Scores killed in Gaza strikes as Israel mulls truce talks position

Scores killed in Gaza strikes as Israel mulls truce talks position
Day 163: At least 92 people were killed in overnight Israeli strikes in Gaza, as Israeli negotiators prepared to go to Qatar for new truce talks.
5 min read

At least 92 Palestinians were killed in overnight Israeli bombardment, Gaza's health ministry announced on Sunday, as Israel was preparing to send negotiators to new truce talks in Qatar.

Israel's security cabinet and the smaller war cabinet were to meet to "decide on the mandate of the delegation in charge of the negotiations before its departure for Doha," the prime minister's office said.

More than five months of indiscriminate Israeli attacks and a crippling siege have led to dire humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip, where the United Nations has repeatedly warned of looming famine for the coastal territory's 2.4 million people.

At least 31,645 people in Gaza, most of them women and children have been killed, according to the health ministry.

As the flow of aid trucks into Gaza has slowed, a second ship was due to depart from Cyprus along a new maritime corridor to bring food and relief goods, Cypriot officials said.

On Saturday the US charity World Central Kitchen said its team had finished unloading supplies from the first vessel to reach Gaza.

The United Nations has reported particular difficulty in accessing north Gaza, where residents say they have resorted to eating animal fodder, and where some have stormed the few aid trucks that have made it through.

Most Gazans displaced by the fighting have sought refuge in Rafah on the Egyptian border, where Israel has threatened to launch a ground offensive, without giving a timeline.

The head of the UN's World Health Organisation, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, appealed to Israel "in the name of humanity" not to launch an assault on Rafah.

Trucks of flour arrive in aid-starved areas of Gaza
1:01 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Trucks of flour have reached northern Gaza for distribution to areas that have had no aid in four months, Palestinian media reported on Sunday.

A convoy of 12 trucks arrived in the north on Saturday - six in Gaza City and six in the Jabalia refugee camp - carrying supplies to also be distributed to the northernmost areas of Beit Lahiya and Beit Hanoun, the media and residents said.

The Home Front media outlet reported that the aid was distributed by the "Popular Committees", with the route being secured by Hamas personnel.

Aid agencies have warned that pockets of Gaza already face famine, with hospitals in the north reporting children dying of malnutrition and dehydration.

Scholz say Rafah assault would make peace 'very difficult'
12:00 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 The large number of civilian casualties that would result from an Israeli assault on the Gaza city of Rafah would make regional peace "very difficult", German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Sunday after talks with Jordanian King Abdullah.

This is one of the main arguments he will bring to talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later on Sunday during his whirlwind trip to the region, he said.

The hastily arranged talks come after Israel on Friday approved a plan to attack the city on the southern edge of the shattered Palestinian enclave where more than half of its 2.3 million residents are sheltering after five months of war.

"Right now, it is about ensuring we come to a long-lasting ceasefire," Scholz said after talks with Abdullah at his private residence in the Jordanian Red Sea port of Aqaba.

"That would enable us to prevent such a ground offensive from taking place."

Asked if he was prepared to exert pressure on Netanyahu to stop such an assault, Scholz said it was "very clear we must do everything so the situation does not get worse than it already is."

Germany, alongside the US, has been one of Israel's staunchest allies in its war on Gaza, which has so far killed 31, 645 people, mostly women and children.

Netanyahu says Rafah attack to happen despite int'l pressure
11:45 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israeli troops would pursue a planned ground offensive in southern Gaza's Rafah that has spurred fears of mass civilian casualties.

"No amount of international pressure will stop us from realising all the goals of the war: eliminating Hamas, releasing all our hostages and ensuring that Gaza will no longer pose a threat against Israel," Netanyahu told a cabinet meeting in a video released by his office.

"To do this, we will also operate in Rafah."

His comments came as talks were expected to resume in Doha towards a truce in Gaza, where Israel has pursued a brutal military offensive for more than five months. Israeli top officials were set to discuss the "mandate" of the delegation.

US President Joe Biden, who has supported Israel during the war, has said an Israeli invasion of Rafah would be a "red line" without credible civilian protection plans in place.


Israel strikes towns in southern Lebanon
10:00 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli warplanes carried out strikes on the southern Lebanese towns of Aytaroun, Aita al-Shaab, and Marwahin, Lebanese media reported on Sunday. There were no reports of casualties.

Israel kills 92 people in nine massacres
9:50 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces have committed nine massacres in the Gaza Strip, the territory's health ministry announced, killing 92 people and injuring 130 others.

The total death toll since October 7 has risen to 31,645 with an additional 73,676 people injured. Most of the victims are women and children.

Israeli airstrikes targeted the southern city of Khan Yunis on Saturday evening.

The Gaza health ministry also said that 12 people from the same family were killed in an Israeli airstrike on Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip.

Airstrikes also targeted Rafah, where most of Gaza's population has sheltered. Israel is threatening a ground offensive on the city near the Egyptian border, raising concerns of an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.

WHO chief pleads with Israel not to attack Rafah
9:11 AM
The New Arab Staff

The head of the World Health Organization has called on Israel "in the name of humanity" not to go ahead with a planned large-scale attack on Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip, where most of the devastated territory's population have fled.

"I'm gravely concerned about reports of an Israeli plan to proceed with a ground assault on Rafah," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wrote on X.

"Further escalation of violence in this densely populated area would lead to many more deaths and suffering," he added.

"In the name of humanity, we appeal to Israel not to proceed and instead to work towards peace… The 1.2 million people in Rafah do not have anywhere safe to move to."

The United Nations has repeatedly warned against such an offensive with Israel's ally the United States also saying it will not support the attack without a "credible" plan to protect civilians.