Taken from video: "Every aspect of life in Gaza has been affected, has been disrupted, has been made harder and you really felt that while you were in the hospital."
Diaa al-Kahlout gives first interview after Israeli forces released the bureau chief of The New Arab's Arabic language sister site Al-Araby Al Jadeed in Gaza, after he was arrested and detained without charge for several weeks. Source: The New Arab: 14Jan2024.
Israeli ministers call for ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and colonization of Gaza at ‘Victory of Israel Conference’
At the conference, presenters discussed details and plans to resettle the Gaza Strip and unveiled a new map displaying a plan for the re-establishment of fifteen Zionist settlements, plus the addition of six new ones, to be built where recently destroyed Palestinian residences and buildings once stood.
On Sunday, Jan. 28 when thousands of participants attended the “Victory of Israel Conference — Settlement Brings Security” event held in occupied East Jerusalem.
Through this siege, Israeli authorities dictated and controlled every aspect of Palestinian life in Gaza: from how far fishermen could fish off the coast, to how much aid and food could enter, to who could and could not leave Gaza, even for medical treatment. Israel even calculated the precise number of caloric needs for the Gaza population and allowed just enough food supplies in to keep them on the brink of starvation. It is these conditions which led to many rights groups to call Gaza an “open air prison.”
Daniella Weiss, former mayor of Zionist settlement Kedumim in the occupied West Bank, encouraged starvation as a measure to expel Palestinians from Gaza. “The Arabs will move,” Weiss stated to an interviewer at the conference. “We don’t give them food, we don’t give the Arabs anything, they will have to leave. The world will accept them.”
31 Jan, 2024 13:42
Washington maintains that there are no plans to put American boots on the ground
FILE PHOTO: US soldiers stand at a military base in Northeastern Syria, November 11, 2019 © AP / Darko Bandic
US Air Force personnel in Iraq have been ordered to remain on standby in case of “on ground US involvement in the Israel Hamas war,” The Intercept reported on Tuesday, citing a Pentagon memo.
Circulated earlier this month, the memo instructs an unknown number of troops to be placed “on standby to forward deploy to support troops in the case of on ground US involvement in the Israel Hamas war,” the news site reported. The standby order applies to troops stationed in Iraq since last year, according to a separate Pentagon document seen by The Intercept.
The Pentagon did not respond to a request for comment.
The White House has stated on several occasions since October that its support for the Jewish state would not involve American soldiers fighting alongside their Israeli counterparts.
Biden says he has decided how to respond to Jordan attack
](Biden says he has decided how to respond to Jordan attack — RT World News)
The US responded to Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel by immediately dispatching two aircraft carriers to the region and preparing 2,000 additional troops for deployment to the Middle East, but White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on October 10 that “there is no intention to put US boots on the ground” in Israel or Gaza.
However, US special forces have been active in Israel since October, with senior official Christopher Maier telling reporters at the time that American commandos were “actively helping the Israelis to do a number of things.” The Pentagon has also admitted to flying spy drones over Gaza “in support of hostage recovery efforts.”
Since the conflict began, US troops in Iraq, Syria, and Jordan have come under fire more than 150 times, with Iran-aligned Shi’ite militias subjecting their bases to regular drone and rocket barrages. One such attack on an outpost in Jordan on Sunday killed three US soldiers and injured several dozen others.
American ships and warplanes have also launched several strikes against Houthi militants in Yemen, in a bid to break the Houthi blockade on “Israel-linked” merchant shipping passing through the Red Sea. The Houthis have responded by targeting US commercial and military vessels in the area. On Wednesday, the militants announced that they had fired multiple missiles at the destroyer USS Gravely.
US Central Command, which oversees American military operations in the Middle East, said that the Graveley shot down one incoming missile, and suffered no damage or casualties.
War on Gaza: Dozens of Palestinians found dead at elementary school in zip-tied body bags
Dozens of Palestinians were found dead at a school in the northern Gaza Strip in black body bags tied with plastic cables bearing Hebrew writing.
The bodies of 50 Palestinians were discovered at the grounds of the Khalifa bin Zayed elementary school in Beit Lahia on Tuesday after Israeli forces withdrew from the area, local residents told Middle East Eye.
The bodies were discovered under a mound of rubble at the school with videos uploaded on social media sites showing several of the body bags tied with white plastic zip ties, normally used for tying cables together.
According to eyewitnesses assisting in identifying the deceased, Israeli forces reportedly executed the Palestinians nearly two months ago on a road near the school.
The school had served as a shelter for thousands of displaced Palestinians before it was bombed and besieged by Israeli forces in early December. The school had been supported by United Nations Relief and Works Agency, also known as Unrwa, since 2010.
“The bodies were removed from graves created by citizens in the shelter center [school], and they were abused and searched [by Israeli forces],” Shabana said. “These bodies were reported to have been handcuffed and blindfolded.
“After the occupation exhumed the graves and subjected the bodies to abuse and searches, the Israeli army proceeded to cover the bodies with nylon [sheets of plastic and the body bags] and discard them into what appeared to be a mass grave.
Please visit: https://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/?p=281064
For the rest of this story
ISRAEL DOESN'T EVEN PRETEND ANYMORE - UNRWA fund cuts by the West.
Good cop, bad cop tactic?
“We won’t remove the IDF from the Gaza Strip and we won’t release thousands of terrorists. This won’t happen,” Netanyahu said Tuesday referring to the Israeli military.
U.S. negotiators are pushing for a cease-fire deal that could stop the war in Gaza long enough to stall Israel’s military momentum and potentially set the stage for a more lasting truce, according to U.S. and Arab officials familiar with the negotiations.
The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu didn’t respond to a request for comment on whether it was considering such a prospect.
# Over 1.7 million Gaza residents face shortages of water, food, medicine — UN
About 75% of Gaza residents - more than 1.7 million people - are displaced and face acute shortages of water, food, medicine and shelter, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported.
"Some 75 per cent of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million people, more than half of whom are children, are displaced according to UNRWA’s [The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East] estimates. They face acute shortages of food, water, shelter and medicine," the OCHA report said.
The document also pointed out that intense fighting in the Khan Yunis area continues to push thousands of people into the southern Gaza town of Rafah, which already houses more than half of the enclave's population. According to UNRWA, most are living in makeshift structures, tents, or out in the open.
Tensions flared up again in the Middle East on October 7, 2023, when militants from the Gaza Strip-based radical Palestinian movement Hamas staged a surprise attack on Israeli territory from Gaza, killing residents of Israeli border settlements and taking over 240 hostages, including women, children and the elderly. Hamas described its attack as a response to the aggressive actions of Israeli authorities against the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City. In response, Israel declared a total blockade of the Gaza Strip, home to 2.3 million Palestinians before the crisis, and has been delivering air strikes on Gaza as well as some parts of Lebanon and Syria. Clashes have also been reported on the West Bank.
The alleged “moral democracies,” the US, UK, EU, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Iceland, thumbed their noses at the International Court of Justice’s verdict against Israel by suspending their funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the major source of aid to the Palestinians in Gaza.
How is it that a tiny county, the existence of which depends entirely on American support, can force the world to accept genocide at the risk of the war widening into Nuclear Armageddon?
Israeli troops deliberately targeted a Palestine Red Crescent Society convoy, killing a paramedic and wounding two others, the humanitarian group said on Thursday.
The convoy was attempting to transfer patients from al-Ahli hospital in Gaza City to facilities in the south when it was attacked on Wednesday. The mission had been coordinated with the Israeli military, the humanitarian group said.
Video of the targeted ambulance appears to show bullet holes in its windshield:
A woman who was inside the Palestine Red Crescent ambulance with her three injured children speaks about the terrifying moments she and her children experienced yesterday due to the targeting by the Israeli occupation forces of PRCS ambulances in #Gaza City. The colleague… pic.twitter.com/p0N4i3svE4
— PRCS (@PalestineRCS) February 8, 2024
Red Crescent paramedic Mohammed al-Omari, father to three children aged between 8 and 14, was killed. He and the rest of the crew were trapped for more than an hour while bleeding, according to the Red Crescent.
The Red Crescent said that 12 of its colleagues, including al-Omari, have been “killed while carrying out their humanitarian work since the beginning of the war.”
The Palestine Red Crescent paramedic colleague, Mohammed Al-Omari, was killed, and two other paramedics were injured after the Israeli occupation forces directly fired at them in #Gaza City while they were transferring several wounded individuals from Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in… pic.twitter.com/12i8u50Fsu
— PRCS (@PalestineRCS) February 7, 2024
With great sadness and sorrow, today we bid farewell to our colleague Mohammed Al-Omari, who was tragically killed yesterday after being targeted by the Israeli occupation snipers while performing his humanitarian duty in evacuating the wounded from #Gaza hospitals in a… pic.twitter.com/QVplQPRp7s
— PRCS (@PalestineRCS) February 8, 2024
It has been 10 days since we have heard anything from our colleagues Youssef Zeino and Ahmed Al-Madhoon, the PRCS ambulance team who went to rescue 6-year-old Hind.
We want answers, we want the truth, we need the painful silence to end.
Help us find our team. Help us find Hind… pic.twitter.com/m1K1YS4SKg
— PRCS (@PalestineRCS) February 8, 2024
Loay Elbasyouni, who helped engineer the NASA Mars helicopter after being educated in UNRWA schools in Gaza, said his parents were among the patients in the convoy that was attacked on Wednesday.
Demobilised Israeli reservists have described how they deployed massive fire power in a brutal, complex and often one-sided war of sporadic but intense clashes that has reduced much of Gaza to ruins.
They spoke, too, of the challenge of fighting on unfamiliar ground that is well-known to Hamas and which offered easy opportunities for surprise attacks, despite Israel’s conventional military superiority and air power.
Some had not seen Palestinian civilians at all, passing weeks in Gaza without encountering anyone other than small bands of Hamas militants. Others said they had been in close combat almost every day and considered those civilians who ignored Israeli instructions to flee as complicit with Hamas and thus legitimate targets. Those interviewed also expressed sympathy for civilians and said they had tried to help them.
More than 27,700 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since 7 October, mostly women and children, according to Palestinian health officials. Many thousands more are buried in the rubble. Swathes of Gaza have been destroyed and 1.9 million of its 2.3 million people have been displaced.
Senior military officials have said the offensive could last for many more months, even into 2025.
The soldiers were not authorised to speak to the media and were interviewed by the Guardian on condition of anonymity.
Information about the actual experience of fighting in the conflict has been closely controlled by the Israeli authorities. Journalists have been barred from Gaza, except for short, carefully supervised trips with the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
The IDF did not act on repeated requests by the Guardian to speak to serving soldiers who had fought in the Israel-Gaza war.
“The destruction is massive,” said one noncommissioned officer (NCO) who was in Gaza for two months with an infantry unit. “What really blew my mind was that there is nowhere for anyone to come back to. There aren’t even three walls connected. It looks like a scene of a zombie attack or something. It’s not a war zone. It’s a disaster area, like out of Hollywood.”
Buildings destroyed by Israeli air-strikes in the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza. Click to enlarge
A recently returned veteran said: “It’s not like how you see in the media. It’s not like a computer game. There are days and days when nothing happens and you never see the terrorists then it all goes crazy for an hour or so then nothing again.”
Other demobilised reservists described intensive combat with close-quarter fighting in Hamas strongholds such as Shujaiya and Jabaliya camp.
Israel launched the offensive after a bloody surprise attack by Hamas into Israel on 7 October that killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians in their homes or at a music festival. About 240 hostages were taken back to Gaza by the group.
Reservists described fighting an enemy they barely saw for more than “a few milliseconds”.
“They don’t show themselves. They avoid contact. You see the targets for a milliseconds. It’s kind of weird. You are walking through this smashed up city but it is empty. You have all this destructive power – attack helicopters, tanks, artillery that you can call for – so you feel almost omnipotent. But then at the same time you feel vulnerable,” the NCO said.
Many of those interviewed spent days trying to find and destroy a tunnel network that, they said, was far more extensive than originally thought by Israeli military planners and which allowed their enemies to emerge unexpectedly to attack.
“I was meant to be mapping [the tunnels] but in the end I just concentrated on the main tunnels, worked out where they were and then we bombed anything that we thought might be other tunnels for 2 kilometres all around,” said one.
Another said the tunnels were “all over the place, in houses, next to schools, in wasteland”.
“We tried all sorts of things to find them. Cameras on wires, going down ourselves. We were putting smoke grenades down them at one point and then looking for where the smoke came out,” he said.
Israeli officials have said that Hamas deliberately uses civilians to protect its military infrastructure and fighters, a charge denied by the Islamist group.
Officers interviewed by the Guardian in Gaza in November said the IDF warned civilians to leave in advance of any assault with telephones, media, flyers and bullhorns. Earlier in the conflict, the IDF organised what it called humanitarian corridors to allow ordinary residents of northern Gaza to evacuate and dropped leaflets telling them to flee. Aid agencies, however, have questioned the effectiveness of such orders, insisting that nowhere in the territory is safe amid Israel’s intensive bombardment campaign.
The interviews suggest that the soaring civilian death toll is at least in part due to Israel’s use of massive fire power to limit its own losses.
Continued at link..
On Saturday, Saudi Arabia said that Israel's planned army operation in overcrowded Rafah would cause a "humanitarian catastrophe" and called for the United Nations Security Council to intervene.
Israel Prepares For Rafah Assault That Could Lead To "Tens Of Thousands" Of Casualties As Saudis Warn Of Imminent "Humanitarian Catastrophe"
With any hopes for a Israel-Hamas ceasefire now dead, overnight Israeli air strikes killed 17 people in Rafah on the Gaza border medics said on Saturday, as over a million Palestinians crammed into the city await a full-scale offensive with the rest of the enclave in ruins and nowhere left to run.
Israeli airstrikes and shelling pounded multiple locations in Rafah overnight Monday (12Feb2024) in the southern Gazan city.
HUGE SCANDAL: Israel War Machine BUSTED Attacking Their Critics At American Ivy League University?!