More Israeli atrocities unfold in Gaza, global condemnations mount - As it happened

Ahram Online , Friday 1 Mar 2024

The Israeli occupation's raids persist in the Gaza Strip as the war enters its 147th day, with attacks targeting several residential areas in Al-Burej in the centre and Khan Younes in the South. Several countries and human rights organizations denounce Israel's heinous killing of at least 112 Palestinians waiting to receive emergency food assistance in northern Gaza.

A young Palestinian boy sits on rubble as he attends the Friday noon prayers near the ruins of the al-Faruq mosque, destroyed in Israeli strikes in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on March 1, 2024, amid continuing Israeli brutal war on the Palestinians. AFP


21:00 Nicaragua filed a case at the International Court of Justice against Germany for financial and military support it provides to Israel, and for defunding the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, the UNRWA, Reuters reported.

"Germany is facilitating the commission of genocide and, in any case has failed in its obligation to do everything possible to prevent the commission of genocide," Nicaragua said.

It asked the ICJ to implement provisional measures "as a matter of extreme urgency" due to Germany's "participation in the ongoing plausible genocide and serious breaches of international humanitarian law and other peremptory norms of general international law occurring in the Gaza Strip."

In addition, it asks the court to "adjudge and declare" that Germany has violated international humanitarian law, including its obligations under the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977, and that the European country has failed to comply with other non-derogable international norms by aiding Israel's military occupation of Palestine, including the ongoing onslaught on Gaza.

The Central American country was the first nation to formally seek permission to intervene 'as a party' in South Africa's genocide case against Israel at the ICJ.

In February, Nicaragua said it notified the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, and Canada "of its decision to hold them responsible under international law for gross and systematic violations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, international humanitarian law and customary law, including the law of occupation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, in particular the Gaza Strip."

Nicaragua also urged those four countries "to immediately halt the supply of arms, ammunitions, technology and/or components to Israel as it is plausible they might have been used to facilitate or commit violations of the Genocide Convention, including but not limited to acts of genocide, attempted genocide, complicity in genocide and conspiracy to commit genocide."

By suspending funds to the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency, or UNRWA, those countries also disregard their obligations, and "actively facilitate violations of the rules of international law by Israel."

20:00 The bodies of three more Palestinians killed while waiting for aid near Gaza City on Thursday have been recovered, the Health Ministry spokesperson announced.

This brings the overall death toll from the Israeli attack on aid-seekers to 115, with 760 wounded, the ministry said.

19:54 The southern part of Khan Younis continues to be rocked by loud explosions, with plumes of smoke visible on the horizon from Rafah due to the ongoing bombardment, Al Jazeera reported.

Israeli forces have also encircled a school in Khan Younis where evacuees are sheltering and have reportedly opened fire in the vicinity.

Additionally, Israeli tanks have targeted the Al-Qastal towers, located east of Deir Al-Balah, where thousands of Palestinians have sought refuge, the channel added.

The relentless bombing campaign persisted for three days, resulting in further casualties. An apartment was struck, causing three injuries.

Hassan al-Omari, a 21-year-old resident of the towers, told Al Jazeera: “It’s not the first time the towers have been hit. I was injured before in a previous attack before the ground operations in Deir el-Balah. We evacuated to the west as a result and then returned.”

“Even the sound of the tanks during the night is terrifying. We can’t sleep at all, and now they’re attacking us. We simply may have to leave again.”

Separately, a family home in central Deir Al-Balah was hit by an air raid, resulting in numerous injuries. The wounded have been transported to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital for treatment, Al-Jazeera said.

19:40 At least 10 Palestinian children have starved to death in Gaza, the United Nations reported on Friday, after a senior United Nations official warned Israel's severe restrictions on aid entering the strip are creating a "man-made famine."

“A very sad threshold…(but) the unofficial numbers can unfortunately be expected to be higher," UN health agency spokesperson Christian Lindmeier said in a statement on Friday.

The deepening food insecurity crisis in the strip,  which the UN Aid Coordination Office OCHA said had left one in four facing catastrophic levels of food insecurity.

“The system in Gaza – we’ve said it many times that it’s on its knees – it’s more than on its knees,” the WHO official continued, explaining that all of Gaza’s “lifelines have more or less been cut”, notably water and electricity. 

Today, finding food within Gaza itself, whether from farming or fishing, “is almost impossible”, Mr. Laerke continued. “Putting food on the table…has completely stopped. The very foundation for people's daily sustenance is being ripped away.”

"We have a dire situation coming towards us at very high speed," Mr Laerke said, his comments echoing a recent UN humanitarians' warning to the Security Council that famine in Gaza is "almost inevitable" unless aid is massively scaled up.  


According to UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, the quantity of aid supplies reaching Gaza in February was just half of January’s total, “and we know that January was not enough at all”, the WHO spokesperson said.

Since the war began, the UNRWA has delivered nearly 23 million litres of water to people in Gaza.

"But over 1/4 of water wells have been destroyed and the water supply is at only 7% of pre-war levels," the UN agency said.

19:28 UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron echoed the widespread condemnation of Israel's killing of Palestinians waiting for an aid convoy yesterday, describing it as "horrific."

"This must not happen again. We can’t separate what happened yesterday from the inadequate aid supplies," he said in a statement.

"Israel has an obligation to ensure that significantly more humanitarian aid reaches the people of Gaza," he added. "We have identified a series of bottlenecks that need addressing: Israel must urgently open more crossings into Gaza, eliminate obstacles, enable aid operations in Gaza, and ensure there is a robust de-confliction mechanism in place to protect ordinary Palestinians, NGOs, medics, and others providing aid."

Nevertheless, the British minister, whose country abstained from voting for a ceasefire at the UN Security Council, didn't call for a ceasefire either, but only for "an immediate humanitarian pause."

19:22 Doctors who attended to the hundreds of injured Palestinian victims of Israeli forces, who fired on crowds gathered around aid lorries, revealed that some sustained gunshot wounds to the head.

According to the Emirati newspaper the National, Hossam Abu Safia, the director of Kamal Adwan Hospital, reported a significant number of injuries, primarily to the upper body, with fatal wounds observed in the head and chest regions. Additionally, there were injuries to the legs.

However, due to the shortage of diesel fuel required to operate generators, the hospital faced challenges in accommodating a large number of injuries.

19:00 BBC conducted a verification to examine Israel's claims to have killed 10,000 Hamas fighters, as it faces growing criticism about the number of civilian deaths in Gaza.

The BBC tried to piece together a fuller picture through claims and videos published by Israel.

“The Israeli military says it has killed more than 10,000 fighters in its air strikes and ground operations, but there are concerns about whether it is able to separate fighters from ordinary civilians,” BBC says.

BBC Verify said it “has repeatedly asked the Israeli army for the detail of its methodology for counting Hamas fighter deaths but they have not responded.”

The broadcaster said Israel “issued press statements and social media posts since October,” yet references to numbers of fighters killed in these announcements are “more sporadic and approximate” than the Palestinian health ministry's regular updates on fatalities.

BBC Verify also reviewed all 280 videos posted to the IDF YouTube channel from 7 October up to 27 February and found that “very few contained visual evidence of fighters being killed.” Of these, just one - posted on 14 December - purports to show dead bodies of fighters. A handful of other videos appear to show fighters being shot at.

BBC also attempted to count the number of individual claims of Hamas fighters killed on the Israeli army's official Telegram channel. “We found 160 posts claiming to have killed a specific number of fighters, for a total of 714 fatalities.”

But there were also 247 references which used terms such as "several", "dozens" or "hundreds" killed, making a meaningful overall tally impossible. Some experts are concerned that Israel might be counting some non-combatants as fighters, BBC reported.

The fatality data for the current war from the Gaza health ministry shows a sharp increase in the proportion of women and children among the dead compared with previous wars.

This "indicates a much higher civilian death rate," according to Rachel Taylor, the executive director of the Every Casualty Counts organisation, a UK-based organisation that aims to record victims of violent conflicts.

“Nearly half of Gaza's population is under 18 and about 44 percent of the fatalities of war are also children, according to the Gaza authorities' 29 February demographic data.” Taylor said the fact that the deaths closely track the demographics of the general population "indicates indiscriminate killing".

"In contrast, in 2014 there was a fairly high percentage of 'fighting age' men among the dead, but this is much less evident today," she said.

Some experts also told the BBC that the real scale of those killed by the Israeli attacks is likely to be significantly higher as many hospitals, where deaths are usually recorded, are no longer operating.

These figures also only include deaths from military attacks, according to the health ministry's spokesman, and not starvation or disease, which are increasingly concerning international aid organisations.

Read the full investigation here.

18:30 Here are some recent photos coming from Gaza today.

Palestinian women and a child mourn over the body of a relative killed during overnight Israeli bombardment on Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, at the morgue of the Shuhada al-Aqsa on March 1, 2024.

Palestinians carry the body of a person killed in an Israeli bombardment, after being recovered from under the rubble of a home in Rafah on March 1, 2024

In this aerial view, Palestinians attend the Friday noon prayers in front of the ruins of the al-Faruq mosque, destroyed in Israeli strikes in Rafah on March 1, 2024​

Palestinians buy and sell in a commercial street in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on March 1, 2024​

Palestinian women carry water bottles in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on March 1, 2024​

Palestinian men play volleyball inside their neighbourhood in Deir Al-Balah, in the central Gaza on March 1, 2024. AFP

18:05 Hamas confirmed in a statement that "seven Israeli prisoners in Gaza died due to Zionist shelling."

"We previously announced that our communication with our fighters guarding a number of enemy prisoners in our sector has been cut off, and we suspect that some of the prisoners have been killed as a result of Zionist shelling," Abu Ubaida, the military spokesperson for the Al-Qassam Brigades said on their Telegram channel.

The movement published the names and photos of three of the Israeli detainees and said it would announce the names of the other four deceased later after confirming their identities.

Hamas added that the number of detainees killed as a result of the Israeli army's military operations in the Gaza sector may exceed 70 now. 

"We have always sought to preserve the lives of the prisoners. However, it has become clear that the enemy leadership deliberately seeks to kill its prisoners to get rid of this issue."

The statement added that "after examination and scrutiny in recent weeks, we have confirmed the martyrdom of some of the resistance fighters."

17:22 Egypt is diligently working alongside its partners to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza before the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry stated during a specialized session at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum (ADF) 2024 in Türkiye. 

In his address at the ADF, Shoukry underscored the highly negative consequences that an Israeli ground military operation in Rafah would entail, warning that such action would further exacerbate the already dire humanitarian crisis faced by civilians in the strip.

Shoukry also reaffirmed Egypt’s concerns regarding the deteriorating situation on the ground in the West Bank with the increased Israeli military storming incidents, warning of the mounting threat posed by the conflict spillover in the region.

17:00 The European Union (EU) has announced its intention to transfer €50 million ($54 million) to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA). 

The EU has outlined several conditions for the continuation of its funding, including an audit conducted by EU-appointed experts, a review of UNRWA's staff in Gaza, and an enhancement of the agency's internal investigations department.

The EU Commissioner responsible for development aid, Oliver Varhelyi, expressed the EU's commitment to diversifying its assistance for Palestinians in Gaza and welcomed UNRWA's efforts to prevent misconduct and minimize the risk of allegations.

The decision comes after several Western donors suspended their funding to UNRWA in response to Israeli allegations of staff involvement in the 7 October operation.

While the EU Commission did not suspend its funds, it made additional requests on 29 January, leading to a vague timetable for disbursements, although Israel provided no evidence for such allegations.

"The decision of the EU Commission to imminently release EUR 50 million comes at a critical time. This is from a total of EUR 82 million of aid to be implemented through UNRWA in 2024. It will support the Agency’s efforts to maintain lifesaving and essential services for Palestine Refugees across the region," Philippe Lazzarini Commissioner-General of 
UNRWA said.

"As the Agency responds to the most devastating conflict in Gaza, it is cooperating with an ongoing external review under the leadership of former French Minister of Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna with 3 reputable Scandinavian institutes. They are looking at the Agency’s policies and mechanisms to manage risks including maintaining strict UN values and principles among the Agency’s staff," he added.

The funding freeze by donor countries and humanitarian organizations has faced criticism, with some arguing that it exacerbates the humanitarian distress faced by 2.4 million Palestinians living under an Israeli blockade in Gaza.

Still, several countries, including Australia, Britain, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, and the United States, have paused or suspended their vital funding pending investigations into the allegations against UNRWA staff.

"The day before, we had no food left in our warehouses", UNRWA says. With reports in north Gaza of children dying of starvation, there is simply not enough food supplies entering Gaza and that is a "frightening proposition" when trying to provide food to over 2 million people.


16:00 Israeli occupation forces have detained a Palestinian youth after reportedly subjecting him to physical assault in a distressing attack near Lion's Gate, one of the entrances to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem's Old City.

Eyewitnesses reported the Israeli forces beating the Palestinian youth before taking him into custody.

The Israeli forces also targeted a Palestinian young man and a woman during the detention process. 

The targeted individuals were near Lion's Gate, a significant entrance to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

15:30 Brazil has condemned the killings of more than 100 Palestinian aid seekers and stated that Israel’s military operation has no “ethical or legal limits”.

“Humanity is failing the civilians of Gaza. And it’s time to prevent further massacres,” Brazil’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Germany, a fervent supporter of Israel who until now had not voiced a single concern about the civilians killed by Israel in Gaza, said it is "shocked" by the killings of aid-seeking Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli forces.

“People wanted relief supplies for themselves and their families and found themselves dead,” Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock wrote on Twitter.

“The Israeli army must fully explain how the mass panic and shooting could have happened. My condolences go out to the families of the victims,” she added.

“In Gaza, people are closer to dying than alive. More humanitarian aid needs to come in. Immediately.”


13:40 The Palestinian factions, including Fatah and Hamas, convened in Moscow for a conference to address Israeli aggression against Palestinians, emphasizing "the urgent need for unity in the face of the ongoing war on Gaza."

According to a joint statement, the different factions agreed to continue dialogue sessions aimed at achieving comprehensive national unity and affirmed "their commitment to unite under the umbrella of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people."

Emphasis was placed on confronting Israeli aggression, resisting any displacement attempts from Gaza, the West Bank, or Jerusalem, and calling for an end to the blockade to ensure unrestricted humanitarian aid delivery.

Additionally, the factions rejected attempts to consolidate Israeli occupation and control over Palestinian territories, asserting the right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent state with full sovereignty.

They also pledged support for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

13:35 The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has called for imposing sanctions on Israel following the killing of 112 Palestinians waiting to receive humanitarian aid on Thursday.

“The ministry calls for imposing deterrent sanctions on the Israeli government to compel it to ensure the protection of civilians and secure their humanitarian needs,” it said in a statement.

It also accused Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu of being a front for fascist Israeli minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.

On Thursday, the ministry said that the attack was part of Israel’s continuing “genocidal war", urging the international community to “urgently intervene” to forge a ceasefire as “the only way to protect civilians”.

The Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, called on the Security Council to say “enough is enough” and establish a ceasefire in Gaza to prevent further massacres.


13:20 Protestors have jammed up the subway in New York City objecting to the most recent Israeli massacre targeting Gazaans lining up to receive aid. 

On Thursday, Israeli soldiers opened fire on a crowd of Palestinians lining up for aid in Gaza City, killing at least 112 of them and injuring 700 others.

12:56 At least 30,228 Palestinians have been killed and 71,377 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza since the war started 147 days ago, the Palestinian Health Ministry just announced.

It added that 193 of those fatalities and 920 wounded occurred within the last 24 hours.

12:47 Dozens of leaders at news organizations around the world have signed a letter expressing solidarity with journalists in Gaza, calling for their safety and freedom to report in the war zone.

The letter, released Thursday, was spearheaded by the Committee to Protect Journalists, which said at least 89 journalists and media workers have been killed in the Israeli war on Gaza, the vast majority of them Palestinians.

Leaders at The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Reuters, New Yorker, CNN, NBC News and ABC News have signed on. International signatories include the BBC, Der Spiegel in Germany, Agence France-Presse, Daily Maverick in South Africa, Nawaiwaqt Group in Pakistan and The Asahi Shimbun in Japan.

More organizations are welcome to participate, said Jodie Ginsberg, CEO of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

“We felt that it was important that we show that the international journalism community stands in solidarity with our Palestinian colleagues,” Ginsberg said.

The letter says that journalists are civilians and that Israeli authorities must protect them as noncombatants under international law. Anyone violating this should be held accountable, it said.

12:30 Humanitarian aid groups appealed to the European Union on Thursday to release tens of millions of euros in funding due to the main U.N. agency that delivers most aid to people in the Gaza Strip as the organization teeters on the brink of financial collapse.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive branch, was due to disburse 82 million euros ($89 million) to the UNRWA aid agency on 29 February. UNRWA said that it still hadn't received the payment as of Thursday.

“This is a moment of reckoning for the EU as a humanitarian leader and a critical donor for this crisis,” said Niamh Nic Carthaigh, from Plan International’s EU Liaison Office.

“Any further cuts to UNRWA funding would be an effective death sentence for civilians trapped in Gaza and the region who rely on the agency for their survival,” she said in a joint statement from 17 aid groups, including the International Rescue Committee, Save the Children and Oxfam.

The war has driven 80 percent of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million Palestinians from their homes, and U.N. officials say a quarter of the population is starving.

Among the EU's 27 member countries, several have unilaterally suspended funding. 

12:00 The UAE has joined Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan in condemning Israeli forces firing on Palestinians waiting for the delivery of aid, with its foreign ministry stating "The UAE strongly condemned the targeting by the Israeli occupation forces of a gathering of thousands of Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip."


Turkey has also called the actions by the Israeli military “yet another crime against humanity.”

Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry has also “strongly condemns the deliberate killing of dozens of defenceless Palestinian civilians and the wounding of hundreds."

In a statement posted on X, the ministry said the incident fell “within the framework of the policy of mass starvation and extermination of the Palestinian people, which drives them to despair and adds fuel to the fire."

This “lowers the chances of a just and comprehensive peace” being achieved, it said

It also called for an end to this “absurd war that increases extremism and hatred” and for the establishment of an international investigation committee to determine the responsibilities for Thursday’s attack and ensure accountability.

At the same time, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning stated "China is shocked by this incident and strongly condemns it."

Israeli occupation soldiers fired on a crowd of Palestinians racing to pull food off an aid convoy in Gaza City on Thursday, witnesses said.

The Health Ministry says more than 112 people were killed and at least 700 wounded in the Israeli attack.


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