Protestors call for peace in Gaza during a demonstration at Paris’ Place de la Republique, Oct. 22, 2023. Thousands of Israelis and Palestinians have died since Oct. 7, 2023. (Credut: Emmanuel Dunand / AFP)


The region is a 'powder keg,' warns Iran: Hamas-Israel war, day 16

What you need to know

Caretaker Prime Minister Mikati said he is working to prevent the war between Israel and Hamas from spreading to Lebanon.

Exchanges of fire have increased on the Lebanese-Israeli border. The Israeli army accused Hezbollah of 'dragging Lebanon into war.'

Hezbollah announced the death of its fifth fighter Sunday, bringing the number up to ten since Saturday.

Israel has intensified its strikes on the Gaza Strip in preparation for a ground invasion.

The United States announced that it was strengthening its military resources in the region to prevent a generalized conflagration.

21:52 Beirut Time

Thank you for joining the LIVE blog on day 16 of the Israel-Hamas war. We will be back tomorrow morning with more news updates.

21:37 Beirut Time

Israeli gunfire wounded a Mais al-Jabal resident in his home Sunday evening, village mayor Abdel Menhem Choucair confirmed for L'Orient Today's south correspondent Mountasser Abdallah. Using heavy machine guns, Israeli forces opened fire upon several village homes from across the border, Choucair said. The wounded man has been hospitalized.

21:20 Beirut Time

Six more Hezbollah fighters died late Sunday evening in the region of Mais al-Jabal, a Lebanese village on the border with Israel, a security source told L'Orient-Le Jour.

Hezbollah launched an attack into Israel from this site, the source said, which provoked a massive bombardment from  Israeli forces.

Hezbollah was not immediately available to reply to L'Orient-Le Jour's requests for confirmation. If the report is confirmed, Hezbollah will have lost 12 fighters on Sunday.

20:50 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announced the death of another of its fighters Sunday evening "while carrying out his duty." This marks the sixth announcement of this kind today. The deceased fighter is Ali Haidar, hailing from the Bekaa town of Yahfoufa.

20:43 Beirut Time

The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees said Sunday that 29 of its staff had been killed in Gaza since the outbreak of war between Hamas militants and Israel.

"We are in shock and mourning. It is now confirmed that 29 of our colleagues in Gaza have been killed since October 7," UNRWA wrote on X, formerly Twitter, raising a death toll released Saturday of 17 staffers.

"Half of these colleagues were UNRWA teachers," the agency said of its latest toll.

Thousands of Gazans have sought shelter at UNRWA facilities since Israel launched an aerial bombardment campaign in reprisal for Hamas attacks in Israel in which 1,400 people were killed.

More than 4,600 Palestinians have been killed in those air strikes, according to the Gaza health ministry, with Israel also cutting off supplies of fuel, water, food and electricity to the impoverished enclave.

Twelve displaced people have been killed and nearly 180 wounded at the UN agency's schools, while some 38 UNRWA installations have been damaged, the agency said.

In a separate statement, UNRWA warned its fuel supplies in Gaza would run out "in three days".

"Without fuel, there will be no water, no functioning hospitals and bakeries. Without fuel, aid will not reach many civilians in desperate need," UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini said.

"Without fuel, there will be no humanitarian assistance," he added.

Six trucks were able to collect fuel from a terminal at the Rafah crossing point, but they do not come close to meeting the daily needs of Gaza's 2.4 million residents.

(After an Israeli strike near an United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) school in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, Oct. 21, 2023. Credit: Mahmud HAMS / AFP)

20:32 Beirut Time

An Israeli soldier was killed and three wounded during a raid into Gaza, reported the Israeli daily Haaretz, quoting an Israeli military spokesperson.

20:27 Beirut Time

Lebanon’s caretaker Education Minister Abbas al-Halabi Sunday evening announced public and private schools along the country’s southern border would remain shut Monday, October 23. Institutions located in the at-risk zone but not directly on the border will remain open or close at the discretion of their respective school administrators.

"Schools in other regions of Lebanon,” the statement claims, “are operating normally.”

20:22 Beirut Time

Hezbollah Sunday evening released a poster showing portraits of the 24 fighters killed since the Israel-Hamas conflict began October 7. The party initiated its attacks against Israel the day after the Hamas attack.

(Credit: Courtesy of Hezbollah press bureau)

20:01 Beirut Time

Islamic Jihad announced Sunday evening that it had lost four fighters since starting its operations against Israel in southern Lebanon, following the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war. Riad Kiblawi and Hamza Moussa were killed "in Lebanon" on October 9, while Mohammad Moussa was killed on October 21 "on the Syrian front," and Oussama Ziabat was killed today, also "on the Syrian front."

19:58 Beirut Time

Israeli daily Haaretz said Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told the paper that military operations to eradicate Hamas "could take a month, or two or three months — but in the end, there will be no Hamas."

19:41 Beirut Time

An Egyptian military spokesman said Sunday that an unspecified number of border guards had sustained "minor injuries" from "fragments of a shell accidentally fired from an Israeli tank."

The Egyptian army said Israel had "immediately expressed its regret over the incident and said an investigation is underway." The Israeli military had earlier reported that it accidentally hit an Egyptian border post near the Kerem Shalom area between Egypt, Gaza and Israel.

19:22 Beirut Time

The US State Department said Sunday that its citizens should not travel to Iraq after recent attacks on US troops and personnel in the region.

19:21 Beirut Time

Hezbollah conducted an operation against Israeli positions late Sunday afternoon from the village of Ramia, on the Lebanon-Israel border, a party source confirmed to L'Orient-Le Jour.

The source said that Israel responded by bombing the village, causing several casualties. Though the source did not specifyy the number of dead and/or injured he did confirm that Hezbollah members had been killed.

A source from Lebanese Civil Defense said most of Ramia's residents had evacuated the area.

In the evening, the official National News Agency (NNA) announced that the Lebanese Red Cross and UNIFIL "are currently working to repatriate the bodies of the resistance martyrs who were hit by an enemy strike."

Sources within Lebanese Civil Defense, the Lebanese army, and UNIFIL confirmed this claim to L’Orient-Le Jour.

19:06 Beirut Time

Israeli army spokesperson Avichay Adraee posted on X, formerly Twitter, that "Israeli warplanes had recently raided Hezbollah infrastructure after an attempt was detected to fire an anti-tank missile toward Israel near the town of Malikiyah."

Anti-tank shells had also been discharged at an open area near the town of Arab al-Aramsheh, he added, without causing injuries or damage.

18:56 Beirut Time

Thousands of people waving Palestinian flags and chanting "Gaza, Paris is with you" gathered in Paris Sunday for the first pro-Palestinian demonstration allowed by police in the French capital since the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel.

Around 15,000 people turned out at the Place de la Republique, according to police figures, to express solidarity with Palestinians and to call for a ceasefire as the death toll from Israeli strikes in Gaza rose to more than 4,700.

Police said that the protest was authorized, unlike others, because the declaration by organizers condemned the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel, which killed 1,400 people.

A protest was authorized at the last minute Thursday, only after a Paris court overturned the police decision to ban it, and in the last few days, other protests have been authorized in cities across France.

This came following a ruling by France's highest administrative court stating that pro-Palestinian protests were to be banned on a case-by-case basis, not systematically as an earlier instruction by the French interior minister had suggested.

The protest in Paris was called by the collective "National Collective for a sustainable and just peace between Palestinians and Israelis," made up of more than 40 organizations, including left-wing party France Unbowed, the CGT trade union and the organization "France Palestine Solidarity."

At a peace summit in Cairo Saturday, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said Israel had a right to self-defense under international law and that a humanitarian corridor to Gaza was necessary and could lead to a ceasefire. - Reuters

18:30 Beirut Time

The Israeli military said Sunday one of its tanks accidentally struck an Egyptian position near the border with Gaza,

"The incident is being investigated and the details are under review," it said in a statement, adding that it regretted the incident, but giving no further details. - Reuters

18:23 Beirut Time

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh Sunday called on the international community to create “united front” to stop Israel's attacks in the Gaza Strip.

“We place at the top of our priorities stopping the Israeli aggression ... and bringing in medical and relief aid to prevent a major humanitarian catastrophe,” Shtayyeh said during a meeting with 25 ambassadors, representatives and consuls. – Reuters

18:12 Beirut Time

Responding to the call of the photojournalists syndicate, several dozen photographers gathered at Beirut’s Ramlet al-Baida beach Sunday to pay tribute to their colleague Issam Abdallah, a Reuters video journalist who was killed in southern Lebanon on October 13 in an attack widely attributed to Israeli forces.

To the sound of patriotic tunes, the journalists and a number of supporters, including children, gathered under a canopy decorated with Lebanese and Palestinian flags.

Salman Andary, a reporter for Sky News Arabia, was close to Abdallah, both in the field and as a friend.

"His murder hurt us, his colleagues and friends, very much," he lamented. "We are still in shock. Issam was deployed in Ukraine, Iraq, Turkey and Beirut. We felt safe with him in the field. We never imagined that anything would happen to him."

"Issam was killed by a direct Israeli strike," Andary added. "We are not going to keep quiet. We must not give up."

The day Abdallah died, Andary was himself in the south, reporting from Rmeish.

"I will continue to go into the field," he said, adding, "Our anger defies description."

(Credit: Matthieu Karam)

17:40 Beirut Time

Hezbollah claimed responsibility for a second attack on Israeli positions this afternoon.

The party statement said al-Abbad and Misgav Am positions were targeted with guided missiles and artillery shells, adding that casualties had been confirmed.

17:26 Beirut Time

A blast and the sirens of ambulances were heard near the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip Sunday afternoon, shortly after a second aid convoy made the crossing from the Egyptian side, witnesses said.

17:20 Beirut Time

Hezbollah claimed responsibility for attacks on two Israeli positions this afternoon. In a statement, the party said its fighters had used rockets and artillery to attack the Ruwaisat al-Alam position in the Shebaa Farms and the Kfar Shouba Hills and that the Israelis had taken casualties.

17:15 Beirut Time

"Israel has the right to defend itself. We must make sure they have what they need to protect their people today and always," President Joe Biden posted on his X, formerly known as Twitter, account.

"At the same time, Prime Minister Netanyahu and I have discussed how Israel must operate by the laws of war. That means protecting civilians in combat as best as they can.

"We can’t ignore the humanity of innocent Palestinians who only want to live in peace. That’s why I secured an agreement for the first shipment of humanitarian assistance for Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

"And we cannot give up on a two-state solution."

16:56 Beirut Time

The head of the UN World Food Program (WFP) said Sunday that the humanitarian situation in Gaza was catastrophic, Reuters reported, and that the 20 aid trucks that have entered so far was a drop in the ocean and that aid agencies needed secure, sustainable access to the enclave. Speaking on ABC’s “This Week” program, WFP executive director Cindy McCain said the agency does its very best to ensure aid gets to the people who need it but that Gaza was a war zone and that “things happen.”

16:53 Beirut Time

A utility vehicle carrying several Syrian nationals took fire from Israeli forces on the outskirts of Aitaroun Sunday, according to state-run National News Agency. The passengers, were reportedly on their way to inspect a chicken farm where they work.

According to the NNA's initial report, some of the passengers were slightly injured during persistent firing. The Lebanese Red Cross, in cooperation with UNIFIL, is currently trying to assist the men.

16:48 Beirut Time

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that Washington saw potential for escalation in the ongoing war in the Middle East due to the actions of Iran and its proxies in the region.

The United States is not looking for escalation, Blinken told NBC News in an interview quoted by Reuters. He added the United States hoped Hamas would release more hostages.

16:30 Beirut Time

Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, announced the death of one of its members in Southern Lebanon today. The statement named the slain fighter as 23-year-old Osama Muhammad Kheir Thiabat. The announcement brings Islamic Jihad’s weekend death toll to two.

15:59 Beirut Time

A Hezbollah statement announced the death of two new members while "carrying out [their] duties."

The fighters killed are Ali Muhammad Mermer from the town of Marjayoun (Southern Lebanon) and Ahmad Ali al-Halani from al-Halaniyeh (Bekaa).

In all, Hezbollah today announced the death of five members.

15:24 Beirut Time

Netanyahu: If Hezbollah goes to war with Israel, that would bring unimaginable devastation upon it and Lebanon, according to the prime minister’s office. He told Israeli troops the Gaza War Is ‘Do Or Die’ for Israel but that he ‘cannot yet say whether Hezbollah will decide to fully enter war.’ - Reuters

15:15 Beirut Time

Israel shelled the towns of Blida and Aitaroun in Southern Lebanon according to Al-Jazeera.

Al-Jazeera's correspondent also reported that shots were fired at the Israeli sites of Al-Bayyad and Al-Malikiyah which are opposite of the targeted Lebanese towns.

The Israeli Channel 12 said that two anti-tank missiles and a mortar shell were fired towards the kibbutz of Yiftah near the Lebanese border.

According to LBCI, the Israeli site of Dahr Al-Asi, opposite the Lebanese town of Mays al-Jabal, was also targeted.

Later, the Israeli army announced that a military aircraft struck a Hezbollah position in response to anti-tank missile fire at Israel, Haaretz reported.

15:09 Beirut Time

The critical lack of fuel in the Gaza Strip is jeopardizing the operation of incubators for more than 120 premature newborns, according to a count from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) communicated to AFP on Sunday.

“Currently, we have more than 120 newborns in incubators, including 70 under mechanical ventilation and of course, it is for them that we are particularly concerned,” the UNICEF ​​spokesperson told AFP in Jerusalem, Jonathan Crickx.

15:08 Beirut Time

Seventeen aid trucks enter the Gaza Strip from Egypt, reports AFP.

14:39 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announced today the death of three of its fighters "while carrying out [their] duties".

The fighters killed are Ali Youssef Abu Khalil from the town of Qlaileh (South Lebanon), Haidar Khoder Ayyad from the town of Tayr Falsay (South Lebanon) and Jaafar Abbas Ayoub from the town of Younin (Bekaa) according to Hezbollah's statement.

Nine Hezbollah members have been killed since yesterday.

14:07 Beirut Time

Iran's foreign minister has warned Israel and the United States that the situation risks becoming "out of control," reports AFP.

14:06 Beirut Time

The Palestinian Health Ministry announced that 4,651 Palestinians have been killed and more than 14,245 injured in Israeli strikes on Gaza since Oct. 7, Reuters reports.

Furthermore, according to the spokesperson for the Health Ministry in Gaza, Israel has killed 266 Palestinians in the last 24 hours, including 117 children.

13:47 Beirut Time

Israeli Economy and Industry Minister Nir Barkat said that "if Hezbollah chooses to open a front in the north, Israel will also attack Iran."

In an interview with the British newspaper The Daily Mail, he stressed that "Iran's plan is to attack Israel on all fronts" and that if Israel realizes that Iran intends to carry out this plan, Tel Aviv will "also hit the head of the snake, Iran."

Barkat also threatened that if Hezbollah opens a front, this would result in Israel "wiping it off the face of the earth."

13:36 Beirut Time

In a press conference in Bint Jbeil, Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah said that the party's secretary general Hassan Nasrallah is "following hour by hour the course of the confrontation in [Southern Lebanon] and supervising the management of the battle directly with field commanders," according to Hezbollah's Al-Manar channel.

Fadlallah added that the fact that Nasrallah has not yet delivered a speech on the war between Israel and Hamas is "part of the management of the battle" and increases Israel's confusion.

13:17 Beirut Time

Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati said on Sunday that his government is working on stopping Israeli attacks and preventing the spread of war to Lebanon.

Mikati said that the government is "continuing its diplomatic and internal contacts in order to stop the Israeli attacks on southern Lebanon and to prevent the spread of the Gaza war to Lebanon," the state-run National News Agency reported.

"I understand the feelings of fear and anxiety that afflict the Lebanese as a result of what is happening, and the calls of a number of embassies for their citizens to leave Lebanon, but I will not hesitate to make every effort to protect Lebanon," said Mikati.

Mikati noted that he is reassured that "Lebanon's friends" are making efforts to restore the security situation and prevent it from developing for the worse, adding that the government's meetings and preparations to put an emergency plan in place is an essential preventive step taken out of caution.

He added that the measures taken at the airport and by Middle East Airlines (MEA) are also out of caution, saying that the government did not "receive any data indicating that any serious matter may happen at the airport."

12:58 Beirut Time

The Israeli army has arrested at least 58 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since this morning, reports Al Jazeera, citing the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.

The arrests mainly took place in Ramallah, Hebron and Jenin.

12:45 Beirut Time

An update on the situation in South Lebanon:

Tensions remain high on Lebanon's southern border, where fire continues to be exchanged between Hezbollah and Israel.

Hezbollah, via its Al-Manar media channel, claimed this morning to have hit Israeli army technical equipment with guided missiles. As for Israel, its army claims to have hit an anti-tank unit and attacked fighters attempting to fire missiles on the Lebanese border, and to have hit a site in Lebanon from which a missile had been fired at an Israeli aircraft.

Heavy Israeli shelling also hit the outskirts of Ramia, Aita al-Shaab and reached the Shebaa farms, local media reported. The outskirts of Dhaira and Alma al-Shaab, as well as Maroun al-Ras and Kfarchouba, were also targeted by Israel earlier on Sunday.

On Saturday, Hezbollah confirmed the deaths of six of its fighters, whose funerals are scheduled for Sunday. The Islamic Jihad in Lebanon reported one death in its ranks. For its part, Israel reported that three of its soldiers had been wounded by anti-tank missile fire, one of them seriously.

In addition, Israel plans to evacuate 14 more settlements in the north of the country near the border with Lebanon. Israeli army spokesman Jonathan Cornicus issued yet another warning on Saturday: "Hezbollah is aggressing and dragging Lebanon into a war from which it will gain nothing, but risk losing a lot."

It is now estimated that more than 30 people have been killed in southern Lebanon since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, including 20 Hezbollah fighters and civilians including Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah, according to an AFP casualty report updated by L'Orient Le-Jour.

12:29 Beirut Time

A drone approaching the Israeli border from Lebanon was shot down by the Israeli army, reports Haaretz.

11:55 Beirut Time

URGENT: New Israeli strikes have occurred on the outskirts of Ramia, Aita el-Chaab and in the Shebaa farms, reports the state-run National News Agency.

The Israeli army said that "an anti-tank unit was hit" on the Lebanese border without giving further details, according to Haaretz. For its part, the Hezbollah channel Al-Manar reports that "enemy technical equipment at a tower in the locality of Ibad, on the border with the Lebanese village of Hula, was targeted by guided missiles".

11:28 Beirut Time

Israel confirmed that 212 people were being held hostage in Gaza, a military spokesperson was quoted as saying by Reuters on Sunday, adding that Israeli strikes overnight had killed dozens of Palestinian fighters, including the deputy head of the force in Gaza in charge of Hamas rockets.

11:28 Beirut Time

URGENT: The Israeli army, cited by Reuters, announced that it attacked fighters who were trying to fire missiles across the Lebanese border and that it struck a site in Lebanon where a missile had been fired at an Israeli plane.

10:49 Beirut Time

"Violent Israeli bombardments" are underway in the vicinity of Alma el-Chaab and Dhaira in southern Lebanon, according to the state-run National News Agency. This information was confirmed by a security source to our correspondent Muntasser Abdallah.

The daily newspaper Annahar, meanwhile, reports strikes near Maroun el-Ras, and local channel LBCI reports that "bombing raids were carried out against Kfarchouba after Israel targeted the Rouaisat el-Alm area."

10:40 Beirut Time

Palestinians say they have received renewed warnings from Israel's military to move from north Gaza to the south of the strip, with the added warning that they could be identified as accomplices of a "terrorist organization" if they stay put.

The message was delivered in leaflets marked with the Israel army name and logo from Saturday and sent to people via mobile phone audio messages across the Gaza Strip.

"Urgent warning, to residents of Gaza. Your presence north of Wadi Gaza puts your life in danger. Whoever chooses not to leave north Gaza to the south of Wadi Gaza might be identified as an accomplice in a terrorist organization," the leaflet said.

10:30 Beirut Time

Lebanon's Middle East Airlines (MEA) has updated its schedule of flights to and from Beirut International Airport for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. The list of flights can be found here.

10:27 Beirut Time

At least two workers were killed on Sunday "as a result of Israeli bombardment targeting Syria's Damascus airport at dawn," Syria's General Directorate of Meteorology said in a statement.

10:19 Beirut Time

A sit-in in memory of Issam Abdallah, the Reuters video journalist killed in South Lebanon on October 13 in a bombardment attributed to Israel, is scheduled for 6 p.m. this Sunday on Ramlet al-Baida beach, Beirut. The demonstration is being organized by the Lebanese Photojournalists' Union.

09:22 Beirut Time

Hezbollah confirmed on Saturday the deaths of six of its fighters: Ali Khreiss, Ismaïl Zein, Bilal Rmeiti, Abbas Chouman, Ibrahim Atwi and Wissam Haïdar. Their funerals are scheduled for Sunday.

Islamic Jihad in Lebanon reported one death in its ranks, Mohammad Moussa.

09:17 Beirut Time

In pictures: Protesters supporting Palestine in Brooklyn, New York, October 21, 2023. Photo SPENCER PLATT / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

09:12 Beirut Time

At least 55 people were killed in the Gaza Strip overnight from Saturday to Sunday after the announcement of the intensification of Israeli bombings, Hamas announced.

At least 55 people were killed "in the night until 6 a.m. and more than 30 homes [were] destroyed," said a statement from the group.

09:11 Beirut Time

Israel plans to evacuate 14 additional locations in the north of the country, on the border with Lebanon, reports Reuters.

09:11 Beirut Time

Urgent: Israeli airstrikes have severely damaged Damascus and Aleppo airports, reported Syrian state media cited by AFP.

09:09 Beirut Time

9. More than 1,400 people have been killed on Israeli soil by Hamas forces since October 7, the majority of them civilians on the first day of the attack, according to Israeli authorities.

In the Gaza Strip, at least 4,385 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed in incessant bombings carried out in retaliation by the Israeli army, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

09:07 Beirut Time

8. The Israeli army claimed on Sunday to have killed, during an airstrike, “terrorists” who were sheltering in an underground passage at the Al-Ansar mosque in Jenin, in the West Bank. One person died and three others were injured in the strike, according to the Jenin Red Crescent. According to the Israeli army, the mosque served as a “command center for planning attacks.”

09:05 Beirut Time

7. Additionally, on Saturday a convoy of 20 trucks carrying humanitarian aid entered Gaza from Egypt through the Rafah border crossing, the only exit from the Gaza Strip which is not controlled by Israel, which was subsequently closed again. But according to the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), these 20 trucks are equivalent to only 4 percent of Gaza's daily imports before the start of hostilities, and at least 100 trucks per day are needed to improve the situation.

At least 42 percent of housing in the Gaza Strip has been destroyed or damaged since the start of the conflict, according to OCHA.

09:03 Beirut Time

6. According to the UN, at least 1.4 million Palestinians have been displaced in the Gaza Strip since the start of the conflict, and the humanitarian situation in the enclave is “catastrophic”

“Time is running out before mortality rates skyrocket due to the outbreak of disease and lack of healthcare,” five UN agencies warned in a joint statement on Saturday.

Subject to an Israeli land, air and sea blockade since Hamas took power there in 2007, the Gaza Strip has been in a state of “complete siege” since October 9. Israel has cut off the water, electricity and food supplies to the territory.

09:00 Beirut Time

5. In this context, the United States announced the strengthening of its military resources in the region. Faced with "escalations by Iran and its affiliated forces," American Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced on Saturday evening the deployment of several anti-missile defense systems "across the region," without specifying where exactly, and the placement in a state of “pre-deployment” of additional military assets. “These measures will strengthen regional deterrence efforts, increase the protection of U.S. forces in the region and contribute to the defense of Israel,” Austin said.

As of October 7, the United States has deployed two aircraft carriers and their escort ships to the eastern Mediterranean to protect Israel.

Gathering in Amman for a “peace summit” on Saturday, Arab leaders called for a new effort to reach a settlement in the Middle East, to end decades of violence between Israelis and Palestinians.  

08:58 Beirut Time

4. Another source of tension is Israel's northern border, where exchanges of fire are increasing between the Israeli army and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. Hezbollah announced on Saturday that four of its fighters had been killed. A member of Islamic Jihad was also killed. Israel, for its part, indicated that three soldiers had been injured by anti-tank fire, one of them seriously.

“Hezbollah is attacking and dragging Lebanon into a war from which it will not benefit, but in which it risks losing a lot,” warned a spokesperson for the Israeli army, Jonathan Cornicus, on X (formerly Twitter).

08:56 Beirut Time

3. On October 15, Israel ordered civilians in the north of the Gaza Strip to flee to the south to take shelter from its bombing of the city, but the bombing has continued in southern parts of the enclave. Hamas authorities reported nine deaths during a strike in Khan Younes overnight from Saturday to Sunday.

08:46 Beirut Time

2-The Israeli army has amassed tens of thousands of soldiers at the borders of Gaza, where 2.4 million Palestinians live.

A ground operation appears perilous in this densely populated, trap-laden city with many underground tunnels, facing seasoned Hamas fighters who still hold over 200 Israeli or foreign hostages.

"Gaza is complex, Gaza is densely populated, the enemy is preparing a lot there, but we are also preparing for it," General Halevi warned. "And we will keep in mind the photographs and images, as well as the deaths, from two weeks ago."

08:45 Beirut Time

Here's what you need to know to start your day: 

1. Israel has announced the intensification of its strikes on the Gaza Strip in preparation for a ground invasion of the Palestinian enclave.

"As of today, we will increase the strikes" on the Gaza Strip, warned General Daniel Hagari, spokesman for the Israeli army, with the aim of "reducing the risks to our forces in the coming stages" of the conflict.

"We will enter Gaza, we will do it for an operational purpose, to destroy the infrastructure and Hamas terrorists, and we will do it professionally," said Israeli Chief of Staff General Herzi Halevi during a troop review on Saturday.

08:37 Beirut Time

Good morning,

We resume our live coverage this morning as the war between Israel and Hamas claims more victims.