February 23, 2024

Israel has carried out air strikes in Rafah where 1.4 million Palestinians are sheltering, raising fears of a humanitarian disaster.

Here’s how things stand on Monday, February 12, 2024:

Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

  • Israel has carried out overnight air strikes in Rafah in southern Gaza, killing at least 67 people. Israeli forces hit houses, hospitals and three mosques, Palestinian officials said.
  • Rafah hosts 1.4 million Palestinians, most of whom were displaced by Israeli offensives in northern and central Gaza.
  • The total death toll of Palestinians in Gaza stands at 28,340 since the start of the war on October 7.
  • The Israeli military said it rescued two captives from the Gaza Strip early on Monday, during an Israeli raid that included the Rafah strikes.
  • The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has called for the protection of its staff after multiple incidents, including the killing of two ambulance officers who went to rescue six-year-old Hind Rajab. Rajab’s body was found inside a car.

Regional tensions and diplomacy

  • US President Joe Biden is hosting Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Washington on Monday. The agenda for the meeting involves discussions about the Israeli military operation in Rafah, the release of captives in Gaza and growing concern over a possible Israeli ground operation in Rafah.
  • A ship came under attack by two missiles in the key Bab el-Mandeb Strait on Monday, the latest assault carried out by Yemen’s Houthi rebels.
  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has arrived in Doha for talks on securing a ceasefire in Gaza with the Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that the two leaders would meet on Monday.
  • US Senator Bernie Sanders has said “no one in Congress” should support the Biden administration sending military aid to Israel, in a post on X.

Occupied West Bank

  • A pro-settler organisation released a report on Sunday showing that the population of Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank increased nearly 3 percent in 2023 and expecting growth to accelerate this year.
  • The number of settlers in the West Bank now stands at 517,407, up from 502,991 a year earlier.
  • Israeli forces detained a Palestinian man, Hassan al-Sayed, on Sunday evening and seized a vehicle from the city of Jenin, Wafa reported.
  • Wafa also reported that Israeli forces shot and injured a young Palestinian on Sunday evening near the entrance to the town of Battir, west of Bethlehem.
  • Israeli occupation forces on Sunday evening detained five Palestinian young men in the Old City of Hebron, Wafa reported.

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