‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 93: Israel Surpasses Three Months of Gaza Bombing Campaign, UN Warns of Starvation

PALESTINE - ISRAEL, 8 Jan 2024

Mustafa Abu Sneineh | Mondoweiss – TRANSCEND Media Service 

Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in Gaza, Wael Al-Dahdouh, kisses his slain son’s hand, Hamza Dahdouh, also a journalist, in Rafah, 7 Jan 2024
(Photo: Bashar Taleb/APA Images)

7 Jan 2024 – Israeli forces killed eight Palestinians in the West Bank in overnight raids. In Gaza, an Israeli airstrike killed Hamza Dahdouh, son of Al Jazeera Gaza bureau chief Wael Dahdouh, in Khan Yunis.

Casualties

  • 22,835+ killed* and at least 58,416 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
  • 380 Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
  • Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
  • 510 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 2,193 injured.

*This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on January 3. Due to breakdowns in communication networks within the Gaza Strip, the Ministry of Health in Gaza has been unable to regularly and accurately update its tolls since mid-November. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 30,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

Key Developments

  • Israeli bombing kills Hamza Al-Dahdouh, journalist and son of Al-Jazeera’s bureau chief in Gaza, in airstrike on vehicle, as well as colleague journalist Mustafa Thuraya.
  • Israeli warplanes bomb UNRWA-affiliated shelter in Al-Maghazi refugee camp, killing at least four people while targeting ambulances and rescue teams.
  • Israel kills Hani Al-Masdar, Palestinian midfielder player and coach of Palestine’s Olympic football team since 2018.
  • Palestinian Football Association (PFA) says Israel killed 88 male and female sports players and 24 administrators and technical staff since October 7, including 67 footballers.
  • PFA says Israel targets “sports facilities and the headquarters of Palestinian sports federations and clubs” in Gaza Strip.
  • Palestinians in Gaza face harsh winter and torrential rains, with risk of infectious diseases spreading fast among thousands sheltering in overcrowded places with poor sanitary conditions and sewage flooding.
  • UNICEF says “most young children and pregnant women in the Gaza Strip are not able to meet their basic nutrition needs.”
  • UN officials conclude that one in four Palestinians in Gaza endure famine-like levels of starvation.
  • Axios reports Qatari prime minister told Israeli captives’ families that assassination of Saleh Al-Aruri, Hamas deputy political leader in Beirut, hindered efforts to reach release deal.
  • Esamil Qaani, Iran’s Quds Force commander, says “the martyr Al-Aruri will turn into a nightmare for this child-killing entity,” referring to Israel.
  • Jenin Brigade releases video of detonating explosive device near Israeli jeep, killing one female soldier and injuring four others.

Israel kills son of Al-Jazeera bureau chief Wael Al-Dahdouh

Israel’s bombardment and aggression in the Gaza Strip has been ongoing for three months and is about to enter its fourth, in which tens of thousands of Palestinians have been killed, injured, or buried under the rubble.

In the past 24 hours, Israeli forces committed 12 massacres, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, killing 112 Palestinians and injuring 250 others.

Israeli forces bombed the house of the Abu Alba family in northern Gaza’s Al-Falujah area, killing 20 people and wounding dozens while pummelling Jabalia refugee camp.

Al-Jazeera reported that Hamza Al-Dahdouh, a journalist and the son of Al-Jazeera’s bureau chief in Gaza, Wael Al-Dahdouh, was killed on Sunday morning in an Israeli air strike in Khan Younis, south of the Strip.

Hamza was killed along with journalist Mustafa Thuraya when Israeli forces bombed their car.

Wael Al-Dahdouh had lost a number of his family, including his wife, daughter, and granddaughter, when an Israeli air strike hit a house in Al-Nuseirat refugee camp, where they were sheltering in October.

Dahdouh went back to report live on Al-Jazeera from north Gaza less than 24 hours after the tragic event. He left to the south of Gaza with thousands of Palestinians in November, walking tens of kilometers in November. Last month, Israeli forces bombed an area where he went to report from in Khan Younis, injuring him and killing his colleague and Al-Jazeera cameraman, Samer Abu Daqa.

Since October 7, Israel killed 109 Palestinian journalists in Gaza.

Al Jazeera's bureau chief in Gaza, Wael Al-Dahdouh, with his son Hamza Dahdouh, also a journalist. Hamza was killed in an Israeli airstrike on January 7, 2024. (Photo: Social Media)
Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in Gaza, Wael Al-Dahdouh, with his son Hamza Dahdouh, also a journalist. Hamza was killed in an Israeli airstrike on January 7, 2024. (Photo: Social Media)

Israel bombs UNRWA shelter in Al-Maghazi and Palestinian houses

Wafa news agency reported that Israeli warplanes bombed a UNRWA-affiliated shelter in Al-Maghazi refugee camp, killing at least four people while targeting ambulances and rescue teams and opening fire at them.

Gaza’s Ministry of Health reported that the number of people killed in Israeli bombings was 22,835 till Sunday noon. At the same time, 58,416 have been injured since October 7, and at least 7,000 people remain under the rubble and are believed to be read. Almost 70 percent of casualties and injuries are women and children.

In Khan Yunis, Israeli bombardment killed 17 Palestinians, including 12 children. The displaced Brais family saw the killing of 25 members in the city’s camp while an apartment in the Al-Amal neighborhood in the town was also bombed.

Palestinian medical sources told Wafa that the Abu Yousef Al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah City, south of the Gaza Strip, treated dozens of injured people, mainly from the Al-Ajez family, after Israeli forces bombed their house.

At least seven people were killed in bombardment on a building housing displaced Palestinians in Rafah Saturday night.

Palestine’s losses coach of Olympic football team Hani Al-Masdar

Hani Al-Masdar, 42, coach of the national Olympic squad, was killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City on Saturday evening.

The Palestinian Football Association (PFA) said that Masdar played as a midfielder for Al-Maghazi and the Gaza Sports football clubs before carrying the mantel to coach Palestine’s national team in the Olympics in 2018.

The PFA said that 88 male and female sports players and 24 administrators and technical staff were killed since October 7, including 67 footballers.

PFA also added that in total, 1,000 members of the sports community, including youth and scouts, were killed, injured, or went missing. PFA said that Israeli forces are “targeting sports facilities and the headquarters of Palestinian sports federations and clubs” in the Gaza Strip.

It demanded “an investigation into the occupation’s crimes against sports and athletes in Palestine.”

UN says Gaza bombed while ‘the world watches on’

Wafa news also reported that 10 people were killed near Al-Saraya Junction in Gaza City. Other areas Israeli forces bombed in the past 24 hours, include Deir Al-Balah, Al-Zawaida refugee camp, Al-Nuseirat refugee camps, Al-Shujai’ya, Beit Lahia, and Al-Fakhura.

The UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffith described the Gaza Strip as an “uninhabitable” place

“Three months since the horrific 7 October attacks, Gaza has become a place of death and despair,” he said on Saturday.

“Gaza has simply become uninhabitable. Its people are witnessing daily threats to their very existence while the world watches on,” he added.

Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, has warned against “widespread famine [that] looms” in Gaza in a report sent to members of the UN Security Council on Sunday.

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are facing a harsh winter and torrential rains, with the risk of infectious diseases spreading fast among the thousands who are sheltering in overcrowded places with poor sanitary conditions and sewage flooding.

Palestinians make custard to beat starvation amid food shortage

Some Palestinians resorted to making “custard,” known as the “dessert of the poor,” as a main meal for breakfast, lunch and supper, made up of only water, cornstarch, and sugar. Although it has almost zero nutritional value, it has become become a meal for thousands of Palestinians in northern Gaza, and it is sold for half a shekel ($0.15) per plate, Al-Akhbar newspaper’s correspondent in Gaza reported.

Prices of vegetables and fruits in the enclave, such as orange, garlic, and onion, have risen sharply. A kilogram of garlic costs around 40 shekels ($10.5), while the smae weight in onions costs 25 shekels ($6.80).

Al-Akhbar reported that the availability of certain vegetables and fruits depends on where Israeli forces are stationed. In December, the grocery market was suddenly flooded with lemon and orange, when Israeli forces withdrew from areas of Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahia, north of Gaza Strip, where citrus groves are located.

The UN children’s agency, UNICEF, said in a report that “most young children and pregnant women in the Gaza Strip are not able to meet their basic nutrition needs.”

UNICEF said that “90% of children under age 2 are eating two or fewer food groups each day, mainly bread or milk. A quarter of pregnant women said they only eat from one food group per day.”

UN officials concluded that one in four Palestinians in Gaza were enduring famine-like levels of starvation.

Despite a UN Security Council resolution in December confirming the allowance of aid into the Gaza Strip, less than 200 aid trucks have been entering Gaza daily, half of the prewar level.

UNICEF added that “cases of diarrhea among children under 5 have risen from 48,000 to 71,000, an indication of poor nutrition. Normally, only 2,000 cases of diarrhea are reported each month in the Gaza Strip.”

Hamas releases video of captive soldiers killed by Israeli fire

As fighting continues between Israeli forces and Palestinian resistance fighters, the families of six Israeli captives held by Hamas visited Qatar to push for their release.

However, Axios reported that the Qatari prime minister told Israeli captives’ families that the assassination of Saleh Al-Aruri, the Hamas deputy political leader in Beirut, hindered efforts to reach a release deal.

Aruri was killed last week by an Israeli drone strike, along with two Hamas commanders and four cadres. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Hezbollah movement pledged to punish Israel.

Esmail Qaani, the Iranian brigadier general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and commander of its Quds Force, said on Saturday that “The martyr Al-Aruri had bid farewell to the nation without fear for the fate and future of the resistance. The world will witness how the brothers of the martyr Al-Aruri will turn into a nightmare for this child-killing entity,” in reference to Israel.

On Saturday, Hamas’s Izz El-Din Al-Qassam Brigades released a video of the three Israeli captive soldiers who were “mistakenly” killed by Israeli forces last month. The video includes a message from a fourth captive, whom Hamas said was killed in Israeli bombardment.

Hamas published a message in the video addressed “to the families of the IDF soldiers. Netanyahu does not care if all the hostages are killed because his own brother Yonatan was killed in a failed operation to release hostages. With his actions now, Netanyahu is sending you all a clear message: It is time for you to go through the same agony and pain that I went through.”

Concluding the message, he says, “Don’t trust him.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lost his eldest brother, Yonatan Netanyahu, who was a commander in the special force Sayeret Matkal, in Entebbe, Uganda, in 1976, during a rescue mission of Israeli hostages captured by Palestinians.

Hamas also released several videos over the weekend attacking Israeli forces’ tanks and armed personnel carries in Al-Maghazi and north Gaza’s Al-Tuffah and Al-Daraj neighborhoods as well as shelling forces with mortar shells.

Israeli forces kill eight Palestinians in Jenin and Ramallah

Israeli forces killed eight Palestinians in Jenin and Ramallah, in the northern and central occupied West Bank, respectively, following a night of raids and clashes with Palestinian resistance fighters from Jenin the Brigade.

The Jenin Brigade released a video of the detonation of an explosive device near an Israeli jeep, killing one female soldier and injuring four others. The Brigade said that Israeli forces were driving on a road in the Al-Jabryat neighborhood in Jenin refugee camp.

Israeli forces killed six Palestinians on Sunday morning near the Martyrs’ Roundabout, south of Jenin. They were identified as the brothers Hazza Najeh Hassan Darwish Asous, 27, Rami, 22, Ahmed, 24, Alaa, 29, Rizkallah Nabil Asous, 18, and Muhammad Yasser Musa Asous, 25.

Another Palestinian from the village of Abwein, north of Ramallah, succumbed to his wounds on Sunday afternoon. He was identified as Ahmad Mahmoud Hussien Muhareb, 28. Two people were also injured in Abwein. Ramallah’s Ministry of Health said there was an eighth Palestinian killed since Sunday morning, without releasing the name.

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Mustafa Abu Sneineh is a journalist, poet and writer from the city of Al-Quds in Occupied Palestine. His first poetry book, A Black Cloud at the End of the Line, was published in Arabic in 2016. He writes for both English and Arabic publications.

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One Response to “‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 93: Israel Surpasses Three Months of Gaza Bombing Campaign, UN Warns of Starvation”

  1. Dear Mustafa,

    UN Warns of Starvation because they themselves created it. No war in the world happens without UN permission. I lived for seven years in Geneva, Switzerland and can guarantee what I say is true. Israel and Palestine planned the current conflict long ago. What happened on 7 October 2023 was not a surprise to the Israeli government.

    I call the UN United Necrologies, for their creation of Death. I also call them International War Club. Their boss is called Secretary because he obeys orders of those who pay his salary. If countries wish to have a war, the Secretary has to ensure these happen.

    You have to understand the War Industry exists for politicians to organise wars. Only politicians can legally buy the killing toys (weapons, munition, explosives, missiles, vehicles) needed for war. Armed Forces are the slaves of politicians; they have to obey orders.

    This is the case of all wars, international or civil, ethnic or religious, revolutions, terrorist acts, political assassinations, military coups.

    Nothing will change whilst politicians have the obligation of promoting the military industry. Nothing will change whilst people continue to believe the false idea that Armed Forces are a deterrent, that Armed Forces provide ‘security’ and ‘protection’.

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