Israel withdraws negotiators from Qatar, intensifies South Gaza assault

Israel withdraws negotiators from Qatar, intensifies South Gaza assault
At least 240 Palestinians have been killed since the fighting resumed Friday morning, even as the United States - which has continued to supply Israel with arms for the assault - urged its ally to protect civilians.
27 min read
02 December, 2023

Israel pounded targets in the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday, intensifying a renewed offensive that followed a weeklong truce with Hamas and giving rise to renewed concerns about civilian casualties.

At least 240 Palestinians have been killed since the fighting resumed Friday morning, even as the United States - which has continued to supply Israel with arms for the assault - urged its ally to protect civilians.

“This is going to be very important going forward," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday after meetings with Arab foreign ministers in Dubai, wrapping up his third Middle East tour since the war started. "It’s something we’re going to be looking at very closely.”

This coincided with further efforts for another pause in fighting in Gaza, as Israel's Mossad intelligence services was in Doha for talks with Qatari mediators on Saturday.

However, Israel had told its negotiators to pull out from the Qatari capital of Doha, as talks have hit a 'dead end', as Mossad have alleged Hamas had not "fulfilled its obligations under the agreement".

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Meanwhile, Israel's attacks Saturday were focused on the Khan Younis area in southern Gaza, where the military dropped leaflets the day before warning residents to leave.

Hundreds of thousands of people fled northern Gaza to Khan Younis and other parts of the south earlier in the war, part of an extraordinary mass exodus that has left three-quarters of the population displaced and facing widespread shortages of food, water and other supplies.

Since the resumption of hostilities, no aid convoys or fuel deliveries have entered Gaza, and humanitarian operations within Gaza have largely halted, according to the UN.

The International Rescue Committee, an aid group operating in Gaza, warned the return of fighting will “wipe out even the minimal relief” provided by the truce and “prove catastrophic for Palestinian civilians.”

Egypt has expressed concerns the renewed offensive could cause Palestinians to try and cross into its territory . In a statement late Friday, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said the forced transfer of Palestinians “is a red line."

The renewed hostilities have also heightened concerns for 136 hostages who, according to Israeli forces, are still held captive by Hamas and other members after 105 were freed during the truce .

Israeli forces said Friday it had confirmed the deaths of four more hostages, bringing the total known dead to seven.

During the truce, Israel freed 240 Palestinian women and children - many held without charge - from its prisons. 

The death toll in Gaza has since surpassed 15,200 people, two-thirds of them women and children, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza.

4:15 AM
The New Arab Staff

The New Arab's live blog has now ended, and will resume tomorrow at 0800 GMT.

Palestinian groups call on UN genocide experts to intervene
3:18 AM
The New Arab Staff

Palestinian human rights organisations have written a letter calling on UN human rights experts specialising in the prevention of genocide to take "immediate" action as "genocide is unfolding in the Gaza Strip", following eight weeks of Israeli bombardment.

The letter, signed by 14 Palestinian organisations including the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem (CCPRJ), was addressed to two UN experts: the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Alice Wairimu Nderitu and the UN Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect George Okoth-Obbo.

The letter urged them to "take all measures at [their] disposal" including "mobilising governments to uphold their legal obligations and urgently intervene".

At least 13 killed in Israeli strike on Nuseirat camp
1:57 AM
The New Arab Staff

At least 13 Palestinians were killed on Saturday following a number of Israeli airstrikes targeting multiple homes in Nuseirat refugee camp, in central Gaza, the Palestinian Wafa agency said.

Israeli warplanes bombed the residences of the Assar and Zaqout families in the refugeee camp, sources said. The death toll is expected to rise as rescue efforts continue to extract survivors from the debris.

The victims were rushed to Al-Awda Hospital in the central province of Gaza, while many others remain trapped under the rubble.

Israeli fighter jets also targeted a residential building in the Al-Jalaa Street in Gaza City. The strike resulted in further casualties, local sources said.

Israel's goal to destroy Hamas risks decade of war: Macron
1:29 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

French President Emmanuel Macron warned Saturday that Israel's aim of eliminating Hamas risked unleashing a decade of war.

"I think we're at a point where the Israeli authorities are going to have to define their objective and desired end state more precisely," Macron said at a press conference on the sidelines of the UN's COP28 climate talks in Dubai.

"What is the total destruction of Hamas, and does anyone think it's possible? If it is, the war will last 10 years," Macron said on Saturday.

UK to conduct surveillance flights over hostage locations
12:10 AM
The New Arab Staff

The UK will carry out surveillance flights over Israel and Gaza to search for hostage locations where Hamas-held captives are held, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said, as reported by The Guardian.

The ministry's officials said a range of unarmed aircraft would be used for the reconnaissance flights, including Shadow R1s, which are used for intelligence gathering.

“The safety of British nationals is our utmost priority,” the MoD said in a statement. “In support of the ongoing hostage rescue activity, the UK Ministry of Defence will conduct surveillance flights over the Eastern Mediterranean, including operating in airspace over Israel and Gaza."

Gaza vigil, die-in held in Washington DC
12:06 AM
The New Arab Staff

Hundreds of demonstrators held a vigil and a die-in in front of the White House on Saturday, in protest over the ongoing war in Gaza, where Israel resumed its indiscriminate bombing.

CAIR condemns deadly Israel strike on Jabalia refugee camp
11:01 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has condemned Israel's bombardment of the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza, which killed over 100 Palestinians on Saturday.

"Each day brings another war crime in the far-right Israeli government’s genocidal campaign of ethnic cleansing in Gaza,” Nihad Awad, CAIR’s national executive director said. "These are American bombs being dropped on civilians – paid for with American taxpayer dollars."

The Jabalia refugee camp has been constantly bombed by Israel throughout the war in Gaza
MSF calls for probe into deadly attack on its convoy in Gaza
10:45 PM
The New Arab Staff

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has called for an official probe into an Israeli attack on one of its convoys in Gaza on Saturday.

The NGO said Israeli forces killed two people in the attack, after opening fire on the convoy, its staff staff.

Macron: No Israel security at the cost of Palestinian lives
9:56 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel will not enjoy security if it continues to kill Palestinian civilians, France’s Emmanuel Macron has said.

"There is no lasting security for Israel in the region if its security is achieved at the cost of Palestinian lives," Macron said at a press conference in Dubai before flying to Qatar.

US defence chief says Israel must shield civilians in Gaza
9:31 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on Saturday urged Israel's need to protect civilians in war-hit Gaza, calling them the center of gravity in Tel Aviv's war in the territory.

Austin, in remarks to the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, said he has personally pushed Israeli leaders to avoid civilian casualties, to shun "irresponsible rhetoric" and to prevent violence by settlers in the West Bank.

He also said he's pressed Israel to dramatically expand Gaza's access to humanitarian aid, adding that he expected more deliveries of aid "in the days ahead."

"In this kind of a fight, the centre of gravity is the civilian population. And if you drive them into the arms of the enemy, you replace a tactical victory with a strategic defeat," Austin said, drawing on his experience as a four-star general overseeing the battle against Islamic State militants.

"So I have repeatedly made clear to Israel's leaders that protecting Palestinian civilians in Gaza is both a moral responsibility and strategic imperative."

Austin said he stressed to Israel that protecting Gaza civilians is a moral responsibility
Israel kills Palestinian father in West Bank's Salfit
8:47 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli soldiers and settlers shot and killed a Palestinian man in the town of Qarawat Bani Hassan, in the northern West Bank province of Salfit, mayor Ibrahim Assi confirmed.

Ahmad Assi, a father of six, was shot in the head and bled to death in the aftermath of the settler attack in the town, the Palestinian official news agency Wafa said.

Local sources reported that the Assi was shot with live ammunition during as residents attempted to confront the settlers and the Israeli occupation forces attacking the town earlier in the day.

Al-Qassam Brigades strike Tel Aviv with missiles
8:27 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The armed wing of the Hamas militant group, the Al-Qassam Brigades, issued a statement on Saturday saying it had bombarded Tel Aviv with a barrage of missiles in response to Israel's ongoing war on the Gaza Strip. 

Netanyahu: War to continue 'until we achieve all its aim'
8:06 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday the war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip would continue "until we achieve all its aims", including returning all Israeli hostages and eliminating the Islamist movement.

In his first press conference since the expiry on Friday of a seven-day pause in the fighting with Hamas, he said: "Our soldiers prepared during the days of truce for total victory against Hamas."

Israeli strike destroys prestige Qatar-funded Gaza complex
7:54 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

At almost exactly the same time Israeli negotiators pulled out of deadlocked truce talks in Qatar on Saturday, Israeli jets sent a prestige Doha-funded housing development in the Gaza Strip up in smoke.

Hamad City is named for the former emir of the Gulf petro-state, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, who laid the foundation stone on a visit 11 years ago.

Inaugurated in 2016, it was still among the newest projects in the Gaza Strip, the housing complex in the city of Khan Yunis boasting an impressive mosque, shops and gardens.

The first flats -- more than 1,000 of them -- were provided to Palestinians whose homes were destroyed in the war between Israel and Hamas two years earlier.

On Saturday it happened again, a day after a Qatar-brokered pause in the current war between Israel and Hamas expired.

Released Israeli hostages call for captives to be freed
7:53 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli hostages released in the past week by Hamas in Gaza called on Saturday for the immediate release of fellow captives left behind, a day after a temporary truce that had allowed scores to come home broke down.

Tens of thousands gathered at a rally in Tel Aviv outside Israel's defence headquarters, where they cheered Yelena Trupanov, 50, standing on a stage just two days after being freed.

"I came to thank you because without you I wouldn't be here. Now we must bring back my (son) Sasha, and everyone. Now."

Similar pleas from other released hostages were shown on video.

Israel wants security envelope, no Hamas on border after war
6:22 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel will seek a "security envelope" with special zones and arrangements that will prevent Hamas from being positioned on its border after the war in Gaza is over, a senior adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday.

On Friday, Reuters reported that Israel has informed several Arab states that it wants to carve out a buffer zone on the Palestinian side of Gaza's border to prevent future attacks as part of proposals for the coastal enclave after the war ends.

Asked whether Israel was indeed seeking such a buffer zone, senior adviser Mark Regev told reporters: "Israel will have to have a security envelope. We can never again allow terrorists to cross the border and butcher our people the way they did on October 7."

"If you ask me about a buffer zone, let me be clear; you won't have a situation in the future where you can have Hamas terrorists on the border, directly on the border, positioned just to cross over and kill our people again," Regev said.

Hamas: No prisoner exchange with Israel until Gaza ceasefire
5:50 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Deputy Hamas chief Saleh Al-Arouri told Al Jazeera TV on Saturday that no more prisoners would be exchanged with Israel until there was a ceasefire in Gaza.

Arouri said the hostages still being held captive by Hamas were Israeli soldiers and civilian men who had previously served in the Israeli army.

He said they would not be freed unless there was a ceasefire and all Palestinian detainees were also released.

"Let the war take its course. This decision is final. We will not compromise on it," Arouri said.

VP Harris urges Israel to do more for Palestinian civilians
4:48 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US Vice President Kamala Harris have reiterated Israel's right to defend itself, but said international and humanitarian law must be respected, noting that too many Palestinians have been killed.

"Frankly, the scale of civilian suffering, and the images and videos coming from Gaza are devastating," Harris told reporters.

"So we all want this conflict to end as soon as possible, and to ensure Israel's security and ensure security for the Palestinian people. We must accelerate efforts to build an enduring peace."


US Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at a forum for COP28 in Dubai [Getty]
Israelis continue to demonstrate in Tel Aviv, Caesarea
4:28 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israelis continue to demonstrate outside Prime Minister Netanyahu's house in Caesarea to call for him to step down. 

Thousands have also been assembling in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv over the past few weeks to protest Netanyahu’s government failures of the captives being held by Hamas in Gaza.


Israeli airstrike in Gaza kills prominent scientist
4:23 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

An Israeli air strike targeting the town of Al-Faluja, 30 km (18 miles) northeast of Gaza City, has killed prominent Palestinian scientist Sufyan Tayeh and his family members, the Palestinian Higher Education ministry has announced.

Tayeh, who was president of the Islamic University of Gaza, was a leading researcher in physics and applied mathematics.

Hamas says it killed and injured Israeli forces in Gaza
4:03 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 The armed wing of the Palestinian group Hamas said it had targeted a group of Israeli foot soldiers stationed northwest of Gaza city in the area of Al Tawam, "resulting in deaths and injuries".

Palestinian rights groups snub ICC prosecutor
3:58 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Palestinian human rights groups refused to meet the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Karim Khan on Saturday, accusing him of favouring Israeli accusations of rights abuses over longstanding Palestinian charges.

Khan has been visiting Israel and the occupied West Bank following a request by a group representing families of victims of the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas, but he was also due to meet Palestinian officials in Ramallah.

However Palestinian activists said they would refuse to see him because of their objections to what they saw as unequal treatment of Israeli and Palestinian cases.

"As Palestinian human rights organizations, we decided not to meet him," said Ammar Al-Dwaik, director general of the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR).

"I think the way this visit has been handled shows that Mr. Khan is not handling his work in an independent and professional manner," he said.

London police to expand investigation in Palestine
3:44 PM
The New Arab Staff

The London Metropolitan Police has expanded its investigation to report on war crimes committed in Palestine and Israel, British legal centre The International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) reports.

"The investigation covers alleged war crimes in the region since 2014 - as mandated for investigation by the International Criminal Court," the group wrote on X.

"If you have evidence of war crimes committed by Israel or any other party you can contact ICJP who will help you deliver your evidence to the police or you can contact Scotland Yard directly using the details in the posters."

"The investigation is being carried out by the War Crimes Team who are part of Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command," the statement continued.

Israeli strikes kill 100 in Gaza's Jabalia camp
3:39 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli air strikes have hit Gaza's Jabalia refugee camp- that has killed at least 100 people, according to the Palestinian news agency Wafa.

A Wafa news correspondent reported that a missile struck a residential building in the highly populated camp.

The deadly attack indicated that this may have caused the largest Palestinian death toll since a Hamas-Israel temporary truce ended.

Palestinian MOH update on West Bank detention campaigns
3:14 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestinian ministry of health spoke at a press conference to detail the latest numbers of Palestinians detained amid Israeli forces' relentless raid across the occupied West Bank.

According to data by the Commission of Detainees’ Affairs and the Palestinian Society Prisoner’s Club, Israeli forces have arrested 12 Palestinians at least from the West Bank, including a girl from Tulkarem.

MOH added that arrests have been largely concentrated in Nablus, Tubas, Jenin, Hebron and Qalqilia.

3415 arrest cases have been recorded so far since October 7- where they have found those who were arrested from their homes, checkpoints and others who surrendered themselves under threat and held as hostages.


More on Israel's Mossad leaving Qatar amid ongoing talks
3:04 PM
The New Arab Staff

Reasons for Israel's decision to pull back the Mossad team from Doha, have emerged- as talks were ongoing for a potential extension to a ceasefire in Gaza and  the release of more Hamas-held captives.

One of the reasons that Israel requested its negotiators to leave Doha involved a list obtained that Hamas created, which complied a number of names that were hostages- including those that died.

“Israel wanted that the 10 to be released for an extra day of ceasefire to be alive rather than dead. They want that to be a separate thing,” Al Jazeera English journalist Sara Khairat reported.

Qatari Emir meets UK Labour Party's Keir Starmer
2:59 PM
The New Arab Staff

 Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has met with UK Labour Party leader Keir Starmer, where they discussed bilateral relations, cessation of hostilities in the besieged Gaza Strip and queries regarding a two-state solution to the ongoing conflict.

Israel will facilitate aid to Gaza, Netanyahu adviser says
2:39 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 Israel will facilitate provision of humanitarian aid to Gaza's civilians as fighting there resumes, a senior adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said.

Addressing reporters' questions about whether Israel seeks a buffer zone on the Palestinian side of the Gaza Strip after the war is over, Mark Regev said Israel will not allow a situation in which Hamas is positioned on the border.

Baghdad warns US over 'attacks' on Iraq territory
2:30 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iraq's prime minister warned Washington on Saturday against any "attack" on Iraqi territory, after a resumption of fighting in the Israel's war on Gaza renewed concerns of a wider conflict.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani made his comment during a phone call made to him by United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Sudani's office said.

On November 22 US fighter jets struck two targets in Iraq, killing nine fighters in retaliation for repeated attacks on American troops, US and Iraqi sources said.

Hours earlier, a warplane struck the vehicle of Iran-backed fighters after they had fired a short-range ballistic missile at US and allied personnel, according to the Pentagon.

The strikes came after US forces deployed in Iraq and Syria were attacked at least 74 times, according to Pentagon officials, a surge linked to Israel's war on Gaza.

During his call with Blinken, Sudani rejected "any attack on Iraqi territory", the statement from his office said.

Sudani also said the Iraqi government is committed "to ensuring the safety of the international coalition advisers present in Iraq".

VP Kamala Harris sketches out US vision of postwar Gaza
2:22 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Saturday laid out broad American objectives for when the Israel-Hamas conflict ends and stressed that the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank should ultimately be reunified under one governing entity.

Harris made a series of appearances at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, after being asked by US President Joe Biden to take his seat at the table as he focuses on the Israel's war on Gaza.

In talks with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi of Egypt, Harris said that "under no circumstances will the United States permit the forced relocation of Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank, the besiegement of Gaza, or the redrawing of the borders of Gaza," the White House said in a statement.

She also said that once the war ends, efforts to rebuild should be pursued "in the context of a clear political horizon for the Palestinian people towards a state of their own led by a revitalized Palestinian Authority and have significant support from the international community and the countries of the region," the statement said.

"The vice president made clear that Hamas cannot control Gaza, which is untenable for Israel’s security, the well-being of the Palestinian people, and regional security," the White House said.

Iran says an Israeli strike in Syria killed 2
1:34 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard stated through its website that two of its forces stationed in Syria were killed in an Israeli airstrike Saturday.

The report on the Guard's news portal identified the two members as Mohammad Ali Ataei Shourcheh and Panah Taghizadeh, and said they were carrying out an advisory mission in Syria.

It did not elaborate on their rank, or the area where they were killed.

Syrian state media, quoting an unnamed military official, said Israeli airstrikes hit several areas on the outskirts of the capital Damascus early Saturday. The strikes resulted in only “material losses,” the report added.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based opposition war monitor, said the strikes hit the southern Damascus suburb of Sayyida Zeinab, where “there are military forces working with the Lebanese (militant group) Hezbollah.”

It said the strike killed two Syrian citizens and two foreigners and wounded five others.

Macron calls for greater efforts towards Gaza ceasefire
1:27 PM
The New Arab Staff

French President Emmanuel Macron appealed Saturday for intensified efforts to reach a lasting ceasefire in Gaza, a day after deadly fighting by Israel resumed in the Gaza Strip after a truce expired.

"This situation requires stepped-up efforts to reach a lasting ceasefire," to free all hostages held by Hamas, allow more urgently needed aid into Gaza, and to assure Israel of its security, he told a news conference on the sidelines of the UN's COP28 climate talks in Dubai.

Israel pulls negotiators back from Qatar after 'impasse'
12:54 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel said Saturday it was pulling its Mossad negotiators out of Qatar, which is mediating efforts to secure a renewed pause in the Israel's war on Hamas, after a deadlock in the talks.

"Following the impasse in the negotiations and at the direction of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, David Barnea, head of the Mossad, ordered his team in Doha to return to Israel," Netanyahu's office said in a statement.

Turkey's Erdogan: chance for peace in Gaza conflict lost
12:47 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan said that the chance for peace in Gaza after the humanitarian pause was lost for now due to Israel's uncompromising approach, broadcaster NTV reported on Saturday.

Speaking to reporters on his way back from the United Arab Emirates, Erdogan also said that he is not losing hope for a lasting peace in the conflict adding that Hamas cannot be excluded from its potential solution, according to NTV.

Erdogan rejects US pressure to cut Hamas ties
12:41 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has pushed back against mounting US pressure to cut Ankara's historic ties with Hamas in the wake of the group's unprecedented attacks on Israel.

Erdogan said on Saturday that Washington was well aware that Turkey does not refer Hamas as a terrorist organisation.

"First of all, Hamas is a reality of Palestine, it is a political party there and it entered the elections as a political party and won," he said in remarks released by his office.

"We form our foreign policy in Ankara and design it only according to Turkey's interests and the expectations of our people," Erdogan said.

"I am sure that our interlocutors appreciate Turkey's consistent and balanced foreign policy steps in such humanitarian crises and conflicts."

President Erdogan's comments follow the US Treasury's top terrorism financing official conveying Washington's "profound" alarm about Ankara's past relations with Hamas during a visit to Turkey this week.

While Secretary Brian Nelson said Washington said he had not detected any money passing through Turkey to Hamas since the Gaza war broke out eight weeks ago, he argued that Ankara had helped Hamas access funding in the past.

Nelson added that Turkey should now use local laws to clamp down on potential future transfers of funds.

Mossad team in Qatar to discuss restarting Gaza truce
12:38 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A team from Israel's Mossad intelligence services was in Doha on Saturday for talks with Qatari mediators for another pause in fighting in Gaza, a source briefed on the visit told Reuters.

The Qatar-mediated talks focused on the potential release of new categories of Israeli hostages other than women and children and the parameters of a truce, which the source said differed to the truce agreement that collapsed on Friday.

Israel and Hamas have been considering new parameters for the release of hostages and the truce since before it collapsed.

UN Women condemn evidence of sexual violence in Hamas attack
12:29 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres and UN Women issued statements on accounts provided on alleged rapes and other sexual crimes committed by Hamas during the October 7 attack.

In addition to investigating the bloodshed, Israeli police officials say they have been exploring evidence of sexual violence, ranging from alleged gang rape to post-mortem mutilation.

“We are alarmed by the numerous accounts of gender-based atrocities and sexual violence during those attacks,” the UN said in a statement.

“This is why we have called for all accounts of gender-based violence to be duly investigated and prosecuted, with the rights of the victim at the core,” it added.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also wrote on X, saying, "There are numerous accounts of sexual violence during the abhorrent acts of terror by Hamas on 7 October that must be vigorously investigated and prosecuted."

Hamas has since denied these allegations.

Red Cross: Gaza fighting brings fear of constant death
12:23 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The resumption of fighting in the Gaza Strip has been intense, the director general of the Red Cross said on Saturday, as Israel air strikes and artillery bombarded the enclave a day after a week-long pause in hostilities there with Hamas collapsed.

"We don't have precise reports but what I can say is the resumption of fighting was intense again," ICRC Director General Robert Mardini told Reuters at the COP28 UN summit in Dubai.

"It's a new layer of disruption coming on top of massive, unparalleled destruction of critical infrastructure, of civilian houses and neighbourhoods," he said, warning that the violence would make it difficult to get humanitarian aid into Gaza.

Mardini described Gaza as being in "shambles and rubble". The ICRC had 130 staff working there, he said.

He added that people in Gaza were "living in constant fear of violent death" and struggling to survive amid shortages of food and water caused by the fighting, while hospitals were working with limited resources.

"Everything in Gaza is at the breaking point," he said.

Six people arrested from Israeli PM Netanyahu's house
12:17 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Local Israeli media outlets have reported that six people were arrested after protesting outside the house of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Caesarea.

Demonstrators demanded the resignation of the prime minister and blamed him for the government's failures that led to Hamas’s assault in southern Israel on October 7.

Media outlets have also stated that a bigger demonstration is underway later on Saturday in the same town.

The New York Times published a report saying that Israeli officials had received Hamas' plan for the attack over a year ago.

However, the report also it could confirm whether Netanyahu had any indication of the Palestinian group's plan.

Death toll in Gaza has increased to 15,200
12:06 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestinian Health Ministry have announced that the number of Gazans killed by Israel has risen to 15,027, as 70 percent of the victims are women and children.

More than 40,000 Palestinians have also been wounded in the attacks.

PCRS: Aid has resumed through Rafah
11:38 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said on Saturday that it had "now received aid trucks through the Rafah crossing", from its Egyptian counterparts.

Late Friday the PRCS had announced that Israel told organisations "that the entry of aid trucks from the Egyptian side to the Gaza Strip is prohibited, starting from today until further notice."

Officials on both sides of the Rafah crossing had confirmed that no trucks had entered since fighting resumed.

Palestinian boy died from wounds following Israeli raid
11:18 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

16-year-old Sharif Ahmad al-Shaer has died of his wounds following an Israeli raid in Jenin on October 9, Wafa news agency reported.

The teenage boy who hailed from the village Al-Jalama in Jenin was injured by gunfire during Israel's aggression in Jenin last month.

According to UN figures, 246 civilians were killed in occupied West Bank since October 7-  more than a quarter of them children.

Israeli forces continue arresting Palestinians: West Bank
11:10 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli forces says it arrested seven people as it continues arresting Palestinians across the occupied West Bank.

Five suspects were arrested in Nablus, one in the village of Bidya and one in Kfar Saba, according to Israeli forces.

The forces also arrested two brothers from the town of Adhana, located in western Hebron.

Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that Mu'tasem Billah and Mujahid Jibril Al-Jiawi were arrested, following Israeli forces raiding and conducting a search in their house. 


Israeli forces open fire at West Bank farmers
11:01 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli forces forcibly removed farmers in the village of Zabuba, located at west of Jenin, after they were harvesting olives on their lands, which are located behind the illegal Israel-West Bank separation wall. 

Hussein Jaradat, a Fatah movement spokesperson, told Palestinian news agency Wafa that the forces attacked the farmers by gunfire while they were trying to pick olives- which led them to leaving their lands.

Almost 70 percent of US disapprove Biden's Gaza handling
10:31 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

new poll published by Gallup shows that just 32 percent of American respondents approve of US president Joe Biden's handling of Israel's war in Gaza.

68 percent of Americans voted in disapproval of Biden's conduct in Gaza.

The poll was released on Thursday, just a day before Israel reignited its military offensive in the Palestinian enclave, following an end to talks to extend the Hamas-Israel truce deal.

Among Americans aged 18-34, the support of Biden's handling of the conflict has decreased to 22 percent.

Al Araby Jadeed describes southern Gaza under attack
10:20 AM
The New Arab Staff

A correspondent from The New Arab's Arabic-language sister site Al Araby Jadeed has describe the intensity of Israel's airstrikes as forces move into southern Gaza- following renewed aggression as the Israel-Hamas truce deal come to an end.

The correspondent stated that Israel's airstrikes are similar to the level of targetting that took place west of Gaza prior to Israel's ground invasion.

They added that Israeli forces are likely to expand its aggression on the ground in various areas in southern Gaza. 

Two Palestinians killed in central Gaza: Al Jazeera
10:16 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Two Palestinians have been killed by Israeli bombing that targeted the al-Mughraqa area in central Gaza, Al Jazeera Arabic reports.

More to come on this.

Israel hits southern Lebanon in second day of violence
10:13 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel shelled southern Lebanon in a second day of violence after the collapse of a truce between Palestinian group Hamas and Israel, as Hezbollah said one of its fighters was killed.

A spokesperson for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) told Reuters that there was shelling from Israel on Saturday morning that hit close to its headquarters near the coastal town of Naqoura and around the border village of Rmaych.

The Israeli military said it carried out shelling near Naqoura as a warning after spotting "unusual activity" in the area.

UNIFIL then detected fire around 11 a.m. (0900 GMT) from the area of Tayr Harfa, about a mile from the Israeli frontier, toward Israel.

Lebanon's heavily armed Hezbollah said in a statement earlier that one of its fighters was killed in south Lebanon but did not give details.

Palestinians forced to Rafah from Khan Younis: rights group
10:05 AM
The New Arab Staff

A spokesman for the Independent Commission for Human Rights group in Gaza has spoken to media reporters outside Khan Younis' al-Nasser Hospital.

He stated that Israeli forces are attempting to further displace Palestinians by forcibly evacuating them to Rafah, and accused the US government of their complicity.

He added that he hopes ICC prosecutor Karim Khan urgently implements "certain procedures and live up to his obligations."

"People in eastern Khan Younis are being told to move to Rafah, an indication the Israeli forces are trying to further displace people," the spokesperson said.

"We urge the international community to respect the rights of the Palestinian people."

He continued, "The USA is fully responsible, not only by giving a red light to the occupation … and also by being a direct partner in the decision-making."

"We are directly saying to the American people … that your president is taking part in the genocide in Gaza."

Lebanon's Hezbollah says fighter killed in south Lebanon
10:02 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 Lebanon's heavily armed Hezbollah said in a statement that one of its fighters was killed in south Lebanon on Saturday, the day after the collapse of a truce between Israel and Hamas led hostilities to flare at the frontier. 

3 journalists killed in Israeli raids
9:17 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Gaza's Palestinian government said three journalists were killed in Israeli raids as fierce fighting resumed after a week-long truce.

The government press office identified the three as cameraman Muntassir al-Sawwaf, who worked for Turkey's Anadolu state news agency, his brother Marwan, who worked as a soundman, and cameraman Abdullah Darwish.

It said their deaths brought to 73 the number of journalists killed since the war began on October 7.

The Turkish agency confirmed Friday the death of Sawwaf and two others who it did not name in southern Gaza.

"We are concerned about the lives of our colleagues, who fulfil their duties with great devotion under very difficult conditions," Anadolu general director Serdar Karagoz said.

"We will continue our struggle to ensure that those who carried out these attacks are held to account."

Gaza toll rises to 240
9:15 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Palestinian government in the Gaza Strip said Saturday that 240 people had been killed in the besieged territory since a pause in the fighting expired on Friday.

Another 650 people had been injured in "hundreds of air strikes, artillery and navy bombardments, everywhere in the Gaza Strip", it said in a statement, adding that Israeli forces had "particularly targeted Khan Yunis, where dozens of houses were destroyed with their inhabitants inside".

Belgian PM: It is unfortunate that violence in Gaza started
9:14 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Belgium's Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said on Saturday that it is unfortunate that violence in Gaza has started again.

"It's unfortunate that the violence has started again. We hope that as soon as possible, more hostages can be liberated. We hope that the humanitarian access could be a permanent humanitarian access," he told reporters at the COP28 Summit in Dubai. 

Israeli strikes kill two pro-Hezbollah fighters in Syria
9:12 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli air strikes killed two Syrian pro-Hezbollah fighters when they hit sites belonging to the Iran-backed group near Damascus early on Saturday, a war monitor told AFP.

The strikes near Damascus came less than 24 hours after the end of a Gaza truce between Hamas and Israel.

"Two Syrian fighters working for Hezbollah were killed and seven other fighters working for the group were wounded in Israeli air strikes on Hezbollah sites near Sayyida Zeinab," said Rami Abdel Rahman, who heads the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Syria's defence ministry had also said Israel hit near the Syrian capital, with an AFP journalist in Damascus reporting the loud sound of bombings.

"At approximately 1:35 am (2235 GMT) today, the Israeli enemy carried out an air assault from the direction of the occupied Syrian Golan, targeting some points near the city of Damascus," the defence ministry said in a statement, reporting no casualties.