Gaza civilians describe Israel detention ordeal

  • Palestinians released after being detained by Israeli forces in Gaza share harrowing accounts of suffering and torture while being held in Israel.
  • Qatar’s PM warns if Israel’s war on Gaza does not end soon, the risks of a greater regional conflict will grow.

    Norway’s foreign minister ‘reasonably optimistic’ over UNRWA funding

    As we’ve been reporting, Norway has promised to continue supporting the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

    And the country’s Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide has now said he is “reasonably optimistic” that some states that had suspended funding would resume payments, according to Reuters.

    Speaking to Al Jazeera earlier this week, the minister said that cutting funding was “the wrong reply”.

    “That smells to me of collective punishment of everybody who works there but much more importantly of all the Palestinians that are dependent on the services of UNRWA,” he added.

    Uprooted and constantly on the move, Palestinians feel ‘forgotten’

    More than a million Palestinians are sheltering in southern Gaza after the Israeli military ordered them to move south to what it called a “safe” zone.

    But the area has become a battleground where the most intense Israeli air strikes and ground raids are taking place.

    Eman Nadim and her family are among the uprooted Palestinians.

    After surviving Israeli air strikes and ground operations in central and southern Gaza, they have now moved to the furthest point in the south,  at a temporary shelter erected right on the border with Egypt.

    But no matter where they go, the Israeli bombing has followed.

    “Let the Israelis kill us all; let them ethnically cleanse what remains of the Palestinians,” an exasperated Nadim said.

    Life in the overcrowded camp is hard, residents said. While some aid comes through the Rafah crossing, supplies are extremely limited.

    “Even here at the border, no relief aid is delivered,” Nadim said. “We are forgotten. Our children are falling sick and we cannot find treatment.”

    Fighting intensifies in Khan Younis

    In the past couple of hours, the Israeli military has focused its operations on Khan Younis, especially around hospitals, which have been under siege. Israel has claimed that medical facilities are being used by Hamas as headquarters for resistance on the ground.

    Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis was stormed earlier and there are reports of at least 10 people being critically injured. Evacuation zones to the west are also consistently stormed by the Israeli military.

    Meanwhile, we are receiving reports that the Israeli military is withdrawing from Gaza City, which the army described as a tactical withdrawal along a certain axis.

    WATCH: Bodies of ‘torture victims’ found at Gaza school

    Palestinian authorities have demanded an international investigation after a mass grave containing dozens of bodies was found at a Gaza school.

    EU must pressure Houthis over Red Sea attacks, says Yemen’s foreign minister

    Yemen’s foreign minister is urging the EU to rack up pressure on the Houthis for their attacks on ships in the Red Sea.

    “Just striking the Houthis won’t do enough. We need mid and long term solutions,” said Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, foreign minister in Yemen’s Aden-based government backed by Saudi Arabia.

    “The EU has the wrong approach. They need to exercise more pressure on the Houthis such as by designating them as a terrorist group. Their argument is that if they adopt this then it will worsen the humanitarian situation. But this approach didn’t work. The Houthis are still blackmailing the international community and the humanitarian situation has not improved.”

    The Yemeni group, which controls the most populous parts of Yemen, has for weeks disrupted shipping in the Red Sea area, targeting Israel-linked vessels to pressure the country to end its attacks on Gaza. The US and the UK in retaliation have launched strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen.

    The EU aims will soon launch its own Red Sea naval mission by mid-February to protect ships there.

    Over 30,000 displaced in Khan Younis without water or food: Health Ministry

    The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza says more than 30,000 displaced people in schools near Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis have no water, food or baby formula.

    The ministry called on the UN and its institutions to intervene urgently to respond to the needs of the displaced.

    ‘It is the time to reinforce and not to weaken UNRWA’

    In a statement, UNRWA commissioner Philippe Lazzarini wrote “As the war in Gaza is being pursued unabated, and at the time the International Court of Justice calls for more humanitarian assistance it is the time to reinforce and not to weaken UNRWA”.

    Israel has accused 12 employees of the UNRWA of having ties to Hamas or being involved in the October 7 attacks.

    After these allegations, 16 countries, including the US and UK, suspended $440m worth of funding to the UNRWA.

    Lazzarini added that if the funding remains suspended “we will most likely be forced to shut down our operations by end of February not only in Gaza but also across the region”.

    The UNRWA also stated that the “colossal humanitarian needs of over 2 million people in Gaza now face the risk of deepening” following the suspended funding.

    Dozens of Palestinians detained in West Bank on Wednesday

    Palestinian news agency WAFA is reporting that Israeli forces detained at least 41 Palestinians, including a woman, during raids and searches on Wednesday.

    Here are some additional details:

    • Israeli forces detained a Palestinian from Tubas.
    • Four Palestinians were detained in the town of Arraba during a military raid.
    • A 17-year-old boy and two young men were detained from Ain al-Sultan camp.
    • Israeli military forces detained at least 28 Palestinians across Bethlehem.
    • Two people were detained at a military checkpoint near the village of Salem.
    • One Palestinian was rounded up from the village of Beit Iba.
    • Two Palestinians were detained in the town of Yatta during a raid.

      Displacement, overcrowding, lack of safe water fueling disease in Gaza

      The WHO says it has provided UNRWA with EWARS – an application designed to improve disease outbreak detection in emergency settings – in response to the disease spread and struggling healthcare system.

      In a post on X, the WHO said health centres and clinics in the Middle Area, Khan Younis, and Rafah now have the tools for timely monitoring and management of diseases like diarrhoea, respiratory infections and acute jaundice.

      UKMTO reports explosion near Yemen’s Hodeidah

      The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations says an explosion has been reported off a vessel’s starboard side west of Hodeidah, with the vessel and crew safe.

      Reuters cited residents as saying that the Houthis had fired a missile from a camp in Ibb city, in central Yemen, towards the sea.

      The Yemeni group has for weeks disrupted shipping in the Red Sea area, targeting Israel-linked vessels to pressure the country to end its ongoing attacks on Gaza. The US and the UK in response have launched strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen.


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