ICJ to rule on Israel Gaza genocide case Friday as Khan Younis bombarded

ICJ to rule on Israel Gaza genocide case Friday as Khan Younis bombarded
Gaza War Day 110: As mediators try to reach a temporary truce between Israel and Hamas, fighting and bombing have intensified in the south of the Gaza Strip.
18 min read

The UN's top court said it would hand down a much-awaited landmark ruling on Friday in the case against Israel over alleged genocide in Gaza.

Heavy fighting drew near to hospitals in Gaza's Khan Younis on Wednesday after Israel said it had intensified its assault on the city that has become the focus of its war.

The United Nations raised fears about the fate of thousands of internally displaced people sheltering - and now trapped - on the grounds of the hospitals in southern Gaza's biggest city.

"Heavy fighting is reported in proximity to hospitals in Khan Younis, including Al-Aqsa, Nasser and Al-Amal, with reports of Palestinians trying to flee to the southern town of Rafah," the UN humanitarian agency OCHA said.

"No-one can enter or exit (Nasser Hospital) due to ongoing bombardments," OCHA said citing medics who also reported that staff were digging graves on the grounds of the facility "due to the large numbers of fatalities anticipated".

OCHA said about 18,000 people uprooted from their homes were reported to be at Nasser Hospital alone.

3:56 AM

The live blog is now over. We will be back tomorrow to cover the latest on Israel's war on Gaza at 9am GMT. 

CEO of Red Cross 'worried' about staff in Al-Amal hospital
2:54 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Secretary General and CEO of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Jagan Chapagain, has warned that the situation in Khan Younis "continues to escalate dramatically putting many lives at risk".

In a post on X, Chapagain said "I am extremely worries about the safety of our [Palestine Red Crescent Society] staff and volunteers".

"Despite the challenging circumstances, they continue to provide life-saving humanitarian support to those in need. Their safety must be ensured.

"The need for an urgent de-escalation has never been greater" he added.

Israeli forces conducting raids across occupied West Bank
1:35 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces are conducting raids across the occupied West Bank, including in the city of Jenin which has seen clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian fighters.

Other raids are ongoing in the areas around Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron, Bethlehem and Tulkarm. 

Four children killed in Israeli attack on Nuseirat camp
1:25 AM
The New Arab Staff

Four children have been killed in an Israeli attack on the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip according to Palestinian news agency WAFA.

The attack, conducted by the Israeli air force, comes as Israeli forces continue to conduct strikes across the Gaza Strip, particularly in Khan Younis, where a renewed Israeli push into the city has been ongoing for several days, with heavy fighting being reported in the city.

Interfaith protest in Boston calls for Gaza ceasefire
1:07 AM
The New Arab Staff

An interfaith protest organised by If Not Now is currently being held in the US city of Boston calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

"Boston's biggest gathering of faith leaders since 10/7 is assembling in Copley Square. People of all faiths have come here tonight to mourn, pray, and renew calls for a ceasefire."

A number of speeches were made by faith leaders at the protest, including from Rabbi Rebecca Hornstein who said "From both Muslim and Jewish tradition, we learn just as one life lost is a whole world lost, one life saved is a whole world saved. We have lost over 25,000 worlds, and each day that goes on without a ceasefire, we will lose more and more."

UN's Guterres calls for 'unhindered' entry of aid into Gaza
12:09 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Secretary-General of the UN Antonio Guterres has called for "rapid, safe, unhindered, expanded and sustained humanitarian access throughout Gaza", detailing what was required to enable scaled up aid to enter the enclave. 



UN expert: Israeli bombing of Khan Younis is 'serious crime'
11:54 PM
The New Arab Staff

Francesca Albanese, the UN's special rapporteur on Palestine said that Israel's bombardment of Khan Younis is a "serious international crime". 

"Ordering trapped people to evacuate and bombing them before they can even so do is callous, yes" she said, echoing the UN's Martin Griffiths words made in a separate post on X. 

"It is also a serious international crime, punishable under the Rome Statute of the [International Criminal Court]," she added.

WHO Director: Situation in Khan Younis 'horrendous'
10:49 PM
The New Arab Staff

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organisation, described the situation in Khan Younis as "horrendous" in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

"The ongoing heavy bombardment, evacuation orders and killing of civilians in Khan Younis, Gaza, is just horrendous," he wrote in the post.

"WHO team joined an UNRWA mission to help those who were injured in today's blast at the training centre where civilians were sheltering. Our deep condolences to the families who lost loved ones".

Brett McGurk in Doha to discuss hostage deal with Qatari PM
9:23 PM
The New Arab Staff

According to Axios reporter Barak Ravid, senior advisor to US President Joe Biden Brett McGurk is currently in Doha discussing efforts to secure a deal over Israeli hostages in Gaza, following talks in Egypt.

According to Ravid "Qatar updated both Israel and Hamas on Tuesday about each side's positions and is waiting for more input from both." 

He added that the deal was focused on Israel's two-month ceasefire proposal that was reported on Monday.

Houthis say they targeted US vessels with ballistic missiles
9:21 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Yemen's Houthis said on Wednesday that they targeted a number of US warships with ballistic missiles in the Gulf of Aden and Bab al-Mandab while they were protecting two US commercial vessels.

The "clash" led to a US warship being directly hit and forced the two commercial vessels "to withdraw and return," the Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Sarea said in a statement.


US, Iraq to initiate talks to end US-led military coalition
9:14 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States and Iraq are set to initiate talks on the end of a US-led military coalition in Iraq and how to replace it with bilateral relations, four sources said on Wednesday, a step forward in a process that was stalled by the Gaza war.

In doing so, the US had dropped pre-conditions that attacks against it by Iran-backed Iraqi militant groups in Iraq first stop, three of the sources said.

Two sources said the US conveyed its readiness to initiate the talks to the Iraqi government in a letter handed over by US Ambassador to Iraq Alina Romanowski to Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein on Wednesday.

Iraq's foreign ministry reported that an "important" letter had been handed over and would be studied carefully by the prime minister, without giving further details.

The talks are expected to take several months if not longer, with the outcome unclear and no US troop withdrawal imminent.

The US has 2,500 troops in Iraq, advising and assisting local forces to prevent a resurgence of Islamic State, which in 2014 seized large parts of both countries before being defeated.


Israeli protesters block Tel Aviv highway
8:56 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli protesters calling for the government to reach a deal for the return of hostages held in Gaza, as well as a ceasefire, temporarily blocked the Ayalon highway in Tel Aviv.

According to Haaretz thousands were involved in the protest.

US deplores deadly attack on UN shelter in Gaza
7:33 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States deplored the shelling on a UN shelter in Gaza Wednesday that killed nine people, and called again for civilians to be protected in the bloody war with Israel, a State Department spokesman said.

"We deplore today's attack on the UN's Khan Younis training center," spokesman Vedant Patel said.

"You've heard me say it before, you've heard the Secretary say it before, but civilians must be protected and the protected nature of UN facilities must be respected. And humanitarian workers must be protected so that they can continue providing civilians with the life saving humanitarian assistance that they need."


UN official: Bombardment of Khan Younis 'callous'
7:17 PM
The New Arab Staff

The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator called Israel's bombardment and of Khan Younis "callous", as civilians in Gaza are squeezed into an ever tighter area of the enclave. 

"Heavy bombardment of Khan Younis continues," Griffiths said on X.

"Ordering trapped people to evacuate and bombing them before they can even do so is callous."

UN official: Shelling of camp a 'disregard' for rules of war
6:46 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The tank shelling on a UN shelter in south Gaza on Wednesday showed "blatant disregard" for the rules of war, said the head of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees.

"Once again a blatant disregard of basic rules of war," Philippe Lazzarini wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Houthis fired three missiles at ships in Red Sea
6:41 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Yemen's Houthi rebels launched missiles at ships in the Red Sea on Wednesday, but two were intercepted and the third missed, the White House said.

"There were three Houthi missiles fired at two merchant vessels in the southern Red Sea, one missile missed... and the other two were shot down by a US Navy destroyer," National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said.

US Central Command (CENTCOM) said the missiles were fired "toward the US-flagged, owned, and operated container ship M/V Maersk Detroit," but did not mention a second vessel being targeted.

"There were no reported injuries or damage to the ship," CENTCOM said in a statement.

South African FM to attend Gaza emergency measures ruling
6:25 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

South Africa's foreign minister Naledi Pandor will travel to The Hague to attend the International Court of Justice's ruling on Friday on whether to grant emergency measures against Israel over the war in Gaza, a South African government spokesperson said in a post on X.


US adviser in Doha for talks about possible of hostage deal
5:38 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

President Joe Biden's Middle East adviser Brett McGurk is in Doha, Qatar, having discussions about the possibilities of another hostage deal between Israel and Hamas, White House spokesperson John Kirby said on Wednesday.

Ruling in Israel Gaza genocide case on Friday: UN top court
5:29 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The UN's top court said it would hand down a much-awaited landmark ruling on Friday in the case against Israel over alleged genocide in Gaza.

The International Court of Justice in The Hague could potentially order Israel to stop its war on Gaza, which erupted on October 7.

Italy to treat 100 Palestinian children in its hospitals
4:36 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Italy will provide hospital treatment for 100 Palestinian children from Gaza after transporting them by plane and ship in an operation to be launched in the next few days, Defence Minister Guido Crosetto said on Wednesday.

The first 30 children will fly from Egypt, Crosetto said, where they sought refuge and medical assistance after escaping the Israeli bombardment of the neighbouring Gaza enclave.

Another 30 will reach Italy with their families at the end of January aboard the military vessel Vulcano which will depart from the Egyptian port of al-Arish. Crosetto did not clarify when or how the remaining 40 children will be transported.

Tank shelling kills 14 at UN shelter in south Gaza
3:26 PM
The New Arab Staff

Tank shelling on a UN shelter on Wednesday killed at least 14 people in Gaza's main southern city of Khan Younis, Alaraby TV reported.

The Gaza head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees earlier said nine people had died.

"Two tank rounds hit building that shelters 800 people - reports now 9 dead and 75 injured," Thomas White, UNRWA's Gaza director, said on X, formerly Twitter.

Armed drone targets base housing US forces near Iraq's Erbil
2:46 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

An armed drone targeted a base housing U.S. forces near northern Iraq's Erbil airport on Wednesday, two sources told Reuters.

Israeli minister reiterates calls to nuke Gaza
2:32 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu Wednesday reiterated his calls for dropping a nuclear bomb on Gaza.

Israel rules out Gaza ceasefire amid talk of hostage deal
2:27 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel ruled out a Gaza ceasefire on Wednesday, with a government spokesperson appearing to push back against media reports of a possible new mediated deal with Hamas under which fighting would be halted in exchange for a hostage release.

"Commenting on reported ceasefire agreements, Israel will not give up on the destruction of Hamas, the return of all the hostages, and there will be no security threat from Gaza towards Israel," the spokesperson, Ilana Stein, said in a briefing.

"There will be no ceasefire. In the past there were pauses for humanitarian purposes. That agreement was breached by Hamas."

Explosion near vessel off Yemen's south coast: UK agency
2:26 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

An explosion went off near a vessel south of Yemen on Wednesday, a British maritime security agency said, in the latest suspected attack on Red Sea shipping by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations said it had received reports of "an explosion approximately 100 metres from the vessel" 50 nautical miles south of the Yemeni port of Mokha.

UKMTO added that the vessel and crew were safe and that there were no reports of any injuries or damage.

Qatar says Red Sea attacks 'may impact' gas shipments
2:16 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Qatar's liquefied natural gas (LNG) deliveries may be delayed by attacks in the Red Sea, QatarEnergy warned on Wednesday, stressing that production had not been impacted.

The state-owned giant confirmed in a statement that "Qatar's LNG production continues uninterrupted, and our commitment to ensuring the reliable supply of LNG to our customers remains unwavering".

"While the ongoing developments in the Red Sea area may impact the scheduling of some deliveries as they take alternative routes, LNG shipments from Qatar are being managed with our valued buyers," it added.

Earlier this month, Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said LNG shipments would be affected, like other merchant shipping, by the Houthi strikes and called the crisis in the Red Sea "the most dangerous escalation" in the region because of its impact on global trade.

His intervention came amid reports of at least five LNG vessels operated by Qatar stopping en route to the Red Sea.

120 attacks conducted by settlers in West Bank in January
1:42 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Colonization and Wall Resistance Commission has issued a report which stated that over 120 attacks were recorded to be conducted by illegal Jewish settlers against Palestinians and their properties in occupied West Bank.

The commission's chairman Moayyad Shaaban said that the collaboration between the Israeli military and settlers has led to more than 35 attacks by settlers within the army- as well as 23 attacks that were carried out under the protection of the forces.

"The increase in the rate of settlers' attacks in the last week comes in light of the reassurances they receive from the political echelon of the Israeli occupation government, which provides them with protection and immunity from any imminent trials or penalties that may be imposed on them," Shaaban said.

UNRWA: 'Mass casualties' as Khan Younis attack causes fire
1:34 PM
The New Arab Staff

Tom White, the director of the UN agency for Palestine refugees in Gaza, says a residential building, where tens of thousands displaced Palestinians sought refuge, caught fire after being targeted.

Activists unfurl banner at Madrid museum to demand ceasefire
1:18 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Rights and environmental activists demanding a ceasefire in Gaza unfurled a giant picture of a Palestinian child crying for help above the entrance to Madrid's Reina Sofia museum, home to Pablo Picasso's painting "Guernica" that depicts the horrors of war.

In Wednesday's action, global campaigning group Greenpeace and the Unmute Gaza movement that supports photojournalists reporting from the war zone used a banner with an illustration by U.S. artist Shepard Fairey based on an image taken by Gazan photographer Belal Khaled.

Houthis order US, British nationals to leave Yemen
1:14 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Yemen's Houthi authorities have ordered U.S. and British staff of the United Nations and Sanaa-based humanitarian organisations to leave the country within a month, a document and a Houthi official said on Wednesday.

The decision follows the United States and Britain, with support from other nations, striking military targets of the Iran-aligned group which has been launching attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea that is says are linked to Israel.

"The ministry ... would like to stress that you must inform officials and workers with U.S. and British citizenships to prepare to leave the country within 30 days," said a letter sent by the Houthi foreign ministry to the UN's acting humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, Peter Hawkins.

The letter also ordered foreign organisations to not hire American and British citizens for Yemen's operations.

Houthi top negotiator Mohammed Abdulsalam confirmed the letter's authenticity to Reuters.

Egypt's Sisi accuses Israel of impeding Gaza aid deliveries
12:08 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip is open 24/7 but the procedures by Israel to allow the entry of aid are obstructing the process, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Wednesday.

"This is a form of pressure on the Gaza Strip and its people over the conflict and the release of hostages. They are using this as a pressure tool on the people of the Strip," Sisi told a gathering of military officers and state officials.

"We used to send Gaza 600 trucks a day. But for the past two to three days, we are not delivering more than 200 to 200 trucks (of aid) per day. How are these people (in Gaza) living?" he said.

"Egypt's Rafah crossing is open 24/7 every day of the month. But the procedures taking place on the Israeli side for us to send in the aid without it being blocked by anyone, they are the reason (for holdups)."


UKMTO receives report of incident 45NM south of Yemen's Aden
12:04 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) organisation said that it received a report on Wednesday of an incident 50 nautical miles south of Mokha, Yemen.

"(The) master reports an explosion approximately 100 metres from the vessel on its starboard side. Vessel and crew are safe, no injuries or damage reported," the advisory note said.

Long pause in Gaza fighting 'dangerous': Smotrich
10:39 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said a long pause in fighting in Gaza would be "dangerous," adding that he would not support any such truce deal.

Mediators are trying to reach a month-long truce deal between Israel and Hamas.

China says it's working to de-escalate tensions in Red Sea
10:36 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

China says it is deeply concerned about tensions in the Red Sea that have upended global trade by forcing many shippers to avoid the Suez Canal.

China has been in "close communication with all parties concerned and making positive efforts to de-escalate" the situation in which Houthi rebels have attacked international ships with missiles, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a daily briefing on Wednesday.

"China calls for a halt to the harassment and attacks on civilian ships and urges all relevant parties to avoid fanning flames in the area and jointly ensure the safety and security of the route in the Red Sea," Wang said.

UK FM to raise concerns over Gaza death toll on Israel visit
10:35 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron will travel to Israel on Wednesday where he is expected to raise concerns over the high number of Palestinians killed and push for a "sustainable" ceasefire in the Gaza war.

Cameron's trip, which will include visits to the occupied West Bank, where the Western-backed Palestinian Authority is based, and to Qatar and Turkey, is his third to the Middle East in just over two months.

Gaza death toll reaches 25,700: health ministry
10:25 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The health ministry in the Gaza Strip said Wednesday at least 25,700 people have been killed by Israeli bombardment in the enclave since October 7.

A ministry statement said at least 210 people were killed over the past 24 hours, while another 63,740 have been wounded since the war began.

South Africa expects ICJ judgment on Gaza measures on Friday
9:23 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

South Africa expects the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to rule this Friday on whether it will grant emergency measures to stop the war in Gaza, South African news website News24 reported on Wednesday, citing two sources close to the matter.

A spokesperson for South Africa's justice ministry told Reuters "no communique yet".

Israel troops demolish Palestinian home in West Bank
8:53 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli troops on Wednesday blew up the home of a Palestinian accused of assisting in the killing of four Israelis near a settlement in the occupied West Bank in June, witnesses said.

Basil Shehadeh was arrested on suspicion of helping two other Palestinians carry out the deadly shooting at a petrol station near Eli settlement in the northern West Bank.

Troops stormed the village of Orif overnight and surrounded Basil Shehadeh's house, witnesses said.

"The family were evacuated from the three-storey building, then the second floor of the building was blown up," village council secretary Adel al-Amer told AFP.

Iran's Raisi flies to Turkey for delayed Gaza talks
8:51 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi arrives in Turkey on Wednesday for twice-delayed talks aimed at ironing out past differences and trying to halt the spread of the Gaza war.

Raisi's visit to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan comes with the war in Gaza starting to enflame tensions and escalate fighting across the Middle East.

US strikes on Iraq to lead to "irresponsible escalation": PM
8:47 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Strikes by the United States on Iraqi military positions will lead to "irresponsible escalation" and violate the country's sovereignty, the prime minister's office said in a statement on Wednesday.

It added that Iraq will consider these operations as "aggressive actions," and it will take all dutiful measures to protect the Iraqi people.

2 dead in US strikes against Iran-backed factions in Iraq
8:43 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US forces bombed sites used by Iran-backed militants in Iraq early Wednesday after a spate of attacks targeting US personnel, Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin said, killing two people, according to Iraqi officials.

According to Iraqi sources, the US strikes targeted the Hezbollah Brigades, a group affiliated with the Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation force).

They hit sites in the Jurf al-Sakhr area, south of Baghdad, as well as in the Al-Qaim area on the border with Syria.

Two people were killed and two wounded in the bombardments in the Al-Qaim sector, an interior ministry official and a former member of the Hashd al-Shaabi said.