Hamas says two captives killed in Israeli strike in Rafah

Hamas says two captives killed in Israeli strike in Rafah
Israel has continued strikes on Gaza and Lebanon as doubts grow over a ceasefire proposal presented by Biden last month
10 min read

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Hamas has said that two Israeli captives in Gaza have been killed by an Israeli strike in Rafah.

Israeli airstrikes across the Gaza Strip has continued amid urgent international efforts for a ceasefire agreement.

Israeli strikes have been reported in the city of Rafah, Gaza City, and the Al-Bureij Refugee camp where three people were killed.

Doubts are growing over a ceasefire proposal presented by US President Joe Biden at the end of last month, with  Hamas requesting revisions and Israel not yet indicating that it will agree to it.

Israel's strikes on Gaza came as it intensified its strikes on south Lebanon. An attack east of Tyre killed two women and wounded 20 other people, as Hezbollah increases its rocket attacks on northern Israel.

Israel's war on Gaza has killed 37,266 Palestinians since October and wounded a further 85,102.

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12:06 AM
The New Arab Staff

This live blog on Israel's war on Gaza has now ended. Thanks for following.

US to temporarily remove Gaza pier due to sea conditions
10:21 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The U.S. military is preparing to temporarily remove its humanitarian pier off the coast of Gaza because of anticipated sea conditions, a U.S. official said on Friday, the latest challenge to the effort that has been hampered by bad weather since it was put into place in May.

The floating U.S. military pier off Gaza had just resumed bringing humanitarian aid into the enclave after being suspended over the weekend.

The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the pier would likely be moved to the Israeli port of Ashdod until sea conditions improve.

Greek-owned ship evacuated after attack by Houthis: UKMTO
6:50 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said on Friday the crew of the Tutor coal carrier had been evacuated by military authorities, referring to an incident that took place 66 nautical miles southwest of Yemen's Hodeidah on June 12.

The Greek-owned cargo ship "was abandoned and was drifting in vicinity of its last reported position," UKMTO added in an advisory note.

Lula says Israel's war has turned into 'right to revenge'
6:36 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Brazilian President Lula da Silva told the G7 summit on Friday that Israel's legitimate right to defence in Gaza has turned into "right to revenge".

Biden adviser Hochstein to go to Israel on Monday: Axios
6:31 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A senior adviser to U.S. President Joe Biden, Amos Hochstein, will arrive in Israel on Monday to try to prevent a recent escalation between Israel and Hezbollah from turning into an all-out war, Axios reported on Friday, citing two unidentified Israeli officials.

Food supplies in southern Gaza at risk, says UN official
6:21 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Supplies of food to southern Gaza are at risk after Israel extended its military operations and those displaced by the offensive there face a public health crisis, a senior United Nations official said on Friday.

While hunger and the risk of famine has been most acute in northern Gaza in recent months, the situation is now deteriorating in the south, said Carl Skau, deputy director of the U.N. World Food Programme.

"We had stocked up before the operation in Rafah so that we had put food into the hands of people, but that's beginning to run out and we don't have the same access that we need, that we used to have," Skau said after a two-day trip to Gaza.

French official says willing to work to prevent escalation
5:09 PM
The New Arab Staff

A French official has reiterated that France is willing to work "alongside relevant partners" to prevent escalation on the Israel-Lebanon border as clashes intensify between the Israeli army and Hezbollah.

The comments come after Yoav Gallant, Israeli Defence Minister, refused to participate in an international committee to defuse tensions with Hezbollah.

Jordanian king criticises international community at G7
4:29 PM
The New Arab Staff

Jordan's King Abdullah II has said that the international community has failed to find a solution to the war in Gaza, saying at the G7 summit in Italy that "the international community has failed to achieve the only solution that guarantees the security of the Palestinians, Israelis, the region and the world."


Hamas' armed wing: Israeli airstrike killed two captives
4:19 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hamas' armed wing al-Qassam Brigades said on Friday that two Israeli hostages held in Gaza were killed in an Israeli airstrike on Rafah a few days ago.

The group, in a video posted on its Telegram channel, did not release the names of those said to have been killed or provide any evidence.

The Israeli government "does not want your hostages to return, except in coffins," the al-Qassam Brigades statement said.


G7 says UNRWA, UN agencies must work unhindered in Gaza
3:44 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

G7 leaders said the UN Palestinian refugee agency must be allowed to work unhindered in Gaza, in the draft of an end-of-summit statement seen by AFP Friday.

"We agree it is critical that UNRWA and other UN organisations and agencies' distribution networks be fully able to deliver aid to those who need it most, fulfilling their mandate effectively," the Group of Seven nations said.

MSF and nurse child injured by Israeli shell in north Gaza
3:20 PM
The New Arab Staff

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) have announced that one of their nurses and her nine-year-old daughter in Israeli shelling in north Gaza, which also killed seven people including three children. 

MSF added that after being treated at the Al-Ahli Hospital they are now in a stable condition.

"We continue to mourn the tragic loss of five of our colleagues who have been killed since 7 October 2023, along with thousands of other people. Our calls for a sustained ceasefire have been ignored. It must stop now," MSF added.

Missile barrage hits northern Israel, emergency services say
2:27 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli emergency services reported dealing with a string of fires in northern Israel on Friday after dozens of missiles were fired from southern Lebanon into the area around the border town of Kiryat Shemona.

The military said that warning sirens had sounded in northern Israel and emergency services said teams were searching the area, where they reported there was property damage but no casualties.

Television footage on Friday showed damaged buildings and cars as well as brush fires in several locations caused by strikes or falling debris amid heatwave conditions.

The Israeli military has exchanged regular fire with Hezbollah forces across the border in southern Lebanon ever since the start of the war in Gaza in October.

ocket fired from Lebanon hit a day before on February 11, 2024 in Kiryat Shemona [Getty]
Palestinian swimmer hopes to represent Gaza during Olympics
2:20 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 Palestinian swimmer Yazan Al Bawwab, who is training for the 2024 Olympic Games, told news agency Reuters that he aims to represent Palestinians suffering from Israel's bombardment of Gaza by making a splash on the international stage.

These Olympics, which kick off in Paris on July 26, are perhaps more important than the last games in 2021 when he competed in Tokyo, he said.

"We, as Palestinian players, are here to raise the flag and show people that we are here, and even if we face difficulties, we will be there and represent the Palestinian people," he said.

Al Bawwab was born and raised outside Palestine, as he was born in Saudi Arabia to Palestinian refugees. But he says: "I remain Palestinian, Palestine is in my heart and all my thoughts."

Yazan Al Bawwab of Palestine competing in Budapest on June 21, 2022 [Getty]
US to impose sanctions on Israelis that attacked Gaza aid
2:13 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Washington will impose sanctions on an Israeli group on Friday for attacking humanitarian aid convoys bound for starving civilians in Gaza, US officials told news agency Reuters, in the latest move targeting actors Washington believes threaten the prospects for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

The sanctions will target Tsav 9, a group with ties to Israeli army reservists and Jewish settlers in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, over activities including blocking, harassing and damaging aid shipments.

"For months, individuals from Tzav 9 have repeatedly sought to thwart the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza, including by blocking roads, sometimes violently, along their route from Jordan to Gaza, including transiting the West Bank," State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement seen by Reuters.

"They also have damaged aid trucks and dumped life-saving humanitarian aid onto the road."

Gaza Ministry of Health: 34 killed in past 24 hours
1:28 PM
The New Arab Staff

According to Gaza's Ministry of Health in the last 24 hours 34 Palestinians have been killed by Israel in the last 24 hours, with a further 71 wounded.

The ministry added that 37,266 Palestinians have been killed since the start of Israel's war on Gaza, with a further 85,102 wounded.

Child killed in Israeli shelling of Gaza city neighbourhood
12:59 PM
The New Arab Staff

A child was killed in Israeli shelling on the Al-Zaytoun neighbourhood of Gaza City, according to Palestinian news agency WAFA.

It comes as Al Jazeera report strikes on Deir el-Balah that killed at least two people and critically injured four.


Israeli southern commander: will not stop till goals reached
12:40 PM
The New Arab Staff

The chief of the Israeli army's southern command, Major General Yaron Finkelman, told Israeli soldiers in Gaza's southern city of Rafah that the military will not stop until it's goals are reached.

"The plan is clear going forward. With the quality of the forces and the quality of the commanders here, we continue to move forward until we achieve our goals," Finkelman said.


Israel's Yoav Gallant rejects French contact group plan
11:46 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant ruled out joining an initiative promoted by French President Emmanuel Macron in which France, the United States and Israel would form a contact group to work on defusing tensions on Israel's border with Lebanon.

"As we fight a just war, defending our people, France has adopted hostile policies against Israel," Gallant said in a statement. "Israel will not be a party to the trilateral framework proposed by France."


40 died of malnutrition in Gaza strip since beginning of war
11:20 AM
The New Arab Staff

40 people have died as a result of malnutrition since the start of Israel's war on Gaza, according to Palestinian news agency WAFA

According to sources speaking to the agency, a child died as a result of malnutrition, dehydration and lack of medical supplies at the Al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir el-Balah in Gaza.

Additionally, the report noted that 50 children were recorded as malnourished by the Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza.

Israeli ministers to visit US for meeting next week
10:55 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israel's Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi are both set to visit the US next week in a meeting with counterparts, according to the Times of Israel who quoted the office for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The office told the Times of Israel that the meeting is part of security dialogue between the US and Israel, and that defence and diplomatic bodies will be taking part.

France, US to push roadmap to stop Lebanon escalation
10:30 AM
The New Arab Staff

The United States, France and Israel have agreed to work together to step up efforts to push forward a roadmap presented by Paris earlier this year to defuse tensions between Hezbollah and Israel, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday.

France and the United States have in recent months worked to try to defuse tensions with Paris submitting written proposals to both sides aimed at stopping worsening exchanges between them on the border between Lebanon and Israel.

"With the United States we agreed on the principle of a trilateral (contact group), Israel, the United States and France to advance on the roadmap that we proposed and we will do the same with the Lebanese authorities," Macron told reporters on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Italy.

Hezbollah, which has ruled out ending hostilities until there is a ceasefire between Israel and Islamist militant group Hamas in Gaza, said it had launched rockets and weaponised drones at nine Israeli military sites in a coordinated attack on Thursday, ramping up hostilities on Lebanon's southern border for the second consecutive day.

A senior French official said there was an urgency for the United States and France to step up their efforts given the dangerous escalation.


UNRWA on destruction of Gaza City: 'nothing prepares you'
9:19 AM
The New Arab Staff

Head of Legal and UNRWA in Gaza, Philippa Greer, has posted a video on X of the destruction in Gaza City, saying "nothing quite prepares you, especially if you knew her before." 

"These are people's homes, their favorite cafes, their parks, their schools. Gone. Destruction everywhere of life, a place, a time, a culture. From the inside out," she added.

Hezbollah fires rockets, anti-tank missiles into Israel
9:13 AM
The New Arab Staff

Hezbollah has fired six rockets into the occupied Shebaa Farms, according to Al Jazeera. As well as rockets, Israeli publication Haaretz reports that three anti-tank missiles struck houses in Metula, with fires breaking out as a result.

Hamas spokesperson: no one knows how many captives alive
9:08 AM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas spokesperson Osama Hamdan has told CNN that "no one has an idea" how many captives that are held in Gaza are alive as the international community presses Israel and Hamas for a ceasefire in Gaza.