Middle East crisis live: 16-year-old boy reportedly killed during Israeli raid near Ramallah | Middle East and north Africa

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16-year-old boy killed by Israeli forces during raid in camp near occupied Ramallah – reports

A 16-year-old boy has been shot and killed by Israeli security forces during an overnight raid in the al-Amari camp in the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, according to reports.

The Palestinian Authority ministry of health said the killing of Mustafa Abu Shalbak happened in the early morning hours. Shalbak was wounded in the neck and chest, and pronounced dead in hospital. Palestinian news agency Wafa reports that Isreali forces fired live ammunition during a confrontation after they entered the camp.

Israeli troops raid the Al-Amari refugee camp near Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, on 4 March.
Israeli troops raid the Al-Amari refugee camp near Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, on 4 March. Photograph: Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP/Getty Images

A crowd has carried Shalbak’s body through Ramallah today ahead of his burial.

Palestinian news agency Wafa also reports that 55 Palestinians were detained overnight by Israeli security forces operating in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. 22 people were detained, it said, in Hebron, with other detentions taking place in Tubas, Bethlehem, Qalqilya, and East Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society states that about 7,400 Palestinians have now been detained by Israel since 7 October.

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Key events

The IDF has issued a statement about its military action inside Lebanon today. On its official Telegram channel, it wrote:

A launch was identified crossing from Lebanon into the area of Margaliot in northern Israel. As a result of the launch, a number of civilians were injured and evacuated by IAF and MDA helicopters to receive medical treatment at a hospital.

The IDF struck the source of the launch.

Additionally, a short while ago, IDF fighter jets struck a Hezbollah military site in the area of Chihin, in which Hezbollah terrorists were identified. Earlier today, IDF fighter jets struck a Hezbollah military compound in the area of Ayta ash Shab, in southern Lebanon.

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One killed and seven wounded in northern Israel by anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon

Israeli emergency services say a foreign worker was killed and several others wounded by an anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon.

The Magen David Adom rescue service said Monday it was treating seven people, including two in serious condition. Associated Press reporters saw the Israeli army transporting several Thai workers, some limping and bleeding, to ambulances near the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona.

Hezbollah has not directly claimed the attack, but AP reports that in statements on Monday it claimed it had stopped two attempts by Israeli forces to cross into Lebanese territory overnight and that it had launched an artillery attack on an Israeli barracks.

Lebanese media has reported that Israel has launched air raids inside Lebanon this morning.

Smoke is seen rising after an Israeli strike on the southern Lebanese village of Chihin on 4 March. Photograph: Kawnat Haju/AFP/Getty Images

Since 7 October, Israel and Hezbollah have almost daily exchanged fire over the UN-drawn blue line that separates Israel and Lebanon. More than 200 Hezbollah fighters and at least 37 civilians are believed to have been killed in Lebanon over that period, and about 20 people have been killed on the Israeli side, including civilians and soldiers.

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Hamas has said it is pressing on with talks in Cairo aimed at securing a ceasefire in Gaza despite Israel’s decision not to attend.

“Talks in Cairo continue for the second day regardless of whether the occupation’s delegation is present in Egypt,” a Hamas official told Reuters on Monday.

The proposal understood to be under discussion is for a ceasefire of about 40 days, during which militants would release about 40 of the more than 100 hostages they are still holding in return for about 400 detainees held in Israeli jails.

In Beirut, however, AP reports that speaking to the media, Hamas spokesperson Osama Hamdan called on Palestinians to “make every moment of Ramadan a confrontation.”

Hamdan added that “What they [Israel and the US] have not gained in the battlefield, they will not gain through political machinations.”

Ramadan is expected to begin on 10 March.

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Summary of the day so far …

It has just gone 2pm in Gaza and Tel Aviv. Here are the latest headlines …

  • A 16-year-old boy has been shot and killed by Israeli security forces during an overnight raid in the al-Amari camp in the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, according to reports. Palestinian news agency Wafa also reports that 55 Palestinians were detained overnight by Israeli security forces. The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society states that about 7,400 Palestinians have now been detained by Israel since 7 October.

  • US vice-president Kamala Harris called yesterday for an immediate six-week ceasefire. She said “people in Gaza are starving” and that the Israeli government must do more to increase the flow of aid. “The conditions are inhumane,” she added. “Our common humanity compels us to act”. Israel’s interior security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir responded on Monday morning by posting “It’s time to destroy Hamas, Kamala” to social media.

  • Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz is in Washington to meet Harris. An official from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party said Gantz did not have approval from the prime minister for his meetings, underscoring the widening crack within Israel’s wartime leadership nearly six months into the war.

  • In its latest operational briefing, Israel’s military claims to have apprehended suspected members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad who were attempting to flee “under the protection of the civilian population”, and to have destroyed a cell who were firing rockets from Gaza into Israel. It claimed that over the past day, IDF troops killed 15 terrorists using sniper, tank, and aerial fire. The claims have not been independently verified.

  • At least 30,534 Palestinians have been killed and 71,920 injured by Israel’s military offensive on Gaza since 7 October, according to the latest figures from the Hamas-led health ministry in the Palestinian territory. Over the same time period, in its latest briefing, the UN office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs (OCHA) noted that at least 409 Palestinians have been reported killed, including 103 children, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. It has not been possible for journalists to independently verify the casualty figures being issued during the conflict.

  • Mohammad Shtayyeh, caretaker prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, has accused Israel of “systematic criminality” and said countries that support Israel should “feel ashamed”.

  • A planned meeting to discuss Israeli “security preparations for Ramadan” scheduled for today has been cancelled, due to the personal health of Netanyahu. He was reportedly absent from government meetings yesterday due to flu. Ramadan is expected to start on 10 March.

  • Family members of those still being held hostage by Hamas in Gaza have staged a silent march today in the Knesset in Jerusalem, demanding their release after 150 days in captivity.

  • Lebanese media reported Israeli airstrikes in the south of the country, near the UN-drawn blue line that separates Lebanon from Israel. Earlier Israeli media reported that one person had been killed and at least seven wounded by fire from inside Lebanon that crossed into Israel at Margaliot.

  • Volker Türk, the UN high commissioner for human rights, has emphasised in Geneva the risk that the Israel-Hamas conflict could spread much wider. He described military escalation in southern Lebanon between Israel, Hezbollah and other armed anti-Israeli groups as “extremely worrying”.

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Palestinian PM: countries should ‘feel ashamed’ of supporting Israel’s ‘systematic criminality’

Mohammad Shtayyeh, caretaker prime minister of the Palestinian Authority since his government resigned en masse last week, has accused Israel of “systematic criminality” and said countries that support Israel should “feel ashamed”.

Speaking at the opening of a caretaker government meeting in Israeli-occupied Ramallah, Palestinian news agency Wafa quotes Shtayyeh saying:

Israel must allow the residents of the northern Gaza Strip to return to their homes, allow international institutions to work throughout the Gaza Strip, especially in the north, and allow aid to be delivered through United Nations institutions and relevant parties.

Those being killed in Gaza are not numbers but children, and the countries that support Israel and deal with it must feel ashamed of its positions. What does withholding milk from infants mean other than exposing them to starvation?

The Israeli government is nothing but a group of killers that practices systematic criminality, murder, and revenge.

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Lebanese media is reporting Israeli airstrikes in the south of the country, near the UN-drawn blue line that separates Lebanon from Israel.

الطيران الحربي الإسرائيلي شنّ غارة جوية بالصواريخ استهدفت بلدة شيحين pic.twitter.com/K9lbbIYW35

— bintjbeil.org (@bintjbeilnews) March 4, 2024

Earlier today Israeli media reported that one person had been killed and at least seven wounded by fire from inside Lebanon that crossed into Israel at Margaliot.

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Haaretz is reporting that a planned meeting to discuss Israeli “security preparations for Ramadan” scheduled for today has been cancelled, due to the personal health of Benjamin Netanyahu. He was reportedly absent from government meetings yesterday due to flu. Ramadan is expected to start on 10 March.

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Family members of those still being held hostage by Hamas in Gaza have staged a silent march today in the Knesset in Jerusalem, demanding their release after 150 days in captivity.

Family members of Israeli hostages carry pictures of their loved ones at the Knesset in Jerusalem. Photograph: Abir Sultan/EPA
Family members of Israeli hostages carry pictures of their loved ones at the Knesset in Jerusalem. Photograph: Abir Sultan/EPA

Israel believes that about 134 hostages are still being held in Gaza, although it is thought that nearly a quarter of them may have already been killed.

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16-year-old boy killed by Israeli forces during raid in camp near occupied Ramallah – reports

A 16-year-old boy has been shot and killed by Israeli security forces during an overnight raid in the al-Amari camp in the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, according to reports.

The Palestinian Authority ministry of health said the killing of Mustafa Abu Shalbak happened in the early morning hours. Shalbak was wounded in the neck and chest, and pronounced dead in hospital. Palestinian news agency Wafa reports that Isreali forces fired live ammunition during a confrontation after they entered the camp.

Israeli troops raid the Al-Amari refugee camp near Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, on 4 March. Photograph: Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP/Getty Images

A crowd has carried Shalbak’s body through Ramallah today ahead of his burial.

Palestinian news agency Wafa also reports that 55 Palestinians were detained overnight by Israeli security forces operating in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. 22 people were detained, it said, in Hebron, with other detentions taking place in Tubas, Bethlehem, Qalqilya, and East Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society states that about 7,400 Palestinians have now been detained by Israel since 7 October.

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Israeli media is reporting that one person has been killed and several wounded in Margaliot in northern Israel, which is close to the UN-drawn blue line that separates Lebanon and Israel.

More details soon …

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Volker Türk, the UN high commissioner for human rights, has emphasised in Geneva today the risk that the Israel-Hamas conflict could spread much wider.

Reuters reports he said:

I am deeply concerned that in this powder keg, any spark could lead to a much broader conflagration. This would have implications for every country in the Middle East, and many beyond it. It is imperative to do everything possible to avoid a wider conflagration.

He described military escalation in southern Lebanon between Israel, Hezbollah and other armed anti-Israeli groups as “extremely worrying”.

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Here are some images sent over the news wires showing the aftermath of the latest Israeli strikes on Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians carry out search and rescue operations among the rubble after an Israeli attack in Rafah. Photograph: Anadolu/Getty Images
Palestinians gather to look at the aftermath of an Israeli strike in Rafah. Photograph: Anadolu/Getty Images
People inspect damage and recover items from their homes following Israeli airstrikes in Rafah. Photograph: Ahmad Hasaballah/Getty Images
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Reporting from Rafah for Al Jazeera, Hani Mahmoud writes “People have their eyes and ears on the talks in Cairo and all the leaked reports of either progress or regression in the talks, but also on what’s going on on the ground – the overnight relentless attacks in central and northern Rafah city”.

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Gaza death toll from Israeli military action since 7 October reaches 30,534 – ministry

At least 30,534 Palestinians have been killed and 71,920 injured by Israel’s military offensive on Gaza since 7 October, according to the latest figures from the Hamas-led health ministry in the Palestinian territory.

Over the same time period, in its latest briefing, the UN office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs (OCHA) noted that at least 409 Palestinians have been reported killed, including 103 children, and 4,611 Palestinians have been reported injured, including 709 children, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem.

It has not been possible for journalists to independently verify the casualty figures being issued during the conflict.

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AFP reports that Egyptian media has said there has been “significant progress in the negotiations” during talks with Hamas in Cairo.

Al-Qahera News cited an unnamed senior official saying: “Egypt continues its intense efforts to reach a truce before Ramadan.”

Talks involving Israeli negotiators took place in the Qatari city of Doha on Saturday.

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In Israel, interior security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and opposition leader Yair Lapid have traded social media insults this morning.

Citing media reporting over the weekend, Lapid posted to social media that “The minister of national security is a threat to national security. You cannot trust him with sensitive material, you cannot trust him around intelligence personnel and you cannot trust him in the defence cabinet. Any normal prime minister would have fired him this morning.”

Ben-Gvir responded “Yair, there is no question here as to whether you are a liar or an ignoramus. You’re just both.”

Lapid was referring to reports at the weekend that security agencies in Israel have withdrawn from briefings led by Ben-Gvir over confidentiality concerns.

Ben-Gvir has also this morning had some words on social media for US vice-president Kamala Harris. He responded to her calls for a ceasefire by posting “It’s time to destroy Hamas, Kamala”.

It’s time to destroy Hamas, Kamala.

— איתמר בן גביר (@itamarbengvir) March 4, 2024

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In its latest operational briefing, Israel’s military claims to have apprehended suspected members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad who were attempting to flee “under the protection of the civilian population”, and to have destroyed a cell who were firing rockets from Gaza into Israel.

In its message on the IDF’s official Telegram channel, the military said:

On Saturday, Islamic Jihad terrorists fired rockets toward kibbutz Be’eri and kibbutz Hatzerim. In under 30 minutes since the launch, IDF troops identified the terrorist cell and directed an aircraft that struck and eliminated the terrorists.

Over the past day, IDF troops killed 15 terrorists using sniper, tank, and aerial fire.

IDF troops led the evacuation of the civilian population, and apprehended approximately 80 wanted individuals suspected of involvement in terrorist activity, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists who attempted to flee under the protection of the civilian population.

The briefing stated that the IDF continued to operate in Khan Younis, inside the Gaza Strip, and claimed to be “striking terror targets and killing terrorists operating from within civilian areas.”

The claims have not been independently verified.

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Archie Bland

Archie Bland

Yesterday, US vice-president Kamala Harris called for an immediate six-week ceasefire, saying that “People in Gaza are starving” and that the Israeli government must do more to increase the flow of aid. “The conditions are inhumane,” she added. “Our common humanity compels us to act.”

Here are some of the key parameters in the outline of a potential deal to pause the fighting:

  • Which hostages would be released of those still alive in Gaza, estimated to be under 100. The senior US official said that Israel appeared to be willing to strike a deal if Hamas would agree to the “default defined category of vulnerable hostages” of the sick and wounded, elderly people, and women.

  • The production of a list of the hostages, specifying which are alive and which are dead, which has not yet materialised: Hamas says that it is impossible to produce while the fighting continues because the remaining hostages are being held by different groups in different places. It appears that up to half of those still in captivity could be released if a deal is done.

  • The ratio of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel to be released in exchange. The terms appear likely to involve the release of hundreds of prisoners.

  • A six-week truce to begin as soon as a deal is announced – with repeated suggestions that any deal should begin by the start of Ramadan, expected 10 March, and prevent a threatened Israeli ground attack on the Rafah region where about 1.4 million Palestinians are now sheltering.

  • More aid allowed into Gaza in the hope of staving off the threat of famine. Hamas has also said it is demanding that Palestinians displaced by the fighting will be allowed to return home.

  • Hamas has also called for a complete Israeli military withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, but Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to countenance such a step before Hamas is destroyed and all hostages are freed.

This is an extract from today’s First Edition newsletter, which you can read here.

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Opening summary

Hello and welcome to the Guardian’s continuing coverage of the crisis in the Middle East.

US vice-president Kamala Harris will meet with Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz, after calling for a ceasefire on Monday.

An official from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party said Gantz did not have approval from the prime minister for his meetings in Washington, underscoring the widening crack within Israel’s wartime leadership nearly six months into the Gaza war.

More on that in a moment, first here’s a summary of the day’s other main events:

  • A Hamas delegation was in Cairo on Sunday for talks on efforts to broker a ceasefire in the war in Gaza after indications that Israel had provisionally accepted a six-week phased hostage and truce deal before the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Qatari and US mediators also arrived in the Egyptian capital on Sunday, according to the state-linked Al Qahera News.

  • US vice-president Kamala Harris called out Israel on Sunday for not doing enough to ease a “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza. Harris called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and urged Hamas to accept a deal to release hostages in return for a six-week cessation of hostilities.

  • Benny Gantz, a retired Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chief of staff who is part of Israel’s war cabinet was in Washington on Sunday for talks with US officials, sparking a rebuke from Benjamin Netanyahu, according to an Israeli official. An official from Netanyahu’s Likud party said Gantz’s visit was without authorisation from the Israeli leader, the Associated Press reported. The official said Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, had a “tough talk” with Gantz about the trip and told him the country has “just one prime minister”.

  • Yemen’s Houthis have vowed to continue targeting British ships in the Gulf of Aden after the sinking of Belize-flagged UK-owned vessel Rubymar. An Italian warship participating in the EU naval protection force in the Red Sea shot down a Houthi missile on Saturday in a rare engagement by the country’s navy, which has largely avoided direct action since the second world war.

  • Israel’s military has completed a preliminary review of the killing of over 100 Palestinian people near aid trucks last week, which claimed that Israeli forces did not strike the convoy and that most Palestinians died in a stampede, a military spokesperson said. Palestinian authorities say, however, that Israeli forces carried out a massacre, opening fire on a crowd of people who had gathered in the hope that food would be distributed.

It is Martin Belam with you today for the next few hours. You can contact me at martin.belam@theguardian.com.

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