Israel Willing To Cause ‘Mass Civilian Casualties’, Says New York Times

Gaza Palestine 1
A Palestinian carries a dead child found under the rubble after the Israeli airstrikes on Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza, November 1, 2023. ©  AP Photo/Abed Khaled

The Israeli government is willing to kill large numbers of civilians in order to defeat Hamas in Gaza, and told Americans this in “private conversations” reported  the New York Times.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration continues to support Israel but has become “more critical” of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s response to Hamas, due to the “humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” according to a news analysis the outlet published on Monday.

“It became evident to U.S. officials that Israeli leaders believed mass civilian casualties were an acceptable price in the military campaign,” the New York Times claimed, adding that Israeli officials brought up the “devastating bombings” – including the use of atomic weapons against Hiroshima and Nagasaki – that the U.S. has employed against Germany and Japan during World War II.

The Times included the story in Tuesday’s print edition, where it caught the eye of lawyer and activist Steven Donziger. 

“This might help explain the massive scale of civilian and child death currently taking place in Gaza,” Donziger noted on Instagram. “This mentality also might explain why Israel just dropped a huge bomb on the densely populated Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza and why it appears to be targeting civilians.”

Focusing on Washington, the New York Times article revealed how the Biden administration initially believed it could get support for Israel just as they had for Ukraine, given the level of Hamas atrocities on October 7, but soon realized this would be “impossible.”

“If anything, countries around the world, especially developing nations, are moving the other way as the Palestinian death toll grows. Even European allies of the United States are divided on Israel’s war,” according to the outlet.

U.S. officials also believe that Netanyahu has “no plans for what to do with Gaza” after Israel Defense Forces ground troops take “some or all of it.”

Last Wednesday, the Pentagon reportedly asked Israel to delay the ground attack, in order to give the U.S. more time to deploy air defenses in Iraq and Syria and buy time for negotiations to free some of the estimated 200 hostages held by Hamas. 

The ground invasion began last Friday with a complete communications blackout of the Palestinian enclave. On Wednesday, the IDF said 15 of its soldiers have been killed in the ongoing operations.

Israeli Attack On Refugee Camp An Atrocity, Says UN

Israel’s bombing of the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza is just “the latest atrocity” to befall the Palestinian people living in the enclave, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths has said.

Hamas reported on Tuesday that as many as 400 Palestinians had been killed or injured by an Israeli attack on the densely populated Jabalia camp. An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson later confirmed the attack, stating the airstrikes had targeted a “very important” Hamas commander and his unit. The IDF representative called the civilian casualties a tragedy, but ultimately blamed their deaths on the Hamas leadership, saying it had “embedded itself among the civilian population.”

In a statement published on Wednesday, following his two-day visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Griffiths surmised that the fighting in Gaza has entered “an even more terrifying phase, with increasingly dreadful humanitarian consequences.”

“October 7th and its aftermath will leave indelible scars on the lives of millions,” Griffiths said, referring to the initial attack by Hamas militants on Israeli territories near Gaza, which claimed the lives of 1,400 people, and Israel’s response which has so far seen as many as 8,600 Palestinians killed, according to Gaza health authorities.

“This cannot go on. We need a step change,” stressed the UN official. He further called for all hostages captured by Hamas to be released immediately and unconditionally, for both sides to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law and to stop targeting civilians.

Griffiths concluded by calling on “those with influence” to work towards a de-escalation of the conflict, warning that “failure to act now will have consequences far beyond the region.”

On Tuesday, the director of the UN’s human rights office (OHCHR) in New York, Craig Mokhiber, described Israel’s actions in Gaza as a “text-book case of genocide” and resigned from his position, stating that the UN had “surrendered to the power of the US” and failed in its duty to prevent the killing of Palestinian civilians.

The U.S. has so far shown little intention of pushing for a ceasefire in Gaza and has instead pledged its unending support for Israel and its right to “self-defense.” US Senator Lindsey Graham has even suggested that Washington would stand by Israel regardless of how many civilians are killed in its fight against Hamas.

Iran Calls For Oil And Food Embargo On Israel

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has urged Muslim nations to impose an oil and food embargo on Israel to stop its military operation in Gaza.

Speaking to students in Tehran on Wednesday, Khamenei said, “What Islamic governments must insist on is the immediate cessation of crimes in Gaza,” suggesting that Muslim countries should “block the export of oil and food to the Zionist regime,” as quoted by the state-run IRNA media outlet.

He went on to claim that Israel is “now in a state of shock and desperation and does not know what to do,” while pointing out that the events in Gaza have prompted people to take to the streets and denounce Israel’s actions, not only in Muslim-majority states, but also in the US and Western Europe.

In mid-October, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, had made a similar call, asking Muslim nations to impose an “immediate and complete” oil embargo on Israel.

Last week, Libya’s House of Representatives (HoR, Majlis al-Nuwaab), which is located in the eastern city of Tobruk, controlled by General Khalifa Haftar, also demanded that the government halt oil and gas exports to countries supporting Israel if the “Israeli massacres” do not cease. The lawmakers also called for the expulsion from Libya of the ambassadors of the countries that back Israel.

It is worth noting that the Tobruk-based authorities do not control the whole of Libya, with a rival government operating from Tripoli.

Also last month, the Associated Press quoted Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani as warning that supplies of Middle Eastern oil to international markets could potentially be disrupted if other nations join the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Iran, aside from being the world’s eighth-largest oil producer, could also potentially block the narrow Strait of Hormuz, which connects the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. The route is used to transport approximately one-third of the world’s seaborne oil shipments.

Back in 1973, an oil embargo imposed on the US and Western countries by Arab nations in response to their support of Israel in the Yom Kippur War led to a severe deficit and an ensuing economic slump.

White House Rules Out Sending U.S. Troops To Gaza

U.S. soldiers will not be deployed to Gaza during or after the current conflict with Israel, the White House has said, dismissing reports suggesting US troops could be sent on a peacekeeping mission.

During a Wednesday press briefing, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby was asked whether U.S. forces would be used to “stabilize the situation” in Gaza.

“There is no plan or intention to put U.S. military troops on the ground in Gaza, now or in the future,” he said. “But we are talking to our partners about what post-conflict Gaza should look like.”

Kirby went on to say that officials were considering “some sort of international presence” after fighting winds down in Gaza, but noted that no decisions on the issue had been made.

The spokesman’s comments came after Bloomberg reported that Washington and Israel were discussing whether to grant “temporary oversight to Gaza to countries from the region, backed by troops from the U.S., UK, Germany and France.” The outlet stated that the plans were still in an early stage, however, and said at least two other options were also being considered, including involvement by the United Nations.

While Kirby rejected the idea of a U.S. peacekeeping mission, he echoed previous comments from the White House that Hamas “cannot be the future of governance in Gaza,” voicing support for Israel’s military operation to eliminate the militant group. Asked about what comes next for the Palestinian enclave, the spokesman said officials “do not have all the answers to that,” but insisted “Whatever it is – it cannot be Hamas.”

The latest bout of violence erupted following a deadly Hamas terrorist attack on October 7, which claimed the lives of some 1,400 Israelis. Israel has carried out heavy air strikes on Gaza in the weeks since, and subsequently launched ground incursions, killing more than 8,800 Palestinians, according to Gaza officials. The Israeli military has said its operation could go on for months, despite warnings of a dire humanitarian crisis from international aid groups.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that the country was “at war” and promised retaliation against Hamas that they “have never known before.” The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) responded by sending warplanes to strike targets in Gaza, ordering a blockade of the Palestinian enclave, and announcing plans for a ground invasion of the densely populated territory.

Israel Strikes Lebanon

The Israel Defense Forces said in the early hours of Thursday that it carried out air and artillery strikes on Lebanon after its drone came under a missile attack. It added that the UAV was unharmed.

According to the IDF, projectiles were also launched from the Lebanese territory towards the Mount Dov and Mount Hermon areas. The Israeli army responded by hitting the “source of the rocket fire” with artillery.

11 Bakeries Destroyed In Gaza

Eleven bakeries have been struck or destroyed in the Gaza Strip since 7 October, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its daily update on Wednesday.

It added that only nine bakeries remain operational and are supplying bread to shelters, mainly in the southern and middle parts of the Palestinian enclave. “Hours-long queues are reported in front of bakeries, where people are exposed to airstrikes,” the agency warned.

Biden Heckled

U.S. President Joe Biden was heckled at a fundraiser in Minneapolis by an audience member who demanded that he “call for a ceasefire right now.”

“I think we need a pause. A pause means give time to get the prisoners out,” Biden responded, according to The Hill.

The White House previously argued that a ceasefire would only benefit Hamas, echoing the stance taken by the Israeli government.

Israel Publishes Intercepted Call Of Hamas

The Israeli army published what it said was an intercepted call involving a senior Hamas commander and the director of the Indonesian Hospital in Gaza. The IDF described the recording as evidence that the Palestinian militants were “stealing” fuel reserved for medical facilities.

“The representative from the ministry said so, in the night he told me to fill up 1,000 liters,” a person described as a hospital manager is heard saying in Arabic.

The UN previously warned that fuel shortages were impeding the efforts to bring humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.

Tax Funds

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has said that the Jewish state’s government should transfer frozen tax funds to the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank, in comments that could be construed as a criticism of Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s decision to freeze Palestinian tax revenues to the PA.

Smotrich had on Sunday announced the step to pause the payments, claiming that Ramallah had supported Hamas’ incursion into Israel on October 7. Israel collects tax revenue from the West Bank, which it then transfers to the PA monthly, with the payments making up nearly 65% of the Palestinian annual budget.

Gallant said that the outstanding funds should be transferred to the PA “immediately” and that they “will be used by its forces that help prevent terrorism.”

Crime Of Genocide, U.S. Complicit

The U.S. is complicit in the deaths of children in Gaza, according to rights group Defence for Children International-Palestine “constituting the crime of genocide,” it said.

“President Biden’s statements over the last few weeks suggest he is completely unconcerned by the scope and scale of Palestinian civil harm – including the killings of 3,650 children – as a result of Israeli military attacks in Gaza,” the children’s rights organization said in a statement.

It added that Biden is “actively becoming ever more complicit in an Israeli military campaign where Israeli forces are killing Palestinian children with impunity, constituting the crime of genocide.”

Telecommunication Blackout

Cybersecurity watchdog NetBlocks has confirmed a telecommunications blackout in Gaza after the Palestinians’ largest provider, Paltel, said earlier today that there had been “a complete interruption of all communications and internet services” in the enclave.

It is the second such blackout since the start of Israel’s ground offensive, meaning that much of the territory’s more than two million residents are experiencing “a total loss of telecommunications,” Paltel said.

Paltel also stated on social media that its services were offline “due to international routes that were previously reconnected being cut off again.”

Thousands Of Children Killed

The UN’s children’s rights committee has said that violations against children in Gaza are “mounting by the minute” amid Israel’s bombardment of the coastal enclave, and has called for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

“There are no winners in a war where thousands of children are killed,” it said in a statement.

The UN committee added that “there have been devastating reports of acts that are forbidden by international humanitarian law, including maiming, injury, abduction, forcible displacement, deprivation of medical care, food and water.”

Safe Passage Of Wounded Palestinian

U.S. President Joe Biden has commented on social media about the opening of the Rafah border to Gaza earlier today.
“Today, thanks to American leadership, we secured safe passage for wounded Palestinians and for foreign nationals to exit Gaza,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “We expect American citizens to exit today, and we expect to see more depart over the coming days.”

Biden added that his administration “would not let up working to get Americans out of Gaza.”

Jordan Recalls Ambassador From Tel Aviv

Jordan has recalled its ambassador to Israel, its foreign minister Ayman Safadi has confirmed. In a statement, Safadi said the diplomatic measure was being taken “as an expression of Jordan’s position rejecting and condemning the Israeli war raging in Gaza.”

Safadi also stated that Israel’s ambassador to Jordan, who is not presently in the Middle Eastern country according to the statement, is not currently welcome to return.
Safadi added that the Israeli ambassador would be permitted back only “upon Israel ceasing its war in Gaza, halting the humanitarian disaster, and refraining from actions that deny Palestinians their basic rights, including access to food, water, and medicine, as well as as a secure and stable life on their national soil.”

Vienna Jewish Cemetery Torched

The Jewish section of a major cemetery in the Austrian capital was set ablaze and marred with swastikas, according to a religious leader in the city. The attack comes amid a surge of anti-Semitic incidents across Europe.

Oskar Deutsch, a leader in Vienna’s Jewish community, reported the vandalism and arson in a social media post on Wednesday, saying areas of the city’s central cemetery were severely damaged in the blaze.

“During the night a fire was set on the Jewish part of the central cemetery,” he wrote. “The anteroom of the ceremonial hall [was] burned out. Swastikas were sprayed on exterior walls. No people were injured. The fire department and police are investigating.”

Deutsch shared photos of the aftermath, showing firefighters inspecting a heavily charred and smoke-filled ceremony hall. What appear to be crude swastikas were also seen scrawled in fluorescent paint on a wall outside.

A spokesperson for the local fire service, Gerald Schimpf, told the Austria Press Agency that the fire seemed to have broken out sometime on Tuesday night, but had mostly died out on its own by the time firefighters arrived the next morning.

The Vienna State Police later confirmed that the episode was being “intensively investigated” by Austria’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution. While the authorities have stated that the exact circumstances of the fire “are not yet known,” local media reports said police suspected arson, noting that flames appeared to have ignited in more than one location.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer also “strongly” condemned the incident in a statement, declaring that “anti-Semitism has no place in our society and will be fought with all political and legal means.” He went on to voice hopes that perpetrators of the cemetery attack would be “identified quickly.”

The incident in Vienna follows a string of similar reports across Europe in recent weeks, amid renewed fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza. Fears of violent reprisals against Jews have prompted evacuations and closures at a number of religious institutions, with several Jewish schools in Paris reportedly forced to clear out following bomb threats earlier this week. Jewish organizations have also warned of a rise in anti-Semitism in the US, where the Anti-Defamation League has reported a nearly 400% spike in such incidents this month.

Jewish Schools In Paris Evacuated Over Bomb Scare

Several Jewish schools around Paris have been evacuated following a bomb threat, triggering “panic” among parents, according to sources cited by the Jerusalem Post.

Police launched a sweeping search of multiple schools on Monday after an anonymous suspect warned that “bombs would blow up in 20 different Jewish schools in the Paris area,” the outlet reported, citing “senior sources in the organized Jewish community.”

“There was a bomb threat towards many Jewish schools. Some of these schools have been evacuated. In most schools, parents were asked to take their children home,” one of the sources said.

They added that French security services had begun a search for bombs in the schools in question, but had yet to discover any explosives. “Even though everyone is okay, this event caused panic among parents. We’re going through a rough period and the situation in Israel has its effect on us as well,” the source continued.

French authorities have been on high alert amid the latest round of fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza. A surge in anti-Semitic actions has been seen across France in recent weeks, with the Interior Ministry stating that reports of such acts had quadrupled in that time. 

Anti-Jewish graffiti on schools and other similar displays have stoked fears of violent reprisals, with some Jewish residents telling local media they are afraid to leave their homes.

The bomb threat against schools around Paris is the latest in a series of such incidents in France this month, with the historic Palace of Versailles forced to clear out on four separate occasions. While no bombs were found in each case, similar false threats have also resulted in evacuations at 15 airports and 130 canceled flights, according to the Associated Press.

On October 19, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said a probe into the threats was well underway, and confirmed that 18 suspects had been detained as part of the investigation – most of them minors. 

The minister added that “enormous means” were being deployed to find and arrest the pranksters, declaring “We tell those listening: We will find everyone.”

French Justice chief Eric Dupond-Moretti said the string of bomb threats were made by “little jokers” and “clowns,” and went on to warn of three-year prison terms and fines of up to €45,000 ($47,000) for those found guilty.

Netanyahu Ignored Warnings From Security Services, Says New York Times

Israeli security services warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for months that his domestic policies were fueling dangerous political turmoil, the New York Times (NYT) reported on Sunday. Officials reportedly stressed that internal discord was weakening the country’s security and strengthening Israel’s enemies.

The report was part of an examination of what led up to the latest hostilities between Israel and Gaza. At one point in July, the prime minister even allegedly refused to meet with a senior general who was trying to deliver a threat warning based on classified intelligence.

At the same time, the NYT assessed that Israeli security representatives themselves continuously misjudged the threat posed by Hamas, including in the weeks leading up to the October 7 attack on Israeli territory which resulted in the deaths of up to 1,400 people.

The newspaper reported that Israeli military intelligence had believed since May 2021 that the militant group was not interested in any large-scale attacks from Gaza, but was instead plotting an attack in the West Bank, controlled by the Palestinian Authority, a rival to Hamas.

The report also claimed that both Netanyahu and top Israeli security staff had underestimated the threat from Hamas and did not devote enough resources to countering it, because they believed that Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah posed more of a danger to the Jewish state.

In September, top Israeli officials came to the conclusion that Israel could be attacked on several fronts in the coming weeks or months by Iran-backed militia groups. However, there was no mention of a possible attack from Gaza at that time.

Another reason for the success of the surprise assault earlier this month, according to the outlet, was the fact that U.S. intelligence agencies had largely stopped tracking the group, believing that Israel was managing the threat it posed.

While many senior Israeli officials have accepted responsibility for their lapse in judgment, Prime Minister Netanyahu has been reluctant to do so, instead repeatedly pointing the finger at his military and intelligence chiefs for failing to predict and warn him about Hamas’ plans.

On Sunday, he published yet another post on X (formerly Twitter) blaming his cabinet for failing to prevent the October 7 attack. However, after receiving backlash, Netanyahu deleted it and posted another message stating “I was wrong” and vowing to fully back the heads of Israel’s security agencies.

Civilian Casualties In Gaza Do Not Matter, Says Top U.S. Senator

The U.S. should stand by Israel in its campaign against Hamas no matter how heavy a toll it takes on the civilian population in Gaza, Senator Lindsey Graham has argued. He likened Israel’s military operation against the militants to the allies’ struggle against Nazi Germany and Japan during World War II.

In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Graham was asked if there was a “threshold” for him, after which he would start questioning Israel’s tactics. The Republican replied in the negative, saying there is no limit as to “what Israel should do to the people who are trying to slaughter the Jews.”

“This idea that Israel has to apologize for attacking Hamas, who is embedded with their own population, needs to stop,” the senator insisted, adding that it is Hamas that is “creating these casualties – not Israel.”

Graham noted that Israel does need to “be smart” by trying to “limit civilian casualties.” The lawmaker also called for the delivery of humanitarian aid to “areas that protect the innocent.”

During his visit to Israel last month, U.S. President Joe Biden assured Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that “as long as the United States stands, and we will stand forever, we will not let you ever be alone.”

Soon after Hamas’ deadly attack on Israel last month, Washington scrambled to provide its long-standing ally with additional defense aid worth billions of dollars.

The U.S. has also deployed two aircraft carrier groups and other naval assets, a squadron of F-16 fighter jets, air-defense systems, and 900 troops to the Middle East, saying this increased military presence should serve as a deterrent to other states tempted to join the conflict.

On Tuesday in Geneva, a spokesman for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), James Elder, claimed that “Gaza has become a graveyard for thousands of children,” and a “living hell for everyone else.” He called for a humanitarian ceasefire in the Palestinian enclave.

The conflict has so far left more than 1,400 Israelis and over 8,000 Palestinians dead, with thousands more injured.

Bolivia Breaks Diplomatic Ties With Israel

Bolivia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Freddy Mamani told a press conference broadcast by national television that “Within the framework of its principled position of respect for life, Bolivia has decided to break diplomatic relations with Israel, in repudiation and condemnation of the aggressive and disproportionate Israeli military offensive being carried out in the Gaza Strip.” 

He called for a cease to the current attacks and of the blockade that prevents the entry of food, water and other elements essential for life, violating international law and international humanitarian law.

Mamani joined Minister of the Presidency María Nela Prada from Government House in La Paz to communicate the decision, which will be officially notified through established diplomatic channels between the two countries, they said.

The tweet reads, “Bolivia breaks diplomatic relations with Israel in rejection of the crimes against humanity it commits against the Palestinian people: María Nela Prada, Minister of the Presidency of Bolivia.”

For her part, Prada said that Israel’s actions are “crimes against humanity,” and demanded “an end to the attacks on the Gaza Strip, which have already claimed thousands of civilian lives.”

The day before, Bolivian President Luis Arce held a meeting with the Palestinian ambassador to the South American nation, Mahmoud Elalwani. The president expressed his rejection of the war crimes in the Gaza Strip, as well as his solidarity on behalf of the Bolivian people for the suffering of the Palestinians.

Regarding this meeting, the Minister of the Presidency said that Arce “called for a definitive solution and for Palestine to exercise its right to self-determination, to its territory without illegal occupations and to consolidate its own free and independent State, within the framework of its established borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

Prada also urged “dialogue and structural solutions” to avoid “a further escalation of the conflict around the world.” She called on “brotherly countries” and the integration processes in which Bolivia participates to “produce a collective action” to achieve pacification in the region and “avoid genocide.”

Furthermore, she said that Bolivia will send humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip and that the Bolivian Embassy in the Netherlands will assume the concurrent function with Palestine.

Venezuelan Prosecutor Criticizes Inaction Against Gaza Genocide

On Tuesday, the Venezuelan Attorney General Tarek William Saab criticized the inaction of international human rights organizations in the face of the ongoing genocide that Israel is committing against the people of Palestine.

Through the social media platform X, he lambasted the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Volker Türk, and the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Karim Khan, for failing to take effective measures to halt the genocide.

“It deeply saddens me to observe how the international organizations you oversee have not made any significant efforts to put an end to this heinous slaughter, the most atrocious holocaust in recent human history, a systematic extermination of women, the elderly, and children carried out by Israeli Zionism for the past month,” Saab stated.

“As a man born into a home of Lebanese Arab immigrants who planted their roots in our Venezuelan homeland since the 1950s, I feel the spilled Palestinian blood deeply,” he added.


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