Israel’s Gaza invasion - Day 283

  • Israel’s siege of Gaza Strip, sparked by Hamas’ Oct 7 attack, enters tenth month

  • Israeli strikes have laid waste to much of Gaza strip and caused major environmental damage

  • Starving Palestinians surviving on less than 3pc of daily water requirements while 67pc of water, sanitation infrastructure destroyed

  • More than 250 killed in Israeli raid on Nuseirat refugee camp to rescue 4 hostages, days after a strike on UN school killed at least 35

  • Truce not secured despite UNSC adopting resolution based on ceasefire plan announced by Biden

Published 15 Jul, 2024 08:06am

Israeli military defends attack on al-Mawasi ‘safe zone’ that killed at least 90

The Israel military’s chief of staff Herzi Halevi has defended the missile attack on displaced people in Gaza’s al-Mawasi area, saying the operation targeted two Hamas officials and laid the blame for the 90 people killed in the attack on Hamas, Al Jazeera reports.

Halevi did not mention the huge civilian death toll from the Israeli Air Force’s missile attack on Saturday, but did stress that no Israeli captives “were harmed in the strike”.

“It is very important for me to emphasize this,” he said in a statement.

The Israeli military’s international spokesperson, Nadav Shoshani, also defended the attack, which he described as “a precise, intelligence-based strike” despite it killing so many civilians.

Shoshani also blamed Hamas for the civilians killed by Israel’s Air Force in the “humanitarian area” in al-Mawasi, which he said had been “exploited” by Hamas to “continue operating”.

Published 15 Jul, 2024 04:35pm

Gaza health ministry says 38,664 Palestinians killed in Israeli offensive

More than 38,664 Palestinians have been killed and 89,097 have been injured in the Israeli military offensive in Gaza since Oct 7, the Gaza health ministry said in a statement, Reuters reports.

Some 80 Palestinians were killed and 216 injured in the past 24 hours, the ministry added.

Published 15 Jul, 2024 04:34pm

Israel launches new Gaza strikes after weekend attack kills scores in safe zone

Israel struck the southern and central Gaza Strip to put more pressure on Hamas, following a weekend strike targeting the militant group’s leadership which killed scores of Palestinians camped in a designated “safe zone”, Reuters reports.

Two days after the Israeli strike turned a crowded swathe of Mawasi near the Mediterranean coast into a charred wasteland littered with burning cars and mangled bodies, displaced survivors said they had no idea where they should go next.

“Those moments as the ground shook underneath my feet and the dust and sand rose to the sky and I saw dismembered bodies - was like nothing I have seen in my life,” said Aya Mohammad, 30, a market seller in Mawasi, reached by mobile text message.

“Where to go is what everybody asks, and no one has the answer.”

Published 15 Jul, 2024 12:58pm

Artists at Risk group protests detention of Palestinian poet

The advocacy group for artists who are at risk said it is appalled by the treatment of poet Hanan Awwad who was detained by Israeli soldiers in occupied East Jerusalem, Al Jazeera reports.

The worldwide association of writers, PEN International, said that Awwad – who is the president of PEN Palestine – was detained by soldiers at the Hizma checkpoint in East Jerusalem last Thursday who searched and physically assaulted her at gunpoint and shouted “terrorist”.

“Soldiers kicked and struck Awwad repeatedly and detained her for four hours, during which they interrogated her about the content of her writings,” PEN said in a statement.

Published 15 Jul, 2024 09:40am

International inaction enables ‘genocide’ in Gaza, say Palestinian rights groups

Three Palestinian human rights groups have blamed the international community for Israel’s “deliberate massacres” of civilians in Gaza, Al Jazeera reports.

“The international community’s failure to end the ongoing genocide” has enabled Israeli attacks, including the latest “horrific massacres” in the al-Mawasi area, which killed at least 90, and in the Shati refugee camp, where Israeli warplanes bombed Palestinians at prayer killing 22 people, the rights groups said.

“International inaction continues to embolden Israel to perpetrate international crimes,” the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Al-Haq, and the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights said in a joint statement.

“States arming and financing Israel’s genocidal acts are complicit in these crimes, including genocide,” they said.

Published 15 Jul, 2024 08:48am

Palestine sends eight athletes to Paris Olympics in show of ‘resistance’

A small ceremony was held to send off Palestine’s official delegation to the Paris Olympics on Sunday, as well as to recognise the many Palestinian athletes who will not be present, Al Jazeera reports.

Jibril Rajoub, head of the Palestine Olympic Committee, said 400 athletes, coaches and sporting officials have been killed in Gaza since October.

“Through this participation, we want to present the suffering of the Palestinian people and the unprecedented killing taking place in Gaza,” Rajoub said.

“We want this participation to be a message from the Palestinians to the world that it is time for them to be free in their homeland,” he added.

Eight athletes will represent Palestine this year, competing in athletics, swimming, archery, taekwondo, judo and boxing.

The athletes will represent Palestine at a “very dark moment in our history”, said Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Varsen Aghabekian Shahin in Ramallah on Sunday.

“You are not just athletes, you are also … symbols of Palestinian resistance,” Aghabekian added.

Published 15 Jul, 2024 08:25am

Israeli drones, warplanes hit homes, camp for displaced people in Gaza

Overnight attacks by Israeli forces left one person dead and several injured after armed drones attacked civilians in the town of az-Zawayda in central Gaza, the Wafa news agency reports.

Drones also attacked civilians in the Zeitoun area of Gaza City, while Israel’s bombing of Rafah city’s eastern area of Kafr al-Mashrou killed one person and left several injured.

Several people were also reported killed and wounded in air strikes on houses in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, and a house was bombed east of Khan Younis with an unknown number of casualties, Wafa also reports.

Those attacks followed after Israeli missiles were reported to have killed at least 17 people and injured 80 sheltering at the UN-affiliated Abu Oreiban school sheltering displaced people in the Nuseirat refugee camp.

Published 14 Jul, 2024 11:37pm

Israel government votes to extend mandatory military service

Israel’s government has approved a plan to temporarily extend compulsory military service for men to 36 months, up from 32 as the Gaza bombardment strains manpower, AFP reports.

The office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed the government had endorsed the measure, which will now go to parliament for approval.

Should it pass, the 36-month service will be effective immediately, for a period of five years, according to a copy of the bill posted online.

Because of the military’s “current needs following the events of October 7,” the temporary provision proposes “the maximum duration of men’s service will be 36 months,” the bill says.

The law would also apply to soldiers currently deployed, lengthening their rotations.

In a statement posted after the government decision, however, Israel’s Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara criticised the unequal enforcement of mandatory service, due to historic exemptions for ultra-Orthodox Jewish men.

“Increasing the burden on those serving for years, without simultaneously taking concrete actions to recruit yeshiva students and distribute the burden, will not be constitutional,” she wrote.

Published 14 Jul, 2024 11:09pm

Hamas hiding fate of armed wing commander Deif: Israeli military chief

Hamas is concealing the results of an airstrike on a compound where the commander of its armed wing in Gaza, Mohammed Deif, was hiding, the head of Israel’s armed forces said according to AFP.

“It is still too soon to sum up the results of the attack, those which Hamas is trying to hide,” the Chief of the General Staff Herzi Halevi said in a televised statement. Israel carried out the airstrike yesterday.

Published 14 Jul, 2024 10:22pm

Gallant says pursuit of Hamas to continue for many years

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has said that “the pursuit of Hamas terrorists will continue for many years”, including of those who took part in the October 7 attack, Al Jazeera reports.

Addressing Israeli fighter pilots at the Nevatim airbase, Gallant said all Hamas members “from the most senior, as you acted against yesterday, to those terrorists in the field,” would be chased down.

Gallant told the pilots that Israel’s main objective was the return of captives held in Gaza by Hamas and other groups.

Published 14 Jul, 2024 10:04pm

‘Exhausting routine’ to fetch water for Palestinians in Gaza

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) described the dire situation of people trying to access water in the besieged coastal enclave, Al Jazeera reports.

“Every morning people in the Gaza Strip queue for hours under the burning sun to fill bottles and jerrycans with drinking water,” it said.

“Then many of them have to walk long distances carrying heavy weights in the summer heat. This exhausting routine repeats again and again in Gaza.”

Published 14 Jul, 2024 09:33pm

Israel says a top Hamas commander killed in Gaza strike

Israel said that senior Hamas military commander Rafa Salama, “one of the masterminds” of the October 7 attack that sparked the Gaza bombardment, has been killed in a strike.

According to AFP, a military statement said the Israeli air force “struck and eliminated the commander of Hamas’ Khan Yunis Brigade, Rafa Salama”, in an attack in the southern Gaza Strip.

Published 14 Jul, 2024 09:28pm

Palestinian athletes told to take ‘resistance’ to the Olympics

Eight Palestinian athletes taking part in the Paris Olympics will be symbols of “resistance” during the Israeli bombardment in Gaza, a Palestinian minister said as the official delegation left the occupied West Bank.

According to AFP, this will be the eighth time Palestinian athletes have taken part in the Olympics since 1996, but Olympic committee head Jibril Rajoub said the athletes had never felt so much attention.

The athletes are preparing for the start of the Paris Games on July 26 in a “very dark moment in our history”, said Palestinian Authority Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Varsen Aghabekian Shahin.

“You are not just athletes, you are also […] symbols of Palestinian resistance,” Aghabekian added.

French organisers have stepped up security in Paris because of the conflict. But Rajoub said: “We want this participation to be a message from the Palestinians to the world that it is time for them to be free in their homeland.”

“Through this participation, we want to present the suffering of the Palestinian people and the unprecedented killing taking place in Gaza,” he added.

Read full story here

Published 14 Jul, 2024 08:57pm

Britain to give $7m to UK-Med to support Gaza relief work

UK Foreign Secretary David Lammy has announced $7m to the humanitarian medical NGO to “support their ongoing work to provide humanitarian assistance and medical treatment to those in Gaza”, Al Jazeera reports.

“The situation in Gaza remains desperate and the need for medical aid is crucial. That is why this money is so important. Helping to save lives and deliver emergency care to those most in need,” Lammy said in a statement.

“This funding will be used to support the ongoing work of their field hospitals and the emergency department at Nasser Hospital. It will allow medics, including those from the UK, to continue carrying out vital work to treat thousands more patients suffering from acute respiratory illnesses, infections, and explosive fragmentation trauma cases.”

Published 14 Jul, 2024 08:22pm

Israeli military says airstrike at Gaza school targeted fighters

An airstrike in the area of a UN-operated school in Gaza targeted fighters operating in the vicinity, the Israeli military said according to Reuters.

“This location served as a hideout and operational infrastructure from which attacks against IDF [Israel Defence Forces] troops operating in the Gaza Strip were directed and carried out,” the military said.

It added that it had taken steps to reduce risk to civilians in the area.

Updated 14 Jul, 2024 10:10pm

Turkish foreign minister urges more pressure on Israel

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan has urged more pressure on Israel to end the bombardment in Gaza at a joint news conference with Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud.

Israel’s attacks showed that the country has no intention of ending the conflict, he said according to Reuters.

“Hamas accepting conditions of the ceasefire terms is seen by Israel as weakness and surrender, which is highly dangerous,” Fidan said.

Published 14 Jul, 2024 07:00pm

Syrian soldier killed in Israeli strike on Damascus

A Syrian soldier was killed and three others injured in Israeli strikes near Damascus, state media says according to Al Jazeera.

The Israeli army said it targeted a Syrian military command centre as well as targets and infrastructure belonging to the Syrian army and air defence in response to two drones launched towards Israel from Syrian territory.

The statement is a rare acknowledgement by the Israeli military of action in Syria, where it has launched hundreds of strikes, mainly targeting army positions and Iran-backed fighters.

State news agency SANA reported defence systems intercepted and downed a number of missiles “despite their intensity”. The news agency published a photo showing a fire in what appeared to be a crater caused by the blast.

Published 14 Jul, 2024 06:30pm

Israeli military to find ‘one way or another’ to kill Hamas leaders, says Netanyahu

The Israeli prime minister says his military will “one way or another” kill all Hamas leaders, Al Jazeera reports.

He added he’s still committed to President Biden’s proposal to end the conflict in Gaza.

But he spelled out his conditions to finalise an agreement, including the “right” to return to the battlefield until all objectives have been met; preventing weapons smuggling to Hamas through Egypt, “which means continuing our control over the Philadelphi Corridor”; and bringing back as many captives as possible alive in the first round of negotiations.

Published 14 Jul, 2024 06:00pm

Al-Mawasi attack by Israel ‘nothing new’, says rights monitor

Maha Hussaini, from the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, says the Israeli attack that killed at least 90 people and wounded 300 others at the al-Mawasi camp “is nothing new”.

“Areas where displaced Palestinians were forced to go have been under continuous bombardment. This has been ongoing for nine months straight,” she told Al Jazeera from central Gaza’s Deir el-Balah.

Hussaini described the Israeli strikes as a “complex crime” that involved preventing ambulances from reaching the many injured.

“Drones opened fire on anyone or anything trying to evacuate the wounded. Only a few hours after this, another massacre was committed in the west of Gaza City. This genocide in Gaza is systematic. We’ve witnessed that Israel is intensifying these attacks on displacement centres,” she said.

Published 14 Jul, 2024 05:30pm

Hamas denies reports of withdrawing from truce negotiations

Izzat al-Risheq, a member of Hamas’s political office, denies reports the group has pulled out of ceasefire talks, Al Jazeera reports.

“There is no truth to what was reported by the media about the movement stopping negotiations,” al-Risheq said in a statement.

The comments came after an unnamed “senior Hamas official” reportedly told AFP the group is withdrawing from truce discussions because of Israel’s “stalling” and ongoing “massacres” of civilians in Gaza.

Israeli broadcaster Kan, quoting a “diplomat familiar with the talks”, reported negotiations are still planned for this week in Doha, Qatar.

Published 14 Jul, 2024 05:21pm

Gaza health ministry says bombardment death toll at 38,584

The health ministry in Gaza said at least 38,584 people have been killed in the Israeli bombardment, AFP reports.

The toll includes 141 deaths in 24 hours, a ministry statement said, adding that 88,881 people have been wounded in the Gaza Strip since October 7.

Published 14 Jul, 2024 05:13pm

Rights groups say arrested Palestinians ‘beaten, abused’

Israeli raids targeted the cities of Ramallah, Jerusalem, Hebron, Qalqilya, Tulkarem, Jenin, and Jericho, the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs and the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said in a joint statement, Al Jazeera reports.

At least 30 Palestinians were rounded up by Israeli forces overnight in the occupied West Bank.

“The detainees were subjected to abuse, severe beatings, and threats against their families in addition to widespread acts of sabotage and destruction of citizens’ homes,” the statement said.

Published 14 Jul, 2024 02:48pm

‘Shujaiya has been wiped out’

Palestinians in the battered northern district of Shujayea are struggling to survive after Israeli forces hammered the Gaza City neighbourhood during a two-week assault, Al Jazeera reports.

Resident Fares Amer Mushtaha said: “As you can see, Shujayea has been reduced to dust. It has been wiped out. They bombed us without warning, they did not drop leaflets or call. Missiles just started falling on civilians — women, children and elderly people. The occupation army told us to go to western Gaza, then they invaded and targeted it with their missiles.”

Another resident, Nael Alsousi, said Israeli forces attacked Shujayea’s water supplies and “one can say there is no water at all”.

“Wells were completely destroyed and so was the municipal water network. Even the tanker trucks that used to carry fresh water can no longer enter the neighbourhood because of the destruction of the infrastructure and the roads,” Alsousi told Al Jazeera.

Updated 14 Jul, 2024 10:11pm

Top Hamas official says military chief Deif ‘fine’ after Israeli

A top Hamas official has said that the group’s military leader Mohammed Deif is “fine” despite an Israeli attempt to kill him in an air strike.

“Commander Mohammed Deif is well and directly overseeing” the operations of the Hamas military wing, the official told AFP. Israel staged a huge bombing raid on a camp for displaced in southern Gaza that it said was an attempt to kill Deif.