Here’s how things stand on Sunday, December 31, 2023:
Latest updates and human impact:
- Israeli military attacks on homes in central Gaza have killed at least 100 people and wounded 286 in less than 24 hours, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health.
- The continuing Israeli bombardment has now destroyed more than 70 percent of Gaza’s homes, the Government Media Office says.
- The occupied West Bank saw another night of raids and drone attacks as at least 17 Palestinians were wounded in Tulkarem and Nur Shams refugee camps.
- There is a growing exodus of displaced Palestinians into the far southern town of Rafah, with some 100,000 fleeing there in just a few days, according to the United Nations.
- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel should control the border zone between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. Egypt has rejected the prospect of ceding this territory to Israel.
- Twenty-three Syrian fighters have been killed by air raids believed to be waged by Israeli forces, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, as hostilities build between Israel and Iran-aligned groups in the region.
- Israel also traded strikes with Hezbollah. The Lebanese group claimed four attacks on Israeli territory over the past day, while Israeli strikes killed at least one Hezbollah fighter.
- The Palestine Public Broadcasting Corporation strongly condemned Israel for reportedly hacking a local radio station and broadcasting “threatening messages” to Gaza residents already traumatised by war.
- In Gaza, at least 21,822 people have been killed and 56,451 injured in Israeli attacks since October 7. The revised death toll from Hamas’s attack on Israel stands at 1,139.
- The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation welcomed South Africa’s decision to file a genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), saying that the charge is warranted because of Israel’s “indiscriminate targeting of the civilian population”.
- Several genocide experts also welcomed the move, with British war crimes prosecutor Geoffrey Nice telling Al Jazeera it is a “courageous” step.
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the administration of US President Joe Biden for its continued backing during the war, including approval of a new emergency weapons sale, the second this month.
- Foreign Minister Eli Cohen told Israeli media that the government bears some responsibility for failing to prevent Hamas’s attack on October 7. He called for an investigation committee to be formed to hold those who were “negligent” accountable.
- Israel is prepared to let ships deliver aid to Gaza “immediately” through a proposed sea corridor from Cyprus, according to Cohen.
Commercial vessels targeted in the Red Sea:
- Yemen’s Houthi rebels waged multiple attacks on a container ship owned by global shipping giant Maersk, according to the US military, prompting the firm to suspend operations in the Red Sea for 48 hours.
- In the last alleged Houthi attack on the Maersk ship, US helicopters responded to and fired at attacking Houthi boats, sinking three of them and killing several crew, according to the United States Central Command.
- Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Cameron said he conveyed to Iran’s foreign minister that Tehran shares “shares responsibility for preventing these attacks, given their longstanding support to the Houthis”.
I spoke to @Amirabdolahian today about Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, which threaten innocent lives and the global economy. I made clear that Iran shares responsibility for preventing these attacks given their long-standing support to the Houthis.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) December 31, 2023