‘Starvation as a weapon’ against civilians in Gaza
Oxfam has described the situation in Gaza as “horrific” with millions being “collectively punished in full view of the world”.
“There can be no justification for using starvation as a weapon of war. World leaders cannot continue to sit back and watch, they have an obligation to act,” the UK-based charity said in a statement.
It noted under international humanitarian law it is strictly prohibited to use starvation as a “method of warfare”.
“As the occupying power in Gaza, Israel is bound by [legal] obligations to provide for the needs and protection of the population of Gaza,” it added.
Israel has imposed a “total blockade” on the Strip and it has exhausted its supplies of food, water and fuel.
UN: Gaza needs billions in aid to reverse years of Israeli restrictions
Gaza needs billions of dollars in international economic aid to compensate for the years of restrictions that Israel has imposed on it, according to a report published on Wednesday by the United Nations trade body.
In its report on the economic development of the occupied Palestinian territory for 2022, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development said that the restrictions have stifled Gaza’s economy and curbed its development.
The report also highlighted the dire economic conditions in Gaza prior to the start of the war on 7 October.
“Donors and the international community need to extend significant economic aid to repair the extensive damage Gaza has experienced under prolonged restrictions and closures and frequent military operations, which has stifled the economy and decimated infrastructure,” the report added.
UK supports humanitarian pause, not ceasefire: PM
The UK supports Israel’s right to self-defence, but it also wants British citizens to be able to evacuate from Gaza and for humanitarian aid to enter the besieged enclave, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated.
“And we recognise that for all of that to happen there has to be a safer environment, which of course necessitates specific pauses as distinct from a ceasefire,” Sunak said in parliament.
A ceasefire would “only serve to benefit Hamas”, his office later explained.
Over 30 percent of Gaza hospitals shut down: UN
More than one-third of hospitals in Gaza – 12 of 35 – and nearly two-thirds of healthcare clinics – 46 of 72 – have shut down because of damage from attacks or lack of fuel, according to the United Nations.
Hospital generators will cease functioning within the next 48 hours because of fuel shortages, Gaza’s health ministry warned on Tuesday, as Israel’s “total blockade” devastates life-saving facilities overwhelmed with thousands of wounded.
Israel’s bombing campaign has destroyed entire neighbourhoods and brought living conditions to breaking point.
Less than four percent of water in Gaza is drinkable, fears of dying from dehydration
Palestinians in Gaza are facing a severe water crisis since Israel cut off all water to the besieged enclave on October 9, according to a report. The decision has exacerbated the crisis in an already water-stressed area.
Less than four percent of freshwater is now drinkable and the surrounding sea is polluted by sewage, according to Oxfam.
The closure of Gaza’s only functioning power plant has compounded the problem, with the water utility warning that it does not have the fuel to run water and sanitation facilities when the power is off.
This means people in Gaza have been forced to drink dirty, salty water, sparking concerns of a health crisis and fears that people could start dying from dehydration.
Natasha Hall, a senior fellow with the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told CNN: “The only water people have is essentially non-potable seawater mixed with sewage.”
Other accounts report that Palestinians are being forced to drink unclean water intended for farming or use old, dirty wells.
Human Rights Watch has called Israel’s blocking off the water supply in Gaza a form of punishment.
Erdogan: Countries outside the region adding ‘fuel to fire’
The Turkish president , Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has asserted that Muslim nations working in unison will help lead to peace and ceasefire, while calling on world powers to pressure Israel to stop the bombardment in Gaza.
He said countries outside the region were “adding fuel to fire” in the name of supporting Israel.
Speaking in Ankara, Turkey’s president confirmed that he has cancelled his upcoming trip to Israel given the situation in Gaza.
He added that Hamas, which rules Gaza, is not a terrorist organisation but a liberation group fighting a battle to protect its land.
Gaza death toll reaches 6,055
Killed: 6,055 (2,360+ children, at least 1,292 women)
Data on combatant casualties not yet available
West Bank and East Jerusalem
Killed: 103 (at least 30 children, one woman)
Killed: 1,400 (769 civilians, 307 soldiers, 57 police officers)
Data on children and women casualties not yet available
Killed: 49 (3 civilians, 40 Lebanese fighters, 6 Palestinian fighters)
Wounded: Data not yet available
Turkey foreign minister: ‘Those supporting Israel’s actions are accomplices to its crimes’
Turkey’s foreign minister, Hakan Fidan, said that Israel is exercising a form of collective punishment in Gaza and is “targeting civilians in hospitals and places of worship,” in a live event from Qatar’s Doha.
He stated that “ground invasion in Gaza will turn the fighting into a massacre,” and that “those supporting Israel’s actions under the pretence of solidarity are accomplices to its crimes”.
“What Israeli occupation forces are exercising is a collective punishment against all the residents of Gaza. Gazans cannot be uprooted from their homeland,” he added.
Qatar FM warns against plunging whole region into ‘mayhem’
Qatari PM and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani warned all parties to stop “plunging the entire region into mayhem”, which could give rise to an “unbearable crisis”.
He added that every human life was “precious”, stating, “We cannot condemn loss of life on one side, and just fight on the other.”
“Hostage negotiations are ongoing. There has been some progress in the last few days,” he said.
“If we compare where we are to where we started, there is progress. We are hopeful. And if we are able to get any further, we will see some breakthrough soon,” he added.
Despite the number of children killed in Gaza exceeding the number of children killed in Ukraine, he says “we have not seen a similar reaction”.
On Tuesday, Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani slammed the international community for “acting as if the lives of Palestinian children do not count, as if they are faceless or nameless”.
Child casualties in Gaza a ‘stain on our conscience’
UNICEF, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, has expressed deep concern over the alarming toll on children in Gaza where at least 2,360 kids have been killed in Israeli air raids since October 7.
“The situation in the Gaza Strip is a growing stain on our collective conscience. The rate of death and injuries of children is simply staggering,” Adele Khodr, regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, said.
“Even more frightening is the fact that unless tensions are eased, and unless humanitarian aid is allowed, the daily death toll will continue to rise.”
Nearly 600,000 displaced Palestinians sheltering in UN facilities
Nearly 600,000 internally displaced people are sheltering in 150 facilities of the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) in Gaza, while at least 40 UNRWA installations have been affected, the UN agency announced.
“Our shelters are four times over their capacities. Many people are sleeping on the streets as current facilities are overwhelmed,” the agency said in a post shared on X.
Around 7,000 patients face imminent death as fuel in Gaza hospitals runs out
Around 7,000 patients and wounded Palestinians are facing imminent death with Gaza hospitals set to collapse amid lack of fuel, the spokesman for the Palestinian ministry of health told Al Jazeera.
Doctors and health officials have been warning for days that fuel is set to run out completely by Thursday.
They say this will lead to the instant death of thousands of people, including newborn babies in incubators, wounded people in ICU units, and kidney dialysis patients, among others.
Gaza hospital blast caused after rocket broke apart in midair: US intelligence officials
The deadly explosion that is believed to have killed hundreds of people at the Al Ahli hospital in Gaza City last week was caused when a rocket launched by a Palestinian armed group broke apart in midair and the warhead fell on the hospital, US intelligence officials said on Tuesday.
Officials have offered the most detailed explanation to date of how the US reached its assessment that Israel was not behind the blast, which the intelligence community now believes killed between 100 and 300 people.
Intelligence officials said the two primary pieces of evidence were imagery of the blast site, which showed damage consistent with a rocket, rather than a missile fired from Israel; and analysis of video taken from four locations, some of which was aired on Al Jazeera, that captured the rocket’s path.
The intelligence community was able to geolocate that imagery by matching up the silhouettes of buildings in the hospital compound and adjacent structures with the specific buildings from the video, according to an intelligence official.
“Two of the cameras captured the flight of the projectile, and when we assess those videos, our judgment is that the rocket was launched from within the Gaza Strip, and traveled to the northeast. About 10 seconds after the launch, our conclusion is that the motor combustion became unstable. We can tell that in part based on the fluctuating intensity of the rocket’s plume. About five seconds after that, there is a flash in the video, and our assessment is that that is the rocket motor failing, and about five seconds later, one object hits the ground followed about two seconds later by a second. Our judgment is that the first object that hits the ground was likely the motor from the rocket, and the second shortly thereafter was the warhead,” the official stated.
“Given the sequence of events we can see in the videos and the geolocation of the launch based on those videos, our conclusion is that there was a catastrophic motor failure that likely occurred, which separated the motor and the warhead. The warhead landed in the hospital compound, and that was the second explosion and the much bigger one,” the official added.
The intelligence community assesses with low confidence that the rocket was likely fired by members of the armed group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or PIJ. That assessment is based on Israeli intercepts that have not been publicly released that show different militants on the ground inside Gaza speculating that PIJ might have fired the rocket in question, one intelligence official noted.
Gaza hospitals can no longer accept patients: Palestinian ministry
Dr May Al Kaila, the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) minister of health, has cautioned that hospitals in the Gaza Strip can no longer receive any new patients.
In a news conference, she stated:
- 12 hospitals are currently not operating due to Israeli air raids or lack of fuel.
- Remaining hospitals can no longer accept any patients due to overcrowding – even floors and hallways are being used to treat the injured.
- Al-Shifa Hospital alone is sheltering 50,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs).
- Doctors are operating in hospital hallways using mobile phones for light.
- The collapse of the health system means cancer and dialysis patients will not receive treatment.
- At least 65 medical staff – including nurses and doctors – have been killed since October 7.
US Muslim group says ‘unacceptable’ for Biden not to support ceasefire
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said, “If President Joe Biden wanted to force the Israeli government to allow Americans trapped in Gaza to evacuate, he could do so today”.
It added, “Our nation is instead actively enabling the Israeli government’s mass bombing of men, women and children in Gaza, including both American citizens who cannot evacuate because of the blockade and American citizens reportedly held hostage.”
The statement comes just hours after John Kirby, a White House spokesman, told reporters that a ceasefire “only benefits Hamas” but that humanitarian pauses “ought to be considered”.
Biden and MBS discuss Israeli offensive on Gaza
US President Joe Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have discussed the ongoing Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip in a phone call, the White House says in a statement.
According to the statement, the two leaders “agreed on pursuing broader diplomatic efforts to maintain stability across the region and prevent the conflict from expanding”.
In addition to encouraging the disbursement of funds toward humanitarian efforts, they welcomed the release of Israeli captives held by Hamas and called for a sustainable peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Qatar ‘believes in mediation, dialogue’: UN envoy
Qatar’s UN representative has said the Persian Gulf country will “increase” its diplomatic efforts after it helped secure the release of several captives held in Gaza in recent days.
“We will continue to increase our efforts with our friendly states and international partners,” stated Sheikha Alya Ahmed Saif Al Thani.
“The State of Qatar really believes in mediation and dialogue for a peaceful resolution of conflicts,” she also told the Security Council earlier.
She called for a “complete ceasefire” in the Gaza Strip, the release of all captives held in the territory and the delivery of critical humanitarian supplies to Palestinians.
She stated that Qatar has been following the developments in Gaza with “extreme concern”.
“We reaffirm our condemnation of all forms of attacks against civilians, particularly against children and women,” she said.
She added that Qatar also “categorically rejects” the Israeli blockade on Gaza, which has deprived millions of Palestinians of basic needs.
Failure of UN Security Council to stop massacres in Gaza ‘inexcusable’: Palestine
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said on Tuesday that the failure of the United Nations Security Council to stop massacres in Gaza is “inexcusable.”
Speaking at a Security Council open debate in New York, Maliki stated the council has a duty to stop the killings perpetrated by Israel, adding that “continued failure at this Council is inexcusable.”
He added that over 2 million Palestinians are on a “survival mission every day, every night.”
Al-Maliki said that more injustice and more killings will not make Israel safer, adding that only peace will bring security.
“It must be clear that this can only be achieved by putting an immediate end to the Israeli war launched against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. Stop the bloodshed,” he added.
Saudi foreign minister calls for immediate ceasefire in Gaza, lifting of blockade
The Saudi foreign minister stated that Arab leaders at the UN headquarters in New York have gathered with “a unified message – that more violence is not the answer, that all civilian life is deserving of protection and that includes the lives of the Palestinian civilians in Gaza”.
“And that is why we are all here standing together, calling for an immediate ceasefire, for an immediate lifting of the blockade on Gaza and for a return to a peace process and for a return to a true, serious approach to resolving the existing grievances of the Palestinian people,” Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said.
Jordan FM says will ‘confront’ any forced displacement
Speaking at the United Nations Security Council debate, Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi has warned that the cycle of violence would continue if the council does not intervene.
He called on the UN body to pass a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.
“Violence is born out of the death of hope,” he said, adding, “We will not allow for fury, for anger, for pain to determine our future. That will only beget more fury, more pain.
“Only a just peace will assure Israel or Palestine’s security … The crisis has become deeper because there’s no prospects for ending occupation,” Safadi stated.
He added Amman would “confront” any attempts to forcibly displace Palestinians from Gaza during the fighting.
Second Palestinian dies in Israeli prison; rights group calls on Red Cross to investigate
The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council has urged the Red Cross to visit Israeli prisons to investigate the deaths of two Palestinian detainees.
In a letter, the council emphasised the need for the Red Cross to head to Megiddo and Ofer prisons, where two Palestinian men died in separate incidents this week.
The council urged the Red Cross to help “end all forms of arbitrary, retaliatory, and collective punishment imposed against Palestinian political prisoners”.
Arafat Hamdan, 25, from Beit Sira in the occupied West Bank died on Tuesday at Ofer, an Israeli military prison.
Detained on Sunday, Hamdan was the father of an 18-month-old girl. His wife is pregnant with their second child, the Palestinian Prisoners Society said.
A day earlier, Omar Daraghmeh, 58, died at Megiddo.
Israeli bombs near Red Crescent HQ, al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis
Israel has bombed in the vicinity of the Palestine Red Crescent headquarters and al-Amal hospital in Khan Younis, the Palestinian health society says.
The Red Crescent added the air raid in Khan Younis caused injuries and extensive damage.
More than 4,000 displaced Palestinians are seeking shelter at the hospital, it noted.
Israeli DM says war is still in its early stages
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told an audience of Israeli troops Tuesday that Israel must destroy Hamas and warned that the war is still in its early stages.
“Prepare for the tasks to come, the war is just starting. And unfortunately, we’ll have to pay a price,” Gallant said.
“Prepare well, be ready — physically and mentally, with equipment and means. We’ll get to the field and will destroy Hamas. Literally. Otherwise, we couldn’t exist here,” he added.
Gallant comments came as he spoke on Tuesday to Sayeret Matkal, an elite commando unit of the Israeli army.
Israeli PM tells soldiers a ground offensive “is coming”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to tell soldiers on Tuesday a ground offensive was still on track amid a growing sense of military delay.
“We stand before the next stage, it is coming,” the prime minister told the Israel Defense Forces’ Yahalom unit on Tuesday, according to a press release from Netanyahu’s office.
“You know it and you are part of it; you are part of the vanguard.”
The Yahalom unit is a special unit of the Combat Engineering Corps and is trained to deal with special engineering tasks, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) website.
The press release added Netanyahu was briefed on the unit’s recent activity and on its preparation for the future during a visit at the IDF Immanuel Base.
“We have only one mission – to smash Hamas. We will not stop until we complete it, with your help. I rely on you; the people of Israel rely on you. I am proud of you and I salute you,” Netanyahu said as he met with troops.
Netanyahu went on to say that Israel is “striking the enemy with great force.”
“Yesterday, in our attacks in Gaza, we struck the enemy the harshest blow they have taken in a single day. We killed dozens of terrorists, possibly even more. At this very moment, we are clarifying the exact magnitude of the strike,” Netanyahu continued, adding, “However, we also know that even as we are active in additional sectors in the north, we are hitting whoever tries to attack us, in Judea and Samaria as well,” he added, using biblical names to reference the West Bank.
The press release added that Netanyahu was shown some munitions that Hamas brought into Israel, which were seized by the Yahalom unit and given to its National Center for Neutralizing Ammunition.
Gaza needs at least 160,000 liters of fuel per day to power basic necessities: UN organization
Gaza needs at least 160,000 liters (42,267 gallons) of fuel a day in order to fuel basic necessities like hospitals and bakeries, according to Juliette Touma, spokesperson for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the Near East.
Before the war, the Gaza Strip received around 480,000 liters (126,800 gallons) of diesel and petrol fuel each day, according to historical data from the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA).
Of that daily amount, around 400,000 liters (105,668 gallons) were used to power the Strip’s sole power plant, UN OCHA data also shows.
The Israeli Defense Forces announced Israel’s military will not allow any fuel to enter the Gaza Strip because Hamas needs that fuel for its operational infrastructure.
IDF spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari claimed fuel from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) was “stolen by Hamas”. Hagari was responding to a question about if Israel would consider allowing fuel into the strip if it were in exchange for hostages.
“Hamas needs fuel desperately, and after stealing from UNRWA, we will discuss the fuel with the world and if the hospitals are in trouble then they should address Hamas – they [Hamas] should fill the fuel for hospitals and citizens. And the world should demand Hamas to do so,” Hagari stated.
6 hospitals in Gaza forced to shut down due to lack of fuel: WHO
At least six hospitals in Gaza have been forced to close due to a lack of fuel, the World Health Organization announced on Tuesday. That is in addition to hospitals that had to close due to damage from aerial attacks, it said in a statement.
“Unless vital fuel and additional health supplies are urgently delivered into Gaza, thousands of vulnerable patients risk death or medical complications as critical services shut down due to lack of power,” the WHO noted.
Some of those vulnerable patients include about 1,000 people who are dependent on dialysis and at least 130 premature babies, the organization said in the statement. Other people in intensive care or those who need surgery also “depend on a stable and uninterrupted supply of electricity to stay alive,” it added.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) also stressed the urgent need for fuel to be permitted into the Gaza Strip and echoed the WHO in calling for an immediate ceasefire.
“Fuel is of paramount importance for the operation of essential facilities such as hospitals, desalination plants, and water pumping stations,” UNICEF announced in a statement Tuesday.
“Neonatal intensive care units house over 100 newborns, some of whom are in incubators and rely on mechanical ventilation, making an uninterrupted power supply a matter of life and death,” it added.
UN agency says it will halt operations in Gaza by Wednesday if no fuel is delivered
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) announced it will be forced to halt its operations in Gaza by Wednesday night if no fuel is delivered to Gaza.
“UNRWA warning: If we do not get fuel urgently, we will be forced to halt our operations in the Gaza Strip as of tomorrow night,” it said in a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
UN secretary-general: Hamas attacks on Israel “did not happen in a vacuum”
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated that Hamas’ October 7 attacks on Israel “did not happen in a vacuum” during his remarks to the Security Council on the Middle East Tuesday.
“It is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum. The Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation,” Guterres said, adding that Palestinians “have seen their land steadily devoured by settlements and plagued by violence.”
At the same time, Guterres noted that “the grievances of the Palestinian people cannot justify the appalling attacks by Hamas.” He added that Palestinian people should not be collectively punished for Hamas’ attacks, either.
Therefore, according to Guterres, all parties of the conflict should “take constant care in the conduct of military operations to spare civilians” as well as “respect and protect hospitals and respect the inviolability of UN facilities which today are sheltering more than 600,000 Palestinians.”
Guterres called the intensified strikes on Gaza by Israel “deeply alarming” as “the level of civilian casualties, and the wholesale destruction of neighborhoods continue to mount.”
At least 35 of Guterres’ UN colleagues working for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees were killed in the bombardment of Gaza over the last two weeks, according to the secretary-general.
He added “the clear violations of international humanitarian law” are witnessed in Gaza, offering Israel’s order for more than one million people to evacuate earlier this month as an example.
Guterres emphasized that the aid delivered to Gaza does not correspond to its enormous needs, including the fuel supplies that are about to run out “in a matter of days.”
He reiterated his appeal for “an immediate humanitarian ceasefire,” a two-state solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and an immediate release of all hostages “without conditions.”
French president tells Palestinian leader “nothing can justify” suffering of civilians in Gaza
France’s president told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that “nothing can justify” the suffering of civilians in Gaza. French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his support for the Palestinian people, whom he said “Hamas does not represent.”
“The life of any civilian is equal to another, whatever their nationality is. A Palestinian life is worth a French life, which is worth an Israeli life,” Macron stated speaking alongside Abbas on Tuesday in Ramallah in the West Bank.
The French leader also stressed that “nothing, nowhere justifies terrorism violence,” condemning the October 7 attacks on Israel and reiterating France’s position for a two-state solution and the need for peace.
“The legitimate quest for security will remain an illusion as long as a just peace is not established,” Macron added.
Abbas called for a ceasefire in order to stop the “Israeli aggression” and urged Macron to work toward a political solution.
Macron met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, expressing full solidarity and proposing that the international coalition against Daesh could expand to fight against Hamas, without providing further details.
According to an Elysee Palace source, the proposal could look into whether aspects of that coalition could be replicated to fight Hamas, such as intelligence sharing and combatting terrorism finance.
A French presidential palace official said Tuesday that Israel will need to offer regional partners more detail on their military and political plans in Gaza to elicit broader cooperation in fighting Hamas.
33 Americans have died from Hamas attack in Israel: US secretary of state
Thirty-three Americans have died as a result of the October 7 Hamas attack in Israel, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday.
That death toll is one higher than the State Department announced on Friday.
Earlier Tuesday, US officials stated there were about 10 Americans who remained unaccounted for, including “about a handful” being held by Hamas.