Fleeing civilians stranded in Gaza City, Khan Younis amid heavy Israeli strikes

Fleeing civilians stranded in Gaza City, Khan Younis amid heavy Israeli strikes
Gaza War Day 66: Fleeing civilians are stranded in Gaza City and Khan Younis amid continued Israeli airstrikes and heavy fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas fighters.
25 min read
11 December, 2023

Israeli forces battled Palestinian Hamas fighters in the Gaza Strip's two largest cities on Monday, with civilians still sheltering along the front lines after being displaced by Israel's fierce and indiscriminate bombardment of the besieged territory.

Residents said there was heavy fighting in and around the southern city of Khan Younis, where Israeli ground forces opened a new line of attack last week, and battles were still underway in parts of Gaza City and the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, where Israeli airstrikes have killed scores of people and reduced large areas to rubble.

With very little aid allowed in since Israel imposed a complete siege on the Gaza Strip, Palestinians face severe shortages of food, water and other basic goods. Close to 18,000 people have been killed in Israel's indiscriminate strikes, most of them women and children.

Some observers worry that Palestinians will be forced out of Gaza altogether in a repeat of the 1948 Nakba - when Zionist militias expelled hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their land during the creation of Israel.

At the same time, it's not clear when or if Palestinians would be allowed to return to the north of the Gaza Strip — home to some 1.2 million before the war — where entire neighborhoods have been flattened by Israel's bombs.

The fighting in and around Khan Younis threatens to bring similar destruction to the south, and has already pushed tens of thousands toward the town of Rafah and other areas along the border with Egypt.

It has also hindered the delivery of humanitarian aid to most of Gaza, putting even more pressure on people to head south.

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3:52 AM
The New Arab Staff

This blog is now wrapping up. Thanks to all for following along. The New Arab will be back at 7am GMT with live coverage of the situation in Gaza. 

US submits amendment to UNGA draft resolution
3:32 AM
The New Arab Staff

Al Jazeera is reporting that the US mission to the UN has reportedly submitted an amendment to a ceasefire draft resolution being considered by members of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).

The US’s proposed amendment would add the following sentence:

“Unequivocally rejects and condemns the heinous terrorist attacks by Hamas that took place in Israel starting 7 October 2023 and the taking of hostages.”

The 193 members of the UNGA will vote on potential amendments before voting on a final agreed text at a special session to be held on Tuesday.

A similar amendment put forward by Canada prior to a previous resolution was rejected in a vote by member states in October, said Ayari.

The current proposed draft was put forward by the Arab Group and the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation.

Jewish group light Hanukkah candles outside WH for ceasefire
3:29 AM
The New Arab Staff

IfNotNow says hundreds of people took part in the event in Washington, DC, as Biden held a Hanukkah ceremony at the White House.

“We’re here … calling on Biden & American Jewish leaders to support a lasting ceasefire and end the genocide of Gaza in our name,” the progressive Jewish-American group said in a post on X.

Rights advocates have accused the Biden administration of dangerously conflating Judaism with Zionism, stressing that not all Jewish people support Israeli government policies and that not all criticism of Israel amounts to anti-Semitism.

Biden, who describes himself as a Zionist, said during the Hanukkah event on Monday night that his support for Israel is “unshakeable".

Israel attacking Gaza's past, present and future: historians
3:04 AM
The New Arab Staff

More than 100 Australian historians have signed an open letter decrying Israel’s attacks on Gaza, saying they aim “to destroy Palestinian lives and render it impossible for Palestinians to live in Gaza”.

“As historians we know this as an attack on a people’s past, present and future,” the signatories added, citing Israel’s destruction of universities, schools, cultural institutions, libraries, archives, mosques and churches.

Gaza’s Ministry of Culture last week reported that 28 cultural workers have been killed in the enclave since the war began, including musicians, publishers and folk dancers

Cruise missile from Yemen strikes tanker ship: US officials
2:38 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A land-based cruise missile launched from Houthi-controlled Yemen has struck a commercial tanker vessel, causing a fire and damage but no casualties, two U.S. defenses officials told Reuters on Monday.

The attack on the motor transport STRINDA took place about 60 nautical miles north of Bab al-Mandab Strait, one of the officials said. U.S. Navy destroyer Mason was on scene and rendering aid, the officials said.

Yemen's Houthi movement has been targeting international shipping amid regional tensions over Israel's war on Gaza. On Saturday, the Houthis said they would target all ships heading to Israel, regardless of their nationality, and warned all international shipping companies against dealing with Israeli ports.

It was not immediately clear if the STRINDA had any ties to Israel or if it was heading to an Israeli port.

Biden reaffirms support for Israel, vows continued arms aid
2:31 AM
The New Arab Staff

Speaking during a Hanukkah ceremony at the White House, the US president said his “commitment” to Israel’s “right to exist as an independent Jewish state is unshakeable”.

Biden acknowledged that he has had disagreements with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the years but stressed that his administration continues “to provide military assistance [to Israel] until they get rid of Hamas”.

“But, but – we have to be careful, they have to be careful: the whole world’s public opinion can shift overnight, we can’t let that happen,” he said.

'We want the genocide to end': Bethlehem pastor
1:06 AM
The New Arab Staff

The pastor of a church in Bethlehem has told journalists who attended his service on Sunday to “spread the message”, behind a manger displaying a Christmas nativity scene with baby Jesus lying on a pile of rubble.

“This manger points to the painful and horrifying reality that exists in Gaza today, where a child is killed every 15 minutes,” said Munther Isaac, the pastor of Christmas Evangelical Lutheran Church.

“We want an end to the genocide that is taking place in Gaza,” Isaac added in a post on X.

Vessel ordered to change course for Yemen port: UK maritime
12:59 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Britain's Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency received a report of an entity declaring itself to be "the Yemeni navy" ordering a vessel to alter course to a Yemeni port, it said in a post on X early on Tuesday.

Reports of the vessel being ordered to alter course for Yemen come shortly after a vessel had reported coming under attack 15 nautical miles (28 km) west of Yemen’s port al-Makha (Mocha), which resulted in a fire, though all crew were said to be safe.

In support of Gaza, Houthi rebels in Yemen have warned all international shipping companies against dealing with Israeli ports.

CPJ alarmed by journalist threats, family deaths in Gaza
12:43 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Committee to Protect Journalists says it is “deeply saddened” by the killing of the father of Al Jazeera journalist Anas al-Sharif in an Israeli attack in northern Gaza.

“CPJ is deeply alarmed by the pattern of journalists in Gaza reporting receiving threats, and subsequently, their family members being killed,” the group’s Middle East and North Africa programme coordinator Sherif Mansour said in a statement.

“The killing of the family members of journalists in Gaza is making it almost impossible for the journalists to continue reporting, as the risk now extends beyond them also to include their beloved ones.”

Fire on vessel after attack off Yemen: UK maritime report
12:29 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Britain's Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency said early on Tuesday that it has received a report of an incident affecting a vessel in the vicinity of Bab al-Mandab west of port Mokha in Yemen resulting in fire onboard, a post on X said.

All crew were reported safe, it added.

Iran-supported Houthi rebels in Yemen have attacked several Israeli-linked ships in the Red Sea since the start of Israel’s war on Gaza on October 7.

Only objective is to stop Gaza ethnic cleansing: rights org
11:46 PM
The New Arab Staff

Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, says the “only moral thing to talk about now is ceasefire”.

That includes “ending Israel’s killing of Palestinians & destruction of Gaza; achieving the release hostages; ending the firing of missiles by Hamas into Israel – and flooding Gaza with humanitarian aid”, she wrote in a series of posts on social media.

“The ONLY moral objective right now is preventing Israel from ethnically cleansing Gaza & continuing the genocide of Palestinians.”

CAIR urges probe into Israeli use of white phosphorous
11:17 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has denounced what it called Israel’s “unlawful” use of the incendiary material in civilian areas, citing a Washington Post report documenting the deployment of US-supplied white phosphorus in Lebanon.

“The Israeli government’s reported use of white phosphorus is a horrific war crime that our nation must condemn, investigate and address,” CAIR Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell said in a statement.

“Our nation must also immediately end all material support for the Israeli government’s ongoing human rights abuses against civilians.”

Israel probes police killing of Jewish man in West Jerusalem
10:35 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel’s State Attorney Amit Aisman ordered the Police Internal Investigations Department to conduct the investigation, according to the Times of Israel.

Yuval Castleman was killed by Israeli security forces after he had laid down a gun he had used to kill two Hamas attackers, who had in turn killed three Israelis. Despite raising his hands and falling to his knees, Israeli forces presumed Castleman to be a threat and an officer shot him dead.

There have been numerous past incidents of Israeli forces shooting unarmed Palestinians deemed to be threats but the death of an Israeli Jewish man has put added pressure on the Israeli police to justify their practices.

Activists calling for Gaza ceasefire protest in US Senate
10:20 PM
The New Arab Staff

Several dozen activists calling for the United States to push for a permanent ceasefire between Israel and Hamas briefly protested in a U.S. Senate office building on Monday before police ended the protest and took dozens into custody.

Groups, including the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights and Jewish Voice for Peace organized the protest, which called for the U.S. government to divert funds to domestic priorities such as affordable housing and childcare instead of further arming Israel with U.S. weapons.

One activist was arrested after he climbed up onto a 51-foot (15.5 m) high black steel sculpture by artist Alexander Calder. Others chanted "ceasefire now" and wore shirts with the slogan "invest in life" as they linked arms.

U.S. Capitol Police said they arrested 51 people in total as a result of the demonstration. Reuters images show activists engaging in civil disobedience in Hart Senate Office Building, part of the U.S. Capitol complex where many senators and committees have their offices.

"Funding more death and destruction of human life...makes no one secure, and instead fuels hatred and continued war," Sandra Tamari, executive director of the Adalah Justice Project, one of the groups involved in the protest. "The Senate must heed our urgent demand to stop funding militarism and instead invest in life."

HRW says treatment of Palestinian detainees is war crime
10:14 PM
The New Arab Staff

Omar Shakir, the Israel and Palestine director at Human Rights Watch (HRW), has decried footage showing Palestinians detained by Israel in Gaza stripped to their underwear.

“The Israeli army’s publication of shocking photos of detained Palestinian men in Gaza stripped & blindfolded constitutes ‘outrages upon personal dignity’ — a form of inhumane treatment that amounts to a war crime,” Shakir wrote in a social media post, referring to a section of the Geneva Conventions.

“Perpetrators should be held to account.”

Several family members of men shown in the videos have refuted Israeli claims that they are Hamas members.

Surgeon shot inside Gaza hospital besieged by Israel
9:48 PM
The New Arab Staff

Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) says the surgeon was hurt earlier today by a shot fired from outside al-Awda Hospital.

In a post on X, the group said the hospital has been under “total siege” by Israeli forces since December 5. “Our colleagues report snipers surrounding the hospital, firing on those inside,” MSF said.

“Al-Awda is a functioning hospital with medical staff and many patients in vulnerable condition. Targeting medical workers as they care for their patients is utterly reprehensible, utterly inhumane,” added Renzo Fricke, MSF’s country director.

Attacks at al-Awda Hospital since October 7 have killed five hospital staff, including two MSF doctors, the group said.

Israel must comply with laws of war under US weapons policy
9:43 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel is no exception to U.S. policy that any country receiving its weapons must comply with the laws of war, the State Department said on Monday after Washington sold about 14,000 tank shells to Israel without congressional review.

The Biden administration on Friday used emergency authority under the Arms Export Control Act to allow the $106.5 million sale, the Pentagon said on Saturday.

The U.S. expects every country receiving its military assistance to use it "in full compliance with international humanitarian law and the laws of war, and Israel is no exception," State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told a news briefing on Monday.

Miller was asked if Washington has assessed whether Israel has complied the Biden administration's February 2023 Conventional Arms Transfers (CAP) policy. That requires the State Department to determine arms are unlikely to be used to for genocide, crimes against humanity, breaches of the Geneva conventions or serious violations of international law.

Miller said the State Department had not made such a determination and reiterated the U.S. stance that Israel can do more in the Gaza conflict to minimize civilian harm.

When asked if the United States was collecting any information on whether any war crimes were committed, Miller said: "We are monitoring everything that happens in this conflict. We are engaged in conversations with the Israeli government."

As the war intensified, how and where exactly the U.S. weapons are used in the conflict has come under more scrutiny, even though U.S. officials say there are no plans to put conditions on military aid to Israel or to consider withholding some of it.

Hundreds protest at US mission to UN over Gaza ceasefire
8:55 PM
The New Arab Staff

Hundreds of protesters have gathered outside US mission to UN over Gaza ceasefire veto. The protesters also called called for UN member states to vote in favour of a non-binding resolution set to be put forward tomorrow at the General Assembly.

Israel targets house of Al Jazeera journalist, kills father
8:50 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Al Jazeera TV network accused Israel's army of targeting a residential house in Palestinian Gaza strip belonging to one of its journalists, Anas al-Sharif, resulting in his father's death.

The targeting came after threats to al-Sharif since November, the Qatari-based network said.

"We call on the international community to take urgent measures to stop the occupation army’s massacres of journalists and civilians in Gaza," it said.

Israel to boost security screening to allow more aid in Gaza
8:22 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel on Monday said it will boost security screening of supplies being sent into the Gaza Strip in order to increase the volume of humanitarian aid.

The Israeli military said that the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza will be open for "security screening to increase humanitarian aid for Gaza."

Trucks containing water, food, medical supplies and shelter equipment will be screened there, it said, and then continue to Egypt, from where the supplies will enter Gaza. 

US looking into Israeli use of white phosphorus in Lebanon
8:06 PM
The New Arab Staff

Miller, the State Department spokesman, said the administration is “concerned” by a Washington Post report documenting the Israeli use of US-supplied white phosphorus in Lebanon.

White phosphorus is a highly incendiary, toxic substance that can burn through metal and its use in civilian areas is prohibited under international law.

“Anytime that we provide items like white phosphorus, or really anything to another military, we do it with the expectation that it will be used for legitimate purposes and in full keeping with international humanitarian law and the law of armed conflict,” Miller said.

“So we’re looking into this and looking for additional information.”

In October, Human Rights Watch also said Israel had used white phosphorus in Gaza and Lebanon.

US disagrees with Israel over PA role in Gaza future
7:36 PM
The New Arab Staff

Miller has responded to leaked comments that Israeli PM Netanyahu made to legislators, in which he said that Israel will not allow the Palestinian Authority to return to Gaza.

“The president has been quite clear that we want to see the Palestinian Authority reuniting the West Bank and Gaza, making clear we don’t want to see any Israeli occupation, making clear we don’t want to see a reduction of Gazan territory,” he told reporters.

“So we have laid out the principles that the United States stands by, and we will continue to engage not just with the government of Israel, but with our other partners in the region about how to turn those principles into reality.”

US officials often highlight that they do not see eye-to-eye with Israel on all matters relating to the conflict. But critics say the Biden administration has not taken any meaningful action to hold its Israeli allies accountable for the civilian death toll during its military operations in Gaza.

The White House is seeking $14bn in additional funding for Israel despite growing concerns about Israeli abuses and the mounting death toll in Gaza.

US 'disturbed' by footage of Palestinians in Israel custody
7:28 PM
The New Arab Staff

Matthew Miller, the State Department spokesperson, said the US is seeking clarification from Israel about videos of dozens of Palestinian men detained and stripped to their underwear.

Israeli media accounts described the men as Hamas fighters, but journalists and family members of several of the individuals have stressed that they are civilians.

“We found those images deeply disturbing, and we are seeking more information both about the nature of the images and, of course, why they’re public in the first place,” Miller told reporters

Israeli rights group documents settler attack, olive theft
7:10 PM
The New Arab Staff

A video verified by multiple media sources circulating online shows Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank stealing Palestinian-owned olive crops outside the town of Awarta earlier today.

“After the theft, which was escorted by Israeli soldiers, the settlers proceeded to cut down several trees,” Israeli human rights organisation Yesh Din wrote on X.

Gaza destruction worse than in WWII Germany: EU's Borrell
7:02 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The situation in Gaza is "catastrophic, apocalyptic", with destruction proportionally "even greater" than that which Germany experienced in World War II, the EU's top diplomat Josep Borrell said Monday.

Israel's war on the Palestinian enclave has resulted in "an incredible number of civilian casualties", Borrell said after chairing a meeting of EU foreign ministers.

"The human suffering constitutes an unprecedented challenge to the international community," Borrell said.

"Civilian casualties are between 60 and 70 percent of the overall deaths," based on Gaza health ministry figures, and "85 percent of the population is internally displaced".

"The destruction of buildings in Gaza... is more or less or even greater than the destruction suffered by the German cities during the Second World War," taken proportionally, Borrell said.

Netanyahu: Palestinian Authority wants to ‘destroy’ Israel
6:33 PM
The New Arab Staff

Leaked comments by Benjamin Netanyahu include claims that the Palestinian Authority (PA) seeks to destroy Israel “in stages”.

“The difference between Hamas and the PA is only that Hamas wants to destroy us here and now, and the PA wants to do it in stages,” Netanyahu was quoted as saying in leaked remarks to the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in a closed-door meeting.

Published in Israeli media, Netanyahu said he does not view the Ramallah-based authority as a viable option to rule Gaza following the war, citing its indirect support for “terror” through education and the payment of stipends to  families of “terrorists”.

During the meeting, Netanyahu also said Gaza will be under Israeli military control.

“After the war, a civilian administrator will operate in Gaza and the Strip will be rehabilitated under the leadership of the Gulf states. We will not give in to international pressures."

Jewish Elders group calls on US to ‘stop arming genocide’
6:29 PM
The New Arab Staff

Members of the Jewish Elders for Palestinian Freedom group have chained themselves to the gates of the White House demanding the United States to stop “funding and arming genocide against Palestinians”.

Gallant: Hamas close to ‘breaking point’ in northern Gaza
6:21 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli defence minister has told reporters at a news conference that Hamas fighters have two options: “surrender unconditionally or death”, according to Al Jazeera.

Gallant also said:

“Eliminating Hamas politically and militarily and [returning] the detainees are the goals of the war, and we will implement these goals.”

“We are deepening the achievements and besieging the last strongholds of Hamas in Jabalia and Shujayea.”

"Israel has no intention of staying permanently in the Gaza Strip."

"Israel is open to discussing alternatives as to who will control Gaza after the war, as long as it is not hostile to Israel."

When asked about a report that Israel used illegal white phosphorus munitions during its military operations, Gallant said that his army "operates according to international law".

"Israel is open to an agreement with Hezbollah that would include a safe zone along the border with Lebanon and security agreements".

Number of journalists killed in Gaza rises to 86
6:13 PM
The New Arab Staff

Gaza’s government media office says the number of journalists and media workers who have been killed since October 7 now stands at 86.

The office published the names of those who it said have been “assassinated” by Israel in an attempt to “stifle the truth”.

Among those killed are 10 female journalists

EU to impose sanctions on violent Israeli settlers
5:19 PM
The New Arab Staff

Josep Borrell, the head of foreign policy for the European Union, has announced plans to implement sanctions on Israeli individuals involved in violent acts in the occupied West Bank.

During a press briefing, Borrell stated, "We are initiating measures to sanction extremist settlers in the West Bank."

Gantz calls for removing Hezbollah threat
5:00 PM
The New Arab Staff

Benny Gantz, a member of Israel's war cabinet and leader of a major opposition party who joined an emergency unity government following the war's outbreak in October, has stated in a social media post that Israel needs to "remove threat" from Lebanon's Hezbollah.

“I expressed to the Secretary that heightened aggression and increased attacks by Iranian-backed Hezbollah on Israel demand of Israel to remove such [a] threat from the civilian population of northern Israel,” Gantz, wrote on X following a discussion with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Gantz expressed gratitude to Blinken for the United States' backing at the UN Security Council, especially for the recent US veto that blocked a resolution in support of a ceasefire.

Israel has indicated a potential escalation of its military actions, hinting at expanding its current attacks to include Beirut.

Father of Al Jazeera journalist killed in Israeli strike
4:12 PM
The New Arab Staff

The 67-year-old father of Al Jazeera journalist Anas Al-Sharif has been killed in an Israeli airstrike on his home.

He was living in the Al-Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, which has been subject to repeated Israeli bombardments but was reportedly too frail to evacuate his home. His son was unable to reach the home due to heavy Israeli assaults.

Journalists have been frequent targets of Israeli air strikes and shelling throughout the war, with 56 Palestinian media workers killed since 7 October.

Families of journalists have also been victims of the attacks, with four Gaza-based Al Jazeera journalists losing family members, including children.


More than 18,000 now killed in Israel's Gaza bombardment
4:01 PM
The New Arab Staff

The death toll in Gaza has now passed the 12,000 mark, with the ministry of health reporting on Monday that 18,205 Palestinians have been killed and 49,645 injured since 7 October.

The vast majority of the deaths have been civilians, including civilians.

Lebanon village official killed by Israeli shelling
2:49 PM
William Christou

A local municipal official in southern Lebanon was killed on Monday from Israeli bombing.

Hussein Ali Mansour, 80, was killed when a shell hit him directly in the village of Taibeh near the Israeli border. According to Hezbollah - which has been engaged in cross-border clashes with Israel since Oct. 8 - the shell did not explode.

Photos showed the official's body lying in a pool of blood on his balcony, with the walls shattered from apparent Israeli shelling.

420 Gazans received treatment abroad since Oct 7: ministry
2:48 PM
The New Arab Staff

Around 420 wounded from Gaza have managed to receive treatment at hospitals outside of the enclave since the war began, Gaza's health ministry said.

It did not specify where.

Morocco's PJD joins anti-Israel normalisation movement
1:15 PM
Basma El Atti

In Morocco, activists, citizens and former officials are determined to bring down the normalisation and force the closure of the Israeli liaison office, despite Rabat's nonchalant policy vis-à-vis the growing anti-normalisation demands.

Mustafa Al-Khalfi, former media minister and member of the Justice and Development Party (PJD), has also joined the protest, marking the first time a former official of the PJD government joined a public anti-normalisation protest.

Read the full article here.

Gaza death toll rises to 18,205: health ministry
12:16 PM
The New Arab Staff

The death toll from Israel's bombardment of Gaza since October 7 has reached 18,205, the enclave's health ministry said, with another 49,645 wounded.

In the past few hours alone, more than 200 bodies and double that number of injuries were transported to hospitals, the ministry added.

But it said Israeli forces were blocking wounded patients from reaching hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip, accusing Israel of using medical aid as a weapon of war against Gazans.

The ministry pleaded from medical groups from around the world to send teams and supplies to Gaza.

Neither Iran nor Israel believe in a two state solution: FM
12:10 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The only thing Iran and Israel share is that both do not believe in a two-state solution, Iran's foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Monday via translation at an international forum in Doha.

During the forum, Amirabdollahian reiterated Iran's proposal that a referendum be held to determine the fate of Palestine, with only descendants of those who lived there prior to 1948 being permitted to vote.

Most countries publicly support the creation of a separate Palestinian state alongside Israel. Critics of Israeli policy say its actions are intended to make this impossible.

Russia demands hostages' release in talks with Palestinians
12:09 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov demanded the release of hostages held in Gaza in telephone calls on Sunday and Monday with Hamas and other Palestinian factions, the Russian foreign ministry said.

The statement followed a series of meetings and calls between President Vladimir Putin and Middle East leaders including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The ministry said Bogdanov's conversations highlighted the military and humanitarian situation in Gaza, where Russia "confirmed its principled position on the need to cease hostilities and urgently resolve all humanitarian problems that have arisen, including the release of hostages".

The statement did not make clear whether Russia sought the release of all hostages seized by Hamas on October 7 in southern Israel or just the release of any Russian nationals among them.

The minister spoke to senior figures in the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), the Palestinian Democratic Union, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Hamas.

Bogdanov stressed the need to restore Palestinian unity "in the framework of the PLO" and reaffirmed Moscow's support for a Palestinian state to co-exist alongside Israel, the statement said.

Adapt war strategy to reduce civilian suffering: German FM
12:04 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Germany expects Israel to adapt its military strategy to better prevent suffering among Palestinian civilians, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Monday, adding that too many had already become victims of the conflict.

"We expect Israel ... to allow more humanitarian aid, especially in the north, that its military actions are more targeted and cause fewer civilian victims," the minister said at a news conference in Dubai on the sidelines of the U.N. climate summit.

"The question of how Israel carries out this battle is central to the perspective of a political solution," she said.

France weighing sanctions to address W.Bank settler violence
10:59 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Paris is considering imposing national sanctions on actors involved in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said ahead of a European Union meeting on Monday.

"The situation in the West Bank is worrying us, in particular because of the too numerous cases of violence committed by extremist settlers," Colonna said.

France in recent weeks opened the door for talks among European Union members on potential EU sanctions against Israeli settlers who have targeted Palestinians in the West Bank, but the matter so far hasn't been met with consensus.

More than 20 killed in Israeli strike on Maghazi camp
10:49 AM
The New Arab Staff

More than 20 people were killed in an Israeli airstrike on a building in the Maghazi camp in the Gaza Strip's Deir al-Balah governorate.

Dozens of wounded were rushed to hospitals, as rescuers searched for any survivors.

UAE takes UN council envoys to Rafah amid dire aid warnings
10:29 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A dozen United Nations Security Council envoys were due to visit the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip on Monday, just days after Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned thousands of people in the besieged Palestinian enclave were "simply starving."

The United Arab Emirates arranged the trip to Rafah - where limited humanitarian aid and fuel deliveries have crossed into Gaza - as the 15-member council negotiates a UAE-drafted resolution that demands the warring parties "allow the use of all land, sea and air routes to and throughout" Gaza for aid.

It would also establish a U.N.-run aid monitoring mechanism in Gaza Strip. It was not immediately clear when the draft resolution could be put to a vote.

The United States is not sending a representative on the trip. France and Gabon are also not sending representatives on the trip to Rafah. The French U.N. mission did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Two rockets land near Tel Aviv
10:22 AM
The New Arab Staff

Two of many rockets fired from Gaza landed near Tel Aviv.

Reports said the two missiles landed in Holon and Rishon LeTsiyon. One Israeli was reportedly injured.

Videos shared online purportedly show the damage caused by the rocket attack.

296 medical staff killed since start of war: health ministry
9:10 AM
The New Arab Staff

Gaza's health ministry has said 296 medical staff have been killed from Israel's bombardment since the start of the war on Oct 7.

Palestinians in West Bank go on strike over Gaza war
8:59 AM
Ibrahim Husseini

Palestinians in the occupied West Bank observed a general strike on Monday in protest of Israel's war on Gaza and Washington's opposition to a ceasefire. In occupied East Jerusalem, stores, schools and various institutions were shut. Very few people were seen in the streets. 

The call for strike action went global as activists from around the world issued appeals urging citizens worldwide on X (formerly Twitter) to protest the war on Gaza.

Read the full article here.

Syria: 2 Hezbollah fighters among 4 killed in Israeli raids
8:54 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli strikes overnight near Damascus killed two Hezbollah fighters and two Syrians working with the Lebanese group, a war monitor said Monday.

"Two Lebanese Hezbollah fighters and two Syrian guards" working at one of the Iran-backed movement's sites were killed, while three other fighters and three civilians were wounded, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

'Over 100 Israeli soldiers killed since start of Gaza war'
8:52 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

More than 100 Israeli soldiers have been killed since the beginning of the ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army claimed Monday.

The army told AFP that the number of soldiers killed so far in the operation has reached 101 after three more soldiers died in the conflict.

UN General Assembly meets Tuesday to discuss Gaza
8:47 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The UN General Assembly will meet on Tuesday to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, officials and diplomats said Sunday, after the United States last week vetoed a Security Council resolution for a ceasefire.

A special meeting of the General Assembly has been called for Tuesday afternoon by the representatives for Egypt and Mauritania "in their respective capacities as Chair of the Arab Group and Chair of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation", a spokesperson for the Assembly president said.

According to diplomatic sources, the General Assembly, whose resolutions are nonbinding, could vote on a text for a ceasefire resolution at the meeting.

A draft of the text seen by AFP closely follows the language of Friday's vetoed Security Council resolution, "expressing grave concern over the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip."

It calls for "an immediate humanitarian cease-fire" as well as the "immediate and unconditional release of all hostages."