Ambulances carrying the bodies of the two journalists of Lebanon-based al Mayadeen TV channel, killed by an Israeli strike, are parked outside the channel's building, in Beirut, Lebanon Nov. 21, 2023. (Credit: Mohamed Azakir/Reuters)


Death toll in Gaza surpasses 14,000; Hezbollah launches attacks in retaliation for civilians killed in southern Lebanon: Day 46 of the Hamas-Israel war

What you need to know

Two journalists and their guide were killed in an Israeli strike on their location near Tayr Harfa in southern Lebanon.

Hezbollah and Israel trade fire in the latest fighting along the Lebanese-Israeli border.

Hamas and Israel are on the verge of a temporary truce and hostage deal, according to Hamas.

Israel continues to operate in northern Gaza while tensions rise at the Indonesian Hospital.

00:44 Beirut Time

Thank you for following our LIVE coverage of Day 46 of the Hamas-Israel war.

You can read a summary of today's events here.

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

20:53 Beirut Time

Israeli army Spokesperson Daniel Hagari says Israeli forces have "completed the encirclement" of the Jabalia area, Reuters reports. They didn't specify whether they were referring to Jabalia city in the North Gaza governorate or Jabalia refugee camp, the largest in the strip, located just north of Jabalia city.

20:36 Beirut Time

The US will not support continued IDF operations in southern Gaza without a plan to protect civilians, according to reports from Haaretz and Al Jazeera.

U.S. National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby says that the US does not support the Israeli army's activities in southern Gaza, where there are at least 400,000 displaced people, unless there is "a clearly articulated plan for how they're going to protect the lives of the hundreds of thousands of people that have now added to the population – because they were asked to leave by the Israelis. There's an obligation there for them to factor that into their planning."

20:27 Beirut Time

The White House says Russia's mercenary Wagner group made plans to bolster the air defenses of Lebanon's Hezbollah movement or the regime in Tehran, as part of an "unprecedented defense cooperation" between the two US adversaries, AFP reports.

"Our information... indicates that Wagner, at the direction of the Russian government, was preparing to provide an air defense capability to either Hezbollah or Iran," National Security Council spokesman John Kirby tells reporters during a press conference.

20:20 Beirut Time

Israeli soldiers transfer detained Palestinians out of the Gaza Strip earlier today. (Credit: Menahem Kahana/AFP)

20:12 Beirut Time

French medical charity Doctors without Borders (MSF) says three doctors, including two of its own, were killed in an Israeli strike on the al-Awda Hospital in northern Gaza and that it is "horrified" by the incidentReuters reports.

"MSF has regularly shared information about al-Awda as a functioning hospital and the presence of its staff in al-Awda to warring parties," it said in a statement. "GPS coordinates were also shared with Israeli authorities yesterday."

The well-known charity names the doctors as Dr Mahmoud Abu Nujaila (MSF), Dr Ahmad Al Sahar (MSF) and Dr. Ziad Al-Tatari. "Seeing doctors killed next to hospital beds is beyond tragic, and this must stop now."

19:43 Beirut Time

A Hamas leader was one of the victims of an Israeli airstrike in south Lebanon earlier today, according to an official Hamas statement. Khallil Hamid al-Kharaz  was in a car with either three or four other Hamas members in the south Lebanon village of Chaaitiyeh in Sour district, about 12 kilometers north of the border with Israel when it was struck this afternoon.

Earlier, Hamas confirmed that four or five members were killed in the bombing of the car. The Civil Defense told L'Orient Today they took fives bodies from the car, all severely burned, to the hospitals nearby and said the car was targeted with two missiles.

19:30 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announces the death of one of its fighters, Ibrahim Badih Hamzeh, from the village of Jmaijmeh in Bint Jbeil. As usual, the Shiite party did not specify where or when the militant was killed. The total number of Hezbollah fighters killed since the start of the war between Hamas and Israel now stands at 78, according to our count.

19:29 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announces that at 4:50 p.m. it attacked an Israeli military brigade facing the south Lebanon border village of Blida (Marjeyoun district) and say they "directly hit the target." In its statement, Hezbollah says the attack was carried out "in support of the resisting Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip."

19:17 Beirut Time

The Hamas government in Gaza announces the death toll has reached 14,128 since war began on Oct. 7.

Officials say 5,840 children and 3,920 women are among the dead, with another 33,000 people wounded. Its health ministry has previously said it can no longer give exact tolls as intense fighting prevents bodies from being recovered.

18:53 Beirut Time

Palestinian poet and scholar Mosab Abu Toha has been released after being detained by the Israeli army while fleeing to the south of Gaza. 

Michael Luo, online editor of The New Yorker, where Toha is a contributing writer, says in a thread on X, that "over the weekend he had been detained by the IDF (for no evident reason) and was questioned somewhere outside Gaza in southern Israel."

As of an hour ago, Toha is back in Gaza with his family. Toha is the founder of the Edward Said Library, the first English-language library in Gaza, where he was born and lives.

18:36 Beirut Time

Fifty-three journalists and media workers have been killed in the Hamas-Israel war, according to a tally by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), AFP reports.

The toll includes 46 Palestinians, four Israelis and three Lebanese killed since the war began on October 7, the New York-based organization says.

The most recent casualties were two al-Mayadeen journalists Farah Omar and Rabi al-Maamari, killed by Israeli strikes in southern Lebanon today.

The CPJ said 11 journalists have been injured and three are missing since the start of the conflict, while 18 have been arrested.

"Journalists in Gaza face particularly high  risks as they try to cover the conflict during the Israeli ground assault, including devastating Israeli airstrikes, disrupted communications, supply shortages and extensive power outages," the NGO says on its website. 

17:41 Beirut Time

In its 11th announcement today, Hezbollah says that in response to the killing of the two al-Mayadeen journalists and other civilians earlier today, it attacked a factory at 4:15 p.m. that it claimed is affiliated with Rafael, the Israeli army's national research and development laboratory, in the Israeli village of Shloumi. The party says they "directly hit the target," with fires seen erupting from the factory. It also announces that it targeted "with Grad rockets" at 4:10 p.m. the Israeli non-border village of Beit Hillel and say they "directly hit the target."

17:20 Beirut Time

BREAKING: Hezbollah announces that in response to the killing of the two al-Mayadeen journalists Farah Omar and Rabi al-Maamari and other civilians earlier today, it targeted a military brigade inside a house in the Israeli village of Avivim at 3:45 p.m. "with guided missiles." The party claims they inflicted casualties. Hezbollah also announces that at 3:50 p.m. they targeted an Israeli military brigade facing the south Lebanon border village of Aitaroun and at 4:05 p.m. targeted an Israeli tank facing the south Lebanon border village of Aita al-Chaab in Bint Jbeil district.

17:13 Beirut Time

Jordan says Israel ordered the evacuation of the Jordanian field hospital that arrived in Gaza yesterday, Reuters reports. Jordan says it will not heed the demand. The field hospital, the first of its kind, was sent to relieve the pressure of around 30,000 wounded in the Strip relying on treatment from only 10 remaining hospitals, according tothe latest report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

17:03 Beirut Time

The bodies of two al-Mayadeen journalists killed in southern Lebanon today pictured here arriving to the news agency's headquarters, where dozens of family, friends, and colleagues are gathered. (Credit: Mohammad Yassine)

16:58 Beirut Time

The EU gives a green light to continuing development aid to Palestinians after a review found no funds had gone to Hamas, but say tighter controls would be imposed going forward, AFP reports.

"The review found no indications of EU money having directly or indirectly benefited the terrorist organization Hamas," European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis says. 

16:54 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announces it targeted an Israeli position facing the south Lebanon border village of Yaroun in the Bint Jbeil district at 2:30 p.m. and say they "directly hit the target." Loud explosions were heard earlier in the south Lebanon border villages of Kafr Kila and Houla in Marjeyoun district, a security source and residents of the village tell L'Orient Today. The security source says that the explosions were likely intercepted rockets coming from Lebanon. The Israeli army is shelling the south Lebanon border villages of al-Qantara, al-Taybeh, Aita al-Shaab, and Bani Hayan.

16:51 Beirut Time

During a tour of the Golan Heights, Israeli Minister Benny Gantz said that Israel is prepared for the expansion of fighting in the north "to allow the residents of the north to return home safely," Haaretz reports. He also addressed Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, advising him "not to turn southern Lebanon into the northern Gaza Strip." 

16:36 Beirut Time

BREAKING: Four or five members of Hamas were among the casualties from this afternoon's Israeli strikes in southern Lebanon, when their car was bombed in Shaytiya, Sour district, a source at Hamas confirms with L'Orient Today.

The Civil Defense said in a statement earlier that they took five badly burned bodies from the car to hospitals in the region. A spokesperson for the Civil Defense told L'Orient Today that the car was hit by two missiles.

16:22 Beirut Time

The Palestine Red Crescent Society says two members of their ambulance crew were detained by the Israeli army yesterday while passing through the checkpoint dividing northern and southern Gaza. A video posted to the official PRCS X account shows the two men after being released.

16:15 Beirut Time

Notes from the BRICS summit, which initially involved Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa summit, but in August expanded to include Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, Argentina and the United Arab Emirates as members.

Russian President Vladimir Putin calls for a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and says regional states and members of the BRICS group of countries could be involved in efforts to reach such a settlement, Reuters reports.

In televised comments to a virtual BRICS summit, Putin once again blamed the Middle East crisis on the failure of U.S. diplomacy in the region. "We call for the joint efforts of the international community aimed at de-escalating the situation, a ceasefire and finding a political solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. And the BRICS states and countries of the region could play a key role in this work," Putin said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping also spoke at the summit, calling for an immediate ceasefire and saying that without a "just settlement" of the Palestinian question there will be no enduring peace and stability in the Middle East, as reported by Chinese state news agency Xinhua. Xi advocated for the two-state solution, with an independent Palestinian state with its rights restored.

15:41 Beirut Time

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is "making progress" on the return of hostages taken by Hamas during the Oct. 7 attacks, after mediators said a truce deal was in sight, AFP reports.

"I hope there will be good news soon," Netanyahu told Israeli soldiers at a military base in the north of the country.

Haaretz reports that the Israeli wartime Cabinet will convene at 8:00 p.m. tonight. The Prime Minister's Office announced earlier that the wartime Cabinet and political-security cabinet will also meet prior. 

15:36 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announced that it launched two guided missiles at 2:25 p.m., targeting Israeli military intelligence forces while they were in a house on the outskirts of the village of Manara. They say this attack is in retaliation for Israeli strikes that killed nine people, including two journalists and an elderly lady earlier today.

According to Hezbollah, the Israeli troops were killed or wounded.

The party said the attack was in response to Israel's killing of Al-Mayadeen journalists Farah Omar and Rabih Al-Maamari, as well as civilians.

15:11 Beirut Time

The outskirts of Mays al-Jabal (Marjayoun district) are now being subjected to Israeli artillery shelling, and seven shells have fallen so far, the mayor of the town told L'Orient Today's correspondent in the South.

15:06 Beirut Time

Missiles were fired at the Israeli Al-Manara site, a security source tells L'Orient Today's correspondent in the South.

Residents told L'Orient Today that columns of smoke rose from the site.

Meanwhile, al-Manar and al-Akhbar reported that an Israeli drone carried out an airstrike in the town of Yaroun (Bint Jbeil district).

14:59 Beirut Time

The commissioner of the al-Resala Scouts Association, affiliated with the Amal Movement, confirms to L'Orient Today's correspondent in the South that five people were killed in the Israeli attack that targeted a car near Shaaitiyeh that was reported on earlier.

Moreover, a Palestinian security source tells our correspondent that the people killed were Palestinians.

The source also says that the bodies are charred and for that reason, it is unclear whether four or five people were killed.

The source adds that one of them was a Hamas member. It is still unclear if the others were also members of Palestinian factions.

14:36 Beirut Time

Germany's interior minister, Nancy Faeser, called on Muslim organizations in Germany to explicitly condemn Hamas and voice their solidarity with Israel during an interview on German television, according to AFP.

"I expect the Muslim organizations to clearly position themselves and uphold their responsibilities in society," she stated.

At the same time, during a conference with German politicians, Muslim groups and Christian and Jewish community representatives, she said that Muslims should also not be targeted.

"We must not offer any space to those who declare Muslims to be the cause of all evils," the interior minister said.

 Read the full story here.

14:31 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announces that it targeted the site of Jal al-Alam at 1:45 p.m.  with "appropriate weapons and caused direct hits."

Meanwhile, Israel targeted a house in Houla, according to the state-run National News Agency and al-Manar.

Al-Manar also reports an attack on an empty house in Mays al-Jabal. NNA also reported the Mays al-Jabal strike claiming that it was carried out by an Israeli drone.

Houla and Mays al-Jabal are located in the district of Marjayoun.

14:04 Beirut Time

The Palestinian Red Crescent claims on its X (formerly Twitter) account to have received 70 new trucks of humanitarian aid on Monday via the Rafah border crossing, linking the Gaza Strip to Egypt. This brings the total to 1,353 trucks since this border post reopened on Oct. 21, “an average of 42 trucks per day,” adds the organization.

13:28 Beirut Time

Ghassan Ben Jeddo, director of the pro-Iranian Al-Mayadeen, says, " I want to tell the Israeli occupation that don't think that Al-Mayadeen's message dies when its journalists are killed. You can kill our journalists but you can't kill our message. Our channel is much more than that. It's a resistance channel that was founded at a time when the resistance's image was targeted, when our communities were being bombarded with fake news and inaccurate information regarding the true events of the [2011] Arab Spring, and we took it upon ourselves to stand by our nations and our resistance. You need to know that Al-Mayadeen staff cried for Rabih and Farah but they are continuing their work, and are continuing to hold the mission of Al Mayadeen, which is to always and forever support the resistance against the vicious Israeli enemy."

13:23 Beirut Time

According to the state-run National News Agency, people were killed in a civilian car that was targeted by Israel on a side road between Shaaitiyeh and Qlaileh (Sour).

NNA added that Civil defense vehicles rushed to the area to extinguish the fire that broke out in the car.

Al-Akhbar and al-Jadeed also reported the news but did not mention anything about casualties. Moreover, according to these sources, the incident happened between Shaaitiyeh and Maaliyeh.

13:22 Beirut Time

The director of the editors' union in the Lebanese press, Joseph Kosseifi, said that Israel should be "brought before (the International Criminal Court)" to be judged for its crimes against journalists and for its repeated attempts to cover up the acts that "it commits by killing journalists," reports the Al-Mayadeen channel.

13:17 Beirut Time

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, over 50 journalists have been killed by Israel, since the war broke out on Oct. 7. Three Lebanese journalists have been killed in southern Lebanon since the beginning of the war. On Oct. 13, 2023, Reuters video journalist Issam Abdallah, was killed by a strike "from the direction of the Israeli border" with southern Lebanon – according to Reporters Without Borders and Reuters. The head of RSF’s Middle East desk, Jonathan Dagher, told The Associated Press that their evidence "shows that the killing of Issam Abdallah was not an accident.” An investigation is ongoing into his death.

13:09 Beirut Time

Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati expresses his strong condemnation of the Israeli attack in southern Lebanon today that targeted Al-Mayadeen channel and led to the killing of two journalists and a civilian.

"This attack proves once again that there are no limits to Israeli crime, and that its goal is to silence the media that exposes its crimes and attacks," Mikati says.

Finally, he extends his condolences to the "Al-Mayadeen family and the families of the two journalists."

13:02 Beirut Time

Hezbollah's Media Relations releases a statement condemning the killing of al-Mayadeen's journalists and expressed its deepest condolences and sympathy to the colleagues at al-Mayadeen and the family of "the two dear martyrs."

Hezbollah also confirms that this attack and the killing of other citizens "will not pass without a response from the fighters of the Islamic Resistance who are fighting in the field."

12:53 Beirut Time

Israel's artillery targeted the outskirts of Yaroun (Bint Jbeil district), according to al-Manar, al-Jazeera and al-Akhbar.

Al-Manar adds that an Israeli drone carried out two airstrikes on the same area.

The state-run National News Agency and al-Manar also report that Israel's artillery targeted the outskirts of Marwahin and Umm al-Tout (Sour district).

12:47 Beirut Time

The Qatari Foreign Ministry said negotiations over the release of the hostages are in the final stages and that a ceasefire is now near, according to Haaretz.

12:34 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announced that it targeted at 11:45 a.m. the site of al-Raheb with "appropriate weapons and caused direct hits."

12:03 Beirut Time

Two journalists from the pro-Iranian Al Mayadeen television station, Farah Omar and Rabih Maamari, were killed this Tuesday at the crossroads between Tayr Harfa and Jabbain (Sour district), in southern Lebanon, in an Israeli bombardment, Al-Mayadeen announced, confirming media reports.

Their guide, Hussein Akil, was also killed, according to a source contacted by L'Orient Today. State-run National News Agency (NNA) announced the deaths of two journalists and one civilian.

11:33 Beirut Time

Israeli shelling in the town of Kfar Kila (Marjayoun district) this morning killed Laiqa Serhan, an 80-year-old Lebanese citizen, and wounded her Syrian granddaughter Alaa al-Qassim, according to state-run National News Agency and AFP. We reported this bombing earlier today, but its results had not yet been confirmed.

Al-Qassim was transferred to the Marjayoun Governmental Hospital for treatment, NNA reports.

Al-Manar also says that a number of children, who are the grandchildren of the killed citizen, were in the house during the raid and survived.

11:16 Beirut Time

Qatar will publish details of the hostage release agreement on Tuesday, according to a source involved in the negotiations quoted by Haaretz.

According to this source, the hostage release agreement is "on the verge of being concluded."

10:57 Beirut Time

The Israeli army says that it attacked "terrorist squads" in Lebanon that were engaged in firing anti-tank missiles near the border with Israel, as well as several Hezbollah targets, according to Haaretz.

A mortar was also reportedly fired at an Israeli army post from Lebanon, Haaretz continues. In response, the Israeli army attacked the source of the shooting.

10:56 Beirut Time

Israeli warplanes raided Wadi Hassan between Jibbain and Majdal Zoun (Sour district) at 9 a.m. and carried out an airstrike on the outskirts of the valleys near the towns of Tayr Harfa and Majdal Zoun, according to state-run National News Agency.

NNA added that Israel's artillery shelled the outskirts of the town of Tayr Harfa and that a number of shells fell on the eastern outskirts of Naqoura (Tyre district).

Hezbollah's Al-Manar channel also reported an airstrike on the outskirts of Majdal Zoun while the pro-Hezbollah al-Mayadeen channel claimed that an airstrike targeted the outskirts of Jibbain.

The outskirts of Kfar Shouba (Hasbaya district) were also raided by Israel according to NNA and al-Manar.

Israel's artillery shelled a Lebanese army post in Wazzani (Hasbaya district), causing major damage, a security source confirmed to L'Orient Today.

No casualties were reported. The source added that the army will be preparing a statement regarding the incident.

10:48 Beirut Time

A new group of Muslim countries will visit the UN Security Council's five permanent members to urge for an immediate cease-fire, Reuters reports.

The new group, which was formed during the joint meeting of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Countries in Riyadh last week, consists of Turkey, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, the Palestinian Authority, as well as the OIC Secretary General.

In addition to advocating for a cease-fire, the group is also looking to contribute to a two-state solution that brings lasting peace between Palestine and Israel.

Members of the group have already traveled to Beijing to meet with Chinese officials and will meet with Russian officials during a trip to Moscow on Tuesday and with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday when they travel to the UK and France.

10:31 Beirut Time

With the possibility of a temporary truce on the horizon, we take a look at what the terms of the "Gaza truce for Hamas hostages" deal could be:

- Two sources close to the matter told AFP on Tuesday that talks were focusing on an agreement for the release of "50 to 100" hostages in exchange for the release of 300 Palestinian prisoners in Israel, including women and children.

- The transfer would take place in stages; "ten" Israeli hostages for "thirty" Palestinian prisoners on a daily basis, and would include the entry of food, medical aid and fuel, and above all a "renewable five-day humanitarian truce."

- But Israel insists on "family reunification" – which means that if a civilian is released, his partner would also be released, even if he is a soldier – which Hamas, opposed to the release of soldiers, refuses for the time being according to these two sources.

10:23 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announces that it targeted at 9:50 a.m. the site of Hadab al-Bustan "with appropriate weapons and caused direct hits."

09:53 Beirut Time

Israel targeted south of the town of Khiam with a long-range guided missile as well as two empty houses in the town of Kfar Kila (Marjayoun district), according to al-Manar. Meanwhile, the state-run National News Agency (NNA) reported that Kfarkila and Khiam were being shelled by Israel's artillery. NNA added that raids were being carried out on inhabited houses in these areas.

Moreover, NNA and The New Arab, a pan-Arab news website, reported that the outskirts of Rab al-Thalathine were subjected to Israeli artillery shelling.

In addition, the pro-Hezbollah al-Mayadeen channel claimed that Israel's artillery targeted the vicinity of Aita al-Shaab and Rmaish (Bint Jbeil district) while al-Manar reported that Israeli warplanes bombarded the outskirts of the same towns.

Al-Manar also said that the heights of the town of Halta (Hasbaya district) were targeted by Israeli warplanes while NNA reported that an airstrike fell near Halta.

09:38 Beirut Time

The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Mirjana Spoljaric, met with the head of Hamas's political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh in Qatar on Monday in an attempt to advance the humanitarian issues that have arisen during the war in Gaza, AFP reported.

The ICRC emphasized that this was part of the organization's attempts to speak with all sides to "improve respect for international humanitarian law." 

"The ICRC is insisting that our teams be allowed to visit the hostages to check on their welfare and deliver medications, and for the hostages to be able to communicate with their families," the ICRC said in a statement. 

09:31 Beirut Time

Gaza's health ministry said that 200 people were evacuated from the Indonesian Hospital last night and taken to the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, according to AFP.

This came as Ashraf al-Quda, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, says that the Indonesian Hospital is "under siege" by Israeli forces.

"We fear the same thing will happen there as it did in Al-Shifa," he said.

The evacuation was carried out with the help of the Red Cross.

According to al-Qudra, another 400 patients remain at the hospital along with an estimated 2,000 displaced people who are in and around the hospital.

09:08 Beirut Time

The Israeli army said on Tuesday that its air force attacked around 250 targets in the Gaza Strip on Monday, Haaretz reports.

The Israeli army said it attacked Hamas members, missile launchers and other infrastructure, and that an attack helicopter hit a rocket launch pad.

09:05 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announces that it attacked at 06:40 a.m. a house in the town of Metula in which Israeli soldiers were stationed "with appropriate weapons." Hezbollah adds that the house was "directly hit."

The party specified in its statement that the attack was in response to Israel's targeting of houses in southern Lebanon.

Israel struck houses in the towns of Khiam, Taybeh and Mays al-Jabal yesterday.

09:03 Beirut Time

Good morning!

Thank you for joining us once more for our live coverage. It is day 46 of the ongoing war between Hamas and Israel in Gaza.