Gaza: Death toll tops 8,000, Israel strikes near al-Quds Hospital

Gaza: Death toll tops 8,000, Israel strikes near al-Quds Hospital
Israel's devastating war against Gaza has killed more than 8,000 Palestinians, the besieged enclave's health ministry has said.
26 min read

Israel's devastating war against Gaza has killed 8,005 Palestinians, including 3,324 children, the besieged enclave's health ministry has said.

Communications were restored to many people in Gaza early on Sunday, according to local telecoms companies, internet-access advocacy group NetBlocks and confirmation on the ground.

Bombardment had knocked out most communications in the besieged enclave late on Friday, largely cutting off the territory's 2.3 million people from the world.

Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes early on Sunday near Gaza's largest hospital, which is packed with patients and tens of thousands of Palestinians seeking shelter, residents said.

Residents said the latest airstrikes destroyed most of the roads leading to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, in the northern part of the besieged territory.

Tens of thousands are sheltering in al-Shifa, which is also packed with patients wounded in the strikes.

"Reaching the hospital has become increasingly difficult," Mahmoud al-Sawah, who is sheltering there, said over the phone. "It seems they want to cut off the area."

Israel has claimed Hamas has a command post under the hospital, without providing much evidence. The armed group has denied the allegation.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment when asked about reports of strikes near al-Shifa.

In a sign of growing chaos in Gaza, the UN's agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, said thousands of people broke into its Gaza aid warehouses to take food and other "basic survival items" like hygiene products.

Thomas White, the agency's director in Gaza, said the break-in was "a worrying sign that civil order is starting to break down".

UNRWA, provides basic services to hundreds of thousands of people in Gaza. Its schools across the territory have been transformed into packed shelters housing Palestinians displaced by the conflict.

Featured images: Getty

4:00 AM
The New Arab Staff

This live blog has now been concluded. Our live coverage will resume at 8 am GMT.


3:42 AM
The New Arab Staff

Second Palestinian killed in Jenin raid

A second Palestinian has been killed during Israeli raids on the city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank, with nine Palestinians being wounded.

The raid took place in Jenin Refugee Camp and the Ibn Sina Hospital, with Israeli forces using armoured bulldozers during the operation to destroy the gate of the refugee camp.

One of those wounded during the raid sustained injuries from a drone strike that occurred on the refugee camp. 

According to Al Jazeera, 20 people were detained during the overnight raids.

3:00 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces conduct raids in Nablus

Israeli forces are conducting raids in the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank. 

The raids follow from large scale raids in the city of Jenin which killed one person and injured seven.

It is not known what the outcome of the raids in Nablus are.

2:21 AM
The New Arab Staff

Shin Bet chief warns of 'eruption' of violence in occupied West Bank

Ronen Bar, the head of Israel's domestic intelligence service Shin Bet has warned of an "eruption" in the occupied West Bank following "a rise in violence by settlers [and] incidents between settlers and Palestinians that result in the deaths of Palestinians."

According to Israeli media, he gave said warnings to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's war cabinet.

2:17 AM
The New Arab Staff

One killed, seven injured, in Israeli raid on Jenin

One Palestinian was killed and seven others were injured during an Israeli raid into the city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank. 

The raid targeted Jenin Refugee Camp and the Ibn Sina Hospital. During the raid, Israel launched a drone strike on the city, according to Al Jazeera. It is unknown if the strike caused any casualties.

11:40 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli military releases footage of strikes in Syria, hits base of 112 Brigade in Daraa

The Israeli military has released footage of what it says are airstrikes in Syria against military infrastructure following reports that rockets were fired from southern Syria into Israel. 

According to the head of Syrian news site Deir Ezzor 24 Israeli airstrikes targeted the base of the 112 Brigade in Daraa, southern Syria.

11:29 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces storm Jenin in occupied West Bank

Israeli forces have stormed the city on Jenin in the occupied West Bank with clashes ongoing in the Jenin refugee camp and around the Ibn Sina hospital. 

11:12 PM
The New Arab Staff

Clashes taking place in northern Gaza Strip

Clashes are taking place in northern Gaza according to Al Araby TV following a heavy Israeli bombardment of the area.

Further south clashes were reported around the Gaza border fence near Khan Younis according to Palestinian media outlet Quds News Network.

11:10 PM
The New Arab Staff

Palestinian Islamic Jihad vows to fight Israeli military in Gaza

A senior leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad has stated that its fighters will continue to fight against Israel has it increases its ground incursions in the Gaza Strip.

Daoud Shehab was quoted in Al Jazeera Arabic has saying that Israel was "getting attacked" by its fighters, adding that "Israel will not score a victory at the expense of the Palestinian people."

11:08 PM
The New Arab Staff

US ensured restoration of internet in Gaza

The US pressured Israel to restore internet and cellular connectivity to Gaza following a blackout that caused major disruption on Friday, according to a senior US official speaking with CNN.

According the unnamed official, the US told Israel that it was important to restore service in Gaza.

11:06 PM
The New Arab Staff

Jordan asks for US Patriot System

Jordan has requested the deployment of a Patriot air defence system, a Jordanian army spokesperson told state television Sunday.

"We asked the American side to help bolster our defence system with Patriot air defence missiles systems" the official said.

The request comes following increased attacks against US bases in the region such as those in Iraq and Syria.

11:04 PM
The New Arab Staff

Nasrallah to speak on Friday

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah will speak at 3pm on Friday at a ceremony dedicated to 47 Hezbollah fighters who were killed in clashes with the Israeli army on the Lebanon Israel border, according to a Hezbollah spokesperson.

Live Story
11:01 PM
The New Arab Staff

USS Bataan in Red Sea, nears eastern Mediterranean

The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit onboard the USS Bataan is currently in the Red Sea and will enter the eastern Mediterranean soon, according to US officials speaking with CNN.

Some 2,000 Marines are attached to the task force led by the USS Bataan which, prior to being redeployed to the eastern Mediterranean, was deployed to the Gulf.

The report comes following reports that a second US aircraft carrier, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower had entered the Mediterranean on Saturday on a deployment to the eastern Mediterranean.

Live Story
10:50 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel conducting airstrikes around al-Quds hospital

The Israeli military is conducting airstrikes in the vicinity of al-Quds hospital in a bid to force the evacuation of the hospital according to Al Jazeera.

Furthermore, Israeli strikes killed 16 Palestinians in attacks on a residential building in north Gaza, and has continued strikes against areas in central Gaza killing 10 in  al-Zawayda, and southern Gaza killing seven.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society posted a video on X, formerly known as Twitter, showing displaced Gazan's sheltering on hospital grounds with their bedding. 


10:50 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli military says rockets fired from Syria land in Israel

The Israeli military has stated that rockets fired from Syria landed in open areas of Israel, with the army now conducting artillery strikes into Syria in retaliation.

10:49 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli military says number of hostages increased to 239

According to the Israeli military the number of hostages currently held in the Gaza Strip by Hamas is 239. Another 40 people remain missing following Hamas’ assault on southern Israel on 7 October.

10:47 PM
The New Arab Staff

Biden speaks with Sisi over humanitarian aid

US President Joe Biden spoke with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Sunday about committing to a "significant acceleration and increase of assistance flowing into Gaza beginning today and then continuously."

During the call both leaders also spoke of the "importance of protecting civilian lives, respect for international humanitarian law, and ensuring that Palestinians in Gaza are not displaced to Egypt or any other nation."

Biden informed Sisi that the US was attempting to ensure that the conflict in Gaza would not expand further into other areas of the region.

7:07 PM
The New Arab Staff

Biden tells Netanyahu of need to 'immediately and significantly increase' aid to Gaza

US President Joe Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu early Sunday, according to The White House. 

During said call Biden told Netanyahu that any action taken by Israel in Gaza should be done so "in a manner consistent with international humanitarian law that prioritizes the protection of civilians."

Biden also emphasised that there is a "need to immediately and significantly increase the flow of humanitarian assistance to meet the needs of civilians in Gaza."

6:45 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli military incursions linked to hostage negotiations 

Israel's military incursions into northern Gaza over the past two days are part of a campaign to pressure Hamas as part of the ongoing hostage negotiations, according to Israeli publication Haaretz.

A senior Israeli political source told Haaretz that "despite the ground incursion, we are continuing to conduct negotiations for the release of the abductees. So far, we have gotten the impression that Hamas is not serious. We are using the maneuver to put pressure on Hamas regarding the abductees. You could say that we are negotiating for the release of the hostages under fire."

6:35 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hamas playing 'psychological games' over Gaza hostages: Israel defence minister

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant accused Hamas on Sunday of playing "psychological games" over hostages after it offered to free all captives in exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

"The stories published by Hamas are part of their psychological games... Hamas is cynically using those who are dear to us - they understand the pain and the pressure," Gallant told relatives of some 300 hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, a statement released by his office said.

On Saturday, Hamas's leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, said the Palestinian militant group was ready for an "immediate" prisoner swap with Israel.

Israeli media reported earlier today that Gallant stated there were two objectives about any ground offensive into Gaza when speaking to families of the hostages: "I have two goals: to return the abductees and win the war."

5:56 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hezbollah says downed Israeli drone in south Lebanon

Lebanon's Hezbollah says it shot down an Israeli drone southeast of Lebanon with a surface-to-air missile on Sunday afternoon, downing it in Israeli territory.


5:42 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Netanyahu, Biden speak after Israel expands Gaza ground incursions

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on Sunday with US President Joe Biden, Netanyahu's office said, after Israel expanded ground incursions in Gaza.

The Israeli statement did not expand on the conversation.


Joe Biden is the president of the United States [Anna Moneymaker/Getty-archive]
5:41 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

France condemns Israeli West Bank settler attacks on Palestinians

France condemns "unacceptable" Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

More than 100 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since the outbreak of war in the Gaza Strip earlier this month, mostly during raids by Israeli forces or attacks by settlers, according to the Ramallah-based Palestinian health ministry.

"France strongly condemns the settler attacks that have led to the deaths of several Palestinian civilians over the past few days in Qusra and Sawiya, as well as the forced departure of several communities," says a foreign ministry statement.

"The violence perpetrated by settlers against the Palestinian population is multiplying. It is unacceptable and must stop."

Israel should "take immediate measures to protect the Palestinian population", says the statement.

On Saturday, a 40-year-old Palestinian harvesting his olives was killed by a settler in the village of Sawiya near Nablus. In nearby Qusra village, settlers killed at least four Palestinians on 11 October.

5:28 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel's Gaza ground strategy fits with US advice: report

Israel has seemingly chosen to put off a comprehensive ground invasion of Gaza and opt for limited incursions at least in the beginning.

The strategy fits with advice US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has given Israeli officials, The New York Times cited US officials as saying yesterday.

But officials with President Joe Biden's administration cautioned that predicting how Israel would ultimately proceed was difficult, given the recent escalation in air strikes and ground incursions suggest a more forceful stance.

5:22 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran does not want Gaza war to spread, foreign minister says

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian says Tehran does not want war the Gaza war to spread out.

"We don't want this war to spread out," Amirabdollahian said during an appearance on CNN.

Iran likely knew that Hamas was planning "operations against Israel", the US has said, but initial US intelligence reports showed that some Iranian leaders were surprised by the attack, the deadliest day of Israel's 75-year history.

Amirabdollahian on Sunday dismissed claims directly connecting Iran to the attacks, calling them "baseless."

"We always had political media and international support for Palestine. We have never denied this," he says.

"This is the truth, but in relation to this operation called the Al Aqsa Storm, there was no connection to that data between Iran and this Hamas operation, not my government nor part of my country."

US and coalition troops have been attacked at least 19 times in Iraq and in Syria by Iran-backed forces in the past week.

Amirabdollahian says linking Iran to any attack in the region, if US interests are targeted, without providing proof, is "totally wrong".

People in the region were angry, he said, and "they are not receiving orders from us. They act according to their own interest. Also, what happened, what was carried out by Hamas, it was totally Palestinian."

The United States told the United Nations on Tuesday it does not seek conflict with Iran, but Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned that Washington would act swiftly and decisively if Iran or its proxies attack U.S. personnel anywhere.

The Pentagon said on Thursday that the U.S. military carried out strikes on two places storing weapons and munitions in eastern Syria used by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and groups it supports.


4:44 PM
The New Arab Staff

ICC prosecutor visited Rafah Border Crossing this weekend

The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor Karim Khan visited the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza this weekend, the court says.

Khan says there should not be "any impediment" to humanitarian relief supplies going "to children, to women and men - civilians".

"They're innocent. They have rights under under international humanitarian law," he says in a video posted to social media platform X.

Khan says in the video that he had just come from the Rafah crossing, where last week the first aid convoy entered Gaza since the war began.

"We have active investigations ongoing in relation to the crimes allegedly committed in Israel on 7 October and also in relation to Gaza and the West Bank and our jurisdiction going back to 2014," he adds.

4:29 PM
The New Arab Staff

Palestine Red Crescent says Israel firing rockets near al-Quds hospital

Israeli forces are firing rockets near al-Quds hospital in Gaza City, the Palestine Red Crescent Society says in a post on social media platform X.

"The Israeli occupation forces deliberately continue to launch rockets directly near al-Quds hospital in #Gaza to force medical staff, displaced individuals, and patients to evacuate the hospital," the Red Crescent says.

"This has caused significant damage to hospital departments and exposed residents and patients to suffocation."

The Red Crescent includes a video in which a man covers his mouth with his shirt and a woman swats at the air.

4:24 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hamas says engaged in 'heavy fighting' with Israeli army in Gaza

Hamas's armed wing says its fighters were engaged in "heavy fighting" with Israeli forces in Gaza after Israeli military deployed more ground forces across the Palestinian territory.

"Our fighters are currently engaged in heavy fighting with machine guns and anti-tank weapons with the invading occupation [Israeli] forces in northwest Gaza," the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement.

In an earlier statement the group said two Israeli tanks had caught fire after they were targeted by its fighters, a claim which the army has not confirmed.

Israeli forces continued to pound north Gaza with air and artillery shelling on Sunday evening.

The army says troops had "identified a number of terrorists exiting the shaft of a tunnel" near the Erez border crossing and "confronted the terrorists, killing and injuring them".

Earlier on Sunday, the army said it had increased the number of troops fighting inside the Gaza Strip as it stepped up its war in the besieged Palestinian enclave.

3:58 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel stops 'infiltration attempt at Erez crossing', report says

The Israeli army killed several Palestinian fighters who came out of a tunnel in north Gaza, according to a report.

Israeli news website Ynet says an "infiltration attempt at the Erez border crossing" with Israel was stopped.

3:26 PM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas says fighting Israel forces in north Gaza

Hamas says it is fighting Israeli forces in north Gaza and has managed to get behind enemy lines.

The group's armed wing, the Izz al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, says it ambushed the Israelis northwest of Beit Lahia, Al Jazeera reports.

The group says it also fired rockets towards Tel Aviv.

3:17 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Sunak and Macron stress need for urgent aid in Gaza

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday underlined the importance of shipping urgent humanitarian support into war-torn Gaza, the UK government says.

They spoke by telephone following the expansion of Israel's military operation in the strip and expressed "their shared concern at the risk of escalation in the wider region", says a Downing Street spokesperson.

"The leaders stressed the importance of getting urgent humanitarian support into Gaza," says the readout of the conversation between Sunak and Macron.

"They agreed to work together on efforts both to get crucial food, fuel, water and medicine to those who need it, and to get foreign nationals out."

The pair updated each other on the conversations they have had with leaders in the region "to stress the importance of working to ensure regional stability".

"They expressed their shared concern at the risk of escalation in the wider region, in particular in the West Bank," the readout adds.

Sunak and Macron also "agreed that it was important not to lose sight of the long-term future of the region and, in particular, the need for a two-state solution".

"They underscored that Hamas does not represent ordinary Palestinians and that their barbarism should not undermine the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people," Number 10 says.

According to France's presidential office, the pair also reaffirmed Israel's right to defend itself within the limits of international law.

3:02 PM
The New Arab Staff

The New Arab's Gaza correspondent: 'It's terrible'

The New Arab's Gaza correspondent sends a voice message.

"I just heard a huge explosion here. It seems that maybe the Israeli army attacked some places near my house," she says, before sighing and adding: "It's terrible."

2:50 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli forces kill five Palestinians in West Bank: health ministry

Israeli forces killed five Palestinians on Sunday across the occupied West Bank, health officials say, raising to more than 110 the death toll there since the start of the Gaza war.

The Palestinian health ministry says five people aged 29 to 35 were shot dead by Israeli forces at dawn, two of them in Nablus's Askar refugee camp.

The other incidents took place in Beit Rima, northwest of Ramallah, Bethlehem's Dheisheh refugee camp and in Tamun north of Nablus.

The Palestinian ministry did not provide further details.

The Israeli military claims that during activity to demolish the home of a militant in Askar, "explosive devices were hurled at Israeli security forces and exchanges of fire took place with terrorists".

Israel routinely demolishes the homes of Palestinians it accuses of deadly attacks, arguing that such measures act as a deterrent. But the policy has been criticised as collective punishment, since it can render non-combatants homeless.

During arrests of militants in Jenin and nearby, "suspects hurled explosive devices at the forces and exchanges of fire took place with terrorists," the army alleges.

And, while the army was carrying out "counterterrorism activity in the town of Beit Rima, terrorists hurled Molotov cocktails and explosive devices at the forces, who responded with live fire," according to an army statement.

2:12 PM
The New Arab Staff

More children killed in Gaza war than annual number in conflict zones since 2019

More children have been reported killed in Gaza during the three-week war in the strip than the annual number across the world's conflict zones since 2019, Save the Children says.

Citing the Gazan and Israeli health ministries, the group says over 3,257 children have been killed, including at least 3,195 in devastated Gaza, 33 in the occupied West Bank and 29 in Israel.

The latest Gaza health ministry statistics put the figure in the strip at 3,324.

"The number of children reported killed in just three weeks in Gaza is more than the number killed in armed conflict globally – across more than 20 countries – over the course of a whole year, for the last three years," Save the Children says in a press release.

The organisation's occupied Palestinian territory country director Jason Lee says: "Three weeks of violence have ripped children from families and torn through their lives at an unimaginable rate.

"The numbers are harrowing and with violence not only continuing but expanding in Gaza right now, many more children remain at grave risk.

"One child's death is one too many, but these are grave violations of epic proportions. A ceasefire is the only way to ensure their safety.

"The international community must put people before politics – every day spent debating is leaving children killed and injured. Children must be protected at all times, especially when they are seeking safety in schools and hospitals."

2:06 PM
The New Arab Staff

Gaza's night of horror: No electricity, no internet, no comms amid intense Israeli bombardment

Here's a video The New Arab published yesterday about the horrors of Friday night in Gaza.

1:54 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US asking Israel 'hard questions' on Gaza military assault, White House says

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Sunday would not acknowledge differences between the US and Israel over the military assault on Gaza, but emphasised that Washington was being candid with its ally.

Faced with growing outcry over Israel's bombardment of Gaza, Sullivan says: "We do not stand for the killing of innocent people, whether it be Palestinian, Israeli or otherwise."

Israeli forces are expanding ground operations in Gaza while their fighter jets have heavily pounded the besieged strip on Sunday in what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the second phase of a three-week-old war.

Asked if there was any "daylight" between the two allies on Israel's military operation, Sullivan tells American broadcaster CBS's programme Face the Nation they were discussing hard questions, humanitarian aid, distinguishing between terrorists and innocent civilians, how Israel is thinking through its military operation.

"We talk candidly, we talked directly, we share our views and an unvarnished way and we will continue to do that," Sullivan says.

"But sitting here in public, I will just say that the United States is going to make its principles and propositions absolutely clear, including the sanctity of innocent human life. And then we will continue to provide our advice to Israel in private."

1:48 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US says burden on Israel to distinguish between Hamas, Gaza civilians

Israel must do all it can to protect innocent people in Gaza by distinguishing between Hamas militants and civilians in the devastated Palestinian enclave, the White House warns.

"There is a burden, as I said before and as the president has said, on Israel to take the necessary steps to distinguish between Hamas, who does not represent the Palestinian people, and innocent Palestinian civilians," US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan says on CNN talk show State of the Union.

Sullivan adds that President Joe Biden will call Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later on Sunday to reiterate the US position that civilians must be protected.

1:15 PM
The New Arab Staff

Palestine Red Crescent says evacuating al-Quds Hospital means killing patients

The Palestine Red Crescent Society says it cannot evacuate a hospital in Gaza City after today receiving "serious threats" from Israel today to do so.

The Red Crescent says in a video posted to social media platform X that Israeli forces ordered the immediate evacuation of al-Quds Hospital because it is going to be bombed, adding that Israeli authorities hold the humanitarian group responsible for the safety of those inside.

"We don't have the means to evacuate al-Quds Hospital," the Red Crescent says.

"We have over 400 patients who are inside the hospital. Many of them are in the intensive care unit. Evacuating them means killing them.

"That's we refuse the evacuation order. We call on the international community to intervene immediately to stop a humanitarian catastrophe that is unfolding."

The Red Crescent adds that there are more than 14,000 internally displaced civilians seeking refuge inside the hospital.

12:25 PM
The New Arab Staff

Egypt warns Israel not to carry out operations in Gaza border corridor

Cairo has firmly warned the Israeli government not to carry out any military operations in a corridor along Egypt's border with Gaza if a ground invasion is launched against the Palestinian enclave, Egyptian sources say.

The sources say Egypt warned Israel because the Salah al-Din corridor, also known as the Philadelphi corridor, is closely linked to a security agreement that cautions the Israelis not to conduct military activities in the area without prior Egyptian permission, The New Arab's Arabic sister site al-Araby al-Jadeed reports.

12:20 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Gaza death toll climbs to over 8,000 people with more than 20,000 injured

The total death toll in Gaza has risen to 8,005 people and 20,242 others injured, according to the official spokesperson for the health ministry in Gaza on Sunday.

The dead include 3,324 children, 2,062 women and 460 among the elderly, the spokesperson says.


12:08 PM
The New Arab Staff

WHO chief expresses 'deep concern' after Red Crescent reports Gaza hospital evacuation threats

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expresses "deep concern" after the Palestine Red Crescent Society reported receiving threats to evacuate a Gaza City hospital.

The Red Crescent posted on X earlier on Sunday that it had "received serious threats" from Israeli authorities to immediate evacuate al-Quds Hospital, as it was set to be bombed.

"We reiterate - it's impossible to evacuate hospitals full of patients without endangering their lives," Adhanom Ghebreyesus says.

"Under international humanitarian law, healthcare must always be protected."

11:34 AM
The New Arab Staff

German official, senior Palestinian leader say Gaza humanitarian catastrophe must end

A senior Palestinian leader posts on social media platform X that he met with a German foreign ministry official and that they said Gaza's humanitarian catastrophe must end.

Hussein al-Sheikh, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization's executive committee, says he received Deike Potzel, the German foreign ministry's special envoy for Middle East humanitarian issues, this morning.

Al-Sheikh adds: "We stressed the need to stop the humanitarian catastrophe occurring in the Gaza Strip, and to find ways to calm down and immediately end the ongoing aggression against the Strip, and the urgent need to provide safe passages for humanitarian aid to its residents, and to secure corridors to rescue and treat the injured.

"Her Excellency Potzel stressed the rejection of the killing of civilians on both sides, and her country’s position in support of a political path that guarantees security, calm and stability in the region on the basis of the two-state solution in accordance with international legitimacy."

11:01 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Bombarded Gazans seek news of loved ones as blackout eases

Gazans struggled to find their loved ones and heard news of family members killed as communications gradually returned to the enclave on Sunday after a near total blackout as Israel's troops and armour pushed into the enclave.

The fighting intensified on Friday night as Israeli forces waged ground operations in Gaza in what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described as the second phase of the war.

Shaban Ahmed, a public servant who works as an engineer and has five children, described the Israeli attacks as "doomsday".

"This morning, Sunday, I discovered that my cousin has been killed in an air strike on their house on Friday," Ahmed, who stayed in Gaza City despite an Israeli warning to evacuate south, told Reuters.

"We only knew today. Israel cut us off from the world in order to wipe us out, but we are hearing the sounds of explosions and we are proud the resistance fighters have stopped them at meters distance."

Israel's chief military spokesperson has declined to say whether Israel had been behind the telecommunications blackout but said it would do what it needed to protect its forces.


10:44 AM
The New Arab Staff

Gaza death toll rises above 8,000

The death toll from Israel's devastating war against the Gaza Strip has risen to 8,005, the besieged enclave's health ministry says.

The figure includes 3,324 children.

10:36 AM
The New Arab Staff

Palestine Red Crescent says Israel threatens to bomb Gaza City's al-Quds Hospital

The Palestine Red Crescent Society says Israel has threatened to bomb the al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City.

The Red Crescent says it "has just received serious threats from the occupation authorities to immediately #evacuate al-Quds Hospital in the #Gaza Strip, as it is going to be #bombarded".

"Since this morning, there have been raids 50 metres away from the hospital," the humanitarian group adds.

10:17 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's Netanyahu says wasn't warned of planned Hamas attack

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu takes a jab at his intelligence chiefs on the X platform, saying they never warned him Hamas was planning its wide-scale 7 October attack, but later retracted his comments and issued an apology.

The remarks, posted on X at 01:00 on Sunday (around 23:00 GMT on Saturday), caused a political uproar and a rift within Netanyahu's war cabinet.

Israel's military spokesperson, asked about Netanyahu's comments during a daily briefing with reporters, declined to respond, saying: "We are now at war, focused on the war."

Netanyahu's now-deleted post had said: "At no time and no stage was a warning given to Prime Minister Netanyahu regarding war intentions of Hamas. On the contrary, all security officials, including the head of army intelligence and the head of the Shin Bet, estimated that Hamas was deterred and interested in an arrangement."

In a second post on X about 10 hours later, Netanyahu wrote: "I was wrong," adding that his remarks "should not have been made and I apologise for that".

"I give full backing to all the heads of the security branches," he said.

Netanyahu's initial comments were quickly rebuked by current and past allies, including Benny Gantz, a former defence minister who is now in Netanyahu's war cabinet.

Gantz said on X that Netanyahu should retract what he said and let the matter go.

"When we are at war, leadership must show responsibility, decide to do the right things and bolster the forces in a way that they can carry out what we demand of them," Gantz said.


9:55 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Turkey celebrates centenary in shadow of Gaza war

Turkey marks its centenary as a post-Ottoman republic with somewhat muted celebrations held in the shadow of Israel's escalating war on Gaza.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is front and centre of day-long events that both honour the secular republic's founder and play up the achievement of the Islamic-rooted party that has run Turkey since 2002.

"Our country is in safe hands, you may rest in peace," Erdogan says after laying a wreath at the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk - the Turkish military commander whose legacy the current president has vied with during his two-decade rule.

Ataturk is lionised across Turkish society for driving out invading forces and building a brand new nation out of the fallen Ottoman Empire's ruins in the wake of World War I.

Turkey was formed as a Westward-facing nation that stripped religion from its state institutions and tried to forge a modern new identity out its myriad ethnic groups.

But Ataturk's social and geopolitical transformation of the overwhelmingly Muslim nation created divisions that weigh on Turkish politics to this day.

9:50 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli army says 'increased' troop numbers inside Gaza

The Israeli army has raised the number of troops fighting inside the Gaza Strip, a spokesman says, as the military steps up its war on the besieged Palestinian enclave.

"Overnight we increased the entry of IDF [Israeli army] forces into the [Gaza] Strip, and they joined the forces already fighting there," military spokesman Daniel Hagari says in a televised briefing.

On Friday evening, Israeli armoured forces and infantry began operating inside Gaza in what Defence Minister Yoav Gallant called "a new phase" of the war.

9:34 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

UN chief warns Gaza growing more desperate 'by the hour'

UN Secretary-General António Guterres warns the situation in Gaza is declining rapidly as he repeated desperate appeals for a ceasefire to end the "nightmare" of bloodshed.

"The situation in Gaza is growing more desperate by the hour. I regret that instead of a critically needed humanitarian pause, supported by the international community, Israel has intensified its military operations," Guterres says on a visit to Nepal's capital Kathmandu.