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‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 181: Child Deaths In Gaza On The Rise

Above photo: Palestinian Ashraf Abu Draz mourns his two daughters Aseel and Rusul and his wife as their bodies are taken from Al-Najjar Hospital for burial in Rafah, Gaza, April 4, 2024. Ahmed Ibrahim/APA Images.

Hostage Negotiations ‘Stuck.’

WHO chief Ghebreyesus said he was “appalled” at the destruction of al-Shifa Hospital. Meanwhile, pressure on Netanyahu increases domestically to strike a hostage deal with Hamas as the UN Human Rights Council considers an arms embargo against Israel.

Casualties

  • 33037 + killed* and at least 75,668 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
  • 454+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.**
  • Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,139.
  • 600 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7, and at least 3,302 injured.***

*Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel. Some rights groups estimate the death toll to be much higher when accounting for those presumed dead.

** The death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to the PA’s Ministry of Health on March 17, this is the latest figure.

*** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.”

Key Developments

  • Israel kills 62 Palestinians, wounds 91 in the past 24 hours across Gaza, raising death toll since October 7 to 33,037 and number of wounded to 75,668, according to the Gaza health ministry.
  • World Health Organization: Patients at al-Shifa will die if they are not evacuated, newborn deaths are on the rise in Gaza.
  • Hamas chief: Israel is maneuvering in negotiations to prolong the war on Gaza.
  • WCK demands third-party independent investigation into killing of seven aid workers in Deir al-Balah.
  • UN’s human rights council studies a resolution to impose arms embargo on Israel, warning of “possibility of genocide” in Gaza.
  • 600 British lawyers in letter to Rishi Sunak demand halt to arms sales to Israel, argue that selling arms to Israel violates international law.
  • Hezbollah announces one of its fighters killed in Israeli strikes and that it carried out six attacks against Israeli positions across the border.
  • West Bank: One Palestinian killed near Jenin as Israeli forces raid Hebron, Bethlehem, and Qalqilya.

Israel Kills 62 Palestinians, Wounds 91 In The Past 24 Hours

Israeli forces killed 62 Palestinians and wounded 91 across the Gaza Strip in the past 24 hours, according to the Gaza-based Palestinian health ministry.

Meanwhile, local media sources reported that Israeli artillery shelled the Atatra neighborhood in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. Simultaneously, accounts from al-Shifa Hospital continued to report the recovery of dozens of dead bodies in the surroundings of the hospital, three days after Israeli forces withdrew from the medical complex following two weeks of raids.

In the central Gaza Strip, Israeli airstrikes again bombed Palestinian houses in the al-Maghazi refugee camp, killing at least 10 Palestinians. Three more Palestinians were killed by Israeli strikes in the village of Mighraqa and the Zawaydeh area, while two more were killed by an Israeli strike on a family home in Deir al-Balah.

In the southern Gaza Strip, Israeli strikes killed a woman and her three children in the neighborhood of Tel al-Sultan in Rafah. Another Israeli strike on Bashiti street in Rafah killed a woman and her son and wounded several more Palestinians, while yet another strike killed a 20-year-old Palestinian near the al-Najjar hospital in Rafah.

In Khan Younis, Israeli strikes hit the western parts of the city, where paramedics recovered three killed Palestinians in the vicinity of the Nasser hospital. Meanwhile, Israeli warplanes destroyed several houses in the Abasan village east of Khan Younis. Israeli ground troops were also reported to have detonated several houses in the Batn al-Samin area, south of the city.

WHO Chief ‘Appalled’ At Al-Shifa Hospital Destruction

The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Wednesday that he was “appalled” by the destruction of al-Shifa hospital, the largest hospital in all the Palestinian territory.

Ghebryesus said that a WHO team tried to obtain permission from the Israeli army to access al-Shifa and assess what could be saved in the medical complex, adding that “the situation at the moment looks catastrophic.”

Israeli forces raided al-Shifa for the second time since October 7 on March 19. The raid continued for two weeks. Palestinian medical sources described the “total destruction” of the hospital by Israeli forces following their withdrawal on Monday.

The hospital included 750 beds, 26 surgery rooms, 32 ICUs, and a central laboratory. On Tuesday, medics at al-Shifa said that Israeli troops had destroyed dozens of rooms, set several floors on fire, and destroyed much of the equipment.

Ghebryesus added that many patients still are inside al-Shifa facilities and are at risk of death if they are not evacuated.

Meanwhile, the WHO’s spokesperson, Margaret Harris, said that the deaths of newborn Palestinian babies in the Strip are increasing.

Harris noted that 15 newborn babies enter the phase of starvation daily in the Kamal Adwan hospital in northern Gaza due to malnutrition. Harris stressed that medical needs have now increased more than in any other time.

Harris also said that the WHO has difficulty documenting the exact number of child deaths in the Strip due to the large-scale destruction and the fact that many people don’t even go to the remaining hospitals, where deaths are recorded.

Qatar Says Return Of Displaced Palestinians To The North Is The Main Obstacle In Ceasefire Negotiations

Qatar’s Prime Minister, Muhammad Abdel Rahman al-Thani, said on Wednesday that the negotiations to achieve a ceasefire and captive release deal between Hamas and Israel have stalled. The negotiations are reportedly stuck at the same points of contention as previous negotiation rounds in Paris.

Al-Thani indicated that the main obstacle continues to be Israel’s refusal to allow the return of Palestinian civilians to their homes in the northern Gaza Strip. Earlier, Israeli war minister Yoav Gallant said that Israel could allow the return of women and children only, after being searched by Israeli forces.

Meanwhile, the head of Hamas’s politburo, Ismail Haniyeh, said in a televised speech on Wednesday that Israel “is maneuvering in negotiations in order to prolong the aggression on Gaza.”

Haniyeh said that Hamas is firm in its demand to completely halt the war, adding that Israel’s assault on the Strip has continued because of the U.S.’s military assistance to Israel.

On the Israeli side, a member of Israel’s war cabinet, Benny Gantz, joined the opposition leader Yair Lapid in calling for early elections to replace Netanyahu’s government. Gantz’s remarks came as thousands of Israelis continue to protest in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, demanding a ceasefire deal to release Israeli captives in Gaza and early elections.

Israel Kills One Palestinian In Jenin And Raids Several Cities Across The West Bank

Israeli forces killed a Palestinian in the town of Ya’bad west of Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank.

The man was identified by the Palestinian health ministry as 28-year-old Asaad Isam Amr, a single worker and former detainee in Israeli jails. Local sources said that Amr was a member of the local armed resistance.

Local sources said that Israeli special forces raided Ya’bad early on Thursday amidst armed clashes with local Palestinian fighters, while special Israeli forces raided Amr’s house, where they killed him following a brief gunfight.

Residents recovered Amr’s body after the Israeli forces’ withdrawal, and he was later buried in the local cemetery.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces raided the cities of Qalqilya and Hebronm and the refugee camp of Dheisheh in Bethlehem, arresting 40 Palestinians across the West Bank.

Since October 7, Israel has arrested more than 7,800 Palestinians. Currently, it holds at least 9,100 Palestinians in its jails, including 51 women, 200 children, and more than 3,500 detainees without charge or trial.

With the killing of Assad Amr on Thursday, the number of Palestinians killed by Israel in the West Bank has risen to 455 since October 7, and 140 since the beginning of the year.

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