Israel-Hamas war: List of key events, day 85

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South Africa files case of genocide against Israel, as attacks on Gaza, occupied West Bank and southern Lebanon continue – here is the latest.

Here’s how things stand on Saturday, December 30, 2023:

Latest updates and human impact

  • Israeli ground forces and tanks are pushing into the eastern, southern and northern outskirts of the Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza. But they have not yet reached the western side and Hamas fighters are resisting the incursion.
  • Israel’s bombardment of southern Gaza has intensified with the Israeli army, navy and air force targeting multiple locations in Khan Younis and Rafah. Israel has hit residential areas and civilian infrastructure, resulting in a large number of deaths. According to the United Nations, between Thursday and Friday afternoon, 187 Palestinians were killed and 312 wounded in these attacks.
  • The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) released video footage of its emergency ambulance crews evacuating seriously wounded children in Khan Younis city following an attack on a residential apartment building amid continuing Israeli bombing raids.
  • Israel’s military has claimed to have destroyed a network of tunnels and a hideout belonging to Yahya Sinwar, Hamas’s leader in Gaza.
  • Israel’s military says two more Hezbollah sites have been hit in southern Lebanon, after an Israeli official at the United Nations Security Council on Friday promised “full-scale war” on Hezbollah if attacks on Israel’s north continue.
  • Philippe Lazzarini, the head of the UN Palestine relief agency (UNRWA), has accused Israeli officials and media outlets of “creating a stream of baseless misinformation” about gaps in aid deliveries to Gaza. His comments come amid Israeli attacks on aid convoys.
  • In Gaza, at least 21,507 people have been killed and 55,915 injured in Israeli attacks since October 7. The revised death toll from Hamas’s attack on Israel stands at 1,139.

Diplomacy

  • South Africa has initiated proceedings against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), saying its operations in Gaza amount to “genocide”- a move that has been welcomed by the Palestinian foreign ministry.
  • Israel has rejected South Africa’s move as a “blood libel”. Foreign ministry spokesperson Lior Haiat said on X that the claim “lacks both a factual and a legal basis”.
  • Israeli officials see it as a “positive sign” that Hamas may be open to new talks on captives. Speaking anonymously, the officials said they are approaching it with an abundance of caution, but that it is a step in the right direction, according to Al Jazeera correspondents reporting from Jerusalem.
  • United States President Joe Biden’s administration has bypassed Congress to approve a possible “emergency” weapons sale to Israel.
  • At the UN Security Council, the United Kingdom’s ambassador to the UN has warned that “many more” people will die in Gaza without humanitarian action.

Escalation in occupied West Bank

  • Israeli forces have arrested 14 Palestinians from the Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, as raids in the territory intensify.
  • The Palestinian Ministry of Health has said that a 17-year-old boy who was shot in the chest by Israeli forces on Friday has been detained in the occupied West Bank. The teen was arrested in an ambulance at a checkpoint while he was being moved to a medical facility.
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Israel-Hamas war: List of key events, day 85

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