180 bodies exhumed at Nasser Hospital, say Gaza's health officials

180 bodies exhumed at Nasser Hospital, say Gaza's health officials
In another horrific scene from Gaza, health officials unearthed at least 180 bodies of people killed by Israeli forces when they laid siege to a hospital.
16 min read

Gaza's civil defence said Sunday health workers had uncovered at least 180 bodies of people killed and buried by Israeli forces at the Nasser Hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis.

Israeli tanks and armoured vehicles had surrounded the medical complex on March 26.

Hamas condemned what it said was a "mass grave of those executed in cold blood and buried with military bulldozers in the hospital's courtyard".

Overnight Israeli strikes on the the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip killed 22 people, including 18 children, health officials said Sunday, as the United States approved a massive aid package worth billions of dollars in military aid to Israel.

Israel's war on the Gaza Strip has killed over 34,000 Palestinians, according to the health ministry, and left the territory in ruins. Around 80% of the population have fled their homes to other parts of the besieged coastal enclave, which is on the brink of famine .

Thanks for following
4:04 AM
The New Arab Staff

This live blog is wrapping up. Thanks to all for following. The New Arab will be back again at 9am with live coverage of Israel's war on Gaza.

Blinken, Gallant discuss Israel's security in phone call
2:53 AM
The New Arab Staff

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently had a telephone conversation with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant to discuss "efforts to protect Israel’s security," according to a statement on X.

During the call, Blinken mentioned that they also discussed ongoing negotiations for the release of captives held by Hamas, increasing "life-saving humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians in Gaza," and taking "measures to de-escalate regional tensions."

This conversation occurred as Blinken faces pressure from his Israeli counterparts regarding a proposed plan to impose sanctions on an Israeli military unit accused of human rights violations.

Israel confirms Hezbollah shot down combat drone
2:18 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli military has acknowledged that one of its drones was brought down by a surface-to-air missile while it was “operating in the skies of Lebanon.”

In a statement on X, the military reported that Israeli fighter jets subsequently targeted the location from which the missile was fired.

Earlier, Hezbollah declared it had shot down an Israeli drone that was “waging its attacks on our steadfast people.”

'Constant fear' in West Bank due to settlers: UNRWA chief
1:46 AM
The New Arab Staff

The head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, has described Israeli settler violence as contributing to a “state of constant fear” in the occupied West Bank.

Philippe Lazzarini remarked that the “situation in the West Bank is worsening by the day including in Palestine refugee camps,” which are largely managed by UNRWA.

In a social media post, Lazzarini stated, “It is time to end the occupation and address the longest lasting unresolved conflict through political means and a genuine commitment to peace.”

These comments from Lazzarini followed a report by the Palestinian Ministry of Health stating that 14 people were killed during an Israeli operation at Nur Shams refugee camp in the occupied West Bank’s Tulkarem last weekend.

Israeli protesters block aid to Gaza
12:29 AM
The New Arab Staff

Demonstrators, from the Order 9 movement gathered on Sunday night at southern Israel’s Dimona Junction, where they blocked the road after they received news that aid trucks were headed from Jordan to Gaza, Al Jazeera reports.

Live Story

Israeli activists have repeatedly gathered in the past few months to try to stop aid from reaching Palestinians in Gaza, where civilians are struggling to survive amid severe food shortages.

More information on rockets fired from Iraq at US Syria base
10:52 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

More information has come in regarding the reports that rockets were launched from Iraq’s town of Zummar towards a US military base in northeastern Syria.

Two security sources and a senior army officer told Reuters that a rocket launcher fixed on the back of a small truck had been parked in Zummar border town with Syria.

The military official said the truck caught fire with an explosion from unfired rockets at the same time as warplanes were in the sky.

"We can't confirm that the truck was bombed by U.S. warplanes unless we investigate it," said a military official on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the incident.

Iraqi security forces were deployed in the area and launched a hunt for the perpetrators who fled the area using another vehicle, said a security official who is based in the town of Zummar.

An army officer said the truck was seized for further investigation and initial investigation shows that it was destroyed by an air strike.

"We are communicating with the coalition forces in Iraq to share information on this attack," the officer added.

The attacks came one day after a huge blast at a military base in Iraq early on Saturday killed a member of an Iraqi security force that includes Iran-backed groups. The force commander said it was an attack while the army said it was investigating and there were no warplanes in the sky at the time.

The attack comes one day after Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani returned from a visit to the United States and met with President Joe Biden at the White House.

Hezbollah downs Israel drone in southern Lebanon
10:17 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hezbollah said on Sunday it downed an Israeli drone that was on a combat mission in southern Lebanon.

The drone that was brought down above the Al Aishiyeh area in southern Lebanon was "waging its attacks on our steadfast people," a statement said by the group said..

Majority don’t believe Israel is close to victory in Gaza
9:40 PM
The New Arab Staff

A survey conducted for Israel’s Channel 13 reveals that 68 percent of those polled expressed skepticism towards Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim that Israel was “one step away from victory” in Gaza.

Only 16 percent of the respondents trusted Netanyahu’s statement.

Additionally, the poll suggests that Benny Gantz’s “National Unity” political alliance would likely win in any upcoming parliamentary elections, securing 30 seats; Netanyahu’s Likud would follow with 20 seats. This outcome indicates that Gantz and his allies could potentially gain a majority sufficient to replace the prime minister, mirroring the public’s discontent with Netanyahu.

Israeli settlers attack village of Burqa in West Bank
9:26 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The official Wafa news agency has reported that Israeli settlers launched an attack on the village of Burqa east of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, during which they set a barn ablaze.

Sayel Kanaan, the head of the village council, reported that the settlers assaulted the village, attempting to enter a house on the northern side and other homes on the western side.

Kanaan further stated that Israeli forces, who were guarding the settlers, used sound bombs and tear gas against the residents.

Five rockets fired from Iraq at US military base in Syria
9:22 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

At least five rockets were launched from Iraq's town of Zummar towards a U.S. military base in northeastern Syria on Sunday, two Iraqi security sources told the Reuters news agency.

The attack against U.S. forces is the first since early February when Iranian-backed groups in Iraq stopped their attacks against U.S. troops.

Israeli soldier dies following April 17 Hezbollah attack
8:44 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli military has reported that a reservist officer, critically injured in a Hezbollah drone and missile attack on Arab al-Aramshe, a northern border community, has died from his injuries.

Arab al-Aramshe, an Arab-majority village, is located in northern Israel close to the Lebanese border.

The military identified the officer as Dor Zimel, 27, who was the deputy company commander in the Etzioni Brigade.

In addition, 17 other Israelis were injured in last week’s attack.

Israeli troops kill three Palestinians teens in West Bank
7:53 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinian teenagers and a woman in separate incidents in the occupied West Bank on Sunday, the Palestinian health ministry said.

Sunday's incidents, after numerous deaths during an Israeli raid further north in the Palestinian territory, added to a two-year surge of violence in the West Bank that has accelerated since the war on Gaza began on 7 October.

The Palestinian health ministry in Ramallah said the deaths of the two Palestinian teenagers were "caused by occupation (Israeli army) bullets".

It identified the deceased as Muhammad Majid Musa Jabareen, 19, and Musa Mahmud Musa Jabareen, 18.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that the incident occurred at the entrance to Beit Einun village near the city of Hebron.

Quoting two Palestinian security sources, Wafa reported that the men succumbed to their wounds after being fired on.

Following the incident troops stormed Beit Einun and raided several homes, the agency reported.

7 civilians killed in Israel strike on Nuseirat refugee camp
7:46 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestinian news agency Wafa has reported that an Israeli airstrike targeting a home west of the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip resulted in the deaths of seven civilians and left others injured tonight.

According to local sources cited by Wafa, the residence of the al-Nuwayri family in the camp was hit by bombs from Israeli warplanes.

The Nuseirat refugee camp and its vicinity have experienced intense bombardment over the past few days

UN 'gravely concerned' by Israeli violence in West Bank
6:59 PM
The New Arab Staff

Tor Wennesland, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, has expressed his grave concerns regarding the "heightened violence across the occupied West Bank."

Posting on X, Wennesland urged to halt "further escalation – attacks on civilians must stop, including settler violence."

He added, "As the war in Gaza continues and regional instability mounts, West Bank stability is crucial to maintain prospects for peace."

Germany's Scholz warns Israel's Netanyahu against escalation
6:26 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had a telephone call on Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and discussed the state of the region, a spokesperson for the German government said.

"The Chancellor emphasized that it was essential to avoid a regional escalation," the spokesperson said. 

Israel's Gantz asks US to reconsider sanctions on army unit
6:21 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel war cabinet member Benny Gantz spoke with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and asked him to reconsider the decision to sanction the Israeli army's Netzah Yehuda battalion for its complicity in settler violence against Palestinians, an Axios reporter said on Sunday, citing Gantz's office.

Israel vows to increase 'military pressure' on Hamas
5:13 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said Israel will increase "military pressure" on Palestinian group Hamas in a bid to secure the release of hostages held in Gaza.

"In the coming days we will increase the military and political pressure on Hamas because this is the only way to free our hostages," Netanyahu said in a video statement on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Passover, threatening to "deliver additional and painful blows" without specifying.

Baby in Gaza saved from womb of mother killed in airstrike
4:08 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A baby girl was delivered from the womb of a Palestinian killed along with her husband and daughter by an Israeli attack in the Gaza city of Rafah, where 19 people died overnight in intensified strikes, Palestinian health officials said.

The baby, weighing 1.4 kg and delivered in an emergency C-section, was stable and improving gradually, said Mohammed Salama, a doctor caring for her.

Her mother, Sabreen Al-Sakani, had been 30 weeks pregnant.

The baby was placed in an incubator in a Rafah hospital alongside another infant, with the words "The baby of the martyr Sabreen Al-Sakani" written on tape across her chest.

Israel nearing 'decisive point' on Lebanon border: Gallant
3:40 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said Sunday that his forces were "approaching a decisive point" on the northern border with Lebanon, saying the Lebanese frontier posed Israel's "greatest challenge," as quoted by local media outlets.

Netanyahu says he will fight any sanctions on army battalion
3:37 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday he would fight against sanctions being imposed on any Israeli military units after media reported that Washington was planning such a step against a battalion for alleged rights violations.

On Saturday, Axios news site reported that Washington was planning to impose sanctions on Israel's 'Netzah Yehuda' battalion that has operated in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli military said it was not aware of any measures being taken.

"If anyone thinks they can impose sanctions on a unit of the IDF (Israel Defence Forces) - I will fight it with all my strength," Netanyahu said in a statement.

"Following publications about sanctions against the battalion, the IDF is not aware of the issue. If a decision is made on the matter it will be reviewed. The IDF works and will continue to work to investigate any unusual event in a practical manner and according to law," the military said.

Gaza officials, Hamas say 50 bodies exhumed at hospital
3:33 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Gaza's civil defence said Sunday health workers had uncovered at least 50 bodies of people killed and buried by Israeli forces at a hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis.

In a statement to AFP, the civil defence agency said the remains were discovered in the courtyard of Nasser Medical Complex.

"Inside the Nasser Medical complex there are mass graves dug by the Israeli occupation ... we were shocked by the presence of bodies of 50 martyrs in one of the pits yesterday," Mahmoud Bassal, spokesman for the civil defence agency, told AFP.

"We are continuing the search operation today and are waiting for all graves to be exhumed in order to give a final number of martyrs."

He said some of those killed had been tortured.

Jordan king warns of consequences of Israeli attack on Rafah
3:30 PM
The New Arab Staff

Jordanian King Abdullah II on Sunday warned of the dire consequences of an Israeli attack on the city of Rafah, during a phone call he received from British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Abdullah II called on the international community to intensify its efforts to reach an immediate and permanent ceasefire deal in Gaza, the Royal Court, Diwan, reported.

He also stressed the need to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to the enclave and the importance of keeping the UN agency for Palestinian refugees working.

Israeli army says unaware of US sanctions against battalion
2:22 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Israeli military said on Sunday it was unaware of any U.S. sanctions against one of its combat battalions, after media reported that Washington was planning such a step against the unit for alleged rights violations.

The military said that its "Netzah Yehuda" battalion is an active combat unit that operates according to the principles of international law.

"Following publications about sanctions against the battalion, the IDF is not aware of the issue. If a decision is made on the matter it will be reviewed. The IDF works and will continue to work to investigate any unusual event in a practical manner and according to law," the military said.

Israeli practices risk further escalation: Egypt FM
2:20 PM
The New Arab Staff

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry warned of more violence erupting across all Palestinian territories with the continuation of Israel’s offensive in Gaza and attacks in the occupied West Bank.

Quoted by a foreign ministry statement, Shoukry also regretted the reluctance of some countries to condemn Israel’s practises as representing a flagrant violation of international law.

He renewed Egypt’s demands to stop Israel’s plans aimed at displacing Palestinians from their lands, particularly Gaza.

Israel indicts Hamas leader's sister on 'inciting terrorism'
1:30 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's State Attorney on Sunday indicted the sister of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on charges of "incitement" and showing solidarity with a "terror group," after she allegedly praised Hamas' October 7 attack in southern Israel.

Sabah al-Salem Haniyeh, 57, has been held in custody since her arrest on April 1, Israel's justice ministry said. There was no immediate comment from her lawyer.

According to the indictment, in the days after the Hamas-led attack on October 7, Haniyeh sent messages to dozens of contacts, including to her brother, praising the cross-border assault.

One of her messages mentioned in the indictment includes the line: "Oh God, count them and kill them and don't leave any of them, Oh God."

Hamas deplores Nasser hospital attack, US support for Israel
12:49 PM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas said the discovery of dozens of bodies at the Nasser hospital "once again confirms the extent of the crimes and atrocities committed by the Israeli occupation army and raises questions about the fate of thousands of Palestinians still missing."

The Palestinian group on Sunday also condemned the US' approval of billions of dollars in new military aid to Israel, much of which is to strengthen Israeli air defences.

"This support, which violates international law, is a licence and a green light for the Zionist extremist government (Israel) to continue the brutal aggression against our people," Hamas said in a statement.

WATCH: The moment an Israeli airstrike hits Gaza
12:44 PM
The New Arab Staff

Translation: A video documenting the moment [Israeli] occupation aircraft launched a violent raid on Gaza during the ongoing aggression

Iran's Khamenei thanks armed forces for attack on Israel
12:01 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei thanked the country's armed forces for their operation against Israel, and urged them to "ceaselessly pursue military innovation and learn the enemy's tactics," Iran's official news agency reported on Sunday.

"How many missiles were launched and how many of them hit their target is not the primary question, what really matters is that Iran demonstrated its will-power during that operation," Khamenei said on Sunday.


Gaza death toll reaches 34,097: health ministry
10:56 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

At least 34,097 Palestinians have been killed and 76,980 others injured in Israel's ongoing military offensive on the Gaza Strip since October 7, Gaza's health ministry said on Sunday.

Some 48 Palestinians were killed and 79 others injured in the past 24 hours, the ministry added.

Israel holds Palestinian economy captive, say analysts
10:30 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Gaza war is speeding up Israel's "annexation" of the Palestinian economy, say analysts, who argue it has been hobbled for decades by agreements that followed the Oslo peace accords.

Israel is tightening the noose on the Palestinian Authority, which rules parts of the occupied West Bank, by withholding tax revenues it collects on its behalf, economist Adel Samara told AFP.

Live Story

Palestinian livelihoods have also been hurt by bans on labourers crossing into Israel, and by a sharp downturn in tourism in the violence-plagued territory, including a quiet Christmas season in Bethlehem.

Samara said that "technically speaking, there is no Palestinian economy under Israeli occupation - our economy has been effectively annexed by Israel's".

Two Palestinians killed near Hebron in the West Bank
8:58 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Two young Palestinian men were killed by Israeli forces at the entrance of the village of Beit Enoun, northeast of Hebron in the occupied West Bank on Sunday.

A Reuters cameraman saw a body at the scene of the incident - a junction near the Palestinian city of Hebron.

There was no immediate comment from Palestinian officials.

Israeli forces killed at least 14 people on Saturday at the Nur Shams refugee camp in the north of the occupied West Bank.

Hezbollah says three fighters killed in Israel strike
8:54 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Three Hezbollah fighters were killed Saturday in an Israeli strike on a house in southern Lebanon, the group said in a statement.

A source close to the group told AFP earlier that "three Hezbollah fighters were killed and two others seriously wounded in an Israeli air strike on a house in the village of Al-Jebbayn".

Hezbollah later confirmed the toll, adding that it had attacked "two buildings used by the enemy soldiers" in Metula and Shlomi in northern Israel, "in response to the Israeli enemy's attacks".

In earlier statements, Hezbollah said it had fired on several Israeli targets, including soldiers and spy equipment.

The Israeli military separately said that it had struck a "compound and the terrorist operating from it" in the area of Ayta ash Shab.

It also said it had struck a "terrorist who operated in Hezbollah terrorist infrastructure in the area of Kfarkela".

Israel to summon envoys that voted for Palestine membership
8:48 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel will summon ambassadors of countries that voted for full Palestinian UN membership "for a protest talk" on Sunday, a foreign ministry spokesman said.

"The foreign ministry will summon for a protest talk the ambassadors of the countries that voted in the Security Council in favour of upgrading the status of the Palestinians in the UN," spokesman Oren Marmorstein said in a post on X Saturday.