Israel strikes Iran, Gaza health ministry says Israel destroyed the Strip’s health system – Mondoweiss

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Casualties 

  • 34,012 + killed* and at least 76,833 wounded in the Gaza Strip.*
  • 468+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.**
  • Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,139.
  • 604 Israeli soldiers have been killed since October 7, and at least 6,800 injured.***

*Gaza’s Ministry of Health confirmed this figure on its Telegram channel on April 19, 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 PA’s Ministry of Health on April 5, this is the latest figure.

*** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” The number of Israeli soldiers wounded is according to Israeli media reports.

Key Developments 

  • Israel kills 42 Palestinians, wounds 63 in the past 24 hours across Gaza, raising the death toll since October 7 to 34,012 and the number of wounded to 76,833, according to the Gaza health ministry.
  • Gaza’s health ministry says that Israel intentionally destroyed the health system in the northern Gaza Strip.
  • Gaza’s health ministry: more than 600,000 Palestinians in the northern Gaza Strip are left without medical or health services.
  • Iranian Faris news agency: Explosions were heard in the Isfahan airport and an Iranian army military base.
  • Israeli public broadcasting says Israel is behind attacks on Iran.
  • Reuters, quoting U.S. official sources, confirms Israeli attack on Iran.
  • CNN quoting U.S. officials: Israel told the U.S. that it won’t attack Iranian nuclear facilities.
  • Iranian television says that Iran’s air defenses intercepted several small drones in Iran’s airspace.
  • Iranian Tasnim news agency: Isfahan province is completely safe.
  • Iranian television says that Iranian nuclear facilities were not exposed to danger.
  • NBC, quoting from U.S. sources, says that the U.S. did not take part in Israel’s attack on Iran.
  • Reuters quoting Iranian officials: There was not a missile attack on Iran.
  • Russia’s embassy in Tehran: We notice calm in Tehran after a drone attack on Isfahan at night.
  • Israel’s Channel 12: Israel’s attack on Iran is over
  • Israel’s security minister Ben-Gvir calls Israeli strike on Iran “a joke”.

Israel kills 42 Palestinians in the past 24 hours

The Gaza-based Palestinian health ministry announced that 42 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli strikes in the past 24 hours, while 63 others were wounded.

Meanwhile, in the northern Gaza Strip, Israeli forces renewed airstrikes on different parts of the northern area. In the Shati refugee camp, west of Gaza City, Israeli strikes killed four Palestinians and wounded several others. Another Palestinian was killed in an Israeli strike on a provisions center in the same refugee camp.

Other strikes targeted the southern part of Gaza City and the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in the city, where five Palestinians were killed. Israeli artillery also shelled Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahia. Three Palestinians were also killed in Jabalia by Israeli troops’ gunfire, local sources reported.

In the central Gaza Strip, Palestinian medical teams recovered nine dead bodies in the Nuseirat refugee camp, a day after Israel’s withdrawal from the camp. In the Mighraqa village, Israeli strikes wounded a number of Palestinians, and one Palestinian was killed by Israeli sniper fire in the center of Deir al-Balah.

In the southern Gaza Strip, the number of Palestinians killed in an Israeli strike on a family’s shelter in Rafah on Thursday rose to 11, including the two parents, five children, and the grandmother. In Khan Younis, Palestinian medical teams recovered four dead bodies from across the city 11 days after Israel’s withdrawal from the area.

Gaza’s health ministry says that Israel intentionally destroyed Gaza’s health system

More than 600,000 Palestinians in Gaza City and the northern Gaza Strip are left without health services after Israel “intentionally destroyed” the health system in the north, the Gaza-based Palestinian health ministry said on Friday.

In a statement, the ministry said that Israeli forces committed direct killings of medical personnel and patients in al-Shifa hospital and other hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip.

According to the ministry, among those killed by Israeli forces were specialized medics who “represented the backbone of medical services,” including specialists in tumor samples testing and kidney transplants.

The ministry made a call to provide northern Gaza with field hospitals with a 200-bed capacity, equipped for surgical interventions and specialized medical teams.

In late March, the Israeli army withdrew from al-Shifa Hospital, the largest hospital in all Palestinian territories, after a two-week raid. Israeli forces destroyed all sections of al-Shifa, including setting entire floors on fire and destroying equipment. The World Health Organization described the destruction as “al-Shifa not functioning as a hospital after today.”

Currently, only four hospitals are partially functional in the Gaza Strip out of a total of 30 hospitals that used to operate in the besieged enclave before October 7. These hospitals served the two million people in the Gaza Strip.

Israel strikes Iran with drones

Iranian media sources reported early on Friday that several explosions were heard in the Isfahan province in Iran. The Israeli public broadcasting corporation later said that Israel conducted an air attack on Iran.

Sources indicated that the attack targeted a military base at an airport in Isfahan, while Iranian sources said that Iran’s nuclear facilities were not attacked and are completely safe.

U.S. media quoted U.S. officials saying that Israel had informed Washington two days ago that it would attack Iran. The officials were quoted to affirm that the U.S. did not take part in the attack.

Meanwhile, Iran suspended air flights in the country during the morning before announcing the release of restrictions. Iranian television said that the country’s air defenses intercepted three “small drones” in the airspace of Isfahan. The Iranian army also said that the explosions were heard as a result of air defense activity.

Friday’s attack comes a week after Iran launched a drone and missile attack on Israel, which targeted military bases and airports. Iran said that the attack was a response to Israel’s bombing of the Iranian consulate in Damascus on April 1, which killed seven Iranian officials.

Iran’s attack in early April and Israel’s attack on Friday are the first-ever direct attacks between the two states on each others’ territory.

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