Israel pounds southern Gaza, besieges Al-Shifa Hospital for 10th day

Israel pounds southern Gaza, besieges Al-Shifa Hospital for 10th day
Intense Israeli bombardment continues in the southern Gaza Strip amidst calls for a ceasefire and growing humanitarian concerns, including famine.
15 min read

The southern Gaza Strip came under intense Israeli bombardment overnight, despite international pressure for an immediate ceasefire in the Palestinian territory where famine is looming.

In central Gaza, Israeli military said it was continuing its attack on the Al-Shifa Hospital for a 10th day. Israeli forces have mposed a brutal siege on Gaza's largest medical centre, killing a number of civilians, including at least 13 children, according to the Euro-Med monitor.

Besieged Gaza is in desperate need of aid, and the United States said it would continue airdrops despite pleas from Hamas to stop the practice after the group said 18 people had died trying to reach food packages.

A fireball lit up the night sky in the southern city of Rafah, the last remaining urban centre in Gaza not to have been attacked by Israeli ground forces. About 1.5 million people are crammed in the area, many having fled south towards the border with Egypt.

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PFM condemns Israeli attacks on Bedouin community
5:45 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Palestine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates have condemned Israel's attack on the Bedouin community in the occupied West Bank.

The ministry is calling for active international intervention to stop the occupation's war and its settlers' practices against Bedouin communities.

Thousands gather in Al Aqsa mosque for iftar
5:31 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Thousands of worshippers gathered to break their fast at Al Aqsa mosque in occupied Jerusalem. 

Israeli occupations have been restricting worshippers from entering the mosque by beating and conducting raids.

Lebanon to file complaint against Israel of targeting medics
5:28 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Lebanese Foreign Ministry said on Thursday they intend to file a complaint against Israel for its targeting of civilians and paramedics.

The complaint is about the army killing 18 Lebanese civilians in southern Lebanon in Habbariyeh, Baalbek and Naqoura.

MSF: No change in Gaza since UN ceasefire vote
5:00 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Doctors Without Borders (MSF) medical charity lamented Thursday that nothing had changed on the ground in war-ravaged Gaza since the United Nations Security Council resolution this week demanding an "immediate ceasefire".

After more than five months of war, the UN Security Council, for the first time Monday, demanded an immediate ceasefire in Gaza after Israel's ally, the United States, which vetoed previous drafts, abstained.

That resolution demanded an "immediate ceasefire" for the ongoing Muslim holy month of Ramadan, leading to a "lasting" truce.

But since then, "we haven't seen any change after this resolution on the ground," Christos Christou, MSF's international president, told AFP in an interview.

Netanyahu seeks extension on military conscription plan
4:50 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Israel's top court on Thursday to defer a deadline for the government to come up with a new military conscription plan that would address mainstream anger at the exemptions granted to ultra-Orthodox Jews.

The draft issue is especially sensitive as Israel's armed forces, made up mostly of teenaged conscripts and civilians mobilised for reserve duty, wage a nearly six-month-old war on Gaza.


Euro-Med: Israel army executed 13 children near Al-Shifa
4:43 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli forces have "executed" 13 children by "direct shooting" over a week in and around Gaza's Al-Shifa hospital - rights group Euro-Med Monitor said on Wednesday.

The group declared it a war crime and crime against humanity, further describing it as "part of the genocide that the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip have been experiencing for the past six months".

Read more about it here:

ICJ orders Israel to take action to address Gaza famine
4:28 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Judges at the International Court of Justice on Thursday unanimously ordered Israel to take all the necessary and effective action to ensure basic food supplies arrive without delay to the Palestinian population in Gaza.

The ICJ said the Palestinians in Gaza face worsening conditions of life, and famine and starvation are spreading.

"The court observes that Palestinians in Gaza are no longer facing only a risk of famine (...) but that famine is setting in," the judges said in their order.

The new measures were requested by South Africa as part of its ongoing case that accuses Israel of state-led genocide in Gaza.


Palestine Action permanently shut Elbit factory down in UK
4:06 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Pro-Palestine organisation Palestine Action have announced they have permanently shut down an Israel-owned Elbit factory in the UK.

The group says their "relentless direct action" has forced Elbit Systems to sell their 'Elite KL' factory in Tamworth.

Elbit Systems’ biggest customer is the Israeli Ministry of Defence and provides up to 85 percent of the land-based equipment used by the Israeli military and almost 85 percent of its drones.

The new owners, Griffin Newco Ltd, confirmed in an email to Palestine Action that they would have nothing to do with the previous owners, Elbit, and have discontinued any arms manufacturing:

Turkey sends 8th aid ship to Gaza
3:35 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Turkey sent its eighth ship carrying humanitarian aid en route to Gaza on Thursday. The vessel carries 2,960 tons of aid - 125,000 food packages for the people of Palestine.

This is in collaboration between Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and the General Directorate of Foundations.

This will be Turkey's eighth aid ship [GETTY]
Israeli visa delays hamper Gaza aid
3:24 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Difficulties getting Israeli permission for foreign staff to work in Israel and the Palestinian territories are hampering efforts to get aid into war-shattered Gaza, where civilians are facing imminent famine, according to UN data and aid workers.

Six aid workers from the UN and other groups interviewed by Reuters cited delays to visas as an example of red tape they say is thwarting aid to Gaza, nearly six months into Israel's war on gaza.

Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately respond to a request for comment. An Israeli official who asked for anonymity because the official was not authorised to speak publicly cited high demand as a challenge and also raised question marks about some groups' objectives, saying some aid workers "have designs that are not humanitarian."


Kuwait hands $2 million to UNRWA for 2024
3:13 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Kuwait has handed its annual $2 million contribution to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), the Kuwaiti state news agency KUNA reported on Thursday.

UNWRA said on Tuesday it had sufficient funds to run its operations until the end of May after many donors paused their funding over Israeli accusations that some staff took part in Hamas' 7 October attack, which triggered war in Gaza.

UNRWA provides aid and essential services to Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli-occupied West Bank and across the wider region. 


Israeli forces killed 200 civilians in Al-Shifa hospital
3:03 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Israeli army has killed 200 civilians during its siege of Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

The Gaza Government Media Office said in a statement: "Available information reports that occupation soldiers have executed more than 200 displaced citizens inside the Complex and arrested about a thousand others."

While the Israeli forces claim that around "200 saboteurs have been eliminated".

The media office has also said the medical staff and displaced civilians are being threatened with bombing, destroying the buildings, or are being taken out for interrogation, torture, or execution.

Palestinian PM forms cabinet, calls for immediate ceasefire
2:38 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa formed a new cabinet on Thursday in which he will also serve as foreign minister, making an immediate ceasefire and Israeli withdrawal from Gaza a top priority, Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Mustafa, an ally to President Mahmoud Abbas and a leading business figure was appointed premier this month with a mandate to help reform the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

He was also assigned to lead the relief and rebuilding of Gaza, which has been shattered by more than five months of war. He performs double duty as foreign minister, replacing Riyad al-Maliki, who had served in the position since 2009.


France to provide UNRWA funding
2:15 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

France will provide over 30 million euros ($32.41 million) to the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) this year to support its operations amid the devastating war in Gaza, said the foreign ministry in Paris.

"We will make our contributions while ensuring that the conditions are met for UNRWA to fulfil its missions in a spirit devoid of incitement to hatred and violence", Foreign Ministry spokesman Christophe Lemoine told journalists.

He did not say when the next payment to the agency would be made. According to the usual quarterly schedule, the next tranche is due in April.


Rape allegations against Hamas "unreliable"
1:51 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The attorney who had spread allegations about the Hamas attack on 7 October is "unreliable" - described by Israeli media.

Israeli daily said the Israeli attorney Cochav Elkayam-Levy collected and raised millions of dollars to spread "incorrect research and false stories".

WHO: Only 10 hospitals partially operational in Gaza
1:45 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), said that out of the 36 hospitals in Gaza, only 10 are "partially functioning". 

The official says on Tuesday, Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis ceased functioning as a result of sustained hostilities in and around the facility.

UNRWA suspends teacher in Lebanon
1:34 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Dozens of people protested outside the Beirut office of the United Nations Palestinian Refugee Agency (UNRWA) on Wednesday after it put a staff member on administrative leave over possible violations of staff conduct regulations.

School teacher Fathi al-Sharif was put on leave for three months without pay as the UN agency investigated alleged activities "that are in violation of the Agency's regulatory framework governing staff conduct," the agency told Reuters in a statement.

UNRWA said it could not discuss further details. It did not say whether he was accused of joining an armed group.


Israeli army using schools as military and combat bases
1:20 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Images from Israeli occupation soldiers show that the forces are using schools in Gaza as military and command bases - Quds News Network reports.

The buildings are believed to serve to shelter tanks and troops after displacing hundreds of Palestinians who had sought refuge there.

PRCS: Seven detainees released in Israeli detention
1:14 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Israeli occupation forces have recently released seven detainees from the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) teams who were arrested during the raid on Al-Amal Hospital in February - PRCS has said on X.

The organisation says eight members of the team are still detained.

Palestinian fighters battle Israeli forces around Al -Shifa
12:54 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli forces and Palestinian fighters battled in close combat around Gaza's Al-Shifa Hospital on Thursday, where the armed wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad said they attacked Israeli soldiers and tanks with rockets and mortar fire.

The Israeli army said it continued to operate around the hospital complex in Gaza City after storming it more than a week ago. Its forces have so far killed many patients and arrested journalists, doctors and patients.

Al-Shifa, the Gaza Strip's biggest hospital, is now one of the few partially operational healthcare facilities in the north of the territory, which comes amid a devastating health and hunger crisis.

It has also been housing displaced civilians, who have fled or been expelled from their homes in Israeli assaults elsewhere in Gaza.


UNRWA: 'The clock is ticking fast towards famine in Gaza'
12:17 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) warned that Gaza is nearing famine.

The organisation adds that despite UNRWA being the backbone of humanitarian assistance to Gaza, its food convoys are being prevented from reaching the north - where famine is "imminent".

"Time is running out. Restrictions must be lifted now," UNRWA said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Israeli forces detain 25 Palestinians in West Bank
12:00 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Israeli army has detained 25 Palestinians in a raid conducted last night in the occupied West Bank - WAFA news agency reports.

The 25 also includes a 15-year-old child and former prisoners.

According to Palestinian Prisoner Society, the militants rounded up detainees from different areas across Hebron city. 

UN: Gaza starvation could amount to war crime
11:41 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The UN human rights chief Volker Türk has told the BBC that if the intent were proven that Israel was using starvation as a weapon of war, it would amount to a war crime.

The chief said in March that Israel's blocking of aid into Gaza and its military offensive could amount to using starvation as a "weapon of war".

Aid agencies have sounded the alarm of a looming famine in the north of Gaza as Israel continues its bombardment.

Activists occupy Department of Business and Trade in UK
11:28 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Activists with London for a Free Palestine occupied the lobby of the Department of Business and Trade, calling on the UK government to stop arming Israel.

The activists inside chanted, 'British government, you can't hide; we charge you with genocide'. Outside, other activists held a 25-metre banner that read 'Stop Arming Israel'.

London is considering restricting some arms exports to Israel, believing Israel could breach international humanitarian law if it were to launch a ground invasion of Rafah, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have sought refuge.

Campaigners and lawmakers have been calling on the government to halt its arm sales to Israel

UK government condemns Israeli land seizures
11:14 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The UK has responded to the Israeli government announcing the seizure of further land in the Jordan Valley.

A spokesperson for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, including Foreign Minister David Cameron, said: "The UK strongly condemns the recent Israeli Government announcement to seize 1,977 acres of Palestinian lands in the Jordan Valley," adding that 2024 now marks an unacceptable peak in land seizures after the addition to 652 acres of land marked for seizure by Israel on 29 February.

"The UK calls on the Israeli Government to halt this seizure and all others immediately. Our policy is clear: settlements are illegal under international law and only make it harder to progress to achieving peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians."

Major iftar event took place in Manchester, UK
11:02 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A major iftar event took place in Manchester, England, on Wednesday, hosted by Action for Humanity and the Council for Arab-British Understanding.

The event took place in light of Israel's war on Gaza, where Action for Humanity has been carrying out work in the Gaza Strip.

Cabbu has also organised briefings with parliamentarians and meetings with senior government and opposition leadership regarding the situation in Gaza.

The event featured speakers, including directors of the organisations, and attendees, including academics, counsellors, and MPs.

Israeli soldier killed in southern Gaza combat
10:45 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Israeli army said on Wednesday that another Israeli militant was killed in Southern Gaza.

Sergeant Nisim Kachlon, 21, from Hadera, was killed during a confrontation.

US says it downed four Yemen rebel drones in Red Sea
10:25 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States military said on Wednesday it had downed four drones launched by Iran-backed Houthi forces in Yemen aimed at a US warship in the Red Sea.

In a statement on X, formerly Twitter, US Central Command said that its forces had "engaged and destroyed four long-range unmanned aerial systems" at around 2 a.m. Sanaa time (2300 GMT). It added that no injuries or damage were reported to the US or coalition ships.

In November, the Houthis launched a campaign of drone and missile strikes against vessels in the Red Sea, an area vital for world trade, in professed solidarity with Palestinians during Israel's war on Gaza.

Israeli soldiers toy with lingerie in Palestinian homes
10:05 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli soldiers have been posting photos and videos of themselves toying with lingerie found in Palestinian homes, creating a dissonant visual record of the war in Gaza as a looming famine intensifies world scrutiny of Israel's offensive.

In one video, an Israeli soldier sits in an armchair in a room in Gaza, grinning, with a gun in one hand and dangling white satin underwear from the other over the open mouth of a comrade lying on a sofa.

Elsewhere, another soldier sits atop a tank holding a female mannequin dressed in a black bra and helmet and says: "I found a beautiful wife, serious relationship in Gaza, great woman."

The two videos shot by Israeli soldiers are among dozens of posts in which troops in Gaza are shown displaying lingerie, mannequins, and, in some cases, both. The lingerie images have been viewed tens of thousands of times - nearly half a million in one case - after being reposted by Younis Tirawi, who describes himself as a Palestinian reporter.


Doctors shocked by Gaza children's injuries
9:38 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

An international team of doctors visiting a hospital in central Gaza was prepared for the worst. But the gruesome impact of Israel’s war on Gazan children still left them stunned.

One toddler died from a brain injury caused by an Israeli strike that fractured his skull. His cousin, an infant, is still fighting for her life with part of her face blown off by the same strike.

An unrelated 10-year-old boy screamed out in pain for his parents, not knowing that they were killed in the strike. Beside him was his sister, but he didn’t recognise her because burns covered almost her entire body.

These gut-wrenching casualties were described to The Associated Press by Tanya Haj-Hassan, a pediatric intensive-care doctor from Jordan, following a 10-hour overnight shift at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the town of Deir al-Balah.

Al-Aqsa serves as central Gaza's main hospital, relied on thousands of patients [GETTY]
GHM: 32,552 people killed and 74,980 injured since 7 October
9:33 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Gaza Health Ministry said Thursday that at least 32,552 people have been killed during more than five months of war Israel's war on Gaza.

The toll includes at least 62 deaths over the past 24 hours, a ministry statement said, adding that 74,980 people have been wounded in the Gaza Strip since 7 October.

Sweden preps high security for Eurovision amid war on Gaza
8:50 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Swedish city of Malmo is preparing to host the Eurovision Song Contest in early May under high security amid protests over Israel's participation during its ongoing war on Gaza.

The war in Ukraine and a heightened threat level in Sweden since August after a spate of Quran burnings angered the Muslim world, meaning organisers already had their work cut out to ensure that the world's biggest live music event, which runs from May 5 to 11, goes off without a hitch.

"We have the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the war in Ukraine which has affected Sweden, a bigger risk of hybrid warfare, there are cyberattacks," the head of security for the city of Malmo, Ulf Nilsson, enumerated for AFP.

"We're living in troubled times."

White House sends condolences after Gaza aid tragedy
8:48 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The White House on Wednesday expressed condolences to the people who drowned while trying to retrieve aid dropped by a plane into the water off a Gaza beach.

Twelve people drowned trying to reach the aid, Palestinian health authorities said on Tuesday, amid growing fears of famine nearly six months into Israel's military campaign against Gaza.


3 wounded in West Bank shooting
8:32 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A gunman opened fire on vehicles in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, wounding at least three people, including a 13-year-old boy, emergency services said.

The Israeli military said soldiers had blocked routes in the area, adjacent to the town of Al-Auja in the Jordan Valley, following reports and were pursuing the gunman.

Israeli media said a man wearing a military uniform opened fire on passing vehicles, hitting a school bus, in which a 13-year-old boy was hurt by shrapnel, and wounding two other men in separate cars.