US says Israel likely violated intl law; 10 killed in central Gaza

US says Israel likely violated intl law; 10 killed in central Gaza
UN Secretary-General warned that an Israeli ground attack on Rafah would lead to a 'humanitarian disaster' after truce talks in Cairo ended in deadlock.
26 min read
10 May, 2024

An Israeli ground attack in Gaza's Rafah would lead to an "epic humanitarian disaster", UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Friday after negotiators left truce talks in Cairo without a deal.

"A massive ground attack in Rafah would lead to (an) epic humanitarian disaster and pull the plug on our efforts to support people as famine looms," Guterres said during a visit to Nairobi, adding that the situation in the southern Gaza City was "on a knife's edge".

"We are actively engaged with all involved for the resumption of the entry of life-saving supplies, including desperately needed fuel, through Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings," he said, reiterating his calls for a ceasefire.

AFP journalists witnessed artillery strikes on Rafah after US President Joe Biden vowed in an interview to cut off artillery shells and other weapons for Israel if a full-scale offensive into the city goes ahead.

This live blog has now concluded
4:56 AM
The New Arab Staff

This live blog on Israel's war on Gaza has concluded. Make sure to follow us for the latest news on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Journalist, wife, child killed in Jabalia refugee camp
4:51 AM
The New Arab Staff

Journalist Bahaa Okasha and his wife and son were killed after Israel bombing targeted their home in the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, Palestinian media reports.

At least 10 killed after Israel army bombs central Gaza
4:49 AM
The New Arab Staff

At least 10 Palestinians were killed and others were injured after the Israeli army bombed a home in the town of Al-Zawaida in central Gaza.

Water, electricity stations serve residents in Khan Younis
3:21 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestine Red Crescent Society says work continues at water and electricity charging stations serving residents of the Al-Amal neighbourhood in western Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip.

"These stations, established by teams from the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) at PRCS headquarters and #AlAmalHospital, aim to alleviate residents' suffering," the humanitarian group says on X.

UN slams attack on UNRWA compound in East Jerusalem
2:26 AM
The New Arab Staff

The United Nations slams an attack against an UNRWA site in occupied East Jerusalem.

The world body's agency for Palestinian refugees said Thursday it was temporarily shuttering its East Jerusalem headquarters after "Israeli extremists" set fire to the perimeter following weeks of repeated attacks.

"This evening, Israeli residents set fire twice to the perimeter of the UNRWA headquarters in occupied East Jerusalem," agency chief Philippe Lazzarini said on X, lamenting that it was the second attack on the compound in a matter of days.

He described how "a crowd accompanied by armed men were witnessed outside the compound chanting 'Burn down the United Nations'."

The UN country team in Palestine on Friday says: "Yesterday's attack at the UNRWA compound in East Jerusalem, after weeks of threats and intimidation, are utterly unacceptable.

"It is imperative that Israeli authorities take swift action to investigate the incident and hold those responsible accountable for their actions."

The UN country team calls it "unacceptable" that an agency of the world body is forced to shut its offices because of insecurity, with United Nations staff threatened as property is vandalised.

It says treaties including the Fourth Geneva Convention and customary international law "clearly outline" that it is the responsibility of the host government and the occupying power of occupied Palestinian territory to ensure UN workers and facilities are always protected.

"This is not an attack on UNRWA alone, but an assault on the entire UN system operating in the Occupied Palestinian Territory," the UN country team adds.

"The UN in Palestine demands accountability for these acts, for immediate intervention by law enforcement should similar incidents occur in the future, and for member states to recognise the longer-term consequences these attacks on the UN will have.

"We must not allow the failure to respect UN facilities to become the new normal."

Agencies contributed to this update.

UN Security Council seeks inquiry into mass graves in Gaza
1:44 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The UN Security Council on Friday called for an immediate and independent investigation into mass graves reportedly containing hundreds of bodies near hospitals in Gaza.

In a statement, members of the council expressed their "deep concern over reports of the discovery of mass graves, in and around the Nasser and Al-Shifa medical facilities in Gaza, where several hundred bodies, including women, children and older persons, were buried".

The members stressed the need for "accountability" for any violations of international law and called on investigators to be given "unimpeded access to all locations of mass graves in Gaza to conduct immediate, independent, thorough, comprehensive, transparent and impartial investigations".

Hospitals in the Gaza Strip have been repeatedly targeted since the beginning of Israel's war on the Palestinian enclave.

Israel says delivers 200,000 litres of fuel into Gaza
12:12 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel said Friday it had delivered 200,000 litres of fuel into the besieged Gaza Strip, after the United Nations said a lack of stocks was crippling aid operations.

The Israeli defence ministry body that oversees Palestinian civil affairs, COGAT, announced "the transfer of 200,000 litres [52,834 gallons] of fuel to international organisations in the Gaza Strip".

It said the fuel had been delivered through the Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing from Israel into southern Gaza, through which most humanitarian aid, although usually not fuel, enters the Palestinian territory.

"All of the trucks carrying the fuel were inspected" by defence ministry staff, it said, adding that the fuel would go towards "essential requirements of the international community, including hospitals, humanitarian areas, logistical centres and the distribution of humanitarian aid".

The announcement, which The New Arab could not verify, came after UN agencies warned that this week's closures of Karm Abu Salem and the nearby Rafah crossing had halted the entry of fuel, rendering humanitarian operations all but impossible.

Andrea De Domenico, who heads the United Nations humanitarian office, OCHA, in the occupied Palestinian territories, told the AFP news agency on Thursday that 200,000 litres of fuel a day needed to enter Gaza to keep operations going.

Agencies contacted by AFP did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Israeli announcement.

While the army said it reopened Karm Abu Salem on Wednesday, aid agencies were still cautioning that getting assistance through the heavily militarised area remained extremely difficult.

"In Gaza there are no stocks" of fuel, De Domenico said Thursday. "It is completely crippling the humanitarian operations."

UN chief warns of 'disaster' as Israel tightens Rafah vice
11:50 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

UN chief António Guterres warned Gaza risked an "epic humanitarian disaster" Friday as Israel pressed military operations around its far-southern city of Rafah crippling the work of aid agencies.

Earlier this week, Israeli ground troops seized eastern areas of the city, including the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza, but they have yet to enter its main built-up area.

AFP journalists witnessed artillery strikes on the city Friday and the Israeli army said operations were continuing in the east of the city.

The military claimed that on the Gazan side of the Rafah crossing, forces "eliminated several terror cells during close-quarters combat and with an aerial strike".

UAE denounces Netanyahu over Gaza administration statement
11:43 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The UAE denounced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's statement about "inviting the state to participate in civil administration of Gaza", in statements published by the UAE foreign minister on social media platform X.

The statements said Netanyahu "has no legitimate authority" to call for a part in the civil administration of Gaza.


Israel attack kills two in Al-Sabra neighbourhood
10:55 PM
The New Arab Staff

An Israeli attack on the Al-Sabra neighbourhood in Gaza City killed two people and left several wounded, Palestinian media reports.

Invasion of Rafah to take place in stages, Israeli TV says
10:43 PM
The New Arab Staff

The invasion of the Gazan city of Rafah will take place in stages so it can be halted at any moment if a hostage-exchange deal is reached with Hamas, Israeli broadcaster Channel 12 reports.

US report criticises Israel weapons use, does not block arms
10:03 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A long-awaited State Department report on Friday criticised Israel's use of US weapons in the Gaza war but did not find enough evidence of violations to block shipments.

The report said it was "reasonable to assess" that Israel has used weapons in ways inconsistent with international humanitarian law" but that the United States could not reach "conclusive findings".

MAP warns over Gaza medical facilities if fuel not let in
9:19 PM
The New Arab Staff

British charity Medical Aid for Palestinians warns that an array of medical facilities will be out of service in under two days if Israel does not immediately let fuel into Gaza.

"Unless Israel immediately allows fuel into Gaza, five hospitals, five field hospitals, 28 ambulances, 23 medical points and 17 primary health care centres will be out of operation in less than 48 hours," the humanitarian group says on X.

US renews 'concern' on Rafah but sees no 'major' op yet
8:46 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States renewed concern on Friday about an Israeli assault on Rafah but said it saw no major operation yet against the packed Gaza city and still held out the possibility of a ceasefire deal.

"We're obviously watching it with concern," National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said of the latest Israeli military strikes around Rafah.

"But I wouldn't go so far as to say what we've seen here in the last 24 hours connotes or indicates a broad, large [or] major ground operation.

"It appears to be localised near the crossing and largely with the forces that they had put in there at the beginning."

Kirby said the United States was still holding out hope for a ceasefire after CIA Director Bill Burns, the US pointman on the negotiations, left the region following talks in Cairo.

Kirby said it was "deeply regrettable" that there was "nobody sitting across from tables anymore today".

"We are working hard to try to keep both sides engaged in and continuing the discussion, if only virtually, and to continue to work on the actual text itself," he said.

"We still believe that a deal was possible."

Iran frees seven crew from Portuguese ship seized in Gulf
8:20 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran on Thursday freed seven of the 25 crew on a Portuguese-flagged ship seized in the Gulf on 13 April, Portugal's foreign ministry said.

Five Indians, a Filipino, and an Estonian from the MSC Aries "have been freed today", the ministry said in a statement. Another Indian crew member had already been released.

Portugal welcomed the action but demanded the "immediate release" of the remaining 17 crew and the MSC Aries, which was seized near the Strait of Hormuz amid mounting tensions between Iran and Israel.

Iran said the container ship had Israeli links when it was taken, in parallel to Iranian forces launching a retaliatory mass drone attack against Israel.

That unprecedented attack followed a deadly Israeli strike against an Iranian diplomatic building in Damascus in which seven Iranian military officers were killed.

Iran accused the ship's owners of having links to Israel. "It is certain that this ship belongs to the Zionist regime," an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said at the time.

Portugal summoned Iran's ambassador on 16 April to demand the release of the vessel and its crew. Iran announced on 27 April that it was considering freeing more crew members.

Foreign ministers from the two countries spoke by telephone 10 days ago.

Hamas targets Bir Al-Saba with new rocket volley: reports
7:55 PM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas's armed wing has targeted the Israeli city of Bir Al-Saba (Beersheba) with a new volley of rockets, Palestinian media reports.

Israeli attack on new Nuseirat camp kills, wounds several
7:43 PM
The New Arab Staff

Several killed and injured people have been recovered in the new Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza after Israeli forces attacked a home, Palestinian civil defence authorities say.

They add that the search is still ongoing under the rubble.

Israeli injured in Bir Al-Saba after rockets fired from Gaza
7:35 PM
The New Arab Staff

An Israeli woman has been injured by shrapnel after missiles were fired at the city of Bir Al-Saba (Beersheba) from the Gaza Strip, a correspondent for The New Arab's Arabic edition Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reports.

One of the rockets caused major damage to a public park and a home in the city.

One rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome system, while the others fell in open areas, according to Israeli sources.

South Africa asks ICJ to order Israel withdraw from Rafah
7:23 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

South Africa has asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to order Israel to withdraw from Rafah as part of additional emergency measures over the Gaza war, the UN's top court said on Friday.

In the ongoing case brought by South Africa, which accuses Israel of acts of genocide against Palestinians, the World Court in January ordered Israel to refrain from any acts that could fall under the Genocide Convention and to ensure its troops commit no genocidal acts against Palestinians.

In filings published on Friday, South Africa is seeking additional emergency measures in light of the ongoing attack on Rafah, which it calls the "last refuge" for Palestinians in Gaza.

South Africa asked the court to order that "the state of Israel shall immediately withdraw and cease its military offensive in the Rafah governorate" as well as order Israel to allow unimpeded access to United Nations officials, organisations providing humanitarian aid, and journalists and investigators to Gaza.


Pakistan police prevent protesters from moving toward US emb
7:20 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Police in Pakistan's capital Islamabad on Friday prevented a pro-Palestinian rally by a radical Islamist party from moving towards the US embassy, where demonstrators wanted to stage a sit-in protesting Israel's strikes on Gaza.

Police used batons on the demonstrators, angering hundreds of rallygoers who briefly blocked a key road and later staged a sit-in near a high-security area where foreign embassies and the offices of president, prime minister and parliament are located.

Students from the Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan party posted videos on social media, claiming they were beaten by police who did not allow them to go toward the American embassy for a peaceful rally to denounce the Israeli strikes on Gaza.

Demonstrators held banners and posters with slogans opposing Israel and the United States and in support of the Palestinians. Organisers vowed to continue raising their voices for the Palestinians.

According to police, officers were negotiating with demonstrators to end the sit-in.

Palestine says UN vote shows deserves 'full membership'
6:59 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Palestine said on Friday that a vote at the UN General Assembly to grant it additional rights in the world body showed it deserved "full membership".

The vote "affirms that Palestine meets all the requirements stipulated in the Charter of the United Nations… Thus it deserves, and is qualified to obtain, full membership in the United Nations", the Palestinian foreign ministry said in a statement.

Rashida Tlaib on politicians' response to student protesters
6:44 PM
The New Arab Staff

US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib has criticised fellow politicians over their response to pro-Palestinian student protesters.

"It's incredibly disturbing that my colleagues are so quick to denounce these student protesters but are silent about what these young people are actually protesting," the Palestinian-American lawmaker said on social media platform X.

"There are no universities left in Gaza."

Tlaib included in her post photos showing banner on a speaker's podium that reads: "Hands off our students. All eyes on Gaza."

Left-wing party in Spain gov urges Eurovision Israel boycott
6:29 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The left-wing Sumar party, a junior member of Spain's coalition government, on Friday launched a petition demanding Israel be excluded from the Eurovision final on Saturday over its Gaza war.

"Sign NOW to expel Israel from Eurovision, don't let it perform in Saturday's final!" read the online petition which by Friday afternoon had garnered 7,000 signatures.

Headed by Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz, the government's number three, Sumar said the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) had lost "a significant part of the show's regular audience" for letting Israel participate while "its army is exterminating the Palestinian people and razing its land".

And it denounced the fact the EBU had rebuked Swedish singer Eric Saade, whose father is of Palestinian origin, for breaching a ban on political symbols by wearing a black-and-white keffiyeh scarf around his wrist as he sang.

The keffiyeh has widely been used as a symbol of support for the Palestinian people, including at the protests sweeping university campuses worldwide.

"We at Sumar support the protests across Europe to end this international outrage," it said.

Israel qualified for the final late on Thursday with Eden Golan's Hurricane and will join 26 nations competing in the final in Malmo, Sweden on Saturday night before a global TV audience of millions.

Hezbollah says fires rockets at Israel after deadly strike
6:21 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Lebanon's Hezbollah group said it fired Katyusha rockets at Israel on Friday in retaliation for strikes, which state media said killed two people in the south of the country.

Hezbollah fighters fired "a salvo of Katyusha rockets" at Israel's north "in response to the Israeli enemy's attacks on… civilians, most recently in Tayr Harfa", the group said in a statement.

In a separate statement, the group also claimed a rocket salvo on an army base in northern Israel, later saying its fighters launched a second attack with "dozens of Katyusha rockets" at troops who were assessing the damage at the base.

Earlier on Friday, Lebanon's National News Agency said a first responder from a rescue group affiliated with a Hezbollah-allied movement and a telecoms technician were killed "as a result of the Israeli aggression on Tayr Harfa".

Hamas: Israel's truce rejection sends talks to 'square one'
6:10 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hamas said on Friday that Israel's rejection of a truce plan submitted by mediators at talks in Cairo had sent discussions on a ceasefire and hostage release back to "square one".

"The rejection of the mediators' proposal by Israel… has returned matters to square one," the militant group said in an English-language statement, a day after Israeli and Hamas negotiating teams left Cairo talks on the terms of a truce without a deal.

Hamas said it had agreed to the plan which involved the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, the return of displaced civilians, and the exchange of hostages, with the aim of a "permanent ceasefire" – something Israel has long resisted.

Israel army says four soldiers killed in north Gaza
6:00 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Israeli army said four soldiers were killed on Friday when an "explosive device" went off near a school in Gaza City.

"The four soldiers were killed in the same incident, from an explosive device near a school in the area of Zeitoun", a southern neighbourhood of Gaza City, the military said.

In a statement, the military said that two other soldiers were "seriously injured" in the blast, including an officer.

Separately, the Israeli military said that two soldiers were seriously wounded in southern Gaza, adding that they had been evacuated to hospital for treatment.

Several armed groups issued statements Friday claiming a range of attacks in Gaza.

GHM: 34,943 Palestinians killed since 7 October
5:42 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

At least 34,943 Palestinians have been killed and 78,572 injured in Israel's military offensive in Gaza since 7 October, Gaza's health ministry said in a statement on Friday. 


Palestine 'to continue seeking full UN membership'
5:26 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said that the United Nations General Assembly's backing on Friday of a Palestinian bid to become a full UN member supports Palestinian efforts for another vote on the issue by the UN Security Council.

"Palestine will continue its endeavour to obtain full membership in the U.N.," Abbas added in a statement on Friday.


Israeli foreign min denounces UN decision
5:06 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's foreign minister called a decision by the United Nations General Assembly to upgrade the status of Palestinians in the UN a "prize for Hamas" in a statement released by the minister's office on Friday.

"The absurd decision taken today at the UN General Assembly highlights the structural bias of the UN and the reasons why, under the leadership of UN Secretary-General Guterres, it has turned itself into an irrelevant institution," Israel's foreign minister Israel Katz said.


Palestine thanks the world over UN membership vote
4:44 PM
The New Arab Staff

The State of Palestine has thanked "the peoples of the world, nations, & majority of States who voted for Palestinian self-determination, for Palestinian existence & future" after the United Nations voted in favour of a full Palestinian membership in the UN.

"Thank you for standing for humanity, for the UN Charter, & for freedom & justice. Onwards, until 194th Member," the State said in a statement on X.

UN votes in favor of Palestine membership
4:39 PM
The New Arab Staff

The UN General Assembly has passed a Palestinian bid to become a full member of the United Nations.

The resolution to expand Palestine’s rights at the UN has passed with overwhelming support: 143 countries voted in favour, nine voted against, and 25 abstained.

The Palestinians had revived their bid to become a full UN member - a move that would effectively recognise a Palestinian state - after the United States vetoed it in the 15-member UN Security Council last month.

"We faced and continue to face attempts to push us out of geography and out of history," Palestinian Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, said, speaking on today's vote.

Palestinian charity CEO to stand for Labour Party in UK
4:30 PM
The New Arab Staff

The chief executive of the aid charity Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) has been chosen as a Labour candidate to fight for a seat in Scotland. 

Melanie Ward is set to compete for the Westminister seat of  Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy in Fife after the previous candidate stood down over a row of allegedly racist tweets.

MAP has repeatedly called for a ceasefire on Israel's war on Gaza, in contrast to Labour Party leader Keir Starmer's pro-Israel stance.

Berlin slams calls to boycott Israeli artists
4:00 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Germany said Friday that calls to boycott Israeli artists at the Eurovision song contest were "unacceptable" after demonstrators in host country Sweden protested against Israeli participation due to the Gaza on war.

"Calls to boycott the participation of Israeli artists at cultural events there, as everywhere in Europe and Germany, are absolutely unacceptable," said German Culture Minister Claudia Roth on X, formerly Twitter.


Truckers stuck at Rafah crossing fear food won't reach Gaza
3:30 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Truck drivers stuck at Egypt's border with Gaza say the food they are taking to the Palestinian enclave could spoil as they wait, exacerbating a hunger crisis among Gazans as war rages on.

Israeli forces seized control of the Rafah border crossing this week and are preparing for a widely expected assault on the city next to the frontier where about 1 million people uprooted by the war have been sheltering.

"The closure of the border crossing is not good for all these trucks because these are fridges, which means machine failure doesn't give a warning. If the (fridge) stops working, then all of the food inside will be ruined," said trucker Ahmed al-Bayoumi.

"Here, there’s no (technician) available to fix things, and then we will have to handle the packages again. In any country in the world, food in fridges has priority to be delivered."


US police clear Gaza protests and conduct arrests
3:00 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Police carried out pre-dawn swoops on students protesting the war on Gaza at two more prestigious US universities Friday, in the latest unrest on campuses across the country.

At least ten people were arrested at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) near Boston in the northeast, according to university president Sally Kornbluth, who said she had "no choice" but to dismantle the "high-risk flashpoint."

At the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, officers in tactical gear forcibly removed several dozen students who had linked arms around a statue of Benjamin Franklin, NBC reported.

Students did not resist arrest at either university and both actions appeared to have been relatively peaceful.

Israeli cabinet approves expansion of Rafah operation
2:42 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli security cabinet has approved the expansion of the ongoing Israeli operation in Gaza's southern city of Rafah, according to reports from Axios.

According to sources speaking to Axios, it would be a "measured expansion" that doesn't cross the red line imposed by US President Joe Biden, although another source said such an expansion could still be interpreted by the US administration as crossing the red line. 

The cabinet also instructed the continuation of negotiations between Israel and Hamas in a bid to free Israeli hostages held in Gaza, although Israeli ministers Ben Gvir and Smotrich voted against the decision.

UN: Rafah offensive would lead to 'humanitarian disaster'
2:25 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

An Israeli ground attack in Gaza's Rafah would lead to an "epic humanitarian disaster", UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Friday after negotiators left truce talks in Cairo without a deal.

"A massive ground attack in Rafah would lead to [an] epic humanitarian disaster and pull the plug on our efforts to support people as famine looms," Guterres said during a visit to Nairobi, adding that the situation in the southern Gaza city was "on a knife's edge".

"We are actively engaged with all involved for the resumption of the entry of life-saving supplies - including desperately needed fuel - through Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings," he said, reiterating his calls for a ceasefire.

2 dead in Israel strike on south Lebanon
2:00 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Lebanese state media said an Israeli strike in south Lebanon on Friday killed a first responder from a rescue group affiliated with a Hezbollah-allied movement and a telecoms technician doing maintenance work.

Israel and Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah, a Hamas ally, have exchanged near-daily cross-border fire following the Palestinian group's 7 October attack on southern Israel.

A Risala Scout association rescuer and a technician from Power Tec, which undertakes maintenance work for private mobile service provider MTC Touch, were killed "as a result of the Israeli aggression on Tayr Harfa", Lebanon's National News Agency said.

EU Chief condemns attack on UNRWA grounds
1:30 PM
The New Arab Staff

EU's foreign policy chief has condemned Israel's attack on the UNRWA facility in East Jeruselum, noting that the perpetrators should be held accountable. 

Writing on X, Josep Borrell said, "It is Israel’s responsibility to ensure the safety of humanitarian workers. UNRWA is an irreplaceable lifeline to millions in Gaza and the region."

The UN agency was forced to close its compound temporarily after Israeli extremists set fire to the perimeter.

Israeli whistleblowers detail abuse of Palestinians
1:01 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli whistleblowers told CNN of the abuse Palestinian prisoners in Gaza are facing in detention. 

Three Israeli whistleblowers who worked at the Sde Teiman desert camp say around 70 Palestinian detainees from Gaza are placed under extreme physical restraint in a field hospital where wounded detainees are strapped to their beds, wearing diapers and fed through straws.

"They stripped them down of anything that resembles human beings," one whistleblower told CNN.

The network also obtained images of the detention centre, which is also a military base, that show men in grey tracksuits on "paper-thin mattresses" who appear to be blindfolded.

Hundreds of worshippers enter Al-Aqsa Mosque
12:32 PM
The New Arab Staff

Hundreds of worshippers were able to enter Al-Aqsa mosque in occupied Jeruselum for Friday prayers.

Israel has long claimed that Al-Aqsa was part of Israel and suggested members of all religions have a right to worship at the third holiest site in Islam, despite this breaching the longstanding status-quo arrangement governing the compound.

Columbia University affiliate divests from Israeli companies
12:00 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Union Theological Seminary, an affiliated college to Columbia University, has become the first US institute of higher education to divest from companies linked to Israel's genocide in Gaza.

The Union's Board of Trustees voted on Thursday to divest from all companies profiting off the genocide in Palestine and will start selling all of the shares of the identified companies.

"With respect to companies that are profiting from the present war in Palestine, we continue to hold these standards high and have taken steps to identify all investments, both domestic and global, that support and profit from the present killing of innocent civilians in Palestine," the trustees said in a statement.

"We do it with humility and we do it with a sense of moral conviction," said Union’s president, the Reverend Serene Jones. 

Israeli tanks encircle eastern half of Rafah
11:30 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israeli tanks captured the main road dividing the eastern and western halves of Rafah on Friday, effectively encircling the entire eastern side of the city in the southern Gaza Strip.

Residents described almost constant explosions and gunfire east and northeast of the city on Friday, with Israel's bombardment on the Gaza Strip.

Hamas said it ambushed Israeli tanks near a mosque in the east of the city, a sign the Israelis had penetrated several kilometres from the east to the outskirts of the built-up area.

Israel has ordered civilians out of the eastern half of Rafah, forcing tens of thousands of people to seek shelter outside the city, previously the last refuge of more than a million who fled other parts of the enclave during the war.


UNICEF: More than 100,000 flee Rafah
11:00 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

More than 100,000 people have fled Rafah in recent days, the United Nations said Friday, with the southern Gaza city under threat of a full-scale Israeli ground invasion.

Israel's military on Monday called for Gazans to leave eastern Rafah, which triggered widespread international alarm.

The UN children's agency UNICEF said more than 100,000 had left, with the UN humanitarian agency OCHA putting the figure at more than 110,000.

All eyes have been on Rafah in recent weeks, where the population had swelled to around 1.5 million after hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled fighting in other areas of Gaza.

UN: Aid operations in Gaza could grind to a halt within days
10:30 AM
The New Arab Staff

Dwindling food and fuel stocks could force aid operations to grind to a halt within days in Gaza as vital crossings remain shut, forcing hospitals to shut down and leading to more malnutrition, United Nations aid agencies warned on Friday.

The situation in Gaza has reached "even more unprecedented levels of emergency," Georgios Petropoulos, the head of the Gaza sub-office of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told reporters in a briefing.


Activist Greta Thunberg joins Gaza protests in Sweden
10:01 AM
The New Arab Staff

Climate activist Greta Thunberg has joined protests in Sweden against Eurovision's inclusion of Israel in the contest. 

Thousands have been holding protests in Sweden against Israel participating in the contest - who have now reached the finals.

UN set to back Palestinian bid for membership
9:45 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United Nations General Assembly on Friday is set to back a Palestinian bid to become a full UN member by recognizing it as qualified to join and sending the application back to the UN Security Council to "reconsider the matter favourably."

The Palestinians are reviving their bid to become a full UN member - a move that would effectively recognise a Palestinian state - after the United States vetoed it in the 15-member UN Security Council last month.

The vote by the 193-member General Assembly on Friday will act as a global survey of support for the Palestinians. An application to become a full UN member first needs to be approved by the Security Council and then the General Assembly.


George Washington University camp removed by police
9:30 AM
The New Arab Staff

Police have forcibly quashed the pro-Palestine encampment at George Washington University.

Students were seen waving Palestine flags and chanting on the university grounds while police were encircling the camp.

US police have been cracking down on the nationwide protests demanding for a free Palestine and for universities to divest from Israel-linked companies. 

Israel hits Gaza after truce talks end
9:16 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel launched fresh strikes in the Gaza Strip on Friday after negotiators pursuing a long-stalled truce agreement left talks in Cairo without having secured a deal.

AFP journalists in the Gaza Strip early Friday witnessed artillery strikes on Rafah on the territory's southern border with Egypt, while witnesses reported air strikes and fighting in Gaza City further north.

Israeli and Hamas negotiating teams left Cairo on Thursday after what the Egyptian hosts described as a "two-day round" of indirect negotiations on the terms of a Gaza truce, according to Egyptian intelligence-linked Al-Qahera News.

"The negotiating delegation left Cairo heading to Doha. In practice, the occupation (Israel) rejected the proposal submitted by the mediators and raised objections to it on several central issues," Hamas said in a message to other Palestinian factions, adding it stood by the proposal.

"Accordingly, the ball is now completely in the hands of the occupation."

Students at University of Alberta set up Gaza encampment
8:58 AM
The New Arab Staff

Students at the University of Alberta in Canada have set up an encampment for Gaza on its Main Quad. 

The group, People's University For Palestine YEG, wants the university and MacEwan University to disclose its investments and divest from Israel and will remain at the camp until its demands are met.

"We demand that the University of Alberta discloses and divests! We are here in solidarity with Gaza and encampments internationally, and we will remain here until our demands are met," the group said on Instagram.

Students across the globe have been protesting for the people of Palestine, urging its institutions to divest from Israel-linked companies.

Axios: Blinken expected to say Israel is not breaking law
8:29 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to submit a highly critical report to Congress as soon as Friday on Israel's war on Gaza that stops short of concluding it has violated the terms for its use of US weapons, Axios said on Thursday.

The report, citing three officials, added that the State Department was reviewing the use of weapons by Israel and six other countries engaged in different armed conflicts.

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that the Biden administration was set to miss a Wednesday deadline to report to Congress on whether Israel is violating international humanitarian law in Gaza.


Egypt says Hamas, Israel must show 'flexibility' for truce
8:24 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Egypt says both Hamas and Israel must show "flexibility" if they are to strike a deal for a ceasefire and hostage-prisoner exchange in the seven-month war on the Gaza Strip, according to a foreign ministry statement on Friday.

The readout of a phone call between Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said both diplomats agreed on "the importance of urging the parties to show flexibility and make all the necessary efforts to achieve a ceasefire agreement and put an end to the humanitarian tragedy in Gaza".

Israel qualifies for Eurovision grand finale
8:21 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel qualified for this weekend's Eurovision song contest grand finale, amid protests over the war on Gaza.

Singer Eden Golan performed her song "Hurricane" in Thursday's second semi-final in front of 9,000 spectators at the host city's Malmo Arena and booked her place in the final thanks to viewers' votes.

Israel now joins the group of 26 nations that will compete on Saturday in a contest watched around the world by millions.