Tuesday, February 6, 2024

In the West Bank, Israeli forces shoot and kill a Palestinian man, claiming he tried to attack soldiers near the Beit Furik checkpoint. Israeli forces also demolish a home, issue demolition notices for 6 others in al-Nuweimah, and demolish a retaining wall in Bani Na’im. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers tour the Haram al-Sharif compound. Israeli forces demolish part of a Palestinian home in Silwan. In Gaza, Israeli forces bomb Rafah, Jabalia refugee camp, Dayr al-Balah, Khan Yunis, and Gaza City, killing at least 107 people, including the director of the Palestinian Information Center in the Gaza Strip Rizq al-Gharabli. In Lebanon, Israeli forces attack Jabel Blat and Khula. Hezbollah says it hit “spy equipment” in Shuba Hills. Anti-tank fire injures 2 Israeli soldiers near Mitzpe Adi. In Syria, Israeli forces bomb Homs, killing and injuring several people. In the Red Sea, Houthi forces say they attacked a UK and a U.S. ship with naval missiles. (AJ, AJ, AP, HA, REU, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/6; AJ, AP, AP, HA 2/7)

More than 27,585 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 11,500 children and 7,200 women, and around 66,835 have been injured since 10/7. At least 8,000 people are missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 376 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 95 children. More than 4,417 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, 224 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 1,304 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. 103 trucks carrying aid enter Gaza via the Rafah crossing. Israelis block the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing, preventing the entry of 132 trucks. UNOCHA says the Israeli evacuation order in Gaza now covers 66% of the area. (AJ, AP, UNOCHA, UNOCHA, WAFA 2/6; AJ 2/7; UNOCHA 2/8)

Israel’s public defender’s office issues a report based on visits to the Carmel, Damon, and Eshel prisons and the Russian Compound, saying conditions for all prisoners are deteriorating and noting that half of all prisoners have less than 29.5 square feet of space while around 3,400 prisoners are sleeping on mattresses on the floor. The report says that prisoners are experiencing “[i]ntolerable overcrowding; poor sanitary conditions; hygiene problems and infestations; poor ventilations; a lack of basic equipment.” (HA 2/7)

Hamas responds to the Israeli, U.S., Qatari, and Egyptian ceasefire proposal. Hamas official Ghazi Hamad says Hamas is seeking to have as many Palestinian prisoners released as possible.   Hamas also says its response was delayed due to many issues in the proposal being “unclear and ambiguous.” Qatar calls the response “mostly positive.” Israel says it is “thoroughly” evaluating the response. U.S. president Joe Biden calls the Hamas response “a little over the top.” (AJ, AJ, AP, AX, HA, HA, NYT, REU, REU, REU, REU 2/6; AJ 2/7)

The PA says it will pay civil servants 60% of their December salaries this week as Israel continues to withhold the PA’s tax revenue. (HA, REU 2/6)

The Israeli military opens an investigation into allegation its forces killed Israelis on 10/7/2023. The military also says that it believes that 32 additional captives out of the 136 remaining captives held in Gaza have been killed. Haaretz reports that the Israeli military has begun investigating dozens of incidents in Gaza that are suspected to have violated international law, including killings of civilians and targeting of hospitals, schools, and government institutions. The New York Times releases an investigation showing Israeli soldiers posting videos on social media of themselves gleefully destroying civilian property. (AJ, AP, HA, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, REU 2/6; NYT 2/7)

Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz meets with the UN envoy for humanitarian aid to Gaza Sigrid Kaag, saying the UN must find a way to bypass UNRWA in delivering aid. (AJ 2/6)

U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken meets with Qatari prime minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani in Doha, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Cairo, and later travels to Israel. At a press conference with Al Thani, Blinken says the U.S. will be promoting steps toward a Palestinian state and Israeli normalization deals after the war in Gaza. He also calls the notion that Hezbollah and the Houthi Movement are acting in solidarity with Palestinians “absolutely wrong,” saying their actions are “fundamentally about Iran’s quest for power.” Al Thani says suspending UNRWA funding would “have catastrophic consequences.” (AJ, AJ, HA, HA, REU 2/6; AJ, NYT 2/7)

The U.S. House of Representatives rejects a standalone bill for $17.6 billion in assistance to Israel, unlike the Senate bill which includes Ukraine, Taiwan, and border funding. President Joe Biden previously said he would veto the House bill. Congressperson Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) calls Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “genocidal maniac.” (HA, NYT, REU 2/6; AJ, AJ, HA, NYT, NYT 2/7)

The ICJ elects Ugandan judge Julia Sebutinde as its vice president for a 3-year period. Sebutinde was the only judge on the 17-member panel to vote against all provisional measures in South Africa’s genocide case against Israel in January. Lebanese judge Nawaf Salam is elected president of the ICJ. (AJ 2/7)

Lebanese foreign minister Abdallah Bou Habib says after a meeting with his French counterpart Stephane Sojourne that he was warned that Israel might launch a war on Lebanon. (AJ 2/6)

Newly elected far-right Argentinian president Javier Milei arrives in Israel, telling Foreign Minister Katz upon his arrival that his plan is to move the Argentinian embassy to East Jerusalem. Milei also meets with President Isaac Herzog. (AJ, AP, HA, HA 2/6; AJ, HA, NYT 2/7)

The regional government of Wallonia in Belgium suspends its 2 ammunition export licenses to Israel. (AJ 2/6)