New Nakba as hundreds of thousands flee attacks

  • Fierce gun battles rage in northern Gaza’s Jabalia and southern Rafah as Israeli military incursions intensify against Palestinian armed groups. Hamas and Israel’s army both claim significant enemy casualties.
  • At least 82 Palestinians have been killed in the past 24 hours, the highest death toll in a single day in many weeks, during relentless Israeli air attacks.

    Netanyahu rejects UNGA backing of Palestinian statehood bid

    The Israeli prime minister’s office says he unanimously rejects the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) decision to promote the recognition of a Palestinian state.

    “Nobody will prevent us, Israel, from exercising our basic right to defend ourselves – not the UN General Assembly and not any other entity,” he said.

    On Friday, UNGA adopted a resolution with 143 votes in favour of a Palestinian bid to become a full UN member and nine against – including the Untied States and Israel – while 25 countries abstained.

    The measure does not give the Palestinians full UN membership but simply recognises them as qualified to join.

    Sixty rockets fired at Israel from Lebanon

    At least 60 rockets were fired from Lebanon in a recent barrage towards northern Israel with minor damage reported, Israeli newspaper Haaretz has reported, citing the Israeli military.

    Since the start of the war, Hezbollah in southern Lebanon and the Israeli military have regularly traded fire across the border.

    Haaretz says that Lebanon’s Hezbollah group claimed responsibility for the latest attack and said it was targeting the Biranit army base on the border with Lebanon.

    The Lebanese armed group said it was in response to an Israeli strike on Tuesday which killed senior field commander Hussain Ibrahim Mekky, according to Haaretz.

    Ireland to recognise Palestinian statehood in May: Foreign minister

    Micheal Martin, Ireland’s foreign minister and deputy prime minister, has said his country will be recognising the state of Palestine “before the end of the month”.

    “The specific date is still fluid because we’re still in discussions with some countries in respect of a joint recognition of a Palestinian state,” he told the Newstalk radio station.

    “It will become clear in the next few days as to the specific date but it certainly will be before the end of this month.

    In March, the leaders of Ireland, Malta, Slovakia and Spain said in a joint statement that they stand ready to recognise Palestinian statehood. Last week, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Ireland, Slovenia and Spain planned to symbolically recognise a Palestinian state on May 21, with others potentially following suit.

    Sirens sound throughout Palestinian territories to commemorate the Nakba

    Sirens have gone off throughout Palestinian cities for 76 seconds, marking the 76 years that have passed since the “Nakba” in 1948.

    As the sirens went off in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, “everyone fell silent and raised two fingers in the air” reports Al Jazeera’s Zein Basravi, from the city where a large crowd has congregated in the streets for the occasion.

    It is “a very clear sign that there can only be peace in victory and that only victory will bring peace”, said Basravi.

    If you’re just joining us

    Let’s bring you up to speed with the latest developments of the past few hours:

    • Five people have been killed in an Israeli attack on Gaza’s Bureij refugee camp.
    • Al Jazeera reporters on the ground have confirmed that Israeli shelling targeted a UNRWA clinic in Gaza City’s Sabra neighbourhood, killing at least 10 displaced Palestinians.
    • Media reports in the US suggest that the Biden administration has told Congress it plans to send a $1bn package of military aid to Israel.
    • Hezbollah has confirmed a senior field commander, Hussain Ibrahim Mekky, was killed in an Israeli attack.
    • The Israeli military has arrested three Palestinians, including two 15-year-olds, during raids on the occupied West Bank city of Tulkarem, according to Wafa news agency.
    • Israeli arsonists have once again attacked the UNRWA headquarters in occupied East Jerusalem, according to the agency’s chief Philippe Lazzarini.

    Israel’s impunity threatens global security: Rights lawyer

    Failure to hold Israel responsible for its international law violations is not only endangering Palestinians, but the entire world order, said Palestinian rights lawyer Ammar Dweik.

    “Israel is acting above international law with no accountability,” Dweik told Al Jazeera in Ramallah. “That’s why it’s going on with the genocide, with war crimes, with crimes against humanity, without any consequences to its leaders.”

    He added: “The way Israel is acting is not only making things dangerous for Palestinians but for everyone, because people see the world order collapsing before their eyes.”

    Dweik said he held “some hope” international bodies such as the International Criminal Court would take action against Israeli authorities, including through possible indictments, but cautioned that such steps were unlikely to immediately alleviate the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza.

    “This pressure is not enough,” Dweik said. “Too many victims have lost their lives, but still we need to continue this path. It’s not only for Palestinians, but also for the entire world to have a credible, accountability system that is independent, that is efficient.”

    Hezbollah’s Nasrallah meets Hamas delegation in Beirut

    Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has met a senior Hamas delegation in Beirut, according to a report by Al Mayadeen channel.

    The Hamas delegation is led by Khalil al-Hayya, the group’s deputy head in Gaza. It also included Mohammed Nasr, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, and Osama Hamdan, a senior Lebanon-based spokesperson for the group, according to Al Mayadeen.

    During their meeting, parties held an in-depth assessment of the latest developments in Gaza and discussed the status of stalled ceasefire negotiations, said the report, adding that they emphasised their shared commitment towards achieving “victory, regardless of the sacrifices”.

    Israeli officials voice concern over breakdown of relations with Egypt: Report

    Israeli officials are concerned that Egypt’s defence and intelligence cooperation with it could be under threat due to the assault on Rafah, Israeli newspaper Haaretz is reporting.

    “The situation with Egypt right now is the worst it’s been since the war started,” an official told Haaretz. “At the beginning of the war, the Egyptians showed understanding toward our position.”

    After recent Israeli operations in Rafah, which included the seizure of the Rafah border crossing, the official said Egypt had worked deliberately to obstruct Israeli operations “and to try to force an end to the war”.

    The official added that this was “something that’s never happened, not even during previous operations of ours in Gaza”.

    Israel arrests 20 Palestinians in occupied West Bank raids

    Israel’s military has arrested 20 Palestinians, including two children and two former prisoners, in raids throughout the occupied West Bank since Tuesday evening, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society.

    Most arrests took place in Hebron governorate, while others were in the governorates of Tulkarem, Bethlehem, Qalqilya and Jerusalem, according to the Prisoner’s Society.

    This brings the total number of Israeli arrests in the West Bank since October 7 to 8,745, according to the group.

    In addition to the arrests, 498 people, including 124 children and seven women, have been killed in attacks by Israeli forces and settlers in the occupied West Bank since October 7.

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