Israel-Palestine live: Widespread destruction at Khan Younis hospital following Israeli bombing
Since October 7 at least 702 children were amongst the 4,528 Palestinian people injured across the occupied West Bank, occupied East Jerusalem, and in Israel said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).
The latest data, which was accurate up to Tuesday, also reveals that Israeli settlers carried out 573 recorded attacks against Palestinian people and their property during the same period.
In the most recent killing, undercover Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man on Tuesday after besieging a house in the Jenin refugee camp.
The Israeli practice of demolishing Palestinian-owned homes in the occupied territories has also led to the displacement of 830 people, including 337 children, with 131 homes demolished since October 7, according to UNOCHA.
Some 95 percent of the demolitions were reported in the Jenin, Nur Shams and Tulkarem refugee camps in the occupied West Bank.
Good morning Middle East Eye readers,
Here are the latest developments from Israel's war on Gaza, which enters day 139 today:
Only four trucks carrying vital humanitarian aid entered Gaza on Wednesday, down from about 133 trucks in early February, according to the latest data from UNOCHA
Satellite images show an area that Egypt is believed to be preparing near the Gaza border to accommodate Palestinians in case an Israeli offensive into Rafah prompts a mass movement of refugees across the frontier
Three killed as mosque is destroyed in Israeli air attacks on Rafah
At least 100 children amongst 394 Palestinians killed in occupied West Bank since October 7 says UN
Good evening Middle East Eye readers,
Israeli forces have killed at least 118 Palestinians and wounded 163 more over the past 24 hours in 11 "massacres", according to the Palestinian health ministry.
This brings the Palestinian death toll in 137 days to more than 29,313, with over 69,300 wounded and 7,000 missing, who are believed to be dead and buried under rubble. '
The humanitarian situation in Gaza continues to spiral out of control said the World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday, adding that “on a broader level, Gaza has become a death zone”.
In other developments:
- Khaled Shawish, a Palestinian prisoner has died in an Israeli jail, the Palestinian Detainees Affairs Commission said.
- An Israeli air strike in southern Lebanon's Majdal Zoun on Wednesday killed a woman and a girl, according to local media. The girl was identified as Amal Eldor, five.
- The Palestinian Health Ministry reported that 14-year-old Saji Suleiman died of his wounds after being fatally shot by Israeli forces in the village of Azon in the occupied West Bank.
- Most Israelis don't believe an "absolute victory" in Gaza is likely, a new poll by the Viterbi Family Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research at the Israel Democracy Institute has shown.
- The UK High Court has dismissed a legal challenge that sought the immediate halt of British arms exports to Israel.
- Foreign Secretary David Cameron has been accused of dodging questions about UK policy on arms exports to Israel following an exchange of letters with the Foreign Affairs Committee chair.
- Benny Gantz, a member of the Israeli war cabinet, indicated there were “promising early signs of progress” concerning a new agreement to free hostages from Gaza.
- On Wednesday, the British Foreign Office announced that Britain and Jordan delivered four tonnes of aid via airdrop, including medicines, fuel and food to Tal al-Hawa Hospital in northern Gaza.
- Bill Burns, the CIA director, is set to visit Paris this Friday for discussions with officials from Qatar, Egypt and Israel, regarding the efforts to negotiate the release of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, according to an Axios report.
Bill Burns, the CIA director, is set to visit Paris this Friday for discussions with officials from Qatar, Egypt and Israel, regarding the efforts to negotiate the release of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, according to an Axios report.
The Israeli official told Axios that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has yet to approve sending off an Israeli delegation to Paris for the meeting.
The official told Axios that certain members of the negotiation team would abstain from attending the meeting if Netanyahu instructs them to observe without engaging in negotiations, as was the case with the previous meeting attended by an Israeli delegation earlier this month.
The United States, along with its allies, will "continue to take appropriate action" to safeguard the Red Sea maritime routes against assaults by Yemen's Houthi group, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller announced on Wednesday.
"The United States condemns the reckless and indiscriminate attacks on civilian cargo ships by the Houthis. The Houthis are behaving like a terrorist organisation," he said in a statement.
On Wednesday, the British Foreign Office announced that Britain and Jordan delivered four tonnes of aid via airdrop, including medicines, fuel and food to Tal al-Hawa Hospital in northern Gaza.
"Thousands of patients will benefit and the fuel will enable this vital hospital to continue its life-saving work," British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said in a statement.
The aid, financed by the UK, was dispatched by the Jordanian Air Force.
"However, the situation in Gaza is desperate and significantly more aid is needed, and fast. We are calling for an immediate humanitarian pause to allow additional aid into Gaza as quickly as possible and bring hostages home," Cameron said.
On Wednesday, Benny Gantz, a member of the Israeli war cabinet, indicated there were “promising early signs of progress” concerning a new agreement to free hostages from Gaza.
“There are ongoing attempts to promote a new hostage deal and there are promising early signs of possible progress,” Gantz said in a televised press briefing.
However, he also noted that without a new deal, the Israeli military would continue its operations in Gaza, extending into the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which starts in March.
“If a new hostage deal is not achieved, we will continue operating also during Ramadan,” he said.
Al-Amal hospital in Khan Younis is facing dire consequences as a result of Israeli bombing, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said on Wednesday.
The crisis is “due to the ongoing siege and targeting by the Israeli occupation for the 30th consecutive day”.
The PRCS called on the international community to take immediate action to protect the hospital and “to lift the imposed siege before it is too late and the hospital is forced out of service”.
Alicia Kearns, the Conservative MP who leads the influential body, said on Tuesday that Cameron's response to a 29 January letter had not answered all of her questions and raised further ones.
“It is telling that the [Foreign Office] does not answer our question on how many times export licence applications for Israel have been referred to ministers in the last 12 months," Kearns commented.
"If none have been referred, the government should say so.”
The humanitarian situation in Gaza continues to spiral out of control said the World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday.
“The health and humanitarian situation in Gaza is inhumane and continues to deteriorate,” Ghebreyesus told reporters, adding that “on a broader level, Gaza has become a death zone”.
The US move came despite the support of 13 other members of the Security Council, with one abstention from the UK.
Tuesday's vote marks the third time the US has vetoed a call for a ceasefire related to the latest conflict that began in October at the UN.
Washington previously vetoed an amendment proposed by Russia calling for a ceasefire in December, and an earleir resolution in October calling for humanitarian pauses.
Algeria described US opposition to a ceasefire as an “approval of starvation as a means of war” as reports continue to emerge of severe hunger among the vast majority of Palestinians in Gaza.
The Palestinian Health Ministry reported that 14-year-old Saji Suleiman died of his wounds after being fatally shot by Israeli forces in the village of Azon in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday.
The United States on Wednesday told the International Court of Justice that it could not order the immediate withdrawal of Israeli troops from the occupied territories without taking into account Israel's security needs.
"Any movement towards Israel's withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza requires consideration for Israel's very real security needs," Richard Visek, acting legal adviser at the US State Department, said during proceedings at the UN's highest court, which is examining the legality of Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories.
There are more than 700,000 illegal Israeli settlers in the West Bank. They are not Israeli forces but continue to build illegal houses.
The case was brought by Palestinian human rights group Al Haq and the UK-based Global Legal Action Network (Glan) against the UK Department for Business and Trade. The organisations say they will appeal against Monday’s ruling.
The two groups filed the challenge in December, seeking a judicial review of the government’s export licensing process for the sale of British weapons to Israel.
The British government has licensed at least £472m worth of military exports to Israel since May 2015, with UK companies providing about 15 percent of the components of the F35 stealth combat aircraft, which Israel has used to bomb Gaza, according to the Committee Against Arms Trade.
Under its arms exporting criteria, the British government is obligated to suspend licences for arms exports if it determines that there is a clear risk that British weapons might be used in violations of international law.
The groups have argued that there is substantial evidence that this moment has long passed.
The Department for Business and Trade has said it keeps arms export licences under "careful and continual review" and that it can respond quickly to changing international circumstances.
The High Court ruled to dismiss the case, saying that there was a "high hurdle" to establish that the department had been irrational in its decision making, and there was "no realistic prospect" the hurdle would be surmounted in the challenge.
Israeli bombing of al-Amal hospital in Khan Younis on Tuesday has caused fire and destruction, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), which runs the hospital, has said.
The humanitarian organisation shared footage of the aftermath on social media platform X, showing damage to the facility.