Palestinian Prisoner Dies In Israeli Custody.
Dozens of hospitals are forced out of service as the situation in the West Bank and the northern front escalate. Meanwhile, Macron arrives in Israel to show support, and Hamas releases two captives on humanitarian grounds
Gaza: 5,300 killed; 18,000 wounded
Occupied West Bank: 95 killed; 1,650 wounded
Israel: 1,405 killed; 5,431 wounded
- At least 140 Palestinians were killed in violent Israeli air strikes in the past 24 hours.
- At least 32 health centers forced out of service on Monday as Israel choked off essential supplies.
- World Health Organization official: “We are on our knees asking for that sustained, scaled-up, protected humanitarian operation.”
- Hamas releases on Monday evening two elderly Israeli captives on humanitarian grounds, following talks with Egypt and Qatar.
- Hamas attacked two Israeli military bases with Palestinian-made Zouari drones.
- Hezbollah said three more fighters were killed in armed clashes with Israel as it attacked Akka with a drone.
- Palestinian prisoner Omar Daraghmeh, 58, from Tubas town in the occupied West Bank, was announced dead at Megiddo prison.
- At least 51 Palestinians arrested overnight in Hebron, Ramallah, occupied Jerusalem, Nablus, Jenin, Bethlehem, and Qalqilya.
- French President Emmanuel Macron to Netanyahu: terrorism is the “common enemy” of Israel and France.
- Israeli government minister: “The Likud is preparing to place Netanyahu’s head on a platter to save the party.”
Dozens Of Hospitals Were Forced Out Of Service As Medical Staff Received Patients Using Battery-Powered Flashlights
At least 140 Palestinians were killed in violent Israeli air strikes between Monday night and Tuesday morning in the besieged Gaza Strip, as Israel stepped up its bombardment of houses and infrastructure on the 18th day of its war on Gaza.
Since October 7, at least 5,300 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli air strikes and ground missiles on the Gaza Strip, including 2,055 children, 1,119 women and 217 elderly people, and 18,000 injured, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health.
The number of displaced Palestinians topped 1,400,000 people, while Israel committed massacres against 597 Palestinian families by targeting their homes and residential buildings, killing at least 3,813.
On Monday night, the residential building of the al-Aidi family in the city of Rafah in southern Gaza was hit by an Israeli air strike, killing 48 people and injuring dozens.
Wafa news agency reported that Israeli air forces targeted homes in Rafah, Beit Lahia, al-Faluja, Khan Yunis, and Bureij refugee camp.
In Tal al-Sultan neighborhood in Rafah, an air strike bombed the house of the Mukhaymar family. In Beit Lahia, several Palestinians were transferred to the Indonesian hospital following a strike on a house in the town.
Palestinians in the al-Faluja neighborhood in the northern Gaza Strip, and Khan Younis in the south were killed and injured when airstrikes hit residential homes.
Israeli warplanes also hit a house in the Bureij refugee camp and the houses of the Farhat, al-Fusaih, and Dbabish families in the al-Shati refugee camp, west of Gaza City.
Hospitals in Gaza have been warning for a week that they will cease to operate if their already scarce fuel supplies run out.
The Ministry of Health said on Tuesday that medical centers have enough fuel for only 48 hours to run electric generators; after that, hospitals will stop functioning.
Earlier this week, Israel let in a mere 20 trucks of humanitarian aid into Gaza – none of which were carrying fuel.
Ashraf al-Qudra, the ministry spokesperson, said on Telegram that the little humanitarian aid that trickled into the Gaza Strip is “slow and cannot change the reality” for 2.3m Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
“The healthcare system has reached its worst stage in its history,” al-Qudra said.
Since Israel’s bombardment began, at least 32 health centers have already been forced out of service due to the Israeli siege, Al-Jazeera reported.
Darkness fell upon the Indonesian Hospital in Beit Lahia in northern Gaza, and the center was shut down temporarily on Monday after it ran out of fuel to generate electricity to power vital facilities.
Al-Jazeera reported that medical staff and paramedics were seen using battery-powered flashlights while receiving and treating patients under the cape of darkness before electricity was restored later on.
Hamas warned in a statement against “the consequences of neglecting the fuel crisis, as it brings a death sentence to all the wounded and patients at hospitals.”
On Tuesday, the World Health Organization’s regional emergencies director for the Eastern Mediterranean said that they “still have not been able to reach the hospitals in the north with the medical supplies or the desperately needed fuel.”
Dr Rick Brennan added: “We are on our knees asking for that sustained, scaled-up, protected humanitarian operation.”
Palestinian Prisoner Dies In Detention Amid Mass Arrests In West Bank
Omar Daraghmeh, 58, from Tubas in the northern occupied West Bank, was pronounced dead at Israel’s Megiddo prison on Monday, October 23rd.
Hamas accused Israel of “torturing” Daraghmeh to death and “assassinating him.” Hamas named Daraghmen as one of the movement’s “senior members.”. Hundreds of Palestinians marched in the streets of Tubas following the breaking of the news, calling for “revenge.”
Palestinian prisoners rights groups said that Daraghmeh and his son were arrested by Israeli forces on October 9th, and sentenced to six months of administrative detention without charge.
Administrative detention is a policy used by Israel to indefinitely detain Palestinians without charge or trial. According to local rights groups, as Israel has rounded up hundreds of Palestinians from the West Bank over the past two weeks, it has widely been handing down administrative detention orders to the detainees.
Daraghmeh’s lawyer, Ashraf Abu Sneineh, said that he spoke with Daraghmeh on Monday before he was pronounced dead, during a military court hearing at Ofer, held via video conference, Wafa reported. Abu Sneineh said that Daraghmeh appeared in “good health.”
The Commission for ex-Prisoner’s Affairs and the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club said many Palestinians arrested in the past two weeks “were subjected to abuse and beatings during their transfer to the court, or to the room designated for attending the court via conference technology.”
According to the commission, the number of Palestinians currently in Israeli prisons doubled to more than 10,000 prisoners and detainees – a massive jump from the 5,200 recorded prisoners before October 7th.
Daraghmeh is the 238 Palestinian to die in Israeli detention since 1967, Wafa reported.
Israel is still withholding 11 bodies of Palestinian prisoners, including Khader Adnan, the prominent Islamic Jihad figure in the West Bank and serial hunger striker, against the arbitrary administrative detention, which allows Israeli authorities to imprison Palestinians for prolonged periods without charge.
Adnan died in May after 87 days of hunger strike against his detention without charge.
Overnight Tuesday Israeli forces arrested at least 51 Palestinians in Hebron, Ramallah, occupied Jerusalem, Nablus, Jenin, Bethlehem and Qalqilya.
In 1948 occupied Palestine, what is now Israel, Israeli police arrested Palestinian actress Maysaa Abdel Hadi for “spreading incitement and support for terrorism” on social media. She appeared at the Magistrate Court in Nazareth on Tuesday morning, which extended its detention for two days, Arab48 news reported. The post in question was reportedly an Instagram story, in which she shared a photo of a bulldozer breaking through the Israeli fence around Gaza on October 7th, writing “Let’s go Berlin style.”
Dozens of Palestinian citizens of Israel and residents of occupied Jerusalem have been arrested, fired from their jobs and suspended from universities as part of a widespread Israeli campaign of censorship and harassment against anyone over expressions of Palestinian identity or support for Gaza.
Hamas Releases Two Israeli Captives On Humanitarian Grounds
Hamas released on Monday evening two elderly Israeli captives on humanitarian grounds, following talks with Egypt and Qatar.
The two captives were handed to workers from the Red Cross near the Rafah crossing, south of Gaza Strip and later were transferred to the Israeli side.
Initially, Israel dismissed reports over the weekend that Hamas offered to release two more captives as “propaganda.”
Hamas said that Israel refused to receive two elderly captives.
On Monday evening, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) confirmed the release of Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, and Nurit Cooper, 79.
Abu Obeida, the spokesperson of Hamas, said the movement freed them on “humanitarian reasons and poor health grounds.”
The ICRC said in a statement on X: “We hope they will soon be back with their loved ones.”
According to Al-Jazeera, the captive Yocheved Lifschitz gave this testimony to journalists about her days in Hamas’ hands:
“We went through the tunnels until we reached a large hall. We were a group of 25 people, and after a few hours they separated us according to which Kibbutz we were from.
“The guards were next to us with a paramedic and a doctor. We laid there on mattresses and they took care of the sanitary situation. A doctor came every two to three days to check on us. A paramedic was there as well and provided some medicine.
“There was a guy that was carried by a motorbike and he was badly injured on his hands and legs – it was hard to look at him. But he is in a better condition now. There were a lot of women there, they took care of the women’s hygiene. They cleaned us for disease as they feared they themselves would be contaminated by infections.
“They were friendly in their way. We ate the same food they ate, white cheese and cucumber – that was a meal for a whole day.”
Hamas And Hezbollah Attack Israel With Drones
Israel suffered 1,405 casualties in a Palestinian attack on October 7, when fighters broke the $1.11bn high-security barrier and stormed Israeli military bases and border towns with pickup trucks, motorcycles, RPGs, machine guns, and mounted action cameras.
Hamas fighters and other Palestinian groups took at least 222 captives and killed 308 soldiers, some of them inside their fortified barracks.
On Monday, Hamas said it attacked two Israeli military bases in southern Israel with Palestinian-made Zouari drones.
Named after the Tunisian aerospace engineer Muhammad Zouari, who was assassinated in his hometown of Sfax in December 2016, the Zouari was also used on October 7 to attack Israeli surveillance towers. Its capabilities range from carrying explosives to launching a Kamikaze attack.
Hamas said two drones were fired at Hatzerim and Tzeelim military bases in southern Israel on Monday, October 23.
Israeli forces said in a statement that “two UAVs [Unmanned Aerial Vehicles] were identified crossing from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory” at Nir Oz and Ein HaBesor near the fence with the Gaza Strip.
“Both UAVs were thwarted,” it added.
Israel also said that it intercepted two drones from south Lebanon on Monday, one of them near a Kibbutz south of the city of Akka, which is 25 kilometers south of Lebanon.
Hezbollah said on Tuesday that three more fighters were killed in armed clashes with Israel. Israel has lost seven soldiers in battles with Hezbollah since October 7, while the Lebanese armed group lost 30 members.
Israel had evacuated nearly 120,000 people from towns near the Gaza Strip and north of occupied Palestine close to Lebanon, to hotels in the Dead Sea, Eilat at the Red Sea, and the Gush Dan metropolitan area, where almost 40 percent of Israel’s population is concentrated.
‘You Are Not Alone‘: France’s Emmanuel Macron Arrives In Israel
More than two weeks after the Palestinian attack on settlements and military bases near the Gaza Strip, French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Tel Aviv to stress his country’s support for Israel. Macron’s visit is the latest in a string of visits by Western leaders to Israel, which included top officials from the U.S., the UK, and the EU.
French authorities took a dramatic step in the first days of the war, banning pro-Palestine rallies, which attracted thousands of people, and saw clashes with French police, who attempted to suppress the protests.
Last week, France’s top administration court ruled against a “categorical ban” on pro-Palestine protests, stating that a ban should “be considered on a case-by-case basis.”
There were 30 French people killed on October 7. Hamas released a video treating a 21-year-old French-Israeli captive, who appealed for her release on October 17.
Macron told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that terrorism is the “common enemy” of Israel and France.“You are not alone,” he said.
“I propose [that] the coalition against Islamic State also fights Hamas. France is ready for the international coalition against Daesh, in which we are taking part in operations in Iraq and Syria, to also fight against Hamas,” he said.
Since October 7, Israel has embarked on a media and public information campaign to equate Hamas with the Islamic State or ISIS.
Macron told Netanyahu that a “political approach to the conflict with the Palestinians” was the only way to achieve stability in the Middle East. Yet Macron is talking to a troubled Israeli leader who is losing the trust of some ministers in his government and presiding over an army that grows restless as it awaits an anticipated ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.
Haaretz reported that Netanyahu is adamant in refusing to take responsibility for failing to prevent the Hamas attack, and that several ministers are mulling resignations to hold him accountable.
A minister from Netanyahu’s Likud party quoted by Haaretz predicted that Netanyahu’s political career would be over when the war’s dust had settled.
The minister told Haaretz: “We don’t know what considerations are behind the delay in the land incursion, [US President] Joe Biden, the northern front, or the prisoners and hostages.”
“No one in Likud is rushing to push in any particular direction on this issue because we don’t know enough,” he added.
The minister told Haaretz that what is certain is that the ran- and-file in the Likud party “is preparing to place Netanyahu’s head on a platter to save the party.”
“If he does not draw the necessary conclusions, others will draw them for him,” the minister said.
Herzi Halevi, Israel’s army Chief of Staff, said that his forces are well-prepared to invade the Gaza Strip, but at the same time, it has no plans to curb its deadly airstrikes on Palestinian civilians.
Meanwhile, the Israeli economy is starting to feel the pain of mobilizing hundreds of thousands of army reserves.
Ynet reported that 70 percent of high-tech companies were affected by the war, as ten percent of its staff were called for reserve duty. This also involved investments, which saw a 40 percent increase in cancellations or delays.
Israel’s high-tech industry is a lifeline to the country as it employs eleven percent of the workforce, which contributes 34 percent of the country’s total income tax.