Israeli attacks kill eight near Gaza aid centre as Hezbollah launches multiple drone attacks on Israel

Israeli attacks kill eight near Gaza aid centre as Hezbollah launches multiple drone attacks on Israel
Gaza reeled from a heavy day of casualties as Israeli military struck neighbourhoods in Gaza City killing and wounding dozens.
16 min read
23 June, 2024

Eight Palestinians were killed on Sunday in an Israeli air strike on a training college near Gaza City being used to distribute aid, Palestinian witnesses said, as Israeli tanks pushed further into the southern city of Rafah.

The strike hit part of an industrial college run by the UN Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA now providing aid to displaced families, the witnesses said. UNRWA and the Israeli military did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Gaza's north faced the brunt of Israeli attacks on Sunday with five people reportedly killed in strikes on Gaza City, as the death toll from massacres on camps on Saturday rose to 43 people.

The Gaza City attacks follows a day of heavy casualties with 101 people killed in attacks, including children, on Saturday, Gaza's health ministry said.

Meanwhile, hostilities on Lebanon’s southern border continued with Israeli fighter jets hitting "Hezbollah military structures" in Kfarkela in southern Lebanon, as fears of an all out war continued to grow after Hezbollah posted a video showing drone footage of Israeli sites.

The Lebanese Shia Muslim group said on Sunday it had struck the bases of an Israeli battalion in northern Israeli town of Beit Hillel with an explosive drone, as air raid sirens rung out.

On Saturday a neighbourhood in Al-Shati refugee camp and Tuffah in Gaza City was targeted by the Israeli military killing 43 Palestinians, according to local authorities.

(Agencies contributed to this report)

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.

Two children die by malnutrition in north Gaza: officials
11:23 PM
The New Arab Staff

Health officials at northern Gaza's Kamal Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahia announced the death of two babies from malnutrition.

Since October 7, recorded infant death tolls from dehydration or malnutrition stand at 31- which health officials say reflect underreporting. Infant deaths from malnutrition or dehydration now number at least 31 since October 7, 2023, a figure health officials say reflects under-reporting.

This comes after UNRWA previously said that over 50,000 children across the Gaza Strip require dire medical treatment for acute malnutrition.

Lebanese official urges reporters to verify Telegraph piece
11:05 PM
The New Arab Staff

Ziad T Makary, Lebanon’s information minister, condemned UK news publication The Telegraph’s recent article about Hezbollah storing weapons at Beirut’s international airport- by stating that the piece lacks "credibility".

"Out of concern for the security of the country and the safety of Lebanese citizens, residents and visitors, and based on the fact that the article contradicts the principles and ethics of journalism, and because its goals are not innocent, we address all media outlets and hope they will not be satisfied with denouncing the article, but rather in exposing its intentions behind its publication in these circumstances."

Makary called on reporters to meet at the Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport tomorrow morning to "verify first-hand the falsity of the allegations contained in the Telegraph newspaper."

US general warns Israel offensive in Lebanon escalates war
10:14 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

An Israeli offensive in Lebanon has the potential to increase the risk of a broader conflict that draws in Iran and Iran-aligned groups, particularly if Hezbollah's existence is threatened, the top US general said on Sunday.

Air Force General C.Q. Brown, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, did not predict Israel's next steps and claimed Israel's right to defend itself. But he cautioned that a Lebanon offensive "can drive up the potential for a broader conflict."

"Hezbollah is more capable than Hamas as far as overall capability, number rockets and the like. And I would just say I would see Iran be more inclined to provide greater support to Hezbollah," Brown told reporters before stopping in Cape Verde on his way to regional defense talks in Botswana.

"Again, all this could help to broaden the conflict in the region and really have Israel not only be worried about what's happening on their southern part of the country, but also now what's happening in the north."

Brown's comments came as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that a coming end to the intense phase of fighting in Gaza would allow Israel to deploy more forces along the northern border with Lebanon.

Brown noted that the United States could be more limited in its ability to defend Israel from attacks by Hezbollah than it was helping intercept Iran's April missile and drone attack on Israel, which was largely thwarted.

"From our perspective, based on where our forces are, the short range between Lebanon and Israel, it's harder for us to be able to support them in the same way we did back in April," Brown said.

Churches: Israel demands property tax, disrupts status quo
9:44 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 Leaders of major churches have accused Israeli authorities of launching a "coordinated attack" on the Christian presence in the Holy Land by initiating tax proceedings against them.

While Israeli officials have tried to dismiss the disagreement as a routine financial matter, the churches say the move upsets a centuries-old status quo and reflects mounting intolerance for the tiny Christian presence in the Holy Land.

In a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week, the heads of the major Christian denominations alleged that four municipalities across Israel had recently submitted warning letters to church officials cautioning them of legal action if they did not pay taxes.

"We believe these efforts represent a coordinated attack on the Christian presence in the Holy Land," wrote the heads of the Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Orthodox churches.

"In this time, when the whole world, and the Christian world in particular, are constantly following the events in Israel, we find ourselves, once again, dealing with an attempt by authorities to drive the Christian presence out of the Holy Land."

Christians are a tiny minority, making up less than 2% of the population of Israel and the Palestinian territories. There are 182,000 Christians in Israel, 50,000 in the West Bank and Jerusalem and 1,300 in Gaza, according to the US State Department. 

Houthis claim attacks on two ships in Red Sea & Indian Ocean
9:15 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Yemeni Houthi group said on Sunday its forces had attacked two ships in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.

The first ship, Transworld Navigator, had been targeted in the Red Sea using "an uncrewed surface boat" which led to a direct hit against the ship, Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree.

The second vessel, Stolt Sequoia, was attacked in the Indian Ocean with a number of cruise missiles, he said.

It was not clear when the attacks took place.

Israeli troops raid towns in occupied West Bank
8:26 PM
The New Arab Staff

Clashes erupted in Osarin, south of Nablus, after Israeli soldiers fired live ammo and tear gas, according to Wafa.

Israeli troops also raided Umm Safa and al-Mughayyir near Ramallah. Earlier, a 15-year-old boy was injured by Israeli fire in Nablus.

Netanyahu: 'Intense' fighting with Hamas in Rafah near end
8:07 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that the Israeli military's heavy fighting in the southern Gaza city of Rafah is nearly over.

"The intense phase of the fighting against Hamas is about to end. It's about to end. It doesn't mean that the war is about to end, but the war in its intense phase is about to end in Rafah," Netanyahu said in an interview with Israel's Channel 14 network.

Gaza war blocks exams and shatters Palestinian pupils' dream
7:30 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Teenagers across the Gaza Strip should have been taking their final exams this month, a last hurdle before university and lifelong dreams, but the war in the Palestinian territory has crushed those hopes.

According to the education ministry in the Gaza Strip, 85 percent of educational facilities in the territory are out of service because of the war.

"I was eagerly awaiting the exams, but the war prevented that and destroyed that joy", Baraa al-Farra, an 18-year-old student displaced from Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, told news agency AFP.

"At first we were waiting in the hope that the war would end and we would catch up," he said.

But "we don't know how long it will last or how many years it will deprive us of our educational lives."

In the West Bank, violence has further escalated since the start of the Gaza war. According to the Palestinian official news agency Wafa, 20 high school students are among the hundreds of Palestinians killed there.

Wafa reported that 89,000 students from Gaza and the West Bank had been expected to take high school exams this year.

Over 17,000 Palestinian children have lost parents since Oct
7:09 PM
The New Arab Staff

Gaza's government media office says that over 17,000 children have been lost a parent by the Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip since October- adding that 3% of these children have lost both parents.

Lebanon to sue UK Telegraph over 'ridiculous' arms claim
6:47 PM
The New Arab Staff

Lebanon’s Minister of Public Works and Transport Ali Hamieh announced plans to sue the British news publication The Telegraph for defaming Beirut's international airport.

During a news conference at the airport, Hamieh denied claims from unnamed sources that Hezbollah stores Iranian weapons there.

He invited ambassadors and media for a tour to show no weapons are smuggled through the airport, asserting the allegations are baseless and defame the airport's reputation.

"We will file a lawsuit against the newspaper because the statement issued by it defames the reputation of Rafic Hariri Airport without any legal basis. Lebanese customs represents the Lebanese state in protecting Hariri International Airport and cannot be questioned."

UNRWA yet to comment on Israel's latest attack
6:19 PM
The New Arab Staff

UNRWA’s director of communications Juliette Touma says that the UN agency is currently investigating the Israeli attack on an UNRWA aid distribution facility. 

Touma that the agency are looking into the assault prior to providing further details on the facility which was a vocational college run by UNRWA to distribute aid to displaced families.

She emphasised previous Israeli strikes that consistently targetted UNRWA buildings and employees across Gaza since October.

"Since the beginning of the war, we have recorded nearly 190 of our buildings have been hit. This is the vast majority of our buildings in Gaza" she said.

Touma added that 193 UNRWA staff members have been killed amid the months-long conflict in the devastated territory. 

Israeli forces tie Palestinian to jeep as 'human shield'
6:08 PM
The New Arab Staff

Footage of an injured Palestinian tied to an Israeli military vehicle by troops has circulated online, raising further concerns about abuses by Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territories.

During an Israeli raid in the northern West Bank town of Wadi Burqin on Thursday, Israeli forces claimed that a Palestinian man who was wanted for detention was shot after attempting to shoot at the soldiers. 

The man, identified by Reuters as Mujahid Azmi, was later seen being restrained on the hood of a vehicle while severely injured. 

To read more on The New Arab's latest report, please click here.

Israeli forces have previously been accused of using Palestinians as human shields [Getty]
Israelis favour Naftali Bennett as PM over Netanyahu: poll
5:32 PM
The New Arab Staff

A new poll shows that former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is polling better than current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, amid rising anti-government sentiment.

The Channel 12 poll asked people whether they preferred Bennett over Netanyahu to be Prime minister.

Bennett had formed a coalition government with Israeli politician Yair Lapid in 2021, ousting Netanyahu from government following elections the same year.

According to the poll, Bennett was placed at 36 percent compared to Netanyahu's 28 percent. Thirty-one percent said they'd prefer neither person, while the remainder said they did not know.

Bennett's polling on Channel 12 comes amid rising anti-government sentiment across Israel over Netanyahu's failures in recovering Israeli captives held in Gaza and for security failures leading up to Hamas' 7 October surprise attack on southern Israel.

Read more here.

EU chief Borrell calls for end to suffering and destruction
5:07 PM
The New Arab Staff

EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell on Sunday called on all parties in the Gaza war "to stop this cycle of suffering and destruction" following the high death toll in Gaza from Israeli attacks on Saturday.

In a post on X, Borrell said: "The risk of a full-blown conflict involving Hezbollah is real. A spill over in Lebanon would seriously impact the region & beyond."

He said he was "dismayed" that humanitarian access in Gaza had not improved despite calls from aid agencies.

Fires in south Lebanon from Israeli 'phosphorus shells'
4:40 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel fired phosphorus shells near Kfar Kila in south Lebanon on Sunday which triggered large fires in the area, local media reported.

Lebanese said Israeli artillery fire was heard around the area of Dhaira near the city of Tyre while machine-gun fire was reported near Kfar Kila, newspaper L'Orient Today reported.


Beirut airport denies report of Hezbollah weapons storage
3:11 PM
The New Arab Staff

Lebanon's air transport association described as "lies" a report on Sunday in British newspaper The Telegraph that claimed Hezbollah was using Beirut's airport to store weapons.

The association said that the report did not provide "evidence or proof" and said it holds the newspaper responsible for the safety of Beirut Airport.

Lebanese newspaper L'Orient Today citing a "high-ranking airport source" also denied that Hezbollah stored weapons or missiles at the airport.

The article published on Sunday made claims that Hezbollah is storing "huge quantities of Iranian weapons, missiles, and explosives in Beirut’s main civilian airport," citing unnamed airport whistle-blowers.

The report comes as tensions between Israel and Lebanon's Hezbollah group have ramped up amid fears of an all-out war.

Israel bombed Beirut airport in 2006 during the July war with Hezbollah that laid waste to swathes of the city's southern suburbs near the airport.


Eight civilians killed in air strike in Gaza City
3:09 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Eight Palestinians were killed on Sunday in an Israeli air strike on a training college near Gaza City being used to distribute aid, Palestinian witnesses said, as Israeli tanks pushed further into the southern city of Rafah.

The strike hit part of an industrial college run by the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA now providing aid to displaced families, the witnesses said. UNRWA and the Israeli military did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

"Some people were coming to receive coupons and others had been displaced from their houses and they were sheltering here. Some were filling up water, others were receiving coupons, and suddenly we heard something falling. We ran away, those who were carrying water let it spill," said Mohammed Tafesh, one of the witnesses.

A Reuters photographer saw a low-rise building completely demolished and bodies wrapped in blankets laid out beside the road, waiting to be taken away.

"We pulled out martyrs [from beneath the rubble], one who used to sell cold drinks and another who used to sell pastries and others who distributed or received coupons," Tafesh said. "There are about four or five martyrs and 10 injured. Thank God, the condition of the injured is good."


Israeli soldier 'severely wounded' by Hezbollah drone
2:39 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli military said on Sunday that one of its soldier's was "severely wounded" by a drone and has been hospitalised.

The statement follows multiple Hezbollah drone attack on an Israeli military barracks in Ayelet Hashahar and Beit Hillel in northern Israel.

The cross-border violence has killed at least 480 people in Lebanon, most of them fighters but also 93 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

Israeli authorities say at least 15 soldiers and 11 civilians have been killed in the country's north.

Jordan air drops aid over south Gaza
2:25 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Jordanian army conducted two airdrops of humanitarian and food aid into southern Gaza on Sunday, according to Jordan's Roya news agency.

The Jordanian Armed Forces along side an Egyptian army aircraft "included relief and humanitarian assistance to support the people of Gaza" a statement by the JAF said.

Earlier on Sunday, Jordan led a 70 truck humanitarian aid convoy into Gaza, carrying food parcels and medical supplies, the Roya news agency reported. The supplies were organised by the Jordanian army and the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization and will be distributed to residents in north Gaza.

Israeli tanks at edge of Rafah's al-Mawasi refuge zone
1:13 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli tanks advanced to the edge of al-Mawasi displaced persons' camp in the northwest of the southern Gaza city of Rafah on Sunday in fierce fighting with Hamas-led fighters, residents said.

Images of two Israeli tanks stationed on a hilltop overlooking the coastal area went viral on social media, but Reuters could not independently verify them.

Read more here.

UKMTO: distress call from vessel south of Yemen
12:45 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said on Sunday that it had received a report of a distress call from a vessel 96 nautical miles southeast of Nishtun, Yemen, adding that authorities were investigating it.

The crew has been recovered by an assisting ship while the abandoned ship remains adrift, it added.

Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group has been launching drone and missile strikes in shipping lanes since November, saying that it acts in solidarity with Palestinians in Israel's war in Gaza.


Gaza health ministry: 47 killed and 121 injured in past day
12:14 PM
The New Arab Staff

Gaza's health ministry has released its daily report citing a further 47 deaths and 121 injuries in the past 24 hours in the Strip.

It brings the total to 37,598 killed and 86,032 wounded since the start of Israel's war in October.

It added that a number of victims remain out of reach and cannot be accessed by ambulance services or civil defense teams.

Hezbollah launches 'squadron of drones' at Israeli army base
11:55 AM
The New Arab Staff

Hezbollah said it fired a "squadron of drones" at an Israeli military base near Ayelet HaShahar just south of the Lebanese border.

In a statement on Sunday, Hezbollah said it targeted the "headquarters of the 91st Division in Ayelet Hashahar"  which resulted in "killed and wounded".

Israeli media said that fires had broken out in the area sparked by Israel's missile a military base near the northern community of Ayelet HaShahar, about 10 kilometers from the border.

Netanyahu: US arms delay row to be 'resolved in near future'
11:13 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday a row with the United States over weapons delays relating to the Gaza war would be resolved soon, amid simmering tensions between the allies.

"About four months ago, there was a dramatic drop in the supply of armaments arriving from the US to Israel. We got all sorts of explanations, but... the basic situation didn't change. In light of what I have heard in the last day, I hope and believe that this issue will be resolved in the near future," he told a cabinet meeting.

Israel says it shot down surveillance drone from Lebanon
10:30 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israel said on Sunday morning that its air defence missile system sucessfully intercepted "a surveillance UAV that crossed from Lebanon", following warning sirens in the Galilee region in northern Israel.

"Sirens regarding rocket and missile launches were activated in the area due to the danger of falling shrapnel from the interception," the Israeli army said in a statement.

Al-Qassam targets 'Israeli soldiers and vehicles' in Rafah
10:21 AM
The New Arab Staff

The armed wing of Hamas, al-Qassam Brigades said on Sunday it fired "mortar shells" at Israeli forces in Yabna camp area of Rafah in southern Gaza with support from al-Quds Brigrades.

The New Arab's Arabic language sister title Alaraby Aljadeed said that al-Qassam brigrades announced the destruction of an Israeli vehicle in Rafah.

Israeli forces launched an invasion into the southern governorate in May which has devastated the city and forced over a million Palestinians to flee.

Hezbollah launches drone at Israeli military barracks
9:43 AM
The New Arab Staff

Lebanon's Hezbollah group said on Sunday it targeted the base of an Israeli battalion in Beit Hillel with an assault drone, in response to the attack carried out by Israel the day before on the the town of Al-Khayara.

In a statement on the group's Telegram channel, it said the attack caused soldiers "to be killed and wounded".

Earlier on Sunday, the Israeli army said it launched "an interceptor" at the UAV which triggered rocket and missile sirens, but added that no injuries were reported.

Over two-thirds of Gaza's schools damaged: UNRWA
9:15 AM
The New Arab Staff

More than two-thirds of Gaza's schools have been damaged by Israeli attacks since October, the UN's Palestinian refugee agency said on Sunday.

UNRWA said on social media site X that "69 percent of school buildings where displaced families were seeking shelter have been directly hit or damaged."

"This blatant disregard of humanitarian law must stop," it added.

Thousands of families have sought shelter in UN schools in Gaza as Israel's military incursion has ripped up neighbourhoods and forced civilians to flee homes. Many are living in squalid and overcrowded conditions which aid agencies have said are unsuitable for habitation.


Aerial drone likely launched by Houthis hits ship in Red Sea
8:55 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

An aerial drone likely launched by Yemen's Houthi rebels struck and damaged a vessel in the Red Sea on Sunday, officials said, the latest attack by the group targeting the vital maritime corridor.

The attack comes as the U.S. has sent the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower back home after an eight-month deployment that saw it lead the American response to the Houthi assaults. Those attacks have seen shipping drastically drop through the route crucial to Asian, Middle East and European markets in a campaign the Houthis say will continue as long as the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip rages on.

The drone attack happened around dawn off the coast of the rebel-held port city of Hodeida, the British military's United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations center said. It said the vessel sustained damage but its mariners on board “were reported safe.” It did not elaborate on the extent of the damage, but said an investigation was ongoing.

The private security firm Ambrey identified the ship involved as a Liberia-flagged container ship bound for Qingdao, China.

Israel’s Gallant visits Washington with deputy army chief
8:35 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israel's defence minister Yoav Gallant flew to Washington on Sunday and is expected to meet with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken alongside other prominent officials including CIA chief William Burns and special envoy Amos Hochstein who was in the region last week.

Gallant will discuss with US officials "phase three" of the Gaza war, according to Israeli media. Speaking before he left, he said the meetings were "critical for the future of the war".

"During these meetings, I plan to discuss developments [on the southern and northern fronts], in Gaza and Lebanon," he said in comments carried by Times of Israel.

The trip comes following a week of heightened tensions between Israel and Lebanese group Hezbollah as Israeli military chiefs threaten an all-out war into southern Lebanon. Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah has said the group would be ready.