Israel targets Iranian bases in Isfahan with drones, while Iranian sources say air defenses intercepted the attack. Meanwhile, Gaza’s health ministry says the northern Gaza Strip is left without any health services.


  • 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.

Israel’s Genocide War in Gaza Continues

The commissioner general of the U.N. agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) told the U.N. Security Council yesterday that UNRWA staff detained by Israeli security forces had “shared harrowing accounts of mistreatment and torture in detention.” Philippe Lazzarini demanded an independent investigation and “accountability for the blatant disregard for the protected status of humanitarian workers, operations, and facilities under international law.” He also said that calls for the agency’s closure are “not about adherence to humanitarian principles,” and instead “are about ending the refugee status of millions of Palestinians.” The Guardian reports. 


The United States yesterday vetoed the U.N. Security Council vote on granting Palestine full member status at the United Nations. The vote was 12 in favor of the resolution, with Washington opposing and abstentions from Britain and Switzerland. U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield today said that the new resolution would not have brought a two-state solution closer, adding, “The resolution provides for the Palestinian Authority to be a member of the U.N. Right now, the Palestinians don’t have control over a significant portion of what is supposed to be their state. It’s being controlled by a terrorist organization.” Israel’s foreign minister Israel Katz said after the vote, “The shameful proposal was rejected. Terrorsim will not be rewarded.” Yonette Joseph reports for the New York Times.

The Biden administration is making a fresh push to establish Saudi-Israeli ties. According to U.S. and Saudi officials, Washington is pushing for a diplomatic deal in the coming months that presses Israel to accept a new commitment to Palestinian statehood in exchange for diplomatic recognition by Riyadh. As an incentive to recognize Israel, the White House is offering Riyadh a more formal defense relationship, assistance in acquiring civil nuclear power, and a renewed effort to push for a Palestinian state. U.S. officials say they are in the final stages of negotiating and that the successful multicountry effort to shoot down Iranian missiles and drones on Saturday should make clear to Israel that its security against threats from Tehran could be bolstered by closer relations with Saudi Arabia. Michael R. Gordon, Summer Said, and Gordon Lubold report for the Wall Street Journal

C.I.A. director Williams Burns has blamed Hamas for stalling ceasefire talks. Burns said yesterday that negotiations for a ceasefire and another round of hostage releases have stalled because Hamas rejected the latest proposal by Israel, Qatar, and Egypt, placing blame for the lack of progress squarely on the group. “Right now, it’s that negative reaction that really is standing in the way of innocent civilians in Gaza getting humanitarian relief that they so desperately need,” Burns said. A senior Hamas official earlier said there were not enough living civilian hostages left who met Israel’s criteria to reach the proposed figure of 40 hostages over six weeks. Julian E. Barnes and Aaron Boxerman report for the New York Times.

The United States and Israel held a high-level virtual meeting yesterday about a possible Israeli operation in Rafah. It is the second such meeting in recent weeks. According to U.S. officials, the Biden administration remains concerned that an offensive in Rafah would lead to significant civilian losses. A White House reading of the meeting said both sides discussed Iran’s attack and new sanctions announced by President Biden yesterday, before moving on to “the shared objective to see Hamas defeated in Rafah.” “Participants will meet again soon,” it adds. Barak Ravid reports for Axios.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin yesterday spoke with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant to discuss Iran’s actions, other regional threats, and humanitarian aid in Gaza. Austin discussed “the importance of increasing and sustaining” the flow of humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza, including via a new route from Ashdod Port in Israel, the Pentagon said in a statement. Kanishka Singh reports for Reuters.

New York City police arrested at least 108 people yesterday during a pro-Palestinian protest on Columbia University’s campus after the university’s president requested their removal, per Mayor Eric Adams. The confrontation comes after Columbia’s president and other university leaders testified in Congress yesterday over the campus climate and antisemitism in the backdrop of the Gaza war. April Rubin reports for Axios.


Israel conducted an aerial attack on Iran overnight, U.S. officials say. Iranian state media said explosions were heard around the central city of Isfahan early this morning and that three drones were destroyed after the country’s air defense systems were activated. An army general in Isfahan province said no damage has been reported. Isfahan is home to a large airbase, a major missile production complex, and multiple nuclear facilities. The International Atomic Energy Agency has said no nuclear sites were damaged. The Pentagon and the Israeli military have both declined to comment at the time of writing. BBC Newsreports. 

Iran played down the reported Israeli attacks and today said there were no plans to respond. Iranian media and officials have referred to the incident as an attack by “infiltrators,” rather than by Israel. “The foreign source of the incident has not been confirmed. We have not received any external attack, and the discussion leans more towards infiltration than attack,” an Iranian official said. The limited scale of the attack and Iran’s muted response appear calculated to avert an all-out war. Parisa Hafezi and James Mackenzie reports for Reuters.

The United States was given advance notification yesterday of Israel’s intended strike in the coming days but did not support the response, a senior U.S. official said. Reports of the strike came hours after Iran’s foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told CNNthat if Israel takes further military action against Iran, its response would be “immediate and at a maximum level.” He added that this warning had been communicated to the White House through the Swiss embassy in Tehran. Alex Marquardt, Helen Regan, Hamdi Alkhshali, Artemis Moshtaghian, and Adam Pourahmadi report for CNN.

A senior Iranian official yesterday warned that Iran could work on building nuclear weapons if Israel attacks its nuclear facilities. The commander for security of Iran’s nuclear facilities said Iran could switch its stance on nuclear policies, a reference to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s longstanding public pledge not to build nuclear weapons. “If the counterfeit Zionist regime would want to use the threat of attacking our country’s nuclear sites as a tool to put Iran under pressure, revision of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear doctrine and polices as well as a departure from the previously announced reservations is conceivable and probable,” he said. Laurence Norman and Aresu Eqbali report for the Wall Street Journal

International reactions to Israel’s suspected overnight strike on Iran are pouring in. Oman condemned the attack as well as “the repeated Israeli military attacks in the region.” Canada’s foreign minister Mélanie Joly said in a post on X, “We are monitoring the situation closely. We will address the situation with the foreign ministers at the G7 session this morning in Italy.” China said it “opposes any actions that further escalate tensions,” and Italy’s foreign minister Antonio Tajani called today for an “absolute de-escalation.” Tajani added that a “diplomatic effort” from E.U. and G7 members is underway to quell tensions in the region, and that their morning agenda had been changed today to “address the Iran issue and put priority attention on the Middle East.” 

The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem is restricting government employees and their family members from traveling outside the greater Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Be’er Sheva areas until further notice, the embassy said in an alert today. The move was made “out of an abundance of caution following reports that Israel conducted a retaliatory strike inside Iran.” 

The Biden administration yesterday imposed new sanctions on Iran’s drone, steel, and auto industries, the Treasury Department announcedThe sanctions were coordinated with the United Kingdom, which is also targeting Iran’s drone program, as well as its ballistic missile program. 

Palestinian Perspectives on Escalating Iran-Israel Relations

While simultaneously carrying out its ongoing genocide in Gaza, the Israeli regime attacked the Iranian embassy in Damascus, Syria, on April 1, 2024, killing seven Iranian officials. According to Iran, Israeli forces were intending to target a meeting between Iranian officials and Palestinian militants discussing resistance strategies in Gaza.

Following the bombing, Iran promised to retaliate—and it did so 12 days later on April 13, 2024, with the launch of over 300 drones and missiles toward Israel. Between Israel’s US-funded Iron Dome air defense system and direct military support from the US, the UK, France, and Jordan, the vast majority of Iran’s barrage was intercepted before impact. Shortly after, the Iranian mission to the UN stated that the matter “can be deemed concluded.” 

While it remains unclear how and when Israel will respond to Iran’s operation, regional dynamics have undoubtedly already shifted. In this roundtable, Al-Shabaka analysts Fadi Quran, Fathi Nimer, Tariq Kenney-Shawa, and Yara Hawari offer insights on the regional impact of Iran’s recent maneuver and situate the ongoing genocide in Gaza within this broader context. Read the full text here


Nestled in the Levant, with its beaches against the Mediterranean, lies a land glistening with history, resilience, and vibrant traditions — Palestine. Beyond the political turmoil that often dominates headlines, there exists a people with their own interesting and vibrant traditions and culture. 

The Palestinian people hold key core values, such as hospitality or familial respect, in high regard. Maintaining strong familial connections is important as a means of solidarity and supporting each other. Like many cultures, this includes holding elders in high esteem and respect. It’s not uncommon to find households filled with numerous family members and plenty of playful children.

Palestinians also exhibit remarkable resilience, giving high importance and recognition to their cultural practices and identity, preserving their culture and heritage with unwavering pride and determination.

As mentioned, hospitality is highly valued, alongside generosity. Unannounced guests are always welcomed with food, snacks, sweets, tea, or coffee. Commons snacks include dates, nuts or watermelon slices. Palestinian cuisine is also another highlight of their culture. Their heritage and hospitality can be tasted in the splendorous flavours of their dishes. Across the globe, our common love for food permeates all cultures and languages, so let’s take a look at what meals might be found in Palestinian homes. 

Overall, Palestinian culture is quite vibrant, lively and spirited — and this article only represents a snippet of this culture. Additionally, getting the chance to visually watch, witness and hear this culture, its music and its traditions, is so much more valuable. 

Read the full text here.