US President Biden says time for Gaza war 'to end'

US President Biden says time for Gaza war 'to end'
US President Joe Biden has said it is time for the almost eight-month-long war in the Gaza Strip 'to end'.
26 min read

US President Joe Biden said it was time for the Gaza war "to end" as he announced on Friday that Israel had offered a new roadmap towards a ceasefire.

In his first major address outlining a solution to Israel's eight-month-long war, Biden said the proposal started with a six-week phase that would see Israeli forces withdraw from all populated areas of Gaza.

"It's time for this war to end, for the day after to begin," Biden said in a televised address from the White House.

He said Israel had "offered a comprehensive new proposal", adding: "It's a roadmap to an enduring ceasefire and the release of all hostages."

The 81-year-old Democrat put was particularly strong with Hamas. "Hamas needs to take the deal," said Biden, who has come under fire for his support of Israel during the war, which has been devastating for Gaza's civilian population.

However, the US president also said he had "urged the leadership in Israel to stand behind this deal, despite whatever pressure comes".

Featured images: Getty

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4:07 AM
The New Arab Staff

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Blinken tells Jordan FM Hamas should accept deal: Miller
3:23 AM
The New Arab Staff

US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller says Secretary of State Antony Blinken has told Jordan's foreign minister Hamas should agree to the ceasefire proposal..

Blinken "discussed with Jordanian Foreign Minister Safadi how the ceasefire proposal on the table would facilitate a surge of humanitarian assistance, allow displaced Palestinians to return to their neighbourhoods, and begin the reconstruction of Gaza", Miller posts on X.

"[Blinken] emphasised that Hamas should accept the deal," Miller ads.

Obama says Biden put forward 'just' Gaza ceasefire plan
2:20 AM
The New Arab Staff

Former US president Barack Obama says current leader Joe Biden put forward a "clear, realistic and just plan" on Friday to end the war in Gaza.

Obama, who Biden served under as vice president, says on X that the proposal "ensures Israel’s security, returns hostages taken on October 7th to their families, increases aid into Gaza and relieves the suffering of Palestinian civilians, and engages Israelis, Palestinians, Arab countries and the broader international community in the process of rebuilding Gaza".

"As the tragedy in Gaza has unfolded over the past eight months, we’ve witnessed an often fierce public debate here at home – and around the world – regarding how the United States should respond," he adds.

"But no matter where each of us stand in these broader debates, an enduring ceasefire is something we should all support - for the sake of Israelis, Palestinians and the world at large.

"I am deeply encouraged by the steady, tireless efforts of President Biden, Secretary of State Tony Blinken and our diplomatic team to bring this awful war to an end."

Houthis fire missiles and drones from Yemen: US military
1:14 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The US military said on Friday Yemen's Houthis launched two anti-ship ballistic missiles and one drone over the Gulf of Aden and four drones over the Red Sea.

Three of the drones fired over the Red Sea were destroyed by US forces and one crashed into the sea, the American military's Central Command said.

CENTCOM also said it destroyed the drone fired over the Gulf of Aden.

No damage or injuries were reported as a result of the anti-ship ballistic missiles, it said.


UN chief Guterres welcomes Biden Gaza ceasefire initiative
12:42 AM
The New Arab Staff

UN Secretary-General António Guterres welcomes US President Joe Biden's Gaza ceasefire initiative.

Biden has announced an Israeli proposal for an agreement in Gaza.

"I welcome @POTUS Biden's initiative & encourage all parties to seize this opportunity for a ceasefire, release of all hostages, guaranteed unhindered humanitarian access & ultimately a durable peace in the Middle East," Guterres posts on X.

He says there has been "too much suffering & destruction in Gaza", adding that it is "time to stop".

UN chief António Guterres [Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket/Getty-archive]
Israeli air raids in Gaza's Rafah: reports
12:34 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli aircraft carry out new air raids in the centre and east of the Gazan city of Rafah, Palestinian media report.

Blinken presses Gaza plan in Saudi, Jordan, Turkey FM calls
11:55 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken sought Friday to press Hamas to accept a new Gaza ceasefire plan in talks with the top diplomats of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.

In telephone calls from his plane as he returned from a NATO meeting in Prague, Blinken "emphasised that Hamas should accept the deal without delay", State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said.

Israel destroys generators for Gaza hospital: civil defence
11:32 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces have completely destroyed the main electricity generators at Kamal Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahia, a city in northern Gaza, civil defence authorities in the Palestinian territory say.

EU chief welcomes 'realistic' Gaza ceasefire proposal
10:51 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

EU chief Ursula von der Leyen on Friday welcomed an Israeli roadmap towards a ceasefire in Gaza announced by US President Joe Biden as a "significant opportunity" to bring the war to an end.

"I wholeheartedly agree with Biden that the latest proposal is a significant opportunity to move towards an end to war and civilian suffering in Gaza. This three-step approach is balanced and realistic. It now needs support from all parties," the European Commission president said on social media.

Germany: Gaza ceasefire proposal offers 'glimpse of hope'
10:39 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Friday welcomed an Israeli roadmap towards a ceasefire in Gaza announced by US President Joe Biden.

The Israeli offer "provides a glimpse of hope and a possible path out of the war's deadlock", Baerbock said on X.

Hamas says 'positively' views Gaza ceasefire proposal
9:54 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hamas on Friday said it had a positive view of the contents of a proposal announced by US President Joe Biden for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

Biden earlier on Friday laid out a three-phase ceasefire plan from Israel to Hamas to end the war on Gaza.

"Hamas confirms its readiness to deal positively and in a constructive manner with any proposal that is based on the permanent ceasefire and the full withdrawal [of Israeli forces] from the Gaza Strip, the reconstruction [of Gaza], and the return of the displaced to their places, along with the fulfillment of a genuine prisoner swap deal if the occupation clearly announces commitment to such deal," the group said in a statement.


Biden posts infographic on Gaza ceasefire proposal to X
9:19 PM
The New Arab Staff

Following his speech earlier today, US President Joe Biden has posted an infographic on X about the Gaza ceasefire proposal.

"Israel has now offered a roadmap to an enduring ceasefire – and the release of all the hostages," he says in an accompanying post, adding that on Thursday the proposal was transmitted by Qatar to Hamas.

Protester delays Scotland-Israel women's football match
8:43 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Kick-off in Scotland's Women's Euro 2025 qualifier with Israel in Glasgow on Friday was delayed for over half an hour after a demonstrator avoided security at Hampden Park and chained himself to a goalpost.

Both Friday's fixture in Glasgow and the 'return' match in Hungary on 4 June are meant to be taking place behind closed doors, without any spectators.

That decision was taken against the backdrop of the ongoing Gaza war.

But on Friday, as pro-Palestinian protests took place outside Scotland's national stadium, it emerged just before the scheduled kick-off time of 6:05pm GMT that somebody had managed to access the arena and chain themselves to one of Hampden's goalpost.

The protester, wearing a 'Red Card For Israel' T-shirt, was eventually removed before the teams emerged for a second warm-up, with the game eventually kicking-off at 6:36pm GMT.

Israel PM insists war won't end until 'elimination' of Hamas
8:18 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday the Gaza war would not end until the "elimination" of Hamas's capacity to govern and make war, after US President Joe Biden said Israel had offered a new peace roadmap.

"The prime minister authorised the negotiating team to present an outline for achieving [the return of hostages], while insisting that the war will not end until all of its goals are achieved, including the return of all our hostages and the elimination of Hamas's military and governmental capabilities," Netanyahu's office said in a statement.

"The exact outline proposed by Israel, including the conditional transition from stage to stage, allows Israel to maintain these principles."

UK's Cameron urges Hamas to accept agreement
7:58 PM
The New Arab Staff

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron calls on Hamas to accept the agreement that has been proposed.

"Hamas must accept this deal so we can see a stop in the fighting, the hostages released and returned to their families and a flood of humanitarian aid into Gaza," the Conservative politician says on X.

"As we've long argued a stop in the fighting can be turned into a permanent peace if we are all prepared to take the right steps. Let's seize this moment and bring this conflict to an end."

Biden says urged Israel leaders to 'stand behind' deal
7:51 PM
The New Arab Staff

During his comments announcing the latest Gaza ceasefire proposal, US President Joe Biden said he had urged Israel's leaders to "stand behind" the deal.

"I know there are those in Israel who will not agree with this plan and will call for the war to continue indefinitely. Some are even in the governing coalition," he said.

"They've made it clear that they want to occupy Gaza, they want to keep fighting for years, and the hostages are not a priority to them."

Biden added that he had "urged the leadership in Israel to stand behind this deal, despite whatever pressure comes".

The American leader also addressed the people of Israel. He said that as someone who has had a "lifelong commitment" to Israel, "I ask you to take a step back and think what will happen if this moment is lost".

"You can't lose this moment," he added.

"Indefinite war in pursuit of an unidentified notion of total victory… will only bog down Israel in Gaza, draining the economic, military, and human resources and furthering Israel's isolation in the world."

Biden says time for Gaza war 'to end'
7:18 PM
The New Arab Staff

US President Joe Biden ends his speech by saying it is time for the war in Gaza to end.

"It's time for this war to end, for the day after to begin," he says.

Biden: Israel offering 'comprehensive' new ceasefire deal
7:03 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US President Joe Biden announced on Friday that Israel has offered a "roadmap" to a full ceasefire in the Middle East ally's war on Gaza, including a troop withdrawal and release of hostages.

"Here's what it would include: a full and complete ceasefire, withdrawal of Israeli forces from all populated areas of Gaza, release of a number of hostages, including women, the elderly, the wounded, in exchange for [the] release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners," Biden said in a speech from the White House.

US President Biden presents new Israel ceasefire plan
6:45 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US President Joe Biden on Friday called on Hamas militants to agree to a new offer from Israel on releasing hostages in exchange for a Gaza ceasefire, saying this is the best way to begin winding down the deadly conflict.

"With a ceasefire, that aid could be safely and effectively distributed to all who need it," Biden said.

"As someone who's had a lifelong commitment to Israel, as the only American president who has ever gone to Israel at a time of war, as someone who just sent the US forces to directly defend Israel when it was attacked by Iran, I ask you to take a step back, think what will happen if this moment is lost," he said.

"We can't lose this moment."


UNRWA says had 'horrific reports' from Jabalia facilities
6:32 PM
The New Arab Staff

UNRWA says it has had "horrific reports" from agency facilities in Jabalia in northern Gaza.

"The last weeks we've received horrific reports from @UNRWA facilities in Jabalia," the United Nations' Palestinian refugee agency posts on X.

"Displaced people – incl. children – reportedly killed & injured sheltering in our school, besieged by [Israeli army] tanks.

"Tents of people sheltering at our school reportedly set on fire by [the Israeli army]."

UNRWA adds that there have been reports of agency offices destroyed by airstrikes and bulldozed by Israeli forces.

"More than 170 UNRWA premises have been damaged or destroyed across #GazaStrip – our facilities are #NotATarget," it says.

"These attacks must stop & the world must act to hold perpetrators accountable."

UN's WFP warns of 'apocalyptic' scenes in southern Gaza
6:11 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Daily life has become "apocalyptic" in parts of southern Gaza since Israel moved into the city of Rafah, the UN's food agency said on Friday.

"The exodus that we've seen in the past 20 days or so out of Rafah has been an awesome and horrific experience for many, many people," Matthew Hollingworth, the World Food Programme (WFP) director for the Palestinian territories.

They have fled the fighting to areas where there was not enough water, healthcare or fuel, where food was limited, telecommunications had stopped and there was not enough space to dig pit latrines, Hollingworth told an online briefing.

The public health situation was "beyond crisis levels", he said, adding: "The sounds and smells of everyday life are horrific and apocalyptic."

People "sleep to the sounds of war and they wake to the same sounds", he said.

The WFP was able to provide "ever… decreasing amounts of assistance", with all of its bakeries in Rafah closed due to a lack of fuel and supplies, he said.

From 7 May – when Israeli tanks and troops entered Rafah's east – to 20 May, "not a single WFP truck crossed from the southern corridors from Egypt", Hollingworth said.

The WFP also lost access to its main warehouse in the south of the Gaza Strip because it was in an evacuation zone, with 2,700 tonnes of food either looted or destroyed in fighting.

Hollingworth said the WFP was serving around 27,000 people with hot meals in Rafah -- "but that's not enough".

In central areas of the Gaza Strip, where many people fled, the WFP is providing around 400,000 hot meals a day, and has kept six bakeries functioning.

Commercial food is also getting in, he said, but many people have no money, with some even resorting to trading their identity cards -- which they need if they want to register for aid.

Hollingworth said aid trucks from Egypt had begun entering the Gaza Strip through the Israeli-controlled Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing.

"Since May 20, we have started to get a trickle of assistance in," he said, though he warned the security situation was still slowing down the deliveries.

"That has to turn into a flood of assistance if we're going to ensure we don't start seeing the most acute forms of hunger becoming more common," he said.

US President Joe Biden announces to speak on Middle East
6:09 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US President Joe Biden announced he will deliver remarks Friday on the Middle East, amid efforts to jumpstart stalled talks on a ceasefire deal and as Israel pushes into Gaza's Rafah.

"Later today, I'll deliver remarks on the Middle East. Tune in here," Biden said on X, with a video link to the event.

The White House did not give further details or a time.

The US president's remarks come as international mediators including Washington try to restart stalled diplomatic efforts towards a deal for a ceasefire in Israel's nearly eight-month old war on Gaza and to release hostages held by Hamas.

At least 70 bodies recovered from Jabalia
5:57 PM
The New Arab Staff

Local reports have said that the decomposed bodies of at least 70 Palestinians were discovered from the Jabalia refugee camp earlier this Friday.

According to Palestinian authorities, most of the killings consisted of women and children.

Israeli military claims bringing down Hezbollah drone
5:05 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Israeli troops announced in a short statement that they have intercepted a drone launched from southern Lebanon, as sirens sounded across northern Israel's coastal city of Acre.

According to news publication Al Jazeera English, sirens were also heard in the towns of Jadeidi-Makr, Klil and Upper Galilee.

The Israeli army added that it also carried an attack on a building occupied by Hezbollah fighters in southern Lebanon's Naqoura.

66 million euros given to UNRWA in total so far this year
4:34 PM
The New Arab Staff

The European Commission has released a second installment of financial aid to the Palestinian Authority for 25 million euros, while another tranche of assistance was allocated to the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) for 16 million euros, according to a new statement on Friday.

"This new payment to UNRWA brings to €66 million [$71.7m] the EU’s total development assistance out of the €82 million [$89.03m] for the UN Agency in 2024," it added.

Iran denies using Swedish gangs to target Israel: embassy
3:58 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran's embassy in Stockholm on Friday denied accusations it was recruiting criminal gang members, some of them children, as proxies to commit "acts of violence" against Israeli interests in Sweden.

"Paying attention to the source of this information clearly shows that it is false," the embassy said in a statement on its website, adding that media coverage based on documents from Israel's secret services was "false and baseless."

On Thursday, Sweden's intelligence agency said Iran was "using criminal networks in Sweden to carry out acts of violence against other states, groups or people in Sweden that it considers a threat."

The service, commonly known as Sapo, said these were particularly aimed at "Israeli and Jewish interests, targets and operations in Sweden."

Jordan to host humanitarian conference for Gaza in June
3:40 PM
The New Arab Staff

Jordan is set to host an international conference on June 11 to draw out an urgent humanitarian plan for Gaza amid ongoing Israeli attacks.

According to Jordan's royal court, the conference will be organised alongside Eygpt and the UN.

Biden to deliver remarks on MidEast on Friday: White House
3:39 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

President Joe Biden will deliver remarks Friday on the Middle East, the White House said, as Israel pushes into Rafah despite US warnings against a full-scale offensive in the crowded southern Gaza city.

"In the afternoon, the president will deliver remarks on the Middle East," the White House said in an updated daily schedule for Biden, without giving further details.

Top US diplomat Blinken: humanitarian situation dire in Gaza
3:27 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 The humanitarian situation remains dire in Gaza, especially in terms of distributing aid to civilians, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday, citing combat operations in the south.

"Rafah remains closed and that's a real problem," Blinken said during a news conference in Prague. The United States is working intensely to address the acute needs of Gaza civilians, he added.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken walks off the podium after conference [Getty]
Gaza's death toll rises to 36,284
3:10 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The health ministry in Gaza said Friday that at least 36,284 people have been killed in the territory during more than seven months of war in the Palestinian territory.

The toll includes at least 60 deaths over the past 24 hours, a ministry statement said, adding that 82,057 people have been wounded in the Gaza Strip.

UNRWA chief: Israel 'must stop its campaign' against agency
2:47 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

UN Palestinian refugee agency chief Philippe Lazzarini said Friday that Israel "must stop its campaign against UNRWA" in an opinion article published by the New York Times.

"The war in Gaza has produced a blatant disregard for the mission of the United Nations, including outrageous attacks on (UNRWA) employees, facilities and operations," agency chief Lazzarini said, adding: "These attacks must stop and the world must act to hold the perpetrators accountable."

Hamas leader Haniyah says his group will not be 'replaced'
2:26 PM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas' political bureau chief Ismail Haniyah said that the group will maintain its influence even following the war.

In a statement, he said that "those who speak of ‘the day after’ must understand, the Palestinian people won’t have Hamas replaced."

He continued, "Faced with the prices we paid, a national Palestinian plan must be promoted based on a unified leadership under the framework of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s institutions which will rule both Gaza and the West Bank."

Haniyah reiterated the groups stance that a potential exchange deal includes the release of the remaining captives, a full ceasefire and Israel's military withdrawal from Gaza.

Lebanese rescuers say Israel strike on ambulance kills medic
2:20 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Rescuers said a medic was killed and another wounded on Friday in an Israeli strike on one of their ambulances in south Lebanon.

"An Israeli drone strike targeted an ambulance... One rescuer was martyred and another wounded" in the border town of Naqura, the operations room of the Islamic Health Committee told French news agency AFP.

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency also said "an enemy drone targeted a Health Committee ambulance in the town of Naqura", reporting casualties.

Yemen's Houthis claim missile attack on US aircraft carrier
1:53 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 Yemen's Houthis launched a missile attack on the US aircraft carrier Eisenhower in the Red Sea in response to US-UK strikes on the Yemeni provinces of Sanaa, Hodeidah and Taiz, Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Saree said in a televised statement on Friday.

Gaza aid not reaching the population: UN
1:49 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The humanitarian aid allowed into the Gaza Strip is not getting to civilians in need, the United Nations said Friday, urging Israel to fulfil its legal obligations.

"The aid that is getting in is not getting to the people, and that's a major problem," Jens Laerke, spokesman for the UN humanitarian agency OCHA, told a media briefing in Geneva.

He highlighted the role of the Israeli authorities at their Kerem Shalom (Kareem Abu Salem) crossing, the main entry point for aid into the besieged Palestinian territory since the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza was closed by the Israeli military on May 7.

"We continue to insist that Israeli authorities' obligation under the law to facilitate delivery of aid does not stop at the border," said Laerke.

"It does not stop when you drop off just a few metres across the border and then drive away, and then leave it to humanitarians to drive through active combat zones -- which they cannot do -- to pick it up," he said.

"We need that safe and unimpeded access to get to the drop-off point so we can pick it up and get it to people.

"We want all parties to live up to their obligations under the law."

France bans Israel firms from upcoming defence fair
1:46 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

France authorities have banned Israeli defence firms from exhibiting at a trade show next month near Paris, organisers said on Friday.

"By decision of the government authorities, there will be no stand for the Israeli defence industry at the Eurosatory 2024 fair," organisers Coges Events said.

Neither Coges nor the defence ministry provided an explanation.

Seventy-four Israeli firms had been set to be represented at the event from June 17 to 21 at fairgrounds close to Paris' main international airport, with Coges previously saying around 10 of them were to exhibit weapons.

The incident comes days after the Israeli bombing of a camp for the displaced in the Gaza Strip sparked international outrage and protests in France.

The air raids killed at least 45 people in the town of Rafah in the night of Sunday to Monday in the south of the besieged Palestinian territory, according to local authorities, almost eight months into the latest Gaza war.

Israel reiterates Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara
1:03 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel reiterated on Friday its recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara region after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu produced a map showing the territory as independent during an interview.

Netanyahu pointed at a map of the Middle East and North Africa as he discussed regional threats to Israel amid its ongoing war in Gaza, during a recorded interview with French news channel LCI that aired Thursday.

"Look at the map of the Arab world in green" surrounding tiny Israel, Netanyahu said while pointing at the map, which showed the Western Sahara as a separate territory from Morocco.

Netanyahu's office issued a statement in Arabic on Friday saying that under his leadership "Israel officially recognised Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara in 2023".

"Israel's policy remains steadfast and unchanged," it said.

Police with batons approach Gaza war protesters at UC Santa
12:45 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Police approached arm-in-arm protesters early Friday at the University of California, Santa Cruz, a day after arrests at a pro-Palestine encampment at a Detroit campus and a student walkout during commencement at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Video showed a line of police with batons a few feet from protesters at the California campus. It wasn't immediately clear if there were any arrests or injuries. The university was holding classes remotely on Friday.

Pro-Palestine protesters have blocked the main entrance to campus this week.

“We call on these protesters to immediately reopen full access to the campus and return to protesting in a manner consistent with both our community values and our student code of conduct. Denying instructional access is not free speech,” university leaders said in a letter to the community Thursday.

Graduate student workers continued a strike that began last week over the university system’s treatment of pro-Palestine protesters.


Three Palestinians wounded from Gaza City airstrike
12:36 PM
The New Arab & agencies

A residential apartment in Gaza City's Tuffah neighbourhood air strike was targeted in Gaza that has led to at least three people wounded, according to the Wafa news agency.

The injured have since been taken to al-Ahli Arab Hospital, and health authorities have not provided further information on their condition.

More details to come.

New York Muslim nurse fired for calling Gaza war 'genocide'
11:43 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A New York City hospital fired a Palestinian American Muslim nurse after she called Israel's war in Gaza a "genocide" during an acceptance speech for an award for her work with bereaved mothers who lost their children during pregnancy and childbirth.

A spokesperson of the hospital, NYU Langone Health, said on Thursday that labor and delivery nurse Hesen Jabr had previously been warned not to bring her views "on this divisive and charged issue into the workplace."

Jabr posted on Instagram that she was awarded on May 7, when she made her remarks, adding that she was handed a termination letter later in the month.

In a portion of her acceptance speech, she spoke about mothers who had lost babies during the war in Gaza, saying the award was "deeply personal" to her.

"It pains me to see the women from my country going through unimaginable losses themselves during the current genocide in Gaza," Jabr said in the video of her speech that she posted online.

The hospital's spokesperson in an email said Jabr had been warned in December, "following a previous incident, not to bring her views on this divisive and charged issue into the workplace.

"She instead chose not to heed that at a recent employee recognition event that was widely attended by her colleagues, some of whom were upset after her comments," the spokesperson said without providing details about the earlier incident.

"As a result, Jabr is no longer an NYU Langone employee."

Israeli military says it has completed operations in Jabalia
11:22 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Israeli military said on Friday troops had ended operations in eastern Jabalia in the northern section of the Gaza Strip.

During the operation in the heavily built up area, the troops also located the bodies of seven hostages.

Yemen rebels threaten 'escalation' after US, UK strikes
10:40 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Yemen's Iran-backed Huthis on Friday threatened to escalate attacks on Red Sea shipping after overnight strikes by the United States and Britain killed 16 people, according to rebel media.

The toll reported by the Houthis' Al-Masirah TV, which has not independently verified, would constitute one of the deadliest strikes since the United States and Britain launched their campaign to counter disruption of the vital trade route in January.

The Houthis, who control much of Yemen, have launched scores of drone and missile attacks on vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since November, citing solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip over the Israel-Hamas war.

The US Central Command, or CENTCOM, said 13 Houthi sites were targeted in a bid to degrade their ability to attack shipping.

"The American-British aggression will not prevent us from continuing our military operations," Houthi official Mohammed Al-Bukhaiti said on X, formerly Twitter, vowing to "meet escalation with escalation".

Strikes also targeted telecoms infrastructure in the town of Taez, Al-Masirah reported.

Citing health authorities, the TV station said 16 people were killed and more than 35 were wounded in Hodeida alone, without specifying if they were civilians or militants.

Captives' families say Israeli government has abandoned them
9:39 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Hostages and Missing Families Forum has hit back at the Israeli government of "abandoning" them, by accusing officials of being more invested in a drawn-out war than in bringing home their loved ones.

"The captives, and the entire State of Israel, have been taken hostage by those who choose political interests over their national duties," the group said in a statement published in Israeli news publication The Times of Israel.

The group added that the government has ignored "a fundamental moral principle according to which Israel will never leave anyone behind, and prefer to continue the fighting over achieving the main goal of freeing the hostages."

This comes after captives’ families and Israeli officials met on Thursday- when Israel’s National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi said the government would not end its war on Gaza in return for securing the release of all the captives.

According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Hanegbi also lashed out at a family member of a captive after she criticised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, emphasising she has "no place to hate and hurt like that".

Spain says rejects Israeli restrictions on Jerusalem embassy
9:09 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Spain rejects "restrictions" that Israel plans to impose on the activities of its consulate in Jerusalem in response to Madrid's recognition of a Palestinian state, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said Friday.

"This morning we sent a 'note verbale' to the Israeli government in which we reject any restriction on the normal activity of the Spanish consulate general in Jerusalem, as its status is guaranteed by international law," he said during an interview with radio Onda Cero.

"This status cannot therefore be changed unilaterally by Israel," he said, adding Madrid had asked Israel "to reverse this decision".

Israel's foreign ministry said Monday it had told the Spanish consulate in Jerusalem to stop offering consular services to Palestinians from June 1 over Madrid's recognition of a Palestinian state.

The ministry said that Spain's consulate in Jerusalem is "authorised to provide consular services to residents of the consular district of Jerusalem only, and is not authorised to provide services or perform consular activity vis-a-vis residents of the Palestinian Authority".

Israeli Foreign Minister called it a "punitive" measure following the Spanish government's recognition of a Palestinian state.

The Spanish and European Union flags flutter on the consulate of Spain building [Getty]
Egypt denies deal with Israel to reopen Rafah crossing: TV
9:01 AM
The New Arab Staff

An Egyptian official has rejected claims that an agreement was made with Israel to reopen the Rafah border crossing with Gaza, according to Egyptian TV.

Egypt’s state-affiliated Al-Qahera News quoted a senior official source on Friday that "there is no truth" in the recent media reports about an Egyptian-Israeli agreement to reopen the crucial crossing to the Gaza Strip – the Palestinian side of which was taken over by Israeli forces earlier this month.

"Egypt insists on a full Israeli withdrawal from the crossing as a condition to resume its work," the source told the channel, according to Germany news agency DPA.

Since Israeli tanks captured the Rafah border crossing, Egypt indicated it would not assist in coordinating aid transports through the southern Gaza city until Israeli troops withdrew and handed back control of the frontier to Palestinian authorities.

Two Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza battles, military says
8:19 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 The Israeli military said on Friday that two more of its soldiers were killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip.

Nearly 300 soldiers have been killed since Israel began its ground offensive in Gaza. 

US, UK air strikes on Yemen kill 14: Houthi TV
8:14 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States and Britain carried out air strikes on Yemen in what they said was a bid to degrade Iran-backed rebels' maritime attack capabilities, with Houthi media on Friday reporting 14 killed.

The Houthis have been attacking shipping around the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since November, citing solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, where Israel has been at war in the devastated territory.

The Houthi-controlled Al-Masirah television channel said 14 people were killed and more than 30 were wounded in the strikes that also targeted telecoms infrastructure in the town of Taez.

It was not immediately possible to independently verify the toll.

China, US defence chiefs discuss Taiwan, Ukraine, Gaza
8:13 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

 Chinese Defence Minister Dong Jun and United States Defense Minister Lloyd Austin held a constructive meeting in Singapore on Friday, including talks on Taiwan, the war between Russia and Ukraine, and the conflict in Gaza, a Chinese spokesperson said.

Minister Dong warned Austin that the United States should not intefere in China's affairs with Taiwan, a democratically ruled territory that Beijing wants brought under its control, defence ministry spokesperson Wu Qian told reporters on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue defence summit.