News highlights for week 29 of Israel’s genocide in Gaza

The following is from the news roundup during the 24 April livestream. Watch the entire episode here.

The Gaza government media office stated on Tuesday that over the last 200 days, more than 34,000 Palestinians have been killed, including nearly 15,000 children, and more than 77,000 have been injured.

Thirty children have died from Israel’s engineered starvation policy, while approximately 17,000 children have lost either one or both of their parents in Israeli attacks.

Nearly 500 medical staff, including physicians, specialists, paramedics and volunteers have been killed and more than 300 medical workers have been arrested by Israeli forces.

The Geneva-based Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor says that almost 140 journalists have been killed.

This week, Israeli airstrikes and fire from naval gunships have continued to pound areas from the north to the south of the Gaza Strip.

Starting with the south, Israeli airstrikes on Rafah near the Egyptian border have continued unabated while Israel threatens a full-scale ground invasion.

Activist Ahmed El-Madhoun filmed this video on Sunday.

On Tuesday, journalist Ahmad Ibrahim posted a video of civil defense crews and residents digging through the rubble after the Israeli military shelled a home in the Salam neighborhood of Rafah.

Civil Defense told Al Jazeera that at least three people were killed and four others were injured, all from the same family.

On Saturday, Israeli airstrikes on Rafah killed 22 people, including 18 children, according to reports.

The Associated Press reported that “The first Israeli strike in Rafah killed a man, his wife and their 3-year-old child, according to the nearby Kuwaiti Hospital, which received the bodies. The woman was pregnant and the doctors saved the baby, the hospital said. The second strike killed 17 children and two women from an extended family.”

In central Gaza, rescue workers attempted to recover bodies and survivors after an Israeli airstrike turned a residential building into a massive crater in Deir al-Balah.

In the north of the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces bombed a residential tower in the Al-Daraj neighborhood in central Gaza City on Monday.
Also in Gaza City, Israeli airstrikes bombed the crowded Tuffah neighborhood over the weekend.
In the northern city of Beit Lahiya, the Israeli military issued new evacuation orders to the residents who have remained or returned there.

Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights stated that this was indicative of a renewed military action and that “200 days later, Israel’s genocidal military campaign against Gaza continues unabated amid the international community’s failure to hold Israel accountable.”

The United Nations agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA, stated that Israel is still preventing food convoys from reaching the northern Gaza Strip.
And according to the Gaza Government Media Office, the impact of fuel and cooking gas shortages is particularly severe in northern Gaza, where families have been forced to rely on expensive and unsafe alternatives, such as firewood, charcoal, plastic and chemicals.

The media office added that the emissions of toxic fumes because of the burning of such materials is leading to the spread of respiratory diseases and the longstanding constraints on the entry of fuel have also affected food production facilities, including restaurants and bakeries, limiting people’s access to nutritious meals and exacerbating food insecurity.

Mass graves discovered at Nasser Hospital

Following the discovery two weeks ago of mass graves in the courtyard of al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical facility in Gaza which was completely destroyed by the Israeli army, more mass graves were uncovered earlier this week on the grounds of Nasser Hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis.

At least 310 bodies have been recovered so far from the mass graves at Nasser Hospital, “buried deep in the ground and covered with waste,” according to the United Nations.

Bodies discovered by family members and civil defense crews included those with zip-tie handcuffs still on their arms, others wearing hospital scrubs, women and elders, some bound and stripped of clothing, and bodies with intravenous lines, catheters and bandages still attached – clearly patients, who were executed.

Al Jazeera’s Hani Mahmoud reported on the situation around Nasser Hospital on Monday.

The charity Save the Children reported that since 7 October, the rate of attacks every month on medical facilities and healthcare workers “has been higher than in any other recent conflict globally, standing at an average of 73 attacks each month.”

Becky Platt, a pediatric nurse at the field hospital in Rafah told Save the Children that “We’ve recently seen an influx of children from other hospitals with wounds and lost limbs, often needing skin grafting and multiple operations, but even getting hold of simple things like strong pain relief is a major challenge.”

“When children have to undergo a procedure to save their limbs and avoid infection, we are forced to do it with less pain relief than we’d normally use. So, I brought bubbles and games on my phone to distract them, but the reality is that a lot of these procedures need strong pain relief. That is causing huge distress, and it will also add to long-term psychological damage.”

She added that “We treated a 10-year-old boy who had some shrapnel in his thigh that had shattered his femur. He lost a lot of muscle and tissue, so he needed skin grafting and also had an external fixator on the leg. He had multiple operations, but he was so distressed by the way his leg looked that he couldn’t even look at it. He was doing this silent crying that was heartbreaking. But this is a standard story. Children are psychologically destroyed by everything that’s happened.”

And finally, journalists in Gaza are not only documenting the egregious and accelerating war crimes committed by Israeli forces in Gaza, especially against Palestinian children, but they are also showing us scenes of joy and laughter.

Other news covered in this week’s report


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Nora Barrows-Friedman

Nora Barrows-Friedman's picture

Nora Barrows-Friedman is a staff writer and associate editor at The Electronic Intifada, and is the author of In Our Power: US Students Organize for Justice in Palestine (Just World Books, 2014).