Israel-Hamas war: Hospitals facing ‘totally catastrophic’ situation

  • Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila tells Al Jazeera only nine hospitals continue to operate in Gaza, without enough medical supplies or electricity.
  • Iran deploys a warship to the Red Sea after the US Navy attacks and kills Houthis trying to commandeer a commercial vessel.

    Here’s what happened today

    We will soon be closing this live page. Here’s a recap of the developments on the first day of 2024:

    • Israel announced that it will withdraw some troops from Gaza in a possible sign of a change in war tactics.
    • Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila said the situation in Gaza is “totally catastrophic”, with overwhelmed hospitals experiencing shortages in medical supplies.
    • The Palestinian death toll in Gaza rose to 21,978.
    • Israeli bombing escalated in central and southern Gaza as the Israeli military continued to expand its ground offensive.
    • A 23-year-old Palestinian prisoner from Nablus died in an Israeli jail, raising concerns about the mistreatment of Palestinian detainees.
    • Hezbollah said four of its fighters were killed amid intensifying clashes with Israel at Lebanon’s southern border.
    • Several Israeli officials suggested that Israel would directly control Gaza after the war.
    • The US said it rejects “enduring displacement” of Palestinians and reiterated support for the two-state solution.

      Israel’s Supreme Court rules against judicial overhaul

      It’s not yet known how Netanyahu and his coalition will proceed with the judicial overhaul review after the reforms were struck down by Israel’s Supreme Court.

      Let’s just backtrack for a little and remember what the coalition was trying to do in the first place. They were trying to pass a series of bills that would essentially cancel the only check and balance on Israel’s government.

      Part of that was cancelling the “reasonableness clause”.

      The Supreme Court used this clause for the last four decades to see if laws were what the average person would rule as “reasonable”.

      Now, critics of the judicial overhaul say that Netanyahu was trying to destroy Israeli democracy and turn it into a dictatorship.

      There were widespread protests from the minute these bills had entered into the Israeli government in January until early October, when the war started.

      There have been extreme criticisms of the moves that the government was trying to make and the Supreme Court [now] seeing this as a huge victory in their eight to seven decision.

      US says Palestinian Authority should govern Gaza after war

      Washington has renewed its call for the Palestinian Authority (PA) to return to Gaza after the conflict, appearing to contradict top Israeli officials who say Israel should directly control the territory.

      “Gaza and the West Bank must be reunited under a single governance structure, under a revitalized Palestinian Authority,” a State Department spokesperson told Al Jazeera in an email.

      “Palestinians’ voices and aspirations must be at the center of post-crisis governance in Gaza, unified with the West Bank under the PA,” the spokesperson said.

      Despite disagreements over Gaza’s future, the Biden administration has shown unwavering support for Israel, including pledging more than $10bn in military aid to the US ally.

      Israeli Military Police investigating death of Palestinian detainee in Gaza

      The detainee was allegedly killed by an Israeli soldier who was guarding him, the Times of Israel reported.

      He had been arrested on Sunday night and was then taken for an interrogation before being handed over to a soldier to guard.

      The Israeli military, according to the Times of Israel, says the soldier later opened fire and killed him.

      Hezbollah says fourth fighter killed

      The Lebanese group had said earlier that it lost three members amid an exchange of fire with Israel. It identified the fourth fighter as Abdul Jalil Ali Hamza.

      Hezbollah had launched two attacks against Israel and the Israeli military said it attacked the group’s positions in Lebanon.

      Hamas decries death of Palestinian prisoner

      Hamas has described the death of 23-year-old Palestinian prisoner Abdul Rahman al-Bahsh in an Israeli jail as an “assassination”.

      “This crime comes amid reports of summary executions, barbaric torture and inhumane conditions that our heroic prisoners are facing,” Hamas official Zaher Jabarin said in a statement, citing testimonies from newly released detainees.

      Jabarin also slammed the “silence” of international agencies and rights groups towards the mistreatment Palestinians are facing in Israeli custody.

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