Gaza: Qatari-brokered agreement reached between Israel, Hamas to deliver aid to civilians, hostages

Gaza: Qatari-brokered agreement reached between Israel, Hamas to deliver aid to civilians, hostages
Greece has confirmed that its bulk carrier hit by missile off Yemen as regional tensions escalate and Israel continues to pound Gaza
26 min read
16 January, 2024

Qatar’s foreign ministry has announced that an agreement was reached between Israel and Hamas, which will see medication and humanitarian aid delivered to civilians in Gaza in exchange for delivering medications needed for Israeli captives held by Hamas.

Qatari spokesperson Majed Al Ansari said the agreement was reached through Doha mediation in cooperation with France.

Medications and aid will leave Doha tomorrow to the Egyptian city of Arish in preparation for their transport into the Gaza Strip, the foreign ministry

In Gaza, health authorities reported that the death toll had surpassed 24,000, as the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu comes under intense international pressure to end the fighting as civilian deaths soar and the humanitarian crisis deepens.

Gaza's press office said Tuesday morning that Israeli strikes had killed another 78 people overnight.

Oxfam urges US Senate to pass Sanders resolution
11:37 PM
The New Arab Staff

The United States Senate is debating a resolution put forward by Senator Bernie Sanders requiring a report on Israel’s human rights practices.

Ahead of the vote, Oxfam America President Abby Maxman called for supporting the bill.

“US support for Israel has continued without any consideration of its contribution to the devastating siege and bombardment of Gaza,” said Maxman.

“It is past time that the United States government … take account of its own role in the crisis,” Maxman said, adding that the US should “investigate whether US funds and military support are being used by Israeli forces to commit human rights abuses.”

Israel weaponising food in Gaza, say UN rights experts
9:02 PM
The New Arab Staff

Gazans now make up 80 per cent of all people facing famine or catastrophic hunger worldwide, marking an unparalleled humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip amid Israel’s continued bombardment and siege, UN human rights experts have said.

"Currently every single person in Gaza is hungry, a quarter of the population are starving and struggling to find food and drinkable water, and famine is imminent," experts said.

"Pregnant women are not receiving adequate nutrition and healthcare, putting their lives at risk. In addition all children under five  - 335,000 - are at high risk of severe malnutrition as the risk of famine conditions continues to increase, a whole generation is now in danger of suffering from stunting,” experts added.

Stunting occurs when young children’s growth is hampered due to lack of adequate nourishment and causes irreparable physical and cognitive impairments. This will undermine the learning capacity of an entire generation.

At least 13 Palestinians killed in Khan Younis
8:46 PM
The New Arab Staff

At least 13 people were killed and others injured in Israeli airstrikes and artillery bombardment on Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, Wafa reported.

The latest killings bring the death toll in the province on Tuesday to 23.

The Israeli military targeted four residential houses west of Khan Yunis and conducted intense shelling on residential buildings in the Namsawi neighbourhood, along with artillery shelling in the areas of Batin Al-Sameen to the west and Abasan Al-Jadida to the east.

The attacks also focused on the vicinity of Nasser Medical Hospital and the surroundings of Al-Amal Hospital, causing significant damage and panic among patients, medical staff, and displaced individuals.

Israel-Hamas deal reached to let aid, medicine into Gaza
8:03 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel and Hamas have reached an agreement to allow medicines to be delivered to Israeli captives held in the Gaza Strip and for aid to be transported to residents in the besieged Palestinian territory, Qatar has announced.

The deal will see humanitarian aid delivered to civilians in “the most affected and vulnerable areas” in Gaza in exchange for the delivery of medication to Israeli captives held by Hamas, the group that governs Gaza, Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Tuesday.

Jewish group urges Senate action on Israel's Gaza violations
7:45 PM
The New Arab Staff

Jewish Voice for Peace Action has called on US senators to back a resolution that would require the State Department to produce a report on possible Israeli human rights violations in Gaza.

“Demanding a report on Israel’s atrocities against Palestinians is the bare minimum obligation of our elected officials – every single Senator should vote yes on this resolution from [Bernie Sanders],” the group said in a social media post.

“They must  also call for a #CeasefireNOW and oppose further weapons to Israel.”

US envoy in Doha for ‘very serious’ talks on captives
7:18 PM
The New Arab Staff

US national security spokesperson John Kirby says that the US was "hopeful" that negotiations mediated by Qatar could secure the release of remaining captives held in Gaza.

He said that US Middle East envoy Brett McGurk was in Doha in recent days for "very serious and intensive discussions" on the matter.

"I don’t want to say too much publicly here as we have these talks, but we’re hopeful that it can bear fruit, and bear fruit soon,"  Kirby said during a briefing.

John Kirby
John Kirby [Getty]
Ben & Jerry’s calls for ceasefire in Gaza
6:48 PM
The New Arab Staff

Ben & Jerry’s board has called for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, in a move that risks reigniting tensions with parent company Unilever over the ice cream maker’s stance on Israeli policies.

The move by the company - one of the first multinational enterprises to call for a ceasefire - follows a long-running dispute between its board and Unilever over the ice cream brand’s attempt in 2021 to stop selling its products in occupied Palestinian territories.

"Peace is a core value of Ben & Jerry’s’," the company’s board chair Anuradha Mittal told the Financial Times.

"From Iraq to Ukraine, [the company] has consistently stood up for these principles. Today is no different as we call for peace and a permanent and immediate ceasefire."

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Iraq militia group claims missile attack on Israel
6:29 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, a group with ties to Iran, released a statement on Tuesday claiming to have fired a missile “in the middle of the Zionist entity [Israel] in the previous days”, without specifying the exact location of the target, or the specific day the attack took place.

The claim is not the first the group has made.

In late December the group said it fired a missile at the Israeli port city of Eilat.

Qassam Brigades target Israeli army in Gaza City
6:07 PM
The New Arab Staff

The armed wing of Hamas has said in a statement that it attacked an Israeli troop carrier east of the al-Tuffah neighbourhood in Gaza City, clashing with soldiers at point-blank range.

It said that it confirmed the killing of several soldiers and the injury of others and that its fighters witnessed Israeli helicopters and ambulances rushing to the scene of the battle to evacuate casualties.

The Qassam Brigades also said they attacked “enemy concentrations” in the same neighbourhood of Gaza City with mortar shells.

ICJP submits evidence of Israeli war crimes to Met police
5:39 PM
The New Arab Staff

The International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) has submitted evidence of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israel in Gaza to London's Metropolitan Police, following calls for evidence by its war crimes unit.

The evidence compiled in the 78-page dossier consists of both eyewitness testimony and photographic evidence relating to a number of war crimes.

These include attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure - such as hospitals and cultural property - the use of starvation as a weapon of war, and Israel's use of white phosphorus against civilians.

ICJP Director Tayab Ali said the evidence related to four senior UK government ministers or officials, whom Ali told The New Arab "are complicit on a secondary liability basis".

To read the full report by The New Arab's London correspondent Oliver Mizzi, please click here.

Tayab Ali and Haydee Dijkstal both spoke about the ICJP evidence [Oliver Mizzi/ TNA]
US senator Sanders calls for report on Gaza violations
5:32 PM
The New Arab Staff

US Senator Bernie Sanders has said he will push for a vote towards a resolution that will pressure the State Department to issue a report that evaluates whether US-sold weapons to Israel constitute as a human rights violation.

Senator Sanders said that a vote will be held at 5:30 pm (10:30 pm GMT) eastern time.

“We should all want this information,” Sanders said in a post on X.

“If you believe the war has been indiscriminate, as I do, then we must ask this question. If you believe Israel has done nothing wrong, then this information should support that belief.”

PRCS: Israeli attacks have caused damage at Al Amal hospital
5:28 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said in a post on X that Israeli shellings near the al Amal hospital in Khan Younis, Gaza, have led to damages in the buildings and led to “a state of panic” incited among medical staff, patients and displaced Palestinians who sought shelter there.

Jordan's PM says peace with Israel remains strategic choice
5:12 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Jordan's Prime Minister Bisher al Khasawaneh said on Tuesday that peace with Israel remained a strategic choice but any push to drive Palestinians to the kingdom would pose an "existentialist" threat.

Jordan, which shares a border with the occupied West Bank, fears that the Gaza conflict could spread with wider violence by armed settlers encouraged by the army triggering a large scale Palestinian exodus to the other side of the Jordan River.

Israel extends order to refuse detained from seeing lawyer
5:06 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli newspaper Haaretz has reported that Israel's Knesset has approved an extension of an emergency order that permits Israeli authorities to deny detained Palestinians from Gaza to see a lawyer.

This order that initially prevented prisoners from meeting with a lawyer for up to 180 days has been extended to an additional 3 months.

Houthis claim missile strike on Greek cargo ship
4:54 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Yemen's Houthi group on Tuesday claimed a missile strike on a Greek-owned cargo ship off the war-torn country's coast, saying they fired after the crew did not respond to warnings.

Rebel forces "carried out a targeting operation against the ship... after its crew refused the calls from the naval forces, as well as repeated fiery warning messages", the Houthis said in a statement.

Wael al Dahdouh transferred to Egypt for medical treatment
4:44 PM
The New Arab Staff

Al Jazeera's Gaza bureau chief Wael al Dahdouh has been transferred to Egypt for medical treatment, according to local media reports.

Egyptian authorities had conducted the transfer following the request by the Egyptian journalists' syndicate.

Dahdouh lost his son, Hamza, during an Israeli airstrike on a car in Rafah earlier this month.

Meanwhile, his wife, children and grandson were also killed in October of last year.

Hamas responds to EU following Sinwar sanctions
4:35 PM
The New Arab Staff

Taher al-Nono, media adviser to Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh, has called out the EU’s “double-standard policy”, following the European bloc freezing Yahya Sinwar's assets and being placed on the EU "terrorist" list.

“These are ridiculous and silly sanctions because everyone knows that Yahya Sinwar has no assets or money neither in Palestine nor outside it,” he told news agency Reuters.

“Such a decision has no value against Hamas, but the idea of imposing sanctions on the leaders of the resistance and Hamas, which is resisting the [Israeli] occupation as granted by international law, shows bias to the occupation.”

US wants Mideast 'de-escalation': White House's Sullivan
4:27 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States is seeking a "de-escalation" in the Middle East despite its strikes on Houthi positions in Yemen, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Tuesday.

"We seek to stop the spread of conflict and to create the conditions for de-escalation," Sullivan said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan (2nd L) at a meeting at WEF [Getty]
UK to continue sending arms to Israel despite legal action
4:14 PM
The New Arab Staff

Two rights groups have issued an update following their pursuit of legal action against the UK in October of last year for selling weapons to Israel. 

“Israel declined to respond to specific incidents in the government’s letter and gave no reasons for restricting food, water & medical supplies to Gaza. The government has shockingly accepted this response despite evidence of extensive violations of international law presented,” organisations Global Legal Action Network and Al-Haq said in a joint response.

The groups said they will continue to push the case to find legal means in halting UK arms exports.

Iraqi PM: Erbil attack was 'clear aggression'
4:10 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said on Tuesday that an Iranian strike in Erbil was a "clear aggression" against Iraq and a dangerous development that was undermining the strong bilateral relationship, the state news agency reported.

The government reserves the right to take any diplomatic and legal measures that its sovereignty allows, al-Sudani added. 

Blinken: Arab nations won't rebuild Gaza if 'levelled' again
4:01 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Arab countries are not keen to get involved in the rebuilding of Gaza if the Palestinian enclave will be "leveled" again in a few years, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday, adding that the Palestinian statehood question needed to be addressed.

"You have to resolve the Palestinian question," Blinken told CNBC in an interview in Davos. "Arab countries are saying this: They're saying, look, we're not going to get into the business, for example, of rebuilding Gaza only to have it leveled again in a year or five years and then be asked to rebuild it again."

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (Third L) at World Economic Forum [Getty]
Shell halts Red Sea shipments over attack fears: report
3:55 PM
The New Arab Staff

British oil giant Shell has paused transit through the key Red Sea shipping route indefinitely, over fears of escalating tensions involving Yemen's Huthi rebels, according to a media report Tuesday.

The worries of escalation grew after United States and United Kingdom strikes on scores of sites in rebel-held Yemen Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported, in retaliation over Huthi attacks in the Red Sea which have disrupted shipping.

Shell decided to suspend transit last week, considering worries that a successful attack could cause a major spill and threaten the safety of ship crew, the Wall Street Journal also reported on Tuesday.

The Journal also reported that in December, a tanker chartered by Shell was targeted by a drone in the Red Sea, and harassed by Houthi boats.

The oil major's decision comes after Britain's BP said in December that it would suspend transit of oil through the Red Sea.

Shell has yet commented on its latest move amid ongoing developments.

US targets Houthi anti-ship missiles in new strike on Yemen
3:51 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 The US military on Tuesday carried out a new strike in Yemen targeting anti-ship ballistic missiles in a Houthi-controlled part of the country, two US officials told news agency Reuters, the latest military action against Iran-backed group over its targeting of Red Sea shipping.

The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the strike targeted four anti-ship missiles.

The strike has not been previously reported. 

EU states give nod for Red Sea mission to deter Houthis
3:47 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

European Union member states have given initial backing to a naval mission to protect ships from attacks by Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi movement in the Red Sea, European diplomats said on Tuesday.

Many commercial shippers have diverted vessels to other routes following attacks in the Red Sea by the Houthis, who control much of Yemen and say they are acting in solidarity with the Palestinians as Israel wages war in Gaza.

The diplomats said the bloc's Political and Security Committee, which is responsible for foreign and defence policy. had given its initial support for the mission, which would work with like-minded partners.

The objective was to establish it by February 19 at the latest, and to make it operational soon afterwards. Several diplomats said they hoped that the process could be fast-tracked given the tensions in the region.

The European External Action Service (EEAS) declined to comment on confidential discussions.

13 bodies recovered from rubble in al-Maghazi camp
3:40 PM
The New Arab Staff

Civil defence in Gaza and paramedics have recovered 13 Palestinians who were deceased from under the rubble in the Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza.

Following days of Israeli attacks on the camps, the victims were discovered killed.


A view of the demolition at Al-Maghazi refugee camp after Israeli forces withdrew [Getty]
Source refutes Egypt-Israel border clash claims
2:54 PM
The New Arab Staff

An Egyptian high-profile military source has refuted the official narrative regarding a reported clash that took place on Monday evening, 15 January, across the Egyptian border with Israel, saying that it was not a drugging smuggling attempt, but rather it was an attempted infiltration by militants to support Gaza. 

Egypt's armed forces said in an official statement released in the early hours of Tuesday that "Egyptian security forces exchanged fire with drug smugglers on Al-Awja border crossing with Israel, foiling an attempt to traffic 174 kilograms of different types of narcotics south of Al-Awja border crossing with Israel."

To read the full report by The New Arab, please click here.

Egypt and Israel are believed to have been at odds [Getty]
Israeli president Isaac Herzog to attend WEF in Davos
2:49 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli president Isaac Herzog is set to attend the Davos World Economic Forum this Thursday, which was said to promote a hostage deal, according to Israeli media.

A statement that was issued by Herzog's office said that his visit to Switzerland aims to add "intense political pressure" to bring about the release of the hostages held in Gaza “quickly and peacefully.”

Over 10,000 children killed in war on Gaza
2:43 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Palestinian ministry in Gaza said that children, women and the elderly made up more than 75 percent of the dead in the besieged Palestinian territory during the war.

At least 10,600 children, 7,200 women and 1,049 elderly people had been killed in the conflict, according to the ministry.

Francesca Albanese, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied territories, said in a post on Tuesday that  children “are dying fast”, due to other factors such as mass starvation, before warning that “adults will follow” for the world to see.

Greece confirms Greek-owned bulk carrier hit by missile
1:29 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Greek-owned bulk carrier MT Zografia with 24 crew on board was hit by a missile off Yemen, two Greek shipping ministry sources told news agency Reuters on Tuesday, confirming earlier reports that the vessel was hit while transiting northbound in the Red Sea.

The vessel was sailing empty of cargo from Vietnam to Israel, one of the sources said, adding that there were no injuries.

EU adds Hamas' political leader Sinwar to sanctions list
1:27 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

European Union member states on Tuesday added Yahya Sinwar, the political leader of Hamas, to their sanctions list in response to the group's surprise attack on Israel last October.

He is now subject to the freezing of his funds and other financial assets in EU member states, while EU operators are prohibited to make funds and economic resources available to him.

Born in the Khan Younis refugee camp, Sinwar, 61, was elected as Hamas' leader in Gaza in 2017 and was one of 1,027 Palestinians released from Israeli prisons in a swap for a single Israeli soldier held in Gaza in 2011. 

UN OCHA shows inside makeshift camps in Rafah
1:13 PM
The New Arab Staff

The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has posted a video on its X account that filmed conditions of a makeshift camp for Palestinians who were made displaced by Israel's war on Gaza.

“Some people have not eaten in days, the children have no winter clothes, there’s no medical care. Most products are not available on the market and when they are available, they are very expensive,” OCHA's Olga Cherevko said from Rafah.

“Shelter is a huge need and of course food, and most of all peace.”

Palestinian ministry of education: 4,368 students killed
1:05 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestinian education ministry said that 4,368 Palestinian students have been killed since October 7 across occupied territories.

Meanwhile, another 7,817 students have been wounded by ongoing Israeli aggression. In the occupied West Bank, 41 students have been killed and 282 injured- while 85 were also arrested by Israeli forces.

In Gaza, 231 faculty members have been killed and 756 wounded.

Saudi FM says Red Sea attacks linked to Gaza, ceasefire call
12:52 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said on Tuesday that Houthi attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea are connected to the war in Gaza and there is a need for an immediate ceasefire there.

Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said during the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos that the kingdom's priority is finding a path to de-escalation through a ceasefire in Gaza.

Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud attends WEF [Getty]
Senior Iraq official rejects Iran claim following attacks
12:50 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iraqi National Security Adviser Qassem al-Araji dismissed as "false" Tuesday Iran's claim that it hit an Israeli intelligence base in an overnight missile strike in the Kurdish regional capital Arbil.

"Concerning the alleged presence of a headquarters of Israel's Mossad, we visited the house, we inspected every corner of it and everything indicated that it was the family home of an Iraqi businessman," Araji told Kurdish television station K24 after touring the building that was hit.

"These allegations are false and incorrect," added Araji, who has been tasked by the Baghdad government with investigating the Iranian strikes.

Israel carries out intense strikes on Hezbollah
12:38 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel unleashed an intense barrage of air strikes on a valley in south Lebanon, Lebanese security sources and the Israeli military said, after a rare Israeli acknowledgment of a special forces operation on the border.

Lebanese security sources told news agency Reuters there were at least 16 airstrikes in quick succession on the Suluki Valley, describing them as the "densest bombardment of a single location" since border-area hostilities began three months ago.

Israeli forces said it had carried out "aerial and artillery strikes" against Hezbollah emplacements and weapons infrastructure in the forested Suluki Valley "within a short amount of time".

The Lebanese security sources did not confirm whether Hezbollah targets were hit, but said the group has used the valley to launch rockets at Israel.

Israel's Kan radio reported on Tuesday what it described as an unusually large attack by its air force and artillery on dozens of targets in the Suluki Valley.

The Israeli military said its special forces had carried out a strike in the area of Ayta al-Shaab in south Lebanon "to remove a threat", and that its aircraft also struck a Hezbollah anti-tank missile launcher in the region.

The Israeli military only rarely acknowledges operations by its special forces. It did not say where specifically they had operated or what kind of threat they had removed.

Hezbollah said on Tuesday it had launched rockets at Israeli troops across the hilly frontier.

Smoke billowing above the Lebanese village of Adayseh during Israeli bombardment [Getty]
Norway: Our view is for a unified Palestine run by PA
12:31 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Norway's foreign minister said in an interview at Davos that a unified Palestinian territory should be run by the Palestinian Authority, but "prefacing everything, it has to be what the Palestinians want", he added.

Barth Eide said work on a two-state solution was becoming urgent as the conflict was spreading in the region, but that only the United States and the Israeli people could influence Israel's position.

"What we can do is work on Palestinian unity, and think about models with interested countries," he said.

French, Italian DMs urge more involvement in Red Sea
12:20 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

France and Italy's defence ministers agreed during a phone call on the need for more Franco-Italian cooperation for dealing with the current problems in the Red Sea, the French defence ministry said in a statement.

The ministers also agreed there should be more European co-coordination on tackling the Red Sea maritime problems.

UK govt condemns Iran for 'unacceptable' attack on Iraq
12:18 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron on Tuesday condemned Iran for deadly missile strikes in the autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq.

"These unprovoked and unjustified actions are an unacceptable violation of Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said of Monday's attacks in Erbil.

Ambrey says Malta-flagged bulker targetted
12:16 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 Brtish maritime security firm Ambrey said in an advisory note on Tueday that a Malta-flagged Greek-owned bulk carrier was reportedly targeted and impacted with a missile while transiting northbound in the Red Sea 76 nautical miles northwest of Yemen's port city of Saleef.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) also said it received a report of an incident 100 nautical north west of Saleef. 

US military says seized Iranian-made missile parts
12:15 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The US military said Tuesday it seized Iranian-made missile parts enroute to Houthis from a boat in the Arabian Sea, the first such operation since the start of Houthi attacks against commercial ships last year.

"This is the first seizure of lethal, Iranian-supplied advanced conventional weapons (ACW) to the Houthis since the beginning of Houthi attacks against merchant ships in November 2023," USCENTCOM said in a statement, adding the Navy SEALs operation on January 11 had intercepted weapons that included "ballistic missile and cruise missiles components".

Iraqi, Kurdish and US officials denounce Iranian strikes
12:11 PM
The New Arab Staff

Iraqi, Kurdish and US officials on Tuesday, 16 January, condemned last night's missile attacks by Iran on several locations in Erbil, the capital city of the autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq.

Iran on Monday reported that they had conducted strikes against what they described as an "Israeli spy headquarters and gathering of anti-Iranian terrorist groups" shortly after missiles struck an upscale area near the US consulate in Erbil. 

For more information on the latest report by The New Arab, please click here.

Prominent local businessman and owner of Falcon Group companies was killed [Getty]
ICJP confirms war crimes submission to London police
12:03 PM
The New Arab Staff

The ICJP confirmed in a press conference today that a number of high-ranking Israeli officials, including members of the Israeli war cabinet, and high-ranking military personnel were included in their case given to the UK Met police’s war crimes division.

As well as Israeli officials, four unnamed government ministers or officials are also included in the case, as well as nine British citizens who are serving in the Israeli military who travelled from the UK to join the military and are participating in military operations in Gaza.


Palestinian Ambassador to the UK holds briefing
11:50 AM
The New Arab Staff

Husam Zomlot, the Palestinian ambassador to the UK, has held a press briefing in the British capital of London to provide updates on the war on Gaza and South Africa's ICJ case against Israel.

Zomlot said that Israel's plan was to make Gaza "unlivable" as well as decimating the health sector that the Palestinian ambassador says "has been used as a weapon of war."

Zomlot also praised South Africa's submission to the ICJ- stating that he wants "to see an immediate injunction for Israel to stop".

Maersk sends two US-flagged container ships through Red Sea
11:34 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 Maersk has sent two container ships through the Red Sea carrying goods for the United States military and government, according to the Danish company and ship tracking data.

Maersk and other large shipping lines have instructed hundreds of commercial vessels to stay clear of the Bab al-Mandab Strait near Yemen, sending vessels on the longer route around Africa in response to attacks on shipping by Iranian-backed Houthi militants.

The two US-flagged vessels, Maersk Sentosa and Maersk Kensington, sailed from Salalah in Oman through the Bab al-Mandab Strait and were headed north through the Red Sea, according to LSEG ship-tracking data.

Both vessels passed the strait with their AIS tracking system turned off to avoid detection. The Maersk Kensington reappeared at 0818 GMT on Tuesday, while the Maersk Sentosa was seen to have switched on AIS at 2211 GMT on Monday, the data showed.

Maersk Sentosa and Kensington, with capacities of 6,500 and 6,200 twenty-foot containers, respectively, are part of Maersk Line Limited, a US subsidiary of the Danish company.

With a fleet of 20 smaller container vessels, the unit ships goods for U.S. agencies including the Department of Defense, State Department and USAID, Maersk said.

"The few Maersk Line Limited-vessels making the crossing are doing so in the near proximity of U.S. Navy assets, which have reduced the risks to the crews and cargo," Maersk said in an email to news agency Reuters.

War crimes complaint against UK officials, Israeli soldiers
11:09 AM
The New Arab Staff

The UK-based International Centre f0r Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) has said it has referred a war crimes complaint to Scotland Yard containing the names of nine UK citizens allegedly fighting with the Israeli army and four government officials.


Iraq recalls ambassador, summons Iran’s chargé d’affaires
10:56 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iraq recalled its ambassador from Tehran for consultations and summoned Iran’s chargé d’affaires in Baghdad on Tuesday in protest over Iranian strikes on northern Iraq that killed several civilians overnight, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said.

Gaza death toll reaches 24,285
10:09 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza said Tuesday at least 24,285 people have been killed in Israel's war on the besieged enclave that began on October 7.

A ministry statement said some 61,154 people have also been wounded in the Palestinian territory during the war.

Jordan says Israel is placing 'big impediments' to Gaza aid
10:08 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said on Tuesday Israel was placing many obstacles to the entry of aid into Gaza that were worsening the plight of Palestinians.

In remarks during a press conference with his Australian counterpart, Safadi said these hurdles meant only 10% of the total needs of more than two million Gazans under siege were being covered.

Palestinians in occupied West Bank celebrate ICJ case
10:04 AM
The New Arab Staff

Palestinians celebrated South Africa's case against Israel at the International Court of Justice for charges of genocide against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, with different opinions on its effective results.

On the eve of South Africa's hearing at the 'World Court' last Wednesday, 10 January, hundreds of Palestinians gathered at Nelson Mandela Square in Ramallah in front of the statue of the late South African leader, rallying in support of South Africa's move at the ICJ.

To read more on the latest report, please click here.

Qatar PM: Mandatory path to two-state solution key
10:00 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Requiring Israel to agree to a time-bound, mandatory path to a two-state solution is key to future stability in Israel and the Palestinian territories, Qatar's prime minister said on Tuesday during the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said the Palestinians must be the ones to decide if the Hamas movement that runs Gaza will continue to play a political role in the future.

The foreign minister also said that by ending the war, the release of Palestinian prisoners and hostages must be swiftly tackled and the overall situation in occupied West Bank.

US Red Sea coalition weak: Yemen VP
9:44 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The US-led coalition meant to safeguard commercial traffic in the Red Sea against attacks by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthis is weak because regional powerhouses Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt did not take part, Yemen's vice president said on Tuesday.

The Houthis, who have endured years of war against a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, have been attacking shipping in the Red Sea to protest against Israel's bombardment of Gaza, a war that threatens to spread across the Middle East.

"This Bab al-Mandab corridor is of interest to the whole world and to the region, so regional intervention is key," Aidarous al-Zubaidi, Yemen's vice president and head of the Southern Transitional Council, told news agency Reuters in an interview, referring to the narrow strait at the entrance to the Red Sea.

Zubaidi said the turmoil created by the attacks has taken a heavy toll Yemen's economy, which had already taken a beating during the Houthis' war against the Saudi-led coalition.

Liquefied gas shipments 'will be affected' by Red Sea attack
9:33 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments will be affected by the escalating attacks that have prompted international shipping firms to shun the Red Sea, Qatar's prime minister said on Tuesday.

"LNG is... as any other merchant shipments. They will be affected by that," Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told the World Economic Forum in Davos, referring to the increasing exchanges with Yemen's Houthi rebels.

Israel says special forces carried out strike in Lebanon
8:49 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli forces said on Tuesday that its special forces had carried out a strike in the area of Ayta ash Shab in Lebanon.

"[Israeli] forces struck in order to remove a threat in the area of Ayta ash Shab in Lebanon," the military said.

It did not say what kind of forces had struck nor where specifically they had operated.

The military also said its aircraft struck an anti-tank missile launcher in southern Lebanon that belonged to Hezbollah. 

UN chief warns of starvation in Gaza as aid staggers
8:16 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The UN secretary-general says Gaza faces “the long shadow of starvation” and the risk of disease outbreaks because of barriers to delivering vital aid.

Antonio Guterres did not mention Israel by name in his remarks, but blamed the inability to meet Gaza’s growing humanitarian needs on widespread bombardment, barriers to entering the territory and restrictions on distribution inside of it – all under Israel’s control.

He said he was “deeply troubled by the clear violation of international humanitarian law that we are witnessing.”

Israeli officials have denied hindering aid delivery, saying the UN needs to provide more workers and trucks.

But Guterres said the UN and its partners “cannot effectively deliver humanitarian aid while Gaza is under such heavy, widespread and unrelenting bombardment.” He pointed to the deaths of 152 UN staffers in Gaza since the start of the war, “the largest single loss of life in the history of our organization.”

He called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and the release of all hostages captured by Hamas in its October 7 rampage into southern Israel.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attends a press briefing [Getty]
Israeli army introduce 'next phase' to Gaza war
8:13 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

With Israeli forces having shifted its focus from Gaza's devastated north to the southern cities of Khan Yunis and Rafah in recent weeks, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant told a news conference on Monday that intense operations would soon be winding down there as well.

"We made it clear that the intensive manoeuvring stage would last for approximately three months," Gallant told a news conference, adding that stage was already being reached in the northern Gaza Strip.

"In southern Gaza we will reach this achievement and it will end soon, and in both places, the moment will come when we will move to the next phase," he said, without specifying a time frame.

Israeli troops said that one of its four divisions operating in the besieged territory completed its withdrawal on Monday.

However, Israeli officials, including Netanyahu over the weekend, have repeatedly warned the fighting in Gaza will go on for months.

Looking ahead to Gaza's eventual post-war administration, Gallant said: "Palestinians live in Gaza and therefore Palestinians will govern it in the future. The future Gaza government must grow out of the Gaza Strip."

UKMTO reports incident offshore Eritrea's Assab
8:06 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) organization early on Tuesday received a report of an incident in the Red Sea about 57 nautical miles northwest of Eritrea's Assab.

Authorities were investigating, the UKMTO added in an advisory note.