Israeli government approves Gaza truce deal

Israeli government approves Gaza truce deal
Day 46 of Gaza war: Israel's government approved a deal early Wednesday to free 50 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners and a truce.
29 min read
21 November, 2023

Israel's government approved a deal early Wednesday to free 50 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners languishing in Israeli jails and a truce, according to the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

This announcements are the most optimistic yet of a potential breakthrough in the war, which has been raging for more than six weeks and left more than 14,100 Palestinians in Gaza killed, most of them civilians.

Hamas have also agreed to the terms of the truce deal, mediated by Qatar. 

According to a report by Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, the summary of the deal is as follows:

  • The release of at least 50 Israeli detainees in stages, according to a list of names, with emphasis on children and mothers.
  • The method of release: for each Israeli detainee, three Palestinians will be released, amounting to 150 people. 
  • A ceasefire for four days in Gaza.
  • Israel extends the days of truce in exchange for other detainees.
  • The release of Palestinian male and female prisoners.
  • The entry of a large amount of fuel and humanitarian aid into Gaza.

Though Benjamin Netanyahu has accepted these terms, he has also said that the deal does not mean an end to what he describes as Israel's war against Hamas.

“We are at war, and we will continue the war,” he said. “We will continue until we achieve all our goals." he said. 

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3:48 AM

This live blog is now wrapping up. Thanks to all who followed along. The New Arab will be back at 7am GMT covering events from Gaza. 

US Jewish anti-war group welcomes Gaza truce
3:41 AM
The New Arab Staff

IfNotNow national spokesperson Eva Borgwardt says her organisation welcomes “the temporary cessation of hostilities between Israeli and Hamas”.

“Negotiations must build on this agreement to secure a long-term ceasefire that is still urgently needed to end the bloodshed, bring every hostage home, and rebuild Gaza,” she said in a statement.

“As the millions calling for a ceasefire have been saying for over a month, this deal is proof that there is no military solution to this crisis.”

The group has opposed Israel’s military operation in Gaza and has long been a critic of what it describes as Israeli apartheid against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

US hopes truce leads to full pause for Israel-Lebanon border
3:00 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US hopes Gaza truce leads to 'full pause' in clashes on Israel-Lebanon border.

Since October 7, tensions between Hamas' ally Hezbollah and Israel have increased dramatically, with the US fearing that Israel's war on Gaza could spread and Israel fearing the opening of another front on the northern border with Lebanon. 

Three American hostages included in Gaza truce deal
2:22 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Three Americans held by Hamas in Gaza since its attack on Israel last month are expected to be among at least 50 hostages to be released by the Islamist Palestinian group under a deal arranged with Israel, the U.S. and Qatar, a senior U.S. official said.

The official, speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity, said it was likely that more than 50 hostages, largely women and children, will be released once a pause in fighting takes hold.

Under terms of the deal, Hamas is to release 50 hostages and Israel will release 150 Palestinian prisoners during a four- to five-day pause in the fighting.

The hostage group will include two American women and an American girl named Abigail who will turn four on Friday, the official said.

Initial releases of hostages are expected within 24 hours of the deal's announcement, with the first likely to be freed Thursday morning, the official said.

"I would say it's at least 50 of the women and children over a period of four to five days," the official said, without providing details of any other nationalities expected to be released.

The deal will also include more deliveries of humanitarian relief aid to Gaza, the official said. Officials hope the pause will be observed in northern Israel where there have been clashes between Hezbollah and Israeli forces.

A rigorous inspection regime will ensure Hamas does not use the pause to rearm the group's fighters in Gaza with weaponry, the official said.

Hamas has said "they actually need a pause to locate and determine where people are," the official said. The pause will give Hamas time to identify and collect additional women and children, the official said.

"We do anticipate it will be more than 50, but I just don't want to put a number on it," the official said. "But the way the deal is structured is it very much incentivizes the release of everybody."

Hamas confirms terms of temporary truce with Israel
2:14 AM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas has confirmed that the temporary ceasefire from both sides will last four days.

In a statement shared on Telegram, Hamas said this means that during this period:

  • Israel will stop military actions in all areas of the Gaza Strip, including movement of military vehicles
  • Hundreds of humanitarian aid trucks, including medical and fuel supplies, will be allowed into Gaza
  • Drones in southern Gaza will stop for four days; They will stop in the North for six hours per day, between 10am-4pm local time
  • During the truce period, Israel “is committed not to attack or arrest anyone in all areas of the Gaza Strip”
  • Freedom of movement will be guaranteed along Salah al-Deen Street
Israeli government statement on Gaza truce deal
1:58 AM
The New Arab Staff

Here is the full statement on the Gaza truce deal from the Israeli government:

"The Government of Israel is obligated to return home all of the hostages. Tonight, the Government has approved the outline of the first stage of achieving this goal, according to which at least 50 hostages – women and children – will be released over four days, during which a pause in the fighting will be held. The release of every additional ten hostages will result in one additional day in the pause.

The Government of Israel, the IDF and the security services will continue the war in order to return home all of the hostages, complete the elimination of Hamas and ensure that there will be no new threat to the State of Israel from Gaza"

Israel approves deal to free Gaza hostages
1:33 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's government approved a deal early Wednesday to free 50 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners and a truce, according to an official statement sent to AFP by the prime minister's office.

"The government approved the broad outlines of the first stage of an agreement under which at least 50 kidnapped people -- women and children -- will be released over four days during which there will be a lull in the fighting," the statement said.

As we reported earlier, this is the main summary of the deal:

  • The release of at least 50 Israeli detainees in stages, according to a list of names, with emphasis on children and mothers.
  • The method of release: for each Israeli detainee, three Palestinians will be released.
  • A ceasefire for four days in Gaza.
  • Israel extends the days of truce in exchange for other detainees.
  • The release of Palestinian male and female prisoners.
  • The entry of a large amount of fuel and equipment into Gaza.
US launches new attacks against Iran-backed groups in Iraq
12:57 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States on Tuesday carried out strikes against two facilities in Iraq, the U.S. military said.

"U.S. Central Command forces conducted discrete, precision strikes against two facilities in Iraq," a statement from the U.S. military said.

"The strikes were in direct response to the attacks against U.S. and Coalition forces by Iran and Iran-backed groups," the statement added.

Two more Palestinian reporters killed in Israeli airstrikes
12:42 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestinian news agency, Wafa, identified the two slain journalists as Muhammad Nabil al-Zaq and Assem al-Barsh.

Wafa said they were killed just after midnight following Israeli strikes on Al-Shujaiya neighbourhood of Gaza City and on Al-Saftawi area in northern Gaza.

Al-Zaq was identified as a Quds TV journalist while Al-Barsh worked as a sound engineer and commentator and had worked for the Palestinian Al-Ray radio, the report said.

Their names have not yet been added to a list of slain journalists compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

CPJ has said at least 53 journalists and media workers have been killed in the Israel-Hamas conflict since October 7: 46 Palestinians, four Israelis, and three Lebanese citizens. 

Pro-Palestine protesters block Australian port
12:18 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Australian police arrested 23 pro-Palestinian protesters for blocking roads near one of the country's largest container ports in Sydney, authorities said on Wednesday, after they protested against a ship owned by Israeli carrier ZIM.

About 400 people had gathered near Port Botany on Tuesday evening for a planned unauthorised protest activity, New South Wales state police said. Protesters who did not comply with directions and occupied roads near the port were charged with offences, including disrupting operations of a major facility.

Protesters carried Palestinian flags, chanted "free Palestine" to banging drums, and held signs "Boycott ZIM" and "End the Gaza Blockade", television footage showed. Police forcibly removed some protesters from near the port's entrance.

Read the full report here.

Israel continued to strike hospitals despite US warnings
11:33 PM
The New Arab Staff

The US outlet Politico is reporting that, despite the information provided by the Biden administration, Israel continued to strike humanitarian sites.

Washington sent GPS coordinates of medical facilities, including Al-Shifa Hospital, and gave Israel information on the movement of aid groups, according to three people familiar with the messages.

“Israel’s continued bombardment of these humanitarian facilities raises more questions about whether Washington has the political sway many in the administration want with Israel,” the article said.

Blinken to travel to Israel next week
11:27 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is planning to travel to Israel early next week for talks with Israeli and Palestinian officials about the ongoing war in Gaza, Axios reported on Tuesday, citing two sources with direct knowledge of the trip.


Blinken will meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders [Getty]
Jordan strengthens army presence along borders with Israel
10:46 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Jordan said on Tuesday the army had beefed up its presence along its borders with Israel and warned that any Israeli attempt to forcibly push Palestinians across the Jordan River would represent a breach of its peace accord with its neighbour.

Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh said his country would resort to "all the means in its power" to prevent Israel from implementing any transfer policy to expel Palestinians en masse from the West Bank.

The Israel-Gaza conflict has stirred long-standing fears in Jordan, home to a large population of Palestinian refugees and their descendants. Far-right, ultra-nationalist hardliners now in the Israeli government have long espoused a Jordan-is-Palestine solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Israel has launched a massive bombardment of the Gaza Strip since October 7 that has left some 1.7 million of Gaza's 2.3 million people internally displaced.

"Any displacements or creating the conditions that would lead to it, Jordan will consider it a declaration of war and constitutes a material breach of the peace treaty," state media quoted Khasawneh as saying, referring to the 1994 peace treaty with Israel.

"This would lead to the liquidation of the Palestinian cause and to harming the national security of Jordan," Khasawneh added.

Read the full report here.

Detroit City Council votes for Gaza ceasefire resolution
10:11 PM
The New Arab Staff

The measure passed in a 7-2 vote, which makes Detroit one of the largest US cities to call for a ceasefire in Gaza amid growing demands for an end to the fighting.

The resolution urged “an immediate, durable, and sustained ceasefire to protect and save human lives”.

It added that ending the fighting would allow “indispensable” aid into Gaza as required by international humanitarian law.

Netanyahu says war against Hamas won't stop after ceasefire
10:01 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel and Hamas on Tuesday appeared close to a deal to temporarily halt their devastating six-week war for dozens of hostages being held in the Gaza Strip to be freed in exchange for Palestinians held in Israeli prisons.

But as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened his Cabinet for a vote, he vowed to resume the Israeli offensive against Hamas as soon as the truce ends.

“We are at war, and we will continue the war,” he said. “We will continue until we achieve all our goals.”

Qatar waiting on Israel's response over hostage deal
9:41 PM
The New Arab Staff

Majid al-Ansari, the Qatari foreign ministry spokesperson, told CNN that Doha had presented the truce proposal to Israel in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The final proposal followed weeks of negotiations, al-Ansari added.

6 children among 15 dead in Israeli strike on Khan Younis
8:58 PM
The New Arab Staff

1r people were killed and 22 others injured in an Israeli strike on a residential apartment in Khan Younis, southern Gaza on Tuesday night according to local media.

The victims and the injured arrived at Nasser Hospital, according to Shehab News Agency said on Telegram.

It has further been reported that six children from one family were among those killed. They had fled to Khan Younis from Gaza City after Israel declared the area "safe".

Khan Younis was declared 'safe' by the Israeli army [Getty]
Netanyahu tells cabinet hostage deal is 'the right decision'
8:37 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet Tuesday that accepting a deal for the release of hostages held in Gaza  was "a difficult decision but it's a right decision".

US President Joe Biden had helped "improve the framework being laid out before you... to include more hostages at a lower price", he told his cabinet at a meeting to decide on the deal. The hostages' families have demanded that Israel should insist on the return of all those being held.

CPJ calls for probe into killing of Lebanese journalists
8:29 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ has reiterated that journalists are civilians and must not be targeted.

As of November 21, CPJ says that 53 journalists and media workers are confirmed dead: 46 Palestinians, four Israelis, and three Lebanese nationals. Two Lebanese journalists were killed on Tuesday by an Israeli airstrike. 

Al-Araby Al-Jadeed publishes terms of Israel-Hamas truce
8:16 PM
The New Arab Staff

The New Arab's Arabic language sister outlet Al-Araby Al-Jadeed has obtained details of the anticipated prisoner exchange deal set to be announced at any time now between Hamas and Israel, mediated by Qatar.

The exchange will take place in several stages and includes in its first phase a ceasefire for five days and an initial hostage exchange. This will be followed by a subsequent phase involving the release of additional hostages in exchange for an extension of the truce. The deal also includes the provision of humanitarian aid and fuel to hospitals, according to information obtained by Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

In detail, under the terms of the anticipated deal, 50 Israeli (non-military) hostages will be released during the initial five days of truce, in exchange for the release of three Palestinians, including women and children hostages, from Israeli prisons for each of the fifty Israeli hostages (i.e., releasing a total of 150 Palestinian hostages/prisoners).

In the second phase of the deal, in exchange for the release of an additional ten Israeli (also non-military) hostages by Hamas, Israel will extend the truce for an additional two days.

When the number of hostages released by Hamas reaches 99 (both alive and dead), Israel will release all Palestinian women and children hostages/prisoners who currently languish in its prisons. 

Al-Araby Al-Jadeed also learned that the agreement will include the entry of 200 aid trucks during the five days of truce, including fuel and gas trucks for hospitals.

According to the information, as soon Israel issues a statement announcing its approval of the deal, Qatar will issue a statement about the deal, followed by a statement from Hamas, and then an American statement.

Here is a summary of the terms of the deal:

  • The release of at least 50 Israeli detainees in stages, according to a list of names, with emphasis on children and mothers.
  • The method of release: for each Israeli detainee, three Palestinians will be released.
  • A ceasefire for four days in Gaza.
  • Israel extends the days of truce in exchange for other detainees.
  • The release of Palestinian male and female prisoners.
  • The entry of a large amount of fuel and equipment into Gaza.
US: no support for Israeli assault on south Gaza
7:11 PM
The New Arab Staff

More from US National Security spokesperson John Kirby: he says that the US will not back further Israeli military action in southern Gaza unless there is “a clearly articulated plan for how they’re going to protect the lives of the hundreds of thousands of people that have now added to the population – because they were asked to leave by the Israelis. There’s an obligation there for them to factor that into their planning”.

Kirby’s words mark a change from what many have felt has been a US carte blanche for Israel to do as it pleases in Gaza.

Scottish parliament votes for immediate Gaza ceasefire
6:30 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Scottish Parliament has voted overwhelmingly for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. 

A cross-party majority of Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) voted for an Scottish National Party Government motion calling for an “immediate ceasefire” in the conflict, as well as a Scottish Labour Party amendment calling for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the conduct of all parties in the conflict. 

A Scottish Tory amendment calling for "humanitarian pauses" instead of an immediate ceasefire was voted down. 

90 MSPs voted in favour of the motion, with 28, all of them Tories, voting against. 

Interestingly, Scottish Labour's stance in supporting the SNP's ceasefire motion stands in stark contrast to the UK Labour Party's policy, which opposes a ceasefire. 

First Minister Humza Yousaf tabled the motion for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza [Getty]
'Delicate' hostage deal 'closer' than before: White House
6:25 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States is hopeful about getting a hostage deal in the Israel-Hamas conflict and believes the parties are getting closer to an agreement, White House spokesman John Kirby said on Tuesday.

"We are closer than we've been. We believe we're getting closer," Kirby said at a news briefing. "We won't say and do not want to say anything in these delicate hours that could put a deal at greater risk." 

3 MSF doctors killed by Israeli strike on Al-Awda hospital
6:16 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

French medical charity Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) said on Tuesday that three doctors, including two of its own, were killed in an Israeli strike on the Al Awda Hospital in northern Gaza, saying it was "horrified" by the incident.

"MSF has regularly shared information about Al Awda as a functioning hospital and the presence of its staff in Al Awda to warring parties," it said in a statement. "GPS coordinates were also shared with Israeli authorities yesterday."

It named the doctors as Dr Mahmoud Abu Nujaila (MSF), Dr Ahmad Al Sahar (MSF) and Dr. Ziad Al-Tatari. "Seeing doctors killed next to hospital beds is beyond tragic, and this must stop now," it said.


Hamas political bureau head grandson killed in Israel strike
5:58 PM
The New Arab Staff

Jamal Haniyeh, the eldest grandson of the head of the Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, was killed in an Israeli strike on the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.

Several other members of his family were also reportedly killed in the strike.

Ball in Israel's court for hostage swap deal: Hamas official
5:57 PM
The New Arab Staff

Senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya said Tuesday his movement was waiting for Israel’s answer on the hostage-prisoner swap deal, saying the ball was now in their court.

He sounded optimistic about a deal being reached soon.

"We do not want to delve into the details of the deal, and it will be announced soon, and the occupation may put obstacles in the way of it if it does not want a truce," he said.

Gaza death toll exceeds 14,000 people: govt spokesman
4:41 PM
The New Arab Staff

The death toll from Israel's bombardment of the Gaza Strip since October 7 has surpassed 14,000 people, the territory's government announced Tuesday evening.

A spokesman for the government media office said 14,128 people have been killed, including 5,840 children and 3,920 women, with around 33,000 wounded.

He said this meant 69% of all victims were women and children.

The spokesman added that 26 hospitals and 55 health centres in the enclave had shut down due to the Israeli aggression.

Missile fired from Gaza lands on Tel Aviv highway
4:30 PM
The New Arab Staff

A missile fired from Gaza landed on a highway in Tel Aviv Tuesday evening.

It's not clear if there were any casualties.

BRICS urge 'immediate, durable, sustained' truce in Gaza
4:05 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The leaders of the BRICS group of nations on Tuesday called for an "immediate" humanitarian truce in Gaza during a summit aimed at drawing up a common response to the Gaza war.

"We called for an immediate, durable, and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities," the group of major emerging economies that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa said in a statement.

Bahrain govt websites briefly inaccessible after hack claim
3:42 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The websites of two government ministries in Bahrain briefly became inaccessible Tuesday night after a statement claimed hackers took them down over the island kingdom's stance on the ongoing Gaza war.

A statement posted online by a self-described group calling itself Al-Toufan, or "The Flood" in Arabic, claimed hacking the Foreign Ministry and the Information Affairs Ministry's websites. Both later became accessible again Tuesday night.

The statement said the purported hacks came in retaliation for "the abnormal statements issued" by the island's Al Khalifa ruling family, without elaborating.

Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa opened a summit last week in the kingdom with a call for a swap between Hamas and Israel for the hostages and a halt in the bloodshed.

The Bahraini government did not immediately respond to a request for comment. State media in Bahrain did not acknowledge the incident.


Israel ordered evacuation of Gaza field hospital: Jordan
3:16 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Jordan said on Tuesday Israel had ordered the evacuation of a Jordanian field hospital in Gaza, but added that it would not heed the order.

Prime Minister Bisher al Khasawneh also said Jordan's army was beefing up its presence along the border in view of the developments in Gaza, in comments carried on state media.

EU clears continued development aid to Palestinians
3:01 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The EU on Tuesday gave the green light to continuing development aid to Palestinians after a review found no funds had gone to Hamas, but said tighter controls would be imposed going forward.

"The review found no indications of EU money having directly or indirectly benefited the terrorist organisation Hamas," European Commission vice president Valdis Dombrovskis said.

The EU, UK, US and other countries classify Hamas as a terrorist organisation.

Yousaf calls for Gaza truce, recognition of Palestine state
2:24 PM
The New Arab Staff

Scotland's First Minister Humza Yousaf has reiterated calls for a ceasefire in war-torn Gaza, saying that he has written to both UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour Party leader Keir Starmer in the hopes that calls for a truce, as well as the recognition of the State of Palestine are backed.

Yousaf said he has also made calls for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate whether war crimes are being committed.

Later on Tuesday, the First Minister will open the debate on the situation in Gaza on a government motion that condemns the Hamas cross-border attacks on 7 October, calls for the release of those kidnapped, and for all parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire.

Progress 'being made' on hostages return: Netanyahu
2:20 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that "we are making progress" on the return of hostages captured by Hamas on October 7, after mediators said a truce deal was in sight.

"I hope there will be good news soon," Netanyahu told Israeli soldiers at a military base in the north of the country.

Shortly afterwards, his office released a statement saying that "in light of the developments regarding the release of our hostages," the war cabinet, security cabinet and the government will meet in succession on Tuesday evening.

Israeli forces shoot, injure two Palestinians in Jenin
2:17 PM
The New Arab Staff

Two young Palestinians were shot and injured today by Israeli forces amid confrontations in the village of al-Fandaqomiah, south of Jenin, to local sources told the Palestinians official news agency Wafa.

Soldiers and settlers from the illegal Homesh settlement reportedly broke into the village as snipers were deployed on rooftops near the school, witnesses said.

Troops opened fire and shot tear gas canisters at the Palestinians, injuring two with live bullets and many others suffered suffocation.

Putin: BRICS could help 'reach political settlement' in Gaza
2:11 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Russian President Vladimir Putin called on for a political solution on Tuesday to the Israel's war in Gaza and said regional states and members of the BRICS group of countries could be involved in efforts to reach such a settlement.

In televised comments to a virtual BRICS summit, Putin once again blamed the Middle East crisis on the failure of US diplomacy in the region.

"We call for the joint efforts of the international community aimed at de-escalating the situation, a ceasefire and finding a political solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. And the BRICS states and countries of the region could play a key role in this work," Putin said.

He did not elaborate on how such an effort might be organised.

In previous comments he has repeatedly attacked US policy, urged Israel to show restraint and has expressed sympathy for the plight of Palestinians, who have been killed in their thousands since October 7.

Last month he warned Israel against laying siege to Gaza in the same way that Nazi Germany besieged Leningrad during World War Two, saying a ground offensive there would lead to an "absolutely unacceptable" number of civilian casualties.

On Tuesday he said it was "terrible" that Palestinian children were dying in large numbers, adding that the sight of operations being performed on children without anaesthetics "evokes special feelings".

Continued bombing of south Gaza aims to expel people: Egypt
1:24 PM
The New Arab Staff

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry accused Israel of deliberately trying to expel Palestinians from the Gaza Strip by bombing the enclave's south.

"Continued bombing targeting displaced people in the south has a clear objective, and that's to force Gaza’s residents to leave the Strip. Egypt has clearly declared its utter rejection of any enforced displacement attempt of Palestinians," he wrote on X.

South Africa accuses Israel of war crimes and 'genocide'
1:21 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa accused Israel of war crimes and "genocide" in Gaza, as he chaired an extraordinary summit of the BRICS group of nations on Tuesday.

"The collective punishment of Palestinian civilians through the unlawful use of force by Israel is a war crime. The deliberate denial of medicine, fuel, food and water to the residents of Gaza is tantamount to genocide," he said.

One killed in Israeli raid in Blata camp: health ministry
1:18 PM
The New Arab Staff

One person who was injured in an Israeli raid on the Blata camp on Tuesday succumbed to his wounds, the Palestinian health ministry said.

EU faces growing Muslim animosity over Gaza war: Borrell
12:50 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The European Union faces growing animosity across the Muslim world and beyond due to accusations of pro-Israel bias and double standards over the war in Gaza, the bloc's foreign policy chief has warned.

Josep Borrell said he feared such acrimony could undermine diplomatic support for Ukraine in the Global South and the EU's ability to insist on human rights clauses in international agreements.

He said the EU had to show "more empathy" for the loss of Palestinian civilian lives in Israel's war against Hamas, launched in response to the deadly Oct. 7 cross-border assault by the Palestinian militant group.

His comments came in interviews with Reuters during a five-day trip that took him to the Israeli kibbutz of Be'eri, the occupied West Bank, a regional security conference in Bahrain and royal audiences in Qatar and Jordan.

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On the trip, which ended on Monday evening, Borrell heard Arab leaders and Palestinian civil society activists complain that the 27-nation EU was not applying the same standards to Israel's war in Gaza that it applies to Russia's war in Ukraine.

"All of them were really criticising the posture of the European Union as one-sided," Borrell said.

Waving his mobile phone, he said he had already received messages from some ministers signalling they would not support Ukraine next time there was a vote at the United Nations.

"If things continue a couple of weeks like this, the animosity against Europeans (will grow)," he added.

WHO: planning underway to evacuate three Gaza hospitals
12:13 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A World Health Organization spokesperson said on Tuesday that three hospitals in Israeli-besieged Gaza had requested help with evacuating patients and that planning had started.

WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier said evacuations were a last resort. "It's robbing the entire population of the north of the means to seek health (care)," he told a Geneva press briefing.

The three hospitals were Al Shifa, from which a group of babies has already been rescued, Indonesian Hospital and Al Ahli Hospital, he said.

"So far it's only in planning stages with no further details," he added.

At the same briefing, the U.N. children's agency (UNICEF) warned of the risk of "mass disease outbreak" that could cause child death rates to mount in the densely populated enclave where thousands of people are crammed into overcrowded shelters.

"If children’s access to water and sanitation in Gaza continue to be restricted and insufficient, we will see a tragic – yet entirely avoidable – surge in the number of children dying," said UNICEF spokesperson James Elder.

Two premature babies died before evacuation from Gaza: UN
11:35 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Two premature babies being cared for at the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza died before the evacuation of 31 others, the UN said Tuesday, adding that most of those who reached Egypt were "unaccompanied".

WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday that the Al-Shifa hospital had been caring for 33 premature babies just the evening before the evacuation.

"Two of these premature infants died only on that night because of the lack of care available to them," he said.

4 killed in Israeli drone strike on car in south Lebanon
11:28 AM
The New Arab Staff

Four people were killed when their car was targeted in an Israeli drone strike in south Lebanon on Tuesday.

Sources told Alaraby TV that those killed were members of Hamas' armed wing, Al-Qassam Brigades. The New Arab could not immediately verify this.

The vehicle was reportedly travelling on a secondary road about five miles south of Tyre city and seven miles north of the border with Israel, the National News Agency reported.

Images shared online showed smoke billowing from the scene of the attack, as well as the car on the fire.

It came after four others, including two journalists, were killed earlier Tuesday.

Israeli police claims 2 Oct. 7 infiltrators from Gaza held
11:12 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli police claimed on Tuesday they had arrested two Palestinians from Gaza, including a Hamas fighter, found hiding in southern Israel after infiltrating the area during the October 7 attacks.

The arrests in early November were first reported by Israeli media with the details confirmed to AFP by a spokesman for the border police.

He said the pair were arrested in Rahat, a town in southern Israel mostly populated by Bedouin Arabs, following an operation by an undercover border police unit. The town lies about 30 kilometres (18 miles) from the Gaza border.

Both were unarmed and found in an empty house, and were taken for investigation.

75% of Gaza victims are women, children, elderly: UNRWA
11:09 AM
The New Arab Staff

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees said out of the more than 13,000 people killed by Israeli bombardment in Gaza so far, 75% of them are women, children and elderly persons.

Palestinians wounded in Israeli raid in Blata camp
10:50 AM
The New Arab Staff

An Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank left at least five Palestinians wounded, including minors, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Israeli forces and vehicles deployed in the Blata camp, east of Nablus, clashing with residents.


Gaza hostage talks 'closest' to deal since Oct 7: Qatar
10:45 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Negotiations to free hostages being held by Hamas are at their "closest point" to a deal and have reached the "final stage," mediator Qatar said Tuesday.

"We are at the closest point we ever had been in reaching an agreement," foreign ministry spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari said, adding negotiations have reached a "critical and final stage."

"We are very optimistic, very hopeful," Al-Ansari told a briefing. "But we are also very keen for this mediation to succeed in reaching a humanitarian truce," he said.

The United States said Saturday it was still working to secure a deal between Israel and Hamas after the Washington Post reported there was a tentative agreement to free women and children hostages in exchange for a pause in fighting.

Citing unnamed sources, the newspaper said all parties would halt combat operations for at least five days while some hostages were to be released in batches.

The White House quickly responded on Saturday evening with a message on X, formerly Twitter, to deny any major breakthrough.

"We have seen a lot of the leaks or the statements here and there but we would prefer to keep our statements until we have a final decision on the agreement," Al-Ansari said.

Gaza sanitation 'perfect storm for tragedy': UN
10:11 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Fuel shortages and the worsening sanitation situation in the Gaza Strip is shaping up to be the perfect storm for tragedy through the spread of disease, the United Nations warned Tuesday.

"Without enough fuel, we will see the collapse of sanitation services. So we have then, on top of the mortars and the bombs, a perfect storm for the spread of disease. It's a perfect storm for tragedy," UNICEF spokesman James Elder told a press briefing in Geneva.

Israel strike kills 2 journalists, civilian in south Lebanon
9:43 AM
The New Arab Staff

At least two journalists and a civilian were killed when an Israeli drone strike targeted a group of reporters in southern Lebanon.

The attack took place between the villages of Tayr Harfa and Jebbayn in southern Lebanon, about a mile from the Israeli border.

The journalists from Beirut-based Al Mayadeen TV were identified as reporter Farah Omar and photojournalist Rabih Maamari. Al-Mayadeen director Ghassan bin Jiddo said the third civilian killed with the two journalists was a "contributor" to the channel.

This raises the number of journalists killed in southern Lebanon by Israel since October 7 to three, with several others wounded.

Putin to discuss Gaza crisis with BRICS leaders
9:19 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Russian President Vladimir Putin will discuss the Gaza war with the leaders of the BRICS bloc in a video conference on Tuesday, after which the group is expected to issue a joint statement, the Kremlin said.

The voice of the BRICS needed to be heard in the world, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Israel strike kills elderly woman in south Lebanon: NNA
9:11 AM
The New Arab Staff

An Israeli strike killed an elderly woman and wounded her granddaughter in southern Lebanon on Tuesday, state-run media reported.

"Enemy aircraft raided inhabited houses in Kfarkela, leading to the death of citizen Laiqa Sarhan, 80, and the wounding of her granddaughter," the official National News Agency said.

17 Palestinians killed in bombardment of Nuseirat camp: WAFA
8:50 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Seventeen Palestinians were killed in Israeli bombardment of Nuseirat camp in Gaza at midnight, the Palestinian official news agency Wafa said early on Tuesday.

Group of Muslim countries to push for Gaza ceasefire: source
8:47 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A newly formed group made up of senior officials from several Muslim countries will visit the United Nations Security Council's five permanent members and others to urge an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, a Turkish foreign ministry source said on Tuesday.

The source said the group had started talking with the permanent U.N. Security Council members - the United States, China, Russia, Britain, and France - with a visit to Beijing on Monday, and would also visit other countries.

"The primary goal of the contact group is for a ceasefire to be announced as soon as possible and for humanitarian aid to be sent to Gaza," the source said.

"As an end goal, (the group) aims to contribute to the two-state solution within the framework of internationally accepted parameters; to Palestinians living in their own country safely, with stability and prosperity," the person said.

Israeli troops battle Hamas fighters across northern Gaza
8:44 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli troops battled Hamas fighters in a dense, urban refugee camp on Tuesday as the army expanded operations across northern Gaza, where residents have been without electricity, water or access to humanitarian aid for weeks.

The front line of the war has shifted to the Jabaliya camp, which Israel has struck several times since the start of the war on 7 October.

The Israeli military said forces are "preparing the battlefield" in the area of Jabaliya. It claimed to have struck three tunnel shafts where fighters were hiding and destroyed rocket launchers, adding that "dozens" of Hamas members have been killed in recent days.

There was no immediate comment from Hamas, and it was not possible to independently confirm details of the fighting.