Smoke billows following Israeli strikes on Rafah in southern Gaza on Nov. 18, 2023. (Credit: Said Khatib/AFP)


Intense Israeli bombardment on southern Lebanon, more than 80 dead in Israeli strikes on Gaza refugee camp: Israel-Hamas war, day 43

What you need to know

Intense cross-border bombing continues in south Lebanon.

Hundreds of people have evacuated Gaza's largest hospital, al-Shifa, where more than 2,000 patients were crowded.

The first delivery of fuel to Gaza since the start of the conflict on Oct. 7 has entered the enclave.

21:38 Beirut Time

Thank you for joining our LIVE coverage from day 43 of the Israel-Hamas war. We will be back tomorrow with more news updates.

21:36 Beirut Time

US President Joe Biden believes that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank should be reunited under a single governance structure, under a revitalized Palestinian authority, reports Reuters.

In an opinion piece, Biden said the US was prepared to issue VISA bans against "extremists" attacking civilians in the West Bank. He also stressed that there should be no forced displacement of civilians in Gaza.

21:23 Beirut Time

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that "there has been no agreement to release hostages so far," according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

"We will keep you informed when we have something to say," Netanyahu added at a press conference.

According to him, the first objective of the war was to paralyze Hamas, the second to return the hostages and the third to eliminate the threat from Gaza.

20:34 Beirut Time

Israeli army minister Yoav Gallant said that the Israeli army is actively striking Hezbollah targets all along the border with Lebanon and restoring security in the north of the country, according to Israeli media.

The army is "pursuing a policy of active defense, inflicting a price on any threat from the air or land," Gallant said in a statement following a meeting with troop officials.

He stated that the army was ready to respond to any attempt by Hezbollah to extend the war into the north.

"Israel is responding to missiles and rockets fired by Hezbollah, and is also striking the Shiite party's infrastructure," he added.

19:34 Beirut Time

Israeli hostilities resume early this evening on southern Lebanon.

Ten Israeli rockets targeted the outskirts of the village Tayr Harfa (Sour), local residents told our correspondent in the south.

The outskirts of Naqoura (Sour) came under artillery fire, the National News Agency (NNA) and our correspondent reported, citing a security source.

According to this source, Israeli warplanes targeted the outskirts of Alma Shaab and Zebqine valley (Sour).

19:20 Beirut Time

The spokesman for the armed wing of Hamas, Abu Obeida, claims to have lost contact with certain groups charged with protecting the Israeli hostages.

"The fate of the Israeli hostages and certain [Hamas] groups tasked with protecting them remains unknown after we lost contact with them," he said in a video released by Hamas.

19:09 Beirut Time

People deploy a banner and raise placards during a demonstration in Tel aviv calling for a ceasefire, on Nov. 18, 2023, amid the war on Gaza. Israel has vowed to eradicate Hamas in retaliation for the attacks of Oct. 7, which killed 1,200 people, according to Israeli officials. Gaza's health ministry says the death toll from the military offensive has now topped 11,500, including thousands of children. (Credit: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

19:07 Beirut Time

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Tel Aviv on Saturday, during a demonstration organized by the Democratic Front for Equality and Peace, to call for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the war between Hamas and Israel, Israeli media reported.

"No winners in the war"; "Stop the war, peace is the only solution"; "No to the occupation and the blockade, yes to peace", read the placards held up by the protesters.

According to Israeli media Haaretz, the protesters were in favor of an agreement to release all Israeli hostages in exchange for Palestinian political prisoners illegally detained in Israel.

Speaking at the protest, MP Aida Touma Suleiman spoke out "against the war."

"From day one, we have said that we oppose the atrocities and crimes committed against civilians, and when civilians in Gaza die as a result of the bombing, we will condemn these crimes too," she added.

17:28 Beirut Time

Two rockets were launched from an Israeli helicopter on the outskirts of Blida (Marjayoun district), reports our correspondent in southern Lebanon, citing witnesses from the village.

According to a security source interviewed by our correspondent, this is one of the rare instances of Israeli helicopters participating in military operations in southern Lebanon.

17:20 Beirut Time

Thousands of Iranians took part in state-sponsored marches on Saturday to protest against the deaths of children and other civilians in the Gaza war, and a top military commander said Israel was going towards its doom in a war of attrition. Read more about it here.

In the image, an Iranian man sits next to the symbolic shrouds of Gaza children's dead bodies during a gesture in a street in Tehran, Iran, Nov. 13, 2023. (Credit: Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Reuters)

17:10 Beirut Time

The head of The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) says today that it had received "horrifying" images and footage of scores of people killed and injured in an attack on an UNRWA school in the north of Gaza.

"These attacks cannot become commonplace, they must stop. A humanitarian ceasefire cannot wait any longer," UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said on social media platform X (formerly Twitter).

The Israeli military did not immediately comment.

16:45 Beirut Time

BREAKING: Israel targeted residential areas in the southern and eastern sides of the town of Mhaibib, El Hamames, Khiam valley and the outskirts of Kfar Kila and Deir Mimas (Marjayoun district), a security source tells our correspondent in southern Lebanon.

The source adds that Israel targeted two houses on the outskirts of the town of Blida, without causing any casualties.

Meanwhile, the Israeli army said that it targeted Hezbollah targets in Lebanese territory, including military compounds and posts used by the organization, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

According to the Israeli military statement published by Haaretz, the "Israeli air force also successfully eliminated" a surface-to-air missile system in response to Friday night's shooting toward an Israeli aircraft which was "intercepted successfully."

16:24 Beirut Time

UNRWA commissioner-general Philippe Lazzarini announces that "the Israeli Authorities approved only half of the daily minimum requirements of fuel for humanitarian operations in Gaza" following long weeks of delay.

“This is far from enough to cover the needs for desalination plants, sewage pumps, hospitals, water pumps in shelters, aid trucks, ambulances, bakeries and communications networks to work without interruption," he adds.

He states that if the needed amount of fuel is not secured, disastrous consequences will follow, including scarcity of clean drinking water, sewage spread and the inability to remove solid waste.

16:11 Beirut Time

Health officials from Gaza's Nasser hospital say 15 people killed in air strike over a house west of Khan Younis, reports Reuters.

16:02 Beirut Time

Lebanese Hezbollah supporters attend a protest in support of Palestinians in Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Nabatieh, southern Lebanon, Nov. 18, 2023. (Credit: Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters)

15:40 Beirut Time
15:34 Beirut Time

Residents tell our correspondent in southern Lebanon that Israeli bombardments are currently underway around the village of Mais al-Jabal in Marjayoun district. A fire broke out as a result of the strikes.

15:22 Beirut Time

BREAKING: Some 32 people from one family, including 19 children, have been killed in a new strike, the Health Ministry in the Hamas-governed Gaza Strip says, according to AFP.

15:19 Beirut Time

Turkey will make efforts to rebuild damaged infrastructure, hospitals and schools in Gaza if a cease-fire is achieved there, Turkish media reports President Tayyip Erdogan as saying, according to Reuters.

Speaking on his plane returning from a trip to Germany, Erdogan also said Turkey is making a call for nuclear weapons inspections to be carried out in Israel so no doubt is left on the issue, Reuters cites broadcaster A Haber as saying on its website.

15:18 Beirut Time

US President Joe Biden's main adviser on the Middle East says there would be a "significant pause" in the Israeli-Hamas war if hostages held by militants in Gaza are freed.

"The surge in humanitarian relief, the surge in fuel, the pause … will come when hostages are released," Brett McGurk told a security conference in Bahrain. Click here for more.

15:16 Beirut Time

A pro-Palestinian march has begun at Martyrs' Square in Saida, southern Lebanon, after Hezbollah earlier today called for a demonstration in solidarity with Gaza. Lebanese and Palestinian flags, as well as those of Hezbollah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, are being waved in the streets of the southern city. "Resistance surpasses great armies," reads one placard, while portraits of Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, Hamas military spokesperson "Abu Obeida" and various "martyrs" are carried by some demonstrators.

Image credit: Muntasser Abdallah

14:56 Beirut Time

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has affirmed that she is opposed to the "forced displacement" of Palestinians, AFP reports. Her remarks follow a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi in Cairo.

"I discussed the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza with President Sissi, thanked Egypt for its role in providing and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid to vulnerable Palestinians," von der Leyen said in a post on X (formerly Twitter). “We agree on the principle of non-forced displacement of Palestinians and on a political horizon based on a two-state solution,” she added.

14:49 Beirut Time

BREAKING: Gaza Health Ministry says "at least 50 dead" in bombing of UN school turned shelter, AFP reports.

The Health Ministry says that at least 50 people were killed today in an Israeli strike on a school housing displaced people in a UN-run refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip.

The strike occurred "at dawn, on the al-Fakhoura school," a ministry official told AFP. Images posted on social networks show bodies, some covered in blood, others in dust, on the floors of the building, where mattresses had been set up under school tables.

14:42 Beirut Time

Emergency medical teams from the Palestinian Red Crescent are trapped inside al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City, amid shelling and gunfire by Israeli forces.

"We demand immediate intervention to protect our teams that are now in danger," the organization said via its X (formerly Twitter) account.

14:40 Beirut Time

A Hezbollah statement issued at 1 p.m. says the group struck the Israeli barracks at Ramim with "missiles and artillery shells" and hit "direct targets."

The Israeli army responded with artillery fire targeting the outskirts of Bani Hayyan, Houla, Adaisseh and Wadi Hounine (Marjayoun district), according to the Lebanese state-run National News Agency (NNA). The mayor of Houla told our correspondent that this Israel army had shelled the area around the village. In addition, residents reported that two shells were fired at Ouaida hill, near the village of Adaisseh.

Meanwhile, residents told our correspondent that artillery fire had hit locations around the village of Yaroun (Bint Jbeil district).

In addition, an Israeli airstrike targeted the area of Labbouneh (Sour district) and another one hit the outskirts of Aita al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil district), according to residents.

Image: the area around the village of Houla, hit by Israeli strikes. Photo courtesy of the president of the Houla municipal council)

14:22 Beirut Time

Image: Palestinians collect books from the rubble of a cultural center following an Israeli strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Nov. 18, 2023. (Credit: Mohammed Abed/AFP)

13:50 Beirut Time

Artillery shelling is targeting the outskirts of the towns of Jibbain and Chihine (Sour district), Jibbain residents tell our correspondent in the south.

13:38 Beirut Time

Israeli bombardments are targeting the outskirts of the towns of Houla and Blida in south Lebanon, residents tell our correspondent Muntasser Abdallah.

13:28 Beirut Time

Ten Israeli shells have fallen on the outskirts of the towns of Markaba, Tallousa, Beni Hayan, Qabrikha and Wadi Saluki (Marjayoun district), a security source tells our correspondent in southern Lebanon.

Meanwhile, sirens sound in the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona and in the Margaliot region, according to Haaretz.

13:00 Beirut Time

Image: A woman carries a child as Palestinians fleeing north Gaza move southward, as Israeli tanks roll deeper into the enclave, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in the central Gaza Strip on Nov. 18, 2023. (Credit: Mohammed Salem/Reuters)

12:28 Beirut Time

More than 17 villages in the western and central sectors of southern Lebanon were hit by approximately 70 artillery shells between 6 and 11 a.m. this morning, security sources and residents tell our correspondent in the region, Muntasser Abdallah.

During the same time frame, five Israeli strikes also targeted the outskirts of Naqoura, Labbouneh and Jibbain (Sour district) and Aita al-Shaab and Srobbine (Bint Jbeil district).

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency meanwhile reports that this afternoon Israel targeted the outskirts of Maroun al-Ras and Yaroun (Bint Jbeil district) with 155 mm shells. It adds that a house on the outskirts of Maroun al-Ras was targeted.

12:12 Beirut Time

In case you missed it: Our journalist, Zeina Antonios, explains what we know about Hezbollah's elite al-Radwan unit. Click here to watch her report.

Image: A Hezbollah flag at a rally. (Credit: Joao Sousa/L'Orient Today)

11:33 Beirut Time

Image: A picture of the military spokesman for the al-Qassam Brigades, Abu Ubaida, is displayed inside the Mieh Mieh Palestinian refugee camp near Saida. (Credit: Courtesy of our correspondent Muntasser Abdallah)

11:31 Beirut Time

A top foreign policy adviser to the United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan says that statements from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about a longer-term presence in Gaza are worrying, Reuters reports.

"We hear now from the Israeli prime minister and indeed the Israeli president about the sort of longer-term Israeli connection to Gaza. They are very worrying," Anwar Gargash said at the IISS Manama Security summit in Bahrain.

"This indicates that perhaps the lesson that we as the majority of people in region are taking away from the Gaza crisis, which is the need to go back to the two-state solution, we need to go back to an Israeli and Palestinian state living side by side. That lesson has perhaps not been the same."

11:19 Beirut Time

The Gaza Health Ministry says premature babies remain at al-Shifa Hospital, AFP reports.

The enclave's Health Ministry said in a statement that 120 wounded are still at the facility, along with an unspecified number of premature babies. Earlier, health officials told AFP that "450 wounded and patients with chronic illnesses" could not be moved and remained at the hospital, along with medical staff to care for them.

11:17 Beirut Time

The Israeli army has attacked Hezbollah targets in Lebanon following the launch of some 25 rockets from Lebanon toward Israel this morning, Haaretz reports.

No injuries were reported in Israel following the attacks from Lebanon, the media outlet cites the Israeli army as adding.

11:15 Beirut Time

The Israeli army has issued a statement negating earlier reports of an order to evacuate the al-Shifa Hospital within an hour, Haaretz reports.

According to Haaretz, the statement adds that the hospital's medical staff can remain in place and attend to patients, while those who wish to leave the premises can do so through a secured route.

11:12 Beirut Time

Hezbollah has announced attacks on four Israeli targets

Hezbollah says it targeted the site of al-Raheb, a gathering of Israeli soldiers in the forest of Shtoula and another gathering at Khallet Wardah at 10 a.m. "with appropriate weapons and caused direct hits." Hezbollah also claims responsibility for targeting at 10:10 a.m. "the new military command headquarters in Wadi Sahsah with missile fire, causing confirmed hits."

Meanwhile, the number of missiles launched by Israeli planes on the Labbouneh forests and the outskirts of Naqoura (Sour district) and Aita al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil district) rose to six, a security source told our correspondent in the south. These areas have also been subjected to artillery shelling.

In addition, a security source tells L'Orient Today that the outskirts of Hanin and Jibbain have been targeted with strikes from an Israeli warplane.

According to residents, the outskirts of the villages of Aitaroun, Rmaish, Yater (Bint Jbeil district) Mays al-Jabal, Houla (Marjayoun district) and Marwahin (Sour district) are also under artillery fire.

10:53 Beirut Time

“Medical staff are currently being interrogated by Israeli soldiers. Snipers surround the hospital. We have been clear: we will not leave without our patients. The United Nations promised us that they will help patients who cannot travel,” Adnan al-Barsh, head of the orthopedic department at al-Shifa Hospital, tells Al-Jazeera live from Gaza.

10:48 Beirut Time

BREAKING: Hundreds of people have evacuated Gaza's al-Shifa Hospital on foot after the Israeli army issued a "one-hour" ultimatum to leave the facility, an AFP journalist reports. However, 450 patients are still in the hospital, unable to travel, AFP cites officials as telling the news agency.

10:42 Beirut Time

“There is no room today for discussions around stopping any front or reducing pressure,” Hashem Safieddine, the head of Hezbollah's executive council, said this morning.

Safieddine's comments came during a ceremony this morning in the village of Halloussiyeh (Sour) held in the presence of party representatives.

“As long as there is a war against Gaza and a threat against its population and the killing of children and women, all honorable resistance forces in our region will continue to put pressure on the Israelis by all possible means,” he said.

10:35 Beirut Time

Green spaces in the Labbouneh area of Naqoura have been targeted by Israeli strikes, our correspondent Muntasser Abdallah reports, citing a security source. According to this source, six missiles have been fired during three air raids, and Israeli artillery shelling has also been reported.

10:34 Beirut Time

Hezbollah says in a statement that it targeted the Israeli site of Hadab el-Bustan at 9:30 a.m. with “guided missiles,” emphasizing that it “directly hit” the target.

10:06 Beirut Time

Image: A boy walks among debris at the site of an Israeli strike on the apartment building in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on Nov. 18, 2023. (Credit: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters)

09:59 Beirut Time

Update from south Lebanon: Shortly after 4 a.m. this morning, two missiles launched from an Israeli drone targeted an aluminum factory located between the towns of Kfour and Toul, west of the town of Nabatieh, residents of the area tell our correspondent in south Lebanon, adding that a fire erupted as a result of the strike but that no casualties were reported. Civil Defense personnel tell L'Orient Today that they succeeded in extinguishing the fire caused by the bombardment.

According to the state-run National News Agency (NNA), this is the first time Israel has targeted the depths of the Nabatieh region since the July 2006 war.

There were also other bombardments in the south last night.

Shortly after 10 p.m., Israel bombarded the Khiam plain (Marjayoun district) and five shells fell on the al-Hamames area, located on the southern outskirts of Khiam, a security source and residents told our correspondent in the region, Muntasser Abdallah.

At around 11 p.m., several shells fell on the outskirts of Burj al-Moulouk, residents and a security source told L'Orient Today.

At 5 a.m., artillery shelling targeted the outskirts of Labbouneh and Naqoura (Sour district), according to residents of the areas and a security source.

Lastly, the NNA reports that the town of Markaba (Marjayoun district) has been subjected to artillery shelling since the early hours of the morning.

09:45 Beirut Time

Jordan's foreign minister has expressed doubt that Israel can wipe out Hamas, commenting, "Israel says it wants to wipe out Hamas. … I just don't understand how this objective can be realized." Click here for more.

09:40 Beirut Time

US President Joe Biden's top adviser on the Middle East says the release of hostages held by Hamas would lead to a surge in the delivery of humanitarian aid and significant pause in fighting in Gaza, Reuters reports.

"The hostages are released, you will see a significant, significant change," Reuters quotes Brett McGurk as saying at the IISS Manama Dialogue security summit in Bahrain.

Bahrain's crown prince, speaking at the summit yesterday, called on Hamas to release Israeli women and children held hostage and for Israel in exchange to release from its prisons Palestinian women and children who he said were non-combatants. 

09:37 Beirut Time

Only the Palestinian Authority can run Gaza after the Israel-Hamas war is over, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell says.

"Hamas cannot be in control of Gaza any longer," Borrell this morning told the Manama Dialogue, an annual conference on foreign and security policy in Bahrain.

"So who will be in control of Gaza? I think only one could do that — the Palestinian Authority," he said.

09:35 Beirut Time

Six Palestinians have been killed this morning in an Israeli airstrike on a house in Deir al-Balah in the southern Gaza Strip, Reuters reports, citing health officials. 

09:24 Beirut Time

Israeli soldiers engaged in the fourth consecutive day of a raid on the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza are ordering its evacuation "within an hour," reports an AFP journalist on site, saying the announcement is being made via a loudspeaker.

Currently, according to the UN, 2,300 patients, caregivers and displaced people are in the hospital, and international concern is growing for their fate. Israel claims Hamas has been using the hospital as a military base.

09:13 Beirut Time

5- According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, five people were killed and two others injured overnight from Friday to Saturday in an airstrike against the Balata refugee camp, near Nablus in the occupied West Bank, which is also known for housing young fighters from different groups Palestinians. In Hebron, two Palestinians were killed by “Israeli army bullets,” according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

09:12 Beirut Time

4- In the al-Shifa Hospital, the largest in the territory, which was stormed on Wednesday by the Israeli army, the situation is “catastrophic” for patients, displaced people and caregivers, who are crowded there without electricity “or water or food,” its director, Mohammed Abou Salmiya, tells AFP. According to the UN, 2,300 people are currently inside this hospital.

09:11 Beirut Time

3- Overnight, from Friday to Saturday, a strike against three buildings in Khan Younis left 26 dead and 23 seriously injured, according to the director of the Nasser hospital in this town in the center of the Gaza Strip.

09:10 Beirut Time

2- A first delivery of fuel has arrived in the Gaza Strip after being given the green light by Israel. This fuel is intended to restart the electricity generators for hospitals and telecommunications networks in the besieged territory.

At the request of the United States, Israel has authorized the entry of two fuel trucks into the Gaza Strip daily. The Palestinian Authority, responsible for the Rafah crossing on the Egyptian border, announced yesterday evening that 17,000 liters of fuel had been delivered to power the generators of the Gazan telecommunications company.

Israel had up until now refused to allow the entry of fuel to the enclave, saying it could benefit Hamas's military activities.

09:08 Beirut Time

As the day begins, here's a synopsis of the latest developments in the conflict:

1- In a press release published this morning, Hezbollah announced that it had shot down an Israeli Hermes 450 combat drone “using a surface-to-air missile fired at 1:45 a.m. at dawn on Saturday.” The party claims that “debris from the craft was seen falling over Galilee.”

The Israeli army, meanwhile, reported that its aerial defense systems had intercepted a surface-to-air missile fired from Lebanon at an unmanned Israeli drone, according to Haaretz. The army added that sirens were sounded due to the launch of interceptor missiles but that no missile entered Israeli territory.

Image: This picture taken from a position along the border with the Gaza Strip in southern Israel shows a fire following Israeli airstrikes above the Palestinian territory amid ongoing battles with Hamas, on Nov. 17, 2023. (Credit: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP)

09:04 Beirut Time

Good morning,

We are back with our live coverage on the 43rd day of the war between Hamas and Israel and its spillover into southern Lebanon.