US Secretary of State Antony Blinken about to depart Baghdad after meeting the Iraqi Prime Minister, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, Nov. 5, 2023. (Credit: Jonathan Ernst / POOL / AFP)

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Israeli strike in southern Lebanon kills civilians, including children; intense bombardment of Gaza City commences: Hamas-Israel war, day 30

What you need to know

Hezbollah announces death of two additional combatants. 

Blinken and Abbass meet in Ramallah.

The Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKECSG), deployed by the US, arrived in the Eastern Mediterranean

The Israeli army continues to advance on the ground in Gaza.

Israeli bombardments this morning targeted the outskirts of the villages of Naqoura, Alma el-Chaab and Labouneh in Lebanon.  

22:11 Beirut Time

Thank you for following our LIVE blog on day 30 of the Israel-Hamas war. We will be back tomorrow with more updates.

22:10 Beirut Time

(Image: A fellow strolls past a mural expressing solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, painted in a Nationalist area along the International Wall on the Falls Road in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Nov. 4, 2023. Credit:Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne)

21:58 Beirut Time

The Israeli army retaliated against a rocket attack upon the settlement of Kiryat Shimona, according to Al Manar television and Hezbollah's Telegram channel, by bombarding at Ras Naqoura, not far from a Lebanese army position.

21:43 Beirut Time

Ten missiles were reportedly launched from southern Lebanon towards the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Shimona, according to Hezbollah's Telegram channel. The Israeli daily Haaretz reported that air raid sirens sounded in the town, situated near the Lebanese border.

21:08 Beirut Time

Israel's army spokesperson gave no details of a reported deadly attack upon a civilian vehicle in Lebanon Sunday that claimed the lives of a woman and three children, but asserted the military operates based on intelligence information and examines every event in Lebanon thoroughly.

"Regarding Lebanon, we attack on the basis of intelligence information and we will continue to attack," Israel's chief military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari claimed during a news briefing. "That is our mission. Anyone who threatens us we will attack them."

"And every event of course that occurs in Lebanon we examine it and learn about it to understand the details. That's what I can say at this point." – Reuters

20:50 Beirut Time

The Israeli army announced Sunday evening that it was carrying out "significant strikes" which "will continue over the coming days" in the Gaza Strip, adding that it had cut the Palestinian territory in two.

"Significant strikes are now underway ... and will continue tonight and in the coming days," said army spokesman Daniel Hagari, claiming that Israeli forces operating in the territory had cut it in two, "southern Gaza and northern Gaza."

20:32 Beirut Time

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken paid an unannounced visit to Iraq Sunday, as he tours the Middle East attempting to tamp down tensions after war erupted between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas last month.

After an earlier visit to the occupied West Bank, Blinken landed in Baghdad Sunday evening for his first visit to the country as the US top diplomat and held talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sudani. Washington wants to prevent a wider regional conflict and has stepped up diplomacy with regional countries whose populations have been angered by Israel’s assault on Gaza.

Blinken landed at Baghdad’s international airport, donned a ballistic vest and traveled by Black Hawk helicopter to the Green Zone, a remnant of the US occupation of Iraq after its 2003 invasion. At the US ambassador’s residence, he was briefed on threats to US facilities, before heading to the prime minister’s office. He is scheduled to travel to Turkey later Sunday, where protests were already underway.

Iran-backed group Kataib Hezbollah issued a warning Saturday night that the expected Blinken visit would be met with “an unprecedented escalation.”

US defense officials say rocket and drone attacks on US and coalition troops have stepped up in Iraq and Syria since Hamas’ deadly attacks on Oct. 7 sparked an intensive Israeli military campaign in Gaza.

Iraqi armed groups aligned with Iran have threatened to target US interests with missiles and drones if Washington intervened to support Israel against Hamas in Gaza.

Sudani has pledged to pursue the perpetrators of rocket attacks on three military bases in Iraq hosting international coalition advisers, including Ain al-Asad in western Iraq, a military base near Baghdad's international airport and Harir in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil. – Reuters

20:18 Beirut Time

Hezbollah confirmed in a statement Sunday evening that it had targeted the Israeli setlement of Kiryat Shmona at 7:20 p.m. using Grad-type (non-precision) rockets, "in response to the heinous crime of the Zionist enemy, which targeted a civilian car … earlier in the afternoon, resulting in the deaths of a woman and her three grandchildren."

Earlier in the day, before the incidents in south Lebanon occurred, Hezbollah had announced a speech by party leader Hassan Nasrallah, scheduled for next Saturday at 3:00 p.m., to commemorate Hezbollah casualties. Nasrallah had announced the forthcoming speech during his address last Friday, marking the beginning of the conflict.

20:04 Beirut Time

The office of Lebanon's caretaker Prime Minister Nagib Mikati condemned the attack the Israeli army carried out against a civilian vehicle in South Lebanon, which resulted in multiple casualties.

"The targeting of civilians by the Israeli enemy, the martyrdom of four individuals, including three children, in the south last night, and the injuries of others by drone strikes, constitute a heinous crime that adds to the tally of occupation's crimes," read a statement released by Mikati's office Sunday evening.

"This heinous crime will not go unnoticed," the statement further elaborated. "The government will pursue this matter through international contacts and will urgently file a complaint against the Israeli enemy with the Security Council."

20:01 Beirut Time

Gaza officials said the Israeli army was carrying out "intense bombings" around several hospitals in the north of the Gaza Strip Sunday evening, shortly after telecommunications were cut.

"For more than an hour, intense bombing have been taking place around the hospitals," said Salama Marouf, the head of the government's media office.

19:54 Beirut Time

Four relatives of a journalist were killed Sunday in an Israeli drone strike in southern Lebanon, as reported by L'Orient Today's south correspondent Muntasser Abdallah and corroborated by Lebanon's National News Agency.

The agency said the four victims are the sister of Sawt al-Shaab radio correspondent Samir Ayoub and her three grandchildren. The journalist and his niece were also injured in the attack.

19:40 Beirut Time

According to an Israeli military spokesman, an Israeli civilian was killed in a Hezbollah attack in the north.

"Hezbollah continues to undermine security in the north, and targets residents in the north indiscriminately, while risking stability in southern Lebanon," the spokesperson said.

A post on Hezbollah's Telegram channel mentions launching rockets from Lebanon at the Israeli settlement of Keryat Shmona, but gave no further details.

19:18 Beirut Time

Israel has launched extensive attacks in Gaza City and the northern Gaza Strip. Reports say air, sea and land bombardments are targeting the areas of Tel al-Hawa, Zaytun, Shujaiyeh, Albasara, Rimal, al-Nasser and Karama, among others. – Haaretz

19:01 Beirut Time

Palestinian telecommunications company Paltel said Sunday that all the Gaza Strip's telephone and internet services have again been cut.

"The main routes that were previously reconnected [were] cut off again from the Israeli side," the statement said. – AFP

18:27 Beirut Time

URGENT: An Israeli drone targeted a civilian vehicle at 5 p.m. Sunday in the Ghodmata region, between the localities of Aitaroun and Ainata in southern Lebanon, L'Orient Today's south correspondent Muntasser Abdallah reported. He said two cars were hit. One was that of Sawt al-Shaab radio journalist Samir Ayoub. The second, apparently targeted by the Israeli military, was driven by the journalist's niece, Hoda Abdel Nabi Hijazi, who was accompanied by her mother and her three children.

The journalist and his niece are said to have been injured, while the rest of the passengers, a mother and her three children, are reported to have died, according to first responders from the al Risala Association.

Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah told Al Mayadeen that Lebanon is "facing a dangerous crime against civilians, and the [Israeli] enemy will pay the price for it."

17:07 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announced the death of "Rayan Youssef Darwish ... from the town of Al-Qulayla in south Lebanon, who was martyred on the road to Jerusalem." As usual, the party's statement did not specify the place or time of the deaths. Hezbollah has so far announced the deaths of 62 fighters since Oct. 8.

16:50 Beirut Time

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken briefly stopped over in Cyprus Sunday where a Cypriot proposal to establish a maritime aid corridor to Gaza was discussed, Cypriot officials said.

Blinken made the unannounced stopover over at Larnaca airport on his way to Turkey in a tour of the region. He met with Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides on board his aircraft.

During the meeting there was a discussion on unfolding developments in the Middle East as well as Cyprus’ proposal for a dedicated, one-way maritime corridor of a sustained flow of humanitarian aid from Cyprus to civilians in Gaza, government spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis said in a statement.

The closest EU member state to the Middle East, Cyprus has been talking to its Middle East neighbors and EU partners on establishing the corridor which would be exclusively used for humanitarian aid.

Earlier Sunday, the Cypriot president said the modalities of how aid could be delivered was still being worked out.

Ships cannot approach the sea area off Gaza so we are talking to the United Nations which will handle the aid and not Hamas,” Christodoulides told reporters. – Reuters

(Photo: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks with Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides on the tarmac at Larnaca International Airport, Nov. 5, 2023. (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst/Pool))

16:18 Beirut Time

The Israeli military said Sunday its air defenses intercepted a drone flying towards Israel from Lebanon while it was over Lebanese territory, and that an anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon hit the Yiftah area of northern Israel.

There were no immediate reports of casualties in the Yiftah strike.

Lebanon's state-owned National News Agency earlier quoted its correspondent report that Hezbollah shot down a hostile drone over south Lebanon, with wreckage falling over the villages of Zibdine and Harouf 30 km (20 miles) from the border.

There was no comment from Hezbollah on the report. – Reuters

16:05 Beirut Time

More than 300 Americans have left Gaza, but there are still US citizens who remain in the besieged coastal enclave, White House official Jonathan Finer said on CBS show "Face the Nation" Sunday. – Reuters

15:54 Beirut Time

Saudi Arabia Sunday afternoon condemned the remarks of ultra-nationalist Israeli minister Amichay Eliyahu, who said that the use of a nuclear bomb against the Gaza Strip was "an option." In a statement, Riyadh said the minister's comments show how "extremism and brutality" have infiltrated the Israeli government. – Reuters

15:46 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announced in a press release that it had attacked an Israeli position in Dhaira Sunday afternoon, using rockets and artillery fire.

15:29 Beirut Time

Image: Jordan's King Abdullah II, center, and Crown Prince Hussein meet with Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati in Amman, Jordan Nov. 5, 2023. (Credit: Hashemite Court/Handout via Reuters)

14:41 Beirut Time

Israel's justice minister said Sunday he would convene a committee for selecting judges, after having refused to do so for months.

The proposed shake-up of the Judicial Appointments Committee was among the battles sparked by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's pursuit of reforms that he said redressed court overreach but critics saw as curbing independence of the courts.

In a letter from his lawyer to the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Yariv Levin pledged to convene the Judicial Appointments Committee within 15 days. The court had been scheduled to hear challenges to his hold-ups, which have resulted in backlogs in filling vacated bench positions.

"The justice minister believes there is no justification for being preoccupied with disputes during a war," the letter said.

14:37 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announced in a statement that it targeted a military vehicle at 1:20 p.m. in the Israeli position of Bayyad Blida using guided missiles. Hezbollah claimed to have caused "casualties and fatalities" among the soldiers who were present at the location.

14:00 Beirut Time

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas denounced what he described a "genocide" in Gaza during his meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday. Israel has been conducting continuous airstrikes on Gaza since Hamas' attack on Oct. 7th. Abbas said: "once again, we meet under the harshest conditions. I have no words to describe the war of genocide and the destruction that our Palestinian people in Gaza are experiencing at the hands of the Israeli military, with no respect for the principles of international law."

13:56 Beirut Time

 Iron Dome intercepts drone flying near Israel-Lebanon border, Haaretz reported.

13:26 Beirut Time

At 11:20 a.m. on Sunday, Hezbollah fighters "targeted the Avivim base and the Jal al-Deir site with guided missiles and appropriate weaponry," the part stated. Haaretz reported at 11:49 a.m. that "sirens sound[ed] in towns of Avivim and Yir'on on Lebanon border."

In another communique, Hezbollah said it targeted "at 12:20 p.m. the Meskav position with guided missiles and appropriate weapons, inflicting damages to some of its technica equipments."

13:12 Beirut Time

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Sunday that Palestinians in Gaza "must not be forcibly displaced," a State Department spokesman said, reported AFP. 

Blinken met with Abbas in Ramallah as he made a surprise high-security visit to the West Bank while violence surges in the occupied territory in tandem with the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said the pair also discussed "the need to stop extremist violence against Palestinians" in the West Bank.

12:47 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announced in two separate statements the death of Hezbollah fighters Ahmed Mohammad Salim, from Harat Hreik in Beirut's south, and Qasim Ibrahim Abu Ta'am, from Sour. As usual, the party did not specify the place or time of the deaths. Hezbollah has so far announced the deaths of 61 fighters since Oct. 8.

12:21 Beirut Time

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is now meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

The visit comes after Blinken's meeting to discuss the ongoing Israel-Hamas war with representatives of Arab countries in Jordan on Saturday.

12:19 Beirut Time

Qatari PM says there are "false" reports on hostage release negotiations, reported Reuters. 

Qatar's foreign ministry said on Sunday that efforts to secure the release of Israeli hostages held in Gaza required a "period of calm."

Leaks from the negotiations are "harmful" and make it difficult for mediators to do their jobs, ministry spokesperson Majed Al Ansari said during a press conference in Doha.

11:50 Beirut Time

The Amal movement affiliated Al-Risala Scouts stated that four of their members were injured in an Israeli drone strike in Tayr Harfa, South Lebanon at dawn. The group said its members were on board two vehicles "of the Civil Defense Scouts to transport wounded people who had been hit in an Israeli strike against a home."

The Israeli army Arabic spokesperson Avichay Adraee wrote on X that the Israeli army.... "conducted an airstrike on a cell of saboteurs who attempted to launch rockets from Lebanese territory towards Israeli land in the area of Ras al-Naqoura. During the airstrike, two vehicles were spotted arriving in the vicinity where the cell operated. It is confirmed that the airstrike was targeting the saboteur cell and not the two vehicles."

"The [four] wounded were hospitalized in Tyre," the Al-Risala Scouts organization added in its statement.

Our correspondent in the south initially reported three minor injuries.

11:30 Beirut Time

Twenty-one Palestinians from one family were killed in Israeli strikes targeting Gaza overnight, the Health Ministry in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip said on Sunday, reported Reuters.

"The victims belong to the family of Abu Hasira when the Israeli shelling targeted their house, full of women and children," the ministry stated in a post on its Facebook page.

11:26 Beirut Time

Ultra-nationalist Israeli Heritage Minister Amichay Eliyahu said Sunday that using nuclear bombs against the Gaza Strip in the ongoing war against Hamas is "an option," reported AFP.

 Eliyahu made the comments on a radio interview, in which he stated his dissatisfaction with the scale of Israeli retaliation on Gaza after Hamas' Oct. 7 attack.

Asked by a journalist whether he thought the solution would be to drop "some kind of nuclear bomb on the whole Gaza Strip, level it and kill everyone," Eliyahu replied: "that's an option."

 Netanyahu's office reacted swiftly, issuing a statement denouncing Eliyahu's statements as "disconnected from reality" and said the Israeli Army was aiming to spare "non-combatants" in the Gaza Strip.

11:18 Beirut Time

A Palestinian man shows a leaflet dropped by the Israeli Army over Gaza City on Nov. 5, 2023 telling people to evacuate to the south through the Salah al-Din road. (Credit: Bashar Taleb/AFP)

10:43 Beirut Time

The Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKECSG), deployed by the United States to support Israel, arrived in the eastern Mediterranean in the area of responsibility of the US Central Command (Centcom) for the Middle East.

The move is "part of a growing US deployment in the region," Centcom said in a statement.

10:37 Beirut Time

Forty-five people were killed and a hundred wounded on Saturday after Israel bombed the Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, according to an updated toll published Sunday by Gaza's ministry of health.

"The number of martyrs in the Maghazi massacre has risen to 45," the ministry said in a statement reported by AFP.

Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qudra had initially reported "more than 30 martyrs" transported to hospital "after the massacre committed by the occupation in the Maghazi camp."

The ministry said the majority of those killed were "children and women," and that houses were directly targeted.

When questioned, an Israeli army spokesman said he was checking whether Israeli forces were operating in the Maghazi camp area.

10:02 Beirut Time

An ambulance belonging to the al-Rissala scouts, affiliated to the Amal movement, was targeted by an Israeli strike in Tayr Harfa, southern Lebanon, both a security source and an Amal source told L'Orient Today's correspondent in the south. Three people were slightly injured and hospitalized, according to the second source.

09:18 Beirut Time

A demonstration for hostages held by Hamas brought together several thousand of people in Tel Aviv on Saturday evening and demanded that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu do more to secure their release, AFP journalists reported.

In Jerusalem, hundreds of people gathered outside the Prime Minister's residence, shouting "Resign now" and "October 7, responsible and guilty."

09:15 Beirut Time

Israeli bombardments this morning targeted the outskirts of the villages of Naqoura, Alma el-Chaab and Labouneh, which were also shelled on Saturday evening, the state-run National News Agency (NNA) reported.

The outskirts of the villages of Marwahine, Dhayra and Talbasine were also targeted this morning, according to the NNA.

At around 9:30 a.m., the Israeli website Haaretz reported that sirens had sounded in northern Israel, near the town of Matat, close to the border with Lebanon. Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari said on X that Israeli air defense had been activated to intercept a projectile from Lebanon, but gave no further details.

09:07 Beirut Time

From white phosphorus attacks to wildfires, from cluster ammunition to landmines — ecosystems in southern Lebanon have been paying a high price in the decades of war. 

The recent white phosphorus attacks will have long-lasting devastating impact on local farmland and nature reserves, endangering people's livelihood. 

Read this heartbreaking reportage from Philippe Pernot and Amelie David to know more 

08:51 Beirut Time

Here is The Art of Boo's take on the Hamas-Israel conflict.


08:43 Beirut Time

Good morning, 

We're back with our live coverage of the Hamas-Israel war, on its 30th day. 

First thing first, click here to be updated on the latest 24 hours developments.