‘Operation al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 189: Israel and U.S. brace for Iranian retaliation as ceasefire talks stall


  • 33,634 + killed* and at least 76,214 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
  • 462+ 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 9, 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 89 Palestinians, wounds 120 in the past 24 hours across Gaza, raising the death toll since October 7 to 33,482 and the number of wounded to 76,049, according to the Gaza health ministry.
  • The UN Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says team found extensive destruction and unexploded bombs in Khan Younis days after Israeli withdrawal.
  • WHO: At least 9,000 sick Palestinians need treatment in Gaza.
  • The Israeli army bans conscripts from leaving the country in anticipation of a potential Iranian strike.
  • Head of police responsible for organizing aid distribution in the central Gaza Strip killed in an Israeli airstrike.
  • U.S. Secretary of Defense Blinken reaffirms U.S. support for Israel in face of threats from Iran.
  • Israeli media: Israel plans to target the heart of Iranian soil.
  • West Bank: Israeli army kills two Palestinians, wounds four in Tubas, according to Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS).

Israel and U.S. prepare for an Iranian strike

The Gaza-based Palestinian health ministry announced that 89 Palestinians were killed by Israeli airstrikes, their bodies arriving at the Gaza Strip’s remaining hospitals alongside 120 other wounded people over the past 24 hours.

Meanwhile, in Gaza City, Israeli forces killed eight Palestinians in an airstrike on the Firas popular market in the city, while a Palestinian fisherman was killed and two others were wounded in an Israeli strike on the fishing dock at the city’s beach. Medical sources also reported two Palestinians were killed in an Israeli airstrike on a family’s house in Tal al-Hawa in Gaza City, while an unspecified number of people were killed in several strikes in the Zeitoun neighborhood.

In the central Gaza Strip, Israeli strikes killed 25 Palestinians in a bombing of a family’s house in the Nuseirat refugee camp, as Israeli forces continued their offensive on Nuseirat for the third day in a row. Strikes also targeted the north of Nuseirat, including a bicycle market and the town of Zahra. Heavy combat was reported between Palestinian resistance groups and Israeli troops between the Wadi Gaza River and Deir al-Balah.

In the southern Gaza Strip, Israeli strikes killed six Palestinians in the Jneineh neighborhood in Rafah. Other strikes were reported east of Khan Younis, where medical teams recovered three dead bodies.

Israel and U.S. prepare for Iranian strike

U.S. defense secretary Lloyd Austin affirmed to Israel’s war minister Yoav Gallant on Thursday the “ironclad U.S. support for Israel’s defense in the face of growing threats from Iran and its regional proxies,” according to a defense department statement.

On Thursday, news reports said that U.S. intelligence expected an Iranian strike against Israel in the coming hours or days, in retaliation to Israel’s bombing of Iran’s consulate in Damascus earlier in April.

The U.S. told its diplomatic staff in Israel not to leave big cities unless in case of urgent necessity, while France called families of its diplomatic personnel to return to French soil.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported on Thursday that Iran’s foreign minister, Hussein Amir Abdellahian, informed Washington during a visit to Oman that Iran will conduct its response in a way that “avoids escalation.”

According to Reuters, another U.S. intelligence source said that “Iran was very clear” that its retaliatory strike will be “under control” and avoid escalation. The same sources reportedly said that the U.S. told Iran that it had no role in the attack on its Damascus consulate.

For its part, the Israeli daily Yediot Aharanot said on Thursday that Iran halted a large attack against Israel at the last moment. The Israeli media said that Iran decided “to change the nature of its response” at the last minute, after being informed by the U.S. that it would be engaged alongside Israel in a response against Iran.

Hamas conditions a ceasefire on the return of the displaced to the north

At the end of the latest round of negotiations in Cairo between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian resistance group conditioned any ceasefire deal with Israel on the return of around 1 million displaced Palestinians to the northern Gaza Strip, from which Israel forced them to flee in the first weeks of its assault on the Strip in October 2023.

The condition was announced by Hamas’s spokesperson, Abdel Latif al-Qanua, in press remarks on Thursday, two days after the group received a new deal proposal from Egyptian and Qatari intermediates. Al-Qanua added that Hamas “will study” the new proposal.

Last week, both parties were engaged in a new round of talks in the Egyptian capital with the presence of the head of the CIA, William Burns. The Prime Minister of Qatar told the media that negotiations “were stuck” at the same point they were at in previous talks in Paris, mainly Israel’s refusal to allow the return of displaced Palestinians to the north.

Meanwhile, Axios reported that a U.S. official said Biden’s position was to achieve a ceasefire deal as part of a captive swap deal “immediately.”

Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip entered its seventh month, with over 33,000 Palestinians killed and large-scale destruction to civilian infrastructure, while at the same time causing the death of dozens of Palestinians, mainly children, due to Israel’s blockade of food and humanitarian aid from the Strip.

Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in Tubas

Israeli forces killed two Palestinians and wounded another four in a night raid on Tubas in the northeastern West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said on Friday.

The two men were identified as Muhammad Rasul Daraghmeh, 27, and Muhammad Shahmawi, 25.

Muhammad Daraghmeh, nicknamed “The Rock,” was killed in a drone strike on a car he was driving. He was a leading member of the Tubas Brigade, a local armed resistance group that has been confronting Israeli forces in the Tubas region since 2022.

PRCS said in a statement that its team was informed of a strike on a car outside of Tubas and that when it arrived, they only found traces of blood, as Israeli forces had taken the car and the body inside it. The PRCS also added that Israeli troops arrested a member of its ambulance crew. Israeli forces later returned Daraghmeh’s body to his family.

Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers raided the Faraa refugee camp in the city, where they killed Muhammad Shahmawi.

Muheimen Abu Ali, a Palestinian in his twenties and close friend of Shahmawi, told local journalists that several young men were staying up late in the camp’s alleys when they heard that the Israeli army had taken over a house at the camp’s outskirts. Then, according to the witness, the young men were surprised by Israeli soldiers arriving.

“Nobody was armed, we were all civilians,” said Abu Ali. “We left the place, some to their homes, some just moving away from the area, but Hammoudeh [Muhammad Shahmawi’s nickname] came back to have a look at where the soldiers were,” he described.

“I told him, ‘Hammoudeh, watch out, there is an [Israeli] sniper on the opposite building,’ and as I said that, he fell on the ground in front of me,” he went on.

Palestinians in Tubas mourned the two men in a funeral across the city and the refugee camp at noon local time, before laying them to rest in the local cemetery.

With the killing of Daraghmeh and Shahmawi, the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem rose to 462 since October 7, and to 144 since the beginning of the year.


You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: Premium WordPress Themes | Thanks to Themes Gallery, Bromoney and Wordpress Themes