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Israel must investigate reports of torture of Palestinian detainees: UN expert

The UN special rapporteur on torture, Alice Jill Edwards, has called on Israel to investigate multiple allegations of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of Palestinian detainees since October 7.

Edwards said in a statement that she had received allegations of people being beaten up, kept blindfolded in cells and handcuffed for long periods.

She also received reports of some detainees being deprived of sleep, threatened with physical and sexual violence, insulted and exposed to humiliating acts, including “being photographed and filmed in degrading poses”.

“I am particularly concerned that this emerging pattern of violations, coupled with an absence of accountability and transparency, is creating a permissive environment for further abusive and humiliating treatment of Palestinians,” Edwards said.

“Those responsible at all levels, including commanders, must be held accountable, while victims have a right to reparation and compensation.”

UN warns of chaos in Gaza without ‘massive’ aid injection

The UN says without a huge amount of aid quickly entering Gaza, hunger and chaos will rapidly break out among the desperate and terrified population.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs warns “if aid does not begin to enter Gaza in massive quantities, desperation and hunger will spread,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.

He highlighted the closure of the Rafah crossing and limited functionality of the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing in southern Gaza “have choked off the flow of life-saving supplies”. The World Food Programme has already announced it cannot distribute food in southern Gaza anymore.

Dujarric said Gaza’s hospitals lack fuel and medicine because of the continued closure of the Rafah crossing. It has been closed since Israeli forces seized the Palestinian side of the crucial transportation route on May 6.

‘No child should die from starvation’: UNICEF chief

Children in Gaza increasingly face death from hunger and dehydration, UNICEF warns.

“Children in Gaza continue to pay a catastrophic price from blocked aid routes and intensified military operations and fighting in Rafah and beyond, which have paralyzed the only pediatric hospital in north Gaza able to provide nutrition services,” Executive Director Catherine Russell wrote.

“No child should die from starvation,” she said.

More than seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins and most of the people who live there have been displaced during a crippling blockade on food, clean water and medicine.

Israeli authorities giving priority to private sector trucks: UNRWA chief

Philippe Lazzarini says when it comes to the Israeli-controlled Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) land crossing into Gaza, “the private sector for the time being is being prioritised”.

At the inspection process, private sector cargo vehicles are inspected “before any other trucks” carrying aid to the desperate people of Gaza, a development that’s occurred over the past two weeks, he said.

While private goods are “welcome in the Gaza Strip”, most Gazans are starving after seven months of war and cannot afford goods at the current market prices.

“We need a combination of both humanitarian aid and market,” said Lazzarini, head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

The number of aid trucks entering Gaza through the southern crossings of Rafah and Karem Abu Salem has fallen dramatically in recent weeks, aid agencies say. The Israeli military takeover of the vital Rafah crossing into Gaza has compounded the problem.

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All EU donors have resumed UNRWA funding: Borrell

The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, has lauded an initiative by the Slovenian Permanent Mission to the UN to support UNRWA‘s vital role in providing assistance to generations of Palestinian refugees.

In a post on X, he also stated that all EU donors have now resumed funding of the UN agency.

Earlier this year, Israel claimed that 12 UNRWA members participated in the Hamas-led October 7 attack on southern Israel. The claims against UNRWA led to a massive funding deficit as several donor countries announced cuts. A review headed by former French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna later revealed that Israel had failed to support its claims about the UNRWA staff.

UK complaint alleges politicians’ complicity in Israeli ‘war crimes’

A new criminal complaint has been submitted to the Metropolitan Police alleging potential British government officials’ complicity in aiding and abetting the intentional starvation of Palestinians.

It supplements an existing complaint issued in January by the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP), arguing that UK politicians are criminally liable for their involvement in alleged Israeli war crimes in the Gaza Strip.

The new complaint, submitted by the ICJP on May 17, names 22 individuals, including five senior UK government ministers.

Hungary says ICC warrant against Netanyahu ‘unacceptable’

Hungary’s PM Viktor Orban’s chief of staff says the ICC prosecutor’s request for an arrest warrant against Netanyahu is “unacceptable” and could not be enforced in Hungary.

Gergely Gulyas told a news briefing that although Hungary, a staunch ally of Israel, ratified the Rome Statute of the ICC, it “was never made part of Hungarian law”, meaning that no measure of the court can be carried out within Hungary.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan said on Monday he had requested arrest warrants for Israel’s PM, his defence chief and three Hamas leaders over alleged war crimes.

“This decision … is not a legal but a political decision, it is unacceptable and it discredits the International Criminal Court,” Gulyas said.

All 27 European Union countries are ICC members, and EU chief diplomat Josep Borrell noted that they “are bound to execute the court’s decisions”.

‘Extreme violence and hostility’ as UK police target Oxford student protesters

British police arrested a dozen University of Oxford students and scuffled with some during a pro-Palestinian sit-in at the university premises.

The Oxford Action for Palestine group (OA4P) said university authorities called in police after students began their protest at administration offices, as has been happening on campuses in the UK, US and elsewhere during Israel’s devastating war on Gaza.

Footage posted on social media by OA4P showed altercations between officers and students sitting in the road blockading a police van it said held detainees. “Let them go,” demonstrators chanted.

Protesters have called for the university to divest from companies with ties to Israel. “It is evident the administration would rather arrest, silence, and physically assault its own students than confront its enabling of Israel’s genocide in Gaza,” the group said.

Student Kendall Gardner accused police of “extreme violence and hostility”.

‘Peace we want for Ukraine is peace we want for Palestine’: Spanish PM Sanchez

Pedro Sanchez says recognition of the Palestinian state will “contribute to peace” in the Middle East.

“Are Ireland, Norway, the International Criminal Court, the more than 140 countries that in the United Nations General Assembly voted in favor of the recognition of Palestine also friends of terrorists? No,” he posted on X.

“The peace of the international order based on rules, of respect and compliance with human rights. Recognition of the Palestinian State will contribute to peace in the Middle East. We are on the right side of history,” Sanchez wrote.


Kenya presser: Biden avoids question on Israel ‘using starvation’ as war tool

US President Joe Biden completely dodged a question about the International Criminal Court arrest warrants for Israeli leaders over the war on Gaza. It was the very first question by one of the American reporters who asked, “Is Israel using starvation as a weapon of war?”

The president tried to avoid it, so the reporter asked it again. He didn’t answer that part of the question. What he did say was the White House believes the ICC doesn’t have jurisdiction, and Hamas doesn’t have “any equivalence” to Israel’s leaders.

The president ruffled through his notes like he wasn’t prepared for this kind of question. He didn’t respond about Israel using starvation as a weapon of war, and I think that is going to be focused on by the American media.

UCLA should have immediately removed protesters: Chancellor

Gene Block is one of three university administrators who have testified at a hearing of the Education Committee in the Republican-controlled US House of Representatives on the protests against Israel’s war in Gaza that have unfolded on American campuses over the past two months.

“With the benefit of hindsight, we should have been prepared to immediately remove the encampment if and when the safety of our community was put at risk,” Block told the committee.

The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) was the site of an April 30 attack by Israel supporters against a pro-Palestinian protest encampment that resulted in some of the most violent scenes of the recent protests.

The university on Wednesday removed the head of its campus police for his handling of the protests, which included police inaction during the attack and arrests by state and local police of 210 people the next night.

“The recent images from UCLA are appalling. What is more appalling is that it was completely preventable,” said Ilhan Omar, a Democratic congresswoman on the committee.

“You, the UCLA leadership and law enforcement stood by for hours as the mob of agitators gathered near the encampment with the clear intention to cause violence,” she continued.

Block disputed the assertion.

US Treasury Secretary concerned about Israel’s threats to cut off Palestinian banks

Janet Yellen says she is concerned by a threat by the Israeli finance minister to cut off Palestinian banks from their Israeli correspondent banks, a move that would close a critical lifeline for the Palestinian economy.

Yellen told a news conference ahead of a G7 finance ministers meeting beginning on Friday that the US and its partners “need to do everything possible to increase humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in Gaza, to curtail violence in the West Bank, and to stabilise the West Bank’s economy.”

She said she would bring up the issue at the meeting of the Group of Seven industrial democracies in the lakeside resort town of Stresa in northern Italy.

“I expect other countries to express concern about the impact of such a decision on the West Bank economy. I think this would have a very adverse effect also on Israel,” Yellen noted.

Israel’s far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has said he will not renew a waiver that expires on July 1 which allows Israeli banks to process shekel payments for services and salaries tied to the Palestinian Authority.

More than 100 rights groups call on Biden to support ICC

The civil and human rights groups have signed a letter to the US president urging him to support the independence of the International Criminal Court and ignore calls from some US lawmakers to sanction the court.

The calls came after the court’s prosecutor applied for arrest warrants against Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as three Hamas leaders.

“Acting on these calls would do grave harm to the interests of all victims globally and to the U.S. government’s ability to champion human rights and the cause of justice, which are stated priorities of your administration,” the letter reads.

I guess I should report my injury too... (crashed on a bike when an off leash dog charged at me, gravel in my hands and shoulder, left arm and knee ow)

Three US troops suffer non-combat injuries during pier operation

US Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, deputy commander of US Central Command, told reporters two of the injuries included a sprained ankle and a minor back injury. He declined to offer details on the third.

The $320m floating pier, built for delivering aid, is attached to Gaza’s shore. Aid groups have criticised the pier as a costly and ineffective distraction from the fact that land deliveries – currently blocked and heavily restricted by Israel – are the most efficient way to help the wounded and starving people of Gaza.

Kinda reminds me of the Canadian postal service, makes about as much sense :p

US comedian Dave Chappelle calls out Israel’s ‘genocide’ in Gaza at UAE show

Chappelle’s reference to the “genocide” striking the Gaza Strip received loud cheers and applause during his performance in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, The Associated Press reports.

Even before coming on stage, the full crowd of thousands on Thursday night at Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Arena cheered as DJ Trauma, who accompanied Chappelle on the trip, played the song “My Blood is Palestinian” by the Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf.

About halfway through his set, Chappelle said the Gaza Strip faces a “genocide”. He also said that making Jews safer in America amid rising cases of anti-Semitism would make them realise they do not need Israel as an ultimate protector.

When touching on the upcoming US presidential election, Chappelle’s mention of President Joe Biden – Israel’s staunched supporter in its war on Gaza – drew widespread boos throughout the arena.

Hundreds of Harvard students walk out of commencement, chant ‘Free, free Palestine’

Hundreds of students in graduation robes walked out of the Harvard commencement chanting “Free, free Palestine”, a day after the school announced that 13 students who participated in a Gaza solidarity encampment would not graduate alongside their classmates.

To cheers and applause, student commencement speaker Shruthi Kumar went off script from her speech to blast the university, saying that “freedom of speech” and “expressions of solidarity” had been made “punishable” by Harvard.

“I am deeply disappointed by the intolerance for freedom of speech and their right to civil disobedience on campus,” Kumar said. “The students have spoken. The faculty have spoken. Harvard, do you hear us?”

More than 1,500 students had petitioned, and nearly 500 staff and faculty had spoken out against sanctioning the student protesters, she said.

Those in the encampment had called for a ceasefire in Gaza and for Harvard to divest from companies that support the war.

Israeli rights group exposes violent settler ‘take over’ of Palestinian pastureland

B’Tselem, a leading Israeli human rights group, has released video footage documenting how Israeli settlers “take over” land belonging to Palestinian shepherds as “part of a state policy to drive out pastoral communities”.

The rights organisation said it had documented some 20 incidents where settlers and Israeli soldiers “drove Palestinian shepherds out of pastureland” in the occupied West Bank’s South Hebron Hills.

“The State of Israel is working to drive Palestinian pastoral communities out of their homes in the West Bank in order to take over their areas of habitation, including farmland and pastureland,” the rights organisation said.

Since the October 7 attack on Israel, settlers involved in “violent acts” of land expulsion are part of Israeli “territorial defence” units and have been issued military weapons and uniforms.

“This makes it impossible to distinguish when they are operating under military orders and when they are acting independently while in uniform,” B’Tselem said.

Since Israel’s Rafah operation, only 150 trucks of aid reached Gaza in two weeks

Sam Rose, planning director for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), has sounded the alarm about the dire aid situation in Gaza, saying there has been a significant decrease in humanitarian supplies entering the territory since Israel seized the Rafah crossing with Egypt two weeks ago.

“We’re going back to levels of aid that we were getting in October when the war first started,” Rose said, adding that the UN has received fewer than 150 trucks carrying aid since May 6.

With only a fraction of the usual aid reaching Gaza, UNRWA has had to suspend distribution due to insufficient supplies, Rose said.

Pentagon says aid from US-built Gaza pier reaching people, but still ‘a drop in the bucket’

A Pentagon spokesperson said the amount of food that has been distributed or is in the process of being distributed is 506 metric tonnes of food. That’s since this pier opened about a week ago today.

That is enough, according to the Pentagon, to feed ‘tens of thousands for a month’.

But, in the greater context of the need in Gaza, this is merely a drop in the bucket, and not nearly as much food as what once came over the land borders into Gaza – and, of course, at a time when the need and extreme hunger is only growing.

Since the pier opened, it started with almost no success in the first few days. There was so much insecurity in the distribution of the food that the World Food Programme halted its operations for two days.

Israel was asked to help more in assisting in the safe delivery of this food. Israel apparently responded and there are apparently alternate routes on land for these trucks once they’ve got the food from the pier to go to the storage warehouse.

And that apparently has been somewhat successful, because 27 trucks were able to deliver food to that warehouse. That’s still not nearly the amount the Pentagon had envisioned. Ninety trucks, they said initially, and up to 150 trucks a day from this pier alone.

Needed to sustain 500 a day
Needed to recover 800 a day
Before Rafah invasion avg 190 a day
Since Rafah invasion less than 30 a day (probably much less, 147 recorded from Kerem Shalom over the last 18 days, 27 from the pier, unknown from the Erez crossing but that's not expected to be much)

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Israeli military bombs apartment in Gaza City, killing 10

The Israeli military has bombed an apartment complex in Gaza City, killing at least 10 people, the Wafa news agency reports. Women and children were killed in the strike on the apartment, which belongs to the al-Ayoubi family and is located in the Shabiyah area of ​​Gaza City, northern Gaza.

Children, women among more than 20 reported killed in latest Israeli attacks

Along with the recent bombing of an apartment in the Shabiyah area of ​Gaza City, Israeli forces also killed at least 12 people and injured others during the bombing of an aid storage warehouse in Deir el-Balah in central Gaza.

Women and children were among those killed when Israeli aircraft and artillery targeted the warehouse, the Palestinian state news agency Wafa reports.

People were also killed in an overnight air strike on a house in the Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood in Gaza City, Wafa said.

Heavy gunfire from Israeli armoured vehicles stationed in the southern neighbourhoods of Gaza City was also reported.

Our colleagues at Al Jazeera Arabic have shared video footage of a large fire that was reported to have broken out in the Jabalia refugee camp area of northern Gaza following an Israeli bombardment overnight.

Israeli tanks reach western Rafah where ‘congested mass of people’ live: Aid worker

Reuters news agency reports that Israel’s military is continuing its attacks in three eastern suburbs of Rafah while Israeli tanks are advancing on Rafah’s southeast and have reached the city’s densely-populated western district of Yibna.

“The occupation is trying to move farther to the west. They are on the edge of Yibna, which is densely populated. They didn’t invade it yet,” one Rafah resident told the news agency. “We hear explosions, and we see black smoke coming up from the areas where the army has invaded. It was another very difficult night,” he said via a chat app.

The Norwegian Refugee Council’s emergency response leader in Gaza, Suze van Meegen, said many civilians were still stuck in the Rafah warzone. “The city of Rafah is now comprised of three entirely different worlds: the east is an archetypal war zone, the middle is a ghost town, and the west is a congested mass of people living in deplorable conditions,” she said in a statement.

“People have no choice but to put their faith in so-called ‘humanitarian safe zones’ designated by the forces that have killed their family members and destroyed their homes,” she added.

Increased risk of Palestinian Authority’s fiscal collapse, says World Bank

The fiscal situation for the Palestinian Authority (PA) has deteriorated over the past three months amid Israel’s war on Gaza, “significantly raising the risk of a fiscal collapse”, the World Bank reports.

“The rapidly widening gap between the amount of revenues coming in, and the amount needed to finance essential public expenditure, is driving a fiscal crisis,” the World Bank said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said he will no longer transfer tax funds to the PA, which runs the occupied West Bank, after Norway, Spain and Ireland said they will recognise a Palestinian state.

UNRWA chief says ‘another war’ rages in occupied West Bank

Philippe Lazzarini, the head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), said an “unnoticed” war is being fought in the occupied Palestinian territory where Israeli forces are launching regular operations to destroy houses, bulldoze roads, and dismantle “basic infrastructure” such as water and electricity.

UN staff, he said, recounted how the Nur Shams refugee camp in the north of the occupied West Bank was “once a bustling area with markets and life” but has now been hit by the “destruction” of Israeli forces.

Palestinians are sinking into poverty, separation and isolation as their movements are restricted, and the situation is further destabilised by Palestinian armed groups, he said. Any further escalation in the violence, and expansion of illegal Israeli settlements, will push a “peaceful resolution to this decades-long conflict” further away, he added.

Fighting in Balata camp after another Israeli raid

Israeli forces have now raided the Balata camp in the occupied West Bank, bulldozing infrastructure and storming homes, reports the Wafa news agency. The raid caused fighting to break out in the camp, although no casualties or arrests have yet been recorded.

The incursion is part of another round of familiar West Bank raids by Israeli forces, who earlier stormed areas within Hebron, Tulkarem, Ramallah and el-Bireh governorates.

During a raid on the town Qaffin, near Tulkarem, a Palestinian woman was injured by a bullet fragment as confrontations broke out. In Beitunia, west of Ramallah, Israeli forces arrested two Palestinians.

The raids contribute to what UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini has said is a “second war” in the occupied West Bank, with “separation, isolation, and movement restrictions” plaguing Palestinian communities. Escalating attacks by Israeli forces and settlers have also intensified fear, with 518 people, including 129 minors, killed by such violence since October 7. Israeli forces have also made 8,840 arrests during the period, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society.

US soldier in ‘critical condition’ due to noncombat injury sustained on Gaza aid pier

An American soldier is in “critical condition” after suffering a noncombat injury while working on a US-constructed aid pier off the coast of Gaza, Reuters reports, quoting an anonymous US defence official.

Earlier we reported that the deputy commander of the US military’s Central Command (CENTCOM), Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, told reporters that two other American soldiers had also suffered “very minor, routine injuries” while working on the pier.

The third soldier was injured on a ship at sea and medically evacuated to an Israeli hospital, the anonymous source said, without specifying the nature of the injury.

Some 1,000 US service members were involved in the construction of the pier, which went into operation last week, while it is estimated it will cost $320m for the first 90 days to operate.

Almost 40 percent of aid trucks entering Gaza came through pier, US says

The US-constructed aid pier off the coast of Gaza is starting to get more supplies to people in need, but conditions remain challenging, US officials said on Thursday. On Wednesday, 27 of the total 70 trucks that entered Gaza through all land and sea crossings came through the pier, The Associated Press reports, citing US statistics.

That, however, represents a fraction of the 150 daily truckloads of food and supplies that the aid pier is intended to handle at its full capacity.

Gaza as a whole needs about 600 trucks per day to stave off famine in the Palestinian enclave, according to the US Agency for International Development.

Also represents a fraction of the 190 daily before the Rafah assault. Without the re-opening of Rafah and Kerem Shalom, famine will only spread and worsen.

Gaza-bound food rots as Rafah crossing stays shut

Some of the food supplies waiting to enter Gaza from Egypt have begun to rot as the Rafah border crossing remains shut to aid deliveries for a third week and people inside the Palestinian enclave face worsening hunger.

Rafah was a main entry point for humanitarian relief as well as some commercial supplies before Israel stepped up its military offensive and took control of the crossing from the Palestinian side. Egyptian officials and sources say humanitarian operations are at risk from military activity and that Israel needs to hand the crossing back to Palestinians before it can start operating again.

One truck driver, Mahmoud Hussein, said his goods had been loaded on his vehicle for a month, gradually spoiling in the sun. Some of the foodstuffs are being discarded, while others sold off cheap.

“Apples, bananas, chicken and cheese, a lot of things have gone rotten, some stuff has been returned and is being sold for a quarter of its price,” he said, crouching under his truck for shade.

"I’m sorry to say that the onions we’re carrying will at best be eaten by animals because of the worms in them.”

Doctors, patients struggle in darkness as Al-Aqsa Hospital power generators shut down

Power generators have been shut down because of the lack of fuel. The paediatric department for children at the Al-Aqsa Hospital is the first department that is experiencing power outages.

We are seeing children outside in the corridors of this department simply because the rooms inside are packed with patients and injuries from the bombing campaign that continues to pound across the central area of Gaza.

With the power outage at this particular department, the risk of losing lives, the risk of aggravating ongoing medical problems, is increasing by the hours.

The paediatric department is not the only one now experiencing power outages. The general surgery department on the upper floor is also experiencing power outages and putting lives inside the department at risk.

A patient surrounded by family members sits on a bed in a corridor lit by sunlight seeping through a window after a power cut at the Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir el-Balah, which has run out of fuel to power generators to keep the lights on in the packed medical facility on May 23

‘Patients condemned to death’ as power cut at packed Al-Aqsa Hospital

Iyad al-Jabri, the medical director at the Al-Aqsa Hospital in Gaza’s Deir el-Balah, said more than 4,000 litres of fuel was required each day to continue operations and care for patients in the medical facility, which is now in darkness as power generators have shut down.

“We have hundreds of patients including the injured and those that are diagnosed with kidney failure and need electricity for their dialysis treatment,” al-Jabri said in a statement at the hospital.

“This will stop completely without any fuel,” he said.

“We are calling on international organisations to send 50,000 litres of fuel before there is an imminent crisis here. Otherwise, it is the injured that pay the price. All the patients will be condemned to death. Especially those in the ICU, the incubators and those relying on dialysis treatment,” he added.

Onslaught continues on northern Gaza hospitals

The situation is getting increasingly dire for hospitals in the north of the Gaza Strip, in particular Kamal Adwan Hospital, which was hit twice overnight by Israeli artillery, as well as the al-Awda Hospital.

We’ve been hearing from medics in al-Awda Hospital that Israeli soldiers have been destroying everything, including hospital doors, as they use loudspeakers to order patients and their families to flee.

Some of the medics refused to leave until the Israeli military brings ambulances that can help patients in critical condition get to the western side of Gaza City, or at least to a place where they can get proper medical treatment.

Twenty newborns at risk in Al-Aqsa Hospital: UNICEF

As Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir el-Balah struggles to get fuel, its oxygen generators may run out of power, putting the lives of 20 newborns in peril, warns the UN’s children agency, UNICEF.

“Gaza needs more fuel now and safe corridors for humanitarian workers to operate,” UNICEF said in a post on X.

As we reported earlier, Al-Aqsa Hospital has been forced to abandon much of its equipment due to power outages, treating patients manually on the floor of the overcrowded facility.