Two killed in Israeli drone strike in south Lebanon as Gaza pummelled

Two killed in Israeli drone strike in south Lebanon as Gaza pummelled
Local media reported that a Hezbollah field commander was among the dead when a drone strike targeted a car near the southern city of Tyre
22 min read
Smoke rises and billows after Israeli airstrikes target some targets in southern Lebanon on May 10 [GETTY]

An Israeli drone strike on a vehicle in south Lebanon killed two people early on Wednesday morning, including one Hezbollah field commander, Lebanese media reported.

Footage of the incident shared online showed a vehicle in flames and emergency services rushing to the scene near the southern city of Tyre. Hamas ally and Iran-aligned Hezbollah have yet to release a statement on the incident following tit-for-tat attacks between the group and Israel, which injured five Israeli soldiers and killed a civilian on Tuesday.

In Gaza, Palestinians faced heavy bombing across the territory, including an attack on Nuseirat refugee camp in which 40 people were killed on Tuesday morning.

Palestinian fighters and Israeli forces were engaged in attacks in Jabalia in north Gaza and Hamas said its militants had struck several Israeli soldiers and shelled tanks.

Israeli tanks forged deeper into eastern Rafah, reaching some residential districts on Tuesday, stepping up an offensive in the southern border city which prompted some 300,000 Palestinians to flee over the past week.

US media on Wednesday reported that the Biden administration was planning a $1 billion arms transfer to Israel, despite pausing a shipment last week over concerns with Israel's Rafah invasion and international law compliance.

Meanwhile, the UN named on Tuesday the international staff member who was killed when a UN marked vehicle came under live fire in south Rafah. More than 250 aid workers have been killed since the start of the war.

Eight months of Israeli bombardment and ground operations in Gaza have killed more than 35,000 people, most of them women and children, according to local health officials .

12:36 AM

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US State Dept moves $1 bln weapons aid for Israel
12:10 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The US State Department has moved a $1 billion package of weapons aid for Israel into the congressional review process, two US officials said on Tuesday.

The latest weapons package includes tank rounds, mortars and armoured tactical vehicles, one of the officials told Reuters.

The chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Foreign Relations and the House Foreign Affairs committees review major foreign weapons deals.

President Joe Biden said last week he had delayed a shipment of 2,000-pound (907-kg) bombs and 1,700 500-pound bombs to Israel over concerns they might be used for a major invasion of Rafah, a town in southern Gaza.

Biden has urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to invade Rafah without safeguards for civilians, seven months into a war that has devastated Gaza.

Biden's support for Israel in its war against Hamas has emerged as a political liability for the president, particularly among young Democrats, as he runs for re-election this year.


Israel worried Egypt may pull out of mediator role: reports
11:43 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli officials are said to be concerned that Egypt may abandon its role as a mediator between Hamas and Israel, as relations between the two countries sour over the Rafah takeover.

Israel and Egypt have been accusing each other of blocking aid deliveries into Gaza through the Rafah border, which Israel seized control of in a massive operation last week. In response, Cairo has said it cannot cooperate unless Israeli authorities return control of the border to Palestinians.

According to a report in Israeli newspaper Haaretz, officials said that "Egypt could withdraw from mediation to work on a deal to release the hostages held by Hamas" and the tensions risk jeopardizing defence and intelligence cooperation. 

For months, Cairo warned Israel against invading Rafah over fears on the security of the fragile border area and for the safety of the thousands of Palestinians sheltering there. 

Israeli army: 'intercepted two UAVs' coming from east
11:22 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli army said it took out two drones which approached Israel from the east on Tuesday night, adding that the aircraft "did not enter Israeli airspace".

Al Jazeera Arabic carried a statement from the Islamic Resistance group in Iraq which said "attacked with drones a military target in Eilat" on Tuesday night.

Israel's eastern port city of Eilat near the Jordanian border has experienced various drone infiltrations throughout the past few months.

The Islamic Resistance is an umbrella group in Iraq aligned with Iran and has conducted various attacks on Israeli or US assets in the region since the Gaza war.

Gaza aid pier to be operational in coming days: Pentagon
10:45 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A pier built by the US military for Gaza aid deliveries will be operational "in the coming days," the Pentagon said Tuesday, after a week of bad weather delayed its installation.

With a cost of at least $320 million, the pier is aimed at boosting humanitarian access to Gaza, which has been ravaged by seven months of war between Israel and Hamas.

But poor sea conditions have made it unsafe to anchor the pier on the Gaza coast, and it was instead stowed at the port of Ashdod in Israel as construction was completed last week.

Asked when the pier would be installed, Pentagon spokesman Major General Pat Ryder told reporters "in the coming days, I think you can expect to see it operational," but declined to give a specific date.

Ryder added that there were US Navy destroyers in the region that could provide security assistance for the aid operation.

Hezbollah field commander killed in Israeli strike: sources
10:08 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

At least two people were killed by an Israeli airstrike targeting a car in southern Lebanon's Tyre late on Tuesday, Lebanon's state news agency reported.

Footage shared online showed a vehicle in flames with bystanders rushing to the scene. According to online reports, the victims were taken to the Jabal Amel Hospital in Tyre. In one video, crowds and ambulances could be seen gathered outside.

Two Lebanese security sources told Reuters that a field commander from Lebanon's Hezbollah was one of those killed.

There has been no statement yet from Hezbollah, who have been engaged in clashes with Israel since the outbreak of the Gaza war.

EU diplomat 'outraged' by Israeli attacks on aid convoys
9:45 PM
The New Arab Staff

Josep Borrell, Vice-President of the European Commission, denounced the attacks on aid convoys by Israeli far-right groups in a post on social media site X on Tuesday.

Trucks filled with goods from Jordan passing through the occupied West Bank on their way to war-torn Gaza have been blocked and vandalised by far-right Israeli groups in the past days.

Borrell said he was "outraged" by the "unchecked attacks" and called on Israel to hold those responsible accountable.

Israel strike kills two in Lebanon: state media
9:11 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Lebanon's state-run news agency said an Israeli drone strike on a car in the country's south killed two people on Tuesday evening.

Two Lebanese security sources told Reuters that a field commander from Lebanon's Hezbollah was one of those killed.

"The enemy drone strike that targeted a car on the Tyre-Al-Hush main road martyred two people," the National News Agency said, also reporting that ambulances had headed towards the site of the strike.

At least 413 people have been killed in Lebanon in seven months of cross-border violence with Hezbollah, mostly militants but also including 79 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

Israel says 14 soldiers and 10 civilians have been killed on its side of the border.

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced on both sides.

(Image: Getty/File photo)

UN: women and children at least 56 percent of Gaza war dead
8:51 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Women and children make up at least 56 percent of the thousands killed in the Gaza war, the UN said Tuesday, amid controversy over the toll based on numbers from the health ministry in Gaza.

The United Nations was clarifying a fresh breakdown of the death toll in Gaza, after Israel slammed the world body for "parroting... Hamas's propaganda messages".

Due to a lack of access, UN agencies have since the beginning of the Gaza war on October 7 relied on death tolls provided by the health ministry in the territory.

This has drawn criticism from Israel, but the United Nations says the ministry's tolls before the war were deemed reliable, and that it will strive to verify the figures "when conditions permit".

But a fresh breakdown provided by the health ministry and published by the UN last week appeared to cast doubt on that assertion.

The ministry said that as of April 30 it had fully identified nearly 25,000 of those killed, with identification elements missing for the remainder of the nearly 10,000 others who had died.

Of those fully identified, it said 40 percent were men, 20 percent women and 32 percent children, while another eight percent were elderly -- a category not broken down by gender.

WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier on Tuesday said the new breakdown as "the most comprehensive" provided to date.

White House official to travel to Saudi Arabia and Israel
8:38 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan plans to travel to Saudi Arabia and Israel this weekend, a US official said on Tuesday as Israeli tanks pushed deeper into eastern Rafah, stoking fears of additional civilian deaths.

US and Israeli officials were scheduled to hold additional in-person discussions on Rafah but weeks have past without a new date being set.

Israel's international allies and aid groups have repeatedly warned against a major ground incursion into refugee-packed Rafah, where Israel says four Hamas battalions are holed up.

"We're going to continue to have conversations obviously with the Israeli government," White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a briefing.

"Those conversations continue and they have been constructive," she said, noting Sullivan said this week he expects in-person conversations to happen in the upcoming days.


UN names international staff member killed in Gaza
8:15 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United Nations said Tuesday that it had informed the Israeli authorities of the movements of a vehicle carrying UN staff which was hit in southern Gaza, killing an Indian man.

One UN security services member was killed and another wounded in the attack on Monday, the United Nations said, marking the first death of a UN international employee in the Palestinian territory since the war began more than seven months ago.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Col Waibhav Kale, working for the UN Department of Safety and Security (DSS) in Gaza," India's mission to the UN in New York confirmed on X.

"Our deepest condolences are with the family during this difficult time."

A second UN DSS staff member who was in the vehicle at the time was wounded in the attack, Gomez said, adding that the two had been travelling to the European Hospital in Rafah when their vehicle was hit.

1948 Palestinians in Israel march to villages for Nakba day
7:37 PM
The New Arab Staff

Thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel participated in a symbolic march of return to Hawsha and Al-Kassasir villages in modern day Israel on Tuesday to mark the 76th anniversary of the Nakba which corresponds to Israel's 'Independence Day'.

Carrying Palestinian flags and banners bearing the names of their lost villages, demonstrators chanted slogans demanding "No Negotiation, No Return" and "End the Assault on Gaza."

Nakba, the Arabic word for catastrophe, signifies the forced displacement and ethnic cleansing of thousands of Palestinians from their towns and villages which resulted in the 'creation' of the state of Israel in 1948.

Read more here.

Five Israeli soldiers injured by missile from Lebanon
7:15 PM
The New Arab Staff

Five Israeli soldiers were injured by anti-tank missile strikes launched from Lebanon on Tuesday, the Israeli army said.

The strike targeted the area of Adamit in the western Galilee and the soldiers were taken to hospital, the army said on its Telegram channel.

It added that Israeli jets had struck a "Hezbollah military structure" in Ayta ash Shab and Kfarkela in south Lebanon.

Lebanese Shia militia group Hezbollah said it had struck multiple sites in Israel throughout Tuesday. The two parties have been engaged in clashes since 8 October following Israel's invasion of Gaza.

Israeli army threatens Palestinian journalists in Jabalia
6:51 PM
The New Arab Staff

Palestinian journalists have reported receiving phone calls from the Israeli military ordering them to leave Jabalia in north Gaza and stop their coverage.

Hossam Shabat, who has been reporting on the latest Israeli incursion into Jabalia camp over the past few days, said he would not leave the area or stop reporting.

In a post on social media site X, Shabat said: "Phone call from Israeli occupation forces threatening us to stop coverage and leave Jabalia, but we are not stopping. We will continue to be among our people and cover events despite the threats and shelling."

Residents in the area have reported intense air and ground attacks after Israel said on Saturday it was re-engaged in battles with Hamas militants.

Read more about the attacks from our Gaza correspondent here.

Legal challenge overturns Dr Ghassan Abu Sitta travel ban
6:20 PM
The New Arab Staff

Leading Palestinian voice and surgeon Dr Ghassan Abu Sitta has had his Europe travel ban overturned after a legal challenge, a UK-based law group said on Tuesday.

The International Centre of Justice for Palestinians said Abu Sitta's Schengen-wide travel ban, which was imposed by Germany last month, was overturned after a legal challenge.

"He was deprived of his freedom of expression and freedom to travel when he was refused entry to France, Netherlands and Germany as he tried to spread the word about the war crimes he witnessed. Now, with the ban overturned, Ghassan should be able to travel freely around the Schengen area once again," ICJP wrote on X.

British national Abu-Sitta has become a leading witness to the impact of Israel's war on Gaza's population after spending 40 days volunteering in hospitals during the first months of the war. 

Egypt denounces Israel comment over Rafah crossing closure
5:42 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Tuesday denounced what he called Israel's attempt to blame Egypt for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Shoukry added in a statement that Israel's seizure of the Rafah border crossing from Gaza into Egypt as well as its military operations in the area were the main reasons for aid being unable to enter Gaza.

Rafah crossing closed due to Israeli escalation: Egypt media
5:23 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The closure of the Rafah crossing from Egypt into Gaza is due to the escalation of the Israeli offensive in the border city and is not Egypt's responsibility, a senior source told Egypt's state-affiliated Al Qahera News television on Tuesday.

The source refuted remarks by Israel's Foreign Affairs Minister Israel Katz that Cairo must be 'persuaded' to reopen the crossing with Gaza to allow aid.

UK will continue to approve arm exports to Israel: deputy PM
5:19 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Britain will continue to approve arm exports to Israel, Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden told Reuters on Tuesday, saying a full-scale Israeli operation in Rafah would not by itself result in a suspension of UK weapons supplies.

"The assessment that we undertake for arms export controls is one of the most rigorous in the world ... No single action represents a red line," Dowden said on the sidelines of a UK-Saudi trade conference in Riyadh.

"As the foreign secretary set out a few days ago, we are confident with continuing with those arms exports," he said.

"The action by Israel in respect to Rafah is not something that is going to, in of itself, trigger a change in the position from the UK government vis-à-vis arms exports," said Dowden. He was speaking in response to a question about whether the UK would cease issuing licences to UK weapons makers if Israel launched its operation in Rafah.

UN chief 'appalled' by escalating military activity in Rafah
5:15 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

UN chief Antonio Guterres is "appalled" by Israel's escalating military activity in and around Rafah, a spokesman said Tuesday, as clashes have rocked the densely crowded southern Gaza city.

"These developments are further impeding humanitarian access and worsening an already dire situation," Farhan Haq said, while also criticizing Hamas for "firing rockets indiscriminately."

Egypt needs to reopen the Rafah crossing with Gaza: Israel
4:42 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's Foreign Affairs Minister said on Tuesday Egypt must be 'persuaded' to reopen the Rafah border crossing with Gaza to "allow the continued delivery of international humanitarian aid".

Israel Katz said in a statement, "the key to preventing a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip is now in the hands of our Egyptian friends," adding foreign critics blaming Israel for the humanitarian situation in the strip are "misguided."

He also said the Palestinian group Hamas will "not control the Rafah crossing - this is a security necessity on which we will not compromise".

UK's Cameron says attacks on Gaza aid convoys 'appalling'
3:24 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

British foreign minister David Cameron said on Tuesday attacks on aid convoys headed for Gaza were "appalling" and that Israel must hold those responsible to account.

"Attacks by extremists on aid convoys en route to Gaza are appalling. Gazans are at risk of famine and in desperate need of supplies," Cameron wrote on X.

"Israel must hold attackers to account and do more to allow aid in – I will be raising my concerns with the Israeli government."

Turkey to apply to join ICJ genocide case against Israel
1:44 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said on Tuesday that Turkey decided to submit its declaration of official intervention in South Africa's genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

"We condemned civilians being killed on October 7," he told a press conference with his Austrian counterpart.

"But Israel systematically killing thousands of innocent Palestinians and rendering a whole residential area uninhabitable is a crime against humanity, attempted genocide, and the manifestation of genocide," he added.

A foreign ministry official said Turkey had not yet submitted the formal application to the ICJ.

Norway aims to quadruple aid to Palestinians as famine looms
1:40 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Norwegian government Tuesday proposed 1 billion kroner ($92.5 million) in aid to Palestinians this year as humanitarian agencies warn of a looming famine in the Gaza Strip.

Figures in the revised budget presented on Tuesday, show a roughly quadrupling of the 258 million kroner provided in the initial finance bill adopted last year.

According to the draft budget, Norway intends to dedicate 0.98 percent of its gross national income to development aid this year.

The figures are still subject to change because the centre-left government, a minority in parliament, has to negotiate with other parties to get the texts adopted.

Israeli forces repeatedly target aid workers in Gaza: HRW
1:36 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Human Rights Watch said Tuesday that Israel had repeatedly targeted known aid worker locations in Gaza, even after their coordinates were provided to Israeli authorities to ensure their protection.

The rights watchdog said that it had identified eight cases where aid convoys and premises were targeted, killing at least 15 people, including two children.

In all eight cases, the organisations had provided the coordinates to Israeli authorities, HRW said.

This reveals "fundamental flaws with the so-called deconfliction system, meant to protect aid workers and allow them to safely deliver life-saving humanitarian assistance in Gaza", it said.

"On one hand, Israel is blocking access to critical lifesaving humanitarian provisions and on the other, attacking convoys that are delivering some of the small amount that they are allowing in," Belkis Wille, HRW's associate crisis, conflict and arms director, said in Tuesday's statement.

Israeli police say investigating ransacking of aid trucks
1:34 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli police said they have opened an investigation after right-wing activists stopped and ransacked at least seven Gaza-bound humanitarian aid trucks, in a statement received Tuesday.

The Israeli police, citing the "disturbance to public order", said it had "opened an investigation which resulted in the arrests of several suspects", the statement said.

Images and footage published by AFP showed the emptied trucks with food products scattered on the road, and images later seen on social media showed trucks being set on fire near the crossing point.

Israeli media reported that the activists were members of Tsav 9, a group that has repeatedly blocked aid trucks heading to the Gaza Strip.

Hezbollah downs Israeli spy balloon in south Lebanon
1:20 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

An Israeli spy balloon was downed as it flew over south Lebanon on Tuesday.

Hezbollah reportedly struck a control centre in the northern Israel kibbutz of Adamit which was being used to manage the spy balloon, successfully downing it in the border village of Rmaych.

Videos shared on social media show the moment the balloon fell with civilians gathered around it.

Israeli soldier killed in attack on northern kibbutz
12:52 PM
The New Arab Staff

At least one Israeli soldier was killed and others were wounded in an attack on the kibbutz of Adamit in the country's northern Galilee region, Al Arabiya reported on Tuesday.

The attack was most likely launched from south Lebanon by Hezbollah, with which Israel has been engaged in cross-border clashes since October.

UN says informed Israel of vehicle fatally hit in Gaza
12:28 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United Nations said Tuesday that it had informed the Israeli authorities of the movements of a vehicle carrying UN staff which was hit in southern Gaza, killing an Indian.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Col Waibhav Kale, working for the UN Department of Safety and Security in Gaza," India's mission to the UN in New York confirmed on X. "Our deepest condolences are with the family during this difficult time."

A second UN DSS staff member who was in the vehicle at the time was wounded in the attack, UN spokesman Rolando Gomez said, adding that the two had been travelling to the European Hospital in Rafah when their vehicle was hit.

"The UN informs Israeli authorities of the movement of all of our convoys. That has been the case in any theatre of operation. This is a standard operating procedure," said Gomez.

"This was the case yesterday (Monday) morning, so we have informed them. And it was a clearly marked UN vehicle."

He added: "This is a sheer illustration that there's really nowhere safe in Gaza at the moment."

Qatar says humanitarian aid unable to reach Gaza since May 9
12:25 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Humanitarian aid has been unable to reach Gaza since May 9 when Israel launched incursions into its far-southern city of Rafah and closed aid crossings, Qatar's foreign ministry said Tuesday.

"Our brothers in the Gaza Strip have not received any aid since May 9, and this is an indication of the continued perpetuation of the humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip," ministry spokesman Majed al-Ansari told a Doha news conference.

Top UN court to hold hearings on Rafah offensive this week
11:52 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The top UN court said it would hold hearings Thursday and Friday over a request from South Africa to impose emergency orders on Israel to halt its Rafah offensive.

The International Court of Justice in The Hague will hear lawyers from South Africa on Thursday, followed by Israel's response the next day, it said in a statement.

Israeli minister supports call to build settlements in Gaza
11:46 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israel's Housing and Construction Minister Yitzhak Goldknopf, who heads the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party, has voiced support for renewed Israeli settlement in the war-torn and besieged Gaza Strip.

The hardliner published a video on X endorsing a march expected to take place on May 15 - commemorating 76 years since Israel was founded - which call for settlements in Gaza.

Nothing wrong with Gaza death toll figures, WHO says
11:36 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The World Health Organization on Tuesday voiced full confidence in Gaza Ministry of Health death toll figures after Israel questioned a change in the numbers.

Gaza's health ministry last week updated its breakdown of the total fatalities of around 35,000, saying that around 25,000 of those have so far been fully identified. U.N. agencies have republished these figures.

"The fact we now have 25,000 identified people is a step forward," said WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier at a Geneva press briefing, saying that there was "nothing wrong" with health ministry data.

US calls for post-war Gaza plan, reiterates ceasefire calls
11:34 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States has urged a Gaza ceasefire and has called on its ally Israel to devise "a strategic endgame" and post-war plan, said White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

This would help Israel avoid "getting mired in a counterinsurgency campaign that never ends and ultimately saps Israel's strength and vitality," Sullivan told a briefing in Washington on Monday.

Nearly 450,000 displaced from Rafah since May 6: UNRWA
10:50 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees said Tuesday that nearly 450,000 people have been displaced from Rafah since Israel began issuing evacuation orders for the south Gaza city eight days ago.

"UNRWA estimates that nearly 450,000 people have been forcibly displaced from Rafah since May 6," the agency said on X, formerly Twitter, without specifying where they fled to.

Red Cross sets up Rafah emergency field hospital
9:59 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The International Red Cross and partners are opening a field hospital in southern Gaza on Tuesday to try to meet what it described as "overwhelming" demand for health services since Israel's military operation on Rafah began last week.

"People in Gaza are struggling to access the medical care they urgently need due, in part, to the overwhelming demands for health services and the reduced number of functioning health facilities," the International Committee of the Red Cross said. "Doctors and nurses have been working around the clock, but their capacity has been stretched beyond its limit."

Staff at the new facility will be able to treat around 200 people a day and can provide emergency surgical care and manage mass casualties as well as provide pediatric and other services, the ICRC said.

"Medical staff are faced with people arriving with severe injuries, increasing communicable diseases which could lead to potential outbreaks, and complication related to chronic diseases untreated that should have been treated days earlier."

The ICRC will maintain medical supplies to the facility while the Red Cross societies from 11 countries including Canada, Germany, Norway and Japan are providing staff and equipment.

US calls on Iran to halt major weapons transfers to Houthis
9:39 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States called on Iran on Monday to halt its transfer of an "unprecedented" amount of weaponry to Yemen’s Houthi rebels, enabling their fighters to carry out "reckless attacks" on ships in the Red Sea and elsewhere.

U.S. deputy ambassador Robert Wood told the U.N. Security Council that if it wants to make progress toward ending the civil war in Yemen, it should collectively "call Iran out for its destabilising role and insist that it cannot hide behind the Houthis."

He said there is extensive evidence that Iran is providing advanced weapons, including ballistic and cruise missiles, to the Houthis in violation of U.N. sanctions.

"To underscore the council’s concern regarding the ongoing violations of the arms embargo, we must do more to strengthen enforcement and deter sanctions violators," Wood said.

Live Story
Pro-Palestinian protesters cleared from Geneva university
8:41 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Swiss police moved in early Tuesday to remove some 50 pro-Palestinian student protesters holed up in a Geneva university building for nearly a week, media reports said.

About 20 officers entered the UniMail building around 0300 GMT, a journalist from the Keystone-ATS news agency said.

"Most of the students were sleeping. After being gathered they were led to the underground parking garage," Julie Zaugg, a journalist with LemanbleuTV channel, said on X.

She said they shouted pro-Palestinian slogans before being handcuffed and taken away in vans.

Israeli tanks push into built-up areas in eastern Rafah
8:37 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli tanks pushed deeper into eastern Rafah on Tuesday morning, entering the neighbourhoods of Al-Jneina, Al-Salam and Al-Brazil, residents said.

"The tanks advanced this morning west of Salahuddin road into the Brzail and Jneina neighbourhoods. They are in the streets inside the built-up area and there are clashes," one resident told Reuters via a chat app.

Video on social media showed one tank on George Street in Al-Jneina neighbourhood. Reuters could not verify the video.

Israel's Rafah attack set Hamas talks 'backward': Qatari PM
8:33 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's military operation in Rafah has "set us backward" in negotiations with Hamas, mediator Qatar said on Tuesday, adding that talks are at "almost a stalemate".

"Unfortunately things didn't move in the right direction and right now we are on a status of almost a stalemate. Of course, what happened with Rafah has set us backward," Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani told the Qatar Economic Forum.

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Top Biden official doubts Israel can achieve 'total victory'
8:31 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Biden administration does not see it likely or possible that Israel will achieve "total victory" in defeating Hamas in the Palestinian enclave of Gaza, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Kurt Campbell said on Monday.

"In some respects, we are struggling over what the theory of victory is," Campbell said at a NATO Youth Summit in Miami. "Sometimes when we listen closely to Israeli leaders, they talk about mostly the idea of....a sweeping victory on the battlefield, total victory," he said.

"I don't think we believe that that is likely or possible and that this looks a lot like situations that we found ourselves in after 9/11, where, after civilian populations had been moved and lots of violence that...the insurrections continue."

Gaza death toll reaches 35,173: health ministry
8:30 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Gaza Strip's health ministry said Tuesday that at least 35,173 people have been killed in the territory during more than seven months of Israel's offensive.

The toll includes at least 82 deaths over the past 24 hours, a ministry statement said, adding that 79,061 people have been wounded in the Gaza Strip since the war began on October 7.