موجز: ٢٨ يومًا من الإبادة

Nov. 3 marks 28 days of accelerated isolation, genocide, and displacement in the Occupied Gaza Strip. During this past week, in particular, Israel has committed hundreds of human rights atrocities. The gravity of the situation is nearly impossible to keep up with.

Israel has been deliberately targeting journalists and their families. 31 journalists in Gaza and one journalist in Lebanon have been killed by Israeli missile strikes. As this article was completed, we learned that an Israeli airstrike killed Palestine TV journalist Mohammad Abu Hatab with 11 members of his family (we backspaced and updated the rising number). On Oct. 25, Wael al-Dahdouh, Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in Gaza, was reporting just moments before a bomb targeted the Nuseirat refugee camp in the center of the Strip where his family was seeking refuge after being displaced by the initial bombardment. Several of al-Dahdouh’s family members, including his wife, daughter, and grandson, were murdered by the indiscriminate bombing.

Journalists across Occupied Palestine, especially in Gaza, are extremely valuable and key in reporting the reality of the Israeli regime's continued ethnic cleansing and genocide campaign. The escalated deadly attacks on journalists and their loved ones aim to intimidate journalists to stop reporting on the countless massacres being committed against Palestinians. Wael al-Dahdouh and other Palestinian journalists will not succumb to these tactics. Al-Dahdouh stated in a video addressing the public’s condolences that it is his duty to continue reporting on the war crimes being committed, regardless of what happens. 

Israel has used other criminal methods in attempts to silence the people of Gaza, including imposing a complete blackout on the Gaza Strip. Since October 28, Gaza has undergone multiple telecommunications blackouts. It is during these moments of complete isolation from the outside world, that the IOF commits its most gruesome crimes. Al Jazeera reports: “Palestinians in Gaza were unable to communicate with people outside the enclave for a second day on Saturday after some of the heaviest bombing of the war and reports by Hamas of limited ground incursions by Israeli forces overnight.”

The IOF attempted a ground invasion into Gaza from the south on Oct. 22 but was forced to withdraw as Palestinian fighters destroyed two bulldozers and a tank. But in recent days, the IOF invaded the besieged territory and has clashed with Palestinian fighters in the vicinity of Gaza City.  The Israeli regime claims that a ground invasion will “put more pressure” on Hamas to release the captives. Hamas has previously offered a prisoner exchange, which Israel refused to entertain. In a video released on Oct. 30, three captives blamed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the delay in their release, stating their support for a prisoner exchange. 5,200 Palestinians are currently held in Israeli prisons, including 170 children. Many are illegally ‘administratively detained’ without charge. Israel prison authorities began facilitating torture, beatings, and threats against the prisoners and have imposed inhumane restrictions.

In an act of collective punishment, the IOF has ramped up its campaign of arbitrary arrest throughout the West Bank. In less than three weeks, the number of Palestinians detained by the IOF doubled in size. Al Jazeera reports that more than 10,000 Palestinians are being unjustly detained. The head of the Palestinian Authority’s Commission for Detainees’ Affairs, Qadura Fares, explained that “Everyone who is arrested is assaulted. Many of the prisoners have had their limbs, hands, and legs broken … degrading and insulting expressions, insults, cursing, tying them with handcuffs to the back and tightening them at the end to the point of causing severe pain … naked, humiliating, and group search of the prisoners.”

Footage filmed by Israeli soldiers themselves depicts their crimes. Palestinian men who have been kidnapped from their homes across the Occupied West Bank are being blindfolded, restrained, and abused. Videos of Palestinian men being stripped naked dragged across the ground, and stomped on have been circulating on Israeli telegram channels, as the Middle East Eye reports.

The IOF is not only targeting the people but also living monuments. On Oct. 27 Israeli forces bulldozed Shireen Abu Akleh’s memorial in Jenin, which was built on top of the site of her assassination in May 2022. While wreaking havoc, the IOF dismantled and stole the Jenin Horse, a statue erected in the Jenin refugee camp made from the remains of an ambulance that Israeli forces bombed while it was transporting injured Palestinians in 2002 during the Second Intifada.

While the list of human rights atrocities triples in size by the hour across the Occupied land and the death toll in Gaza has rapidly surpassed 9,000 people, the United Nations is holding meetings, fumbling over what to make of this aggression. The UN seems to be having a difficult time naming genocide for what it is. So much so that the Director of the New York Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Craig Mokhiber, has resigned. In Mokhiber’s letter of resignation, he directly states, “This is a textbook case of genocide. The European, ethno-nationalist, settler colonial project in Palestine has entered its final phase, toward the expedited destruction of the last remnants of indigenous Palestinian life in Palestine.”

This resignation comes after U.S. President Joe Biden doubled down on pro-Palestinian activism on college campuses, specifically targeting North American chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine. In a ridiculous attempt at defamation and delegitimizing the calls for freedom and justice for Palestinians, Biden labeled the group as “antisemitic, repugnant, and morally contemptible.” Meanwhile, the White House press secretary has called support for a ceasefire as “disgraceful.” 

Biden’s approval rating amongst Arab American voters has plummeted to 17% from 59% in 2020. Muslims in swing states have also threatened to vote against Biden in the 2023 presidential election. He has earned the nickname “Genocide Joe.” In what appears to be an attempt to salvage these votes, the Biden administration announced the development of “the nation’s first National Strategy to Counter Islamophobia.” In response, the national director of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee tweeted: “The Arab and Muslim American communities aren’t dumb. Your administration is playing an active role in the Genocide happening in Gaza that has killed 9,500 people and 3,500 children. You think some bankrupt counter-Islamophobia project is going to erase or excuse that?”

On Nov. 2, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a $14.3 billion military aid package to Israel which includes weapons transfer. The United States has continuously funded the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, funneling $3 billion annually for Israel’s military. The United States government has not only refused to condemn the mass slaughter of Palestinians but also begun shaming anyone — from college students to public officials — for their concerns with this human catastrophe.

Arab governments have been idle while the Arab people have revolted en mass, carrying the Palestinian cause high. This comes as a leaked document from the Israeli regime has called for the ethnic cleansing and forced displacement of Palestinians from Gaza into Egypt. Yet, in a glimmer of international solidarity, Bolivia has severed ties with Israel, while Colombia and Chile recalled their ambassadors. 

Palestinians in Gaza are facing an incomprehensible level of pain and suffering as they are drawing near a month of nonstop massacres. Since Oct. 7, the World Health Organization in Occupied Palestine “has documented 200 attacks on health care in the occupied Palestinian territory.” According to EuroMed Human Rights Monitor, Israel targeted 108 health facilities and killed 114 health staff. A little after 1 a.m. (Gaza time) on Nov. 3, al-Shifa Hospital, the largest in Gaza sheltering more than 50,000 displaced Palestinians and treating more than 2500 casualties of Israeli bombs, announced that the main power generator had turned off. Israel has repeatedly bombed Jabalia camp since Oct. 7. On Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, Israel targetted the camp once more killing 195 and wounding 777. The Gaza’s Government Media office said that an estimated 120 are still missing under the rubble.

Palestinian journalist Plestia al-Aqqad, who is currently reporting from Gaza, said: “My beautiful hometown Gaza is becoming a ghost town, where you smell death as you walk, where you look and everything around you is bombed and destroyed, where all you can hear are the sound of bombs, airstrikes, and kids crying and screaming from fear and pain.”

Laura Albast and Anna Rajagopal contributed to the reporting of this brief.