Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

As it happenedended1708318618

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

Rafah in southern Gaza was also hit by Israeli airstrikes ahead of a planned ground invasion into the city

Chris Stevenson,Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Monday 19 February 2024 04:56 GMT
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.”


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

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?

The talks culminated in the Camp David Accords in September 1978

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar13 February 2024 11:30

Houthis struck Iran-bound cargo vessel, says US

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.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar13 February 2024 11:59

Labour candidate issues apology over claim Israel allowed October attack

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

Mr Azhar Ali is standing as the Labour candidate in the Rochdale by-election

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar13 February 2024 12:30

Death toll from Israel’s Rafah strike rises to 74

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.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar13 February 2024 13:02

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

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.”

Athena Stavrou13 February 2024 14:29

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

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.”

Athena Stavrou13 February 2024 14:43

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

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)
Athena Stavrou13 February 2024 15:10

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

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.

Athena Stavrou13 February 2024 15:30

David Cameron insists UK will challenge Israel on actions in Gaza

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)
Athena Stavrou13 February 2024 16:00

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

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.”

Athena Stavrou13 February 2024 16:30

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in