Efforts for a truce deal continue amid worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza.
Here’s how things stand on Wednesday, February 7, 2024:
Humanitarian crisis in Gaza
- At least 107 Palestinians were killed and 143 others were injured between Monday and Tuesday, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health. This takes the death toll of Palestinians in Gaza to 27,585 as of Tuesday.
- Local sources reported on Tuesday that six civilians were killed in Israeli shelling that targeted their vehicle in the Khirbat al-Adas neighbourhood in Rafah city, in the southern Gaza Strip, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.
- The Palestine Red Crescent Society said on Tuesday that al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis, which was under Israeli siege for two weeks, was subjected to violent bombardment and continuous gunfire, which led to shrapnel flying into the hospital.
- The United Nations humanitarian agency OCHA reported that starting January, humanitarian aid missions’ ability to access people in dire need in Gaza worsened. Of the 61 planned missions to the north of Gaza, 10 were facilitated by Israel and 34 were denied access.
- As of Saturday, UNRWA estimates that about 75 percent of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million, more than half of them children, are displaced.
Regional tensions and diplomacy
- Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a statement saying it will not have diplomatic relations with Israel unless an independent Palestinian state is recognised on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
- The US Central Command (CENTCOM) posted on X that the Houthis fired six antiship ballistic missiles towards the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. No one was injured and only minor damage was reported.
- The US House of Representatives has rejected a Republican-led bill to provide $17.6bn in assistance to Israel as a wider bipartisan bill during a vote on Tuesday.
- On Tuesday, Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani said Hamas has given a “generally positive” response to a proposed truce deal with Israel, as the Palestinian group reiterated its demand for an end to the Israeli assault on Gaza.
- US President Joe Biden told reporters on Tuesday that Hamas’s response to a proposed Gaza truce framework “seems to be a little over the top” but that negotiations would go on.
- More than 20 European Parliament members and politicians wrote to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) on Tuesday, saying Israel’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest “whitewashes a regime that is carrying out ethnic cleansing in Palestine and committing war crimes and genocide”.
- US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Israel to broker what the State Department called, an “enduring end” to the war on Gaza. He earlier visited Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt on his fifth regional tour since October last year.
Occupied West Bank
- An Israeli convoy of military vehicles and bulldozers stormed the city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday night.
- The Israeli military also stormed the city of Tulkarem, imposing a siege on the Nur Shams camp while bulldozers have destroyed nearby infrastructure.
- Israeli forces on Tuesday shot dead 18-year-old Palestinian Mahmoud Soud Titi at the Beit Furik checkpoint, east of Nablus, after he allegedly attempted a stabbing attack, Wafa reported.
- Israeli authorities on Tuesday demolished a retaining wall in the town of Bani Naim, east of Hebron, Wafa reported.