Dozens wounded, killed in Israeli attacks on central Gaza; US limits staff movements in Israel, Jerusalem

Dozens wounded, killed in Israeli attacks on central Gaza; US limits staff movements in Israel, Jerusalem
The Israeli military announced a new operation into central Gaza. The US said it had restricted the personal travel of its employees in Israel and Jerusalem.
26 min read

This live blog on Israel's war on Gaza has concluded. Make sure to follow us for the latest news on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Gaza's residents faced intense Israeli bombardment across the territory on Thursday as families tried to mark Eid al-Fitr festival and Israel said its military had begun a new operation in central Gaza.

Dozens of civilians were reported dead and wounded from attacks on Nuseirat refugee camp near Deir al-Balah in central Gaza, with the wounded rushed to Al-Asqa Martyrs Hospital. Israeli navy ships attacked the al-Shati camp on the coast, Palestinian news agency Wafa said.

Commentators noted that Israel's ground incursion into the centre of the strip was the start of a 'new' tactic, following the withdrawal of its troops from the devastated city of Khan Younis last week.

Meanwhile, a US military commander flew to Israel over mounting fears of an imminent Iranian retaliation for the 1 April Israeli strike which took out an Iranian consulate building in Damascus and senior members of the Revolutionary Guard.

This live blog has now concluded
4:36 AM
The New Arab Staff

This live blog on Israel's war on Gaza has concluded. Make sure to follow us for the latest news on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

US says destroyed anti-ship missile launched from Yemen
3:57 AM
The New Arab Staff

The US says it destroyed an anti-ship ballistic missile launched from Houthi rebel-controlled territory in Yemen.

US Central Command (CENTCOM) says on X that its forces "successfully engaged and destroyed" the missile, which was launched over the Red Sea, at around 1pm local time (10:00am GMT) yesterday.

It adds that there were no injuries or damage reported by American, coalition, or commercial vessels.

"It was determined the ASBM presented an imminent threat to US, coalition, and merchant vessels in the region," CENTCOM says.

"These actions are taken to protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for US, coalition, and merchant vessels."

Argentina court blames Iran for 1990s attacks: reports
3:05 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

An Argentine court on Thursday said Iran had ordered the deadly 1992 attack on Israel's embassy in Buenos Aires and the 1994 attack on the Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) Jewish centre, local media reported.

The ruling also implicated the Shia Muslim movement Hezbollah, declared Iran a "terrorist state", and called the attack against the AMIA – the deadliest in Argentina's history – a "crime against humanity," according to court documents cited by media reports.

PRCS arranges Eid 'Days of Fun' festival for Gaza children
2:49 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) arranged a "Days of Fun" festival for hundreds of displaced children in the Rafah and Khan Younis areas of Gaza on the second day of Eid Al-Fitr.

"The program of activities continues for three days, also including children from the Deir Al-Balah governorate," PRCS says on X.

"The event included artistic performances and games for displaced children in shelters, aiming to alleviate their suffering and bring joy and happiness to their faces."

Eid Al-Fitr is the Islamic holiday that marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

Violent fighting in north of Nuseirat camp in central Gaza
1:59 AM
The New Arab Staff

Violent fighting broke out in the north of Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza between Israeli forces and Palestinian fighters, The New Arab's Arabic edition Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reports.

Israel forces open fire near mosque north of Nuseirat camp
1:54 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces opened fire heavily near Al-Dawa Mosque north of the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, The New Arab's Arabic edition Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reports.

Israel on alert after Iranian threat as Gaza war grinds on
1:52 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel was on alert Thursday after its arch foe Iran threatened reprisals over a strike in Syria this month that killed two Iranian generals, and as the war on Gaza ground on.

Days after Israel strengthened its air defences and paused leave for combat units, the United States also warned of the risk of an attack by Iran or its allied groups at a time Middle East tensions have soared.

Iran is "threatening to launch a significant attack on Israel", US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday, pledging "ironclad" support for its top regional ally despite diplomatic tensions over Israel's military conduct in Gaza.

Israel's 1 April attack destroyed Iran's consulate building in Damascus and killed seven Revolutionary Guards, including two generals.

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US expects Iran attk on Israel but not to be drawn into war
12:25 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States expects an attack by Iran against Israel but one that would not be big enough to draw Washington into war, a US official said late on Thursday.

Israel attacked Iran's consulate in Damascus on Monday in a strike for which Iran has vowed revenge and in which a top Iranian general and six other Iranian military officers were killed, ratcheting up tension in a region already strained by the Gaza war.

Iranian sources told Reuters Tehran has signalled to Washington that it will respond to Israel's attack on its consulate in a way that aims to avoid major escalation and it will not act hastily, as Tehran presses demands including a Gaza truce.

The United States has been on high alert about possible retaliatory strikes from Iran and US envoys have been working to lower tensions.


UK Palestinian visa scheme petition nears 90,000 signatures
11:43 PM
The New Arab Staff

A petition on the UK parliament's website calling for a Palestinian family visa scheme is nearing 90,000 signatures.

The petition, which currently has 89,373 signatures, calls for a programme giving Palestinians impacted by war a chance to "seek refuge and reunite with their families safely in the UK".

The Home Office, Britain's interior ministry, responded to the petition in December, saying there were "currently no plans to introduce bespoke arrangements for people arriving from the region who do not hold permission to come to the UK".

But if the petition reaches 100,000 signatures by 18 April, it will be considered for debate in parliament.

WHO chief Tedros says Khan Younis warehouse 'destroyed'
11:18 PM
The New Arab Staff

The World Health Organization (WHO) and partners went to examine health facilities in then southern Gaza city of Khan Younis yesterday.

"The team described the destruction as 'disproportionate to anything one can imagine,'" WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says on X.

"No building or road is intact, there is only rubble and dirt."

He adds that fighting in the area around a WHO warehouse have "left it destroyed".

The WHO chief says the Nasser, Al-Amal, and Al-Khair hospitals have been rendered "non-functional" by "attacks and hostilities", saying the sites have no oxygen supply, water, electricity or sewage system.

"The team saw that the Nasser Medical Complex warehouse - which supplies many hospitals in the south - was burning, and severely damaged. It is estimated that fire has destroyed the majority of supplies, including a substantial amount of essential medicines and medical and trauma supplies provided by WHO and partners," Adhanom Ghebreyesus says.

He says that the team also went to the Jordanian field hospital, which he describes as "minimally operational".

It is "receiving a limited number of patients, mostly walk-ins, and a few trauma patients", Adhanom Ghebreyesus adds.

WHO is a UN agency.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is the head of WHO [FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty-archive]
No Security Council 'consensus' on Palestinian UN membership
10:50 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Members of the UN Security Council failed to reach a consensus on Thursday on a longshot Palestinian bid for full UN membership, according to the body's chair.

"There was no consensus" during a closed-door meeting, said Maltese Ambassador Vanessa Frazier, who holds the council's rotating presidency for April.

"However, the majority were very clearly in favour to move on with membership."

US limits movements of staff in Israel, Jerusalem
10:18 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States said on Thursday it had restricted the personal travel of its employees in Israel and Jerusalem amid Iran's threats to retaliate against its regional adversary.

Iran has vowed revenge for the 1 April airstrike on its embassy compound in Damascus, ratcheting up tension in a region already strained by Israel's war on Gaza.

"Out of an abundance of caution, US government employees and their family members are restricted from personal travel outside the greater Tel Aviv (including Herzliya, Netanya, and Even Yehuda), Jerusalem, and Be'er Sheva areas until further notice," the US embassy said in a security alert on its website on Thursday.

"US government personnel are authorised to transit between these three areas for personal travel."

Washington has a policy of informing all American citizens via such warnings when it updates security measures for its personnel in a country.

Israel claims Jerusalem as its capital, a position rejected by most of the international community, with the notable exception of the United States.

The city's eastern sector is recognised as occupied Palestinian territory by the UN.

US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday Iran was threatening to launch a "significant attack in Israel", and that the US remained committed to its ally's security.

Asked about the security alert, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller noted that Iran had been making public threats toward Israel.

"We conduct ongoing assessments all the time about the situation on the ground," Miller said at a press briefing.

"I'm not going to speak to the specific assessments that led to us to restrict our employees' and family members' personal travel, but clearly we are monitoring the threat environment in the Middle East and specifically in Israel."

(Reuters, The New Arab)

Saudi Arabia, Algeria FMs speak about Gaza in phone call
9:36 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Saudi and Algerian foreign ministers have spoken about Gaza in a phone call today.

Riyadh's Faisal bin Farhan and Algiers' Ahmed Attaf "discussed developments in the region, foremost of which are developments in the Gaza Strip and its surroundings, and the ongoing efforts" concerning this issue, the Saudi foreign ministry posts on X.

Top US general visits Israel amid Iran threat fears
9:17 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The top US commander for the Middle East is in Israel for talks on security threats with the country's military officials, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

The visit comes amid fears that Iran will retaliate after an Israeli strike that killed seven members of Tehran's elite Revolutionary Guards, including two generals, in Syria earlier this month.

General Erik Kurilla is in Israel "to meet with key [Israeli army] leadership... [and] discuss the current security threats in the region", Pentagon spokesman Major General Pat Ryder told journalists.

Ryder said the trip was moved up from a previously scheduled date "due to recent developments".

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warned on Wednesday that Israel "must be punished and will be punished", while US President Joe Biden pledged "ironclad" support for its top regional ally.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin meanwhile spoke on Thursday with his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant, who told the Pentagon chief that a "direct Iranian attack will require an appropriate Israeli response against Iran".

The two "discussed readiness for an Iranian attack against the state of Israel", the country's defence ministry said in a statement, adding that Gallant "emphasised that the state of Israel will not tolerate an Iranian attack on its territory".

UK FM Cameron: Iran must not draw ME into wider conflict
8:36 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron said on Thursday he had made clear to his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amirabdollahian, that Iran should not draw the Middle East into a wider conflict, following threats made by Iran toward Israel.

An Israeli attack on Iran's consulate in Damascus last week killed seven Revolutionary Guards officers, including senior commander Mohammad Reza Zahedi.

"Today I made clear to Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian that Iran must not draw the Middle East into a wider conflict," Cameron said on X.

"I am deeply concerned about the potential for miscalculation leading to further violence. Iran should instead work to de-escalate and prevent further attacks."

An Iranian media report said on Sunday that Iran will hold off from retaliating to the Israeli strike on its Damascus consulate if a ceasefire agreement is reached in Gaza.

"If America succeeds in containing the situation, it will be a great success for the [US's] Biden administration and we can build on that," wrote Jadeh Iran journalist Ali Hashem on Saturday, citing an anonymous Arab diplomatic source.

(Reuters, The New Arab)

PIJ says sniped Israeli soldier east of Gaza City
8:28 PM
The New Arab Staff

Palestinian Islamic Jihad's armed wing says its forces managed to snipe an Israeli soldier east of Gaza City, The New Arab's Arabic edition Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reports.

White House says 'we warned Iran' over Israel threats
8:24 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The White House said Thursday it had "warned" Iran after President Joe Biden said Tehran was threatening a significant attack on Israel over a strike that destroyed an Iranian consulate building in Damascus.

"We warned Iran," Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters in a briefing, a day after Biden promised "ironclad" support for Israel against any Iranian reprisal.

Blinken speaks to Turkey, China, Saudi FMs about Middle East
8:15 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to the Turkish, Chinese, and Saudi Arabian foreign ministers in the past 24 hours to make clear that escalation in the Middle East is not in anyone's interest, the State Department said on Thursday amid concerns that Iran will strike Israel in retaliation for an attack on Tehran's consulate in Damascus.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters at a regular news briefing that Washington continues to be concerned about the risk of escalation in the region, specifically after threats made by Iran toward Israel.


Saudi FM speaks about Gaza, Sudan with US's Blinken
7:51 PM
The New Arab Staff

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan has spoken about Gaza with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a phone call today.

"The two sides discussed developments in the region with ways to reduce escalation," Riyadh's foreign ministry posts on X.

"They additionally tackled files of share interest particularly the developments in Sudan and the Gaza Strip and its surroundings."

The ministry says they also spoke about the importance of more humanitarian assistance being brought into Gaza.

Sudan is currently experiencing a war between the its army and Rapid Support Forces paramilitary.

MAP CEO says 'history will judge all who are complicit'
7:38 PM
The New Arab Staff

A charity CEO posts on social media about the suffering in Gaza after returning from the strip.

"The scale of the suffering and humanitarian catastrophe inflicted by Israel is vast and horrific," Melanie Ward, CEO of Medical Aid for Palestinians, says on X.

"What is being done to the Palestinians of Gaza is a disaster for humanity.

"History will judge all who are complicit."

Israel says Hamas keeps 'walking away' in Gaza talks
7:31 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hamas keeps "walking away" from a deal that would secure a Gaza ceasefire, the Israeli prime minister's office said Thursday with negotiations at a standstill.

"There is a very reasonable offer on the table and Hamas keeps walking away," spokesman David Mencer told reporters, adding that international pressure on Israel was "helping Hamas".

Hamas official says ceasefire needed to locate Gaza hostages
7:21 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A senior Hamas official said Thursday that only a ceasefire can provide "enough time and safety" to locate Israeli hostages held across the Gaza Strip and ascertain their fate.

Negotiations for a ceasefire have been under way in Cairo since Sunday, but so far there has been no breakthrough on a proposal presented by US, Qatari, and Egyptian mediators.

"Part of [the] negotiations is to reach a ceasefire agreement to have enough time and safety to collect final and more precise data about the captured Israelis," Hamas official Bassem Naim said in a statement.

This is "because they are [held] in different places by different groups, some of them are under the rubble killed with our own people, and we negotiate to get heavy equipments for this purpose", the Hamas political bureau member said.

Hamas acknowledged early last month that it did not know which of the 129 hostages still captive in Gaza remained alive.

Naim added that the fate of the hostages, while paramount for the Israeli side, was just one topic of the Cairo talks.

"It's a ceasefire negotiations and not a prisoner deal negotiations, the prisoners deal is one of the items to be negotiated," he said.

PRCS transports two killed after Israel attacks central Gaza
6:58 PM
The New Arab Staff

Ambulance staff have transported two Palestinians killed after Israeli forces attacked a residential apartment in central Gaza.

"The Palestine Red Crescent [Society] ambulance teams evacuated two martyrs following the Israeli occupation's targeting of a residential apartment in Salhi Tower 2 in Nuseirat," the humanitarian group posts on social media platform X.

Israel Holocaust survivors get German payout amid Gaza war
6:43 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Germany said Thursday it is providing €25 million ($27 million) for Holocaust survivors in Israel to help them cope with the impact of the attack by Hamas and Gaza war.

Each of the 113,000 Jewish survivors in Israel will receive a one-off payment of €220, according to the Claims Conference, an organisation that seeks damages for Holocaust survivors and which worked with the German government on the scheme.

"Many Holocaust survivors were hit particularly hard by the Hamas attacks," a German finance ministry spokeswoman said, pointing to the loss of homes or support systems in the form of care.

The additional funds were aimed at helping them "in this frightening war situation", she said.

Gideon Taylor, president of the Claims Conference, praised the payout as a "message of solidarity" from Germany to Israel's Holocaust survivors.

The payments are being distributed in Israel in cooperation with the Claims Conference and the Holocaust Survivors Rights Authority of the Israeli government, the ministry said.

Germany is a staunch supporter of Israel and its war on Gaza, which began in October.

The New Arab published a short documentary titled "Germany's Palestine problem" in July.

"Many sources we spoke to said that they felt that Germany was shifting historical guilt onto Palestinians," the presenter said in the eight-minute video, which explored issues of censorship and racism.

"They said that Germany is so intent on not being seen as antisemitic that it will defend Israel and Zionism at all costs, including racism to Palestinians," the presenter added.

Haniyeh: Hamas still seeking deal after Israel kills sons
6:26 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh on Thursday denied his sons that were killed in an Israeli strike this week were fighters for the group, and said "the interests of the Palestinian people are placed ahead of everything" when asked if their killing would impact talks.

"We are seeking to reach a deal but the [Israeli] occupation is still procrastinating and evading a response to the demands," he told Reuters in a reference to the Gaza ceasefire and hostage exchange talks now underway.


Hezbollah claims hit Israeli targets in border area
5:53 PM
The New Arab Staff

Lebanese group Hezbollah said on Thursday its missiles hit Israeli military targets in Kfarchouba near the Lebanese-Israeli frontier.

The group which has been engaged in fighting with Israeli forces since 8 October, said the attack was "in support of our steadfast Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and in support of their valiant and honourable resistance," in the style of its regular statements since the start of the war.

Over 250 NGOs demand end to arms transfers to Israel
5:15 PM
The New Arab Staff

More than 250 international humanitarian organisations have signed a letter demanding that the international community ceases transferring weapons to Israel and Palestinian armed groups, in the second such call since January.

The organisations, which includes Amnesty International, Norwegian Refugee Council, War on Want, Jewish Network for Palestine, Oxfam and War Child Alliance, are calling on all United Nations member states to "stop fuelling the crisis in Gaza" and avert further humanitarian catastrophe.

"We, the undersigned organisations, call on all States to immediately halt the transfer of weapons, parts, and ammunition to Israel and Palestinian armed groups while there is risk they are used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international humanitarian or human rights law," the statement reads.

"Israel's bombardment and siege are depriving the civilian population of the basics to survive and rendering Gaza uninhabitable. Today, the civilian population in Gaza faces a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented severity and scale."

Iran: UNSC should have condemned strike on Damascus mission
4:31 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The "imperative for Iran" to retaliate for the attack on its embassy compound in Damascus might have been avoided had the UN Security Council condemned the strike, Tehran's mission to the United Nations said on Thursday.

"Had the UN Security Council condemned the Zionist regime’s [Israel's] reprehensible act of aggression on our diplomatic premises in Damascus and subsequently brought to justice its perpetrators, the imperative for Iran to punish this rogue regime might have been obviated," the mission said on the social media platform X.

UN Security Council asks Israel to do 'more' on Gaza aid
4:04 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The UN Security Council on Thursday acknowledged Israel's pledge to open more entry points to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza but said "more should be done" to help civilians in the besieged Palestinian territory.

In a statement, council members "took note of the announcement by Israel to open the Erez (border) crossing and allow the use of the Ashdod port for aid deliveries into Gaza, but stressed that more should be done to bring the required relief given the scale of needs in Gaza."

Irish government hits back at Israeli criticism
3:48 PM
The New Arab Staff

Ireland's government has hit back at Israel's accusation that new prime minister Simon Harris failed to mention the hostages in Gaza in his inaugural speech to Irish parliament on Tuesday.

Harris spoke about the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza and the "innocent children, women and men being starved and slaughtered." He went onto say that Ireland has not been silent on the 7 October Hamas' attack on southern Israel.

Israel's foreign minister issued a terse statement on Thursday in which it said that Harris "forgot" to "mention the 133 Israeli hostages who have been rotting in Hamas tunnels for the past six months".

A spokesperson for the prime minister told Irish newspaper The Irish Times that "the Taoiseach has been even-handed at all times in his response to the conflict, and that included condemning the taking of the hostages and calling for their release".

US officials fear 'most of the hostages are already dead'
3:21 PM
The New Arab Staff

US intelligence officials have said that some estimates project that most of the 130 captives taken by Hamas and other Palestinian groups into Gaza on 7 October are likely to be dead, according to reports.

Hamas said yesterday that it could not source 40 living hostages who would be returned under the first phase of a ceasefire agreement.

A report on Thursday in US newspaper The Wall Street Journal, citing US officials involved in intelligence matters, said that "some US estimates indicate that most of the hostages are already dead".

Some captives have been confirmed dead by Israeli government, but there are increasing fears that the number could be higher considering the dire conditions in the Gaza Strip.

Israel has seen frequent demonstrations demanding the safe return of the captives and berating Prime Minister Netanyahu for not acting quick enough.

UNICEF: vehicle hit with bullets delivering aid to north
3:05 PM
The New Arab Staff

A vehicle belonging to the United Nations' children agency, UNICEF, was hit with live bullets as it was waiting to enter north Gaza on an aid mission, UNICEF MENA said on Wednesday evening.

"Yesterday, a UNICEF vehicle waiting to enter the north of Gaza was hit by live ammunition," it wrote in a statement on X. The agency said the incident had been raised with Israeli authorities.

UNICEF’s Tess Ingram told Al Jazeera English that the vehicle she was travelling in was hit with bullets while waiting at a holding point near Wadi Gaza before passing through the Israeli army checkpoints into north Gaza.

The agency said it highlighted how dangerous it remains for humanitarians in Gaza and follows last week's deadly attack on an aid convoy which killed seven workers from charity World Central Kitchen.

Israeli media reports arrival of CENTCOM commander
2:30 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli media is reporting the arrival of US Central Commander Michael Erik Kurilla to Israel amid anticipation Iran will retaliate for the killing of seven IRGC officers who were killed in a suspected Israeli strike in Damascus.

According to Haaretz, Kurilla will meet Israeli military Chief of Staff Herzi Helevi, as well as other senior members of the Israeli military.

You can read more about ongoing preparations being made by the US and Israel following Iranian threats against Israel here

Israel says struck Hezbollah targets in south Lebanon
2:21 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli military announced it conducted raids against Hezbollah in south Lebanon, striking a building in Dhahira, as well as shelling an area close to Tayr Harfa.

The announcement comes following reports in Lebanese media that Israel struck the town of Jabbain alongside Dhahira, Tayr Harfa. 

German FM urges 'maximum restraint' in call with Iran
1:52 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock spoke on the phone with her Iranian counterpart about "the tense situation in the Middle East" on Thursday, the German foreign ministry said.

"Avoiding further regional escalation must be in everyone's interest. We urge all actors in the region to act responsibly and exercise maximum restraint," the ministry wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Israel is on high-alert for a retaliatory attack from Iran following the 1 April strike on Iran's consulate building in Damascus which killed several senior commanders of the Revolutionary Guards. US intelligence officials have reportedly warned Israel that an attack could be imminent. 

Netanyahu says Israel preparing for scenarios in other areas
1:47 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel is continuing its war in Gaza but is also preparing for scenarios in other areas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday, amid concern that Iran was preparing to strike Israel in response for the killing of senior Iranian commanders.

"We are preparing to meet the security needs of the State of Israel both in defence and attack," he said, in comments released by his office following a visit to an air force base in southern Israel.


Gaza health ministry: 63 Palestinians killed in past day
1:02 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli attacks killed 63 people and injured at least 45 others over the past day, Gaza's health ministry said on Thursday, as the enclave marked the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr.

The new figures bring the total toll to 33,545 killed and 76,094 injured since the outbreak of war, now on its 188th day, in October.

The ministry added that there are several victims stuck under rubble or on roads, out of reach of emergency workers.

ICJ issues South Africa and Israel dates for pleadings
12:43 PM
The New Arab Staff

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) said on Thursday that it had issued South Africa and Israel with deadlines for its written pleas in the genocide case at The Hague.

The court said it has given a period of nine months to each country for preparation of their respective pleadings. South Africa will have to file by 28 October 2024 and Israel will file its counter-plea by 28 July 2025, according to court orders.

In an unprecedented move, South Africa filed a case against Israel on 29 December for alleged violations of its obligations under the Genocide Convention in its war on Gaza. In a preliminary ruling, the court said it was "plausible" that Israel was committing genocidal acts in its war and ordered the country to take all measures to cease doing so. 

Israeli army says its constructing northern aid crossing
12:14 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli military said on Thursday it had begun construction work on a new land crossing for aid deliveries from Israel into northern Gaza, where thousands are believed to be living in famine-like conditions.

The announcement follows Washington's pressure on Israel to improve aid access for Gaza's 2.3 million population, who have been facing destitute conditions. Israel said last week it would allow aid to come through Ashdod port and work with Jordan to enable supplies from Amman, despite previously maintaining such moves would not be possible.

Humanitarian agencies have repeatedly asked for Israel to refrain from restricting supplies and to guarantee the safety of aid workers in the territory.

An UN spokesperson said earlier this week that Israel is blocking far more food aid convoys within Gaza than convoys carrying other kinds of aid.

Read more about aid delivery into Gaza this explainer.

Eight civilians killed by airstrikes in Rafah
11:55 AM
The New Arab Staff

Eight civilians were killed by Israeli strikes on areas in Gaza's southern city of Rafah on Thursday, according to local media reports.

An Israeli warplane killed five people near the a cemetery in eastern Rafah, while three people were killed by a strike in Rafah’s Janina neighbourhood.

Israel: 'progress made' in normalisation with Indonesia
11:35 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israel has made progress in normalising ties with Indonesia, an Israeli official speaking on condition of anonymity said on Thursday, despite the ongoing brutal assault on Gaza.

The deal with the world's largest Muslim country is reportedly to allow it into a global forum for developed countries, Israeli media announced.

The reports come following months of talks between Israel, Indonesia, and the secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Read more here.

How one nurse kept Gaza's Nasser Hospital going
10:55 AM
Mohamed Solaimane

When Israeli troops pulled out of Khan Younis on Sunday, Shehab Al-Najjar was consumed with both relief and concern.

Since 23 March, the 24-year-old volunteer nurse has been all that is left of the medical staff in the city's Nasser Medical Complex, living the spectre of death every minute as snipers and soldiers observed every movement in the hospital while he tended to the handful of remaining, bedridden patients.

For now, he's alive, but he dreads what's next.

Read more in The New Arab's article here.

Gaza: Nuseirat camp under Israeli air and ground attacks
10:35 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces sent troops into central Gaza on Thursday for a "precise, intelligence-based operation" near Nuseirat refugee camp, where locals have reported heavy bombing and civilian deaths this week. 

Five people were reported killed and several injured on Thursday after shelling hit an apartment block and a school in Nuseirat.

Clashes between Hamas fighters and Israeli troops in Nuseirat - which has not yet been invaded by ground troops - were reported in Arabic media.

Navy ships bombed homes in al-Shati refugee camp to the west of Gaza City, Palestinian news agency Wafa said.

The Israeli military said its navy "assisted the forces" and conducted "a number of targeted strikes along central Gaza's coastline".

Erdogan offers condolences to Hamas chief for sons' killings
10:23 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday offered condolences in a phone call to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh after the death of his three sons in Gaza, his office said.

Erdogan told Haniyeh, "Israel will definitely be held accountable before the law for the crimes against humanity it committed", the presidency said in a statement on social media.

Erdogan, who forged friendly ties with Haniyeh, has been one of the most virulent critics of Israel since the start of the war in Gaza.

Israel slams Irish PM for not mentioning Gaza hostages
9:45 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's foreign ministry on Thursday denounced Ireland's new prime minister Simon Harris for not mentioning the hostages held by militants in Gaza during a speech to the Irish parliament.

Harris -- who was sworn in on Tuesday -- "forgot" to "mention the 133 Israeli hostages who have been rotting in Hamas tunnels for the past six months," Israel's foreign ministry said in a statement.

Harris, 37, Ireland's youngest-ever premier, told the Irish parliament Tuesday that "innocent children, women and men are being starved and slaughtered" in Gaza.

"We have not been silent on the unforgiveable terrorist actions of Hamas on October 7, nor can we be silent on the disproportionate reaction of the Israeli government," said the leader of the centre-right Fine Gael party.

Israel is also furious with Ireland over its intention to recognise a Palestinian state and to intervene in the genocide case brought by South Africa against Israel at the International Court of Justice.

Occupied West Bank: settlers storm Palestinian villages
9:25 AM
The New Arab Staff

A group of settlers on Thursday stormed the occupied West Bank villages of Al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya and Al-Mughair and set fire to cars, local media reported.

Locals fended off the settlers who entered Al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya, south of Nablus, and set fire to a house and a car, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported. A second attack took place in al-Mughayyir, , near Ramallah, with a group of settlers setting fire to a Palestinian’s car.

Israeli settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank have risen sharply since October and the start of the Gaza war.

Last year was the most violent on record for Palestinians living there, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) recorded 1,225 incidents of settler violence in 2023.

‘Imminent risk of famine for most, if not all’, in Gaza
9:05 AM
The New Arab Staff

A US diplomat has said that the majority of Gaza is facing an "imminent risk" of famine.

David Satterfield, Special Envoy for Middle East Humanitarian Issues, said on Wednesday that whether Gaza was near famine was "not a point in debate".

"It is an established fact, which the United States, its experts, the international community, its experts assess and believe is real," Satterfield said in comments carried by Times of Israel.

"There is an imminent risk of famine for the majority, if not all, the 2.2 million population of Gaza".

US says downed 11 Yemen rebel drones
8:45 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States military said Thursday it had shot down 11 drones belonging to Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels, after the group claimed it had targeted Israeli and American ships off the Gulf of Aden.

The US Central Command said on X, formerly Twitter, that its forces had shot down three drones launched from Houthi -controlled areas on Wednesday morning, and eight drones later the same day.

"It was determined the UAVs presented an imminent threat to U.S., coalition, and merchant vessels in the region," the statement said using the acronym for unmanned aerial vehicles.

The latest Houthi attacks targeted two Israeli ships as well as an American commercial vessel and a US warship, the Houthis said in a statement.

Read about why America's strategy may not be working in The New Arab here.

Netanyahu not consulted on killing of Haniyeh's sons
8:35 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli forces killed three sons of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in an air strike in Gaza without consulting senior commanders or political leaders including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli media reported on Thursday.

Quoting senior Israeli officials, Walla news agency said neither Netanyahu nor Defence Minister Yoav Gallant had been told in advance of the strike, which was coordinated by the Israeli military and the Shin Bet intelligence service.

It said Amir, Mohammad and Hazem Haniyeh had been targeted as fighters and not because they were the sons of Hamas's political leader. The Israeli military did not comment on reports that four of Haniyeh's grandchildren had also been killed.