Gaza: Israel strike kills several aid workers, including foreigners in Deir al-Balah

Gaza: Israel strike kills several aid workers, including foreigners in Deir al-Balah
Five aid workers, including foreigners from the US-based World Central Kitchen have been killed in an Israeli strike on Deir al-Balah.
17 min read

Several people working for US-based charity World Central Kitchen were killed Monday in an Israeli strike on the Gaza Strip, according to the organisation's founder.

World Central Kitchen "lost several of our sisters and brothers in an IDF air strike in Gaza. I am heartbroken and grieving for their families and friends and our whole WCK family," chef Jose Andres posted on social media site X.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was "urgently seeking to confirm reports that an Australian aid worker has died in Gaza. These reports are very distressing."

World Central Kitchen has been involved in delivering the aid arriving by boat from Cyprus, and in the construction of a temporary jetty in Gaza.

Featured image: AFP via Getty

4:04 AM
The New Arab Staff

The New Arab's live blog on Israel's war in Gaza has now ended, and will resume tomorrow at 0800 BST. Thank you for following.

Four killed in Israeli strike on Rafah home: local media
3:55 AM
The New Arab Staff

Four people, including two children, have been killed as Israeli warplanes struck a home west of the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, the Palestinian news agency Wafa said, citing medical sources.


Japan lifts funding suspension to Palestinian refugee agency
2:47 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Japan will lift its suspension of funding to the UN Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA), Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa told local media on Tuesday.

Tokyo in January decided to suspend additional funding to the agency while it conducted an investigation into Israeli accusations that some members of staff were involved in the October 7 attack carried out by Hamas.

WCK founder confirms staff killed in Israel strike
2:02 AM
The New Arab Staff

The founder of World Central Kitchen (WCK), a US-based aid organisation, has confirmed the deaths of "several" staff members in an Israel air attack in Gaza.

Jose Andres said on social media that he was "heartbroken and grieving for the families and friends of our whole WCK family".

The aid organisation had "lost several of our sisters and brothers in an [Israeli] air strike in Gaza", Andres said, adding that they had worked alongside the slain aid workers in Ukraine, Turkey, Morocco, the Bahamas and Indonesia.

"The Israeli government needs to stop this indiscriminate killing. It needs to stop restricting humanitarian aid, stop killing civilians and aid workers, and stop using food as a weapon," he said.

Hezbollah says Israel strike in Syria will get 'punishment'
11:25 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah group warned Tuesday that Israel will pay for killing high-level Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) in a strike on the country's consulate in Damascus, Syria, the day before.

Hezbollah has exchanged near-daily cross-border fire with Israel in support of its ally Hamas since the Gaza war erupted in October.

"Certainly, this crime will not pass without the enemy receiving punishment and revenge," Hezbollah said in a statement.

The Israeli strike killed seven IRGC members including Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi and another high-ranking officer, Brigadier General Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi, the IRGC said.

Israeli airstrike in Gaza kills 5 from World Central Kitchen
11:22 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

At least five employees from the World Central Kitchen were killed by an Israeli airstrike in central Gaza's Deir al-Balah, the Gaza Government Media Office announced late on Monday.

Those killed included people from Poland, Australia and a British national, a spokesman for the media office said, adding that one Palestinian was also killed.

There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military or the World Central Kitchen

Toll rises to 11 killed in Israeli strikes on Damascus
10:11 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said the death toll from an air strike on an Iranian embassy annex building in Damascus - blamed on Israel - had risen to 11 on Monday.

"The death toll from the Israeli strikes on the Iranian embassy annex has risen to 11: eight Iranians, two Syrians and one Lebanese - all of them fighters, none of them civilians," Rami Abdel Rahman, who heads the British-based Observatory, told AFP.

The observatory had previously said there were eight dead.

Israel agrees to take US concerns about Rafah 'into account'
10:09 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

High-level US and Israeli officials held two hours of virtual talks on Monday on a planned Israeli offensive in Gaza's Rafah, with the US side expressing concerns about Israel's plans and the Israelis agreeing to take those concerns into account, according to a joint statement. 

Russia accuses Israel of 'unacceptable' strike on Damascus
9:32 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Moscow on Monday accused Israel of carrying out an "unacceptable" attack on a diplomatic building in Syria, after air strikes destroyed the Iranian embassy's consular annex in Damascus.

"On the evening of April 1, the Israeli Air Force struck the Iranian consulate building in Damascus," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

"We strongly condemn this unacceptable attack against the Iranian consular mission in Syria."

Israel did not comment on the reported attack. Syrian and Iranian officials have also accused Israel of staging the strikes.

Moscow said that any attacks on a diplomatic building were "unacceptable".

"We call on the Israeli leadership to stop provocative acts of armed violence against the territory of Syria and neighbouring countries," the ministry said.

A top Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander was among eight people reported to have been killed in the strikes amid worsening regional tensions.

Iranian officials vowed a stiff response with fears of even further violence between Israel and Iran's allies triggered by the Gaza war.

Blinken urges Palestinian reforms in call with Abbas
9:30 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Monday for further Palestinian reforms after the naming of a government in a call with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmud Abbas, as Washington seeks a post-war solution in Gaza.

Blinken told Abbas that the United States "looks forward to working with the new PA cabinet to promote peace, security and prosperity and urged the implementation of necessary reforms," State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said.

"Secretary Blinken emphasized that a revitalized PA is essential to delivering results for the Palestinian people in both the West Bank and Gaza," he said.

Abbas last week approved a new government led by Mohammed Mustafa, his long-trusted adviser on economic affairs, with representation also for women and Palestinians from Gaza.

Since the war broke out in October, the United States has been pressing for the Palestinian Authority to root out corruption and bring in new faces in hopes that the PA, which has limited autonomy in parts of the West Bank, can take charge of Gaza as well following a defeat of Hamas.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has long fought against a Palestinian state, and his hard-right government have made clear they are not interested in a role for the Palestinian Authority.

But Miller said Blinken "underscored the US commitment to the realization of the creation of an independent Palestinian state with security guarantees for Israel."

Blinken spoke to Abbas shortly after the top US diplomat joined a virtual meeting with Israeli leaders on a pla

White House to host scaled-down Iftar dinner: report
8:15 PM
The New Arab Staff

The White House is planning to host a scaled-down Iftar dinner on Tuesday for the holy Muslim month of Ramadan - a much smaller version of the usual version given the ongoing Israeli war in Gaza, US media reported.

The White House is reportedly trying to host an event that will both reflet the Muslim community's sombre mood because of the war in the Palestinian territory, as well as the possibility to curb the possibility of protests disrupting the event.

The gathering will reportedly be limited to 15 people, NPR said.

Iran calls for 'int'l community response' after Syria attack
7:48 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian called Monday on the international community to act after the Israeli attack on an Iranian consulate in Damascus killed a senior Guards commander and others.

Amir-Abdollahian, in a telephone conversation with his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad, "blamed the consequences of this action on the Zionist regime and stressed the need for a serious response by the international community to such criminal actions", according to a statement by Iran's foreign ministry.

The Foreign Minister described the attack as a violation of all international obligations and conventions.

"Netanyahu has completely lost his mental balance due to the consecutive failures of the Israeli regime in Gaza and not achieving the ambitious goals of the Zionists," Iran's top diplomat added.

In a separate statement, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani "strongly condemned" the attack and said that Iran "reserves the right to carry out a reaction and will decide on the type of response and the punishment of the aggressor."

Israel trying to shut Al Jazeera 'concerning': White House
6:33 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said on Monday if reports are true that Israel is trying to shut down the news network Al Jazeera, it would be "deeply concerning."

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revived moves on Monday to shut down the Qatari satellite television station in Israel, saying through his party spokesperson that parliament would be convened in the evening to ratify the necessary law.

Palestinians want April vote for full United Nations members
6:25 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Palestinian Authority wants the United Nations Security Council to vote this month to make it a full member of the world body, the Palestinian UN envoy told Reuters on Monday, a move that can be blocked by Israel's ally the United States.

Riyad Mansour, who has permanent observer status in the UN, made the Palestinian plans public as Israel's war in Gaza nears a six-months while Tel Aviv is expanding settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Mansour told Reuters that the aim was for the Security Council to take a decision at an April 18 ministerial meeting on the Middle East, but that a vote had yet to be scheduled. He said a 2011 Palestinian application for full membership was still pending because the 15-member council never took a formal decision.

"The intention is to put the application to a vote in the Security Council this month," he added.

Alongside a push to end the war, global pressure has grown for a resumption of efforts to broker a two-state solution - with an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Iran holds Israel responsible for Syria attack consequences
6:14 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran's foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said in a call with his Syrian counterpart that Tehran holds Israel responsible for the consequences of the attack on its consulate in the Syrian capital Damascus, Iran's state media reported on Monday.

The strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus is "a breach of all international conventions", Amir-Abdollahian added.

Iran's consulate in the Syrian capital Damascus was flattened in what Syrian and Iranian media described as an Israeli airstrike, a startling apparent escalation of conflict in the Middle East that would pit Israel against Iran and its allies

At least five killed in Damascus strikes: Iran state media
5:58 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli strikes on the Iranian consulate in the Syrian capital on Monday killed at least five people including a senior commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iranian state media reported.

"At least five people were killed in the attack which was carried out by F-35 fighter jets," Hossein Akbari, Iran's ambassador to Damascus, said in front of the levelled building in an interview broadcast on state TV.

He did not give the source of his information about the aircraft.

Iran's regional Quds Force head among dead in Syria: monitor
5:28 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Lebanon and Syria leader of Iran's Quds Force – the foreign operations arm of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – was among eight people killed in an Israeli strike on an Iranian embassy annex in Damascus Monday, a war monitor said.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on sources in Syria, said it "confirmed the killing of a high-ranking leader who served as the leader of the Quds Force for Syria and Lebanon, two Iranian advisers, and five members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard," in the Israeli strike on Damascus.

Netanyahu says to 'act immediately' to ban AJ broadcasts
5:26 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Monday to move immediately to enact a broadcast ban in Israel of pan-Arab news channel Al Jazeera's broadcasts.

Israel MKs approve bill to allow AJ news broadcast ban
5:00 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Israeli Knesset passed a bill Monday giving top ministers the authority to bar from Israel the broadcasts of pan-Arab news channel Al Jazeera – a step Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is poised to take.

This law, which passed by 70 votes to 10, carries the authority to ban the broadcast of content from foreign channels but also allows the closing of their offices in Israel.

IRGC commander killed in Israel strike in Damascus: source
4:54 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli warplanes struck the Iranian consulate in Damascus on Monday, and a Lebanese security source told Reuters a senior commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, Mohammad Reza Zahedi, had been killed in the attack.

Reuters reporters at the scene in the Mezzeh district of the Syrian capital saw smoke rising from rubble of a building that had been flattened, and emergency vehicles parked outside.

An Israeli military spokesperson said: "We do not comment on reports in the foreign media."

Syrian regime state television confirmed the consulate building had been attacked. Earlier, Iranian media reported that a building close to the embassy had been hit, and Iran's student news agency reported that the target was the consulate and ambassador's residence.


Ghassan Abu Sittah blasts Western journalists
4:41 PM
The New Arab Staff

British Palestinian doctor Ghassan Abu Sittah has blasted Western journalists in a strongly worded post on social media platform X.

He says: "The Israelis are genocidal murderers.

"It's the genocide-enablers, the Western journalists, who perpetuated the Israeli narrative aimed [at] militarising Shifa Hospital to allow this crime to be possible.

"They are the ones most deserving of our loathing, hatred and disgust."

Abu Sittah spent time working in Gaza, including at Al-Shifa, during the current Israeli war on the enclave.

He has since departed Gaza.

Ghassan Abu Sittah is a British Palestinian doctor [HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP/Getty-archive]
8 killed in Israel strikes on Iran Damascus embassy: monitor
4:36 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A war monitoring group said the death toll rose to eight people after Israeli strikes on Monday hit an Iranian embassy annex building in Syria's capital.

"Israeli missiles… destroyed the building of an annex to the Iranian embassy… in Damascus, killing eight people," said the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Iran TV says Syria consulate building completely destroyed
4:30 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran's Arabic-language Al-Alam TV says that the Iranian consulate building in Syria has been completely destroyed.


Gaza's Al-Shifa 'mass graveyard' as Israel troops exit
4:15 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli forces left Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on Monday after a deadly two-week raid, leaving a wasteland of destroyed buildings and Palestinian bodies scattered in the dirt.

Hundreds of people, including some who had been sheltering in the Gaza Strip's largest hospital prior to the Israeli incursion, rushed back to check damage and hunt for belongings.

The Gaza media office said Israeli forces killed 400 Palestinians around Al-Shifa, including a woman doctor and her son, also a doctor, and put the medical facility out of function. There was no immediate Israeli response.

"The [Israeli] occupation destroyed and burnt all buildings inside Al-Shifa Medical Complex. They bulldozed the courtyards, burying dozens of bodies of martyrs in the rubble, turning the place into a mass graveyard," said Ismail Al-Thawabta, director of the media office.

"This is a crime against humanity."


Live Story
'Israeli strikes in Damascus kill 6' in Iran embassy annex
4:07 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli strikes hit Syria's capital Monday, regime state media reported, as a war monitor said six people were killed in a building adjacent to the Iranian embassy.

An AFP correspondent at the site confirmed the building next to the embassy in an upscale neighbourhood of Damascus had been levelled by the strike.

"Israeli missiles… destroyed the building of an annex to the Iranian embassy… in Damascus, killing six people," said the British-based group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

US says destroyed Houthi drones over Red Sea, in Yemen
3:54 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The US military said Sunday its forces destroyed one unmanned aerial vehicle in a Houthi rebel-held area of war-ravaged Yemen and another over a crucial shipping route in the Red Sea.

The drones, which were destroyed Saturday morning, posed a threat to US and coalition forces and merchant vessels in the region, said the US Central Command.

It said that one done was destroyed over the Red Sea, while the second was destroyed on the ground as it was prepared to launch.

"These actions are necessary to protect our forces, ensure freedom of navigation, and make international waters safer and more secure for US, coalition, and merchant vessels," CENTCOM said.

There was no comment from the Houthi rebels, who control much of Yemen's north and west.

The Houthis began attacking shipping in November and have said their actions are in support of Palestinians in Gaza.

Israeli PM Netanyahu to leave hospital on Tuesday
3:38 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be released from hospital on Tuesday afternoon following a hernia procedure, his office said, citing advice from his doctors.

"The prime minister is feeling very well, and he continues to carry out his daily routine from the hospital," a statement said.

Earlier, the Hadassah Medical Centre in Jerusalem said Netanyahu was conscious and conversing with family after undergoing a successful hernia operation on Monday and that he was recovering. It did not specify how long that might take.


Hamas says ambushed Israel soldiers in Gaza's Khan Younis
2:40 PM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas's armed wing has said its fighters were able to catch Israeli forces in an ambush in Gaza.

The Al-Qassam Brigades said they targeted a personnel carrier with an Al-Yassin 105 rocket in the downtown area of the city of Khan Younis, attacking a group of seven soldiers in the same location with another rocket.

Immediately after a rescue force arrived, Hamas fought them using heavy weaponry, leaving them all dead or wounded, the Al-Qassam Brigades added.

Cyprus FM says ships carrying aid approaching Gaza
2:19 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Cyprus's foreign minister has said ships carrying hundreds of tons of aid are approaching Gaza.

Gaza ministry calls for freeing up hospitals for injured
1:46 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Gaza health ministry has called for everyone to work to empty hospitals and set them aside only for sick and injured people so that medical personnel can provide treatment and life-saving services.

The ministry said in a statement that Israeli targeting had left the health system in near-complete paralysis.

The suffering of the sick and wounded is exacerbated by the lack of any places to provide treatment, as hospital departments and beds are filled with displaced people, the ministry added.

It is also worsened by the resultant spreading of infection among patients and the displaced, the ministry said.

Eight aid airdrops on northern Gaza, Jordan military says
1:36 PM
The New Arab Staff

Jordan, in partnership with five countries, carried out eight airdrops delivering humanitarian and food aid to northern Gaza.

One plane each from Jordan, Egypt, the UAE, Germany, and the UK, and three from the US participated in the operation, according to the Jordanian military's website.


PIJ says targets Israeli tank in vicinity of Shifa Hospital
12:58 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Palestinian Islamic Jihad's armed wing says its members targeted an Israeli Merkava tank in the vicinity of the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, The New Arab's Arabic edition Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reports.

Gaza death toll reaches 32,845, health ministry says
12:24 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

At least 32,845 Palestinians have been killed and 75,392 injured in Israel's war on the Gaza Strip since 7 October, the Palestinian enclave's health ministry said on Monday.

There have been 63 Palestinians killed and 94 injured in the past 24 hours, the ministry statement added.


Netanyahu revives moves to shut Al Jazeera TV in Israel
11:41 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revived moves on Monday to shut down pan-Arab satellite television station Al Jazeera in Israel, saying through his party spokesperson that parliament would be convened in the evening to ratify the necessary law.

Thereafter, Netanyahu "will take immediate action to shut down Al Jazeera in accordance with procedure set out in the law", the Likud party statement said.

Al Jazeera, which broadcasts in Arabic and English, has provided a critical lens on Israel's brutal war on Gaza.

Tel Aviv has previously made claims during the Gaza war accusing the Al Jazeera journalists of links to Hamas and other militants.


New Palestinian government gets wary greeting
11:13 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A new Palestinian government that contains both Gazans and four women was sworn in Sunday, but was already facing scepticism from its own people.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) led by President Mahmoud Abbas is under pressure from Washington to prepare to step into the breach in the aftermath of Israel's war on Gaza and undertake reforms.

Newly appointed Prime Minister Mohammed Mustafa said his government's "top national priority" was ending the war as he named his new team.

He said his cabinet "will work on formulating visions to reunify the institutions, including assuming responsibility for Gaza".

Abbas, 88, is being nudged by the United States to shake the creaking authority up so it can reunite the occupied West Bank and Gaza under a single rule after Israel's devastating war on the strip.

The PA has had almost no influence over the Gaza Strip since Hamas took power there in 2007 from Abbas's Fatah party.

Netanyahu’s hernia operation was successful, hospital says
10:56 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was conscious and conversing with family Monday after undergoing a successful hernia operation, the hospital treating him said.

Hadassah Medical Centre in Jerusalem said Netanyahu was recovering, but did not immediately specify how long that might take.


Two dead, one injured in Israeli bombing of car in Gaza
10:37 AM
The New Arab Staff

Two Palestinians were killed and others were wounded in an Israeli strike targeting a car north of the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, The New Arab's Arabic edition Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reports.

Israeli army says 600 soldiers killed since 7 October
8:56 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Israeli military on Monday announced the death of a soldier in fighting in the Gaza Strip, bringing the total number of troops killed since 7 October to 600.

The military announced the death of 20-year-old soldier Nadav Cohen, and updated its overall toll to 600 killed.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan attends charity iftar for MAP
8:41 AM
The New Arab Staff

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has attended a charity iftar supporting British NGO Medical Aid for Palestinians.

"Good to join the Palestinian ambassador for a charity iftar in aid of @MedicalAidPal and their essential humanitarian work," Khan said on X, formerly Twitter, on Sunday.

"The death and destruction in Gaza is of an unimaginable scale and simply must end.

"I continue to call for an immediate ceasefire."

An iftar is a meal eaten by Muslims to break the sunrise-to-sunset fasts that are compulsory during the month of Ramadan.

Israel reports aerial attack on Eilat with no casualties
8:38 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's Red Sea port city of Eilat came under an aerial attack Monday that caused no casualties, the military said, and an Iranian-backed armed group in Iraq issued a claim of responsibility.

The military's statement said a flying object launched from east of Israel had struck a building in Eilat. It did not elaborate on the object or the provenance. Sirens went off in the city but there was no interception by air defences, it said.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, a militia, said in a statement that it had attacked a "vital objective" in Israel "using appropriate weapons". It did not offer further details.

Eilat has come under repeated missile and drone attack from the Iranian-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen during Israel's almost six-month-old war on Gaza. In November, Israel said a group in Syria had launched a drone that hit the port city.


Israeli police say arrest Hamas leader Haniyeh's sister
8:34 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli police said Monday they had arrested the sister of Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh as part of a terror probe in southern Israel.

Police told AFP that Sabah Abdel Salam Haniyeh, who is an Israeli citizen, was taken into custody in the town of Tel Sheva as part of an investigation also involving Israel's internal spy agency Shin Bet.

A police spokesman, who confirmed it was Haniyeh's sister, said she is "suspected of having contact with Hamas operatives and identifying with the organisation, while inciting and supporting acts of terrorism in Israel".

Police alleged that they found in the 57-year-old's house "documents, media, telephones, other findings and evidence linking her to the commission of serious security offences against the State of Israel".

Ismail Haniyeh, who lives in Doha, is the head of Hamas's political bureau.