Thank you for following our LIVE coverage of day 56 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.
"Gaza must remain Palestinian land and cannot be reduced," said White House spokesman John Kirby earlier this evening, quoted by Reuters.
Kirby also said today it believed Israel will allow humanitarian aid trucks to enter Gaza after a lull due to resumed fighting between Israel and Hamas militants, but the number of deliveries will likely be reduced. Citing reports from Israel, Kirby said Israel had agreed to resume allowing truck deliveries into Gaza at the urging of the United States.
But he said truck deliveries would likely be reduced to dozens a day rather than the hundreds of trucks that were getting into the besieged enclave daily during a week-long pause in fighting that early this morning. Kirby said Gaza needs much more aid, but that the decision to resume aid deliveries, after stringent inspections, "looks like a good sign going forward."
The death toll from today's renewed fighting in the Gaza Strip is 178 Palestinians killed and 589 injured by Israeli strikes, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, Reuters reports.
Today, the Israeli army confirmed the deaths of five hostages held in Gaza, saying their families had been informed, and the body of one of them returned to Israel, AFP reports. Army spokesperson Daniel Hagari named the deceased hostages and said Israel believes that militants in Gaza are still holding 136 hostages, among them 17 women and children.
“Israel is planning a campaign against Hamas that will stretch for a year or more, with the most intensive phase of the ground offensive continuing into early 2024, according to several people familiar with the preparations,” The Financial Times reports.
After a week-long ceasefire, Israel says it's renewing its attacks on Gaza to “eliminate Hamas." The goals allegedly include killing three senior Hamas leaders — Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Marwan Issa — while securing “a decisive” military victory against the group’s 24 battalions and underground tunnel network, and destroying its “governing capability in Gaza,” according to FT. “This will be a very long war . . . We’re currently not near halfway to achieving our objectives,” said one person allegedly familiar with the Israeli war plans.
Israel informs the United Nations that the visa for the UN's humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories will not be renewed, as stated by a spokesperson for the UN today, according to reports from AFP and Reuters. Canadian national Lynn Hastings was appointed to this role in December 2020 by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
"We have been informed by Israeli authorities that they will not renew the visa of [Lynn] Hastings after it expires later this month," said Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for Antonio Guterres, without specifying at this stage whether the official, based in Jerusalem, would be replaced or continue her work from another location.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is calling on the Israeli army to revoke evacuation orders it gave citizens of Gaza earlier today. “Civilians are being ordered to move south, but nowhere in Gaza is safe due to the indiscriminate bombing and continued fighting,” the organization wrote on its X account.
Earlier today, the Israeli army dropped leaflets on the southern city of Khan Younis, instructing Palestinians there to flee further south to Rafah. Reuters reported that the notices contain a QR code leading to a website with a map of Gaza. Their map shows Gaza divided into 620 small, numbered zones, according to The Guardian, and precludes a process of forcing people to evacuate certain areas which it says are "the objectives of military activities." The website tells Gazans: "Anyone who sees the block number they reside in or are near should track and follow the instructions of the [army] through various media and comply with them."
The Israeli army has ordered such evacuations before, but several NGOs in the enclave as well as the health ministry there often reported Israeli strikes targeting Palestinians as they fled along so called "safe zones." On Oct. 13th, Reuters reported 70 Palestinians killed and 200 wounded when Israeli planes bombed a convoy of evacuees moving south on the main road of Salah al-Din, after receiving similar evacuation notices.
A young resident of Khiam, in the Marjeyoun district, was injured by an Israeli strike in Kfar Kila, L'Orient Today's correspondent in the south reports. His injuries are minor and he was transferred to the government hospital in Marjeyoun before being discharged after treatment.
News agency Anadolu announces that a freelance Palestinian journalist working for them was killed in the Gaza Strip by Israeli bombardment today, AFP reports. Muntasir al-Sawwaf, working as a cameraman for the state-owned Turkish agency, died along with his brother and "some of his relatives" in the southern part of the enclave.
"We are concerned about the lives of our colleagues who fulfill their missions with dedication under very difficult conditions," said the Anadolu agency's General Director, Serdar Karagoz. "We will do everything to ensure that those responsible for these attacks are held accountable."
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) recently stated that at least 57 journalists and media employees have been killed in Gaza since the start of the Israeli offensive. Hamas also announced the death of three journalists in todays attacks, including Sawwaf.
Palestinians check the damage of a house destroyed in an Israeli strike on Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip today, after the expiration of a seven-day truce between Israel and Hamas militants. (Credit: Mahmud Hams/AFP)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tells his Emirati counterpart Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed al-Nahyane that the resumption of Israeli attacks on Gaza after the end of a week-long truce was "very negative," quoted by Reuters, while meeting on the sidelines of COP28 in Dubai.
"President Erdogan, who noted that the resumption of clashes was very negative, said Turkey was working to achieve a lasting cease-fire and deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza," the presidency said in a statement, adding that Erdogan also said Turkey was doing its best to stop Israel's "massacre," but that the Muslim world needs to act in unison.
The man who was killed, along with his mother, by Israeli army artillery fire while in their home in Houla was a Hezbollah fighter.
In a statement, the Shiite party announced the death of Mohammad Hussein Mazraani, without specifying, as usual, when and where the militant was killed. Local residents had earlier told our correspondent in the south, Mountasser Abdallah, that the two casualties had been identified as Mohammad Mazraani and his mother Nasifa.
The total number of Hezbollah fighters killed since the start of the war between Hamas and Israel now stands at 87, according to our count, with the total number of civilians at 15.
Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati held a meeting with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, discussing the Israeli aggression on Gaza and the situation in Lebanon, according to the news website Lebanon24, which is owned by Mikati.
Mikati and Guterres also discussed "the importance of committing to the implementation of Resolution 1701 and its provisions, halting the Israeli aggression on southern Lebanon, the use of white phosphorus, and the resulting losses and damages."
Several security incidents occurred in southern Lebanon in the last hour, and are still unfolding. Here’s what you should know:
*A security source told our correspondent that the Israeli airstrike on the southern town of Jibbayn resulted in one killed and three injured individuals.
*Al-Manar’s correspondent reported that phosphorus shells have fallen on the olive groves in the eastern neighborhood along the border of the town of Kfar Kila.
*An Israeli airstrike hit the outskirts of the town of Aita al-Shaab, local resident told our correspondent in the south.
*A woman and her son were killed by an Israeli air strike that directly hit their house in Houla.
*Caretaker Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib met with the US ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea and said the key to stability is "halting the continuous Israeli violations of Resolution 1701."
Two wounded individuals were evacuated from a house targeted by an airstrike in Jibbayn, southern Lebanon, which was reported in the last hour, according to the Civil Defense in the Islamic Scout Mission. Previously, we reported three wounded, but the third person succumbed to their wounds and has been pronounced dead. The paramedics are still attending to a fourth injured person inside the house, before evacuating them. An al-Manar correspondent reported that phosphorus shells fell on the olive groves in the eastern neighborhood next to the border of the town of Kfar Kila.
The UN Human Rights Office in the occupied Palestinian territories says it is "seriously concerned" about a dramatic rise in Israel's arrest of Palestinians and calls for an investigation into allegations of torture in Israeli custody, Reuters reports.
Israel has arrested more than 3,000 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since the start of the war in early October and a record high number are being held without charge or trial, said said a statement from the UN office.
Within the span of two months, six Palestinian men have died in Israeli custody, the highest number of cases in such a short period in decades, it said.
Lebanese caretaker Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib says that "halting the continuous Israeli violations of Resolution 1701 since 2006 until present is the key to maintaining stability and security in southern Lebanon and the region," the state-run National News Agency reports.
According to local residents, there was an airstrike on the outskirts of the southern town of Jibbayn, L'Orient Today's correspondent in the south reports. The airstrike was allegedly from a drone.
The two civilians killed by the Israeli army in southern Lebanon have been identified as Mohammad Mazraani and his mother Nasifa, according to reports from L'Orient Today's correspondent in southern Lebanon, citing residents of Houla.
The Israeli army says it identified a "number of launches” from Lebanon toward its positions and responded with artillery fire, in a post on its official X account.
It added that fire from Lebanon was directed at army posts “in the area of Rosh Hankara and Margaliot as well as towards the city of Kiryat Shmona,” and that its air defenses successfully intercepted the attacks.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the truce between Israel and Hamas ended because Hamas renounced its commitments, according to a Reuters report, and declared that the US remains focused on the hostage issue, in spite of the end of the truce.
The senior official also claimed that Israel is taking measures to show civilians in Gaza “the safe zones and how they can get out of danger." Over 100 people have been killed in Gaza today since the truce ended, according to the health ministry there.
🔴BREAKING: A mother and her son have been killed by Israeli artillery in the southern town of Houla after their house was directly hit, the head of the municipality told L'Orient Today's correspondent in the south, Muntasser Abdallah. Hezbollah-affiliated news outlet Al Manar also reported the deaths.
Continuous shelling is ongoing on the outskirts of the southern localities of Houla, Wadi Saluki, Adaisseh, between Kafr Kila and Deir Mimas, according to our correspondent. Four shells targeted the outskirts of Mais Al-Jabal according to residents. Hezbollah said in a statement that at 4:40 p.m. its fighters targeted at "Israeli occupation soldiers' positions near the Ramya site with appropriate weapons, resulting in direct hits." Haaretz also reported that sirens went off in northern Israel.
The seven-day truce between Hamas and Israel was not extended because Hamas was unable to produce a list of hostages for further exchanges, according to a statement from The White House, Reuters reports. This statement echoes an earlier one from Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy today, reported by AFP. He said Hamas is still holding 137 hostages, including Shiri Bibas, her 10-month-old son Kfir and his four-year-old brother Ariel, although Hamas announced that the mother and her children were killed in Israeli airstrikes on the Strip before the truce came into effect.
A statement from Hamas earlier today said that "throughout the night, indirect negotiations unfolded to extend the truce." Hamas also offered to transfer the Bibas family's bodies and release their father for their burial, "along with two Zionist detainees," Hamas claims, while Israeli authorities "remained unresponsive," to their offer.
In response to these claims, the Israeli PM's office told AFP that it "will not address propaganda-based reports coming from Hamas." There has yet to be confirmation of the Bibas family's deaths.
Hezbollah fighters "targeted, at 4:43 pm ... an assembly of [Israeli] enemy soldiers near the [Israeli] Marj site with appropriate weapons," according to an official party statement. The attacks were done "in support of our steadfast Palestinian people in Gaza and in solidarity with their brave and honorable resistance."
The Israeli army has struck over 200 locations across the Gaza Strip since the truce expired this morning at 7 a.m., according to a statement on the military's official Telegram channel.
"Following Hamas’ violation of the operational pause, over the last few hours, ground, air and naval forces struck terror targets in the north and south of the Gaza Strip, including in Khan Yunis and Rafah," the statement says.
Earlier, the Gaza Health Ministry announced 109 people have been killed since this morning, with many suspected to be buried under the rubble, AFP reports.
The explosions of interception missiles were heard in the skies of the border villages in Kfar Kila, Adaisseh, and Houla, local residents tell L'Orient Today's correspondent, Muntasser Abdallah.
Israel fired 12 shells into the Hamoul area near Naqoura, South Lebanon, and five in the area of Al-Hamara near Qouzah, Nabatieh, residents tell L'Orient Today's correspondent in southern Lebanon, Muntasser Abdallah.
According to locals, three Israeli shells were also fired in the Labouna area of Jal Al Alam in the south. Hezbollah-affiliated al-Manar's correspondent, Ali Shoeib, also reported Israeli artillery targeting Labouna area south of Naqoura and the Hamoul area in its eastern outskirts.
Hezbollah says in a statement that its fighters targeted an Israeli troop facing the area of Jal el-Alam in South Lebanon using "appropriate weapons" around 4 p.m. According to our correspondent, Israel is also shelling on the outskirts of Aita Al Shaab, in the south. A security source tells L'Orient Today's correspondent that there are "reports of the firing of a Cornet missile towards the [border Israeli] settlement of Al-Manara," from Lebanon.
People run for cover following the resumption of Israeli bombardment in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip today, as fighting broke out shortly after the expiration of a seven-day truce between Israel and Hamas. (Credit: Mohammed Abed/AFP)
The White House says it will continue to press for an extension to the truce agreement between Israel and Hamas after the return to fighting following the deal’s expiration this morning, AFP reports.
A National Security Council spokesperson said in a press conference, “We continue to work with Israel, Egypt, and Qatar on efforts to extend the humanitarian pause in Gaza," while earlier, a spokesperson for Iran’s Foreign Ministry said the renewed fighting in Gaza was “under the continued support” of the US government.
The Gaza Health Ministry announces 109 people have been killed in Gaza today, since the truce between Hamas and Israel expired this morning at 7 a.m. and fighting resumed shortly after, AFP reports.
Spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra says in a statement that the military also tallied "hundreds of wounded in the Israeli aggression."
The Lebanese-Palestinian Political Meeting organized a march titled "Support for Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem,” in Saida, L’Orient Today’s correspondent in the south, Muntasser Abdallah, reports.
Hundreds of people gathered in Saida's Martyrs' Square waving Palestinian and Lebanese flags and holding banners condemning the war against Gaza.
Some of the banners read, "All Gazan children get as gifts are American bombs” and "They're killing children right in front of human rights organizations,” among other signs, our correspondent says.
Leaders from Palestinian Islamic and national factions participated in the march. Protesters chanted for Palestinian unity — urging further resistance, and defending Palestine.
One of the chants overheard was: "To Jerusalem we march, millions of martyrs [are ready to die for Palestine]." A group of women wearing Palestinian kuffiyehs waved Palestinian flags. One of them, Nadia, told L’Orient Today that she "came to show solidarity with my family in Gaza. I hope the resistance perseveres, and I eagerly await the moment to return home. What's happening in Palestine gives me strength and hope for our return."
(Photo: Muntasser Abdallah)
Israeli interceptor rockets exploded over Lebanon after a "suspicious aerial target" entered Israel from Lebanon, the Israeli military said in a statement. According to pro-Hezbollah Al-Manar, the rockets exploded over the Israeli border village of Metula.
According to the Israeli army, interceptor rockets were launched following the detection of a "suspicious aerial target that crossed from Lebanon into Israeli territory. The sirens regarding rockets and missiles were activated as a result of the interceptor launch."
People walk inside a temporary refuge for displaced people as smoke rises during an Israeli strike in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on Dec. 1, 2023, after the expiration of a seven-day truce between Israel and Hamas militants. (Credit: Mahmud Hams/AFP)
Smoke rises above buildings during an Israeli strike on Rafah near the border with Egypt, in the southern Gaza Strip on Dec. 1, 2023, after battles resumed between Israel and the Hamas movement. (Credit: Said Khatib/AFP)
Residents of southern border villages in Lebanon have started to either prepare to flee their homes or have already done so over fears that the renewed fighting in Gaza will spill over to the Lebanese border once again.
While many would prefer to stay in their homes, with others being unable to afford to leave once more, they tell L'Orient Today that life under the Israeli attacks is unbearable.
Read the full story here.
Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah said that the renewed fighting in Gaza could still affect Lebanon, Reuters reports.
"No one thinks that Lebanon has been spared from this Zionist targeting or that what is happening in Gaza cannot affect the situation in Lebanon," the MP stated.
The United States has informed Israel that it will start imposing visa bans on extremist Israeli settlers who commit acts of violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, the State Department said according to Reuters.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken informed Israel and its war cabinet during his recent visit that the US would be taking its own actions against an unknown number of people as violence in the occupied territory reaches a more than 15-year high with settler attacks on Palestinians more than doubling since the start of the war in Gaza on Oct. 7.
The US had previously warned Israel that it would take action if it did nothing to curb the worsening settler violence.
Palestine's official radio station said that 54 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli strikes on Gaza since the end of the truce at 7 a.m., according to Reuters.
Hamas will receive "the mother of all thumpings," an Israeli government spokesperson promised on Friday after the resumption of hostilities in the Gaza Strip following the expiration of the truce between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement.
“Having chosen to hold onto our women, Hamas will now take the mother of all thumpings.,” said Eylon Levy in a statement to the press, reports AFP. He accused Hamas of not having provided a new list of hostages to be released in exchange for Palestinian detainees and of having fired a rocket into Israeli territory before the end of the truce scheduled for 7:00 a.m. local time (05:00 GMT).
The UN human rights chief called the resumption of fighting in Gaza "catastrophic" and that the situation was "beyond crisis point," AFP reports.
"The resumption of hostilities in Gaza is catastrophic. I urge all parties and states with influence over them to redouble efforts, immediately, to ensure a ceasefire – on humanitarian and human rights grounds," Volker Turk said
France called the resumption of the truce between Israel and Hamas “indispensable” after hostilities resumed in Gaza, reports AFP.
“The breakdown of the truce is very bad news, regrettable, because it does not provide any solution and it complicates the resolution of all the questions that arise,” declared the head of French diplomacy Catherine Colonna on the sidelines of COP28 on the climate in Dubai.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that he "deeply regrets" the resumption of fighting in Gaza this morning, adding that he hoped that the truce would be re-established, AFP reports.
"I deeply regret that military operations have started again in Gaza. I still hope that it will be possible to renew the pause that was established. The return to hostilities only shows how important it is to have a true humanitarian ceasefire," he said.
UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, on Friday called for a lasting cease-fire to be implemented in Gaza, describing inaction as "an endorsement of the killing of children," after the collapse of the truce, reports Reuters.
“A lasting ceasefire must be implemented,” James Elder, a UNICEF spokesman, told reporters via video link from Gaza. “Inaction, at its core, is an endorsement of the killing of children.
The Kremlin expressed regret following the resumption of hostilities between Hamas and Israel, saying that the truce could have been extended until the release of all the hostages held in Gaza.
“We would, of course, have preferred to hear the news of the extension of the humanitarian pause. This would have been more timely...given that the process of releasing the hostages is not completed,” said during his daily briefing the spokesperson for the Russian presidency, Dmitri Peskov.
Thirty-two Palestinians have been killed in Israeli strikes in Gaza since the truce expired this morning, said Ashraf Al-Qudra, spokesperson for the Gaza Health Ministry, according to the ministry's Telegram account, reports Reuters.
Qatar's foreign ministry said that negotiations are ongoing to extend the cease-fire in Gaza despite the renewed fighting in the besieged enclave, Reuters reports.
However, the foreign ministry added that the fighting was complicating the efforts.
Islamic Jihad's military wing, al-Quds Brigade, announced that it had attacked Israeli towns and cities Friday morning in retaliation for the "crimes against our people," Reuters reports.
Palestinians inspect the destruction following an Israeli air strike on the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip on Dec. 1, 2023, as fighting resumed shortly after the expiration of a seven-day truce between Israel and Hamas militants. (Credit: Mohammed Abed/AFP)
Iran placed responsibility for the resumption of fighting in the Gaza Strip on Israel and the United States, reports AFP.
The spokesperson for Iranian diplomacy, Nasser Kanani, declared in a message posted on X (formerly Twitter) that "after the killing of more than 15,000 Palestinians, the Zionist criminals began a new round of killing and destruction in light of the continued support of the American government."
He stressed that "the resumption of military aggression" occurred "before the departure of US Secretary of State (Antony) Blinken" from Israel.
“It is obvious that the political and legal responsibility...for the massacre of the Palestinian people lies with the criminals of the Zionist regime, but also with the American government and the few governments which support this apartheid regime,” he said. he concluded.
Negotiations of the truce in Gaza with Qatari and Egyptian mediators are continuing despite the resumption of fighting on the ground, said a source informed of the negotiations cited by AFP.
“Negotiations on the truce in Gaza with mediators from Qatar and Egypt are continuing,” this source told AFP on condition of anonymity, after a night of intense negotiations that did not result in a renewal of the humanitarian pause.
Israel knew about Hamas's plans to attack on Oct. 7 more than a year prior to the actual attack, The New York Times reported.
According to documents obtained by The Times, Israeli intelligence and military officials had obtained a 40-page document that detailed Hamas's plan to attack Israel exactly as they did on Oct. 7.
However, officials dismissed the plan as being unrealistic and outside of Hamas's capabilities.
Read the full story here.
Since Israel began bombing Gaza once more after the cease-fire expired this morning, 14 Palestinians have been killed in the attacks.
A precarious calm prevails in southern Lebanon so far with Israeli drone violations of Lebanese airspace after the exchange of fire resumed in Gaza after the truce ended between the Israeli army and Hamas.
Following the expiration of the cease-fire agreement in Gaza at 7 a.m., Israel restarted its offensive in Gaza, blaming Hamas for violating the terms of the truce by launching attacks from Gaza.
Read the full story here.
Make sure that you read the latest edition of the Morning Brief to make sure that you are caught up on what has been happening.
Thank you for joining us for our live coverage of day 56 of the war between Hamas and Israel in Gaza. The cease-fire expired at 7 a.m. this morning and fighting between the two sides has since resumed.
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