Israel intensifies attack on Gaza despite ICJ genocide ruling

Israel intensifies attack on Gaza despite ICJ genocide ruling
Israel has intensified its assault on the southern Gaza Strip on day 113 of its war on the enclave amid the fallout of yesterday's ICJ ruling.
13 min read

This live blog on Day 113 of Israel's war on Gaza has concluded. Make sure to follow us for the latest news on FacebookX, and Instagram.

Thousands of civilians were trapped in southern Gaza as Israel intensified its attack on the Palestinian enclave on Saturday, a day after the top UN court ruled Israel must prevent genocidal acts.

Growing alarm has focused on Khan Younis, the biggest city in Gaza's south, where the two main hospitals were barely functioning under the weight of the relentless bombardment and the press of thousands in need.

Witnesses reported more overnight strikes on Khan Younis, the current epicentre of Israel's assault on Gaza, and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said some of the dead and wounded had been taken to the city's barely functioning Al-Amal hospital.

The strikes came less than a day after the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that Israel must prevent possible acts of genocide in its war on the Gaza Strip, in a case that was brought forward by South Africa. 

The court stopped short of calling for an end to the fighting but also said in its ruling that Israel must facilitate "urgently needed" humanitarian assistance.

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11:58 PM
The New Arab Staff

This live blog on the Gaza war has now ended. Thanks for following.

150 bodies buried in Nasser hospital courtyard: ministry
11:18 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Nasser hospital’s courtyard became a mass grave after people were forced to bury 150 bodies there as a result of the Israeli siege, a spokesman for Gaza’s health ministry has said.

Ashraf al-Qudra said there were still 30 unidentified bodies in the hospital’s morgue.

Radio host killed in Gaza's Nuseirat camp: govt
11:13 PM
The New Arab Staff

The number of journalists killed in Gaza since October 7 has risen to 120, according to the Gaza government's media office, after Iyad Ahmad al-Rawagh was killed in an Israeli strike on the Nuseirat camp.

Rawagh was a broadcaster and presenter at Sawt Al-Aqsa Radio. Reports said a number of his family members died in the strike too.

Meds, fuel running out at Nasser hospital: health ministry
11:08 PM
The New Arab Staff

Gaza’s health ministry said many anaesthesia and intensive care medications had run out at the besieged Nasser hospital, in Khan Younis.

It added that power generators at the hospital would stop working in the next four days as they run out of fuel.

UNRWA chief 'shocked' after countries pause funding
8:51 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The head of the U.N. refugee agency for Palestinians (UNRWA) said on Saturday that several countries' decisions to suspend funding over allegations staff were involved in the October 7 attacks on Israel was shocking, and urged them to reverse course.

"These decisions threaten our ongoing humanitarian work across the region including and especially in the Gaza Strip," Philippe Lazzarini said in a statement.

20,000 march in Spanish capital against Gaza 'genocide'
8:34 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Around 20,000 people marched in Madrid Saturday in support of Palestinians, a day after the UN's top court said Israel must prevent genocidal acts in its war on Gaza.

Many of the marchers carried banners and placards denouncing the genocide in Gaza, which has been under relentless bombardment and siege since October 7.

Some carried Palestinian flags and shouted slogans denouncing Israel. Others had banners thanking South Africa for having brought the case against Israel to the International Court of Justice.

Washington, Baghdad open talks on foreign troops in Iraq
6:39 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iraq and the United States on Saturday held a first round of talks on the future of American and other foreign troops in the country, with Baghdad expecting discussions to lead to a timeline for reducing their presence.

Countries halt funding to UN agency in Gaza
6:29 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Several key donor countries to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees said Saturday they would halt their funding, following accusations by Israel that several UNRWA staff were involved in Hamas' October 7 attack.

UNRWA responded saying it had fired several staff over Israel's accusations, promising a thorough investigation into the claims, which were not specified, while Israel vowed to stop the agency's work in Gaza after the war.

These countries included Australia, Canada, Finland, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, the UK, and the US.

Netanyahu says Qatar should pressure Hamas to free hostages
6:27 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stepped up public pressure on Qatar on Saturday to bring about the release of Gaza hostages, saying the Gulf emirate should apply the leverage it has as a host and funder of Hamas which is holding them.

Asked about his closed-door remarks, an audio recording of which was leaked to Israeli TV this week, that he was refraining from thanking Qatar for its mediation and deemed it "problematic," Netanyahu told reporters: "I take back nothing."

Gazan civilian killed by Israel while waving white flag
5:24 PM
The New Arab Staff

A journalist has shared a video on Instagram documenting the moment Israeli forces shot and killed a civilian who was among a group of men waving a white flag in the al-Mawasi area, near Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, three days ago.

The video footage, authenticated and shared by Ahmed Hijazee, distinctly captures Ramzi Abu Sahloul getting shot in the chest as he and four others attempt to save several trapped individuals, including his family members, in the vicinity.

In the footage, Hijazee notes that Israeli forces shot Abu Sahloul even though his group was displaying a white flag, a detail clearly visible in the newly released video. 

Photos shows internally displaced sleeping in flooded tents
5:13 PM
The New Arab Staff

Journalist Suleiman al-Farra has posted photos on Instagram documenting the suffering of Palestinian children who live in displacement camps in the Gaza Strip, amid a worsening humanitarian crisis.

The photos showed the tents, which lack the most basic necessities of life, leaking water, while children’s bedding and sleeping quarters were soaked with flood water.

2.2 million at risk of starvation in Gaza
3:50 PM
The New Arab Staff

Georgios Petropoulos, the director of the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs in Gaza, says the months-long war has left 2.2 million people at risk of starvation in the Gaza Strip, as reported by Al Jazeera.

“Everyone in Gaza needs aid now and the war must stop,” he said. “We can only meet a third of the population’s need for clean drinking water.

Medical and humanitarian facilities in Gaza must be protected, he added, and stressed the need for humanitarian aid to flow freely into the blockaded territory

US consider pushing Abbas aside to ensure PA post-war role
3:10 PM
The New Arab Staff

The US is considering pushing aside Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to give the PA a post-war role, something opposed by Israel. The plan being considered is “transferring power within the Palestinian Authority from the incumbent president, Mahmoud Abbas, to a new prime minister, while letting Mr. Abbas retain a ceremonial role,", according to The New York Times.

They are also considering sending an “Arab peacekeeping force to Gaza to bolster a new Palestinian administration there.”

Also under consideration “passing a UN Security Council resolution, backed by the United States, that would recognize the Palestinians’ right to statehood,” the report says.

PNC warns of Israeli plan to reduce the area of Gaza strip
2:11 PM
The New Arab Staff

Rawhi Fattouh, the president of the Palestinian National Council (PNC), has warned that Israel’s plans to reduce the area of the Gaza Strip under the pretext of expanding a “buffer zone” will reduce the territory’s area by 20 percent.

In a news statement, Fattouh said that any action of this kind – which has seen the destruction of more than 1,200 Palestinian homes – is condemnable and a war crime.

“This plan has a colonial goal, to implement the agenda of the right-wing extremist government. It also constitutes a tightening of the siege, collective punishment, and pressure on the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, which is considered one of the most crowded areas in the world.”

Fattouh added that the so-called buffer zone is nothing but a “reoccupation and a perpetuation of the racist fascist colonial approach that will deprive the Palestinians of agricultural spaces”.

“Gaza is experiencing a war of extermination that has never been witnessed in history,” he said.

UK suspends future funding for UNRWA in Gaza Strip
2:06 PM
The New Arab Staff

The UK has suspended its funding for UNRWA after the UN’s relief agency said into would open an investigation into claims made by Israel that several of its members were involved in Hamas’s attack on October 7.

“The UK is appalled by allegations that UNRWA staff were involved in the 7 October attack against Israel, a heinous act of terrorism that the UK Government has repeatedly condemned,” the UK Foreign Office said in a statement.

“We remain committed to getting humanitarian aid to the people in Gaza who desperately need it,” it added.

The UK’s decision comes after the US, Italy, Australia and Canada all also suspended additional funding for the agency.

The PLO and Hamas have denounced the move to disinvest from UNRWA, which provides vital services to Palestinians. 

Displaced Gazan killed in Khan Younis hospital courtyard
12:43 PM
The New Arab Staff

A 28-year-old Palestinian man, who had taken refuge in al-Amal Hospital’s compound in Khan Younis, has been killed after Israeli forces opened fire on him, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said.

Al-Amal Hospital, along with Nasser Hospital, has been under siege by the Israeli army for almost a week and has been subjected to continuous artillery fire.

Egypt considered recalling envoy over Israel Hague comments
12:08 PM
The New Arab Staff

According to The Wall Street Journal, remarks made by Israel's legal representatives during the genocide hearing at the Hague implicating Egypt in the obstruction of Gaza aid delivery via the Rafah crossing, which is under Egyptian control, so angered authorities in Cairo that they debated the possibility of recalling their ambassador from Israel.

The Wall Street Journal notes, "On the same day, a gathering of senior Egyptian intelligence and security officers took place to consider withdrawing the ambassador from Tel Aviv in reaction to these statements."

Nevertheless, following a lengthy five-hour deliberation, the decision was made to simply release a statement refuting these allegations.

Israel’s actions in Gaza 'not genocide’, UK says
11:54 AM
The New Arab Staff

The UK has reacted to the IJC interim ruling by doubling down on London’s position that Israel is not committing genocide in Gaza.

“We respect the role and independence of the ICJ. However, we have stated that we have considerable concerns about this case, which is not helpful in the goal of achieving a sustainable ceasefire,” a spokesperson with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office told Al Jazeera.

“Our view is that Israel’s actions in Gaza cannot be described as a genocide, which is why we thought South Africa’s decision to bring the case was wrong and provocative.”

The spokesperson welcomed the court’s call for the immediate release of captives in Gaza and said Israel has a right to defend itself. They added that maintained that an “immediate pause” that would eventually build toward a permanent ceasefire is required to get captives out of and humanitarian aid into Gaza.

PRCS condemns siege, targeting of Khan Younis hospital
11:32 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has condemned the ongoing Israeli siege and targeting of its headquarters in El Amal Hospital in Khan Younis.

For six days in a row, Israeli forces have bombarded the vicinity of the hospital.

This is “jeopardising the safety of medical staff, the wounded, patients, and approximately 7,000 displaced individuals who sought refuge there to escape Israeli bombardment,” the PRCS said.

“The curfew and the continued blockade in the hospital’s vicinity hinder the movement of ambulances and their emergency medical teams in the city, preventing them from reaching the injured, providing first aid services, and transporting them to the hospital for necessary medical care."

Israel says wants to stop UNRWA work in Gaza after war
10:40 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israel has praised the US, Canada, Australia and Italy for suspending their funding for the UNRWA, saying it wants to completely stop the operations of the agency for aiding Palestinian refugees after the war on Gaza has ended.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz says Tel Aviv “aims to promoting a policy ensuring that UNRWA will not be a part of the day after, addressing other contributing factors”.

“We will work to garner bipartisan support in the US, the European Union, and other nations globally for this policy aimed at halting UNRWA’s activities in Gaza,” he said in a post on X.

Gaza death toll rises to 26,257
10:36 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The health ministry in Gaza said Saturday at least 26,257 people have been killed in the Palestinian territory since the war with Israel broke out on October 7.

A ministry statement said at least 174 people were killed over the past 24 hours, while another 64,797 have been wounded since the war began.

Immediate ceasefire ‘only way’ to implement ICJ ruling
8:41 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said an immediate ceasefire is “the only way” to implement Friday’s ICJ interim ruling.

It condemned the “continuation of the ongoing genocidal war against our people” in a statement, which it said shows “Israeli determination to complete the destruction of the Gaza Strip”.

It also highlighted the fact that not a single high-ranking Israeli official promised to abide by the ruling, and top officials, including Benjamin Netanyahu, promised to continue the war, effectively undermining the ruling

Biden, Qatar agree hostage deal key to pause in Gaza war
8:38 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday spoke with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani about Gaza and they agreed that efforts to secure the release of hostages taken by Hamas were key to securing a longer pause in fighting, the White House said.

"Both leaders affirmed that a hostage deal is central to establishing a prolonged humanitarian pause in the fighting and ensure additional life-saving humanitarian assistance reaches civilians in need throughout Gaza," the White House said in a statement.

Biden's Middle East adviser Brett McGurk was in Doha this week having discussions about the possibility of another hostage deal between Israel and Hamas.

White House spokesperson John Kirby said on Tuesday the U.S. would support a longer humanitarian pause in combat in Gaza to ensure hostages could be released and aid brought in.

Biden also spoke with Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Friday.

They discussed intensifying efforts to further increase the delivery of life-saving humanitarian assistance into and throughout Gaza and agreed to continue their close coordination on humanitarian assistance, the White House said in a statement.

Malaysia: ICJ ruling vindicates stance on Israeli atrocities
8:34 AM
The New Arab Staff

Malaysia’s government has welcomed the ICJ’s interim ruling in South Africa’s case accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza.

“Malaysia has been vindicated in her call for Israel to be held accountable for the atrocities, crimes against humanity, and genocide committed on the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, following the landmark ruling by the International Court of Justice [ICJ] 26 January 2024,” the country’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

Kuala Lumpur said it also looked forward to the upcoming proceedings in the case and reiterated its calls for Palestine to be admitted as a full member of the United Nations and recognised as a state based on the pre-1967 borders.


Yemen’s Houthis strike Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker
8:27 AM
The New Arab Staff

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have carried out a missile strike on a Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden, the US military has said.

“The ship issued a distress call and reported damage,” US Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a post on X.

“USS Carney [DDG 64] and other coalition ships have responded and are rendering assistance. No injuries have been reported at this time.”

US forces also announced a “self-defence” strike on a Houthi antiship missile as it was preparing to launch towards the Red Sea.

“This action will protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure for US Navy vessels and merchant vessels,” CENTCOM said on X.