Israel forces attack Gaza's Al-Awda Hospital as toll of mass grave at Al-Nasser rises to 283 bodies

Israel forces attack Gaza's Al-Awda Hospital as toll of mass grave at Al-Nasser rises to 283 bodies
Israeli forces have reportedly attacked Al-Awda Hospital in central Gaza. The number of bodies retried from a mass grave at Al-Nasser Hospital has risen to 283.
16 min read

Israeli forces have attacked solar panels belonging to Al-Awda Hospital in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, Palestinian media reported, citing press sources.

Israeli artillery also targeted a building belonging to the hospital.

It comes as the number of bodies retrieved from a mass grave uncovered at a hospital in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, the Al-Nasser Medical Complex, has risen to 283, according to civil defence authorities.

Israeli forces have previously attacked the facility.

The number of people killed so far in Israel's war on Gaza has risen to 34,151, with 77,084 injured, according to the enclave's health ministry.

Featured images: Getty

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6:01 PM
The New Arab Staff

This live blog on Israel's war on Gaza has concluded. Make sure to follow us for the latest news on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

EU foreign ministers agree to expand Iran sanctions
5:54 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

EU foreign ministers agreed in principle on Monday to expand sanctions on Iran following Tehran's retaliatory missile and drone attack on Israel, the bloc's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.

The European Union already has multiple sanctions programmes against Iran, for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, human rights abuses, and supplying drones to Russia.

But several EU countries had called for widening the drone-related sanctions regime to cover missiles and transfers to proxy forces.

"We have reached a political agreement in order to enlarge and expand the existing drone [sanctions] regime in order to cover missiles and their potential… transfer to Russia," Borrell told reporters after a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

The sanctions would also be expanded beyond Russia to cover drone and missile deliveries not only to Russia but also to proxies in the region, he said.

More work will need to follow to approve a legal framework before the expansion of the sanctions can take effect.


Gaza official: Some 200 bodies exhumed at hospital since Sat
5:53 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Gaza's Civil Defence agency said on Monday that health workers had uncovered around 200 bodies over the past three days of people killed and buried by Israeli forces at a hospital in Khan Younis.

The Israeli military did not offer an immediate comment.

"Our civil defence crews are still recovering bodies from inside Nasser Medical Complex, and since Saturday bodies of nearly 200 martyrs have been retrieved," Mahmud Bassal, spokesman for Gaza's Civil Defence, told AFP.

Record London close as oil prices drop on easing ME fears
5:45 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Major stock markets rallied on Monday with a record close for London while oil prices dipped as Middle East worries subsided and traders looked ahead to the release of key US inflation data and corporate earnings.

London led the way in Europe, with its FTSE 100 index gaining 1.6 percent to hit a record closing high of 8,023.87 points.

The benchmark index also benefited from a weaker pound since the Bank of England is seen cutting interest rates soon as UK inflation cools.

Frankfurt and Paris closed up 0.7 and 0.2 percent respectively.

Wall Street moved cautiously ahead, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq 0.4 percent in the green two hours into the session after tumbling on Friday partly due a poor response to Netflix earnings.

The Dow rose 0.2 percent and the S&P 500 added 0.3 percent.

In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng stocks index closed with a gain of 1.8 percent.

Oil prices fell, with the international benchmark, Brent, slipping back 0.8 percent to $86.59 per barrel.

"The week starts with a relief rally in equities following a calm weekend on the geopolitical scene," noted Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote Bank.

With Iran downplaying the recently reported Israeli attack on the country, which came days after a retaliatory drone and missile strike on Israel by Tehran, tensions between the regional foes appeared to have cooled.

While the situation remains tense, the lack of escalation over the weekend provided traders with an opportunity to pick up equities after losses last week.

Investors will turn their attention this week to earnings updates from more US giants, including Google parent Alphabet, Tesla, and Microsoft.

They are also setting their sights on US economic data.

Israel forces target Beit Lahia in north Gaza
5:38 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces launched a barrage of artillery shells and fire from machine guns on wide areas of the city of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza, a correspondent for The New Arab's Arabic edition Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reports.

The Israelis also targeted the area around the Beit Hanoun (Erez) checkpoint.

Head of Israel army's Central Command 'resigning in August'
4:53 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The head of the Israeli army's Central Command, Yehuda Fuchs, has informed the military's chief of staff that he intends to resign from his position in August, Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reports.

The paper says there is no direct relationship between Fuchs's resignation and that of Israeli military intelligence chief Aharon Haliva.

Haliva resigned after taking responsibility for failures leading to the Hamas-led 7 October attack, the Israeli military said on Monday.

"The intelligence division under my command did not live up to the task we were entrusted with," Haliva said in his resignation letter.

"I carry that black day with me ever since."

Fuchs was not involved in the failures of 7 October.

The Axios news website reports that Fuchs's term of three years is concluding in August.

Macron discusses Mideast crisis with Netanyahu, Sisi
4:48 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

French President Emmanuel Macron held phone calls on Monday with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to discuss ways of avoiding an escalation in the Middle East crisis, said France and Egypt.

The French presidency said Macron, in his call with Netanyahu, had reaffirmed Paris's desire to avoid an escalation in the Middle East and to stand up to what it said were Iran's efforts to destabilise the region.

The French presidency added that Macron had also reiterated to Netanyahu that France wanted an immediate and lasting ceasefire in Gaza and said Paris was working to ease tensions arising from clashes on the Israel-Lebanon border.

In a separate statement, Egyptian presidential spokesperson Ahmed Fahmy said Macron had also discussed the Middle East crisis with the Egyptian leader and that both Macron and Sisi had agreed on the need to avoid further regional escalation.

Emmanuel Macron is the French president [CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON/POOL/AFP/Getty-archive]
Gaza fisherman turns aid parachute into shelter
4:10 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

When Naeem Al-Goaan saw a parachute descending off the coast of Gaza, he saw it for more than just the aid being dropped into the food-deprived and war-ravaged Palestinian territory.

After "the parachute fell into the sea, we brought it [to shore] in a small boat", the Palestinian fisherman from the central Gaza Strip city of Deir Al-Balah told AFP.

"People took the aid and we took [the parachute] to turn it into a tent where my sister sleeps at night, whereas during the day, we turn it into a store."

The parachute's fabric now stands repurposed into a roughly one-square-metre (10-square-feet) tent by the Deir Al-Balah beach, stretched over a structure of wooden planks and metal tubes.

Complete with an awning to provide protection from the sun, the Goaan family sat in the shade on Monday as they waited for people to buy their wares – eggs, canned goods, instant noodles – stacked on a wooden bench.

Getting the parachute took effort, Goaan said. "We struggled a lot to get it, and the boat capsized twice before we retrieved it."

The prospect of the war, already more than six months old, dragging on further made the effort worthwhile, said Goaan.

"The reason [for setting up the tent] is the war. It seems the war will last for a long time," he said.

Israel in 'war on right to health' from start in Gaza
3:48 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's war in Gaza has from the start been a "war on the right to health" and has "obliterated" the Palestinian territory's health system, a UN expert said on Monday.

Tlaleng Mofokeng, the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to health, accused Israel of treating human rights as an "à la carte menu".

Just days into the Gaza war, "the medical infrastructure was irreparably damaged", she told reporters in Geneva.

Amid the unrelenting Israeli bombardment of Gaza, healthcare providers had for months been working under dire conditions with very limited access to medical supplies, she said.

"This has been a war on the right to health from the beginning," said Mofokeng, who is an independent expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council but who does not speak on behalf of the United Nations.

"The health system in Gaza has been completely obliterated and the right to health has been decimated at every level".

Mofokeng, a medical doctor from South Africa, said the destruction of healthcare facilities "continues to catapult to proportions yet to be fully quantified".

The expert said she had received no response from Israel to the concerns she had raised about the situation, and that she had not been able to visit the Palestinian territory, nor Israel.

But she said it was obvious that Israel was "killing and causing irreparable harm against Palestinian civilians with its bombardments".

"They are also knowingly and intentionally imposing famine, prolonged malnutrition and dehydration," the expert added, accusing Israel of "genocide".

The current situation in Gaza, she said, "is completely incompatible with the right to health".

UN chief accepts recommendations of Colonna UNRWA report
3:35 PM
The New Arab Staff

UN Secretary-General António Guterres accepts the recommendations of a report led by former French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna examining the neutrality of the UN's Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA.

Guterres "expresses his gratitude and appreciation" to Colonna, who submitted on Saturday her final report as chair of the independent review group on UNRWA, the UN chief's spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric says in a statement.

Colonna's report is titled "Independent review of mechanisms and procedures to ensure adherence by UNRWA to the humanitarian principle of neutrality".

"The secretary-general accepts the recommendations contained in Ms. Colonna's report," Dujarric says.

"He has agreed with [UNRWA] Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini that UNRWA, with the secretary-general's support, will establish an action plan to implement the recommendations contained in the Final Report.
"In this regard, the secretary-general counts on the cooperation of the donor community, the host countries and the staff to fully cooperate in the implementation of the recommendations.

"Moving forward, the Secretary-General appeals to all stakeholders to actively support UNRWA, as it is a lifeline for Palestine refugees in the region."

Guterres is "also grateful to the Raoul Wallenberg Institute, the Chr. Michelsen Institute, and the Danish Institute for Human Rights, for the essential research that they conducted", Dujarric says.

Medical charity says Rafah attack would be 'slaughter'
2:56 PM
The New Arab Staff

The CEO of British charity Medical Aid for Palestinians says it is "very clear" the Israeli army is still planning to attack the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

"There is no way possibly of doing that that will not be a human slaughter," Melanie Ward tells reporters at an online media briefing.

There "physically isn't enough space" for people in Rafah to head elsewhere, she says.

Ward says that there is a humanitarian catastrophe on "just about every measure", whether you look at food, water, or sanitation.

"Everywhere you go in Gaza, the stench of raw sewage follows you," she says.

"There are literally lakes of untreated human waste."

Review says UNRWA has 'robust' neutrality steps, but issues
2:53 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A review of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, has found that it has robust frameworks to ensure compliance with humanitarian neutrality principles though issues persist.

The report, which could prompt some donors to review funding freezes, also said Israel had yet to provide supporting evidence for its claim that a significant number of UNRWA staff were members of terrorist organisations.

The United Nations appointed former French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna to lead the UNRWA neutrality review in February after Israel alleged that 12 UNRWA staff had taken part in the Hamas-led 7 October attack on Israel.

In a separate investigation, a UN oversight body is looking into the allegations against the 12 UNRWA staff.

Reuters reviewed a copy of the Colonna-led review's final report, which is due to be officially released later on Monday.

The report said Israel had made public claims based on an UNRWA staff list provided to it in March that "a significant number" of UNRWA staff were "members of terrorist organisations".

"However, Israel has yet to provide supporting evidence of this," it said.


Four injured in Israeli bombing of home in Gaza's Al-Bureij
1:46 PM
The New Arab Staff

Four injured people have been recovered after Israeli forces bombed a home in the Al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza, the strip's civil defence announces.

283 bodies recovered from Al-Nasser Hospital mass grave
1:33 PM
The New Arab Staff

Gaza's civil defence says 283 bodies have been recovered from a mass grave at Al-Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, The New Arab's Arabic edition Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reports.

Israel says arrests suspect in killing of 14y/o settler
12:31 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli authorities said they had arrested a suspect in the killing of a 14-year-old Jewish settler.

Benjamin Achimeir, 14, was found dead after he went missing on 12 April from Malachei Hashalom, a wildcat settler outpost near the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, Israeli authorities have said.

His disappearance earlier this month sparked rampages by Israeli settlers in a number of Palestinian communities.

At least one Palestinian man was killed, Palestinian health officials said, and dozens were injured in the rampages and in confrontations with the settlers.

A joint statement Monday by the Israeli internal security agency, Shin Bet, Israeli police and the military said Ahmed Dawabsheh, 21, was arrested in an overnight raid in the Palestinian village of Duma.

Duma was one of the areas where the settlers rampaged after 14-year-old Binyamin Achimair’s disappearance.

Amnesty: Settler rampage underlines need to end apartheid
12:17 PM
The New Arab Staff

Amnesty International says an "alarming spike in violence" perpetrated by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank recently underlines the "urgent need" to dismantle illegal settlements and end Israel's occupation of Palestine and system of apartheid.

From 12 to 16 April, hundreds of settlers "went on a deadly rampage" in the West Bank, Amnesty adds in a press release.

The rights group says that settlers set homes, trees, and vehicles ablaze, adding that at least four Palestinians were killed by Israeli settlers or forces.

A Palestinian paramedic was killed on Saturday in Al-Sawiya, a village in Nablus province, Amnesty says.

"The appalling spike in settler violence against Palestinians in recent days is part of a decades long state-backed campaign to dispossess, displace and oppress Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, under Israel's system of apartheid," said Heba Morayef, Amnesty's Middle East regional director.

"Israeli forces have a track record of enabling settler violence and it is outrageous that once again Israeli forces stood by and in some cases took part in these brutal attacks.

"Establishing Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories flagrantly violates international law and constitutes a war crime.

"Violence is integral to the establishment and expansion of these settlements and to sustaining apartheid.

"It's time for the world to recognise this and pressure Israeli authorities to abide by international law by immediately halting settlement expansion and removing all existing settlements."

3 injured in Jerusalem car ramming attack: Israeli police
12:04 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli police said a car slammed into pedestrians in Jerusalem on Monday, wounding three people lightly.

The incident occurred on Techelet Mordechai street in Jerusalem on a day when Israeli Jews marked the start of the Passover holidays.

Footage from security cameras posted on several Israeli news websites showed a white car ramming into a group of people at a street corner.

The car later hits another parked vehicle after which two men step out, with one of the assailants seen attempting to fire a gun.

Seconds later, the two are seen walking away from the site.

Hours after the incident, the police said two men had been arrested, without providing details of their identities.

After an extensive search, the security forces were "directed to a closed business where the two terrorists were found hiding", a separate statement by the police alleged.

Jordan FM calls for efforts to stop Israel attacking Rafah
11:54 AM
The New Arab Staff

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi calls for efforts to stop Israel from attacking the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

"All must weigh down on Israel to prevent it from attacking Rafah," he says on X.

"Such an attack would be another massacre."

Safadi adds that "radicals" in Israel's government were "pushing an explosion" in the occupied West Bank.

Pakistan PM Sharif lauds Iran for 'strong stand' on Gaza
11:14 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif lauded Iran on Monday for taking a strong stand on the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities there.

Addressing a joint press talk alongside visiting Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Islamabad, Sharif called on Muslim countries to unite and raise their voice for an end to the war.


Gaza toll reaches 34,151 killed, 77,084 injured: ministry
10:42 AM
The New Arab Staff

The number of people killed so far in Israel's war on Gaza has risen to 34,151, with 77,084 injured, according to the enclave's health ministry.

The ministry says Israeli forces carried out "6 massacres against the families in the Gaza Strip" with 54 killed and 104 injured people arriving at hospitals in the last 24 hours.

Three killed after Israel bombs Gaza's Deir Al-Balah
10:25 AM
The New Arab Staff

Three Palestinians were killed and more than 10 others injured following Israeli bombing of the Abu Salim area in Deir Al-Balah, The New Arab's Arabic edition Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reports.

Injuries in Israeli bombing of car in Deir Al-Balah
10:16 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli bombing targeting a car in Deir Al-Balah in central Gaza led to several injuries, The New Arab's Arabic edition Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reports.


Israel aircraft target group of people around Gaza cemetery
10:04 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli aircraft targeted a group of citizens in the area around the Al-Sourahah cemetery in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, The New Arab's Arabic edition Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reports.

Hamas leader tackles plans for post-war Gaza
9:40 AM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has discussed the administration of post-war Gaza, saying that alternative initiatives that have been proposed are "impractical and cannot succeed" and that "the management of Gaza must be carried out with Palestinian will".

"We welcome any Arab or Islamic force if its mission is to support our Palestinian people and help them liberate from the [Israeli] occupation", Haniyeh said in an interview with the Turkish state-funded news agency published on Sunday.

"Any Arab or international forces that would provide protection for the occupation are definitely unacceptable," he said.

Haniyeh said also that Hamas does not seek "sole representation" of Gaza's leadership.

Live Story
Kataib Hezbollah denies saying resuming attacks on US forces
9:25 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iraqi armed faction Kataib Hezbollah has denied issuing a statement saying it had resumed attacks on US forces, a statement from the group issued on the Telegram messaging app said.

The denial came hours after another statement was circulated on groups thought to be affiliated with the Iran-backed armed faction that declared a resumption in the attacks some three months after they were suspended.

Kataib Hezbollah described that as "fabricated news".


Red Crescent distributes infant milk to Gaza hospitals
9:05 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has been distributing infant milk to hospitals in Gaza.

The humanitarian group says it continued distributing the supplies for the second day in a post on social media platform X, adding that it was supported by two other organisations, including the Palestine Children's Relief Fund.

"Deliveries were made to several hospitals, including Emirati Hospital and Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital yesterday, and European Gaza Hospital and Al-Awda Clinic on Saturday," PRCS says.

"These joint efforts aim to support healthcare and ease the suffering of patients, especially #children."

Belgian FM says new Iran sanctions should include IRGC
9:01 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

New European Union sanctions against Iran in response to the country's recent retaliatory attack on Israel should include the Revolutionary Guards, Belgium's Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib said on Monday.

Speaking to journalists ahead of an EU ministers' meeting in Luxembourg, Lahbib said that so far there was no consensus on what legal basis the Guards could be added to bloc-wide list of entities seen as terrorist origanisations.

"We will discuss it together", she said.

"I also think we have to expand sanctions against violent settlers [in the occupied West Bank]. We have to be balanced and make sure we won't be accused of having double standards."


Rockets fired from Iraq at US-led coalition base in Syria
8:57 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Rockets were fired late on Sunday from northern Iraq at a military base in Syria housing a US-led coalition, according to Iraqi security forces.

The anti-jihadist coalition said one of its fighter jets in Iraq had "destroyed a launcher in self-defence after reports of a failed rocket attack" near a base in northeast Syria.

"No US personnel were injured," it added in a brief statement to AFP.

It is the first major attack against the coalition forces in several weeks.

Iraqi forces had earlier said they launched a major search operation in the northern Nineveh province and found the vehicle used in the attack.

The statement from the Iraqi security forces accused "outlaw elements of having targeted a base of the international coalition with rockets in the heart of Syrian territory", at around 9:50pm (6:50pm GMT).

The security forces burned the vehicle involved in the attack, the statement added.

Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor, said several rockets had been fired "from Iraqi territory at the Kharab al-Jir base", where US forces are stationed.

He accused the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, a loose alliance of Iran-backed groups, of staging the attack.

Israel military intelligence chief resigns over 7 October
8:55 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Israeli military said on Monday the chief of its intelligence directorate has resigned after taking responsibility for failures leading to the unprecedented, Hamas-led 7 October attack.

"Major General Aharon Haliva, in coordination with the chief of the general staff, has requested to end his position, following his leadership responsibility as the head of the intelligence directorate for the events of October 7," the military said in a statement.

"It was decided that MG Aharon Haliva will end his position and retire from the [Israeli army], once his successor is appointed in an orderly and professional process."