Middle East

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

Thousands of pro-Palestine protesters rally outside Downing Street

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.”


The horrors of 7 October did not happen in a vacuum – so why has it become unsayable?

Real and vile antisemitism is rife, and there are bigots who will believe any nutjob conspiracy theory about Israel. Condemn them, suspend them, marginalise them, writes Alan Rusbridger.

But can’t we also acknowledge that the current Israeli government is one which includes criminals, extremists and despots who have no interest in a peaceful solution to the Israel-Palestine question?

Read Alan’s piece in full here:

October 7 didn’t happen in a vacuum – so why has it become unsayable?

Real and vile antisemitism is rife, and there are bigots who will believe any nutjob conspiracy theory about Israel. Condemn them, suspend them, marginalise them, writes Alan Rusbridger. But can’t we also acknowledge that the current Israeli government is one which includes criminals, extremists and despots who have no interest in a peaceful solution to the Israel-Palestine question?

Matt Mathers17 February 2024 02:00


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

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.”


Matt Mathers17 February 2024 01:00


A small business in war-time Gaza sews padded cloth diapers, creating jobs and helping weary parents

Their scissors move quickly, shearing pieces of white cloth to be stitched together with cotton pads and taken to market in battered cardboard boxes.

Before the day is done, the Palestinian seamstresses will have sewn 500 diapers and distributed them to war-weary parents in Gaza for about $4 per package of eight, half of what mass-produced disposable diapers cost in the besieged enclave.

Matt Mathers17 February 2024 00:00


ICYMI: Israel should ‘stop and think very seriously’ before further action in Rafah, says David Cameron

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

David Cameron has said that Israel should “stop and think very seriously” before taking further action in the city of Rafah The British Foreign Secretary was speaking to reporters in East Kilbride, Scotland on Monday (11 February). 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. “We are very concerned about the situation and we want Israel to stop and think very seriously before it takes any further action. But above all, what we want is an immediate pause in the fighting and we want that pause to lead to a ceasefire,” Lord Cameron said.

Matt Mathers16 February 2024 23:00


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

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.)

Matt Mathers16 February 2024 22:00


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

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


Matt Mathers16 February 2024 21:00


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

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)

Matt Mathers16 February 2024 20:00


ICYMI: Netanyahu rejects calls for creation of Palestine state

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)

Matt Mathers16 February 2024 19:00


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

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.

Matt Mathers16 February 2024 18:00


Lebanon drags Israel to UNSC for civilian deaths in airstrikes

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.”

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar16 February 2024 17:00


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