Sunday, December 31, 2023

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers posing as soldiers abducted 2 Palestinian men from the Masafer Yatta area and vandalized Palestinian properties in Shaab al-Butum. Israeli forces injured 4 Palestinians in a drone strike in Nur Shams refugee camp. Israeli forces also shot and injured 3 Palestinians during a raid in Askar refugee camp. 18 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Nablus, Deir Istiya, and Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian after he allegedly stabbed 2 Israeli settlers in the Mishor Adumim settlement. In Gaza, Israeli forces bombed Rafah, Nuseirat refugee camp, Dayr al-Balah, Khan Yunis, Maghazi, and Gaza City, killing at least 100 people, including University College of Applied Sciences president Dr. Said Al-Zubda and his family. 2 Israeli soldiers were killed in combat. In Syria, 3 suicide drones attacked a U.S. military base, causing damage. In the Red Sea, U.S. forces attacked 3 Houthi boats, killing 10 people after the Houthi forces attempted to take over a cargo ship. (AJ, AJ, AJ, AX, HA, HA, NYT, REU, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/31; AJ 1/1)

More than 21,800 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 8,800 children and 6,300 women, and around 56,165 have been injured since 10/7. At least 7,000 people were missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 313 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 79 children. More than 3,812 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. 168 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 955 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 12/23, at least 65,000 housing units had been destroyed and 290,000 had been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7, constituting over 60% of all housing units. (HA 12/31; REU 1/1)

The Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs said a large number of Palestinian prisoners in the Ofer Prison have experienced food poisoning after being given spoiled meals. Prisoners at Megiddo Prison reported frequent abuse, including assault and humiliations by Israeli guards. 2 prisoners have died at Megiddo since 10/7. The Israel Prison Service told Haaretz that it was aware of severe violence against prisoners at the Megiddo Prison. (HA 12/31; AJ 1/1)

Israel’s military said it would withdraw 5 combat brigades, amounting to thousands of troops, from Gaza. (AJ, HA 12/31; AJ, HA, NYT, REU, REU 1/1)

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics said 2023 was the deadliest year for Palestinians since the Nakba, saying at least 22,404 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of 2023, including at least 22,141 since 10/7. 98% of the Palestinians killed were from the Gaza. The Israeli human rights organization Yesh Din said 2023 was the worst year for Israeli settler violence against Palestinians since 2006 when the group started monitoring. Yesh Din noted that Israeli settlers have killed 10 Palestinians this year. (AJ 12/31; AJ 1/1)

Israel had the highest rate of murders ever recorded in 2023 at 299, including 241 among Palestinian citizens of Israel, which is double the number of 2022. 92% of the homicides involving victims that were Palestinian citizens of Israel were unresolved. (HA 12/31)

Axios reported that Israel rejected a Hamas proposal for a new ceasefire. The proposal included the release of 40 captives and the removal of all Israeli forces from Gaza during its first phase. (AX 1/1)

Israeli foreign minister Eli Cohen claimed that Israel will allow ships to deliver aid from Cyprus to Gaza immediately. Under the agreement the aid would be inspected by Israel in Larnaca and shipped to Gaza. Later in the day Cohen swapped jobs with infrastructure and energy minister Israel Katz. The job swap was part of the coalition government’s founding agreement. Cohen is scheduled to return as foreign minister in 2 years. (AJ, HA, HA, REU 12/31; HA 1/2)

Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich said Israel would not allow 2 million Palestinians to live in Gaza after the war, saying it would benefit Israel if the number was 100,000 to 200,000 at the end of the war. Smotrich also said Israeli settlers would repopulate Gaza and “make the desert bloom.” (AJ, AJ, HA, HA, REU 12/31; AJ, HA 1/1)

ABC News reported that the U.S. will move its aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford out of the Middle East, returning it to Virginia. (HA 12/31; HA 1/2)