Israel’s war on Gaza: List of key events, day 182

US President Joe Biden pressed Israeli PM Netanyahu to implement ‘specific, concrete and measurable’ steps to protect civilians and aid workers in Gaza.

Palestinians living in al-Maghazi Refugee Camp collect the usable items among the rubble of the destroyed buildings following an Israeli attack in Deir al-Balah, Gaza
Palestinians living in Maghazi refugee camp collect usable items from the rubble of destroyed buildings following an Israeli attack in Deir el-Balah, Gaza on April 4, 2024 [Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency]

Here’s how things stand on Friday, April 5, 2024:

Fighting and humanitarian crisis

  • Eight out of every 10 schools in Gaza are damaged or destroyed, UNICEF said, news agency AFP reported on Thursday. As many as 625,000 students have no access to education.
  • About 1,000 children in Gaza have lost one or both of their legs, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said on Thursday. More than 50,000 children are estimated to be acutely malnourished in Gaza, the United Nations added.
  • The PRCS also said the number of children who have died from starvation and dehydration in Gaza has now risen to 31.
  • Separately, the Gaza municipality warned on Thursday that diseases are spreading in the enclave due to an accumulation of waste. The municipality called on local and international institutions to help improve the health and environmental conditions “and enable the municipality to provide services that the aggression has caused near complete paralysis in.”

Diplomacy and regional tensions

  • On Thursday, US President Joe Biden pressed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to implement “specific, concrete and measurable” steps to protect civilians and aid workers in Gaza. He said the killing of aid workers and the humanitarian situation were “unacceptable”.
  • Biden also “made clear that US policy with respect to Gaza will be determined by our assessment of Israel’s immediate action” to address the harm and suffering.
  • Hours after the call, Israel said it approved the reopening of the Beit Hanoon (Erez) crossing into northern Gaza and the temporary use of Ashdod port in southern Israel to supply aid to Gaza.
  • But Republicans in the US hit back at Biden. “The president’s ultimatums should be going to Hamas, not Israel,” US House Speaker Mike Johnson said in a post on X on Thursday night, following Biden’s warning to Israel.
  • CIA Director Bill Burns is expected to travel to Cairo this weekend to meet with Egyptian and Israeli counterparts and the Qatari prime minister, in the latest bid to try and stitch together a deal for a truce or a ceasefire.
  • Separately, on Thursday, McDonald’s announced that it will buy all of its franchise restaurants in Israel amid the fallout of the war in Gaza. The US fast-food chain has been subject to boycotts since the franchise Alonyal announced shortly after the October 7 attack by Palestinian group Hamas that it would be donating free meals to the Israeli military.
  • Former US President Donald Trump also warned that Israel is “losing the PR war” in Gaza on Thursday because of the flood of distressing images coming out of the enclave.
  • Separately, Australian Senator Lidia Thorpe has questioned an Australian government contract with Elbit Systems amid media reports that the Israeli arms company manufactured the drone that killed an Australian and six other aid workers in Gaza.

Violence in the occupied West Bank

  • Ambulances were temporarily blocked from reaching two Palestinians injured by live ammunition as Israeli forces raided Kafr Ra’i, southwest of Jenin, in the occupied West Bank on Thursday night, according to local news reports.
  • The raid is one of several Israeli raids on towns and villages south of Jenin, the Wafa news agency reported on Thursday.
  • Wafa also reported on Thursday that Israeli forces fired bullets, stun grenades and tear gas in a raid on the village of Husan, west of Bethlehem, with no injuries reported.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies