Gaza war: Over 2,200 killed as Palestinians brace for Israeli ground assault

Gaza war: Over 2,200 killed as Palestinians brace for Israeli ground assault
Israel has ordered more than a million people to flee south from northern Gaza, including the entire population of Gaza City, despite warnings from the UN and aid groups that such an exodus would cause untold human suffering.
14 min read
The conflict in Gaza has killed over 2,200 people as of Saturday [Getty]

Palestinians scrambled to flee northern Gaza on Saturday after Israel ordered nearly half the population to flee south and carried out limited ground forays ahead of an expected land invasion.

Israel has ordered more than a million people to flee, including the entire population of Gaza City, despite warnings from the UN and aid groups that such an exodus would cause untold human suffering, with hospital patients and others unable to relocate.

Israel's week-long campaign of bombing in Gaza has so far killed over 2,200 people in the besieged strip.

Follow The New Arab for live updates on Gaza.

4:29 AM
The New Arab Staff

This live blog has now ended  and will resume tomorrow at 7am GMT.

3:41 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Russia asks UN Security Council to vote Monday on Gaza, Israel

Russia has asked the United Nations Security Council to vote Monday on a draft resolution on the Israel-Hamas war that calls for a humanitarian ceasefire and condemns violence against civilians and all acts of terrorism.

Russia's Deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said no changes had been made to the text since it was given to the 15-member body on Friday and that he expected the vote to be scheduled for 3 p.m. EDT/1900 GMT on Monday.

More than 2,200 people have been killed by Israeli strikes in Gaza, including women and children. 1,300 Israelis have been killed following Hamas' unprecedented attack on Saturday.


Russia has asked the UN Security Council to vote on Gaza-Israel on Monday [Getty]
3:09 AM
The New Arab Staff

724 children killed by Israeli strikes in Gaza

At least 724 children were killed by Israeli shelling and air strikes in Gaza, Defence for Children International-Palestine said on Saturday.

In the last 24 hours, seven Palestinian children – all boys – were killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank, the rights group said.

2:09 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hamas' Haniyeh meets Iran FM in Qatar

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh met with Iran's foreign minister on Saturday in Qatar, where they discussed the Palestinian group's attack in Israel "and agreed to continue cooperation" to achieve the group's goals, Hamas said in a statement.

During their meeting in Qatar's capital Doha, Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian praised the rampage as a "historic victory" that had dealt a setback to Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory.

Amir-Abdollahian arrived in Doha on Saturday after holding meetings with allies on trips to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon – including a meeting with the chief of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, Al Jazeera said.


2:05 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

300 Palestinians killed in Gaza on Saturday alone, amid Israeli bombardment  

300 Palestinians were killed, mostly children and women, while 800 others were injured in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, according to the Health Ministry in the coastal enclave.


1:11 AM
The New Arab Staff

WATCH: London pro-Palestine protest draws 150,000 people

The UK capital London drew in 150,000 people as they protested in solidarity with Gaza.

Video: Reem Khabbazy / The New Arab


12:22 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Netanyahu warns 'more is coming' in visit to troops by Gaza border

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told troops near the Gaza border Saturday "more is coming" in Israel's response to Hamas's surprise cross-border attack last week, according to a video released by his office.

The PM reportedly toured Kibbutz Be'eri and Kfar Aza in southern Israel, by the Gaza border.

"Are you ready for what is coming? More is coming," Netanyahu, wearing a flak jacket, can be heard telling several soldiers in the video the premier's office said was filmed earlier on Saturday.

12:16 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US sends second aircraft carrier to Israel

The United States, Israel's biggest ally, has sent a second aircraft carrier 'to deter hostile actions against Israel', the Pentagon confirmed Saturday.

11:47 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Five injured in Israeli strikes on Aleppo airport

Israeli strikes targeted the airport of Syria's government-held city of Aleppo injuring five people on Saturday, a war monitor said, days after a similar strike hit Aleppo and Damascus airports.

The air strikes came "from the direction of the sea", Rami Abdel Rahman, who heads the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP, without specifying whether the five injured were civilians.

Syria's defence ministry also confirmed the strikes after midnight on Sunday.

"At approximately 11:35 pm... the Israeli enemy carried out an air strike from the direction of the Mediterranean Sea... targeting Aleppo International Airport, causing material damage to the airport and putting it out of service," the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry lambasted Israel, saying that the attack "confirms the criminal approach of the Israeli occupation", accusing it of "crimes against the Palestinian people".

Aleppo airport has been subject to several Israeli attacks over the week [Getty]
11:45 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Three Hamas members killed in Lebanon by Israeli strike

The Palestinian Hamas group said three of its members from Lebanon were killed on Saturday in an Israeli air strike after they detonated a section of the Israel-Lebanon border fence, crossed over and clashed with Israeli troops.

Israel's military said earlier its aircraft had struck a group of people who it believed had intended to launch anti-tank missiles towards Israel.


11:09 PM
The New Arab Staff

US' Austin, Israel's Gallant in call over Washington's 'unwavering support' despite Gaza onslaught

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin stated Washington's "unwavering commitment" to Israel’s security to his counterpart Yoav Gallant in a call on Saturday, the Pentagon said. 

During the call he discussed the importance of adhering to the law of war, including civilian protection obligations.

Israel, however, has killed over 2,200 Palestinians, most of whom are women and children. Gazans also expecting a land invasion, as they were forced to flee southwards of the strip following an evacuation order.

Th US, Israel's closest ally, said it would provide updates on Department of Defense efforts to continue flowing air defence capabilities and munitions to Tel Aviv.

9:37 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Biden speaks with Netanyahu, Abbas amid Israel-Hamas war

US President Joe Biden held separate phone calls on Saturday with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, statements from the Israeli and Palestinian leaders' offices said.

Netanyahu told Biden that "unity and determination" were needed to achieve Israel's combat goals against Gaza's Hamas rulers, Netanyahu's office said, adding that he thanked the president for his support.

Abbas' office said the Palestinian leader told Biden he completely rejects the displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, as Israel retaliates for a deadly Hamas attack on its territory.

A US official confirmed the two calls but no details were immediately available from the White House.


9:31 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

EU Council  calls for video-call summit on Israel-Hamas war

European Council chief Charles Michel called a video-summit of EU leaders for next week to discuss the Israel-Hamas war, as the conflict entered its second week Saturday.

"It is of utmost importance that the European Council, in line with the Treaties and our values, sets our common position and establishes a clear unified course of action that reflects the complexity of the unfolding situation," he said in a statement. He set the meeting for Tuesday 5:30 pm.

9:22 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

MSF urges Israel to show 'basic humanity' amid Gaza onslaught

The medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) on Saturday urged Israel to show basic humanity in its military operations in the Gaza Strip, saying the situation was "as absurd as it is intolerable".

MSF said it feared those unable to move from the northern Gaza Strip, such as the sick, wounded and medical staff, would be "wiped out" after Israel urged Palestinians to flee the area ahead of an expected ground offensive.

MSF also called for people to be able to flee the blockaded and besieged Palestinian enclave into neighbouring Egypt.

"As the Israeli army has been bombarding the Gaza Strip without restraint for a week, we are calling for the most elementary humanity to be shown," MSF said in a statement.

Israel's order for 1.1 million residents to evacuate northern Gaza, in an "already overpopulated territory with precarious access to food, water and healthcare is as absurd as it is intolerable", the organisation said.

"We are extremely worried about the fate of those who will not be able to move, such as the wounded, the sick and the medical staff, who we fear will be wiped out in view of the statements made by the Israeli military authorities."

The Geneva-based organisation appealed for safe zones to remain in the north, and for regular ceasefires.

"MSF calls on the Israeli authorities to show humanity," it said.

The humanitarian situation in Gaza has been described as catastrophic [Getty]
9:17 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli President Herzog says Gazans 'responsible' for Hamas attack

Israeli President Isaac Herzog said all Gazans were "responsible" for Hamas's surprise attack on Israel at a Friday press conference, the HuffPost news website reported.

He said: "It is not true this rhetoric about civilians not being aware, not involved. It's absolutely not true.

"They could have risen up. They could have fought against that evil regime which took over Gaza in a coup d'état."

Herzog was asked by a journalist whether he was saying Gazans not toppling Hamas "made them, by implication, legitimate targets".

Herzog said he "didn't say" that, but added: "When you have a missile in your goddamn kitchen and you want to shoot it at me, am I allowed to defend myself?"

Former deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon suggested that Gazans should go to neighbouring Egypt's Sinai desert during an interview with Al Jazeera journalist Marc Lamont Hill recorded on Thursday.

Lamont Hill said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had "told everyone to leave the area", asking Ayalon: "Where were they to go?"

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Ayalon, a former Netanyahu foreign policy adviser, replied: "This is thought out. It's not something that we tell them, go to the beaches, go drown yourselves, God forbid, not at all."

Israel's north Gaza evacuation order was made on Friday and the UN said it was informed just before midnight in the enclave the day before.

But Netanyahu had previously vowed to destroy "all of the places which Hamas is deployed, hiding and operating in, that wicked city", calling on Gaza residents to "leave now because we will operate forcefully everywhere".

Ayalon said there is "almost endless space" in the Sinai desert, adding: "The idea is for them to leave over to the open areas where we and the international community will prepare the infrastructure, you know, tent cities with food and with water."

He said it was "not the first time it will be done" and compared the suggestion to Syrians fleeing the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad and finding refuge in Turkey.

Ayalon said a move of Gazans to Sinai would be temporary.

However, some 750,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed alongside the 1948 creation of the state of Israel during the Nakba ("catastrophe" in Arabic). They are still unable to return to their homes.

Most of Gaza's more than two million people are already refugees.

Isaac Herzog said all Gazans were 'responsible' for Hamas's surprise attack [Getty]
7:19 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hezbollah member 'killed by Israeli fire' in south Lebanon

Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah group said one of its fighters in south Lebanon was killed on Saturday by Israeli fire.

A Hezbollah statement said the fighter was "martyred while performing jihad". A spokesperson told AFP he was killed in south Lebanon "either in Israeli strikes or in clashes".

6:31 PM
The New Arab Staff

Anti-Netanyahu protests in Tel Aviv

Israelis on Saturday took to the streets in protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's "failed government."

Many are holding the prime minister leader "responsible" for the kidnapping of several Israelis by Hamas, which took place last Saturday following the group's surprise cross-border attack on Israel.

Demonstrators called the kidnappings "a security failure," with many demanding his resignation.

Israel has gone on to launch its fiercest assault on the besieged Gaza Strip since last week, killing at least 2,200 people, and wounding over 8,700 people.

Palestinians in the enclave are also scrambling to leave north of Gaza as Israel ordered 1.1 million people to evacuate, despite warnings from the UN and aid groups that such an exodus would cause untold human suffering, with hospital patients and others unable to relocate.

5:59 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Journalist Mehdi Hasan says suggesting Gazans move to Egypt 'racist'

Prominent journalist Mehdi Hasan says suggesting Gazans move to Egypt is racist.

"Separate to the injustice & illegality of it, there is a fundamental racism to suggesting Gazans just up & move to Egypt & other Arab countries," he says in a post on social media platform X, formerly called Twitter.

"Folks, Arabs aren't all the same. No one asked Northern Irish Catholics to just relocate to France because they're all white Europeans," he adds.

Northern Ireland suffered three decades of armed conflict between supporters of unification with Ireland, who were mostly Catholics, and those who wanted to remain part of the United Kingdom, mainly Protestants.

5:51 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel warns Hezbollah to stay out of Gaza war

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's national security adviser says hostilities with Lebanese Hezbollah in parallel with the Gaza war appeared to be restrained and warned the group not to take action that could lead to Lebanon's "destruction".

Israel was focusing its fighting on the Palestinian enclave, from which Hamas gunmen wreaked an unprecedented massacre in Israel's southern towns a week ago, and "trying not to be drawn into a two-front war", Tzachi Hanegbi says in a televised briefing.

Speaking after Netanyahu visited troops on the Gaza periphery in a possible precursor to a ground invasion, Hanegbi says more limited hostilities across the Lebanese border showed Hezbollah was staying "under the escalation threshold".

"We hope Hezbollah won't, de facto, bring about the destruction of Lebanon, because if there is a war there the result will be no less," he says, alluding to long-standing Israeli threats to launch heavy strikes on the country in a bid to stem launches of Hezbollah's extensive missile arsenal.


5:44 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

EU triples immediate humanitarian aid for Gaza

The European Commission says it is tripling its current humanitarian assistance for devastated Gaza to €75 million ($78.8 million) and would work with United Nations agencies to ensure the aid reaches those in need.

"The Commission supports Israel's right to defend itself against the Hamas terrorists, in full respect of international humanitarian law," the EU executive says in a statement.

"We are working hard to ensure that innocent civilians in Gaza are provided support in this context."

The European Union decided earlier this week to maintain aid to Palestinians, backtracking after a commissioner said the European Commission was putting all its development aid for Palestinians, worth €691 million, under review.

The UN humanitarian office, OCHA, appealed on Friday for nearly $294 million to help some 1.3 million people in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, nearly half for food aid as supplies run out.


5:36 PM
The New Arab Staff

Pep Guardiola's daughter shares post on Gaza 'genocide'

The daughter of Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola shares a viral social media post warning that world is going to "watch a genocide on telly" regarding Israel’s killing of civilians in Gaza.

Read more here.

Live Story
5:32 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

'Next stage is coming,' Netanyahu tells Israeli infantrymen outside Gaza

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Israeli infantrymen outside the Gaza Strip on Saturday, his office says in a statement, and an accompanying video shows him telling them: "You ready for the next stage? The next stage is coming."

He does not elaborate in the video, which shows the infantrymen nodding in response to his question.

5:29 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

UN aid chief says situation is Gaza 'fast becoming untenable'

The humanitarian situation in Gaza, already critical, is now "fast becoming untenable", UN aid chief Martin Griffiths says in a statement.

There is no power, water or fuel in Gaza, and food is running dangerously low, Griffiths says, urging all countries with influence to use it to ensure respect for the rules of war, and avoid further escalation.

The actions and rhetoric by Hamas militants and Israel in the past few days is "extremely alarming, unacceptable", Griffiths says.

Civilians and civilian infrastructure must protected, he says.

In Gaza, families have been bombed while inching their way south along congested, damaged roads, following an evacuation order by Israel that left hundreds of thousands of people scrambling for safety but with nowhere to go, Griffiths says.

Even wars have rules, and these rules must be upheld, at all times, and by all sides, he says.

"Civilians must be allowed to leave for safer areas. And whether they move or stay, constant care must be taken to spare them," Griffiths says.

He says anyone held captive must be treated humanely and all hostages must be released.

"Civilians in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory are suffering from a week of utter anguish and devastation," Griffiths says. "I fear that the worst is yet to come."

"The past week has been a test for humanity," he says, "and humanity is failing".

5:25 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hamas leader Haniyeh: Palestinians will not leave Gaza

The leader of Palestinian militant group Hamas says Palestinians will not leave Gaza or the West Bank to migrate to Egypt, after calls from the Israeli army for more than a million of the enclave's residents to leave their homes and head south.

"Our decision is to remain in our land," Ismail Haniyeh adds in a televised speech, while addressing Egypt in that part of his address.

Egypt shares a border with Gaza and has been alarmed by the possibility that the enclave's residents could be displaced by Israel's brutal siege and bombardment of the territory, launched in retaliation for a devastating attack by Hamas militants.

Like other Arab states, Egypt has said that Palestinians should stay on their lands as the war escalates, and that it is working to secure delivery of aid into the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said on Friday that Palestinian civilians "who want to save their lives" must heed Israel's warning to evacuate southward in Gaza.


5:04 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Two civilians killed in Israel shelling of Lebanon: mayor

Two Lebanese civilians were killed in Israeli shelling of the southern village of Shebaa on Saturday, its mayor tells AFP, as border tensions rise over the Gaza-Israel war.

"A man and his wife have been killed in their home by Israeli shelling," mayor Mohammad Harb says.

4:35 PM
The New Arab Staff

British pro-Palestine group says UK government 'on wrong side of history'

The chair of British pro-Palestine group Friends of Al-Aqsa (FOA) says the UK government is "on the wrong side of history".

Ismail Patel speaks to The New Arab from an 150,000-strong protest in London today. It comes as the death toll from Israel's devastating bombing campaign on Gaza passed 2,200 on Saturday.

Patel criticises the UK government's decision to send two Royal Navy ships to the Eastern Mediterranean region.

Asked what he wants to tell the government, he says: "They've understood from their own imperialism that you cannot subjugate a people forever. Sooner or later, the people will get their freedom, and Palestinians will be free."

4:21 PM
The New Arab Staff

'We are literally being wiped out and you continue to fail us': Colleague at Palestine NGO delivers message from Gaza

Palestinian pro-democracy group Miftah shares a message to the world from its colleague Jomana Abu Nahla, who is inside the Gaza Strip.

She says: "This is Jomana Abu Nahla. I am sending this message from Gaza, and it could be my last.

"We are currently under constant heavy Israeli bombardment and we fear that the worst is yet to come. I have lived through seven Israeli attacks on Gaza, and this is the worst bombing I have ever witnessed in my life.

"We don't know where to go or what to do, there is nowhere that is safe here. We cannot continue to live under complete siege.

"We are literally being wiped out and you continue to fail us. Your silence and inaction make you complicit in the genocide that is happening to us. Intervene immediately to stop the bloodshed."

4:15 PM
The New Arab Staff

INFOGRAPHIC: Gaza population density

Gaza is often described as one of the most densely populated places in the world. Here's a map to help you understand how the population density varies across the besieged enclave.

3:55 PM
Sally Ibrahim

Nine hostages killed by Israel attacks in Gaza: Hamas

At least nine people being held as hostages by Hamas were killed in Israeli attacks in Gaza, the Palestinian militant group says.

Hamas's armed wing, the Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, says nine captives, including four foreigners, were killed by Israeli airstrikes.

It comes a day after Hamas said that 13 hostages were killed by Israeli army strikes in Gaza.

Live Story
3:48 PM
The New Arab Staff

UK pro-Palestine group says British government 'must listen to the people now'

A UK pro-Palestine group has called for the British government to "listen to the people" after a rally in London drew tens of thousands of protesters.

Friends of Al-Aqsa's public affairs chief Shamiul Joarder says: "Today we've seen 150,000 people on the streets of London in a tremendous show of support for Palestine.

"The British government must listen to the people now: it needs to uphold international law and impose sanctions on Israel until it stops violating human rights in Gaza."

3:21 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Lebanon's Hezbollah says fired on Israeli positions in occupied Shebaa Farms

Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah group said it shelled Israeli positions in occupied Arab land on Saturday, as tensions rise over Israel's war with Hezbollah's Palestinian ally Hamas.

Hezbollah and Palestinian factions in Lebanon have exchanged cross-border fire with Israel since Hamas's surprise 7 October attack on Israel.

Hezbollah "attacked Zionist positions in the occupied Lebanese Shebaa Farms... with guided missiles and mortar shells, hitting them," the Shia group said in a statement.

An AFP correspondent near the Shebaa Farms reported shelling and saw clouds of smoke rising in the area.

The Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms is part of either Lebanon or Syria. Which of these countries it rightfully belongs to is a matter of dispute.

3:03 PM
The New Arab Staff

VIDEO: 150,000-strong pro-Palestine demo in London

Here's a video of the scenes at the pro-Palestine demonstration taking place in London, courtesy of The New Arab's Alexander Durie.

The protest has drawn at least 150,000 people.

2:44 PM
The New Arab Staff

Cambridge, UK: Pro-Palestine protester says misinfo about Palestine at 'all-time high'

A pro-Palestine protester at the demonstration in Cambridge says misinformation about Palestine is at an "all-time high".

Cambridge Stop the War member Junaid adds: "[The] UK government is funding Israeli apartheid and they are helping Israel commit their war crimes, which includes... collective punishment, which is intolerable.

"And the indiscriminate bombing that Israel is doing, this UK government is funding that."

2:40 PM
The New Arab Staff

Palestinian ambassador to UK posts video of London protest

Palestinian ambassador to the UK Husam Zomlot posts this video of the pro-Palestine protest in London.

2:32 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Lebanese army says Israeli missile killed Reuters journalist

The Lebanese army says that Israel launched a missile on Friday that hit a civilian car and killed Reuters video journalist Issam Abdallah.

"The Israeli enemy launched a missile which hit a civilian car belonging to a media group which led to the martyrdom of the videographer Issam Abdallah," the army high command said in a statement posted on its website.


2:19 PM
The New Arab Staff

Over 110,000 protesters at London pro-Palestine demo

The pro-Palestine rally taking place in London today has drown over 110,000 protesters.

Here is a photo courtesy of The New Arab's journalist Reem Khabbazy.

A pro-Palestine protest in London on 14 October 2023

Here's another from our journalist Sarah Khalil.

A pro-Palestine protest in London on 14 October 2023
1:31 PM
The New Arab Staff

Cambridge, UK: Hundreds turn out for pro-Palestine protest

Hundreds of demonstrators have turned out for a pro-Palestine protest in the UK city of Cambridge.

Chants of "free, free Palestine" and "one, two, three, four, occupation no more. Five, six, seven, eight, Israel is a terror state" could be heard as rallygoers marched through the streets.

Here are a couple of photos courtesy of The New Arab journalist Reem Fatthelbab.

A pro-Palestine protest in Cambridge on 14 October 2023
A pro-Palestine protest in Cambridge on 14 October 2023
1:26 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Reuters videographer killed in southern Lebanon by Israeli shelling is laid to rest

Reuters videographer Issam Abdallah, who was killed in Israeli shelling of southern Lebanon, has been laid to rest in his hometown in a funeral procession attended by hundreds of people.

Draped in a Lebanese flag, Abdallah's body was carried on a stretcher through the streets of his southern town of Khiam, from his family’s home to the local cemetery.

Dozens of journalists and Lebanese lawmakers attended the funeral.

Abdallah was killed on Friday evening near the village of Alma Al-Shaab in south Lebanon when an Israeli shell landed on a gathering of international journalists covering exchange of fire along the border between Israeli troops and members of Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group.

Lebanon's foreign ministry asked Beirut's mission to the United Nations to file a complaint against Israel over Friday's shelling, calling it a "flagrant violation and a crime against freedom of opinion and press". The statement was carried by the state-run National News Agency.

Israeli military spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hecht told The Associated Press in Jerusalem on Saturday: "We are aware of the incident with the Reuters journalist and we are looking into it."

Hecht did not confirm that the journalists had been hit by Israeli shells, but called the incident "tragic," adding: "We're very sorry for his death."

Reuters said in a statement that two of its journalists, Thaer Al-Sudani and Maher Nazeh, were wounded in the same shelling while Qatar’s Al Jazeera TV, said its cameraman Elie Brakhya and reporter Carmen Joukhadar, were wounded as well.

France's international news agency, Agence France-Presse (AFP), said two of its journalists were also wounded: photographer Christina Assi, and video journalist Dylan Collins.

AFP reported Saturday that photographer Christina Assi was in need of blood donations at the American University Medical Center in Beirut where she was hospitalised.

1:19 PM
The New Arab Staff

Hundreds of foreign citizens in Gaza flock to Egypt border but Israel stops them leaving

Hundreds of foreign citizens in Gaza flocked to the Rafah border crossing with Egypt to exit the besieged enclave, but were prevented from leaving the country by Israel.

Some of the foreign nationals were working in international institutions, The New Arab's Gaza correspondent reports.

1:07 PM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas's Gaza government condemns UNRWA for going to enclave's south

The government of Palestinian armed group Hamas has condemned UNRWA, the UN's refugee agency for Palestinians, for going to Gaza's south.

Israel ordered on Friday the evacuation of over a million people from north Gaza. A ground invasion is expected.

Hamas dismissed Israel's evacuation order, saying: "There will be no displacement."

Agencies contributed to this update.

12:51 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Jewish protesters in New York call for a 'free Palestine' amid Gaza attacks

Cries of "Free Palestine" rang out in New York on Friday, as thousands of protesters took to the streets to denounce Israeli bombings in the Gaza Strip.

Calling for an end to Israeli occupation and the liberation of the Palestinian territories, protesters took up multiple blocks in a city that serves as a crossroads for religions and nationalities spanning the world.

The protest – which drew demonstrators of all origins, some sporting Palestinian flags and keffiyehs – accused Israel of "genocide" and called for the US to withdraw support for its Middle Eastern ally.

One of the protests was organised by Jewish Voice for Peace.

Live Story
12:47 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Jordan's King Abdullah heads to Europe to garner support to end Gaza conflict

Jordan's King Abdullah leaves on Saturday for a European tour to garner support from the region's leaders for an end to the Israeli "war on Gaza", Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi tells state media.

The monarch, who met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday, has had intensive contacts with leaders in the region and in the West to de-escalate the violence and prevent the region being dragged into a wider war, officials say.


12:43 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel army says killed Hamas elite unit commander Ali Qadi

A Hamas militant who Israel says led a unit of commando forces that gunned down civilians in last week's attack on southern Israel has been killed in an airstrike, the military says.

Israeli military "aircraft killed Ali Qadi, a company commander of the Hamas 'Nukhba' [elite] commando force," a statement said without specifying the location or timing of the strike.

A Hamas official tells AFP the Palestinian group had "no comment" concerning the Israeli claim.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed Qadi, 37, was a unit commander in the elite Hamas force.

Both the Palestinian official and the Israeli military statement say Qadi was one of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners released by Israel in 2011 in exchange for a soldier, Gilad Shalit, captured by Hamas in 2006.

Qadi was arrested by Israel in 2005 over the kidnapping and murder of an Israeli man who media reports at the time identified as a broker for the Shin Bet internal security agency.

12:40 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Any crossing from Gaza into Egypt will be coordinated with Israel: Israeli army

Any use of the border crossing from the Gaza Strip into Egypt will be in coordination with Israel, an Israeli military spokesperson says.

"Regarding Gaza, the crossings are closed. The borders are closed, and any movement or crossing to Egypt will be in coordination with us and in contact with us. For now, this issue is not happening," says Israeli military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari.


12:23 PM
The New Arab Staff

Gaza death toll passes 2,200 with over 8,700 injured

The death toll from Israel's ongoing attacks on the besieged Gaza is at 2,215, the Palestinian health ministry reports, adding that the number of wounded is 8,714.

In the occupied West Bank, which has seen an uptick in violence by Israeli forces and settlers following Hamas's surprise attack inside Israel last weekend, 54 people have been killed and over 1,100 others injured, the ministry says.

12:17 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Qatar rejects any attempt to forcibly displace Gaza Strip Palestinians

Qatar says that it categorically rejects any attempt to forcibly displace the Palestinian residents of besieged Gaza.

A statement from the Qatari foreign ministry said that the state of Qatar "calls for lifting the siege of Gaza Strip, and provide full protection for the Palestinian civilians according to the international and humanitarian laws".


11:50 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israel military says Gaza residents must not 'delay' evacuation

The Israeli military says that Gaza City residents must not delay their departure before a military offensive starts as roads out of the northern part of the territory were again jammed with people leaving.

Military spokesman Richard Hecht says there is a "window" for safe passage to south Gaza between 10:00 and 16:00 local time (07:00 and 13:00 GMT).

Without saying how many days the window would remain, Hecht tells reporters: "We know this is going to take time but we recommend people not to delay."

11:34 AM
The New Arab Staff

London pro-Palestine demo organisers expect tens of thousands to attend

One of the groups organising a pro-Palestine demonstration taking place in London today says it expects tens of thousands to attend.

British group Friends of Al-Aqsa (FOA) says the rally will start at the headquarters of the BBC public broadcaster in Portland Place and march towards 10 Downing Street.

The rally calls for a stop to Israel's violence in Gaza and its apartheid policies against Palestinians, FOA says.

"People of conscience from across the UK are uniting in London today with a clear message," says FOA public affairs chief Shamiul Joarder.

"Israel's relentless oppression of Palestinians, and the British government's complicity in this, must come to an end. We demand that the British government upholds international law and holds Israel accountable for its illegal occupation of Palestinian land, persistent breaches of international law and documented war crimes."

FOA chair Ismail Patel says the British government has "perpetuated Israel's oppression of Palestinians" since the 1917 Balfour Declaration, in which the UK said it "views with favour" the creation of a "national home for the Jewish people" in Palestine.

Patel adds: "We are marching to 10 Downing Street today to firmly convey that we've reached a tipping point. We stand together, in our tens of thousands, demanding that the British government upholds international law and respects Palestinian human rights."

11:00 AM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas says fighters cross separation fence, destroy three vehicles

The armed wing of Hamas says a group of its fighters crossed the fence separating Gaza from Israel east of Khan Yunis and destroyed three vehicles, The New Arab's affiliated broadcaster Al-Araby TV posts on social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

The fighting is ongoing, Hamas's Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades say.

A correspondent for The New Arab's Arabic sister service Al-Araby Al-Jadeed says that Israeli sources report fighting on the border with Gaza with gunmen who tried to infiltrate and who fired an anti-tank shell.

No further details, such as a location, were given by the correspondent. It was not clear whether the Israeli sources were referring to the same incident as Hamas was.

10:41 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Russian diplomat hopes to meet Hamas for talks to free hostages: agencies

Moscow's Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov hopes to meet representatives of the Palestinian militant group Hamas in Qatar next week for talks to free Israeli hostages, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency reports.

Bogdanov tells RIA Novosti he "did not exclude" meeting Hamas on the trip, adding: "If they are willing, we always are in favour of contact. Especially in this situation [the meeting] would be useful for solving practical issues, including the freeing of hostages."

10:26 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran FM Amirabdollahian warns Israel from Beirut it could suffer 'huge earthquake'

Iran's foreign minister calls on Israel to stop its attacks on Gaza, warning that the war might expand to other parts of the Middle East if Hezbollah joins the battle, and that would make Israel suffer "a huge earthquake".

Hossein Amirabdollahian tells reporters in Beirut that Lebanon's Hezbollah group has taken all the scenarios of a war into consideration and Israel should stop its attacks on Gaza as soon as possible.

Israel considers Hezbollah its most serious immediate threat, estimating it has some 150,000 rockets and missiles, including precision-guided missiles that can hit anywhere in Israel.

Amirabdollahian says he met Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, who briefed him on the group's conditions in Lebanon.

"I know about the scenarios that Hezbollah has put in place," Amirabdollahian says.

"Any step the resistance [Hezbollah] will take will cause a huge earthquake in the Zionist entity [Israel]."

Amirabdollahian adds: "I want to warn the war criminals and those who support this entity before it's too late to stop the crimes against civilians in Gaza, because it might be too late in few hours."

With an eye toward Hezbollah, US President Joe Biden has warned other players in the Middle East not to join the conflict and has sent American warships to the region and vowed full support for Israel.

The Iranian foreign minister said he will be contacting UN officials in the Middle East because "there is still an opportunity to work on an initiative [to end the war] but it might be too late tomorrow".

Hossein Amirabdollahian is Iran's foreign minister [ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty-archive]
10:10 AM
The New Arab Staff

Palestine Red Crescent healthcare teams 'refuse to abandon patients'

The Palestine Red Crescent Society posted a heart-wrenching message yesterday on social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

"Heartbreaking moments as our #Gaza healthcare teams call to say goodbye, refusing to abandon patients," the organisation said.

"We're not leaving. We will stay and serve [those] in need."

10:03 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli air strikes kill at least 324 Palestinians in the past 24 hours: Gaza health ministry

Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip over the past 24 hours have so far killed at least 324 Palestinians and wounded 1,000 others, Gaza's health ministry reported on Saturday.

According to the report, the dead included at least 126 children and 88 women.


9:50 AM
Nick McAlpin

Explainer: What does Israel's evacuation order mean for Palestinians in Gaza?

Israel has ordered the evacuation of north Gaza, but what does this mean for the Palestinians living in the besieged enclave?

Read more from our journalist Nick McAlpin.

Live Story
Israel has ordered the evacuation of north Gaza [Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency/Getty]
9:26 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel army says 'very sorry' for journalist's death in Lebanon

The Israeli army says on Saturday that it is "very sorry" for the death of a Reuters journalist killed when caught up in cross-border shelling along the frontier with Lebanon.

"We are very sorry for the journalist's death," military spokesman Richard Hecht told reporters when asked about the killing of the Reuters videographer on Friday.

The Israeli military did not acknowledge responsibility, however.

"We are looking into it," Hecht said of the incident in which six other journalists, including two from AFP, were also injured.

9:01 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Saudi pauses talks on normalisation with Israel: source

Saudi Arabia has suspended controversial talks on potentially normalising ties with Israel, a source tells AFP, amid the war raging in Gaza.

Hamas launched a large-scale attack on Israel on 7 October which killed 1,300 people. Israel has responded with a devastating bombing campaign that has killed at least 1,900 in the besieged Gaza Strip ahead of an expected Israeli ground invasion of the territory.

"Saudi Arabia has decided to pause discussion on possible normalisation and has informed US officials," a source familiar with the discussions tells AFP.

8:59 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Thai death toll in Israel-Gaza conflict hits 24: PM

Three more Thai nationals have died in the conflict between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas, bringing the death toll to 24, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin says.

"I have been informed that there are three more people who died, making it a total of 24," Srettha tells reporters.

Two additional Thai nationals have been wounded, the Thai foreign ministry said, bringing the total to 16.

About 30,000 Thais are working in Israel, mostly in the agriculture sector, according to the kingdom's labour ministry.

8:59 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

More than 1,300 buildings destroyed in Gaza: UN

More than 1,300 buildings in the Gaza Strip have been destroyed, the United Nations says, after nearly a week of fierce bombardment by Israeli forces.

The UN's humanitarian agency OCHA says "5,540 housing units" in those buildings were destroyed and nearly 3,750 more homes were so badly damaged they were uninhabitable.