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Israel's War on Gaza Live: Israel pounds Rafah in overnight strikes

Israel's War on Gaza Live: Israel pounds Rafah in overnight strikes
Hamas willing to shutter armed wing in new Palestinian state, says Turkish foreign minister
Key Points
Hezbollah attack on Israel injures dozens
EU to impose new sanctions on Iran
Qatar reconsidering role as mediator

Live Updates

1 month ago

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1 month ago

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has failed to act on a special State Department panel recommendation to "disqualify multiple Israeli military and police units from receiving U.S. aid after reviewing allegations that they committed serious human rights abuses," US news outlet ProPublica reports.

Quoting current and former State Department officials, ProPublica says the panel – the Israel Leahy Vetting Forum – gave its recommendation months ago based on West Bank incidents that took place prior to the break of the ongoing war in Gaza.

The incidents include "extrajudicial killings by the Israeli Border Police; an incident in which a battalion gagged, handcuffed and left an elderly Palestinian American man for dead; and an allegation that interrogators tortured and raped a teenager who had been accused of throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails," the outlet says.

"They’ve been sitting in his briefcase since then," one official said.

A State Department spokesperson told ProPublica that "this process is one that demands a careful and full review".

1 month ago

Good morning Middle East Eye readers,

Here are the latest updates:

  • Israeli air strikes on Rafah killed seven people, including three children, the Wafa news agency reports
  • 11 bodies were recovered from different areas of Khan Younis
  • Israeli forces raid several areas of the West Bank, arresting scores of Palestinians
  • European Council chief Charles Michel said that the EU's new sanctions on Iran will target the country's drones and missile producers
  • Videos from southern Lebanon show what seems to be Israeli white phosphorous attacks on the town of Khiam
  • Activist group No Tech for Apartheid said that 28 Google employees have been fired after their pro-Palestine protest
1 month ago

Israeli media reports that 19 of the injured people from Hezbollah's explosive drone attack On Arab al-Aramshe on Wednesday remain hospitalised.

Four people are in intensive care, one in critical condition and three in serious but stable conditions.

1 month ago

Quoting unnamed Egyptian officials, Al Araby Al Jadeed reports that the US has agreed to Israel's plan for an military operation in Rafah, southern Gaza, in return for Israel refraining from carrying out a major attack on Iran.

"The American administration showed acceptance of the plan previously presented by the occupation government regarding the military operation in Rafah in exchange for not carrying out a large-scale attack against Iran," an official was quoted saying.

"The Israeli plan relies on the method of displacement, by dividing Rafah into numbered squares, so that one square after another is targeted, forcing those in it to move away from it, specifically towards Khan Younis and the Al-Mawasi area."

The officials said that Egypt is preparing to deal with any possible impacts the operation may have.

1 month ago

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said on Wednesday that Hamas will dismantle its armed wing after the creation of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders.

"In our political negotiations with Hamas for years, they accepted a Palestinian state to be established within the 1967 borders and they told me that following the establishment of the Palestinian state, Hamas would no longer need to have an armed wing and that they would continue their lives as a political party," he said, speaking from Doha, Qatar.

Fidan added that, "in fact, I think this is an extremely important message for the step that the world public opinion will take on the road to the Palestinian state. I was pleased to receive such messages today."

Fidan has met with Hamas political leader Ismail Hanieyh and other officials from the group in Doha earlier on Wednesday.

1 month ago

Local reporters are saying the New York Police Department arrested four pro-Palestinian protesters outside Columbia University, where people have gathered to express solidarity with the hundreds of students holding a "Gaza Solidarity Encampment" on the university campus's main lawn.

One reporter says at least one the four people arrested in a minor.

While university management gave the students a deadline the vacate the area, the Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine group called for more people to join and "bring a friend, bring blankets, and snacks".

1 month ago

Good evening readers of Middle East Eye,

Gaza's health ministry said that 56 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli attacks on the enclave in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 33,899 since the beginning of the current war.

Additionally, 89 people have been wounded, bringing the tally to 76,664 wounded since 7 October.

As today marks Palestinian Prisoners' Day, the Gaza media office released a statement saying that over 5,000 Palestinians have been arrested by Israeli forces during their current war on Gaza, which started on 7 October.

In other developments:

  • Israeli quadcopters are employing a "bizarre" new tactic of playing audio recordings of crying infants and women in order to lure Palestinians to locations where they can be targeted. 
  • Israel's cabinet approved a five-year, 19-billion-shekel ($5 billion) plan to rebuild and strengthen towns near the Gaza border after the Hamas-led October attack.
  • The United Nations Security Council plans to vote this Friday on a Palestinian bid for full UN membership, diplomats announced on Wednesday.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron urged Europe to expand its sanctions against Iran, emphasising the need for targeting entities engaged in the manufacturing of drones and missiles.
  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said it was important to ensure that Iran's attack on Israel does not lead to further escalation of the war.
  • Qatar's prime minister said on Wednesday that the country is reconsidering its role as a mediator between Israel and Hamas following criticism.
  • Israel's air force announced that its fighter jets had targeted Hezbollah infrastructure in northern Baalbek, located in eastern Lebanon.
1 month ago

On Wednesday, Israel's air force announced that its fighter jets had targeted Hezbollah infrastructure in northern Baalbek, located in eastern Lebanon.

This comes amidst concerns that heightened exchanges of fire between Israel and Hezbollah could escalate tensions further.

"Earlier this evening, IAF fighter jets struck significant Hezbollah terrorist infrastructure used by the terrorist organization's aerial defense system in northern Baalbek," the statement said.

1 month ago

On Wednesday, State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said the US was concerned over allegations in a report from the UN Palestinian refugee agency (Unrwa) regarding the mistreatment of agency personnel and others detained by Israeli forces in Gaza.

Patel added that Washington will urge Israel to conduct a thorough investigation into the allegations concerning Unrwa staff.

This comes after a report detailed incidents such as severe beatings and detainees being compelled to strip naked.

1 month ago

Qatar's prime minister said on Wednesday that the country is reconsidering its role as a mediator between Israel and Hamas following criticism.

"Qatar is in the process of a complete re-evaluation of its role because there has been damage to Qatar," Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani told a press conference, without elaborating.

1 month ago

On Wednesday, the Israeli military said that for the first time since the government authorised the opening of Ashdod Port for aid shipments, food trucks entered the blockaded Gaza Strip.

"Eight World Food Program (WFP) trucks of flour entered the Gaza Strip from the Ashdod Port today," the statement said.

The statement added that the trucks underwent security checks at the port and were then admitted into Gaza through the Israeli-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing.

1 month ago

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said it was important to ensure that Iran's attack on Israel does not lead to further escalation of the war.

He added that he believed this had been understood by the affected parties.

"For us, it is important that this moment is now also used for further de-escalation and that Israel ... does not respond with a massive attack of its own," Scholz said in Brussels.

1 month ago

On Wednesday, US House of Representatives speaker Mike Johnson announced that the text of four bills offering aid to Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific would be filed "soon today", with a fourth bill containing "other measures to confront Russia, China and Iran" to be posted later in the day.

Johnson texted House members saying that the House Rules committee would also release text on a distinct border security bill. The House is scheduled to vote on its final passage on Saturday evening, allowing ample time for discussion and potential amendments.

In his Wednesday message, Johnson emphasised that the three bills "will fund America’s national security interests and allies in Israel, the Indo-Pacific, and Ukraine, including a loan structure for aid, and enhanced strategy and accountability".

He mentioned that the fourth bill would encompass the Repo Act, TikTok legislation, and sanctions, although he did not provide further details in his message.

1 month ago

On Wednesday, the Palestinian group Hamas said that Iran's attack on Israel was a "legitimate and deserved" response to a strike on the Islamic Republic's consulate in Syria.

Hamas said it was a "legitimate and deserved response to the Zionist entity's... targeting of the Iranian consulate building in Damascus" on 1 April.

"The response from the Islamic Republic of Iran confirms that the time when the Zionist entity could act as it wanted without accountability or punishment has ended," Hamas added in a statement.