In memory of Dr. Refaat Alareer. We express our shock, anger and deep sadness at the murder by Israeli occupation forces of our friend and colleague Dr. Refaat Alareer in an airstrike in Gaza City.
7 December 2023
6 December 2023
Israel designated a human rights group as a terrorist organization shortly after the US State Department inquired about a report detailing the rape of a Palestinian child by Israeli prison authorities, a former official revealed.
Karim Khan, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, concluded an unannounced visit to Israel and the occupied West Bank on Sunday. Instead of boosting hopes for justice for Palestinians at the world’s court of last resort, the ICC prosecutor’s trip gives more cause for alarm over his failure to prevent the genocide unfolding in Gaza.
“Entire families are being annihilated, leaving us questioning whether we are to have any hope for the future,” writes Ghada Abed from Gaza. “The world has failed us in our darkest hour.”
As it boasts of compassion toward Palestinians, the European Commission has approved an unprecedented funding package for Israel. With a total budget of over $19 million, the package aims to “reinforce EU-Israel bilateral relations.”
More than 100 people were killed and many others injured during heavy Israeli bombardments on multiple residential buildings in the Jabaliya refugee camp early on Wednesday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported. The Israeli army on Wednesday expanded its attacks in southern and central Gaza, with journalist Hind Khoudary reporting for Al Jazeera that there were “non-stop explosions, non-stop artillery shelling and non-stop clashes. Multiple homes were bombed” in the central Gaza Strip overnight.
The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza evacuated “most patients and staff” in the Kamal Adwan hospital in Jabaliya refugee camp “and the hospital largely stopped functioning and ceased admitting new patients,” OCHA said. The agency added that “20 patients who, due to their situation, could not be evacuated, have remained in the facility.” OCHA warned that out of 24 hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip, only two small hospitals are still able to admit patients. Ashraf al-Qedra, the spokesperson for the health ministry in Gaza, said that the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza City “has lost its capacity [to treat patients] in the face of the large number of injuries, and the wounded are bleeding to death.”
Five UN schools serving as shelters for internally displaced people in the Khan Younis area, in the southern Gaza Strip, “were entirely evacuated, following direct orders given by Israeli forces to the managers of these facilities,” OCHA reported. The Israeli military ordered the “immediate evacuation” of an additional area in Khan Younis city and instructed residents to move to other areas in the south, the UN added.
“There is no effective protection of civilians,” stated António Guterres, the UN Secretary General, in his announcement that he has invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter. This invocation mandates a convening of the Security Council to address Israel’s attacks on Gaza. “Amid constant bombardment by the [Israeli army], and without shelter or the essentials to survive, I expect public order to completely break down soon due to the desperate conditions, rendering even limited humanitarian assistance impossible,” Guterres stated. He also reiterated his call for a “humanitarian ceasefire.”
5 December 2023
Weddings are being held without any celebrations as Israel wages its genocidal war, writes Ruwaida Amer from Gaza, with one woman describing becoming “a bride of displacement, a bride without a white veil or a smile to welcome a new life.”
An Israeli air force colonel has admitted the military may have intentionally killed Israelis on 7 October. Colonel Nof Erez told a Haaretz podcast it was a “mass Hannibal” to stop Israelis being taken alive to Gaza.
Bashaer Muammar takes a walk through the once bustling and now desolate central market in Khan Younis, Gaza’s second-largest city: “These vegetables, survivors of Israel’s genocidal violence, stand as testimony to the resilience of their cultivators, reaped before the ravages of war encroached upon their fields.”
Palestinians displaced from northern Gaza and sheltering in Khan Younis describe to Ruwaida Amer their daily struggle to survive, not knowing if their relatives who remained in places like Jabaliya are still alive.
Israel’s ‘safe corridor’ was “evidently part of a plan to confuse and humiliate us,” writes Dima Ashour from the Gaza Strip. “Israel keeps on committing heinous crimes with impunity.”
The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza said that since 7 October at least 16,248 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, about 70 percent of whom are said to be women and children. Many more are missing and presumed still under the rubble of destroyed buildings awaiting rescue or recovery, the ministry added.
The pattern of Israel’s attacks “that target or impact on civilian infrastructure raises serious concerns about Israel’s compliance with international humanitarian law and significantly raises the risk of atrocity crimes,” said the UN human rights office. Meanwhile, more than 400,000 people in the northern Gaza Strip have “become completely without medical services,” the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza stated.
4 December 2023
Israel and its proxies have launched a new propaganda blitz reviving unverified claims that Hamas fighters perpetrated mass rapes of Israeli women during its 7 October military operation.
Palestinians who survived the journey from northern Gaza to the south via Israel’s “safe corridor” describe their hellish experiences to Ghada Abed: “In the safe corridor, anything that moved was targeted,” one man recalled.
“Having already caused mass displacement from the northern part of Gaza,” writes Eman Alhaj Ali from the battered and besieged coastal enclave, “Israel is now focused on eradicating the vibrant communities in the south.”
“Getting news about my family has been extremely difficult,” writes a young person from Gaza living abroad. The scant information that does trickle through is thoroughly distressing.
Khuloud Rabah Sulaiman visited numerous pharmacies in Rafah, southern Gaza, searching for medication she needed to treat migraines, but couldn’t find it. “The lack of medicines was ominous,” she writes.
Palestinians released by Israel in exchange for the release of captives held in Gaza are revealing the horrors they endured in Israeli lockup, having been beaten, starved and threatened with rape in retaliation for the 7 October attacks.
PalTel, the main telecom provider in Gaza, announced around 8:30pm that all communications services “have been lost due to the cutoff of main fiber routes. Gaza is blacked out again.” This outage followed partial shutoffs in Gaza City and elsewhere in northern Gaza a few hours earlier, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. “Humanitarian agencies and first responders have warned that blackouts jeopardize the already constrained provision of life-saving assistance,” OCHA stated.
“Nowhere is safe in Gaza and there is nowhere left to go,” UN humanitarian coordinator Lynn Hastings warned. “The conditions required to deliver aid to the people of Gaza do not exist. Israeli airstrikes expanded in southern Gaza, “forcing tens of thousands of others into increasingly compressed spaces, desperate to find food, water, shelter and safety,” Hastings said. If possible, the UN official added, “an even more hellish scenario is about to unfold, one in which humanitarian operations may not be able to respond. With shelters at full capacity, a collapsed health system, a lack of clean water, no sanitation and poor nutrition “for people already mentally and physically exhausted,” the situation has become “a textbook formula for epidemics and a public health disaster,” Hastings said.
At least 349 Palestinians were killed and 750 were wounded in Israeli attacks, with a large number of victims “still under the rubble,” the spokesperson for the Palestinian ministry of health in Gaza said. The Israeli military struck three out of the four partially operating hospitals in northern Gaza between 3 and 4 December: Al Awda Hospital in Beit Lahiya, Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza City, and Kamal Adwan Hospital in Jabaliya, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated. More than 10,000 internally displaced persons are sheltering inside and around Kamal Adwan Hospital. The Israeli military had instructed the World Health Organization “to remove its supplies from two medical warehouses in southern Gaza within 24 hours, ahead of ground operations,” the UN reported.
3 December 2023
“Each time I hear an explosion, I am haunted by images of children who have been killed in this genocidal war,” writes Mahmoud Alyazji from Gaza. “What if one of my nephews or nieces is next?”
Women and girls have to navigate war, water scarcity and menstrual struggles, writes Eman Alhaj Ali from Gaza. Confronted with inadequate access to sanitary pads and tampons, women are resorting to norethisterone tablets designed to postpone periods, despite the potential adverse effects associated with these medications.
Sufyan Tayeh, president at the Islamic University of Gaza and a renowned researcher in psychics and applied mathematics, was killed along with his family in a strike in Jabaliya refugee camp. “It appears that Israel is deliberately targeting academic and cultural leaders,” writes Ghada Abed from Gaza.
Israeli leaders have said they would take their military onslaught to the southern Gaza Strip, bombarding the territory from north to south, disregarding calls by the US secretary of state to abide by the laws of war and “minimize harm to civilians.”
Israel “committed horrific and massive massacres” in a 24-hour period between the afternoon of 2 December and the afternoon of 3 December, with airstrikes killing at least 316 and wounding more than 660, the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza stated. The ministry added that a large number of victims are still under the rubble of destroyed buildings. Israeli forces arrested another four paramedics on 2 December, the ministry reported.
Aid trucks carrying humanitarian supplies entered Gaza from the Rafah crossing with Egypt, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported. OCHA explained that the number and contents of the trucks were unclear as of 11 pm Palestine time. The crossing with Egypt was “open for the evacuation of 566 foreign nationals and dual citizens, 13 injured people and 11 companions, as well as for the entry of 10 humanitarian staff,” OCHA stated.