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Israel’s war on Gaza: List of key events, day 179

In News, World
April 02, 2024

The Israeli military has withdrawn from its second devastating raid on Gaza’s largest hospital, al-Shifa, leaving it in ruins.

Here’s how things stand on Tuesday, April 2, 2024:

Fighting and humanitarian crisis

    • The Israeli military withdrew from its second raid on al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest medical facility, on Monday after a two-week siege, leaving it in ruins.
    • Despite the widespread devastation, Israeli forces claimed to have killed and captured dozens of Hamas fighters and described the raid as one of the most successful operations of its war on Gaza.
    • The Israeli military claimed it did not harm civilians sheltering inside the al-Shifa complex. But decomposing bodies were found in the bombed-out hospital and witnesses said civilians were targeted by Israeli forces.
    • The United States-based food aid charity, World Central Kitchen (WCK), confirmed on Tuesday that seven of its team members were killed in an Israeli strike in central Gaza. They were from Australia, Palestine, Poland, the United Kingdom, and a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.
    • WCK’s CEO Erin Gore called it “an attack on humanitarian organisations showing up in the most dire of situations where food is being used as a weapon of war” and said the group was pausing its operations in the region immediately.

Diplomacy and regional tensions

  • Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the death of Australian aid worker Zomi Frankcom in Gaza was “completely unacceptable” and demanded “full accountability”. Frankcom was among WCK’s aid workers killed in an Israeli air strike in Deir el-Balah, in central Gaza.
  • Top officials from the US and Israel held virtual talks on Monday as Washington pushed alternatives to a long-threatened Israeli ground invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where about 1.5 million displaced Palestinians are sheltering.
  • White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan plans to travel to Saudi Arabia this week for talks with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman amid a US push for progress towards normalising relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, the Reuters news agency reported, although a US official said no major breakthrough was expected.
  • The US military’s central command (CENTCOM) said its forces destroyed a Houthi “unmanned surface vessel” on Monday, which posed a threat to merchant vessels as well as US and coalition military assets in the Red Sea.
  • Iran said Israel attacked its consulate in the Syrian capital Damascus, killing seven people including Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior commander in the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and his deputy General Mohammad Hadi Hajriahimi.
  • Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday condemned the targeting of the Iranian consulate in Damascus calling it “a violation of international diplomatic laws and the rules of diplomatic immunity”.
  • Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to “act immediately” to enact new legislation banning Al Jazeera and other foreign news networks deemed a “security risk” from operating in the country.
  • In the US, reported attacks and discrimination against Muslims and Palestinians reached a record high last year, according to data from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an advocacy group, released on Monday.

Violence in the occupied West Bank

  • Israeli forces raided towns across the occupied West Bank late on Monday, including Azzun and Kafr Qaddum, east of Qalqilya.
  • Israeli forces reportedly fired live bullets and stun grenades in Azzun but no injuries were reported, according to the Palestinian news agency Wafa.

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