Israeli strike kills 42 Syrian soldiers near Aleppo, as Netanyahu prepares Rafah assault

Israeli strike kills 42 Syrian soldiers near Aleppo, as Netanyahu prepares Rafah assault
An Israeli air strike killed 42 in Syria's Aleppo province on Friday, targeting a Hezbollah weapons depot, according to a war monitor.
11 min read

While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announces plans for an assault on the southern Gaza city of Rafah, Israel has launched its largest attack on Syria since 7 October.

An Israeli air strike on Syria's Aleppo province killed at least 42 Syrian soldiers on Friday, according to a war monitor, who added that Hezbollah weapons depots were located in the area.

The Israeli attack targeted an area "near rocket depots belonging to Lebanese group Hezbollah", said the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has an extensive network of sources in Syria.

"Forty-two killed, including six from Lebanon's Hezbollah group" and 36 Syrian soldiers in the Israeli strike targeting a Hezbollah weapons depot, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

It also said that the targeted area is near Aleppo's international airport.

Syrian state news agency SANA said the pre-dawn strike killed and wounded civilians, as well as military personnel.

The attack has heightened fears of Israel's war on Gaza, leading to a wider regional war. 

6:00 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

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Israel army says 1 soldier killed and 16 injured
5:35 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Israeli army said on Friday that one more soldier was killed and 16 others have been injured in southern Gaza in its bombardment - Times of Israel reports​​​​​​.

CENTCOM drops humanitarian aid into Gaza
5:09 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The US Central Command (CENTCOM) said they conducted an airdrop of over 46,000 US meal equivalents of humanitarian aid into Northern Gaza on Friday. 

The force said on X, formerly known as Twitter, approximately 26 bundles landed in the sea despite pleas from Hamas to stop after it said 18 people had died trying to reach food packages.

While they do not assess civilian harm or damage to infrastructure at this time, they continue to monitor the situation.

Gaza's waste sparks disease concerns
4:46 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Municipality Of Gaza has warned of the dangers of serious diseases being spread because of the harmful rodents and insects proliferating as a result of accumulated waste in the streets due to fuel depletion and Israel's occupation's destruction of municipal vehicles.

About 3,000 tons of waste accumulate daily and are not disposed of because of the war.

Moscow slams Israeli strikes on Syria
4:12 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Moscow on Friday condemned Israeli strikes on Syria as "completely unacceptable" after a war monitor said over 40 were killed in the latest air assault.

"Such aggressive actions against the Syrian Arab Republic, which constitute a flagrant violation of the country's sovereignty and the basic norms of international law, are categorically unacceptable," Russia's foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement.

Palestinian Christians observe scaled-down Good Friday
4:04 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hundreds of Christians participated in a customary Good Friday procession through the limestone walls of Jerusalem's Old City, commemorating one of the faith's most sacred days with noticeably thinner crowds amid the ongoing war on Gaza.

The day’s processions, which normally draw thousands of foreign visitors, were unusually local. Most observers were Palestinian Christians, joined by some foreigners living in Jerusalem and a few undeterred tourists.

Pro-Palestine protesters heckle Obama at NYC fundraiser
3:50 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

United States President Joe Biden's fundraising event was disrupted by pro-Palestine protesters who heckled former president Barack Obama and staged a demonstration outside the event.

Obama quipped at one pro-Palestine demonstrator who interrupted him while speaking:

"You can't just talk and not listen… that's what the other side does," he snapped, in an apparent dig at Israel.

Footage shared online showed crowds of protesters gathered outside the Manhattan venue, waving Palestinian flags and chanting, "Genocide Joe has got to go", while rows of New York City police officers looked on.

Read more about it:

US reverses sanctions imposed on Israeli settlers
3:28 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli media reports that the Biden administration has reversed its sanctions on Israeli settlers indicted for attacking Palestinians in the West Banks.

According to the Times of Israel, the United States sent a letter to the Israeli Finance Ministry this week stating that the sanctions were not intended to compel Israeli banks to close the accounts of the targeted individuals.

The US will only block accounts belonging to citizens sanctioned for “undermining peace, security, and stability”.

The US sanctioned three Israeli settlers and two farming outposts Thursday, accusing them of undermining stability in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Eurovision participant defends decision amid war on Gaza
3:09 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Over 450 queer artists, individuals, and organisations called on Eurovision contestant Olly Alexander to withdraw from the song contest through an open letter because of Israel's participation despite its ongoing war on Gaza.

The singer has since shared a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he will still participate as he believes withdrawing will not "bring us any closer to our shared goal" of a ceasefire.

"I've been speaking with some of the other EV contestants and we've decided that by taking part we can use out platform to come together and call for peace," the statement reads.

Hezbollah confirms commander was killed in Lebanon strike
2:52 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Lebanon's Hezbollah has confirmed that the man killed in the targeted Israeli air strike, Ali Abdel Hassan Naeem, was a Hezbollah commander - according to Hezbollah media outfit Balagh Media.

The strike targeted a car that was driving in Al-Bazouriyeh, a municipality in Southern Lebanon, and was identified by members of Hezbollah as Ali Naim from the village of Selaa.

UNRWA: 171 workers killed since 7 October
2:43 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has reported that 171 of its workers have been killed since 7 October.

The organisation also says as of 25 March, up to 1.7 million people (over 75 per cent of the population) have been displaced across the Gaza Strip, the majority multiple times.

US: Famine is 'quite possibly' in northern Gaza
2:05 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Famine is both a risk and "quite possibly" present in at least some areas in northern Gaza, a senior State Department official told Reuters on Friday, while adding that the scarcity of trucks was a key obstacle for more humanitarian aid in the densely populated enclave that has been under Israel siege.

"While we can say with confidence, that famine is a significant risk in the south and center but not present, in the north, it is both a risk and quite possibly is present in at least some areas, which accounts for the urgency with which we need to move goods, food at scale into the north," the senior State Department official, speaking with Reuters on the condition of anonymity, said. 


Netanyahu approves new Gaza ceasefire talks
1:34 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved a new round of Gaza ceasefire talks to take place in Doha and Cairo, his office said Friday, days after the negotiations appeared stalled.

The premier's office said Netanyahu authorised "the next round of talks - in the coming days - in Doha and Cairo, with guidelines for moving forward in the negotiations".

Israel kills dozens in airstrikes across the Gaza Strip
1:22 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel sustained its aerial and ground bombardment of the Gaza Strip on Friday, killing dozens of Palestinians, as fighting raged around Gaza City's main Al-Shifa hospital, Palestinian officials and the Israeli military said.

Palestinian health officials said two Israeli strikes on the Al-Shejaia suburb in eastern Gaza City killed 17 people, while an Israeli air strike on a house in the Al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip killed eight people.

Gaza's Media office said at least ten policemen tasked with securing aid to the displaced in northern Gaza were among those killed in Al-Shejaia.


Israel's Netanyahu agrees to send delegation for Gaza talks
1:12 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to send delegations to Egypt and Qatar, where negotiators have been trying to secure the release of Israeli captives as part of a possible Gaza ceasefire deal, his office said on Friday.

Netanyahu's office said he spoke with the heads of Israeli intelligence agencies Shin Bet and Mossad and "approved that delegations on their behalf go in the coming days to Doha and Cairo," with a mandate to push forward negotiations. 


Palestine welcomes new measures from ICJ
12:59 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Palestine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates on X, formerly known as Twitter, has welcomed the International Court of Justice's measures to ensure urgent humanitarian assistance reaches people in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian journalist Bayan Abu Sultan says she 'survived'
12:42 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Palestinian journalist Bayan Abu Sultan confirmed on X, formerly known as Twitter, that she is alive.

Non-profit organisation Reporters Without Borders announced on Wednesday Sultan was missing and was last seen on 19 March near Gaza's Al-Shifs hospital. 

But on X, Sultan has said she "survived".

Bayan has been covering Israel's war on Gaza from the enclave for months,

17 Palestinians killed in Al-Shujaiya neighbourhood
12:30 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Anadolu Agency reports that 17 Palestinians have been killed in the Al-Shujaiya neighbourhood, east of Gaza City, as the Israeli army targets the police. 

Thousands of Jordanians protest in solidarity for Gaza
12:00 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Thousands of people in Jordan have protested once again for peace and Palestine for its 25th consecutive Friday - WAFA reports.

The protest occurred in front of the Al-Husseini Mosque downtown in Jordan's capital, Amman.

Videos show protesters waving Palestinian flags, chanting and condemning Israel's war on Gaza.

125,000 Palestinian worshippers pray at Al-Aqsa
11:28 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Al Jazeera reports that almost 125,000 Palestinians have performed prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem on the third Friday of the holy month of Ramadan - according to the Islamic Waqf Department in the city.

Since the start of the holy month, Israeli forces have been preventing worshippers from entering the mosque, conducting raids and beating worshippers who wish to enter the compound.

Hezbollah announces Israel air strike killed 6 members
11:20 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Lebanon's Hezbollah announced on Telegram that six members were killed in the Israeli airstrikes that targeted the Syrian province of Aleppo, killing 42.

Fighting erupted between Hezbollah and Israel on Lebanon’s southern border on 8 October that has since displaced thousands of Lebanese civilians, 

15 killed in Israeli attack targeting Gaza sports club
11:15 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

15 Palestinians have been killed, and at least 30 have been injured after an Israeli drone targeted the Al-Shujaiya Sports Club, located east of Gaza City.

Israeli strike kills Hezbollah official in Lebanon
10:12 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A military security source said an Israeli strike on Friday on a car in south Lebanon killed a Hezbollah official, the latest deadly cross-border violence since the 7 October.

Hezbollah, an ally of the Palestinian militant group Hamas, has exchanged near-daily fire with the Israeli army since Hamas launched its attack on southern Israel on October 7, triggering the war on Gaza.

The hostilities have raised fears of all-out conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, which fought a devastating war in 2006.

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency (NNA) said "a raid by an enemy drone targeted a car" in Bazuriyeh in south Lebanon's Tyre district, reporting at least one dead.

The army security source, requesting anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the media, said the person killed was "a Hezbollah official".

Israeli forces hinder access to Al-Aqsa
9:41 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

WAFA news agency reports that Israeli occupation forces are once again restricting worshippers from entering Al-Aqsa mosque on the third Friday prayer of the holy month of Ramadan.

The agency says forces have increased their presence at military checkpoints leading to Jeruselum, scrutinising the identities of Palestinians and preventing people from entering under the pretext of lacking the necessary permits.

The forces have regularly attacked Palestinian worshippers at Al-Aqsa during Ramadan.

Israeli forces have once again restricted worshippers from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque [GETTY]
Iran slams Israeli air strike on Aleppo
9:18 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has condemned Israel for its air strikes on Syria's Aleppo province that have killed 42. 

“The aggressive attacks on Syria are blatant and desperate attempts to continue and expand the crisis in the region,” the ministry said in a statement on Telegram.

12 Palestinians killed in Israeli strike in Rafah
9:00 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Health officials have told Reuters that at least 12 Palestinians have been killed in an Israeli air strike in the north of Rafah. 

Casualties have been taken to the European Hospital in Khan Younis, according to Al Jazeera​​​​​​.


32,623 Palestinians killed and 75,092 wounded since 7 Oct
8:39 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Gaza Health Ministry has reported that 32,623 Palestinians have been killed and 75,092 have been injured since Israel's military offensive on Gaza on 7 October.


Israeli drone strike on a car in south Lebanon kills one
8:33 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A targeted Israeli drone strike killed one man in south Lebanon, according to Al-Akhbar News. The ambulance recovered him while firefighters worked to extinguish the flames.

Fighting began between Israel and Hezbollah on 8 October, displacing 91,000 people in southern Lebanon.

Hezbollah fires heavy rockets at northern Israel
8:25 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah fired rockets with heavy warheads at towns in northern Israel, saying it used the weapons against civilian targets for the first time Thursday in retaliation for Israeli airstrikes the night before that killed nine, including what the group said were several paramedics.

There were no reports of Israelis hurt in the rocket attack, local media said. The Israeli military did not immediately offer comment on the rocket attack.

Since the outbreak of the war on Gaza, concerns have grown that near-daily clashes along the border between Israel and Lebanon could escalate into a full-scale war.