Smoke billows from an Israeli air strike in Gaza, Dec. 2, 2023. (Credit: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)


Netanyahu warns of 'long-term war'; hostilities continue in south Lebanon: Israel-Hamas war, day 57

What you need to know

Hezbollah confirms several strikes against the Israeli army in southern Lebanon. Israel retaliates, targeting homes.

Najib Mikati denounces during the COP28 in Dubai the damage caused by Israeli white phosphorus in south Lebanon.

Israel continues to bomb Gaza, for the second day running, after a week-long truce collapsed on Friday morning.

No exchange of prisoners with Israel before a ceasefire in Gaza, warns Hamas.

21:21 Beirut Time

The war "will continue until we have achieved all our objectives, namely the return of the hostages and the elimination of Hamas," Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a press conference today, as reported by al-Jazeera.

"The ground operation is necessary to achieve these objectives," Netanyahu said. "This is a long-term war, but we will win it in the end," he continued.

21:21 Beirut Time

Hamas claimed today that at least 15,207 people had been killed [by Israel] in Gaza since Oct. 7, noting that around 70 percent of the victims were women and children, according to the Associated Press.

More than 40,000 people have also been injured [by Israeli strikes].

20:55 Beirut Time

The Palestinian Red Crescent claimed on X (formerly Twitter) to have received a 100 truckloads of aid via the Rafah crossing today.

"The trucks contain food, water, emergency aid, medical supplies and medicines," it said.

This is the first convoy of aid trucks to pass through the Rafah border crossing since fighting resumed.

(Photo credit: Palestine Red Crescent Society/Reuters)

20:33 Beirut Time

 BREAKING: An Israeli rocket fell near homes in Kfar Kila, according to a video sent by our correspondent in south Lebanon.

Another rocket also fell in the village of Khiam (Marjayoun), causing damage to the road.

20:32 Beirut Time

There will be no exchange of prisoners with Israel until the war on Gaza is over, Hamas's deputy leader told Al Jazeera channel, according to Reuters.

The Israeli hostages will not be released without a ceasefire and the release of Palestinian prisoners, Saleh al-Arour stressed. "Let the war take its course. This decision is final. We will not compromise on this," he added.

According to him, the rest of the hostages are Israeli soldiers and civilians who have served in the Israeli army.

20:28 Beirut Time

Palestinians leaving their homes following Israeli strikes in Khan Younis on residential buildings in the Qatari-funded Hamas housing estate. (Credit: Ahmed Zakot/Reuters)

19:08 Beirut Time

The latest on new exchanges of fire between Hezbollah and Israel today in southern Lebanon:

3:10 p.m. Hezbollah targeted the site of Al Raheb, according to a statement by the group.

3 p.m. Hezbollah attacked the site of Brisket Richa

2.35 p.m. Hezbollah said it targeted the site of Jan el Allam. 

2:35 p.m. Hezbollah targeted the Jal Al Alam site, according to a statement from the group. No word yet from the Israeli army on this latest strike.

1:40 p.m. Hezbollah targeted the Israeli Ruwaysat Al-Alam site, in Shebaa Farms.

12:50 p.m. Hezbollah fighters hit the [Israeli] Rahib outpost, the party said in a statement.

11 a.m. Hezbollah targeted an Israeli artillery weapon at the [Israeli] Khirbet Ma'ar area at 11 a.m.

Meanwhile, an Israeli drone has shelled an area around Tayr Harfa and Jibbayn, according to reports from our correspondent in southern Lebanon and local inhabitants. An other Israeli missile is said to have exploded in the air. The Israeli army also launched three shells in the direction of Jabal Blat and the hills of Medawar, between the areas of Ramaya and Marwahine. Two shells also reportedly fell on the hills of Awaida, near Adaisseh. Earlier, the Israeli army said it had "returned fire" after two mortar shells from Lebanon fell in an open area in northern Israel, without giving any more details, Haaretz is reporting.

Late this morning, Hezbollah announced the death of two if its fighters, which raises the total death toll of Hezbollah fighters to 90 since Oct. 7.

4:25 p.m. Hezbollah claimed to have attacked a second group of Israeli soldiers inside a house in the Israeli town of Dovev, "in response to an Israeli attack on a house in Houla yesterday [Friday]". The party also targeted the [Israeli] site of Marj and the Israeli town of Metula.

18:34 Beirut Time

BREAKING: Israeli fire targeted homes in the village of Kfar Kila (Marjayoun), reports our correspondent in south Lebanon.

18:15 Beirut Time

An Israeli air strike targeting the town of Al-Falluja, 30 k.m. northeast of Gaza City, killed prominent Palestinian scientist Sufyan Tayeh and his family, the Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education announced today, according to Reuters.

Sufyan Tayeh was a researcher in physics and applied mathematics and served as president of the Islamic University of Gaza.

18:14 Beirut Time

Hezbollah claimed to have attacked a second group of Israeli soldiers inside a house in the Israeli town of Dovev at 4:25 p.m., "in response to an Israeli attack on a house in Houla yesterday [Friday]". The party had carried out a similar attack at 3.30 p.m. today.

Hezbollah also claimed to have targeted the [Israeli] site of Marj and the Israeli town of Metula at 4.25 p.m.

18:13 Beirut Time

Tension was still palpable on the border in southern Lebanon this afternoon.

An Israeli air strike targeted a home in Beit Lif (Bint Jbeil), causing no injuries, reports our correspondent in the region. The Israeli army also targeted a house under construction in the hills of Kfar Hammam (Hasbaya), our correspondent adds, quoting a local resident. According to him, the explosion shattered the windows of several houses in the village.

Two Israeli raids also targeted the outskirts of Yaroun and Maroun al-Ras (Bint Jbeil). The village Kfar Shuba (Hasbaya) was also targeted by Israel, according to our correspondent.

In Marjayoun, a Lebanese Army post was also targeted by the Israeli army in the locality of Sarda, reports the National News Agency and our correspondent, who reported no injuries. Contacted by our publication, a spokesperson for the troops could not be immediately reached.

17:23 Beirut Time

Armed wing of Hamas claimed it targeted a group of Israeli soldiers in northwestern Gaza, killing and wounding a number of them, according to Reuters.

16:07 Beirut Time

The US will "under no circumstances" allow "the forced relocation of Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank, the besiegement of Gaza, or the redrawing of the borders of Gaza,"  says US Vice President Kamala Harris, reports the BBC.

She's been meeting Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, on the sidelines of the COP28 in Dubai. She added that peace efforts "can only succeed if they are pursued in the context of a clear political horizon for the Palestinian people towards a state of their own led by a revitalized Palestinian Authority." She added that Hamas cannot control Gaza.

16:06 Beirut Time

Iraqi Prime Minister warned US Secretary of State Antony Blinken against launching any “attack” on Iraqi territory, Al Jazeera reports.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani made the comments on the phone to Blinken, as fresh fighting begins in Gaza, following the end of the truce. Al-Sudani also reportedly said his government is committed “to ensuring the safety of the international coalition advisers present in Iraq."

15:44 Beirut Time

The Israeli army says it is "attacking infrastructure" of Hezbollah in Lebanon "using aircraft and firing mortars and artillery."

Israeli army spokesperson Daniel Hagari confirmed that "a number of launches were detected" a short time ago, against a number of Israeli military posts on its northern border with southern Lebanon.

15:34 Beirut Time

"French President Emmanuel Macron warned Israel on Saturday that the goal of "total destruction of Hamas," the Palestinian Islamist movement in Gaza, needed to be "specified" as it risked sparking "ten years" of war, according to AFP.

"The total destruction of Hamas; what is that? Does anyone think that is possible? If that's the case, the war will last ten years and I believe that no one can seriously define this objective. Therefore, this objective needs to be specified," urged Macron during a press conference on the sidelines of COP28 in Dubai. While Israel has been bombing the Gaza Strip in retaliation for the bloody attack by Hamas on Oct. 7, "the right fight against terrorism is not systematic and permanent bombing," Macron stated.

15:14 Beirut Time

More details on the breaking news that Israeli intelligence officers have been ordered by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to leave Qatar:

- In a statement carried by the Israeli prime minister's office, its chief David Barnea says he "ordered his team in Doha to return to Israel" after being directed to do so by Netanyahu.

- "The Hamas terror organization did not fulfil its part of the agreement, which included the release of all children and women according to a list that was provided to Hamas and approved by it," the statement adds.

- Mossad says that cease-fire negotiations have reached an "impasse."

- Qatar has been a key mediator in the recent exchange of hostages and Palestinian prisoners, as well as the recent weeklong temporary cease-fire.

15:03 Beirut Time

BREAKING: Israel says it is pulling its negotiators for its intelligence agency Mossad out of Qatar, which is mediating efforts to secure a renewed pause in the Israel-Hamas war, after a deadlock in the talks, AFP reports.

"Following the impasse in the negotiations and at the direction of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, David Barnea, head of the Mossad, ordered his team in Doha to return to Israel,"  Netanyahu's office said in a statement, according to AFP.

14:52 Beirut Time

"Everything in Gaza is at the breaking point," ICRC director general Robert Mardini told Reuters at the COP28 UN summit in Dubai.

"We don't have precise reports, but what I can say is the resumption of fighting was intense again," Reuters goes on to quote Mardini as saying. "It's a new layer of disruption coming on top of massive, unparalleled destruction of critical infrastructure, of civilian houses and neighborhoods," he continued, warning that the violence would make it difficult to get humanitarian aid into Gaza. Click here for more.

Image: This picture taken from southern Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip shows smoke rising from buildings after being hit by Israeli strikes, after battles resumed between Israel and Hamas militants, on Dec. 2, 2023. (Credit: John MacDougall/AFP)

14:42 Beirut Time

As we've been reporting, exchanges of fire continue today between Hezbollah and Israel in southern Lebanon.

Here's the latest:

1:40 p.m.: Hezbollah says it targeted the Israeli Ruwaysat al-Alam site in the Shebaa Farms. There's no word yet from the Israeli army on this latest strike.

12:50 p.m.: Hezbollah fighters hit Israel's Rahib outpost, according to a party statement.

11 a.m.: Hezbollah targets an Israeli artillery weapon in the Khirbet Ma'ar area.

The Israeli army has launched three shells in the direction of Jabal Blat and the hills of Medawar, between the areas of Ramiya and Marwahin, our correspondent in the area, Muntasser Abdallah, reports, citing a security source. Two shells have also reportedly fallen on the hills of Awaida, near Adaissah. These strikes come after Israel earlier said it had "returned fire" following the launch of two mortar shells from Lebanon, which fell in an open area in northern Israel, Haaretz reports.

Earlier, Hezbollah also announced the deaths of two of its fighters, which raises the total death toll for Hezbollah fighters since Oct. 7 to 90.

14:31 Beirut Time

Two Iranian Revolutionary Guards members who served as military advisers in Syria have been killed in an Israeli attack, AFP reports, citing Iranian state media, adding that these are the first reported Iranian casualties of the ongoing war in Gaza. Click here for more. 

14:13 Beirut Time

Gaza's Health Ministry says at least 193 Palestinians have been killed in the enclave since the resumption of hostilities, AFP reports. The ministry adds that 650 have been wounded over the same period. 

CORRECTION: This morning, L'Orient Today erroneously cited the Gaza Health Ministry as saying 240 Palestinians had been killed in the strip since fighting resumed; however, this number was attributed to the Hamas government in the enclave rather than to the Health Ministry specifically. We apologize for this inaccuracy.

13:48 Beirut Time

Hezbollah fighters have hit Israel's Rahib outpost, the party says in a statement, specifying that the strike occurred at 12:50 p.m. today.

Hezbollah had announced earlier that it had targeted an Israeli artillery weapon in the Khirbet Ma'ar area at 11 a.m.

The party has also announced additional deaths among its fighters, raising the total death toll of Hezbollah fighters, since Oct. 7, to 90.

13:40 Beirut Time

As early as mid-October, alarm bells were ringing for the wellbeing of olive groves in southern Lebanon and the livelihoods reliant on them. Click here to read Sahar Al Bashir's report, in which she speaks with olive farmers from the affected areas. The damage has since mounted, with tens of thousands of trees destroyed in cross-border fighting.

Image: Olives during the harvest season in Lebanon in November 2022. (Credit: João Sousa/L'Orient Today/Illustrative photo)

13:32 Beirut Time

Lebanon's caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati has denounced Israeli strikes on south Lebanon, which have led to environmental degradation in border villages, during his speech at COP 28 in Dubai.

"Large areas of Lebanon are experiencing a decline in environmental conditions due to ongoing Israeli hostilities. These actions, including the use of banned white phosphorus weapons, have resulted in civilian casualties and irreversible damage to over five million square meters of forests and agricultural lands, besides harming thousands of olive trees," Mikati said.

Image: Lebanon's caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati speaks during the High-Level Segment for heads of state and government session at the United Nations climate summit in Dubai on Dec. 2, 2023. (Credit: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP)

13:26 Beirut Time

Erdogan has also reaffirmed Turkey's relationship with Hamas, rejecting US pressure to sever ties with the group following its recent attacks on Israel. US officials expressed concern over Turkey's past support for Hamas, urging Ankara to prevent potential fund transfers.

Erdogan defended Turkey's stance, stating that Hamas is a political reality in Palestine and had participated in elections. He emphasized that Turkey's foreign policy aligns with its national interests and the people's expectations. Click here for more.

Image: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan poses for a family photo during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Dec. 1, 2023. (Credit: Amr Alfiky/Reuters)

13:09 Beirut Time

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the chance for peace in Gaza is lost for now due to Israel's uncompromising approach, broadcaster NTV reports.

"We have always emphasized that we are in favor of a permanent cease-fire rather than a humanitarian break … There was an opportunity for peace here, and unfortunately, we have lost this opportunity for now due to Israel's uncompromising approach," he was quoted as saying by NTV and other Turkish media. Click here for more.

13:07 Beirut Time

As we reported earlier, Israeli forces and Hezbollah militants exchanged fire across the Israel-Lebanon border today, in a second day of hostilities after the collapse of a truce in Gaza between Palestinian group Hamas and Israel.

Click here to catch up on all the latest details.

13:00 Beirut Time

The first aid trucks since the collapse of a temporary truce between Israel and Hamas have entered the Rafah crossing from Egypt for inspection, Reuters reports, citing security sources and the Red Crescent.

12:19 Beirut Time

The Israeli army says it has returned fire after two mortar shells from Lebanon fell in an open area of northern Israel, Haaretz reports.

12:10 Beirut Time

The Israeli army has posted maps showing which parts of Gaza it wants Palestinians to leave and which it would like them to go to.

Writing on X (formerly Twitter), Arabic-speaking spokesperson for Israel's army, Avichay Adraee, demands that people from several neighborhoods, including Jabalia and Shujaiya, should move to different areas, including shelters in Rafah on the Egyptian border. Israel has been bombing southern areas in the enclave since the cease-fire expired yesterday.

It is widely thought that Israel is preparing to launch a ground assault in southern Gaza, in what would be a significant escalation of the war.

12:07 Beirut Time

In case you missed it: Our journalist Gilles Khoury spoke to young Lebanese expatriates working in the fields of art, design, and fashion, who have voiced their support for Palestine at the risk of criticism, harassment, cancellation and, in some cases, losing their jobs. Click here to read the full article. 

12:00 Beirut Time

Hezbollah fighter Khodor Salim Aboud has died, the party announced today.

In a statement, Hezbollah said Aboud, from the town of Deir Amess in south Lebanon, died today from wounds sustained yesterday.

According to our count, 90 Hebzollah fighters have now died since Oct. 7.

11:41 Beirut Time

Image: Palestinians inspect a building damaged during Israeli bombardment in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on Dec. 2, 2023, amid continuing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas. (Credit: AFP)

11:31 Beirut Time

Hezbollah has announced in a statement that its fighters "targeted an Israeli artillery weapon at the [Israeli] Khirbet Ma'ar area at 11 a.m. ... with rockets, directly hitting and damaging it."

10:51 Beirut Time

UN Women issued a statement yesterday calling for an investigation into the alleged perpetration of sexual violence during the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7.

Reiterating its condemnation of the Hamas attack, the organization said it is "alarmed by the numerous accounts of gender-based atrocities and sexual violence during those attacks. This is why we have called for all accounts of gender-based violence to be duly investigated and prosecuted, with the rights of the victim at the core."

Hamas has repeatedly denied allegations of sexual violence during the Oct. 7 attack.

10:36 Beirut Time

The Israeli army conducted airstrikes this morning in Maroun el-Ras, Wadi Hamoul and Blida in south LebanonL'Orient Today's correspondent in the south, Muntasser Abdallah, reports. Additionally, Israel launched illuminating bombs last night at midnight over the areas of Kounin and Aitaroun. Subsequently, Israel bombed these areas, as well as Blida, Wadi Slouki, Ainata and Braachit, according to our correspondent.

10:04 Beirut Time

Belguim's prime minister says he has spoken with Israel's president following the resumption of fighting in Gaza and told him there could be no more killing of civilians, Reuters reports. Click here for more. 

10:02 Beirut Time

The Israeli army has once again restricted movement on its northern border with Lebanon following concerns about renewed fire from southern Lebanon, Israeli news outlet Haaretz reports.

Many members of these communities have been evacuated from the area since the beginning of the war. Those remaining in the communities have been instructed to stay near a protected area.

09:19 Beirut Time

Hezbollah has announced the death of another of its fighters. The party says Wajih Shahada Msheik, from the town of Wadi Oum Ali in the Bekaa, "attained martyrdom on the path to Jerusalem," without providing further information.

09:18 Beirut Time

The Israeli military says it has attacked more than 400 "terrorist targets" in the Gaza Strip, using air, naval and ground forces, since a pause in the fighting with Hamas ended yesterday, AFP reports.

According to AFP, the Israeli army adds that its fighter jets hit "more than 50 targets in an extensive attack in the Khan Younis area" in the south of the territory.

09:15 Beirut Time

Authorities in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip say that 240 people have been killed in the Palestinian territory since a pause in the fighting expired yesterday morning, AFP reports.

Another 650 people had been injured in "hundreds of air strikes, artillery and navy bombardments, everywhere in the Gaza Strip," the Gaza government said in a statement, adding that Israeli forces had "particularly targeted Khan Younis, where dozens of houses were destroyed with their inhabitants inside."

09:09 Beirut Time

For a recap of what happened in the conflict yesterday, click here to read a summary by our journalist Amelia Hankins.

Image: 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)

09:06 Beirut Time

Good morning, 

Welcome back to our live coverage on day 57 of the Israel-Hamas war.