Hezbollah fighters stand during ceremony by the bodies of three of their comrades who were killed in an Israeli raid in Quneitra in southwestern Syria along the Golan Heights, during the funeral in Beirut's southern suburb on Dec. 9, 2023. (Credit: Ibrahim Amro/AFP)


17,700 Palestinians killed by Israel since Oct. 7; Houthis prohibit passage of ships to Israel in Red Sea: Day 64 of the Hamas-Israel war

What you need to know

17,700 Palestinians killed and 48,870 wounded by Israeli strikes in Gaza, according to Gaza's health ministry.

One Hezbollah fighter killed; Israeli bombardment continues in southern Lebanon.

Iran warns of a regional "explosion" after the US vetoes a UN ceasefire in Gaza.

Four dead, including three Hezbollah members, in an Israeli drone strike in southern Syria on Friday.

21:14 Beirut Time

Thank you for following our LIVE coverage of day 64 of the Israel-Hamas war. We will be back tomorrow with more news updates.

21:13 Beirut Time

A 17-year-old Palestinian teenager has been shot dead by Israeli settlers in Qalqiya, in the occupied West Bank, reports the Palestinian Ministry of Health quoted by Reuters.

21:07 Beirut Time

The Hezbollah Brigades, a pro-Iranian armed Iraqi group, has promised new attacks against US forces in the region and claimed that attacks on US interests on Friday were just the beginning of "new rules of engagement," a security official for the group said on social networks, quoted by Reuters.

The Iran-allied group, which did not claim responsibility for an attack on the US embassy in Baghdad on Friday, added that the embassy was a forward operating base for planning military operations.

21:05 Beirut Time

Demonstrators marched this afternoon in Paris and several other French cities to express their "solidarity with the people of Gaza" and call for an end to the Israeli army's bombardment of the enclave, reports AFP.

Slogans such as "stop the bombing immediately" and "Israel is murdering the children of Palestine" were chanted in the 1,800-strong Paris march, according to the police prefecture.

20:58 Beirut Time

The area around Labbouneh in southern Lebanon was targeted by two Israeli shells, a security source told our correspondent in the region. Wadi Sallouki, in the Marjayoun district, was also targeted by two attacks, according to the same source.

The area around Kfar Shuba was also targeted by an Israeli air strike, as was the zone between Ramaya and Marwahine, the same security source added.

20:22 Beirut Time

Israel's "just war" to "eliminate Hamas" will continue, says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to AFP.

"Other countries must understand that you can't on the one hand support the elimination of Hamas and on the other call for an end to the war, which would prevent Hamas from being eliminated," he said, the day after the US vetoed a UN resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. 

19:49 Beirut Time

According to a count at 5:30 p.m. by our correspondent in south Lebanon, Hezbollah carried out a total of ten missile attacks on Israel today at the following sites: Metoula, Dahr el-Jamal, Samaqa, Baghdadi, Assi, Pranit barracks, a position opposite Naqoura on the sea coast, the Hamra site, Birket Riche and Jal el-Alam.

19:45 Beirut Time

Smoke billows after Israeli bombardment on the outskirts of the village Tayr Harfa, close to the Israeli border in south Lebanon, Dec. 9, 2023. (Credit: AFP)

18:36 Beirut Time

Yemen's Houthi rebels have announced a ban on the passage of all ships bound for Israel in the Red Sea, reports Reuters, citing a rebel spokesman.

"We warn all shipping companies against any cooperation with Israel," the spokesman added. "If Gaza does not receive the necessary food and medicine, all ships sailing in the Red Sea bound for Israeli ports, [of] whatever nationality, will become a target," he warned.

18:34 Beirut Time

Gaza's health ministry has announced a new toll of 17,700 Palestinians killed and 48,870 wounded by Israeli strikes on the enclave since Oct. 7, reports Reuters.

18:34 Beirut Time

Gaza's health ministry has announced a new toll of 17,700 Palestinians killed and 48,870 wounded by Israeli strikes on the enclave since Oct. 7, reports Reuters.

18:20 Beirut Time

Hezbollah claimed responsibility for two new attacks, one on the Israeli Birket Riche site at around 4:50 p.m., the other on the Jal el-Alam site at around 5:30 p.m. The party claims to have caused "direct casualties" in both attacks.

In addition, residents of Mais al-Jabal reported that homes had been targeted by further Israeli bombardments. No injuries have yet been reported.

17:52 Beirut Time

Hezbollah claimed responsibility for an attack on the Israeli site of Hamra, carried out at around 4:50 p.m., and claimed to have caused "direct casualties."

17:45 Beirut Time

New Israeli bombardments near Owaida and Khiam, residents report to our correspondent in the region Mountasser Abdallah. According to them, around four shells fell in Owaida.

The vicinity of Tayr Harfa and the area between Maroun al-Ras and Yaroun were also targeted by four Israeli shells, say residents.

17:28 Beirut Time

The US State Department has approved the potential sale of tank cartridges and related equipment to Israel for an estimated $106.5 million, the Pentagon said today according to Reuters.

The sale will be from US Army inventory and consist of 120mm M830A1 High Explosive Anti-Tank Multi-Purpose with Tracer (MPAT) tank cartridges and related equipment, the Pentagon said in a statement.

17:27 Beirut Time

People gather in front of a burning building after it was hit by an Israeli strike in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on Dec. 9, 2023. Israel pressed its offensive against Hamas militants in Gaza on Dec. 9, after the US blocked an extraordinary UN bid to call for a ceasefire in the two-month war. (Credit: AFP)

17:21 Beirut Time

Our correspondent in south Lebanon Mountasser Abdallah reports that Israeli bombardments targeted the area around Naqoura and Labbouneh, citing local residents. At least five shell impacts were heard.

17:20 Beirut Time

Anti-tank missiles were launched from Lebanon towards northern Israel, Haaretz reported, citing the Israeli army.

"Hezbollah accepts responsibility," added the army. The missiles were fired in the direction of Mount Dov and the village of Manara, near the Lebanese border.

The Israeli air force also reported that it had attacked a Hezbollah headquarters in Lebanon in response to the anti-tank missiles fired at Israel earlier.

17:02 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announces that it attacked a maritime Israeli position near Naqoura at 1:30 p.m. and said they "directly hit the target."

17:02 Beirut Time

Israel is bombing the outskirts of south Lebanese border villages Aitaroun, Tayr Harfa, Khiam and Rabb Thalathin, locals tell our correspondent. A security source confirmed that the outskirts of Kounin are also being shelled by the Israeli military.

16:54 Beirut Time

Israel is bombing an area around south Lebanese border villages Aitaroun, Kounin and Tayr Harfa, a security source tells L'Orient-Le Jour.

16:45 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announces that it attacked an Israeli brigade facing the border village of Mais al-Jabal at 3:35 p.m. and an Israeli position facing the border village of Maarakeh. They said that they "directly hit the target."

16:43 Beirut Time

An Israeli kidnapped during the Oct. 7 attack was "murdered" in Gaza by his captors, his kibbutz and a family association said on Saturday, after Palestinian Hamas reported his death during an army attempt to rescue him, according to AFP.

"It is with great sadness and heartbreak that we announce that Sahar Baruch (25) has been murdered," the Hostage Families Forum and the Beeri kibbutz announced in a statement quoted by AFP. Sahar Baruch had been "kidnapped from his home by Hamas, taken to Gaza and killed there," the statement said, adding that his brother, Idan, had also been killed on Oct. 7.

The Israeli army acknowledged on Friday the failure of an operation to free hostages, during which it said two soldiers were seriously wounded. "No hostages were rescued," it added, without giving details of the fate of the hostages, stating that "many terrorists who took part in the kidnapping and guarding of the hostages were killed."

The armed wing of Hamas announced that it had "foiled an Israeli attempt to free a hostage, by spotting members of the Israeli special forces sneaking into the center of the Gaza Strip" who had "slipped into an ambulance." In a statement, it reported "heavy exchanges of fire," wounding soldiers, and declared "one hostage dead." 

16:28 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announced that they targeted an Israeli position facing the south Lebanese border village of Mais al-Jabal at 3:30 p.m. and said they "directly hit the target."

Israel shelled an area around Mais al-Jabal around 4 p.m.

16:15 Beirut Time

Pro-Palestinian activists and supporters wave flags and carry placards during a National March for Palestine in central London on Dec. 9, 2023, calling for full ceasefire. Thousands of civilians have died since Oct. 7, 2023, after Palestinian Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip entered southern Israel in an unprecedented attack, triggering a war declared by Israel on Hamas with retaliatory bombings on Gaza. (Credit: Henry Nicholls/AFP)

16:09 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announced that it attacked an Israeli position and military brigade around it in the disputed Shebaa Farms area 2:55 p.m. and said they "directly hit the target."

15:49 Beirut Time

A Palestinian man was killed today by an Israeli army raid in Dura in the West Bank, Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, according to the official Palestinian agency Wafa, cited by AFP.

The previous day, seven Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldier fire, according to the Palestinian Authority.

15:43 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announced that they attacked an Israeli brigade facing the south Lebanese border village Aita al-Shaab, and said they directly hit the target.

Israel is currently opening fire around their position facing the Lebanese border village Mais al-Jabal.

15:40 Beirut Time

At the request of several NGOs attending COP28 in Dubai, hundreds of activists marched through the alleys of Expo City this afternoon, according to our local reporter Suzanne Baaklini who is attending the conference.

They yelled "Ceasefire now!" in solidarity with the Palestinians of Gaza, who have been under Israeli bombardment for over two months.

The demonstrators also chanted slogans calling for climate justice and respect for rights. The march was accompanied by a heavy security presence.

15:13 Beirut Time

The Israeli army shelled areas around the southern Lebanon border village of Blida and Bani Hayan, local residents told L'Orient Today's correspondent in the south.

15:12 Beirut Time

The process toward opening a second crossing into Gaza is underway, a senior UN official told Reuters today. Kerem Shalom crossing, which sits at meeting point of Israel, Gaza, and Egypt's borders could become another point of entry for aid into the besieged enclave.

Carl Skau, Deputy Executive Director of the UN World Food Program says that this crossing would allow for the first pipeline of humanitarian aid from Jordan.

"If you get that open, then it's just a matter of how much is available and how much can be absorbed on the other side in an orderly fashion, but then certainly that capacity would not be the issue," he said. "We have front-loaded with our internal resources so that we have food available in Egypt and in Jordan to reach some 1,000,000 people in one month. We are ready to roll. The trucks are ready to move."

Read more here.

14:40 Beirut Time

On this day, 75 years ago, the UN adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and since 2015, every Dec. 9 is known as International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime.

According to the UN website, the convention codified for the first time the crime of genocide in international law. In its introduction, it reads: “At all periods of history, genocide has inflicted great losses on humanity” and that international cooperation is required to “liberate humankind from such an odious scourge.”

Read our piece on the topic: Hamas-Israel war: Is it a genocide?

14:26 Beirut Time

People lift water with a pulley and rope to the roof of a building in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip earlier today, as Palestinians use alternatives amid a lack of electricity during ongoing battles between Israel and Hamas. (Credit: Mahmud Hams/AFP)

14:23 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announces that it targeted at 12:15 p.m. an Israeli position in the Israeli village of Metula and says it "directly hit the target."

14:18 Beirut Time

Hamas announces the death of the Israeli hostage, 25-year-old soldier Sahar Baruch, whom it was holding hostage in Gaza, following his abduction on Oct. 7. Hamas supported this claim with a video posted on Telegram. It first shows the soldier alive and introducing himself, then shows his body, bloodied after a failed Israeli operation to free him ended in his death, again according to Hamas. Other members of the Israeli attack unit were also killed, the statement says.

13:20 Beirut Time

A protester holds up a firearm as another waves a Palestinian flag through gaps in a big Palestinian flag during a demonstration in solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, in Sanaa, Yemen Dec. 8, 2023. (Credit: Khaled Abdullah/Reuters)

13:19 Beirut Time

The Israeli army bombed an area around the southern Lebanon border villages of Taybeh and Adeiseh, a resident of Taybeh told Muntasser Abdallah, L'Orient Today's correspondent in the south.

13:18 Beirut Time

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says the United States' veto of a UN Security Council resolution demanding a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza made it complicit in what he describes as war crimes against Palestinians, Reuters reports.

In a statement released by the presidency, Abbas also says he holds the US responsible for the bloodshed of Palestinian children, women and the elderly in the Gaza Strip.

13:15 Beirut Time

Al-Jazeera Arabic reported an update sent from their colleague in Deir el-Balah, central Gaza. The area was targeted by the Israeli army earlier today and "a lot of residents" were killed according to the report.

Their colleague explained, “This area was described as a safe area by the Israeli army, that’s why there are so many displaced people here. Survivors are trying to rescue those injured. The state of destruction is massive and it’s very difficult to rescue those injured. There is no equipment and everyone, including the rescue officials, is using their hands to remove the rubble.”

12:27 Beirut Time

The Israeli army is targeting the area around the southern Lebanon border village of Majeediyeh (Hasbaya) with artillery fire, a resident of the village told L'Orient Today's correspondent in the south. Twelve shells hit the area during the barrage.

11:50 Beirut Time

Emergency service members work at the site of Israeli shelling which hit a supermarket and a coffee shop in the southern Lebanese village of Adaysseh near the border with Israel on Dec. 8, 2023, amid ongoing cross-border tensions as fighting continues with Hamas militants in the southern Gaza Strip. (Credit: Hassan Fneich/AFP)

11:33 Beirut Time

The Israeli army shelled an area around the south Lebanon border village of Kfar Shuba around 10:30 a.m., according to a resident from the area who spoke to L'Orient Today's correspondent in the south.

11:28 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announces the killing of another fighter, Hassan Kamal Srour, from the southern Lebanon border village of Aita al-Shaab. As usual, Hezbollah did not specify the date and place of his death. Srour's death raises the Hezbollah death toll to 98 since the beginning of the conflict, according to our count.

11:25 Beirut Time

People pray next to the bodies of Palestinians killed in Israeli strikes, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas during a funeral at Nasser hospital in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, December 9, 2023. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

10:54 Beirut Time

An UNRWA official told BBC this morning that in Rafah, southern Gaza, "we have hundreds of thousands of people who are living in the open ... There is a lack of water. Everyone in the street is asking for flour to feed their children."

Tom White, from The UN's agency for Palestinian refugees, spoke to BBC Radio 4, describing a "desperate situation" in which '[UN] shelters have well over 7,000 people. There are hundreds using the one toilet for example."

"If the bombs aren't going to kill them, it is the disease, or for those living out on the streets, it'll be the exposure."

Recounting his visit to a UN distribution center in Rafah on Friday, White said: "All you could hear was air strikes going into the city." Last night, one of these airstrikes hit the guesthouse he was sharing with colleagues.

10:40 Beirut Time

People mourn next to the bodies of Palestinians killed in Israeli strikes, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, during a funeral at Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, Dec. 9, 2023. (Credit: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters)

10:17 Beirut Time

Iran warns of the threat of an "uncontrollable explosion" of the situation in the Middle East, after the United States vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza war, AFP reports.

Amir-Abdollahian told UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a phone call that "as long as America supports the crimes of the Zionist regime [Israel] and the continuation of the war ... there is a possibility of an uncontrollable explosion in the situation of the region," according to a foreign ministry statement.

More details here.

10:05 Beirut Time

A Palestinian man looks out from the window of a damaged building following an early morning Israeli strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip today, amid continuing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas.

(Credit: Said Khatib/AFP)

09:52 Beirut Time

Residents of the south Lebanon border village of Aita al-Shaab are searching under the rubble for casualties after the Israeli army shelled houses there earlier today, as seen in videos sent to our correspondent in the south.

09:48 Beirut Time

Palestinian firefighters work to extinguish a fire in a house after an Israeli strike, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas, in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, today.

(Credit: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters)

09:45 Beirut Time

The Israeli army is shelling areas around Tayr Harfa (Sour district), Mhaibib (Marjeyoun) and Wazzani (Nabatieh) in southern Lebanon, residents of the areas tell our correspondent Muntasser Abdallah.

09:45 Beirut Time

• In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli offensive has killed 17,487 people, more than two-thirds of them women and children, according to the latest death toll published yesterday by the Gaza Ministry of Health.

• Airstrikes and a ground invasion continue in Khan Yunis, the largest city in southern Gaza and the second largest in the whole Strip. Almost a million people have fled to southern Gaza, as the Israeli army had designated it as a "safe zone" prior to the temporary-truce agreement that ended Dec. 1.

09:34 Beirut Time

Here’s some information from yesterday, to get you caught up for today:

• Israel continues its ground and air offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip today, after the US vetoed an unprecedented UN Security Council resolution calling for an "immediate humanitarian ceasefire.”

• Hamas "strongly condemned" the US veto on Saturday, calling it an "immoral and inhumane position" and a "direct participation" in the "massacres," according to Ezzat al-Rishq, a senior political leader of the movement.

• Friday's US veto at the UN Security Council was swiftly condemned by humanitarian organizations, with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) saying that the UN Security Council's inaction makes it "complicit in the massacre" in the Gaza Strip.

• Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh also criticized "the failure of the Security Council to adopt a draft resolution to stop the aggression against our people in the Gaza Strip due to the use by the United States of its veto power," which he described as a "disgrace" and "a new blank check given to the occupying state to massacre, destroy and displace."

09:34 Beirut Time

Good morning,

Welcome to our live coverage of day 64 of the Hamas-Israel war.