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Forums - Politics Discussion - Israel-Hamas war, Gaza genocide

Israeli soldiers supported settlers who attacked West Bank village of Yatma: Report

A Palestinian official told the Wafa agency that the Israeli settlers who set fire to farmland and a scrapyard in the West Bank village of Yatma did so “under the protection of Israeli occupation forces”.

Ahmed Sanobar, the head of the Yatma village council, also told Wafa that hundreds of settlers were involved in the attack and that Palestinians confronted the assailants and managed to extinguish the fires.

“Confrontations ensued between the residents and the attacking colonists, supported by Israeli soldiers who fired live ammunition and tear gas canisters at the former,” Wafa reported.

The agency said there were no reported injuries from the attack.

UN unable to monitor entry of aid into Gaza since May 6

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) says it has not been able to maintain a presence at the Rafah and Karen Abu Salem (known as Kerem Shalom to the Israelis) crossings into Gaza since Israel launched its ground offensive on Rafah city, and is unable to monitor the entry of aid trucks into the region.

UNRWA previously provided daily reports on the total number of trucks entering the Gaza Strip through these crossings – the vast majority of which were humanitarian deliveries from the UN, the Palestine Red Crescent and other aid organisations.

UNRWA said now, it can only track UN trucks that enter southern Gaza. The agency’s latest figures show only 69 such trucks have crossed into southern Gaza between May 6 to May 19, an average of fewer than five trucks per day.

This is significantly less than the average of 87 UN humanitarian trucks that entered Gaza through the two crossings per day in April.

Exactly how Israel likes it. Already proven to count only half filled trucks for inspection, now they can mess with the numbers without anyone being able to check up on them. Anyway the humanitarian situation on the ground says enough about aid not getting where its needed.

Another hospital under siege

What’s the situation at al-Awda Hospital?

Here’s what you need to know about the ongoing Israeli siege at al-Awda Hospital, one of the last functional hospitals in northern Gaza.

  • The Wafa news agency, citing medical sources, said Israeli forces fired artillery shells at the hospital before surrounding the facility on Sunday.
  • The agency said Israeli forces also bulldozed areas in the vicinity of the hospital.
  • It added that the ongoing siege is preventing civilians and medical staff from entering or leaving the facility.
  • MSF said the hospital is treating at least 34 people who were wounded in an Israeli strike on the nearby Jabalia refugee camp on Saturday, and that it has now run out of drinking water.

Timeline of major Israeli attacks on Gaza’s hospitals

The ongoing siege on Gaza’s al-Awda Hospital is the latest in a series of Israeli attacks on health services in the Palestinian territory. The World Health Organization has documented 445 Israeli attacks on Gaza’s medical sector that affected 101 health facilities, including 32 hospitals.

These include:

  • October 2023 –  a missile hits the car park of al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City, killing hundreds of people.
  • November 2023 – Israeli forces enter Gaza’s biggest hospital, al-Shifa, after a siege of several days. They also launch an attack on al-Awda, killing at least three doctors.
  • December 2023 – Israeli forces take control of al-Awda after a 12-day siege, during which snipers kill two members of the medical staff at the facility.
  • January 2024 – Israeli forces order the evacuation of Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis and raid the facility.
  • March 2024 – Israeli attack on al-Aqsa Hospital kills many civilians sheltering in the hospital. The same month, the military also launches a new assault on al-Shifa, leaving it in ruins.

The October 2023 strike was first believed to be a failed Hamas rocket launch. Yet in Februari that story was debunked as disinformation

Gaza’s rubbish crisis – living alongside piles of waste

Tonnes of waste are piling up across the Gaza Strip, contaminating water, polluting the air, and spreading disease.

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Israeli army claims 2 Hamas officials killed in strikes

The Israeli army has said it killed two Hamas officials who served in the police forces in Gaza in air strikes. In a statement on X, the army said Zaher al-Houli, a senior police officer who works in central Gaza camps, was targeted in a strike on Sunday.

A separate attack killed Rami Khalil Faki, who the Israeli military claims is a member of Hamas’s military wing, and a senior officer in the Nuseirat police in central Gaza. Faki’s deputy and four other Hamas members were killed in the attack that took place on Saturday, it added.

The civil police works for the government, government is run by Hamas, civil police is Hamas. Israel's logic. Same for healthcare workers, school teachers, garbage collectors and so on. There were about 70,000 civil servants before Oct 7, all members of Hamas according to Israel, which would explain Lavender AI to be targeting homes and families in Gaza. Have a civil servant in your family, you're on the kill list.

Al-Quds Brigades says it attacked Israeli soldiers in Jabalia

Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, has said its fighters clashed with Israeli troops accompanied by a military vehicle in the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza.

The group said on Telegram the incident took place near the Imad Aql Mosque, claiming that it had killed and wounded Israeli soldiers. Israel has been carrying out an operation around the camp.

Israeli attacks continue across Gaza

Israeli air strikes and artillery shellings have struck across the Gaza Strip, with at least three people killed and several injured after a residential apartment in the Tal as-Sultan neighbourhood near Rafah in the south of the enclave was targeted, according to sources on the ground.

Northern Gaza has also witnessed heavy bombardment, with reports of artillery attacks near the Zeitoun neighbourhood of Gaza City. Several people have been killed and wounded after a house was bombed in the Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood north of Gaza City, sources told Al Jazeera.

Israeli warplanes have carried out an intense bombardment in the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, including the al-Qasaaseeb neighbourhood.

Israeli army says it killed a fighter, discovered tunnel shaft in Rafah

The Israeli army has said it killed a fighter in a tunnel shaft in eastern Rafah. The troops directed a drone to hit the location, killing the fighter, according to a statement by the military on X.

The army said it keeps storming Hamas sites in the Rafah area, killing fighters and locating dozens of tunnels.

Israel strikes homes in northern Gaza, casualties feared

Deaths and injuries are feared after an Israeli attack targeted a group of residential buildings in the Mashrou neighbourhood in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza.

Footage obtained by Al Jazeera showed the moments after Israeli shelling targeted homes and caused extensive destruction. The scenes showed people being transported from the scene in difficult conditions.

The final toll of the attack is unclear.

Gaza death toll increases

At least 35,562 Palestinians have been killed and 79,652 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7, the Health Ministry in the besieged and bombarded territory has announced.

The ministry said that 106 people were killed and 176 wounded in the latest 24-hour reporting period.

Casualties arrive at Kamal Adwan Hospital after Israel’s attack in Beit Lahia

We are receiving updates on the previously-reported Israeli attack that targeted residential buildings in the Mashrou neighbourhood of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza. The dead and injured have been transferred to the Kamal Adwan Hospital. Sources from inside the hospital said that seven people were killed and dozens injured are being treated at the hospital.

As we previously reported, video footage obtained by Al Jazeera showed the moments after the Israeli shelling targeted homes and caused extensive destruction. The scenes showed people being transported from the scene in difficult conditions.

The helicopter carrying the Iranian president has been found, 'hard landing' yesterday was a fatal crash.

Hamas mourns Raisi’s death

The Palestinian group Hamas has mourned the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who it said had supported the Palestinian people during the recent war with Israel.

The charred wreckage of the helicopter, which crashed on Sunday carrying Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, was found early on Monday after an overnight search in a mountainous terrain near the border with Azerbaijan.

“These leaders supported the legitimate struggle of our people against the Zionist entity, provided valued support to the Palestinian resistance, and made tireless efforts in solidarity and support in all forums and fields for our people in the steadfast Gaza Strip during the Battle of Al-Aqsa Flood,” referring to the current war with Israel.

Hamas expresses ‘full solidarity’ with Iran after Raisi’s death

Hamas, earlier in the morning, expressed its condolences over the death of Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash, mourning in a statement an “honourable supporter” of the Palestinian group.

It said it appreciated Raisi’s “support for the Palestinian resistance, and tireless efforts in solidarity” with Palestinians since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

Al Jazeera’s Tareq Abu Azzoum reports on the statement from in Deir el-Balah in central Gaza in the video below:

Hezbollah mourns ‘protector’ Raisi after death of Iranian leader

Lebanon’s Hezbollah group has said it mourns the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and other officials in a helicopter crash, praising him as a “protector” of allied groups in the region.

“Hezbollah in Lebanon extends its deepest condolences,” the group said in a statement, adding that they knew Raisi “closely for a long time” and that he was “a strong supporter, and a staunch defender of our causes… and a protector of the resistance movements”.

No idea what this will mean for Iran. Hopefully a more moderate president will be elected, but under the current climate it's more likely the opposite will happen.

Netanyahu rejected plan to renew mediated talks: Report

Several Israeli media outlets are reporting the Israeli Prime Minister has rejected a proposal to resume indirect negotiations with Hamas put forward by Israeli negotiators.

Netanyahu reportedly turned down the plan on Saturday, the same day Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz said he would quit if Netanyahu’s government failed to present a post-war plan for Gaza by June 8.

The update comes almost two weeks after Netanyahu’s office said it would “send a working delegation to the mediators” when it rejected a Qatari-Egyptian mediated ceasefire deal that Hamas had accepted. Soon after, Israel launched its long-threatened ground invasion of Rafah, which according to the United Nations has since displaced about 800,000 people.

Israel’s Gallant says Israel will expand operation in Rafah

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has told White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan that his country is committed to expanding its operation in Rafah in southern Gaza.

“We are committed to broadening the ground operation in Rafah to the end of dismantling Hamas and recovering the hostages,” a statement from Gallant’s office quoted him as saying during the meeting.

Gallant also said that Israel made adjustments to its evacuation operations in Rafah. UN refugee agency for Palestinians estimates that more than 800,000 people have been displaced from Rafah to other regions of the enclave since Israel started its operations in the city more than two weeks ago.


ICC prosecutor seeks arrest warrants for Israeli PM, defence minister, 3 Hamas leaders

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has applied for arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in connection with their actions during the seven-month war.

Karim Khan, the ICC prosecutor has also sought the arrest of three Hamas leaders: Yahya Sinwar(Palestinian politician who has been leader of Hamas, believed to be in Gaza), Mohammed Deif (Head of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas) and Ismail Haniyeh (Senior political leader of Hamas, the current chairman of Hamas’s political bureau, resides in Qatar).

Of course CNN keeps Oct 7 as the starting point. Conveniently forgetting the ICC has been investigating Netanyahu for war crimes since the 2014 bombing of Gaza.

More on sought arrest warrants from ICC prosecutor

International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan has announced that it is filing applications for arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yaov Gallant. He said there are reasonable grounds to believe they bear criminal responsibility for the following war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Gaza from at least October 8, 2023:

  • Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare as a war crime
  • Willfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health
  • Willful killing or murder as a war crime
  • Intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population as a war crime
  • Extermination and/or murder, including in the context of deaths caused by starvation, as a crime against humanity
  • Persecution as a crime against humanity
  • Other inhumane acts as crimes against humanity.

ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan seeks arrest warrants for Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas, Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri, chief of the military wing of Hamas, the Al-Qassam Brigades, and Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas’ political bureau.

He said that they bear criminal responsibility for the following war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Israel and Gaza from at least October 7.

  • Extermination as a crime against humanity
  • Murder as a crime against humanity
  • Taking hostages as a war crime
  • Rape and other acts of sexual violence as crimes against humanity and as war crimes in the context of captivity
  • Torture as a crime against humanity and also as a war crime in the context of captivity
  • Other inhumane acts as a crime against humanity in the context of captivity
  • Cruel treatment as a war crime in the context of captivity
  • Outrages upon personal dignity as a war crime in the context of captivity

Still double standards on display. The sexual abuse and torture in Israeli prisons has been proven (for decades) yet not listed while rape and torture still haven't been proven on Oct 7 nor the following treatment of the hostages. Or maybe it's all lumped together under "other inhumane acts". Hostage taking is enough of a war crime as well as killing civilians. Yet it feels like Karim Khan had to pad the list for political reasons. (and leave out the role Netanyahu played in his previous rule as president)

What’s behind ICC chief prosecutor’s move?

The ICC only deals with serious crimes but when you hear what is detailed on both sides, it really is sobering.

On the Israeli side, he is naming the prime minister and the defence minister but says this was a state policy, this was official government policy to use starvation as a method of war.

I think it is interesting that he’s decided to make this public at this stage because the other important decision by Khan in the last couple of years is when he brought an arrest warrant against Vladimir Putin and his children’s commissioner, Maria Lvova-Belova – that was in March 2023.

At that stage there were arrest warrants. We’re not at this stage; he’s gone public saying there should be arrest warrants and he needs to go to the judges. Last time, he had already gone to the judges and it was made public that the judges have approved the recommendation.

I can’t tell you the reason why but perhaps he’s trying to force an end to the violence by speaking out as early as possibly and try to force efforts for a ceasefire. That seems to be a possibility why he’s decided to act this way.

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Hamas official: ICC prosecutor’s decision ‘equates the victim with the executioner’

The decision by the ICC prosecutor to seek arrest warrants for three Hamas leaders “equates the victim with the executioner”, a senior Hamas official told the Reuters news agency.

Sami Abu Zuhri also said the ICC decision gives encouragement to Israel to continue its “war of extermination” in Gaza.

Israel’s Gantz: ICC prosecutor’s move is a crime of historic proportions

Israeli war cabinet minister Benny Gantz has denounced the application for arrest warrants against his country’s prime minister and defence minister by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court as “a crime of historic proportion”.

“Drawing parallels between the leaders of a democratic country determined to defend itself from despicable terror to leaders of a blood-thirsty terror organisation (Hamas) is a deep distortion of justice and blatant moral bankruptcy,” Gantz said.

Oh just go sit in a cell together and 'hash it out' without killing more civilians

ICC decision a ‘confusion between the victim and the executioner’: PLO official

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official Wasel Abu Youssef has called the ICC prosecutor’s move to also request arrest warrants for Hamas leaders was a “confusion between the victim and the executioner”.

“The ICC is required to issue arrest warrants against Israeli officials who continue committing genocide crimes in the Gaza Strip,” he also said

The ICC is under immense political pressure, not seeking arrest warrants against Hamas leaders would undermine seeking arrest warrants against Israeli leaders. But they are right, Sinwar was leading the movement to more peaceful solutions and changed the Hamas charter in 2017 to advocate for a 2-state solution, which Netanyahu firmly rejects. Mohammed Deif though, he's fully behind Oct 7 and deserves to be in jail for the rest of his life.

Smotrich likens ICC prosecutor’s move to Nazi propaganda

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has likened the announcement by the International Criminal Court prosecutor on seeking arrest warrants for top Israeli officials to Nazi propaganda.

“We haven’t seen such a show of hypocrisy and hatred of Jews like that of the Hague Tribunal since Nazi propaganda,” Smotrich said on X. He also said all Israelis should feel as though there are arrest warrants against them after the announcement by Karim Khan.

Khan earlier said he will apply for arrest warrants for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant.

Ben G'Vir and Smothrich should have arrest warrants as well.

Arrest-warrant seeking against Netanyahu, Gallant ‘scandalous’: Israeli foreign minister

Israel Katz has said the decision by the ICC’s chief prosecutor to seek arrest warrants for Israel’s prime minister and defence minister is “scandalous.”

The foreign minister also alleged the move was tantamount to assaulting the victims of the October 7 attack carried out by Hamas and allied groups. Katz said he had opened a special war room to counteract the ICC prosecutor’s move, adding no force in the world will prevent Israel from bringing back the captives held in Gaza and toppling Hamas.

War crime arrest warrant sought. What next?

Karim Khan, the ICC prosecutor, must request the warrants from a pre-trial panel of three judges, who take on average two months to consider the evidence and determine if the proceedings can move forward.

Israel is not a member of The Hague-based court, and even if the arrest warrants are issued, Netanyahu and Gallant do not face any immediate risk of prosecution. But Khan’s announcement deepens Israel’s isolation as it presses ahead with its devastating war on Gaza. The threat of arrest could make it difficult for the Israeli leaders to travel abroad.

Out of the three Hamas leader against whom arrest warrant has been sought, two of them – Yahya Sinwar and Mohammed Deif – are in Gaza. But Ismail Haniyeh, the political head of Hamas, is based in Qatar and frequently travels across the region.

Qatar is also not a member of the ICC, neither is Egypt, nor the USA, nor Iran. They can all still go to their favorite destinations.
This is where they can't go if arrest warrants are issued (Of course with US pressure, which country would actually have the balls to arrest Netanyahu) The day Hamas and Netanyahu stand before court is still a long way off if it would actually happen at all.

But it is another political blow for Israel as well as more ammunition for South Africa's case against Israel at the ICJ.

About time, glad the ICC prosecutor didn't buckle to the threats against himself and his family. Those dozen Republican Senators should be ashamed. However if they had any shame, they wouldn't have sent that despicable letter.

Now the fallout of seeking arrest warrants

Hamas demands ICC arrest warrant request against leaders be cancelled

Hamas has issued a statement denouncing the ICC prosecutor’s decision to seek arrest warrants against its leaders, accusing Karim Khan of trying to “equate the victim with the executioner”.

The group said it demanded the cancellation of the request, adding that Khan’s application for arrest warrants against Netanyahu and Gallant had come “seven months too late”.

The group has also called on the ICC prosecutor to issue arrest warrants “for all the Israeli officials who gave orders and the soldiers who carried out crimes, in accordance with the Rome Statute”.

“The prosecutor is acting in violation of all norms that allow for people under occupation, including Palestinians, to resist their occupier,” Hamas’s statement said.

Right of resistance isn't a blank check for indiscriminate killing nor is self-defense. War crimes are war crimes. But I do agree, there are far more Israeli head figures responsible for the ongoing war crimes. At the very least the entire war cabinet should be included.

However the ICC works slow, remember the first appeal was in Januari 2015

On 1 January 2015, the Government of Palestine ("Palestine") lodged a declaration under article 12(3) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (“Rome Statute” and “Court” or “ICC”) accepting the jurisdiction of the Court over alleged crimes committed "in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, since June 13, 2014". On 2 January 2015, Palestine acceded to the Rome Statute by depositing its instrument of accession with the UN Secretary-General. The Rome Statute entered into force for Palestine on 1 April 2015.

On 22 May 2018, pursuant to articles 13(a) and 14 of the Rome Statute, Palestine referred the Situation in Palestine for investigation by the Office of the Prosecutor and specifically requested the Prosecutor “to investigate, in accordance with the temporal jurisdiction of the Court, past, ongoing and future crimes within the court's jurisdiction, committed in all parts of the territory of the State of Palestine”,  specifying that “[t]he State of Palestine comprises the Palestinian Territory occupied in 1967 by Israel, as defined by the 1949 Armistice Line, [which] includes the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip”

It took the ICC until 2021 to start on the case, after finally establishing it had jurisdiction

On 3 March 2021, the Office of the Prosecutor announced that the investigation will cover crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court that are alleged to have been committed in the Situation since 13 June 2014.

Israeli president slams ICC prosecutor’s move

Isaac Herzog has called Khan’s announcement “beyond outrageous” and argued that it shows “the extent to which the international judicial system is in danger of collapsing”.

The Israeli president alleged the ICC prosecutor had acted in “bad faith” and his decision violated “all the basic rules of the court according to the principle of complementarity and other legal norms”.

Netanyahu rejects ‘with disgust’ ICC prosecutor’s request for arrest warrant

Netanyahu says the decision of the ICC prosecutor to seek an arrest warrant against him is absurd and the move is meant to target all of Israel.

“I reject with disgust the comparison of the prosecutor in The Hague between democratic Israel and the mass murderers of Hamas,” Netanyahu said.

“With what audacity do you compare Hamas that murdered, burned, butchered, decapitated, raped and kidnapped our brothers and sisters and the [Israeli] soldiers fighting a just war?” he asked.

‘If ICC has any credibility, it should be going after those committing genocide’

Diana Buttu, a lawyer and former spokesperson for the PLO, says the ICC’s Khan is doing “a lot of bothsidesism”.

“He’s looking and seeing that there is a genocide that Israel is perpetrating – a genocide that Israel has been very open about perpetrating with over 35,000 Palestinians killed, mass starvation, 15,000 children killed, and in order to balance it out, he has to make it seem as though he’s addressing both sides,” Buttu told Al Jazeera.

“But if we want to be honest, we should be looking at what it is that the Israeli government has been doing and the orders that it has issued to its soldiers,” she said. “If this court is to have any credibility, it should be going out after the people who are committing genocide rather than just simply trying to play this game of bothsidesism,” Buttu added.

South Africa has accused Israel at the ICJ of carrying out a genocide in Gaza, an allegation Israel has denied.

Political pressure at work. It's a miracle Khan is actually seeking arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant.

‘World increasingly telling Israel enough is enough’

Israeli columnist and author Gideon Levy calls the ICC prosecutor’s decision to seek arrest warrants “just” but said he expected Israeli officials to double down.

“Israel will again protect itself with this wall of ‘the whole world is anti-Semite and the whole world is against us,’ and it will unite again the Israelis in an even more nationalistic wave,” he told Al Jazeera. “Everyone will feel so just and such a victim by this evil decision.”

Levy noted, however, that the impact of the possible arrest warrants could not be underestimated. “The fact that an Israeli prime minister will or might become wanted in all kinds of corners of the world and will be prevented from travelling must have an effect,” he said.

“It’s unprecedented. It was never the case – for sure not in a country that is supposed to be a democracy, which considers itself as a democracy,” Levy added.

“You have to see the overall picture. It’s not one case. It’s an overall picture in which the entire world more and more so, more loudly and more clearly, tells Israel, ‘Enough is enough. We have had enough with you.'”

Palestinian official welcomes ICC decision

Mustafa Barghouti, secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative, has said that this step affirms “that no one is immune from international law”.

In a statement, Barghouti added: “We consider this to be the first step towards condemning the crimes of genocide committed by the rulers and army of Israel against the Palestinian people in Gaza and holding them accountable for committing these crimes according to international law and international humanitarian law.”

HRW calls members to protect ICC’s independence amid expected pressure

Balkees Jarrah, associate international justice director at Human Rights Watch (HRW), says Khan’s decision to seek arrest warrants “reaffirms the crucial role” of the ICC.

“Victims of serious abuses in Israel and Palestine have faced a wall of impunity for decades. This principled first step by the prosecutor opens the door to those responsible for the atrocities committed in recent months to answer for their actions at a fair trial,” Jarrah said in a statement.

“ICC member countries should stand ready to resolutely protect the ICC’s independence as hostile pressure is likely to increase while the ICC judges consider Khan’s request.”