Israel strike kills 70 in refugee camp as Gaza healthcare near collapse

Israel strike kills 70 in refugee camp as Gaza healthcare near collapse
At least 70 people have been killed in Israeli air raids that targeted residential buildings in a the refugee camp near Deir el-Balah city in central Gaza
19 min read
24 December, 2023

The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza said at least 70 people have been killed in an Israeli air strike that late Sunday hit a number of houses in a refugee camp.

The ministry said the strike destroyed the houses in Al-Maghazi camp in the centre of the Palestinian territory. 

Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said "the number of martyrs from the Al-Maghazi massacre has risen to 70 so far".

Israeli forces said it was "checking" the report.

Earlier Qudra said the strike destroyed a "residential block" and that the "toll is likely to rise" given the large number of families residing there.

In a separate incident, the ministry said 10 members of one family were killed in an Israeli strike on their house in the Jabalia camp in northern Gaza. AFP was unable to verify the toll independently.

Meanwhile, The World Health Organization reported earlier that al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza is struggling to provide emergency care and surgical services due to a lack of fuel, power, medical supplies, and health workers, due to continuous Israeli attacks.

UNICEF said that water and sanitation services in Gaza are on the edge of collapse, posing a high risk of widespread disease outbreaks.

12:38 AM

TNA’s live coverage of the latest from the war on Gaza concludes for today. Join us again at 0800 GMT for updates from the besieged Palestinian enclave.

Algeria calls for nationals to be evacuated from Gaza
11:56 PM
The New Arab Staff

Algerian officials said efforts are underway to evacuate Algerian nationals from the besieged Gaza Strip amid Israel's war on the Palestinian territory.

The families of Algerian nationals in Gaza have issued a series of public appeals, as well as publishing letters addressed to Algerian president Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

A crisis cell established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has since informed representatives of the families their latest updates at the Foreign Ministry headquarters.

“All necessary measures and arrangements have been taken to carry out the evacuation operation in the best conditions," the ministry said.

"The situation of our community in Gaza is being closely monitored, as all necessary measures and arrangements have been taken at the level of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in coordination with the Algerian Embassy in Cairo, in order to begin the evacuation process immediately after obtaining transit permits through the Rafah port before Egyptian authorities."

Nearly 800 Algerians have pleaded to the Algerian embassy in Cairo to demand their evacuation urgently.

Muslim American organisation condemns attack on refugee camp
11:51 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has accused the Biden adminstration's complicity in Israel's "ongoing genocide and ethnic cleansing" of Palestinians, following the killing of at least 70 people in an Israeli air strike on al-Maghazi refugee camp earlier.

“The Biden administration’s callous indifference to – and active support for – the ongoing genocide and ethnic cleansing being carried out by the far-right Netanyahu government will stain our nation’s international reputation for generations to come,” CAIR’s Ibrahim Hooper said in a statement.

“The fact that President Biden admits that he did not even ask for a ceasefire in a recent conversation with Netanyahu speaks volumes about the administration’s heartless and immoral approach to the genocide in Gaza.”

Jordan air drops humanitarian aid in Gaza church
11:48 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Jordanian military carried air dropped its seventh package of humanitarian aid for those trapped inside the Church of St Porphyrius in Gaza- which also included food supplies.

About 800 civilians are said to be held in the church, mostly Palestinian Christians, who have endured hunger and lack of other necessities, according to a statement.

PRCS releases video of injured Palestinians after airstrike
10:01 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has released video on X of its medical teams transporting wounded Palestinians in an ambulance following Israel’s strike on the Maghazi refugee camp.

PRCS posted a later update on the social media platform that relentless attacks by Israeli forces have led to the "closure of main roads between the camps of Al-Bureij, Al-Maghazi, and Al-Nuseirat, hindering the work of ambulances and rescue teams."

Earlier, the Palestinian health ministry reported that the attack killed at least 70 Palestinians.

Danish shipping giant to resume operations in Red Sea
9:42 PM
The New Arab Staff

Denmark’s Maersk is expected to resume shipping operations in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, stating that they are reassured by the launch of a US-led military operation to secure the safety of commerce in the area.

The shipping giant initially halted sending vessels through the Bab al-Mandeb Strait earlier in December due to Houthi-led attacks against its ships. 

“We have received confirmation that the previously announced multinational security initiative … has now been set up and deployed to allow maritime commerce to pass through the Red Sea/Gulf of Aden and once again return to using the Suez Canal as a gateway between Asia and Europe,” Maersk said in a statement.

More updates will be issued in details in the next few days depending on how conditions change, Maersk added.

Health officials say Al-Maghazi death toll rises to 70
9:26 PM
The New Arab Staff

At least 70 people have been killed in Gaza in one of the deadliest attacks of the war, the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza has updated.

Israeli forces have since responded on the recent attack- saying it was "checking" the report.

Earlier Qudra said the strike destroyed a "residential block" and that the "toll is likely to rise" given the large number of families residing there.

In a separate incident, the ministry said 10 members of one family were killed in an Israeli strike on their house in the Jabalia camp in northern Gaza.

Israeli attack on Al-Maghazi camp kills 60: ministry
8:45 PM
The New Arab Staff

An Israeli air strike that targeted al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip has led to the killing of 60 people. 

Palestinian health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qedra said the death toll figures are likely to increase as many others are still buried in the rubble.

“What is happening at the Maghazi camp is a massacre that is being committed on a crowded residential square,” al-Qedra said.

Videos have since surfaced on social media of what is deemed to be the aftermath of the air raids, displaying rows of bodies wrapped in white cloth.


Several killed, wounded in Israeli attack on Al-Maghazi camp
8:39 PM
The New Arab Staff

Local Palestinian outlets have reported an Israeli attack that targeted homes in central Gaza's Al Maghazi camp- leading to dozens killed and wounded.

According to the government media office in Gaza, the Israeli air raids killed at least 66 Palestinians, while injuring others in dozens.

Spain will not join US-led Red Sea coalition
8:01 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Spain said that it would not join a US-led coalition to protect Red Sea shipping from attacks by Yemen's Houthis.

The Houthis have carried out several strikes on Red Sea shipping in what they say is in support of Palestinians during the Israel's war on Gaza.

On Thursday, the Pentagon said 20 countries had joined the Washington-led coalition to protect the key shipping lane.

Spain's government has been ambivalent and on Sunday a spokesman for the defence ministry told AFP that Spain "will not participate".

While no reason was given, the Spanish press said the decision not to participate was driven by domestic politics.

Pedro Sanchez is in the process of putting together a coalition and needs the support of the radical left party Sumar, which opposes US foreign policy.

The Houthis welcomed Spain's stance, with deputy foreign minister Hussein al-Ezzi saying "we highly appreciate Spain's refusal to be drawn into American and British lies on the issue of maritime navigation".

Pentagon spokesman Major General Pat Ryder said on Thursday that coalition forces would "serve as a highway patrol of sorts, patrolling the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden to respond to- -and assist as necessary- commercial vessels that are transiting this vital international waterway".

Pope Francis: 'Tonight our hearts are in Bethlehem'
7:56 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Pope Francis appealed for peace as he kicked off Christmas celebrations with a mass at Saint Peter's Basilica as the Israel's war in Gaza rages on.

"Tonight, our hearts are in Bethlehem, where the Prince of Peace is once more rejected by the futile logic of war, by the clash of arms that even today prevents him from finding room in the world," the pope said to some 6,500 faithful who attended the traditional service.

Francis's address never mentioned Israel or Gaza by name, but he made numerous references to violence and war.

The pontiff argued that justice would not come "from a show of force", adding that Jesus "does not eliminate injustice from above by a show of force, but from below, by a show of love".

"He does not burst on the scene with limitless power," he said, speaking in Italian with an official translation provided in seven languages.

During his weekly Angelus prayer earlier Sunday, the pope said that "we are close to our brothers and sisters who are suffering from war -- we are thinking of Palestine, of Israel, of Ukraine".

Pope Francis arrives to preside the Christmas Eve mass at St. Peter's Basilica [Getty]
Israel says five Gaza hostages died in tunnel
7:53 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Five Israeli hostages killed during Hamas captivity were recovered from an underground tunnel network in the northern Gaza Strip, the military said on Sunday, showing footage of a white-tiled bathroom and work room linked by dark concrete-lined passages.

The publication left open the question of how they had died, with chief military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari saying post-mortems were pending.

"We will brief the families and then, depending on what they approve, the public," he said.

The three soldiers and two civilians were among 240 people dragged back to the Gaza Strip by Hamas during the cross-border rampage of October 7.

Hamas last week published video showing three of the hostages alive in what appeared to be a narrow, white-tiled and windowless bedroom with an electric wall socket.

In a Hebrew chyron directed at Israel, the group said: "Your military weapons killed the three."

Hamas has previously said some hostages died in Israel's shelling of Gaza.

UNRWA issues warning of "man-made famine" in Gaza
7:43 PM
The New Arab Staff

The head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees warned of a “man-made famine” in Gaza as Israel continues its brutal assault on the besieged Gaza Strip.

“People in Gaza haven’t experienced hunger until this war," Phillippe Lazzarini tweeted in a post on X.

"Now it is widespread & WFP warns about a looming famine. That would be nothing less than a man-made famine & a stain in our common humanity. We cannot let it happen.”

Talks in Cairo may indicate another truce agreement
7:36 PM
The New Arab Staff

As delegation from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement has arrived in Cairo for talks with Egyptian security officials- truce talks may be reignited following the collapse of the week-long truce in December.

A member of the group with knowledge of the talks told news agency Reuters that the talks will centre on "ways to end the Israeli aggression on our people."

The group has so far rejected any new prisoner-swap deals with Israel before the latter ends its military offensive in the besieged Palestinian enclave, home to 2.3 million people.

Hamas joins Palestinian Christians' position on Christmas
7:33 PM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas has commented on Palestinian Christians' stance on pausing Christmas celebrations amid Israel's war on Gaza- echoing a similar sentiment.

“The holidays of our Christian people this year come in light of the ongoing fascist aggression launched by the Israeli occupation against all of our Palestinian people,” the Palestinian group said in a statement.

“The decision of the Palestinian Christians confirms that our people are united on the path to standing firm on our land, preserving our identity, and protecting our Islamic and Christian sanctities.”

US Pro-Palestine protesters campaign in various cities
6:34 PM
The New Arab Staff

Pro-Palestine protesters have taken to the streets to campaign against Israel's war on Gaza, ahead of Christmas Day.

In multiples cities including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago, protests kicked off- while in Toronto, the capital city of Canadian province Ontario, campaigners also rallied to demand their government to call for a ceasefire.

US Pro-Palestine activist group Shut it Down for Palestine issued a statement to denounce Israel's relentless attacks on Gaza, as Israeli prime minister Netanyahu said earlier today that his troops will continue intensifying attacks in the war-torn territory.

“This Christmas, occupation forces are sniping Christians sheltering in their besieged churches in Gaza and Christians in Bethlehem have declared that their celebrations are canceled,” the organisation posted.

“People everywhere must continue to declare that there can be no Christmas as usual during a genocide!”

Pro-Palestine protesters hold a 'No Xmas as Usual In a Genocide' rally in New York [Getty]
Islamic Jihad chief arrives in Egypt
6:32 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The leader of Palestinian group Islamic Jihad, which has been fighting alongside Hamas, has arrived in Cairo for talks on a potential truce and hostage exchange, a senior member in his movement said.

Ziad Nakhaleh's visit to Egypt, which has long mediated between Israelis and Palestinians, follows a similar trip last week by Hamas's chief.

Gaza health system decimated: WHO
6:30 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said Sunday the health system in Gaza was being destroyed.

"The decimation of the Gaza health system is a tragedy," he posted on X, formerly Twitter. "We persist in calling for CeasefireNow."

The UN health agency has long been sounding the alarm about the state of health care in the besieged territory, where only nine out of 36 hospitals remain partially functional.

Ashraf al-Qudra, spokesman for the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza, said healthcare in the territory's south was "collapsing, and northern Gaza has no health services at all".

Netanyahu says Israeli forces going deeper into Gaza
6:20 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli forces are going deeper into the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video statement on Sunday, adding that they will fight on until "total victory" over Hamas.

50,000 pregnant women stranded in Gaza: UNRWA
5:47 PM
The New Arab Staff

Around 50,000 pregnant women are currently in the Gaza Strip, with over 180 babies being born daily, according to UNRWA.

The agency reports that, despite the desperate circumstances, doctors and midwives are committed to delivering care to newborns and pregnant women at high risk.

This care is being provided in seven active UNRWA health centers, which remain operational out of the original 22, the agency added.

Another Israeli soldier killed in Gaza, bringing toll to 15
5:16 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli military has announced the death of a 79th battalion officer in a conflict in northern Gaza.

Identified as 39-year-old Major Aryeh Rein, his death raises the total count of Israeli soldiers who have fallen in combat during the weekend to 15.


Israeli army attacks shelter schools: Euro-Med Monitor
4:42 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Observatory, the Israeli army is repeatedly violates schools in the Gaza Strip, which currently serve as refuges for thousands of displaced individuals.

The Geneva-based NGO emphasised that these incursions by Israeli forces into schools housing displaced people are leading to grave breaches, including the execution, arrest, mistreatment, and intimidation of Palestinians.

Euro-Med highlighted a specific incident it documented on Sunday, where Israeli forces entered a school in Jabalia, detaining fifteen-year-old boys and compelling them to undress to their underwear.

Gaza hospital director: banned weapons suspected in injuries
4:05 PM
The New Arab Staff

The director of Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis, Nahed Abu Taima, said that civilian injuries are potentially caused by internationally banned weapons.

"Doctors are trying to treat severe and critical injuries caused by Israel’s use of weapons that may be internationally prohibited," the hospital director told Al Jazeera.

"Medical personnel and ambulances are unable to provide their services in Gaza," he added.

Human Rights Watch has accused the Israeli military of using white phosphorus munitions in Lebanon and Gaza recently, which has been denied by Israel's military.

WHO: 'Unbearable' conditions in overwhelmed Gaza hospitals
3:37 PM
The New Arab Staff

Nine of the original 36 hospitals in Gaza are still functioning to some extent, all located in the south and all facing overwhelming patient loads. These hospitals have been subject to repeated Israeli strikes since the start of the war.

WHO workers have reported 'unbearable' scenes in their visits to two severely damaged northern hospitals, al-Shifa and al-Ahli. They witnessed numerous patients, including many children, left largely unattended and desperately in need of food and water.

As of December 20, the WHO has documented 246 incidents of healthcare infrastructure being targeted in Gaza. These attacks have impacted hospitals and ambulances, leading to 582 fatalities and 748 injuries, further exacerbating the crisis in the healthcare system.

WHO: Gaza health care system collapse is 'tragic'
3:07 PM
The New Arab Staff

WHO director Tedros Ghebreyesus said the collapse of the health system in Gaza is a "tragic" outcome of the ongoing war.

Despite facing constant death threats and an increasing influx of wounded patients, healthcare professionals in Gaza remain dedicated , Tedros said in post on X, where he renewed his call for a ceasefire.

UNRWA unable to provide "meaningful aid" amid bombardment
2:19 PM
The New Arab Staff

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) has reported an inability to provide "meaningful aid" due to the current situation of continuous Israeli airstrikes.

Following evacuation orders issued by Israeli authorities, many people have been directed to areas where UNRWA shelters are already operating beyond their capacity.

Israel shells southern Lebanon towns
1:57 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces stroke the towns of Maroun Al-Ras and Yaroun, located in southern Lebanon with artillery bombardments.

Prior to these attacks, the Israeli military had instructed the inhabitants of Liman, a border town in western Galilee, to evacuate.


Bethlehem cancels Christmas festivities for Gaza solidarity
1:35 PM
The New Arab Staff

Residents of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank have cancelled Christmas celebrations in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, more than 20,000 of whom have been killed since 7 October.

The Anadolu Agency quoted Palestinian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Rula Maayah as saying, "The whole world celebrates Christmas in a different way, and Bethlehem, the city of birth, does not celebrate because it feels profound sadness and sorrow. Every day there are hundreds of martyrs in Gaza and pains experienced by our Palestinian people."

Two journalists killed in Gaza, bringing death toll to 103
12:58 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Two more journalists have been killed in Gaza, bringing the death toll to at least 103 journalists since the beginning of the war, the government media officer said on Telegram channel.

Thousands march in Rabat demanding end to Morocco-Israel tie
12:22 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Thousands of protesters staged one of the largest pro-Palestinian marches in Rabat on Sunday since the outbreak of the war in Gaza, demanding an end to Morocco's ties with Israel.

Protests against Israel's war in Gaza have repeatedly drawn thousands of people in Morocco since the conflict began more than two months ago, mostly led by pan-Arab and Islamist groups.

Sunday's march was co-organised by leftist groups and Al-Adl wal-Ihsan Islamists.

Around 10,000 protesters waved Palestinian flags and held placards reading "resistance till victory", "stop Moroccan government normalization with Israel" and "free Palestine".

Morocco agreed to strengthen ties with Israel in 2020, under a deal brokered by the U.S. administration under then President Donald Trump that also included Washington recognising Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

Protesters in Sunday's march also called for a boycott of brands they accuse of supporting Israel.


PCRS: 13-year-old displaced child killed inside hospital
11:15 AM
The New Arab Staff

 The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has reported a 13-year-old displaced child has been shot dead in the Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis, Gaza. 

PCRS posted on X that the child was killed after being shot by an Israeli drone while taking refuge inside the hospital building.

Spokesperson: Israeli army nears control in north Gaza
10:37 AM
The New Arab Staff

Jonathan Conricus, a spokesperson for the Israeli military, recently told AFP that their forces are nearing operational control in northern Gaza.

We focus our efforts against Hamas in southern Gaza,"  he said as Israeli forces now turn their attention to Khan Younis and other southern areas.

Netanyahu says Israel paying 'high price' in Gaza war
10:10 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that his country is paying a "high price" in the Gaza war, as the number of Israeli soldier casualties increased.

"This morning is tough, following an extremely challenging day of combat in Gaza... We are paying a very high price in this war... yet, we must continue the battle," he said in a recent statement.

This statement followed the military's announcement that 14 soldiers had been killed in Palestinian territory since Friday.

More than 20,400 killed, including 166 in last 24 hours
9:52 AM
The New Arab Staff

Gaza's Ministry of Health says that number of victims of the Israeli war has risen to 20,424 killed and more than 54,000 injured.

Those numbers include 166 killed and 384 injured in the 24 hours alone, the health ministry added.

Israel raids West Bank overnight, arrests 10
9:17 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces have detained at least 10 Palestinians in a series of raids conducted overnight and during the morning across the occupied West Bank.


'Humanitarian ceasefire' is the only way forward: UNHCR head
9:01 AM
The New Arab Staff

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said in a post on X that a 'humanitarian ceasefire' is the only effective means to ensure the delivery of aid to Palestinians in Gaza, facilitate the release of hostages held by Hamas, and stop further displacement.

'I did not ask for a ceasefire': Biden
8:43 AM
The New Arab Staff

The White House, according to Reuters, disclosed that Biden and Netanyahu discussed the aims and stages of Israel's war on Gaza, in a "long" and "private" call on Saturday.

Netanyahu’s office said that the Israeli Prime Minister appreciated the US support at the UN security council on Friday. The UNSC passed a resolution emphasizing the need for rapid aid delivery to Gaza's civilians, but it stopped short of calling for a ceasefire.

The White House said that the two leaders talked about securing the release of Israeli hostages in Gaza, and protecting civilian lives.

Biden told reporters, "I did not ask for a ceasefire."


8 Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza battles
8:30 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli army announced the death of 8 of its soldiers and the injury of 6 others with serious wounds in battles in Gaza.


101 journalists killed in Gaza since 7 October
8:15 AM
The New Arab Staff

The killing of Ahmad Jamal Al Madhoun, the Deputy Director of Al Rai news agency, by an Israeli airstrike brings the total number of journalists killed in Gaza since 7 October to 101, according to the government media office.

Reports indicate that over 50 media establishments have been either completely or partially destroyed during this period.

A spokesperson from the International Federation of Journalists said that the death toll among journalists as an "extraordinarily high number," unprecedented in similar conflicts.