Israel strikes Rafah as Israeli-British hostage found dead

Israel strikes Rafah as Israeli-British hostage found dead
An Israeli-British hostage held in captivity in Gaza since the October 7 attack had died from wounds sustained from Israeli air strikes.
15 min read
11 May, 2024

Hamas said on Saturday that another one of the hostages abducted during its October 7 attack on Israel has died.

Hamas released a video saying that Nadav Popplewell, who was taken hostage from the southern Israeli community of Kibbutz Nirim, died after being wounded in an Israeli strike in Gaza.

"He died because he didn't receive intensive medical care at medical facilities because of the enemy's destruction of hospitals in Gaza," the Hamas armed wing spokesman, Abu Ubaida, said in a statement.

The Israeli military did not offer immediate comment on the latest video.

Israel has given new evacuation orders to multiple parts of Rafah in southern Gaza as the military continues an offensive into the city.

The areas of evacuation include the blocks of Al-Jnaina, Khirbet al-Adas and the al-Adari neighbourhoods and Shaboura camp. Residents have been told to go to al-Mawasi, a designated Israeli humanitarian zone. 

Israel's continued push into Rafah comes following warnings from the US, with President Joe Biden previously warning Israel that the US would withhold arms transfers if Israel invaded Rafah.

UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres warned that such an invasion would risk an "epic humanitarian disaster", with over 100,000 people already leaving due to the previous evacuation orders.

Israel's war on Gaza has killed 39,971 Palestinians with a further 78,641 injured. Much of the enclave has been left in ruins.

12:02 AM

TNA’s live coverage of the latest from the war on Gaza concludes for today. Join us again at 0800 GMT for updates from the besieged Palestinian enclave.

Amnesty says weapons supply is fueling violations in Gaza
11:49 PM
The New Arab Staff

Amnesty International US has reiterated its calls for all countries to stop sending arms that are "fueling violations of international law in the occupied Gaza Strip."

Alongside other rights groups in various countries globally, Amnesty has called for an end of weapons supply as the war on Gaza continues to increase.

US President Biden warned that he could halt some weapons supplies to Israel if it went ahead with its long-threatened ground offensive in Rafah, marking his most direct warning yet regarding the civilian impact of the war.

Greta Thunberg arrested at pro-Palestine protest in Malmo
11:27 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Climate activist Greta Thunberg was arrested after joining pro-Palestine demonstrations in Eurovision 2024 host city Malmo on Thursday.

Alongside tens of thousands of anti-war protesters, Thunberg was demonstrating near the Eurovision venue in the southern Swedish city until she was later under arrest on Saturday.

In various videos that have since surfaced online, Thunberg surrounded by police while shouting "This is a genocide".

More than 10,000 pro-Palestine campaigners have been holding a peaceful protest to demonstrate against Israel's participation in the song contest ahead of this year's second semi-final.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (C) is removed by police in Malmo [Getty]
Small US pro-Palestinian protests held Saturday
11:10 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Small US pro-Palestinian protests popped up sporadically Saturday as colleges and universities held commencement ceremonies, including dozens of graduating students at Virginia Commonwealth University who walked out on Gov. Glenn Youngkin's address.

While some of the estimated 100 students and family members who left during the Republican governor's speech showed support for Palestinians, others held signs signaling opposition to Youngkin's policies on education, according to WRIC-TV.

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a small group of demonstrators staged what appeared to be a silent protest during commencement at Camp Randall Stadium. A photo posted by the Wisconsin State Journal showed about six people walking through the rear of the stadium, with two carrying a Palestinian flag.

Marc Lovicott, a spokesperson for campus police, said the group, which he believed were students because they were wearing caps and gowns, “was kind of guided out but they left on their own.” No arrests were made.

The demonstration came after pro-Palestinian protesters at the campus agreed Friday to permanently dismantle their 2-week-old encampment and not disrupt graduation ceremonies in return for the opportunity to connect with “decision-makers” who control university investments by July 1. The university agreed to increase support for scholars and students affected by wars in Gaza and Ukraine.

Actress Gal Gadot shows support to Israeli Eurovision entry
10:19 PM
The New Arab Staff

'Wonder Woman' actress Gal Gadot has shown public support for Israel's Eurovision representative Eden Golan- amid uproar for its participation in this year's edition of the competition as it continues to bombard and besiege Gaza.

The Israeli actress told Golan to remain focused as tens of thousands protest outside the arena against Eurovision's decision to include Israel in the song content this year.

The EBU confirmed in March that Golan would take part, despite calls for her exclusion from thousands of musicians around the world.

Gadot told Golan some of her movies were also boycotted in a number of countries due to her backing of the Israeli government.

She emphasised that "it doesn’t matter at all" and "haters are the ones losing."

“Let the haters hate,” Gadot said.

AFP also contributed in this post.

Netanyahu hits back at Colombian president Petro
10:13 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has posted on X to slam Colombia's president Gustavo Petro, after calling the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant for Netanyahu on Friday.

Netanyahu called Petro an "anti-Semitic supporter of Hamas", as Bogota continues to reaffirm its stance condemning Israel's assault in Gaza.

Petro announced earlier in May that Colombia is set to cut diplomatic ties with Israel over its seven month war in the devastated Palestinian territory.

Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters rally in Madrid
10:05 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators marched through Madrid on Saturday to demand a ceasefire in war-torn Gaza and a severing of ties between Spain and Israel.

Numbering around 4,000 according to the authorities, protesters held up banners and signs condemning a "genocide" in Gaza and lauding the "resistance" of the Palestinian people.

Around 30 organisations called for the rally before the 76th anniversary of what Palestinians call the "Nakba" ("catastrophe"), when 760,000 people fled their homes during the 1948 war that accompanied Israel's creation.

Spanish students have set up peaceful sit-ins and camps at universities in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia in recent days, mirroring similar pro-Palestinian campus movements across the United States and Europe.

Earlier this week, Spanish universities expressed willingness to suspend ties with any Israeli educational institution that failed to express "a clear commitment to peace".

Spain is one of Israel's harshest critics in Europe and leading efforts to recognise a Palestinian state.

Biden: Ceasefire possible 'tomorrow' if Hamas frees hostages
10:03 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US President Joe Biden said Saturday that a ceasefire in the Gaza war was possible as soon as "tomorrow" if the group released its hostages.

"There would be a ceasefire tomorrow if Hamas would release the hostages," Biden said at a fundraiser outside Seattle, at the home of a former Microsoft executive, after avoiding the topic at three similar events on Friday.

"Israel said it's up to Hamas, if they wanted to do it, we could end it tomorrow. And the ceasefire would begin tomorrow," Biden told the crowd of about 100 people.

The president raised the issue after warning Israel on Wednesday that he would stop supplying artillery shells and other weapons if its forces attack the city of Rafah, in southern Gaza, as he deplored the fact that civilians had been killed by the dropping of US bombs.

Eurovision entry accuses Israeli broadcaster of rule break
9:08 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Ireland's Eurovision Song Contest entry Bambie Thug on Saturday accused the Israeli broadcaster, Kan, of a rule break.

The singer -- also known as Bambie Ray Robinson -- has previously hit out at Israel's representative, Eden Golan, competing in this year's contest in the Swedish city of Malmo, and made pro-Palestinian comments.

"I have raised multiple complaints to the EBU (Eurovision organisers the European Broadcasting Union) regarding instances I have experienced this week," the performer said on Instagram.

"Earlier today they confirmed to my delegation in front of others that Kan's commentator had broken the rules of conduct during the Eurovision semi-final," Bambie Thug, who uses the pronouns they/them, added.

"I have been patiently waiting to hear what action is set to be taken by the EBU following this rule break."

A spokesperson for the Israeli broadcaster Kan said it wished "everyone the best of luck tonight".

Irish singer-songwriter Bambie Ray Robinson, aka Bambie Thug representing Ireland [Getty]
Scholz warns ground attack on Rafah would be irresponsible
8:54 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Saturday that a ground attack on Gaza's southern city of Rafah by Israel would be irresponsible and lead to a massive loss of civilian lives.

"We think an offensive on Rafah would be irresponsible. We warn against it," Scholz said at a webcast event organised by German newspaper group RND.

"We don't believe that there is any approach that would not lead in the end to incredible loss of human life of innocent civilians," Scholz said, adding that he had told this to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Despite heavy US pressure and alarm expressed by residents and humanitarian groups, Israel has said it will proceed with an incursion into Rafah, where more than 1 million displaced people have sought refuge during the seven-month war.

Israel called on Saturday for Palestinians in more areas of Rafah to evacuate and head to what it calls an expanded humanitarian area in Al-Mawasi, in a further indication that the military is pressing ahead with its plans for a ground attack.

German chancellor Olaf Scholz [Getty]
CNN: At least 50 professors arrested in US Gaza protests
8:17 PM
The New Arab Staff

US broadcasting channel CNN reported at least 50 professors have been arrested at pro-Palestinian university demonstrations across the US.

More than 2,400 students have been arrested on more than 50 campuses, the report added, since April 18.

Some of the professors who were arrested said that they aimed to support students in the campus protests and exercising their right to free speech.

The protests were reported to be detained violently which resulted in injuries.

Craig Campbell, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Texas [Getty]
PRCS: Casualties evacuated after Israeli attack in Nuseirat
7:51 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) released a video on X showing ambulance teams transferring a Palestinian who was killed in an Israeli attack and another who was injured, after a house was hit in Nuseirat in central Gaza.

EU's Michel condemns Israel's Rafah evacuation orders
7:19 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's evacuation orders to Palestinian civilians trapped in the southern Gazan city of Rafah are "unacceptable", EU chief Charles Michel wrote Saturday on X, formerly Twitter.

Earlier Saturday, Israel's military ordered Palestinians to leave more areas of eastern Rafah and the northern Gaza Strip as it pressed ahead with its fight against Hamas militants.

"Evacuation orders for civilians trapped in Rafah to unsafe zones are unacceptable," wrote Michel, the head of the European Council representing the EU's 27 member countries.

"We call on the Israeli government to respect international humanitarian law and urge not to undertake a ground operation in #Rafah," he added.

"Crossing points must be fully functioning and allow essential humanitarian assistance to get through amidst raging famine."

Michel also called for efforts to get a lasting ceasefire to continue.

Egypt refuses to coordinate with Israel on entry of aid
7:16 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Egypt has refused to coordinate with Israel on the entry of aid into Gaza from the Rafah crossing due to Israel's "unacceptable escalation", Egypt's state affiliated Alqahera News satellite TV reported on Saturday, citing a senior official. 

New field hospital established in Gaza, Israeli military say
6:13 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's military said on Saturday that a new field hospital had been established in the central Gaza Strip and was being run by a non-governmental organization, the International Medical Corp.

"The field hospital will be operated by 150 international medical aid workers, and its dozens of beds can be used for emergency and routine medical treatment," the military said in a statement.

Israel, facing growing international pressure, says it is boosting the amount of humanitarian aid going into Gaza. Seven other field hospitals have been established since the start of the war in October.

Israel's military operation in Gaza has killed close to 35,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza's health ministry. The bombardment has laid waste to the coastal enclave and caused a deep humanitarian crisis. 

UNRWA: Gazans sheltering in burnt out buildings
5:54 PM
The New Arab Staff

UNRWA has said Gazans are seeking shelter in burnt out school on return to Khan Younis following their displacement due to Israel's invasion of the city.

"The  classrooms are torched. Walls are burnt out. There is rubble everywhere," UNRWA said in a post on X, adding that "this situation is unfolding under the world's watch. Enough is enough." 

Islamic Relief describe chaos in Rafah amid Israeli assault
5:34 PM
The New Arab Staff

UK charity Islamic Relief, whose staff members are currently in Gaza's southern city of Rafah, issued a statement condemning Israel's evacuation order of the city which they described causing scenes of "utter chaos and panic".

One staff member said that that they "feel like this is the end. It feels like we will all be either trapped and killed in Gaza, or we will all be forced out."

"Many people in Gaza are already suffering from famine, but now we are entering a new period of unprecedented hardship," they added.


US CENTCOM commander in Saudi Arabia to discuss Gaza
5:18 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM), General Michael Erik Kurilla, arrived in Saudi Arabia as part of a multi-country trip.

In a statement issued on X, CENTCOM said that Gen. Kurilla will meet "leaders of the Saudi Royal Armed Forces and senior U.S. diplomats." 

Meeting with Saudi military leaders Gen. Kurilla will discuss "shared regional security concerns, the status of humanitarian assistance into the Gaza Strip, and further opportunities to partner on innovation of defensive technologies."

Egypt refuses to coordinate with Israel aid entry from Rafah
4:20 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Egypt has refused to coordinate with Israel on the entry of aid into Gaza from the Rafah crossing due to Israel's "unacceptable escalation", Egypt's state affiliated Alqahera News satellite TV reported on Saturday, citing a senior official.

The official also said that Egypt held Israel responsible for the deterioration of the situation in the Gaza Strip.

On 7 May, Israeli forces seized the main border crossing at Rafah, closing a vital route for aid into the besieged enclave.

The United Nations and other international aid agencies said the closing of the two crossings into southern Gaza - Rafah and Israeli-controlled Kerem Shalom - had virtually cut the enclave off from outside aid and very few stores were available inside.

Red Crescent sources in Egypt said shipments had completely halted.


Israeli hostage families demand deal after hostage death
3:06 PM
The New Arab Staff

Families of remaining Israeli hostages in Gaza are set to hold an emergency news conference following Hamas announcement that hostage Nadav Popplewell died after sustaining wounds from an Israeli airstrike more than a month ago.

It comes following a statement released by the Hostages and Missing Families Forum calling for the government to reach a deal with Hamas which would see the release of the hostages. The statement was made before the announcement of Popplewell's death.


Hamas: Israeli hostage died after wounded in airstrike
2:50 PM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas armed wing said in a statement on Saturday Israeli hostage Nadav Popplewell has died of wounds that he sustained in an Israeli airstrike more than a month ago. 


Four rockets fired at Kerem Shalom crossing
1:24 PM
The New Arab Staff

Four rockets were fired from southern Gaza at the Kerem Shalom border crossing according to the Israeli military, which said one rocket was intercepted by Israel's iron dome, with the remaining three landing in open areas.

Eighty bodies uncovered in Shifa Hospital mass graves
1:05 PM
The New Arab Staff

Eighty bodies have been uncovered in three mass graves found at the al-Shifa Hospital, with dozens of other bodies discovered inside the hospital itself, according to Gaza's health ministry.

The ministry added that there was evidence some of the victims were executed, with bullet wounds found in the head and chest. 


Hamas releases new video of Israeli hostage in Gaza
12:30 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hamas has published a new 10-second video of Israeli hostage Nadav Popplewell, 51, with Hamas saying it will publish further details, or footage, about other Israeli hostages currently held in Gaza soon.

The video is superimposed with text in Arabic and Hebrew that reads: "Time is running out. Your government is lying".

Israeli military preparing operations in Jabalia, north Gaza
12:05 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli military is preparing to launch a new operation in Jabalia Refugee Camp in northern Gaza following an evacuation order given to its residents earlier today, according to the Times of Israel.


Gaza death toll reaches 34,971 according to health minstry
11:52 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Gaza's health ministry said Saturday that at least 34,971 people have been killed in Israel's war on Gaza.

The tally includes at least 28 deaths in the past 24 hours, a ministry statement said, adding that a further 78,641 people have been injured.

Hamas urges reopening of Rafah crossing
11:01 AM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas has called on the international community to pressure Israel to reopen the Rafah border crossing and allow the entry of humanitarian aid into the enclave following Israel's capture of the crossing at the start of its assault on Rafah.


30 Palestinians killed in Gaza brought to al-Aqsa Hospital
10:51 AM
The New Arab Staff

30 Palestinians killed in Israel's bombardment of the Gaza Strip have been brought to al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir el-Balah, according to Al Jazeera, as Israel renews it's military assault across the enclave, including in the southern city of Rafah and Jabalia Refugee Camp in north Gaza.


Israel army says 300,000 Gazans have evacuated east Rafah
10:35 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Israeli army said Saturday about 300,000 people have left eastern Rafah for a humanitarian area since ordered an evacuation of the southern Gaza city this week.

"So far, approximately 300,000 Gazans have moved towards the humanitarian area in Al-Mawasi" since the order was issued on Monday, the military said in a statement.

Hezbollah fires rockets at Israel's Ramia military site
9:11 AM
The New Arab Staff

Hezbollah fired rockets and artillery at Israel's Ramia military site near the border with Lebanon as clashes between the two sides continue. According to Lebanon's National News Agency, the bombardment achieved direct hits.

According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, rocket fire from Lebanon caused fires to break out in northern Israel, although they have now been brought under control. 

France demands end to Israeli assault on Rafah
8:58 AM
The New Arab Staff

The French Foreign Ministry has called on Israel to halt its assault on Gaza's southern city of Rafah, warning that an operation would have catastrophic consequences for the civilian population residing in the city.

It added that Israel must reopen the Rafah border crossing and allow for the access of humanitarian supplies into the enclave, which has stop following Israel's seizure of the crossing at the beginning of its assault.


Israel orders evacuation of areas of northern Gaza
8:49 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli army has ordered new evacuation areas of zones in north Gaza, including areas north of Gaza city and Jabalia refugee camp.

The orders come following reports of renewed fighting in the north of the enclave between Hamas and the Israeli military.

Israel's overnight bombardment of Jabalia refugee camp killed journalist Bahaa Okahsha as well as his wife and son.