Gaza: 30 Palestinian prisoners, including Ahed Tamimi, freed under truce deal

Gaza: 30 Palestinian prisoners, including Ahed Tamimi, freed under truce deal
30 Palestinian prisoners have been released amid the ongoing truce expansion deal between Hamas and Israel, including renowned resistance icon Ahed Tamimi.
32 min read
29 November, 2023
30 Palestinians were released late on Wednesday, hours before the truce deal is set to expire [Getty/file photo]

Thirty Palestinian prisoners were freed overnight Wednesday, Israeli prison authorities said, in the final exchange under an extended truce deal due to expire within hours.

"During the night, 30 male and female security prisoners were released from a number of prison facilities," the country's prison service said in a statement.

Among those freed was Ahed Tamimi, a 22-year-old activist who has become a key figure for Palestinians defying the Israeli occupation.

She was detained over an Instagram post, which her family denies she made, that Israeli sources said called for the massacre of Israelis and made reference to Hitler.

Her mother Narimane, whose husband has also been detained, said Ahed was not even able to open a social media account.

The overnight releases, which came after a sixth batch of hostages were freed from Gaza, bring the number of Palestinian prisoners freed by Israel under a truce deal to 210.

Hamas and other militants in Gaza have released 70 Israelis under the deal, along with nearly 30 hostages of other nationalities outside the truce framework.

The released hostages and prisoners have been greeted with celebrations by friends and family, but clashes have erupted for several nights between Palestinians and Israeli security forces outside the Ofer Prison.

A truce between Israel and Hamas entered its sixth day on Wednesday after additional hostages were released in exchange for Palestinian detainees, with mediators pushing for a more "sustainable" ceasefire.

Live Story

Hamas started handing over more Israeli hostages on Tuesday to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), a Palestinian official said, on the fifth day of the extended six-day truce.

 The Al Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, said on its Telegram account that it also handed over 'some civilian detainees' as part of an exchange deal with Israel.

The final 24 hours of the extended agreement begins later on Wednesday, with one more exchange of hostages for prisoners expected, but mediator Qatar said it was hoping for a more durable arrangement.

"Our main focus right now, and our hope, is to reach a sustainable truce that will lead to further negotiations and eventually to an end... to this war," foreign ministry spokesman Majed Al Ansari told a Doha news conference.

"However, we are working with what we have. And what we have right now is the provision to the agreement that allows us to extend days as long as Hamas is able to guarantee the release of at least 10 hostages."

The truce agreement has brought a temporary halt to Israel's aggression on the besieged enclave, which has so far killed nearly 15,000 Palestinians, mostly children and women, and rendered large parts of the territory's north uninhabitable.

4:21 AM
The New Arab Staff

This live blog has now ended, and will resume tomorrow at 0800 GMT.

Israel 'rejects' proposed hostage release to extend truce
4:11 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Gaza's ruling Hamas group said Israel declined to receive seven women and child hostages and the bodies of three others who the militants said were killed during Israel's bombardment of the enclave in exchange for a temporary truce extension on Thursday.

"This is despite confirming through mediators that this group is all the (Hamas) movement has in terms of detainees in the agreed-upon category," Hamas said in a statement.

There was no immediate comment from Israel.

A truce between Israel and Hamas was due to expire at 7 a.m.

Hamas tells fighters to prepare if truce not renewed
3:37 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hamas' armed wing told its fighters in the Gaza Strip to be ready to resume battles with Israel if a temporary truce set to expire on Thursday at 7 a.m. (0500 GMT) is not renewed.

"The Al-Qassam Brigades asks its active forces to maintain high combat readiness in the last hours of the truce," the militant group said in a statement.

Fighters should "remain on such footing unless an official statement is issued confirming the extension of the truce,".

Thai hostages set return home this week following release
2:55 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Seventeen Thai hostages kidnapped and held for weeks by Hamas in the Gaza Strip are expected to return home on Thursday to be met by overjoyed relatives at the Bangkok airport.

On Thursday, at around 3:00 pm (0800 GMT), 17 are expected to land at the capital's Suvarnabhumi airport following weeks in captivity.

Accompanying them is Thai Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara, who flew to Israel earlier this week.

Ten of the group were released last Friday, as a truce began following weeks of negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt and the United States. Seven more were set free by Hamas in the days that followed.

The group has been recuperating at a hospital in Israel as authorities made preparations to fly them home, Thai officials said.

Four more Thais were released on Wednesday and are undergoing medical checks, the foreign ministry said, taking the total number freed to 23, with nine still in captivity.

Ahed Tamimi arrives in Ramallah following release
1:52 AM
The New Arab Staff

Palestinian protest icon Ahed Tamimi has arrived in Ramallah after being released from Ofer Prison.

The 22-year-old was arrested earlier this month during Israeli raids in the occupied West Bank over an Instagram post which called for violence against settlers. The act was denied by her mother, so said that Ahed did not have an account on the social media platform.

Tamimi was one of 30 Palestinian prisoners released in this sixth prisoner-captive exchange.

Ahed Tamimi is among those released tonight from Israel amid the truce deal [Getty]
No agreement reached yet for truce extension
1:41 AM
The New Arab Staff

Negotiations for an extension of the truce deal between Israel and Hamas are still ongoing, though no agreement has been announced yet. The truce is set to expire at 7am local time (05:00 GMT).

30 Palestinians freed by Israel, including Ahed Tamimi
12:30 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Thirty Palestinian prisoners were freed overnight Wednesday, Israeli prison authorities said, in the final exchange under an extended truce deal due to expire within hours.

"During the night, 30 male and female security prisoners were released from a number of prison facilities," the country's prison service said in a statement.

Among those freed was Ahed Tamimi, a 22-year-old activist who has become a key figure for Palestinians defying the Israeli occupation.

She was detained over an Instagram post, which her family denies she made, that Israeli sources said called for the massacre of Israelis and made reference to Hitler.

Her mother Narimane, whose husband has also been detained, said Ahed was not even able to open a social media account.

The overnight releases, which came after a sixth batch of hostages were freed from Gaza, bring the number of Palestinian prisoners freed by Israel under a truce deal to 210.

120 Palestinian prisoners have now been freed amid the Hamas-Israel truce deal [Getty]
Blinken arrives in Israel for talks on truce, aid shipments
11:58 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Tel Aviv early Thursday for talks with Israeli leaders on the truce with Hamas and the provision of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

It is Blinken's third visit to the Middle East since the start of Israel's war in Gaza on October 7.

Biden determined to secure release of all Gaza hostages
11:46 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday he was determined to secure the release of all hostages held by Hamas in Gaza after American Liat Beinin was freed.

"We remain determined to secure the release of every person taken hostage by Hamas during its brutal terrorist assault on Israel on October 7, including Liat’s husband Aviv," Biden said in a statement issued by the White House. 

US asks Israel to narrow zone of combat in s. Gaza attacks
11:43 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States is urging Israel to narrow the zone of combat and clarify where Palestinian civilians can seek safety during any Israeli operation in southern Gaza, US officials said on Wednesday, to prevent a repeat of the massive death toll from Israel's northern Gaza attacks.

US officials from President Joe Biden on down, including in the State Department and Pentagon, are pleading with Israel to take a more cautious approach if and when the Israeli military extends its offensive to southern Gaza.

"But given that hundreds of thousands of civilians have fled to the south, at Israel’s request, we believe Israel should only move forward after operational planning has accounted for the presence of many more innocents," the official said."

US warship shoots down drone launched from Yemen: military
11:21 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

An American warship shoots down drone launched from Yemen, the US military said.

Dutch, US, German dual nationals among those freed by Hamas
10:15 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The 10 Israeli hostages released from Gaza on Wednesday include an American dual citizen, a Dutch dual citizen, and three German dual citizens, a spokesperson for Qatar's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

"Qatar remains hopeful that the progress made in recent days can be sustained, and a further extension to the humanitarian pause agreement can be reached," spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari said in a statement. 

Hamas 'unsatisfied' with Israeli truce extension proposals
9:38 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A Hamas source said Wednesday, hours before a truce in fighting with Israel was set to expire, that the Palestinian militant group was not satisfied with Israel's proposals for another extension.

"What is being proposed in the discussions to extend the truce is not the best," the source told AFP, adding that the talks were focused on an extension of "two days or more" of the pause which has seen daily exchanges of hostages for Palestinian prisoners and aid deliveries into the Gaza Strip.

Israeli military: 10 Israelis, four Thais on way to Israel
9:30 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

10 Israeli hostages, as well as four Thai nationals, are reportedly on their way to Israel, the military said as Tuesday's truce will see the release of those captured by Hamas and Palestinian prisoners.

US, UAE discuss Gaza war, welcome hostage deal and truce
8:56 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US President Joe Biden on Wednesday held a call with President Mohammed bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates and discussed the war in the Middle East and an upcoming climate summit, the White House said in a statement.

The leaders welcomed the recent hostage deal and humanitarian pause in the Gaza war, the White House said. Biden has asked Vice President Kamala Harris to attend the upcoming COP28 climate summit in Dubai, the White House added.

Thai FM 'in tears' over hostages' release
8:34 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Thai Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara broke down in tears when he met fellow Thais released to Israel by Hamas after seven weeks of captivity and said on Wednesday he hoped for freedom soon for the remaining 13 hostages.

Another two Thai workers were set free on Tuesday, bringing the total released to 19. With their arrival at Shamir Medical Center, the workers embraced one another. "We survived! We survived!" they cheered, and one was seen wiping away tears.

"We are no one's enemy," Parnpree said in a Reuters interview later on Wednesday after being moved to tears when he met the workers on Tuesday. He said there were no conditions for their release.

"I went around to speak to various countries who can connect with the Hamas group to explain that the Thai workers are innocent, they are not involved in politics, they are not part of anyone's conflict, and they probably don't even know how the situation came to be, who's fighting with whom. They were there to earn a living," he said in the interview.

US congresswoman calls for permanent ceasefire in Gaza
8:08 PM
The New Arab Staff

US Congresswoman Debbie Dingell has made a statement calling for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, joining a growing number of American congress members doing the same.

"A ceasefire must set the framework for Israel, Palestine, the United States, and our democratic allies to work toward a durable two-state solution that achieves lasting peace and stability in the region, including removing Hamas from operational control of Gaza."

<p>Dingell, who represents Michigan, also raised concerns regarding rising levels of Islamophobia, and antisemitism in the US, and has drawn attention to the dire condition currently experienced in Gaza as a result of the siege.

Russian hostages released by Hamas arrive in Egypt via Rafah
7:19 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Two hostages with Russian citizenship released by Hamas in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday arrived in Egypt via the Rafah crossing, state television Al-Qahera News reported.

The two women - identified by the office of Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu as Yelena Trupanov, 50, and 73-year-old Irena Tati - were handed over earlier by Hamas to the International Committee of the Red Cross "after the efforts of the Russian president", the Palestinian Islamist group had said.


Israeli hostages handed over to R. Cross: Al-Qassam Brigades
7:12 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A source close to Hamas said that its armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, had handed over Wednesday a group of Israeli hostages to the Red Cross in the Gaza Strip.

The release is the sixth under an extended humanitarian truce that has paused fighting between Israel and Hamas in the besieged and war-battered Palestinian territory.

Israeli hostages transported to Egypt via the Rafah crossing [Getty]
US envoy to UN 'hopeful' truce can be extended
6:50 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States is hopeful that the truce in Gaza can be extended, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield told reporters on Wednesday.

"We're hopeful the truce can be extended," Thomas-Greenfield said.

"This is all in the hands of Hamas. The Israelis have said if they continue to release 10 hostages a day, they will extend by a day. So it truly is in their hands. But I do think there's a potential for that and we're actively working to extend the deal," she added.

France opens door to EU talks on Israeli settler sanctions
6:27 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

France said on Wednesday that the European Union should consider sanctions on Israeli settlers who have targeted Palestinians in the West Bank as an option and that talks at the EU to impose sanctions on Hamas commanders were progressing.

UN figures show that daily settler attacks have more than doubled since Israel's brutal war in Gaza began on October 7. More than 200 Palestinians living in the West Bank have been killed in the violence this year.

"We believe that the international community has a role to play to end these acts of violence which are extremely destabilising for the region, but also harm the prospects for a two state-solution," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anne-Claire Legendre told a weekly news briefing.

She said no options were excluded, including European Union sanctions on violent individuals.

A French diplomatic source said Paris favoured EU sanctions, but that a debate in the bloc had yet to begin on the issue.

Israeli forces say two Israeli captives transferred to ICRC
6:07 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel's military announced that it received latest updates from the Red Cross.

“Their release is in addition to the list of abductees scheduled to be released today,” the army said in a post on X.

Hamas’s armed wing said earlier that it had released two Russian citizens- however it has not been clarified whether the two hostages the army said had been reportedly transferred to the Red Cross are the same individuals.

More updates to come.

Four Palestinians, two children killed in West Bank
5:25 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Four Palestinians, including two children, were killed on Wednesday by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin, Palestinian official news agency WAFA said.

"The two children, Adam Samer Al-Ghoul (8 years old) and Basil Suleiman Abu Al-Wafa (15 years old), were shot dead by occupation forces in the city of Jenin," according to the Palestinian health ministry.

Hours later, WAFA said another two Palestinians, Muhammad Jamal Zubaidi and Wissam Ziad Hanoun from Jenin camp, were killed by the Israeli forces, adding that "the occupation forces took their bodies".

UK college suspends ties with arms factory following protest
5:05 PM
The New Arab Staff

A UK based college has officially suspended its ties with a British subsidiary of Italian arms firm Leonardo- following backlash for its history in supplying components to the Israeli military.

Luton Sixth Form College confirmed its decision after a student protest that saw hundreds of sixth formers walk out of classes, in opposition to Israel's war on Gaza.

Images and videos surfaced online earlier this month, as students gathered on the college courtyard to protest against Luton Sixth Form College's affiliation with Leonardo and support Palestine.

Following the protest, the college's student council issued a statement to protest the college 'unfairly dissolving' the student body for organising the demonstration.

Family of 10-month-old hostage reportedly killed is informed
5:00 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Family members of the youngest Israeli hostage being held in Gaza, 10 month old Kfir Bibas, has said on Wednesday they've been informed of Hamas reports that the infant, his brother and mother have been killed- but are awaiting further notice from Israeli authorities.

"Our family has learned of Hamas' latest claims," a statement from the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum said.

"We are waiting for the information to be confirmed and hopefully refuted by military officials."

5 premature babies found dead in Gaza hospital: ministry
4:58 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Five premature babies have been found dead at a hospital in Gaza City during a pause in Israel's war on Gaza, the Palestinian health ministry says.

Before a temporary truce in the seven-week war came into force on Friday, several hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip had been targeted by Israeli raids, with some evacuated on the orders of the Israeli army.

Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told AFP that Israeli soldiers had blocked access to the intensive care unit at Al-Nasr paediatric facility, and doctors were finally "able to get into the ward on Tuesday night".

There, Qudra said, "the occupation (Israeli) forces left five premature babies" who were found "partly decomposed".

"The soldiers forbade the families from going near" the newborns before Tuesday, he said.

Israeli forces said it was unable to immediately comment on the matter.

Palestinian flag hoisted at Oslo city hall
4:35 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Oslo's city hall has raised the Palestinian flag in a show of solidarity with the people of Gaza, where thousands have lost their lives as Israel has retaliated for the October 7 attack by Hamas.

The initiative coincides with the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, celebrated since 1978 following the adoption of a resolution by the United Nations General Assembly.

"When we know that more than 5,000 children have lost their lives, equivalent to more than 275 school classes, it is only natural to remember them today" Oslo mayor Anne Lindboe told AFP on the sidelines of the event, which brought together a handful of pro-Palestinian activists.

"It is very important to highlight that Oslo should be a city for everyone, where both our small Jewish minority and those with a Palestinian background should feel safe, seen and included, she added."

Jordan: Israel's actions in 'negate human values'
4:29 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Jordan's King Abdullah said Israel's military campaigns in Gaza and army operations in the West Bank "negate human values and the right of life."

In remarks carried on state media, the monarch who again called for an end to the war, said the Israeli siege on the enclave that prevented for weeks the entry of medicine, food and fuel and cut electricity supplies, amounted to war crimes.

"These are war crimes.. we cannot stay silent," the monarch said.

Jordan says to host a conference to coordinate aid to Gaza
4:25 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 Jordan will host on Thursday an international conference attended by the main UN bodies and regional and international relief agencies to coordinate humanitarian aid to war-devastated Gaza, official media said.

They said UN aid chief Martin Griffiths and key UN bodies and NGO's involved in ramping up aid to Gaza will be present at the conference, along with representatives of Western and Arab countries involved in the aid effort. 

WHO says Gaza's health system must be protected
4:23 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for Gaza's vulnerable health infrastructure to be safeguarded as the war-torn enclave faces an increased risk of epidemics and challenges in detecting infectious diseases.

Speaking at a press conference in Geneva, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said only 15 of Gaza's 36 hospitals were still functioning and were completely overwhelmed.

"Of the 25 hospitals north of the Wadi Gaza (river) before the conflict began, only three are functioning at the most basic level, but they lack fuel, water and food," Tedros said.

"The remaining health system capacity must be protected, supported and expanded."

Restarted fighting in Gaza could 'devour' region: minister
3:57 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the UN Security Council on Wednesday that a resumption of fighting in Gaza threatens to "devour the region."

"(A resumption) in fighting would only, most likely, turn into a calamity that devours the whole region," he said.

Israeli forces say they will check report of baby hostage
3:48 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli forces have said Wednesday it was investigating a report by Hamas's armed wing that a 10-month-old baby hostage, his four-year-old brother and their mother had all been killed in Gaza.

The military was "assessing the accuracy of the information", it said in a statement.

This comes after the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, announced that Kfir, his brother Ariel and their mother Shiri had been killed in an earlier Israeli bombing in the Gaza Strip before the current pause in fighting went into effect.

Israel blamed Hamas for being "wholly responsible" for the security of the hostages.

Israeli officials have also previously claimed that 60 hostages had been killed in Israeli bombings. There has been no verification of the figure.

Israeli official says Hamas has hostages to cover 2-3 days
3:40 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel believes Hamas has enough women and children hostages to allow the current pause in fighting in Gaza to be extended by another two to three days, an official involved in the negotiating process said on Wednesday.

"We know for a fact that there are additional hostages in the hands of Hamas for at least two more days, potentially three days from the list of women and children," said the official, who spoke on condition that he not be named.

"Any additional agreement would be conditional on first of all releasing these remaining women and children and only then could we negotiate follow-on agreements," he said.

The official made the remark on the last day of a two-day extension to the original pause in fighting agreed to allow hostages held by Hamas to be exchanged for Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.

"We are of course fully prepared to resume fighting but our preference would be to continue," the official said.

Israeli ex-hostage says she confronted Hamas chief
3:29 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

An 85-year-old Israeli woman abducted by Hamas on October 7 and set free two weeks later said she met its Gaza leader Yahya Sinwar while in captivity and asked him how he was not ashamed for having acted violently against peace activists like herself.

Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, was taken from her Kibbutz Nir Oz home in Israel to Gaza. She told the Israeli newspaper Davar she confronted Sinwar when he visited the hostages in an underground tunnel where Hamas was holding them captive.

"Sinwar was with us three to four days after we arrived," Lifshitz told the Hebrew-language newspaper. "I asked him how he is not ashamed to do such a thing to people who all these years have supported peace."

"He didn't answer. He was silent," she said.

Lifshitz is a peace activist who, together with her husband, helped sick Palestinians in Gaza get to hospital for years, her grandson told Reuters. Her 83-year-old husband, Oded, was also kidnapped from their home and remains in captivity.

Lifshitz said she had been beaten when she was abducted but was then treated well during her two-week captivity.

On her release, she turned to shake the hand of a masked captor. Asked why, she replied, "They treated us gently and met all our needs."

Gazans in midst of 'epic humanitarian catastrophe': UN chief
3:24 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Gazans are "in the midst of an epic humanitarian catastrophe before the eyes of the world," UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said.

"Intense negotiations are taking place to prolong the truce which we strongly welcome but we believe we need a true humanitarian ceasefire," he said at a UN Security Council meeting.

"I welcome the arrangement reached by Israel and Hamas- with the assistance of the governments of Qatar, Egypt and the United States."

Palestinians facing 'existential threat': foreign minister
3:24 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki said at the UN Security Council on Wednesday that the Palestinian people "are faced with an existential threat" amid the conflict between Hamas and Israel.

"We are owed respect to our inherent dignity... Israel has no right to self-defense against a people that it occupies," he said.

Hamas' armed wing says it released two Russian hostages
3:22 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hamas' armed wing al Qassam Brigades said on Wednesday it released two Russian hostages at the request of the Russian leadership, according to a message posted on its Telegram channel. 

Hamas said that the two Russians were transferred to the “Red Cross a short while ago as a prelude to handing them over to representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry”.

Names of Palestinian detained children have been announced
3:04 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners’ Commission and the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club have announced the names of the child detainees in the sixth batch of the prisoner exchange deal, who will be released later on Wednesday.

The list included 15 children, in addition to 15 female prisoners, whose names were previously announced, as part of the truce agreement, bringing the total number of those released. 

1. Abd al-Rahman Abd al-Shafi Hassan Razem - Jerusalem

2. Nour El-Din Amer Ahmed Abu Juma - Jerusalem

3. Nihad Muhammad Nihad Jadallah - Jerusalem

4. Muhammad Wael Ali Jadallah - Jerusalem

5. Haroun Hani Ali Alqam - Jerusalem

6. Izz al-Din Moatasem Imran Totah - Jerusalem

7. Abd al-Rahman Ibrahim Muhammad Rashayda - Bethlehem

8. Karam Ghaleb Nasri Al-Harimi - Bethlehem

9. Ahmed Kamal Ahmed Al-Amour - Bethlehem

10. Yahya Muhammad Mbassem Erhamiya - Ramallah

11. Maamoun Aziz Issa Al-Faroukh - Ramallah

12. Muhammad Osama Mustafa Mahameed - Jenin

13. Aws Rabie Kayed Khader - Jenin

14. Abdel Rahman Omar Ezzat Hanafiya - Jericho

15. Ibrahim Ahmed Badr Zamaara - Hebron


Hamas: Three captives killed in previous Israeli bombing
2:47 PM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas' armed wing, Al Qassam Brigades, announced in a Telegram post that three captives were killed in Israel's previous bombardment of Gaza.

The Qassam Brigades wrote that those deceased included their youngest captive, 10-month-old Kfir Bibas, his four-year-old brother and their mother.

Israeli forces said they will follow up on the statement.

Eight-year-old, teen confirmed deceased in Jenin raid
2:40 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

An eight-year-old boy and a teenager were killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

The ministry said in a statement that "Adam al-Ghul, eight years old, and Bassem Abu el-Wafa, 15 years old, were killed by bullets from the occupier".

CCTV footage circulating online and on television news shows a boy being struck by a bullet and falling in the street, sending other children fleeing.

Other images show a teenager also being hit by a bullet and falling, then appearing to call for help as more shots hit the ground around him and other people run for cover.

The teenager can be seen struggling on the ground in apparent agony for at least half a minute.

An official with the Palestinian Red Crescent told AFP that the boy and the teen had been on a side street of central Jenin's main thoroughfare, an area theoretically off limits to the Israeli military as it is under the sole control of the Palestinian Authority.

Tokyo residents rally for Palestine
2:16 PM
The New Arab Staff

Japan's capital Tokyo has seen its residents take to its streets to march in solidarity with Palestinians, as a temporary halt to the fighting continues.

Social media posts on X show protesters carrying banners, as rally cries call out for 'peace now', on Wednesday's International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

UN calls for 'irreversible' move toward two-state solution
2:12 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United Nations has called for the international community to move towards a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, saying Jerusalem should serve as the capital of both states.

"It is long past time to move in a determined, irreversible way towards a two-state solution, on the basis of United Nations resolutions and international law," said Tatiana Valovaya, Director-General of the UN office in Geneva, delivering a speech authored by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

She added this would mean "Israel and Palestine living side-by-side in peace and security with Jerusalem as the capital of both states."

The comments coincide with the United Nations' International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which it observes annually.

It marks the United Nations General Assembly's approval of a plan to partition Palestine into Arab and Jewish states and for international rule over Jerusalem.

Elon Musk rejects Hamas invitation to visit Gaza
2:05 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Tech billionaire Elon Musk has declined an invitation by a Hamas official to visit the besieged Gaza Strip.

“Seems a bit dangerous there right now, but I do believe that a long-term prosperous Gaza is good for all sides,” Elon Musk said.

Hamas official Osama Hamdan invited Musk on Tuesday to visit the densely populated Palestinian territory to see the extent of destruction caused by the Israeli bombardment.

"We invite him to visit Gaza to see the extent of the massacres and destruction committed against the people of Gaza, in compliance with the standards of objectivity and credibility," Hamas' senior official Osama Hamdan said in a press conference in Beirut.

On Monday, Elon Musk, the social media mogul assailed for his endorsement of an anti-Jewish post, where he said he is against antisemitism and anything that "promotes hate and conflict".

‘Several’ Russian hostages to be released: Hamas
12:34 PM
The New Arab Staff

A Hamas official, Mousa Abu Marzouk, posted on X that one Russian, a Russian-Israeli dual citizen, has so far been released and 'several' more to be freed in Wednesday's group of releases.

“Today, several others will be released separately from the truce agreement in appreciation for the stance of President Putin,” Abu Marzouk posted.

Two Palestinian children killed in West Bank: ministry
12:25 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Two Palestinian children were killed on Wednesday by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin, the Palestinian health ministry said.

Sources of Palestinian news agency Wafa said that Israeli forces forcibly removed residents of Damj neighbourhood from their homes at gunpoint, after destroying homes and streets in the neighbourhood.

Security and local sources also told the news agency added that the army had blown up a house using a drone.

Wafa reported that Israeli forces kidnapped a wounded person who was being transported to the hospital from an ambulance. 

Israeli police arrest demonstrators in Jerusalem
12:18 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli police have begun arresting demonstrators at a protest, calling for the impeachment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at the Knesset in occupied Jerusalem.

Independent journalist Or-ly Barlev shared on X videos of the demonstration, where “police violence” was exerted as Israeli forces were seen “tearing down signs held by bereaved parents”.

“The demonstrators stood on the sidewalk as usual every Monday and Wednesday calling for Netanyahu’s impeachment. According to them, the police said that it was forbidden to demonstrate ‘only on the issue of the abductees is allowed’ (what???),” she wrote on X, according to a English translation from Hebrew.

“They arrested Ayelet Katzir, the manager of the family camp, police broke and tore signs from the hands of the bereaved parents Yael Alon and Yaakov Godo, Maoz Yanon was detained in the area and then released. The Ben Gvir-Netanyahu police against the bereaved families!”


Pro-Palestine protesters march across Johannesburg
12:11 PM
The New Arab Staff

People are taking to streets in South Africa's largest city, Johannesburg, in support Palestinians and have condemned Israeli atrocities in the Gaza Strip.

Marked as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, demonstators have been filmed by local news outlets, flying Palestinian flags and banners, as multiple NGOs and political parties, including the African National Congress (ANC) have joined the march.

Palestinian arrests in West Bank reach 3,290 since October 7
12:03 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Palestinian Prisoner's Club said the total number of arrests in the occupied West Bank since October 7 had risen to more than 3,290 Palestinians, including 125 women and 145 minors.

At least six detainees have died in Israeli prisons since the conflict started, its statement added, saying that during the duration of the temporary truce alone, Israeli forces also arrested 168 Palestinians. 

The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) and the Prisoners’ Affairs Authority added that Israeli forces arrested 35 Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory within the past 24 hours, including a 12-year-old child.

Blinken says to focus on extending Gaza pause in Israel trip
12:00 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday he would work to prolong a pause in the fighting in Gaza on an upcoming visit to Israel.

Blinken explained that the continuation of the pauses would mean more hostages to be freed and more assistance getting into Gaza.

"Looking at the next couple of days, we'll be focused on doing what we can to extend the pause so that we continue to get more hostages out and more humanitarian assistance in," Blinken said after a NATO meeting in Brussels.

"Clearly, that's something we want. I believe it's also something that Israel wants," he added. 

1.3 million people live in shelters in Gaza: WHO
11:50 AM
The New Arab Staff

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that 1.3 million people are currently living in shelters in the besieged Gaza Strip, adding that due to overcrowding, lack of food, water, sanitation, basic hygiene, waste management and access to medicines, has led to a high risk of disease outbreaks.

WHO's director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted on X, “Given the living conditions and lack of health care, more people could die from diseases than from bombings.”

“We need a sustained ceasefire now. It is a matter of life or death for civilians."

Ahed Tamimi joins female detainees scheduled for release
11:29 AM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas's Prisoners Office has announced that they have received the official list of names of 15 women, including four prisoners from within Israel-occupied Palestinian territories, and 15 children who are set to be released as part of Wednesday's batch of the exchange deal.

Palestinian activist and author Ahed Tamimi joins Wednesday's list of the women set to be freed.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Authority listed the names of the female prisoners as follows: 

1. Asmaa Hassan Musa Abu Takfa 
2. Alaa Shukri Mahmoud Shehadeh
3. Ibrahim Al-Turi
4. Fatima Shaher Faris Baloum
5. Nadine Munif Muhammad Shibli
6. Rita Salim Hussein Murad 
7 We have Nader Mahmoud Abu Salah
8. Hanadi Muhammad Jabr Saleh Makkawi 
9. Khadija Ahmed Ibrahim Abu Ghaleh 
10. Maryam Mahmoud Abdel Salam Salhab
11. Lama Abdel Muttalib Deeb Al Fakhouri
12. Ruqaya Abdel Rahman Taha Amr 
13. Suhair Ismail Musa Barghouti
14. Ahed Bassem Muhammad Tamimi
15. Dania Saqr Muhammad Hamasta

Iran FM says US visa delay keeping him away from UN meeting
11:25 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran's foreign minister said he will miss a key meeting on Gaza at UN headquarters in New York later Wednesday, blaming the late delivery of US visas for his delegation.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian had been due in New York to attend a UN Security Council meeting on the Israel-Hamas war.

"The Americans issued visas for me and all my companions at 1:00 am (2130 GMT)," Amir-Abdollahian said after a cabinet meeting.

The delay meant it was "not possible" for the Iranian delegation to attend the meeting, which is due to begin at 1430 GMT, he added.

Amir-Abdollahian said that despite his absence, Iran would exert "all efforts" for an extension to a humanitarian truce deal in Gaza.

Civil defence teams are unable to remove bodies from rubble
10:48 AM
The New Arab Staff

A member of Gaza’s civil defence, has said that his team are facing difficulties to dig bodies stuck underneath rubble, following several weeks of Israel's bombardments in Gaza, Al Jazeera reports.

The civil defence team spoke to the news publication, where they highlighted that only 160 dead bodies were retrieved thus far. There are at least 7,000 people still buried underneath the rubble, according to the Ministry of Health.

“[We] suffer from a lack of heavy machines that can deal with such crises. We have real difficulties dealing with the rubble and being able to reach the bodies, alive or dead. We are talking about thousands of people… mainly in the north of Gaza – Beit Hanoon and Beit Lahiya,” Gaza's civil defence member Khalil Abu Shammala said.

“Without real intervention from the international community to support these civil defence forces and to send the heavy-duty machines, teams and experts to support them, I think we won’t succeed in this mission,” as he added that more fuel is also urgently required.

Israeli gunboats launch offensive despite truce
10:44 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli gunboats have opened fire on southern Gaza's Khan Younis on Wednesday morning despite the temporary pause in the war on Gaza, according to an Al Jazeera correspondent. 

Meanwhile, Israel's Walla news site reported another incident near the coast of Gaza's shores. 

"A second shooting incident on the shores of the Gaza Strip," said Walla defence correspondent Amir Bohbot on social media website X.

"Navy fighters opened fire on a Palestinian boat that was trying to go out into the open sea from the shores of Deir al-Balah. The boat returned to the shore."

Gaza public library demolished by Israeli airstrike
10:36 AM
The New Arab Staff

Gaza's main public library has been bombed by Israeli airstrikes, as  thousands of books and historical documents have been destroyed, which was confirmed with photos published by the Municipality of Gaza.

“The targeted destruction of Gaza’s primary public library is a stark reminder that genocide is about more than just the premeditated mass extinguishing of human life; it’s also about the calculated, and often vindictive, destruction of a people’s culture, language, history, and shared sites of community,” US based literary site Literary Hub said in a statement. 

Israeli forces continue raid on occupied West Bank
9:54 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces have bombed two homes in the ad-Damj neighbourhood , as well as destroying roads and water mains, local sources told Al Jazeera, as its raid on Jenin and its refugee camp ensues. for more than 12 hours.

Dozens of armoured military vehicles and at least four bulldozers were seen storming into Jenin in a rare development as Israeli military forces were also seen in parts of Jenin on foot.

At least 20 people were rounded up for arrest, including family members of Palestinians described by Israel as “wanted”, while medical officials told Al Jazeera that at least six people were wounded, including two children.

 Israeli forces has also blocked the entrances of two of Jenin's main hospitals and a third one for a short period.

In other parts of the occupied West Bank, multiple refugee camps have also been severely impacted by Israeli attacks, including Jericho's Ein el-Sultan and Aqbat Jabr refugee camps, Nablus' Askar camp and Ramallah's Jalazone camp.

Turkey's Erdogan: Gaza pause is temporary 'stop of bloodshed
9:50 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday he welcomed a pause in the war in Gaza and the exchange of hostages and prisoners between Israel and Hamas as a temporary "stop of bloodshed" in the  besieged enclave.

Speaking to lawmakers in parliament, Erdogan said statements by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government were "lessening" Ankara's hopes that the pause could turn into a full ceasefire, but added Turkey would ramp up diplomatic efforts for a lasting ceasefire and the exchange of hostages in coming days.

Erdogan also said Turkey had "largely completed" evacuating its citizens from Gaza, where he repeated a genocide was taking place.

He added that he would discuss the war in Gaza during a trip to Dubai later this week. 

Hamas eyes Gaza truce extension for more hostage releases
9:49 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hamas is willing to extend a truce for four days and release more Israeli hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, a source close to the militant group said Wednesday, as mediators sought a lasting halt to the conflict.

Hamas "informed the mediators that it is willing to extend the truce for four days," a source close to the militant group told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Under that arrangement, "the movement would be able to release Israeli prisoners that it, other resistance movements and other parties hold during this period, according to the terms of the existing truce," the source added.

A source with knowledge of the talks added in comments to the French news agency that discussions were "focused on building on the progress of the extended humanitarian pause agreement and to initiate further discussions about the next phase of a potential deal."

US, Israeli, Egyptian intelligence chiefs in Doha for talks
9:34 AM
The New Arab Staff

The US, Israeli and Egyptian intelligence chiefs met Qatar’s prime minister in Doha last night to discuss terms for extending the truce in Israel's war on Gaza.

The head of the Egyptian intelligence service, Abbas Kamel, had arrived in Doha on a visit that "coincides with a visit by his Israeli and US counterparts" to discuss the truce, according to Al Jazeera.

The Qatari foreign ministry's spokesman said at a news conference yesterday that his country was working towards a "prolonged truce in the Gaza Strip, to be followed by a permanent ceasefire", QNA reported.

Hamas political bureau member Ghazi Hamad told Al Jazeera that the Palestinian group was ready to conclude "a comprehensive hostage swap deal involving military personnel if the occupation has a serious intention to release all Palestinian prisoners in its jails".

Mediators try to extend Gaza truce
9:32 AM
The New Arab Staff

With hours left to go before a truce in Gaza expires, international mediators work to extend it in order to facilitate the release of more hostages and Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

The cease-fire has paused Israel's deadliest assault on the Palestinian enclave in decades.

Israel has agreed to extend the truce, which was originally set to expire on Monday, by one day for every 10 captives freed, and Hamas is expected to release another group of captives later on Wednesday.

Twelve hostages, including 10 Israelis, were released on Tuesday, bringing the total number of people freed during the truce to 81.

Pope calls for continuation of truce in Gaza
9:03 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Pope Francis has called for the continuation of the ongoing truce in the Gaza Strip, for the release of all hostages and for humanitarian aid access into the territory.

"We call for peace," he said during his Wednesday weekly audience, saying he was concerned by the lack of water, bread and by the suffering of ordinary people in Gaza.