Israel’s war on Gaza: List of key events, day 189

PM Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that Israel is preparing for ‘scenarios’ in other areas besides Gaza.

Here’s how things stand on Friday, April 12, 2024:

Fighting and humanitarian crisis

  • Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that Israel is preparing for “scenarios” in other areas besides Gaza. “Whoever harms us, we will harm them. We are prepared to meet all of the security needs of the State of Israel, both defensively and offensively,” he said, in an apparent reference to rising tensions with Iran following a strike on an Iranian diplomatic mission in Damascus, Syria, in which seven people were killed, including two generals.
  • Palestinian health officials said late on Thursday that an Israeli air strike killed Rudwan Rudwan, the head of the police force in Jabalia camp in the northern Gaza Strip. The Palestinian group Hamas also said Rudwan was in charge of supervising the protection of aid truck convoys in northern Gaza areas.
  • Separately, on Thursday USAID chief Samantha Power became the first United States official to say publicly that there is a famine in northern Gaza, after she said she agreed with a United Nations-backed assessment of hunger in the enclave.
  • The non-profit American Near East Refugee Aid (Anera) has resumed Gaza operations “after a temporary pause”.

  • “As you know, the decision to temporarily pause our operations was not an easy one,” Sean Carroll, the president and CEO of Anera, said in a statement. “We followed the direction of our staff in Gaza, who’ve faced death, loss, and destruction since the start of the war. After the killing of Anera staff member Mousa Shawwa, followed by the attack that killed seven aid workers from World Central Kitchen, we made the difficult but necessary decision to pause aid operations on April 2.”

Diplomacy and geopolitical tensions

  • US intelligence officials fear most of Hamas’s remaining captives in Gaza are already dead, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal released on Thursday.  Hamas kidnapped some 220 people, including foreigners, when it launched its attack on Israel on October 7.
  • Separately, a specialised UN committee failed to reach a consensus on a bid by Palestinians for full UN membership. During its closed-door meeting “there was no consensus,” said Maltese ambassador Vanessa Frazier, who holds the council’s rotating presidency for April. However, two-thirds of the members were in favour of full membership, she said on Thursday, without specifying which countries.

  • In the US, the Pentagon has released a statement on Thursday’s call between US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. It says Austin spoke with Gallant to “reiterate ironclad US support for Israel’s defense in the face of growing threats from Iran and its regional proxies”.
  • The tech giant Apple has promised to fix a “software bug” over a flag prompt some iPhone users received when they typed out Jerusalem. The British television presenter Rachel Riley tagged Apple over the social media platform X after the Palestinian flag was suggested when she typed in Jerusalem. The status of Jerusalem is contested internationally: while Israel claims all of it, the global community – and the United Nations – view East Jerusalem as occupied by Israel and belonging to Palestine.
  • The US Central Command said it destroyed an antiship ballistic missile that was detected over the Red Sea on Thursday. It said the missile was launched from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and posed an “imminent threat” to shipping in the area.
  • The US State Department restricted its employees in Israel and their family members on Thursday from personal travel outside the greater Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Be’er Sheva areas amid Iran’s threats to retaliate against its regional adversary.
  • Israel’s foreign ministry on Thursday denounced Ireland’s new prime minister Simon Harris for not mentioning the captives held by Hamas in Gaza during a speech to the Irish parliament. Israel is also furious with Ireland over its intention to recognise a Palestinian state and to intervene in the genocide case brought by South Africa against Israel at the International Court of Justice.
  • A Kuala Lumpur court has charged an Israeli man with firearms offences. Shalom Avitan, who was accused of trafficking six handguns and possessing four boxes of ammunition without a licence, pleaded not guilty on Friday. Police said they suspected he might have links to Mossad and tightened security around Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and the king. Malaysia has been a vocal critic of Israel’s war on Gaza.

Violence in the occupied West Bank

  • At least one man has been shot dead and two injured in an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank on Thursday.
  • Palestinian medical sources said the incident took place at the Far’a camp in the northern West Bank, as soldiers raided several homes and there were confrontations with several groups of young men. At least 142 Palestinians have been killed in the occupied West Bank since the start of the year.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies