Israel intensifies Gaza strikes as six Palestinians killed in West Bank

Israel intensifies Gaza strikes as six Palestinians killed in West Bank
Gaza War Day 63: Israeli forces continue their military operations around the Gaza Strip including in besieged northern Gaza and in Khan Younis, as its forces launched deadly West Bank raids
14 min read
08 December, 2023

Israel is continuing its military campaign across the Gaza Strip, with air raids being reported in Jabalia refugee camp in besieged northern Gaza, Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, and Khan Younis in southern Gaza, the site of new ground operations by Israel.

The situation has prompted the UN, alongside 26 other humanitarian organisations, to condemn what they labelled a "catastrophic" humanitarian situation, adding that it was "amongst the worst we have witnessed and will likely only get worse as hostilities continue".

Israel's operations have killed 17,487 people since 7 October according to the Gaza's health authorities, with a further 46,480 wounded. Over 1.8 million people in Gaza have been displaced by the fighting, nearly 80 percent of it's population.

Israel's continued bombardment and military maneuvers in Gaza come as Israel increases its raids in the occupied West Bank.

This includes an assault this morning in Far'a refugee camp where Israeli forces shot six Palestinians dead.

Israeli forces are also reportedly blocking ambulances from taking injured Palestinians to local hospitals. 

US veto of Gaza ceasefire 'Morally indefensible': Amnesty
11:24 PM
The New Arab Staff

The US has displayed a "callous disregard for civilian suffering", Agnes Callamard, Amnesty’s secretary-general, has said.

"The US has brazenly wielded and weaponised its veto … further undermining its credibility and ability to live up to its mandate to maintain international peace and security," Callamard said.

The use of the veto, she added, is "morally indefensible".

Israel destroys Gaza's largest and oldest mosque
10:56 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel has bombed Gaza's medieval Omari Mosque, causing widespread damage to a cherished landmark.

Footage and images posted on social media on Friday appeared to show the Great Omari Mosque, the largest and oldest in Gaza City, reduced to rubble. They showed the fallen walls and roofs of the mosque and a huge crack at the bottom of the stone minaret.

Only the minaret appeared to be intact, with the surroundings shattered. The site has been a Christian or Muslim holy site since at least the fifth century.

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French UN envoy: 'Once again, this council has failed'
10:09 PM
The New Arab Staff

Speaking before the Security Council, Nicolas de Riviere says he does not see "any contradiction in the fight against terrorism and the protection of civilians in strict respect for international humanitarian law".

"France is very concerned by the humanitarian tragedy taking place in Gaza," he said.

"And it’s for this reason that France voted in favour of this resolution. And it’s for that reason that we plead for a new, immediate and lasting humanitarian truce that should lead to a sustainable ceasefire.

"This council has failed with a lack of unity and by refusing to genuinely commit to negotiations."

How did the UN Security Council members vote?
9:57 PM
The New Arab Staff
  • Thirteen council members voted in favour of the ceasefire resolution
  • The UK was the sole country to abstain from the vote on the ceasefire resolution.
  • The US vetoed the resolution.


US envoy says UN ceasefire calls ‘divorced from reality'
9:35 PM
The New Arab Staff

Robert Wood says the process of drafting the resolution and voting on it was "rushed" and "lacked appropriate consultation".

"Unfortunately, nearly all of our recommendations were ignored," he said, after vetoing the draft resolution.

"The result of this rush process was an imbalanced resolution that was divorced from reality, that would not move the needle forward on the ground in any concrete way".

He said the authors "declined to include language condemning Hamas’s horrific terrorist attack on Israel on October 7".

The US is one of five permanent members on the council that wields veto power.

Biden administration asks approval on Israeli tank shells
9:20 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Biden administration has asked Congress to approve the sale of 45,000 shells for Israel's Merkava tanks for use in its war on Gaza, according to a Reuters report which cited US official and a former US official.

The request is being made even as concerns grow about the use of US weapons in a war that has killed thousands of civilians in the Palestinian enclave, including over 7,000 children.

The potential sale, worth more than $500 million, is not part of President Joe Biden's $110.5 billion supplemental request that includes funding for Ukraine and Israel, Reuters said.

It is under informal review by the Senate Foreign Relations and House of Representatives Foreign Affairs committees, which allows members the privilege to stall the sale, or have informal discussions with the administration about concerns.

World Food Programme says it cannot do its job in Gaza
9:18 PM
The New Arab Staff

The World Food Programme (WFP) has said it was becoming impossible to get supplies to hungry people in the Gaza Strip as Israel stepped up its attacks on the besieged enclave.

"With law and order breaking down, any meaningful humanitarian operation is impossible," the WFP's Deputy Executive Director Carl Skau said in a statement following a visit to Gaza.

"With just a fraction of the needed food supplies coming in, a fatal absence of fuel, interruptions to communications systems and no security for our staff or for the people we serve at food distributions, we cannot do our job," he added.

US vetoes UNSC resolution calling for Gaza ceasefire
9:16 PM
The New Arab Staff

The United States has vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would have called for an immediate ceasefire in Israel's war on Gaza.

The United States' deputy representative at the UN, Robert Wood, said the resolution was "divorced from reality" and "would have not moved the needle forward on the ground."

Hamas calls on UN Security Council to end Gaza 'brutal' war
7:41 PM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas has called for the United Nations Security Council to end the "brutal war" in the Gaza Strip.

"We call on the Security Council, the international community and all countries around the world to end this brutal war and save the Gaza Strip before it is too late," the Gaza media office in the Palestinian territory said, as the Security Council prepared to vote on a draft resolution calling for a ceasefire.

UNRWA calls for Gaza ceasefire to end 'decimation'
7:39 PM

The head of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip to end the "decimation" of Palestinian lives there.

Philippe Lazzarini urged in a statement all UN member states to take "actions to implement an immediate humanitarian ceasefire" in Gaza.

"Calling for an end to the decimation of the lives of Palestinians in Gaza is not a denial of the abhorrent attacks of 7 October in Israel," he continued.

"It is the opposite. It is a recognition of the equal rights of all people."

In addition to the thousands killed in the fighting, vast areas of Gaza have been reduced to a wasteland.

The UN says about 80 percent of the population has been displaced and is facing dire shortages of food, fuel, water and medicine, along with the growing threat of disease.

US official says Israel can do ‘more’ to protect civilians
7:23 PM
The New Arab Staff

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby tells reporters that the US was "continuing to work with our Israeli counterparts to be as cautious deliberate and careful as they can in their targeting"

"We certainly all recognise more can be done to try to reduce civilian casualties," Kirby said.

When asked by reporters about Israel’s announcement that it would open up the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) border crossing to allow more humanitarian aid to reach Gaza, Kirby said that he did not have a timeline to offer.

"That’s something for the Israelis to speak to," he said, adding that the opening of this crossing was at the US’s request.

MSF says UN 'complicit in the ongoing slaughter' in Gaza
5:21 PM
The New Arab Staff

Doctors without Borders (MSF) have accused the UN Security Council of complicity in the what they described as an "ongoing slaughter" in Gaza.

In a statement was issued during an emergency Security Council meeting where members will vote on whether to declare a UN-backed ceasefire in Gaza.

MSF reiterated its calls for a ceasefire, condemning "Israel's campaign of indiscriminate killing, denial of access to healthcare and repeated forced displacement".

Arab-Islamic Ministerial Committee calls for Gaza ceasefire
5:16 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Chief diplomats from a grouping of Arab and Islamic nations, on a visit to Washington, called Friday for end to fighting in the Gaza Strip.

"Our message is we believe it is absolutely necessary to end the fighting immediately," said Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on behalf of the group, appealing for the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution calling for a ceasefire.

Bin Farhan was in Washington as part of a visit of the Arab-Islamic Ministerial Committee.

US tells UN meeting it opposes immediate Gaza ceasefire
5:11 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States told a UN Security Council meeting on Friday that it opposed an immediate ceasefire in the fighting raging in Gaza.

"While the United States strongly supports the durable peace, in which both Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace and security, we do not support calls for an immediate ceasefire," said Deputy US Ambassador Robert Wood.

"This would only plant the seeds for the next war, because Hamas has no desire to see a durable peace to see a two state solution," Wood added.

Israeli strike targets house next to Al-Amal hospital
4:20 PM
The New Arab Staff

An Israeli airstrike hit a house next to the Al-Amal hospital in Khan Younis causing dozens of casualties, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS).

According to photos and videos published by PRCS the wounded include a number of children, with the bombings causing "extreme panic among the 14,000 people who are taking shelter inside PRCS facilities". 

Netanyahu: PA not solution for Gaza
4:12 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is not part of the solution for governance in Gaza post war. 

"There will be no Hamas – we will eliminate it. The mere fact that this is the Palestinian Authorities proposal only strengthens my policy: the Palestinian Authority is not the solution," he said.

His comments were made in response to remarks by the PA Prime Minister that it would take control over Gaza with Hamas as "junior partner" following the end of the war, calling Israeli plans to destroy Hamas "unrealistic".

Israel conducts two strikes against Lebanese Army
3:46 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli artillery struck a medical facility belonging to the Lebanese army, according to the Lebanese Army. The strike hit the Ain Ebel Army Hospital causing material damage but no casualties. 

As well as strikes in Ain Ebel, a second Israeli strike hit a Lebanese Army center in Ras Naqoura causing light injuries, according to Hezbollah's media office speaking with TNA's correspondent in Lebanon.

UN postpones vote on demand for ceasefire in Gaza
3:02 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A UN Security Council vote on a draft resolution that demands an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the war between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas in the Gaza Strip has been postponed until 5:30 p.m. (2230 GMT) Friday, diplomats said.

The 15-member body had been due to vote on the resolution, drafted by the United Arab Emirates, on Friday morning.


Top US diplomat Blinken met with Qatari prime minister
2:49 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani discussed their coordination on efforts to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas and the importance of preventing the conflict in Gaza from spreading, the State Department said on Friday.

"The secretary expressed appreciation for Qatar’s critical efforts to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas and the recent humanitarian pause in Gaza," the department said in a statement.


Israeli strike kills four pro-Hezbollah fighters in Syria
2:47 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Four pro-Hezbollah fighters were killed on Friday in an Israeli drone strike on their car in the south of Syria, a war monitor said.

The four fighters "working on behalf of Hezbollah" were killed in Madinat al-Baath town in the province of Quneitra, close to the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

The monitor was unable however to confirm if the combatants were Syrian or not, but they were not part of the Syrian army, Abdel Rahman said.

The day before, the Observatory, which has a network of sources in Syria, reported that Israel hit sites close to Damascus with eight missiles, as well as a "regime military post in the province of Quneitra", without causing any casualties.

The strikes were a response to the bombardment of Israeli-annexed Golan, the monitor said.

Gaza health ministry update death toll: 17,487 killed
2:37 PM
The New Arab Staff

Gaza's health ministry have updated the death toll in Gaza, with 17,487 people being killed as a result of Israel's bombardment. An additional 46,480 people have also been wounded.

Four Palestinians wounded in Israeli raid in Hizma
1:20 PM
The New Arab Staff

Four Palestinians have been wounded by Israeli during a raid on Hizma, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem according to Palestinian news agency WAFA.

The four Palestinians were wounded in a confrontation with the Israeli army which was besieging a mosque in the town, with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society telling WAFA that some of the wounds were from live ammunition.


Qassam Brigades fire rockets at Tel Aviv, central Israel
12:56 PM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas' armed wing the Qassam Brigades announced it had fired rockets into central Israel targeting the city of Tel Aviv, with Haaretz reporting that rocket fragments fell on a car.

The Israeli military stated that sirens were sounding in Tel Aviv, central Israel, and in southern Israel.

The military also stated that sirens were sounding in northern Israel, with Israeli media reporting that the sirens were due to a suspected drone infiltration attempt on the border of Lebanon,

UNRWA Director: 'Civil order is breaking down in Gaza'
12:43 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Director of UNRWA Affairs in Gaza stated that "civil order is breaking down in Gaza" as Israel continues it's military assault on the enclave.

In a post made on X, formerly Twitter, Thomas White stated that "some aid convoys are being looted and UN vehicles stoned," adding that "society is on the brink of a full-blown collapse".

He also assured that UNRWA would do what it could for the people of Gaza "with what limited aid we have". 

Turkey's Erdogan says no plans for now to meet Biden on Gaza
11:42 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan was cited on Friday as saying that a meeting with US President Joe Biden on the situation in Gaza was not on his agenda, but that he would discuss it and other issues if Biden called.

Speaking to reporters on a flight from Athens, Erdogan said his foreign minister would hold talks in Washington as part of a so-called contact group of Muslim countries on Friday. He hoped it would lead to the end of US support for Israel, according to broadcaster Haberturk and others.


MSF sends open letter to UN requesting Gaza ceasefire
11:12 AM
The New Arab Staff

Doctors without Borders (MSF) have written a letter to the UN demanding a ceasefire in Gaza in order to allow "crucial humanitarian aid" to enter into the enclave.

The letter, written by MSF International President Christos Christou, condemned Israeli conduct in its military operations in Gaza, stating that Israel "has shown a blatant and total disregard for the protection of Gaza's medical facilities".

The letter also condemns Hamas' attack on southern Israel on 7 October. 

Israel airstrikes target Lebanon, Syria overnight
10:02 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli military stated it had conducted airstrikes in Lebanon targeting militants, as well as Syria following rocket fire into Israel, overnight. 

The Israeli military also stated it had struck 450 targets across the Gaza Strip in the last 24 hours.

Iraqi Kurdish charities extend helping hand to Gaza
9:45 AM
Dana Taib Menmy

Kurdish Charities in the Iraqi Kurdistan region have been collecting aid and sending it to the people of Gaza, who are facing a humanitarian crisis following more than two months of Israel's relentless war on the besieged coastal enclave.  

"We have been collecting money donated by civilians in the Iraqi Kurdistan region and sending it to the people of Gaza via trusted charities in Qatar and Turkey," Haji Karwan, head of Baxtawari Charity Organisation, told The New Arab during a phone interview. "Collecting aid to the people of Gaza is an Islamic and humanitarian duty. We see that Israel has been committing so many massacres against the people of Gaza, mostly targeting women and children."

Read the full article here.

Rockets fired at US embassy Baghdad
9:23 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

14 rockets were fired towards the US embassy in Baghdad causing light damage, but no casualties, according to US and Iraqi officials.

A US spokesperson stated that "we again call on the government of Iraq... to do all in its power to protect diplomatic and coalition partner personnel and facilities," adding that "we reiterate that we reserve the right to self-defence and to protect our personnel anywhere in the world".

The attack, claimed by the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, is the latest in a series of attacks against US assets and personnel in Iraq and Syria since the start of the Gaza war being waged by Israel and Hamas.