The Israeli army killed at least 165 people in the past 24 hours as Netanyahu doubles down on his refusal of a Palestinian state.
Here’s how things stand on Sunday, January 21, 2024:
- A video verified by Al Jazeera showed a fire broke out in Gaza’s Jabalia refugee camp after an overnight Israeli attack in the area.
- Thousands of people rallied in central Tel Aviv on Saturday, demanding the return of Hamas captives and elections to replace Netanyahu’s government.
- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is urging an investigation into allegations by pro-Palestine students at Columbia University in New York that they were sprayed with a noxious “chemical agent” during their protest on Friday.
- Tess Ingram, a communication specialist for UNICEF, called on the world to bring an immediate end to the “warped version of normal” in Gaza in a video statement posted on X on Saturday.
- Israeli forces dropped leaflets in southern Gaza on Saturday, suggesting benefits for those who provide information to Israel on captives taken by Hamas on October 7.
Human impact and fighting
- In the past 24 hours, the Israeli army has been accused of committing several massacres against Palestinian families in the Gaza Strip, killing at least 165 people, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health.
- Israeli shelling east of the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza on Saturday killed four Palestinians and injured 21 others, according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society.
- Syrian state media SANA said Israel attacked a building in Damascus on Saturday. Israel has not claimed responsibility for the attack or offered any comment.
- Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi promised to hit back at Israel following the air raid on Syria after it killed five members of the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to state broadcaster IRIB on Saturday.
- The United States military personnel targeted in an attack on Iraq’s Ain al-Assad airbase on Saturday suffered “minor” injuries, the Reuters news agency reported, quoting an unnamed US official. A member of Iraq’s security forces was also wounded in the attack.
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his opposition to the independent Palestinian state, rebuffing the Biden administration’s stand on the issue. “Full Israeli security control … is contrary to a Palestinian State,” he posted on X, formerly Twitter.
- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reiterated on Sunday that “the denial of the right to statehood for the Palestinian people” is “unacceptable”. “The right of the Palestinian people to build their own state must be recognized by all,” he posted on X.
- On Saturday, the US Office of Palestinian Affairs called for an “urgent investigation” into the killing of 17-year-old Palestinian-American Tawfiq Ajaq in the occupied West Bank.
- San Francisco Mayor London Breed declined to veto a resolution by city officials calling for an extended ceasefire in Gaza, saying the measure would leave her city “angrier, more divided and less safe”. Breed explained that her veto would send the issue back to the board of supervisors, in whom she has “no confidence”.
- At a foreign policy conference on Saturday, British Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy faced interruptions from pro-Palestinian protesters during a speech and briefly left the podium, saying he wanted “change through power, not through protest”.
- Saudi Arabia’s Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud says the kingdom is “very worried” about a “difficult and dangerous time in the region” amid Red Sea tensions, Reuters reported, citing a CNN interview that will be aired on Sunday.