Israel army says Gaza City encircled, calls increase for humanitarian truce

Israel army says Gaza City encircled, calls increase for humanitarian truce
Joe Biden has backed a humanitarian 'pause' in Gaza, without calling for a ceasefire, amid growing global outrage as the death toll reaches over 9,000.
25 min read
02 November, 2023

This live blog on the Gaza war has ended for tonight and will resume at 9am GMT. Make sure to visit us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for the latest news.

Israel's army said Thursday its forces have encircled Gaza City following days of expanding ground operations in the besieged Palestinian territory.

Military spokesman Daniel Hagari said that troops had "completed the encirclement of Gaza City".

Diplomatic efforts are intensifying for at least a brief pause in the fighting in Gaza's deadliest war amid outrage over the increasing casualties.

US President Joe Biden has suggested a humanitarian "pause", without calling for a ceasefire, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected back in the region on Friday.

Arab countries, including those allied with the US and at peace with Israel, have expressed mounting unease with the war.

The opening of the Rafah border crossing , allowing hundreds of foreign passport holders and wounded Palestinians to leave Gaza on Wednesday, followed weeks of talks among Egypt, Israel, the U.S. and Qatar, which mediates with Hamas.

Israel has so far killed 9,061 Palestinians in Gaza, including over 3,760 children, according to the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza. Israeli strikes on the Jabalia refugee camp on Tuesday and Wednesday, which caused outrage around the world, have killed 195 people and injured 777.

Israel has been indiscriminately bombarding the Gaza Strip since October 7, when Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel, killing 1,400 people and taking around 240 hostages.

In the occupied West Bank, 132 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks.

Israel to sever all contact with Gaza, return workers: govt
2:03 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel will return Gazans working inside the country to the besieged Palestinian territory, the government said.

"Israel is severing all contact with Gaza. There will be no more Palestinian workers from Gaza," the Israeli security cabinet announced in a statement late Thursday.

"Those workers from Gaza who were in Israel on the day of the outbreak of the war will be returned to Gaza," it added, without specifying how many people would be sent back.

Before the Israel-Hamas war started, Israel had issued work permits to some 18,500 Gazans, according to COGAT, the Israeli defence body responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs.

U.S. flying drones over Gaza in search of hostages
12:56 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States has been flying surveillance drones over Gaza in search of hostages taken by Hamas on 7 October, two U.S. officials said on Thursday.

The two U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the U.S was flying intelligence gathering drones over Gaza to assist with hostage location efforts. One of the officials said they had been carrying out the drone flights for over a week.

U.S. officials have said 10 Americans who remain unaccounted for may be among the more than 200 people taken as hostages into Gaza, where they are believed to be held in Hamas' extensive tunnel network.

Chile's Boric condemns 'disproportionate' Israeli violence
11:10 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Chilean President Gabriel Boric, who this week condemned Israeli military's air bombardment of Gaza and recalled his envoy to Israel, on Thursday said he told President Joe Biden that Israel's actions were violating international law.

Boric said he condemned the 7 October attack on Israel by Hamas, but added Israel's retaliatory bombardment of Gaza had been disproportionate and was violating international law.

Read the full article here.

Drone shot down over Harir military base in N. Iraq: sources
11:09 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

An armed drone was shot down on Thursday over Harir military base hosting U.S. forces in northern Iraq, two security sources said.

It was not clear if the foiled attack caused any damages or casualties, said the sources.

UN experts warn Palestinians at 'grave risk of genocide'
10:25 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

United Nations experts called on Thursday for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, saying time was running out for Palestinian people there who find themselves at "grave risk of genocide".

"We remain convinced that the Palestinian people are at grave risk of genocide," the group of experts, made up of seven U.N. special rapporteurs, said in a statement.

"We demand a humanitarian ceasefire to ensure that aid reaches those who need it the most."

Read the full article here.


Republican bill to aid Israel passes US House despite Senate
10:04 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Thursday providing $14.3 billion in aid to Israel, despite Democrats' insistence that it has no future in the Senate.

The vote was 226 to 196, largely along party lines.

Jordan to tell Blinken Israel must immediately stop Gaza war
10:00 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi will tell U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Amman on Saturday that Israel must end its war on Gaza where he said it was committing war crimes by bombing civilians and imposing a siege.

In a foreign ministry statement, Safadi warned that Israel's unreadiness to end the war was pushing the region rapidly towards a regional war that threatened world peace.

"Safadi will stress (to Blinken) the need to move immediately to stop the Israeli war on Gaza ... and that Israel abide by international law and stop its breaches," Safadi said.

Speaking to reporters moments before departing on his second Middle East trip in less than a month, Blinken said discussions on the future of Gaza when and if Hamas is defeated, and ways to ensure the conflict does not spread will also be areas of focus during his trip.

Live Story

The conflict has stirred long-standing fears in Jordan, home to a large population of Palestinian refugees and their descendants, that a wider conflagration would give Israel the chance to implement a transfer policy to expel Palestinians en masse from the West Bank.

Jordan, which shares a border with the ouccpied West Bank, absorbed the bulk of Palestinians who fled or were driven out of their homes when Israel was created in 1948.

King Abdullah on Wednesday said Israel's "military and security solution" against Palestinians would not succeed, adding the only path to a just and comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace were negotiations leading to a two-state solution.

Israeli raid kills 2 in Jenin, West Bank: health ministry
9:30 PM
The New Arab Staff

Two Palestinians were killed and five others were wounded in a late Thursday raid by Israeli forces in the town of Jenin in the occupied West Bank, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

US will not impose conditions on support for Israel: Harris
9:07 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday said the United States would not seek to impose any conditions on the support it gives Israel to defend itself.

"We are not going to create any conditions on the support that we are giving Israel to defend itself," Harris told a news conference in Britain following the conclusion of an AI Safety Summit.

"We are going to continue to stand with Israel's right to defend itself and, let's be clear and never forget what happened on Octover 7, where hundreds, thousands, 1400, innocent people were killed, slaughtered. Young people who were simply attending a concert."

Israel used white phosphorus on Gaza: reports
9:02 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel targeted the vicinity of the Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City Thursday night using internationally banned white phosphorus, media outlets have reported, quoting eyewitnesses.

Japan air force plane evacuates 46 out of Israel: Japan govt
8:41 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

An aerial refuelling and transport plane operated by Japan's Air Self-Defence Force left Israel for Japan late on Thursday carrying 46 passengers including 20 Japanese nationals, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.

Passengers aboard also included 15 South Koreans, four Vietnamese and one Taiwanese, the ministry announced on Friday.

The second such evacuation using Japanese military aircraft since the start of Israel's war on Gaza last month took place amid Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa's visit to Israel, Jordan and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

It was the second evacuation of Japanese nationals [Getty]
France to send 2nd helicopter carrier to Gaza in aid effort
8:04 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

France's Defence Minister said a second French helicopter would be sent off the coast of Gaza, as it works with Israeli and Egyptian authorities to find a way to provide medical assistance to people affected by the bombings in the besieged area.

Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu spoke to France Info radio on Thursday in Lebanon, where he visited the French unit of the United Nations' mission in the country. He said messages has been passed to both Hezbollah and Israel urging them not to do anything that would make it impossible for the mission to carry out its mandate.

Lecornu visited the French unit in the UNIFIL [Getty]
Palestinian TV journalist killed in Israeli strike in Gaza
8:00 PM
The New Arab Staff

Palestine TV correspondent Muhammad Abu Hatab was killed along with a number of his family members after Israeli airstrikes targeted his house in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.

Morocco slams international 'inaction' over Gaza
7:26 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Morocco expressed "great concern and deep indignation" over "the worsening of the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip," a foreign ministry statement said on Thursday.

It said Rabat regrets "the inaction" of the international community and the United Nations Security Council's "failure to assume its responsibilities".

The statement condemned what it called "the inability of influential countries to put an end to this catastrophic situation".

Israel's "acts of escalation are in contradiction with international humanitarian law and common human values," it said.

Morocco, which normalised diplomatic ties with Israel in 2020, called "for a de-escalation leading to a ceasefire and the opening of humanitarian corridors".

Lebanon 'doesn't need war' with Israel: French minister
7:20 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu said Thursday that Lebanon "doesn't need a war" with Israel and warned against a regional escalation as Israel bombards Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

"Lebanon doesn't need a war, that's the least we can say," Lecornu said during a visit to French peacekeepers in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Such a war "could have major escalatory effects on the whole region," he added.

Lecornu said there was no interest in interrupting UNIFIL's mandate in the face of the current border tensions, adding he had heard "here and there that UNIFIL should stop its patrols".

"If there was ever a time in which we needed oversight and deterrence to prevent an escalation, it's now," he said.

No indication Hezbollah ready to go in 'full force': US
7:17 PM

The White House is concerned about attacks on Israeli forces by Hezbollah, as they exchange fire and violence spikes at the Lebanese border, but there is no indication the Iran-backed group is ready "to go in full force," national security spokesperson John Kirby said on Thursday.

"We're concerned about continued attacks on Israeli forces there in the north, as are the Israelis, but I don't believe we've seen any indication yet specifically that Hezbollah is ready to go in full force," he told reporters at a briefing.

Hamas military wing says Gaza will be 'a curse' for Israel
7:10 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hamas' military wing threatened Thursday that Gaza would be a "curse" for Israel, warning that its invading soldiers would go home "in black bags".

"Gaza will be the curse of history for Israel," said Abu Obeida, a spokesman for the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades in an audio address, adding that Israel could expect "more of your soldiers to return in black bags".

Israel army says Gaza City encircled: spokesman
7:00 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's army claimed Thursday that its forces have encircled Gaza City following days of expanding ground operations in the besieged Palestinian territory.

Military spokesman Daniel Hagari said that troops had "completed the encirclement of Gaza City".

"A ceasefire is not on the table now, and our mission is focused on eliminating Hamas," he added.

He continued: "We are fighting face to face in Gaza, we have the upper hand, and we are striking forcefully from sea and land," claiming that the Israeli army is "operating at half its strength and is ready to move quickly on all fronts."

He revealed that 335 Israeli officers and soldiers have been killed since 7 October.

27 killed in Israel strike near UN school: health ministry
6:29 PM
The New Arab Staff

The health ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip said on Thursday at least 27 people were killed in an Israeli strike near a UN-run school in the Jabalia refugee camp.

"The bodies of 27 martyrs were recovered and a large number of wounded," ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.

AFP footage showed several casualties as crowds of people rushed to help them, while it was not possible to independently verify the death toll.

"Children under 10 were simply buying from the canteen and were cut into pieces," cried a woman in the school yard.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees confirmed that one of its schools in Jabalia was damaged "after two days of heavy bombardments in the area".

Hamas rockets from south Lebanon land in Qiryat Shmona
6:27 PM
The New Arab Staff

Multiple rockets fired by Hamas' armed wing from southern Lebanon landed in the north Israeli settlement of Qiryat Shmona, causing significant material damage and injuries.

Cancer patients die after Gaza hospital with no fuel closes
5:56 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestinian ministry of health has reported that four Palestinian cancer patients in Gaza have passed away, following the closure of  the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital.

The hospital, which was the only hospital that was designated for treating cancer patients in Gaza,  shut down after running out of fuel. 

Biden says 74 dual citizens have been able to leave Gaza
5:39 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States has been able to get 74 dual citizens out of Gaza, President Joe Biden has said at the White House, one day after evacuees began crossing into Egypt. 


Hezbollah hits 19 positions in Israel simultaneously: source
5:36 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Lebanese group Hezbollah has launched simultaneous attacks on 19 different positions in northern Israel along the border with Lebanon, a senior Hezbollah source told Reuters.

The source said the positions included military sites but did not elaborate. 


Blinken says to focus on steps needed to protect Gazans
5:29 PM
The New Arab Staff

On route to Israel, top US diplomat Anthony Blinken did not confirm reports about pressing for humanitarian 'pauses' amid the ongoing Gaza-Israel conflict- however he has said he would ask Israel to take "concrete steps" to minimize harm to civilians in Gaza.

"We will be talking about concrete steps that can and should be taken to minimize harm to men, women and children in Gaza," Blinken told reporters at Andrews Air Force Base as he flew out.

"This is something that the United States is committed to," he said a day before he will hold his latest meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Blinken reiterated that the United States believes that Israel has "the right and the obligation to defend itself" but Blinken emphasized sorrow over the killings of Palestinians which have outraged much of the world.

Israeli forces attack fighters in Lebanon
5:17 PM
The New Arab Staff

Cross-border clashes along the Israeli-Lebanese border has intensified- as Israel carries out air strikes in south Lebanon.

The attacks follow Israeli town and military positions hit in northern Israel, as Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is expected to issue a public speech on Friday.

Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari said the targets included "military headquarters, infrastructures for directing terrorism, rocket launching positions, munitions warehouses and military complexes". 

Hagari additionally posted a video on X which allegedly shows the air strikes on Lebanese targets. 

Ambassador reacts to Balfour declaration anniversary
5:02 PM

Husam Zomlot, the Palestinian ambassador to the UK, has issued a statement on X, as Thursday marks the 106 year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

The Balfour Declaration was issued by the British government in 1917- which declared the establishment of a "national home for the Jewish people" in Palestine.

"Today marks 106 years since Britain issued its colonial Balfour Declaration, which gave our land away and reduced us to the "non-Jewish" population," Zomlot wrote.

"The ongoing campaign of mass murder against our people in Gaza and all over Palestine is a stark reminder of the catastrophic consequences of that declaration."

He continued, "It is the responsibility of the UK to correct this historic injustice, demand an immediate end to Israel's aggression, recognise the State of Palestine and collect international support to once and for all end Israel's occupation."

Blinken to press Israel to agree on 'temporary ceasefire'
4:52 PM
The New Arab Staff

Top US diplomat Anthony Blinken, who is set to arrive in Israel to conduct meetings with Netanyahu and other Israeli officials, is anticipated to push for “a series of brief cessations of military operations in Gaza”, the New York Times reports.

The “pauses” include securing the release of people held in captivity following Hamas' October 7 attack and acquiring further humanitarian aid into the Palestinian enclave, according to the newspaper.

US has continually refused calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza by claiming that the move would benefit Hamas.

'Palestinian people at grave risk of genocide': UN
4:46 PM
The New Arab Staff

Experts at the United Nations have issued a warning regarding Palestinians who are 'grave risk of genocide' amid Israel's brutal bombardment on the Palestinian enclave.

"We remain convinced that the Palestinian people are at grave risk of genocide," the experts, who include several UN special rapporteurs, said in a statement on Thursday.

"We demand a humanitarian ceasefire to ensure that aid reaches those who need it the most."

Israeli forces raid Al-Maqasid Hospital in Jerusalem
4:05 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces arrested Gazan patients and their families after raiding Al-Maqasid Hospital in Jerusalem.

Israeli forces stormed the Al-Maqasid Hospital after besieging it, arresting several patients from Gaza along with their companions.

Some 12 Palestinians from Gaza were targeted in the arrests, according to Quds Press news site.

The Israeli intelligence also summoned some of the hospital staff for interrogation, the outlet added.

Israel has turned Gaza into a graveyard for children
3:49 PM
The New Arab Staff

Gaza's children are bearing the brunt of Israel's bombs.

Over 3,700 children have been killed by Israeli attacks since October 7, 40 percent of the total death toll.

While the West continues to debate proportionality, Gaza's children will continue to die.

Live Story
Hezbollah says it attacked Israeli position using drones
3:35 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Lebanon's Hezbollah has said it has used two drones packed with explosives to attack an Israeli army command position in the disputed Shebaa Farms area at the Lebanese-Israeli border.

It is the first time Hezbollah has declared carrying out an attack against Israeli forces using such drones, and comes a few days after the group said for the first time it had used a surface-to-air missile against an Israeli drone.

In a statement, Hezbollah said the drones filled with "a large quantity of explosives" had attacked the headquarters of the Israeli battalion in the Shebaa Farms area, and they had hit their targets.


Heavy clashes take place around Gaza City
3:21 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces and Palestinian fighters have reported to kickstart clashes in Gaza City, which is known as the most densely populated area in the besieged Gaza Strip which houses its biggest hospital and other key facilities.

Herzi Halevi, chief of the general staff of the Israeli military, has said Israeli troops are currently operating and 'surrounding' Gaza City- as well as 'deepening' the ground offensive.

Meanwhile, Al-Qassam Brigades have added that its fighters are battling Israeli forces in multiple areas on the outskirts of Gaza City.  

Hamas criticizes German ban as crime against Palestine
2:58 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A representative for the Hamas group in Lebanon has said Germany's ban on the group's activities showed that the country was in partnership with Israel on crimes against Palestinian people.

"This prompts us to question whether the German political mentality is a Holocaust mentality that affects all peoples and is not limited to one party or another," Osama Hamdan, the Hamas representative has said in a Lebanese based news conference.

Germany will ban the activities of Hamas, that is labelled a designated terrorist organisation in the country, as well as pro-Palestinian group Samidoun, the interior minister announced on Thursday.

Tunisia mulls law to criminalise Israel normalisation
2:52 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Tunisia's parliament have begun debating a bill that would criminalise any normalisation of ties with Israel as Israel's brutal bombardment on the besieged Gaza Strip ensues.

The draft bill defines "normalisation" as "recognition of the Zionist entity or the establishment of direct or indirect ties" with it, a crime which would be classed as "high treason".

Anyone found guilty of "the crime of normalisation" would face a penalty of between six to 10 years of prison and a fine of 10,000 to 100,000 Tunisian dinars (3,000 to 30,000 euros), the text says. Any repeat offenders would be jailed for life.

"There is total agreement between the president, the parliament and public opinion" on this matter, parliamentary speaker Brahim Bouderbala told lawmakers at the start of the session.

"We strongly believe Palestine must be liberated from the river to the sea.. and that a Palestinian state must be established with Holy Jerusalem as its capital," he said.

Israeli air strikes cause destruction in Bureij refugee camp
2:23 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli air strikes has destroyed another residential block in the Gaza Strip- causing deaths, injuries and leaving homes in ruins.

The residential square of Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip has reportedly found the bodies of 15 people, with many more still trapped under the rubble, the civil defence spokesman in Gaza tells Al Jazeera.

“My family and I were sitting, and all of a sudden, we heard a huge explosive. Everything was flying around us. We couldn’t see anything but dust and smoke. It was massive. The whole area is turned upside down … all in a second," a survivor tells Al Jazeera.

"That was my home [pointing to rubble]. Now it is totally in ruins. I do not know what to say. We are helpless."

Israeli forces open fire in Gaza's Al Quds Hospital
2:09 PM
The New Arab Staff

Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) have reported that Israeli forces have ambushed Al Quds Hospital in Tal Al-Hawa, which resulted in the injuries of a man and child who were shot in the chest and abdomen.

PRCS has issued a series of tweets to describe the attack and added that the attacks "caused significant damage to the central air conditioning units and one of the water tanks within the hospital."

The incident follows Al Quds Hospital facing numerous threats from Israeli forces to evacuate, stating that the area will soon become a military zone with ensuing clashes.

Settler rampage in West Bank village wounds Palestinians
1:51 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

West Bank settler rampage has taken place in the occupied West Bank village of Deir Sharaf has left Palestinians wounded and in fear.

Deir Sharaf, in the northwest of Nablus, has historically been a target for settler attacks that consists of physically harassing residents, cutting trees to burning agricultural crops.

Israeli forces has placed an iron gate at the western entrance of the village, to restrict any free  movement of Palestinians, which has also been put in place within other villages in the West Bank.

A video uploaded by Israeli news organisation B'Tselem demonstrates shops and cars being torched by Israeli settlers at the entrance to the village Deir Sharaf.

No time to mourn our dead, Gazans say
1:43 PM
Sally Ibrahim

For 27 days and counting, Israel continued to indiscriminately attack the besieged Gaza Strip, killing over 9,000 people, mainly women and children.  

Many Gazans share with The New Arab stories of losing loved ones amid uncertainty and fear as Israel continues to target defenceless civilians.

TNA's Gaza correspondent Sally Ibrahim reports.

Live Story


Turkey ready to take cancer patients from shut Gaza hospital
1:13 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Turkey is ready to take in cancer patients from Gaza's Turkish-Palestinian Friendship hospital, which went out of service on Wednesday after running out of fuel, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Thursday.

Health officials said on Wednesday that the hospital, which was the only cancer treatment hospital in the Gaza Strip, had to shut down amid Israel's bombardment of the enclave.

In a statement on X, Koca said that if the necessary coordination was done Turkey was ready to bring both cancer patients and others in need of emergency help to Turkey to continue their treatment.

"As Turkey... we are ready to provide any and all support in continuing the treatment of cancer patients who were forcibly discharged from the hospital due to a lack of resources," Koca said.

"The international community and relevant institutions have unfortunately not taken enough initiative to prevent the attacks on the hospital. Saving the lives of the patients is now a duty that cannot be escaped," he added.

Reuters contributed to this story.

UK, UN agree on need to scale up humanitarian aid to Gaza
1:06 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres agreed on the need to scale up delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza, the prime minister's office said on Thursday.

"The leaders discussed the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza and agreed on the importance of urgently scaling up the delivery of life-saving humanitarian aid," a Downing Street spokesperson said.

"The Prime Minister and the Secretary-General agreed on the need to reinvigorate international efforts to reach a lasting resolution to the conflict and progress work towards a two-state solution."

The two leaders met as they attended talks on the final day of the inaugural AI Safety Summit at Bletchley Park in England. 

Reuters contributed to this story

US secretary of state, Saudi defence minister discuss Gaza
12:37 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has discussed the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the need to reinforce regional stability with Saudi Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman Al Saud, the State Department says.

"The secretary affirmed the importance of addressing humanitarian needs in Gaza, preventing further spread of the conflict, and reinforcing regional stability and security, including in Yemen," in Wednesday's meeting, the department said in a statement.

"He also emphasized the importance of working toward sustainable peace between Israelis and Palestinians, a shared priority of both the United States and Saudi Arabia."

Bahrain pulls ambassador from Israel, suspends economic ties
12:10 PM
The New Arab Staff

Bahrain's lower house of parliament announces the halting of economic ties with Israel and the return of ambassadors on both sides over the Israel-Hamas war, although there was no government confirmation.

"The Council of Representatives confirms that the Israeli ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain has left Bahrain, and the Kingdom of Bahrain decided to return the Bahraini ambassador from Israel to the country," a statement said.

"Economic relations with Israel have also been halted," said the statement from the lower house, which does not have executive powers.

The move is "in support of the Palestinian cause and the legitimate rights of the brotherly Palestinian people", it said.

Israel's foreign ministry has said it had not been notified of any decision by Bahrain. If confirmed, it would be the first such move by one of Israel's Gulf Arab allies.

Many healthcare facilities in Gaza are 'out of service'
12:06 PM
The New Arab Staff

16 out of 35 hospitals in Gaza are currently out of service, the Palestinian Health Ministry has said.

The Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital, the only cancer hospital in Gaza, forcefully stopped operations after running out of fuel.

“The lives of 70 cancer patients inside the hospital are seriously threatened,” Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila said on Wednesday.

Two boys killed in West Bank by Israeli forces
11:56 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces have killed two Palestinian boys on Thursday in the West Bank, that has since taken the death toll in the occupied territory to 132 during Israel's ongoing attacks on Gaza and the West Bank since October 7. 

The Palestinian health ministry have confirmed the deaths of Ayham al-Shafi, 14, and Qusai Qaraan, 19, who were respectively killed in Al-Bireh and Qalqilya on Thursday morning. 

 14-year-old boy Hamdan Hamdan, also died on Thursday, after being wounded by Israeli gunfire earlier in the week. 

Gaza death toll reaches 9,061
11:40 AM
The New Arab Staff

The death toll in Gaza by ongoing Israeli attacks since October 7 has reached 9,061, including 3,760 children and 2,326 women- the Palestinian health ministry reports.

Saudi starts fundraising drive for Gazan Palestinians
11:29 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Saudi Arabia has said it will launch a fundraising campaign for Palestinians in Gaza where Israel is pressing a brutal military operation on the besieged territory following the October 7 Hamas attacks.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler, donated 20 million Saudi riyals to the campaign, the state-affiliated channel Al-Ekhbariya reported.

The campaign "comes within the framework of the Kingdom's well-known historic role in standing with the brotherly Palestinian people," said Dr Abdullah al-Rabeeah, head of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

 Saudi officials were participating in US-brokered discussions about normalising ties with Israel, although the talks have since been put on hold, a source briefed on the process told AFP in mid-October.

UAE says it plans to treat 1,000 Palestinian children
11:26 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United Arab Emirates said on Thursday it planned to treat 1,000 Palestinian children from Gaza, without saying how they would leave the Israeli-besieged enclave for the Gulf state.

Israel has tightened its blockade and bombarded Gaza for nearly four weeks, following the October 7 attack by Hamas that Israel says killed 1,400.

The Gaza health ministry says 8,796 Palestinian, including 3,648 children, have been killed by Israeli strikes since October 7.

Gaza's border with Egypt, the only exit point apart from the closed border crossings with Israel, has largely been shut since October 7, although several hundred foreign nationals and a small number of injured Palestinians, to be treated in Egyptian hospitals, have crossed into Egypt since Wednesday.

New group of Gaza dual nationals depart for Egypt
11:24 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A group of dual nationals have already left Gaza for Egypt on Thursday through Rafah, a border official said, a day after the crossing point reopened for foreign passport holders and wounded Palestinians.

Wael Abu Mohsen, spokesman for the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing, said in a statement that "100 travellers of foreign nationalities" had crossed into Egypt on Thursday morning, escaping the bombarded Palestinian territory.

A total of 400 foreign passport holders as well as 60 wounded patients were due to cross by the day's end, Abu Mohsen said.

German minister announces complete ban on Hamas activities
11:22 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 Germany will from Wednesday ban the activities of Hamas, already a designated terrorist organisation in the country, as well as pro-Palestinian group Samidoun, the interior minister announced on Thursday.

"With Hamas, I have today completely banned the activities of a terrorist organisation whose aim is to destroy the state of Israel," Nancy Faeser said in a statement.

Samidoun's German wing will also be disbanded, it added. Faeser said the international network works under the guise of a solidarity group for prisoners to spread anti-Israel and antisemitic propaganda.

Reuters has contributed to this story.

UK: Jewish anti-Zionist group led morning prayer for Gaza
10:05 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A Jewish anti-Zionist group have been leading a morning service at London St. Pancras station in solidarity for Palestine.

British based coalition group Jewish Anti-Zionist Action led the prayer at London's renowned station.

Videos have surfaced on social media of police attempting to break up the service and protesters have retaliated by shouting "Let us pray!"

Lebanese shepherds killed in Lebanese-Israeli border clashes
9:40 AM
The New Arab Staff

The bodies of two shepherds were found on Thursday morning in the border town of al-Wazzani, the latest civilian casualties in Lebanon as Israel and Hezbollah and its Palestinian allies continue clashing along the countries' shared border.

The head of the local municipality said that the two men, both in their early twenties, were killed by Israeli gunfire and that there were clear bullet holes in their bodies.

A UNIFIL source confirmed the death of the two shepherds but said that they were unable to verify the origin of the gunfire that killed them.

No evidence of Hamas tunnels under Gaza hospital: report
9:27 AM
The New Arab Staff

Misbar, an independent Arabic fact-check platform, has reported that there were contrasts found to allegations put forth by Israeli forces spokesperson Daniel Hagary during a press conference on October 27 on the presence of Hamas centres under Al-Shifa Hospital.

Misbar's findings include comparing the aerial image of Al-Shifa Hospital shared by Israeli forces to a similar image via satellite.

According to Misbar, the satellite image did not demonstrate the exact locations of tunnels or how Hamas could operate between them.

The areas that were flagged as Hamas-designed spots were discovered as "specific healthcare facilities" that are "currently crowded with patients, wounded, medical staff, and displaced individuals."

Hamas has also denied Israel's allegation of using Al-Shifa Hospital for military purposes and claimed that the accusations are criminal and dangerous- which may validate the hospital to be targeted. 

To read Misbar's full report, click here.

Biden voices support for humanitarian 'pause'
9:06 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies
US President Joe Biden, when responding to a heckler at a Minnesota campaign event Wednesday night, said he thinks there should be a humanitarian "pause" in the Israeli-Hamas war to get "prisoners" out of Gaza.

The 80-year-old Democrat was delivering remarks to some 200 supporters in the northern US state when a member of the audience shouted out to him.

"As a rabbi, I need you to call for a ceasefire right now," she said, referring to the deadly conflict between Israel and Hamas.

The president responded: "I think we need a pause. A pause means giving time to get the prisoners out."