Gaza hit by sixth comms blackout as US strikes Yemen again

Gaza hit by sixth comms blackout as US strikes Yemen again
Gaza has suffered another comms blackout amid Israel's war. The US carried out a fresh strike Saturday on a Houthi target in Yemen, US Central Command said.
30 min read

This live blog on Israel's war on Gaza has concluded. Make sure to follow us for the latest news on Facebook, X, and Instagram.

Gaza has suffered yet another communications blackout amid Israel's brutal war on the strip.

Service provider Paltel said on Friday that it "regrets to announce that all telecom services" in the Palestinian enclave "have been lost due to the ongoing aggression".

"Gaza is blacked out again," it posted on social media platform X.

Internet watchdog NetBlocks said live metrics show Gaza is experiencing a "near-total internet blackout".

"Telecom services including landline, cellular, and WiFi are likely to be unavailable to most residents at the present time," the monitor posted on X.

The current blackout is the sixth since Israel's war on the strip began.

Featured images: Getty

This live blog has now concluded
4:58 AM
The New Arab Staff

This live blog on Israel's war on Gaza has concluded. Make sure to follow us for the latest news on Facebook, X, and Instagram.

IN PICTURES: Gaza amid Israel's brutal war
4:46 AM
The New Arab Staff

Here are three images depicting Gaza amid Israel's brutal war on the strip. The photographs are courtesy of Getty Images.

MAP sharing just 'fraction' of what Gaza team witnessing
3:52 AM
The New Arab Staff

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) is able to share just a small portion of what its staff in Gaza are seeing.

MAP advocacy and campaigns director Rohan Talbot says: "I think it bears saying that the violations we are able to share online from [Medical Aid for Palestinians] are only a fraction of what our team in #Gaza are witnessing."

He adds on X that there "simply aren't enough hours in the day to process them all".

"So many stories of violations and indignities untold," he says.

Talbot continues: "And the West Bank! Unprecedented brutality and destruction but we can't do justice to it. We are barely scratching the surface of what is being done to the Palestinian people in this terrible moment."

US strikes Houthi radar site in Yemen, US military says
3:28 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US forces conducted a strike against a Houthi radar site in Yemen, the American military said late on Friday, adding the latest action aimed to degrade the Houthi movement's ability to attack maritime vessels.

"This strike was conducted by the USS Carney (DDG 64) using Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles and was a follow-on action on a specific military target associated with strikes taken on Jan. 12 designed to degrade the Houthi's ability to attack maritime vessels, including commercial vessels," the US Central Command said in a statement on X, formerly Twitter.

The latest strike occurred early on Saturday local time in Yemen.


US rep. links end of ship attacks with stopping Gaza bombing
2:58 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Democratic US Congressman Hank Johnson suggests stopping the bombing of the Gaza Strip, adding that this would end attacks on commercial vessels.

"I have what some may consider a dumb idea, but here it is: stop the bombing of Gaza, then the attacks on commercial shipping will end," he says on X.

"Why not try that approach?"

Yemen's Houthi rebels have been attacking shipping in the Red Sea over the Gaza war.

Johnson represents the US state of Georgia's fourth congressional district.

Foiled Denmark terror plot had 'links to Hamas', police say
2:33 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A terror plot foiled in December by the Danish police and intelligences services had links to Hamas, Danish police said on Friday.

Danish prosecutor Anders Larsson has confirmed that the case "has links to Hamas", Danish police told AFP in an email.

The prosecutor was speaking in Denmark's Eastern High Court on Friday. But the case was heard behind closed doors and the statement gave no other details.

Police said on 14 December that they had arrested three people in Denmark suspected of planning a "terror" attack but provided no other details.

A total of seven are now suspected of involvement.

Over 150 killed between Thu, Fri afternoons: Gaza ministry
2:14 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Gaza health ministry has said 151 Palestinians were reportedly killed between Thursday and Friday afternoons, per an update from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

There were a further 248 reportedly injured.

US officials: America strikes Houthi location deemed threat
1:56 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The US has launched a new strike against a Houthi location in Yemen that was determined a threat, two US officials tell The Associated Press.

It comes as the Reuters news agency separated cites two US officials as saying on Friday that the American military is carrying out an additional strike against the Houthis in Yemen.

(AP, Reuters)

US officials say Washington carries out new strike in Yemen
1:28 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The US military is carrying out an additional strike against the Houthis in Yemen, a day after launching a wave of attacks on nearly 30 locations in the country to degrade the rebels' ability to strike Red Sea shipping, two US officials told Reuters on Friday.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, declined to provide further details.


US, UK targeting Yemen's Sanaa, Houthi TV channel reports
1:10 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The US and UK are targeting the Yemeni capital Sanaa with raids, the Houthi rebels' TV channel al-Masirah reports early on Saturday.


Warning sirens sound in Israeli town near Gaza, army says
12:52 AM
The New Arab Staff

Warning sirens sounded in the Israeli town of Netiv HaAsara near the Gaza Strip, the country's army says.

UN aid chief Griffiths calls anew for Gaza ceasefire
12:34 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The UN aid chief on Friday said he was "deeply alarmed" by Israeli ministers' statements about "plans to encourage the mass transfer" of Palestinian civilians from the Gaza Strip to third countries and he called anew for a ceasefire.

"Unless we act, it will become an indelible mark on our humanity," Martin Griffiths, the UN undersecretary for humanitarian affairs, told the United Nations Security Council.

"I reiterate my call for this council to take urgent action to bring this war to an end."

Griffiths painted a dire picture of a worsening humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip as Israel presses its war.

Quoting Gaza's health ministry, he said that more than 23,000 Palestinians have been killed and more than 58,000 injured since Israel launched the campaign.

The "horrific" situation created by the "relentless" Israeli operation can be seen in the displacement of 85 percent of Gaza's 2.3 million Palestinians "forced to flee again and again as the bombs and missiles rain down", Griffiths continued.

"We are deeply alarmed by recent statements by Israeli ministers regarding plans to encourage the mass transfer of civilians from Gaza to third countries, currently referred to as 'voluntary relocation,'" he said.

Such statements, Griffiths said, raise concerns "about the possible forced transfer or deportation of the Palestinian population from the Gaza Strip" in violation of international law.


Live Story
Martin Griffiths is the UN aid chief [FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty]
Biden says Yemen's Houthi rebels are a 'terrorist' group
12:03 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US President Joe Biden on Friday called Yemen's Houthi rebels a "terrorist" group, after American and British warplanes, ships, and submarines launched dozens of airstrikes across Yemen overnight.

Biden said Washington will respond to the Houthis if they continued behaviour that he called "outrageous".

The Iran-backed Houthis have been attacking shipping at the mouth of the Red Sea – one of the world's busiest trade lanes – in what they say is a protest against Israel's war on Gaza. The attacks have forced shippers to change course and take longer routes.

"I think they are," Biden told reporters on Friday when he was asked if he was willing to call the Houthis a "terrorist" group.

"We will make sure that we respond to the Houthis if they continue this outrageous behavior along with our allies," he added.

The White House said earlier on Friday the United States does not want war with Yemen but will not hesitate to take further action.

"It's irrelevant whether they're designated [as terrorists]. We've put together a group of nations [that] are going to say that if they continue to act and behave as they do, we'll respond," Biden told reporters.


Biden cites concern of impact of ME war on oil prices
11:55 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US President Joe Biden said he was concerned about the impact of war in the Middle East on oil prices, which rose on Friday after the US and Britain launched dozens of airstrikes across Yemen on Houthi targets.

Oil rose one percent on Friday as an increasing number of oil tankers diverted course from the Red Sea following the strikes.

"I am very concerned," Biden told reporters on Friday when asked how concerned he was about the impact of the strikes in Yemen on oil prices, suggesting that impact was a key reason why the conflict should be stopped from widening.

"That's why we got to stop it."

Brent crude futures settled 88 cents, or 1.1 percent, higher at $78.29 a barrel. The session high was up over $3 to more than $80, its highest this year.


Joe Biden is the US president [Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post/Getty-archive]
UN chief warns against escalation after strikes on Houthis
11:51 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called on all sides "not to escalate" the volatile situation in the Red Sea, his spokesman said on Friday after Washington and London launched strikes on Yemen's Houthi rebels.

The barrage of strikes early on Friday against the Houthis, who say they are acting in solidarity with Gaza, follow weeks of disruptive rebel attacks on Red Sea shipping and has stoked fears of the war in the strip spreading regionwide.

"The secretary-general further calls on all parties involved not to escalate even more the situation in the interest of peace and stability in the Red Sea and the wider region," said Guterres's spokesman Stéphane Dujarric.

Live Story
Death toll from bombing near Rafah crossing rises to 10
11:24 PM
The New Arab Staff

The death toll from the Israeli bombing of a home east of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt has risen to 10, Palestinian media report.

There are also dozens of people wounded.

CPJ warns of risk of total 'devastation' of Gaza's reporters
10:57 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) warns of the risk to Gaza's reporters as the war in the enclave carries on.

"The longer the Israel-Gaza war continues, the more likely we are to see the complete devastation of Gaza's journalist corps," says CPJ Middle East and North Africa programme director Sherif Mansour.

"After 100 days of fighting, Israel's longstanding record of impunity in journalist killings must face public scrutiny by allowing international media and international investigators uncensored access to Gaza.

"The killings of journalists by the Israeli army must stop now."

The Gaza war entered its 99th day less than an hour ago.

The Gaza war has taken a heavy toll on journalists [Harun Ozalp/Anadolu/Getty]
Two Israel battalion commanders injured in Gaza
10:04 PM
The New Arab Staff

Two Israeli battalion commanders have been wounded in Gaza, Israeli news outlet Walla reports.

They belong to the 8226th and 363rd battalions.

Houthis mistakenly target tanker 'carrying Russian oil'
9:40 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Houthi militants mistakenly targeted a tanker carrying Russian oil in a missile attack on Friday off Yemen, British maritime security firm Ambrey said.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) organisation said it had received a report of a missile being fired 90 nautical miles southeast of Yemen's port city of Aden.

"The master reported a missile landing in the water 400-500 metres away, and being followed by three small craft," the UKMTO advisory note said, adding that there were no injuries or damage.

Ambrey said: "This was the second tanker mistakenly targeted by the Houthis whilst carrying Russian oil."

Yemen's Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have launched wave after wave of exploding drones and missiles at Western commercial vessels in the Red Sea since 19 November, in what they say is a protest against Israel's war on Gaza.

The United States and Britain carried out strikes from the air and sea against Houthi military targets in Yemen overnight. Iran ally Russia denounced the strikes and called for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council.

"A Panama-flagged tanker sighted three skiffs while transiting eastbound through the International Recommended Transit Corridor," the Ambrey report said, adding that the vessel reported a missile hitting the water.

Ambrey assessed that the vessel was mistakenly targeted based on outdated publicly available information linking the vessel to the United Kingdom.

"This appeared to be five months old but was still listed as UK-affiliated on a public maritime database," the report said.


Israel forces kill three Palestinian men in West Bank
9:13 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli forces have killed three Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli army claimed the men had infiltrated a settlement and fired upon soldiers.

Israel's Army Radio said the soldiers were attacked while patrolling the settlement of Adora and they returned fire, killing three men.

One 34-year-old Palestinian man involved in the attack was injured with a shot to the leg, Israel's rescue services said, without providing more information.

It comes amid a deadly escalation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, where more than 330 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers since 7 October, when the Gaza war broke out.

There are more than 700,000 Israeli settlers living in the West Bank.

Settlements violate international law.

6 killed after Israel aircraft strike east of Rafah crossing
9:01 PM
The New Arab Staff

Six Palestinians killed in Israeli bombing in Gaza have arrived at al-Najjar Hospital, Palestinian media report.

Israeli aircraft struck a residential home east of the strip's Rafah crossing with Egypt.

UN aid chief calls anew for Gaza ceasefire
8:49 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The UN aid chief on Friday said he was "deeply alarmed" by recent statements by Israeli ministers about "plans to encourage the mass transfer" of Palestinian civilians from Gaza to third countries and he called anew for a ceasefire.

"Unless we act, it will become an indelible mark on our humanity," Martin Griffiths, the UN undersecretary for humanitarian affairs, said in a briefing to the UN Security Council.

"I reiterate my call for this council to take urgent action to bring this war to an end."


Reports of shipping being approached near Aden, UKMTO says
8:34 PM
The New Arab Staff

The UK's Maritime Trade Operations agency (UKMTO) has received "multiple reports" of merchant shipping being approached by small boats near Aden in Yemen.

"Two small boats are reported to have followed a merchant vessel for over an hour," UKMTO says.

"The merchant vessel reported no weapons were sighted.

"Vessels are advised to transit with caution and report any suspicious activity to UKMTO."

Gaza on 'brink of famine', says Action Against Hunger
7:49 PM
The New Arab Staff

Gaza is "on the verge of a devastating famine", Action Against Hunger says on the 98th day of Israel's war on the strip.

The NGO says in an emailed press release that it is "deeply concerned" by the "continuing levels of catastrophic hunger faced by people in Gaza, many of whom are on the brink of famine".

It adds that a "staggering" 80 percent of those around the world facing famine or catastrophic levels of hunger are in the Palestinian enclave, adding that a lasting ceasefire is "urgently needed" so humanitarian groups can get to those in need and prevent disaster.

"Our priority is for safe, sustained, and sufficient access to vulnerable people to ensure they have the basic necessities to survive," says Chiara Saccardi, Action Against Hunger's regional head of operations in the Middle East.

"The entire population of Gaza is displaced, hungry, thirsty, and many are sick and injured. The situation is beyond desperate and conditions are preventing us from meeting these vital needs on the scale required.

"We are deeply concerned about this, as we should have improved access and protection during armed conflict. Many more people will die of hunger and disease if there is not an immediate ceasefire and an increase in aid."

Israel kills Palestinian in West Bank, PA ministry says
7:40 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli military has killed a 19-year-old man in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Authority's health ministry says.

The ministry posts on Telegram that Khaled Ahmed Zubaidi died as a result of a "severe assault" in the town of Zeita near the city of Tulkarm in the territory's north.

PSC announces Little Amal puppet at tomorrow's London march
7:05 PM
The New Arab Staff

A 12-foot puppet called "Little Amal" will appear at the UK's national pro-Palestine march in London tomorrow, one of the organising groups says.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign says in a press release that Amal, who represents a 10-year-old Syrian refugee, will be accompanied by a group of Palestinian children to highlight the impact of Israel's bombardment on children in Gaza.

The well-known puppet's name means "hope" in Arabic. The Walk Productions, a not-for-profit company, produces Little Amal's journeys.

Amir Nizar Zuabi, artistic director of The Walk Productions and a Palestinian, said: "Amal has become a symbol of the vulnerability and resilience of the millions of people that met her or followed her journey.

"On Saturday, Amal walks for those most vulnerable and for their bravery and resilience.

"Amal is a child and a refugee and today in Gaza childhood is under attack, with an unfathomable number of children killed.

"Childhood itself is being targeted. That’s why we walk."

The puppet has travelled to 15 countries since July 2021, being welcomed by millions online and on the street in that period, according to Little Amal's website.

UN decries 'systematic' blocking of aid to N. Gaza hospitals
6:51 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel is consistently blocking humanitarian convoys into northern Gaza, making it increasingly difficult to bring desperately-needed fuel and other aid to hospitals there, the United Nations said on Friday.

After planning aid missions to the north, UN agencies said their convoys were subjected to slow and unpredictable inspections and then a near-systematic refusal from the Israeli side to proceed.

"Operations in the north [are] increasingly more complicated," Andrea De Domenico, head of the UN aid agency OCHA's office in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Speaking from Jerusalem to a virtual press briefing, he described how detailed coordination was required with a network of checkpoints, and "the Israelis have systematically, or quasi-systematically, refused" to let them through.

In recent days, he said the agency had had three missions partially approved out of 21 requested.

Lucia Elmi, special representative for the UN children's agency UNICEF in the Palestinian territories, also lamented that "we can't get sufficient aid in".

"The inspection process remains slow and unpredictable, and some of the materials we desperately need remain restricted, with no clear justification," she said.

De Domenico said the Israeli military was particularly wary about allowing fuel into the north, and especially to hospitals.

"They have been very systematic to not allow us to support hospitals, which is something that is reaching a point of a level of inhumanity that for me is beyond comprehension," he said.

The UN's World Health Organization meanwhile said that it had finally on Thursday managed to reach Al-Shifa hospital in the north for the first time in over two weeks, after seven failed attempts.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on X, formerly Twitter, that the mission allowed for the delivery of desperately-needed aid, including 9,300 litres of fuel.

He hailed that "the team reported that Al-Shifa, previously Gaza's premier hospital, has [partially] re-established services".

The hospital, which WHO described as "a death zone" after it largely ceased operations following raids and occupation by Israeli troops in November, now has 60 medical staff, Tedros said.

It also has "a surgical and medical ward with 40 beds, an emergency department, four operating theatres, basic emergency obstetric and gynaecologic services".

Football's Asian Cup opens in Qatar with nod to Gaza war
6:39 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Friday's opening ceremony of the Asian Cup drew attention to the Gaza war, with Palestine's captain taking the stage for the players' oath and Palestinian music at the beginning and end.

Ahead of the opening game between hosts Qatar and Lebanon at the 88,000-capacity Lusail Stadium, home captain Hassan Al-Haydos introduced his Palestinian counterpart Musab Al-Battat to deliver the players' oath, traditionally taken by the host nation's captain, on his behalf.

Battat wore the traditional Palestinian keffiyeh headscarf along with his team tracksuit.

There was Palestinian music at the start of the colourful ceremony and a part of their anthem was played at the conclusion.

The Palestinian team will kick off their Asian Cup campaign against Iran on Sunday.

Red Crescent says Gaza comms blackout makes work harder
6:11 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) says communications with its teams have been "completely cut off" in Gaza for several hours, making reaching the injured quickly tougher.

"This disruption increases the challenges facing the PRCS's emergency services... in reaching the wounded and injured promptly," the humanitarian group posts on social media platform X.

PRCS says communications with its teams are down because of "the Israeli occupation cutting communication and internet services".

Internet watchdog NetBlocks said earlier this afternoon that live metrics show Gaza is experiencing a "near-total internet blackout".

"Telecom services including landline, cellular, and WiFi are likely to be unavailable to most residents at the present time," the monitor posted on X.

Service provider Paltel also said telecommunications were unavailable.

"We regret to announce that all telecom services in [the] Gaza Strip have been lost due to the ongoing aggression," it wrote on X.

"Gaza is blacked out again."

The current blackout is the sixth since Israel's war on the strip began.

UNSC to hold an emergency meeting over Yemen
5:26 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Friday afternoon over the strikes carried out by the United States and Britain against Houthi rebels in Yemen, the chamber's presidency said.

France, which holds the rotating presidency for the month of January, said the emergency meeting had been requested by Russia, and that it would take place after a previously scheduled meeting on the situation in Gaza.

US and British forces struck rebel-held Yemen early on Friday after weeks of disruptive attacks on Red Sea shipping by the Iran-backed Houthis, who say they are acting in solidarity with Gaza.

On Wednesday, the Security Council had adopted a resolution demanding the "immediate" halt to the Huothi's attacks, noting the right of member states to defend ships against such attacks.

Russia and China abstained from the vote, which passed 11-0.

The United States, Britain and eight other nations referred to the Security Council resolution in a joint statement issued after the overnight strikes on Yemen.

VIDEO: Pro-Palestine demonstrators at The Hague
4:49 PM
The New Arab Staff

Watch pro-Palestine protests at The Hague as South Africa accuses Israel of genocide.

Video credits: Rabeea Eid.

Protests outside ICJ at The Hague
4:22 PM
The New Arab Staff

Large pro-Palestine demonstrations were organised outside the International Court of Justice on Friday as the court in the Gaza genocide case heard Israel's defence.

Photos courtesy of Rabeea Eid.

UKMTO receives report of incident in Red Sea near Aden
3:55 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) organisation received a report on Tuesday of an incident in the Red Sea near Yemen.

A UKMTO advisory note said an incident had been reported around 90 nautical miles southeast of Yemen's port of Aden and that authorities were investigating.

Yemen's Iranian-backed Houthi militants, who control much of Yemen, have launched wave after wave of exploding drones and missiles at commercial vessels since November 19, in what they say is a protest against Israel's military operations in Gaza

UAE voices concern over consequences of attacks on Red Sea
3:30 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United Arab Emirates has expressed grave concern over the consequences of attacks on shipping in the Red Sea, the Gulf state's official news agency said on Friday.

It added that the UAE stressed the importance of maintaining security in the region and the interests of its countries. 

Yemenis stage protests following UK, US attacks
3:17 PM
The New Arab Staff

Thousands of Yemenis have gathered in several cities across the country as their leaders condemn US and UK attacks on their country in retaliation for attacks by Houthis on Red Sea shipping.

"Your strikes on Yemen are terrorism," said Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a member of the Houthi Supreme Political Council, referring to the US, reported Al Jazeera.

US, UK interests 'legitimate targets' after strikes: Houthis
3:08 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US and British interests are "legitimate targets" for Yemen's Houthis after a series of strikes overnight, the Iran-backed rebels said on Friday.

"All American-British interests have become legitimate targets for the Yemeni armed forces in response to their direct and declared aggression against the Republic of Yemen," the Houthis' Supreme Political Council said in a statement on their official media.

Jordan blames Israel for escalation after Yemen strikes
3:03 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Jordan said Friday Israel's war in Gaza was responsible for soaring tensions, after US and British forces struck Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels, adding to fears of regional war.

In comments published by official news agency Petra, Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi warned the international community against allowing the Israeli government's "hatred and racism to drag the region" into conflict.

"Israel's brutal aggression against Gaza" and violations of Palestinians' rights "pose the greatest threat" to regional stability, Safadi said.

He added that the kingdom was "keeping a close eye on the developments in the Red Sea".

"The international community is at a crossroads in terms of security, morality, law and humanitarianism," Safadi said, describing a choice between ending the Israel-Hamas war or risking wider conflict.

Telecommunications blackout in Gaza: report
2:52 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Gaza is currently experiencing a telecommunications blackout across the Strip, according to multiple reports.

Gaza's internet and phone services have been cut several times throughout the war, ongoing for over three months.

Oman condemns US, UK strikes in Yemen
2:44 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Oman condemned American and British strikes on targets in rebel-held Yemen on Friday, warning of the risk of escalating conflict in the region.

Oman, a mediator in attempts to end Yemen's long-running civil war, expressed its "worry" at the strikes on Houthi rebel military targets that, according to the Houthis, left five people dead.

The Gulf sultanate "can only condemn the use of military action by friendly countries" while Israel continues to wage its war in the Gaza Strip, a foreign ministry spokesman said, according to official media.

"Oman has warned several times about the risk of the extension of the conflict in the region due to the ongoing Israeli aggression against the Palestinian territories," it said.

Egypt's Azhar supports for South Africa's ICJ genocide case
1:53 PM
The New Arab Staff

Egypt's Al-Azhar institution has voiced full support for South Africa in its International Court of Justice (ICJ) ongoing case against Israel, which accuses it of committing genocide against the Palestinians.

In a statement released on Thursday, 11 January, the Cairo-based Azhar, also the region's highest Sunni Islamic authority, said that "South Africa's stance reflected the will of the free world and the human conscience, rejecting the atrocities committed by Israel against innocent Palestinians."

Read more here.

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Spain will not participate in Red Sea missions
1:44 PM
The New Arab Staff

Spain said it does not plan to participate in any potential European Union naval mission aimed at safeguarding Red Sea shipping routes from attacks by Yemen's Houthis, the AFP has reported.

Spanish Defence Minister Margarita Robles, speaking to the media in Madrid, said, "We don’t know yet if the European Union is going to do a new mission." However, she clarified that even if such a mission is launched, Spain will not be involved in the Red Sea operation because the country is already engaged in 17 other missions.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad condemn US-led strikes on Yemen
1:39 PM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas and the Islamic Jihad condemned the US-led airstrikes on Yemen.

“While we highly value the position of Yemen and its heroic people in standing with our Palestinian people in the battle of Al-Aqsa Flood, we affirm that the brutal aggression against Yemen is an uncalculated act of terrorism, carried out under the influence of the Zionist occupation and its extremist Nazi leadership, and will only increase tensions in the region,” Hamas said in a statement.

The Islamic Jihad group said the attacks "confirm that the US administration is the one conducting the genocidal war against the Palestinian people in Gaza."

Morocco's liaison office in Tel Aviv launches new services
1:26 PM
The New Arab Staff

Morocco's liaison office in Israel officially launches its services in Rabat's first public move vis-à-vis its diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv since the start of the Gaza war. 

"The Liaison Office of the Kingdom of Morocco in Tel Aviv announces to all Moroccan citizens living in Israel and to foreigners requesting visa entry to Morocco that starting from 22nd January 2024, all various consular services should be submitted through the online platform," reads a statement published Wednesday.

Read more from The New Arab's Morocco correspondent Basma El Atti here.

Live Story
Israel presented 'already debunked lies': Palestine official
1:05 PM
The New Arab Staff

Palestinian foreign ministry official, Ammar Hijazi, told journalists outside the ICJ that Israel failed to present any substantial arguments grounded in facts and law.

“What Israel has provided today are many of the already debunked lies,” he added, in response to Israeli claims that hospitals in Gaza were being used as military bases.

“Additionally, we think that what the Israeli team today has tried to provide is the exact thing that South Africa came to the court for – and that is, nothing at all justifies genocide.”

South Africa says Israel failed to disprove Thursday case
12:43 PM
The New Arab Staff

"The state of Israel today has failed to disprove South Africa's compelling case", the South African delegation has said in a press conference at The Hague after the ICJ hearing of Israel's defence concluded.

South African Justice Minister Ronald Lamola referred to South Africa's Thursday presentation at the ICJ that "stands by the facts, the law, and all the evidence we [South Africa] have submitted yesterday.

Rish Sunak won't recall parliament to vote on Yemen strikes
12:38 PM
The New Arab Staff

The spokesperson for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated that he does not plan to reconvene parliament or submit military actions in Yemen to a vote, saying that he is under "no obligation" to do so.


Gaza death toll: 23,708 killed, more than 60,000 wounded
12:33 PM
The New Arab Staff

The health ministry in Gaza said on Thursday at least 23,469 people have been killed by Israel since 7 October.

The ministry said another 59,604 people were also wounded in the more than three months of fighting.

Iraqi militia targets US base in northeast Syria
12:31 PM
The New Arab Staff

The "Islamic Resistance in Iraq" announced Sunday evening that it had targeted the American Qasrak base in northeast Syria with drones, as well as a military target in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

As part of the continued approach “to resisting the American occupation forces in Iraq and the region, and in response to the Zionist entity’s massacres against our people in Gaza, the fighters of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq attacked the occupied Qasrak base in the Syrian countryside of Hasakah with drones,” the group said.

It vowed to continue destroying “the enemy’s strongholds.”

ICJ hearing concludes
12:28 PM

ICJ President has ended Friday's proceedings after the Israeli defence representatives concluded their speeches.

The ICJ ruling on South Africa's call for provisional measures is expected in a few weeks.

Noam: 'irreparable harm"irreparable' do not apply to Israel
12:21 PM
The New Arab Staff

Gilad Noam argues that the criteria for imposing provisional measures – specifically "irreparable harm and urgency" – do not apply in the case of Israel's war on Gaza.

He claims that Israel mitigated the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, leaving no need for these measures.

Noam also claims Israel has fulfilled all its legal responsibilities, and describes the nine provisional measures proposed by South Africa as "unwarranted and prejudicial."

 “In contending with its challenges, Israel remains committed to abiding by international law,"  Noam concluded the Israeli defence at the ICJ.

Gilad Noam starts speech, challenging 'provisional measures'
12:00 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel’s deputy attorney general Gilad Noam has started his defence of Israel against South Africa's genocide case at the ICJ.

Noam says South Africa did not prove that "provisional measures" would protect Palestinians in Gaza from harm.

Staker: provisional measures 'not within the court’s power'
11:50 AM
The New Arab Staff

Staker has centered his argument on the provisional measures proposed by South Africa, which the ICJ will rule on in a few weeks.

“Can provisional measures require a state to refrain from exercising a plausible right to defend itself?” Staker asked the court, arguing that these measure would prevent Israel from protecting its civilians and rescuing in Gaza.

Staker also said that South Africa is trying to force a unilateral ceasefire by Israel and that this would allow Hamas to be "free to continue attacks, which it has a stated [intent] to do."

Staker that imposing such provisional measures is "not within the court’s power" under the Genocide Convention.

Pro-Palestine protests start at The Hague
11:41 AM
The New Arab Staff

Videos and pictures of pro-Palestine protests at The Hague, as the ICJ hearing of Israel's defence resumes, are being shared on social media.

Israel says South Africa ceasefire request is 'astonishing'
11:35 AM
The New Arab Staff

Christopher Staker, an international lawyer, is now representing Israel's defence at the e ICJ.

Staker started his speech by saying that South Africa's request for Israel to immediately cease its continuous bombardment of civilians in Gaza is "astonishing."

Sender claims Israel allows enough fuel, supplies into Gaza
11:30 AM
The New Arab Staff

Sender, representing Israel at the hearing, claims that Israel satisfies the legal criteria for taking actions to protect the rights of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

He further claims that Israel has facilitated the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza and has imposed no limits on the quantity of water allowed into the Gaza Strip. According to Sender, food trucks have been permitted access to the region, and the sick and injured have been allowed to cross into Egypt.

Multiple international organisations overseeing Rafah the border situation have accused Israel of halting the supply of water and food to the besieged area, starving its population.

While Sender claimed that Israel has allowed a sufficient amount of fuel, healthcare professionals and NGOs operating on the ground have reported multiple times that injured people, including babies in incubators, died due to the inability to operate medical equipment due to Israel's. limitations on fuel entry through the Rafah border.

US-led airstrikes on Yemen kill 5 and injures 6
11:27 AM
The New Arab Staff

U.S.-led airstrikes on Yemen killed at least five and wounded six.

The US says the airstrikes come in response to Houthi rebels attacks on Red Sea shipping, which the Houthis say are aimed at pressuring Israel to end its war in Gaza.


Omri Sender defends Israel at the ICJ hearing
11:22 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israel’s representative Omri Sender, a lawyer who works for S Horowitz & Co in Tel Aviv and an external advisor to the delegation, has now taken the floor at the ICJ hearing.

Raugan claims Israel did not bomb hospitals
11:17 AM
The New Arab Staff

Raugan claims Israel has not bombed hospitals, and that the killing of wounded patients only occurred as a “result of hostilities” in the “vicinity” of hospitals.

She added the Israeli military provides warnings before they attack civilians.

Raguan blames Hamas for Gaza death toll
11:12 AM
The New Arab Staff

Raguan, the acting director of the international justice division at Israel’s justice ministry argues that "urban war will always result in civilian harm.

Raugan asserted that Israel does not consider its killing more than 23,000 civilians in Gaza and displacing 90% of its population as genocidal acts.

Raguan claims that Hamas exacerbates civilian casualties by operating within civilian areas, including schools and hospitals.

Human rights organizations have accused Israel of deliberately targeting civilian infrastructures, such as locations with journalists and health personnel.

Raguan, however, seems to suggest that these incidents are either unintentional or a result of Hamas's tactics.

Galit Raguan takes the floor at the ICJ hearing
10:59 AM
The New Arab Staff

Hearing at the ICJ has resumed with Galit Raguan representing Israel in the case.

Coffee break at ICJ
10:31 AM
The New Arab Staff

Joan Donoghue has announced a quick break. The hearing is to resume in roughly 10 minutes.

Shaw argues South Africa is presenting a 'unispute'
10:20 AM
The New Arab Staff

Shaw criticised comments by South Africa's representative, Professor Duggard, who spoke on Thursday, referring to a "dispute" between Palestine and Israel, labelling it as a one-sided "unispute".

Shaw also questioned South Africa's assertions that they attempted to reach out to Israel for dialogue. Shaw claimed that Israel was the party seeking bilateral talks, while South Africa chose to pursue the case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Shaw added that if South Africa had accepted Israel's offer for dialogue, both parties might have concluded that there was no dispute warranting court proceedings.

Saudi Arabia dismisses foreign forces rumours
10:08 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Ministry of Defense in Saudi Arabia has dismissed rumours about the presence of foreign forces being present at King Fahd Air Base in Taif, Brigadier General Turki Al-Maliki, the spokesperson for the ministry, has said on Friday according to Al Arabiya.

VIDEO: Voices from outside The Hague
9:56 AM
The New Arab Staff

The New Arab was in the Hague as South Africa brought a case to the ICJ accusing Israel of committing genocide in its military action since the 7 October.

We Interviewed Jeremy Corbyn a member of Parliament of the United Kingdom and Yasmine a French student activist to hear their views on the historic session at the International Court of Justice.

Watch here

Malcolm show starts speaking at ICJ hearing
9:52 AM
The New Arab Staff

International law expert Malcolm Shaw, Israel’s next legal representative at the ICJ hearing, has now taken the floor.


Becker levels criticism against South Africa for Hamas ties
9:46 AM
The New Arab Staff

Legal advisor of the Israeli foreign ministry Tal Becker says that South Africa maintains 'close ties with Hamas' despite being recognised as a terrorist organisation by many countries.

He claims that Hamas makes use of civilian infrastructure and fails to adequately safeguard its civilian population. 

Becker frames the Israeli operations in Gaza as necessary measures for the defence and safety of the civilian population.

Israel to present footage of 7 October at the ICJ hearing
9:40 AM
The New Arab Staff

 Israel's legal team plans to present footage of the attack by Hamas on October 7. 

"It is impossible to understand the armed conflict in Gaza without appreciating the nature of the threat that Israel is facing and the brutality and lawlessness of the armed force confronting it." Tal Becker, the legal adviser of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said.

Israeli defence speakers at The Hague
9:32 AM
The New Arab Staff

These are the members of the Israeli defence team, as listed by Haaretz, who will speak at the ICJ hearing:

  • Tal Becker: Legal advisor of the Israeli foreign ministry
  • Malcolm Shaw: International law expert
  • Galit Rajuan: Israeli justice ministry
  • Omri Sander: External advisor to the delegation
  • Christopher Staker: International law expert
  • Gilad Noam: Israeli deputy attorney general for international affairs
Israel says South Africa 'weaponises' the term genocide
9:20 AM
The New Arab Staff

The legal adviser of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs is making the opening statements for Israel's defence at the ICJ hearing at The Hague.

Becker argues that South Africa has depicted a "distorted factual and legal picture" in their case. He accuses South Africa of trying to "weaponise" the term genocide against Israel. 

Becker criticises the case South Africa presented on Thursday for "ignoring" the events that took place on 7 October. 

Israel says its war is an act of 'self-defence'
9:10 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israel says that its war on Gaza, which has killed 23,000 Palestinians, is a form of self-defence in response to an attack by Hamas on October 7.

The revised death toll indicates that this attack killed 1,139 people.

The International Court of Justice in The Hague has begun a two-day hearing focused on South Africa's accusations of genocide committed by Israel.

Israel presents its defence on Friday at the International Court of Justice, aiming to counter South Africa's claims that it has been engaging in genocide in Gaza.

UN says Israel 'paralyses' aid entry into Gaza
8:01 AM
The New Arab Staff

The latest report from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), says that the organization's aid operations are hindered by Israel's refusal to grant access.

In the first 11 days of 2024, only five of the 24 scheduled aid deliveries, including food, medicines, water, and other vital supplies to northern Wadi Gaza, were completed.

The report states, "Humanitarian partners were forced to cancel or delay missions in two instances due to excessive delays at Israeli checkpoints or because the agreed routes were unpassable." It further notes that of the five missions permitted, only two could completely deliver their aid.

It concludes, "The ability of humanitarian partners to respond to the extensive needs in the northern part of Gaza is being curtailed by recurring denials of access for aid deliverers and lack of coordinated safe access by the Israeli authorities. These denials and severe access constraints paralyse the ability of humanitarian partners to respond meaningfully, consistently and at-scale."


Israel releases a Red Crescent worker after 51 day
7:56 AM
The New Arab Staff

After 51 days in custody, Israel has freed a worker from the Palestinian Red Crescent.

The director of the Khan Younis Ambulance Centre was released at the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing, as confirmed by the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Awni Khattab was detained by Israeli forces at the Wadi Gaza checkpoint on 22 November. He was part of a convoy, including ambulances and UN buses, transporting injured patients from Gaza City's al-Shifa Hospital to southern hospitals.

During his detention, Khattab's location remained undisclosed, causing significant concern for the humanitarian organization, which expressed deep worry about his well-being in December.

Israel to start its defence against genocide case at ICJ
7:48 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israel is soon expected to counter the accusations of genocide in Gaza, as presented by South Africa to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

A team of Israeli officials and legal experts associated with the government is set to present their defence in The Hague shortly.

On Thursday, South African attorneys laid out a robust case against Israel.

Stay tuned to our live page for all the latest updates from The Hague.