International calls for accountability grow after Israeli attack kills Al Jazeera journalist Samer Abudaqa.
Here’s how things stand on Saturday, December 16, 2023:
- Al Jazeera cameraman Samer Abudaqa has been killed in an Israeli attack on Gaza. He is the 57th Palestinian journalist and media worker to be killed since the war started on October 7.
- The Al Jazeera Media Network condemned the Israeli drone strike on a Gaza school that resulted in the killing of Abudaqa and said it holds Israel “accountable for systematically targeting and killing Al Jazeera journalists and their families”.
- Israel’s military has admitted to accidentally killing three Israeli captives held in Gaza, as hundreds protest in Tel Aviv calling for renewed talks for the safe return of those held by Palestinian armed group Hamas.
- Israel’s military police are investigating the killing of two Palestinians in the occupied West Bank after a human rights group posted a video that captures the apparent “executions” of the two men by Israeli forces, the Associated Press news agency reported.
- The United States military has said that Houthi rebels in Yemen attacked two vessels and threatened a third as tensions in the Red Sea escalate.
Human impact and fighting
- Israeli attacks on Rafah and Khan Younis in southern Gaza continue to rage. According to the United Nations, at least five Palestinians and three Israeli soldiers have died as a result of the intense fighting in the region.
- Israeli attacks have killed Palestinians near a UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) school in Deir el-Balah in Gaza, according to the Palestinian news agency Wafa. Palestinians were also injured in an air attack on a home near the al-Raws intersection in the Bureij refugee camp.
- At least 18,787 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks since October 7. The revised death toll in Israel stands at about 1,200.
- White House national security spokesperson John Kirby has expressed Washington’s “deepest sympathies and condolences” for the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Samer Abudaqa, as international calls for accountability, including from the Al Jazeera Media Network, for Israel’s killing of journalists since October 7, grow.
- Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas has reiterated the urgent need to stop Israeli attacks on Gaza during a meeting with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.
- The United States wants the PA involved in a post-war Gaza plan, which Israel continues to oppose.
- The director of Israel’s spy agency Mossad, David Barnea, is expected to meet Qatar’s Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in Europe this weekend to discuss the resumption of talks on a deal to secure the release of captives held in the Gaza Strip, according to a report by news website Axios.
- The UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths has welcomed Israel’s decision to open the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing into Gaza, which will allow aid to enter the besieged enclave.