israeli bombings destroyed 56 buildings in the Shuja’iya neighborhood of Gaza City. 3 Israeli soldiers were killed in combat. In Lebanon, Israeli forces shelled several sites, killing 2 members of Hezbollah. Israeli snipers also shot and killed a Lebanese civilian driving near Kfar Kila. (AJ, AP, HA, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/20; AJ, AP, HA 12/21; NYT 12/26)

More than 20,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 7,729 children and 5,153 women, and around 54,000 have been injured since 10/7. At least 8,000 people were missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 296 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 75 children. More than 3,387 people have been injured. Israel reported that 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed and 5,400 have been injured since 10/7. 134 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 719 injured in Gaza since the ground invasion began on 10/27. Over 1.93 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 12/3, at least 52,000 housing units had been destroyed and 253,000 had been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7, constituting 60% of all housing units. 71 trucks entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing and 120 trucks entered via the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing. (AJ, AJ, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA 12/20; NYT 12/21)

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights released a statement saying it had received reports that Israeli forces had executed 11 unarmed Palestinians in front of their families in the Rimal neighborhood of Gaza City between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. on 12/19. The Israeli forces also reportedly forced women and children into a room and threw a grenade at them, causing injuries. The Human Rights Office called for an immediate and independent investigation. (UN, UNOCHA 12/20; AJ, AJ 12/21)

Malaysian prime minister Anwar Ibrahim said Malaysia has banned all Israeli-flagged cargo ships from docking in its ports, citing the “Israeli massacre and brutality against Palestinians.” (AJ 12/20)

Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh arrived in Cairo for talks with Egyptian officials. Hamas official Ghazi Hamad told Al Jazeera that the party had tried to contact Fatah to begin talks about the situation in Gaza now and the future of a unified Palestinian political system, but that PA president Mahmoud Abbas had rejected talks. The Wall Street Journal reported that Hamas’ political bureau was in talks with other Palestinian factions about the situation in Gaza after the Israeli attack. Political bureau member Husam Badran told the Journal that the talks also included former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad and former Fatah member Mohammed Dahlan. The Journal also reported that Hamas turned down a proposal to exchange a weeklong ceasefire for 40 captives held in Gaza. Hamas has said on several occasions that it will not negotiate while being attacked. (AJ, AJ, AP, AX, HA, NYT, REU, REU, REU, WSJ 12/20; HA 12/21)

Israel, Cyprus, and the UK agreed to open an aid corridor between Gaza and Cyprus “under Israeli security supervision and control.” It was unclear how and when the corridor would be operational. (AJ, HA, REU 12/20)

The UN Security Council discussed a resolution on Gaza for the third day in a row without calling a vote. (AJ, NYT, WAFA 12/20)

Israeli Channel 12 reported that an Israeli tank shelled a house in Kibbutz Be’eri where Palestinian militants were holding Israeli captives, injuring an Israeli. (AJ 12/20)

In a report, Human Rights Watch charged Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, with silencing support for Palestine on the 2 social media platforms. (HRW 12/20; AJ 12/21)

Democracy for the Arab World Now said it submitted a list of 40 Israeli commanding officers to the ICC who have been involved in Israel’s attack on Gaza and should be investigated for war crimes. (AJ 12/20)

The Huffington Post reported that the U.S. was planning to pressure Switzerland not to hold a Geneva Convention conference on violations of international law during Israel’s assault in Gaza. (AJ 12/20)