Thank you for following our LIVE coverage of day 65 of the Israel-Hamas war. We will be back tomorrow with more news updates.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has urged Israel to work harder to protect Palestinian civilians in its war against Hamas, reports Reuters.
Speaking on CNN, he expressed the need for "military operations to be designed with the protection of civilians in mind."
"I think the intention is there. But the results aren't always there," he claimed.
In a statement to Reuters, Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah said that the Israeli air strikes in southern Lebanon constituted a "new escalation" to which the party was responding with new types of attack, whether "in the nature of the weapons [used] or the sites targeted."
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called on Hamas fighters to lay down their arms without delay, claiming that numerous surrenders in recent days herald "the beginning of the end" for the Palestinian Islamist movement.
"They are laying down their arms and surrendering to our heroic soldiers. It will take time. The war goes on, but this is the beginning of the end of Hamas," Netanyahu was quoted in a statement, according to AFP.
"I say to the Hamas terrorists: This is the end. Don't die for [the movement's Gaza leader, Yahya] Sinouar. Surrender — now!" he added.
BREAKING: Public administrations, private and public schools and universities, and archaeological sites will be closed on Monday Dec. 11 in Lebanon in solidarity with the Palestinian people, the Grand Serail and the Ministries of Education and Culture announced today.
For further details, click here.
United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) spokesperson Andrea Tenenti warned against "any attack" on the mission's posts, after artillery fire hit a position of the Spanish UNIFIL battalion in Abl el Qamh (southern Lebanon) on Saturday.
"Any attack on UNIFIL sites and any use of the area adjacent to our sites to carry out attacks across the Blue Line is unacceptable, as attacks on civilians or UN personnel are violations of international law," warned Tenenti.
"After more than two months of active bombing along the Blue Line, the risks of a miscalculation that could lead to a wider conflict are increasing," the spokesperson said.
He added that "restoring stability through diplomatic channels is a priority to guarantee the safety of all civilians living near the Blue Line, as well as that of peacekeepers."
The Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) has adopted a consensus resolution calling for immediate humanitarian aid to Gaza.
While the UN Security Council failed to demand a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, due to a US veto, the 34 member countries of the WHO Executive Board are all calling for "immediate, sustained and unimpeded passage of humanitarian aid" to the Gaza Strip.
Hamas has warned that none of the hostages abducted in the Oct. 7 attack and still being held in the Gaza Strip will get out "alive" without negotiation and "meeting the demands" of the Palestinian movement, according to AFP.
"Neither the fascist enemy and its arrogant leadership, nor its supporters, will be able to get their prisoners back alive without an exchange and negotiation, and without meeting the demands of the resistance," said Abu Obeida, spokesperson for the movement's armed wing, in a video.
Tension was still palpable this late afternoon in southern Lebanon.
A Lebanese Army post was targeted twice by Israel, reports our correspondent in the south. According to him, two Israeli rockets fell separately after 5 p.m., without causing any injuries.
Artillery fire also targeted green areas in the vicinity of Naqoura and Alma Shaab.
Residents saw flare bombs over Hunin, Houla and Markaba, adds our correspondent.
The al-Qassam Brigades, military wing of Hamas, claimed in a press release to have fired a salvo of rockets from southern Lebanon towards Israeli military sites in Liman and Khirbet Maer, in the Galilee.
BREAKING: Approximately 18,000 Palestinians have been killed and 49,500 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza since Oct. 7, a spokesperson for the Gaza Ministry of Health has announced, according to Reuters.
297 Palestinians have been killed in the last 24 hours in the Palestinian enclave, and more than 550 injured.
Young girls take part in a demonstration of solidarity with Palestinians in Saida, southern Lebanon. (Credit: Mahmoud Zayyat/AFP)
The outskirts of Aitaroun are still being subjected to Israeli artillery shelling after an airstrike on one of the neighborhoods in the town, our correspondent in southern Lebanon is reporting.
According to security sources, approximately 15 rockets have been launched from Lebanon towards Israeli sites today. The sources also noted that eight Israeli shells targeted the southern town Wadi Slouqi, the outskirts of Majdal Silem, and the outskirts of Houla.
Israel has also targeted the main road between the villages of Qantara and Taybeh in south Lebanon with four shells, residents told our correspondent in the south.
Exchanges of fire continue in southern Lebanon between Hezbollah and the Israeli army.
• 3:00 p.m. Hezbollah says it attacked an "assembly" of Israeli soldiers between the Zibdin and Rumtha sites in Shebaa farms.
• 3:30 p.m. Hezbollah attacked the Israeli al-Abad position.
• 3:35 p.m. Hezbollah fighters targeted Birket Riche.
The Israeli Air Force attacked a Hezbollah operational command center in southern Lebanon this afternoon, Haaretz reports. A combat helicopter attacked a group that tried to launch anti-tank missiles towards Israeli controlled territory.
It comes after Hezbollah launched several rocket launches towards northern Israel, as exchanges of fire between both sides continue.
Palestinians inspect damage at the site of Israeli strikes on homes, amid the Israel-Hamas war, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, Dec. 10, 2023. (Credit: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters)
Israel denied an accusation from the head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees that it has attempted to move huge numbers of Gazans into Egypt.
Earlier, we reported that UNRWA Chief Philippe Lazzarini had claimed in a Los Angeles Times (LAT) opinion piece that Israel had paved the way for a "second Nakba" by telling people in north Gaza to flee south, and then pushing them even further towards the border with Egypt. Lazzarini added that if this continues, Gaza "will not be a land for Palestinians anymore."
An Israeli defense ministry spokesperson told the AFP news agency that it is "simply not true ... There is not, never was and never will be an Israeli plan to move the residents of Gaza to Egypt."
Israeli tanks have reached the center of Khan Younis, in a major new push into the heart of the main city in the southern Gaza Strip, Reuters reports.
Residents said tanks had reached the main north-south road through the middle of Khan Younis after intense combat through the night in the city, which is sheltering hundreds of thousands of civilians who fled other parts of the enclave.
Israel launched the storm of Khan Younis this week after a truce collapsed, extending its ground war to Gaza's southern half as part of its campaign to wipe out Hamas militants.
The Israeli army says there has been rocket fire towards Mount Dov in the Golan Heights, in northern Israel, on the border with Lebanon, Haaretz is reporting.
Two Israeli soldiers were slightly injured by rocket fire from southern Lebanon, Haaretz reports, citing the Israeli army. The Israeli air force retaliated by bombing Hezbollah targets, including infrastructure and military complexes.
It accuses Hezbollah of attempting to launch anti-tank missiles towards the Zar'it region in northern Israel.
Image: Palestinian children look at the damage at the site of Israeli strikes on houses, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on Dec. 10, 2023. (Credit: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Russia's relationship with Iran is "dangerous."
In their 50 minute call, which was their first conversation in around two months, Netanyahu told Putin that any country would have reacted with the same force as Israel did after Oct. 7.
The Israeli Ya'ara barracks, which was targeted today for the first time by Hezbollah, is 2 km away from the Lebanese border, a security source told our correspondent in the south, Muntasser Abdallah.
The head of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees has accused Israel of laying the groundwork for the mass expulsion of Gazans across the territory's border into Egypt.
In an opinion piece published on yesterday in the Los Angeles Times, UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini wrote, "The United Nations and several member states, including the US, have firmly rejected forcibly displacing Gazans out of the Gaza Strip. … But the developments we are witnessing point to attempts to move Palestinians into Egypt, regardless of whether they stay there or are resettled elsewhere." Click here for more.
Jordan's foreign minister, Ayman Safadi, says Israel is implementing a policy of pushing Palestinians out of Gaza through a war that he says meets the "legal definition of genocide." More details here.
Hezbollah has claimed responsibility for a drone attack on an Israeli army command center in northern Israel. The group says it injured several Israeli soldiers in the attack.
In its second claimed attack today, the group said in a statement that its fighters hit the site, south of the Ya'ara base, at 10 a.m. Earlier, it also claimed a strike on the Jal al-Alam site.
Two Iranians have been detained in Cyprus for questioning over the suspected planning of attacks on Israeli citizens living in Cyprus, a Cypriot newspaper reports. Click here for more.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization's chief has described the impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on Gaza's health-care sector as "catastrophic," Reuters reports.
"It's stating the obvious to say that the impact of the conflict on health is catastrophic," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, speaking at an emergency board meeting of the organization. "In summary, health needs have increased dramatically, and the capacity of the health system has been reduced to one-third of what it was," he said. More details here.
Image: People walk near tent camps where displaced Palestinians, who fled their houses due to Israeli strikes amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, take shelter in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Dec. 9, 2023. (Credit: Mustafa Thraya/Reuters)
"You cannot on the one hand support the elimination of Hamas and on [the] other pressure us to end the war, which would prevent the elimination of Hamas," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says, rebuffing international calls to end the Gaza war, Reuters reports.
Hezbollah has claimed its first strike of the day in northern Israel, following several Israeli strikes this morning in southern Lebanon. In a statement, Hezbollah said it hit the site of Jal al-Alam at 10 a.m. At a similar time, Israeli news outlet Haaretz reported that sirens were sounding in northern Israel following a suspected "aerial infiltration."
In the last half hour, we've received a report from our correspondent in southern Lebanon, Muntasser Abdallah, that two Israeli shells have struck the hill of Owaida — between the villages of Taybeh and Adaisseh. No news yet on injuries or the extent of damage — we'll keep you updated.
A French warship operating in the Red Sea has shot down two drones that were launched at it from the Yemen coast, France's Defense Ministry says. According to the ministry, the multipurpose frigate Languedoc intercepted and destroyed a first drone at around 9:30 p.m. French time yesterday and a second one around 11:30 p.m. at 110 km (68.35 miles) from the Yemen coast around Al Hudaydah. Click here for more.
The Israeli army says it has struck more than 250 Hamas targets in Gaza in the past 24 hours, including underground tunnel shafts in Khan Younis. Its forces also targeted a Hamas command center in Shuja'iyya and located weapons, grenades and anti-tank missile launchers, according to a statement on its official X account (formerly Twitter).
Reports of renewed Israeli strikes on southern Lebanon this morning come as Haaretz reports rocket sirens sounding in northern Israel following a suspected "aerial infiltration."
At around 10:30 a.m., Israeli artillery shelled the outskirts of the towns of Aita al-Shaab, Aitaroun, Kounin, Blida, Mhaybib and Yaroun, our correspondent in south Lebanon reports, citing security sources and local residents.
Update from south Lebanon: The border towns and villages experienced a cautious calm early this morning while Israeli aircraft continued to fly overhead. According to security sources and residents' testimonies (who spoke to our correspondent in the south, Muntasser Abdallah), here's what happened overnight:
- At 9:15 p.m., artillery shelling hit a UNIFIL post manned by a Spanish battalion in the eastern sector of the wheat field plain in Abl al-Qamh. The post's observation tower sustained damage, but there were no casualties among the UN peacekeeping personnel.
- Several rockets were fired towards Israeli positions.
- At 9:30 p.m., three shells hit houses in the town of Blida, causing no reported injuries, and three shells fell on the outskirts of Yaroun.
- Around 10 p.m., shelling targeted Aitaroun and the town of Kafr Hammam.
- Thereafter, a period of calm prevailed until midnight.
- Shortly after midnight, Israeli artillery launched illuminating bombs over the al-Aasi military site opposite the town of Mais al-Jabal; meanwhile, shelling resumed on the outskirts of Blida and Mhaybib, which were hit by seven shells.
- Shortly after 1 a.m., an Israeli drone targeted the outskirts of the towns of Aitaroun and Mhaybib with a missile, while artillery shelling with mortar rounds continued in the aforementioned area.
Qatar's prime minister says Doha will continue to pressure Israel and Hamas for a truce despite "narrowing" chances, Reuters reports, adding that Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani also says hostages were released from Gaza because of negotiations and not because of Israeli military actions.
The dehumanization of Palestinians has allowed the international community to bear continued Israeli attacks in Gaza, the head of the UN aid agency for Palestinians, UNRWA, says, according to Reuters.
UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini said the refugee agency is on the verge of collapsing in Gaza, adding that an immediate cease-fire is needed to end “hell on earth” in Gaza.
Image:Palestinians fleeing Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip further south toward Rafah drive on a narrow stretch of the Salah Al-Din road in order to avoid a crater caused by Israeli bombing on Dec. 10, 2023. (Credit: Said Khatib/AFP)
Spain, Ireland, Belgium and Malta have called for EU leaders to debate the situation in Gaza next week and jointly call for a lasting humanitarian cease-fire that would end the conflict, Reuters reports, citing a letter to the chairman of EU summits. More details here.
The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the UN Security Council's authority and credibility has been undermined by its inability to implement a resolution for a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza; however, Guterres says he will not give up his appeals for a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza. Click here for more.
On Friday night, the US vetoed the resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in the enclave, while the UK abstained from the vote.
We're back with our live coverage on day 65 of the Israel-Hamas war. Throughout the day we'll be bringing you updates from Gaza, Israel, southern Lebanon and across the region.
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