Thank you for following our LIVE coverage of Day 28 of the Hamas vs Israel conflict.
We'll be back tomorrow with more news updates and analysis, right here at L'Orient Today.
The United States warned Hezbollah on Friday not to “seek to profit from the conflict” between Israel and Hamas. “Hezbollah and other actors, state or non-state, must not seek to profit from the ongoing conflict,” White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters, reiterating the message sent earlier by a spokesperson for the National Security Council of the White House. “The United States is not seeking escalation, we have been clear on this subject,” she insisted.
In the event of an extension of the conflict, “the devastation that would ensue for Lebanon and its population would be unimaginable, and can be avoided,” she said.
Lebanon's permanent ambassador to the United Nations sent two letters to High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk and Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression Irene Khan regarding the death of Reuters journalist Issam Abdullah on Oct. 13, caretaker Information Minister Ziad Makary announced on X.
Abdullah was killed after Israel targeted him and other journalists who were reporting on the ongoing conflict on the Lebanese-Israeli border.
"These details strongly suggest that the Israeli targeting of the journalist crews was a deliberate act," the letter stated and called for the facts to be brought to light so that the perpetrators will not be held "unaccountable."
The head of the Houla Municipality in the southern Lebanon district of Marjayoun told L'Orient Today that around 15 minutes ago, two missiles landed between his village and the neighboring village of Mais al-Jabal, also located in the Marjayoun district. Earlier, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the Israeli army attacked two Hezbollah anti-tank launching sites and a military post in a border village in Lebanon.
"Today it is increasingly clear that official Lebanon no longer exists and that the will of the Lebanese people does not matter, nor does the opinion of legitimate institutions, and that the decision is confined to the hands of Hassan Nasrallah," Head of the Kataeb Party Samy Gemayel stated on X (formerly Twitter) following Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah's speech today.
"The matter is not related to Hamas, but rather to the interest of Hezbollah and Iran, and today its interest is not to enter into the war. This interest may change in the future," he added.
The Kataeb leader insisted that the solution to the current conflict "remains the establishment of two states" and that he refuses to link the fate of Lebanon with that of Gaza.
"The solution is not the path of war, but the path of peace," he said.
Sweden called on its citizens in Lebanon to leave the country and avoid traveling there in a video message by Swedish Ambassador in Lebanon Ann Dismorr.
The ambassador urged Swedish citizens to leave Lebanon “while commercial flights are still available” since it would “not be possible in the event that the security situation deteriorates.” Other embassies in Lebanon made similar warnings in recent weeks.
“Swedes who decide to travel to Lebanon or stay there despite the government’s clear call to leave the country will have to take great personal responsibility,” Dismorr added.
This was the second time Sweden called on its citizens to leave Lebanon after an initial warning on Oct. 19.
Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati met with Jordan's foreign minister, Ayman Safadi, in the Jordanian capital Amman.
During the meeting, the two discussed the ongoing situation in Lebanon and Gaza as well as the Arab and international efforts to stop Israeli attacks.
The outskirts of the southern Lebanese town of Aita al-Shaab were targeted by Israeli artillery fire in the middle of the afternoon, according to testimonies from residents of the region collected by L'Orient Today's correspondent in South Lebanon.
Any mistake will result in "unimaginable costs" for Hezbollah, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after the Hezbollah secretary general's speech. “Make no mistake,” the prime minister said, according to comments reported by the Jerusalem Post.
He also indicated that Israel will not agree to any temporary ceasefire with Hamas until Hamas releases the hostages.
At a private club in Ashrafieh where the population is generally hostile to Hezbollah's arsenal, many of them gathered to follow Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah's speech together, in a relaxed atmosphere. “It makes me sick that we are all hanging on the speech of one man, we are still at the same point after all these years,” Georges told our journalist on site, Suzanne Baaklini.
At the beginning of the speech, everyone was attentive. A few reactions here and there. “He cleared customs,” reacted a customer when Nasrallah mentioned that the Hamas operation was prepared in the greatest secrecy. Bored by the length of the speech, another customer left, even before the end of the speech. As the speech drew to a close, a customer said: “This means that we will continue to live in worry until the war in Gaza ends.” Akram, the manager of the place, did not agree: “There is no war,” he said. “I fear that he is preparing a gradual entry into the war for us,” worried a young girl.
As soon as the speech was over, Akram commented: “What we’ve seen on the ground is a puppet whose strings are held by the puppeteer in Iran. The one and only guarantor of Lebanon’s security is the Lebanese army,” he said. Carl for his part said he is reassured. “The risk of seeing the conflict transformed into a regional conflict is there, but this time, it will be Israel that will take the initiative,” he maintains. “I see that he doesn’t want to go to war,” said Joseph. “He just wants more power in Lebanon.”
Photo: Private members club, Achrafieh. Credit: Suzanne Baaklini
In the southern suburbs of Beirut, the Achoura Square and adjacent streets were filled with people to watch the speech of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Friday. Cafes were packed to capacity, broadcasting the speech live.
For Ali Bacha, present among the supporters, "Nasrallah's speech is more important today than in 2006 because today he speaks on behalf of the entire axis of resistance."
As Hassan Nasrallah spoke, gunshots were heard repeatedly in the southern suburbs of Beirut.
When Nasrallah raised his voice, the audience became more passionate. "At your command, Nasrallah," they chanted in unison, raising their fists.
"I was moved to tears during his speech. I feel proud to have such a leader. Everything he says goes beyond our expectations," said Ali, holding a portrait of Nasrallah.
Photo: A young woman holds up a picture of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah during a gathering in Beirut's Southern Suburbs. (Credit: Joao Souza/L'Orient Today)
A young boy wearing military fatigues and holding a toy gun listens closely as Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah speaks for the first time since the start of the Hamas-Israel war on Oct. 7. (Credit: Mohammed Yassin/L'Orient Today)
The audience listened to Hassan Nasrallah's speech with religious reverence. As the tone of the Hezbollah leader escalated, his supporters in Nabatieh became increasingly passionate, shouting their allegiance to the Hezbollah leader. They proclaimed, "At your command, Nasrallah."
At the conclusion of the speech, the reactions appeared to meet expectations. Nazeeh Mroue, the wife of a fighter who died during the 2000s, said, "Sayed Hassan has demonstrated his strength. What was taken by force will be reclaimed by force."
Hussein, a supporter of Nasrallah, commented, "I am very pleased with his remarks. The Arab world supports us now."
Photo: In Nabatiyeh, Hezbollah supporters listen religiously to the speech of the Shiite party leader, Hassan Nasrallah. (Photo by Mohammed Yassin.)
Reaction to Hezbollah's speech in Nabatieh, South Lebanon - from our reporter, Lyana Alameddine.
In Nabatieh, southern Lebanon, on the premises of Husseiniyah mosque, several hundred supporters flocked to listen to the speech of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. They were seen carrying flags of Hezbollah, Lebanon and Palestine, as reported by our on-site journalist Lyana Alameddine. "We are going to pray at Al-Aqsa," blared from the loudspeakers just before the beginning of the speech. Portraits of the "martyrs" who were killed in recent clashes at the border between the Shiite party and Israel adorned the walls and the outdoor square. Among the audience, hundreds of women and men were seated separately.
At the forefront of the audience stood the families of Hezbollah fighters who died in combat. Em Ahmad, the wife of the "martyr" Mahmoud Darwich, who passed away on Oct. 24, stated proudly, "I gave my husband for the cause, and I am willing to give my son, who is also a fighter."
Photo: Supporters of Hezbollah in Nabatieh chant slogans and wave a mix of Hezbollah and Palestinian flags as the head of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, made his highly anticipated first appearance since the start of the Hamas-Israel war on Oct. 7. (Credit: Mohammed Yassin/L'Orient Today)
The Palestinian Red Crescent reported around 3:00 PM on its X account (formerly Twitter) that the Israeli army continued to bomb the surroundings of Al-Quds Hospital, located in Tal al-Hawa, north of the Gaza Strip in the mid-afternoon.
"Smoke and dust are spreading within the hospital, causing undetermined damage. Moreover, the 14,000 displaced civilians, mainly women and children who sought refuge in the hospital with the medical staff, are in a state of panic," the national relief organization specified. It called for the immediate cessation of these attacks.
Speaking at a press conference in Tel Aviv mid-afternoon, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he had discussed with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the possibility of "humanitarian pauses" to to protect Palestinian civilians and increase aid distribution. He also reiterated American support for Israel, ensuring that the Jewish state would “never be alone”.
Earlier in the day, 13 Democratic senators called for a “short-lived” ceasefire, echoing the call for a humanitarian truce championed by US President Joe Biden
In their statement relayed by several American and Israeli media, the senators consider this "pause" necessary to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid under control, to continue efforts to obtain the release of hostages captured by Hamas, and to give time for Israeli and Palestinian leaders to negotiate a solution to avoid a protracted conflict.
The leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, has just finished his speech.
Analysis of his speech to come...
Nasrallah: "We all must work for the victory of the resistance in Gaza."
Nasrallah: "We are all waging a resistance battle. We still need time to deliver the final blow. We must be realistic. But we are winning victories."
Nasrallah: "To the Americans, I say: Threats against us are of no use. Your fleets in the Mediterranean do not scare us and have never scared us."
"We have prepared a response to the fleets with which you threaten us. Those who defeated you in the early 1980s are still here, along with their sons and grandsons."
Nasrallah: "We were told that the U.S. Air Force would bomb us and that the U.S. fleet is here for us if we carry out operations in the south. And then a second fleet, and a third one arrived. Others will come as well."
"But these threats will change nothing. We have started our work on this front."
"Its escalation depends on two things: the development of the situation in Gaza and the behavior of the Zionist enemy towards Lebanon. Here, we warn them again, especially regarding the civilians who have become martyrs."
Nasrallah: "This daily work on the front deters the enemy."
"You will make the worst mistake if you attempt an offensive against Lebanon."
Nasrallah: "These operations at the Lebanese border and in the Chebaa Farms are causing fear at the level of the enemy's political and military command, as well as among the Americans. There is a fear that this front may move towards further escalation or that this front may lead to a broader war. This is a possibility, and the enemy must keep that in mind."
Nasrallah: "Some in Lebanon say that we are taking risks. This is true, but this adventure is just."
Nasrallah: "The Islamic resistance in Lebanon is waging a real battle that is only felt by those in the border areas, the fighters, and the residents. It is a battle of a different kind, in terms of its circumstances, means, and targets. That's why such a large number of brave individuals have fallen as martyrs."
Nasrallah: "What is happening on our front has not been seen since 1948, even during the July 2006 war."
Nasrallah speaking more on Lebanon involvement: "What is happening on our front is very significant. For those who are asking Hezbollah to engage in open warfare, what is happening on the border may appear moderate, but that is not the case. And we will not be content with this."
Nasrallah: "Regarding our Lebanese front, we entered the battle on October 8th."
Nasrallah: "Regarding the movements of the resistance. This is the point that everyone is waiting for. The Islamic resistance in Iraq has started to assume its responsibilities and has indicated its readiness to enter a new stage."
"Our brothers in Yemen have publicly and officially, despite American and Western threats, taken a series of initiatives and sent missiles and drones. Even if they were shot down, these devices will reach Eilat and the south of Palestine and Israeli military bases."
Nasrallah on Israel and Lebanon: "The enemy threatens Lebanon and its people while being mired in the sands of Gaza, but it flexes its muscles in front of the Lebanese population."
Nasrallah: "Some claim that if Gaza achieves victory, it's Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood that win. But that is false. Such a victory will be in the interest of the entire region. It is a national interest, a Jordanian interest, a Syrian interest, and a Lebanese national interest."
Nasrallah: "The first objective is the cessation of hostilities and the war against Gaza. The second is the victory of the Islamic resistance in Gaza, and specifically Hamas in Gaza."
Nasrallah: "Today, what is happening in Gaza is not just another war. It is not a typical incident or battle. This is a decisive battle. What comes after will not be the same as what came before."
Nasrallah: "The United States is primarily responsible for all the massacres of the present and past century, in Hiroshima, in Palestine, throughout the region. America must be held accountable. That's why the Islamic resistance in Iraq and Syria is attacking American positions in both of these countries. This is a wise decision by the Islamic resistance in Iraq."
Nasrallah: "Today, the United States is entirely responsible for the war in Gaza, and Israel is only an instrument to carry it out."
Nasrallah: The end of the battle will be the victory of Gaza and the defeat of the enemy.
"You will not achieve anything through your massacres."
Nasrallah: "The enemy wants to convince the world that it is not conducting a large-scale ground operation in Gaza because it is afraid and powerless. How can such an army fight its enemy? There is confusion, fear, and weakness. What this army has been doing for decades is committing massacres."
Nasrallah: "All the civilians (in Israel) who are accused of being killed by Hamas died from the bullets of the Israeli army, which was acting in a reckless manner."
Nasrallah: "These achievements, results, and consequences all deserve the sacrifices, as they have laid the foundation for a new era for the people of the region."
Nasrallah: "The US administration rushed to support this faltering entity so that it could regain the initiative. This American quickness to support the Israelis has exposed the weakness and failure of this entity."
Nasrallah: "This glorious operation has caused an earthquake within the Zionist entity. It has resulted in military, security, moral, and psychological shocks, and it has had strategic consequences that will leave a lasting impact on the entity, both in the present and in the future."
Nasrallah: "The Islamic Republic of Iran openly supports the resistance movements in Lebanon, Palestine, and the region, but it does not exert control over their leadership. What happened today proves that."
Nasrallah: Some claim that the operation served Iran's objectives in the region or nuclear negotiations, but that is nothing but lies. The Aqsa Deluge operation is entirely Palestinian, for Palestine, its cause, its people, and is not related to any regional or international issue.
Nasrallah: "The secrecy surrounding this operation ensured its success through the element of surprise. This secrecy did not bother anyone within the resistance movements; on the contrary, we have blessed it."
Nasrallah: "This operation is the result of a 100% Palestinian decision."
Nasrallah: There were four urgent issues on the Palestinian front: the thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails; the issue of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem; the blockade on Gaza for nearly twenty years; and the dangers facing the West Bank, including Israeli settlements and daily killings and arrests. All of these issues were pressing for the Palestinians and their resistance.
Nasrallah: "We send our greetings to the population of Gaza, the most honorable people, as we see on television screens children emerging from under the rubble and hear survivors say that all of this is offered for the Palestinian cause."
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Nasrallah: “To the families of the martyrs, I say: We will not find anything better than this battle with the Zionist occupiers, in terms of morality, religion, and legality. This battle is the clearest.”
LIVE updates from Hassan Nasrallah’s speech
We commemorate the memory of these martyrs, those of the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon, of Hezbollah, of the resistance brigades against Israeli occupation, the martyrs of the Qassam Brigades, and the civilian martyrs killed by the Zionists, including journalists."
Nasrallah: "These martyrs have achieved a great victory. We will discuss this further in the coming days on the occasion of Martyrs' Day."
We are back online...LIVE updates coming now on Hassan Nasrallah's speech
We are back online...LIVE updates coming now on Hassan Nasrallah's speech
What do people hope, or don't hope Hassan Nasrallah will say in his speech?
Since the Hamas-Israel war broke out last month, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has remained unusually silent.
Though cross-border skirmishes between Hezbollah and Israeli forces in recent weeks have riled southern Lebanon’s border villages, killing several residents and a journalist, the question remains over whether the fighting might spread to the rest of the country, too.
Many residents in Lebanon and the region have been anxiously anticipating Nasrallah’s speech hoping that it might give the final answer to where the country is headed: Business as usual, or war? Read here
While you wait for Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, to speak at 3:00 PM, here are some reading recommendations:
Nasrallah's speech: the three points to closely watch - insights from Rita Sassine and Anthony Samrani.
The war-forged myth of Hassan Nasrallah - by Stephanie Khouri
In the southern suburbs of Beirut, in Ashura Square, loudspeakers are playing Hezbollah's war chants, while images of militant operations and Hamas' Oct. 7 attack on Israel are displayed on a giant screen. To the right of the screen, text is displayed, reading, "Martyrs on the path to Jerusalem," our journalist on the ground Emmanuel Haddad reports. To the left, the faces of around 50 party members who have been killed since the beginning of the conflict between Israel and Hamas on Oct. 7 are displayed.
Image: (Credit: Joao Sousa)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterates that Israel has the right and obligation to defend itself as it continues to pummel the Gaza Strip with an air and ground assault, AFP reports.
"Israel has not only the right but the obligation to defend itself … to make sure that this Oct. 7 never happens again," Blinken told journalists as he met Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Tel Aviv.
Image: Palestinians wash clothes with seawater, amid a lack of of clean water, as the conflict between Hamas and Israel continues, on a beach in Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip on Nov. 2, 2023. (Credit: Ahmed Zakot/Reuters)
The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has added the Palestinian Territories to the list of countries and territories requiring external food aid, AFP reports.
“In Palestine, according to the Humanitarian Needs Overview for 2023, 1.5 million people (28% of the population) were estimated to be acutely food insecure and in need of immediate assistance between May and July 2022 [the time of the data collection]: 1.2 million people in the Gaza Strip and 353,000 people in the West Bank," the agency noted.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, saying "crimes against humanity" are being committed in Gaza. Click here for more.
DEATH TOLL UPDATE: At least 9,227 Palestinians have been killed, including 3,826 children, in Israeli strikes on Gaza since Oct. 7, Reuters reports, citing the Health Ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza.
Lebanon's caretaker government has plans to form committee for the evacuation of foreigners in the event of escalation in relation to the Israel-Hamas war-linked conflict in southern Lebanon. Click here for more details.
Southern Lebanon infrastructure damage: The South Lebanon Water Establishment announced in a statement that its facilities in Tayr Harfa and Wadi Slouki were targeted by Israeli gunfire following the bombing of a water tank belonging to Yarine.
The statement also indicates that the damage to the electricity network in south Lebanon will impact the operation of the Taybe power station, which powers the running water supply to the towns of Mays al-Jabal, Blida, Mhaibib, Aitaroun, Ainata, Bint Jbeil, Yaroun, Kounin, Beit Yahoun and Ain Ibal. These damages are also expected to affect the use of wells in Majdel Selem, Houla, Bani Hayan,and Talouse, according to the South Lebanon Water Establishment's statement.
The South Lebanon Water Establishment added that it is working with relevant institutions to enable maintenance teams to go to the affected areas and carry out necessary repairs.
Image: Palestinian workers who were stranded in Israel since the Oct. 7 attacks show the number tags they were assigned while in Israeli custody, as they arrive near the Rafah border crossing with Egypt after crossing into the Gaza Strip at the Kerem Shalom commercial border crossing with Israel in the south of the Palestinian enclave on Nov. 3, 2023. (Credit: Said Khatib/AFP)
The situation in the West Bank is "alarming and urgent," the United Nations said today, noting in particular the violence carried out by Israeli settlers against the Palestinian population, AFP reports.
While much attention has been focused on the war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, "the situation in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is alarming and urgent," UN human rights office spokeswoman Elizabeth Throssell told a briefing in Geneva.
Hezbollah has announced the death of another fighter: Ali Ibrahim Ramiti from the town of Majdal in south Lebanon. As is usual, Hezbollah's announcement did not provide any information on the time and location of his killing.
Yesterday, Hezbollah announced the deaths of five of its fighters following intense exchanges of fire across the Lebanon-Israel border.
Since the start of its involvement in the conflict on Oct. 8, the day after Hamas's Oct. 7 attack on Israeli territory, Hezbollah has lost more than 50 fighters. Several Lebanese civilians have also been killed in Israeli strikes on south Lebanon.
French Minister of the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu met with caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati in Beirut this morning, where he stressed "the importance of all parties in south Lebanon showing wisdom and not pushing the situation in south Lebanon towards escalation and deterioration." For more details, click here.
The Israeli army has been bombing the town of Blat Jabal Bassil in south Lebanon since this morning, L'Orient Today's correspondent in the south Muntasser Abdallah reports, citing local residents. Israel has also targeted the villages of Kawzah, Aita al-Shaab, Ramieh and Yater, where airstrikes have caused damage to solar panels.
The UN has launched an emergency aid appeal seeking $1.2 billion to help some 2.7 million people in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, AFP reports.
"The cost of meeting the needs of 2.7 million people — that is the entire population of Gaza and 500,000 people in the occupied West Bank — is estimated to be $1.2 billion," the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.
"The original appeal, launched 12 October, asked for $294 million to support nearly 1.3 million people. The situation has grown increasingly desperate since then," it added.
BREAKING: Israel is on "very very high alert" on its northern border, Reuters reports, citing an Israeli military spokesperson.
According to Reuters, the spokesperson added that Israel will response to every event along its northern border, today and in the days to come.
France "condemns the attacks against United Nations sites and humanitarian personnel," government spokesperson Olivier Véran said today, after several Israeli strikes on the Jabalia, the largest refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.
“France condemns the attacks against United Nations sites and humanitarian personnel whose work is essential to the civilian populations of Gaza,” Véran said in a statement sent to AFP.
Shelling is continuing in southern Lebanon, with the outskirts of al-Qawzah, Aita al-Shaab, and Ramieh all under fire by Israeli artillery, the Lebanese state-run National News Agency reports.
To stockpile or not to stockpile: Ghadir Hamadi talks to grocery shoppers in Lebanon split over whether and how to stock up for a potential war. Click here to read more.
Image: Abu Ali, the husband of minimarket owner Salam Srour in Beirut's southern suburbs, helps customers as they buy groceries. Oct. 27, 2023. (Credit: João Sousa/L'Orient Today)
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has described Israel's actions in Gaza as "something approaching revenge," in some of the strongest criticism of Israel by a leader of a European Union member state, Reuters reports.
Reuters quotes Varadkar as saying, citing comments broadcast by Irish state radio RTE, that while Israel has "the right to defend itself. … What I'm seeing unfolding at the moment isn't just self-defense. It looks, resembles something more approaching revenge. That's not where we should be."
In case you are just joining us, click here to learn how you can follow Hassan Nasrallah's speech live with us this afternoon.
Image: Photo montage of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. (Credit: Guilhelm Dorandeu)
Image: Palestinian laborers, who were in Israel during the Hamas Oct. 7 attack, arrive at the Rafah border in the southern Gaza Strip after being sent back by Israel to the enclave, on Nov. 3, 2023. (Credit: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters)
The Israeli army and Shin Bet intelligence have killed Moustapha Daloul, a commander of a Hamas battalion who allegedly took part in the fighting in Gaza against the Israeli military, Haaretz reports.
Mourners attend the funeral of Palestinian journalist Mohammed Abu Hattab, who was killed in an Israeli strike, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on Nov. 3, 2023. (Credit: Mohammed Salem/Reuters)
Occupied West Bank: Eight more Palestinians have been killed in separate incidents in the occupied West Bank overnight, with one dying of wounds sustained in a previous incident, Reuters reports, citing Palestinian medical sources.
Southern Lebanon: Israeli artillery shelling is currently concentrated in the vicinity of the area of al-Jabain in Sour, south Lebanon, as well as near Naqoura and Alma al-Shaab, the Lebanese state-run National News Agency reports.
A large number of cross-border Gazan workers in Israel and the occupied West Bank have been sent back to Gaza, Reuters reports, citing witnesses. According to Reuters, these witnesses said some workers returned through the Kerem Shalom crossing, east of Rafah.
Image: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken waves as he disembarks from an aircraft in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Nov. 3, 2023. (Credit: Jonathan Ernst/Pool/Reuters)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has arrived in Israel, an AFP correspondent traveling with him said.
Prior to his departure for Israel, Blinken said he would seek "concrete measures" from Israel to ensure that harm to Palestinian civilians is reduced, as US President Joe Biden also called for humanitarian pauses in the conflict.
As we await his speech later today, our journalist Stephanie Khouri takes a look back at the war-forged myth of Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah. "Whether he is admired or despised, Nasrallah stands as one of the region’s most influential figures," she writes. Click here to read more.
Hezbollah has announced the deaths of four more of its fighters. The announcement came yesterday evening, following intense exchanges of fire across the Lebanon-Israel border. Hezbollah named the slain fighters as Hussein Walid Zeib, Ali Kazem Ftouni, Mouhssen Rida Ayache and Ali Abbas Melhem.
Earlier yesterday, Hezbollah had announced the death of another of its fighters, Hachem Ismail, who was killed in an Israeli airstrike on his home in Mays al-Jabal.
Since the start of its involvement in the conflict on Oct. 8, the day after the Hamas attack on Israeli territory, Hezbollah has lost more than 50 fighters. Several Lebanese civilians have also been killed in Israeli strikes on south Lebanon.
To catch up on what happened yesterday, click here to read our Morning Brief.
Image: An Israeli military helicopter flies over northern Israel near the border with Lebanon Nov. 2, 2023. (Credit: Violeta Santos Moura/Reuters)
Welcome back, as we resume our coverage of the Israel-Hamas war on day 28.
Join us here at 2:30 p.m. today to follow Hassan Nasrallah's first speech since Oct. 7 live and in English.
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