News highlights on week 33 of Israel’s genocide in Gaza

The following is from the news roundup during the 22 May livestream. Watch the entire episode here.

Israeli occupation forces attacked areas across the Gaza Strip this past week, from Beit Lahiya, Jabaliya and Gaza City in the north, to Deir al-Balah in central Gaza to Rafah and Khan Younis in the south.

On Monday, Israel bombed the Mashrou neighborhood of Beit Lahiya, killing at least seven and trapping others under the rubble.

On Tuesday, an Israeli attack on the Jabaliya refugee camp “ripped victims to pieces,” leaving “dismembered heads on the streets,” witnesses and emergency crews recounted to Al Jazeera.

On Saturday, medics told Reuters that 15 Palestinians were killed and dozens wounded as Israel bombed Jabaliya.

The Gaza health ministry and the Civil Emergency Service added that teams received dozens of calls about possible casualties but were unable to carry out any searches because of the ongoing ground offensive and aerial bombardment, Reuters reported.

In the south, residents east of Khan Younis told Reuters on Tuesday that they were fleeing the town of Khuzaa after Israeli troops began an incursion on the eastern edge of the Gaza Strip, bulldozing across the boundary fence.

Israeli airstrikes continued to pound areas of Rafah as people once again were forcibly displaced, sometimes many times over, within the last two weeks.

The United Nations said on Tuesday that more than 900,000 people, which is nearly 40 percent of the entire Gaza population, have been displaced again.

This includes 812,000 from Rafah and more than 100,000 in the north, from 6 to 18 May.

“Displaced people from Rafah are currently seeking shelter in Khan Younis and Deir al Balah on any open land available, including access roads and agricultural land, as well as in damaged buildings that have not been structurally assessed,” the United Nations stated.

Rafah crossing remains besieged, closed

The Rafah crossing has remained closed since 7 May, preventing the movement of both people and aid deliveries.

On Monday, Edem Wosornu, the Director of Operations and Advocacy at the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, addressed the UN Security Council.

She said that the closure of the Rafah crossing has “prevented the entry of 82,000 metric tonnes of supplies, including critical food items and medicines.”

She added that the Kerem Shalom crossing, “which has been the main entry point for critical aid, remains open in principle but extremely difficult for aid organizations to access from the Gaza side due to hostilities, challenging logistical conditions, and complex coordination procedures.”

Regarding the northern land routes, Wosormu said the Erez crossing, which was opened for eight days at the beginning of the month, has since been closed. The newly-opened Erez West, “is now being used for limited quantities of aid, but now areas in the vicinity of this crossing are also under evacuation orders.”

“To be frank,” Wosornu added, “we are running out of words to describe what is happening in Gaza. We have described it as a catastrophe, a nightmare, as hell on earth. It is all of these, and worse.”

According to data from the United Nations, 1.1 million people, half of the Gaza Strip, are facing catastrophic levels of food insecurity.

The UN health cluster warned of a further surge in malnutrition and communicable diseases, including Hepatits A, due to “large scale displacement towards areas that continue to lack basic necessities such as water and food.”

The United Nations agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA, said on Tuesday that food distributions in Rafah have been suspended due to lack of supplies and insecurity. The agency added that only seven out of 24 UNRWA health centers are operational.

In the last ten days, these health centers have not received any medical supplies due to the closures and disruptions at Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings.

The head of the World Health Organization said on Tuesday that “crossings from Egypt into Gaza have remained closed for two weeks, cutting off the primary pipeline for emergency health supplies into Gaza.”
“All over Gaza, the impact of the incursions and evacuation orders are being felt. Six hospitals and nine primary health centers have been impacted. Over 70 shelters have now lost access to their medical points,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

Citing UN officials, Reuters reported on Monday that not only has food and medicine for Palestinians in Gaza piled up in Egypt because the Rafah crossing remains closed, but the promises made by US officials about aid being delivered through a $320 million-dollar temporary pier have not been followed through.

US Central Command boasted on Friday that it had begun the delivery of aid from the US-built temporary pier, providing photographs showing trucks only partially filled with aid boxes.

But those parcels stopped being delivered to the shore as of Sunday, after only 26 trucks in two days arrived on land.

The US Army said the pier would initially transport 90 trucks a day and at least 120 at its full capacity – still a fraction of those handled at the various land crossings.

Bombings, evacuations of hospitals

Meanwhile, Israeli forces have continued to order doctors, staff and patients to leave healthcare centers and hospitals while bombing those facilities.

In northern Gaza on Tuesday, Israeli tanks surrounded Kamal Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahiya, firing rounds at the gates of the emergency department.

Scenes of displaced families and hospital staff being forced to push patients in gurneys down the streets strewn with rubble, and amid Israeli fire, circulated on social media.

Another video showed patients fleeing the hospital.
A journalist spoke with a young girl, carrying baby formula and diapers, as she fled the hospital with her mother and baby sibling, whose head was wrapped in a bandage.
And another video showed medical staff evacuating premature infants from Kamal Adwan Hospital without anything to wrap them in but hospital scrubs and other pieces of clothing.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization, said that Kamal Adwan Hospital was reportedly bombed four times on Tuesday, “damaging the intensive care unit, reception, administration and the roof.”
On Tuesday, journalist Anas al-Sharif filmed himself and his colleagues narrowly avoiding an Israeli attack on the hospital.
As of Friday, the hospital had been forced out of service after Israeli soldiers swarmed the entrance and quadcopters fired on hospital staff and displaced persons.
At the nearby al-Awda hospital, which has been under siege since Sunday, nearly 150 hospital staff and 22 patients and their companions have been trapped inside the hospital without running water or basic supplies, according to Doctors Without Borders.
Israeli tanks invaded the north of Jabaliya camp and surrounded al-Awda Hospital on Tuesday, with snipers aiming at the hospital buildings.
On Thursday, Mohamed Salha, the acting director of al-Awda hospital, told Al Jazeera, with shooting clearly audible behind, that most of the medical staff, patients, and their families have evacuated, but he and about a dozen others are remaining inside the hospital – still without water, and while Israeli snipers continue to shoot from the roof.
The hospital was forced to close on Friday, according to Doctors Without Borders.
I asked Dr. Dorotea Gucciardo, a Canadian physician who is in Rafah as part of her work with the Glia Project, to send us a report via voice message on the medical situation and the attacks on al-Awda and other hospitals across Gaza. She sent this to us on Tuesday:

New report documents systematic torture of Palestinians

Over the weekend, it was reported that an elderly Palestinian man, Bilal Aljamala, was released by Israeli occupation forces from the Netzarim military checkpoint in central Gaza. He was reportedly shot in the back as he was released, still handcuffed with zip ties, and showed signs of severe torture.

Palestinian rights groups have long documented the systematic torture of Palestinians by Israeli forces, but more details are emerging from those who were abducted from Gaza, confined and tortured in Israeli detention camps over the last eight months.

The Geneva-based Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor released a report on Tuesday documenting the testimonies of Palestinians who were recently released from Israeli detention.

Their testimonies in the report, titled “Hostages of Israeli Revenge in the Gaza Strip,” find that the Israeli authorities and army “committed horrific crimes of arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, torture, and inhuman and cruel treatment against thousands of Palestinian civilians who were arrested as part of Israel’s genocide in the Gaza Strip, ongoing since 7 October 2023.”

The report is based on statements, testimonies, and in-person interviews that the Euro-Med Monitor team conducted with some 100 detainees, including men, women, children, the elderly and displaced individuals who had been released from Israeli army custody following ground operations in different parts of the Gaza Strip.

Israeli forces raid Jenin

In the occupied West Bank, the Israeli military raided Jenin and its refugee camp again on Tuesday morning.

The raid continued for nearly three days, with Israeli forces reportedly withdrawing on Thursday afternoon.

Twelve Palestinians, including a doctor, a schoolteacher and at least four children, have been killed by Israel during the incursion. Israeli fire has wounded at least 25 Palestinians, with some sustaining severe injuries.
Israeli soldiers also detained and fired on medics and ambulance crews who were trying to reach and treat the injured during the raid, and destroyed roads and infrastructure with armored bulldozers.

The Director of Nursing at the Jenin Governmental Hospital said on Tuesday that Israeli soldiers shot at civilians in the hospital courtyard, and besieged and bulldozed the adjacent streets.

The Palestinian rights group Al-Haq said on Wednesday that homes have been demolished, the streets are destroyed, and that all aspects of life have been disrupted in Jenin.
Read Tamara Nassar’s report, “Doctor, teacher and children killed by Israel in Jenin” for much more.

Highlighting resilience

Finally, we wanted to bring you some images and videos from journalists in Gaza who are not just relentlessly documenting the unspeakable atrocities but also making sure to highlight the resilience, joy and determination of the Palestinian people.

Northern Gaza journalist Hossam Shabat took this selfie with his colleagues last week, with the caption “Still going strong, 222 days of coverage. we do all this for the love of our people and homeland.”

Reporter Maha Hussaini shared this video in which she says these Palestinian youth arrived in Deir al-Balah to flee the bombing in Rafah, but they managed to find a moment to play volleyball while setting up their tents on the beach.
Children in northern Gaza were interviewed by a local reporter after she saw them gathered around a phone, listening to a new song, “Hind’s Hall,” by the US artist Macklemore.
The song celebrates the student intifada across the world, and is a tribute to Hind Rajab, the six-year-old Gazan girl who was killed by Israeli forces along with her relatives in a car in January.
And activist Ahmed Madhoun shared this video of a man and a young boy working together to clear rubble and debris, and laying bricks, rebuilding their home in Gaza.
Photo by Omar Ashtawy / APA images


Add new comment

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).