An Israeli tank fires a round during a drill in the annexed Golan Heights on Nov. 9, 2023, amid increasing cross-border tensions between Hezbollah and Israel as fighting continues in the south with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. (Credit: Jalaa Marey/AFP)


Satterfield says US doesn't believe Lebanon-Israel conflict is inevitable; Biden says 'no possibility' of cease-fire: Day 34 of the Israel-Hamas war

What you need to know

White House says Israel to start introducing four-hour humanitarian pauses in northern Gaza, starting today.

Biden reiterates that there is "no possibility" for a cease-fire in Gaza.

Hezbollah confirms it has targeted two Israeli tanks, with casualties.

Israel continues to raid Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, killing at least 10.

Gaza's health ministry says that 10,812 Palestinians, including 4,412 children, have been killed in Gaza since the start of the war on Oct. 7.

21:10 Beirut Time

Thank you for following our LIVE coverage of Day 34 of the Hamas-Israel war.

We'll be back tomorrow with more news updates and analysis, right here at L'Orient Today.

20:57 Beirut Time

The U.S. State Department says there will be two humanitarian corridors allowing people to flee northern Gaza, adding that it is critical for humanitarian supplies and assistance to be expanded into the areas where people are moving, Reuters reports.

State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel told reporters that the Rafah crossing is open for aid trucks to enter Gaza and foreign nationals to depart.

20:54 Beirut Time

The mayor of Ramadiyah, Mohammad Barji, clarifies to L'Orient Today's correspondent in the south, Muntasser Abdallah, that a "UNIFIL patrol mistakenly entered the old town, where the roads are narrow, and their vehicles got stuck. A number of residents gathered and objected to their entry into the old town."

He adds that "the mistake occurred on both sides, with the patrol entering the old town by accident and the residents reacting heatedly." He further states that the Lebanese Army quickly resolved the situation without any further complications.

He says that the situation in the town has now returned to normal.

20:48 Beirut Time

Palestinian youths burn tires during confrontations with Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin today. Ten Palestinians were killed in today's Israeli raid of the refugee camp, the Palestinian Health Ministry said, as well as three others in Beit Fajar and Dura. (Credit: Alaa Badarneh/AFP)

20:39 Beirut Time

"Al-Nasr Children's Hospital is currently facing repeated [Israeli] attacks, endangering the lives of children, medical staff, and displaced individuals," Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health in Gaza, said in a statement sent on the MOH's telegram channel this afternoon.

"Ambulance vehicles are unable to reach al-Nasr Children's Hospital to evacuate the injured due to the targeting. We call on the United Nations and the International Committee to be present in the Rantisi and al-Nasr Children's Hospitals, protect them, and provide space for ambulance vehicles to evacuate the wounded," the statement says.

20:03 Beirut Time

The military branch of Hamas, al-Qassam Brigades, announces on Telegram the death of an Israeli hostage, soldier Fa'oul Azay Marc Assaini, aged 19, in an Israeli bombardment in Gaza. Another hostage, also a soldier in the Israeli army, was injured during this bombardment, with moderate injuries, according to the statement. The al-Qassam Brigades state that they will provide evidence of this announcement at a later time.

20:03 Beirut Time

"We are ready for a long war, beginning in the Gaza Strip," says Israel's military, according to Reuters.

20:01 Beirut Time

US Special Envoy for Middle East Humanitarian Issues David Satterfield says "the character of exchanges that Hezbollah has launched across Israel's northern border will always raise the potential for miscalculation, and they need to stop," Reuters reports.

"The US does not believe that a conflict involving Lebanon and Israel is in any way inevitable," he says, noting that the US is working on humanitarian aid. "We want to see this expand, but it's a struggle, and it's complex," he adds.

19:53 Beirut Time

Israel has not agreed to any cease-fires during its military campaign in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht says, but will continue to allow brief, localized pauses to allow humanitarian aid to enter, Reuters reports.

"There's no cease-fire, I repeat there's no cease-fire. What we are doing, that four-hour window, these are tactical, local pauses for humanitarian aid," Hecht says.

Earlier, the White House said Israel would begin daily four-hour pauses in the northern Gaza Strip to enable Palestinians to flee hostilities in the coastal enclave.

Israeli far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said the announcement that Israel had agreed to 4-hour humanitarian pauses each day in Gaza "is a particularly serious mistake."

In a post on X, Ben-Gvir wrote that "We must continue the fighting" while maintaining "the [humanitarian] corridor for [Gaza's] residents to move southward."

19:33 Beirut Time

The Israeli army believes the drone that hit a school in the southernmost city of Eilat came from Yemen, Haaretz reports.

19:30 Beirut Time

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo urges the EU to sanction Israeli "violent extremists," AFP reports.

The premier referred to Israeli violence against Palestinians in the West Bank while speaking to the Belgian parliament, and said the lack of action is "unacceptable."

"Our country must ensure that those who commit serious crimes, for example, those who commit violence in the West Bank, can be prevented from entering our country and the European Union," De Croo told the Belgian parliament.

He suggested there could be sanctions on individuals, including on a "minister who calls for the use of nuclear weapons against a population that cannot do anything and that already lives today in horrible conditions."

18:50 Beirut Time

Benny Gantz, a member of Israel's war cabinet, says during a tour of the northern border that, if the Israeli army is required to enter Lebanon, it will do so, Haaretz reports.

"I tell you that we are determined to protect our northern borders, on both sides if necessary. Both now and in the future, we will not allow Hezbollah to endanger our communities."

18:34 Beirut Time

Al-Quds Brigades announces that it is willing to release two Israeli hostages identified as "Hanna Kaster and Yagel Yakov, for humanitarian reasons," in a statement sent on their official telegram channel. Al-Quds Brigades, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad's military branch, says it can't take responsibility for the lives of the hostages it holds under the ongoing heavy Israeli bombardment on Gaza.

The group released a video it claims show two hostages, a woman in her 70s and a 13-year-old boy, held in Gaza.

"We are ready to release them on humanitarian grounds when the security conditions on the ground are met," Abu Hamza, spokesman for the group's military wing, says in the video. Israeli officials say there are still 239 hostages in Gaza who were seized during the Oct. 7 attack.

18:33 Beirut Time

The Lebanese Ministry of Health issued recommendations for those affected by white phosphorus bombs in southern Lebanon.

18:31 Beirut Time

Israel will begin four-hour bombardment pauses in northern Gaza on Thursday to allow people to flee hostilities, the White House says in what it called "a step in the right direction," reports Reuters. According to the statement by White House national security spokesperson John Kirby, the pauses will be announced three hours in advance.

Kirby says Israel told the US there will be no military operations in these areas during the pauses, which start today. 

18:02 Beirut Time

US President Joe Biden says there is currently "no possibility" of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, AFP reports.

"None. No possibility," Biden told reporters as he left the White House for a trip to Illinois when asked about the chances of a cease-fire.

17:53 Beirut Time

Outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte invites Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to the Netherlands to discuss the situation in Palestine and Israel, Reuters reports, following a phone call between the two leaders.

"President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority has just been invited to visit the Netherlands at short notice to discuss current developments in Israel and the Palestinian Territories and the long-term perspective," he says.

Rutte adds that the Netherlands is committed to a two-state solution: "a private, secure state for the Palestinians next to a secure Israel."

17:37 Beirut Time

Hezbollah "affirmed the successful targeting of two [Israeli] Merkava tanks killing [Israeli soldiers] and injuring others," without specifying the number, in a statement. Hezbollah noted that this statement comes as a continuation of its "previous statement regarding the rocket attack on the Metula site," in the afternoon.

17:32 Beirut Time

Ismail Haniyeh, the Head of the Political Bureau of Hamas, arrived in Egypt along with a delegation that includes Khaled Mashaal, former head of Hamas, Thursday morning, according to Hamas' official telegram channel. The delegation met with General Abbas Kamel, the Chief of Egyptian General Intelligence, to discuss the current situation in the Gaza Strip.

17:06 Beirut Time

The Rafah border crossing connecting Gaza and Egypt reopened to facilitate the evacuation of foreigners, dual nationals, and the wounded who were trapped in the besieged enclave.

The evacuations, which began Nov. 1, were suspended for the second time on Wednesday due to Israel's refusal to approve the list of wounded individuals to be evacuated, as provided by Hamas authorities to Egypt. The crossing was previously closed on Nov. 3 and 4 for similar reasons.

16:25 Beirut Time

A trilateral meeting was held in Doha on Thursday between CIA and Mossad chiefs and the Qatari prime minister to discuss the parameters of a deal for hostage releases and a pause in Israeli bombardment of Gaza, a source briefed on the meeting told Reuters.

The advantage of the trilateral meeting was to bring all three parties together at one table to speed up the process, the source said.

The talks also allegedly included a discussion over allowing humanitarian imports of fuel into Gaza, Reuters reported.

16:24 Beirut Time

Ten Palestinians were killed Thursday in an Israeli raid on Jenin in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said as AFP journalists reported intense fighting.

A statement from the Palestinian health ministry said the current death toll in Jenin stood at 10, with more than 20 others wounded, AFP reported.

The Israeli army said its forces were operating in the northern West Bank city, but did not provide further details.

15:51 Beirut Time

Israeli shelling renews on the outskirts of the southern Lebanese villages of Ramieh and Beit Lif, security sources told L'Orient Today.

15:36 Beirut Time

Eyewitnesses in Khiam told L'Orient Today that several rockets were fired towards the Israeli town of Metula. 

According to residents of Khiam, approximately 25 shells and phosphorous shells have so far fallen on various parts of the town. Shells also targeted the eastern outskirts of Qlaiaa.

Around 3:30 p.m., Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the rocket attack on Metula.

15:28 Beirut Time

A person holds a Palestinian flag during a protest in solidarity with journalists and children from Lebanon and Gaza, amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, in Martyrs' Square, downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Nov. 9, 2023. (Credit: Esa Alexander/Reuters)

15:19 Beirut Time

Several border villages are still subjected to intermittent artillery shelling, including the outskirts of Houla, Markaba and Rmaish.

Security sources told L'Orient Today that more than 60 artillery shells have been fired since approximately 12 p.m.

The Israeli army announced that, a short time ago, anti-tank missiles were launched into the Margaliot area and that Israeli forces returned fire with artillery, according to Haaretz.

In recent hours, Israeli forces also identified and attacked two anti-tank squads in Lebanese territory, in the areas of Birnit and Yiftach.

14:57 Beirut Time

Smoke rises as displaced Palestinians take shelter at Al Shifa hospital, amid the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel, in Gaza City, Nov. 9, 2023. (Credit: Doaa Rouqa/Reuters)

14:42 Beirut Time

Three more shells fell on the outskirts of Rmaish (Bint Jbeil district), L'Orient Today's correspondent in southern Lebanon reported citing eyewitnesses.

Five shells also fell between Houla and Markaba (Marjayoun district), according to residents. Moreover, Lebanon's state-run National News Agency claimed that an Israeli mortar shell fell a short while ago on a stone factory in Kfarkila without exploding.

14:33 Beirut Time

The UK home secretary, Suella Braverman, has come under fire for comments that she made about the Metropolitan Police's handling of pro-Palestinian demonstrations in London.

In her comments, Braverman accused some officers of "playing favorites" and ignoring "pro-Palestinian mobs."

"Right-wing and nationalist protesters who engage in aggression are rightly met with a stern response yet pro-Palestinian mobs displaying almost identical behavior are largely ignored, even when clearly breaking the law," the minister wrote in a story for the British daily The Times.

Braverman also said that the protests were not just merely a "cry for help for Gaza" but an "assertion of primacy by certain groups – particularly Islamists."

You can read the full report here.

14:12 Beirut Time

The heights of the town of Hebbarieh were subjected to artillery shelling and five shells were heard in the area, the mokhtar of the town told L'Orient Today's correspondent in southern Lebanon.

13:43 Beirut Time

French diplomatic advisor to the French President, Emmanuel Bonne (C), speaks with French President Emmanuel Macron (R) next to French Foreign and European Affairs Minister Catherine Colonna (L) during an international humanitarian conference for civilians in Gaza, at the Elysee Presidential Palace, in Paris, on Nov. 9, 2023.

13:23 Beirut Time

What Israel is doing "goes beyond self-defense," Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said of the Israeli army's siege and attacks on the Gaza Strip, according to Reuters.

The senior official spoke at the humanitarian conference for Gaza which is being held in Paris.

According to Shoukry, Egypt also condemns the "international silence" on the "violations" of the law committed by Israel.

12:54 Beirut Time

Security sources told L'Orient Today's correspondent in southern Lebanon that intermittent shelling is still targeting Ramaya, Aita al-Shaab, Bait Lif (Bint Jbeil district) and Marwahin (Sour district). 17 artillery shells have fallen on these areas so far.

Meanwhile. a drone dropped a missile on the town of Mohaibib (Marjeyoun district), residents told L'Orient Today's correspondent.

12:36 Beirut Time

Member of Hezbollah's Central Council Sheikh Nabil Kaouk said that Israel "must know that as long as the aggression against Gaza continues, the Islamic resistance in Lebanon will continue its operations."

Kaouk delivered his comments during an honoring celebration held by Hezbollah for its killed fighter Rayan Youssef Darwish in the town of Qlaileh.

"We affirm that the resistance will respond to any aggression targeting civilians with an exponentially greater severity, and let them read carefully what it means for the resistance [to bomb] Kiryat Shmona and the Israeli military bases in the occupied Golan, this is evidence that we mock all aircraft carriers [sent by the US] and all American threats," Kaouk warned.

12:30 Beirut Time

France will allocate an additional 80 million euros (about $85.5 million) to humanitarian aid for the Palestinian population this year, reaching a total of 100 million euros (nearly $107 million), French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Thursday.

"Since Oct. 7, France has announced an additional 20 million euros (around $21.4 million) in humanitarian aid, and we are going to increase this effort to 100 million euros for 2023," he said at the Gaza humanitarian conference being held in Paris.

12:24 Beirut Time

Five Palestinians were killed in a raid carried out by the Israeli army in Jenin in the West Bank, AFP reports citing the Palestinian health ministry.

12:22 Beirut Time

Doctors Without Borders' chief said that there are no safe zones in Gaza and that some 30 percent of people killed in Gaza were killed in the South, Reuters reports.

12:20 Beirut Time

Security sources told L'Orient Today's correspondent in southern Lebanon that eight shells fell in Aita al-Shaab, Rmaish, Ramaya (Bint Jbeil district) and Marwahin (Sour district).

12:16 Beirut Time

Iran on Thursday rejected a G7 statement calling on Tehran to stop supporting Hamas and taking steps that "destabilize" the Middle East.

This call comes as Israel has been relentlessly bombing the besieged Gaza Strip for more than a month, claiming to want to destroy Hamas in retaliation for the unprecedented attack carried out on Oct. 7 by the Palestinian Islamist movement on Israeli soil.

You can read the full story here.

12:00 Beirut Time

UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini said on Thursday that he was concerned about the spillover risk of the situation in Gaza, adding that the West Bank "is boiling," according to Reuters.

Lazzarini also said that aid coming in through Rafah was inadequate, adding that all crossings into Gaza should be opened.

An Israeli military official told AFP that there is "no humanitarian crisis in Gaza."

11:52 Beirut Time

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that there must be a humanitarian pause very quickly in Gaza and that countries must work for a ceasefire, Reuters reported.

"Civilians must be protected, that's indispensable and non-negotiable and is an immediate necessity," Macron declared at the start of a humanitarian conference on Gaza in Paris.

11:45 Beirut Time

In a message on its X (formerly Twitter) account, relayed by Haaretz, the Israeli military said on Thursday that it had killed the head of Hamas's anti-tank operations, Ibrahim Abou Maghsib, in a raid in Gaza. The Hamas communications office did not confirm the information.

11:39 Beirut Time

"The two-state solution is the only one that can lead to a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, stop the war and prevent it from spreading to the region," Lebanon's caretaker Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib told his British counterpart James Cleverly on Thursday.

These remarks were made during a meeting between them in the Saudi capital Riyadh where an emergency Arab League summit on the war raging between Israel and Hamas is due to be held on Saturday.

"Israel must stop its aggression and provocative statements against Lebanon and Palestine," said Bou Habib.

11:37 Beirut Time

The media office at Dar al-Fatwa, Lebanon's highest Sunni Muslim religious authority, stated that "the visit of the United States Ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea, has been postponed at the request of Ambassador Shea’s office," Lebanon's state-run National News Agency reported.

Local media outlets earlier reported that a demonstration in front of Dar al-Fatwa led to the cancellation of Shea's visit.

According to the statement, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian stressed “the necessity of stopping American support for the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip."

"There is no solution to the region's problems except through justice for the oppressed Palestinian people, and justice cannot be achieved except by establishing a free and independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital," Derian added.

He also called for "intensifying diplomatic efforts to stop the massacres against the heroic people of Gaza" and warned of “the continuation of the Israeli aggression against southern Lebanon and the breach and violation of its sovereignty.”

11:18 Beirut Time

Belgium's deputy prime minister called on the Belgian government on Wednesday to adopt sanctions against Israel and investigate the bombings of hospitals and refugee camps in Gaza, according to Reuters.

Petra De Sutter added that the European Union should immediately suspend its association agreement with Israel, which aims at better economic and political cooperation.

She also said an import ban on products from occupied Palestinian territories should be implemented and violent settlers, politicians, soldiers responsible for war crimes should be banned from entering the EU, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, she said that Belgium should increase funding for the International Criminal Court in The Hague to investigate the bombings while cutting money flows to Hamas.

“This is a terrorist organization. Terror costs money and there must be sanctions on the companies and people who provide Hamas with money," De Sutter stated.

On Monday, Belgium's Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said that Israel's attacks on innocent civilians in Gaza are disproportionate, following a meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah in Brussels.

11:09 Beirut Time

Israeli Labor Minister Yoav Ben Tzur, of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, said in an interview on Thursday that "at the end of the war, [Israeli prime minister] Benjamin Netanyahu will have to organize elections within 90 days" and that before anything else, Haaretz reports.

However, after the interview was published, Ben Tzur retracted his comments and said that his words had been taken out of context.

In a statement released on Thursday morning, the minister said that "in any case, the comments do not represent the position of the Shas party, which is decided by the Council of Torah Sages and expressed solely by the movement's leader. We don't discuss politics during wartime and I made an error of judgment."

10:44 Beirut Time

Palestinians fleeing Gaza City and other parts of northern Gaza towards the southern areas, walk on a road on Nov. 8, 2023 amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas. (Credit: Mohammed Abed/AFP)

10:43 Beirut Time

106 trucks of vital aid, with the exception of fuel, entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. This brings the total number of trucks carrying aid into Gaza to 756 since the first ones entered the besieged enclave on Oct. 21, Al-Jazeera reported.

10:08 Beirut Time

The United States said that it carried out airstrikes last night against a weapons facility that was alleged to have been used by Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps and its affiliated militias in Syria.

This marks the second time in recent weeks that the US has used retaliatory airstrikes against Iranian interests in the region following over 40 attacks by Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria.

Check out the full report here.

09:51 Beirut Time

Iranian foreign minister Amir Abdollahian said that "time is running out quickly for the continuation of Israel's crimes," in a post published on X.

He added that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "made the foundations of the Israeli regime more shaky and showed the criminal, violent and aggressive face of the Zionist regime in the massacre of women and children in Gaza."

"Undoubtedly, the future belongs to Palestine," Abdollahian added.

09:47 Beirut Time

Last night, Brazil announced that it had foiled planned attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets in the country in plans that were, according to authorities, backed by Hezbollah.

Two suspects were arrested in connection to the planned attacks and another 11 raids were carried out throughout Brazil.

Mossad, Israel's external intelligence agency, said that it had cooperated with Brazilian authorities to stop the attacks.

You can read the full story here.

09:26 Beirut Time

The Israeli army announced that one of its soldiers was killed in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, according to Haaretz.

According to an Israeli army spokesperson, four soldiers were seriously injured in Wednesday's fighting.

09:23 Beirut Time

Israeli forces have raided the Amari camp in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, according to Al-Jazeera. Initial reports say a number of people have been wounded and arrested.

09:22 Beirut Time

The Israeli army said that infantry forces overtook a Hamas stronghold in the northern Gaza Strip following 10 hours of fighting, Haaretz reported.

The forces, belonging to the Infantry Corps' Nahal brigade, overtook the post in the Jabalia refugee camp.

09:17 Beirut Time

Good morning!

Thank you for joining us on the 34th day of the war between Israel and Hamas. We'll be here all day with live updates in relation to the conflict from Gaza, Israel, southern Lebanon and the wider region.