UN warns Gaza 'uninhabitable' as Israeli war rages on

UN warns Gaza 'uninhabitable' as Israeli war rages on
Israel's war on Gaza Day 92: The death toll continued to rise in the Palestinian enclave as Israel carried out further airstrikes.
12 min read

This live blog on Day 92 of Israel's war on Gaza has now concluded. Make sure to follow us for the latest news on FacebookX, and Instagram.

Israel bombed southern Gaza Saturday as the UN warned the besieged Palestinian territory has been rendered "uninhabitable."

Top Western diplomats were in the region as part of a fresh push to boost the flow of aid into Gaza and address mounting fears of a wider conflict.

The fighting has sent tensions soaring across the region, and shows no signs of abating with the conflict entering its fourth month on Sunday.

Civilians in the Gaza Strip have borne the brunt of the violence as the scale of the destruction has triggered mass displacement and a deepening humanitarian crisis.

With swathes of the territory already reduced to rubble, UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said "Gaza has simply become uninhabitable".

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12:36 AM
The New Arab Staff

This live blog on Day 92 of Israel's war on Gaza has now concluded. Make sure to follow us for the latest news on FacebookX, and Instagram.

Explosives target Israeli forces who raided Jenin camp
12:28 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces raided the Jenin camp in the occupied West Bank overnight Saturday-Sunday, resulting in clashes with Palestinians.

Videos shared online purportedly show explosions, planted by Palestinian fighters, targeting Israeli military vehicles.

Hamas' armed wing, Al-Qassam Brigades, said they "ambushed a Zionist force on foot" which resulted in casualties among the Israelis.

Death toll from Israeli airstrike on Khan Younis rises to 17
12:21 AM
The New Arab Staff

The death toll from an Israeli airstrike on a house in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, rose to 17, including 12 children, Palestinian media reported.

More casualties were reported elsewhere in the enclave from Israeli bombardment, including in Rafah, Deir al-Balah, a UNRWA school in Al-Maghazi camp, and near a government building in Gaza City.

Protesters calling for Gaza ceasefire block Seattle traffic
12:19 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Protesters calling for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war blocked northbound traffic on Interstate 5 in Seattle on Saturday.

Additional demonstrators on a nearby overpass cheered in support of the blockade, which began around 1:15 p.m., the Seattle Times reported . The state transportation department on X said traffic at one point was backed up more than 6 miles (9.7 kilometers), and the agency asked drivers to use alternate routes.

Demonstrators chanted "free, free Palestine" and "hey hey, ho ho, the occupation has got to go."

Blinken says he wants to ensure Gaza war 'doesn't spread'
9:25 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Washington's top diplomat Antony Blinken said Saturday that he wants to make sure the conflict in the Middle East "doesn't spread", as he spoke to journalists after meeting the Greek prime minister in Crete.

"One of the real concerns is the border between Israel and Lebanon, and we want to do everything possible to make sure we see no escalation," he added.

Israel claims Hamas command structure 'dismantled' in north
9:23 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Israeli army claimed on Saturday it had "completed the dismantling" of Hamas's command structure in the northern Gaza Strip.

"We have completed the dismantling of the Hamas military framework in the northern Gaza Strip," army spokesman Daniel Hagari told reporters.

He added that Palestinian fighters were now operating in the area only sporadically and "without commanders".

"Now the focus is on dismantling Hamas in the centre of the Gaza Strip and in the south of the Gaza Strip," he said, while acknowledging that the task will take time.

French minister urges Iran to stop 'destabilising acts'
7:43 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

France's foreign minister told her Iranian counterpart Saturday that "Iran and its affiliates" must stop "destabilising acts" that could spark a broader conflict in the Middle East amid the war in Gaza.

During a telephone call with Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Catherine Colonna "delivered a very clear message: the risk of regional conflagration has never been so great; Iran and its affiliates must immediately cease their destabilising acts", according to a statement on X, formerly Twitter.

War won't stop until all goals achieved: Netanyahu
7:01 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Saturday evening to continue the war on Gaza until all goals set by Israel were achieved.

Israeli army says killed commander of Nuseirat Battalion
6:58 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli army claimed that it killed in an airstrike the commander of the Nuseirat Battalion of Hamas' armed wing, Ismail al-Sarraj, and his deputy, Ahmed Wehbeh.

Israeli strike kills 7 Palestinians in Gaza's Khan Younis
6:54 PM
The New Arab Staff

Seven Palestinians including women and children were killed and dozens were wounded in an Israeli air strike on Saturday on a house in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip belonging to the Al-Nabris family, Palestinian health officials said.

Blinken: US looking at what can be done to protect Gazans
6:50 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States is working with its allies to see what can be done to protect civilians in Gaza as Israel's war continues, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Saturday.

Blinken, on a week-long tour of the region, also told reporters in Greece that he wanted to make sure countries in the region were using existing relationships to ensure the conflict does not escalate.

Drone launched from Yemen shot over southern Red Sea
6:30 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

An uncrewed aerial vehicle launched from Yemen was shot down in self-defense by a U.S. ship in the southern Red Sea on Saturday in the vicinity of several commercial vessels, the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement.

No casualties or damage were reported, it said.

Qatar FM meets with US delegation in Doha
5:50 PM
The New Arab Staff

Qatar FM Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani has met with a US delegation in Doha.

"During the meeting, close strategic relations between the US and Qatar were discussed, as was the latest on the situation in the Gaza Strip and the occupied Palestinian territories," a statement by the Qatari ministry of foreign affairs said.

Israel shelling targets Lebanese territory
5:35 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli army has hit a house nearly 40km (25 miles) from its border with Lebanon, Al Jazeera said, reporting from Kawthariyat al-Siyad in the Nabatiyeh governorate.

Reporter Zeina Khodr described the attack as a "rare, deep hit into Lebanese territory", as it took place far from the typical battleground along the border.  

Children in Gaza dying 'in every way possible': MSF
4:59 PM
The New Arab Staff

Children in Gaza are "dying in every way possible," warned Tanya Haj-Hassan, a doctor with Doctors Without Borders.

"The death toll had been over 8,000 when you were last able to get an accurate death toll. It’s been several weeks now, so the figure is likely closer to 10,000," she told Al Jazeera.

"About three months into the Ukraine war, the UN had stated that the lives of children had been devastated on a level not seen since World War II. At the time, on average, two children were being killed per day. The average number of children being killed per day in Gaza is well over 100," she added.

Israel closing in on Al-Aqsa Hospital: doctor
4:36 PM
The New Arab Staff

Dr Ebraheem Matar, who is at Al-Aqsa Hospital in central Gaza, says that Israeli forces are closing in after weeks of intense shelling. He added that many doctors and nurses have left, fearing that Israel will carry out a similar attack akin to the Al-Shifa hospital bombing. 

Matar said that "the hospital is filled with injured and sick".

UKMTO: Six crafts reportedly approaching vessel near Yemen
3:57 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) organisation said that it received a report of six small crafts approaching a merchant vessel about 50 nautical miles (93km) southeast of the Yemeni city of Mocha.

"No weapons have been sighted and coalition forces are assisting," UKMTO added in an advisory note.

Pro-Palestinians activists demonstrate outside UK parliament
3:27 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Pro-Palestinian protesters blocked roads outside the British parliament in London on Saturday, demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and clashing with police who prevented them from marching across Westminster Bridge.

London, like many cities, has seen regular and sometimes large demonstrations calling for Israel to halt the bombardment of Gaza which has killed at least 22,722 people Palestinians, including thousands of women and children.

Videos posted on social media showed police blocking protesters' access to the bridge and a Reuters reporter said there had been several small scuffles. Unable to fully access the bridge, where they had planned to unfurl banners, protesters instead occupied the surrounding roads.

Police said they had imposed a legal order limiting the location of the protests and that by 3 p.m. (1500 GMT) people had begun to disperse. Those who refused to comply with an order to leave could be arrested, police said.

Saturday's action was smaller than previous mass marches but comes two days before the British parliament returns to work after its Christmas break. The protest was designed to push politicians to adopt a harder stance towards Israel.

Displaced man shot by sniper at Khan Younis hospital entry
2:49 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said a displaced Palestinian man was shot in the chest by an Israeli sniper while standing at the entrance of Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis.

Over 300 schools in Gaza damaged by Israel war: OCHA
2:14 PM
The New Arab Staff

At least 342 schools have been damaged across the Gaza Strip, the UN agency OCHA has said.

This has affected the education of 400,700 students, who have not attended school since October 7, when Israel's brutal military onslaught began.

Gaza and Khan Younis governorates, as well as northern Gaza, are highly affected, accounting for 74 percent of the total damage, the agency said.

“About 90 percent of school buildings are being utilised as shelters by IDPs [displaced people],” it said in a statement.

Lebanon's Jama'a Islamiya fires rockets at northern Israel
1:22 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Lebanon's Sunni Islamist Jama'a Islamiya faction said in a statement on Saturday it had fired two volleys of rockets at Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel.

The attack comes after Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah group said earlier it had fired at least 62 rockets towards Israel on Saturday morning.

EU: It is 'necessary' that Lebanon isn't dragged into war
1:01 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

EU chief Josep Borrell said that it is 'absolutely necessary' Lebanon does not dragged into war, amid an escalation of attacks along the Israel-Lebanon region, and the assassination of Hamas senior official Saleh al-Arouri in Beirut, which was the first attacks carried out in the capital since the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah.

PA spokesperson warns against settlement expansions in WB
12:37 PM
The New Arab Staff

The presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh has warned against the continued Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people and the intensification of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Abu Rudeineh stressed that while Israel is escalating its all-out war on the Palestinian people and committing genocide crimes in the Gaza Strip, it is simultaneously practicing silent land annexation in the West Bank.

This is being achieved by increasing the number of settlements, which is illegal under international law, as well as the forced displacement of the Palestinians, especially in the Jordan Valley areas.

He also called on the US to appropriately intervene and pressure Israeli authorities to halt their aggression against the Palestinian people and stop settlement expansion in all its forms.

Settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law [Getty]
Blinken meets with Erdogan in Istanbul, discuss Gaza
11:55 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday for talks expected to focus on the war in Gaza and Ankara's request for US fighter jets.

Washington's top diplomat had earlier Saturday held a two hour meeting with Turkish counterpart Hakan Fidan about "the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Sweden's NATO accession process, bilateral and regional issues," the Turkish foreign ministry said.

Former US VP Pence 'signs missile' in Israel army base visit
11:26 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The former US Vice President, Mike Pence, was pictured signing artillery shells in Israel as he visited Israeli forces, who are continuing to wage war in Gaza.

The signed bombs are likely to be used to bomb those in Gaza.

The stunt was described as "sick", as Israeli forces were seen smiling and taking photos of and with Pence.

"Mike Pence is a 'born again Evangelical Catholic'. Actually he appears closer to Satan. Here is he scribbling his name on a missile sent from his country & likely to be dropped on civilians," former UN official and journalist Mike Seddon wrote on X.

Hunt: UK economy could be 'impacted' by Red Sea attacks
11:06 AM
The New Arab Staff

UK Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt said that the British economy could be seriously impacted by Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping lanes, in an interview with the BBC.

Asked whether the attacks by the group could mean rising prices in Britain, Hunt told the British broadcaster: "It may have an impact, and we’ll watch it very, very carefully."


Israel forces 'exhumed over 1,000 graves' in Gaza cemetery
10:47 AM
The New Arab Staff

The government media office in Gaza says that the Israeli army has exhumed 1,100 graves in east Gaza's Tuffah cemetery, and "stole" 150 bodies.

The media office stressed that the incident is the latest among Israel's war crimes carried out during its military campaign in the territory, adding that forces bulldozed the cemetery, took out the bodies of the martyrs and the dead, trampling on them and insulting their integrity, without any consideration for the sanctity of the dead or the cemetery.

The office added in a statement that this is not the first time that Israeli forces have committed such an act and pointed to the delivery of 80 bodies last month that it had taken from the Gaza City and northern Gaza areas.

Gaza death toll rises to 22,722, over 100 killed in 24 hours
10:29 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The health ministry in Gaza said on Saturday at least 22,722 people had been killed in the besieged Palestinian territory since war with Israel began its indiscriminate bombardment of the territory on October 7.

The ministry said in a statement that it had recorded 122 deaths over the past 24 hours, while a total of 58,166 people had been wounded in the Gaza Strip in nearly three months of fighting.

Israeli strikes have relentlessly killed thousands in Gaza over the months [Getty]
French FM warns of 'wider escalation' of conflict in MidEast
9:54 AM
The New Arab Staff

French foreign minister, Catherine Colonna, warned of a "real risk" in heightened conflict in the Middle East, in the wake of Israel's war in Gaza and the strike in Beirut which killed Hamas senior official Saleh al-Arouri earlier this week.

"This level of tension is too high and requires all of our efforts. All of the actors will need to remind that nobody will win in the region," the diplomat told CNN in an interview televised on Friday.


35 killed in overnight strikes across Gaza Strip
8:56 AM
The New Arab Staff

At least 35 Palestinians have been killed in overnight strikes across the Gaza Strip, Al Jazeera reported on Saturday.

Air strikes killed 18 Palestinians potentially belonging to the same family in Khan Younis, after Israeli shelling targeted a series of homes in the area.

Air strikes also hit the Nusseirat refugee camp and the eastern part of Deir al-Balah, the Qatari broadcaster said, resulting in a number of casualties.

Over 60 critically injured people were also brought to al-Aqsa Hospital, putting more pressure on the already overwhelmed health facility.

Khan Younis was hit by Israeli artillery overnight, killing close to 20 people [Getty]
Al-Maghazi camp under heavy Israeli artillery: report
8:39 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces are reportedly shelling the al-Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza, according to Al Jazeera.

The camp has been repeatedly targeted by Israeli forces throughout the military onslaught in Gaza, ongoing for almost three months.

2 Palestinians shot, injured in Israeli raid near Jerusalem
8:31 AM
The New Arab Staff

Two Palestinian men were shot and injured on Saturday by Israeli forces in a town close to occupied Jerusalem, local sources reported, as cited by the Palestinian news agency Wafa.

Occupation forces raided the town of Qatana, sparking confrontations with local residents, during which the Israeli soldiers opened fire at Palestinians.

Two Palestinians were subsequently injured in the foot, sources said.

Hezbollah fires at north Israel base after al-Arouri killing
8:18 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Lebanon's Hezbollah fired on Saturday more than 60 rockets at an Israeli military base, the group said, describing the barrage as a response to the killing of Hamas's deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri in Beirut.

"As part of the initial response to the crime of assassinating the great leader Sheikh Saleh al-Arouri, the Islamic resistance (Hezbollah) targeted the Meron air control base with 62 various types of missiles," the Iran-backed group said in a statement.

The Israeli military said it had identified around 40 rocket launches from Lebanese territory on Saturday morning, adding in a statement that Israeli forces struck a cell responsible for some of the launches shortly thereafter.

Air raid sirens went off in towns and cities across northern Israel, later also blaring in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.