Gaza enters Ramadan amid Israeli strikes, siege

Gaza enters Ramadan amid Israeli strikes, siege
The beginning of Ramadan comes on the 157th day of Israel’s war on Gaza, which has left over 30,000 people dead in the besieged enclave.
13 min read
11 March, 2024

Israel has continued it's bombardment of Gaza on the first day of Ramadan, as hunger persists in the besieged enclave.

Israeli strikes against the Sabra neighbourhood in Gaza city has killed 16 people, according to Palestinian news agency Wafa. Strikes were also reported in Gaza's southern city of Rafah.

The strike comes amid low aid flows into the territory, with the situation in north Gaza putting hundreds of thousands on the brink of famine, at least 20 already having died from starvation.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has doubled down on Israel's war effort, saying that he intends to press ahead with an invasion of Rafah following Biden's comments that such an invasion would be a "red line".

Israel's war on Gaza, which has been ongoing since 7 October, has killed 31,112 Palestinians, injuring a further 72,760.

4:04 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The New Arab's live blog on Israel's war in Gaza has now ended, and will resume tomorrow at 0800 GMT.

Israeli forces attack Palestinians waiting for aid
3:22 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces have reportedly again attacked Palestinians waiting for aid trucks at the Kuwait roundabout south of Gaza City, killing seven people, the Palestinian Wafa news agency reports.

More than 20 people injured in the attack were transferred to the Al-Shifa Medical Complex, Wafa added, citing medical sources.

US military confirms Yemen's Houthis targeting of vessel
2:55 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The US Central Command (CENTCOM) said early on Tuesday that Yemen's Houthis fired two anti-ship ballistic missiles from Houthi-controlled areas into the Red Sea toward merchant vessel Pinocchio, adding that there was no injuries or damage reported.

Israeli forces shoot and kill two men near Tulkarem
1:43 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli military has shot and killed two Palestinian men near the town of Attil, north of Tulkarem in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Wafa news agency reports.

The men were identified Muhammad Jaber and Tawfiq Aed Fawaz Hussein. 

The incident occurred when an undercover Israeli special force, operating from a civilian vehicle, opened a hail of gunfire at two young men inside a commercial shop located at the junction near the town of Attil. The deliberate shooting resulted in both individuals sustaining critical gunshot wounds.

Yemen's Houthis target 'US ship Pinocchio' in Red Sea
12:59 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthis targeted what was described as the "US ship Pinocchio" in the Red Sea, according to a speech of the group's military spokesman Yahya Sarea that was televised early on Tuesday.

The group will escalate their operations in solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza war, Sarea said in the speech. 

90% of Gaza mothers and children are not getting enough food
12:23 AM
The New Arab Staff


More than half a million people are on the brink of famine in Gaza amid reports of death due to malnutrition & dehydration, the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said. 90 percent of mothers and children are not getting enough food & nutrients.

Israel attacks Hezbollah posts in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley
11:55 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli army says its forces attacked two compounds of the Lebanese Hezbollah group in the Bekaa Valley area.

Israel said the targets it struck were associated with Hezbollah’s air capabilities, "which planned and executed various targets towards the territory of the State of Israel", the army said in a post on X.

"The attacks were carried out in response to the operation of Hezbollah aircraft towards the Golan Heights during the past few days."

British forces strike Houthi targets in Yemen
11:05 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Yemen's port city of Hodeidah and other western coastal areas were hit on Monday by at least 17 airstrikes attributed to a US-British coalition defending ships in the Red Sea, according to Al Masirah, the main Houthi-run television news outlet.

The strikes follow the first civilian fatalities and vessel loss since the Iran-aligned Houthis began attacking commercial shipping in November. They also coincide with the first day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, a period of fasting for Muslims.

Al Masirah did not specify which targets, if any, had been hit, but said four of the strikes had been on the port of Ras Issa.

Despite reprisals from the US-British coalition and other navies, the Houthis have escalated their campaign of attacks on commercial vessels in one of the world's busiest shipping lanes, which they say is in solidarity with the Palestinians under attack in Gaza in Israel's war.

Biden says he not scheduled a meeting with Netanyahu
10:44 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US President Joe Biden said on Monday he has not scheduled a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Biden also said he does not have any plans "at this moment" to address the Israeli parliament.

Israeli airplanes strike Lebanon city of Baalbek
9:36 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel has carried out strikes on the Lebanese city of Baalbek, Lebanese media said, for a second time since the war in Gaza began.

The area plays host to Hezbollah, the Lebanese group that has been exchanging fire with Israeli forces since October 8.

Israel says Palestinian killed in WB on way to carry attack
9:25 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's military said on Monday its forces killed a Palestinian from the occupied West Bank who was on his way to "carry out a suicide attack in Israel".

"Muhammad Jabar, a resident of Jenin, was eliminated in the town of Zeita while on his way to Israel in order to carry out a suicide attack in the immediate future. Jabar was armed with a weapon and a ready-to-use explosive device," the military said.

There was no immediate comment from Palestinian officials on the Israeli operation.

Israel has not presented any further evidence to back their claim.

UN's Guterres renews calls for a ceasefire in Gaza
8:51 PM
The New Arab Staff

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has criticised Israel's continued onslaught on Gaza, and has renewed calls for a ceasefire in the war-hit enclave in a statement on X.

"We recently entered the sixth month since the Hamas terror attacks in Israel and the catastrophic Israeli onslaught on Gaza began," he said.

"The eyes of the world are watching. The eyes of history are watching. We cannot look away. We must act to avoid more preventable deaths".

MoH seeks asks Gazans to register casualties online
8:33 PM
The New Arab Staff

The health ministry in Gaza is urging Palestinians in the enclave to register their dead and missing online in an effort to better reflect the true number of casualties of Israel’s deadly war on Gaza, where over 31,000 people have been killed.

The ministry said that after a near-collapse of the health system in Gaza, it has been unable to compile a regularly updated record of all the people who have lost their lives in Israeli military attacks.

Israeli military still unsure if Hamas sr commander killed
7:40 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's military said on Monday it was still trying to confirm whether one of Hamas' top commanders was killed in an air strike on an underground compound in the central Gaza Strip.

Military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said the targeted compound was used by, among others, Marwan Issa, Hamas's deputy military leader. But it was still not clear whether Issa had been killed, he said.

"We are still examining the results of the attack, and we have yet to get final confirmation," Hagari said, adding that it was more complicated to confirm because the target was underground.

Palestine foreign ministry slams restrictions on Al-Aqsa
7:08 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestinian foreign ministry has condemned Israel's restrictions on  worshippers seeking to access the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound today, from which they were barred on Monday as the Muslim world marked the first day of Ramadan.

"The barbed wire on the fence adjacent to #Al_Aqsa and the restrictions on freedom of #worship constitute a deliberate explosion of the entire #conflict arena," the ministry said on X.

Netanyahu meets with India National Security Adviser
6:35 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mt with Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval in a bid to "update" him on the situation in Gaza, Netanyahu’s office says in a post on X.

"The sides also discussed the effort to release the hostages and the issue of humanitarian assistance," his office said.

The Hindu nationalist government of India has stood staunchly behind Israel amid its war on Gaza, with Netanyahu developing warm relation with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.

PCHR: Israeli artillery strike killed colleague on Sunday
5:52 PM
The New Arab Staff

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) says its Deputy Head of the Fieldwork Unit, Yasser Abdel Ghafour, has been killed by an Israeli artillery strike on Sunday.

PCHR said that the attack in the al-Mawasi area west of Khan Younis killed 14 civilians, 10 of whom were members of Ghafour's family. 


Three injured in settler attack in occupied West Bank
4:22 PM
The New Arab Staff

An attack by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank has injured three people, according to Palestinian news agency Wafa

The attack was located in the Masafer Yatta region, south of the city of Hebron, with Wafa reporting that settlers beat Palestinians, resulting in one hospitalisation. 

Israel to work to dismantle UNRWA: Times of Israel
3:14 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli military had decided it will work to dismantle the UN's Palestine refugee agency UNRWA and replace it with an alternative, according to the Times of Israel.

Part of said plans are attempts to work with other groups, such as the UN's World Food Programme. However, it also includes utilising a campaign aimed at discrediting the agency to weaken it and cause its disbandment. 

The campaign has seen Israel accuse UNRWA staff members of being part of Hamas 7 October attack against Israel, but the agency accuses Israel of attaining forced confessions from staff through abuse. 

US Centcom announces aid airdrop into Gaza
3:02 PM
The New Arab Staff

US Central Command (CENTCOM) announced it had conducted an aid airdrop of tens of thousands of meals into northern Gaza as part of relief efforts.

"The join operation included U.S. Airforce C-130 aircraft and U.S. Army Soldiers specialized in areal delivery of U.S humanitarian assistance supplies," CENTCOM announced on X.

"U.S. C-130s dropped over 27,600 U.S. meal equivalents and 25,900 bottles of water into Northern Gaza, an area of great need, allowing for civilian access to the critical aid."

CENTCOM added that it would plan follow up deliveries.

UN chief seeks Gaza truce, massive lifesaving aid deliveries
1:44 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called for a truce in the Israel's war on Gaza and the conflict in Sudan as the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan begins.

He also called for the release of hostages held by Hamas and the removal of "all obstacles to ensure the delivery of lifesaving aid at the speed and massive scale required" to Gaza, where the UN has warned that a quarter of the population are on the brink of famine.

"International humanitarian law lies in tatters," he told reporters. "And a threatened Israeli assault on Rafah could plummet the people of Gaza into an even deeper circle of hell."


Yoav Gallant says 'don't try us' as Ramadan begins
1:07 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's defence minister said Monday that authorities would respect freedom of worship during Ramadan but were "ready" for anyone who might "try us".

"The State of Israel respects the freedom of worship at Al-Aqsa and all holy places," Yoav Gallant said in a video message, referring to the third-holiest site in Islam, located in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.

"The month of Ramadan may be a month of jihad, and we say to everyone not to try us - we are ready, don't make mistakes," he said in the clip posted on his Telegram channel.

His comments came amid concerns about tensions during Ramadan at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, a flashpoint for violence during the Muslim fasting month in past years.

The compound is also Judaism's most sacred site, known to Jews as the Temple Mount.

During Ramadan, Muslims in their tens and even hundreds of thousands pray at the compound.

On Friday a spokesman for the armed wing of the Hamas militant group called on "our people" to mobilise and head towards Al-Aqsa.

Hamas-linked website warns against working with Israel
12:53 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A Hamas-linked website on Monday warned Palestinian individuals or groups against co-operating with Israel to provide security for aid convoys amid the five-month-old war in the Gaza Strip.

Those who did would be treated as collaborators and be handled with an iron fist, the Hamas Al-Majd security website said, quoting a security official in Palestinian militant forces.

"The occupation's attempt to communicate with the leaders and clans of some families to operate within the Gaza Strip is considered direct collaboration with the occupation and is a betrayal of the nation that we will not tolerate," the website said, quoting the official.

"The occupation's [Israel] efforts to establish bodies to manage Gaza are a 'failed conspiracy' that will not materialize."

The warning came in response to Israeli media reports that Israel was considering arming some Palestinian individuals or clans in Gaza to provide security protection for aid convoys into the besieged enclave. The Israeli Prime Minister's office has declined to comment on the report.

With civil order increasingly strained in Hamas-run Gaza and police refusing to provide security to convoys because of the risk of being targeted by Israeli forces, the issue of secure distribution of desperately needed food and other supplies has become a major problem.

(Reuters & The New Arab Staff)

Dutch election winner Geert Wilders meets Israeli president
12:23 PM
The New Arab Staff

Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders said on Monday he had met with Israeli President Isaac Herzog and pledged his full support to Israel in fighting terrorism.

Wilders, who is aiming to lead a new government after his nationalist PVV party won elections in November, has long been a staunch supporter of Israel.

Wilders has unsuccessfully tried to form a government since the elections. The main parties trying to form a governing coalition will meet again on Monday in an effort to agree on what form a possible cooperation could have.

The Israeli president was in the Netherlands to attend the opening of a Holocaust museum in Amsterdam on Sunday. At the opening ceremony, Herzog called for prayers for peace and the immediate release of hostages taken by Hamas during its 7 October attack on Israel and still held by the Islamist militants.

Wilders posted a picture on X of his meeting with Herzog and wrote: "I told him I am proud that he visits the Netherlands and that Israel has, and always will have, my full support in its fight against terror".

Jordan concerned over Israeli al-Aqsa restrictions
11:38 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said on Monday restrictions imposed by Israel on Muslim worshippers' access to Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound during the Muslim fasting month was pushing the situation towards an "explosion".

In remarks on state media, Safadi said his country rejected Israel's announced move to limit access to the holy site during Ramadan, citing security needs with war raging in Gaza.

Jordan echoes the Palestinian view that such restrictions were an attack on freedom of worship, he said. 


Hezbollah says stages multi-drone strike on Israeli outpost
11:18 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Lebanon's pro-Iranian Hezbollah group said on Monday it launched a multi-drone attack on an Israeli air defence outpost across the border in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

It said the rare attack, in which it deployed four drones, hit their target with "accuracy" in what it said was another operation in support of Gaza.


Missile-related incident reported off Yemen's Hodeidah
11:01 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A missile-related incident has been reported west of Yemen's Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, British maritime security firm Ambrey said on Monday.

Separately, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency said it had received a report of an incident 71 nautical miles southwest of Yemen's port of Saleef.

Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthis have been attacking ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since November in what they say is a campaign of solidarity with Palestinians during Israel's war with Hamas in Gaza. 


Israeli drones dropping leaflets over south Lebanon
9:27 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli drones are reportedly dropping leaflets over the town of Al-Wawzani. 

The leaflet says "Oh people of the south! Hezbollah is putting you, your families and your homes in danger, and is hiding its fighters and weapons in civilian areas."

Israeli media reports Hamas deputy could have been killed
9:21 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli army is investigating whether Marwan Issa, the deputy head of Hamas armed wing, was killed in a strike in the Gaza Strip, according to Israeli publication Haaretz.


Gaza ministry of health: 67 killed in 24 hours
9:18 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The health ministry in Gaza said on Monday that 67 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli strikes on the enclave in the past 24 hours, adding that a further 106 were injured.