ACCORDING to witnesses Israeli police, on Thursday afternoon of last week, stormed the Al-Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem’s al-Tur neighbourhood.
They said that Israeli police and intelligence officers, including at least a masked officer, had forced their way into the hospital and occupied its rooftops as they harassed and interrogated the medical staff.
This happened two days after the hospital, considered one of the oldest and largest hospitals serving Palestinians across Gaza and Jerusalem, had issued a direct appeal for support following weeks of a violent police crackdown on Palestinians in Jerusalem.
It happened as those from other parts of the occupied territories, and from Palestinian towns and cities inside Israel, took to the streets in denunciation of Israel’s brutal occupation and settler-colonialism – particularly encroachments upon the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound during the holy month of Ramadan, the forced expulsions of Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah, and the onslaught on Gaza in addition to settler mob violence.
‘We are overwhelmed and have a shortfall that we can no longer manage. We are now having to directly request for urgent support. Our medical frontline teams are constantly treating injuries from Israeli aggression in Gaza, West Bank, and Jerusalem,’ the online appeal read.
‘This emergency direct appeal will fund medical aid, emergency psychological support, hygiene kits, pharmaceuticals, and other needs during crises in Al Makassed hospital.’
The Palestinian Health Ministry said too that the Israeli occupation forces had killed at least 241 Palestinians, and wounded some 7,800 others, since May 5.
It elaborated that at least one Palestinian was killed, and some 1,100 others were wounded, during the same period. As part of the approximately 1,100 casualties, some 490 were evacuated to Palestinian health centres and hospitals for treatment, including 60 serious casualties, 204 medium injuries and 223 light injuries.
Meanwhile, also on Thursday, Israeli settlers levelled a tract of land belonging to the villagers of Kisan, east of Bethlehem city, to make room for colonial settlement construction, according to a local official.
The Deputy Mayor of Kisan, Ahmad Ghazzal, said that a group of settlers razed a tract of the villagers’ land, west of the village and adjacent to the creeping colonial settlement of Ibei Hanahal, to make room for expansion of the settlement.
He added that they were told by the so-called Israeli Civil Administration – the name Israel gives to the body administering its military occupation of the West Bank – that the settlers’ move is intended to make room for the construction of over 20 new settler units.
He pointed out that settlers have recurrently forced Palestinian shepherds from the seized land and denied them access to it. Located 11 kilometres to the south of Bethlehem city, Kisan has a population of some 600 and occupies a total area of 133,330 dunums.
Under the Oslo Accords, an agreement made 25 years ago that was supposed to lead in just five years towards a self-governing country alongside Israel, the Palestinian Authority was given limited control over a tiny pocket of land occupying 112 dunums – accounting for less than 1 per cent of the village’s total area.
Israel maintains control over 108,952 (dunums), classified as Area C and accounting for 81.7 per cent. The remaining part of 24,266 dunums, accounting for 18 per cent, is classified as a nature reserve.
Israel has established three colonial settlements, namely Ma’ale, Amos and Mizpe Shalem, alongside the settlement outpost of Ibei Hanahal on lands confiscated from the village. It has confiscated further land for the construction of settler-only by-pass road no. 901 and road no. 3698, which extend for 16.1 kilometres on the village land.
Israel has constructed a section of the apartheid wall, confiscating and isolating some 87,344 dunums of fertile land, (and) accounting for 65.5 per cent of the village total area, for colonial settlement activities and pushing the villagers into a crowded enclave, a ghetto, surrounded by walls, settlements and military installations.
- Israeli artillery bombing on the city of Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, early on Thursday caused a cutoff of power in all of the city that is still ongoing, according to the news agency WAFA.
A WAFA correspondent said one of the Israeli artillery strikes directly hit one of the major power lines that provide the city with electricity, which caused a full blackout in all of the city. A group of workers from the Gaza Electricity Corporation survived the artillery strike as they carried out maintenance works on a high-pressure network in the neighbourhood of al-Tuffah, Gaza City.
In the meantime, Israeli fighter jets fired missiles that hit a house in the Gaza City neighbourhood of Al-Remal. It is not yet clear whether there were casualties in the strike.
- Also on Thursday, a Palestinian civilian died and another one was injured in an Israeli airstrike that hit the northwest of Beit Lahia town in the north of the Gaza Strip, according to a WAFA correspondent.
The wounded civilian was moved to the nearby Indonesian Hospital for medical treatment, where his case was described as critical.
Earlier on Thursday, the Ministry of Health said that the death toll of the ongoing Israeli military aggression on the Gaza Strip had so far risen to 230, while the number of wounded increased to 1,710. It said the death toll includes 65 children, 39 women, and 17 elderly.
- A family survived an Israeli airstrike which hit their home in Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip, as a huge unexploded missile fired by an Israeli fighter jet hit the bedroom of the Abu Mehareb family in Khan Younis.
The Palestinian family narrowly escaped death early in the morning after a huge ordnance thrown down by Israeli fighter jets hit their home in Khan Younis.
A WAFA correspondent said a huge missile hit the Abu Muhareb family house but fortunately did not explode. Had the missile exploded, the house would have turned into rubble in one second.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH) announced that over 50,000 Palestinian civilians remain internally displaced as a result of the heavy bombing that mainly targeted homes and other residential facilities in the war-ridden Strip.
Israel started a barbaric aggression on Gaza from the land, air and sea on the tenth of this month, and has since crippled all sectors of life in the coastal enclave. Entire roads and power networks were destroyed, and high-rise buildings were flattened to the ground during the ongoing aggression.
The Ministry of Education said 46 school buildings were partially damaged during the ongoing Israeli onslaught on Gaza.
In Ramallah, meanwhile, the Israeli occupation army carried out a large-scale detention campaign across the occupied West Bank – and on Wednesday night, dozens of Palestinian civilians were arrested and taken into Israeli custody, according to Palestinian security and local sources.
In the southern West Bank province of Hebron, the occupation forces raided several towns and villages in the district, and at least seven arrests were reported.
In Nablus district, north of the West Bank, at least four arrests by the Israeli occupation army were reported. Several arrests were also reported in the provinces of Jericho and Jenin.
In some of the raids, clashes erupted with local Palestinian citizens and several injuries among civilians were reported.
The latest arrests come in the context of the rising tensions across all of the Palestinian Territories in the aftermath of the Israeli aggression on Gaza and the Israeli plans to evict dozens of families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied Jerusalem.
- In Jenin, a Palestinian prisoner in Israeli detention, Khaled Makhamreh, just 26 years old, remains on hunger strike for the sixth day in a row in protest at being placed in solitary confinement at the Israeli prison of Hadarim, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).
PPS held the Israeli occupation authorities fully responsible for the life of Makhamreh, describing the use of solitary confinement as one of the repressive tools that have been widely practised against Palestinian prisoners.
Makhamreh has been in prison since 2016, and is serving four life sentences for his activism in the resistance of the Israeli occupation. His family’s home has also been demolished by the Israeli occupation authorities in a collective punishment against the entire family.