Gaza: Harris expresses concern over war in meeting with Gantz, bombings continue

Gaza: Harris expresses concern over war in meeting with Gantz, bombings continue
Gaza's famine comes as Israeli strikes continue across the enclave, with intensive peace talks occurring in Egypt in a bid to secure a truce before Ramadan.
19 min read
04 March, 2024

An emaciated 10-year-old Palestinian child, Yazan al-Kafarneh, has died from severe malnourishment and insufficient healthcare as medical sources report that the number of children dying due to malnutrition and inadequate treatment in the Gaza Strip has risen to 16.

Al-Kafarneh's His medical condition rapidly deteriorated as famine across the enclave is becoming increasingly dire.

The famine has prompted new warnings by UN aid agency UNICEF, who's regional director for MENA saying that "the child deaths we feared are here and are likely to rapidly increase unless the war ends and obstacles to humanitarian relief are immediately resolved". 

Israel has continued its airstrikes on Gaza's southern city of Rafah, killing 13 people on Monday, as the Ramadan deadline for an Israel assault on the city looms.

Israel's Ramadan deadline for an assault on the city has spurred on peace talks in Egypt, which have entered their second day.

Israel's war on Gaza, which has been ongoing since 7 October, has killed 30,534 Palestinians, with a further 71,920 injured.

4:00 AM
The New Arab Staff

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Lawyers refer Australia MP to ICC for complicity in genocide
3:55 AM
The New Arab Staff

A group of Australian lawyers have accused Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of being an "accessory to genocide in Gaza" and asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to launch an investigation.

The request, endorsed by some 100 Australian lawyers, outlined five actions for the ICC to consider and investigate.

They include decisions by Albanese and his government to freeze $6m in aid to UNRWA, provide military aid to Israel, deploying Australian troops to the region, and permitting Australians to travel to Israel and join the country’s military offensive in Gaza.

Eight people killed in Israeli attack on Khan Younis home
2:54 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

An Israeli air attack on a home in Khan Younis in southern Gaza has killed at least eight people and injured several more, the Palestinian news agency Wafa news has reported.

Several women and children were killed in the attack on the home belonging to the Al-Faqawi family near the Gaza European Hospital, according to Wafa.

We will bring you updates on this story when we have them.

US says humanitarian situation in Gaza ‘simply intolerable’
2:51 AM
The New Arab Staff

US Department of State spokesman Matthew Miller said that the US is focused on increasing and sustaining aid in Gaza "through as many channels as possible".

"People are desperate for food, for water, for medicine. Parents are facing impossible choices about how to feed their children. Many don’t know when there next meal will come or if it will come at all. The situation is simply intolerable," he told reporters.

Miller also referenced the US military airdropping "38,000 ready-to-eat" meals in Gaza in cooperation with the Jordanian military on Saturday. He said the move was a "first in a series" of humanitarian air drops that the US will be conducting in Gaza.

UNRWA head warns of concerted campaign to end its operation
1:18 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The head of the UN Palestinian refugee agency warned on Monday of "a deliberate and concerted campaign" aimed at ending its operations as Israel accused the organization of employing over 450 "military operatives" from Hamas and other armed groups.

Philippe Lazzarini did not specifically address the latest allegations made by the Israeli military on Monday, but he called out Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for "openly stating that UNRWA will not be part of post-war Gaza."

"UNRWA is facing a deliberate and concerted campaign to undermine its operations, and ultimately end them," Lazzarini - head of the

UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) - told the UN General Assembly.

"The implementation of this plan is already underway with the destruction of our infrastructure across the Gaza Strip," he said. "Dismantling UNRWA is short sighted. By doing so, we will sacrifice an entire generation of children, sowing the seeds of hatred, resentment, and future conflict."

Lazzarini told the 193-member assembly that UNRWA was "functioning hand-to-mouth" after 16 countries paused a total of $450 million in funding when Israel in January accused 12 UNRWA staff of taking part in the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas militants.

Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian teen near Hebron
11:02 PM
The New Arab Staff

A sixteen-year-old Palestinian teenager was injured by live bullets fired by the Israeli forces Monday evening in the al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron, the Palestinian news agency Wafa said.

The outlet said that forces stationed at the entrance of the camp opened fire at residents in the area, shooting and injuring a 16-year-old boy in the thigh.

The minor was transferred to a hospital by the Palestine Red Crescent ambulance.

VP Harris voices Gaza concerns in talks with Netanyahu rival
10:47 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US Vice President Kamala Harris expressed "deep concern" over the situation faced by Gaza's civilians in talks Monday with Benny Gantz, an Israeli war cabinet member and top rival of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

A day after she delivered some of the most stinging US criticism of Israel since the war began, Harris called for Israel to let in more aid to the Palestinian territory, while also urging Hamas to accept a six-week ceasefire deal.

The meeting with Gantz, a centrist former military chief, underscored growing frustration from the White House at the way Netanyahu's right-wing government is pursuing the war, which has left tens of thousands of dead and created a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.

Harris met with Benny Gantz, calling for a ceasefire in Gaza [Getty]
Ships entering Yemeni waters must obtain permit: Houthis
9:31 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Ships will have to obtain a permit from Yemen's Houthi-controlled Maritime Affairs Authority before entering Yemeni waters, Houthi Telecommunications Minister Misfer Al-Numair said on Monday.

Houthi militants have repeatedly launched drones and missiles against international commercial shipping in the Gulf of Aden since mid-November, saying they are acting in solidarity with Palestinians against Israel's offensive in Gaza.

The near-daily attacks have forced firms into long and costly diversions around southern Africa, and stoked fears that the Israel-Hamas war could destabilise the wider Middle East. The United States and Britain have bombed Houthi targets in response.

Mahmoud Abbas arrives in Turkey for Gaza talks
8:50 PM
The New Arab Staff

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has arrived in Turkey for a number of meetings, including one with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Palestinian official’s visit will take three days, and he is accompanied by the secretary-general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Hussein al-Sheikh, according to the Wafa news agency.

Abbas is expected to sit down with Erdogan on Tuesday, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki had said earlier.

Multiple deaths reported after Israeli attack in Khan Younis
8:48 PM
The New Arab Staff

Multiple people have been killed following an Israeli bombing that targeted a house near the European Hospital, east of Khan Younis, Al Jazeera Arabic reported.


UNRWA says Israel authorities tortured detained staff
8:09 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, said on Monday that Israeli authorities had tortured some of its staff members during interrogations.

"Some of our staff have conveyed to UNRWA teams that they were forced to confessions under torture and ill-treatment" while being asked about Hamas's October 7 attack on Israel, the agency said in a statement to AFP.

UN chief denies silencing report on 'Hamas sexual violence'
8:06 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has denied trying to suppress a UN report on sexual violence by Hamas against Israelis during the October 7 attacks, his spokesman said Monday.

"The work was done thoroughly and expeditiously. In no way, shape or form did the secretary-general do anything to keep the report 'quiet.' In fact, the report is being presented publicly today," Guterres's spokesman Stephane Dujarric told AFP.

Yemen rebels claim strike on Israeli-affiliated ship
7:57 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A Liberian-flagged vessel was targeted and reportedly struck off Yemen, maritime security firm Ambrey said Monday, adding that the ship had been listed as "Israeli-affiliated".

Yemen's Iran-backed Huthi rebels, who since November have fired drones and missiles at numerous ships in the Red Sea area vital for world trade, claimed responsibility for the latest incident.

They say their campaign is in solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip where Israel is battling Hamas militants.

"The vessel was listed as operated by the Israeli company ZIM Integrated Shipping Services," Ambrey said but added "this may have been an out-of-date affiliation".

It said the "container ship was targeted approximately 88 miles (163 kilometres) southeast of Aden, Yemen" en route to Djibouti from Singapore.

"The vessel was reportedly struck and issued a distress signal," Ambrey said.

US embassy in Israel says one of its employees has died
7:25 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

An American employee of the US embassy in Israel has died, an embassy spokesperson said on Monday, without offering any further details.

"We can confirm the death of an American employee of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. We have no further details to share," the spokesperson said.

An Israeli police spokesperson was not immediately reachable for comment.

Hamas 'unsure' how many hostages are still alive in Gaza
7:04 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A Hamas leader said Monday that the Palestinian movement doesn't know how many of the hostages taken to the Gaza Strip in its October 7 attack on Israel are still alive.

"Of the prisoners, we don't know exactly who among them are alive or dead, killed because of strikes or hunger," Bassem Naim, a senior Hamas leader, told AFP from Cairo.

"There are prisoners held by numerous groups in multiple places" across the Palestinian territory, he said, nearly five months into the war waged by Israel, which has killed over 30,000 people.

Naim, a former health minister in Gaza, said that "a ceasefire is necessary so that we can carry out (checks) on this issue regarding the names, numbers and their status whether alive or dead."

The issue of hostages is central to the ongoing negotiations in Cairo for a truce in Gaza.

3-Hezbollah affiliated paramedics killed in Israel strike
6:50 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Three paramedics affiliated with Hezbollah were killed in an Israeli strike on south Lebanon Monday, the group said, amid escalating cross-border hostilities in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war..

The Hezbollah-affiliated Islamic Health Committee said three volunteers died "due to a direct Zionist attack on an emergency centre" in south Lebanon's Adaysseh.

The deaths came hours after Israeli medics said a missile strike on northern Israel killed a foreign worker and wounded seven others.

Lebanon's health ministry condemned the Israeli raid "in the strongest terms" and called attacks on medical personnel "unacceptable", in a statement carried by the state-run National News Agency.

Hezbollah on Monday claimed several attacks on Israeli military positions, while local media reported Israeli attacks on a number of locations in south Lebanon.

The Israeli military said "numerous launches were identified crossing from Lebanon", adding that it "struck the sources of the launches", while "fighter jets struck a number of Hezbollah military compounds in southern Lebanon".

Belgium sends transporter to drop aid into Gaza
6:20 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Belgium on Monday sent a military transport plane to join an international operation to drop aid in war-ravaged Gaza also involving the United States, France and Jordan, officials said.

The aid was taken to Jordan, where Israeli officials were to inspect it before allowing an airdrop to take place on Wednesday at the earliest, said the commander of the air base outside Brussels where the aircraft took off.

"We are not deciding when we go in, we are being told when we can go in and we will abide by that," Colonel Bruno Beeckmans told AFP. "It's absolutely a no-go fly zone because it's a war zone. So we need to be precisely coordinated."

The military Airbus A400M transporter was to make another flight from Brussels to Jordan's Zarqa air base outside Amman, to take in more more aid and personnel for the drop.

Zarqa has been a hub for what Belgian Defence Minister Ludivine Dedonder called a "humanitarian coalition for Palestine".

Colonel Beeckmans said he did not want to airdrop aid into the sea in Gaza [Getty]
Houthis say they targeted 'Israeli ship MSC SKY'
5:45 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Sarea said on Monday the Iran-aligned group had targeted the "Israeli ship MSC SKY" in the Arabian sea.

"The naval forces of the Yemeni Armed Forces carried out a targeting operation against an Israeli ship MSC SKY in the Arabian Sea with a number of suitable naval missiles, and the hit was accurate and direct," Sarea said in a televised speech.

Sarea said the incident happened hours after a separate operation by Yemen's Houthis in which they targeted a number of U.S. warships in the Red Sea.

"Through these two operations, (we) confirm our ability to target warships and non-warships simultaneously," he said, vowing to continue the attacks on ships passing Yemen until Israel's offensive against Gaza was halted.


Palestine's UN rep tells UN of Gaza famine
5:19 PM
The New Arab Staff

Palestine's representative to the UN, Riyad Mansour, told the UN General Assembly of the plight of Palestinians in Gaza, detailing the famine that is currently ongoing in the enclave.

"Israel is starving our children, orphaned, disabled, terrorized," he said, adding: "Have you seen the images of Palestinian children as their lives were taken away? or their limbs? Have you seen them shivering, scared, scarred? Have you seen them being starved?"

"This has to stop. For God's sake, this has to stop," he said. 

UNGA in session to debate US Gaza veto, UNRWA funding
5:05 PM
The New Arab Staff

The UN General Assembly (UNGA) is now in session to debate the US veto of a UN resolution on a ceasefire for Gaza on 20 February.

The session will also see a briefing from UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini.

Lebanese elderly couple killed by Israel memorialised
4:21 PM
William Christou
South Lebanon

The family of Hassan Hamdan and Manar Abadi, an elderly couple killed in an Israeli airstrike on 28 February, memorialised their relatives over the weekend in their hometown of Kafra, south Lebanon.

Hamdan, 73-years old and his wife Abadi, 63-years-old, had left to Beirut to avoid the ongoing clashes between Hezbollah and Israel which started in the wake of Hamas's 7 October surprise attack.

They returned to Kafra on 28 February without telling their children, eager to check on their land and home after weeks of time away. The couple arrived in Kafra at 4 pm, and at 10 pm, were killed by an Israeli airstrike.

The home was completely leveled, with trees flattened and the doors of store fronts up to 300 meters away crumpled from the force of the blast.

"We heard a warplane before the strike, which is usual, but this time it was flying low – which means they want to strike. I've been fixing the damage to the store all day," Mohammed, an employee of a hardware store opposite Hamdan's house, told The New Arab.

You can read the rest of the article from The New Arab's William Christou here.

WHO chief reveals 'grim findings' from agency's Gaza visit
4:12 PM
The New Arab Staff

World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus revealed what he called the "grim findings" from the WHO's visit to Al Awda and Kamal Adwan hospitals in northern Gaza, noting there were "severe levels of malnutrition, children dying of starvation, serious shortages of fuel, food and medical supplies, hospital buildings destroyed."

"We appeal to Israel to ensure humanitarian aid can be delivered safely and regularly. Civilians, especially children, and health staff need scaled-up help immediately. But the key medicine all these patients need is peace. Ceasefire."

EU's Borrell calls for 'immediate ceasefire in Gaza'
4:03 PM
The New Arab Staff

The EU's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said he was joining calls from US Vice President Kamala Harris in calling for an immediate ceasefire, posting on X that "there should be no obstacle for a UNSC (UN Security Council) resolution to that effect." 

"Time for the UNSC to act," he added.

Emaciated child dies from lack of food, medicine in Gaza
3:36 PM
The New Arab Staff

Yazan al-Kafarneh, an emaciated 10-year-old Palestinian child, has died from severe malnourishment and insufficient healthcare. 

His medical condition rapidly deteriorated after Israel's imposed a total siege on the Gaza Strip.

"This child's body turned into a skeleton during this war before he died," an Al Jazeera reporter said from inside the hospital where the boy died.

UKMTO receives report of incident 91nm southeast of Aden
3:04 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency said on Monday it had received a report of an incident 91 nautical miles southeast of the Yemeni city of Aden.



Hundreds of Palestinian families flee Gaza's north for food
2:32 PM
Sally Ibrahim

Contrary to their hopes of remaining at their homes, hundreds of Palestinian families fled from the north of the besieged Gaza Strip, heading south to escape death by starvation in light of increased restrictions by Israel.

Walking long distances by foot under continual Israeli bombing and gunfire, families show signs of exhaustion, fatigue, fear and noticeable weight loss. 

Separately speaking to The New Arab, several families described the situation as horrific, adding, "We are dead in any case, whether we are in the north or the south (...), so I would rather die by Israeli bombing than starve."

Umm Mohammed, who was at a Jabalia camp in the northern Gaza Strip, told TNA that she had attempted to remain steadfast and stay at home until the end of the war, but the threat of death for her and her four children forced her to leave.

"For five months, my children have not been able to eat the food that helps them move forward in life (...) We have no flour, no bread, no fruits, no vegetables, or any meat or poultry," she said. 

Read more about the ongoing famine in Gaza from The New Arab's Sally Ibrahim here.

Hochstein warns against wider Hezbollah Israel war
1:30 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US Special Envoy Amos Hochstein said on Monday that a limited war across Lebanon's southern border would not be containable.

Hochstein is on a one-day visit to Beirut as part of diplomatic efforts to end exchanges of fire between Hezbollah and Israel.


Anti-Israeli sentiment mounts in Morocco
1:15 PM
Basma El Atti

In Morocco, tens of thousands protested over the weekend against normalisation with Israel as anger towards Rabat's ties with Tel Aviv intensified amid a growing famine in the Gaza Strip.

On Sunday, 3 March, thousands of protesters flooded the streets of Casablanca, knocking on empty pots in their latest attempt to make their voices heard in the corridors of the Moroccan government. Similar scenes were witnessed in other cities around the North African kingdom.

"We call on Rabat to take a clear position on the war in Gaza (...) and revoke all ties with Israel," Mohamed El-Ouini, an activist in the Moroccan group against normalisation and one of the leading pro-Palestine groups in the country, told The New Arab.

Last week, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, called for an immediate ceasefire of the Israeli "aggression" on Gaza during the 55th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. 

"In the face of the resurgence of military operations and the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, the Kingdom of Morocco reaffirms its consistent positions and urges for the immediate, comprehensive, and lasting cessation of Israeli aggression on Gaza," said the minister. 

Read more about the protests from The New Arab's Basma El Atti here.

Gaza MoH: One million cases of infectious disease in Gaza
12:58 PM
The New Arab Staff

Gaza's health ministry has said it has detected around one million cases of infectious diseases and does not have the facilities to treat them, describing the situation as "extremely catastrophic" in a statement on Monday.

The ministry added that Israel has killed 364 health workers and arrested 269 others, including hospital directors.


Israeli poll shows Israeli's think Netanyahu stalling deal
12:33 PM
The New Arab Staff

According to a new Israeli poll, 45 percent of Israeli's believe Netanyahu is stalling a hostage deal with Hamas for political considerations, while 38 percent believe he is motivated by substantive concerns.

Similar numbers were recorded among Israeli Jews, with 43 percent believing he delaying the deal due to political considerations.

The poll, commissioned by Mati Kochavi, surveyed 1,209 Israeli Jews and Palestinian citizens of Israel, with a 2.8 percent margin of error. 

Hezbollah attack kills one, injures seven in northern Israel
11:01 AM
The New Arab Staff

An attack by Hezbollah on an orchard near the settlement of Margaliot killed one and wounded seven Indian labourers, according to Israeli media. 

The Times of Israel is reporting that the Israeli ambulance service listed two of the injured as being in a serious condition.

Israel has since conducted further airstrikes in Southern Lebanon, targeting the towns of Hula and Markaba, as well as Chihine in Tyre, according to Lebanese media.

Editor's note: The nationality of the foreign workers is being reported as Indian, rather than Thai as initially reported.

Erdogan and Abbas to discuss Gaza aid, Turkish source
10:58 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

President Tayyip Erdogan is set to discuss Turkey's efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during talks this week in Ankara, a Turkish diplomatic source said on Monday.

Erdogan and Abbas will discuss recent developments in Gaza as well as the situation in the West Bank, the diplomatic source said.

"Turkey has been delivering extensive humanitarian aid to Gaza in coordination with Egypt since the beginning of Israel's attacks... Within this scope, humanitarian aid operations will also be discussed during the meetings with President Abbas," the source said.

Speaking at a diplomatic forum in Turkey at the weekend, the Palestinian Authority's Foreign Minister Riyad-al Maliki said Abbas would pay a visit to Ankara on Tuesday and meet Erdogan.


Gaza 'powder keg' could spark wider war: UN rights chief
10:44 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Gaza war is a "powder keg" with the potential to spark broader conflict in the Middle East, UN human rights chief Volker Turk said on Monday.

Turk said it was imperative to do everything possible to avoid a wider conflagration.

"The war in Gaza has already generated dangerous spillover in neighbouring countries," he said in his global update to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

"I am deeply concerned that in this powder keg, any spark could lead to a much broader conflagration. This would have implications for every country in the Middle East and many beyond it."

He said that overlapping emergencies made the spectre of spillover conflict very real.

"The military escalation in southern Lebanon between Israel, Hezbollah and other armed groups is extremely worrying," Turk said.

The UN high commissioner for human rights said almost 200 people had been killed in Lebanon and some 90,000 internally displaced.

There was also extensive damage to health facilities, schools and vital infrastructure.

"Incidents in which civilians, including children, paramedics and journalists, have been killed in attacks must be fully investigated," said Turk.

"It is imperative to do everything possible to avoid a wider conflagration."

Israeli strikes target Lebanese town of Ayta Al-Shaab
9:26 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli aircraft have conducted strikes against homes in the Lebanese town of Ayta Al-Shaab in southern Lebanon. 

According to Lebanon's National News Agency, the attacks damaged property, crops, and power and water networks.

Israeli aircraft have also conducted strikes around Khalil Warde, neighbouring Ayta Al-Shaab. 

Hezbollah claims thwarting of Israeli Lebanon infiltration
9:21 AM
William Christou

Hezbollah claimed to thwart two separate Israeli attempts to enter Lebanese territory late Sunday evening, saying it struck Israeli soldiers "directly" with rockets and artillery shells.

According to a statement by the group, two groups of Israeli forces attempted to cross into Lebanese territory from the town of Ramya along the central part of the Lebanese border and the town of Rmeish in the west.

The two infiltration attempts occurred within half an hour of one another.

This would be the first time that Israeli troops attempted to enter Lebanon since the beginning of cross-border clashes between Israel and Hezbollah in the wake of Hamas's 7 October surprise operation.

Neither Israeli media nor officials made any comment regarding the alleged infiltration attempt.

Clashes over the last seventy-two hours were particularly violent, with Israeli strikes killing nine members of Hezbollah and causing significant material destruction in the border towns of Houla and Blida.

You can read more from about the alleged Israeli infiltration attempt from The New Arab's William Christou here.

'Significant progress' in Cairo talks for Gaza truce
9:13 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Mediators and Hamas envoys have made "significant progress" towards a Gaza truce, Egyptian state-linked TV reported Monday as the talks in Cairo entered a second day.

After weeks of diplomatic efforts, Egypt, Qatar and the United States have been scrambling to lock in a proposed six-week truce in the war between Israel and Hamas before Ramadan starts next week.

The proposal also includes the release of hostages abducted during Hamas's October 7 attack that sparked the war, in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

Al-Qahera News, linked to Egypt's intelligence services, quoted an unnamed senior official as saying: "Egypt continues its intense efforts to reach a truce before Ramadan", the Muslim fasting month which begins on March 10 or 11.

"There has been significant progress in the negotiations," the report said after the latest talks began Sunday in Cairo, without Israeli representation.

According to a senior US official, Israel has broadly accepted terms of the proposed six-week truce, which would also see stepped-up aid deliveries into Gaza.