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.

Rubble through the centre flanked by destroyed buildings

Heavily damaged and collapsed buildings after Israeli attacks in al-Bureij refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip, on 4 December.

Ahmed Ibrahim APA images

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.