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Catch up on yesterday's LIVE coverage of Day 53 of the Israel-Hamas war here.
Despite the sound of an explosion, the pause in border clashes between Hezbollah and Israel continued to hold. The Lebanese University Faculty of Information held a commemoration for slain alumnus Farah Omar who, along with Rabih Maamari and their companion Hussein Akil, was killed by an Israeli strike while reporting in southern Lebanon. Israeli military personnel in northern Israel told AFP they are “determined” to remain ready for “as long as it takes.” Northern Israeli villages are still evacuated, as Israel’s military is mainly concerned about ground and drone incursions. Similarly, more than 20,000 people have been displaced from southern Lebanon following intense Israel shelling. The cross-border clashes have killed at least 109 people in Lebanon, most of whom were Hezbollah soldiers, and at least nine people in Israel, six of whom were soldiers, according to AFP.
The Lebanese Army says it prevented around 600 people from illegally crossing the border from Syria to Lebanon over the past month. The announcement is not unusual – prior to Oct. 7 the army foiled thousands of irregular entries since it started making regular arrests in late June. The crackdown on the porous Syrian-Lebanese border follows the intensification of repressive measures targeting Syrian refugees in the country, including an increase in deportations and preventing displaced Syrians from maintaining refugee status if they return to Syria.
Gunmen shot at the home and car of a former political leader of the Jamaa Islamiya in Tripoli, security sources told L’Orient Today. The cause of the incident remains unknown and the gunmen are unidentified. Security forces launched an investigation and began its search for suspects. The Dawn Forces, the armed wing of the Jamaa Islamiya, have engaged alongside Hezbollah in the cross-border clashes with Israel since Oct. 8. The Jamaa Islamiya is close to the Muslim Brotherhood, a Sunni confraternity popular in several Arab countries.
Hamas and Israel accused each other of cease-fire violations as Hamas released a fifth group of hostages last night during the extended truce. In exchange, 30 Palestinians were freed from Israeli jails. A similar exchange is scheduled for today, after which the truce will expire unless it is extended again, something the international community has called for. Hamas remains “committed to the cease-fire,” in spite of clashes in northern Gaza. The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to convene today to address the conflict.
Read a full summary of events from day 53 of the war in Gaza here.
In case you missed it, here’s our must-read story from yesterday: “Can Hezbollah regain Arab support by (partially) backing Hamas?”
Compiled by Abbas Mahfouz