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‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 57: ‘Not An Inch’ Of Gaza Is Spared By Israel

Above photo: Three Palestinian boys sit, distraught and crying, amongst the injured brought to a hospital in Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip following an Israeli airstrike. Israel resumed its airstrikes in full force on Friday, December 1, after a temporary truce ended in the Strip. APA Images.

Israeli forces have killed over 250 Palestinians since Friday.

Including devastatingly deadly strikes in Khan Younis and Jabalia, as humanitarian agencies condemned the resumption of mass killings.

Casualties

  • 15,207 killed*, including 6,150 children, and 40,752 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
  • 247+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem

*This figure was confirmed by the Gaza Ministry of Health on December 2. However, due to breakdowns in communication networks within the Gaza Strip (particularly in northern Gaza), the Gaza Ministry of Health has not been able to regularly and accurately update its tolls since mid-November. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 20,000.

Key Developments

  • Israeli airstrikes kill close to 300 Palestinians and injured hundreds in Gaza since the collapse of the truce on Friday morning, with a particular focus on Khan Younis, where thousands of residents from northern and central Gaza have taken refuge in the past two months.
  • Among those killed are three journalists, raising the death toll for Palestinian journalists since October 7 to 67.
  • An airstrike in Jabalia refugee camp on Saturday is believed to have killed more than 100 people.
  • A UN rapporteur slams Israel’s strategy in Gaza as having shifted “from indiscriminate killing of civilians to organized killing”.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports that the United States has sent Israel some 15,000 bombs and 57,000 artillery shells since October 7, including one-ton “bunker buster bombs.”
  • Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor calls for an international investigation into the fate of five Palestinian babies found dead in a hospital that was forcibly evacuated by Israeli forces.
  • Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says “all elements point to Israeli army responsibility” in deadly attack on evacuation convoy on November 18.
  • +972 Magazine investigation reveals that the Israeli army is using artificial intelligence to “generate” military targets, in a “mass assassination factory” focused on “quantity and not on quality.” The Guardian publishes a report with similar findings.
  • Israeli army injures a number of Palestinians across the West Bank, and settlers stage attacks on Palestinian communities, property, and livestock.
  • Israeli airstrikes on southern Lebanon kill at least two civilians, three Hezbollah fighters.
  • Demonstrations are scheduled in Tel Aviv and other parts of Israel on Saturday calling for the release of hostages.
  • International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan is scheduled to meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says “Israel’s uncompromising approach” is to blame for breakdown of truce, adding: “The exclusion of Hamas or destruction of Hamas is not a realistic scenario.”
  • In response, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Eli Cohen vows to “free Gaza from Hamas,” and calls for Turkey to “host in your country Hamas terrorists who aren’t eliminated and flee from Gaza.”
  • Brazilian President Luiz Lula da Silva tells Al Jazeera that U.S. President Joe Biden has no “sensitivity” to stop the Gaza war.
  • Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo says he told Israeli President Isaac Herzog “no more civilian killings.”
  • A pro-Palestine protester is left in critical condition after self-immolating outside of the Israeli consulate in Atlanta, Georgia.

Deadly Israeli Airstrikes Kill Hundreds In Gaza Since End Of Truce

The resumption of Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip on Friday after a weeklong truce killed at least 193 Palestinians and wounded 652 in the first 24 hours, the Gaza Ministry of Health reported.

While the ministry has struggled to keep track of the death toll since mid-November due, in part, to a breakdown in communication with the northern Gaza Strip, it said on Saturday that its latest estimates stood at at 15,207 Palestinians killed and 40,752 wounded in the besieged enclave, adding that 70 percent of them were women and children, and 280 were medical personnel.

The ministry also said that Israeli forces had detained at least 31 health care workers, including Al-Shifa’ hospital director Mohammad Abu Salmiya.

Israeli bombs pummelled the entire Gaza Strip, as has been the case since the beginning of the onslaught — but at this point all pretenses of southern Gaza being a safe zone for civilians have been dropped, with the city of Khan Younis particularly targeted.

The official Palestinian Authority news agency, WAFA, reported strikes in the northern Gaza Strip in Beit Lahia and Jabalia refugee camp; in various neighborhoods of Gaza City, Deir al-Balah, Nuseirat refugee camp, and al-Mughraqa in the central Gaza Strip; and in the southern Gaza Strip areas of Rafah, Khan Younis, and Bani Suheila.

At midday on Saturday, WAFA reported that an airstrike on a residential building in Jabalia had killed at least 100 people. These casualties were not included in the Ministry of Health’s 193 toll from earlier in the day.

By Israeli forces’ own records, the military carried out at least 400 strikes in Gaza overnight, including 50 in the Khan Younis area alone. In a territory with an area of 365 square kilometers, this means more than one strike per square kilometer in the span of a day.

“The Israeli occupation continues to expand its targeting of civilians after the end of the truce and has left not an inch of the Gaza Strip without bombing,” Gaza Ministry of Health spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra said in a statement on Saturday.

Among those killed by Israeli air strikes in Gaza in the past day are three Palestinian journalists, identified as Anadolu cameraman Montaser al-Sawaf, fellow videographer Abdullah Darwish, and journalist professor Adham Hassoneh. The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate said these latest deaths raised the number of Palestinian journalists and media workers killed since October 7 to 67.

Humanitarian agencies have continued to raise the alarm. “The situation is beyond crisis point,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk said on Friday.

“Almost two months into the fighting, the children, women and men of Gaza are all terrified. They have nowhere safe to go and very little to survive on. They live surrounded by disease, destruction and death,” said Martin Griffiths, under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator. “This is unacceptable.”

Balakrishnan Rajagopal, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, meanwhile took to X (formerly Twitter) to call the Israeli army’s plan to divide the Gaza Strip into more than 2,200 zones a “grim game of turkey shoot”, and “a move from indiscriminate killing of civilians to organized killing.”

While there were reports on Friday that aid was being blocked from entering Gaza, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said on Saturday that an untold number of trucks filled with humanitarian supplies had entered through the Rafah crossing with Egypt. Humanitarian groups have repeatedly warned that the amount of aid allowed into Gaza by Israel since October 7 has been deeply insufficient to meet the extreme needs in medical supplies, food, water, and fuel, including during the truce.

Meanwhile, Palestinian resistance groups reported that they were engaged in battles with Israeli ground forces in Beit Hanoun, Deir Balah, and several neighborhoods of Gaza City, and had fired missiles towards the Gaza envelope and Tel Aviv.

On Friday, Qatar was reportedly still mediating negotiations to return to a truce. Reuters reported that Israel had informed officials from Jordan, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates of its desire to implement a buffer zone inside Gaza. Israeli forces already implemented a de facto buffer zone in the areas of Gaza along the fence separating it from Israel before October 7, preventing farmers from reaching their lands, spraying pesticides, and shooting at peaceful demonstrators in the area during the Great March of Return.

By Saturday, however, reports by Axios’ Barak Ravid said that Israel’s Mossad had called back its team from Qatar as a result of “the collapse of hostage negotiations,” citing what they claimed was a failure by Hamas to release all the women hostages in Gaza. Notably, within hours of the first day of the truce last week, Israeli forces broke the ceasefire by shooting and killing a number of Palestinians who were attempting to reach their homes in northern Gaza.

Israeli Captives Stoke Tensions For Netanyahu Government

For many in Israel, the killing of more Palestinians wasn’t the prime consideration of the end of the truce, but rather the fate of the 136 captives still held in Gaza.

“The preference for military action over continuing to release hostages constitutes abandoning our loved ones,” the relative of one person being held told Ynet.

Al Jazeera quoted unnamed Israeli media reports that six people had been arrested by Israeli police on Saturday while demonstrating outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s home in Caesarea, calling on him to resign over his failures in handling Hamas’ attack on October 7.

Several protests calling for the release of hostages are reportedly scheduled to take place on Saturday.

Israel has been claiming that the truce broke down over the fate of an Israeli woman and her two young children abducted on October 7. While Hamas has said that Shiri Bibas, 32, 10-month-old Kfir, and 4-year-old Ariel had died in an Israeli airstrike, offering to return their bodies, the Israeli army rejected this possibility as “cruel and inhumane,” claiming it amounted to “psychological terrorism” by Hamas. Hamas released a video of Yarden Bibas, who has also been held hostage, asking for his wife and children to be returned to Israel for burial. The Israeli army has yet to indicate whether it has concrete proof to either refute or corroborate the version of events put forward by Hamas.

According to Al Jazeera reporter Sara Khairat, “Israel wanted that the 10 to be released for an extra day of ceasefire to be alive rather than dead. They want that to be a separate thing.”

Israeli forces said they recovered the body of another captive, Israeli soldier Ofir Tzarfati, in Gaza on Friday, without specifying the circumstances.

Meanwhile, extremist settler and Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said on Friday that he believed Israel shouldn’t engage in any negotiations or talks with Hamas, which he called the “Nazi enemy.”

In West Bank, Lebanon, And Elsewhere, Violence Rages On

Israeli forces detained at least 12 Palestinians across the occupied West Bank overnight Friday, as army raids and settler attacks continued unabated in the Palestinian territory.

Israeli soldiers shot and injured at least five Palestinians in Beita, Sa’ir and Kafr Qaddum, while troops closed roads in the area of Sur Baher and Aqraba.

Confrontations between Israeli forces and armed Palestinians were recorded by Palestinian resistance groups in Jenin, al-Arrub refugee camp, and Beit Ummar overnight.

Two Palestinian brothers, Murad and Ibrahim Nimr, who were killed on Thursday after carrying out an attack in Jerusalem, are from Sur Baher. WAFA reported that Israeli forces had sealed their homes shut, in preparation for their punitive demolition — a common Israeli policy that has been denounced as amounting to collective punishment.

WAFA also reported that Israeli settlers staged attacks on Palestinian communities, property, olive trees, and sheep in Masafer Yatta, al-Sawiyah, Qasra, Qarawat Bani Hassan, Deir Ballout, and Ka’abneh.

Meanwhile, a 16-year-old Palestinian succumbed to wounds sustained almost two months ago on Saturday. Sharif Ahmad al-Shaer from the town of al-Jalameh in the northern West Bank, had been shot by Israeli forces in the thigh and abdomen on October 9.

In Southern Lebanon, an Israeli strike killed a mother and her adult son, identified by Lebanese media as a Hezbollah fighter, in the village of Houla, while another person was killed and three injured in Jibbayn.

The Hezbollah movement meanwhile announced the death of three of its fighters since Friday.

The crossfire along the Blue Line demarcating between Lebanon and Israel has renewed since Friday, with residents of northern Israel being advised to restrict their movements due to the shelling.

Meanwhile, the Israeli army struck the outskirts of Damascus overnight, with Syrian state media reporting “material losses”, but no casualties.

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