Media Summary

BBC News reports that Palestinian medical staff in Gaza told the BBC they were blindfolded, detained, forced to strip and repeatedly beaten by Israeli troops after a raid at their hospital last month


BBC News reports that Palestinian medical staff in Gaza told the BBC they were blindfolded, detained, forced to strip and repeatedly beaten by Israeli troops after a raid at their hospital last month. The Guardian and The BBC report that the UK is pushing for a ‘full explanation’ of alleged abuses.

BBC News reports starvation is being used as a weapon of war in Gaza, the EU’s foreign policy chief has claimed. Josep Borrell described the lack of aid entering the territory as a “manmade” disaster.

BBC News further reports that a dual US-Israeli citizen who was earlier believed to be held hostage by jihadists was actually killed in the 7 October Hamas attacks, according to the Israel Defense Forces. Itay Chen was a soldier for the IDF serving near the Gaza border. The 19-year-old’s body was taken by Hamas after he was killed and remains in Gaza, the IDF said on Tuesday.

BBC News releases a piece on Biden and Netanyahu’s relationship, saying their “deepening rift is on public display”.

The Telegraph publishes an opinion arguing that Biden’s “confused” strategy over Gaza is only strengthening Hamas.

The Guardian reports that a Palestinian boy has died after being shot by Israeli border police at a refugee camp in East Jerusalem in the first such fatality in the Israeli-annexed territory during Ramadan.

The Guardian also reports that a Palestinian citizen of Israel has been granted asylum in the UK after claiming he would face persecution in his home country on the grounds of his race, his Muslim faith and his opinion that Israel “is governed by an apartheid regime”.

Sky News reports that Israel has been urged by Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron to open one of its ports to allow aid arriving by sea to get through to Gaza. He also called for more visas to be issued to UN workers to ensure humanitarian assistance could be distributed in the Palestinian territory.

The Financial Times reports on US national security adviser Jake Sullivan warning the Israeli government against “smashing into Rafah” as the Biden administration underlines its opposition to the planned assault on one of Gaza’s biggest cities.

The Financial Times also reports on the border with Lebanon, saying that Hezbollah responded with the largest rocket barrage since start of hostilities in October.

The Sun reports that the IDF claim to have uncovered a secret document from Hamas’s headquarters detailing violence by Yahya Sinwar. According to the IDF, the file revealed the fate of opposition leader Mahmoud Ishtiwi. In 2015, Ishtiwi was accused of “immoral” acts, Hamas code for homosexuality, but unlike others who were quickly executed, the former commander remained under arrest and tortured for over a year.

The Times reports that the UN has heard that Hamas committed “unspeakably violent” rape and torture on October 7.

The Times also reports that Labour Party affiliated unions have been urged by the government’s independent adviser on political violence and disruption to stop supporting the pro-Palestinian group behind intimidating tactics deployed against MPs.

Army Radio includes news of two soldiers stabbed in an attack at the Tunnels Checkpoint south of Jerusalem this morning. Israeli security forces shot the attacker, who Ynet identifies as Muhammed Abu Hamed, 15, from the adjacent Palestinian village of al-Khader. The two troops were moderately wounded. Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai said, “We are in the midst of a very sensitive period of time. There are too many external elements trying to stir things up on the ground. The closer we get to the [first] Friday of Ramadan, everyone is trying to stir things up in this area; we are currently on our highest alert.”

With 100 rockets being fired once more on Israel from southern Lebanon yesterday, Maariv quotes the IDF Spokesperson’s Office saying that “more than 1,200 Hizbullah targets have been attacked from the air and more than 3,100 targets [have been attacked] from the ground in the territory of Lebanon and Syria” since October 7th. According to the statement, more than 300 Hizbullah terrorists have been killed so far, including five high-ranking commanders, and another 750 have been wounded.

In further developments on the northern front, Kan Radio reports that the IAF struck two Syrian Army military sites used by Hezbollah last night, having struck two Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon earlier in the day. I24 News adds that in addition to the airstrikes, the IDF deployed artillery fire to target the launch sites responsible for the attacks on the Zar’it, Shtula, and Rosh Hanikra areas in northern Israel.

In the Gaza Strip, Kan Radio reports that the UN began directly distributing humanitarian aid to residents for the first time yesterday, by using a road paved by the IDF. The road splits the Gaza Strip between Kibbutz Beeri on one side and the Mediterranean Sea on the other. Israel has also been repairing a water supply line to Bani Suheila, inside the Gaza Strip, a line that was destroyed by IDF strikes in the first days of the war.

Ynet features footage of large numbers of Gazans hurriedly converging on a parachuted aid drop in the northern Strip yesterday. “The airdrop was carried out by Morocco which for the first time joined the US, Jordan and a series of other countries that began airdropping aid into Gaza in coordination with the Israel Defense Forces.”

Haaretz reports that 68 Palestinian children were evacuated from an orphanage in Rafah, Gaza Strip, to Bethlehem in the West Bank as part of a humanitarian operation approved by Israel, the German Embassy in Tel Aviv announced on Tuesday. The IDF conducted the evacuation under the instructions of the Israeli government and at the apparent request of the German government.

Israel Hayom’s Yoav Limor contextualises the importance of the apparent Israeli assassination of Hamas number 3 in Gaza Marwan Issa. “He does not enjoy the public aura surrounding Yahya Sinwar or the military reputation of Mohammed Deif,” Limor says, “but his importance to the organisation is no less critical than that of his two partners in the leadership structure. The reports describing him as a subordinate or ‘underling’ of Deif do not do justice to the reality of the situation; Issa is the brilliant strategic brain among this threesome, he is also the individual who serves as the liaison between Deif and Sinwar – and there are those who even claim that he is the balancing factor who often ‘irons out the creases’ and calms things down in the complex relationship between these two top men.”

Channel 12’s latest polling, conducted prior to Saar’s announcement, shows Gantz’s National Unity Party as the largest Knesset faction by some distance. The projected Knesset  seat breakdown is as follows: National Unity Party: 35;  Likud: 19; Yesh Atid: 14; Shas: 11; Yisrael Beiteinu: 10; Jewish Power: 9; United Torah Judaism: 7; Hadash-Ta’al: 5; United Arab List: 5; Meretz: 5. Religious Zionist Party, Balad and the Labour Party all fail to cross the threshold; Religious Zionist Party: 0 (2.9 percent); Balad: 0 (2.0 percent); Labour Party: 0 (1.7 percent). Overall, the current coalition is forecast to receive 46 and the opposition 64. On the question of who Israel’s would prefer to win the next US presidential election, 44 percent say former President Trump, 30 percent President Biden, and 26 percent don’t know.

Israel Hayom features news that the IDF is considering increasing its troop numbers to meet the number and severity of Israel’s security challenges. “Among other things,” it says, “military officials are considering the option of creating a new engineering battalion, expanding the IAF’s UAV arsenal, bolstering the Armoured Corps by adding additional standing army companies to replace reserve units, establishing several light infantry battalions, deploying two additional Iron Dome batteries operated by conscripts and more.”