Israel intensifies attacks in Gaza's Jabalia; strike in West Bank kills one

Israel intensifies attacks in Gaza's Jabalia; strike in West Bank kills one
The Israeli military has increased its bombardment on the Jabalia refugee camp as Israel defended itself at the United Nations' top court.
24 min read
17 May, 2024

Israeli forces has intensified its attacks in Jabalia in northern Gaza on Friday, after Israel had said its forces had cleared Jabalia months earlier in the Gaza war. 

Residents said Israeli armour had thrust as far as the market at the heart of Jabalia, the largest of Gaza's eight historic refugee camps, and that bulldozers were demolishing homes and shops in the path of the advance.

Six people have been reported killed, while others wounded.

The Israeli bombardment in the north has coincided with the assault on Rafah at the southern edge of the Strip, sending hundreds of thousands of people fleeing from both ends of the territory at once.

At the World Court in The Hague, Israel asked judges to throw out a demand from South Africa for an emergency order to halt the assault on Rafah and withdraw Israeli troops from all of Gaza.

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4:50 AM
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.

Israel strike kills 1, wounds 8 in West Bank's Jenin camp
4:35 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A Palestinian militant was killed and eight other people wounded on Friday in an Israeli airstrike on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry and Israeli military said.

The armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group named the killed man as member Islam Khamayseh.

The Palestinian health ministry said the eight wounded people were in stable condition and receiving treatment at hospitals. Reuters could not immediately confirm their identities.

The Israeli military said a fighter jet and helicopter conducted the strike, a rarity in the West Bank, where Israeli forces and settlers have killed hundreds of Palestinians since the Gaza war began in October.

Israel alleged that it struck a compound used as an operations centre by militants and confirmed the killing of Khamayseh, who it said was responsible for several attacks against Israelis.


Live Story
Quadcopters open fire near Kamal Adwan Hospital in Gaza
4:11 AM
The New Arab Staff

Quadcopters open fire in the area around the Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza, The New Arab's Arabic-language edition Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reports.

Israel strikes area around UAE hospital in Rafah
3:52 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces struck the area around a UAE hospital in the Badr refugee camp in Rafah, The New Arab's Arabic-language edition Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reports.

Israel launches violent air raid in Gaza's Khan Younis
3:26 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces launched a violent air raid targeting the Maan area in Khan Younis in southern Gaza, without any reported injuries, according to Palestinian media.

Two killed as Israel bombs home in camp in Rafah
3:14 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Two people have been killed and several others injured as Israeli aircraft bombed a residential home in the Barbara refugee camp in Rafah, Palestinian media report.

Israel forces shoot child in raid on Beit Ummar: sources
2:23 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces shot a child in a raid on Beit Ummar, a town in the occupied West Bank, sources said.

They said the Israeli forces entered the town, leading to confrontations, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

The Israelis shot live gunfire and tear gas at people, with a round hitting the child in the leg.

The boy's injuries were said to be severe, Wafa reported.

Halt US military flights through Ireland's Shannon, MEP says
1:04 AM
The New Arab Staff

Irish European parliament member Clare Daly says her country's government should halt US military flights through western Ireland's Shannon "during the Gaza genocide".

"The Irish government should have suspended US military flights through Shannon during the Afghanistan War," she says on X.

"They should have done it during the Iraq War, the bombing of Libya, the wars in Syria, Yemen & Ukraine.

"For god's sake, can they finally do it during the Gaza genocide?"

Daly is part of the Left group in the EU's parliament. She belongs to the Independents 4 Change party.

US officials held indirect talks with Iran this week: report
12:31 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Two top Biden administration officials held indirect talks with Iranian counterparts this week in an effort to avoid escalating regional attacks, news website Axios reported on Friday.

The talks, involving President Joe Biden's Middle East adviser Brett McGurk and acting US envoy to Iran Abram Paley, marked the first round of discussions between the US and Iran since January, according to Axios.

The conversations follow a retaliatory missile and drone attack by Iran on Israel on 13 April.


PIJ mourns one of Jenin Battalion's leaders
11:29 PM
The New Arab Staff

Palestinian Islamic Jihad's armed wing, the Al-Quds Brigades, mourns one of the leaders of the Jenin Battalion, who was killed following an Israeli strike on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

The deceased's name is Islam Khamayseh, The New Arab's Arabic edition Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reports.

1 Palestinian killed, 8 wounded in Israeli West Bank strike
10:52 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

At least one person was killed and eight wounded on Friday in an Israeli airstrike on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry and Israeli military said.

The Palestinian health ministry said the eight wounded people were in stable condition and receiving treatment at hospitals. Reuters could not immediately confirm their identities.

The Israeli military said a fighter jet conducted the strike, a rarity in the West Bank.

Residents of the refugee camp said a house was targeted.

Israel military says fighter jet carries out strike in WBank
10:35 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Israeli military said a fighter jet carried out a strike in the area of Jenin in the occupied West Bank late on Friday.

There were no further details immediately available.


1 killed in Israel strike on West Bank's Jenin: ministry
9:58 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

One person was killed in Israeli airstrike on the occupied West Bank's Jenin late on Friday, the Palestinian health ministry said.

The ministry said in a statement that two people were also injured, describing their condition as stable.


PIJ says shells Israel soldiers, vehicles in Rafah, Jabalia
9:36 PM
The New Arab Staff

Palestinian Islamic Jihad's armed wing says it shelled Israeli soldiers and vehicles in Rafah in south Gazan using a barrage of "heavy" mortars.

The Al-Quds Brigades adds in a separate statement that it targeted Israeli forces holed up in a home in Jabalia in the north of the Palestinian enclave.

The armed group said it used a TBG anti-personnel shell.

It also said it shelled a group of Israeli army vehicles and soldiers with a barrage of mortars on Jabal Al-Kashef, east of the city of Jabalia.

Hamas says targets Israel HQ in Netzarim corridor in Gaza
9:22 PM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas's armed wing says it targeted an Israeli army headquarters in the Netzarim axis, which divides the Gaza Strip in two.

The Al-Qassam Brigades say they carried out the mortar attack in a joint operation with Palestinian armed group the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades.

Top Biden aide Sullivan to visit Saudi, Israel: White House
8:57 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US President Joe Biden's national security adviser Jake Sullivan will travel to Saudi Arabia and Israel at the weekend for talks on the war in Gaza, the White House said on Friday.

Sullivan will meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Saturday and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said.

Jake Sullivan (pic) is Biden's national security adviser [Anna Moneymaker/Getty-archive]
Hamas says commander killed in Israel strike in Lebanon
8:38 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hamas said Friday that a "commander" was killed in an Israeli strike on an eastern district of Lebanon near the Syrian border.

Hamas's armed wing, the Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, said in a statement that "commander" Sharhabil Sayed was killed "after he was targeted by Israeli occupation aircraft" in Lebanon's West Bekaa area.

A source close to the Palestinian militant group, speaking on condition of anonymity, had earlier told AFP that Sayed was a Hamas official responsible for Lebanon's Bekaa region and "was killed in an Israeli strike that targeted his vehicle".

US evacuates 17 US citizen doctors from Gaza: officials
8:16 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States on Friday evacuated out of Gaza 17 American doctors who had been stuck since an Israeli takeover of the Rafah crossing closed the border with Egypt, official sources said.

US diplomats arranged for the 17 doctors to leave instead through the Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing into Israel, a source familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity.

Source close to Hamas says official killed in Lebanon strike
7:43 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A source close to Hamas in Lebanon said Friday that a local official from the Palestinian militant group was killed in an Israeli strike on an eastern district near the Syrian border.

The strike came after Israeli strikes earlier in the day killed a Hezbollah fighter and two children, according to the Lebanese militant group and official media.

Sharhabil Sayed, a Hamas official responsible for Lebanon's eastern Bekaa Valley, "was killed in an Israeli strike that targeted his vehicle", the source close to the Palestinian group said, requesting anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Lebanon's civil defence agency reported "one martyr and two wounded due to an Israeli air strike" on a vehicle in Majdal Anjar, a town around five kilometres (three miles) from the Syrian border and around 60 kilometres from Lebanon's border with Israel.

Lebanon's official National News Agency reported one dead and two wounded in an "enemy strike" that targeted a vehicle in the same area.

An AFP photographer saw a vehicle that had been destroyed in the raid.

Hamas says rejects any military presence on Palestinian land
7:24 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hamas issued a statement on Friday saying the US-built pier off the Gaza Strip is no alternative to opening all land crossings under Palestinian supervision, adding that they reject any military presence on Palestinian land.


IRC's David Miliband says land routes 'simpler' than US pier
6:49 PM
The New Arab Staff

International Rescue Committee president David Miliband says land routes are "simpler" than an aid pier constructed by the US in Gaza.

"We are all desperate to get more/some aid (and aid workers) into Gaza," says Miliband, a former British foreign secretary.

"Any additions are welcome. But never forget: land routes are simpler, more direct than the pier, so land crossings need to be open not closed, and in Gaza we need MUCH freer flow of aid to those in need."

Palestine Red Crescent crews continue responding in Rafah
6:02 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) says its ambulance and emergency crews are still responding to the "repercussions of the Israeli aggression in various areas" of Rafah province, despite evacuating the humanitarian group's headquarters in the Khirbat Al-Adas neighbourhood.

The headquarters was evacuated because of its location in a dangerous area, PRCS posts on social media platform X.

"The team is utilising field points for urgent interventions to rescue victims and the injured," PRCS adds.

Netanyahu reacts to bodies of three Israelis found killed
5:41 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he and his wife are mourning the recovery of the bodies of three Israelis who were killed on the October 7 attack.

"We will return all hostages, living and dead alike," he said in a statement.

The Israeli military said in an announcement earlier today that the three were killed by Hamas during the attack at Supernova music festival in southern Israel.

Israeli military announces death of soldier in north Gaza
5:34 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli military confirmed in a statement that a 20-year-old soldier from Israel's Paratroopers Brigade was killed during fighting in northern Gaza.

Identified as Sergeant Ben Avishay, no further details on how he was killed were elaborated.

This comes as fierce fighting continue in northern Gaza's Jabalia, where Israeli forces launched another ground offensive in the area.

Israel army says bodies of three hostages recovered in Gaza
4:54 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Israeli army said Friday that troops had recovered the bodies of three hostages in the war-torn Gaza Strip who had been "murdered" by their captors.

"Last night, the Israel Defence Forces (army) rescued the bodies of our hostages Shani Louk, Amit Buskila and Itzhak Gelerenter, who were taken hostage during the Hamas massacre on October 7 and murdered," military spokesman Daniel Hagari said in a televised address.

The military did not give immediate details on where their bodies were found.

Hamas fighters killed around 1,200 people, mainly civilians, and abducted around 250 others in the October 7 attack. Around half of those have since been freed, most in swaps for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel during a weeklong cease-fire in November.

Jeremy Corbyn, Motaz Azaiza set to attend UK march for Gaza
4:30 PM
The New Arab Staff

UK pro-Palestine group Palestine Solidarity Committee announced the line-up for the upcoming Nakba 76 March for Palestine.

Guest speakers include Palestinian photojournalist, British MP Jeremy Corbyn, Palestinian poet and human rights activist Rafeef Ziadeh and more.

The event is set to mark the 76th commemoration of the Nakba, or 'catastrophe'.

The Nakba, marked on 15 May every year, describes the expulsion of over 750,000 Palestinians from their homes at the hands of violent Zionist militias in 1948, to pave the way for the creation of Israel.

Israel army reports 'perhaps the fiercest' fighting in Gaza'
4:26 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Israeli army told French news agency AFP on Friday that renewed fighting in Gaza's northern town of Jabalia was "perhaps the fiercest" in over seven months of war.

Intense fighting resumed less than a week ago in Jabalia, the second-most populous town in northern Gaza.

Before the war, Jabalia was home to the largest refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, with more than 100,000 people packed into 1.4 square kilometres (0.5 square miles), according to the UN.

Images provided by the Israeli army showed soldiers moving through a maze of heavily damaged and deserted buildings.

Intense fighting, accompanied by shelling, also resumed at the beginning of May in the Zeitun neighbourhood in the southwest of Gaza City, also in the north of the Palestinian territory.

Israeli forces uses cancer hospital in Gaza as bases: report
3:24 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces reportedly use Gaza’s civilian structures, including a cancer hospital and a school, as military bases, according to a report by US news outlet The Washington Post.

The Washington Post said it based its report using satellite imagery and other visual evidence, where it found Israeli troops have been commandeering civilian structures and razing homes as part of the military's efforts to build a strategic corridor that will carve Gaza in two.

According to the outlet, the Israeli army appear currently use the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital, that specialised in cancer treatment prior to its shutdown due to  Israeli strikes and lack of fuel, as a base for military operations.

Geolocated by The Washington Post, images of Israeli soldiers using the hospital as a sniper position were detected and shared by the publication.

Israeli military says 75 rockets fired at northern Israel
3:20 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli army says that about 75 rockets have been fired at northern Israel from Lebanon, but dozens were shot down by Israeli air defence.

According to Israeli news publication The Times of Israel, two people were injured by one of the rockets, as quoted by Israel's national ambulance service.

Sunak says UK set to deliver Gaza aid via US temporary pier
3:12 PM
The New Arab Staff

The UK has announced the delivery of aid to Gaza via floating pier for the first time- following the installation of the US temporary pier to transfer shelters into the besieged territory.

"UK aid is now being delivered to people through the temporary pier off Gaza," British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in a statement.

"More aid will follow in the coming weeks, but we know the maritime route is not the only answer. We need to see more land routes open."

PRCS: Palestinian nurse killed by Israel in central Gaza
2:39 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) announced the killing of nurse Akram Mahmoud Abdullah Makki by an Israeli attack on Al Ja'ouni School in central Gaza's Nuseirat refugee camp.

Spain PM will Wednesday announce date to recognise Palestine
2:34 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Friday he will on Wednesday announce the date on which Madrid will recognise a Palestinian state along with other nations.

"We are in the process of coordinating with other countries," he said during an interview with private Spanish television station La Sexta when asked if this step would be taken on Tuesday as announced by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

Sanchez said in March that Spain and Ireland, along with Slovenia and Malta had agreed to take the first steps towards recognition of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, seeing a two-state solution as essential for lasting peace.

Borrell told Spanish public radio last week that Spain, Ireland and Slovenia planned to symbolically recognise a Palestinian state on May 21, saying he had been given this date by Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares.

Ireland's Foreign Minister Micheal Martin said Tuesday that Dublin was certain to recognise Palestinian statehood by the end of the month but the "specific date is still fluid".

So far, 137 of the 193 UN member states have recognised a Palestinian state, according to figures provided by the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority.

One Palestinian killed by Israeli shelling in Bureij camp
2:06 PM
The New Arab Staff

A Palestinian has been killed, along with others injured, by Israeli artillery shelling that targeted a house in central Gaza's Bureij refugee camp, news publication Al Jazeera English reports.

Meanwhile in the neighbouring Nuseirat refugee camp, four displaced Palestinians were also killed today.

Israeli attacks on Gaza's Jabalia camp continue
1:34 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces have continue its brutal assault in northern Gaza, as shelling has resumed in Jabalia camp.

Israeli troops announced that they are fighting in Jabalia's "city centre" and claimed they are directing airstrikes towards targets, according to a statement by the military.

According to news publication Al Jazeera English, intensifying attacks on the city are destroying civilian infrastructure. 

"Israel’s focus is Jabalia now. Tanks and jets are wiping out residential districts as well as markets, shops, restaurants, everything. It is all happening before the one-eyed world," Rajab, who has four children, told news agency Reuters. "Shame on the world."

"Meanwhile, the Americans are going to get us some food. We want no food, we want this war to end and then we can manage our lives on our own."

Smoke rises after Israeli army launching an airstrike on Jabalia camp [Getty]
WHO says no medical aid entering Gaza since May 6
1:31 PM
The New Arab Staff

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that it has not been able to send medical supplies into Gaza since the Israeli incursion into Rafah.

"The last medical supplies that we got in Gaza was before May 6," WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic said at a UN press briefing today.

"We don’t have fuel. We have hospitals under evacuation order. We have a situation where we cannot move physically," he said.

Spain to recognise Palestinian state alongside countries
1:09 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Friday that Madrid would only recognise a Palestinian state in a joint action with other countries.

In an interview with TV channel La Sexta, Sanchez also denied reports that the recognition would occur on May 21.

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez [Getty]
Israel: Civilians torched Gaza-bound aid truck in W. Bank
12:57 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's military said Friday that "dozens of Israeli civilians" set fire the previous evening to an aid truck in the occupied West Bank headed for war-torn Gaza.

Local media reported that Israeli settlers were behind the attack, which the army said injured the driver as well as Israeli soldiers.

The incident took place near Kokhav Hashahar, an Israeli settlement in the central West Bank, a territory occupied by Israel since 1967.

According to the army, Israeli soldiers intervened to "separate the Israeli civilians from the attacked Israeli driver" and provided medical assistance.

The group then "responded with violence", and three Israeli soldiers were "lightly injured", the army said, condemning "all forms of violence against its soldiers and security forces".

On Monday, dozens of people blocked and vandalised a convoy of aid trucks driving to the Gaza Strip.

Israeli media identified them as part of a far-right group opposed to allowing aid into Gaza.

The trucks were attacked in Israel, shortly after passing through the Tarqumiya checkpoint from the West Bank.

Images posted on social media show Israeli soldiers watching on as the attackers destroy the aid.

The latest incident comes just hours after the army said on Thursday that the Tarqumia and Beitunia checkpoints "now also function as inspection points for aid" destined for Gaza.

Ghent university severs ties with Israeli institutions
12:28 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Belgium's University of Ghent (UGent) is severing ties with three Israeli educational or research institutions which it says no longer align with UGent's human rights policy, its rector said.

Pro-Palestinian protesters in Ghent have been protesting against Israel's military offensive in Gaza and have been occupying parts of the university since early this month.

The university's rector, Rik Van de Walle, said in a statement that ties were being cut with Holon Institute of Technology, MIGAL Galilee Research Institute, and the Volcani Center, which carries out agricultural research.

"We currently assess these three partners as (very) problematic according to the Ghent University human rights test, in contrast to the positive evaluation we gave these partners at the start of our collaboration", Van de Walle said.

Partnerships with MIGAL Galilee Research Institute and the Volcani Centre "were no longer desirable" due to their affiliation with Israeli ministries, an investigation by the University of Ghent found, and collaboration with the Holon Institute "was problematic" because it provided material support to the army for actions in Gaza.

A spokesperson for the university said the move would affect four projects.

The three Israeli institutions did not immediately comment.

The protesters told Belgian broadcaster VRT they welcomed the decision but regarded it as only a first step. They said they would continue their occupation of parts of the university "until UGent breaks its ties with all Israeli institutions".

Students at University of Ghent stage pro-Palestinian protest on May 6 [Getty]
Israel strikes on Lebanon kill 3: Hezbollah affliated source
12:17 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli air strikes on Friday hit an area of southern Lebanon far from the border, Lebanese official media said, with a source close to Hezbollah reporting three dead including two Syrian nationals.

The Iran-backed armed group, a Hamas ally, has traded cross-border fire with Israeli forces almost daily since the Palestinian group's October 7 attack on southern Israel.

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency said "Israeli strikes targeted Najjariyeh and Addousiyeh", two adjacent villages about 30 kilometres (19 miles) from the Israeli border just south of the coastal city of Sidon.

The NNA reported "victims" without elaborating.

A source close to Hezbollah told French news agency AFP that three people were killed in Najjariyeh -- two Syrians and a Lebanese man.

13 countries urge restraint from Israel over Rafah
11:55 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Thirteen Western countries, including many traditionally supportive of Israel, appealed to it Friday not to launch a large-scale offensive on Rafah.

"We reiterate our opposition to a full-scale military operation in Rafah that would have catastrophic consequences on the civilian population," read the appeal, sent by the countries' foreign ministers to their Israeli counterpart Israel Katz and made public.

The signatories were Australia, Britain, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and EU member states Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden.

The ministers welcomed recent measures adopted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet to improve the flow of international aid into Gaza, but called for "further steps".

"We urge the Government of Israel to let the humanitarian aid enter into the Gaza strip through all relevant crossing points, including the one in Rafah," they said.

They called on Israel to take "concrete action for the protection of civilians, international and local humanitarian aid workers and journalists".

The appeal also called for "a sustainable ceasefire".

The ministers urged Israel to "open all possible overland supply routes into Gaza" for aid, to "resume electricity, water and telecommunication services", and boost significantly "the supply of critically needed goods... particularly medical supplies".

Finally, they called on Israel to "facilitate further evacuations by issuing exit permits for all our citizens, eligible persons, and Palestinians admitted to relocate for humanitarian or medical reasons abroad".

ICJ calls on Israel for information on aid to Gaza zones
10:54 AM
The New Arab Staff

Prior to closing the hearing, the ICJ has asked the Israeli delegation regarding humanitarian conditions in its self-declared "evacuation zones" in Gaza.

Judge Georg Nolte read the question: "Can Israel provide information about the existing humanitarian conditions in the designated evacuation zones, in particular al-Mawasi, and how it would ensure safe passage to these zones, as well as the provision of shelter, food, water, and other humanitarian aid and assistance to all evacuees that are and can be expected to arrive in these zones?"

Israel has been requested to submit a written response to the question no later than tomorrow, May 18, at 4pm, the court said.

ICJ hearing briefly interrupted by protest
10:47 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The hearing at the International Court of Justice on Friday was briefly interrupted, as judges were listening to Israel's concluding defence against charges of "genocide" from South Africa.

A woman shouting "liars" could be heard on the feed from the court, which then went down for less than a minute before restarting, the lawyer for Israel concluding her remarks.

Israel argues not blocking aid, facilitating aid passage
10:32 AM
The New Arab Staff

Gilad Noam, the head of the Israeli delegation to the ICJ case, has claimed that Israeli law enforcement agencies is arguing that Israel’s law enforcement authorities have actively taken steps against Israeli protesters who are blocking aid and also said Israel has coordinated the passage of aid trucks.

"Israel will continue to ensure the effective and efficient transfer of humanitarian aid," Noam says.

Tamar Kaplan Tourgeman, principal deputy legal adviser of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, later added that Israel is also facilitating the passage of aid into the devastated territory.

She argued that this includes through various land crossing such as the Gate 96 crossing near Gaza City- as well as limited international aid via airdrops and a Cyprus-Gaza maritime corridor.

Aid groups and humanitarian agencies have consistently accused Israel of blocking aid supplies entering Gaza and limiting the humanitarian response in the besieged enclave.

Suspected gunshots near Israeli embassy in Stockholm
10:29 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Swedish police have detained several people and cordoned off a large area in Stockholm after a patrol heard suspected gunshots, they said on Friday, with the Israeli embassy located in the closed-off area.

"A police patrol at Strandvagen in Stockholm heard bangs and suspected there had been a shooting," police said on their website, adding that the affected area lay between the capital's Djurgarden Bridge, its Nobel Park and the Oscar Church.

Several people have been detained and an investigation has been launched into suspected serious weapons crime, they added.

Spain will not authorise ships carrying weapons for Israel
10:28 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 Spain will not authorise ships carrying weapons for Israel to call at its ports, Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said on Friday, after the country refused to let a ship call at the southeastern port of Cartagena.

The ship was the first to be denied access to a Spanish port, Albares said, adding the refusal was consistent with the government's decision not to grant weapon export licences to Israel since Oct. 7, as Spain doesn't "want to contribute to war". 

Lebanon state media reports fresh Israeli strikes in south
10:23 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli air strikes hit on Friday an area of southern Lebanon far from the border, Lebanese official media said, following days of escalating clashes between Israel and armed group Hezbollah.

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency said "Israeli strikes targeted Najjariyeh and Addousiyeh", two adjacent villages about 30 kilometres (19 miles) from the Israeli border just south of the coastal city of Sidon.

The NNA reported "victims" without elaborating, while news agency AFP saw ambulances heading to the targeted sites.

The strikes hit a pickup truck in Najjariyeh and an orchard, according to an AFP photographer said.

Israel to top UN court: Gaza war 'tragic' but 'no genocide'
9:37 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A top lawyer for Israel told the highest United Nations court on Friday that the war in Gaza was tragic but denied there was a case of genocide to answer.

"There is a tragic war going on but there is no genocide," Gilad Noam told the International Court of Justice.

Israel: ICJ 'genocide' case 'totally divorced from facts
9:22 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel lashed out Friday at South Africa's case before the UN's top court, describing it as "totally divorced" from reality, as Pretoria urges judges to order a ceasefire in Gaza.

"South Africa presents the court for the fourth time with a picture that is completely divorced from the facts and circumstances," top lawyer Gilad Noam told the International Court of Justice.

Israel's deputy Attorney General for International Law Gilad Noam (L) on May 16 [Getty]
35,303 Palestinians killed in Gaza: health ministry
9:04 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

At least 35,303 Palestinians have been killed and 79,261 have been wounded in Israel's military offensive on Gaza since October 7, the Gaza health ministry said in a statement on Friday. 

Cannes stars take discreet stances on Gaza war
8:30 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

They may be attending one of the glitziest festivals on the planet, but some personalities in Cannes are signalling they have not forgotten the war in Gaza.

Laura Blajman-Kadar, a survivor of the October 7 attacks on Israel, swept up the red carpet on Tuesday in a bright yellow dress calling for the release of Israeli hostages still held in Gaza.

Her dress, in a colour that has become synonymous with the cause, featured the images of some of the hostages.

French actress Leila Beikhti was more discreet, pinning a pro-Palestinian watermelon heart broach to her black dress for the same premiere of "Furiosa".

Last month she recorded a video with the UN children's fund UNICEF calling for humanitarian aid to help the children in the war-torn Palestinian territory.

A day earlier, a French actor Philippe Torreton wore a yellow ribbon to show support for the Israeli hostages.

Jury member Omar Sy, of "Lupin" fame, at the start of the festival called for a ceasefire on Instagram.

"There is nothing that justifies the killing of children, in Gaza. Or anywhere," he wrote.

Few films linked to the Middle East conflict are screening in Cannes.

A documentary out of competition to screen on Friday is titled "The Belle of Gaza" but bears little relation to the conflict. The film by a French director follows the struggles and dreams of Palestinian trans women in Tel Aviv.

Pro-Palestinian activists have in the past accused Israel of pink-washing, or showing off its tolerance to the LGBTQ community to coat over its human rights abuses in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Palestinian filmmaker Mehdi Fleifel is screening his feature "To a Land Unknown" about two cousins who grew up as Palestinian refugees in Lebanon trying to get from Greece to a better life in Germany in a side section.

A single Israeli film called "It's Not Time for Pop" is showing. The short by a film student follows a young woman not interested in taking part in patriotic celebrations.

Actor Manal Issa (R) holds a sign reading 'Stop the Attack on Gaza' during Cannes [Getty]
Palestinian FA calls for Israel to be suspended from FIFA
8:10 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Palestinian football association on Friday called for the "immediate" suspension of Israel from FIFA, football's world governing body.

"The ball is in your court," Palestine Football Association head Jibril Rajoub told FIFA president Gianni Infantino at its meeting in Bangkok.

US says first aid delivered to Gaza via temporary pier
8:04 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The US military said aid deliveries began Friday via a temporary pier in Gaza aimed at ramping up emergency humanitarian assistance to the war-ravaged Palestinian territory.

"Today at approximately 9 a.m. (Gaza time), trucks carrying humanitarian assistance began moving ashore via a temporary pier in Gaza," the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement, adding that no US troops went ashore.

"This is an ongoing, multinational effort to deliver additional aid to Palestinian civilians in Gaza via a maritime corridor that is entirely humanitarian in nature," it said.

The pier was successfully anchored on Thursday, with around 500 tonnes of aid expected to enter the Palestinian territory in the coming days.

Photos released on Thursday by CENTCOM showed humanitarian aid being lifted onto a barge in the nearby Israeli port of Ashdod.

The Palestinian territory is facing famine after an Israeli siege brought dire shortages of food as well as safe water, medicines and fuel for its 2.4 million people.

The arrival of occasional aid convoys has slowed to a trickle since Israeli forces took control last week of the Gaza side of the Rafah crossing.

The UN has said that opening up land crossing points and allowing more trucks convoys into Gaza is the only way to stem the spiralling humanitarian crisis.