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Four Gaza patients dead as oxygen cut off during Israel raid on Nasser hospital, doctors say - latest

At least four patients in intensive care died because their oxygen supply was cut off when Israeli troops stormed Gaza’s main hospital, according to the doctors.

Israeli special forces have stormed the last major hospital in southern Gaza, with the military saying it is a limited operation to seeking the remains of hostages taken by Hamas.

The raid came a day after the army sought to evacuate thousands of displaced people who had taken shelter at the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis.

The southern city has been the main target of Israel's offensive against Hamas in recent weeks. The military said it had "credible intelligence" that Hamas had held hostages at the hospital and that the remains of hostages might still be inside.

This comes after the UN warned that an Israeli ground invasion into Rafah could lead to slaughter as more tha one million Palestinians shelter there.

UN aid chief Martin Griffiths said Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned offensive could leave an “already fragile humanitarian operation at death’s door.”

Key points

  • Four patients dead as Israeli troops storm hospital in Gaza, doctors say

  • Israeli special forces inside Khan Younis hospital

  • Israel launches 'extensive' strikes in Lebanon

  • Rafah invasion could ‘lead to slaughter’, UN warns

Egypt threatens to void decades-old peace treaty with Israel – what would it mean?

Tuesday 13 February 2024 11:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

It was a warm handshake between the unlikeliest of statesmen, conducted under the beaming gaze of President Jimmy Carter.

Sunlight streamed through the trees at Camp David, Maryland, as Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin solidified a landmark agreement that has allowed over 40 years of peace between Israel and Egypt. It has served as an important source of stability in a volatile region.

That peace has held through two Palestinian uprisings and a series of wars between Israel and Hamas. But now, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowing to send Israeli troops into Rafah, a city in Gaza on the border with Egypt, the Egyptian government is threatening to void the agreement.

Julia Frankel reports.

Egypt threatens to void decades-old peace treaty with Israel – what would it mean?

Houthis struck Iran-bound cargo vessel, says US

Tuesday 13 February 2024 11:59 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Houthi rebels fired two missiles at a ship in the Bab Al-Mandeb strait, the US military said early on Tuesday.

The rebels trageted MV Star Iris, a Greek-owned and Marshall Islands-flagged cargo vessel transiting the Red Sea carrying corn from Brazil.

The Iran-bound vessel suffered minor damage but the crew were not hurt, the US central command said on X.

Labour candidate issues apology over claim Israel allowed October attack

Tuesday 13 February 2024 12:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

The Labour candidate for Rochdale, Azhar Ali, has apologised after he reportedly said Israel had been warned about the 7 October attack and allowed it to happen.

The Labour Party has issued a statement on behalf of the candidate after the Mail on Sunday published comments from a recording of him telling the Lancashire Labour Party that Israel had been warned of the attack before it happened, but they “deliberately took the security off”.

Mr Ali is alleged to have said: “The Egyptians are saying that they warned Israel 10 days earlier... Americans warned them a day before [that] there’s something happening... They deliberately took the security off, they allowed... that massacre that gives them the green light to do whatever they bloody want.”

Zoe Grunewald has more.

Labour candidate issues apology over claim Israel allowed October attack

Death toll from Israel’s Rafah strike rises to 74

Tuesday 13 February 2024 13:02 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

The death toll from Israel’s offensive in southern Gaza’s Rafah city has gone up to 74, the Hamas-controlled health ministry said on Tuesday.

The raid took place early Monday in Rafah, a city on the southern edge of the Gaza Strip where 1.4 million Palestinians have fled to escape fighting elsewhere in Israel’s war against Hamas.

Women and children were among those killed in the airstrikes, Palestinian officials said.

The overall Palestinian death toll from the war in Gaza has surpassed 28,000 people, according to the health ministry.

South Africa asks World Court to weigh Israel's Rafah offensive

Tuesday 13 February 2024 14:29 , Athena Stavrou

South Africa said on Tuesday it had asked the World Court to consider whether Israel’s plan to extend its offensive in Gaza into the city of Rafah requires additional emergency measures to protect Palestinians’ rights.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) last month ordered Israel to take all measures within its power to prevent its troops from committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, in a case brought by South Africa.

Israel has said it is planning to expand its ground assault into Rafah, where over 1 million Palestinians have sought refuge from the offensive that has laid waste to much of the Gaza Strip since Hamas militants attacked Israel on Oct. 7.

“In a request submitted to the court yesterday (Feb. 12), the South African government said it was gravely concerned that the unprecedented military offensive against Rafah, as announced by the State of Israel, has already led to and will result in further large-scale killing, harm and destruction,” a statement issued by South Africa’s presidency said.

“This would be in serious and irreparable breach both of the Genocide Convention and of the Court’s Order of Jan. 26.”

Three found guilty of terror offences for wearing images of paragliders at a pro-Palestine march

Tuesday 13 February 2024 14:43 , Athena Stavrou

Three people have been found guilty at Westminster Magistrates’ Court of a terror offence after they displayed images of paragliders at a pro-Palestine march in central London a week after Hamas militants attacked Israel.

Giving his verdict, Deputy Senior District Judge Tan Ikram said: “Seven days earlier, Hamas went into Israel with what was described by the media as paragliders. A reasonable person would have seen and read that.

“I do not find a reasonable person would interpret the image merely as a symbol of freedom.

“I want to be clear, there’s no evidence that any of these defendants are supporters of Hamas, or were seeking to show support for them.”

Hezbollah chief says border conflict with Israel will stop only when 'aggression' on Gaza ends

Tuesday 13 February 2024 15:10 , Athena Stavrou

The head of Lebanon’s powerful armed group Hezbollah said on Tuesday that his faction’s cross-border shelling into Israel would only end when Israel‘s “aggression” on the Gaza Strip stops.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah threatened to displace more residents from northern Israel, where tens of thousands have already been evacuated from months of Hezbollah rocket fire, and said that if Israel‘s military widened the war his group would do the same.

Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasralla (REUTERS)
Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasralla (REUTERS)

Palestinian relief agency head deplores 'short-sighted' calls for closure

Tuesday 13 February 2024 15:30 , Athena Stavrou

The head of UNRWA said on Tuesday calls for it to be dismantled were short-sighted and that terminating the mandate of the agency that provides essential services to Palestinian refugees would deepen the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Funding from several countries including the UK, US, Japan and Germany withdrew funding from the organisation after an Israeli intelligence dossier alleged that nearly 200 UNRWA workers are Hamas or Islamic Jihad operatives.

“I have talked to the member states about all these calls to have UNRWA dismantled, to be terminated. I have warned about the impact, I have said that these calls are short-sighted,” UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini said after meeting member states at the United Nations in Geneva.

David Cameron insists UK will challenge Israel on actions in Gaza

Tuesday 13 February 2024 16:00 , Athena Stavrou

The UK will continue to challenge Israel over its actions in Gaza, as it judges “whether they are compliant with international humanitarian law”, Lord Cameron has said.

Green peer Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle had asked the Foreign Secretary about the UK’s actions to protect children in Gaza, and suggested it was “time to stop all arms shipments to Israel” as well as “implement targeted sanctions against members of the Israeli leadership, particularly those calling for new settlements in Gaza and on the West Bank”.

Lord Cameron replied: “We want to see an end to the suffering, an end to this killing. Let me just make this point that the pause we are calling for, we want to turn into a ceasefire by making sure the conditions are right for getting a stop in the fighting to mean a permanent ceasefire.

“The way you do that is by fulfilling a number of conditions. You have got to get in our view the Hamas leaders out of Gaza, otherwise any ceasefire won’t last because the problem will still be there.

“You have got to dismantle the operation of terrorist attacks, you have got to have a new Palestinian Authority government in place, you have got to give the Palestinian people a political horizon to a better future and a two-state solution, and crucially you have got to release all of the hostages and do that very quickly.

“She asked if we challenge the Israel Government over individual episodes, yes we absolutely do. I have done that personally with them over for instance a building that was bombed that had UK medics and other charities in, and we will continue to do that as part of the very important process that we go through to judge whether they are compliant with international humanitarian law.”

Lord Cameron said he was ‘very concerned’ about the situation in Rafah (Lucy North/PA) (PA Wire)
Lord Cameron said he was ‘very concerned’ about the situation in Rafah (Lucy North/PA) (PA Wire)

Trio guilty of displaying images of paragliders at pro-Palestinian march given conditional discharge

Tuesday 13 February 2024 16:30 , Athena Stavrou

Three people who displayed images of paragliders at a pro-Palestinian march in central London a week after Hamas militants entered Israel have been found guilty of a terror offence.

Heba Alhayek, 29, and Pauline Ankunda, 26, attached images of paragliders to their backs with tape, while Noimutu Olayinka Taiwo, 27, stuck one to the handle of a placard.

They displayed the images on October 14 2023, just seven days after militants from Hamas used paragliders to enter Israel from Gaza on October 7 before killing more than 1,000 Israelis.

They were charged under the Terrorism Act with carrying or displaying an article to arouse reasonable suspicion that they are supporters of banned organisation Hamas, which they denied.

But following a two-day trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, the trio were found guilty on Tuesday after prosecutors argued it was “no coincidence” the defendants were displaying the images so soon after the attack.

Giving his verdict, Deputy Senior District Judge Tan Ikram said: “Seven days earlier, Hamas went into Israel with what was described by the media as paragliders. A reasonable person would have seen and read that. I do not find a reasonable person would interpret the image merely as a symbol of freedom.

But Mr Ikram said he had “decided not to punish” the defendants, and handed the trio each a 12-month conditional discharge.

“You crossed the line, but it would have been fair to say that emotions ran very high on this issue,” he added.

“Your lesson has been well learned. I do not find you were seeking to show any support for Hamas.”

France to impose travel bans on violent Israeli settlers

Tuesday 13 February 2024 17:00 , Athena Stavrou

France will ban 28 Israeli settlers from entering the country, accusing them of attacking Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, its foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

“These measures come as violence perpetrated by settlers against the Palestinian population has increased in recent months. France reaffirms its firm condemnation of this unacceptable violence,” the ministry said in a statement.

It did not name the individuals.

UN figures show that daily settler attacks have more than doubled since Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7 and the ensuing assault on the Palestinian enclave of Gaza.

While much international attention has focused on that cross-border assault and Israel’s subsequent war there, European officials have also expressed increasing concern about rising violence against Palestinians in the West Bank.

The United States and Britain have expressed similar concerns and have already imposed sanctions on several settlers whom they say are responsible for violence.

Voices: The killing of six-year-old Hind Rajab in Gaza should shame us all

Tuesday 13 February 2024 17:30 , Athena Stavrou

If every war has a tipping point, the death of little Hind Rajab should be it.

The six-year-old was killed in Gaza City by what undeniably looks like Israeli gunfire, while trapped in a car, surrounded by the bodies of her dead relatives.

An ambulance that had reportedly received permission to rescue Hind from the unthinkable scene was also fired on. Two paramedics lost their lives. The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) has accused Israel of deliberately targeting them.

Israel has not released an official statement regarding Hind, her family, or the deaths of the paramedics – naysayers will argue that we can’t possibly attribute culpability; that we don’t know what really happened.

But all too often, the simplest explanation is the right one. And the facts speak for themselves, no matter which way you look at it: a little girl died, alone and terrified, in unimaginable circumstances. Her death shames us all.

Victoria Richards writes:

The killing of six-year-old Hind Rajab in Gaza shames us all | Victoria Richards

Some Palestinians leave Rafah refuge, fearing Israeli assault

Tuesday 13 February 2024 18:00 , Athena Stavrou

Some of the Palestinian people who fled their homes in Gaza for the safety of Rafah have been forced to flee once again as Israel launches an airstrike on the region.

Nahla Jarwan fled her home in the central Gaza Strip to seek refuge in Rafah - like more than 1 million other Palestinians escaping Israel’s military offensive.

She is one of dozens of people who residents said were leaving Rafah on Tuesday after Israeli shelling and air strikes in recent days.

“I fled Al-Maghazi, came to Rafah, and here I am, returning to Al-Maghazi,” said Jarwan, referring to the refugee camp from which she fled earlier in the conflict.n“Last night in Rafah was very tough. We’re going back to Al-Maghazi out of fear - displaced from one area to another; hopefully Al-Maghazi area would safe, God willing.”

She added: “Wherever we go, there is no safety.”

 (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
(Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Three Palestinians killed by Israeli sniper fire on Gazan hospital

Tuesday 13 February 2024 20:39 , Alexander Butler

At least three Palestinians were killed and 10 others injured by Israeli sniper fire on Gaza’s Nasser Medical Complex since Tuesday afternoon, the Palestinian health ministry said in a statement.

Rafah invasion could ‘lead to slaughter’, UN warns

Tuesday 13 February 2024 21:16 , Alexander Butler

The United Nations on Tuesday warned against an Israeli ground invasion of Rafah in the Gaza Strip, saying an offensive could “lead to a slaughter” in the southern region of the Palestinian enclave where more than 1 million people are sheltering.

Israel says it wants to flush out Hamas militants from hideouts in Rafah and free Israeli hostages being held there, and is making plans to evacuate trapped Palestinian civilians.

“Military operations in Rafah could lead to a slaughter in Gaza. They could also leave an already fragile humanitarian operation at death’s door,” said U.N. aid chief Martin Griffiths. “We lack the safety guarantees, the aid supplies and the staff capacity to keep this operation afloat.

“The international community has been warning against the dangerous consequences of any ground invasion in Rafah. The Government of Israel cannot continue to ignore these calls,” he said in a statement.

US Senate approves $95bn aid for Ukraine and Israel in pre-dawn vote

Tuesday 13 February 2024 23:00 , Alexander Butler

US Senate approves $95bn aid for Ukraine and Israel in pre-dawn vote

South Africa asks UN court to urgently examine Israel's targeting of Rafah

Wednesday 14 February 2024 00:01 , Alexander Butler

South Africa asks UN court to urgently examine Israel's targeting of Rafah in ongoing genocide case

Netanyahu will not move into Rafah ‘if Hamas surrender’

Wednesday 14 February 2024 01:00 , Alexander Butler

Netanyahu will not move into Rafah ‘if Hamas surrender’, says Israel spokesperson

Israel and Hamas are making progress in cease-fire and hostage release talks, officials say

Wednesday 14 February 2024 02:00 , Alexander Butler

Israel and Hamas are making progress in cease-fire and hostage release talks, officials say

Why Israel’s assault on Rafah could mean the worst is yet to come: ‘We have nowhere left to go’

Wednesday 14 February 2024 03:00 , Alexander Butler

‘We have no where left to go’: Israel assault on Rafah

Airstrike from Israeli hostage rescue wipes out entire Palestinian family

Wednesday 14 February 2024 03:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Ibrahim Hasouna trudged over the rubble of the destroyed house, pointing out where family moments had taken place — where his mother and sister-in-law used to sleep, where he played with his five-year-old nieces, where he helped his one-year-old nephew take his first steps.

His entire family was now dead — his parents, his two brothers, and the wife and three children of one of those brothers.

The house was reduced to rubble on top of them in the barrage of airstrikes that Israeli warplanes inflicted across Rafah before dawn Monday as cover for troops rescuing two hostages elsewhere in the town on the southern Gaza border.

At least 74 Palestinians were killed in the bombardment, which flattened large swaths of buildings and tents sheltering families who had fled to Rafah from across Gaza.

More here.

Airstrike from Israeli hostage rescue wipes out entire Palestinian family in Gaza border town

US says journalists must be protected

Wednesday 14 February 2024 04:00 , Alexander Butler

The United States has urged Israel to protect journalists working in Gaza following Al Jazeera reporters who were severely injured in an Israeli drone strike.

“Let me offer, of course, condolences to your colleagues who have been injured. And I know that they are not the first Al Jazeera journalists to have been harmed during this conflict. So they have our sincere condolences, as do their families, as do all of you at Al Jazeera,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters.

“We continue to engage with the government of Israel to make clear that journalists ought to be protected.”

Gaza truce talks end inconclusively

Wednesday 14 February 2024 04:22 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Talks involving the US, Egypt, Israel and Qatar on a Gaza truce ended without a breakthrough on Tuesday as calls grew for Israel to hold back on a planned assault on the southern end of the enclave, crammed with over a million displaced people.

The city of Rafah, whose pre-war population was about 300,000, teems with homeless people living in tent camps and makeshift shelters who fled there from Israeli bombardments in areas of Gaza farther north during more than four months of war.

Israel says it wants to flush out Hamas militants from hideouts in Rafah and free Israeli hostages being held there. Its military is making plans to evacuate Palestinian civilians. But no plan has been forthcoming and aid agencies say the displaced have nowhere else to go in the shattered territory.

Democrats are finally starting to break with Israel

Wednesday 14 February 2024 04:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

During the final hours of debate on the security supplemental package, Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland excoriated the Israeli government’s actions in Gaza.

In doing so, he all but accused Benjamin Netanyahu’s government of committing international war crimes.“Kids in Gaza are now dying from the deliberate withholding of food,” he said on the floor of the United States Senate.

“In addition to the horror of that news, one other thing is true. That is a war crime.”

Van Hollen is one of only a handful of Democratic senators who supports a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. And hearing any United States senator say Israel has effectively committed war crimes is unprecedented, given widespread support for Israel across both parties.

Van Hollen joined 47 other Democratic Senators in the wee hours of Tuesday morning to vote for a national security legislative package that included $14.1bn in security assistance to Israel, along with aid to Ukraine and allies in the Indo-Pacific to push back against China.

Eric Garcia reports.

Democrats are finally starting to break with Israel

South Africa asks UN court to urgently examine Israel’s targeting of Rafah

Wednesday 14 February 2024 05:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

The government of South Africa lodged an “urgent request” with the UN’s International Court of Justice to consider whether Israel’s military operations targeting the southern Gaza city of Rafah are a breach of provisional orders the court handed down last month in a case alleging genocide.

South Africa said it asked the court to weigh whether Israel’s strikes on Rafah, and its intention to launch a ground offensive on the city where 1.4 million Palestinians have sought shelter, breaches both the UN Genocide Convention and preliminary orders handed down by the court last month in a case accusing Israel of genocide.

South Africa said Rafah was “the last refuge for surviving people in Gaza” while asking the UN court to consider using its powers to issue additional preliminary orders telling Israel to halt the deaths and destruction there.

Starmer engulfed in second Labour antisemitism row

Wednesday 14 February 2024 05:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Sir Keir Starmer is at the centre of a second antisemitism storm after Labour was forced to suspend a would-be MP just 24 hours after it ditched its candidate in the Rochdale by-election.

The party acted after Graham Jones, the prospective Labour MP for Hyndburn, appeared to say that Britons who volunteer to fight for the Israel Defense Forces “should be locked up”.

His taped comments, in which he also referred to “f***ing Israel”, were reportedly made in a rant to Labour’s former candidate in Rochdale, Azhar Ali, at a now infamous meeting at which Mr Ali claimed that Israel had “allowed” last October’s Hamas terror attacks to take place so that it could use them as a pretext to attack Gaza.

The latest row erupted just hours after Sir Keir insisted he had taken decisive action following accusations that the two-day delay in withdrawing support for Mr Ali was “shambolic”.

Kate Devlin and Archie Mitchell report.

Starmer engulfed in second Labour antisemitism row after Rochdale by-election furore

Hamas claims more attacks against Israeli forces

Wednesday 14 February 2024 06:00 , Alexander Butler

Hamas claimed it targeted an Israeli armoured personnel vehicle with a mortar shell in Khan Younis and blew up three tunnel shafts around Israeli troops in the southern Gaza city.

The organisation later said it also fired mortar shells at a tank and a military bulldozer north of Khan Younis and detonated a boobytrapped house with Israeli troops inside in the same area.

Over 7,000 Palestinians detained by Israel in occupied West Bank - report

Wednesday 14 February 2024 06:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

More than 7,000 Palestinians have been detained in the occupied West Bank since Hamas’s 7 October attack on South Israel, according to rights groups.

About 440 children and 220 women were among those detained by Israeli forces in four months, the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), and the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association said in a joint statement.

The groups said Israeli forces detained 53 journalists, 36 of whom were still in detention, and placed 21 others under administrative detention.

What’s inside US Senate’s $95bn bill to aid Ukraine and Israel

Wednesday 14 February 2024 07:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

The Senate early Tuesday passed an emergency spending package that would provide military aid to Ukraine and Israel; replenish US weapons systems; and provide food, water, and other humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza.

The Senate jettisoned from the package a bipartisan effort to boost immigration enforcement at the US-Mexico border after most Republican senators, following the lead of former president Donald Trump, deemed the bipartisan proposal inadequate. Abandoning the border proposal brought the price tag of the bill down to about $95.3bn.

Now that the Senate has approved the emergency spending package, it is up to the Republican-led House to take it up, change it or let it die.

Speaker Mike Johnson cast new doubt on the package in a statement Monday evening, making clear that it could be weeks or months before Congress sends the legislation to president Joe Biden’s desk — if at all.

More here.

What’s inside US Senate’s $95 billion bill to aid Ukraine, Israel and counter China

In Pics: Aftermath of Israel’s strikes in Rafah

Wednesday 14 February 2024 07:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Palestinians inspect the rubble of the Hasouna family house, which was struck by an Israeli airstrike (AP)
Palestinians inspect the rubble of the Hasouna family house, which was struck by an Israeli airstrike (AP)
Ibrahim Hasouna, center, the sole survivor among his family, sits amidst the debris of his bombed home in Rafa (AP)
Ibrahim Hasouna, center, the sole survivor among his family, sits amidst the debris of his bombed home in Rafa (AP)
Palestinians sit by the destruction from the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Palestinians sit by the destruction from the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Budget carrier Ryanair cancels all flights to Israel

Wednesday 14 February 2024 08:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Irish budget air carrier Ryanair has cancelled all its flights to and from Israel for the months of March and April, Haaretz reported on Tuesday.

Ryanair had initially cancelled its services to Israel following a Hamas attack on southern Israel on 7 October, but resumed operations just two weeks ago.

While flights scheduled for February were still listed, they are likely to be cancelled, according to the report.

Latest Gaza death toll

Wednesday 14 February 2024 09:33 , Chris Stevenson

At least 28,576 Palestinians have been killed and 68,291 injured in Israeli strikes on Gaza since 7 October, the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza has said.

In the last 24 hours, 103 Palestinians were killed and 145 injured, the ministry's statement added.

Hostage families head to the Hague

Wednesday 14 February 2024 09:57 , Chris Stevenson

Israeli survivors of the 7 October Hamas attack – and family members of hostages – are stepping up efforts to get the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor to scrutinise Hamas' crimes as part of his investigation into the attack and Israel's response in Gaza.

"We want to make sure that the world acts and that their freedom is hindered," Udi Goren, cousin of 41-year-old Tal Haimi who was abducted on 7 October. Mr Haimi was later confirmed dead, his body still being held in Gaza.

"We want to ... make sure that the leaders of Hamas are taken into custody or that they cannot leave Qatar anymore and that this puts pressure on them to release the hostages," Mr Goren said, speaking at Israel's Ben Gurion airport.

Mr Goren was among a group of around 100 family members of hostages preparing to fly to the ICC's headquarters in The Hague.

Israel is not a member of the ICC and does not recognise its jurisdiction. But prosecutor Karim Khan reaffirmed to Reuters this week that the court has jurisdiction over the events of 7 October and they form part of the court's investigation. He declined to comment further on the ongoing investigation.

Gas pipeline explosions

Wednesday 14 February 2024 10:25 , Chris Stevenson

Explosions have struck a natural gas pipeline in Iran, with an official blaming the blasts on "sabotage and terrorist action" as tensions remain high in the Middle East amid Israel's war on Hamas.

The pipeline runs from Iran's western Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province up north to cities on the Caspian Sea. The roughly 790-mile structure begins in Asaluyeh, a hub for Iran's offshore South Pars gas field.

Saeed Aghli, the manager of Iran's gas network control centre, told Iranian state television that "sabotage and terrorist action" caused explosions along several areas of the line.

There are no known insurgent groups operating in that province, home to the Bakhtiari, a branch of Iran's Lur ethnic group. In the past, Arab separatists in south-western Iran have claimed attacks against oil pipelines. However, attacks against such infrastructure are rare elsewhere.

Wednesday 14 February 2024 10:58 , Chris Stevenson

Here are some of the latest pictures from Gaza, focusing on the southern border city of Rafah:

Palestinians inspect the rubble of the Hasouna family house, which was struck by an Israeli airstrike during an operation to rescue two hostages in Rafah (AP)
Palestinians inspect the rubble of the Hasouna family house, which was struck by an Israeli airstrike during an operation to rescue two hostages in Rafah (AP)
Displaced Palestinians who fled their houses due to Israeli strikes take shelter in a tent camp, in Rafah (Reuters)
Displaced Palestinians who fled their houses due to Israeli strikes take shelter in a tent camp, in Rafah (Reuters)
Palestinians walk at the site of an Israeli strike on a house, in Rafah (REUTERS)
Palestinians walk at the site of an Israeli strike on a house, in Rafah (REUTERS)

Security survey

Wednesday 14 February 2024 11:29 , Chris Stevenson

About two-thirds of Jewish Americans felt less secure in late 2023 than they did a year earlier, according to a survey mostly conducted after the Hamas attack on Israel on and released now.

The American Jewish Committee, an advocacy group, said the survey was based on telephone and online interviews from Octiber to November. The findings were compared to the same survey a year earlier.

Gaza warning from UK

Wednesday 14 February 2024 12:19 , Chris Stevenson

As the UN warns of dire consequences of an Israeli asasault into the Gaza border city of Rafah, where more than a million Palestinians are sheltering, the UK’s foreign secretary – David Cameron – has warned Israel to “stop and think” befire moving in any further,

David Cameron urges Israel to ‘think seriously’ before taking further action in Rafah

Gaza reaction to ceasefire talks

Wednesday 14 February 2024 12:43 , Chris Stevenson

Palestinians are increasingly conncerned about an Israeli assault into Gaza, particulary in the wake of there being no major breakthrough in recent ceasefire talks.

"The news was disappointing, we hoped there could be a deal reached in Cairo. We are now counting down the days before Israel sends in tanks. We hope they don't but who can prevent them?" Said Jaber, a Gaza businessman who is sheltering in Rafah with his family, told Reuters via a chat app. "We've lost our homes, our jobs. Isn't that enough? We've had enough of this war, and we will need decades to rebuild Gaza and regain our lives. When will the world stop Israel's slaughter of our people?"

Erdogan visits Egypt

Wednesday 14 February 2024 13:22 , Chris Stevenson

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is making his first visit to Egypt since 2012 , taking a big step toward rebuilding relations between the regional powers.

Mr Erdogan has said discussions would focus on Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip. Mr Erdogan and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, whose relations frayed over Egypt's 2013 military coup and its fallout for the Muslim Brotherhood, planned to hold a joint press conference later.

The visit caps diplomatic efforts in recent years to thaw the nations' frosty relations. They mutually appointed ambassadors last year, and this month Turkey said it would provide Egypt with armed drones.

Relations between Ankara and Cairo broke down in 2013 after Egypt's then-army chief, Mr Sisi, led the ousting of the Brotherhood's Mohamed Mursi, an ally of Turkey who had become Egypt's first democratically elected president the year before.

Mr Sisi greeted Erdogan as he emerged from his plane in Cairo with his wife and they conversed as they walked along a red carpet amid a fanfare, live television footage showed.

According to a draft programme, Mr Sisi and Mr Erdogan were to hold bilateral talks before a meeting between the two delegations, with a formal dinner planned.

Mr Erdogan has sought to ease tensions with Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Israel since 2021 - though since October he has publicly sniped with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over Israel's devastating war against Palestinian militant group Hamas in Gaza.

Israel-Lebanon strikes

Wednesday 14 February 2024 14:12 , Chris Stevenson

In northern Israel, a rocket attack from Lebanon has killed an Israeli woman in a barrage that also hit a military base and wounded several other people on Wednesday, an Israeli government spokesperson has said.

Israel carried out airstrikes in southern Lebanon in response, killing four people, including a Syrian woman and her two Lebanese children, and wounding at least nine, Lebanese security officials and local media said.

Israel and Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group, which supports Hamas, have traded fire along the border nearly every day since the start of the war in Gaza, raising the risk of a wider conflict. Hezbollah did not immediately claim responsibility for the rocket attack.

UK troops in Saudi Arabia

Wednesday 14 February 2024 14:45 , Chris Stevenson

Britain has troops stationed in Saudi Arabia to provide air defence against possible drone and missile attacks by Houthi rebels at a time of growing concern about the escalating conflict in the Middle East.

A unit of around 50 gunners from 12 Regiment Royal Artillery are deployed at a base near Riyadh, as well as well as number of oil installations, in a bilateral defence arrangement with the Kingdom which had led a military alliance against the Houthis in Yemen.

Read more from our World Affairs Editor, Kim Sengupta, here:

UK troops stationed in Saudi Arabia with missiles to defend against Houthi attacks

Rafah residents have nowhere to go

Wednesday 14 February 2024 15:43 , Chris Stevenson

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said people in Rafah with nowhere to go "cannot simply vanish into thin air" as Israel prepares an assault on the border city.

"They need safe places and safe corridors to avoid being caught in the crossfire even more," she said before talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Stand firm on Rafah, diplomat says

Wednesday 14 February 2024 16:33 , Chris Stevenson

The Palestinian foreign minister has said that efforts were underway to prevent an "imminent" Israeli attack on the city of Rafah in southern Gaza Strip.

Riyad al-Maliki urged the international community to "stand firm" and "act responsibly" to end the war. He also said there's "collective responsibility" to prevent the war from either dragging on or expanding to the occupued West Bank or neighboring states like Lebanon.

"We are looking at ways how to prevent that attack on Rafah," Mr Maliki said after talks with his Cypriot counterpart Constantinos Kombos.

Ceasefire roadblock

Wednesday 14 February 2024 18:13 , Chris Stevenson

International efforts to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas have suffered a setback, withas Israel reportedly recalled its negotiating team and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Hamas of hobbling the high-stakes negotiations by sticking to "delusional" demands.

Mr Netanyahu's remarks came hours after local media reported that the Israeli leader had ordered an Israeli delegation not to continue talks in Cairo, raising concerns over the fate of the negotiations and sparking criticism from the families of the roughly 130 remaining captives, about a fourth of whom are said to be dead.

The relatives of the hostages said Netanyahu's decision amounted to a "death sentence" for their loved ones.

Israel’s military orders evacuation of last major hospital in south Gaza – as doctors say it is under siege

Wednesday 14 February 2024 19:00 , Bel Trew

Israel’s military orders evacuation of last major hospital in south Gaza

Israeli offensive on Rafah would be a humanitarian catastrophe, says German foreign minister

Wednesday 14 February 2024 20:50 , Alexander Butler

An offensive on the city of Rafah where 1.3 million people have sought refuge would be a humanitarian catastrophe, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Wednesday.

“1.3 million people are waiting there in a very small space. They don’t really have anywhere else to go right now ... If the Israeli army were to launch an offensive on Rafah under these conditions, it would be a humanitarian catastrophe,” Baerbock said in a news conference in Jerusalem during her visit to Israel.

Israel launches 'extensive' strikes in Lebanon

Wednesday 14 February 2024 22:00 , Alexander Butler

Four people have been killed in an “extensive wave” of Israeli air strikes in Lebanon launched after Hezbollah rocket fire killed a soldier in Israel.

A woman and two children were killed in the southern Lebanese town of Souaneh, state media and security sources said.

A man who Hezbollah identified as one of its fighters was killed in Aadchit.

Israel’s military said it hit Hezbollah infrastructure in response to a deadly rocket attack on its base in the northern Israeli town of Safed.

Families of hostages visit international court to urge the arrest of Hamas leaders

Wednesday 14 February 2024 23:00 , Alexander Butler

Families of hostages visit international court to urge the arrest of Hamas leaders

Helen Mirren, Boy George and Scooter Braun among celebrities endorsing Israel’s inclusion in Eurovision 2024

Thursday 15 February 2024 00:01 , Alexander Butler

Helen Mirren and Boy George among figures endorsing Israel’s inclusion in Eurovision

Iran claims terrorists blew up gas pipeline

Thursday 15 February 2024 01:00 , Alexander Butler

Iran claims terrorists blew up gas pipeline

Islamic centre under investigation for ‘death to Israel’ chants

Thursday 15 February 2024 02:00 , Alexander Butler

Islamic centre under investigation for ‘death to Israel’ chants

Democrats are finally starting to break with Israel

Thursday 15 February 2024 03:00 , Alexander Butler

Democrats are finally starting to break with Israel

Three pro-Palestine protesters found guilty of terror offence over paraglider images

Thursday 15 February 2024 04:00 , Alexander Butler

Three pro-Palestine protesters found guilty of terror offence over paraglider images

What’s inside US Senate’s $95 billion bill to aid Ukraine and Israel and counter China

Thursday 15 February 2024 05:00 , Alexander Butler

What’s inside US Senate’s $95 billion bill to aid Ukraine, Israel and counter China

Netanyahu will not move into Rafah ‘if Hamas surrender’

Thursday 15 February 2024 06:00 , Alexander Butler

Netanyahu will not move into Rafah ‘if Hamas surrender’, says Israel spokesperson

Israeli special forces inside hospital

Thursday 15 February 2024 10:14 , Chris Stevenson

Israeli special forces are operating inside Nasser Hospital in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, the military said on Thursday, claiming it had credible information that the bodies of hostages taken on 7 October may be in the facility.

"We conduct precise rescue operations – as we have in the past – where our intelligence indicates that the bodies of hostages may be held," the military said in a statement. The raid came a day after the army sought to evacuate thousands of displaced people who had taken shelter at the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis.

The southern city has been the main target of Israel‘s offensive against Hamas in recent weeks. Israel accuses Hamas of using hospitals and other civilian structures to shield its fighters, something Hamas and hospital staff have denied.

Israeli airstrikes kill 10 Lebanese civilians – reports

Thursday 15 February 2024 10:45 , Namita Singh

The civilian death toll from two Israeli airstrikes in Lebanon has risen to 10, Lebanese state media reported, making the previous day the deadliest in more than four months of cross-border exchanges.

The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has vowed to retaliate for Wednesday’s strikes, which hit in the city of Nabatiyeh and a village in southern Lebanon, just hours after projectiles from Lebanon killed an Israeli soldier.

Men check the destruction following an Israeli airstrike the previous day on the village of Taybeh near the border with Israel in southern Lebanon, on 15 February 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)
Men check the destruction following an Israeli airstrike the previous day on the village of Taybeh near the border with Israel in southern Lebanon, on 15 February 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

One patient dead and seven wounded in Israel army operation ‘seeking remains of hostages’

Thursday 15 February 2024 10:55 , Namita Singh

Israeli troops entered the main hospital in southern Gaza today in what the army said was a limited operation seeking the remains of hostages taken by Hamas.

One patient died and seven were wounded when Nasser Hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis came under fire on Wednesday, Dr Khaled Alserr, one of the remaining surgeons at the hospital, told The Associated Press.

Israel accuses Hamas of using hospitals and other civilian structures to shield its fighters. The military said it had “credible intelligence” that Hamas had held hostages at the hospital and that the remains of hostages might still be inside.

Hamas chief says any deal should secure truce, Israeli pullout from Gaza

Thursday 15 February 2024 11:00 , Namita Singh

Any agreement between Israel and Hamas should secure a ceasefire and an Israeli military withdrawal from Gaza in addition to achieving a serious prisoner swap deal, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said in a statement on Thursday.

A woman rests with children, as Palestinian arrive in Rafah after they were evacuated from Nasser hospital in Khan Younis due to the Israeli ground operation (REUTERS)
A woman rests with children, as Palestinian arrive in Rafah after they were evacuated from Nasser hospital in Khan Younis due to the Israeli ground operation (REUTERS)

Lebanon PM condemns Israel’s military escalation as 7 killed

Thursday 15 February 2024 11:15 , Namita Singh

More Israeli strikes were reported in south Lebanon today and Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati condemned the escalation.

“At a time where we are insisting on calm and call all sides to not escalate, we find the Israeli enemy extending its aggression,” read a statement from his office.

In Nabatiyeh, the strike knocked down part of a building, killing seven members of the family, including a child, the state-run National News Agency said. A boy initially reported missing was found alive under the rubble. Initial reports had said four people were killed.

‘Nobody is doing anything to help us’: Eyewitness recounts Israeli attack

Thursday 15 February 2024 11:30 , Namita Singh

Hussein Badir, a neighbor of the Berjawi family that was killed in the strike, said he and other neighbours had rushed to the street to dig through the rubble. He said the family was “decent and respectable” and “not involved in anything.”

For Badir, the strike brought back memories of Israeli bombardment during its 2006 war with Hezbollah and also during a 1996 offensive.

“Nobody is doing anything to help us,” he said. “It’s our right to defend ourselves in our country in Lebanon.”

A man checks the destruction following an Israeli airstrike the previous day on the village of Taybeh near the border with Israel in southern Lebanon, on 15 February 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)
A man checks the destruction following an Israeli airstrike the previous day on the village of Taybeh near the border with Israel in southern Lebanon, on 15 February 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

Netanyahu vows to continue offensive until Hamas destroyed stalling cease fire talks

Thursday 15 February 2024 12:00 , Namita Singh

Negotiations over a cease-fire in Gaza appear to have stalled, and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to continue the offensive until Hamas is destroyed and scores of hostages are returned.

People rest next to damaged buildings, as Palestinian arrive in Rafah after they were evacuated from Nasser hospital in Khan Younis due to the Israeli ground operation, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in the southern Gaza Strip, 15 February 2024 (REUTERS)
People rest next to damaged buildings, as Palestinian arrive in Rafah after they were evacuated from Nasser hospital in Khan Younis due to the Israeli ground operation, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in the southern Gaza Strip, 15 February 2024 (REUTERS)

The number of Palestinians killed during the war in Gaza has surpassed 28,000 people, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza. A quarter of Gaza’s residents are starving.

About 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed and around 250 abducted in Hamas’ attack on Israel on 7 October.

Arab League warns against Rafah offensive

Thursday 15 February 2024 12:30 , Namita Singh

The head of the Arab League today warned that an Israeli ground offensive into Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah would lead to “a humanitarian disaster” and threaten stability in the region.

“We are calling on all parties that understand the gravity of the situation to act immediately in order to stop these crazy plans,” Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said in a statement. Over half of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million have sought refuge in Rafah after fleeing elsewhere in the coastal enclave.

Palestinian arrive in Rafah after they were evacuated from Nasser hospital in Khan Younis due to the Israeli ground operation, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in the southern Gaza Strip (REUTERS)
Palestinian arrive in Rafah after they were evacuated from Nasser hospital in Khan Younis due to the Israeli ground operation, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in the southern Gaza Strip (REUTERS)

“What is the meaning of justice and international organizations if they remain unable to enforce a cease-fire and to put an end to these daily gruesome massacres?” he said.

The statement came a day after Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered his negotiating team to pull out of talks in Cairo to broker a cease-fire with Hamas. Mr Netanyahu had accused Hamas of making “delusional demands”.

Israel complains to Vatican

Thursday 15 February 2024 13:00 , Namita Singh

Israel has formally complained after the Vatican No 2 spoke of the “carnage” in Gaza by what he termed a disproportionate Israeli military operation following the 7 October Hamas attacks.

The Israeli embassy to the Holy See called the comments by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state, “deplorable”. In a statement Wednesday, the embassy said he hadn’t considered what it said were the relevant facts on which to judge the legitimacy of Israel’s actions.

Speaking Monday at a reception, Parolin had condemned the 7 October attacks against Israel and all forms of antisemitism. But he questioned Israel’s claim to be acting in self-defense by inflicting “carnage” on Gaza.

“Israel’s right to self-defense has been invoked to justify that this operation is proportional, but with 30,000 dead, it’s not,” he said.

In its statement, the Israeli Embassy accused Hamas of turning the Gaza Strip into “the biggest terrorist base ever seen”. It said Israeli armed forces were acting according to international law and said the proportion of Palestinian civilians to “terrorists” killed was less than in other conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

But in a front-page editorial Thursday entitled “Stop the Carnage,” the Vatican’s editorial director Andrea Tornielli doubled down on the Vatican position. Tornielli quoted a Rome-based Holocaust survivor, Edith Bruck, who has been highly critical of the Israeli government’s response, which she has blamed on the rise in antisemitic acts against Jews around the world.

Canada, Australia and New Zealand warn Israel of 'Rafah catastrophe'

Thursday 15 February 2024 13:30 , Namita Singh

Canada, Australia and New Zealand are warning Israel that a ground offensive in the Gaza border city of Rafah would be catastrophic.

“We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah. A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic,” the prime ministers of the three nations said in a joint statement on Thursday.

Palestinian children wait to be checked for malnutrition at a medical tent set up by MedGlobal in cooperation with Unicef, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, 14 February 2024 (REUTERS)
Palestinian children wait to be checked for malnutrition at a medical tent set up by MedGlobal in cooperation with Unicef, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, 14 February 2024 (REUTERS)

With 1.5 million Palestinians taking refuge in the area where there was an already dire humanitarian situation, the impacts on Palestinian civilians from an expanded military operation would be devastating, they said.

“There is growing international consensus. Israel must listen to its friends and it must listen to the international community,” the statement said.

Arab nations urge UN Security Council to demand Gaza cease-fire

Thursday 15 February 2024 14:00 , Namita Singh

The 22 Arab countries at the United Nations are urging the UN Security Council to demand an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and unhindered humanitarian assistance, and to prevent any transfer of Palestinians out of the territory.

The Arab Group chair this month, Tunisia’s UN ambassador Tarek Ladeb, told UN reporters on Wednesday that some 1.5 million Palestinians who sought safety in Gaza’s southern city of Rafah face a “catastrophic scenario” if Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu goes ahead with a potential evacuation of civilians and military offensive in the area bordering Egypt.

Palestinian children displaced with their families from Rafah play next the beach in Deir Al Balah, southern Gaza Strip, 14 February 2024 (EPA)
Palestinian children displaced with their families from Rafah play next the beach in Deir Al Balah, southern Gaza Strip, 14 February 2024 (EPA)

Algeria, the Arab representative on the Security Council, circulated a draft resolution about two weeks ago demanding an immediate humanitarian cease-fire and unhindered humanitarian access, as well as rejecting the forced displacement of Palestinian civilians, which has been the subject of intense discussions.

Scenes of panic in Nasser Hospital ward

Thursday 15 February 2024 14:30 , Namita Singh

Nasser Hospital has been the latest focus of operations that have gutted Gaza’s health sector as it struggles to treat scores of patients wounded in daily bombardments.

Video of the aftermath of the strike overnight showed medics scrambling to wheel patients on stretchers through a corridor filled with smoke or dust. A medic used a cellphone flashlight to illuminate a darkened room where a wounded man screamed out in pain as gunfire echoed outside. The Associated Press could not authenticate the videos but they were consistent with its reporting.

Dr Khaled Alserr, one of the remaining surgeons at Nasser Hospital, told the AP that the seven patients hit early today were already being treated for past wounds. On Wednesday, a doctor was lightly wounded when a drone opened fire on the upper stories of the hospital, he said.

A Palestinian family displaced from Rafah sits outside their shelter in Deir Al Balah, southern Gaza Strip, 14 February 2024 (EPA)
A Palestinian family displaced from Rafah sits outside their shelter in Deir Al Balah, southern Gaza Strip, 14 February 2024 (EPA)

“The situation is escalating every hour and every minute,” he said.

The military had ordered the evacuation of Nasser Hospital and surrounding areas last month. But as with other health facilities, medics said patients were unable to safely leave or be relocated, and thousands of people displaced by fighting elsewhere remained there. Palestinians say nowhere is safe in the besieged territory, as Israel continues to carry out strikes in all parts of it.

“People have been forced into an impossible situation,” said Lisa Macheiner of the aid group Doctors Without Borders, which has staff in the hospital.

“Stay at Nasser Hospital against the Israeli military’s orders and become a potential target, or exit the compound into an apocalyptic landscape where bombings and evacuation orders are a part of daily life.”

South Korea raises concern over Israeli actions in Rafah

Thursday 15 February 2024 15:00 , Namita Singh

South Korea expressed deep concern over recent Israeli military operations in the Gaza city of Rafah and plans for further actions. It also urged for the protection of civilians under international laws, the foreign ministry added in a statement.

‘28,663 Palestinians killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza’

Thursday 15 February 2024 15:30 , Namita Singh

At least 28,663 Palestinians have been killed and 68,395 injured in Israeli strikes on Gaza since 7 October, the enclave’s health ministry said in a statement today.

In the last 24 hours, 87 Palestinians were killed and 104 injured by Israeli strikes, the ministry added.

Residents evacuate from Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, 14 February 2024 (EPA)
Residents evacuate from Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, 14 February 2024 (EPA)

Increasingly isolated Netanyahu is set on an assault of Gaza’s Rafah – whatever the cost

Thursday 15 February 2024 16:15 , Tom Watling

Countries are lining up to tell the Israeli prime minister of the dire humanitarian consequences of going into the border city where nearly 1.5 million Palestinians are sheltering, writes Bel Trew. And the political price will be heavy too

Increasingly isolated Netanyahu is set on an assault of Rafah – whatever the cost

Brazil's Lula slams Israel on Gaza war, says UN failed

Thursday 15 February 2024 17:00 , Tom Watling

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has accused the United Nations of failing to resolve international conflicts and harshly criticized Israeli actions in Gaza.

“Israel’s behavior has no explanation: with the pretext of fighting Hamas, it is killing women and children,” he said after a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Speaking later to the Arab League, Lula said Brazil had condemned the Hamas attack on Israeli civilians on 7 October, but he added that the Israel’s response was “disproportional and indiscriminate” and unacceptable.

Lula said there would not be peace without the establishment of a Palestinian state and called for an immediate ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza.

“The killing must be stopped,” he said.

The Brazilian leader said Palestine should be recognized as a sovereign state and admitted to the United Nations as a full member, and he called for reform of the U.N. Security Council.

“The multilateral institutions that were created to help solve these problems do not work, which is why Brazil is committed to making the necessary changes in global governance bodies, and we hope to count on Egypt’s support,” he said to reporters alongside Sisi.

Lula said the permanent Security Council should be expanded and its veto powers abolished. “It is the permanent members of the Security Council that foment wars,” he said.

Brazilian President Luiz Lula da Silva gives a speech at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo (AP)
Brazilian President Luiz Lula da Silva gives a speech at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo (AP)

Bulk carrier targeted by explosive projectile east of Yemen's Aden: Ambrey

Thursday 15 February 2024 17:45 , Tom Watling

A bulk carrier has suffered minor damage after being targeted by an explosive projectile some 100 nautical miles east of Yemen’s port city of Aden, British maritime security firm Ambrey said.

The damage was caused by shrapnel that caused a diesel leak, Ambrey said in its advisory note, making clear the explosion occurred some 100 miles away and did not directly impact the carrier. The crew members were unharmed, it added.

Separately the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency said on Thursday it had received a report of an explosion near a vessel some 85 nautical miles east of Aden.

Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis have launched repeated drone and missile attacks against international commercial shipping in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandab Strait since mid-November, saying they are acting in solidarity with Palestinians against Israel’s military actions in Gaza.

Their targets have been vessels with commercial ties to the United States, Britain or Israel, shipping and insurance sources say.

Israel orders evacuation of last major hospital in southern Gaza – as doctors say it is under siege

Thursday 15 February 2024 18:30 , Tom Watling

The Israeli military has ordered an evacuation of the last major hospital in southern Gaza after a deadly siege, the World Health Organisation has warned. It came as ceasefire talks in Egypt ended with no breakthrough and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying that only a change in the “ludicrous” position from Hamas will see negotiations move forward.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed alarm at the situation in Nasser hospital, which he described as “the backbone of the health system in southern Gaza”. He said civilians had been killed in the complex which is located in the town of Khan Younis, people had been ordered to evacuate and that it had been under a week-long siege.

Israel’s military orders evacuation of last major hospital in south Gaza

Israeli special forces raid last major hospital in southern Gaza

Thursday 15 February 2024 19:15 , Tom Watling

Israeli special forces have raided the last major hospital in southern Gaza, with doctors saying gunshots were ringing out around the complex.

Israel‘s military described its raid on Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis as “precise and limited” and said it was based on credible information that Hamas was hiding in the facility, had kept hostages there and that bodies of hostages may still be there. Israel has consistently accused Hamas of using hospitals to hide, which medical staff have denied.

Israeli special forces raid last major hospital in southern Gaza

Rishi Sunak slates ‘aggressive mob’ of pro-Gaza protesters at Tory MP’s home

Thursday 15 February 2024 20:00 , Tom Watling

Prime minister Rishi Sunak has condemned an “aggressive mob” of pro-Palestinian protesters who targeted a Conservative MP’s family home.

Police were called as about 80 activists gathered outside Tobias Ellwood’s home in Dorset on Monday, brandishing flags, placards and a megaphone.

One sign had the words “complicit in genocide” written across the face of the MP, who chaired the defence select committee from 2020 until last year.

Rishi Sunak slates ‘aggressive mob’ of pro-Gaza protesters at Tory MP’s home

Has David Cameron stolen a march on Keir Starmer with a progressive Palestine policy?

Thursday 15 February 2024 20:45 , Tom Watling

If the British public were surprised to see David Cameron in frontline politics again, no doubt they will be shocked by the former PM pushing a nation state solution for Palestine that sees him outflanking the Labour Party. Sean O’Grady explains what we are witnessing

Has David Cameron stolen a march on Keir Starmer with a progressive Palestine policy?

Families of hostages visit international court to urge the arrest of Hamas leaders

Thursday 15 February 2024 21:30 , Tom Watling

Former captives and relatives of hostages held since the 7 October attack by Hamas in southern Israel are visiting the International Criminal Court to urge prosecutors to charge and seek the arrest of leaders of the militant group.

Families of hostages visit international court to urge the arrest of Hamas leaders

Hezbollah fires rockets at northern Israel

Thursday 15 February 2024 21:34 , Alexander Butler

Hezbollah said it fired dozens of rockets at a northern Israeli town in a “preliminary response” to the killing of 10 civilians in southern Lebanon, the deadliest day for Lebanese civilians in four months of cross-border hostilities.

The United Nations urged a halt to what it called a “dangerous escalation” of the conflict, which has played out in parallel to the Gaza war and fuelled concerns of a wider confrontation between the Iran-backed Hezbollah and Israel.

The Israeli military said it had killed a commander in Hezbollah’s elite Radwan unit, his commander and another operative in a “precise airstrike” in Nabatieh in Lebannon on Wednesday, without mentioning the civilian deaths.

Increasingly isolated Netanyahu is set on an assault of Gaza’s Rafah – whatever the cost

Thursday 15 February 2024 22:15 , Tom Watling

Countries are lining up to tell the Israeli prime minister of the dire humanitarian consequences of going into the border city where nearly 1.5 million Palestinians are sheltering, writes Bel Trew. And the political price will be heavy too

Increasingly isolated Netanyahu is set on an assault of Rafah – whatever the cost

Israeli special forces raid last major hospital in southern Gaza

Thursday 15 February 2024 23:00 , Tom Watling

A surgeon inside Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis tells The Independent the situation is getting ‘worse every minute’ and the facility is in ‘chaos’ – with about 40 to 50 staff and around 100 patients left inside.

Israeli special forces raid last major hospital in southern Gaza

Gaza post-war reconstruction estimated at $20 billion: UN trade body

Friday 16 February 2024 00:00 , Tom Watling

Gaza will need a new “Marshall Plan” to recover from the conflict between Israel and Hamas, a United Nations trade body official said on Thursday, adding that the damage from the conflict so far amounted to around $20 billion.

Speaking on the sidelines of a UN meeting in Geneva, Richard Kozul-Wright, a director at trade body UNCTAD, said the damage was already four times that endured in Gaza during the seven-week war in 2014.

“We are talking about around $20 billion if it stops now,” he said.

Kozul-Wright said the estimate was based on satellite images and other information and that a more precise estimate would require researchers to enter Gaza.

The reconstruction will require a new “Marshall Plan”, he said, referring to the U.S. plan for Europe’s economic recovery after World War Two.

What is really driving the new wave of antisemitism?

Friday 16 February 2024 01:00 , Tom Watling

Reports of antisemitic incidents in the UK reached an all-time high last year with two-thirds of them happening after Hamas’s deadly attack on Israel and the bombing of Gaza. But, says Ben Judah, this says little about Jewish people and more about the way we live now – and the golden age the Jewish diaspora has enjoyed since the Holocaust is coming to an end because of it.

The online hate and conspiracies driving a new wave of antisemitism | Ben Judah

Third Labour politician questioned by party officials as antisemitism row deepens

Friday 16 February 2024 02:00 , Tom Watling

A third Labour politician who attended a now notorious council meeting which sparked renewed antisemitism concerns within the party has been spoken to by party officials as they investigate what happened.

Sir Keir Starmer’s party has been pitched into a deepening row about the handling of antisemitism allegations, with parliamentary candidate Graham Jones suspended on Tuesday, only a day after Labour was forced to suspend and withdraw its backing for Rochdale by-election candidate Azhar Ali.

Labour antisemitism row: Now third politician is questioned by party officials

Israel complains after Vatican denounces 'carnage' and disproportionate response in Gaza

Friday 16 February 2024 03:00 , Tom Watling

Israel has formally complained after a senior Vatican official spoke of “carnage” in Gaza and what he termed a disproportionate Israeli military operation following the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks.

The Israeli Embassy to the Holy See called the comments by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state, “deplorable.” In a statement Wednesday, the embassy said Parolin hadn’t considered what it called the relevant facts in judging the legitimacy of Israel’s actions.

Israel complains after Vatican denounces 'carnage' and disproportionate response in Gaza

Is the West in denial about its antisemitism?

Friday 16 February 2024 09:41 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

If all the reverberations, large and small, from the Hamas massacres of 7 October last year, one took me by surprise; another did not.

The surprise was how quickly the near-universal sympathy for Israel was eclipsed by militant expressions of support for Palestinians. In the UK, or so it seemed to me, popular sentiment had turned against Israel within 24 hours – almost as soon as its prime minister vowed to destroy Hamas, but long before Israel mounted its first military assault on Gaza.

The Israeli flag, hoisted on UK government buildings just hours after the Hamas killings, was lowered within a day, in favour of the Ukraine flag it had displaced.

For years, the cause of Palestinian statehood seemed to have been forgotten internationally, along with the murderous spectaculars mounted by the PLO. Yet here it was, being espoused by whole new generations of demonstrators, not just in the occupied West Bank, but in many parts of Europe and the United States.

Condemnation of Israel solidified when it launched its military attack – but much sympathy had evaporated long before. That was the biggest surprise.

Mary Dejevsky writes.

Is the West in denial about its antisemitism?

Four patients dead as Israeli troops storm hospital in Gaza, doctors say

Friday 16 February 2024 09:54 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Four patients in intensive care died because their oxygen supply was cut off when Israeli troops stormed Gaza’s main hospital, doctors have said.

Troops were searching the facility, where the Israeli military said it believes the remains of hostages abducted by Hamas might be located.

The raid came after troops had besieged Nasser Hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis for nearly a week, with staff, patients and others inside struggling under heavy fire and dwindling supplies, including food and water.

Hours before troops seized the hospital Thursday, Israeli fire killed a patient and wounded six others inside the complex, staff said.

Netanyahu slams calls for creation of Palestine state

Friday 16 February 2024 10:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday pushed back against the US vision for after the war - particularly its calls for the creation of a Palestinian state.

After speaking overnight with US president Joe Biden, Mr Netanyahu said that Israel will not accept "international dictates regarding a permanent settlement with the Palestinians".

He said that if other countries unilaterally recognise a Palestinian state, it would give a "reward to terrorism". Mr Netanyahu has repeatedly rejected the creation of a Palestinian state.

Mr Netanyahu has vowed to continue the offensive and expand it to the Gaza city of Rafah, near Egypt, until Hamas is destroyed and scores of hostages taken during the militants' 7 October attack are freed.

Egypt readies to shelter Palestinians as Israel mounts attack on south Gaza

Friday 16 February 2024 11:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Egypt is preparing an area at the Gaza border that could accommodate Palestinians in case an Israeli offensive into Rafah prompts an exodus across the frontier, according to reports.

Egypt, which denied making any such preparations, has repeatedly raised the alarm over the possibility that Israel's devastating Gaza offensive could displace Palestinians into Sinai - something Cairo says would be completely unacceptable- echoing warnings from Arab states such as Jordan.

A source told Reuters that Egypt was optimistic that talks to clinch a ceasefire could avoid any such scenario, but is establishing the area at the border as a temporary and precautionary measure.

Three security sources said Egypt had begun preparing a desert area with some basic facilities which could be used to shelter Palestinians, emphasising this was a contingency step.

Israel has said it will mount an offensive to take out Hamas's "last bastion" in Rafah, where well over one million Palestinians have sought sanctuary from its devastating Gaza offensive.

WHO says trying to access Nasser hospital after Israeli raid

Friday 16 February 2024 11:30 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday said it was trying to get access to the biggest functioning hospital in Gaza, the Nasser Hospital, after an Israeli raid.

“There are still critically injured and sick patients that are inside the hospital,” WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic said.

“There is an urgent need to deliver fuel to ensure the continuation of the provision of life-saving services... We are trying to get access because people who are still in Nasser medical complex need assistance.”.

In pics: Israeli bombardment at Nasser hospital

Friday 16 February 2024 12:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

A man inspects the damage in a room following Israeli bombardment at Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis (AFP via Getty Images)
A man inspects the damage in a room following Israeli bombardment at Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis (AFP via Getty Images)
Children rest outside, as Palestinian arrive in Rafah after they were evacuated from Nasser hospital in Khan Younis (REUTERS)
Children rest outside, as Palestinian arrive in Rafah after they were evacuated from Nasser hospital in Khan Younis (REUTERS)
Palestinian arrive in Rafah after they were evacuated from Nasser hospital in Khan Younis (REUTERS)
Palestinian arrive in Rafah after they were evacuated from Nasser hospital in Khan Younis (REUTERS)

UN chief says 'illusion' to think Palestinians could evacuate to safe place

Friday 16 February 2024 13:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

UN aid chief Martin Griffiths on Thursday said it was an "illusion" to think people in Gaza could evacuate to a safe place and warned of the possibility of Palestinians spilling into Egypt if Israel launches a military operation in Rafah.

He called this scenario "a sort of Egyptian nightmare".

Israel should ‘stop and think very seriously’ before Rafah invasion, says David Cameron

Friday 16 February 2024 14:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

David Cameron has said that Israel should “stop and think very seriously” before taking further action in the city of Rafah.

The comments came after airstrikes in southern Gaza killed over 100 Palestinians, according to local health officials.

The city is the last refuge of around one million displaced civilians.

More here.

Israel should ‘think very seriously’ before Rafah action, says David Cameron

ICYMI |Netanyahu will not move into Rafah ‘if Hamas surrender’, says spokesperson

Friday 16 February 2024 15:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

An Israel spokesperson has said Benjamin Netanyahu will not move into Rafah “if Hamas surrenders.”

Orly Goldschmidt, a diplomat for Israel’s UK embassy, told Sky News: “If Hamas surrenders, then Netanyahu will not move. Netanyahu has no problem with Rafah, his problem and our problem is with Hamas terrorists.”

More here.

Netanyahu will not move into Rafah ‘if Hamas surrender’, says Israel spokesperson

UNHCR says Spillover of refugees from Gaza to Egypt would be a ‘disaster’

Friday 16 February 2024 16:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

The UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees said on Friday that a spillover of refugees from Gaza’s Rafah into Egypt’s Sinai would be a disaster.

“It would be a disaster for the Palestinians ... a disaster for Egypt and a disaster for the future of peace,” Filippo Grandi told Reuters.

When asked whether Egyptian authorities had contacted the UNHCR about possible contingency plans he said: “The Egyptians said that people should be assisted inside Gaza and we are working on that.”

Lebanon drags Israel to UNSC for civilian deaths in airstrikes

Friday 16 February 2024 17:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Lebanon on Friday said it has filed a complaint with the UN Security Council over Israel’s attacks targetting civilians.

The complaint comes a day after at least 10 civilians were killed in southern Lebanon in an Israeli airstrike in an escalation of cross-border exchanges.

“Since international humanitarian law guarantees the protection of civilians, Israel’s deliberate and direct bombing of civilians who are safe in their homes is considered a violation of international humanitarian law and a described war crime,” Lebanon’s foreign ministry said on X.

“It is also considered a violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty, the integrity of its territory and its citizens, and of all United Nations resolutions that require Israel to stop its violations of Lebanese sovereignty.”

Satellite photos show Egypt building a wall near Gaza Strip as Israeli offensive on Rafah looms

Friday 16 February 2024 18:00 , Matt Mathers

Egypt is building a wall and is leveling land near its border with the Gaza Strip ahead of a planned Israeli offensive targeting the border city of Rafah, satellite images analyzed Friday by The Associated Press show.

Egypt, which has not publicly acknowledged the construction, repeatedly has warned Israel not to forcibly expel the more than 1 million displaced Palestinians now in Rafah into its territory while Israeli troops battle the militant group Hamas for a fifth month.

Israel’s defense minister said Friday that Israel has “no intention” of pushing Palestinian civilians across the border into Egypt. However, the preparations on the Egyptian side of the border in the Sinai Peninsula suggested that Cairo is preparing for such a mass ejection, a scenario that could threaten a 1979 peace deal with Israel that’s been a linchpin for regional security.

Full report:

Satellite photos show Egypt building a wall near Gaza Strip as Israeli offensive on Rafah looms

ICYMI: Netanyahu rejects calls for creation of Palestine state

Friday 16 February 2024 19:00 , Matt Mathers

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday pushed back against the US vision for after the war - particularly its calls for the creation of a Palestinian state.

After speaking overnight with US president Joe Biden, Mr Netanyahu said that Israel will not accept “international dictates regarding a permanent settlement with the Palestinians”.

He said that if other countries unilaterally recognise a Palestinian state, it would give a “reward to terrorism”. Mr Netanyahu has repeatedly rejected the creation of a Palestinian state.

Mr Netanyahu has vowed to continue the offensive and expand it to the Gaza city of Rafah, near Egypt, until Hamas is destroyed and scores of hostages taken during the militants’ 7 October attack are freed.

 (Sky News)
(Sky News)

ICYMI: Egypt readies to shelter Palestinians as Israel mounts attack on south Gaza

Friday 16 February 2024 20:00 , Matt Mathers

Egypt is preparing an area at the Gaza border that could accommodate Palestinians in case an Israeli offensive into Rafah prompts an exodus across the frontier, according to reports.

Egypt, which denied making any such preparations, has repeatedly raised the alarm over the possibility that Israel’s devastating Gaza offensive could displace Palestinians into Sinai - something Cairo says would be completely unacceptable- echoing warnings from Arab states such as Jordan.

A source told Reuters that Egypt was optimistic that talks to clinch a ceasefire could avoid any such scenario, but is establishing the area at the border as a temporary and precautionary measure.

Three security sources said Egypt had begun preparing a desert area with some basic facilities which could be used to shelter Palestinians, emphasising this was a contingency step.

Israel has said it will mount an offensive to take out Hamas’s “last bastion” in Rafah, where well over one million Palestinians have sought sanctuary from its devastating Gaza offensive.

The Rafah crossing on the border between Gaza and Egypt (Copyright 2023The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
The Rafah crossing on the border between Gaza and Egypt (Copyright 2023The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ICYMI: WHO says it is trying to access Nasser hospital after Israeli raid

Friday 16 February 2024 21:00 , Matt Mathers

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday said it was trying to get access to the biggest functioning hospital in Gaza, the Nasser Hospital, after an Israeli raid.

“There are still critically injured and sick patients that are inside the hospital,” WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic said.

“There is an urgent need to deliver fuel to ensure the continuation of the provision of life-saving services... We are trying to get access because people who are still in Nasser medical complex need assistance.”

Palestinian arrive in Rafah after they were evacuated from Nasser hospital in Khan Younis (REUTERS)
Palestinian arrive in Rafah after they were evacuated from Nasser hospital in Khan Younis (REUTERS)

ICYMI: UN chief says ‘illusion’ to think Palestinians could evacuate to safe place

Friday 16 February 2024 22:00 , Matt Mathers

UN aid chief Martin Griffiths on Thursday said it was an “illusion” to think people in Gaza could evacuate to a safe place and warned of the possibility of Palestinians spilling into Egypt if Israel launches a military operation in Rafah.

He called this scenario “a sort of Egyptian nightmare”.

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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