Day 107-113

Photo Source: Abed Zagout, Anadolu
   NIAS Course on Global Politics
National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS)
Indian Institute of Science Campus, Bangalore
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Day 107-113
NIAS-Conflict Weekly Special Alert | The War in Gaza: Fifteenth Week

  IPRI Team

Israel-Gaza War: Day 111
Rosemary Kurian, Nuha Aamina, Rishita Verma and Gananthula Uma Maheshwari

On 25 January, according to Palestinian news agency Wafa, Israeli airplanes struck a residential area in the Nuseirat refugee camp overnight, killing four children. 

On 24 January, Majed Al Ansari, the spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry of Qatar, said that they were “apalled” by the remarks of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, on the role of Qatar as a mediator. Netanyahu had called Qatar’s role as “problematic” in a leaked recording. He emphasized that if the remarks are true then it showed that the Netanyahu was undermining the mediation process. 

On 25 January, the Norwegian government agreed to play the role of an intermediary in an attempt to unfreeze the earmarked tax funds from Israel to the Palestinian Authority (PA). Post a peace agreement in the 1990s, Israel’s finance ministry had been collecting taxes on behalf of the PA and conducting monthly transfers to the PA, which stopped since the war with Hamas began. Espen Barth Eide, the Norwegian Foreign Minister, noted that the PA’s financial situation was “grave,” which was affecting its ability to provide basic amenities to Palestinians.  Norway wanted to support the PA’s survival so that it could become an effective leadership for the Palestinians. 

On 25 January, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) declared that it will respond to the request for emergency measures made by South Africa in order to shield Palestinians from “irreparable harm."

On 24 January, according to Reuters, 49 out of the 51 members of the Democratic caucus in the US Senate supported a statement restating support for a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

On 24 January, the Jerusalem Post reported that based on research it conducted with several sources, network of South African organizations and straw man companies were found to be involved in funding Hamas. The Al-Quds Foundation, run by Hamas and established in Beirut, supported the militant group activities. In 2012, the US Treasury sanctioned the foundation for “being controlled by and acting on behalf of Hamas.” A branch of the foundation, the Al-Quds Foundation SA, held two accounts Standard Bank and Nedbank. These accounts were used by Hamas to obtain funds.

Israel-Gaza War: Day 110
Rosemary Kurian, Nuha Aamina, Rishita Verma and Gananthula Uma Maheshwari

On 24 January, Al Jazeera stated that as per the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), explosives at a UN facility in Khan Younis, that was sheltering displaced residents, had resulted in nine fatalities and numerous injuries. According to UNRWA, two tank shells struck the 800 civilians who were seeking cover in the training college west of the city. Israel stated that its forces were conducting operations in the vicinity but did not commented on the explosions directly Thomas White, the Director of UNRWA’s Gaza operations, stated that the fighting had damaged the Khan Younis Training Center and resulted in “mass casualties.”

On 24 January, as per a document and a Houthi official, American and British citizens working in UN offices and other humanitarian organisations in Yemen were ordered by the Houthis to leave the country within a month The announcement came after a joint strike led by the US and the UK against Houthi targets in Yemen in a bid to secure the freedom of navigation in the Red Sea. 

Israel-Gaza War: Day 109
Rosemary Kurian, Nuha Aamina, Rishita Verma and Gananthula Uma Maheshwari

On 23 January,  Gaza’s Palestine Red Crescent Society stated that the Israeli military had opened fire with artillery shells on its offices in Khan Younis. 

On 23 January, an anonymous top Egyptian official claimed that Hamas had rejected Israel’s proposal of a two-month pause in fighting and a mutual release of hostages from both sides. Hamas allegedly rejected the proposal as it refused to release any hostages until Israeli forces left Gaza. 

On 23 January, Arab News reported that Egypt rejected the allegation by Israel that the Rafah Crossing was being used to transport arms and ammunition. Diaa Rashwan, the Head of State Information Service of Egypt, said that Egypt’s efforts to maintain peace along the border  confirmed the “the falsehood of these allegations.” He called the Israeli claims “ridiculous,” as adding that transportation of any good through the Rafah crossing had to go through the Kerem Shalom border crossing controlled by Israel.

On 23 January, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the Foreign Minister of Iran, during talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, agreed for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza along with humanitarian assistance. Both also expressed “general concern about the tense situation in the Red Sea,” according to Russia’s foreign ministry.

On 23 January, Al Jazeera reported that Belgium announced complete support for the impending verdict by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on genocide claims by South Africa against Israel. European leaders had largely been divided on South Africa’s claims. Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, and Hungary were staunch supporters of Israel. France banned pro-Palestine marches in the state. Others have not expressed their views on the case. Brussels expressed its support for a complete ceasefire and humanitarian aid to Gaza. Ludivine Dedonder, the Belgian defence minister, expressed complete “support for the ICJ.” 

On 23 January, according to Al Jazeera, another round of strikes was conducted by the US and the UK against Houthi weapon targets in Yemen. Reuters added that the allied forces targeted eight locations, including an underground weapons storage site and missile capabilities in Yemen. The mission was supported by Bahrain, Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands. According to the BBC, Rishi Sunak, the British Prime Minister, called it an act of self-defence.

Israel-Gaza War: Day 108
Rosemary Kurian, Nuha Aamina, Rishita Verma and Gananthula Uma Maheshwari

On 22 January, Al Jazeera reported on information from Palestinian news agency Wafa, according to which at least ten Palestinians, including children, died as a result of Israeli airstrikes, shelling, and gunfire in Khan Younis, southern Gaza.

Regional Responses
On 22 January, over USD 165 million was collected by KSrelied, a Saudi Arabian aid agency, for the people of Gaza. Over 1.6 million used the Sahem platform to make the donations as per the orders of Saudia Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

On 22 January, at a meeting of the foreign ministers of the European Union (EU), Ayman Safadi, the Foreign Minister of Jordan, criticized the Israeli government’s “radical racist agenda.” He asserted that the “only way of this misery is a two-state solution,” and the Israeli government’s decision of refusing to accept that meant it was “defying the international community.” 

Global Responses
On 22 January, Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief, urged on a two-state solution to end the war in Gaza. Borrell stated that Israel’s attempts at destroying Hamas were not working, and the only solution was for Israel to accept a Palestinian state, since peace could not be built “only by military means.” Annalena Baerbock, the German Foreign Minister, supported Borrell’s statement, calling the two-state solution the “only solution.” 

Israel-Gaza War: DAY 107
Rosemary Kurian, Nuha Aamina, Rishita Verma and Gananthula Uma Maheshwari

On 21 January, Al Jazeera reported that a verified video showed that following an Israeli attack in the Jabalia refugee camp, a fire broke out in the area. 
On 21 January, Al Jazeera reported that as per the Gaza Ministry of Health, the Israeli army was suspected of killing multiple Palestinian families in the Gaza Strip in the last 24 hours, leaving at least 165 Palestinians dead. 

On 21 January, Nuri Al-Maliki, the former Prime Minister of Iraq, met with the US ambassador to Iraq and warned against the “escalation of regional tensions” in the Middle East because of “multiple crises”in Palestine, Lebanon, the Red Sea, Syria and Iraq. He called for swift action to reduce tensions and put an end to mutual attacks.” 

On 21 January, Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the UN, condemned Israel for being responsible for the “heartbreaking” deaths of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian officials stated that more than 250,000 Palestinians had been killed in Israel’s offensive in Gaza, and most Gazans were displaced from their homes. Guterres also condemned Israel for not accepting a Palestinian state for Palestinians.

On 20 January, the US forces struck a Houthi anti-ship missile targeting vessels in the Gulf of Aden. The US Central Command stated that the missile was struck down in self-defence to protect shipping and US naval vessels in the region. 

About the Authors
Rosemary Kurian and Nuha Aamina are undergraduate scholars from St Joseph's University, Bangalore. Rishita Verma and Gananthula Uma Maheshwari are postgraduate scholars from Pondicherry University.

Curated by Dhriti Mukherjee and Shamini, Research Assistants at NIAS.

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