May 20, 2024

Three more children die of malnutrition in Gaza as US President Biden says ceasefire by Ramadan ‘looking tough’.

Here’s how things stand on Saturday, March 9, 2024:

Fighting and humanitarian crisis

  • Three more children died of malnutrition and dehydration at Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital, Palestinian officials said, bringing the confirmed toll from starvation to 23.
  • The United States military has denied responsibility for an airdrop of humanitarian aid that Gaza officials say killed five people and injured several others.
  • At least 20 people were killed in Israeli attacks on residential buildings in central and southern Gaza on Friday, with many more wounded and missing under the rubble, according to the Palestinian Wafa news agency.
  • Canada said it will resume funding for UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees. It had announced a freeze after Israel alleged some of the agency’s staff were involved in the Hamas-led October 7 attacks before the current war on Gaza.
  • Hamas said there will be “no compromise” on its demand that Israel withdraw from Gaza to secure the release of captives seized in the October 7 attack.

Regional tensions and diplomacy

  • US President Joe Biden said it was “looking tough” for a ceasefire agreement in Gaza by the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He also said he was concerned about violence in occupied East Jerusalem without a ceasefire.
  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged Hamas to free all of the captives in Gaza. “I was deeply moved by the searing accounts I heard from a released hostage and families of others kidnapped by Hamas,” he said on X, sharing a photo of the meeting.
  • The US military outlined its plans for the floating port in Gaza, saying some 1,000 troops will be deployed to transport and build the pier. It could take up to 60 days to realise the plan, a spokesperson said.
  • Criticism of the US port plan grew, with Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) describing it as a “glaring distraction” from Israel’s “indiscriminate” and “disproportionate” military assault on the enclave.
  • Japan has reportedly scheduled a UN Security Council meeting for Monday to discuss the allegations of sexual violence during the October 7 Hamas attacks.
  • China appealed to the UN Security Council not to forget about Israel’s war on Gaza as the group adopted a resolution calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Sudan during Ramadan.
  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), reiterated calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, condemning what he called a “full five months of hellish conditions” in the besieged enclave.

Violence in the occupied West Bank

  • Israeli forces launched raids in multiple locations across the occupied West Bank, according to Wafa. They arrested four young men, destroyed infrastructure and prompted confrontations in the Nur Shams camp near the city of Tulkarem.
  • Israeli settlers launched a new wave of attacks in the occupied West Bank overnight, including in the Masafer Yatta area near the city of Hebron and the village of Burqa near the city of Ramallah, Wafa reported.
  • The separate groups of settlers wounded two Palestinians, including an elderly man in Masafer Yatta, and attempted to set a house on fire in Burqa, Wafa said.

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