PCOM October 15, 2023

Operation Al-Aqsa Flood “Taufan” Daily Report (8)

Uncovering the Full Scale of Tragedy in Palestine: Ongoing Israeli Aggression

In Gaza, the number of martyrs exceeded 2,215, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. This includes 724 children and 458 women, with over 8,714 reported injuries, including 2,450 children and 1,536 women. An alarming 420,000 people have been displaced, according to UNICEF, threatening around 1.1 million residents in Gaza City and northern Gaza with forced evacuation. Salama Marouf, Head of the Government Media Office, reported that the healthcare system has been severely affected as 15 medical personnel have been martyred, and 27 others injured. Multiple healthcare facilities, including 23 ambulances, 15 hospitals, and various medical centres, have been targeted and damaged, rendering many inoperative. Marouf also noted that journalists have also been casualties, with 10 journalists martyred, 20 injured, and 30 reported missing.

The destruction extends to communication infrastructure, as the central communications company building was bombed, disrupting phone networks and cellular towers, and leading to a near-total internet shutdown.  Marouf also expressed concerns about the withdrawal of some field hospitals in Gaza, highlighting their importance during these critical times. He raised concerns about UNRWA’s withdrawal from southern Gaza and its failure to provide services to displaced individuals, particularly refugees. The situation remains dire, with a growing humanitarian catastrophe in the making.

In the West Bank, Marouf reported that 53 people have been martyred, and over 1,100 injured in the ongoing confrontations with occupation forces. The situation is marked by daily demonstrations and confrontations in various cities and refugee camps. According to the Palestinian Prisoners Club, 400 Palestinians in the West Bank were detained in the past week, with 40 detentions occurring on Saturday alone. Among those detained, Al Jazeera reports that some are Hamas leaders. A debate is underway among Israeli politicians regarding the possibility of cutting off electricity and water services to political prisoners. Human rights organizations argue that such measures would be regarded as collective punishment, deemed illegal and constituting a form of torture.

Amidst this, Israeli forces carried out a deliberate shelling attack on journalists in Alma al-Shaab, located in southern Lebanon near the Israeli border. This incident resulted in the murder of one journalist, Issam Abdallah, who worked as a videographer for Reuters and left six others injured. Mazen Ibrahim, the chief of the Al Jazeera Lebanon Bureau, was an eyewitness to the attack and stated, “I can confirm that journalists were intentionally targeted.” He emphasized that the journalists were positioned at a considerable distance from the ongoing confrontations, all of them wearing their safety gear and prominently displaying press identification on their clothing and vehicles.

Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades, in a series of statements on Saturday, declared their continued targeting of Israeli military sites and occupied cities with rockets and artillery. This escalation came in response to ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza’s civilian people. Around 5:00 PM, al-Qassam Brigades specifically targeted the “Ben Gurion” Airport. They also directed barrages of rockets towards groupings of occupation forces in the “Nirim” kibbutz. Subsequently, they declared the launch of rockets directed towards “Be’er Shava” in the eastern region of Gaza, along with targeting “Ashkalan,” “Sderot,” and “Tel Aviv” in the northern area of the Strip.

As a direct consequence of Israel’s indiscriminate airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, nine captives lost their lives, and among them, four individuals held dual citizenship. This number increased the total death toll to 22 out of the approximately 150 war prisoners, including Israelis, foreigners, and individuals with dual nationality, who were taken captive by Hamas fighters on October 7. This outcome is the result of a significant military and intelligence failure experienced by the Israeli occupation last Saturday. In response to this failure, the occupation forces have shifted their focus, making civilians, journalists, hospitals, and emergency services the primary targets in the Gaza Strip.

Earlier today, reports emerged of a protest staged by family members of Israelis held captive by the Palestinian Resistance during Operation Al-Aqsa Flood. The protest took place outside the Israeli Security Ministry in “Tel Aviv,” where demonstrators blocked “Kaplan Street.” Expressing their frustration, protesters directed their anger at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, questioning the whereabouts of the army and his son, suggesting the latter might be in Miami, and highlighting the absence of leadership on the frontlines with their captured relatives.

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