Relatives of Palestinians, died following the Israeli attacks on the house belonging to the al Kahveci family, mourn as the bodies are brought to the morgue of Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al Balah, Gaza. / Photo: AA

Monday, 12 February, 2023

17:46 GMT — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that the ongoing Israeli war in Gaza will be the central focus of his visits this week to both the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

"We will pay visits this week to the UAE and Egypt. The escalating Israeli attacks on Gaza will undoubtedly top the agenda in both countries," Erdogan said after a Cabinet meeting in the capital Ankara.

Erdogan also accused Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu government of imitating Hitler and crossing the line in new ways every day in "its brutal policy of massacres since Oct. 7," when the recent conflict in Gaza began.

19:11 GMT — Israel's offensive on Rafah city violates world court order on Gaza: Pakistan

Strongly condemning Israel's assault on the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, Pakistan said Monday that Tel Aviv was in violation of measures ordered by the UN's top court last month.

"It will further aggravate the humanitarian disaster witnessed in Gaza over the last 4 months and jeopardize the ongoing efforts for a potential ceasefire," the Foreign Ministry in a statement from the capital Islamabad.

Urging the international community, particularly the UN Security Council, to take "urgent measures to bring an immediate end to Israeli aggression and its incessant crimes against humanity," Islamabad said the offensive in Rafah violates provisional measures that the International Court of Justice ordered last month to protect people in Gaza from genocide.

18:46 GMT — US supports 'extended humanitarian pause' in Gaza: White House

The White House pressed Israel to work toward a pause in the Gaza conflict to win freedom for more hostages held by Hamas and rapidly increase the flow of humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians.

John Kirby, the White House national security spokesperson, told reporters that some progress had been made in negotiations toward a humanitarian pause but that more work remained to be done.

"We continue to support an extended humanitarian pause," Kirby said.

He spoke a day after US President Joe Biden spoke by phone to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and told him a military operation in Rafah "should not proceed" without a plan to protect civilians there.

Israeli strikes on Gaza killed at least 28,340 Palestinians and wounded 67,984 others since October 7. / Photo: AA

16:59 GMT — Three Israeli hostages killed in Israeli air strikes: Hamas

Hamas' armed wing has said that three of eight Israeli hostages who were seriously injured following Israeli air strikes had died from their wounds.

"We will postpone the announcement of the names and pictures of the dead for the coming days until the fate of the remaining wounded becomes clear," the Al Qassam Brigades said in a statement.

16:02 GMT — Gaza destruction, bloodshed 'unprecedented': Egypt

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has said that civilian bloodshed and destruction from an Israeli military offensive in Gaza were “unprecedented.”

"We cannot accept further loss of civilian lives in Gaza," Shoukry said during a press conference with his Slovenian counterpart Tanja Fajon in the capital Ljubljana.

"The situation in Gaza is worsening and constitutes a violation of international law," Shoukry said. "We reject, by all means, the displacement of Palestinians from Gaza," he stressed.

15:14 GMT — EU's Borrell urges Israel allies to stop sending weapons

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has urged allies of Israel - primarily the United States - to stop sending it weapons as "too many people" are being killed in Gaza.

Pointing to US President Joe Biden's comment last week that Israel's military action was "over the top", Borrell said: "Well, if you believe that too many people are being killed, maybe you should provide less arms in order to prevent so many people have been killed."

"Is (it) not logical?" he asked, in a Brussels news conference alongside Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN's agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA whom Israel is pressuring to resign.

"How many times have you heard the most prominent leaders and foreign ministers around the world saying too many people are being killed?" Borrell asked.

15:51 GMT — Israeli assault on Rafah a 'terrifying' prospect: UN

The UN human rights chief has said the prospect of a full Israeli incursion into Rafah in southern Gaza was "terrifying", saying it was "wholly imaginable what would lie ahead".

"A potential full-fledged military incursion into Rafah - where some 1.5 million Palestinians are packed against the Egyptian border with nowhere further to flee - is terrifying, given the prospect that an extremely high number of civilians, again mostly children and women, will likely be killed and injured," Turk said in a statement.

14:35 GMT — Amnesty unveils evidence of Israeli war crimes in Rafah

Amnesty International UK has unveiled evidence of deadly "unlawful attacks" perpetrated by Israeli forces in the city of Rafah, Gaza, alleging war crimes by Israel and egregious violations of international humanitarian law during military operations in the region.

The report explores a reality where it says entire families are obliterated with impunity, casting a grim shadow over Gaza's supposed "safest" areas.

The Amnesty International investigation scrutinised four separate Israeli attacks in Rafah, where civilians, including children and the elderly, were said to bear the brunt of relentless violence.

14:31 GMT — Israel bans entry of UN special rapporteur for Palestinians

Israel has banned the entry of UN Special Rapporteur for Palestinians Francesca Albanese.

"The era of Jews being silent is over," Foreign Minister Israel Katz and Interior Minister Moshe Arbel said in a joint statement.

"If the UN wants to return to being a relevant body, its leaders must publicly disavow the anti-Semitic words of the 'Special Envoy' – and fire her permanently," they said .

Israeli officials accuse the UN rapporteur of justifying an Oct. 7 cross-border attack by Palestinian group Hamas after writing a post on X.

"The 'greatest anti-Semitic massacre of our century'? No, Mr. Emmanuel Macron. The victims of 7/10 were not killed because of their Judaism, but in response to Israel's oppression. France & the international community did nothing to prevent it. My respects to the victims," she wrote in response to a Le Monde post reporting on French President Emmanuel Macron honoring Israelis killed in the Hamas attack.

Palestinians look at heavily damaged buildings after Israeli attacks in Rafah, Gaza on February 12, 2024.

13:54 GMT — More journalists killed in Israeli attacks in Gaza, bringing toll to 126 since Oct. 7

Two more Palestinian journalists were killed in Israeli air strikes in Gaza, pushing up the death toll to 126 since Oct. 7, the government media office has said.

The office identified the two reporters as Alaa Hassan Al Hams and Angham Ahmed Adwan of the local SND News Agency and Libya’s February channel, respectively.

The two journalists were killed in Israeli bombardment in Rafah and Jabalia cities, the media office said, without providing any further details.

13:34 GMT — Yemen’s Houthis claim to attack US ship in Red Sea

Yemen's Houthis have claimed to have attacked a US ship in the Red Sea.

Houthi spokesperson Yahya Saree said the Star Iris ship was targeted with “appropriate naval missiles," resulting in direct hits.

The operation "stands as a victory for the just cause of the Palestinian people and as a response to the US-British aggression against our country," he added in a statement.

12:47 GMT — 7 Palestinians killed by Israeli sniper fire at Gaza hospital

At least seven people were killed and 14 others injured by Israeli sniper fire inside a hospital in Khan Younis city in southern Gaza, according to the Health Ministry.

"Israeli snipers are encircling the Nasser Medical Complex and shooting at any moving object inside," ministry spokesperson Ashraf al Qudra said in a statement.

12:18 GMT — UK urges Israel 'to stop and think seriously' before further Gaza action

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron has urged Israel to "stop" its latest military action in war-torn Gaza's Rafah, after deadly overnight bombing and fears of a looming ground incursion.

"We are very concerned about the situation and we want Israel to stop and think seriously before it takes any further action," Cameron told reporters during a visit to Scotland.

11:44 GMT — 'Irreversible' progress to Palestinian state needed: UAE

The United Arab Emirates' ambassador to the United Nations has said that there must be an "irreversible progression" towards a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict for a regional commitment to the reconstruction of Gaza.

"We cannot keep refunding and then see everything that we have built destroyed," she said at the World Government Summit in Dubai.

"There must be an irreversible progression to the two-state solution for regional partners to be on board with the reconstruction part... and that has to be something that has international guardrails and benchmarks and it has to have the support of the United States amongst other key actors," she said.

11:17 GMT — Palestine slams Israeli premier's 'deceptive' talk about Rafah safe corridor

The Palestinian presidency has slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's remarks about a safe corridor for citizens in Rafah, calling them a "deception to the world" aimed at endorsing forced displacement outside of Gaza.

"The US should not adhere to Israeli policy, especially as the region has reached a crossroads, and the continuous war against the Palestinian people will expand the confrontation regionally," Palestine's news agency Wafa quotes Palestinian presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh as saying.

"The massacres inflicted on our people in the Gaza Strip must be stopped, especially if the occupying army launches a ground attack on the densely populated city of Rafah," he added.

Palestinians, including children, collect usable belongings in the heavily damaged buildings, part of which collapsed, after Israeli attacks in Rafah, Gaza.

11:15 GMT — Israeli ground attack on Rafah would be 'catastrophic': Doctors Without Borders

Medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has warned that an Israel ground attack on Rafah in southern Gaza would be "catastrophic."

"Israel’s declared ground offensive on Rafah would be catastrophic and must not proceed. As aerial bombardment of the area continues, more than a million people, many living in tents and makeshift shelters, now face a dramatic escalation in this ongoing massacre," MSF Director General Meinie Nicolai said in a statement.

"Nowhere in Gaza is safe, and repeated forced displacements have pushed people to Rafah, where they are trapped in a tiny patch of land and have no options."

"All of this has taken place in full view of world leaders. It has now become near impossible to work in Gaza, all our attempts to provide lifesaving care to Palestinians have been diminished by Israel's conduct of hostilities," she added.

11:07 GMT — Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad discuss Gaza developments in Lebanon

Lebanese group Hezbollah and the Palestinian resistance movement Islamic Jihad have discussed the developments in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.

A meeting between Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah and Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ziyad Al Nakhalah reviewed the situation in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon's National News Agency reported without specifying the date of the meeting.

Both parties also discussed the assistance provided by the "Axis of Resistance" in Gaza, southern Lebanon, and Yemen, the agency said.

11:06 GMT — Freeing two prisoners from Rafah not victory for Israel: Hostage relative

The Israeli army's claims of freeing two Israeli hostages from Rafah are not considered a victory to Tel Aviv, said a relative of one of the prisoners that the military claimed to have rescued.

"The fact that we are happy today does not mean that we are victorious," Eidan Piarno, the son-in-law of the freed Louis Har, 70, told Israeli Radio 103-FM.

"There are still 134 hostages, with unknown fate. The struggle must continue to bring them back home," he added.

11:03 GMT — Türkiye ‘extremely concerned’ over Israel’s attacks on Rafah

Türkiye is "extremely concerned" over Israel’s accelerating attacks on Rafah after causing destruction and massacres in Gaza, the Foreign Ministry has said.

"We are extremely concerned by Israel's escalating attacks on the southern city of Rafah following the destruction and massacres it has already inflicted on Gaza," the ministry said in a statement.

"We consider this operation as part of a plan to expel the people of Gaza from their own land," it added. "We call on the international community, in particular the UN Security Council, to take the necessary steps to stop Israel," the statement concluded.

10:45 GMT — Situation in Rafah 'very, very dangerous,' says Belgian minister

A Belgian minister has said that the situation in Rafah, the southern Gazan city where Israel plans a ground invasion, is "very, very dangerous," insisting on continuing support for Palestinian civilians.

"We'll be discussing UNRWA and the situation in Gaza. We live the most dire humanitarian crisis in ages, 1.2 million people are stuck at the border with Rafah. The situation is very, very dangerous," Development Cooperation Minister Caroline Gennez told reporters ahead of an EU informal meeting of development ministers in Brussels.

"That's why it is important that we keep supporting innocent civilians. That we ask for an immediate cease-fire. That we ask for the liberation of the hostages. And that we also ask for more humanitarian access into the Gaza Strip."

10:39 GMT — Israeli army arrests 35 more Palestinians in occupied West Bank raids

Israeli forces have detained 35 more Palestinians across the occupied West Bank late Sunday and early Monday, according to prisoners’ rights groups.

Israeli forces conducted incursions in several areas of the occupied territory, detaining people in Hebron, Qalqilya, Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah, and Jerusalem, the Commission of Detainees Affairs and the Palestinian Prisoners Society said in a joint statement.

Israeli soldiers picked people up from their homes and detained them at military checkpoints after forcing them to surrender, the statement added.

An Israeli Air Force F-35 fighter jet flies during an aerial demonstration.

09:25 GMT — Dutch court orders halt to export of F-35 jet parts to Israel

A Dutch appeals court has ordered the Dutch government to block all exports of F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel within seven days.

"It is undeniable that there is a clear risk the exported F-35 parts are used in serious violations of international humanitarian law," the court said.

09:25 GMT — Malaysia, Japan deeply concerned over large scale Israeli offensive on Rafah

Malaysia and Japan have expressed deep concern over a large-scale Israeli offensive on Rafah city in Gaza, where over a million Palestinians have sought refuge, with Kuala Lumpur saying the "Zionist regime goal" of the attacks is to "annihilate the Palestinians from their own land."

In a strong-worded statement, the Malaysian Foreign Ministry condemned the new Israeli attack on Palestinians, calling it "irresponsible, illegal, and inhumane," and warned that it will worsen the humanitarian disaster, exacerbate regional tensions, and derail efforts toward an immediate cessation of hostilities and a permanent ceasefire.

Kaula Lumpur demanded that Tel Aviv cease its actions immediately and comply with international human rights law.

Japan has also said it is "deeply concerned” about reports of an Israeli military operation in Rafah.

09:00 GMT — Gaza death toll reaches 28,340: health ministry

Israeli strikes on Gaza killed at least 28,340 Palestinians and wounded 67,984 others since October 7, the health ministry in the besieged enclave said.

Israel's offensive has also left 85 percent of Gaza's population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while most of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed.

06:53 GMT — WHO chief continues to call for a ceasefire in Gaza

The World Health Organization head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has reiterated calls for a ceasefire in Gaza and expressed particular concern at Israeli attacks on Rafah where most of the enclave's inhabitants have fled.

Ghebreyesus said only 15 out of 36 hospitals in Gaza were "still partially or minimally functioning" and that aid workers were doing their best in impossible circumstances.

Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai, he said the WHO, the UN's health agency, continued to call for safe access for humanitarian personnel and supplies, for Hamas to release hostages, and for a ceasefire.

06:43 GMT — Two Israeli commandos killed in southern Gaza clashes

The Israeli army has said that two of its commandos were killed and three others seriously injured in battles in southern Gaza.

With the latest deaths, the number of Israeli troops killed since the war started on October 7 has increased to 566, including 229 since the start of the ground operation later in the month.

Israel has killed more than 28,000 people in Gaza since last year's Hamas incursion, which killed 1,200 Israelis, according to officials. The Israeli military campaign has also led to large-scale destruction in Gaza, displacement and conditions for a famine for Palestinians.

06:17 GMT — Israeli army gunfire kills another Palestinian in occupied West Bank

The Israeli army's gunfire killed late another Palestinian in the southern occupied West Bank.

The man was killed near the village of Beit Fajar, west of Bethlehem city in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said in a statement.

Palestinian health officials identified him as 35-year-old Rami Rashid Al Batha.

Tensions have been running high across the occupied West Bank since Israel launched a deadly military offensive against Gaza following a cross-border attack by Hamas.

Palestinians mourn relatives killed in the Israeli bombardment in Rafah, Gaza. / Photo: AP

05:45 GMT - Israeli attacks on Rafah kill over 100 Palestinians – WAFA

More than 100 people have been killed in Israeli attacks on the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, the Palestinian official news agency WAFA reported.

The area sits on Gaza's border with Egypt, where Israel forced civilians to evacuate, claiming it was a safe zone.

The Israeli army on Sunday approved a plan for a ground offensive in Rafah.

Palestinians have sought refuge in Rafah as Israel has been pounding the rest of the enclave since October 7. The ensuing Israeli bombardments have killed more than 28,000 people and caused mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

05:25 GMT - Two Israelis held in Rafah rescued: military

The Israeli military said in a post on X that two Israelis being held by the Palestinian group Hamas in the city of Rafah in southern Gaza "were rescued during an overnight mission."

"During a joint operation between the IDF, ISA and Israel Police, two Israeli hostages from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak were rescued: Fernando Simon Marman (60) and Louis Har (70)," it said.

"They are both in good medical condition and were transferred for further medical examination in Israel," it added.

04:47 GMT - Finding bodies of 100 Palestinians killed in Gaza points to Israel's genocidal approach: Hamas

The Palestinian resistance group Hamas said that finding the bodies of around 100 people who were killed by the Israeli army after it withdrew from areas of Gaza City "indicates the criminal approach pursued by this entity."

"Finding nearly 100 martyrs following the withdrawal of occupation forces from the neighbourhoods of Al Remal and Tal Al Hawa in Gaza City, most of whom were killed by the occupation snipers' gunfire, points to the criminal approach pursued by this entity," it said in a statement.

"It aims to exterminate and forcibly drive our people away from their land," it said.

04:15 GMT - Pro-Palestinian activists occupy Museum of Modern Art in New York

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists temporarily occupied the world-renowned Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City over the weekend to protest against Israel's attacks on Gaza.

The demonstrators, seeking to raise awareness about the Israeli army's alleged war crimes in the enclave, organised a protest against the directors of MoMA.

They hung a huge flag with the words "Free Palestine" in the museum’s entrance hall, demanding the resignation of some of its board members and accusing them of supporting "Zionist occupation and genocide."

04:00 GMT - Israeli police open fire on Palestinian in East Jerusalem

Israeli police opened fire on a Palestinian youth, saying he attempted to carry out a stabbing attack near the Al Asbat Gate in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem.

"A short while ago, a report was received regarding a suspect who attempted to stab police officers in the Old City of Jerusalem, where he was neutralised," the police said in a brief statement.

Witnesses confirmed to Anadolu that the shooting incident involving the youth occurred near the Al Asbat Gate, one of the entrances to Al Aqsa Mosque, Islam's third holiest site.

The young man's condition is currently unknown.

The strikes hit 14 houses and three mosques in different parts of Rafah, according to the Hamas government. / Photo: AA

03:48 GMT - Sweden under fire for suspending financial support to UNRWA

Sweden has come under sharp criticism from a number of experts over its decision to suspend financial support to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, or UNRWA, due to Tel Aviv's allegations that some of its staff members were involved in Hamas's October 7 military operation against Israel.

"It is catastrophic that Sweden has cut humanitarian aid to UNRWA, above all because it has not even seen any evidence of Israel's accusations," Beatrice Fihn, a lawyer and former executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) who specializes in international law and works for the law firm Lex International in Geneva, told the local Expressen newspaper.

"There is no other organisation that has the built-up capacity to get the necessary help out quickly," Fihn added.

03:10 GMT - More than 50 Palestinians killed in Israeli strikes on Rafah

A series of Israeli air strikes on the southern Gaza city of Rafah killed at least 52 people, according to Palestinian health officials.

The strikes hit 14 houses and three mosques in different parts of Rafah, according to Palestinian government in Gaza.

TRT World correspondent Mohammad al Kassim reported that at least 40 air strikes hit several locations in Rafah and that Israeli naval and artillery shelling took part in the violent attacks on early Monday.

02:30 GMT - Israel says its army conducted a series of strikes on Rafah

The Israeli military said in a statement that it had "conducted a series of strikes on terror targets in the area of Shaboura in the southern Gaza Strip", adding that the strikes had concluded.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered his army to prepare a ground offensive on Rafah, Gaza's last major population centre that troops have yet to enter after Hamas's October 7 attacks.

About 1.4 million Palestinians have crowded into Rafah, with many living in tents while food, water and medicine are becoming increasingly scarce.

For our live updates from Sunday, February 11, click here.

TRT Afrika and agencies