#PalestineChronology: Press Summaries on the War on Gaza, Oct. 19-20
Date: 
October 22 2023

October 19

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinians harvesting olives in the Masafer Yatta area, injuring 2. Israeli settlers also attempted to kidnap a child in Khirbet al-Farisiya. Elsewhere, armed Israeli settlers posing as soldiers vandalized a mosque in Menizel. Israeli forces raided Nur Shams refugee camp also attacking it with drones, killing 13 Palestinians, including 5 children, banned movement in and out of the refugee camp, and uprooted pavement with bulldozers. 1 Israeli soldier died in an IED explosion and 9 others were wounded. Israeli forces also shot and killed 3 Palestinians, including 2 minors, during raids in Budrus, Tulkarm, and Dheisheh refugee camp. Elsewhere, Israeli forces shot and injured 16 others during a raid in Budrus and al-Arroub refugee camp. Israeli forces also demolished the family home in Qibya of a Palestinian alleged to have killed a settler before he was shot and killed by Israeli forces near Kafr Qaddum on 7/6. Around 184 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Hebron, Ramallah, Dheisheh refugee camp, Tubas, Beita, Qalqilya, Eizeriya, Umm Safa, and Aqabat Jaber, including 50 Palestinians workers from Gaza who had been expelled to the West Bank, staying in Dheisheh refugee camp. In Gaza, around 285 Palestinians were killed in Israeli airstrikes. Israeli forces also assassinated the first female member of the Hamas political bureau Jamila al-Shanti, the head of the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committee Rafat Harb Hussein Abu Halal, and Hamas’ Jehad Mheisen. Israeli airstrikes also bombed the 12th century Church of Saint Porphyrius, killing at least 8 people sheltering in it and targeted 5 bakeries killing many waiting to purchase bread. Rockets were fired at Israel; no fatalities were reported. In Lebanon, Israeli forces shot and killed 1 journalist and injured 1 other in Hula. Israeli forces also attacked parts of southern Lebanon with combat helicopters and killed 3 people it claimed were firing anti-tank missiles at Israel. Israel said 30 rockets were fired at Israel. (AJ, HA 10/18; AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, AP, HA, HA, NYT, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/19; AJ, HA, NYT, REU, WAFA 10/20)

The Ministry of Health in Gaza said at least 3,785 Palestinians had been killed, including at least 1,524 children, and 12,500 had been injured in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza since 10/7 as of 5pm, including 47 entire families consisting of 500 people. It is estimated that hundreds are still trapped in rubble. In addition, it has been reported by Israeli media that 1,500 Palestinian militants have been killed near Gaza. 81 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and Jerusalem since 10/7, including 22 children. More than 1,434 have been injured, including at least 300 with live ammunition. Israeli officials recorded no new fatalities leaving the Israeli death toll at around 1,400 Israelis, including foreign nationals, 4,562 have been injured since 10/7. The number of Israelis killed rose from 10/18 as Israel released the names of Israelis killed on 10/7. The UN reported that over 1 million Palestinians had been displaced since 10/7 and that since 11pm on 10/12 there had been a complete blackout of electricity due to the Israel blockade. At least 21,900 housing units have been destroyed and 121,000 have been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7, constituting around 30% of all homes in Gaza. The Committee to Protect Journalists said 21 journalists had been killed since 10/7, including 17 Palestinians, 3 Israelis, and 1 Lebanese. (AJ, HA 10/18; AJ, HA, UNOCHA, WAFA 10/19)

The UN reported that 74 Palestinian household, comprising of 545 people, had been displaced from Bedouin communities in Area C of the West Bank due to settler violence and access restrictions. (UNOCHA 10/19)

Haaretz reported that on 10/12 a group of 20-25 Israeli settlers and soldiers abducted 3 Palestinians from the depopulated Wadi al-Seeq community before assaulting, undressing, and urinating on 2 of them, putting 1 of their faces in feces, and attempted to sodomize of 1 of them. The 3 Palestinians were abused for 6 hours before they were dropped off at an abandoned building and photographed. The settlers and soldiers also stole their phones, a car, and $544 in cash. The Israeli military said it was investigating the incident and 1 commander of the military unit was suspended. (HA 10/19; MEMO, TOI 10/20)

Palestinian officials said that Israeli authorities have warned that Israeli forces will target the Gaza Power Plant if it tries to resume operations. (UNOCHA 10/19)

Palestinian officials also said Israel had arrested 4,000 workers from Gaza, holding them in military bases and have arrested 1,070 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, doubling the total number of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. (AJ 10/21)

An Al Jazeera investigation into the bombing of al-Ahli (Baptist) Hospital found that statements made by Israel misinterpreted evidence and that no footage from live streams suggest that rockets were fired from Gaza at the moment of the bombing. (AJ 10/19)

The U.S. said it had intercepted 3 cruise missiles and several drones fired by Houthi fighters in Yemen. The Defense Department said they missiles and drones were heading north in the Red Sea, potentially towards Israel. Rockets and drones also attacked the Ain al-Asad U.S. air base and another compound hosting U.S. military near Baghdad International Airport. It was unclear who attacked the bases. (AJ 10/18; HA, NYT, REU, REU, REU 10/19; AP 10/20)

Egyptian machinery reportedly entered Gaza to repair roads near the Rafah crossing to facilitate transfer of humanitarian aid. However, Hamas denied that repairs had begun. Israel has bombed the Rafah crossing at least 4 times since 10/7. At least 100 trucks are waiting to enter Gaza near the crossing while others are waiting at Al Arish airport. UN officials said UN observers will inspect aid to Gaza before it enters through the Rafah crossing (AJ, AP, REU 10/19)

Israel said Hezbollah had granted Hamas permission to fire rockets at Israel and “will bear the consequences.” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told soldiers near the Gaza fence to get ready for a ground invasion. (AP, HA, REU 10/19)

PA President Mahmoud Abbas spoke with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi. (WAFA 10/19)

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak traveled to Israel for meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog. Sunak said upon his arrival that he “stands with Israel” and that the UK is on the forefront of the effort to avoid further escalation to the conflict. 6 UK nationals were killed in Operation Al Aqsa Flood and 9 are still missing. Sunak also met with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh, who called Israel’s targeting of civilians in Gaza “a heinous crime and brutal attack.” Sunak will later travel to Egypt, Turkey, and Qatar. (AJ 10/18; AJ, HA, HA, REU, REU, REU 10/19)

U.S. President Joe Biden compared in an Oval Office address Hamas to Russian president Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine, saying both want to annihilate their neighbors. Further claiming that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields and said he had told PA president Mahmoud Abbas he supports the Palestinian people. Biden further said he will send an “unprecedented” aid package to Israel for Congress’ approval. It was reported the package was worth $14 billion. Israel had asked the U.S. for weapons, including precision-guided munitions, JDAMs, Iron Dome replenishment, and mortar shells. The U.S. Senate unanimously adopted a resolution affirming Israel’s right to self-defense and condemning Hamas and Iran. 10 Republican Senators said they will introduce legislation to redirect $100 million in planned humanitarian aid to Palestinians to replenishing the Iron Dome. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said he had received a briefing that suggested the al-Ahli (Baptist) Hospital bombing was caused by a misfired rocket by Islamic Jihad. California governor Gavin Newsom said he was traveling to Israel. (AJ, AJ, HA, NYT, REU, REU 10/19; HA, REU 10/20)

Turkish media reported that the Israeli ambassador and other Israeli diplomats had left the country. (HA 10/19)

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid said the PA should take control of Gaza after the Israel concludes its attack. (AJ 10/18)

Russia said it will deliver 27 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Gaza via Egypt. Germany said it would donate $52.91 million to the World Food Programme, UNICEF, and UNWRA to help Palestinians in Gaza. (AJ 10/18; HA 10/19)

AP reported that Hamas may have used North Korean weapons during Operation Al Aqsa Flood, including F-7 rocket-propelled grenades. (AP 10/19)

A CBS News/YouGov poll found that 53% of U.S. Democrats and 55% of Independents believed that the U.S. should not send additional weapons and supplies to Israel, while 56% of all polled disapproved of President Biden’s handling of the war. (HA 10/19)

More than 400 U.S. congressional staffers signed a letter, saying they were “profoundly disturbed” by the lack of humanity extended to the Palestinian people by the U.S. Congress. Huffpost reported that State Department officials were preparing a letter of dissent on the Biden administration’s approach to the war. (HA 10/19)

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Israel had been included in the U.S. Visa Waiver program effective immediately, despite the Israel entry to the program being scheduled for 11/30. (AP, HA, NYT 10/19)

Many countries urged their citizens to leave Lebanon as soon as possible. (AJ, AJ, HA 10/19)

The Hilton Houston Post Oak by the Gallaria in Texas said it had determined that it cannot serve as a venue hosting the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights’ (USCPR) national conference, citing security risks to its staff and guests. Texas governor Greg Abbot called USCPR “Hamas supporters.” The Council of American-Islamic Relations canceled a banquet at the Marriott Crystal Gateway hotel in Arlington, Virginia, after receiving bomb threats. (AP, HA 10/19)


October 20

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers opened fire at Palestinians harvesting olives in Yasuf, forcing the Palestinians to flee; no injuries were reported. Israeli settlers also set fire to 1 home and vandalized water pipes in al-‘Awja. Israeli forces shot and killed 2 minors during raids in Huwwara and Beitunia. Israeli forces shot and injured 21 Palestinians with live ammunition during raids in al-Azza refugee camp, ‘Urif, Idhna, Beit Furik, al-Bireh, Bethlehem, al-Khader, Tura, and Beitunia. Elsewhere, Israeli forces punitively demolished 1 home with exploives in ‘Urif. 55 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Hebron, Bethlehem, Nablus, Ramallah, and Jalazun refugee camp. In Gaza, Israeli airstrikes killed around 350 Palestinians, including assassinating Hamas member Muhammad Tzviach. Israeli airstrikes destroyed the Grand al-Omari Mosque in Jabalia. Rockets were fired at Israel; no fatalities were reported. At the Lebanon border, 1 Israeli soldier was killed and 3 others injured in anti-tank fire near Margaliot. Israeli forces also attacked Hezbollah camps with combat helicopters. (AJ, AP, HA 10/19; AJ, AP, AP, HA, NYT, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/20; AP, HA, REU 10/21)

The Ministry of Health in Gaza said at least 4,137 Palestinians had been killed, including at least 1,524 children, and 13,162 had been injured in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza since 10/7 as of 5pm, including 47 entire families consisting of 500 people. The UN said that about 70% of Palestinians killed in Gaza are children and women. It is estimated that hundreds are still trapped in rubble. In addition, it has been reported by Israeli media that 1,500 Palestinian militants have been killed near Gaza. 83 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 25 children. More than 1,434 have been injured, including at least 350 with live ammunition. Israeli officials recorded no new fatalities leaving the Israeli death toll at around 1,400 Israelis, including foreign nationals, 4,629 have been injured since 10/7. The UN reported that over 1.4 million Palestinians, more than half the population in Gaza, had been displaced since 10/7 and that since 11pm on 10/12 there had been a complete blackout of electricity due to the Israel blockade. At least 21,900 housing units have been destroyed and 121,000 have been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7, constituting around 30% of all homes in Gaza. The Palestinian Red Crescent said Israel had told the al-Quds Hospital to evacuate its 500 patients and 12,000 people sheltering at the hospital. UNRWA said 16 members of its staff had been killed and 10 wounded in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7. The Committee to Protect Journalists said that 22 journalists had been killed since 10/7, including 18 Palestinian, 3 Israeli, and 1 Lebanese. (AJ 10/19; AJ, HA, NYT, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/20; WAFA 10/21)

Amnesty International said it had documented Israeli actions that should be investigated as war crimes, including indiscriminate attacks leading to mass civilian casualties. (AI 10/20)

Hamas released 2 American captives, a mother and her daughter, “on humanitarian grounds” after negotiations with Qatar. It was unclear if Hamas received anything in return. A Hamas statement also said Hamas had released the captives “to prove to the American people and the world that the claims made by Biden and his fascist administration are false and baseless. (AJ 10/19; AJ, HA, HA 10/20)

Forensic Architecture released a preliminary analysis of al-Ahli (Baptist) Hospital bombing saying the “[f]ragmentation patterns may indicate the projectile came from the northeast – the direction of the Israeli-controlled side of the Gaza perimeter – and not from the west [as Israel has claimed].” UK Channel 4 and Al Jazeera have also concluded that Israeli claims that the explosion at the hospital was caused by an errand rocket are dubious. (AJ 10/19; AJ, AJ 10/20)  

PA President Mahmoud Abbas left for Cairo for a summit on the Israel-Hamas war and humanitarian aid to Gaza. Representatives from Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UN, the UK, and the UAE will attend. In Cairo, Abbas met with UK prime minister Rishi Sunak. Abbas also spoke with French president Emmanuel Macron, Chilean president Gabriel Boric, and Pakistan’s caretaker prime minister Anwar al-Haq. (HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/20)

The Israeli Prime Minister’s office said “[t]he prime minister has defined the objective – to obliterate Hamas, any talk of decisions to relinquish Gaza to the Palestinian Authority or any other authority is a lie.” (HA, HA 10/20)

The U.S. White House formally requested from Congress $10.6 billion in military aid to Israel, $3.7 billion in State Department financing to cover foreign military financing and embassy support, and $9.15 billion in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, Israel, Gaza. President Biden has publicly said $100 million will be allocated for Gaza. (AJ 10/16; HA 10/20)

The U.S. and EU issued a joint statement after EU leadership met with President Biden in Washington D.C., expressing concern for the “deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Gaza.” More than 800 EU officials wrote a letter to the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, criticizing her “uncontrolled” support of Israel and calling the EU’s response to the massacres in Gaza “indifference.” (AJ 10/19; AJ, AJ 10/20)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Israeli attacks on Gaza amounted to genocide and had to be stopped. (AJ 10/19; HA 10/20)

The New York Times reported that the U.S. president Joe Biden urged the Israeli war cabinet not to attack Hezbollah in a “preemptive strike,” fearing that the U.S. and Iran would get directly involved. (HA 10/21)

McDonald’s franchises in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, the UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, and Turkey pledged $3 million in support of Palestinians in Gaza after McDonald’s in Israel said its franchises there would give free meals to Israeli soldiers. (AJ 10/19; AJ 10/20)

Meta apologized for inserting the word ‘terrorist’ in the biographies of many Palestinian users on Instagram. (AJ 10/19)

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