Gaza: Rafah and Lebanon on edge amid Israeli threats

Gaza: Rafah and Lebanon on edge amid Israeli threats
Inconclusive talks in Cairo and Beirut increase fears of Palestinians crammed into Rafah in southern Gaza and Lebanon-Israel cross border violence.
23 min read
14 February, 2024

Palestinians jammed into their last refuge in Gaza voiced growing fear on Wednesday that Israel will soon launch a planned assault on the southern city of Rafah.

UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths warned of an impending "slaughter" in Gaza if Israel pushes ahead with its assault on the border city, where around 1.5 million Palestinians are seeking shelter.

"Today, I’m sounding the alarm once again: Military operations in Rafah could lead to a slaughter in Gaza. They could also leave an already fragile humanitarian operation at death’s door," the UN's Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator said in a statement.

"We lack the safety guarantees, the aid supplies and the staff capacity to keep this operation afloat."

The UN official's warning came as negotiations to pause Israel's war on Gaza and free the remaining hostages headed into a second day in Cairo.

The potential for further killings of civilians has triggered urgent appeals, even from close allies, for Israel to hold off sending troops into the last major population centre they have yet to enter in the four-month war.

Israel has killed over 28,000 Palestinians in its latest war on Gaza, including over 12,000 children, according to Gaza health authorities.

Recent weeks have also seen a flurry of diplomatic activity in Beirut, with foreign ministers including from Germany, France and Britain visiting in efforts to dial down Lebanon-Israel tensions.

Hezbollah fighters have traded near-daily fire with Israel since the war broke out on October 7.

Fears have been growing of another full-blown conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, with tens of thousands displaced and regional tensions soaring.

Late last month, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said Israeli troops would "very soon go into action" near the country's northern border with Lebanon.

5:59 PM

TNA’s live coverage of the latest from the war on Gaza concludes for today.

Join us again tomorrow at 0800 GMT for updates from the besieged Palestinian enclave.

Macron tells Netanyahu Gaza operations must 'cease'
5:42 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

French President Emmanuel Macron told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday that the Gaza death toll was "intolerable" and Israel's operations there "must cease", the president's office said.

In a telephone call that saw Macron toughen his tone, the French leader expressed France's "firm opposition" to an Israeli offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, saying it "could only lead to a humanitarian disaster of a new magnitude" and create a new risk of regional escalation, according to a statement from the presidential Elysee palace.

The French leader stressed that a ceasefire agreement should be reached "without further delay", adding such a deal should "guarantee the protection of all civilians and the massive inflow of emergency aid".

Macron said that the lack of sufficient access to "a population in an absolute humanitarian emergency was unjustifiable," his office said.

He said it was "imperative to open the port of Ashdod" in Israel north of the Gaza strip, "a direct land route from Jordan and all the crossing points."

The French president also urged "the prime minister and all Israeli leaders to have the courage to offer their fellow citizens a future of peace", which he believes only the "creation of a Palestinian state" can achieve, the statement said.

French President Emmanuel Macron [Getty]
Demonstrators form human chain protest for Gaza in Jordan
5:23 PM
The New Arab Staff

Hundreds of Jordanians took to the streets to stage a human chain protest in opposition of trucks of vegetables going into Israel- as they also called for more humanitarian aid to be delivered into Gaza.

UN: US designation of Houthis could harm Yemen's economy
5:17 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United Nations fears that a US decision to return Yemen's Houthi rebels to a list of terrorist groups could harm the war-torn country's economy, particularly commercial imports of essential items, a senior UN aid official said on Wednesday.

The US move, announced last month, takes effect on Friday and hits the Iran-aligned group with harsh sanctions that aim to cut off funding and weapons the Houthis have used in their stepped-up attacks on ships in vital Red Sea shipping lanes.

The UN aid operations director, Edem Wosornu, said that while the humanitarian community was concerned about "any potential adverse effects," she noted that Washington had issued exemptions aimed at lessening the impact on civilians in Yemen, where the UN says more than 18 million people need help.

"Nevertheless, we fear there may be an effect on the economy, including commercial imports of essential items on which the people of Yemen depend on more than ever," Wosornu told the UN Security Council.

"Humanitarian aid cannot make up for gaps in the supply of commercial goods. Such effects may reverberate across the country. Yemen's already fragile economy cannot handle any further major shocks," she said.

Yemen has been mired in conflict since Houthis ousted the government from the capital Sanaa in late 2014.

The Saudi Arabia-led military coalition intervened in 2015, aiming to restore the government.

But in recent months the Houthis have been attacking ships in and around the Red Sea, saying they are acting in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

It has disrupted global commerce, stoked fears of inflation and deepened concern that fallout from the Gaza war could destabilize the Middle East.

Israel approves Starlink services in Gaza field hospital
4:54 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel said on Wednesday it has approved the use of Starlink services in a field hospital in the Gaza Strip, and in Israel for the first time.

"The Israeli security authorities approved the provision of Starlink services at the UAE's field hospital operating in Rafah.

Starlink low-latency, high-speed connections will enable video conferencing with other hospitals and real-time remote diagnostics," the Communications Ministry said in a statement.

Starlink will also be enabled in Israel, it said. "The use of the company's services will be limited at first with broader use expected in the future." 

The UAE's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the latest move was to reaffirm Abu Dhabi’s position in showing solidarity with the Palestinian people amid the war.

This comes after Gaza underwent nine telecommunications blackouts since Israel conducted its ground invasion in late October.

Human rights organisations and medical staff members have warned that blackouts have severely affected their work and risked lives.

Palestinian comedian killed in Israeli attacks
4:25 PM
The New Arab Staff

Palestinian media outlets have reported the killing of Palestinian comedian and content creator Alaa Qaddoha, who was killed following a raid launched by Israeli forces on the Nuseirat camp in central Gaza.

Several family members were also reportedly killed alongside Qaddoha as a result of the bombing

Qaddoha was known for his online content- having played the fictional character General Moshe, an Israeli officer, on his YouTube channel.


Palestinian FM: Netanyahu does not care about captives
4:22 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu aims to extend the war on Gaza means that would prolong his “personal career and personal future”, according to the Palestinian Authority’s Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki.

Al-Maliki said in a meeting with his Cypriot counterpart in Nicosia that Netanyahu "doesn’t care about the destiny, the lives, of innocent people both in Israel and in Palestine, the Israeli hostages and the Palestinian innocent people in Gaza."

“This is something we should deplore and we should really stand against,” he added.

“It is our collective responsibility to prevent further escalation [and] prolongation of the war, to open other fronts, either in the West Bank or in south Lebanon.”

Houthi media outlet report renewed strikes on Yemen
4:07 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Al-Masirah, a news outlet affiliated with Yemen's Houthi group, reported that two “raids” have taken place "on the Al-Jah area in the Bayt Al-Faqih District" of Hodeidah.

The news outlet that "American-British aggression" were the cause for the attacks.

More updates to come.

UK wants 'absolute guarantee' of no repeat of UNWRA claims
3:59 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Britain wants an "absolute guarantee" that the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency (UNWRA) will not employ staff who are willing to attack Israel, Foreign Secretary David Cameron said on Wednesday, after allegations that some were involved in the Oct. 7 violence.

Britain last month joined the United States in "temporarily pausing" funding for UNRWA following allegations that around 12 of its thousands of Palestinian employees were suspected of involvement in the Hamas attack that triggered the Gaza war.

Donors such as Britain and the United States have indicated they will not resume support until the UN's internal investigation into the allegations ends. A preliminary report is due to be published in the next several weeks.

Asked what Britain needed to see in the report in order to resume funding, Cameron said: "What we're looking for is an absolute guarantee that this can't happen again. Let's be clear here that it looks as if there were people working for UNWRA who took part in the October 7th attacks on Israel. That is unacceptable."

"That's why we paused our funding. That's why these reviews are taking place," he told reporters during a trip to Bulgaria.

"We need them to take place quickly because many UNWRA staff do an absolutely vital job inside Gaza, where they are the only network for distributing aid, to make sure that we get aid to people that need it very, very badly."

Britain's Foreign Secretary David Cameron in a press conference in Sofia, Bulgaria [Getty]
Israeli embassy protests, Vatican condemns Gaza 'carnage'
3:53 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 Israel protested with the Vatican on Wednesday after Pope Francis' deputy defined what is happening in Gaza as "carnage" resulting from a disproportionate Israeli military response in Gaza.

"It is a deplorable statement. Judging the legitimacy of a war without taking into account all relevant circumstances and data inevitably leads to wrong conclusions," the Israeli embassy to the Holy See said in a statement.

A day earlier, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin reiterated the "request that Israel's right to defence, which has been invoked to justify this operation, be proportional, and certainly with 30,000 deaths, it is not."

"I believe we are all outraged by what is happening, by this carnage, but we must have the courage to move forward and not lose hope," Parolin said, adding that "we must find other ways to solve the problem of Gaza, the problem of Palestine."

A Wednesday editorial in the Vatican's official newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, reinforced the message.

"No one can define what is happening in the (Gaza) Strip as 'collateral damage' in the fight against terrorism. The right to defence, Israel's right to bring the perpetrators of the October massacre to justice, cannot justify this carnage," it said.


Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See [Getty]
Erdogan says Turkey ready to cooperate with Egypt on Gaza
3:11 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey was ready for cooperation with Egypt to rebuild Gaza as he made his first visit to the country since 2012, vowing to boost trade with Egypt to $15 billion in the short term.

In a joint news conference after talks with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo, Erdogan said the humanitarian tragedy in Gaza topped the agenda of their talks, adding that the two countries were evaluating energy and defence cooperation.

The visit marked a major step toward rebuilding relations between the regional powers, whose relations frayed over Egypt's 2013 military coup and its fallout for the Muslim Brotherhood. 

Turkey's Erdogan holds a joint press conference with Egypt's Sisi [Getty]
Clashes in occupied West Bank town of Beit Ummar continue
2:52 PM
The New Arab Staff

Three Palestinians have been reported to be in critical condition, following ongoing clashes in the town of Beit Ummar, in occupied West Bank's northern Hebron. 

The Palestinian Authority's health ministry said that at least 13 people were wounded as a result, as Israeli forces were shooting with live rounds and rubber-coated metal bullets.

Red Crescent reports heavy shelling near Al-Amal hospital
2:43 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestine Red Crescent Society issued an update on X that intense shelling has been taking place near Khan Younis' al-Amal Hospital.

The organisation added that the attacks led to material damage to the building.

Israeli airstrikes kill four in Lebanon: report
1:38 PM
William Christou

Israel conducted a wide-ranging series of airstrikes on southern Lebanon on Wednesday afternoon, killing at least four people and injuring nine, according to Lebanese media.

A source within Kashafat al-Risala, an ambulance corps service affiliated with the Amal Movement, told The New Arab that a mother and her two children were killed by an Israeli strike that targeted their home in the town of Saouneh, south Lebanon.

The mother was a Syrian who was married to a Lebanese citizen, and her two children were under the age of 15.

There were more injuries that were still being assessed and a total casualty count was not yet available, the medical source explained.

The Israeli airstrikes were reportedly in retaliation for a Hezbollah military operation on Wednesday morning which killed one Israeli soldier and wounded eight more.

Hezbollah targeted the city of Safad in northern Israel, where the head of Israel’s northern military command is located.

Smoke billows following Israeli attacks in the Shihin village in southern Lebanon [Getty]
Abbas urges Hamas to agree Gaza deal 'quickly'
1:10 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas pressed Hamas on Wednesday to agree a Gaza deal quickly to avoid "dire consequences", the official Palestinian news agency reported.

"We call on the Hamas movement to quickly complete a prisoner deal, to spare our Palestinian people from the calamity of another catastrophic event with dire consequences, no less dangerous than the Nakba of 1948," Abbas said, referring to the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians during the creation of Israel- which saw 760,000 Palestinians flee or forced from their homes.


Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas [Getty]
WHO: Assault on Rafah would be an 'unfathomable catastrophe'
1:06 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 The World Health Organization on Wednesday warned that an Israeli military offensive against Rafah in southern Gaza would cause an "unfathomable catastrophe" and push the enclave's health system closer to the brink of collapse.

"Military activities in this area, this densely populated area, would be, of course, an unfathomable catastrophe... and would even further expand the humanitarian disaster beyond imagination," said Richard Peeperkorn, WHO representative for Gaza and the West Bank.

"It will also increase the burden on a completely overburdened... health system on its knees and increase the trauma burden and it would push the health system closer to the brink of collapse," Peeperkorn said.

Peeperkorn said WHO's ability to distribute medical aid to Gaza was limited because many of its requests to deliver supplies had been denied.

He said that only 40% of WHO's missions to northern Gaza had been authorised from November, and that this figure had dropped significantly since January.

"All of these missions have been denied, impeded, or postponed," he said, adding it was "absurd" that only 45% of WHO's mission requests for southern Gaza had been granted.

Israel has previously denied blocking the entry of aid.

"Even when there is no ceasefire, humanitarian corridors should exist so that WHO, the UN can do their job," Peeperkorn said.

Amnesty International hosts vigil outside UK PM's residence
12:52 PM
The New Arab Staff

Human rights organisation Amnesty has staged a silent vigil outside the gates of Downing Street in central London to call on the UK government to press Israel into a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, as protesters were seen also appealing for an end to Israeli occupation.

Activists wore white masks as they held placards that had quotes said by Palestinian civilians who spoke of losing their loved ones as a result of relentless Israeli attacks across the territory.

Activists from Amnesty International hold silent vigil at Downing Street [Getty]
Gaza protest disrupts Sweden parliament debate
12:41 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Protesters denouncing Israel's offensive in Gaza disrupted a foreign policy debate in Sweden's parliament on Wednesday, as the country's foreign minister reiterated support for Israel's right to self-defence against Hamas.

Security guards escorted a woman out of the public gallery after she shouted that Israel "was committing genocide", as Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom presented the government's foreign policy declaration to parliament.

"Sweden supports Israel's legitimate right to defend itself against Hamas in accordance with international law," Billstrom said before being interrupted.

He added that "in light of the catastrophic situation in Gaza, the government believes that a ceasefire is necessary for humanitarian reasons."

Protesters started to chant as members of parliament began debating the country's support for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.

In late January, Sweden put payments to UNRWA on hold following allegations that staff members at the agency had a role in the October 7 attack by Hamas.

Spain, Ireland seek EU check on Israel's human rights record
12:36 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Spain and Ireland have asked the European Union to "urgently" examine whether Israel is complying with its human rights obligations in Gaza under an accord that links rights to trade ties.

The Spanish and Irish prime ministers Pedro Sanchez and Leo Varadkar sent a letter to the European Commission urging it to "act urgently on the Gaza crisis".

"Given the critical situation in Rafah, Ireland and Spain have just requested the European Commission urgently review whether Israel is complying with its obligations to respect human rights in Gaza," Sanchez wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

In the letter, the two leaders demand "an urgent review of whether Israel is complying with its obligations, including under the EU/Israel Association Agreement, which makes respect for human rights and democratic principles an essential element of the relationship," it says.

The association agreement is the main basis for the bloc's trade ties with Israel. Signed in 1995, it came into force in 2000.

"If it considers that (Israel) is in breach", the Commission should propose "appropriate measures to the Council to consider," the letter said.

The European Commission confirmed receiving the letter and would "look into it", spokeswoman Arianna Podesta told reporters.

Foreign affairs spokeswoman Nabila Massrali was not immediately able to say how the Commission would review the human rights element of the agreement, but said there "must be accountability for any violation of international law".

The EU, she said, consistently stressed the importance of protecting civilians and deplores the loss of life, with such messages passed on "in its contacts with the Israeli authorities".

Turkish leader lands in Cairo on first visit in over decade
12:32 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in the Egyptian capital on Wednesday on his first visit since 2012, sealing a thaw in ties between the regional heavyweights.

Erdogan was welcomed at Cairo airport by his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the two men exchanged a handshake on the tarmac, live footage of his arrival showed.

Erdogan, an outspoken critic of Israel's conduct of the Gaza war, said Monday that he would discuss with Sisi efforts to halt the bloodshed.

Egypt has been hosting joint efforts with Qatar and the United States to broker a new truce between Israel and Hamas.

An Israel delegation was in Cairo on Tuesday while a Hamas delegation was expected later Wednesday.

Former US secretary of state dances with Israeli forces
12:19 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel National News released a video that saw former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo visiting Israeli troops and dancing with soldiers in the southern city of Ofakim.

“I’ve been to Israel on numerous occasions. But this visit has been the most poignant and the most heartbreaking. What happened on October 7th was so shocking and so sadistic that the trauma is felt constantly, everywhere by everyone,” said Pompeo.

“And yet their resilience is truly inspiring. I stand with Israel. I stand with the Jewish people.”

Pompeo has openly shared his support for Israel multiple times- having previously said that the United States did not consider Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian territory to be illegal. 

Hagari: Israeli air attacks strike Lebanon
12:12 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari has issued a post on X that Israeli warplanes have begun a series of attacks in Lebanon.

An Israeli soldier was said to be killed, while eight others were wounded in strikes that were sent from southern Lebanon.

Canada's Trudeau condemns pro-Palestine protest
11:50 AM
The New Arab Staff

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has denounced a pro-Palestine protest that took place outside Mount Sinai Hospital at the Ontario city of Toronto.

The hospital, which was founded by members of the Jewish community, was accused of being targeted, after protesters were seen waving the Palestinian flag and chanting "Long Live the Intifada".

Trudeau said in a statement that the "demonstration at Mount Sinai Hospital yesterday was reprehensible."

Immigration lawyer and writer Aidan Simardone denied accusations that the hospital was deliberately targeted by protesters.

"Anyone who has been to a protest in Toronto—even protests unrelated to Palestine—know that a common route is along University Avenue, where the hospital is," Simardone wrote in a post on X.

"People almost always climb the scaffolding. Again, this is done even at non-Palestine protests."

UN chief denounces Israeli attack on Al Jazeera journalists
11:40 AM
The New Arab Staff

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called the latest Israeli attack on two journalists who work for news publication Al Jazeera "deeply troubling".

“I am deeply troubled by the number of journalists killed in this conflict. Freedom of press is a fundamental condition for people to be able to know what’s really happening,” Guterres said in a press conference on Wednesday.

An Israeli strike injured Al Jazeera Arabic correspondent Ismail Abu Omar, which led to the amputation of his leg- as well as photojournalist Ahmed Matar who was also severely wounded.

Gaza’s media office says it was the fifth time Al Jazeera media workers have been targeted in what was said to be a “deliberate” attack.

At least 126 journalists have been killed since October 7.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during a press briefing [Getty]
Israeli army detain Palestinians across occupied West Bank
11:15 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces have carried out arrests in the occupied West Bank town of Dura, located at south of Hebron.

According to Palestinian news agency Wafa, four Palestinians were arrested and including a man who was released only days ago after being detained in Israeli prison for 10 years. 

Two men were also arrested in the city of Nablus while another was detained in the town of Biddu near East Troops also arrested two men in the city of Nablus, while another man was detained in the town of Biddu, near occupied East Jerusalem.

Wafa also reported that Israeli soldiers stationed at the Meitar military checkpoint near south of Hebron, severely beat one young man.

Higher prices boost Coca-Cola sales despite Middle East hit
10:40 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Higher prices and volumes helped boost Coca-Cola sales despite consumer weakness in some markets and a hit from the Middle East war, according to company results releases Tuesday.

Revenues for the soda giant rose seven percent from the year-ago level to $10.9 billion, reflecting a two percent rise in volumes and nine percent increase in price/mix, a category that includes retail venue and product size, in addition to sticker price.

Profits dipped three percent to $2.0 billion.

The ongoing conflict in the Middle East dented volume growth by about one point in the fourth quarter, said Chief Financial Officer John Murphy.

Chief Executive James Quincey described consumers in North America as "holding up well," although he acknowledged "a little softening" through 2023 in the United States due to persistently higher prices that have pressured low-income shoppers.

But economic indicators have strengthened again in early 2024 and consumers "are starting to feel like the money coming is starting to contain and get ahead of the inflation," Quincey said during an earnings conference call.

Quincey said consumers in Europe remain "cost conscious," while the macro environment "remains uncertain" in Africa and China.

President and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company James Quincey [Getty]
Three Palestinians killed by Israeli sniper in Gaza hospital
10:29 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

At least three Palestinians were killed and 10 others injured by Israeli sniper fire on Gaza's Nasser Medical Complex since Tuesday afternoon, the Palestinian health ministry said in a statement. 

The Israeli military has since released a statement and said that "Hamas continues to conduct military activities" in Nasser Hospital and "the place was used to hold hostages".

"We demand the immediate cessation of all military activity in the area of the hospital and the immediate departure of military operatives from it," the army wrote in a post on X.

"We have earlier conveyed that if Hamas does not stop this terrorist activity, the [Israeli military] reserves its right to act against these actions according to international law."

The Nasser Hospital has been encircled by Israeli forces for weeks.

Israel has claimed that Hamas has underground “command centres” or other facilities built under some of Gaza’s hospitals. Hamas has firmly denied the accusation.

Gaza death toll rises to 28,576
10:26 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The health ministry in Gaza said Wednesday at least 28,576 people have been killed in the territory during the war on the besieged Palestinian territory.

The latest toll includes 103 people killed over the past 24 hours, a ministry statement said, while 68,291 others have been wounded across Gaza since the war erupted on October 7.

Israel municipal elections postponed in evacuated areas
8:53 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli municipal elections in areas near the Lebanese border and the Gaza Strip are expected to be postponed from February 27 to November 19, after a parliamentary committee recommended it Tuesday.

"The internal affairs committee of the Knesset (parliament) has decided to support the interior minister's proposal to postpone the elections to November 19, 2024 in the nine areas evacuated by the government decision," it said in a statement.

The committee's recommendation is expected to be approved imminently by the Knesset.

In the rest of the country, including in the occupied West Bank and the occupied and annexed Golan Heights, elections will go ahead on February 27.

The elections have been postponed twice from their original date of October 31.

Israelis calling for government's resignation and for new parliamentary elections [Getty]
Israel military push in Rafah could lead to 'slaughter': UN
8:50 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's planned military push into the southern Gaza city of Rafah, the last bastion of refuge for more than a million Palestinians, "could lead to a slaughter," UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths warned Tuesday.

"The international community has been warning against the dangerous consequences of any ground invasion in Rafah. The Government of Israel cannot continue to ignore these calls," Griffiths said in a statement. "Military operations in Rafah could lead to a slaughter in Gaza."

Al Jazeera condemns Israel targeting Gaza journalists
8:38 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera on Tuesday condemned Israel for "targeting" and severely wounding two of its Gaza journalists in a strike.

Reporter Ismail Abu Omar's life is at risk and cameraman Ahmad Matar was severely wounded when the pair were hit in Gaza's southern city of Rafah.

The network said the strike was a "fully fledged crime which adds to Israel's crime against journalists" and was aimed at preventing reporters covering the war.

"Targeting the reporter Ismail and cameraman Ahmad is a new episode in a series by the (Israeli) occupation deliberately targeting Al Jazeera crews," the network said in a statement.

Abu Omar's right leg was blown off in the drone strike, while doctors were trying to save the left one, Al Jazeera said, quoting an emergency physician.

The health ministry in Gaza said the two were hit in a strike from an Israeli warplane in the Moraj area.

Israel army shows video it says is of Hamas's Sinwar
8:33 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli forces released a video it said was of Hamas's chief in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, filmed on October 10 with his family members in a tunnel in the besieged Palestinian territory.

The black and white images showing a man said to be Sinwar being led through a tunnel together with a woman and three children are said to be the first of him since the Gaza war broke out.

Israel accuses Sinwar of masterminding the unprecedented October 7 attack on Israel that triggered the conflict, now in its fifth month.

Army spokesman Daniel Hagari said Israeli troops had uncovered the video in a security camera during an operation in a tunnel, without elaborating on the location.

"The footage shows leader of Hamas and mass murderer, Yahya Sinwar, fleeing with his children and one of his wives," he told a briefing.

"This is how he escaped with his family from an underground tunnel to a secured complex he had built in advance," Hagari said.

"This video of Sinwar is the result of our hunt. This hunt will not stop until we have captured him dead or alive."

The video has since not been independently verified.

Dutch give all clear after explosives probe on Israeli
8:30 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Dutch police said Wednesday they had found no explosives after a probe at the residence of the Israeli ambassador in The Hague, which comes amid tightened security in the city.

The area had been cordoned off late Tuesday, with half a dozen ambulances, fire engines, and police vehicles visible, according to French news agency AFP.

But police later wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that after an investigation by the military bomb squad, "it turns out not to have been an explosive."

"The area has been cleared," said police.

Authorities in The Hague had already imposed emergency security measures around the Israeli embassy in response to an unspecified threat.

The emergency measures allowed police to search people in the area, make additional checks and deny access if necessary.

Last month, the bomb squad in Sweden destroyed a "live" device at Israel's embassy in Stockholm, in what authorities described as a potential "terrorist crime."