Gaza: Israel commits another aid distribution point massacre, killing 19, as ceasefire talks stall

Gaza: Israel commits another aid distribution point massacre, killing 19, as ceasefire talks stall
Israel has killed 19 Palestinians at another aid distribution point in Gaza, while negotiations for a ceasefire are still stalling
8 min read

Israeli soldiers reportedly shot and killed at least 19 people as they were waiting at an aid distribution point on Saturday, in Gaza City.

The deadly incident is the latest in a series of cases of Gazan civilians being killed while seeking desperately needed relief supplies.

23 others were also wounded, the Gaza government media office said, while the health ministry said "they were waiting for aid trucks at the Kuwait roundabout" when they were hit by "Israeli occupation army tank fire and shells".

Negotiations for ceasefire talks are stalling, with continuing disputes over the number of jailed Palestinians to be released for every hostage freed by Hamas in any new Gaza truce.

Hamas, which is seeking a permanent ceasefire, an end to the war and the withdrawal of Israeli troops, has reportedly proposed the release of some 100 Israeli captives in phases in exchange for the above, with women and child hostages being released in the first phase.

Al Jazeera is reporting that Israel has rejected Hamas's proposals and is instead demanding the release of all captives without a commitment to ending the war in Gaza.

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant will  arrive in the US for Gaza talks on Sunday, amid growing tensions between the allies over the war in Gaza, particularly over PM Benjamin Netanyahu's threat to invade Rafah, where over one million Gazans have sought refuge.


6:00 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

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

PRCS loses communication with team at Al-Amal Hospital
5:52 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said that it has lost communication with their team at Khan Younis' Al-Amal Hospital due to the VHF wireless communication wave going out service, the NGO said on X on Sunday.

"Note that various land and cellular communication means, as well as internet services, are still disconnected in Khan Yunis Governorate for the 72nd consecutive day," they said.

Al-Amal has been besieged by the Israeli army multiple times throughout the war in Gaza.


Palm Sunday: Christians prevented from accessing Jerusalem
4:18 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces prevented thousands of Christians from the West Bank from accessing Jerusalem to participate in the celebration of Palm Sunday, the P alestinian news agency Wafa said.

Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, presided over the Palm Sunday Mass this morning at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Israeli forces imposed strict military measures at checkpoints surrounding the city of Jerusalem and in the vicinity of the Old City.

US funding cut to UNRWA will ‘compromise access to food’
4:09 PM
The New Arab Staff

The US’s decision to stop funding the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) will have serious implications for Palestinians in Gaza and the region, Philippe Lazzarini warned on Sunday.

"In Gaza, the humanitarian community is racing against the clock to avert famine. As the backbone of the humanitarian response, any gap in funding to UNRWA will compromise access to food, shelter, primary health care & education at a time of deep trauma," Lazzarini, wrote on X.

"Palestine Refugees are counting on the international community to step up support to meet their basic needs."

Israel to no longer approve UNRWA food convoys to north Gaza
3:34 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The head of the UN Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) said on Sunday Israel had informed the UN that they will no longer approve UNRWA food convoys to north of Gaza.

"This is outrageous and makes it intentional to obstruct lifesaving assistance during a man made famine. These restrictions must be lifted," UNRWA head Philippe Lazzarini said on social media platform X. 

Syrian national killed by Israeli strike on east Lebanon
2:32 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

An Israeli strike on a car near the Syrian border killed a man Sunday, a security source said, after overnight fire wounded four people in Lebanon's east, according to an AFP correspondent.

"Israeli fighter jets targeted a vehicle in the eastern Bekaa area of Suwairi, killing its Syrian driver," a security source told AFP, requesting anonymity for security concerns.

Earlier on Sunday, Lebanon's state-run National News Agency had said a strike on a vehicle in Suwairi injured the driver, before reporting that he had been killed.

The NNA said he had been delivering food in a car that belonged to a supermarket owner.

German FM travels to Middle East, calls for more Gaza aid
2:27 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is travelling to the Middle East on Sunday because not enough help is getting to Gaza and the Israeli government must open the border crossings to a lot more aid, she said in a statement.

Ahead of her trip to Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian territories, Baerbock said every aid crate sitting on trucks in front of Gaza's border fences is one too many.

"Air drops or sea bridges are not a sustainable solution," the green party politician said, adding that military action has its limits in international humanitarian law. 

Sisi meets Guterres in Cairo, discuss Gaza, Rafah
1:05 PM
The New Arab Staff

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has met UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Cairo, where the Egyptian leader praised the UN chief's keenness to adhere to the principles of international and humanitarian law.

He also stressed the necessity for the UN Security Council to fulfil its responsibilities and stressed the danger of some countries having cut funding to the UNRWA, calling it "collective punishment", spokesman Ahmed Fahmy said on Facebook.

The UN chief emphasised Egypt’s efforts to push towards a ceasefire in Gaza, to keep Rafah crossing open over the past months, and to lead the process of delivering aid to the enclave despite severe difficulties.

Syrian national injured in Israel strike in east Lebanon
12:43 PM
The New Arab Staff

A Syrian national has reportedly been wounded by an Israeli strike in east Lebanon, local media reported on Sunday.

Thedrone struck a vehicle in the village of Souairi, the report said.

The village is located in Western Bekaa region, near Lebanon’s border with Syria, where the attack took place.

The wounded person is a worker in the construction sector, according to the official National News Agency, which said that he was transported to a hospital in the area.

UN says aid to Gaza 'requires Israel removing' obstacles
11:41 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said Sunday in Cairo that delivering the necessary aid to famine-threatened Gaza "requires Israel removing the remaining obstacles and chokepoints to relief".

Following a visit to the gates of the besieged Palestinian territory at the Rafah border crossing Saturday, Guterres repeated his call for an "immediate humanitarian ceasefire" to alleviate "the plight of Palestinian children, women and men struggling to survive the nightmare in Gaza".

Israel besieges two more Gaza hospitals
10:58 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli forces besieged two more Gaza hospitals on Sunday, pinning down medical teams under heavy gunfire, the Palestinian Red Crescent said.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said one of its staff was killed when Israeli tanks suddenly pushed back into areas around Al-Amal and Nasser hospitals in the southern city of Khan Younis, amid heavy bombardment and gunfire.

Israeli armoured forces sealed off Al-Amal Hospital and carried out extensive bulldozing operations in its vicinity, the Red Crescent said in a statement, adding: "All of our teams are in extreme danger at the moment and are completely immobilised."

It said Israeli forces were now demanding the complete evacuation of staff, patients and displaced people from Al Amal's premises and were firing smoke bombs into the area to force out its occupants.

CIA, Mossad chiefs leave Qatar following Gaza truce talks
10:40 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US intelligence chief Bill Burns and his Israeli counterpart David Barnea left Qatar late Saturday following talks on a Gaza truce and hostage release deal, a source briefed on the talks told AFP.

The CIA and Mossad chiefs "departed Doha to brief their respective teams back home on the latest round" of talks, the source said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the discussions.

"The talks focused on details and a ratio for the exchange of hostages and prisoners", the knowledgeable source added, explaining that "technical teams remain in Doha".

Israel forces 'raped' Palestinian women in Al Shifa: witness
9:55 AM
The New Arab Staff

Palestinian women have shared testimonies of alleged sexual harassment and rape at the hands of Israeli soldiers in and around the besieged Al Shifa hospital.

The testimony, reported by the Al Jazeera Network, said that Israeli forces kidnapped and killed women in the medical facility, calling it a "war zone".

"They raped women, kidnapped women, executed women, and pulled dead bodies from under the rubble to unleash their dogs on them," Jamila al-Hissi told the broadcaster.

84 Palestinians killed overnight: Gaza health ministry
8:54 AM
The New Arab Staff

The health ministry in Gaza said Sunday that at least 32,226 people have been killed in the territory during more than five months of war waged by Israel.

The toll includes at least 84 deaths over the past 24 hours, a ministry statement said, adding that 74,518 people have been wounded in the Gaza Strip since the war began on October 7.

Gallant to travel to US on Sunday for Gaza talks
8:36 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli defence minister Yoav Gallant will leave on Sunday for talks in the United States, the Israeli government said, amid growing tensions between the allies over the war in Gaza.

Gallant will meet with US counterpart Lloyd Austin, US secretary of state Antony Blinken, national security adviser Jake Sullivan "and additional senior officials", a statement said.

"The parties will discuss developments in the war against the Hamas terrorist organisation in Gaza, efforts undertaken to return the hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, humanitarian efforts and measures required to ensure regional stability," it said.

6 people from same family killed by Israeli strikes in Rafah
8:12 AM
The New Arab Staff

Six bodies have been recovered from underneath rubble in the city of Rafah on Sunday, following a series of Israeli strikes on the southern Gaza city.

The bodies belonged to the same family, the Farwanas, the Palestinian news agency Wafa said.

Among those killed are three children, Al Jazeera said, while remaining family members are critically injured and were rushed to the Najjar hospital in Rafah.