Sunday, January 28, 2024

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers open fire at Palestinian shepherds near Kisan, forcing them to flee. Israeli forces shoot and injure 2 Palestinians with live ammunition during a raid in Bayt Rima. Israeli forces also assault a Palestinian child in Hebron. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently disperse Palestinians in Husan, causing tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also issue notices that Israel has seized 154 dunams (38 acres) of land in Deir Istiya and Haris. In Gaza, Israeli forces bomb Nuseirat refugee camp, Khan Yunis, Gaza City, al-Shati refugee camp, Nuseirat refugee camp, and Rafah, killing at least 165 people. In Lebanon, Israeli forces bomb near Yaroun, Zibqin, and Houla. Hezbollah attacks a site near Shtula. In Jordan, the U.S. says 3 U.S. service members are killed and 25 injured in a strike on a U.S. base near Syria, claiming the attack was carried out by Iranian-backed militant groups. Jordan says the base where the 3 U.S. soldiers are killed is in Syria. The Islamic Resistance in Iraq claims responsibility. (AJ, AJ, HA, HA, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/28; AP, AX, NYT, REU, REU 1/29; AP, AP, AP 1/30)

More than 26,422 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 10,600 children and 7,200 women, and around 65,087 have been injured since 10/7. At least 7,000 people are missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 366 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 92 children. More than 4,366 people have been injured. Israel reports that 1,139 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed and 5,400 have been injured in Israel since 10/7, including Israeli soldiers. In addition, 219 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 1,269 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. At least 70,000 housing units have been destroyed and 290,000 have been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7, constituting over 60% of all housing units. 84 trucks carrying aid enter Gaza via the Rafah crossing. 30 Palestinians are buried in a mass grave inside the besieged Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis. Al-Amal Hospital runs out of oxygen supplies, forcing the staff to suspend all surgeries. The Israeli military declares the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing a closed military zone to prevent further protests obstructing aid deliveries to Gaza, citing the ICJ ruling on 1/26 to allow aid to enter Gaza. (HA 1/27; AJ, HA, HA, NYT, REU, UNOCHA, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA 1/28; NYT, WAFA 1/29)

UNRWA spokesperson in Gaza Adnan Abu Hasna says UNRWA only has funds to provide services in Gaza until the end of February. UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres says any UNRWA staffer who may have taken part in Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on 10/7/23 will be held accountable, but pleads for countries that have suspended their funding for UNRWA to reverse their decisions. Japan and France follow 8 other countries in suspending funding for UNRWA. PA president Mahmoud Abbas issues a statement condemning the Israeli campaign against UNRWA, saying Israel is seeking to destroy the agency. Amnesty International calls the decisions by the countries that have suspend funding for UNRWA “sickening.” The WHO, OIC, Iran, Turkey, and Jordan call on countries to reverse their decisions.  (AJ, AP, HA, NYT, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/28; AJ, NYT, WAFA 1/29)

Mossad director David Barnea, Shin Bet director Ronen Bar, CIA director Bill Burns, Qatari prime minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, and Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel meet in Paris, France, discussing a ceasefire. Progress is reportedly being made on a ceasefire deal that would last 2 months and see more than 100 Israeli captives released. During the first month women, elderly, and wounded Israeli would be released while in the second month Israeli soldiers and men would be released. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu calls negotiations for a hostage deal “constructive.” (NYT, NYT 1/27; AJ, HA, HA, REU 1/28; REU 1/29)

12 Israeli ministers, including Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, and several MKs attend the Conference for the Victory of Israel – Settlement Brings Security: Returning to the Gaza Strip and Northern Samaria in Jerusalem, laying out plans for the reestablishment of 15 Israeli settlements and 6 new settlements in Gaza. The attendees are filmed dancing and celebrating the plans. Ben-Gvir tells the attendees that the “only humane solution for Gaza is the mass deportation of its inhabitants.” Smotrich says “Israeli soldiers waging war in Gaza will remain as settlers and rebuild settlements, we have come back to inherit the land.” Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi says in war “’voluntary’ is at times a state you impose [on someone] until they give their consent.” France condemns the conference. Germany calls it “totally unacceptable” and condemns the participation of “parts of the Israeli government.” U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby calls the language used by some ministers “irresponsible, reckless, incendiary.”  (AJ, HA, HA, REU, WAFA 1/28; AJ, HA, HA, NYT, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA 1/29; AJ, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/30)

The Arab League holds an extraordinary session called by the PA to reach a “unified Arab stance” on the ICJ ruling from 1/26. (AJ, WAFA 1/28)

Former House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) tells CNN that the FBI should investigate links between protesters demanding a ceasefire in Gaza and Russian president Vladimir Putin. (NYT 1/28; AJ 1/29)

NBC News reports that the Biden administration is considering scaling down weapon sales to Israel to use it as leverage to get Israel to scale back its assault on Gaza. The White House denies the reports. (HA, REU 1/28)