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Hello from The National in Abu Dhabi. Here's your morning newsletter with all the top stories from the Mena region.


The Israeli military extended its ground offensive against Hamas into all of the Gaza Strip yesterday. Israel dropped leaflets telling people to leave areas in and around the city of Khan Younis and north of Rafah as it launched strikes on targets where it says Hamas leaders are hiding. Read the latest developments here.

Palestinians are running out of places to flee the war in Gaza, after Israel ordered more evacuations in the south of the enclave.

US Vice President Kamala Harris made phone calls to Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday in which she reiterated Israel's right to self-defence and the US's support for a two-state solution that gives Palestinian people the right to self-determination.

An American warship and several commercial vessels came under attack in the Red Sea yesterday, the Pentagon said, potentially marking a major escalation in a series of maritime attacks linked to the Israel-Gaza war.

Twenty-nine injured Palestinians from Gaza arrived in Tunis on a military aircraft late last night to receive crucial treatment in Tunisian hospitals, Brig Gen Al Makki Ben Salah said.

After dozens of Israeli hostages were released last week, who remains in Gaza?

Dozens of climate activists at Cop28 called for a ceasefire in Gaza during a peaceful demonstration at the UN-run Blue Zone yesterday.


It is “fast becoming inevitable” that global warming will exceed the key target of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and leave the world trying to claw it back down, the Cop28 summit has been told.

Meanwhile, global donors pledged more than $777 million to defeat neglected tropical diseases and improve the lives of 1.6 billion people, on the inaugural health day at Cop28 yesterday.

Speaking to The National, philanthropist Bill Gates said that "climate is a headwind against the incredible progress made in health”, and that the world must continue funding to build on achievements in medicine.

'Unabated': the word that may point the way to a fossil fuel deal at the climate summit in Dubai. And behind closed doors: here's what is really happening at Cop28.

Follow the latest news on day five of the conference here.


An Israeli air strike in Syria killed two members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Tehran said, in the first known death of Iranian military personnel abroad since the Israel-Gaza war started almost two months ago.


An air strike in northern Iraq has killed at least five militants, social media accounts linked to Iran-backed Shiite militias reported late last night.


Read how Iran and the US Navy are engaged in a game of cat and mouse in the Arabian Gulf, with Iran posting drone footage of a US aircraft carrier last week as the US, in return, released footage of the Iranian drone.


Lebanese hotels are braced for a challenging Christmas during the continuing Israel-Gaza conflict, which has spilled into Lebanon for weeks, escalating into a border conflict.


Even though the early loss and damage deal in the summit was a big win, our editorial team writes that the Cop28 momentum must stay the course. The National's Damien McElroy explains why so much of Cop28 is about food.

Raghida Dergham asks: Can regional diplomacy succeed in Gaza where Biden is failing?

And today's Trending Middle East podcast features the eruption of Mount Merapi in Indonesia, which has killed at least 11 climbers, with many more missing.


See how Walid Siti's solo exhibition in Dubai honours his Kurdish identity.

Mona Farag
Gulf Affairs Editor

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