PCOM October 16, 2023

Operation Al-Aqsa Flood “Taufan” Daily Report (10)

The Tragedy of Palestinian Families in the Face of Israeli Aggression

In an official statement released by the Government Media Office, it has been reported that, since the onset of the Al-Aqsa Flood, the occupying forces have committed 371 atrocities against Palestinian families, relentlessly bombarding their residences without any prior warning or notification. These harrowing acts have led to the martyrdom of 1981 lives, with a significant majority comprising children and women.

Furthermore, the number of martyrs in these massacres varied, with as few as three martyrs in the smallest incidents, such as the Raddwan, Abu Al-Raish, and Alwan families, and 42 martyrs in the Al-Najjar family massacre. Some of these families have been completely removed from the civil registry, as was the case with families like Shihab, Al-Najjar, Moukaranah, Noufal, and Dalou.

This surge in the frequency of massacres over a short period underscores the inhumanity and brutality of the Israeli occupation, epitomized by relentless and indiscriminate bombings targeting entire residential neighbourhoods. It also sheds light on the international community’s inaction, as it has largely remained silent in the face of these heinous crimes against innocent civilians.

Additionally, the government’s media office has declared that the Israeli occupation’s bombing of the Civil Defense headquarters, resulting in the martyrdom of five of its team members and the injury of eight others, constitutes a new war crime that necessitates accountability, prosecution, and punishment. The government’s media office highlighted that the Civil Defense is a civilian entity providing rescue and firefighting services, and its teams have been targeted multiple times during their field missions since the beginning of the aggression.

Instead of responding to the international call for assistance issued by the Civil Defense just hours before, requesting the necessary rescue equipment and devices to extract hundreds of martyrs and expedite the evacuation of the injured from beneath the rubble of the demolished buildings, the occupation directly targeted its headquarters, defying the world and disregarding all agreements that safeguard the protection of rescue teams and mandate the provision of necessary assistance to ensure the success of their missions.

This heinous crime demands a practical international response commensurate with its gravity, requiring immediate intervention from international organizations, foremost among them the International Committee of the Red Cross, to protect the Civil Defense teams and supply them with the required equipment to carry out their missions in rescuing the wounded and retrieving the martyrs.

Meanwhile, during a press conference held by the Ministry of Health, Dr Ashraf al-Qedra, the ministry’s spokesperson, stated, “Approximately 1200 reports of missing individuals trapped under the rubble of their homes have been recorded, including around 500 reports of missing children. We hope that some of them are still alive.” The Ministry of Health has also announced that the number of martyrs brought to hospitals has reached 2778 martyrs and 9938 wounded individuals as of now.

Moreover, between October 7 and October 15, Israel’s occupying forces detained close to 600 Palestinians in various regions, including the West Bank, Jerusalem, and ’48 occupied Palestine. Among those detained, six were children, as reported by the Addameer prisoners’ rights organization. On one specific Sunday night, Israel carried out a mass detention of 70 Palestinians, including two journalists, with 28 of them reportedly detained in Nablus, Ramallah, and Bethlehem, according to the Wafa News Agency.

Consequently, it is important to note that before the Al-Aqsa Flood operation, there were approximately 5,200 Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons. Addameer has expressed concerns that Israel is engaged in widespread arbitrary detentions and inflicting collective punishments on Palestinian prisoners. This has included nighttime raids on homes over the past week, causing severe damage to personal property and posing threats of harm to detainees and their families, all while using excessive force. Additionally, the Israel Prison Service (IPS) cut off the electricity supply for four consecutive days in the notorious Naqab desert prison for Palestinian prisoners. In Nafha, Ramon, and Ofer prisons, Israeli prison officials disrupted the provision of both water and electricity to the prisoners.

In addition, visits from families and lawyers were prohibited, and the prison canteens remained shut, leaving the prisoners dependent on “two small and low-quality meals.” Further, prisoners who are affiliated with Hamas are segregated from the rest of the prisoners. According to Addameer, these worsening conditions can be attributed to the lack of international response to the occupation’s long-standing transgressions and the absence of any mechanism for holding it accountable.

In light of these developments, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has rejected Western pressure to condemn the Hamas movement and reaffirmed his government’s commitment to maintaining relations with the group. He noted that Western officials have consistently urged Malaysia to condemn Hamas, but his government disagrees with this approach. Anwar emphasized that Malaysia has had a pre-existing relationship with Hamas, and they intend to continue it. He highlighted that Hamas was democratically elected in Gaza, and the people in Gaza chose them as their leaders.

On his part, Colombia president Gustavo Petro has threatened to sever diplomatic ties with Israel after they halted military exports to Colombia. Petro’s response came in the wake of Israel’s suspension, triggered by his social media posts drawing parallels between Gaza and World War II concentration camps where Nazis killed millions of Jews and decrying what he termed the “genocide” of Palestinian civilians. Israeli spokesperson Lior Haiat commented that Petro’s statements support Hamas, fuel anti-Semitism, and affect the Israeli representation and the Jewish community in Colombia. In response, Israel took the initial step of suspending security exports to Colombia, including the supply of unassembled Galil rifles. Petro, resolute in his stance, has emphasized his readiness to sever foreign relations with Israel, underlining his staunch opposition to any form of genocide.    

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