Saturday, July 13FROM THE RIVER TO THE SEA, PALESTINE WILL BE FREE

Gaza: Operation al-Aqsa Flood Day 265

UN agency says Gazans face ‘catastrophic’ food insecurity

The UN has warned of “imminent” famine in Gaza as starvation spreads due to border closures. Meanwhile, following Israeli war minister Yoav Gallant’s visit to Washington, the U.S. and Israel have asserted they do not want war with Hezbollah.

BY QASSAM MUADDI  

Displaced Palestinians, including children, receive a hot meal distributed by an aid organization in Zawaida, June 27, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)DISPLACED PALESTINIANS, INCLUDING CHILDREN, RECEIVE A HOT MEAL DISTRIBUTED BY AN AID ORGANIZATION IN ZAWAIDA, JUNE 27, 2024. (PHOTO: OMAR ASHTAWY/APA IMAGES)

Casualties 
  • 37,765 + killed* and at least 86,429 wounded in the Gaza Strip. Among the killed, 27,706 have been fully identified. These include 7,779 children, 5466 women, and 2418 elderly. In addition, around 10,000 more are estimated to be under the rubble.*
  • 553+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. These include 135 children.**
  • Israel revised its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,140.
  • 666 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7.***

* Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its WhatsApp channel on June 23, 2024. Some rights groups estimate the death toll to be much higher when accounting for those presumed dead.

** The death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to the PA’s Ministry of Health on June 23, this is the latest figure.

*** These figures are released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” The number of Israeli soldiers wounded, according to declarations by the head of the Israeli army’s wounded association to Israel’s Channel 12, exceeds 20,000, including at least 8,000 permanently handicapped as of June 1. Israel’s Channel 7 reported that according to the Israeli war ministry’s rehabilitation service numbers, 8,663 new wounded joined the army’s handicap rehabilitation system since October 7, as of June 18.

Key Developments 
  • Israel has killed 167 Palestinians and wounded 397 across Gaza since Thursday, June 24. This raises the death toll since October 7 to 37,765 and the number of wounded to 86,429, according to the Gaza health ministry.
  • U.S. says it does not want a war on the Lebanese border at the conclusion of the tour of Israeli war minister Yoav Gallant.
  • Gallant says Israel prefers diplomatic solutions rather than war with Lebanon but can’t accept Hezbollah presence on northern border.
  • U.S. special envoy Amos Hockstein tells Lebanese officials that U.S. will not stop Israel from attacking Lebanon.
  • Israel transfers troops to Lebanese border, begins military drills.
  • Israel begins new onslaught on Shuja’iyyah neighborhood in Gaza City for second time since December last year.
  • Gaza’s Government Media Office says that 25,000 Palestinian patients have been denied treatment outside of Gaza due to Israel’s closure of the Rafah crossing.
  • Government Media Office says that 15,000 humanitarian aid trucks are stuck on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing.
  • Israel kills 11 people, mostly women and children in strike on UNRWA school in al-Shati’ refugee camp in Gaza City.
  • Half of Gaza’s families have sold or exchanged their clothes for food since October, one out of five go through several days without food, according to UN report.
  • Israel arrests over 120 Palestinians in West Bank in under 24 hours. 
  • Israeli army admits to the death of one officer and the injury of 16 soldiers in an ambush by Palestinian fighters during a night raid on Jenin.
  • Human rights groups say Israel has significantly reduced food quantity for Palestinian prisoners. Ben-Gvir admits that the move is part of a “deterrence policy.”
  • Israel bombs town of Aitaroun in southern Lebanon, while Hezbollah attacks Israeli army base of al-Matalleh in the Galilee.
War possibilities remain high after Gallant’s U.S. tour

Israel’s war minister Yoav Gallant said at the conclusion of his top-level meetings in Washington that Israel does not want an all-out war with Lebanon and that it prefers the diplomatic route for a solution. However, he added that Israel can’t accept the presence of Hezbollah’s units at its northern border.

Israel’s Channel 12 reported that the Biden administration was angry over Netanyahu’s public remarks about the U.S.’s withholding of the delivery of arms to Israel. According to reports, the White House told Israel that the delivery of arms would not be completed even after the end of Israel’s operations in Rafah, which Israel has announced to be nearly over.

Reports indicated that Washington is concerned that Israel could use the arms, mainly precision bombs with high payloads, to attack Hezbollah on the Lebanese front.

Meanwhile, cross-border attacks between Hezbollah and Israel have decreased since last week, although continue to occur on a daily basis. On Thursday, Israel conducted air strikes on the town of Aitaroun in southern Lebanon, while Hezbollah attacked an Israeli army base near al-Matalleh in the upper Galilee. The Israeli army admitted two soldiers wounded.

Israel and Hezbollah’s low-intensity cross-border fighting escalated to unprecedented heights weeks ago when Israel assassinated Hezbollah senior commander Taleb Abdallah in an airstrike on a southern Lebanese town. Hezbollah responded with over 250 rockets at Israeli positions in the Galilee. The mutual attacks were followed by an exchange of threats of all-out war and a wave of international calls for de-escalation.

Understanding Israel’s threats of war with Hezbollah

https://mondoweiss.net/2024/06/understanding-israels-threats-of-war-with-hezbollah/embed/#?secret=hdFBXFdTnE#?secret=w6sMbJv2QO

Hezbollah insists that it will only stop its operations against Israel once it ends its genocidal war on Gaza. Israel insists that Hezbollah must withdraw its fighters from the border to north of the Litani River in order to ensure security for the more than 120,000 Israelis who have fled northern towns since the start of the war.

Starvation sweeps across Gaza as Israel continues to close Rafah crossings

A report by the UN’s Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) showed that the risk of a large-scale famine in Gaza is imminent as a majority of the population suffers “catastrophic” levels of food insecurity.

According to the report, half of Palestinian families in Gaza have sold or exchanged their clothes for food since the beginning of the war in October. The report also indicated that one out of five families in Gaza live entire days without food.

Warnings of famine in Gaza have recently increased as 34 people, including 28 children under the age of five, have already died of starvation in Gaza.

Israel imposed a complete siege on Gaza in the early days of the war, blocking the entry of food, water, electricity, and fuel. Humanitarian aid that Israel has allowed into Gaza has not exceeded, according to reports, more than 50 trucks per day on average. Before the war, Gaza received an average of 500 trucks of goods per day, still under Israeli blockade.

On Tuesday, Gaza’s Government Media Office said in a statement that 15,000 aid trucks are stuck at the Egyptian side of the border and unable to enter due to Israel’s closure of the crossing.

The entry of aid dropped to near zero after Israel’s closure of the land crossings into the Gaza Strip in Rafah after its invasion of the city in early May.

Two million Palestinians live in the Gaza Strip, half of whom are under 18. Before October 7, 80% of families relied on humanitarian assistance for basic needs, including food, according to the UN.

Jenin resistance exacts its price

Meanwhile, in the northern West Bank, armed Palestinian resistance groups in Jenin attacked Israeli military vehicles in a “double ambush” using improvised explosives during an army invasion of Jenin’s refugee camp on Thursday, June 27. The complex operation resulted in the death of an Israeli soldier, the injury of 16 others, and the immobilization of an armored troop carrier known as “the Panther.”

A year ago, the same type of troop carrier was immobilized by an IED in Jenin refugee camp during a raid in June 2023. At the time, the Israeli army was forced to call for backup and the summoning of an Apache attack helicopter to provide cover for rescue teams to retrieve the immobilized vehicle.

During Thursday’s raid, the Israeli army said that the IED’s had been buried over 1.5 meters deep under an army exit route, which is what prevented the detection of the explosives by Israeli D9 bulldozers that performed “sweeping” operations of the area ahead of the invasion. Once the first IED was detonated, it caused the immobilization of one vehicle, which led to the summoning of a rescue team that was also targeted by a second explosive.

In an exclusive interview with Mondoweiss contributor Shatha Hanaysha, a resistance fighter from the Jenin Brigade said that the explosion was a small part of what the resistance had prepared for the Israeli invaders.

“Jenin will be the graveyard of the Panther,” he told Mondoweiss, referring to the previous incidents in which Israeli military vehicles were targeted.

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