Iran launches strikes near US consulate in Erbil, Iraq, killing four

Iran launches strikes near US consulate in Erbil, Iraq, killing four
Iran targets a purported "spy headquarters" near the US consulate in Erbil, killing four civilians and injuring six.
30 min read
15 January, 2024

Iran announced that it has carried out strikes targeting a "spy headquarters and assembly of anti-Iranian terrorist groups," late Monday, shortly after missiles struck a high-end area near the US consulate in Erbil, the capital of Iraq's Kurdish region.

"Ballistic missiles were used to destroy espionage centres and gatherings of anti-Iranian terrorist groups in the region late tonight," the statement said.

In response to these strikes, the security council of the Kurdish regional government issued a statement confirming that four civilians lost their lives and six were injured in the attacks.

"This is a terrorist attack, an inhumane act that has been carried out against Erbil. Erbil will not be scared or shaken," Erbil Governor Omed Khoshnaw said, according to the Iraqi news outlet Rudaw.

12:30 PM

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US says Iranian strikes in Iraq 'reckless', 'imprecise'
12:07 PM
The New Arab Staff

A US government official, speaking to the Kurdish news site Rudaw, confirmed that no US personnel or facilities were the target in the recent strikes on Erbil, in northern Iraq's Kurdish region.

White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson We will continue to assess the situation, but initial indications are that this was a reckless and imprecise set of strikes.”

The strikes, which occurred late on Monday night, involved at least five missiles hitting Erbil.

The Kurdistan Region Security Council has denounced the attack as “a blatant violation” of both Iraq's and the Kurdish region's sovereignty.

According to Rudaw, the strikes, which targeted what the Corps called the “spy headquarters” of anti-Iran groups, resulted in at least four civilian deaths and six injuries.

US says no Targets on its interests in Iran's strike
11:54 AM
The New Arab Staff

The US Department of Defense has stated that the recent Iranian missile strikes in northern Syria and Iraq's Erbil did not target any US personnel or facilities, as reported by Al Jazeera’s Washington, DC correspondent.

According to a statement from the Department of Defense, the strikes did not aim at US interests in the region. 

Erbil governor condemns Iran's attack as 'inhumane'
11:33 PM
The New Arab Staff

“This is a terrorist attack, an inhumane act that has been carried out against Erbil. Erbil will not be scared or shaken,” Erbil Governor Omed Khoshnaw said, according to the Iraqi news outlet Rudaw.

Iran Guards attack in Iraq kills 4 civilians: officials
11:17 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A missile attack by Iran's Republican Guards on targets in Iraq's Erbil killed at least four civilians, officials said Tuesday.

The Kurdistan security council said four people died and six others were wounded in the attack, while the Kurdistan Democratic Party said "a massive ballistic missile attack" had killed a number of civilians "including Peshraw Dizayee, the prominent Kurdish businessman".

Israeli army says it shot 'suspects' crossing from Egypt
11:10 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel’s military says it has shot "suspects" trying to cross the border from Egypt

"Approximately 20 suspects, including several that were armed, arrived from Egyptian territory toward the area of the border with Israel," the military said.

"Soldiers who operated in the area opened fire toward the armed individuals, and hits were identified."

UK Labour leader revises stance on Palestine recognition
11:00 PM
The New Arab Staff

The leader of the UK's Labour Party, Keir Starmer, has announced a shift in the party's policy regarding the recognition of a Palestinian state.

The party will move away from its earlier commitment to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state, opting instead for recognition as part of a two-state solution with Israel.

In an interview with the Jewish Chronicle, Starmer emphasized Labour's dedication to a two-state solution, stating that recognition must be "part of a process, and an appropriate part of the process."

Wayne David, Labour's shadow Middle East minister, described this change as a move away from "T-shirt politics."

Iran's Revolutionary Guard say Erbil attack hit Mossad base
10:38 PM
The New Arab Staff

Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard has taken responsibility for the strike in Erbil, located in Iraq's Kurdish region, saying that it demolished "the espionage headquarters of Israel’s Mossad" in northern Iraq, according to Fars News Agency, as reported by Reuters,

Following the attack, Erbil Airport halted all air traffic as explosions resonated over the city, as confirmed by three Iraqi security sources to Reuters.

Iran reports retaliatory missile strikes on Syria targets
10:26 AM
The New Arab Staff

Iran's Revolutionary Guard  has announced the launch of missile attacks in Syria, targeting the "perpetrators of terrorist operations in the Islamic Republic, particularly ISIL [ISIS]", as reported by state media.

The statement said that the Iranian forces targeted and destroyed sites where ISIL commanders and key figures were gathered. This action was in direct response to recent terrorist incidents in Iran.

Earlier this month, ISIL (ISIS) took responsibility for an attack in Kerman, a city in southeastern Iran, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 100 people.

Iran's Guards attack 'espionage centers' in Iraq's Erbil
10:00 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran's Revolutionary Guards said they attacked espionage centers and "gatherings of anti-Iranian terrorist groups" near Iraq's northern city of Erbil with ballistic missiles, Iranian state media said late on Monday.

Explosions were heard in an area some 40 kilometers northeast of Erbil in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, three security sources said, in an area near the U.S. consulate as well as civilian residences.

Two dead and five wounded civilians had been brought to a local hospital after the explosions, two medical sources said.


Pro-Palestine marches in New York on MLK Day
9:34 PM
The New Arab Staff

Around a thousand people attended a pro-Palestine march in New York City on Martin Luther King Jr Day, demanding a ceasefire in Gaza and better healthcare.

"This march is a call to demand an end to the genocide, to end all US aid to Israel, to lift the siege and blockade on Gaza in order to prevent the healthcare system’s total collapse and hundreds of thousands of more deaths from illnesses if the bombs do not kill them first," the organisers of Within Our Lifetime (WOL) wrote.

UK MP accuses Sunak of Islamophobia
9:17 PM
The New Arab Staff

UK Member of Parliament, Zarah Sultana, said that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak used an Islamophobic trope in response to her call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

According to Sultana, Sunak suggested that she should "call on Hamas and the Houthis to de-escalate the situation."

"This is an Islamophobic trope – as if by being Muslim, I am responsible for Hamas and the Houthis," Sultana wrote on X. 

UN agencies appeal for ‘faster, safer aid access’ to Gaza
9:03 PM
The New Arab Staff

A collective statement from the World Food Programme (WFP), UNICEF, the World Health Organization, and UNRWA highlights that the current aid reaching Gaza's residents is insufficient to stave off a lethal mix of hunger, malnutrition, and disease.

This urgent appeal follows a UN analysis showing that Gaza's entire population is experiencing at least crisis-level food insecurity.

The UN agencies are urging Israel to utilize Ashdod port, located about 40 kilometers north of Gaza, to facilitate increased aid delivery. They are also advocating for the opening of additional crossings into the enclave and the allowance of commercial traffic.

WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus said: "People in Gaza are suffering from a lack of food, water, medicines, and adequate healthcare. Famine will exacerbate an already dire situation, as sick people are more prone to starvation and those starving are more vulnerable to disease. We need unimpeded, safe access to deliver aid and a humanitarian ceasefire to prevent further death and suffering."

Wafa reports 25 killed in Gaza from Israeli strikes
8:36 PM
The New Arab Staff

A series of Israeli attacks were carried out across the Gaza Strip, Wafa news agency has reported.

In Miraj, located in the northern part of Rafah, medical sources informed Wafa that 11 Palestinians belonging to the al-Siyban and Bin Jarmi families were killed in an Israeli strike on a residential building.

Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis confirmed receiving the remains of eight individuals who perished in an Israeli strike near the Civil Defence headquarters in the southern city.

The Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza also witnessed an Israeli strike, killing four Palestinians. Two Palestinians were killed in an attack on Tal al-Hawa in Gaza City.

Wafa was informed by medical sources that the death toll from Israeli attacks in Gaza has reached 132 in the past 24 hours.

UNRWA says facilities have been hit 232 times by Israel
8:17 PM
The New Arab Staff

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) released a report saying that its facilities have been hit on 232 separate occasions during the war, including direct hits on 66 different UNRWA installations.

Currently, only six out of the 22 health facilities operated by UNRWA in Gaza are functional.

The agency also reported the that 150 of its staff members were killed in Gaza, and 330 internally displaced persons who have been killed at UNRWA facilities.

Red Sea shipping attacks continue despite strikes on Houthis
8:00 PM
The New Arab Staff

Targeted strikes by American and UK forces on Houthi positions, attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea region persist, director general at The Institute of Export & International Trade, Marco Forgione, said in an interview with Al Jazeera.

He pointed out that these strikes "haven’t prevented or stopped the Houthi attacks".

He also referred to an attack on a US-flagged ship in the Gulf of Aden as "an escalation beyond the Red Sea," and also noted a recent attack near India's coast and the capture of a ship by Iranian forces in the Strait of Hormuz, which was taken into Iranian waters. 

Israeli military alerts families of captives
7:37 PM
The New Arab Staff

According to spokesperson Daniel Hagari, the Israeli military has informed the families of Itay Svirsky and another unnamed captive about concerns over their lives.

This follows the release of a video by the Qassam Brigades, which seems to depict Svirsky and Yossi Sharabi, another captive, dead following Israeli air strikes.

UN chief calls for 'immediate' ceasefire in Gaza
7:10 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called Monday for an "immediate humanitarian ceasefire" in the Gaza Strip, as the fighting between Israel and Hamas passed the 100-day milestone.

"We need an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. To ensure sufficient aid gets to where it is needed. To facilitate the release of the hostages. To tamp down the flames of wider war because the longer the conflict in Gaza continues, the greater the risk of escalation and miscalculation," Guterres said at a press briefing in New York.

The UN says more than three months of fighting have displaced roughly 85 percent of the territory's population, crowded into shelters and struggling to get food, water, fuel and medical care.

Guterres condemned a humanitarian situation in Gaza that he said was "beyond words."

The "vast majority" of the UN's Palestinian staff have fled their homes and 152 staff members have been killed since October 7, Guterres said -- "the largest single loss of life in the history of our organization."

An Israeli military division to withdraw from Gaza
6:46 PM
The New Arab Staff

The spokesperson for Israel's military reported the the 36th division, one of the four military divisions engaged in Gaza, is withdrawing from the enclave.

This division is set to return to Israel for "a period of rest and training," pending a decision on potential redeployment.

The remaining three divisions will continue their operations in Gaza.

The 36th Division was stationed in northern Gaza, an area that experienced the severest damage in Israel's military campaign in Gaza.


US warns ships from transiting in Red Sea
6:33 PM
The New Arab Staff

The US Navy has warned of  "a high degree of risk to commercial vessels transiting the Southern Red Sea" between the 12th parallel north and the 16th parallel north.

"While the decision to transit remains at the discretion of individual vessels and companies, it is recommended that U.S. flag and U.S. owned commercial vessels remain north" of the 18th parallel north in the Red Sea, the US Navy’s central command said.

Theses statements come after a Houthi missile hit an American cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden.

The US and UK attacked Houthi bases in Yemen in response for their attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea.

Yoav Gallant says next phase of war is starting
6:14 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli defence chief Yoav Gallant said in a press conference that his military to reduce fighting intensity, mainly in northern Gaza and soon in the south.

Gallant also said that captive release can only be negotiated through continued “military pressure”.

He added that Gaza "will be ruled by Palestinians" after the war.

Two captives killed in Israeli air strikes: Hamas armed wing
5:50 PM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas' armed wing Qassam Brigades has issued a video that showed what may appear to be the bodies of two deceased Israeli hostages.

Yossi Sharabi and Itay Svirsky were among the captives who were held in Gaza and had been stated to have been killed by Israeli airstrikes.

Noa Argamani, another hostage, stated that she was injured in an Israeli airstrike that killed Sharabi and also said that Svirsky was killed another strike.

However, there have not been independent verification of the claims.

Netanyahu, Gallant do not speak to each other: Haaretz
5:45 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli news publication Haaretz reports that Yair Lapid, Israel's opposition leader allegedly claimed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant are not speaking to each other.

According to the outlet, Lapid was addressing a party meeting when he called the government cabinet meetings as “a shameful arena for settling scores, fighting and discussions that lead nowhere."

Lapid added that the ministers were eliciting “a campaign of incitement” against military commanders and that this should “warrant their dismissal”.

Children saved out of rubble alive after Israeli strikes
5:35 PM
The New Arab Staff

A residential building had been under attack in Gaza City's Al Sabra neighbourhood, that led to the killing of a number of Palestinians- including children.

However, rescue workers were able to pull children out of the rubble of a destroyed building alive and removed them out of the blankets they had been sleeping in.

Three Palestinians killed in occupied West Bank: ministry
5:03 PM
The New Arab Staff

The health ministry has said that a Palestinian man and woman were killed by Israeli forces in the southern occupied West Bank city of Dura, near Hebron.

The only death identified so far was 22 year old Mohammed Abu Sabaa.

The ministry also listed Fares Khalifa was killed by Israeli military near Tulkarem.

Egyptian journalists call for ceasefire in Gaza
4:46 PM
The New Arab Staff

Journalists in Egypt have taken to the streets to rally against Israel's war on Gaza- calling for a ceasefire that would permanently end the war.

As seen in video footage that has been circulating online, the journalists were also campaigning for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza undisrupted and unconditional.

Gaza experienced longest communications blackout on record
4:42 PM
The New Arab Staff

Cybersecurity watchdog Netblocks has issued a post on X, where it reported that Gaza has experienced offline activity for over 72 hours- making it the longest sustained telecoms blackout on record since October 7.

Netblocks said that it "is likely to significantly limit visibility into events on the ground.”

UN: Current Gaza war led to largest displacement since 1948
4:38 PM
The New Arab Staff

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) has released a video that outlined 100 days of war in Gaza in 100 seconds.

“An entire generation of children is traumatised, thousands have been killed, maimed, and orphaned. People live through the unliveable," UNRWA wrote in a post on X.

IKEA prices to fall despite Red Sea disruptions: CEO
4:35 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

udget furniture retailer IKEA is sticking to planned price cuts despite Red Sea shipping disruptions pushing up costs, it said on Monday ahead of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting.

"Our commitment is to make sure that we prioritise investing in lower prices for our customers," Jesper Brodin, CEO of Ingka Group, which owns most IKEA stores worldwide, told the Reuters Global Markets Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

Attacks on ships by Houthis in Yemen, who say they are acting in solidarity with Palestinians, have disrupted global commerce with shipping giants rerouting vessels around the southern tip of Africa, a longer and more expensive journey.

Higher transport costs have spurred fears of new inflationary pressures just as consumers were getting some relief from prices starting to come down.

In lowering prices on its products, Ingka Group may see profits take a hit, Brodin said.

"This is not a year for us to optimise profits," he said, adding: "This is a year to try to navigate on a thinner profit, but to make sure that we support people."

IKEA plans to expand its presence in China and India, Brodin added, saying that the retailer has seen a Chinese rebound.

WHO appeals for $1.5 bln to address crises
4:33 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday appealed for $1.5 billion in funding to respond to the health needs of millions of people caught up in dozens of humanitarian crises around the globe, from Ukraine and Gaza to Afghanistan.

"We aim to reach some 87 million people with life-saving humanitarian assistance this year," said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

"To do this, we need support totalling $1.5 billion, and we need this funding to arrive as early as possible and with as much flexibility as possible... A reactive approach is not enough."

Tedros said an estimated 166 million people would require health assistance around the world this year, including in the occupied Palestinian territories, Ukraine, Haiti and Sudan.

The health emergency requiring the most is taking place in the occupied Palestinian Territories - and Gaza in particular - where Israeli forces have carried out a relentless assault against the enclave following Hamas' surprise incursion in southern Israel on October 7.

WHO said it required $219 million to meet critical needs there for a period of three to six months, depending on the evolution of the conflict.

The other two global health emergencies requiring the most funding are COVID and the situation in Afghanistan, where 23.7 million people urgently need access to clean water and sanitation, WHO said.

The resurgence of cholera around the globe, which Tedros said was "especially concerning", requires funding of nearly $50 million, while WHO's health response in Ukraine needs $77 million.

"The cost of inaction is one the world cannot afford," Tedros said. 

Silence in Egypt over killing of Palestinian journalist
4:12 PM
The New Arab Staff

The death of Palestinian 27-year-old TV journalist Yazan  Al-Zuweidi, who worked for the Cairo-based satellite TV channel Al-Ghad, in an Israeli attack on Gaza has unexpectedly sparked limited reactions in Egypt so far.

The tragic demise of Zowaidy came on Sunday as the onslaught on the Palestinian strip marked 100 days since it first broke out on 7 October last year.

Zuweidi had covered wars and various events taking place in Gaza over the past six years while working for the Egyptian private TV channel.

"Al-Ghad channel mourns the…colleague and all… the martyred coworkers, holding Israel accountable for targeting journalists…in Gaza," the Egyptian TV station posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, "calling on international human rights groups to denounce the Israeli crimes against free expression."

To read on the latest report, please click here.

Members of the press at a demonstration in Rafah, Gaza [Getty]
Dry bulker hit by projectile off Gulf of Aden: US operator
4:09 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 The dry bulk vessel Gibraltar Eagle was hit by an "unidentified projectile" while sailing 100 miles off the Gulf of Aden and suffered limited damage to its cargo hold, the vessel's US operator Eagle Bulk Shipping said.

"As a result of the impact, the vessel suffered limited damage to a cargo hold but is stable and is heading out of the area," Eagle Bulk said in a statement.

"All seafarers onboard the vessel are confirmed to be uninjured. The vessel is carrying a cargo of steel products."

Red Crescent says it has resumed emergency medical services
3:58 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has said that the organisation has resumed its 101 emergency call and dispatch system.

Following disruptions due to ongoing Israeli attacks in areas around PRCS headquarters and its ambulance stations, this led to responses to calls for help less accessible.

Indian exporters face rising costs after Red Sea attacks
3:43 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

- The cost of Indian exports has more than doubled due to the Yemeni Houthi militia's attacks on ships in the Red Sea, industry officials said on Monday.

Around 80% of India's goods trade with Europe, estimated at nearly $14 billion a month, normally passes via the Red Sea, according to government estimates.

Exporters said 95% of vessels had rerouted around the Cape of Good Hope on the southern tip of Africa, adding 4,000 to 6,000 nautical miles and 14-20 days to journeys from India since Houthi militants began attacking shipping in November.

Major shipping lines have stopped or temporarily halted Red Sea operations, including Maersk, MSC, Hapag Lloyd .

The cost of a 24-foot shipping container from India to Europe, the eastern cost of America

and the UK had risen to $1,500 from $600 before the Red Sea attacks, according to four exporters including the head of an export association.

"Our profit margins have been wiped out as the shipping costs have gone up," Arun Kumar Garodia, chairman, Engineering Export Promotion Council of India (EEPC) said, noting most of the buyers were not ready to revise prices.

He said Indian exports worth at least $10 billion would be hit in the fiscal year to March 2024 due to the rising shipping costs and delay in delivery of orders.

Shipping companies have threatened to raise freight costs further later this week, Garodia said.

Exporters also said about a quarter of this month's exports are held up due to delays in shipping schedules.

"The sailing of most of the ships has been impacted and generally postponed by 2-3 weeks as the incoming ships, with longer routes, are delayed," Satya Srinivas, a senior Indian trade ministry official said on Monday.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Yemen's Houthis attack US ship
3:20 PM
The New Arab Staff

US Central Command has issued a statement on X claiming that Yemen's Houthi group has attacks a "US owned and operated" container ship.

"Iranian-backed Houthi militants fired an anti-ship ballistic missile from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen and struck the M/V Gibraltar Eagle, a Marshall Islands-flagged, US-owned and operated container ship," the statement read.

So far there have been no reports of any injuries or significant damage since the suspected attack, as the ship is said to continue its journey. 

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations had also provided an update on the suspected attack in the Red Sea.

UKMTO wrote in an earlier post on X that the port side of a vessel was struck from above by a missile off the coast of the port of Aden in Yemen.

Israel cabinet passes amended war budget adding $15 billion
2:59 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's cabinet on Monday passed an amended 2024 state budget adding 55 billion shekels ($15 billion) of extra spending, after three months of war with Palestinian group Hamas, the Finance Ministry said.

The extra funding includes money for defence and compensation for those impacted by the war, along with higher allocations for healthcare, police, welfare and education. ($1 = 3.7479 shekels)

Ship hit by missile off Yemen: UK maritime security agency
2:58 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A ship has been hit by a missile off the coast of Yemen, a British maritime security agency said on Monday, a day after Houthi rebels fired a cruise missile at a US destroyer.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations reported a "vessel hit from above by a missile" on its website, without providing further details.

US to send troops into Iraq and Syria in bid to fight ISIS
2:18 PM
The New Arab Staff

The US will be sending 1,500 of its troops to Iraq and Syria in what appears to be an attempt to fighting ISIL (ISIS), as regional hostilities continue to grow with other Iran-affiliated groups.

According to CBS News soldiers from the New Jersey Army National Guard were seen being celebrated and honoured by New Jersey state Governor Phil Murphy before they were deployed, which was reportedly their largest since 2008.

The soldiers are set to arrive in Texas' Fort Bliss for training before going to the Middle East.

UK proscribes Islamist group as terrorist organisation
2:15 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Britain has declared global Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir as a proscribed terrorist organisation, subject to agreement by parliament, interior minister James Cleverly said on Monday.

"Hizb ut-Tahrir is an antisemitic organisation that actively promotes and encourages terrorism, including praising and celebrating the appalling 7 October attacks," he said in a statement referring to attacks by Palestinian group Hamas on Israel.

The group's praise of the attacks as well as describing Hamas as heroes on their website constituted promoting and encouraging terrorism, Cleverly added.

Proscription means that it will be a criminal offence in Britain to belong to or promote the group, arrange its meetings, and carry its logo in public.

Those breaching the rules could face up to 14 years in jail.

Cleverly has power to proscribe an organsation under British law if the group is believed to be "concerned in terrorism, and it is proportionate to do" according to the government's website.

Headquartered in Lebanon, Hizb ut-Tahrir operates in 32 countries including in Britain, the interior ministry, or Home Office, said. 

Houthis vow to keep up Red Sea attacks after US-led strikes
2:10 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 The chief negotiator for Yemen's Houthis said on Monday the group's stance has not changed since US-led air strikes on its positions, and warned that attacks on ships headed to Israel will continue.

U.S. and British warplanes, ships and submarines last week launched dozens of air strikes across Yemen in retaliation for Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping, which the Iran-aligned movement cast as a response to Israel's offensive in Gaza.

"Attacks to stop Israeli ships or those heading to the ports of the occupied Palestine will continue," Mohammed Abdulsalam told news agency Reuters.

He said the group was still demanding an end of the war in Gaza, and humanitarian aid deliveries to the north and south of the Gaza Strip.

"We do not want escalation in the Red and Arabian Seas," Abdulsalam said. It was the United States and Britain that were militarizing the Red Sea with their warships, he added.

"Our communication ... continues to clarify our position, and confirm that all commercial ships in the Red and Arabian Seas are safe, with the exception of Israeli ships or those heading to Israel, only and only," he said.

Israel has regularly denied having links to vessels that have come under attack in the Red Sea, and several international shipping lines have paused deliveries or switched to longer, most costly routes.

"Our position comes from religious, moral and humanitarian principles ... as well as in response to the calls of the people of Palestine ... to support the oppressed in the Gaza Strip," Abdulsalam said.

The US military said on Sunday a US fighter jet shot down an anti-ship cruise missile which the Houthis fired towards the USS Laboon in the southern Red Sea. 

Iran urges US, Britain to 'stop war against Yemen'
2:04 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran urged Monday the United States and Britain to "stop the war against Yemen" following their recent strikes on targets of the Tehran-backed Houthi rebels.

US and British forces have hit scores of targets in Yemen after weeks of Houthi attacks on vessels in the Red Sea, claiming to act in solidarity with Palestinians in the war-ravaged Gaza Strip.

The strikes have heightened fears that Israel's war on Gaza could engulf the wider region.

"We warn America and Britain to stop the war against Yemen immediately," said Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in a Tehran press conference with his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

He also called on the United States and Israel "to stop the war against Gaza" and said Houthis "will block Israeli ships or ships bound for Israeli ports" as long as the conflict continues.

Iran has previously called the strikes on Yemen "arbitrary" and a "violation" of international law.

Israeli woman killed, 18 others wounded in central Israel
1:54 PM
The New Arab Staff

An Israeli woman died of injuries sustained in a suspected stabbing and car-ramming attack in Ra'anana on Monday. Eighteen more were injured in multiple related incidents. 

An Israeli police statement described the incident as 'unusual', adding that the suspect used a stolen vehicle and then 'ran over several citizens'. 

Israel's public broadcaster said that the assailant stabbed a woman and then drove off with her car, initially ramming three pedestrians, and then took possession of another vehicle and proceeded to run over more pedestrians. 

To more on the report by TNA's Jerusalem correspondent Ibrahim Husseini, please click here.

A damaged car following a suspected ramming attack in the central town of Raanana [Getty]
More oil tankers shun southern Red Sea after US-led strikes
1:51 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

At least six further oil tankers have either diverted their course away from, or paused before entering the southern Red Sea since the weekend, ship tracking data from LSEG and Kpler show.

That takes the total number of shipping disruptions counted by Reuters to at least fifteen in total since the US-led strikes on Houthi positions in Yemen last week.

The tankers Torm Innovation, Proteus Harvonne, and Alfios I appeared to have turned away from the Suez Canal and are taking the longer route around Africa's Cape of Good Hope for voyages to Europe and the United States.

Pacific Julia and STI Topaz are also heading straight for the Cape Route.

And from the other side of the Suez Canal, the Octa Lune performed a U-turn in the northern part of the Red Sea on January 12 and has returned to the Mediterranean with its Taiwan-bound naphtha cargo.

The tankers tracked by Reuters on Friday to have diverted or paused have either taken the longer Cape route or paused in the Gulf of Aden or northern Red Sea.

Iran: US can't call for restraint while backing Gaza war
1:44 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States cannot call for restraint while supporting Israel's war in Gaza, Iran's foreign minister said on Monday, while calling for a diplomatic solution to the war in the enclave.

Hossein Amirabdollahian, in a televised joint press conference with his Indian counterpart in Tehran, called on US officials "not to tie the security and national interests of the US to the fate of Israel's prime minister who is falling".

Amirabdollahian said Iran-aligned Houthi militias will continue their attacks in the Red Sea "as long as the genocide in the Gaza war continues".

"Senior officials in Yemen's Sanaa (Houthi leaders) told us that as long as the genocide in the Gaza war continues, they will take action to prevent the movement of Israeli ships or ships heading to Tel Aviv," he said.

However, Amirabdollahian added that the Houthis have assured Tehran that "they will not create any disruption in maritime security".

US President Joe Biden on Friday called Yemen's Houthi forces a "terrorist" group, after American and British warplanes, ships and submarines launched dozens of air strikes across Yemen overnight.

The Houthi militia movement has threatened a "strong and effective response". 

Woman killed in Israel suspected ramming attack: medics
1:40 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A woman was killed in a suspected car ramming in central Israel, medics said, as police arrested two Palestinians over the reported attack.

"A wounded woman who arrived in a critical condition after having been hit by a vehicle has died of her injuries despite our efforts to save her," said a statement from Meir hospital, near Raanana where the incident took place.

Israeli police forces arrest suspect after Raanana attack
1:30 PM
The New Arab Staff

Police have reported that a man in the southern occupied West Bank town of Bani Naim has arrested, as well as a second man from Hebron who is said to be a relative of the suspect.

In a statement, police say that the man stole three cars during the suspected attack that led to several injured by stabbing or ramming.

Earlier on, Israeli police spokesperson Eli Levy told Army Radio that the motive behind the attack had yet been determined “with certainty”.

14 wounded in car ramming, stabbing attack in Israel
1:20 PM
The New Arab Staff

At least 14 Israelis were involved in a ramming and stabbing attack in central Israel's Ra'anana. 

In a statement, police say the man stole a three cars during the suspected car-ramming attack.

According to the MDA emergency service,  at least 14 people were said to be injured that included one in critical condition and two in serious condition. Meanwhile, at least one is reported to have been stabbed.

According to a witness to the suspected attack who spoke to Israeli news outlet Haaretz, she "saw someone stab three people near the mall. [The attacker] stole a car and ran over other people."

Bangladesh announces intervention in ICJ case against Israel
1:12 PM
The New Arab Staff

Bangladesh has announced its support for South Africa's ICJ proceedings against Israel, following court hearings at The Hague last Thursday and Friday.

Dhaka's foreign ministry issued a statement to welcome the opportunity to intervene in the proceedings.

"The ongoing attacks by Israeli Defense Forces have claimed the lives of thousands of innocent Palestinian civilians, the majority of whom are women and children. Bangladesh considers these deliberate acts of aggression a blatant disregard for and violation of international law, including the Genocide Convention," said the MoFA release.

'Fate' of three captives to be revealed tonight: Hamas
12:41 PM
The New Arab Staff

The military wing of Hamas, the al-Qassam Brigades, released a message saying it will reveal the fate of three captives held in Gaza later today.

The message, posted on its Telegram channel, was accompanied by a video in which the captives spoke to the camera.

Hamas said earlier it lost contact with some hostages as Israeli forces shelled Gaza, noting they might have been killed in the bombing.

Israeli officials have declined to respond to Hamas’ public messaging on the captives, dismissing it as "psychological warfare".

Israel's Ben-Gvir calls for boycott of Turkey
11:33 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israel's national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has threatened Turkey after Israeli footballer Sagiv Jehezkel’s arrest- accusing Turkey's president Tayyip Erdogan of being "a full-on Nazi".

“Turkey acts toward Israeli players, and toward anything with a scent of Israeliness, with Nazism,” the far-right politician said in a post on X.

Ben-Gvir also called on other Israelis to avoid travelling to Turkey and boycott its products.

“The state of Israel and Israeli citizens must not act with forgiveness toward Turkey. We won’t let ourselves be trampled on," he continued.

Turkey calls for World Economic Forum boycott over Gaza
11:24 AM
The New Arab Staff

Turkey's president Tayyip Erdogan has urged his country’s officials to avoid attending this year’s World Economic Forum, following the organisers’ stance on Israel’s war on Gaza, according to sources who spoke to Bloomberg.

Treasury and Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek was set to make an appearance, however Erdogan had opposed the decision, according to the report. 

The World Economic Forum's founder and executive chairman, Klaus Schwab, issued a statement following the  October 7 attacks by Hamas- whose response was later criticised for his lack of criticism over Israel's relentless military offensive that killed Palestinians in thousands. 

UN tells Israel access to northern port critical for Gaza
11:21 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Bringing food and supplies to the besieged population of Gaza, which is increasingly at risk of famine, also depends on the opening of new entry routes into the territory, the World Food Programme (WFP), UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO) said in a joint statement.

The use of Ashdod, located some 40 km (25 miles) north of the Gaza border, is "critically needed by aid agencies", they said, while calling for a "fundamental step change in the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza".

Allowing humanitarian agencies to use that port "would enable significantly larger quantities of aid to be shipped in and then trucked directly to the badly affected northern regions of Gaza, which few convoys have managed to reach", they said.

Opening the Ashdod port would reduce the time it takes to transport food to Gazans from the north, WFP's regional director for the Middle East, Corinne Fleischer, told French news agency AFP earlier this month.

"We buy most of our food in Turkey, just bring it to Ashdod port, and then that reduces the lead time," Fleischer said.

"We need border crossings in the north to open, so we can more regularly access the north, where the food security crisis is even deeper," she said.

In December, Israel approved the temporary delivery of aid into Gaza via its southern Kerem Shalom or Karem Abu Salem border crossing, opening a new route for supplies after weeks of pressure.

132 killed in Gaza in last 24 hours: ministry
10:26 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza reported that at least 252 people were injured by Israeli attacks in the past 24 hours.

“A number of victims are still under the rubble and on the roads and ambulances, and civil defence crews cannot reach them,” the ministry said in a post on Facebook.

The latest casualties brought the total death toll in Gaza since October 7 to 24,100, according to the ministry, as 60,834 have also been reported as wounded.

Israeli forces arrest Palestinian university students
10:11 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces have detained university students who staged a sit-in after making calls against rising tuition fees at An-Najah University in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.

The Israeli military claimed that they have arrested nine students to “thwart the activities of Hamas cells’ student terrorist squads” who were allegedly hiding at the university.

The Israeli forces wrote in a post on X that they have also detained other students for questioning.

German stats office: Effect of Red Sea attacks unclear
9:49 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The German statistics office said on Monday that it was impossible to say at the moment what effect attacks by the Houthis in the Red Sea actually had on the economy. 

More than 24,000 killed in Gaza since October 7
8:57 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israel’s latest attacks on the Gaza Strip brought the death toll to more than 24,000 since the war began, the Palestinian Media Office said on Monday.

This number includes more than 10,400 children – or over 1 percent of the besieged enclave’s child population.

At least 61,000 people are also injured in the enclave, with many struggling to find healthcare or medicine to treat their wounds.

More than 8,000 people are still missing, presumed buried in the concrete debris.

UK will ‘wait and see’ about additional Yemen strikes
8:16 AM
The New Arab Staff

The United Kingdom left the door open for more attacks on Yemen with the defence minister saying it depends on what happens next.

The UK will wait before deciding to launch new strikes against the Houthi movement with the stated aim of protecting international shipping, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps says.

“Let’s wait and see what happens because it’s not that we want to be involved in action in the Red Sea. But, ultimately, freedom of navigation is an international right,” Shapps told Sky News.

Palestine UN mission decries Blinken ignoring civilian death
7:51 AM
The New Arab Staff

Palestine’s mission criticised the US secretary of state for making no mention of the 24,000 Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip – about half of them children – in his post to mark 100 days of war.

“Shame on those who remain complicit and do not call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Shame on them,” it said in a post on X.

Blinken only said “100 days of captivity in Gaza is far too long” and vowed to bring back the captives.

33 killed in southern Khan Younis; 22 dead in central Gaza
7:50 AM
The New Arab Staff


Israeli bombardment on homes in southern in Khan Younis killed at least 33 people and injured dozens more. Many wounded were taken to Nasser Hospital.

At least 22 people were killed and a large number injured as a result of Israeli forces targeting al-Thalatheni Street in the central Gaza Strip.

Air strikes were also carried out on the Maghazi and Bureij refugee camps and central Deir el-Balah city.

UN agency says Israel obstructing aid delivery into Gaza
7:48 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israel is obstructing the entry of humanitarian aid into the besieged Gaza Strip, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

Egypt has not closed the Rafah border crossing since the outbreak of the war on 7 October, UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini told Egyptian news channel Al-Qahira Wal Nas on Sunday.

The world is witnessing the killing of innocent Palestinians by the Israeli killing machine, which did not spare any human, stone, or even animals, he added.