Wednesday, January 3, 2024

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set up utility poles on Palestinian land near Tuqu’ to supply a settlement outpost with electricity. Israeli settlers also set up caravans near Qusra. Israeli forces raid Tulkarm refugee camp and Nur Shams refugee camp, firing a missile from a drone at Palestinians in Tulkarm refugee camp, causing injuries, and uproot streets with bulldozers and punitively demolish a home in Nur Shams refugee camp. Israeli forces also raid al-Ram, Yatta, and Qalqilya, injuring 6 with live ammunition, including a child. Elsewhere, Israeli forces install an iron gate blocking the northern entrance to Birzeit. Large demonstrations are held in protest against the Israeli assassination of Saleh al-Arouri and a general strike is staged in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers tour that Haram al-Sharif compound. Israeli forces demolish 3 homes and a commercial structure in Jabel Mukaber and violently disperse Palestinians protesting the demolitions, injuring several by assault; 14 people are displaced due to the demolitions. In Gaza, Israeli forces bomb Khan Yunis, Maghazi, al-Bureij refugee camp, Rafah, Dayr al-Balah, and Nuseirat refugee camp, killing at least 128 people and attacking the Palestinian Red Crescent Society headquarters in Khan Yunis for the second day in a row. 2 Israeli soldiers are killed in combat. In Lebanon, Israeli forces bomb a residential building in Naqoura, killing 3 Hezbollah members. At least 6 other Hezbollah members are killed in Israeli strikes elsewhere. Hezbollah says it attacked Israeli military positions. In the Red Sea, the Houthi government attacks a container ship bound for Israel according to its military spokesperson. (AJ, AJ, HA, HA, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/3; AJ, UNOCHA 1/4)

More than 22,313 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 8,800 children and 6,300 women, and around 57,697 have been injured since 10/7. At least 7,000 people are missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 317 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 80 children. More than 3,949 people have been injured. Israel reports that 1,139 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed and 5,400 have been injured since 10/7, including Israeli soldiers. In addition, 173 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 991 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. 105 trucks carrying aid enter Gaza via the Rafah and Karim Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossings. (UNOCHA, UNOCHA 1/3)

The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society says Israel arrested 11,000 Palestinians in 2023, including 1,085 children and 300 women, noting that 5,500 have been arrested after 10/7 and the current number of Palestinian prisoners is 8,800, including 3,291 held without charge. 661 Palestinians from Gaza are held at the Sde Teiman military base, which is used as a detention camp. Sources tell Haaretz that the detained Palestinians are abused by Israeli guards. (AJ, HA, WAFA 1/3)

Israel’s military says an Israeli captive its forces tried to rescue was killed during the operation and 2 Israeli soldiers were injured. It was unclear when and where the operation was carried out. (HA, HA 1/3)

Human Rights Watch (HRW) calls on Israel to release information about how many Palestinian workers from Gaza were detained by Israel on or after 10/7, how many are still being held in detention centers, and what the basis is for their detention. HRW also calls on Israel to investigate the reports of abuse of Palestinians detained by Israel. (HRW 1/3)

The ICJ confirms that it will hold public hearings in The Hague on 1/11 and 1/12 on the genocide proceedings instituted by South Africa against Israel. Malaysia and Turkey endorse the South African case. (AJ, HA, WAFA 1/3; AJ, HA, HA, HA 1/4; AJ 1/9)

The UN Security Council calls on Yemen’s Houthi government to end its attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea. The U.S., Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the UK issue a statement condemning the attacks. (AJ, HA 1/3)

Israeli Channel 12 reports that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu told families of Israelis held in Gaza that his government is considering a “scenario of surrender and deportation.” It was unclear if he referred only to members of Hamas. Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich says 70% of Israelis are in favor of displacing Palestinians from Gaza. (HA 1/3)

Hezbollah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah says in a speech that Hezbollah will retaliate against the assassination of Hamas deputy political leader Saleh al-Arouri in Beirut, praises Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, condemns the U.S. for preventing a ceasefire in Gaza, and says Israel has suffered a strategic defeat. (AJ, AJ, HA 1/3)

U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller calls the South African genocide case against Israel at the ICJ “meritless” and counterproductive. U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby condones the Israel assassination of Saleh al-Arouri in Beirut on 1/2, saying Israel “has a right and responsibility to go after the threat that Hamas poses.” Kirby also says that Hamas’ ideology cannot be eliminated, and the group will likely not be erased, as is Israel’s stated goal. (AJ, HA 1/3; AJ 1/4)

U.S. senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) meets with Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz, discussing U.S. support for Israel’s war on Gaza. (HA 1/3)

EU high commissioner for foreign affairs Josep Borell says the world must impose an end to Israel’s war on Gaza. (AJ, AJ, HA, HA 1/3)

Yesh Din says it has documented 240 incidents of settler violence since 10/7 in 93 towns and villages in the West Bank, noting that Israel has not filed a single indictment against a settler since then. Yesh Din also says Israel has imposed a total closure of the West Bank, effectively ruining the olive harvest. (AJ 1/3)

Israeli new site Zman Yisrael reports that Israeli officials are in talks with Congo about the country absorbing Palestinians displaced from Gaza. The site also reports that Israeli officials are in similar talks with other unnamed African countries. An Israeli political source tells Haaretz that the story is false. (AJ, HA, TOI 1/3)

Israel’s Supreme Court delays the enactment of a law that would take away the right of the attorney general to declare a prime minister unfit for office. (AP, NYT 1/3; HA 1/4)