Gaza war: Alarm over Israel's detention of 70 medics at Kamal Adwan hospital

Gaza war: Alarm over Israel's detention of 70 medics at Kamal Adwan hospital
The Medical Aid for Palestinians has raised major concern over the kidnapping of 70 medics at the Kamal Adwan Hospital, which witnessed a violent Israeli raid.
18 min read
13 December, 2023

The Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) NGO has decried Israel's raid on the Kamal Adwan Hospital on Tuesday, when forces kidnapped 70 medical staff to an undisclosed location. The hospital, according to its staff, was besieged for several days before the incursion at midday yesterday.

"MAP is gravely concerned for their welfare, as well as patients, staff and displaced people reportedly trapped inside without electricity, water or food," the NGO stressed in an official statement.

65 patients – including 12 children in intensive care and six babies in incubators – reportedly remain inside the hospital, as well as 45 medical staff. As of Tuesday, 3,000 displaced people were also sheltering at the hospital.

MAP said it was urging for their protection, calling attacks on healthcare "a potential serious violations of international law for which there must be accountability".

Meanwhile, Israel's shelling of the Gaza Strip continued for a 68th consecutive day on Wednesday, where the death toll has now increased to 18,608, according to the health ministry.

Gaza's displaced are also reeling from bad weather conditions, which have worsened conditions in make-shift camps and tents in several locations across the Strip, amid heavy rain and downpour. 

Rain, dampness and mud could potentially aggravate the risk of the spread of diseases among those displaced and seeking shelter, which comes as the Health Ministry in Gaza said it had run out of vaccines for children.


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1:21 AM
The New Arab Staff

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27 killed in in Rafah, bombardment of Jabalia camp continues
12:30 PM
The New Arab Staff

Twenty-seven Palestinians were killed, and others were injured in a new Israeli bombardment of two houses in the center of Rafah city in the Gaza Strip by warplanes.

The homes in the southern part of the Strip are crowded with dozens of residents due to the wave of displacement, as many Gazans move to live in houses of their relatives amid the lack of adequate shelter centers.

Palestinian media outlets report that the occupation army has been continuously shelling the Jabalia camp in the northern Gaza Strip for hours.

Egypt Increases Daily Fuel Supply to Gaza to 189,000 Liters
11:42 AM
The New Arab Staff

Cairo announced on Wednesday evening an increase in the daily fuel supply to the Gaza Strip from 129,000 liters to 189,000, following an agreement with Israel, implemented since Tuesday.

Head of Egypt's State Information Service, Diaa Rashwan, said: "Since Tuesday, humanitarian and relief aid trucks from Egypt have been passing through the Rafah crossing to the Kerem Shalom crossing, as per the agreement with the Israeli side, in addition to the Al-Ouja crossing, as was the case previously."

He added, "This will facilitate and expedite the delivery of trucks to Gaza, increasing their number to about 60 to 80 trucks daily (without specifying the previous number of trucks)."

Rashwan also mentioned, "An agreement was reached to increase the daily fuel supply to the sector from 129,000 liters to 189,000, in addition to two trucks of household gas, which were indeed delivered on Wednesday."

The Egyptian official clarified, "Since the start of aid delivery to our Palestinian brethren in Gaza, the volume of medical aid has reached 3,866 tons, food supplies 22,799 tons, water 13,936 tons, along with 222 tents and tarpaulins, plus 5,073 tons of other relief materials, 48 ambulances, and the entry of 2,678 tons of fuel during the same period."


UNRWA: 228 killed in agency's shelters
11:14 AM
The New Arab Staff

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) announced on the "X" platform that at least 228 Palestinians have been killed in the agency's shelters since October 7th.

Israeli airstrikes on Rafah kill 20
10:22 PM
The New Arab Staff

Media sources report that at least 20 Palestinians were killed in "intense" Israeli airstrikes on Rafah, a southern city in the last few hours.

The city of Rafah has seen a significant increase in its population, now sheltering 530,000 internally displaced persons who have sought refuge there amid Israel's intense bombing campaign.

On Wednesday, Israel launched a series of strikes throughout Gaza. One strike targeted a health center in the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, associated with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, according to the Palestinian news agency Wafa.

A strike on a school in Gaza City's Sheikh Radwan area, which was serving as a shelter for displaced people, resulted in six deaths and numerous injuries. Wafa also reported that Israeli airstrikes impacted a building near the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, which was housing displaced individuals.

Economic toll of Gaza war on Lebanon, Egypt, and Jordan
10:02 PM
The New Arab Staff

US National Security Adviser Sullivan is currently in Saudi Arabia for discussions on Gaza, ahead of his planned visit to Israel. This trip was not publicly announced by the White House prior to his departure.

In his meetings with Saudi officials, Sullivan is focusing on "broader diplomatic efforts to maintain stability across the region and prevent the Israel-Hamas conflict from expanding," a US official told Al Jazeera.

The meetings are also expected to address "efforts to deter ongoing Houthi attacks against international commercial vessels in the Red Sea," according to the same official.


Qatar pledges $50M for Gaza, offers 100 scholarships
9:49 PM
The New Arab Staff

At the Global Refugee Forum organized by UNHCR, Qatar announced a $50 million pledge to support refugees and displaced individuals in Gaza.

Qatar’s Minister of State for International Cooperation, Lolwah Alkhater,  revealed plans for funding 100 university scholarships in Qatar for students from Gaza.

Biden staffers to hold vigil for Gaza ceasefire
9:12 PM
The New Arab Staff

A group of Biden-Harris administration staff, including political appointees and civil servants, has scheduled a multi-faith vigil at 6:30 pm on Wednesday outside the White House, advocating for a ceasefire in Gaza.

In an email statement, the group, named the Administration Staffers for Ceasefire, denounced the violence: “The Administration Staffers for Ceasefire coalition condemns the brutal October 7th attacks on Israeli civilians and the subsequent overwhelming response by the Israeli government that has killed over 18,000 innocent Palestinian civilians in Gaza.” They also stated, "There is no justification for intentionally bombing hospitals, shelters, water supplies, religious sites, or schools.”

The event will feature a reading of a letter by Josh Paul, a former official at the State Department who left his position due to disagreements with the administration’s policy on the war.

Axios: US postpones M16 rifle sale to Israel
9:05 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Biden administration has put on hold the sale of over 20,000 M16 rifles, manufactured in the US, to Israel due to concerns regarding violence by settlers in the West Bank, according to a report by Axios.

Israel had requested these rifles with the intention to arm civilians in villages near Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria. However, US officials, as mentioned in the Axios report, indicate that the delay is linked to worries that Itamar Ben Gvir, the far-right Israeli minister of national security, might distribute the firearms among settlers in the West Bank.

US President Biden has openly called for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reform his far-right government, stating that its current composition "is making it very difficult” to advance towards a two-state solution.

White House affirms unchanged support for Israel
8:01 PM
The New Arab Staff

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby has reaffirmed the United States' unwavering support for Israel, despite President Biden's recent criticisms of Prime Minister Netanyahu's government.

Following Biden's remarks on Tuesday, which said Israel is losing support due to the "indiscriminate" bombing in Gaza, Kirby addressed the media, stating, "The president yesterday reflected the reality of global opinion, which also matters. Our support for Israel is not diminished."

MSF urges European leaders to stop Israel's Gaza bombing
7:45 PM
The New Arab Staff

Ahead of Thursday's European Council meeting, Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) has urged European leaders to stop the indiscriminate bombing of Gaza.

The NGO's statement urged, “In the next 48 hours, you can either continue to issue vain calls for the respect of international law & protection of civilians or exercise your unique position to convince the State of Israel to stop the indiscriminate bombing of the Gaza Strip.”

The statement also asked: “When the guns fall silent and the true scale of devastation is revealed, will the [European Council] and all European leaders be able to say they did all they could to stop the bloodshed?”

University of Manchester academics urge end to Israel ties
7:01 PM
The New Arab Staff

Twenty-four faculty members from the University of Manchester's sociology department have urged the university to cut its ties with Israeli academic institutions and divest from firms linked to Israel's defense industry.

In their statement, the staff highlighted, “We are all witness to Israel’s ongoing mass killing of Palestinians, assisted and armed by the UK government. The bombardment of Gaza is the latest, horrific phase of 75 years of Israel’s expulsion, occupation, dispossession, brutalisation, humiliation, incarceration without trial including of children, torture, maiming, and killing of Palestinians.”

They specifically requested the termination of the University of Manchester's joint research fund with Tel Aviv University, pointing to its involvement in weapons, surveillance technology, military strategy, and operational theory research.

The group also advocated ending an exchange program with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, citing its hosting of Israel’s army intelligence training program, Havatzalo, and its surveillance activities in occupied East Jerusalem.

The academics also called for the university to cut ties with the Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre, GKN Aerospace, and Haydale, all of which are connected to Israel’s defense sector.

They also scrutinised the University of Manchester's relationships with various donors, urging the institution to divest from HSBC, Siemens, and “all other companies who invest in Israeli weapons, military technologies, and the means of Israeli apartheid”.

Biden meets US hostage families, criticises Israel
6:20 PM
The New Arab Staff

In his first face-to-face meeting with the families of roughly a dozen US citizens held hostage in Gaza, President Joe Biden expressed his condemnation of Israel's actions to date.

The meeting, held at the White House and attended by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, comes amid heightened tensions. The Biden administration has identified around eight Americans currently detained in Gaza.

Biden's meeting follows his critique of Israel's “indiscriminate bombing” on Tuesday. 

Israeli sources report that approximately 135 hostages remain in Gaza.

Increased support for Hamas in Gaza, poll shows
5:59 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

An opinion poll among Palestinians published on Wednesday has shown a rise in support for Hamas, as the Gaza Strip continues to reel from Israeli shelling, as well as an overwhelming rejection of President Mahmoud Abbas, with nearly 90 percent saying he must resign.

The survey was conducted from from November 22 to December 2 among 1,231 people in the West Bank and Gaza and had an error margin of 4 percentage points. In Gaza, poll workers conducted 481 in-person interviews during a weeklong cease-fire that ended December 1.

Khalil Shikaki, who ran the poll, said that Gaza residents are more critical of Hamas than those in the West Bank, that support for Hamas typically spikes during periods of armed conflict before leveling out.

Lapid says Gaza 'will not be handed to PA, slams Netanyahu
5:32 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli opposition leader, Yair Lapid, said that the Palestinian Authority will "never take control" of the besieged and war-hit Gaza Strip, despite suggestions by the US that post-war Gaza could be governed by the PA's Mahmoud Abbas.

In a series of tweets on X, Lapid argued that the discussion of Abbas governing Gaza was created by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as a way to fight against an "unworkable idea".

"The answer is that Netanyahu is doing what he has been doing all his life: inciting and lying and producing hatred," Lapid wrote.

UNRWA buildings 'not spared' by Israel in Gaza war
4:54 PM
The New Arab Staff

Philippe Lazzarini, the commissioner-general of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, said UNRWA-linked infrastructure in Gaza also has not been spared in the bombardment.

"I was horrified by images yesterday of an UNRWA school being blown up in north of Gaza," he said at the Global Refugee Forum.

People in Gaza "feel abandoned by the international community", he added.

Israel, Hezbollah trade fire across border
4:43 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli army said it targeted Hezbollah posts inside Lebanese territory earlier on Wednesday.

Witnesses and officials in the country said that the Israeli army struck Lebanese territory in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Lebanese militant group said it had carried out four strikes on Israeli military positions this afternoon, with injuries reported.

Israeli army opening fire at Gaza hospital wards
4:23 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The health ministry in Gaza said Wednesday that Israeli forces have opened fire at hospital rooms, raising fears for the safety of 12 children in paediatric care.

"The occupation (Israeli) forces have tightened the siege and the targeting of Kamal Adwan hospital, firing at patient rooms and courtyards," ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said in a statement.

"We fear the death of 12 children in paediatric care who are already deprived of milk and are without life support equipment."

Qudra said the Israeli forces were also targeting Al-Awda hospital and tightening the siege of the facility, "depriving it of water, food and electricity".

Forces were also "preventing the wounded and sick from reaching" the hospital, he added.

Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza has been under Israeli siege in recent days [Getty]
UN 'concerned' over detained TNA reporter Diaa Al-Kahlout
4:00 PM
The New Arab Staff

The spokesperson for the Secretary General of the United Nations has expressed concern about the fate of The New Arab reporter Diaa al-Kahlout, who was detained by Israel on December 7.

Kahlout, the Gaza bureau chief of TNA's Arabic-language Service Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, was forcibly taken from his home in Beit Lahia, where he was assaulted and stripped to his underwear amid a mass arrest of men in the neighborhood by Israeli forces.

Read more here.

Diaa Al-Kahlout was detained on December 7 amid a mass arrest in Beit Lahia [Getty]
Women, children killed 'execution-style' in Gaza school
3:35 PM
The New Arab Staff

Palestinian women, children and babies were reportedly shot at by Israeli forces at "point-blank" inside the Shadia Abu Ghazala School in the al-Faluja area, west of the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, eyewitnesses said, as reported by Al Jazeera.

The Qatari broadcaster said it had obtained exclusive video and images showing bodies piled up inside the Shadia Abu Ghazala School.

"The Israeli soldiers came in and opened fire on them," a woman at the scene said.  "They took all men, then entered classrooms and opened fire on a woman and all the children with her.

The Jabalia camp and its surroundings has been a target of Israeli shelling [Getty]tt
UNRWA capacity in Gaza on 'the verge of collapse': Lazzarini
3:29 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The head of the UN Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) on Wednesday said the agency's ability to render services in war-torn Gaza was on the verge of collapse after more than 130 staff were killed in the enclave.

"The entire humanitarian response heavily relies on UNRWA's capacity," said Philippe Lazzarini. "It is now on the verge of collapse." 

Qatar condemns Israel's confiscation of land in E. Jerusalem
3:16 PM
The New Arab Staff

Qatar has condemned Israel's decision to confiscate Palestinian lands in  the Silwan neighbourhood of east Jerusalem, in order to build an air train, in a new statement on Wednesday.

The Foreign Ministry in Doha said that the move is a "flagrant violation of the principles and provision of international law, as well as relevant UNESCO resolutions."

The ministry went on to urge the UN Security Council to "shoulder its responsibilities to oblige Israel to stop its measures aiming at changing the historical and legal status of the city of Jerusalem.

The ministry further stressed that such moves will only hinder the possibility of a two-state solution.

Germany plans extra aid for civilians in and from Gaza
2:48 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The German government will carry out a series of additional aid measures to support the civilian population in and from Gaza, a foreign ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday, adding that several ministries will work together to do so.

"This includes several relief flights that will take place before Christmas," the spokesperson said during a regular news conference, adding that a flight operated by Germany's air force is scheduled to depart on Saturday to Egypt.

The aim is to deliver incubators and ventilators for Egyptian hospitals treating infants from Gaza. Next week, further aid flights are set to deliver tents and other relief supplies for people in Gaza who have lost their homes.

People of Gaza 'running out of options' as war persists: UN
2:36 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees warned on Wednesday that the people of Gaza were "running out of time and options" as Israel's brutal war that has killed over 18,600 people grinds on.

"They face bombardment, deprivation and disease in an ever shrinking space," Philippe Lazzarini told the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva, adding that Gazans were "facing the darkest chapter of their history since 1948, and it has been a painful history".

Gaza's population has been subject to war, dire conditions since October 7 [Getty]
US, UK place sanctions on Hamas-linked individuals
2:21 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States and the United Kingdom on Wednesday imposed a fourth round of sanctions on individuals in Turkey and elsewhere linked to Hamas, the US Treasury Department said.

The sanctions target eight individuals who "perpetuate Hamas’s agenda by representing the group's interests abroad and managing its finances," the Treasury said in a statement.

"Hamas continues to rely heavily on networks of well-placed officials and affiliates, exploiting seemingly permissive jurisdictions to direct fundraising campaigns for the group’s benefit and funneling those illicit proceeds to support its military activities in Gaza," said Brian Nelson, under secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

Several of the Hamas officials targeted were based in Turkey, including one of the group's key financial operatives there, Haroun Mansour Yaqoub Nasser Al-Din, the Treasury said.

Israel to pursue war in Gaza 'with or without' int'l support
1:35 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's foreign minister said on Wednesday that agreeing to a ceasefire in Gaza at this stage would be a mistake, and that Israel will continue its war on Hamas whether or not it has international support.

"Israel will continue the war against Hamas with or without international support," said Foreign Minister Eli Cohen. "A ceasefire at the current stage is a gift to the terrorist organization Hamas, and will allow it to return and threaten the residents of Israel."

Over 18,600 killed in Gaza since October 7: MoH
1:15 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

At least 18,608 Palestinians have been killed and a further 50,594 injured in Israeli strikes on Gaza since October 7, Gaza's health ministry confirmed in a statement on Wednesday.

US' Sullivan to travel to Israel this week, will meet PM
12:57 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US National Security advisor Jake Sullivan will trave to Israel on Thursday and Friday, where he will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as Israeli President Isaac Herzog, the White House said in a statement.

In pictures: Heavy rain hits displaced in Gaza
12:03 AM
The New Arab Staff

Much of the war-hit and besieged Gaza Strip was hit by heavy rain on Tuesday, worsening the conditions of those sheltering in make-shift camps in the territory.

A girl in make-shift tent in Deir al-Balah reacts to the heavy and colder conditions [Getty]
A Palestinian child attempts to sweep away excess rain at a make-shift camp in Rafah [Getty]


A Palestinian family braves the rain and colder weather conditions in Rafah, southern Gaza [Getty]
Heavy rains could worsen conditions for those displaced across Gaza [Getty]


Israeli aggression in Jenin continues for second day
11:44 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Israel army continued its aggression in the West Bank city of Jenin for the second day in a row, carrying out a large-scale invasion of its refugee camp.

Confrontations between Israeli forces and Palestinians occurred in the eastern part of the city, which turned a number of homes into military points and launched a campaign of arrests among citizens, the Palestinians official news agency Wafa said.

The army imposed a complete siege on the neighborhood and closed all its entrances with military vehicles and bulldozers that destroyed the infrastructure and stalls.

Jenin has often been a target of Israeli sieges, raids throughout its occupation [Getty
PLO official urges Biden to call for immediate ceasefire
11:19 AM
The New Arab Staff

A Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) official has urged US President Joe Biden to call for an immediate ceasefire in war-battered Gaza following his comments on Israel losing global support over its indiscriminate bombing of the territory.

Hussein Al-Sheikh, the PLO's Secretary-General, said Biden should be "putting forward a comprehensive political plan based on international legitimacy and international law, ending the occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state."

Health ministry in Gaza runs out of children's vaccines
11:13 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The health ministry in the Gaza Strip said on Wednesday it had exhausted its supply of children's vaccines, warning of "catastrophic health repercussions".

The announcement came more than two months into Israel's brutal military onslaught in Gaza as international aid organisations have warned about the dire conditions in the besieged Palestinian territory.

The ministry did not specify which vaccinations had run out.

The health ministry also urged international institutions to deliver urgently needed vaccines "to prevent disaster".

Incident targeting ship reported at Bab al-Mandeb Strait
10:55 AM
The New Arab Staff

An incident in the vicinity of the Bab al-Mandeb Strait separating East Africa from the Arabian Peninsula was reported early on Wednesday by the United Kingdom Marine Trade Operations (UKMTO).

Meanwhile, two US officials told The Associated Press that two missiles fired from territory held by Yemen's Houthi rebels missed a commercial tanker loaded with Indian-manufactured jet fuel near the strait.

The Marshall Islands-flagged tanker was traveling north toward the Suez Canal in the Red Sea, satellite tracking data analysed by The Associated Press showed. The vessel had been coming from Mangalore, India, and had an armed security crew aboard it, according to data transmitted by the ship.

The Houthis have not claimed the attack.

EU chief backs sanctions on extremist West Bank settlers
10:47 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

EU chief Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday backed imposing sanctions on "extremist" Israeli settlers responsible for attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank.

"I am in favour of sanctioning those involved in the attacks in the West Bank. They must be held accountable. This violence has nothing to do with the fight against Hamas and must stop," the European Commission president told EU lawmakers.

Gaza facing public health 'disaster': UN humanitarian office
10:36 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United Nations humanitarian office said on Wednesday that Gaza faced a "public health disaster" following the collapse of its health system.

"We all know that the health care system is or has collapsed," said Lynn Hastings, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

"We've got a textbook formula for epidemics and a public health disaster," she added.

Public health among Gaza's displaced in in crisis, the UN said [Getty]
Pope calls for 'immediate humanitarian ceasefire' in Gaza
9:15 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Pope Francis on Wednesday renewed his call for an "immediate" ceasefire in Gaza and pleaded for an end to suffering for both Israelis and Palestinians.

"I renew my appeal for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire," the leader of the world's more than 1.35 billion Catholics said during his Wednesday audience.

"May this great suffering for the Israelis and the Palestinians be over," he said, urging the release of all Israeli hostages and the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

20 Palestinians killed in Israeli strikes on Khan Younis
8:27 AM
The New Arab Staff

At least 20 Palestinian civilians were killed and dozens were injured at dawn on Wednesday, after Israeli  aircraft bombed various areas in Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian news agency Wafa said.

The Israeli army reportedly targeted the Al-Najjar family in the Qizan Al-Najjar area, south of Khan Younis, Wafa said, killing four people.

Two children were killed in a shelling which hit the Al-Amoudi household in the camp.

Nine Palestinians, including children, were also killed when Israeli forces targeted a house of Miqdad family in the Al-Amal neighbourhood, west of the city.

Many more neighbourhoods and household were also targeted by Israeli forces in Khan Younis.


Israeli forces killed at least 20 Palestinians in shelling on Khan Younis [Getty]
10 Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza on Tuesday
8:21 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's military said 10 soldiers were killed amid fighting in northern Gaza on Tuesday, including a colonel who had commanded a forward base for the Golani infantry brigade.

The statement, issued on Wednesday, updated an earlier statement which had put the latest one-day death toll at eight, among them a lieutenant-colonel who had commanded a Golani regiment.

According to the Israeli army's official account, the forces were conducting sweeping operations in the Shuja'iya neighborhood, where it encountered gunfire from inside a house towards it, and then an explosive device was detonated.

The soldiers returned fire, and during the process of repositioning and taking their positions, they separated into two groups.