More than 1,000 deaths; Washington sends USS Gerald Ford to the Mediterranean: Day 2, Hamas-Israel War

What you need to know

This morning: Projectiles launched from Lebanese territory hit a military position in the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms early Sunday.

This afternoon: At least one Israeli projectile targeted the southern Lebanon town of Khraybeh, a Hezbollah spokesperson and several area residents confirmed for L'Orient-Le Jour.

Hezbollah: The President of Hezbollah's executive council said to Palestinian fighters, "Our history, our weapons, and our rockets are with you. Everything we have is with you."

Israel and Gaza: Some 700 Israelis have reportedly been killed in Israel-Hamas clashes, the deadliest in decades. In Gaza, the Palestinian ministry of health has reported 370 deaths and 2,200 wounded, Palestinian officials say.

Hostages: There are a "significant" number of Israeli civilian and military hostages in Gaza.

22:54 Beirut Time

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22:47 Beirut Time

Lebanon-Israel border

Contacted by L'Orient Today, a spokesperson for the United Nations Interim Force stated that they were not aware of any incident at the border.

22:46 Beirut Time

Breaking: Hezbollah has just denied information circulating on social media about an incursion by the group into Israeli settlements on the Lebanese border.

"These reports are false. We would have issued a statement if we had taken any action," said a spokesperson for the party to our journalist Ghadir Hamadi.

22:45 Beirut Time

More details from the US on military support to Eastern Mediterranean for "regional deterrence".

21:58 Beirut Time

Recommendations for Israeli citizens have been issued by the Israeli National Security Council:

1/ Avoid traveling to Middle Eastern countries.

2/ Leave Egypt and Sinai immediately.

3/ Reduce their presence in public areas in countries considered dangerous.

A list follows, ranking 198 countries by the "level of threat," with measures ranging from "take basic precautionary measures" to "travel prohibited, please leave the country immediately."

21:37 Beirut Time

Update on Gaza casualties:

413 people have been killed in Gaza, including 78 children, and 2,300 people are injured - according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

21:20 Beirut Time

More details on US support to Israel, and "regional deterrence" in the Eastern Mediterranean 

In a statement, U.S Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J. Austin, said:

"I have directed the movement of the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group to the Eastern Mediterranean." He said it includes:

- The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78)

- The Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60)

- The Arleigh-Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116)

- The USS Ramage (DDG 61), USS Carney (DDG 64), and USS Roosevelt (DDG 80).

"We have also taken steps to augment U.S. Air Force F-35, F-15, F-16, and A-10 fighter aircraft squadrons in the region. The U.S. maintains ready forces globally to further reinforce this deterrence posture if required", he added.

21:06 Beirut Time

Analysis by our Editor-in-Chief, Anthony Samrani on US decision to send aircraft carrier and munitions to the Eastern Mediterranean, in support of Israel:

The United States is sending a deterrence message to Iran, particularly to Hezbollah. The message is very clear: if Hezbollah were tempted to enter the conflict, to join Hamas in the Gaza conflict, the response will not only be Israeli but also American. This means that the United States will not only support any Israeli retaliation but will also provide military backing.

20:34 Beirut Time

BREAKING: U.S Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, has announced that he has ordered the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford to be sent to the Eastern Mediterranean. The United States will quickly provide additional equipment and resources, including ammunition, to the Israeli military, he added. The first security assistance to Israel will arrive in the coming days.

20:33 Beirut Time

Statement from Israel's President

"The events of recent days are part of a widespread and large-scale war", said President Isaac Herzog in an address to Israelis.

Such a war does not end in the blink of an eye. Our enemies are deploying significant psychological efforts, using cyber-attacks, and spreading false videos and announcements - all with the aim of instilling fear and anxiety in our hearts." He continued by saying, "There is an undeniable fact - once again, the State of Israel will prevail. We have no other choice."

20:14 Beirut Time

More reactions from Palestinians inside the Bourj al-Barajneh Palestinian camp

"When I woke up in the morning and heard about what happened I was so happy and so excited and was following the news all the time”, said Fadia, a young woman inside the camp.

"Hopefully if the battle was opened from Lebanon and it became accessible that we could participate in the battle I would do it”, said Samir al-Habr, a Palestinian man in the camp who said that he's originally from an area in Akka (also known as Acre).

"Hopefully the victory will be for us. We have high have that Hezbollah would participate in the battle and this would be a victory for us."

20:09 Beirut Time

 “Our goal is Palestine” - reaction from Palestinians in Lebanon

"This is a Palestinian wedding, we consider this phase the period of liberation Palestine and hopefully this is the beginning of the return to Palestine, a representative from a Palestinian faction in the Bourj al-Barajneh Palestinian camp told L’Orient Today.

Our reporter, Richard Salame, met with representatives from different Palestinian factions in the camp in Beirut. The group of factions identified as, Jihad al-Aslami, Al Jabha al Chaabiya, Al Saika, Hamas, Fateh, The Democratic Front, and The Front of Struggle.

"We are of different factions, we disagree on politics but our goal is Palestine," a representative said.  

(Photo credit: João Sousa/L'Orient Today, Bourj al-Barajneh Palestinian camp in Beirut, 8 October 2023)

19:48 Beirut Time

According to the Israeli media N12, the Israeli death toll now stands at "at least 700."

19:40 Beirut Time

Dead and missing

Throughout the day, several countries have announced that their citizens have been killed or reported missing since the start of Hamas' offensive against Israel. Among these nationals are French, German, Nepalese, Mexican, Thai, Cambodian, and American individuals...

18:49 Beirut Time

The 6:45 p.m. report

1 - Clashes that began Saturday between Hamas' armed wing and the Israeli army spilled over into South Lebanon Sunday morning. Hezbollah claimed responsibility for a rocket barrage into the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms, provoking an Israeli artillery response. No casualties were reported. Israel ordered the evacuation of settlements near the Lebanon border Sunday evening.

2 - Hezbollah organized a demonstration in support of Palestine in Beirut's southern suburbs. Speaking to some 500 demonstrators Hezbollah executive council president Hashem Safieddine said, “Everything we have is with you.”

3 - The death toll continued to mount. Israeli authorities said late Sunday afternoon fighting had claimed at least 600 dead and more than 2,000 injured. They estimated that Hamas was holding around 100 people hostage in Gaza. Hamas' health minister reported 370 dead and 2,200 injured.

4 - Fighting continues on the ground. By mid-morning, Hamas announced that its men were fighting on at least eight fronts in the area north of Gaza's border. The Israeli army announced increasing operations aimed at neutralizing Palestinian infiltrators while evacuating all Israelis living near Gaza. Bombing continued in Gaza. Israel's security cabinet stated the country can be said to be officially in a state of war, which the Knesset must approve Monday. At least 20,000 Palestinians have sought refuge in the 44 UNRWA-managed schools since Saturday.

5 - An Egyptian police officer in Alexandria killed two Israeli tourists and their Egyptian guide Sunday.

6 - A meeting of the UN Security Council is scheduled for Sunday at 7 p.m. GMT (10 p.m. Beirut time). Several airlines have suspended flights to Israel. Several sources indicated to L'Orient-Le Jour that, for the moment, no changes are planned for Beirut airport's flight schedule.

7 - Security sources told the Israeli daily Haaretz that Palestinian infiltrators quickly took control of the headquarters of the Israeli army's Gaza Division Saturday, as well as the Erez crossing and other army bases, thus blocking the flow of information from the field.

8 - Early in the operation, Hamas infiltrators managed to capture civilians and soldiers. Only later was the Israeli army able to deploy troops along the gaps in the fence through which Hamas fighters had infiltrated. A total of 29 breaches were reported along the border fence. Most have not yet been closed and additional forces have been deployed to prevent further infiltration.

18:22 Beirut Time

The United Nations Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) said more than 20,000 Palestinians had taken refuge in schools it runs in the Gaza Strip .

(Photo: Mohammed ABED / AFP)

18:08 Beirut Time

Poland is sending military planes to evacuate its citizens from Israel, Polish President Andrzej Duda said Sunday.

“We are sending air force transport planes to carry out the evacuation of Poles currently in Israel. Special forces soldiers will ensure the protection and security of the cargo on board,” Duda wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

“We are in talks with Greece to establish an evacuation bridge,” Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said at a press conference.

17:47 Beirut Time

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently holding talks with the leaders of several European countries — including Germany, Italy, the UK and Ukraine.

He says they "fully support Israel's right to defend itself, as much as necessary."

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has declared that Germany stands firmly by Israel and warns against the temptation to stir up conflict.

"We have strengthened the protection of Israeli and Jewish institutions in Germany," he said, according to Reuters. "Attacks on Israel must not be celebrated in German streets."

The Israeli Minister of Defense has ordered preparations for the evacuation of settlements near the Lebanese border.

17:06 Beirut Time

Lebanese political reaction - Gebran Bassil from the Free Patriotic Movement

The leader of the Free Patriotic Movement, Gebran Bassil, has urged people to prioritize the "building of the Lebanese state," as the conflict spilled over to Lebanon on Sunday morning, reports the National News Agency.

"The unification of battlefields and the Palestinians' right to reclaim their lands serve one and the same purpose. But there are other perspectives and priorities. Some want the end of the Israeli entity, but our priority is the building of the Lebanese state," said Gebran Bassil during a party gathering in Baskinta.

17:02 Beirut Time

Free Patriotic Movement leader Gebran Bassil has urged Lebanese to prioritize the "building of the Lebanese state," as the Israeli-Gaza conflict spilled over to Lebanon Sunday morning, the National News Agency reported.

"The unification of battlefields and the Palestinians' right to reclaim their lands serve one and the same purpose," said Gebran Bassil during a party gathering in Baskinta," but there are other perspectives and priorities. Some want the end of the Israeli entity, but our priority is the building of the Lebanese state."

17:02 Beirut Time

VIDEO - Israel-Hamas war: Tensions in South Lebanon

16:55 Beirut Time

The Israeli army announced on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter) that it had bombed several Hamas targets in Gaza that "were used to attack Israel."

Quoting Israeli army spokesperson Daniel Hagari, Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported that "dozens" of aircraft had been mobilized for the strikes, targeting sites near the city of Beit Hanoun, near Gaza's southeast border.

16:49 Beirut Time

A boat in flames off the coast of Gaza after a Israeli strike Sunday afternoon. (Credit: REUTERS/Mohammed Salem)

16:46 Beirut Time


Israel estimates "dozens" of hostages have been abducted and are being held in the Gaza Strip by Hamas' armed wing, according to sources cited by an "informant close to the matter."

Citing figures provided by the Israeli government, AFP reported that Hamas currently holds "over 100 prisoners."

The exact number of Israeli hostages remains unknown, despite an announcement from Hamas earlier in the day about its intention to announce their number.

16:43 Beirut Time

Humanitarian Update:

Israel: More than 600 deaths and over 2,000 injuries reported, according to official provisional data.

Gaza: 370 confirmed deaths and 1,990 injuries, as reported by Gaza's Ministry of Health.

Egypt: A police officer killed two Israeli tourists and their Egyptian guide in Alexandria, according to local media.

Lebanon: Two children, aged 5 and 2, were injured by shattered glass in the town of Kfar Shouba and have been hospitalized, L'Orient Today's correspondent reported.

16:33 Beirut Time

US and Israel

The United States will "probably" provide details of new military aid to Israel as early as Sunday, announced U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

"We are looking at new specific requests from the Israelis. I think you'll probably hear more about that today," said the Secretary of State on Sunday morning on CNN.

16:32 Beirut Time

Reaction from Iran

In separate phone calls, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi spoke with the leaders of the Palestinian armed movements Hamas and Islamic Jihad Sunday, according to the official Iranian news agency IRNA, as reported by AFP.

"President Raisi spoke on the phone with the Secretary-General of Islamic Jihad, Ziad al-Nakhala, regarding the developments in Palestine," and then with "the head of the political bureau of Hamas Islamic Resistance Movement, Ismail Haniyeh," IRNA stated.

16:28 Beirut Time

L'Orient Today political journalist, Salah Hijazi's, has this analysis on Hezbollah's speech during the gathering held in the southern suburbs of Beirut earlier this afternoon:

Safieddine stated that his party had "sent a message to the enemy in Kfar Shouba this morning." This statement from the likely successor to secretary-general, Hassan Nasrallah comes after an exchange of gunfire Sunday morning between party fighters and the Israeli army in the disputed region of Shebaa Farms and the hills of Kfar Shouba.

"We have the right to attack the occupier of our lands, and it's a message that Israelis must take seriously," he added during a gathering in support of Palestine in Beirut's southern suburbs 24 hours after Hamas-Israel clashes commenced.

"If you cross the limits, the Nation [Islam, editor's note] will surge against you," he threatened.

These statements suggest that, despite this morning's exchange of fire, Hezbollah does not anticipate escalation unless Israel crosses certain red lines. Will Tel Aviv's threats of a bloody ground operation into Gaza push the pro-Iranian party toward a frontal attack?

15:36 Beirut Time

BREAKING: At least one Israeli projectile has targeted the southern Lebanon town of Khraybeh, a Hezbollah spokesperson and several area residents confirmed for L'Orient-Le Jour. No additional information is available at this time.

15:31 Beirut Time

URGENT: Haaretz: Israeli army's Patriot anti-missile battery has been deployed at Lebanon border.

14:31 Beirut Time

Casualty update from Israel:

According to Israeli television, the state has sustained more than 400 deaths and in excess of 2,000 injuries.

14:18 Beirut Time

Reaction from people at the Hezbollah 'Pro-Palestinian' rally in Beirut's southern suburbs

"We are here because the people of Gaza are oppressed by Israel," Walida Osman, who attended the rally, told L'Orient Today's Richard Salame. "The holy land is most important to us. We were expecting such an operation because we were waiting for him," he continued, referring to Imam al-Mahdi, whom some in the Shia community believe will return before the liberation of Palestine.

"They have not seen anything yet. They will experience what the Islamic resistance [Hezbollah and its allies] are capable of doing," added Osman's friend, who preferred not to give her name.

"We will retaliate for sure because we still have Shebaa farms that are still occupied. We want to pray in [Jerusalem]. We are not the only ones whose land they occupy."

"We are not the terrorists,” she added. "They are the terrorists. The US is the terrorist, with its exploitation of the region's gas and other resources, and its daughter [Israel] is also the terrorist."

(Photo: João Sousa, Beirut, October 8 2023)

14:03 Beirut Time

More on the speech of Hezbollah's executive council chairman at a pro-Palestine rally in Beirut

"The weapons they used, the rockets, artillery, the attack, and infiltration is proof of a huge and advanced military experience in resistance operations”, said Hashem Safieddine.

“Netanyahu thought that his extreme decisions give him what he wanted in Quds [Jerusalem], al-Aqsa mosque and the West Bank. In its cities, villages, and camps, he imagined that everything was accessible, but the response came from a tornado in Jerusalem and al-Aqsa.”

“The answer was that Jerusalem has its protectors, that al-Aqsa has its men and that the resistance may have many strong and unexpected responses to the aggression witnessed in the past months and years. Did Netanyahu think that Jerusalem is easy [prey] in the eyes of the people of this nation?” he added. "Did he think that the attack on those worshipping in al-Aqsa was a simple act?"

13:54 Beirut Time

More pictures from the Hezbollah rally in the southern suburbs of Beirut. (Credit: Joao Sousa, Beirut, October 8 2023)

13:46 Beirut Time

Saudi Arabia’s unease over Hamas’ offensive in Israel

With a strong Israeli retaliation underway, Riyadh blames ‘Israeli occupying forces’ for creating ‘an explosive situation' read more here from our reporter Amélie Zaccour.

13:43 Beirut Time

Hezbollah pro-Palestinian rally

During a speech at a pro-Palestinian rally in Beirut, Hashem Safieddine, the chairman of Hezbollah's executive council, said:

"The weapons [Hamas] used, the rockets, artillery, the attack, and infiltration is proof of huge and advanced military experience in resistance operations," reports L'Orient Today's Richard Salame.

13:22 Beirut Time

Approximately 500 people waving Hezbollah, Palestinian and Lebanese flags have gathered outside al-Qaem Mosque in Beirut's southern suburbs. L'Orient Today's Richard Salame is there.

13:05 Beirut Time

Tearful mourners attend the funeral of members of the Abou Qoutah family, killed in an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Oct. 8, 2023. (Credit: SAID KHATIB/AFP)

13:02 Beirut Time

 Israeli police take cover in Sderot after a Palestinian rocket barrage from Gaza, Oct 8, 2023. (Credit: JACK GUEZ / AFP)

12:44 Beirut Time

Israel-Lebanon border

The authorities of the city of Kiryat Shmona, near the Israel-Lebanon border, advise residents to evacuate the city for several days, adding that it is just a recommendation.

12:43 Beirut Time

Breaking news from Egypt: An Egyptian policeman has killed two Israeli tourists and an Egyptian, AFP reports, citing local media.

Reuters is also reporting that the policeman suspected of being the shooter in the Sawari district of the Egyptian city has been taken into custody.

12:29 Beirut Time

Update from the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank

The Palestinian Authority presented a memorandum requesting an emergency meeting of Arab League foreign ministers Sunday, according to WAFA, the Palestinian news agency.

The request comes in light of "the brutal and ongoing Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people, including the escalation of the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque by thousands of settlers," said Arab League ambassador, Muhannad Al Aklouk, as quoted by WAFA.

12:26 Beirut Time

The Israeli army says they have fired at suspects at a Hezbollah tent site, on the southern Lebanese border with Israel.

12:07 Beirut Time

Breaking: The Palestinian Authority calls for an emergency meeting of the Arab League, Reuters reports.

12:04 Beirut Time

Hamas fire "100 missiles"

According to its official channel on Telegram, the armed wing of Hamas announced around 8 AM GMT (11 AM in Beirut) that it was launching a volley of "100 missiles" at the town of Sderot in response to the Israeli army's bombardment of "shelters."

Less than half an hour later, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that an Israeli man had been injured by a rocket strike in the same town located northeast of the Gaza Strip.

12:03 Beirut Time

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently assessing the security situation with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Chief of Staff Herzl Halevi, and other top defense officials, according to a statement from the Israeli Prime Minister'd office.

11:55 Beirut Time

In Riad Al Solh Square, downtown Beirut, Lebanese Communist Party Hanna Gharib led a Palestinian solidarity gathering.

(Credit: Nabil Ismaïl, Riad el-Solh square, Beirut, October 8 2023)

11:44 Beirut Time

Update from Lebanon - Israeli border:

Hezbollah has set up a new tent at the site Israel reportedly attacked Sunday morning after the party launched mortar shells from southern Lebanon towards the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms, the pro-Hezbollah television channel Al Mayadeen reported.

11:26 Beirut Time

A key question still on everyone's mind this morning: Will Hezbollah join Hamas in its war against Israel?

While caution appears to be the prevailing sentiment for now, the possibility of escalation can't be ruled out. Read more here from L'Orient Today's political reporter, Salah Hijazi.

11:02 Beirut Time

More on the response from UN peacekeeping forces, UNIFIL, to Hezbollah strikes from South Lebanon towards Israeli-occupied Shebaa farms

UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti told L’Orient Today that their command was currently in contact 'with all parties' to maintain calm at the border between Lebanon and Israel-controlled territory after Sunday morning's exchange of fire.

He also confirmed that no shells or rockets had been fired since the Israeli army responded to Hezbollah’s claimed rocket and artillery shell attacks.

During the night from Saturday to Sunday, a video circulated on social media showing a UNIFIL armored vehicle in Saida blocked by civilians protesting and waving Palestinian flags. The convoy was eventually able to continue its route without incident, according to Tenenti.

10:53 Beirut Time

Global reaction

Here is a roundup from AFP of what countries around the world have said, a day after Hamas’ shock attacks by land, sea and air that Israel's army says has left more than 200 dead, and as officials in Gaza report more than 230 Palestinians killed in Israeli strikes on the enclave.

United States: President Joe Biden said US support for Israel was “rock solid and unwavering.” A White House official said talks with Israel on military aid were "very much underway."

Iran: A senior adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed support for the attack, calling it a "proud operation." Safavi expressed backing for the Palestinian militants "until the liberation of Palestine and Jerusalem."

Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry said: "The Kingdom calls for an immediate halt to the escalation between the two sides, protection of civilians, and self-control."

"The Kingdom is reminded of its repeated warnings of the dangers of an explosive situation as a result of the continued occupation and deprivation of the Palestinian people of their legitimate rights," it added.

UN: The UN's human rights chief Volker Turk said: "I call for an immediate stop to the violence, and appeal to all sides and key countries in the region to de-escalate to avoid further bloodshed." He said he was "deeply concerned at reports that Israeli civilians have been taken hostage."

EU: EU chief Ursula von der Leyen said: "I unequivocally condemn the attack carried out by Hamas terrorists against Israel... Israel has the right to defend itself against such heinous attacks," she said.

China: "China is deeply concerned about the current escalation of tension and violence between Palestine and Israel," Beijing's foreign ministry said, adding it "calls on all parties concerned to remain calm and exercise restraint, cease fire immediately, protect civilians and prevent further deterioration of the situation."

Russia: "We call on the Palestinian and Israeli sides to immediately cease fire, renounce violence, show the necessary restraint and — with the help of the international community — establish a negotiation process aimed at establishing a comprehensive, lasting and long-awaited peace," ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

Turkey: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Israel and Palestinians to avoid further escalation.

France: France expressed "full solidarity with Israel and the victims" and underscored "its absolute rejection of terrorism and its commitment to Israel's security."

Britain: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was "shocked" b

10:51 Beirut Time

Daniel Hagari, spokesperson for the Israeli army: "Our objective is to evacuate all the inhabitants of towns near the border with Gaza in the next 24 hours."

10:47 Beirut Time

The Israeli army has hit what it describes as "Hamas targets" in the Gaza strip.

10:46 Beirut Time

The death toll has risen to 313 people in the Gaza strip, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

10:39 Beirut Time

Picture: Smoke rises from Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip after an Israeli airstrike early Sunday morning. (Credit: Menahem Kahana/AFP)

10:36 Beirut Time

Picture: Palestinians search for survivors Sunday morning in the rubble of a building in Khan Younis, Gaza, targeted by an Israeli airstrike. (Credit: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters.)

10:26 Beirut Time

Latest on Gaza:

Israel army spokesperson Daniel Hagari said Sunday morning the army's "goal" is to "evacuate all residents living in towns near the Gaza border within 24 hours."

10:18 Beirut Time


The United Nations peacekeeping forces in Lebanon confirmed the exchange of fire across the border Sunday morning, urging "everyone to exercise restraint,” after Hezbollah and Israeli forces fired artillery.

UNIFIL stated in a press release that several rockets were fired from southern Lebanon towards Israeli-occupied territory in the “general area” of Kafr Shouba, and artillery shells were fired from Israel into Lebanon in response to these attacks.

"We are in contact with authorities on both sides of the Blue Line at all levels to contain the situation and prevent a more serious escalation," UNIFIL stated.

They added:"Our peacekeepers remain in their positions and on their tasks. They continue to work, some from shelters for their safety."

Hezbollah had claimed responsibility for the attack earlier in the morning.

10:09 Beirut Time

A recap on what has happened so far:

1. On Saturday, Hamas launched a surprise and large-scale military offensive on multiple fronts within Israeli-controlled territory. The Israeli army responded by bombing the Gaza Strip and deploying ground troops to counter the offensive.

2. The provisional human toll: In the Gaza Strip, the Hamas Ministry of Health reported 256 deaths by Sunday morning, including 20 children, and over 1,800 injuries. Israeli media, citing the Israeli army, reported "over 250 deaths" and "at least 1,800 injuries" on the Israeli side, accusing Hamas of having "massacred civilians" in their homes. There are reportedly a "significant" number of hostages in the hands of Hamas. The Israeli army has also released the names of its 26 soldiers killed on the first day of the offensive.

3. Early Sunday morning, an Israeli army spokesperson announced that 426 Hamas positions had been bombed, and Israelis living near the Gaza Strip border had been evacuated. The spokesperson also mentioned that clashes were ongoing "with militants in the Be'eri Kibbutz," east of the Gaza Strip, and in the city of Sderot, northeast.

4. On Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Israeli army would use "all its power" to "destroy Hamas's capabilities." In mid-morning Sunday, the Israeli army declared it had attacked military infrastructure located at the home of the head of Hamas's intelligence department.

5. In Lebanon, Hezbollah claimed in a statement Sunday morning that it had fired rockets and artillery shells from southern Lebanon into Israeli-occupied territory. Stating that it acted in solidarity with the "Palestinian people," Hezbollah claimed to have targeted "three positions of the Zionist enemy in the occupied Shebaa Farms: the Radar position, the Zebdine position and the Roueissat al-Aalam position," and claimed to have hit its targets. According to Haaretz, these strikes caused no casualties on the Israeli side. The Israeli army responded with artillery fire. Residents of the Mateh Asher community, located in northern Israel, were asked to evacuate.

6. On the Israeli side, the proposal by the leader of the Israeli opposition, Yair Lapid, to establish a "unity government" to manage the "difficult and complex operation ahead of us" has not yet been implemented.

7. Internationally, a meeting of the United Nations Security Council is scheduled for this Sunday at 7 p.m. GMT (10 p.m. Beirut time). Many heads of state and foreign ministries reacted on Saturday to the outbreak of hostilities. Some, like the United States, the European Union and France, condemned Hamas, while others, such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia, emphasized the responsibility of Israeli policy in the current escalation. China and Russia called on the parties involved to exercise "restraint."

8. Finally, numerous airlines have canceled or rescheduled flights to Tel Aviv International Airport; the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has called for "caution" when flying over Israeli airspace.

09:58 Beirut Time

"Fierce clashes" ongoing along the border with the Gaza strip

The armed wing of Hamas, the Al-Qassam Brigades, states that its fighters are still engaged in "fierce clashes" in several cities in Israel-controlled territory along the border with the Gaza Strip.

This includes the towns of Ofakim, Sderot, Yad Mordechai and Kfar Azza, as well as Be'eri and Kissufim, according to a statement from the armed group on its Telegram channel.

09:57 Beirut Time

In this image, Israeli soldiers transport a tank equipped with a 155mm artillery cannon near the Gaza Strip, in an unspecified location, on Oct. 8, 2023.(Credit: Menahem Kahana/AFP).

09:57 Beirut Time

In pictures: In Gaza, residents woke up to scenes of massive destruction. Here, children walk amid the ruins of a mosque targeted by an Israeli airstrike in Khan Younis, on Oct. 8, 2023. (Credit: Said Khatib/AFP.)

09:56 Beirut Time

On the humanitarian front, here is a provisional assessment of the situation in Gaza and Israel:

- The Palestinian Ministry of Health has reported 256 deaths in the Gaza Strip, including 20 children. There are reportedly more than 1,800 injuries.

- According to the ministry, seven people have been killed in the West Bank since yesterday.

09:52 Beirut Time

Hezbollah strikes against Israeli-occupied Shebaa farms: a map to help guide you.

For the last months there have been ongoing tensions along Lebanon's southern border with Israel - over the disputed Shebaa farms and village of Ghajar.

In August Hezbollah set up tents near the disputed village of Ghajar, Israeli forces launched rockets toward Lebanon after mortar fire from the Lebanese side, and a handful of Lebanese MPs and journalists were targeted by Israeli teargas along the border. Read more background information here.

09:17 Beirut Time

North Israel

People in the Mateh Asher community situated in the north of Israel have been asked to evacuate the area and head towards the south or centre of the country, according to the local regional council. 

09:15 Beirut Time

Photo : The occupied Chebaa farms, seen from the village of Marjeyoun, in southern Lebanon, 8 October 2023. (Photo REUTERS/Karamallah Daher)

09:12 Beirut Time

Analysis from journalist, Kim Ghattas


09:08 Beirut Time

Analysis from L'Orient Today editor in chief, Anthony Samrani: The next few hours will be decisive in the possible opening of a second front on the border between Israel and Lebanon.

By launching a series of rockets this morning on the occupied farms of Chebaa, Hezbollah has a double objective: to show its solidarity with Hamas and above all to test the Israeli reaction.

This does not mean, for the moment, that Hezbollah wants to enter into a new war with Israel. The latter, by responding in a targeted and proportionate manner, for the moment, seems to want to prove that it has not lost its capacity to deter without opening another front on its northern border.

In these types of moments, however, poor anticipation of the adversary's reactions or a miscalculation can lead to an uncontrollable escalation.

08:59 Beirut Time

Israel - Hamas:

Sunday morning, the Israeli army released the names of 26 soldiers killed during clashes with Hamas on Saturday.

08:36 Beirut Time

URGENT South Lebanon - Hezbollah claims responsibility for attack against Israeli-occupied Chebaa farms:

In a statement sent to L'Orient-Le Jour by Hezbollah, the Imad Moughnieh unit indicated that they attacked "three positions of the Zionist enemy in the occupied Chebaa farms this Sunday morning: the Radar position, the Zebdine position, and the Roueissat el-Aalam position, using numerous artillery shells and guided rockets. The targets were hit directly."

08:26 Beirut Time

Testimony from South Lebanon:

"I was on my way home from Souk el-Khan (where there was a gastronomy festival) when I started to get very scared. We could hear the Israeli aircraft. It was around one in the morning. But the bombings started around 5:30 a.m. around us in Kfarchouba and Kfarhamam," said Salim Alaeddine, a resident of Kfarchouba, to L'Orient-Le Jour.

"We are afraid that the Israelis will start bombing our homes too. In fact, some residents have already left and have hidden in olive fields," he added.

08:25 Beirut Time

Kfarchouba, southern Lebanon

A resident of Kfarchouba told L'Orient Today that he was able to hear the Israeli bombings. He estimated hearing about a dozen impacts in the area.

08:19 Beirut Time

More on Lebanon strikes

Israeli artillery struck the south of Lebanon on Sunday in response to fire from that area, the Israeli army said in a statement released shortly before 07:30 (04:30 GMT). 'Israeli artillery is striking the area in Lebanon from where the fire originated,' the statement said, without providing further details on the nature of this attack.

A security source told our correspondent in South Lebanon that explosions were heard near the Chebaa and Kfarchouba farms.

08:19 Beirut Time

Lebanon strikes

This morning, the news begins in Lebanon...

According to several Israeli media sources, rockets were fired from South Lebanon towards Israel. According to Haaretz, no casualties have been reported so far. Explosions were heard in the occupied farms region of Chebaa, on the southern border between Lebanon and Israel. The Israeli army responded to these rockets with artillery fire.

08:11 Beirut Time

Good morning.

There have been significant developments overnight.

- Israel has launched strikes in Lebanon. Projectiles launched from Lebanese territory hit an Israeli military position in the Israeli-occupied Shebaa farms early on Sunday - reports Reuters.

- At least 250 people in Israel and 230 people in Gaza have been killed

- Israeli Air Force has shared footage showing strikes against "Hamas military targets" in Gaza

 L'Orient Today's team of journalists Olivia Le Poidevin and Emilie Sueur are here to bring you the latest updates from Beirut, on events in Israel, Gaza, and Lebanon.