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Morning brief

Nasrallah to speak, cross-border fire intensifies, Gaza City 'encircled': Everything you need to know to start your Friday

Here’s what happened yesterday and what to expect today, Friday, Nov. 3.

Nasrallah to speak, cross-border fire intensifies, Gaza City 'encircled': Everything you need to know to start your Friday

An Israeli military helicopter flies over northern Israel near the border with Lebanon Nov. 2, 2023. (Credit: Violeta Santos Moura/Reuters)

Catch up on yesterday’s LIVE coverage of Day 27 of the Israel-Hamas war here.

Cross-border attacks intensified ahead of Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah’s first speech since Oct. 7, scheduled for 3 p.m. today. After a day during which Israeli fire hit the surroundings of at least 22 southern Lebanese villages, Hezbollah announced the deaths of five of its militants, bringing the total number of the party's fighters killed since Oct. 7 to more than 50. Hezbollah also said it conducted 20 cross-border attacks yesterday afternoon, inflicting “direct losses” on Israel. The party also announced its first explosive-laden drone strike on Israel, and Hamas said it fired a rocket towards the Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona from Lebanon. The Israeli military’s Arabic-speaking spokesman, Avichay Adraee, said the army was continuing retaliatory fire towards southern Lebanon, targeting regions from which shells were launched across the border. Israeli shelling struck the regions in and around the southern Lebanese towns of al-Aas, Aitaroun, Alma al-Shaab, Blida, Chihine, Dhayra, Houla, Jabal Kehail, Kfar Shuba, Labbouneh Mazraat Halta, Naqoura, Ramieh, Tallet al-Hamames, Tal al-Nahas, and Yahmor. Municipality heads said strikes from Israel hit homes in the southern Lebanese towns of Aita al-Shaab, Ras al-Dahr — where a home was almost destroyed after repeated strikes — Mays al-Jabal and Khiam, where a home was set on fire and one person suffered light injuries. Two shepherds, aged 20 and 22, were found dead in Wazzani, southern Lebanon, after they went missing yesterday, municipality head Ahmad al-Mohammed told L’Orient Today, blaming “Israeli machine-gun fire.”

The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to meet on Nov. 22 to address the situation in Lebanon. The meeting will focus on the implementation of Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel. The UN's Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Joanna Wronecka, also stated that “the issue of increasing humanitarian aid” will be discussed during this meeting. French Armed Forces Minister Sebastien Lecornu said Lebanon “does not need a war.” Caretaker Foreign Affairs Minister Abdallah Bou Habib called on the international community to pressure Israel to stop its strikes on southern Lebanon and its threats to destroy the country. Caretaker Economy Minister Amin Salam repeated a call against stockpiling, noting that the government’s war-preparedness plan includes measures to speed up the inspection and customs clearance of imported goods.

Gaza’s death toll since the start of the war on Oct. 7 has risen to 9,061, including 3,760 children, according to the Health Ministry in the Hamas-run enclave. “The Palestinian people are at grave risk of genocide,” a group of UN human rights experts said yesterday. The group urged immediate action “to prevent genocide” adding that “Israel's allies also bear responsibility.” Hamas said that at least 195 people were killed and 777 were wounded by Israel’s attacks earlier this week on Jabalia, Gaza’s largest refugee camp, while another 120 people remain missing under the rubble. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was “appalled” by the attack. Hamas earlier claimed that seven hostages abducted on Oct. 7 were killed in the strike. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, quoted by Reuters, said the incursion into Gaza, which was accompanied by intensified shelling, had “passed the outskirts of Gaza City.” Later in the day, an Israeli military spokesperson said the army had encircled the city. The spokesperson of Hamas’ military wing, Abu Obeida, said Gaza will be a “curse” on Israel and told Israel to “prepare to receive its soldiers returning in black body bags.”

Egypt said it will help evacuate 7,000 foreigners and dual nationals from Gaza after approximately 500 foreigners were transported through the Rafah crossing on Wednesday. Approximately 90 severely injured people in Gaza were also transported across the border. Israeli strikes and an ongoing fuel blockade have shut down at least 12 hospitals in Gaza. International officials and testimonies from the enclave have described horrific medical conditions. The United Arab Emirates said it would offer medical treatment to 1,000 children from Gaza in Emirati hospitals, without specifying how the injured and their families would be transported. Saudi Arabia said it has launched a fundraiser to aid Palestinians in Gaza, which, as of yesterday, had raised over $13 million. The aid that has entered Gaza since Israel stopped bombarding the Rafah crossing is a fraction of what was transported to the enclave daily before Oct. 7.

In case you missed it, here’s our must-read story from yesterday:War or peace? Lebanese citizens speak out ahead of Nasrallah speech

Compiled by Abbas Mahfouz


CORRECTION: An earlier version of the Morning Brief stated that Hezbollah yesterday announced the deaths of four of its militants. It, in fact, announced the deaths of five fighters. The above text has been updated to correct this error.

Catch up on yesterday’s LIVE coverage of Day 27 of the Israel-Hamas war here.Cross-border attacks intensified ahead of Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah’s first speech since Oct. 7, scheduled for 3 p.m. today. After a day during which Israeli fire hit the surroundings of at least 22 southern Lebanese villages, Hezbollah announced the deaths of five of its militants, bringing the...