Israel-Hamas war: List of key events, day 75

A UNSC ceasefire vote is delayed again as the UN warns of more deaths due to water shortages – here are major updates.

Here’s how things stand on Wednesday, December 20, 2023:

Latest Developments

  • Gaza is in its sixth consecutive day of a telecommunications blackout, apart from a partial restoration in southern Gaza on Monday, said the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) on Tuesday.
  • A protest was held in New York on Tuesday night amid international calls for the release of imprisoned artists from the Freedom Theatre in Jenin, occupied West Bank. The Freedom Theatre has been raided, vandalised and painted with Israeli religious and political symbols.
  • Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s al-Quds Brigades shared a video to their Telegram channel on Tuesday of two male captives pleading to the Israeli government for assistance with their release.
  • On Monday, Israeli forces raided al-Awda Hospital in northern Gaza and arrested, stripped, bound and interrogated people in the hospital, UN OCHA reported on Tuesday citing Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF).

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Human impact and fighting

  • A pre-dawn Israeli strike on Tuesday levelled a home in Rafah, killing 27 people including a 17-day-old baby, reported the Associated Press news agency.
  • Jody Ginsberg, the president of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), told National Public Radio (NPR) that the apparent “targeted” killings of journalists in Gaza need to be investigated. The CPJ has recorded the killings of at least 68 journalists in the region since October 7, while Gaza’s media office has put the toll at 97.
  • UN Children’s Agency Executive Director Catherine Russell warned on Wednesday that many more children will die without safe water in the coming days, and that cases of diarrhoea among children under five have already crossed 20 times the monthly average.
  • Israel raided at least six areas across the occupied West Bank overnight, including the town of Tammun where Israeli forces wounded a 16-year-old in live fire and bulldozed two homes, according to the Palestinian Red Cresent and Wafa news agency.
  • Half of Gaza’s population is starving in a situation of extreme or severe hunger, while 90 percent of people in the besieged enclave regularly go without food for a whole day, according to the World Food Programme’s (WFP) regional director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Diplomacy

  • Israeli President Isaac Herzog told a gathering of ambassadors on Tuesday that his country is willing to agree to a new temporary truce with Hamas to secure the release of more captives held in Gaza.
  • UN Security Council member countries are intensely negotiating over draft resolutions on the Israel-Gaza war, also causing the vote to be postponed until at least Wednesday morning, according to Al Jazeera’s UN correspondents.
  • On Tuesday, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim banned the Israeli ZIM shipping company and “any ship en route to Israel from loading cargo at Malaysian ports”, in response to Israel’s actions against Palestinians in Gaza.
  • White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said at a press briefing on Tuesday that “attacks on ships in the Red Sea have to stop”. The United States has announced the establishment of a new multinational maritime security force in response to attacks on ships launched by Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies