Dozens of civilians killed in Nuseirat camp air strike, battles rage across Gaza

Dozens of civilians killed in Nuseirat camp air strike, battles rage across Gaza
Dozens have been reported killed as Israeli strikes pummel Gaza and street fighting rages in northern Jabalia and Gaza City.
17 min read
19 May, 2024

Gaza faced heavy aerial and ground bombardment overnight Saturday and into Sunday as a hospital in the centre of the enclave reported receiving dead civilians.

An Israeli airstrike hit a residential building in Nuseirat refugee camp, killing at least 30 people from the same family and wounding others, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital said in a statement.

The Israeli military has been engaged in fierce battles with Palestinian fighters, including from Islamic Jihad and Hamas, in northern Gaza’s Jabalia area and the southern city of Rafah on Sunday, with multiple missile attacks reported.

Meanwhile, top US security official Jake Sullivan is due to land in Israel on Sunday following talks in Riyadh with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss a US-Saudi agreement, as well as the war in Gaza and ceasefire negotiations.

4:05 AM

The live blog has now ended and will be back at 9am BST. Read more of The New Arab's coverage of Israel's war on Gaza here.

Iran state TV says 'no sign' of life in helicopter
4:03 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran's state television said Monday there was "no sign" of life among passengers of the helicopter which was carrying President Ebrahim Raisi and other officials.

"Upon finding the helicopter, there was no sign of the helicopter passengers being alive as of yet," state TV reported.

Iranian official: Expectations low for Raisi's survival
3:55 AM
The New Arab Staff

An Iranian official speaking to Reuters said that the expectations are low for President Raisi to be alive after the helicopter crash.


Rescuers see helicopter that was carrying Iran president
3:41 AM
The New Arab Staff

Rescuers see the helicopter that was carrying Iran's president and other officials, an official told Iranian state television on Monday.

The head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society, Pir Hossein Kolivand, said rescue teams were reaching the helicopter. He said they are seeing the helicopter from some 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) away.

Kolivand did not elaborate.

Search teams at wreckage of Raisi's crashed helicopter
3:16 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Search teams have reached the wreckage of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi's crashed helicopter according to Iranian State TV.


China 'concerned' over Iran president's helicopter crash
3:11 AM
The New Arab Staff

China said on Monday it was "deeply concerned" after Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi's helicopter went missing in what Tehran's state media described as an accident.

"The Chinese side is deeply concerned about the hard landing of the helicopter in which President Raisi was travelling, and we wish President Raisi and the crew on board safe and sound," state broadcaster CCTV quoted Beijing's foreign ministry as saying, adding that China would "provide all necessary support and assistance to the Iranian side in its rescue efforts".

Iranian red crescent sends 73 rescue teams to crash site
2:37 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Iranian Res Crescent has said it has sent 73 teams with detector dogs to the suspected crash site of Ebrahim Raisi's helicopter.


Rescue teams being sent to spot detected by Turkish drone
2:07 AM
The New Arab Staff

According to Fars News Agency the head of the Red Crescent in the Iranian province of East Azerbaijan said that rescue teams are being send to the spot detected by a Turkish drone helping the operation. 

Press TV has also reported that rescue forces are being sent to the area. 

Turkish drone identifies suspected helicopter of Raisi
1:37 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Turkey's Akinci drone identified a "source of heat suspected to be the wreckage of the helicopter carrying Iranian President Raisi and shared its coordinates with the Iranian authorities," news agency Anadolu reported on X. 


Israeli strike on Rafah kills three, wounds eight
12:40 AM
The New Arab Staff

An Israeli airstrike on a home in Rafah has killed three Palestinians and wounded eight others according to Gaza's civil defence.

Additionally, Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City have killed at least one person, with others wounded, according to Al-Jazeera.

Iran's Foreign Ministry thanks international help offers
12:03 AM
The New Arab Staff

Iran's Foreign Ministry has said in a post on X that it "sincerely thanks the numerous governments, nations, and international organizations for their expressions of human emotion and solidarity with the government and people of Iran, as well as their offers of help assistance for the search and rescue operation." 

US CENTCOM: Houthis launch missile at Gulf of Aden
10:36 PM
The New Arab Staff

US Central Command (CENTCOM) announced that Yemen's Houthi group launched an anti-ship ballistic missile over the Gulf of Aden, although no casualties or damages were reported as a result. 

"This continued malign and reckless behavior by the Iranian-backed Houthis threatens regional stability and endangers the lives of mariners across the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden," CENTCOM added.

US envoy touts 'potential' of Israel-Saudi deal
10:15 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US President Joe Biden's national security advisor briefed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the "potential" of a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia after holding talks in the region, the White House said Sunday.

Jake Sullivan also called on Netanyahu to match Israel's military operation against the Hamas militant group in Gaza with a "political strategy" for the future of the Palestinian enclave, it said in a readout of the talks.

MSF: Al Awda hospital surrounded by tanks, without water
9:46 PM
The New Arab Staff

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) have said that the Al Awda hospital in northern Gaza is without drinking water and Israeli tanks have surrounded the hospital.

In addition, 34 people were admitted to the hospital following an Israeli strike on the Jabalia refugee camp.

"This is one of the last functional hospitals in northern Gaza and some staff and patients are sheltering inside amid the fighting.

"All warring parties must ensure their protection and that of health infrastructure including hospitals," MSF said in a post on X. 


Netanyahu vows to restore security to north Israel
8:50 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to restore security to northern Israel during a meeting with the heads of its municipalities.

According to the Times of Israel, Netanyahu told the leaders that "we are committed to restoring security, and we will do it," during the meeting that has been reported in Israeli media as "stormy".

Haaretz also reported that Netanyahu said the government had a 48-hour deadline to make a decision on how to resolve the situation. 


Israeli Labor party to submit no-confidence vote against PM
8:25 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel's Labor party have announced it will submit a no-confidence vote against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the Israeli Knesset on Monday, accusing Netanyahu of having "failed miserably in managing the state in all its aspects".

According to Labor, the government has failed to provide Israel with security, respond to the concerns of residents displaced in northern and southern Israel, and failed to bring back hostages held captive in Gaza by Hamas.

"This is a government motivated by political considerations, which has violated the basic contract between the leadership and its citizens. Every day it remains in power, it is a danger to the State of Israel," Labor added.

Israeli minister slams Spanish plan on Palestine recognition
8:15 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

An Israeli minister on Sunday criticised in Madrid Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's plans to recognise a Palestinian state, saying this would be "rewarding" the attack carried out by Hamas against Israel.

Israel's Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli was speaking at a Madrid meeting of global far-right leaders organised by Spain's Vox party.

"Unfortunately, the current prime minister of Spain, Sanchez, believes that the Palestinians should be rewarded for the massacre - that this is the time to give them a state," he told the meeting.

The Socialist premier is due to announce on Wednesday the date on which Madrid will recognise a Palestinian state along with several European Union partners.

"It is important to highlight some crucial facts about the Palestinian Authority," said Chikli.

"Not a single senior official of the Palestinian Authority has condemned the barbaric massacre of Hamas. Not a single one."

Several countries offer assistance to Iranian search
8:03 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Several countries have offered assistance to Iranian search and rescue operations that are currently underway in a bid to find a crashed helicopter that was carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian. 

Both Saudi Arabia and Qatar offered help with the response, with Qatari foreign ministry spokesman Majed Al-Ansari saying "Qatar's wishes for the safety of the president, the foreign minister, and their companions".

Additionally, Armenia and Azerbaijan have also offered help to the operation. Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev met with Raisi today to inaugurate a dam on the border between the two countries. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan posted on X that "we are following the incident closely, are in contact and in coordination with the Iranian authorities and we are ready to provide all necessary support". The country has also sent a mountain rescue team to Iran. 

IRNA, Iranian Red Crescent deny reports helicopter found
7:50 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Iran's state news agency, has denied reports that search and rescue operators have found the crash site of the helicopter carrying Iran's president Ebrahim Raisi.

In addition, the Iranian Red Crescent, which is undergoing search and rescue operations, have also denied the reports. 



Martin Griffiths: 'sea aid no replacement for land route'
7:43 PM
The New Arab Staff

UN humanitarian aid chief Martin Griffiths has warned that is not enough fuel and aid get into Gaza then "the famine we've warned about will no longer be looming - it will be present".

In a post on X Griffiths said that "the consequences will be apocalyptic" and cautioned that "the maritime operation is bringing in some aid, but it's no replacement for land routes".

Crash site of Iranian President Raisi's helicopter located
7:35 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Search and rescue teams have located the crash site of the helicopter of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi according to Reuters citing State TV. 


Israeli settlers attack West Bank village south of Nablus
7:12 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli settlers in the West Bank have attacked the village of Yatma, south of Nablus, burning a number of cars and and agricultural land, according to Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Al-Quds, Qassam Brigades announce joint attacks in Jabalia
6:52 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Al-Quds Brigades and Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wings of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas, announced that they participated in a joint attack against Israeli special forces in Jabalia refugee camp.


Israel seeks bipartisan US support against Palestinian state
6:36 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel called for bipartisan support on Sunday from the United States against the establishment of a Palestinian state, which it said would be a reward for Hamas and its backer Iran.

European Union members including Ireland, Spain, Slovenia and Malta have said they could recognise a Palestinian state this month, seeing a two-state solution as essential for lasting peace.

Israel's foreign minister, Israel Katz, who met top House Republican Elise Stefanik earlier, said if a Palestinian state was established, Iran would use it as a base to "work towards the destruction of Israel".

He told Stefanik the US must lead a resolution at the International Energy Agency's council next month to promote further sanctions against Iran to stop it obtaining nuclear weapons and supporting groups like Hamas.

Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons.

Stefanik has played a key role in trying to stem the protests that have broken out across US college campuses against Israel's war in Gaza and in support of Palestinians' right to self-determination.


Hezbollah says it hit Israeli soldiers near Metula
6:06 PM
The New Arab Staff

Lebanon's Hezbollah group said it targeted three Israeli soldiers in a border position near the Israeli town of Metula on Sunday.

In a post on the group's Telegram channel, Hezbollah said: "the Mujahideen of the Islamic Resistance targeted them with a guided missile, which fell among them and left them dead and wounded."

It said the attack took place at 5:30pm on Sunday afternoon. Hezbollah and Israel have been engaged in attacks since October which have since varied in intensity.

Israeli army says soldier dies from wounds
5:30 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli army said on Sunday that a soldier from the Paratroopers Brigade's 202nd Battalion died after succumbing to wounds.

The soldier was injured on 15 May during fighting in northern Gaza, the army said in a statement.

A total of 283 soldiers have been killed in the Israeli military ground offensive in Gaza since October.

Biden tells students he backs 'non-violent protest'
4:30 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US President Joe Biden told students that he would listen to "non-violent" protests, after demonstrations over Israel's war in Gaza roiled US campuses in recent weeks.

"I support peaceful non-violent protest. Your voices should be heard, and I promise you I hear them," Biden told a graduation ceremony at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, which went ahead without disruption.

Ahead of the November presidential election, Biden has been working to secure the youth vote and there were concerns that the backlash over the student pro-Palestine protests could lost him votes.

Eight out of ten schools in Gaza destroyed
2:45 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel's war on Gaza has had a devastating toll on civilian life, including educational institutions such as schools and universities.

The UN children's agency, UNICEF, said on Sunday that eight out of ten schools in Gaza have been destroyed or damaged.

"It's going to take time for these schools to be rebuilt and for children to return to education. But in the meantime, the math is simple. There is only one answer to this problem, and it's a ceasefire." UNICEF's Tess Ingram said in a post on X.

Ingram added that the lack of education was having a severe impact on children's mental health.

Read more about children in Gaza here.

WHO: 'worrisome' reports of fighting by north Gaza hospital
2:04 PM
The New Arab Staff

The director of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was concerned about reports of fighting in the vicinity of Kamal Adwan Hospital in north Gaza.

He said reports of an influx of wounded people were adding pressure to the hospital's already strained capacities.

"Entry of emergency medical teams and medical supplies through the Rafah border crossing into Gaza has been blocked since 6 May," he wrote on X.

"Inside the Strip, supplies of essential medicines and fuel are very low, and movement is limited due to security constraints."

The director of Kamal Adwan Hospital told Al Jazeera Arabic that since the hospital has received about 60 bodies, most of them women and children, due to bombing in Jabalia.

Israeli army says it killed a Hamas smuggling operative
1:34 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli army said on Sunday its forces killed a Hamas operative responsible for weapons and finance in Gaza yesterday.

Following "precise IDF intelligence" and with its air forces, it "eliminated" Azmi Abu Daqqa who the army said was "actively involved in the smuggling of weapons and funds in Gaza".

The Palestinian group has responded to the allegation of his death.

Over the past week, the military has been conducting intense campaigns in north Gaza where Palestinian fighters have regrouped.

Gaza health ministry: 70 killed in past 24 hours
12:30 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The health ministry in Gaza said Sunday that at least 35,456 people have been killed in the territory during more than seven months of war between Israel and Palestinian militants.

The toll includes 70 deaths over the past 24 hours, a ministry statement said, adding that 79,476 people have been wounded in the Gaza Strip since the war began when Hamas militants attacked Israel on October 7.

Israeli minister calls for Lebanon Hezbollah ultimatum
12:00 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel's far right finance minister Bezalel Smotrich has called for an ultimatum to be handed to Hezbollah in Lebanon which says that if the group continues attacking Israel than the military should invade southern Lebanon.

Smotrich was speaking at a meeting of his far-right ultra orthodox Religious Zionism party which bolster's the coalition government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Times of Israel reported on Sunday.

Netanyahu's right-wing coalition ministers have repeatedly campaigned against a ceasefire deal and have called for the total destruction of Gaza and taken an aggressive approach to Lebanon.

"A public ultimatum must be issued to Hezbollah that they completely stop firing and withdraw all forces to beyond the Litani River," Smotrich said in comments carried by Times of Israel.

UN aid chief: 'apocalyptic' consequences of Gaza shortages
11:30 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The stranglehold on aid reaching Gaza threatens an "apocalyptic" outcome, the UN's humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said on Sunday as he warned of famine in the besieged territory.

"If fuel runs out, aid doesn't get to the people where they need it, that famine, which we have talked about for so long, and which is looming, will not be looming anymore. It will be present," Griffiths said.

"And I think our worry, as citizens of the international community, is that the consequence is going to be really, really hard. Hard, difficult, and apocalyptic," he told AFP on the sidelines of meetings with Qatari officials in Doha.

Griffith, the UN's Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said some 50 trucks of aid per day could reach the hardest-hit north of Gaza through the reopened Erez crossing.

But battles near the Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings in Gaza's south meant the vital routes were "effectively blocked", he explained.

"So aid getting in through land routes to the south and for Rafah, and the people dislodged by Rafah is almost nil," Griffiths added.

Image credit: AFP/GETTY

Jordan demands investigation of 'war crimes' in Gaza
11:03 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said on Sunday that the kingdom demanded an international investigation into what it said were many war crimes committed during Israel's military campaign in Gaza.

In remarks made during a press conference with the head of the UN Palestinian refugee agency, UNRWA, Safadi said those responsible for documented crimes should be brought to justice.

Israel is facing numerous accusations of committing war crimes in its military operation in Gaza, including the 'collective punishment' of the population by obstructing access to basic services and forced displacement.

Death toll from Israeli strike on Nuseirat camp rises to 31
10:30 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Gaza's civil defence agency said Sunday that an Israeli air strike targeting a house at a refugee camp in the centre of the Palestinian territory killed at least 31 people, updating an earlier toll.

"The civil defence crew were able to recover 31 martyrs and 20 wounded from a house belonging to the Hassan family, which was targeted by the Israeli occupation forces in the Nuseirat camp," Gaza civil defence agency spokesman Mahmud Bassal told journalists.

He said rescue workers were continuing to search for missing people under the rubble.

Earlier on Sunday the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital had said it had received the bodies of 20 people killed in the strike which witnesses said occurred around 3:00 am local time.

The Israeli army when contacted by AFP asked for specific coordinates of the strike.

Palestinian official news agency Wafa reported that the wounded included several children.

Kerem Shalom and Rafah border still closed
9:45 AM
The New Arab Staff

Two of Gaza's key border crossing points remain closed for the 13th day after Israeli forces took control of Rafah which has blocked the aid deliveries and wounded civilians needing urgent treatment.

The Rafah crossing into Egypt is Gaza's only pedestrian exit and it has been under the control of Israeli forces since 6 May.

Gaza's government media office said on Sunday that 3,000 aid trucks have been prohibited from entering over the past week and that 690 sick and wounded people had been prevented from travelling abroad.

"This constitutes a clear danger in light of the collapse of the health system [in Gaza]," the media office said in a statement.

"The American administration, the European Union and the international community did not do their duty and did not exercise the role required of them to prevent genocide," it added.

Commissioner-General of UNRWA Philipe Lazzarini said yesterday that only 33 aid trucks had made it into southern Gaza since 6 May and called for the urgent re-opening of the aid routes as fuel and other supplies are reaching critically low levels.


Saudi crown prince, US security official meet for talks
9:14 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Prince Mohammed bin Salman and US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met in Saudi Arabia's eastern city of Dhahran to discuss a "semi-final" version of strategic agreements between the two countries, official Saudi media reported on Sunday.

The agreements are considered a major part of Washington's efforts to bring Riyadh around to recognising the state of Israel for the first time -- efforts complicated by the ongoing war in Gaza.

Prince Mohammed, the kingdom's de facto ruler, and Sullivan discussed "the semi-final version of the draft strategic agreements between the Kingdom and the United States of America, the work on which is close to being completed", according to Saudi state media.

The two sides also discussed "what is being worked on between the two sides on the Palestinian issue to find a credible path towards a two-state solution".

Twenty killed in Israeli air strike on Nuseirat camp
8:55 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A Gaza hospital said on Sunday that an Israeli air strike targeting a house at a refugee camp in the centre of the Palestinian territory killed at least 20 people.

"We received 20 fatalities and several wounded after an Israeli air strike targeted a house belonging to the Hassan family in Al-Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza," the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital said in a statement.

Witnesses said the strike occurred around 3:00 am local time. The Israeli army said it was checking the report.

Palestinian official news agency Wafa reported that the wounded included several children, and rescuers were searching for missing people trapped under the rubble.

Images from Baher Hamed of Anadolu agency showed dozens of bodies, including children, wrapped in blankets or white shrouds at the hospital.

Al Quds Brigades: ‘fired rockets' on Israel's Sderot
8:40 AM
The New Arab Staff

The armed wing of the Islamic Jihad group in Gaza said it fired rockets at the Israeli town of Sderot on Sunday while the Israeli army sounded air raid sirens in the area throughout the morning.

Al-Quds Brigades also said that in conjunction with Hamas' Al-Qassam Brigades, it struck an Israeli army command base east of Jabalia and its fighters detonated an explosive device targeting a Merkava tank.

Israeli media reported earlier a missile salvo fired at Sderot.

Two Israeli soldiers killed in south Gaza
8:30 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Two Israeli soldiers were killed in a battle in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, the military said on Sunday.

Three soldiers and one officer were also injured in Gaza on Saturday. According to Israeli statistics, 282 soldiers have bene killed during the Gaza operation.

Israel's military has been focusing its offensive in the southern part of Gaza where it says the remaining Hamas brigades are holed up.