A picture taken from southern Israel shows an Israeli army helicopter firing a missile towards the Gaza Strip on November 1, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movement. (Credit: JACK GUEZ/ AFP)


UNIFIL searches for two missing and injured shepherds in southern Lebanon: Day 26 of Israel-Hamas war

What you need to know

Mikati calls for a five-day cease-fire in Gaza.

Member of Hezbollah scout organization, age 16, killed in south Lebanon.

Netanyahu promises “victory” despite “painful losses.”

The Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt has opened to foreigners and dual nationals for the first time since Oct. 7.

21:27 Beirut Time

Thanks for following L'Orient Today's LIVE coverage of day 26 of the Israel-Hamas war. We will be back tomorrow.

21:27 Beirut Time

There are confirmed reports by UNIFIL and Hezbollah of an Israeli airstrike on the outskirts of the town of Ramaya in South Lebanon this evening.

A Hezbollah spokesperson told L'Orient Today that “the strikes also affected the periphery of the village.”

21:04 Beirut Time

United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) spokesperson Andrea Tenenti confirmed this evening to L’Orient Today that two people are missing in South Lebanon.

Earlier, President of the Municipal Council of Wazzani (South Lebanon) Ahmad el-Mohammad informed our correspondent in the region, Mountasser Abdallah, that UNIFIL and the Lebanese Army were searching for two missing shepherds. He said that there was gunfire in the area where they were grazing their herds.

"Tonight, the Lebanese Army requested UNIFIL's assistance to evacuate two individuals who were injured near the Blue Line in the Wazzani region," UNIFIL stated in a press release.

"The Israeli army ceased firing to allow the Lebanese army and UNIFIL to search for the individuals," they added.

"Unfortunately, they have not been found. Due to the darkness and the presence of landmines in the area, the search will have to resume in the morning," UNIFIL concluded.

20:31 Beirut Time

The US denounced on Wednesday the violence committed by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, stating that it was "incredibly destabilizing," and urged Israel to curb them, as reported by AFP.

The attacks by settlers in the West Bank are "incredibly destabilizing and counterproductive for Israel's long-term security, as well as, of course, extremely harmful to Palestinians living in the West Bank," said State Department spokesman Matthew Miller to the press.

20:28 Beirut Time

Several dozen people were killed by Israel's bombing of Jabaliya camp, the largest refugee camp in Gaza, according to the Hamas health ministry. The Israeli Army said that this attack aimed to "eliminate" a military commander of Hamas. Watch the video here:

20:26 Beirut Time

US President Joe Biden announced today on X (formerly Twitter) that Americans will leave the Gaza Strip following the opening of the Rafah crossing point to Egypt.

"We expect to see more departures in the days to come," he said.

19:55 Beirut Time

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant stated today that Hamas had the choice between "dying or surrendering unconditionally," on the 26th day of the war against Hamas, as reported by AFP.

'The enemy has only two options, to die or to surrender unconditionally, there is no third option," said Yoav Gallant during a press conference in Tel Aviv.

19:31 Beirut Time

Hezbollah said it hit the Hadab Al-Bustan site, situated in Israel on the borders with Lebanon, with artillery shells at 4:25 p.m. today according to a statement published on the party's official telegram platform.

The group claimed it caused "direct casualties" on the Israeli side.

18:54 Beirut Time

"Hospitals in Gaza are operating in horrific circumstances," the International Committee of the Red Cross said today in a post on its X (formerly Twitter) account.

The NGO said that "hospital corridors are full of displaced families ... Healthcare workers have been non-stop for weeks."

They asked for hospitals to be "protected," in accordance with international humanitarian law. "No patient should be killed in their hospital bed," they added.

The post also said that there is an urgent need for medical supplies, equipment and personnel.

18:48 Beirut Time

UN Secretary-General António Guterres condemned Israel's air strikes on the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, his spokesman said today.

"The Secretary-General is appalled over the escalating violence in Gaza, including the killing of Palestinians, including women and children in Israeli airstrikes in residential areas of the densely populated Jabalia refugee camp," spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said.

18:05 Beirut Time

The mayor of South Lebanon village Blida told L'Orient Today that the outskirts of the village was shelled.

Hezbollah said earlier that they attacked a village facing Blida.

18:02 Beirut Time

Hezbollah just announced another attack that the party said was done at 3:30 p.m. on an Israeli position in the town of Zar'it, using artillery fire and missiles. The group claimed to have inflicted casualties, which Israel's army has not yet confirmed.

17:39 Beirut Time

At least 320 foreign passport holders have crossed into Egypt from Gaza in the first batch of evacuations, reported Reuters citing Egyptian security sources and Palestinian officials.

17:38 Beirut Time

Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that an Israeli army commander said one of its division's forces are "deep in the Gaza Strip, at the gates of Gaza City."

Brigadier General Itzik Cohen, the commander of Division 162 of the Israeli army, stated that "in the last five days, [the Israeli army] have dismantled many Hamas capabilities [and] attacked strategic installations," Haaretz added.

17:31 Beirut Time

Hezbollah just announced in a statement that at 2:05 p.m., their fighters targeted an Israeli position facing the south Lebanon village of Blida "with the appropriate weapons" and said they "hit the target."

16:58 Beirut Time

The United Nations decried today the strikes by Israel on Gaza's largest refugee camp that killed scores of people.

"This is just the latest atrocity to befall the people of Gaza where the fighting has entered an even more terrifying phase, with increasingly dreadful humanitarian consequences," UN Humanitarian Chief Martin Griffiths said in a statement.

16:57 Beirut Time

Jordan said today that it would "immediately" recall its ambassador to Israel in protest of the war against Gaza trigged by Hamas's Oct. 7 attacks, according to AFP.

"Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi decided to immediately recall Jordan's ambassador to Israel," the Jordanian Foreign Ministry said, adding that the move was "to condemn the Israeli war that is killing innocent people in Gaza."

15:56 Beirut Time

Several projectiles were launched from Lebanon towards the Israeli village of Shtula, a security source told L'Orient Today's correspondent in the south, Muntasser Abdallah.

The outskirts of Lebanese villages Ramaya and Aita al-Shaab are under Israeli artillery shelling, the source told our correspondent.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that sirens are sounding in northern Israel.

15:29 Beirut Time

The political leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, has said that Israeli hostages held in the besieged Gaza Strip are subject to the same "death and destruction" that Palestinians have faced, Reuters reports.

In a recorded video message, Haniyeh also pointed out that Hamas has told mediators that it is necessary for the "massacre" to stop and called on people to continue protesting, particularly in the West, to mount pressure on decision-makers.

14:46 Beirut Time

Image: Palestinian passport control policemen affiliated with Hamas check the travel documents of people waiting to cross to Egypt at the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip on Nov. 1, 2023. Scores of foreign passport holders trapped in Gaza started leaving the war-torn Palestinian territory today when the Rafah crossing to Egypt was opened up for the first time since Oct. 7, according to AFP correspondents. (Credit: Mohammed Abed/AFP)

14:41 Beirut Time

A first group of foreigners and dual nationals — most of them women and children — fleeing Gaza has arrived in Egypt, AFP cites an Egyptian official as telling the news agency on condition of anonymity.

14:34 Beirut Time

The only cancer treatment hospital in the Gaza Strip has gone out of service after it ran out of fuel, health officials say. Click here for more. 

14:26 Beirut Time

An anti-tank missile was launched from Lebanon at army post, and the Israeli army is retaliating with artillery fire and mortars, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports.

14:17 Beirut Time

BREAKING: Israel is shelling the outskirts of the southern towns of Blida and Aitaroun, L'Orient Today's correspondent in the south reports, citing the heads of the municipalities of the two towns. According to the Hezbollah-affiliated channel Al Manar, the towns are being targeted with "phosphorus and fragmentation shells."

13:57 Beirut Time

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell says he is "appalled by the high number of casualties following the bombing by Israel of the Jabalia refugee camp."

In commentss published on the X social network, Borrell also noted the "EU Council’s clear stance that Israel has the right to defend itself" but added that "the right to self-defence should always be balanced by the obligation to spare civilians to the greatest extent possible."

13:43 Beirut Time

The BBC will start an emergency radio service for the people of Gaza in response to the ongoing conflict in the region, the British broadcaster's World Service arm says. Read more here.

13:19 Beirut Time

GAZA DEATH TOLL UPDATE: 8,796 Palestinians have been killed, including  3,648 children, in Israeli strikes on Gaza since Oct. 7, according to the Health Ministry in the Hamas-run enclave.

13:14 Beirut Time

Image: A Palestinian boy looks out of a hole in the wall, at a school turned into a shelter, as hospitals are overwhelmed, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, Oct. 31, 2023. (Credit: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters)

12:50 Beirut Time

Lebanon's caretaker prime minister, Najib Mikati, has called for a five-day cease-fire in Gaza. Mikati's call came during a government meeting at the Grand Serail in Beirut today.

"A five-day cease-fire is necessary, humanly speaking. During this period, international contacts will be made to ensure the exchange of prisoners [between Hamas and Israel]. These contacts will serve to establish a permanent cease-fire, with the aim of outlining peace in the region," Mikati said in a statement published on the government's X account.

Mikati also spoke of "the Israeli offensive in south Lebanon, the martyrs, the victims, the destroyed homes, the burnt crops, and the economic and financial damage" in the country, while calling on the international community to react.

12:12 Beirut Time

List of those leaving Gaza via the Rafah crossing is agreed between Israel and Egypt, with relevant embassies being informed in advance, Reuters reports, citing a "Western official."

12:05 Beirut Time

The first ambulances carrying wounded Palestinians from Gaza have entered Egypt via the Rafah crossing, an Egyptian official said, speaking on condition of anonymity, AFP reports.

Live footage shown on television stations close to Egyptian intelligence had shown the ambulances entering the Egyptian side of the Rafah terminal to bring back what officials said would be around 90 of the most seriously sick and wounded Palestinians for treatment in Egyptian hospitals. 

11:47 Beirut Time

Hezbollah has announced the death of 16-year-old Hussein Kourani this morning. The party states that he was a member of Hezbollah's scouts. In an obituary published by the party, the teenager is photographed in military attire.

This morning, our correspondent in south Lebanon, Muntasser Abdallah, reported that a 16-year-old had died after being struck during Israeli drone strikes last night between the towns of Yater and Beit Lif in the Bint Jbeil district.

 "The young man, a civilian, was hit as he was returning home on his motorcycle," residents of the area told our correspondent.

11:15 Beirut Time

At least four more Palestinians have been killed during Israeli raids in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian health officials said Wednesday. Click here for more.

Image: Palestinians look at the blood-stained ground after an Israeli raid in Jenin in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Nov. 1, 2023. (Credit: Raneen Sawafta/Reuters)

11:07 Beirut Time

Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, says Muslim countries should stop exporting oil and food to Israel, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reports, according to Reuters.

11:05 Beirut Time

Hamas armed wing al-Qassam Brigades say seven civilian hostages were killed in strikes on Jabalia refugee camp, including three foreign passport holders, Reuters reports.

10:49 Beirut Time

 Two drones targeting a US base in Syria's al-Tanf region were thwarted by the base defense system, an Iraqi government source told Reuters today.

A group called the "Islamic resistance in Iraq" earlier today claimed it targeted this base with two drones.

10:48 Beirut Time

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today that Israel's war in Gaza would be long but victorious, in a statement in which he also mourned mounting military losses, Reuters reports. "We are in a tough war. It will be a long war," he said. "I promise to all citizens of Israel: We will get the job done. We will press ahead until victory."

10:34 Beirut Time

The Israeli military says it has deployed missile boats in the Red Sea as reinforcements, a day after the Iran-aligned Houthi movement said it had launched missile and drone attacks on Israel and vowed to carry out more. Click here for more.

10:32 Beirut Time

Up to 500 foreign passport holders will pass through the Rafah crossing form Gaza to Egypt today, Reuters reports, citing an Egyptian security source.

10:06 Beirut Time

BREAKING: First foreigners leave Gaza for Egypt through Rafah crossing, AFP reports. Click there for more.

Image: People walk through a gate to enter the Rafah border crossing to Egypt in the southern Gaza Strip on Nov. 1, 2023. (Credit: Mohammed Abed / AFP)

10:04 Beirut Time

AFP images show long lines of ambulances and several people in wheelchairs at the Rafah border crossing — the only one not controlled by Israel — after Cairo said it would let in 81 of the most seriously injured. Click here for more details.

09:50 Beirut Time

Hezbollah last night released a graphic showing the losses it claims to have inflicted on the Israeli army.

Hezbollah alleges that it has destroyed 13 armored vehicles: nine tanks, two troop transport vehicles, and two Humvees. It further claims to have "killed and injured" 120 Israeli soldiers.

The party also states that it has destroyed 69 communication systems, 17 jammers, 140 cameras, 33 radars, 27 intelligence systems and one drone. It adds that it targeted 105 military sites and caused the evacuation of 65,000 people in 28 different "Israeli settlements."

Image: Graphic released by Hezbollah on Tuesday, Oct. 31.

09:48 Beirut Time

The Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza is expected to open today, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a post on X.

"The Rafah crossing is likely to open today for a first group of foreign nationals," he said.

"UK teams are ready to assist British nationals as soon as they are able to leave. It’s vital that lifesaving humanitarian aid can enter Gaza as quickly as possible."

09:37 Beirut Time

Image: An Egyptian ambulance convoy that will carry critically injured people waits to go through the Rafah crossing from the Egyptian side, in Rafah, Egypt, on Nov. 1, 2023. (Credit: Reuters/Stringer)

09:34 Beirut Time

Image: Travelers wait at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt in the southern Gaza Strip on Nov. 1, 2023. Egypt is preparing to treat wounded Palestinians from the bombarded Gaza Strip starting Nov. 1, with the opening of a border crossing to people after weeks of war, medical and security sources said. The border authority in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip said that Egypt had agreed to let in 81 of the most badly wounded through Rafah, the only crossing not controlled by Israel. (Credit: Mohammed Abed/AFP)

09:21 Beirut Time

The first foreigners are set to leave Gaza for Egypt today, AFP reports, citing an Egyptian official.

08:59 Beirut Time

Qatar has mediated an agreement between Egypt, Israel and Hamas, in coordination with the US, to allow for the movement of foreign passport holders and some critically injured people out of besieged Gaza, Reuters cites a source briefed on the deal as telling the news agency this morning.

There is no timeline for how long the vital Rafah border crossing will remain open for evacuation, the source reportedly added. Click here for more.

08:42 Beirut Time

The Palestinian telecommunications operator Paltel this morning announced a “total” cut of telephone and internet lines in the besieged Gaza Strip. “We regret to announce a complete interruption of all communications and internet services with the Gaza Strip, due to international routes that were previously reconnected being cut off again,” Paltel said just after 3:30 a.m. on the social network X.

Network watchdog Netblocks confirmed that “live measurements show that the Gaza Strip is experiencing a new internet outage with a significant impact on the operator Paltel.” The incident means "a complete loss of telecommunications for most residents," it added.

08:39 Beirut Time

The Israeli army says its forces have carried out attacks on more than 11,000 militant targets in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of its ongoing war with Hamas, AFP reports.

"Since the beginning of the war, the IDF [Israeli army] has struck over 11,000 targets belonging to terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip," a statement from the military reads.

08:34 Beirut Time

Saudi Arabia has denounced the strike on Gaza's largest refugee camp "in the strongest terms possible," decrying the "inhumane targeting" of the camp "by the Israeli occupation forces."

Israel said it had targeted a Hamas tunnel complex under the densely populated Jabalia camp yesterday, killing local battalion commander Ibrahim Biari, who it believes was involved in the militant group's Oct. 7 attacks.

AFP witnessed at least 47 bodies being recovered from the scene. Click here for more details.

Image: This image grab taken from AFPTV video footage shows Palestinians looking for survivors in a crater following a stike on a refugee camp in Jabalia on the northern Gaza Strip, on Oct. 31, 2023. (Credit: Fadi Alwhidi/AFP)

08:26 Beirut Time

To catch up on what happened yesterday, click here to read our Morning Brief.

Image: Palestinians search for survivors in the rubble of a building in the Nuseirat refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip on Oct. 31, 2023, amid relentless Israeli bombardment of the Palestinian enclave. (Credit: Mahmud Hams/AFP)

08:24 Beirut Time

Good morning,

Thank you for joining our team for another day of live coverage of news relating to the war between Israel and Hamas.