Fighting spreads to South Lebanon as Israel steps up Gaza war footing

Fighting spreads to South Lebanon as Israel steps up Gaza war footing
Hamas' large-scale operation against Israel dubbed 'Operation Al-Aqsa Flood' persisted for a third day as Israeli jets continue to pound Gaza, with the death toll from the fighting rising fast.
29 min read

Israel relentlessly pounded the Gaza Strip early Monday as Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant called for a "complete siege" on the enclave.

"We are fighting animals and are acting accordingly," Gallant said in Hebrew in a video message posted to X, as Israel cut off all supplies to Gaza.

Throughout Monday, Israeli war planes struck locations all across Gaza as Hamas continued to fire rockets into Israel. Fighting also persisted in seven or eight locations inside Israel near the Gaza periphery.

The death toll from both sides has surged above 1,300.

Meanwhile, residents of towns along the southern Lebanese border fled their homes on Monday, 9 October, as Israeli helicopters launched dozens of airstrikes following a clash with Palestinian Islamic Jihad fighters who crossed the border into Israel.

A statement from the Palestinian militant group said that four of its militants were killed in the clashes, while seven Israeli troops were wounded.

Israeli media said that the over two hours of airstrikes were targeting Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon, killing at least one member of the pro-Iran militia.

It came two days after Hamas launched a barrage of rockets and sent in a wave of fighters who took hundreds of hostages in an massive attack that took Israel by surprise.

At least 800 Israelis have been killed in the fighting so far with more than 2,500 people wounded, many critically, Israeli media reported on Monday.

Officials in Gaza have reported at least 560 Palestinian deaths in the coastal enclave of about 2.3 million people, wit over 2,900 wounded.

10:53 PM
The New Arab Staff

Thank you for tuning in.

This live coverage has now concluded and will resume from 7 AM GMT

10:52 PM
The New Arab Staff

US warns Hezbollah not to open new front against Israel

Lebanese militant group Hezbollah should not make the "wrong decision" of opening a second front against Israel as it battles attacks by Hamas, a senior US defence official warned Monday.

"We are deeply concerned about Hezbollah making the wrong decision and choosing to open a second front to this conflict," the official told journalists.

One of the reasons Washington is deploying a carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean is to signal that Iran-backed groups such as Hezbollah should not "question the commitment of the US government to support the defence of Israel," the official said.

The US announced the decision on the strike group, which includes an aircraft carrier and other warships, on Sunday -- a day after Hamas militants launched an unprecedented multi-pronged attack on Israel's southern flank from the blockaded Gaza Strip, leaving hundreds of people dead.

Israel and Hezbollah have already traded fire this week, but have stopped short of the devastating full-scale war they fought in 2006 -- a repeat of which would force Israel's military to fight on two fronts, stretching its forces thin.

Hezbollah said Israeli strikes killed three of its members on Monday, after which it targeted two Israeli barracks.


10:50 PM
The New Arab Staff

US citizens 'likely' held by Hamas: Biden

US President Joe Biden said Monday that Americans are likely being held hostage by Hamas after its surprise attack on Israel, adding that Washington is working with Israel on "hostage recovery efforts."

At least 11 US citizens were among those killed in the "heart-wrenching" attacks, Biden said, adding that "the safety of American citizens -- whether at home or abroad -- is my top priority as president."

"While we are still working to confirm, we believe it is likely that American citizens may be among those being held by Hamas," Biden said in a statement after meeting with his national security team at the White House.

10:46 PM
The New Arab Staff

U.S. Senate moves quickly toward confirming Lew as ambassador to Israel

The U.S. Senate could confirm President Joe Biden's nominee to be ambassador to Israel, former Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, as soon as next week, Senate aides said on Monday, as Washington responded to a devastating weekend attack on the Jewish state by Hamas gunmen.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee announced that it would hold Lew's confirmation hearing on Oct. 18.

The aides said Democrats, who hold a slim majority in the chamber, hoped to vote to confirm Lew as soon as Thursday.

Biden nominated Lew for the position in September, a move that won immediate praise from his fellow Democrats.

Because he served as a cabinet secretary, Lew has undergone Senate confirmation before.

In addition to serving as Treasury secretary, Lew under former Democratic President Barack Obama was a White House chief of staff and deputy secretary of state for management and resources.

Read The New Arab's profile of Jack Lew from Septmber here.

Jack Lew, file photo [Getty Images]
10:34 PM
The New Arab Staff

Senior Hamas official says Iran, Hezbollah had no role in Israel incursion, but will help if needed

BEIRUT (AP) — A senior Hamas official on Monday said only a small number of top commanders inside Gaza knew about the wide-ranging incursion launched into Israel, but that allies like Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah “will join the battle if Gaza is subjected to a war of annihilation.”

Ali Barakeh, a member of Hamas’ exiled leadership, spoke to The Associated Press in his Beirut office as Israel bombarded Gaza and vowed a total blockade of the Hamas-ruled territory.

The surprise attack on Saturday caught Israel’s vaunted military and intelligence services completely off guard , as hundreds of Hamas gunmen poured through holes blown in the border fence and rampaged through several towns, killing hundreds of soldiers and civilians, and capturing scores of others.

Barakeh said the attack was planned by around a half dozen top Hamas commanders in Gaza and that even the group’s closest allies were not informed in advance about the timing. He denied reports that Iranian security officials helped plan the attack or gave the go-ahead at a meeting last week in Beirut.

“Only a handful of Hamas commanders knew about the zero hour,” Barakeh said, adding that no one from the central command or the political bureau of Hamas was in the Lebanese capital last week.

He acknowledged that Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group have helped Hamas in the past, but said that since the 2014 Gaza war Hamas has been producing its own rockets and training its own fighters.

He also denied speculation that the attack, which had been planned for more than a year, was aimed at derailing U.S. efforts to convince Saudi Arabia to normalize ties with Israel.

Instead, he said it was driven by a range of actions taken by Israel’s far-right government over the past year, including provocative visits to a flashpoint Jerusalem holy site and increased pressure on Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. He also said Hamas believed Israel had plans to kill its top leaders.

He said even Hamas was shocked by the extent of the operation, dubbed “Operation Al-Aqsa Storm,” saying it had expected Israel to prevent or limit the attack.

“We were surprised by this great collapse,” Barakeh said. “We were planning to make some gains and take prisoners to exchange them. This army was a paper tiger.”

His claim that Hamas has only planned a small operation is belied by the fact that an estimated 1,000 fighters took part in the incursion, attacking by land, sea and even motorized paragliders.

Israel has declared all-out war and vowed to punish Hamas like never before, and the mobilization of 300,000 Israeli reserves has raised the prospect of a ground invasion or even a reoccupation of Gaza. The Israeli military says it has already killed hundreds of militants and bombed numerous Hamas targets.

Barakeh said Hamas has so far employed only a small number of its own forces. He said nearly 2,000 Hamas fighters have taken part in the latest fighting, out of an army of 40,000 in Gaza alone.

Hamas may also be able to count on its allies if it faces a major setback. On Sunday, Hezbollah fired several rockets and shells at three Israeli positions in a disputed area. On Monday, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group claimed it sent four gunmen across Lebanon’s border into Israel.

The militants said they had wounded seven Israeli soldiers. Israel said its own forces shot and killed several gunmen who crossed into the country from Lebanon. It also shelled southern Lebanon in response.

Barakeh, who was Hamas’ representative in Lebanon for years and is now in charge of coordinating with other Palestinian factions, said his group will use the scores of Israelis it captured in the raid to secure the release of all Arabs detained in Israeli jails and even some Palestinians imprisoned in the United States on charges of funding Hamas.

“There are Palestinians held in America. We will ask for their release,” he said, without specifying who he was referring to.

In 2009, a court in Dallas sentenced two founding members of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, once the largest U.S. Muslim charity, to 65 years in prison for funneling millions of dollars to Hamas. Three other men were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 15 to 20 years for conspiracy.

Barakeh said Hamas is ready to fight a long war with Israel, saying it has an arsenal of rockets that will last a long time.

“We have prepared well for this war and to deal with all scenarios, even the scenario of the long war,” he added. “We will bring life to a stop in the Zionist entity if the aggression does not stop on Gaza.”

10:30 PM
The New Arab Staff

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday called on Israel's opposition to form a government of national unity as the country reeled under a deadly assault by Palestinian militant group Hamas.

"I call on opposition leaders to immediately form an emergency government of national unity without any preconditions," Netanyahu said in a televised speech.

Netanyahu, who sits at the head of a hard-right coalition government, is facing one of the biggest crises in Israel's history after Hamas launched its surprise attack on Saturday morning.

In his speech on Monday, he said the government planned to regain control of the territory and "eliminate terrorists" still present in Israel.

Israel planned to carry out a "massive" assault against Hamas with "unprecedented force" and "strengthen other fronts in the north against Hezbollah" in Lebanon, as well as in the occupied West Bank, he said.

Netanyahu said he will also continue to campaign for international support and work for the "unity of the people" by forming the national unity government.

8:53 PM
The New Arab Staff

Palestinian Islamist group Hamas is not open to negotiating a prisoner exchange with Israel during hostilities, a member of the militants' political office in Doha said Monday.

Potential talks on the fate of as many as 150 individuals held by Hamas gained greater urgency as the group threatened to start executing its hostages if Israel carried out air strikes in the Gaza Strip without prior warning to residents.

But an informed source told AFP that Qatar is spearheading efforts to negotiate an exchange of prisoners between Israel and Hamas following the Palestinian group's shock attack over the Gaza border.

Discussions on the release of dozens of people -- kidnapped during the Islamist group's advance into southern Israel on Saturday -- had made "some headway," the source who is briefed on the negotiations said on condition of anonymity, without providing additional details.

Hamas official Hossam Badran had earlier told AFP: "The military operation is still continuing... therefore there is currently no chance for negotiation on the issue of prisoners or anything else."

"Our mission now is to make every effort to prevent the occupation from continuing to commit massacres against our people in Gaza, which directly target civilian homes," he added from Doha.

Qatar has hosted a political office for Hamas for over a decade and has been one of the group's principle backers.

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh issued a video message from Qatar on Saturday, broadcast on the militants' Al-Aqsa television channel, saying his group was on the "verge of a great victory" and demanding the release of Palestinian prisoners.

On Sunday, Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani held a call with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, saying Qatar was "making all its diplomatic efforts with various concerned parties" in a bid to deescalate the conflict.

8:07 PM
The New Arab Staff

TNA contributor Rosabel Crean sent the following pictures and updates from a pro-Palestine demonstration in London this evening.

Over 5,000 people gathered at an anti-apartheid and pro-Palestine demonstration in central London, close to High Street Kensington in front of the Israeli Consulate and next to the Embassy of Israel on Palace Green.

Pro-Palestine march
From the pro-Palestine march tonight [Rosabel Crean]
From tonight's pro-Palestine march [Rosabel Crean]
7:43 PM
The New Arab Staff

AFP has an updated tally of foreigners killed in Israeli-Palestinian fighting:

- Thailand: 12 dead, 11 hostages -

Twelve Thai labourers were killed, eight were wounded and 11 were taken captive, foreign ministry spokeswoman Kanchana Patarachoke said Monday.

Labour Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said there were around 5,000 Thai labourers working in the areas hit by fighting who were being moved to safety.

- Nepal: 10 dead -

Ten citizens of Nepal were killed in Kibbutz Alumim, one of the flashpoints of the Hamas assault, the Himalayan republic's embassy in Tel Aviv said on Sunday.

Four others were being treated in hospital while a search was underway for a fifth person, the embassy added.

Kibbutz Alumim was hosting 17 students at the time of the attack.

- US: 9 dead, others missing -

The United States confirmed Monday the deaths of nine US citizens and said others were still unaccounted for.

"At this time, we can confirm the deaths of nine US citizens," State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said, adding that the US was working with Israel to locate those still missing.

- Ukraine: 2 dead -

Two Ukrainian women who had been living in Israel for years were killed, Ukraine's foreign ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said on Sunday.

- France: 2 dead, 14 missing -

Two French people have been killed in "Hamas's terrorist attacks against Israel", the French government said.

A 12-year-old is among 14 of its nationals missing after Hamas launched deadly raids into Israel, the French foreign ministry said calling the situation "worrying".

"Based on the information we have, we consider it highly likely that some of them have been abducted", the ministry said in a statement, adding that "this number is still subject to change".

- Russia: 1 dead, 4 missing -

At least one Russian has been killed and four others are missing, the Russian embassy in Tel Aviv announced on Monday, quoted by the Russian news agencies.

- UK: 1 dead, 1 missing -

Israel's ambassador to Britain said there was one 26-year-old British citizen missing, without naming the person.

A British man who was serving in the Israeli army, Nathanel Young, 20, also died in fighting with Hamas, his family said on Sunday.

- Canada: reports of 1 dead, 2 missing -

The Canadian government said on Sunday that it was trying to confirm reports that one Canadian had died and two others were missing.

- Cambodia: 1 dead -

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Manet said one Cambodian student was killed.

- Germany: several hostages -

Several dual German-Israeli nationals were kidnapped, a German foreign ministry source said Sunday.

The mother of 22-year-old Shani Louk told news outlet Der Spiegel that she recognised her daughter in videos circulating online of a half-naked woman lying face down in the back of a pick-up truck in Gaza with armed men seated around her.

Ricarda Louk told Spiegel that her daughter had been at the music festival.

- Brazil: 3 missing, one injured -

Brazil's foreign ministry said on Sunday that three dual Brazilian-Israeli nationals were missing after attending the festival and a fourth was being treated in hospital.

- Paraguay: 2 missing -

Two Paraguayan nationals who had been living in Israel are missing, Paraguay's government said, without giving details.

- Mexico: 2 hostages -

Mexico's Foreign Minister Alicia Barcena wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that two Mexicans, one man and one woman, had been taken hostage, without giving further details.

- Colombia: 2 hostages -

Two Colombians who were at the Supernova festival are missing, Israel's ambassador to Colombia said on X.

The Colombian government confirmed that two Colombians were at the rave and said it was trying to help locate them.

- Panama: 1 missing -

Panama's government said one of its nationals, Daryelis Denises Saez Batista, was missing.

- Ireland: 1 missing -

An Irish-Israeli woman has been confirmed missing by the Irish government.

5:58 PM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas threatens to kill Israeli captives if strikes on Gaza continue

Hamas' military wing Al-Qassam Brigades has threatened to kill an Israeli captive every time the Israeli air force struck Gaza without prior warning.

The group's spokesman Abu Obaida warned that if Israel continued to bomb the homes of Gaza residents without prior warning, they would "be forced" to execute Israeli captives "to put an end to the enemy's crimes and barbaric acts."

Hamas is believed to be holding over 100 captives from Israel, captured during their surprise attack on Saturday.

The executions would be filmed, said Abu Obaida.

At least 560 people have been killed in Gaza since Saturday.

The Israeli Channel 12 announced Monday evening that the death toll in Israel has reached 900.

5:09 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel calls up unprecedented 300,000 reservists, shuts Ashkelon port: sources

The Israeli military said it had called up an unprecedented 300,000 reservists and was imposing a total blockade of the Gaza Strip, signs it could be planning a ground assault there to defeat Hamas.

Israel's port of Ashkelon and its oil terminal have also been shut in the wake of the conflict, shipping and trade sources said on Monday.

The port is located just over 10 kilometres (6 miles) from the border with the Gaza Strip.

Ashkelon and other nearby towns were struck with missiles on Monday from Gaza, as the Israeli air force pounded the coastal enclave.


4:50 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hezbollah member killed in Israeli bombardment in southern Lebanon: sources

One Hezbollah member was killed in Israeli bombardment in southern Lebanon on Monday, two sources close to Hezbollah and a security source in Lebanon said.


4:44 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Palestinian group in Lebanon claims Israel infiltration bid

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group's armed wing claimed responsibility for a thwarted bid to infiltrate Israel from Lebanon on Monday.

"Al-Quds brigade claims responsibility for the afternoon operation on the south Lebanon border," the group said in a statement.

The Israeli army had earlier said it "killed a number of armed suspects" who had crossed the border from Lebanon.

4:17 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Scottish first minister says in-laws 'trapped' in Gaza

Scotland's First Minister Humza Yousaf on Monday said his wife's parents have been caught up in the Hamas-Israel war.

Yousaf's wife Nadia El-Nakla is Palestinian and her parents, who live in Dundee, northeast Scotland, were visiting family in Gaza.

"They've been in Gaza and are currently trapped in Gaza, I'm afraid," he told reporters.

Yousaf said the Israeli authorities had told his parents-in-law to leave but not guaranteed safe passage.

"I'm in a situation where, frankly, night by night, day by day, we don't know whether or not my mother-in-law and father-in-law, who have nothing to do, as most Gazans don't, with Hamas or with any terror attack... will make it through the night or not," he said.

He added: "We cannot sleep. We are constantly watching our phones."

Yousaf condemned the Hamas attack and said his concerns would be mirrored by Scotland's Jewish community and their worries for family.

"Innocent civilians" on both sides "are paying the price", he added.

3:53 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel focusing airstrikes on residential buildings: Alaraby TV

Israel's air force is focusing its strikes on residential buildings, mosques and public administration buildings in Gaza, Alaraby TV reported.

It said Israel was heavily bombarding different parts of the enclave, including Gaza City, Khan Yunis and Jabalia.

At least 560 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza so far with thousands injured.

3:46 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel 'must' carry out ground invasion in Gaza, Netanyahu tells Biden

Israel does not have any choice but to unleash a ground operation in Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US President Joe Biden on Sunday.

"We have to go in. We can't negotiate now, we need to restore deterrence" Netanayhu told Biden, Axios reported, quoting three Israeli and US sources.

Netanyahu also told Biden a front on the Lebanese border is a concern and Israel is preparing for this scenario, but stressed Israel doesn't have any other choice but to respond with great force in Gaza, the sources said.

3:14 PM
The New Arab Staff

South Lebanon residents brace for possible Hezbollah-Israel escalation

People were seen fleeing in cars as Israel shelled a number of villages in southern Lebanon on Monday, said The New Arab's correspondent.

The shelling came after a reported infiltration attempt and rocket attack from Lebanon into northern Israel. Hezbollah denied involvement.

"One person [in a car] stopped and told me they saw someone filming who got hit by an [Israeli] airstrike. Others were urging people to get to more populated areas in fear that the airstrikes were going to hit them," The New Arab's Beirut correspondent William Christou said.

He described scenes of smoke plumes rising from the border villages which were struck by Israel. Israeli media says Hezbollah positions and watchtowers are situated in these locations.

Live Story

There were mixed feelings about the situation down in southern Lebanon.

"I'm not scared," one person from the village of Beit Lif told Christou. "I set the arguileh I am going to finish after a shower."

"Israel is going to end. We will all eventually die, some day. We’re proud of what happened in Gaza and we are waiting for a Hezbollah operation [against Israel], but we are just worried about our children," the father of three said.

A Hezbollah official from Beit Lif told Christou that he was afraid of the war ending before his group is able to enter Israel.

3:10 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

British PM assures Netanyahu of 'steadfast support', Biden pledges more military aid

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Sunday assured his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu of London's "steadfast support.”

The blue and white Israeli flag was projected onto the facade of 10 Downing Street on Sunday evening after Sunak posted on X, formerly Twitter, "We stand with Israel".

"I have just spoken with Prime Minister Netanyahu to assure him of the UK's steadfast support as Israel defends itself against these appalling attacks," Sunak said from his official country residence Chequers.

"We will do everything that we can to help. Terrorism will not prevail," he added.

A Downing Street spokesman said Sunak offered Netanyahu "any support Israel needs".

A British man who was serving in the Israeli army died in the Hamas assault, his family said on Sunday.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden said fresh military aid is on its way to Israel with "more to follow over the coming days," the White House announced Sunday.

2:47 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel kills 'number of armed suspects' who infiltrated from Lebanon: Israeli army

Israeli soldiers "killed a number of armed suspects" who crossed the border from Lebanon, Israel's military said Monday as further south it fought a devastating war with Gaza militants.

"Additionally, IDF (Israeli army) helicopters are currently striking in the area," an army statement said.

"Fields on the outskirts of the village (of Dhayra) were subjected to intense Israeli artillery shelling, preceded by intermittent gunfire," village mayor Abdullah al-Gharib told AFP.

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency said "Israeli occupation forces bombed the Dhayra border area... with artillery".

Heavy gunfire was heard in the village, with explosions also heard "in various southern regions", it added.

Translation: Artillery shelling and gunfight at the borders of the town of Dhaira in the western sector of south Lebanon

Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah movement denied any involvement.

"There is no truth to information circulating about clashes between resistance elements and the Israeli enemy or any infiltration," a spokesperson for the group said in a statement.

2:33 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Gaza death toll in Israel bombardment rises to 560

The death toll in the Gaza Strip rose to 560 on Monday, the health ministry in the Palestinian enclave said, as Israel pounded Hamas targets for the third consecutive day.

The Hamas-controlled ministry said "560 people were killed and another 2,900 injured" since Saturday's surprise dawn attack when Hamas militants stormed Israel under a barrage of rocket fire.

2:28 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's response to Gaza will "change the Middle East": Netanyahu

Israel's response to the unprecedented multi-pronged attack by Palestinian gunmen from the Gaza Strip will "change the Middle East," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday.

He was speaking to mayors of southern border towns hit by the surprise assault that began on Saturday, a statement from his office said. It did not elaborate on his prediction.


2:03 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel bombs university in Gaza

The Islamic University has been struck in an Israeli raid, The New Arab's correspondent in Gaza reported.

She said the attack was right next to where she lives.

It is unclear if anyone was killed in this strike. The death toll in Gaza has surpassed 500.

1:31 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli military says deploying against possible infiltration from Lebanon

Israel's military said it deployed troops against a suspected infiltration from Lebanon on Monday, which a local radio station said appeared to have taken place in the central part of the countries' border.

"A report was received regarding the infiltration of a number of suspects into Israeli territory from Lebanese territory. IDF soldiers are deployed in the area," the military said in a statement.

Israel's Army Radio gave the location as near Adamit, across from the Lebanese border towns of Aalma El Chaeb and Zahajra.

Translation: Clashes on the Lebanese-Palestinian border


1:27 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US deploying ships closer to Israel, sends munitions

President Joe Biden ordered US ships and warplanes to move closer to Israel in a show of support on Sunday.

The Pentagon said it was sending the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford and its accompanying warships to the eastern Mediterranean, while boosting fighter aircraft squadrons in the region.

US Central Command confirmed Sunday afternoon that ships and planes had begun moving to their new posts.

At least four American citizens are known to have been killed in the war so far, according to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

The White House has moved quickly to affirm US backing for Israel after Saturday's surprise attack from the Gaza Strip, vowing "rock solid" support and warning other parties to stay out of the conflict.

Biden on Sunday spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and "conveyed that additional assistance for the Israeli Defense Forces is now on its way to Israel with more to follow over the coming days," the White House said.

Hamas later accused the United States, a major supplier of arms to Israel, of "actual participation in the aggression against our people" by moving the aircraft carrier.

1:10 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Palestinian death toll in Gaza climbs to 510

The death toll from Israeli airstrikes and shelling on the Gaza Strip has risen to 510, with at least 2,751 injured, Alaraby TV reported.

12:48 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Death toll rises to 800 in Israel

The death toll in Israel has risen to 800 since Hamas' Saturday attack, Israeli media reports said on Monday.

The Israeli health ministry said that 2,506 people in Israel were also wounded, including 23 in "critical condition" and 353 in "serious condition".


12:36 PM
The New Arab Staff

The New Arab journalist evacuated from Gaza home

The New Arab's Gaza correspondent has said residents in two neighbourhoods have been forced to flee their homes, including herself, as Israel warned of an imminent strike.

"The Israeli army ordered the residents of Al-Rimal and Tal al-Hawa to evacuate their homes to be attacked by warplanes shortly," she told The New Arab.

She added that Israeli jets "committed a huge massacre" in Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip when they attacked a public market and killed more than 60 people and wounded over 100 others.

12:29 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel orders 'immediate' cut to Gaza water supply

Israeli authorities have ordered an "immediate" cut to water supplied to the Gaza Strip, the energy minister said, as the military pounded the Palestinian enclave with air strikes.

Energy Minister Israel Katz has ordered "to immediately cut the water supply to Gaza", his spokesman said in a statement.

Katz's order came soon after the country's Defence Minister Yoav Gallant ordered a "complete siege" on the Gaza Strip, which receives about 10 percent of its annual water from Israel.

12:14 PM
The New Arab Staff

Rockets fired from southern Lebanon into Israel

Sirens were heard in northern Israel's Galilee region as well as the occupied Golan Heights territory after rockets were reportedly fired from southern Lebanon, Al-Araby TV said Monday.

Israeli media said at least 12 rockets were fired from southern Lebanon towards the Upper Galilee and Mount Hermon region - which spans Lebanon and the Golan border.

It comes after Hezbollah in Lebanon targeted Israeli military sites in the occupied Shebaa Farms on Sunday.

12:10 PM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas targets Ashdod, Ashkelon with 120 missiles

Hamas’ military wing Al-Qassam Brigades announced that it fired 120 missiles on the Israeli settlements oof Ashdod and Ashkelon near Gaza.

It later said that it had fired a missile salvo towards the Sderot settlement in support as clashes ensue in the Gaza periphery.

Israel earlier Monday claimed to have recaptured some areas saying “isolated clashes” were ongoing.

(Al-Araby Al-Jadeed)

12:09 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

More than 123,000 people displaced in the Gaza Strip: UN

More than 123,000 people have been displaced in the Gaza Strip since the outbreak of the conflict between Hamas and Israel, the United Nations said on Monday.

"Over 123,538 people, have been internally displaced in Gaza, mostly due to fear, protection concerns and the destruction of their homes," said the UN's humanitarian agency, OCHA.

More than 73,000 are sheltering in schools, OCHA said, some of which have been designated emergency shelters.

Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip has killed nearly 500 Palestinians since Saturday.

12:08 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel says retook Gaza periphery villages, isolated clashes continue

Israeli forces have re-established control of communities near the Gaza Strip that had been overrun in a Hamas mass-infiltration but isolated clashes continue as some Palestinian gunmen remain active, the military spokesperson claimed on Monday.


12:08 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

4 Israelis held in Gaza killed in Israeli strikes since Sunday: Hamas

Hamas said on Monday that four Israeli captives and their Hamas captors had been killed in Israeli strikes on the Palestinian enclave since Sunday.

"The bombardment overnight and today on the Gaza Strip led to the killing of four of the enemy's captives and their captors," said Abu Ubaida, spokesman of the Hamas armed wing.


12:07 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Russia, Arab League will work to 'stop bloodshed' in Israel, Gaza: Lavrov

Moscow and the Arab League will work to "stop the bloodshed" in Israel and Gaza, the Russian foreign minister said Monday as he met the group's chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

Aboul Gheit was in Moscow for talks after the massive assault on Israel by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.

"I am sure that Russia and the Arab League (will cooperate) above all else to stop the bloodshed," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Lavrov said it was necessary to "urgently stop clashes, solve the problem with civilians... and establish a reason why there is no solution (to the Israel-Palestinian conflict)."

Live Story

He said Moscow and the Arab League will also work "with those countries that are interested in establishing lasting peace in the Middle East."

Aboul Gheit, a former Egyptian foreign minister, said he condemned "the violence, but from all sides."

"We demand the creation of political prospects and a fair resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict," he said.

Russia has said it is in contact with all sides in the conflict, calling for an "immediate ceasefire."

12:05 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran denies it had role in Hamas attack on Israel

Iran on Monday rejected as unfounded allegations it had a role in the massive assault on Israel by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.

"The accusations linked to an Iranian role... are based on political reasons," foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani told reporters.

The Islamic republic, he said, does not intervene "in the decision-making of other countries, including Palestine".

The Palestinians had "the necessary capacity and will to defend their nation and recover their rights" without any help from Tehran, Kanani said.

"Talking about an Iranian role aims at turning public opinion (away from the facts) and at justifying the potential future actions" of Israel, the spokesman added.

Live Story

Iran's permanent mission to the United Nations also denied allegations the Islamic republic had any role in the Hamas attack, in a statement issued overnight.

It came after the Wall Street Journal reported that "Iranian security officials helped plan Hamas's Saturday surprise attack on Israel and gave the green light for the assault at a meeting in Beirut last Monday", citing senior members of Hamas and Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah movement.

On Sunday President Ebrahim Raisi said Iran supported the Palestinians' right to self-defence and warned Israel must be held accountable for endangering the region.

Raisi - who has spoken with the leaders of Hamas and the Gaza-based Islamic Jihad group since the Hamas attack - also urged Muslim governments to "support the Palestinian nation".

A US official said Sunday it was too soon to say if Iran was "directly" involved in the Hamas attack, adding however that there was little doubt that Hamas was "financed, equipped and armed" by countries including Iran.

12:02 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel defence minister orders 'complete siege' on Gaza

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant Monday ordered a "complete siege" on the Gaza Strip as the military pounded the Palestinian territory with air strikes.

"We are putting a complete siege on Gaza... No electricity, no food, no water, no gas - it's all closed," Gallant said in a video message, referring to the enclave that is overcrowded with 2.3 million people.

"We are fighting animals and are acting accordingly," Gallant said in Hebrew.

9:01 AM
The New Arab Staff

Solidarity with Palestine from around the world

People in different cities around the world began marching in support of Palestine after Hamas' surprise operation on Saturday. 

In Chicago, Palestinian and pro-Palestinian protesters marched through the city's streets from the Israeli consulate during a protest organized by Chicago Coalition for Justice.

Read more on this story here.

8:52 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Countries evacuating nationals from Israel as flights suspended

Hungary has evacuated 215 people from Israel by air on two planes overnight and they have safely landed in Budapest, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in a Facebook post on Monday morning.

Polish President Andrzej Duda had said on Sunday that his country will send military planes to evacuate its citizens from Israel.

Several international airline companies have suspended flights to Israel, with only a limited number of flights leaving the Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv.

8:48 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Death toll in Israel could reach 1,000

The number of Israeli deaths could reach 1,000 and the number of hostages could surpass 150, Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Monday.

At dawn on Monday, Israel’s Channel 12 said that the number of wounded had reached 2,315, including 365 in "serious to critical condition."

Israeli newspaper Haaretz said that among the wounded, 25 were in critical condition, 340 were seriously injured, and 449 were described as being in moderate condition.

8:43 AM
The New Arab Staff

Fighting with Hamas taking longer than expected: Israeli army

Israeli army spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said in a press conference on Monday that it was taking longer than expected to "restore matters regarding the defense and security situation" as clashes continued with Hamas in at least eight points around the Gaza Strip.

The army estimates that between 800 and 1,000 Hamas militants infiltrated Israel on Saturday to carry out their surprise attack, Israeli radio station Reshet Bet said on Monday.

8:39 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel pounding Gaza Strip mercilessly

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu - who leads a hard-right coalition government - has vowed to turn Hamas hideouts "to rubble" and urged Palestinians there to flee. Some have said this was a call for genocide.

Israeli attacks have levelled several Gaza residential towers and destroyed a mosque in Gaza's Khan Yunis, as well as hitting the central bank.

More than 20,000 people in Gaza have been displaced due to fighting, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) said.

8:37 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel allies pledge support, foreigners among dead

Israel's allies have responded by pledging fresh support, to confront what US President Jo Biden branded an "unprecedented terrorist assault" by Hamas.

Washington dispatched the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier and group of warships to the eastern Mediterranean, and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Washington said more equipment and resources will be on their way.

The conflict has had global impact, with several countries reporting nationals killed, abducted or missing.

At least four US citizens were killed in the attack, US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement, adding that the toll was likely to rise.

Thailand said at least 12 of its nationals were also killed while Nepal reported 10 deaths. They were all reportedly labourers working in Israel.