Adjust size of text


Follow us and continue the conversation

Your saved articles

You haven't saved any articles

What are you looking for?

Israel bows to pressure by restoring water flow, ICC investigates both sides

TJI Wrap
Print this
Israel bows to pressure by restoring water flow, ICC investigates both sides

Published: 31 October 2023

Last updated: 5 March 2024

Government reopens second of three water pipelines that provide water to the Gaza Strip, after phone call from Biden on the weekend. ICC prosecutor visits Rafah crossing.

Israel reopened the second of three water pipelines that provide water to the Gaza Strip, allowing for a total of 28.5 million litres a day to flow into to Gaza. This is just over half the approximately 49 million litres a day Israel supplied before Hamas’s October 7 massacres triggered war with the Jewish state.

Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) which is part of the IDF, stated that there was now enough water being supplied to Gaza for basic humanitarian needs and insisted that there was no shortage of either food or water for the territory’s residents. Additional humanitarian aid is expected to enter the territory in the coming weeks.

This came as the US President Joe Biden told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a phone call on Sunday that the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza needs to “immediately and significantly increase,” the White House said.

Biden's national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Washington was asking hard questions of Israel, including on issues surrounding humanitarian aid, distinguishing between terrorists and innocent civilians and on how Israel is thinking through its military operation.

Biden made those calls as the IDF expanded its ground war and Hamas claimed that the death toll among the 2.3 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip has passed the 8,000 mark. However, these figures cannot be independently verified and are believed to count both civilians and Hamas members killed in Gaza. 

Noting that Hamas militants have embedded themselves among the Palestinian population and in civilian infrastructure, Sullivan said. "What we believe is that every hour, every day of this military operation, the IDF, the Israeli government should be taking every possible means available to them to distinguish between Hamas terrorists who are legitimate military targets and civilians who are not," he said on CNN.

"That creates an added burden for Israel, but it does not lessen Israel's responsibility under international humanitarian law, to distinguish between terrorists and civilians, and to protect the lives of innocent people, and that is the overwhelming majority of the people in Gaza," Sullivan said.

The IDF has been conducting intensive fire in the Gaza Strip, as its forces are targeting terrorist tunnels from the air, ground, and land.

Israel says Hamas is diverting fuel from civilian use and has refused to allow additional supplies since the war broke out. The United Nations warned earlier Sunday that “civil order” was starting to collapse in Gaza after thousands of people ransacked its food warehouses in the war-torn Hamas-run enclave.

Sullivan also said Netanyahu has a responsibility to "rein in" extremist Jewish settlers in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. "It is totally unacceptable to have extremist settler violence against innocent people in the West Bank," he said.

Meanwhile, International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Karim Khan visited the Rafah crossing on the Egypt-Gaza border, amid accusations that both Israel and Hamas are violating international law amid the ongoing war.

"We have active investigations ongoing in relation to the crimes allegedly committed in Israel on the seventh of October, and also in relation to Gaza and the West Bank. Our jurisdiction goes back to 2014," he said. "This is a moment of objectivity, a moment of quiet reflection and it is to be a moment in which the international community and the international architecture built on the rubble of the Second World War – the terrible gas chambers and the Holocaust, the raising of cities throughout Europe – was meant to create institutions that would ensure 'never again,'" Khan said.

"Those promises need to be fulfilled", Khan said, stressing that the most fundamental issue at hand is ensuring humanitarian relief supplies for civilians are not impeded, saying: "They have rights under international humanitarian law. These rights are customary international law. These rights are part of the Geneva Conventions, and they give rise to criminal responsibility when these rights are curtailed under the Rome Statute."

Israel reopens second of three water pipelines into Gaza (Times of Israel)

US urges Israel to protect civilians, increase aid to Gaza (Reuters)

In call with Netanyahu, Biden urges major boost in flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza (Times of Israel)

White House: Israel must distinguish between Hamas terrorists and Gaza civilians (Jerusalem Post)

IDF deep in Gaza: 'Intensive fire not seen since Yom Kippur War'
(Jerusalem Post)

ICC Prosecutor Visits Rafah Crossing on Egypt-Gaza Border Amid Israeli War Crimes Allegations


Rockets fired from Lebanon at north; IDF strikes terror cells, Hezbollah sites (Times of Israel)
IDF says it bombed terror group’s positions in southern Lebanon in response to attacks; Israel also said to hit Syrian military, pro-Iran militia targets in response to shelling

Israel summons Russian ambassador over Moscow’s hosting of Hamas officials (Times of Israel)
Official tells envoy Anatoly Viktorov that by welcoming Hamas delegation, Russia signaled legitimacy for terrorism against Israel, demands unequivocal condemnation of terror group

Jewish protesters chant 'death to Arabs,' claim Arab students threw eggs at children (Jerusalem Post)
Jewish protesters claimed Arab students threw eggs at girls near a synagogue on Saturday.

Palestinian PM: we will not run Gaza without solution for West Bank (The Guardian)
Exclusive: Mohammad Shtayyeh calls for a ‘comprehensive, peaceful vision’ and ceasefire in Gaza

Netanyahu claims that making him appear weak in media could lead to war With Hezbollah (Haaretz)
Security sources who talked to Haaretz deny the claim and insist that there is no intelligence indicating it.

Photo: Men fill plastic jerricans with portable water in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip on October 23, 2023 (Mohammed Abed/AFP)

The Jewish Independent acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and strive to honour their rich history of storytelling in our work and mission.

Enter site