The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project

‘Operation al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 272

Israelis urge Netanyahu to accept U.S. ceasefire deal as Hamas gives its response

Hezbollah has fired hundreds of rockets on the Galilee after Israel’s assassination of one of its senior commanders.

BY QASSAM MUADDI, Mondoweiss,  

A UN-run school sheltering displaced people near Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis was bombed by Israeli warplanes on July 3, 2024. (Photo: Abdullah Abu Al-Khair/APA Images)A UN-RUN SCHOOL SHELTERING DISPLACED PEOPLE NEAR NASSER HOSPITAL IN KHAN YOUNIS WAS BOMBED BY ISRAELI WARPLANES ON JULY 3, 2024. (PHOTO: ABDULLAH ABU AL-KHAIR/APA IMAGES)


  • 38,011 + killed* and at least 87,445 wounded in the Gaza Strip. Among the dead, 28,200 have been fully identified. These include 7,779 children, 5466 women, and 2418 elderly people as of May 1. In addition, around 10,000 more are estimated to be under the rubble.*
  • 561+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. These include 136 children.**
  • Israel revised its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,140.
  • 677 Israeli soldiers have been recognized as killed, and 4021 as wounded by the Israeli army since October 7.***

* Gaza’s branch of the Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed this figure its daily report, published through its WhatsApp channel on July 4, 2024. Some rights groups estimate the death toll to be much higher when accounting for those presumed dead.
** The death toll in the West Bank and Jerusalem is not updated regularly. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health on July 3, this is the latest figure.
*** These figures are released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” The number of Israeli soldiers wounded according to declarations by the head of the Israeli army’s wounded association to Israel’s Channel 12 exceeds 20,000 including at least 8,000 permanently handicapped as of June 1. Israel’s Channel 7 reported that according to the Israeli war ministry’s rehabilitation service numbers, 8,663 new wounded joined the army’s handicap rehabilitation system since October 7, as of June 18.

Key Developments 

  • Israel kills 134 Palestinians, wounds 476 across Gaza since Monday, July 1, raising death toll since October 7 to 38,011 and number of wounded to 87,445, according to Gaza health ministry.
  • Hezbollah launches over 250 rockets and 20 guided drones at Israeli positions, at distances of up to 35 kilometers into the Galilee and the Golan heights, in response to Israel’s assassination of a Hezbollah senior commander in Tyre, southern Lebanon. Hezbollah commander identified as Muhammad Naameh Naser, 59, head of the “Aziz” unit.
  • Israel bombs surroundings of southern Lebanese towns of Kufr Shuba, Rashaya al-Fakhar, and Kuf Hamam. 
  • U.S. envoy Amos Hockstein arrives on Wednesday in Paris to discuss de-escalation between Israel and Lebanon.
  • Office of PM Netanyahu and Mossad announce receiving Hamas response to amended U.S. ceasefire proposal. Israeli cabinet set to meet today to discuss Hamas response.
  • Israeli Channel 12 quotes Israeli officials saying that Hamas response “for the first time allows for making progress in negotiations.”
  • Israeli captives’ families demand Netanyahu accept deal, warn “millions will take to the streets” if he doesn’t.
  • Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot says Israel’s security branches angry at Netanyahu and Smotrich attempts to sabotage deal.
  • Israeli army recognizes killing of 7 soldiers since Monday, July 1, and 50 wounded, including 39 in Gaza.
  • Palestinian resistance factions announce attacks on Israeli troops in Shuja’iyya, Rafah, and Netzarim corridor.
  • Israeli airstrikes target 12 family houses since Monday, July 1, in Gaza City, Nuseirat, Rafah, and Khan Younis.
  • The Palestinian health ministry announces partial halt of operations in Naser Hospital in Khan Younis due to lack of fuel for power generators.
  • UN says 90% of Gaza’s population has been displaced at least once since October 7.
  • In West Bank, Israeli army kills 4 Palestinians in airstrikes on Tulkarem.
  • Israeli government approves confiscation of 13 square kilometers in Jordan Valley area, becoming largest single Israeli land grab in past 30 years.

Hamas responds positively to amended U.S. deal, but Israeli security branches accuse Netanyahu of sabotage

The Israeli Mossad and the office of Israel’s Prime Minister announced on Wednesday that mediators in the ceasefire talks gave Israel Hamas’s response to the U.S.-amended ceasefire proposal. Benjamin Netanyahu is set to head a cabinet meeting later on Thursday to discuss Hamas’s response. Meanwhile, Israel’s Channel 12 quoted a high-ranking Israeli official saying that Hamas’s response “for the first time allows for making progress in negotiations.”

For its part, the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot reported that the heads of Israel’s security forces were “angry at the attempts of Netanyahu and Smotrich to sabotage the deal,” pointing accusations at Netanyahu of obstructing communication channels with mediators beforehand.

The families of Israeli captives in Gaza warned that they would increase their protests to include “millions in the streets” if Netanyahu doesn’t accept the deal this time. Protests demanding a captive exchange deal and new elections in Israel have been escalating in recent weeks, and on Wednesday, protesters demonstrated outside Netanyahu’s residence in Cesarea, blocking main highways between Tel Aviv and Haifa.

In Gaza, the Israeli army continued to bomb residential blocks in Gaza City, Rafah, and Khan Younis. The Gaza branch of the Palestinian health ministry’s daily reports indicated the targeting of 12 family homes across the strip since Monday. On Thursday, Al Jazeera reported the aftermath of an Israeli strike on a family apartment between the Sabra and Daraj neighborhoods in Gaza City. Residents at the site told Al Jazeera that seven people were killed, including at least three children. One of the neighbors said that the children fell to their deaths from the third-floor apartment and that one was found without a head.

Read also: The second invasion of al-Shuja’iyya is a war of attrition

On Wednesday, Israeli strikes targeted the surroundings of the Naser Hospital in Khan Younis, where hundreds of families take shelter from Israeli bombings. One Palestinian was initially reported dead, and several wounded. The hospital announced on Thursday that several of its sections went out of service due to the lack of fuel for generators, as a result of Israel’s closure of the Rafah border crossing.

Read also: ‘It felt like pulling my heart out of the earth:’ testimonies from the mass grave at Nasser Hospital

Last April, Nasser Hospital was the site of the uncovering of several mass graves that contained the bodies of hundreds of Palestinians, many of them with bound hands and medical catheters still attached to their bodies.

Spike in escalation between Israel and Lebanon after assassination of senior Hezbollah commander

On Thursday, sirens echoed on Thursday across the upper Galilee area as hundreds of rockets from Lebanon struck the region. Meanwhile, Hezbollah announced that its fighters fired some 250 rockets and 20 drones at Israeli military positions as far as 35 kilometers beyond Lebanon’s southern border.

Hezbollah’s statement added that the attack came in response to Israel’s assassination of a high-ranking Hezbollah commander on Wednesday in an airstrike on the city of Tyre in southern Lebanon.

Read also: Understanding Israel’s threats of war with Hezbollah

The strike targeted Muhammad Naameh Naser, 59, or “Abu Naameh,” the commander of Hezbollah’s “Aziz unit.” Israel claimed that Naser was responsible for all of Hezbollah’s operations in southern Lebanon’s western front. Naser had been an active operative of the Lebanese resistance since 1982, before the establishment of Hezbollah. According to the group, Naser fought Israeli forces in southern Lebanon in the 1990s, in the 2006 war, and was wounded in the fight against Syrian rebels and ISIL between 2011 and 2013.

Abu Naameh Naser was the second-highest-ranking Hezbollah commander to be killed by Israel in less than a month. In mid-June, Israel killed Abu Taleb Abdallah, the commander of Hezbollah’s “Nasr” unit. Hezbollah responded with hundreds of rockets at the time, causing widespread fires in the northern Galilee region and raising the possibility of an all-out war with Israel to unprecedented levels.

Meanwhile, U.S. envoy Amos Hockstein arrived in Paris on Wednesday to meet with French officials in an attempt to join efforts to defuse tensions along Lebanon’s southern border, with the aim of preventing a total war with Israel.

West Bank escalation

Israeli forces killed four Palestinians in an airstrike on Tulkarem’s Nur Shams refugee camp on Wednesday.

The four men, aged between 20 and 25, raised the number of Palestinians killed by Israel in Tulkarem alone to eight since last weekend. On Sunday, an Israeli airstrike killed a 23-year-old Palestinian who was a leading member of the local Tulkarem Brigade.

Read also: The Tulkarem Brigade’s ‘men in the sun’ resist in search of freedom

On Monday, Israeli soldiers raiding Nur Shams camp killed a 45-year-old woman and a 15-year-old teenager. And on Tuesday, Israeli undercover forces entered Nur Shams and opened fire at a car, killing a 20-year-old Palestinian, who Israel accused of belonging to the Tulkarem Brigade.

Meanwhile, the Israeli government approved the confiscation of some 13 square kilometers in the Jordan Valley on Wednesday, marking the largest single land grab by Israel in the West Bank since 1993.

Peace Now, the Israeli NGO, reported that the Israeli government declared the land as state property, which has been Israel’s main method of expanding Israeli settlements in the West Bank since 1967. According to Peace Now, the year 2024 has witnessed a peak in Israeli confiscation of Palestinian land, reaching 237 square kilometers since the beginning of the year.

Earlier in June, Israel’s finance minister Bezalel Smotrich revealed an ongoing plan to transfer administrative powers over the West Bank from the Israeli army to the government in a speech to settler leaders. According to Smotrich, this move would facilitate the legalization of settlement outposts and increase settlement building, while preventing the West Bank “from becoming part of a Palestinian state.”





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