The live blog has now ended and will resume tomorrow at 9am GMT. You can read more of The New Arab's coverage on Israel's war on Gaza here.
Gaza: Israel strikes Rafah, new ceasefire talks in Egypt
The situation in Rafah, along side the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the enclave, has lead to further pressure on Israel's war on Rafah, with the President of the UN General Assembly, Dennis Francis, warning such an action "is not a path to sustainable peace".
It comes as CIA chief William Burns is in Egypt as part of another round of discussions aimed at seeking a ceasefire and an exchange of hostages for prisoners.
Gaza's health ministry announced Israel has killed 133 people and wounded a further 162 in the last 24 hours.
Israel's war on Gaza has so far killed 28,473 Palestinians since 7 October, with a further 68,146 wounded, according Gaza's health authorities.
The leader of Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthis said on Tuesday that the group had been able to prevent Israeli-linked ships from passing through the Gulf of Aden over the past week.
"This is a real victory", Abdul Malik al-Houthi said in a televised speech.
Israel reportedly has footage of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar in a Gaza tunnel alongside his wife and children according to Israel's Channel 12.
The footage reportedly from tunnels in Khan Younis and is around a minute long, with the military debating whether to release the footage.
The Israeli military has announced it is conducting airstrikes and artillery strikes against Hezbollah targets in multiple areas of southern Lebanon.
The strikes come following the launch of several rockets by Hezbollah into northern Israel which wounded two civilians.
UNRWA chief Phillipe Lazzarini has said that there is "no safe place in Rafah anymore" as Israel steps up its bombardment of Gaza's southern most city.
He added that more than 100,000 people in Gaza have been killed, injured or are missing, which he said represents around 5 percent of the population.
"There is absolutely no safe place in Rafah anymore... They are asked to move - the question is, where to move?"@UNLazzarini @UNGeneva: More than 100,000 people in📍#Gaza have been killed, injured or are missing.— UNRWA (@UNRWA) February 13, 2024
People are anxious & fear a large scale military operation. pic.twitter.com/sILdR76Z3r
The leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, said in a Tuesday speech that Israel is "unable to meet its goals" and that Lebanon is in a "position of strength" after 130 days of cross-border clashes between Hezbollah and Israel.
Fighting between Hezbollah and Israel started in the wake of Hamas's 7 October attack on the Gaza envelope and has steadily widened, with international powers warning of further escalation if clashes did not stop.
Despite recent assassinations of Hezbollah leaders in south Lebanon last week, Nasrallah said on Tuesday that fighting in southern Lebanon is "within limits and controls."
Fighting has killed at least 231 people in Lebanon, most of them Hezbollah fighters, according to an AFP tally. According to Israel, nine soldiers and six civilians have been killed – although Hezbollah counter-claims that the number of Israeli soldiers killed is much higher.
You can read the full report of The New Arab's William Christou here.
Palestinian organisations supporting prisoners and detainees held in Israeli jails have "suspended collaboration" with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in protest of what they consider ICRC's "inaction" regarding Palestinian prisoners since 7 October, the Palestinian Prisoners Club announced on Monday.
Since 7 October, Israel has arrested more than 7,000 Palestinians, many of whom have been released and given testimonies of unprecedented ill-treatment, abuse and torture within Israel's prisons.
Meanwhile, the number of Palestinians detained indefinitely without charges by Israeli forces has seen a dramatic rise, reaching 3,484.
On Monday, the Prisoners Club announced the death of 16-year-old Mohammad Abu Sneineh, from Jerusalem, in Israeli detention. Abu Sneineh succumbed to wounds caused to him by Israeli forces at his arrest, becoming the 9th identified Palestinian to die in Israeli custody since 7 October.
"We know the names of nine Palestinians who died in the occupation jails, but there are at least four more that the occupation authorities admitted but not identified", Amani Sarahneh, spokesperson for the Palestinian Prisoners' Club, told The New Arab.
You can read the full report from The New Arab's Qassam Muaddi here.
The head of Lebanon's powerful armed group Hezbollah said on Tuesday that his faction's cross-border shelling into Israel would only end when Israel's "aggression" on the Gaza Strip stops.
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah threatened to displace more residents from northern Israel, where tens of thousands have already been evacuated from months of Hezbollah rocket fire, and said that if Israel's military widened the war his group would do the same.
The World Food Programme cautions against the dwindling resilience caused by the potential mass exodus from Rafah, threatening the safety of roughly 1.4 million Palestinians in southern Gaza.
"Yet another move for families, fleeing Rafah this time—1.4 million sought refuge here. Each move erodes resilience further," Matthew Hollingworth shared on X.
Highlighting concerns over Israel's proposed military expansion into Rafah, he noted, "This poses a threat to Gaza's critical aid channels and promises significant hardship."
Families on the move, again. This time leaving #Rafah, where 1.4 million came for safety. With every displacement, resilience decreases.— Matthew Hollingworth (@mfjhollingworth) February 13, 2024
Expansion of the war in Rafah is concerning. It risks cutting the lifeline of assistance into Gaza & causing great suffering. pic.twitter.com/lP8uGChjOe
For the first time since 7 October, Rabat has openly called for an end to the Israeli war on Gaza and unequivocally rejected "attempts" to displace Palestinians forcibly.
However, for local pro-Palestine activists, this statement is nothing new, as it falls short of addressing two key demands: condemning the genocide and cancelling normalisation.
"On this occasion, the Minister reiterated the steadfast position of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, Chairman of the Jerusalem Committee, on the necessity of an immediate, comprehensive, and sustainable cessation of the Israeli war on Gaza and enabling the Palestinian population in the strip to access urgent humanitarian aid," said a press release published Tuesday, 13 February, on the Moroccan foreign ministry's website.
Read the full report by The New Arab's Basma El-Atti below.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday he hopes talks on a pause in Israel's war on Gaza will be successful so an Israeli offensive in Gaza's Rafah can be avoided, warning that it would have "devastating consequences."
(Reuters & The New Arab)
The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has announced they have established the Al-Quds Field Hospital west of the city of Khan Younis in a bid to provide support to the wounded and medical patients.
⭕️The Palestine Red Crescent teams have established the Al-Quds Field Hospital west of #Rafah Governorate to provide medical services to the wounded and patients despite the shortage of medical supplies. pic.twitter.com/j7oup3R3k7— PRCS (@PalestineRCS) February 13, 2024
A high-level Israeli delegation and another from the Palestinian Hamas faction are due to meet in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on Wednesday for an undeclared round of talks over a possible ceasefire and prisoner exchange as Israel's ongoing onslaught on the Gaza Strip has entered its fourth month.
The two warring sides are expected to discuss amendments to a ceasefire proposal presented in Paris earlier last month that were suggested by the Palestinian armed faction.
"Israel's delegation will involve representatives of Israel's intelligence (Mossad), the Israeli Security Agency (Shabak) and the Israeli Defence Ministry (IDF), while the Palestinian one will involve leaders from Hamas and the Islamic Jihad," an Egyptian high-level security source told The New Arab.
"Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel and several senior intelligence officers will join the negotiations brokered by Egypt," added the source, who asked to remain anonymous for not being authorised to talk to the media.
You can read the rest of the article from The New Arab's Egypt correspondent here.
Al-Jazeera journalist Ismail Abu Omar is in danger of losing his life following an Israeli airstrike that severely injured him and photojournalist Ahmad Matar.
Speaking with Al-Jazeera, emergency physician at the European Hospital in Khan Younis Muhammad Al-Astal told the outlet that "upon examination, his right leg had already been severed. In addition he had shrapnel lodged in his chest and head, as well as his left leg. We suspect his femoral artery might have been severed at the bottom of his leg."
Al-Astal explained that Abu Omar lost so much blood that they were unable to read his blood pressure or pulse.
"This means he's in a very critical condition and may lose his life. We pray for his recovery," he added.
South Africa has urged the ICJ to assess if Israel’s expansion of military actions in Rafah necessitates court intervention to halt further rights violations against Palestinians in Gaza. The statement highlighted the possibility of the Court independently deciding on provisional measures required by the parties involved.
Expressing deep concern, the South African government emphasised the catastrophic impact of the aggressive assault on Rafah, leading to widespread casualties and destruction. It stressed the grave breach of the Genocide Convention and the Court's January 26, 2024, Order, underscoring the urgency given Gaza's escalating death toll.
It said in a statement that “the Court may at any time decide to examine proprio motu whether the circumstances of the case require the indication of provisional measures which ought to be taken or complied with by any or all of the parties”.
The South African Government has made an urgent request to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to consider whether the decision announced by Israel to extend its military operations in Rafah, which is the last refuge for surviving people in Gaza, requires that the court uses…— #SONA2024 | Presidency 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) February 13, 2024
France on Tuesday said it was imposing sanctions against 28 Israeli settlers who it accuses of committing human rights abuses against Palestinian civilians in the occupied West Bank.
The 28 individuals are now banned from entering French territory, the foreign ministry said in a statement, adding that "unacceptable" violence perpetrated by settlers against the Palestinian population had increased in recent months.
The UN humanitarian office hasn’t received any communication from Israel about a plan to evacuate Gaza’s Rafah area.
“We have not received any official communication from Israeli officials,” Jens Laerke, a spokesperson for OCHA.
“Regardless, the UN does not participate in forced, non-voluntary evacuations. There is no plan at this time to facilitate the evacuation of civilians.”
Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said Tuesday that Israel's bombing of Gaza, where civilian deaths are rising, is "disproportionate".
While strongly condemning the Hamas attack of October 7 and defending Israel's right to defend itself, he told RAI Radio 1 that "at this point Israel's reaction against the Palestinian civilian population is disproportionate... there are too many victims who have nothing to do with Hamas".
France will ban 28 Israeli settlers from entering the country, accusing them of attacking Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, its foreign ministry said on Tuesday.
"These measures come as violence perpetrated by settlers against the Palestinian population has increased in recent months. France reaffirms its firm condemnation of this unacceptable violence," the ministry said in a statement.
It did not name the individuals.
South Africa's government said on Tuesday that it had asked the World Court to consider whether Israel's decision to extend its military operations in Rafah required the court to use its power to prevent further breach of Palestinians' rights.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) last month ordered Israel to take all measures within its power to prevent its troops from committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, in a case brought by South Africa.
Israel is planning to expand its ground assault into the city of Rafah, where over 1 million Palestinians have sought refuge from the offensive that has laid waste to much of the Gaza Strip.
(Reuters & The New Arab Staff)
Dismantling the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) would be a disaster, its chief said Tuesday, as the UNRWA came under pressure after Israel said it had found a Hamas tunnel under its Gaza headquarters.
Instead, "maybe after this cataclysm which has hit the region in Gaza, it might be time now to genuinely find a political solution", Philippe Lazzarini told reporters at the UN in Geneva, calling for an independent probes into both the Hamas tunnels and strikes on UN installations in the Palestinian territory.
CIA director William Burns, Mossad chief David Barnea and Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani met Egyptian officials in Cairo Tuesday "to discuss a truce in Gaza", Egyptian media reported.
Al-Qahera News, which has links to Egyptian intelligence, reported the "quartet meeting" as international pressure grows for a truce between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip, where health officials say 28,473 people have been killed.
Qatar and Egypt have been mediating between the warring parties with US support.
A proposal thrashed out with Israeli negotiators in Paris late last month has gone back and forth between the two sides.
"Hamas and the (other militant) factions are awaiting the outcome of the Cairo meetings, and Hamas is open to discussing any initiative that achieves an end to aggression and war," a Hamas official told AFP on condition of anonymity because they are not authorised to speak to the media.
Two Al-Jazeera journalists have been injured after being targeted by an Israeli drone strike in north of Rafah.
According to Al-Jazeera, journalist Ismail Abu Omar has had his right leg amputated with doctors attempting to save his left leg. Cameraman Ahmad Matar is also reported to be in a serious condition.
It is Israel's duty to guarantee "safe corridors" for civilians in Rafah before conducting any incursion in the southern Gaza city, Germany's foreign minister said Wednesday.
"If action is to be taken now against the terror organisation in Rafah, then it is... the responsibility of the Israeli army to provide safe corridors for the people who have sought protection there," Annalena Baerbock said, following talks with Palestinian foreign minister Riad al-Malki in Berlin.
Speaking to The New Arab, Palestinian eyewitnesses said that they lived through another horrific night of continual Israeli bombing and the sound of violent armed clashes between Israeli army forces and Palestinian armed resistance groups in the area.
"The situation in Rafah has become catastrophic", local Palestinians said to TNA, with many expressing immense fears that the Israeli army will carry out a large-scale military attack on the city bordering with Egypt soon.
The Israeli threats prompted Mohammed al-Absi, a displaced Palestinian from Gaza City, to flee once again towards the city of Deir al-Balah in the central of the beseiged coastal enclave, despite his fears that he was heading towards a dangeorous "unknown fate".
"We do not know where we are going or where we will live in the coming days (...) For the fifth month, we are living an unknown fate (...) We do not know whether we will live and tell our stories to the world or whether we will die and remain just a memory," Al-Absi said to TNA.
You can read the full article from The New Arab's Gaza correspondent here.
The Israeli military announced that three soldiers from the 360th Battalion of the Gaza Division were killed and two others wounded in fighting in southern part of the Gaza strip, bringing the total number of Israeli soldiers killed in Israel's invasion of Gaza to 232.
Lebanon's Hezbollah said it targeted Israeli "spy equipment at the site of Hadab Yaron with appropriate weapons and achieved a direct hit."
Regular clashes occur on the Israel Lebanon border, with Hezbollah regularly targeting the "Hadab Yaron outpost".
srael's spy chief was headed to Cairo Tuesday for talks with his Egyptian and US counterparts on a Gaza truce proposal, Israeli officials told AFP, as discord mounts over the war.
Mossad director David Barnea will meet CIA chief William Burns, Israeli officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the discussions.
They will be joined in the Egyptian capital by Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, who also serves as the country's top diplomat and has brokered previous Gaza ceasefires.
US Central Command (CENTCOM) has announced that Yemen's Houthi's fired two missiles towards the Greek-owned MV Star Iris which was travelling through the Bab al-Mandeb straits.
According to CENTCOM the ship suffered minor damage and is still sea worthy.
Houthi Attack in Bab al-Mandeb— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) February 13, 2024
On Feb. 12 from 3:30 to 3:45 a.m. (Sanaa time), Iranian-backed Houthi militants fired two missiles from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen toward the Bab al-Mandeb. Both missiles were launched toward MV Star Iris, a Greek-owned, Marshall… pic.twitter.com/vfihRaw0rr