Israel’s war on Gaza: List of key events, day 154

As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, Gaza’s Health Ministry provided an update on the challenges facing women in the Gaza Strip.

Displaced Palestinian women, who fled their houses due to Israeli strikes shelter in a tent camp, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas
Displaced Palestinian women, who fled their houses due to Israeli strikes, shelter in a tent camp [File: Mohammed Salem

Here’s how things stand on Friday, March 8, 2024:

Fighting and humanitarian crisis

  • On Friday, Gaza’s Health Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra said about 5,000 women were still giving birth every month in the territory, in conditions that he said were “harsh, unsafe and unhealthy”.
  • About 60,000 women, meanwhile, were going through their pregnancies without proper healthcare and suffering dehydration and malnutrition, he said.
  • On Friday, three rockets were fired from Gaza at the Israeli city of Sderot. Israeli officials say that one of the rockets landed within the city limits, while the other two struck outside of it, with no reports of damage or injuries from the attack.

Regional tensions and diplomacy

  • On Thursday, US President Joe Biden delivered his State of the Union address in which he announced that his administration would build a “temporary pier” off the coast of the Palestinian territory to facilitate aid deliveries.
  • He also urged Israel to allow more aid into the Gaza Strip, but he stressed that he has been a “lifelong supporter” of the United States ally. “No one has a stronger requisition than I do. I challenge any of you here,” he said.
  • An organiser with the “uncommitted” campaign in the US, which seeks to pressure Biden over his support for Israel amid the Gaza war,  told Al Jazeera that she is unhappy with the speech.
  • “I think that he further alienated voters who already were feeling like the president hasn’t been listening,” said Asma Mohammed, an organiser with the “no preference” voting campaign in Minnesota.
  • Meanwhile, regionally, Bill Burns, the director of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), is said to have arrived in Qatar in what may be a last-ditch attempt to secure a truce deal before Ramadan, CNN reports, citing an unnamed US official and a source close to the trip on Thursday.
  • The US, Jordan, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have airdropped more aid into northern Gaza. The UAE’s military said on Thursday it delivered 53 tonnes of food and medical aid.

Violence in the occupied West Bank

  • Local media are reporting on Friday that Israeli forces have stormed the town of Urif, south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, and rearrested a freed Palestinian prisoner.
  • Al Jazeera Arabic is also reporting that Israeli forces have erected iron barriers at the Lion’s Gate in the vicinity of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem to prevent people from attending Friday prayers there.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies