Israel orders evacuation of Gaza City as fighting intensifies with dozens killed

Israel orders evacuation of Gaza City as fighting intensifies with dozens killed
The Israeli military ordered civilians to flee Gaza City and move south following days of attacks in the area, but there is little room for more displaced.
17 min read
10 July, 2024

The Israeli army dropped leaflets issuing urgent evacuation orders for all residents in besieged Gaza City on Wednesday as battles with Palestinian groups continued. 

Palestinians said they have no where safe to go with the south also facing attacks and reports of overcrowding and unsanitary living conditions with the majority of the population now sheltering in tents.

Bombings were reported in central, south and north Gaza, as officials meet in Qatar to hammer out a ceasefire deal.

At least six people were killed in attacks in Nuseirat and southern Gaza in the early morning including four children from the al-Mabhouh family in Nuseirat refugee camp, according to Arabic media reports.

A school near Khan Younis was hit by a major strike on Tuesday, killing some 29 people who were sheltering there, in one of the worst casualties of the conflict. A source at the nearby Nasser hospital told AFP that they received victims, including 29 dead and dozens wounded.

Meanwhile, humanitarian conditions continue to deteriorate as aid deliveries remain hampered following Israeli border restrictions. UN rights experts on Tuesday accused Israel of carrying out a "targeted starvation campaign" that has resulted in the deaths of children in Gaza.

3:55 AM

The live blog has now ended and will be back at 9am. You can read more of The New Arab's coverage of Israel's war on Gaza here.

US CENTCOM: Destroyed two Houthi UAVs
2:05 AM
The New Arab Staff

US Central Command (CENTCOM) has announced that US forces have destroyed two Houthi uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) over the Red Sea and an uncrewed surface vessel (USV) in the Red Sea in a post on X.

"It was determined the UAVs and USV presented an imminent threat to US, coalition forces, and merchant vessels in the region. These actions were taken to protect freedom of navigation and make international waters safer and more secure," CENTCOM added.

US is cautiously optimistic about Gaza ceasefire talks
12:20 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States was cautiously optimistic about Gaza ceasefire talks, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby told CNN on Wednesday.


Spain PM at NATO summit rejects 'double standards' on Gaza
11:50 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Wednesday urged the West to reject "double standards" regarding the conflict in Gaza as he joined NATO leaders in supporting Ukraine.

Spain under Sanchez has infuriated Israel's right-wing government by recognising a Palestinian state and criticising Israel's conduct of its war against Hamas.

"If we are telling our people that we are supporting Ukraine because we are defending the international law, this is the same to what we have to do towards Gaza," he said at NATO's 75th anniversary summit in Washington.

The socialist leader said there should be a "consistent political position" in which "we don't have double standards."

Sanchez said the world needed to press to "stop this terrible humanitarian crisis" affecting the Palestinians and called for an international peace conference to push for a Palestinian state.

"We need to create the conditions for an immediate and urgent ceasefire," he said. "There is a real risk of escalation to Lebanon."

Sanchez said he also supported "democracy, freedom and the right to exist of a country such as Ukraine."

NATO leaders at the summit issued a declaration that said Kyiv was on an "irreversible" path to join the alliance.

UN: 550 Palestinians killed in West Bank since 7 October
11:25 PM
The New Arab Staff

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said that 550 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem since 7 October, adding that it has documented over 1,000 Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians in the same time period. 

"Nearly 1,400 people, including 660 children, displaced due to settler violence and access restrictions," UNOCHA said in post on X. 

Gallant could be fired from cabinet, Israeli media reports
10:50 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel's Channel 12 is reporting that associates of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are considering firing Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant for breaking with the position of the cabinet.

The associates also think he is leaking information to the press from cabinet meeting, and any firing should be done in the summer recess of the Israeli Knesset to avoid an election.

The Times of Israel reports that the office for the Prime Minister denies the report. 

US to resume shipping 500-pound bombs to Israel, US official
9:58 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States will resume shipping 500-pound bombs to Israel but will continue to hold back on supplying 2,000-pound bombs over concerns about their use in Gaza, a US official said on Wednesday


Israeli soldier wounded in Hezbollah strike
9:00 PM
The New Arab Staff

According to Haaretz, the Israeli army announced that a soldier has been wounded in an attack by Hezbollah drones around Kazrin. The Israeli army previously reported that several Hezbollah drones struck the area.

Egyptian FM says talking with Lebanon, Israel over clashes
8:28 PM
The New Arab Staff

Egypt's Foreign Minister has said that talks are ongoing with Lebanon and Israel in a bid to avoid "engaging in all-encompassing confrontations" as clashes between Israel and Hezbollah continue.

The announcement was made at a joint press conference with the Jordanian Foreign Minister.

Israel Army Chief expresses support for ceasefire
8:15 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Chief of the Israeli army Herzi Halevi has expressed support for a ceasefire deal that would see the release of Israeli hostages held in Gaza during a speech he made at a graduation ceremony at the National Security College.

"An agreement for the return of the hostages, beyond its urgent moral importance in saving lives, embodies the fundamental values required for an exemplary society and a society that cherishes life," he was quoted as saying by Israeli publication Haaretz.

During the speech he also made comments about ongoing clashes with Hezbollah on the Israel-Lebanon border, saying "we are inflicting severe blows on Hezbollah every day, which is only a fraction of our capability."

He added that any military action will be done with "strategic thinking and systemic planning".

Gallant: Army have created conditions for hostage deal
7:45 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has said that the Israeli army has created the conditions in Gaza for a hostage deal to be pursued during a graduation ceremony at the Israel National Defence College. 

Gallant said that "a limited window of opportunity will open before us to fulfill our moral and ethical duty to return the hostages," as quoted in Israeli publication the Times of Israel.

He added that risks that could arise for Israel if a deal is struck can be overcome.

Hamas official says Israeli 'massacres' harden Gaza position
7:15 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A top Hamas official said on Wednesday that "intensifying" Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip would harden the Palestinian group's negotiating position in mediation efforts towards a truce.

Hamas official Hossam Badran, asked about the increased military operations, told AFP that Israel "is trying to pressure negotiations by intensifying bombing operations, displacement, and committing massacres".

As long-stalled diplomatic efforts have gathered pace, aiming for a hostage release deal and Gaza truce after more than nine months of devastating war, Badran said Israel was trying to force Hamas's hands.

According to Badran, the Israeli government was "hoping that the resistance will relinquish its legitimate demands", which include a complete ceasefire and full withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza.

But "the continuation of massacres compels us to adhere to our demands", he said.

On Sunday, a Hamas official told AFP on condition of anonymity that the group was ready to discuss a hostage release deal with Israel even without a "complete" ceasefire.

But now, Badran said, "we cannot determine to what extent the negotiations can proceed despite the flexibility we have shown."

UK FM David Lammy: Gaza war 'gone on far too long'
6:45 PM
The New Arab Staff

UK Foreign Minister David Lammy has said that the war in Gaza has "gone on far too long" and labelled Israel's attack on a school in Abassan as "appalling".

"The reports of civilian casualties following an Israeli strike near a school in Abassan in Gaza are appalling," Lammy said on X.

He added: "The devastating violence in Gaza has gone on far too long and we want to see urgent measures to protect civilians, an immediate ceasefire and the release of all hostages."

Israeli military says it has concluded raid in Shujaiya
6:15 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Israeli military announced on Wednesday that its troops have completed a two-week operation in Gaza's Shujaiya district, where they destroyed eight militant tunnels that contained weapons and communication equipment.

"During the fighting, the forces killed many dozens of militants," the military said in a statement. 


Israel releases Palestinian prisoner in visibly frail state
5:50 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel has released another Palestinian prisoner after months of detention in an emaciated looking state and bearing signs of torture.

Bodybuilder Moazaz Abayat was released on Tuesday after nine months in Israeli detention, looking visibly thinner and suffering from memory loss.

Video posted online shows Abayat limping and struggling to walk during his release at the Dhahiriya crossing, while also being assisted.

Moazaz's brother, Moaz, told The New Arab's Arabic-language service that his sibling was unable to recognise his family members.

Israel currently holds over 9,700 Palestinian prisoners, 3,380 of which are held under the so-called administrative order, and 250 of which are children.

Read more here.

Netanyahu worried about Europe stopover due to ICC case
5:03 PM
The New Arab Staff

A government plane carrying Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the US this month will avoid stopping in Europe over fears about a possible arrest warrant for the premier, Israeli media has said.

In May, International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Karim Khan said that he was seeking arrest warrants for top Israeli figures, including Netanyahu and Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, over war crimes in Gaza.

Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif, and Ismail Haniyeh are also wanted.

Read more here.

Hezbollah is 'ready' for an Israeli assault: Nasrallah
4:34 PM
The New Arab Staff

Hassan Nasrallah said his group is "ready" if Israel decides to invade southern Lebanon as repeatedly threatened by Israeli officials as it battles Hamas in Gaza.

Speaking in a televised address in Beirut on Wednesday, the Hezbollah leader said they will "remain cautious and are preparing for the worst".

"If Netanyahu insists on continuing the fight, he is leading his country to its doom," he said.

Addressing the Israeli prime minister, he said: "When your tanks arrive at our borders, you know what awaits them. The resistance in Lebanon is ready and not afraid."


Hezbollah's Nasrallah: We will accept whatever Hamas accepts
3:36 PM
The New Arab Staff

Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah said that Hamas negotiates on behalf of the entire axis of resistance.

Nasrallah is speaking in Beirut and said Hezbollah would "accept what it accepts" in reference to Hamas' ongoing ceasefire negotiations and proposals.

The Lebanese Shia militia group has been engaged in attacks with Israeli forces since 8 October, a day after Israel launched its invasion of Gaza and the Hamas assault.

The leader said that "the whole world wants a ceasefire" in Gaza and that Israel is struggling to achieve its stated war aims, ten months into the conflict.

"Everything that is happening in Gaza reflects a failure of the enemy. Israel wanted the return of the hostages or the annihilation of Hamas. It has been unable to do anything in 10 months," Nasrallah said in a televised address in Beirut on Wednesday ahead of the Shiite Muslim festival of Ashura.

MSF facing 'critical' medical supply shortage in Gaza
3:26 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Aid group Doctors Without Borders has warned of "critical" shortages of medical supplies in Gaza.

The group known by its French initials MSF is "facing critical shortages of many things like gauze, gloves... things like that," Amber Alayyan, who works on the Palestinian territories for its French branch, told AFP on Tuesday.

The aid group warned last week in a statement it had been unable to bring any medical supplies into Gaza since the end of April and called on Israel to open more crossing points into the territory.

"We're seeing people who are injured in bombings, in shootings, in drone attacks," Alayyan said.

"We're seeing people who are living in such poor conditions that they're cooking on the floor."

MSF staff have shifted to changing wound dressings every four days rather than the usual two to save on supplies, paediatrician Alayyan added.

Hezbollah fires 'dozens of rockets' into Golan Heights
3:01 PM
The New Arab Staff

Lebanese group Hezbollah said it fired "dozens of Katyusha rockets" into the occupied Golan Heights on Wednesday.

In a statement on the group's Telegram channel, it said it struck "enemy artillery positions" in al-Zaoura in response to an Israeli strike in Lebanon's Bekaa region on Tuesday.

The Golan Heights, considered Syrian territory in international law, was occupied by Israel following the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed in 1981.

Suspected Houthi attack hits ship in Bab el-Mandeb Strait
2:26 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A suspected attack by Yemen's Houthi rebels targeted a ship in the narrow Bab el-Mandeb Strait on Wednesday, as authorities acknowledged the rebels launched their longest-range attack yet on a U.S.-flagged vessel near the Arabian Sea.

The sudden burst of attacks by the Houthis come after an unexplained pause of a week and a half by the rebels. The rebels may be regrouping ahead of the arrival of a new U.S. aircraft carrier to the region after the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower began heading home.

The attack Wednesday targeted a ship south of Mocha, the British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations center said. The captain reported explosions off the ship's side.

The “vessel and all crew are safe,” the UKMTO said. “The vessel is proceeding to its next port of call.”

'60 percent' of Hamas dead or wounded: Israel defence chief
2:24 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's Defence Minister Yoav Gallant claimed Wednesday that 60 percent of Hamas fighters had been "eliminated or wounded" in the Gaza war since the Palestinian group's October 7 attacks.

Gallant reaffirmed in a statement to parliament on the first nine months of the conflict that Israel was "determined" to meet its war goals of eradicating Hamas and bringing all hostages back from Gaza.

"We have eliminated or wounded 60 percent of the Hamas terrorists" and "dismantled" most the Palestinian group's 24 battalions, Gallant said.

The minister did not give figures for the casualties and the Israeli military said it did not immediately have statistics.

Gallant: important to seize chance for Gaza deal
2:22 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel and the United States agree on the importance of seizing the opportunity for a Gaza ceasefire deal but challenges remain, Israel's Defence Ministry said on Wednesday after its minister, Yoav Gallant, met U.S. Middle East envoy Brett McGurk.

"The two discussed the importance of seizing the opportunity created to achieve an agreement for the return of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza," the ministry said in a statement about the meeting, which it said took place on Tuesday evening.

"They discussed the challenges that remain in achieving such an agreement, as well as possible solutions to address them," it said.

Gallant also said Israel supports the opening of the Rafah crossing, between Egypt and Gaza, but will not tolerate the return of Hamas to the area, the ministry statement said.

Israel says it struck Syrian army targets on Golan Heights
2:20 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli tanks and artillery on Wednesday struck Syrian army targets that had violated the 1974 demilitarisation deal in the area of the Golan Heights, the Israeli military said.

"The IDF (Israel Defence Forces) holds the Syrian military responsible for all activities occurring within its territory and will not allow any attempts to violate Israeli sovereignty," the military said in a statement.


France concerned over reported Israeli hit on Gaza school
1:36 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

France said on Wednesday it was gravely concerned by reports that an Israeli missile had slammed into a tent encampment in southern Gaza where displaced civilians had gathered to watch a soccer match at a school.

Palestinian health officials said that at least 29 people - mostly women and children - were killed by the Israeli missile strike on the area near the city of Khan Younis on Tuesday.

"France expresses its grave concerns regarding reports that there were several Israeli airstrikes on schools sheltering displaced people in Gaza, including a United Nations Relief & Works Agency (UNRWA) school and a school linked to the Latin Patriarch in Jerusalem," the French foreign ministry said.

"It is unacceptable that schools, which are meant to be sheltering civilians who have been forced out of their homes due to the fighting, should be targeted," it added in a statement.

Israel PM says committed to Gaza deal if red lines respected
1:17 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a US envoy on Wednesday he was committed to securing a Gaza ceasefire deal provided Israel's red lines were respected, Netanyahu's office said in a statement.

Netanyahu met US Middle East envoy Brett McGurk in Jerusalem, Netanyahu's office said.


Gaza health ministry: 52 new deaths in 24 hours
12:12 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

More than 38,295 Palestinians have been killed and 88,241 have been injured in Israeli military offensive on Gaza since 7 October, the Gaza health ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

The toll added 52 new deaths in 24 hours, the ministry statement said.

Gaza women "losing their babies" from malnourishment
11:49 AM
The New Arab

A British NGO operating in Gaza has said Palestinians are facing an "acute hunger crisis" with aid supplies still "wholly inadequate".

ActionAid said on Wednesday that it remains "extremely alarmed" by the humanitarian situation.

"Our staff and partners in Gaza paint a harrowing picture of the current situation, with pregnant women losing their babies because they are so malnourished and desperate mothers struggling to find anything to feed their starving children."

"Yesterday a group of UN experts issued a stark warning that famine is spreading across Gaza, citing the recent deaths of three more children from malnutrition," ActionAid said in a statement.

Read more about the UN experts verdict here.

Al-Qassam Brigades: 'ambushed' Israeli soldiers in Gaza City
11:33 AM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas' military wing, al-Qassam Brigades, said its fighters ambushed Israeli troops after "detonating two anti-personnel" devices in the Tel-al Hawa neighbourhood of Gaza City.

In a statement on the group's Telegram channel, it said it killed and wounded the troops and sighted several helicopters evacuating the wounded after the ambush.

Israeli army has been fighting with armed Palestinian groups in Gaza City over the past week and issued an evacuation order for all residents to leave today.

Israel to send draft notices to ultra-orthodox Jews in weeks
11:04 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said on Wednesday draft notices would be delivered in the next few weeks to some ultra-Orthodox Jews who had previously been exempt from serving in the Israeli military.

Israel's Supreme Court ruled last month that the defence ministry must end the longstanding exemption for ultra-Orthodox Jews from mandatory military service.

Speaking in the Israeli parliament, Gallant said the plan was to send out thousands of draft notices, though not all served with such notices would end up serving.

The fractious coalition government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu relies on two ultra-Orthodox parties who oppose the end of the exemption. However, the armed forces say they need more recruits to keep Israel safe and sustain the war against the Hamas militant group in Gaza.


Germany says Israeli strike on Gaza school 'unacceptable'
10:45 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Germany said Wednesday that a deadly Israeli strike on a school in southern Gaza being used as a shelter was "unacceptable" and called for a rapid investigation into the incident.

"People seeking shelter in schools getting killed is unacceptable. Civilians, especially children, must not get caught in the crossfire," the foreign ministry posted on X. "The repeated attacks on schools by the Israeli army must stop and an investigation must come quickly."

Israeli army urges all Gaza City residents to leave
10:35 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Israeli army on Wednesday dropped leaflets on Gaza City urging all residents to leave for safe zones amid an intensified military offensive on the Palestinian territory's main city.

The thousands of leaflets, addressed to "everyone in Gaza City", set out routes out of the city to the south and warned it would "remain a dangerous combat zone", an AFP journalist said.

Israel issued a first formal evacuation order for part of the city on June 27.

Islamic Resistance in Iraq claims new attacks on Israel
9:27 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq (IRI) militia grouping has claimed it had carried out a drone attack on the Orot Rabin power station in the northern Israeli city of Hadera.

The Iran-backed IRI said in a post on Telegram that the attack was carried out "in support of our people in Palestine, and in response to the attacks carried out by the usurper entity [Israel] against unarmed civilians".

The IRI also claimed a drone attack on Tuesday on what it said was a "vital" target in the northern Israeli city of Haifa.

Israeli media have not commented on the claims.

Vessel reports explosion in its proximity off Yemen: UKMTO
9:09 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The captain of a vessel located 40 nautical miles south of Yemen's Mokha reported an explosion in close proximity to the ship, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said on Wednesday.

Yemen's Houthi group have been targeting Israeli or US linked vessels in the Red Sea with air attacks in response to Israel's invasion of Gaza.

Israel: 'targeted intelligence-based' activity in Rafah
9:00 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli army said on Wednesday its troops are continuing a "targeted intelligence-based operational activity" in the southern city of Rafah.

In an operational update posted on Telegram, the army said it had "eliminated a number of terrorists, located weapons, and dismantled terrorist infrastructure" in the area.

Battles in Shujaiyaa in Gaza City are ongoing, where fighting with Palestinian armed groups have been intense for the past week.

The Israeli military said that one attack in Gaza City targeted Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets operating from inside an UNRWA building.

Gaza's civil defence said dozens of armed drones and snipers have been sighted in the area.

US, Israeli intelligence chiefs meet in Doha for truce talks
8:45 AM
The New Arab Staff

Talks on a truce deal to the Gaza war are expected to begin in Qatar today with the director of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) William Burns, Mossad head David Barnea and a Hamas delegation headed by Khalil al-Hayya, The New Arab’s Arabic language sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reports.

Negotiations will centre around a captive-prisoner exchange deal and terms for an end to the hostilities.

Further talks with Egyptian and Palestinian officials have been ongoing in Cairo this week as parties push to hammer out a deal to end the nine-month war. Both Hamas and Israel have presented specific demands and mediators are working to reach an agreement.

Israel says its air force hit site in central Lebanon
8:30 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's military said on Wednesday its aircraft hit a Hezbollah site in the area of Janta, southern Lebanon.

The military said in a statement it was targeting a Hezbollah air defence system. Most Israeli military strikes in the past weeks have been on the south and south-east of Lebanon.

It said it also struck a "Hezbollah weapons storage facility in the area of Kfarkela".

It comes after the Lebanese Shia militant group released drone footage of the Israeli occupied Golan Heights, identifying Israeli intelligence and military targets.