US vetoes Palestine full membership bid in Security Council; Israel's war on Gaza continues

US vetoes Palestine full membership bid in Security Council; Israel's war on Gaza continues
The United States used its veto in a UN Security Council vote on a draft resolution recommending full Palestinian membership of the United Nations.
26 min read

Israel launched more deadly strikes on besieged Gaza on Thursday as world powers watched nervously whether the country would retaliate against a weekend attack by its arch-enemy Iran.

The Israeli army said it had bombed dozens of targets in the Palestinian coastal territory of 2.4 million people, more than six months into the bloodiest-ever war on Gaza.

Weeks of talks towards an Israel-Hamas truce and hostage release deal have stalled, according to Qatar's prime minister, who said the Gulf emirate was now "reassessing our role as mediator".

This live blog has now concluded
5:15 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 FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Iran media reports 'no major damage' after explosions heard
5:14 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iranian media said Friday there was "no major damage" reported after explosions were heard near the central city of Isfahan.

"Reports indicate there was no major damage or large explosions caused by the impact of any air threat," the official IRNA news agency said.

flydubai airline cancels flights to Iran: statement
5:12 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Dubai's flydubai airline cancelled flights to Iran on Friday after receiving an official alert, a statement said.

"In line with the issued NOTAM [notice to air missions], our flights to Iran today have been cancelled," said the statement sent to AFP.

Israel military says sirens in northern Israel a false alarm
4:30 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Israeli military said that warning sirens which sounded early on Friday in northern Israel were a false alarm.

The sirens had gone off shortly after unconfirmed reports of Israeli strikes in Iran.


Iran media: Isfahan nuclear facilities 'completely secure'
4:12 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran's local media said on Friday that nuclear facilities in the central city of Isfahan were "completely secure" after explosions were heard near the area.

"Nuclear facilities in Isfahan province are completely secure," the Tasnim news agency reported quoting "reliable sources".

Iran says drones shot down, 'no missile attack for now'
4:06 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran said Friday it shot down several drones and that there had been "no missile attack for now" on the country, after explosions were heard near the central city of Isfahan.

Several drones "have been successfully shot down by the country's air defence, there are no reports of a missile attack for now," Iran's space agency spokesman Hossein Dalirian said on X.

The Fars news agency said "three explosions" were heard near the Shekari army airbase near Isfahan.

Israel launches strike against Iran, US media reports
3:51 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel has launched a strike against Iran in response to its retaliatory weekend attack, US media reported on Thursday night.

ABC and CBS News reported the strikes early on Friday Mideast time, quoting US officials. There was no immediate comment from the White House or Pentagon.

Iran activated its air defence system over several cities, state media reported, after the country's official broadcaster said explosions were heard near the central city of Isfahan.

Iran grounds commercial aircraft across swath of country
3:47 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran grounds commercial aircraft across a wide swath of the country.

Iran activates air defence over several cities: state media
3:45 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran activated on Friday its air defence system over several cities, state media reported, after the country's official broadcaster said explosions were heard near the central city of Isfahan.

"Iran's air defence has been activated in the skies of several provinces of the country," the official IRNA news agency said.

Six Red Crescent staff 'remain detained by Israel'
3:33 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) says six staff members remain detained by Israel.

"[Their] fate remains unknown until this moment," PRCS says on X.

"Their families and colleagues are deeply concerned for them, especially as they are aware that they are currently being subjected to torture and humiliation based on the testimonies of their released colleagues.

"PRCS expresses its grave concern for the safety of its detained teams and calls on the international community to urgently intervene to pressure the occupation authorities for their immediate release."

Oil jumps more than three percent on Middle East worries
3:21 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Oil prices surged more than three percent in early Asian trade on Friday following unconfirmed reports of explosions in Iran, Syria, and Iraq, sparking fears of an escalation of the Middle East crisis.

West Texas Intermediate jumped 3.66 percent to $85.76 and Brent rose 3.44 percent to $90.11.

The reports come after a retaliatory missile attack on Israel by Iran last weekend that Israel's army chief General Herzi Halevi warned would be met with a response.

Flights divert around W Iran as report says explosions heard
2:59 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Commercial flights began diverting their routes early on Friday morning over western Iran without explanation as one semi-official news agency in the Islamic republic claimed there had been "explosions" heard over the city of Isfahan. State television acknowledged "loud noise".

The incident comes as tensions remain high in the wider Middle East after Iran's retaliatory missile-and-drone attack on Israel.

Dubai-based carriers Emirates and FlyDubai began diverting around western Iran about 4:30am local time. They offered no explanation, though local warnings to aviators suggested the airspace may have been closed.

The semi-official Fars news agency reported on the sound of explosions over Isfahan near its international airport. It offered no explanation.

However, Isfahan is home to a major airbase for the Iranian military, as well as sites associated with its nuclear programme.

Iranian state television began a scrolling, on-screen alert acknowledging a "loud noise" near Isfahan, without immediately elaborating.

Over 100 pro-Palestinian protesters arrested from uni campus
2:15 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

More than 100 pro-Palestinian protesters were arrested on Wednesday on the campus of Columbia University after its president authorised New York police to clear an encampment set up by students demonstrating against Israel's actions in Gaza.

Columbia University President Nemat Minouche Shafik, who a day earlier came under fire from Republicans at a House of Representatives committee hearing on antisemitism on campus, said she had authorised police to clear an encampment of dozens of tents set up by protesters on Wednesday morning.

"Out of an abundance of concern for the safety of Columbia’s campus, I authorised the New York Police Department to begin clearing the encampment," Shafik said in a statement.

Shafik said the protesters had violated the school's rules and policies against holding unauthorised demonstrations, and were unwilling to engage with administrators.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said police made over 108 arrests without violence or injuries. Police said the arrests were related to trespassing.

Columbia said it had started to suspend students who had participated in the tent encampment, considered an unauthorised protest.

"We are continuing to identify them and will be sending out formal notifications," a university spokesperson said by email.

At least three students – Isra Hirsi, Maryam Iqbal, and Soph Dinu – have received suspension notices from Barnard College, an affiliate of Columbia, for participating in the encampment, the pro-Palestinian advocacy group Institute for Middle East Understanding said.

Hirsi is the daughter of US Representative Ilhan Omar, who had expressed support for protesters during the hearing at which Shafik testified on Wednesday.

"Those of us in Gaza solidarity encampment will not be intimidated," Hirsi said on social media after being suspended.

The encampment was organised by a student-led coalition of groups, including Columbia University Apartheid Divest, Students for Justice in Palestine, and Jewish Voice for Peace.


US's Austin discusses Iran, Gaza aid with Israel's Gallant
1:21 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on Thursday spoke with Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant to discuss Iran's actions in the Middle East, other regional threats, and aid into Gaza, the Pentagon said in a statement.

Austin discussed "the importance of increasing and sustaining" the flow of humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza, including via a new route from Ashdod Port in Israel, the Pentagon said.


Renewed Israeli bombing of Al-Sabra neighbourhood in Gaza
1:18 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israel renewed bombing of the Al-Sabra neighbourhood in Gaza, The New Arab's Arabic edition Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reports.

S&P cuts Israel credit rating on height'd geopolitical risk
12:47 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Ratings agency S&P Global on Thursday cut Israel's long-term ratings to A-plus from AA-minus after the confrontation with Iran heightened last weekend and amid the already elevated geopolitical risks for Israel.

"We forecast that Israel's general government deficit will widen to 8% of GDP in 2024, mostly as a result of increased defence spending," S&P Global said in its statement.

The negative outlook reflects the risk that the Gaza war and the confrontation with Hezbollah could escalate or affect Israel's economy more than the agency currently expects.

"We currently see several possible military escalation risks, including a more substantial, direct, and sustained military confrontation with Iran," the statement said.

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps carried out a retaliatory attack against Israel over the weekend, an incident which could trigger a major escalation between the regional archenemies, with the US pledging to back Israel.

Earlier this month, Fitch removed Israel from "rating watch negative" and kept its A-plus rating, but cited Israel's war in Gaza as a risk.

In February, Moody's downgraded the country's credit rating on war risks. Far-right Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said that decision was not based on sound economic reasoning and was tantamount to a pessimistic "manifesto".


Hamas condemns US vetoing to prevent Palestine recognition
12:04 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hamas strongly condemns America's position in preventing recognition of the state of Palestine by using the veto, a statement from the group said.


Egypt regrets UNSC inability to enable Palestine membership
11:49 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement that it expresses its deep regret over the inability of the Security Council to enable Palestine to become a full member of the United Nations, against the backdrop of the United States use of its veto.

18 killed, missing in strike on home in Gaza's Sheikh Radwan
11:06 PM
The New Arab Staff

Eighteen people were left dead or missing as a result of an Israeli strike targeting a home in Gaza City's Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood, The New Arab's Arabic edition Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reports.

Israel denounces Palestine UN bid, commends US veto
10:55 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's foreign minister said he commended the United States for casting a veto in the UN Security Council on Thursday to deny the Palestine full membership of the world body.

"The shameful proposal was rejected. Terrorism will not be rewarded," said Foreign Minister Israel Katz.


Palestine says US veto of UN membership is 'unethical'
10:40 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Palestinian presidency condemned on Thursday the US veto of a Security Council draft resolution that recommended a full United Nations membership of a Palestinian state.

The presidency said in a statement the US veto was "unfair, unethical and unjustified".


US vetoes resolution backing Palestine full UN membership
10:17 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States vetoes a widely supported resolution backing full UN membership for Palestine.

US police arrest protesters at uni who set up encampment
9:23 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

New York police arrested protesters at Columbia University on Thursday who had set up a pro-Palestinian encampment on campus.

Several students involved in the protest said they were also suspended from Columbia and Barnard College, including Isra Hirsi, who is the daughter of US Representative Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat.

The congresswoman had questioned Columbia's president, Nemat Shafik, about the school's targeting of pro-Palestinian protesters at a hearing on Wednesday.

Protest organisers said Hirsi also was among those arrested.

Israel agrees to 'take into account US concerns' over Rafah
9:09 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

US and Israeli officials on Thursday discussed American concerns with various courses of action in Rafah, which Israel agreed to take into account and discuss further, the White House said, adding officials will meet again soon.

"The two sides agreed on the shared objective to see Hamas defeated in Rafah," the White House said in a statement.

The meeting involved the US-Israel Strategic Consultative Group, which was convened by US national security adviser Jake Sullivan, the White House added.


Rashida Tlaib says US 'actively participating' in genocide
8:40 PM
The New Arab Staff

US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib says America is "actively participating" in genocide.

"This week, my colleagues want to vote to send over $26B more of our tax dollars to Netanyahu as he carries out the genocide of Palestinians in Gaza," the Palestinian American lawmaker adds on X.

She attaches an almost six-minute video to her post, in which she begins by saying: "Palestinians deserve to live.

"Palestinian children deserve to grow old."

You can watch the rest of the video in the post embedded below.

UN chief: 'Quantum leap' in Gaza aid needed to avert famine
8:05 PM
The New Arab Staff

UN chief António Guterres says a "quantum leap" in humanitarian aid to Gaza is required to "avert imminent famine, and further preventable deaths".

"Humanitarian agencies, led by @UNRWA, must be able to move food & other supplies safely & via all possible routes & crossings, into & throughout Gaza," he adds on social media platform X.

Gaza circumstances still dire, more needs to be done: US
7:52 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The humanitarian circumstances in Gaza are still dire and Israel needs to do more to allow more aid into the strip and coordinate with aid agencies on deconfliction, US State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said on Thursday.

"There has been some measurable progress that we've seen when it comes to humanitarian aid getting into Gaza," Patel told a press briefing.

"But the circumstances within Gaza continue to be dire and more absolutely needs to be done. The crisis that we're seeing demands rapid expansion of these efforts."


Italy hopes any Israeli retaliation on Iran will be targeted
7:49 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel will probably retaliate for Iran's missile and drone attack on 13 April, Italy's foreign minister said on Thursday, adding that he hoped any response would be targeted and doesn’t trigger an escalation.

"Our appeal is always for prudence and de-escalation," Antonio Tajani told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of Group of Seven (G7) foreign ministers.

"We hope that Israel's response, which will probably come, will be a targeted response and not something that provokes escalation."

Iran's 13 April attack came in response to a deadly Israeli strike on Tehran's consulate in Damascus earlier in April.


At UN, Iran warns Israel against further military action
7:35 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran told the United Nations Security Council on Thursday that Israel "must be compelled to stop any further military adventurism against our interests".

Israel has said it will retaliate against Iran's 13 April missile and drone attack, which Tehran says was carried out in response to a deadly Israeli strike on its embassy compound in Damascus earlier this month.

"In case of any use of force by the Israeli regime and violating our sovereignty, the Islamic Republic of Iran will not hesitate a bit to assert its inherent rights to give a decisive and proper response to it to make the regime regret its actions," said Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian.

His remarks came after an Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said earlier on Thursday that Iran could review its "nuclear doctrine" following Israeli threats.

At a UN Security Council meeting on the Middle East, Secretary-General António Guterres urged maximum restraint.

"It is high time to end the bloody cycle of retaliation. It is high time to stop," Guterres said.

"The international community must work together to prevent any actions that could push the entire Middle East over the edge, with a devastating impact on civilians."

Speaking earlier on Thursday in the Security Council, Israel's UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan criticised Amirabdollahian's presence at the world body.

"He is here to make a mockery of you. He is here to show you all – in your suits and with your diplomatic niceties – that his country can launch an attack on another member state on Saturday, and then he can come here on Thursday to lecture you all on human rights and international law," Erdan said.


Palestinian-American poet Fady Joudah receives $100k prize
7:26 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Fady Joudah, an acclaimed Palestinian-American poet who has said he writes for the future because "the present is demolished", has received a $100,000 award from Poets & Writers.

Joudah is this year's winner of the Jackson Poetry Prize, given to an American writer of "exceptional talent".

He was chosen by a panel of three poets: Natalie Diaz, Gregory Pardlo, and Diane Seuss.

The judges' citation, released on Thursday, noted Joudah's "significant and evolving body of work, distinguished by his courage to speak in the face of the unspeakable, in poems of lyric concision and intensity".

Joudah's books include The Earth in the Attic and Tethered to the Stars, along with English-language translations of the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.

His other honours include winning the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition, in 2007, and receiving a PEN USA Literary Award.

The Jackson prize was established in 2007, and has previously been given to Sonia Sanchez, Joy Harjo, and Claudia Rankine, among others.

US to vote against Palestinian bid for full UN membership
7:02 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The United States will on Thursday vote against a Palestinian request for full United Nations membership, a U.S. official told Reuters, blocking the world body from effectively recognizing a Palestinian state.


PRCS recreational day for displaced children at hospital
6:45 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestine Red Crescent Society says it arranged a recreational day for displaced children at a hospital in central Gaza.

The humanitarian group posts footage on social media platform X.

France's Macron to meet Lebanon PM, army chief on Friday
6:33 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

French President Emmanuel Macron said he will meet Lebanon's Prime Minister Najib Mikati and the country's army chief Joseph Aoun in Paris on Friday to discuss ways to stabilise the country given the current Middle East crisis.

Hezbollah forces based in Lebanon have exchanging fire with the Israeli army in recent weeks, marking their most serious hostilities since a 2006 war.

"We need to keep a close eye on the stability of Lebanon," Macron said on Thursday at the end of a European Union summit, at which EU leaders backed new sanctions on Iran after its attack upon Israel.

"The European Council decided to increase its support for the Lebanese armed forces, and aid will be given to put in place vital steps needed for its economy and so it can deal with Syrian refugees," added Macron.

"On this matter, I will host Prime Minister Mikati and army chief Aoun in Paris tomorrow to clarify a roadmap on this."


Emmanuel Macron is the French president [CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON/POOL/AFP/Getty-archive]
UN chief warns Mideast on brink of 'full-scale conflict'
6:11 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Thursday painted a dark picture of the situation in the Middle East, warning that spiraling tensions over Israel's war on Gaza and Iran's retaliatory attack on Israel could devolve into a "full-scale regional conflict".

His speech came hours before a vote in the Security Council on a Palestinian bid for full UN membership – an initiative likely to fail, as the veto-wielding United States, Israel's main ally, has voiced its opposition.

"The Middle East is on a precipice. Recent days have seen a perilous escalation – in words and deeds," Guterres told a high-level Council meeting with several foreign ministers present, including from Jordan and Iran.

"One miscalculation, one miscommunication, one mistake, could lead to the unthinkable – a full-scale regional conflict that would be devastating for all involved," he said, calling on all parties to exercise "maximum restraint".

"Let me be clear: the risks are spiraling on many fronts. We have a shared responsibility to address those risks and pull the region back from the precipice."

Iran unleashed a barrage of missiles and drones on Israel over the weekend in retaliation for a deadly Israeli attack on its consulate in Damascus.

Israeli officials have not said when or where they would retaliate, but the country's military chief has vowed a response.

"It is high time to end the bloody cycle of retaliation," Guterres said. "It is high time to stop."

Pro-Palestinian activist to take aid to Gaza on flotilla
5:48 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Huwaida Arraf, a pro-Palestinian activist, said on Thursday she would join a flotilla planning to carry aid to Gaza from Turkey, aiming to break a naval blockade 14 years after Israeli forces raided the ship she was travelling on during a similar mission.

Relations between Israel and Turkey broke down as a result of that incident in 2010 when Israeli commandos enforcing a blockade of the Gaza Strip killed 10 activists on board the Mavi Marmara ship.


UN: Israeli's war Gaza has created 'humanitarian hellscape'
5:25 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says Israel's war on Gaza has created a “humanitarian hellscape” and escalated regional tensions.

"Ending hostilities in Gaza would significantly defuse tensions across the region," Guterres said.

"I reiterate my calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and the immediate release of all hostages held in Gaza."

Health workers recovered almost 30 bodies buried at Al-Shifa
5:04 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Palestinian health workers have recovered at least 30 bodies buried in front of Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, according to Salama Maarouf, the head of the Gaza Government Media Office.

Quds News Network reports that Maarouf said the Israeli occupation forces deliberately hid the bodies by burying them under waste and sand in the area, using tanks and militarised bulldozers.

Once the biggest hospital in all of Gaza, Al-Shifa has faced two Israeli raids since 7 October over claims that Hamas is using using the site as a "command centre" - an allegation the group has denied.

More bodies are expected to be found.

US imposes new curbs on Iran's access to "low-level" tech
4:52 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The US on Thursday is further restricting Iran's access to "low-level technology" in response to Iran's 13 April attack on Israel and its military support for Russia, according to a posting by the US Department of Commerce.


Israeli delegate warns against Palestinian statehood
4:25 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Israeli occupation delegate at the Security Council said on Friday if the UN Security Council (UNSC) were to grant full membership to the "Palestinian nazi state" at the UN, then it would be known as the "Terror Council".

"If breaking the law means advancing the unilateral establishment of a Palestinian terrorist state, a Palestinian nazi state, then by all means, they're just empty words on paper, right," the delegate said,

"Well, this council has decided to focus on, at the expense of all other calamities around the globe, is to grant a prize to terrorists."

"Granting the perpetrators and supporters of October 7 full membership status in the UN is the vilest reward for the vilest crimes."

"If this resolution passes, God forbid, this council should no longer be known as the Security Council but as the 'Terror Council'."

The UNSC is scheduled to vote Friday on a Palestinian request for full UN membership, said diplomats, a move that Israel ally the United States is expected to block because it would effectively recognize a Palestinian state.

Agencies contributed to this piece

One Palestinian killed in Israeli airstrike on Gaza camp
4:04 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A Palestinian civilian was killed, and three others were injured on Thursday after an Israeli airstrike hit the al-Shati refugee camp, west of Gaza City - Wafa news agency reports.

France's Macron to meet Lebanon PM in Paris Friday
3:47 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The French presidency said France's President Emmanuel Macron will meet Lebanon's Prime Minister Najib Mikati and army chief Joseph Aoun on Friday in Paris.

The announcement on Thursday comes as Lebanon grapples with a deep economic and political crisis, compounded by cross-border fire between Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah group and neighbouring Israel that has renewed fears of a regional conflict.

German man threatened to kill Muslim woman wearing a hijab
3:32 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A German man has been filmed threatening to kill Muslim women wearing a hijab and Palestinian keffiyeh in a metro station in Berlin

The man crossed over to the woman's platform, chased her and called to her friend to "come over here now", making gestures that he would kill them both.

The woman filmed the assault and called the police, but the man boarded a train before they arrived.

The attack happened when she left a pro-Palestine demonstration earlier this month.

US and Israel to hold virtual meeting Thursday on Rafah
3:15 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Senior US and Israeli officials will hold a virtual meeting on Thursday about Israel's plans for the southern Gaza city of Rafah as Washington seeks alternatives to an Israeli offensive, a US official said.

The meeting is a follow-up to a similar meeting held on 1 April.

President Joe Biden has urged Israel not to conduct a large-scale offensive in Rafah to avoid more Palestinian civilian casualties in Gaza, where Palestinian health authorities say more than 39,000 people have been killed in Israel's assault.

The meeting comes as Israel considers launching an attack on Iranian targets in response to Iran's launching of a barrage of drones and ballistic missiles last weekend against Israel.


US and UK issue new sanctions on Iran over attack on Israel
2:51 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The US and UK on Thursday imposed a new round of sanctions on Iran as concern grows that Tehran's unprecedented attack on Israel could fuel a wider war in the Middle East.

Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control targeted 16 people and two entities in Iran that produce engines that power the drones used in the April 13 attack on Israel. Additionally, the UK is targeting several Iranian military organisations, individuals and entities involved in Iran's drone and ballistic missile industries.

"We will continue to deploy our sanctions authority to counter Iran with further actions in the days and weeks ahead," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.

The action comes after US officials earlier this week warned that they were readying new sanctions in response to Iran's activity in the region and to prevent future attacks. 

Google fires 28 workers after sit-ins protest cloud contract
2:24 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Google has fired 28 employees involved in protests over the tech company's cloud computing contract with the Israeli government, according to statements from the company and campaigners.

The workers held sit-ins at the company’s offices in California and New York over Google's $1.2 billion contract to provide custom tools for Israeli's military. They were fired on Wednesday evening after police earlier arrested nine people.

Google said “a small number of employee protesters entered and disrupted a few of our locations.”

“After refusing multiple requests to leave the premises, law enforcement was engaged to remove them to ensure office safety,” Google said.

Read more about it here.

Pakistan says Iran's President Raisi will visit next week
2:00 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi will visit Pakistan as scheduled next week despite increasing tension in the Middle East in the wake of Tehran's aerial attack on Israel, Pakistan's foreign minister said Thursday.

Ishaq Dar said Raisi will arrive in the capital, Islamabad, on April 22 on an official three-day visit.

Dar provided no further details, but the visit seems to be part of efforts by the two sides to mend ties which had briefly been strained in January, when Tehran and Islamabad carried out tit-for-tat strikes targeting militants accused of attacking each other's security forces.

Tensions have been high in the Middle East in anticipation of whether Israel would retaliate against a weekend attack by Iran.

Maldives bans Israeli settlers from entering country
1:29 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Republic of Maldives is now reportedly banning Israeli settlers from entering the country over Israel's ongoing war on Gaza - according to Quds News Network.

"We don't want your money with blood on it," citizens can be heard saying in a video published by the network on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Foreign ministry issues travel warning to Lebanon
1:07 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Turkey's foreign ministry has issued a warning to its nationals traveling to Lebanon, citing regional tensions.

"Our citizens in Lebanon are advised to be cautious and not go to Nabatiyeh, South Lebanon, Bekaa and Baalbek-Hermel, in line with recent developments' reflection on Lebanon," the ministry said in a written statement.

The warning came amid reports saying Israeli drones struck a building in Lebanon's Baalbek city.

Iran warns Tehran could review its 'nuclear doctrine'
12:47 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran could review its "nuclear doctrine" amid Israeli threats, a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said on Thursday, raising concerns about Tehran's nuclear programme, which it has always said was strictly for peaceful purposes.

"A review of our nuclear doctrine and politics as well as considerations previously communicated is entirely possible," Ahmad Haghtalab, the commander in charge of nuclear security, said, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency.


Gaza Death Toll: 33,900 dead and 76,000 injured since 7 Oct
12:33 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Gaza Health Ministry has revealed over 33,900 Palestinians have been killed and over 76,000 injured since 7 October.

The death toll includes 72 per cent being women (over 9,000) and children (over 13,900).

Palestinian woman with dead niece image wins award
12:15 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A haunting image of a grieving Palestinian woman embracing her little niece, killed in an Israeli strike in war-torn Gaza, won the 2024 World Press Photo of the Year Award on Thursday.

The picture taken by Reuters news agency's Mohammed Salem shows Inas Abu Maamar cradling the body of five-year-old Saly, who was killed with her mother and sister when a missile hit their home in Khan Younis in October.

Salem was in Khan Younis' Nasser hospital on 17 October when he saw Maamar, 36, sobbing and tightly holding the wrapped body of her relative in the hospital's morgue.

The picture was taken 10 days after the start of the war on Gaza.

Israeli football facing Palestinian calls for action by FIFA
11:57 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Calls for action against Israel in international football because of the war on Gaza will be stepped up by Palestinian officials at the annual FIFA congress next month.

The Palestine Football Association proposal to 211 member federations in Thailand calls for “appropriate sanctions, with immediate effect, against Israeli teams,” according to FIFA documents released late Wednesday, one month before the May 17 meeting.

The motion notes “international law violations committed by the Israeli occupation in Palestine, particularly in Gaza” and cites FIFA's statutory commitments on human rights and against discrimination.

Hezbollah says two fighters killed in Israel strikes
11:43 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Lebanon's Hezbollah on Thursday said two of its fighters had been killed as Israel appeared to intensify strikes on south Lebanon following an attack by the Iran-backed group that wounded 14 Israeli soldiers.

Hezbollah's attacks in recent days have included an increased use of explosive drones and have wounded people in Israel, which has struck increasingly deeper into Lebanon in recent weeks.

Hezbollah said Thursday that two of its fighters had been "martyred on the road to Jerusalem", the phrase it uses to refer to members killed by Israeli fire, without specifying where or when they died.

UNRWA warns man-made famine tightening grip across Gaza
11:24 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A man-made famine is "tightening its grip" across the Gaza Strip, the head of the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA warned on Wednesday as he accused Israel of blocking aid deliveries and seeking to end UNRWA's activities in the enclave.

"Today, an insidious campaign to end UNRWA's operations is underway, with serious implications for international peace and security," UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini told the 15-member U.N. Security Council.

Iran attack requires 'response' from G7: Germany
11:02 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The G7 must respond to Iran's attack on Israel, Germany's foreign minister said Thursday, adding that measures were being discussed with her counterparts at a meeting in Italy.

"We are also discussing further measures here at the G7, because of course there must be a response to this unprecedented incident," Annalena Baerbock told reporters on the island of Capri.

She added, however, that "there must be no further escalation in the region that would be fatal for its people".

Palestinian journalist Motaz Azaiza on TIME’s 100
10:40 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Palestinian journalist Motaz Azaiza has been featured on TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2024.

The magazine notes that the journalist has been documenting life under Israeli bombardment, providing a view into Gaza that the international press has not been able to get.

EU agrees to expand sanctions on Iran
10:20 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

On Wednesday, EU leaders meeting in Brussels vowed to ramp up sanctions on Iran to target its drone and missile deliveries to proxies in Gaza, Yemen and Lebanon.

Borrell said the existing EU sanctions regime on Iran would be strengthened and expanded to punish Tehran for its attack and help prevent future ones on Israel. At the same time, he said, Israel needed to exercise restraint.

"I don't want to exaggerate, but we are on the edge of a war, a regional war in the Middle East, which will be sending shockwaves to the rest of the world, and in particular to Europe," he warned. "So stop it."

British airline EasyJet cuts losses despite Gaza fallout
9:59 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

EasyJet said Thursday it expected first-half losses to be cut by more than £50 million ($62 million) as strong holiday demand offset higher fuel prices and disruption from the Gaza war.

The no-frills carrier forecast pre-tax losses of between £340 and £360 million in its six months to the end of March, which would be an improvement on the equivalent period a year earlier.

EasyJet, which flies mainly in Europe, paused flights to and from Israel after the Gaza war started in October.

Report: Israel unlikely to strike Iran until after Passover
9:41 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

ABC news has reported that Israel will likely not attack Iran until after Passover, a Jewish holiday that started on Monday and will end on 30 April after nightfall.

Iran has vowed to respond to Iran launching over 300 drones and missiles at Israel over the weekend in response to Israel's airstrike on the Iranian embassy in Syria, killing seven.

Israel reserves 'right to protect itself' after Iran attack
9:21 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country reserved the right to protect itself after Iran's unprecedented attack, and that it alone would decide how to do so.

Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel over the weekend in an attack that caused little damage after most of the projectiles were intercepted.

The Israeli military has vowed to respond, prompting a diplomatic flurry aimed at calming the Middle East.

Maersk's Israel operations continue as normal, company says
9:05 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Danish shipping company Maersk on Thursday said all its operations to, from and in Israel were functioning as normal.

"At this time, all Maersk operations to, from and within Israel are functioning as normal without disruption," the company said in an advisory to clients on its website.


Congress moving swiftly on bipartisan action to punish Iran
8:46 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran's attack against Israel over the weekend has spurred a flurry of bipartisan legislative action in Congress, uniting lawmakers against the country even as the risk of a larger regional war looms.

Several measures introduced and passed in the House and Senate seek to both publicly condemn Iran and punish the Islamic Republic financially.

Lawmakers have denounced Iran's actions, which came in response to a suspected Israeli strike weeks earlier on an Iranian consular building in Syria that killed two Iranian generals.

Israel considered a retaliatory strike on Iran: reports
8:41 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel considered carrying out a strike on Iran in retaliation for Saturday's unprecedented attack but then aborted the plan, according to Israeli and US media reports.

Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles against Israel over the weekend in an attack that caused little damage after most of the projectiles were intercepted.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to respond to the attack, prompting global powers, including main ally the United States, to call for restraint to avoid any further escalation or regional spillover from the months-long war in Gaza.

China and Indonesia call for ceasefire in Gaza
8:38 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Chinese and Indonesian foreign ministers called for an immediate and lasting ceasefire in Gaza after a meeting in Jakarta on Thursday, condemning the humanitarian costs of the ongoing war that has killed tens of thousands of Palestinians.

Indonesia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi, told reporters that the two countries share the same view about the importance of a cease-fire and of resolving the Palestinian problem through a two-state solution.

"I am sure that China would use its influence to prevent escalation," Marsudi said, adding that China and Indonesia "would also fully support Palestine's membership in the UN".