Gaza attacks ongoing as US says still 'miles to go' on ceasefire

Gaza attacks ongoing as US says still 'miles to go' on ceasefire
Palestinians in Gaza are facing ongoing Israeli attacks and desperate conditions with some 90 percent of the population displaced.
17 min read

Palestinians have been forced to flee Gaza City for another day following more Israeli evacuation orders as a US official said there is still "miles to go" until a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Thursday that many details still needed to be ironed out following the most recent round of talks in Cairo and Doha with officials this week.

Palestinians in Gaza have been facing repeated attacks on civilian areas and the civil defence agency there said that some 60 bodies were found in Gaza City's Shujaiya district, devastated by a two-week Israeli offensive.

"Once the Israeli occupation forces withdrew from the Shujaiya neighbourhood, civil defence crews, with local residents, managed to recover about 60 martyrs up to now," agency spokesman Mahmud Basal said.

Israel said Wednesday it had ended its operation against Hamas militants in the district.

Lebanon's Hezbollah group and Israel continue to trade attacks across the border a day after the Shia militant group's leader warned that strikes would not stop until ally Hamas has decided.

1:47 AM

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Merchant vessel reports two explosions west of Yemen's Mocha
1:37 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

British security firm Ambrey said early on Friday that a merchant vessel reported two explosions about 21 nautical miles (39 km) west of Yemen's Mocha.

One "missile" impacted the water and another exploded in the air, the vessel reported to Ambrey, adding that both explosions occurred within 0.5 nautical miles of the vessel.

"The vessel was withholding its automatic identification system transmissions at the time. Ambrey is investigating the vessel's affiliations with the Houthi target profile," the Ambrey advisory said.

Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group has been launching drone and missile strikes in shipping lanes in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since November, saying that it acts in solidarity with Palestinians in Israel's war in Gaza.

In dozens of attacks, the Houthis have sunk two vessels, seized another and killed at least three seafarers.


Biden: Israel-Gaza war should end now
1:26 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

President Joe Biden said on Thursday that the Israel-Gaza war must end now, telling reporters his Gaza ceasefire framework had been agreed on by both Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas but added that there were still gaps to close.

"That framework is now agreed on by both Israel and Hamas. So I sent my team to the region to hammer out the details," Biden said in a news conference.

"These are difficult, complex issues. There are still gaps to close. We're making progress. The trend is positive. I'm determined to get this deal done and bring an end to this war, which should end now," Biden added. 


Biden says Israel should not occupy Gaza once war ends
1:05 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

President Joe Biden said on Thursday that Israel should not occupy Gaza once its war ends against Hamas militants.

At a news conference, Biden said he supports Israel's attempts to defeat Hamas militants in Gaza, but that "It's time to end this war" and he expressed support for reaching a ceasefire.


USAID: Israel pledged to improve safety for aid workers
12:27 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The head of the U.S. agency overseeing American humanitarian assistance worldwide on Thursday said she has received Israeli pledges to allow aid workers to move more quickly and safely throughout the war-battered Gaza Strip.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Samantha Power, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, said that Israel has also taken new steps to increase the flow of aid through its port of Ashdod, just north of Gaza. The move could give donors a new option for delivering aid as the U.S. shutters its troubled maritime pier off Gaza’s coast.

Over 80% of the territory’s 2.3 million people have been displaced, with most now living in squalid tent camps . International experts say hundreds of thousands of people are on the brink of famine.

“We have not seen the kind of humanitarian system to this point that has allowed humanitarians to move efficiently and safely to the degree that we need,” Power said. “This week and through this visit, we have secured an agreement.”

“My whole career has been working in and around conflict areas,” said Power, a former war correspondent and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. “I have never seen a more difficult conflict environment for humanitarians to work in.”

Erdogan to NATO: cooperation with Israel will be blocked
11:45 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that it is not possible for the Israeli administration to continue its partnership with NATO.

"Until comprehensive, sustainable peace is established in Palestine, attempts at cooperation with Israel within NATO will not be approved by Turkey," Erdogan at a news conference at the NATO summit.


International media orgs call on Israel to open Gaza access
10:19 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Over 60 international media organisations and civil society groups have signed an open letter to Israel demanding access into Gaza as Israel continues to deny foreign journalists entry.

Throughout the nine-month war, Palestinian journalists have been the sole news provider from the enclave and are operating in increasingly dangerous and desperate conditions.

The letter, organised by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has been signed by media including The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, BBC, CNN, The Guardian, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.

"More than 100 journalists have been killed since the start of the war and those who remain are working in conditions of extreme deprivation. The result is that information from Gaza is becoming harder and harder to obtain and that the reporting which does get through is subject to repeated questions over its veracity," the letter states.

Rights groups demand end to 'UK complicity' in Gaza war
10:00 PM
The New Arab Staff

A collective of human rights groups have called on the new British government to end arms sales to Israel in the wake of its brutal offensive in Gaza which has seen accusations of war crimes amid thousands of civilian deaths.

Six groups including Al-Haq, Global Legal Action Network (GLAN), and the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) have written to Prime Minister Keir Starmer, Foreign Secretary David Lammy and Secretary of State for Business and Trade, Jonathan Reynolds, is calling for an immediate halt to arms exports to Israel.

GLAN Lawyer, Charlotte Andrews-Briscoe said, “The new Labour government’s calls for a ceasefire are meaningless while it continues to arm Israel. British weapons have killed too many Palestinians. This government knows that the only lawful and moral decision is to stop arming Israel."

Israeli jets strike 'Hezbollah military structures'
8:52 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel said its jets struck Hezbollah military targets in Taybeh and Kfarkela in southern Lebanon on Thursday, in the latest strikes against the Lebanese Shia militant group.

In a statement on the Israeli army's Telegram channel, it said its air defense system also intercepted a "suspicious aerial target" that had crossed from Lebanon.

Houthis claim 10 drone, missile attacks this week
8:45 PM
The New Arab Staff

The rebel Yemeni group Houthis said on Thursday it had carried out attacks against 166 ships linked to Israel, US and the UK since November.

Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi in a televised speech said his group carried out 10 drone and missile attacks this week.

“Our naval operations in support of Palestinians in Gaza have continued unabated,” he added.

Al-Houthi claimed that the movement of vessels in the Red Sea had diminished in recent months.

There was no comment from the US, Britain, or Israel on the Houthi statement.

Jordan and US discuss Gaza ceasefire talks
8:33 PM
The New Arab Staff

Jordan's foreign minister Ayman Safadi met with US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf and discussed the ongoing ceasefire negotiations and humanitarian delivery into Gaza.

A statement from Jordan's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates stated that "the meeting also discussed a number of bilateral issues in the context of efforts to enhance cooperation between the two countries."

US sanctions Israeli settler outposts
7:45 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States on Thursday imposed new sanctions against Israeli extremists over violence against Palestinians, including financial restrictions on four settlement outposts in the West Bank.

The State Department also blacklisted Lehava, which it described as the "largest violent extremist organization in Israel" with more than 10,000 members.

"We strongly encourage the government of Israel to take immediate steps to hold these individuals and entities accountable. In the absence of such steps, we will continue to impose our own accountability measures," State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said.

Settlement expansion has increased sharply since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned to power in late 2022 at the helm of a hardline pro-settler coalition.

Israeli report on 7 Oct finds failure to protect civilians
7:15 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Israeli military published on Thursday the findings of a first probe into its own security failings during the devastating Oct. 7 Hamas attack, acknowledging it hadn't protected the citizens of one of the worst hit communities, Kibbutz Be'eri.

More than 100 people were killed in the attack on Be'eri, a community of about 1,000 people, and 32 taken hostage to Gaza, 11 of whom are still there.

The probe examined the day's chain of events, fighting and security forces' conduct, the military said. Some of the details have already been revealed by Reuters and other media in the weeks after the attack.

While acknowledging its own failure in protecting the kibbutz civilians, the military hailed the bravery of Be'eri residents, including its rapid response team, who despite being vastly outnumbered, tried to repel the militants who invaded.


US military failed to re-anchor Gaza pier due to weather
6:45 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US military personnel attempted to re-anchor the temporary Gaza pier to the beach on Wednesday but were unsuccessful due to technical and weather-related issues, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

At no time did US personnel enter Gaza, Pentagon Spokesperson Pat Ryder said in a statement. The pier will soon cease operations, and was always intended as a temporary solution, he added.


Hezbollah targets building in northern Israel
6:05 PM
The New Arab Staff

Lebanon's Hezbollah group said on Wednesday it struck an Israeli military outpost near the kibbutz Misgav Am near the Lebanese border.

In a statement on the group's Telegram channel, it said that two buildings used by Israeli solders were targeted "with appropriate weapons" at around 5pm local time.

The Lebanese Shia militant group have been striking Israeli military assets since 8 October in support of Hamas's fight against Israeli forces in Gaza.

Netanyahu should be investigated for Oct. 7 failure: Gallant
5:40 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant on Thursday called for a state inquiry into failings around the October 7 Hamas attack, saying it should investigate Gallant himself and his boss, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Gallant made the comments at a graduation ceremony for new military officers, also attended by Netanyahu, whose coalition government is already strained by infighting.

The state inquiry, he said, "must be objective, it needs to investigate all of us, those who make decisions and those who carry them out, the government, the military, and the security agencies."

"It must investigate me, the defence minister, it must investigate the prime minister," Gallant said, to cheers from the crowd.

Netanyahu has dismissed past calls to form a state inquiry into the events of October 7 , which Israel retaliated with a full-scale war in the Gaza Strip, which has killed over 38,000 Palestinians.

Netanyahu demands control of Gaza territory on Egypt border
5:35 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded on Thursday that Israel retain control of key Gaza territory along the border with Egypt as part of any accord to suspend the war with Hamas.

Speaking after the return of Israeli negotiators from talks with mediators in Qatar, Netanyahu said Israel needed to control the corridor to stop weapons reaching Hamas from Egypt -- one of four conditions for a deal with the Palestinian militants. He did not say if the measure would be permanent.


Still 'miles to go' on Israel-Hamas ceasefire deal: W. House
5:10 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Many details still need to be hammered out to secure a deal between Israel and Hamas for a ceasefire and the release of hostages from Gaza, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Thursday.

"There's still miles to go before we close if we are able to close. So I don't want to say that it's immediately around the corner, but it does not have to be far out in the distance if everyone comes in this with the will to get it done," Sullivan told reporters, adding that there has been no change in policy with regard to a US pause of shipment of 2,000 pound bombs to Israel.

Sullivan also said President Joe Biden will soon give an update on the status of ceasefire talks.

Netanyahu says he is 'committed' to Gaza ceasefire framework
4:22 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday he remained committed to the Gaza ceasefire framework being negotiated, and accused the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas of making demands that contradict it.

"I am committed to the framework deal for freeing our hostages, but the Hamas murderers are sticking to demands that contradict the framework, that endanger Israel," Netanyahu said in a speech.

60 bodies found in rubble of Shujaiya: civil defence agency
3:47 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The civil defence agency in Gaza said Thursday that around 60 bodies have been found in Gaza City's Shujaiya district, devastated by a two-week Israeli offensive.

"Once the Israeli occupation forces withdrew from the Shujaiya neighborhood, civil defence crews, with local residents, managed to recover about 60 martyrs up to now," agency spokesman Mahmud Basal said.

Israel said Wednesday it had ended its operation against Hamas militants in the district.

G7 condemns Israel's legalisation of West Bank outposts
3:44 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

G7 foreign ministers condemned on Thursday the move by Israel to legalise five outposts in the West Bank, and slammed its decision to expand existing settlements and establish new ones.

Settlement expansion has increased sharply since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned to power in late 2022 at the helm of a hardline pro-settler coalition.

"We, the G7 Foreign Ministers join the UN and the European Union in condemning the announcement by Israeli Finance Minister (Bezalel) Smotrich that five outposts are to be legalised in the West Bank," read a statement that also rejected Israel's decision to declare over 1,270 hectares (3,100 acres) as "state lands".

It called the latter "the largest such declaration of state land since the Oslo Accords."

The foreign ministers of the Group of Seven rich nations also criticised Israel's decision "to expand existing settlements in the occupied West Bank by 5,295 new housing units and to establish three new settlements."

It called Israel's settlement programme "inconsistent with international law, and counterproductive to the cause of peace."

US imposes sanctions on Israeli settler outposts
3:40 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States on Thursday imposed new sanctions against Israeli extremists over violence against Palestinians, including slapping financial restrictions on four settlement outposts in the West Bank.

"We strongly encourage the government of Israel to take immediate steps to hold these individuals and entities accountable. In the absence of such steps, we will continue to impose our own accountability measures," State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said.

Nearly 500,000 Gazans face 'catastrophic’ hunger levels
3:06 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) said on Thursday that around half a million Palestinians are faced with hunger in the enclave, as the war rages.

The NGO said hindered access by the Israeli military means its efforts are not enough to help all the 2.3 million people trapped and displaced in the besieged enclave.

"WFP and humanitarian partners are trying to scale up every day and build a response that allows Palestinians a sense of decent life in the middle of a nightmare".

WFP went on to urge for a ceasefire in Gaza, as the humanitarian catastrophe continues to unfold.

Israeli delegation heading to Cairo for more Gaza talks
2:27 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

An Israeli negotiation team will head on Thursday to Cairo to hold further Gaza ceasefire talks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said.

"A delegation headed by the head of the Shin Bet (domestic security service), together with representatives of the IDF (Israel Defence Forces), is scheduled to leave for Cairo this evening to continue the talks," the statement said, adding that Netanyahu met throughout the day with negotiators who returned from Doha

Gaza truce updates 'not yet provided' by mediators: Hamas
1:56 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hamas said in a statement on Thursday that mediators have not yet provided the group with any updates regarding Gaza ceasefire negotiations.

It also accused Israel of "stalling" to gain time and thwart the current round of talks.

"The occupation continues its policy of stalling to buy time to foil this round of negotiations, as it has done in previous rounds," the Islamist faction added.

The Hamas comments come as Qatari and Egyptian mediators, backed by the United States, have stepped up efforts this week to conclude a ceasefire deal aimed at ending the nine-month war in Gaza and releasing Israeli hostages  and Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons.

Erdogan says US complicit in alleged Israeli war crimes
1:49 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said US President Joe Biden and his administration are complicit in what he called Israeli war crimes and violations of international law in the Gaza war, and he called for sanctions against Israel.

In an interview with Newsweek during the NATO summit in Washington, Erdogan said Israel's "brutal murder" of civilians, its strikes on hospitals, aid centres and elsewhere constituted war crimes.

"The US administration, however, disregards these violations and provides Israel with the most support. They do so at the expense of being complicit in these violations," Erdogan was quoted as saying.

"At this juncture, who will impose what kind of sanction against Israel for violating international law? That is the real question and no one is answering that," he said.

Erdogan has been a vocal critic of Israel amid the war in Gaza [Getty]
EU official decries unacceptable humanitarian Gaza disaster
1:17 PM
The New Arab Staff

The European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic, said on Thursday that "the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza is completely unacceptable"

Lenarcic noted that the ongoing Israeli bombing is hampering the distribution of aid in the enclave, and affirmed that the EU must urge for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip in a bid to deliver necessary aid. 

He pointed out that humanitarian aid should not only enter Gaza, but should be distributed to everyone in need of assistance throughout the Strip.

Israel's Gallant, US envoy discuss hostage deal, munition
12:45 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said he met with visiting U.S. envoy Brett McGurk on Thursday and discussed progress in reaching a Gaza hostage release deal.

Gallant, according to a statement from his office, said they also spoke about "the delivery of critical munition, some of which will be sent to Israel in the coming days."

Israel presses operation in Gaza's north
12:42 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli air strikes pounded parts of Gaza's biggest city on Thursday, Hamas said, after Israel's military declared an end to its operation in an eastern district that saw Gaza City's heaviest combat in months.

The upsurge in fighting, bombardment and displacement followed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's statement in late June that "the war in its intense phase is about to end".

It also came as talks were held in the Gulf emirate of Qatar towards a truce and hostage release deal after more than nine months of war.

Gaza's ruling Hamas Islamists said troops had pulled back from Gaza City's eastern district of Shujaiya leaving behind "more than 300 residential units and more than 100 businesses destroyed."

Witnesses on Thursday said tanks and troops had moved into other Gaza City areas, and clashes between Israeli forces and militants were occurring. Explosions, artillery shelling and gunfire could be heard, they said.

Smoke rose over parts of the city, according to AFP correspondents.

Gaza death toll increases to 38,345: MoH
11:55 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The death toll in has increased to 38,345, the Ministry of Health in the territory confirmed on Thursday.

Israeli army strikes Rafah, kills Hamas fighters
10:43 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli military says it has struck the Rafah area of southern Gaza, killing a number of Hamas fighters.

The killed fighters reportedly carried out a rocket launch less than 30 minutes before being targeted by both warplanes and artillery, the army said, as cited by Al Jazeera.

Several drones from Lebanon fall inside Israel, one injured
10:21 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Several drones from Lebanon fell inside Israel on Thursday, the Israeli military said, while the head of the local municipality told Israel's Channel 12 that one person was critically injured.

The Iran-backed Hezbollah group and Israel have been trading fire for nearly nine months in hostilities that have played out in parallel to the Gaza conflict, raising fears of an all-out war between the heavily armed adversaries.

The military said that in addition to the drones that fell, "a number of suspicious aerial targets were identified from Lebanon toward Israeli territory" were intercepted.

Israeli army begins demolishing Palestinian home near Hebron
8:45 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces began demolishing a three-story house in Khirbet Qalqas area, south of Hebron.

Sufyan Sidr, the brother of the house owner, told the Palestinian news agency Wafa that the army's bulldozers began demolishing the house of his deceased brother, Mustafa,  housing more than 30 people, under the pretext of not having a building permit.

The army reportedly forced  neighbouring residents to remain in their homes, and did not allow them to help remove furniture from the house or reach it.

Palestinians wounded in Israel raid on Balata camp, Nablus
8:33 AM
The New Arab Staff

Four Palestinians, including a woman and a child, were injured at dawn on Thursday during Israeli raid on the Balata camp east of Nablus.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said that a 26-year-old man was injured by live bullets in the abdomen, while a 34-year-old woman, her child and a 23-year-old were injured with bruises after they were beaten by the Israeli army.


Starmer, Biden discuss Israel-Gaza, Ukraine: UK gov't
8:12 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Britain's new Prime Minister Keir Starmer and US President Joe Biden discussed their ambition for an immediate Gaza ceasefire to get hostages out and to get humanitarian aid in, according to a UK government statement on Thursday.

The two leaders also discussed the situation in Ukraine in a meeting at the White House on Wednesday, the statement added

Gazan paramedic recounts abuse in Israeli detention
8:07 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A Palestinian paramedic at the Indonesian Hospital in northern Gaza, 40-year-old Tamer Ossama Salem al-Hafy, has spoken of his ordeal in Israeli detention, after being held for 35 days.

Soldiers accused al-Hafy of being a "terrorist" and took him to a detention facility where he was blindfolded. While in detention, he was cuffed by his arms and legs to a bed inside a tent, he said.

Al-Hafy said he was blindfolded except during interrogations and received only "liquid vitamins" through a straw every three or four days as nourishment.

"I was in a prison. I had no idea where it was located," he told Reuters at a makeshift hospital aboard a cargo ship docked in al-Arish, an Egyptian city in the Sinai Peninsula near Gaza.

"They would uncover my eyes and put it (the blindfold) back after. I didn’t see the sun until I was released," he said.

Al-Hafy said he was beaten and humiliated and did not receive medical care while in detention, and believes his job as a paramedic made him a target.

"The words 'medical personnel' and working at a hospital, that was enough for them to treat you as a suspect," he said.

Al-Hafy was shot below the knee by Israeli forces as he helped the injured onto stretchers after an Israeli airstrike last November.

He briefly became a patient at the same hospital before fleeing on Nov. 20 when it came under attack. His father, Ossama, had to carry him over his back as they headed for another medical centre in southern Gaza.