Palestinians describe “destruction and smell of death” upon returning to Khan Younis, as Israel withdraws from the city to reportedly prepare for the invasion of Rafah. Palestinian leader and writer Walid Daqqa dies in Israeli prison at age 62.



  • 33,175 + killed* and at least 75,886 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
  • 456+ 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. 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 March 17, this is the latest figure.

*** The number of Israeli soldiers who have been killed was released by the Israeli military, and only includes those soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” The number of Israeli soldiers wounded is according to Israeli media reports.

Key Developments 

  • Israel kills 84 Palestinians, wounds 136 in the past 24 hours across Gaza, raising the death toll since October 7 to 33,175 and the number of wounded to 75,886, according to the Gaza health ministry.
  • Israeli army withdraws from Khan Younis.
  • Israeli war minister says withdrawal from Khan Younis is preparation for Rafah’s invasion.
  • Palestinians return to Khan Younis as Israeli army withdraws, describing “destruction and smell of death”.
  • UN humanitarian affairs coordinator: Israel’s withdrawal from Khan Younis can improve conditions for the Palestinian population.
  • UN coordinator for humanitarian affairs: Israel’s war goals to invade Rafah will precede any humanitarian goals.
  • al-Qassam Brigades say they killed 14 Israeli soldiers in an ambush in northern Khan Younis.
  • Israeli army admits losing four soldiers in Khan Younis.
  • Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics says 44% of Palestinians killed in Gaza are children.
  • Palestinian prisoner, leader, intellectual, and writer Walid Daqqa dies in Israeli jail at age 62 after 38 years in prison.
  • Walid Daqqa’s brother says Israeli authorities are delaying handing over his body to the family.
  • Palestinian Prisoners’ Affairs Commission says the number of Palestinians arrested by Israel since October 7 has exceeded 8,100.
  • West Bank: Israeli forces raid Nablus, Qalqilya, Hebron, and Tulkarm. 

Hamas says Gaza truce talks remain deadlocked despite reports of progress

A Hamas official said no progress was made at a new round of Gaza ceasefire talks in Cairo also attended by delegations from Israel, Qatar, and the US, shortly after Egyptian sources said headway had been made on the agenda. Listen to Correspondent Dan Williams on the likelihood of a breakthrough.

Egyptian sources say both sides Israeli made concessions.

  • Palestinian official cites impasse on main Hamas demands
  • Hamas wants end to war, Israeli pullout; Israel rejects this
  • Delegations to resume talks within 48 hours, sources say
  • Israel under pressure to ease humanitarian crisis in Gaza
Israel kills 84 Palestinians and wounds 136 across the Gaza Strip over the weekend

The Gaza-based Palestinian health ministry announced in separate statements on Saturday and Sunday that a total of 84 Palestinians were killed and 136 wounded by Israeli forces’ ongoing strikes on the Gaza Strip over the past 48 hours.

Meanwhile, local media sources reported that Israeli forces bombed the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood and the Shejaiya refugee camp in Gaza City and its surroundings. On Saturday, the Israeli army allowed a medicine truck and a fuel truck to reach the northern Gaza Strip for the first time since the beginning of the war in October.

In the central Gaza Strip, local sources reported that Israeli forces bombed the Mighraqa village north of Deir al-Balah, the Nusseirat refugee camp, the Maghazi refugee camp, and the al-Zahraa neighborhood. According to sources, six dead bodies were recovered in Nusseirat and three more in al-Zahraa.

In the southern Gaza Strip, Israeli forces withdrew from Khan Younis and its surroundings late on Sunday. This follows a five-month-long ground invasion that has left behind the large-scale destruction of the city and its surroundings.

Upon Israel’s withdrawal from Khan Younis, Palestinian medical sources reported recovering 12 dead bodies from across the city, adding to the dozens of Palestinians killed by Israeli strikes in Khan Younis in previous months. Media sources reported Israeli strikes on Khan Younis’ city center as displaced residents returned to their homes in the area, following the Israeli withdrawal.

Also on Saturday, Israeli forces destroyed several homes in the al-Zanneh neighborhood in Khan Younis, following intense fighting with the Palestinian resistance.

In Rafah, Israeli forces bombed an apartment and farmland in the center and west of the city. Israeli forces also destroyed two houses in the Jeneineh neighborhood in the city.

Israel’s Genocide in Gaza Continues

The Israeli military said yesterday it withdrew a division of ground troops from southern Gaza. The army said that the 98th Division had left Khan Younis in order “to recuperate and prepare for future operations,” meaning there were no Israeli troops actively maneuvering in the south, Israeli news media reported. Israel has significantly reduced the number of troops it has on the ground in Gaza over the past several months, with only a fraction of the soldiers it deployed earlier in the war remaining. It was unclear what the latest drawdown meant for a possible Israeli offensive into Rafah. Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, said the military was preparing for “follow-up missions” that included Rafah. Adam Rasgon reports for the New York Times.

Negotiations to secure a temporary ceasefire in Gaza and another round of hostage releases resumed in Cairo yesterday. In a statement, Hamas said its delegation had met with the head of Egypt’s intelligence service and reiterated a set of demands that include a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza. Officials from the United States, Qatar, and Egypt were also expected to take part in the talks, along with an Israeli delegation. The negotiations achieved “significant progress” and a consensus on many controversial points, according to Egyptian state outlet Al Qahera News, citing a senior Egyptian official. Ephrat Livni and Adam Rasgon report for the New York Times.

Israel’s national security minister Itamar Ben Gvir said today that if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu abandons plans for an offensive on Rafah, he may lose the support of the coalition that has kept him in power. “If the prime minister decides to end the war without launching an extensive attack on Rafah to defeat Hamas, he will not have a mandate to continue serving as prime minister,” Ben Gvir said. As one of the most far-right members of Netanyahu’s cabinet, Ben Gvir has been convicted for supporting terrorism and inciting anti-Arab racism, and earlier this year advocated for the mass relocation of Palestinians outside of Gaza. CNN reports. 

Initial plans for humanitarian goods to begin flowing into Gaza yesterday through the Erez crossing have been delayed, an Israeli official told CNN


White House National Security Adviser John Kirby said yesterday there is growing frustration within the Biden administration over the way Israel is conducting the Gaza war. In an interview on ABC News, co-anchor Martha Raddatz Kirby presented Kirby with a timeline of statements by the administration that indicate a gradually changing view on Israel’s wartime operations in Gaza. “I’m glad you brought that timeline up because it shows… the growing degree of frustration that we’ve had with the way these operations are being prosecuted and the way that Israelis are acting on the ground in terms of civilian casualties,” Kirby said, adding that was a “core message that the president delivered to Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu in their phone call” last week. Miranda Nazzaro reports for The Hill.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) was booed at a demonstration in Manhattan yesterday calling for the release of hostages held by Hamas after he encouraged attendees to also push for humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza. “As we remember the heinous crimes committed by Hamas, we must continue to press for lifesaving humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people, too.” While some in the crowd applauded, others were heard heckling and booing, shouting “bring them home” and “shame.” Liset Cruz reports for the New York Times.


Iraq agreed yesterday to send 10 million liters of fuel to Gaza, Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said, adding that his country has agreed to receive wounded Palestinians from Gaza and provide them treatment in government and private hospitalsReuters reports. 


Britain’s support for Israel is “not unconditional” and depends on it abiding by international law, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron wrote yesterday in an op-ed for The Times. “Our backing is not unconditional … We expect such a proud and successful democracy to abide by international humanitarian law, even when challenged,” Cameron wrote. In a statement yesterday, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak repeated his call for Hamas to release hostages and for an immediate fighting pause, saying, “We continue to stand by Israel’s right to defeat the threat from Hamas terrorists … but the whole of the UK is shocked by the bloodshed, and appalled by the killing of brave British heroes who were bringing food to those in need.”

Nicaragua asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) today to order Germany to halt arms exports to Israel and reverse its decision to stop funding to the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency, saying there is a serious risk of genocide in Gaza. Nicaragua’s agent ambassador, Carlos Jose Arguello Gomez, told the court that Germany had violated the 1948 Genocide Convention by continuing to supply Israel with arms after ICJ judges ruled it was plausible Israel violated some rights guaranteed under the convention during its military campaign in Gaza. German officials have said the ICJ case is not justified; Berlin will present its case in court tomorrow. Stephanie van den Berg reports for Reuters.

The killing of seven World Central Kitchen (WCK) workers in Gaza by an Israeli airstrike is something José Andrés will “have to live with” for the rest of his life, he said in an interview yesterday with ABC News“It is unforgivable. I will forever have to live with this,” Andrés said. He added, “This is not anymore about the seven men and women of World Central Kitchen that perished on this unfortunate event. It’s been six months of targeting anything that seems – moves. This doesn’t seem a war against terror. This doesn’t seem anymore a war about defending Israel. This really, at this point, seems it’s a war against humanity itself.” 

Australia has appointed an advisor to monitor Israel’s investigation of its strikes that killed an Australian citizen and six other WCK workers. Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong said today that retired Air Chief Marshall Mark Binskin, who previously served as chief of the Defense Force, will serve in the role, where he “will engage with Israel and the Israel Defense Forces on the response to the attack.” CNN reports. 


An Israeli strike on southern Lebanon early today killed a field commander in Iran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah. Israeli fighter jets hit the village of al-Sultaniyah and killed a field commander in Hezbollah’s elite Radwan units and two other people, the Israeli military and two Lebanese security sources said. Reuters reports.

The Israeli military said yesterday it is “preparing to move from defense to attack” regarding operations on the northern border with Lebanon. “During the last days, another phase of the Northern Command’s preparations for the war was completed, which revolved around raising the capabilities of emergency operational depots for the purpose of large-scale recruitment of IDF forces when necessary … and their arrival to the front line within a short period with all the necessary equipment for combat,” the army said in a statement. CNN reports. 

Bottom Line Up Front:
* Iran will undoubtedly retaliate for Israel’s April 1 attack on its consulate in Damascus that killed seven high-ranking Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Qods Force (IRGC-QF) officers, but Tehran’s main target and attack methods are not known.
* Israel’s air strike on the facility was intended to tell Tehran that it will be held accountable for the actions of Hamas and other non-state allies such as Lebanese Hezbollah and the Houthis in Yemen.
* The Israeli strike and any Iranian retaliation increase the likelihood the relatively contained clashes between Israel and Hezbollah will escalate into significant combat.
* An Iranian missile or armed drone attack on U.S. forces in the region is unlikely because of the potential to spark significant conflict with Washington, but a miscalculation on the part of Iran or its proxies still remains a worrying possibility.

Stopping Famine in Gaza

What’s new? The Israeli offensive after the 7 October 2023 attack by Hamas has wreaked catastrophe upon the 2.23 million Palestinians in Gaza. Famine is imminent in the enclave’s north, where people lack adequate food, water and shelter. If Israel pushes into Rafah in the south, it could soon loom there, too.

Why does it matter? If Israel continues to assault Gaza, its population and its civil institutions, limit the entry and distribution of humanitarian assistance, and set families against one another, starvation and disease will cause mass death. Leveraging aid to transform Gaza’s political system may tear apart the social fabric, rendering the strip ungovernable.

What should be done? Gaza needs much more aid, with its civil authorities and civic groups safeguarding distribution. That is unlikely without a ceasefire. Even absent one, Israel should increase inflow, permit easier movement and stop targeting humanitarian and civic groups handing out assistance even if they are coordinating with Hamas.Executive SummaryThe war in Gaza is far from over, but the fate of many of its residents may soon be sealed: the strip’s north may be facing the world’s worst famine, relative to population size, of the past few decades. Unimpeded, sustained and safe humanitarian access to the whole Gaza Strip, with civil authorities and civic groups allowed to safeguard aid distribution, is needed to prevent this outcome.While Israel let more assistance into Gaza in March, it was not enough. Grimmest is the north, where Israel is targeting Hamas figures and civilians overseeing aid. Should the Israeli army move into Rafah, the strip’s southernmost city, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says it will do, the evacuation beforehand, to say nothing of the actual assault, could propel the south into similarly dire straits. Only a prolonged ceasefire can improve access, movement and distribution enough to avoid mass death. Absent one, the only option is mitigating the famine through modest improvements in these areas, with Israel guaranteeing the safety of aid workers regardless of their nationality and political affiliation.The fighting in Gaza has stalled but the hardship has not. Everyone seems to have misjudged how their actions in this war would play out. Hamas leaders did not expect such a devastating reprisal for the 7 October 2023 attacks in southern Israel, even after the scope and nature of these became clear. Israel, for its part, has found vanquishing Hamas a greater challenge than it bargained for. The tunnel system Hamas dug underneath Gaza is bigger than anticipated. Hamas’s battalions are greatly weakened, but its fighters continue to inflict casualties on Israeli forces, returning repeatedly to areas that the army has ostensibly cleared. Disagreements in Israel’s war cabinet, as well as between the political and military echelons, are hampering the war effort. Netanyahu is widely seen as dragging out the conflict to stay in power and avoid facing corruption charges. 


For the defenders of Israel’s war on Gaza, the game is up.

David Hearst Staunch allies calling themselves friends of Israel are beginning to realise they are also friends of the murderers of western aid workers, friends of genocide and friends of fascism. A protestor holding a poster picturing Australian aid worker Zomi Frankcom, who was killed by an Israeli air strike in Gaza, during a pro-Palestinian demonstration, in Melbourne, Australia on 3 April, 2024 (Reuters) Six months on, the entire edifice that allowed Israeli forces to kill more than 33,000 Palestinians and wound another 75,000, displace a population of over 2.3 million and then starve them, demolish the north of Gaza, dismantle the health service and signal that it would do the same in Rafah for the next six months, is tumbling down. Political leaders who framed this carnage as Israel’s right to defend itself, journalists who peddled fictional horror stories about beheaded babies and mass rape on 7 October, and editors who day in, day out ignored stories about aid convoys being targeted by Israeli forces are rushing for cover. All the arguments they used to maintain this slaughter are crumbling in their hands – that this is a just war, that Israel must be allowed to finish the job, that the action taken is proportionate, that the legal process in the International Court of Justice hinders peace talks and can be ignored, that the UK and US can simultaneously admonish Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and continue to arm him.Read the full opinion here.