US blocks Algerian-sponsored Gaza ceasefire resolution at UNSC

US blocks Algerian-sponsored Gaza ceasefire resolution at UNSC
The war on Gaza enters its 137th day on Tuesday, with Israel ordering new evacuations from parts of Gaza City, where 1 in 6 children are malnourished.
13 min read
20 February, 2024

Israeli forces have opened fire at crowds of people waiting for humanitarian aid supplies in northern Gaza, as a study led by the UN's children's agency found that one in six children were acutely malnourished in the isolated and largely devastated north of the territory.

At least one Palestinian man was killed and many others were wounded as a barrage of gunfire targeted the group, who were waiting for food to be distributed, local reports said.

Israel has also issued new orders for evacuations from parts of Gaza City amid deepening misery across the territory, where Israel's air and ground offensive has killed over 29,000 Palestinians - mostly women and children - since 7 October.

6:02 PM

Our live coverage of the war on Gaza and its repercussions concludes today. Join us again tomorrow for the latest developments.

Palestinian envoy to UN condemns 'reckless' US veto
5:38 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestinian envoy to the United Nations Riyad Mansour called Washington's veto of a Security Council push for a ceasefire "absolutely reckless and dangerous" on Tuesday.

"The message given today to Israel with this veto is that it can continue to get away with murder," Mansour said in an emotional statement to the Security Council.

Houthis claim attack against US Navy ships
5:34 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Yemeni group says it targeted the "enemy" vessels in the Red Sea and Arabian Sea with a "number of drones".

The Houthis also said they carried out a military operation with drones against "sensitive sites" in the Israeli Red Sea port city of Eilat.

The Yemeni group added that it separately attacked an Israeli cargo vessel in the Gulf of Aden.

"These operations come in support of the Palestinian people who are enduring aggression and siege, and in response to the American-British aggression against our country," a Houthi military spokesperson said in a statement.

The Yemeni group appears to be stepping up its attacks in the region despite US-led raids against it in Yemen.

UK’s Prince William calls for end to war in Gaza
5:11 PM
The New Arab Staff

The UK’s Prince William has said that the “sheer scale of human suffering” had brought home the need for peace in an enclave “where too many have been killed”.

In a rare, direct intervention for a member of the royal family, William, the heir to the British throne, said it was critical that aid gets through to those who need it in Gaza.

“Sometimes, it is only when faced with the sheer scale of human suffering that the importance of permanent peace is brought home,” he said in a statement.

Live Story
Rights group says ‘no respite for children’ after US veto
4:47 PM
The New Arab Staff

The group Save the Children has released a statement warning the price Gaza’s children will pay for the UN Security Council’s most recent failure to adopt a ceasefire resolution due to a US veto.

The group says that Israel’s war in Gaza has killed at least 12,400 children, one of the deadliest military campaigns in modern history in regard to its impact on children.

"We are appalled to hear of this new low in an already deep pit of failures from the international community. After four months of relentless violence, we are running out of words to describe what children and families in Gaza are going through, as well as the tools to respond in any adequate way," said the group’s director for the occupied Palestinian territories, Jason Lee.

Save the Children said that at least one million children in Gaza remain at risk from fighting, starvation, disease, and the mental distress of the war.

A recent UNICEF analysis found that 90 percent of children in Gaza under the age of five are suffering from at least one infectious disease.

Live Story
US blocks Algeria Gaza ceasefire vote at UN
3:48 PM
The New Arab Staff

The US has used its UNSC veto to block an Algerian-sponsored resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

13 countries backed the truce proposal, the UK abstained and the US voted against it.

It is the third time the US has used its veto at the UN to block a ceasefire resolution.

WFP addresses pause to aid deliveries to northern Gaza
2:54 PM
The New Arab Staff

The UN’s World Food Programme addresses the decision to suspend the distribution of humanitarian aid in northern Gaza in a statement.

The WFP said an attempt to deliver aid on Sunday saw the convoy "surrounded by crowds of hungry people close to the Wadi Gaza checkpoint".

"First fending off multiple attempts by people trying to climb aboard our trucks, then facing gunfire once we entered Gaza City, our team was able to distribute a small quantity of the food along the way," the statement continued, adding that similar incidents resulted in a failure to complete its aid mission on Monday.

The WFP said the decision "has not been taken lightly".

Live Story

"As we know, it means the situation there will deteriorate further and more people risk dying of hunger," it said, adding that it will resume deliveries "as soon as possible".

To be able to resume deliveries, it said, "significantly higher volumes of food" need to be allowed into the Gaza Strip from "multiple routes".

"A functioning humanitarian notification system and a stable communication network are needed. And security, for our staff and partners as well as for the people we serve, must be facilitated," WFP added.

Egypt’s Sisi, prominent Iraqi politician discuss Gaza war
2:49 PM
The New Arab Staff

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi and the head of Iraq’s National Wisdom Movement, Ammar al-Hakim, have discussed the war in Gaza, stressing the need for the international community to assume its responsibilities to protect civilians and reach a ceasefire deal.

This took place during Sisi’s reception of the Iraqi politician and his accompanying delegation in Cairo, the presidential spokesman said in a statement on Facebook, adding that Egypt’s General Intelligence Director Abbas Kamel also attended the meeting.

Sisi and Hakim asserted the need for a comprehensive and just solution for the Palestinian cause, warning of the repercussions of continued escalation and the impact on regional stability.

Sisi reviewed Egypt’s efforts to reach a ceasefire deal and allow for the delivery of large quantities of humanitarian aid to alleviate the “tremendous human suffering” in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas urges probe into UN report on Israel's abuse of women
2:26 PM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas has called for an international investigation into a UN experts’ report that sounded the alarm over "credible allegations" of human rights abuses by Israeli forces against Palestinian women and young girls in the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank.

Hamas said in a statement posted on Telegram on Tuesday that the report "confirms and proves further the crime of genocide and ethnic cleansing that were being committed by the occupation regime led by war criminal Netanyahu and its Nazi army against our Palestinian people".

"While appreciating the issuance of this important statement, we call for its adoption as an additional document in the case filed before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to examine the crimes of genocide committed by the criminal Zionist entity against our Palestinian people," the statement added.

Quds Brigades targets group of Israeli soldiers in Gaza
2:24 PM
The New Arab Staff

The armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad says in a statement via its Telegram channel that it fired a TPG shell at a house in the Western Camp in Khan Younis, in which six Israeli soldiers had taken up a position.

The statement says that the attack left the soldiers “dead and wounded”.

Qatar says ceasefire talks ongoing despite challenges
1:53 PM
The New Arab Staff

Talks on a ceasefire in Gaza and a prisoner-captive swap between Hamas and Israel continue despite big challenges, according to a Qatari foreign ministry spokesman.

Dual standards in the international arena have been negatively affecting talks, however, he said, drawing comparisons between the war in Gaza with Ukraine.

Qatar chided international institutions for having failed to bring an end to the war.

Eighteen patients evacuated from Nasser Hospital: Ministry
1:25 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestinian health ministry said in a statement on Telegram that 18 patients have been evacuated from the now-defunct medical complex to field hospitals, adding that 118 patients are still inside the complex.

The situation inside the hospital, which the Israeli forces turned into a military base, has exceeded the level of disaster and constitutes a direct threat to the lives of the staff and patients, the statement said.

The ministry said medical staff and patients do not have any electricity, water, food, milk for children, oxygen facilities and appropriate medical capabilities for difficult cases.

Hamas leader Haniyeh arrives in Egypt
12:42 PM
The New Arab Staff

The head of Hamas's political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, has arrived in Cairo, leading a delegation from the Palestinian group, apparently to resume talks on a ceasefire deal in Gaza.

Haniyeh will “hold talks with Egyptian officials on the political and field conditions in light of the aggressive war on Gaza and the efforts made to stop the aggression, provide relief to citizens and achieve the goals of our Palestinian people,” Hamas said in a brief statement on its official Telegram channel.

Gaza's cats warm children's hearts and beds
12:34 PM
The New Arab Staff

As Israel's indiscriminate onslaught on the besieged coastal enclave continues, cats have snuggled up alongside displaced Palestinian children under flimsy tents as a means of refuge from the harsh, cold weather and brutal war. 

Separately speaking to The New Arab, several children said they are doing their best "to protect stray cats from death from the cold weather or starvation."

"These poor cats cannot save themselves from Israel's attacks. They cannot find food in the streets. They also are victims of the Israeli war against us in Gaza," said Subhi Elian, a 12-year-old boy displaced to Rafah, located in southern Gaza.

Read the full story below.

Live Story
Warning sirens sound in northern Israel
11:50 AM
The New Arab Staff

Rocket sirens have sounded in the Israeli village of Arab al-Aramshe near the border with Lebanon, according to the Israeli media.

Israel’s army and the Lebanese Hezbollah group have conducted cross-border strikes regularly since the beginning of Israel’s attacks on Gaza.

Hezbollah says it targeted Israeli troops in northern Israel
11:09 AM
The New Arab Staff

Lebanon's Hezbollah has said it targeted a gathering of Israeli soldiers in the vicinity of what it said was the Ramim military outpost in northern Israel, with rocket-propelled weapons.

The group claimed that its attack this morning “achieved a direct hit”.

Palestinian presidency slams Netanyahu over W. Bank comments
10:45 AM
The New Arab Staff

The official spokesman for the Palestinian presidency, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, condemned statements made by Israeli PM Netanyahu about Israel issuing "full security control over the West Bank and Gaza Strip"

Abu Rudeineh said Netanyahu’s position challenges international legitimacy and belittles both the international and US positions, especially as much of the world seeks to build an independent Palestinian state.

The spokesman pressed that such a state needs to be realised and that the ongoing Israeli aggression against Palestinians in Gaza must end.

Palestinians in Gaza eating animal feed to survive
10:39 AM
The New Arab Staff

Palestinians in Gaza are resorting to eating animal feed to stay alive amid unprecedented levels of hunger resulting from Israel's complete siege and bombardment of the impoverished enclave.

According to the UN's Food and Agricultural Organisation, Gaza's entire 2.3 million population is currently classified as facing either crisis, emergency, or catastrophic levels of food insecurity.

Images have been shared on social media showing people, particularly in the north of Gaza, eating grass, weeds, and animal feed.

More and more people were on the brink of famine-like conditions as a result of more than four months of constant bombardment and a siege on the strip.

Live Story
Israel economy shrinks amid Gaza war
10:38 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israel's GDP shrunk by almost one-fifth in the final quarter of 2023, compared to the three months prior, according to official figures published on Monday.

The 19.4-percent fall in the final quarter was attributed to the scale of the ongoing Gaza war's effect on the high-tech nation's economy.

Overall, Israel's GDP grew by 2.0 percent in 2023, short of the 2.3 percent projection made by the Bank of Israel after the war's outbreak in October, the Central Bureau of Statistics figures showed.

Live Story
Pretoria says Israel 'apartheid' worse than S. Africa
10:03 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israel is applying an even more extreme version of apartheid in the Palestinian territories than experienced in South Africa before 1994, Pretoria told the world's top court.

"We as South Africans sense, see, hear and feel to our core the inhumane discriminatory policies and practices of the Israeli regime as an even more extreme form of the apartheid that was institutionalised against black people in my country," said Vusimuzi Madonsela, South Africa's ambassador to the Netherlands, where the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is based.

"It is clear that Israel's illegal occupation is also being administered in breach of the crime of apartheid... It is indistinguishable from settler colonialism. Israel's apartheid must end," said Madonsela.

He said South Africa had a "special obligation" to call out apartheid wherever it occurs and ensure it is "brought to an immediate end".

WHO completes second Gaza hospital evacuation amid raid
10:02 AM
The New Arab Staff

The World Health Organization said it has completed a second evacuation mission from Gaza's Nasser Hospital, transferring a total of 32 critical patients including children from the site amid ongoing hostilities.

Efforts to transfer the remaining patients are ongoing, the global health agency said.

"WHO fears for the safety and well-being of the patients and health workers remaining in the hospital and warns that further disruption to lifesaving care for the sick and injured would lead to more deaths," the WHO said on social media site X.

Qatar foreign ministry spokesperson responds to Netanyahu
9:09 AM
The New Arab Staff

The spokesman of Qatar’s foreign ministry Majed al-Ansari has reiterated criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over remarks in which he called for Doha to put pressure on Hamas to release hostages held in the Gaza Strip.

Ansari said in a post on X on Monday: "The Israeli prime minister's recent statements calling on Qatar to pressure Hamas to release the hostages are nothing but a new attempt to stall and prolong the war for reasons that have become obvious to everyone."

Qatar has been a key mediator since the war on Gaza began on 7 October, and maintains strong ties with Hamas, whose leader Ismail Haniyeh is based in Doha.

Hamas leader sets conditions for releasing Israeli hostages
9:07 AM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas political bureau member Khalil al-Hayya has said that returning Israeli captives held in the Gaza Strip will come under three conditions.

In an interview with Qatar’s flagship Al Jazeera TV, Hayya said that the release of Israeli hostages first requires providing relief to the Palestinian people and returning them to their normal lives.

He also demanded the end of the Israeli aggression and a "real" prisoner-hostage exchange in which 10,000 Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons would be freed.

Yemen's Houthis claim attacks on two US ships
9:04 AM
The New Arab Staff

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have claimed attacks on two US ships in the Gulf of Aden late on Monday.

In a video statement published on X, military spokesman Yahya Sarea said Houthi naval forces had achieved "accurate and direct" hits on US vessels Sea Champion and Navis Fortuna.

Sarea said the latest attacks came were in addition to the “complete sinking” of a British ship - named in previous statements as the Rubymar - and the downing of a US drone in the previous 24 hours.

Israel orders new evacuations in northern Gaza
8:48 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israel ordered new evacuations from parts of Gaza City, where it has obliterated entire neighbourhoods and displaced more than 80 percent of the population.

The military ordered the evacuation of the Zaytoun and Turkoman neighbourhoods on the southern edge of Gaza City, an indication that Palestinian fighters were still putting up stiff resistance in areas of northern Gaza that the Israeli military said had been largely cleared weeks ago.

Residents said there have been airstrikes and heavy ground fighting in eastern parts of Gaza City over the past two days.

"The situation is very difficult," said Ayman Abu Awad, who lives in Zaytoun. "We are trapped inside our homes.”

Brazil recalls ambassador to Israel
8:40 AM
The New Arab Staff

Brazil has recalled its ambassador to Israel and Israel said Brazilian President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, was not welcome in the country in a diplomatic rift over the South American leader’s comparison of Israel’s war on Gaza to Hitler’s treatment of Jews.

The moves by Brazil, which included summoning the Israeli ambassador for talks, were confirmed by Brasilia’s Foreign Ministry on Monday, after Israeli officials gave Brazil’s Ambassador to that country a formal reprimand following Lula's comment on Saturday.

Live Story
UN findings on Palestinian women and girls affirm genocide
8:38 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The statement by UN experts of violations against Palestinian women “is an affirmation of the crime of genocide and ethnic cleansing committed by the [Israeli] occupation”, Hamas said in a post on its official Telegram account.

“While we appreciate the issuance of this important statement, we call for its adoption as an additional document in a case filed before the International Court of Justice, to examine the crimes of genocide committed by the criminal Zionist entity against our Palestinian people,” the statement also read.

On Monday, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said it had received information that Palestinian women and girls have “reportedly been arbitrarily executed in Gaza, often together with family members, including their children”.

UN experts expressed alarm over the arbitrary detention of hundreds of Palestinian women and girls, many of whom have reportedly been subjected to inhuman treatment, denied menstrual pads, food and medicine and also suffering severe beatings, the OHCHR said. 

OHCHR called for an independent, impartial and effective investigation into the allegations and for Israel to cooperate.

Israeli troops shoot at Palestinians receiving aid
8:36 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces have opened fire on crowds of people waiting for humanitarian aid supplies in northern Gaza.

At least one Palestinian man was killed and many others were wounded as a barrage of gunfire targeted the group, who were waiting for food to be distributed.