The Hamra branch of Starbucks in Beirut is closed as Lebanon takes part in a global strike in solidarity with the people of Gaza. (Credit: Matthieu Karam/L'Orient Today)


1 dead, 3 wounded in Israeli strike on south Lebanon; Israel open to conditional agreement with Hezbollah: Day 66 of Hamas-Israel war

What you need to know

Fighting between Hamas and the Israeli army continues in Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of civilians continue to flee.

Schools, universities, public administrations, banks and archaeological sites will be closed on Monday in Lebanon in solidarity with Palestine.

Hamas claims that no hostage will leave Gaza “alive” without “negotiation.”

22:04 Beirut Time

Thank you for following our LIVE coverage of day 66 of the Israel-Hamas war. We will be back tomorrow with more news updates.

22:03 Beirut Time

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that Israel had no intention of staying permanently in the Gaza Strip and that it was open to discussing alternatives about who would control the territory, as long as it was not a group hostile to Israel.

20:15 Beirut Time

Displaced Palestinians, who fled their home due to Israeli strikes, shelter in a tent camp, amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, Dec. 11, 2023. (Credit: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters)

20:03 Beirut Time

The European Union will propose to EU governments that they impose sanctions on extremist settlers committing acts of violence against Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, said the EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, according to Reuters.

"We will work on proposing sanctions on extremist settlers in the West Bank," Borrell told a news conference on Monday after a EU foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels.

Violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank has increased since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

18:59 Beirut Time

In a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that "the intensification of aggression and attacks by Iranian-backed Hezbollah against Israel demands that Israel remove this threat from the civilian population of northern Israel."

He also felt that "the international community in particular has an important role to play these days, and must act to ensure that Lebanon puts an end to this aggression close to the border," according to remarks posted on his X (formerly Twitter) account.

18:23 Beirut Time

An Israeli artillery unit fires from a position in upper Galilee, northern Israel, towards southern Lebanon on Dec. 11, 2023, amid increasing cross-border tensions with Hamas militants in southern Gaza Strip. (Jalaa Marey/AFP)

17:32 Beirut Time

Israel's artillery has shelled the eastern outskirts of the town of Naqoura (Sour district) with four shells, a security source told our correspondent in the south.

A security source also told L'Orient Today that several missiles were fired from southern Lebanon towards Israeli sites.

Finally, residents reported that two shells have fallen on the outskirts of Adaisseh (Marjayoun district).

17:00 Beirut Time

BREAKING: A local official has been killed, and three others injured, in an Israeli air strike on the village Taybeh in southern Lebanon.

78 year old Hussein Ali Mansour, a mukhtar in the village, died when a shell hit his home, two local officials have confirmed to L’Orient Today. The mayor of the village Abbas Diyab says three other people have been injured, but did not give any more details.

16:35 Beirut Time

Hezbollah says it has attacked the Israeli site of al-Raheb at 3:00 p.m. using rockets and has "inflicted direct injuries."

It also says it targeted the site of Hadeb al-Boustane at 3:30 p.m. and claims to have "caused direct injuries."

There has been no word yet from the Israeli army on Hezbollah's claims of injuries.

16:19 Beirut Time

Israeli fighter jets have struck and destroyed a Hezbollah military site in Lebanon, Haaretz is reporting, citing the Israeli army.

The strike was carried out following "launches toward Israeli communities in the Galilee" earlier today, the Israeli news outlet adds. 

15:59 Beirut Time

Northern Gaza Strip

We have been reporting today on intense fighting in southern Gaza, but we are also seeing reports of violent fighting in the northern part of the enclave.

BBC Correspondent Anna Foster reports that there have been "really intense air strikes" in the area with "very large impacts where we have seen huge column-like plumes of smoke rising into the air."

15:44 Beirut Time

In the last hour, the Israeli army has shelled areas around the southern Lebanon border villages of Aita al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil), Khiam (Marjayoun), Tayr Harfa (Sour), and Kfar Kila (Nabatieh) residents of the villages told L'Orient Today. The Israeli army also bombed an area around the southern Lebanon border village of Yaroun (Nabatieh), a security source told L'Orient Today.

15:32 Beirut Time

In the last five minutes, Haaretz has reported that sirens are sounding in the Upper Galilee on the northern Israeli border with Lebanon.

15:29 Beirut Time

At least 25 people were killed on Monday in the early afternoon in a raid by Israeli aircraft against a residential area of ​​Deir al-Balah and the Palestinian camp of Maghazi in the center of the Gaza Strip, reports the Palestinian Wafa agency.

Two other people were also killed after being targeted by a drone in Jabalia al-Nazla, in the north of the strip from Gaza.

The dead and injured were transferred to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah.

15:22 Beirut Time

On the sidelines of a ministerial meeting in Brussels on Monday, European Union countries called for a lasting truce in the fighting in Gaza to put an end to the "carnage," reports AFP.

"We must immediately call on all parties to declare a lasting humanitarian ceasefire, which could lead to an end to hostilities," say the Irish, Spanish, Maltese and Belgian leaders, in a letter addressed to Charles Michel, President of the European Council, the institution that brings together the 27 member states.

The aim of this step is to "put an end to the carnage, to the massacre of innocent civilians," explained Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin on his arrival in Brussels.

15:15 Beirut Time

The French Foreign Ministry called on Monday "to avoid any regional conflagration" after a French frigate shot down two drones in the Red Sea from northern Yemen, a territory under the control of Houthi rebels who threaten to disrupt this strategic sea route as part of the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

"We condemn all attacks on the freedom of navigation," said the ministry in a press release, assuring that it was following "very closely the evolution of the situation in the Red Sea and in the Bab el Mandeb Strait area."

14:51 Beirut Time

Palestinians carry a list of Gaza victims during a rally amid a general strike in Ramallah city in the occupied West Bank on Dec. 11, 2023, in solidarity with Gaza as battles continue between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. (Credit: Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP)

14:36 Beirut Time

An investigation by The Washington Post found that the white phosphorus munitions used by Israel in Lebanon on the border village of Dhaira on Oct. 16 were produced in the United States and supplied to Israel.

The Oct. 16 bombings occurred throughout the night when the legitimate use of the munition, such as creating smoke to obscure troop movements, would have little practical use and it is prohibited from use near civilian areas. At least nine people were reported injured as a result with three of them needing to be hospitalized.

The Israeli military claims that its use of white phosphorus is used to create smoke and not to cause fires or target civilians, adding that its use of the munition "complies and goes beyond the requirements of international law."

Amnesty International said that the incident should be investigated as a possible war crime

14:06 Beirut Time

Germany expects Israel to adapt its military strategy to better prevent the suffering of Palestinian civilians, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Monday, adding that too many people had already fallen victim to the conflict.

"The question of how Israel conducts this battle is at the heart of the prospect of a political solution," she added, quoted by Reuters.

13:42 Beirut Time

A shuttered store in Hamra Street in Beirut where the streets are mostly empty as the country takes part in a global strike in solidarity with the people of Gaza amid calls for a cease-fire. 

(Photo: Matthieu Karam)

13:34 Beirut Time

Around a dozen UN Security Council ambassadors arrived in Egypt as part of an informal one-day trip to the Rafah border crossing just days after the United States vetoed a cease-fire resolution proposed by the international body, AFP reports.

While countries like the United Kingdom and Russia sent their ambassadors, the US and France did not.

"There is no justification to turning a blind eye to the pain and suffering inflicted on the Palestinian people in Gaza," an Egyptian foreign ministry official told the ambassadors during a briefing following their arrival.

Read the full story here.

13:16 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announces that at 11 a.m. it targeted an Israeli brigade at an Israeli position in the disputed Shebaa Farms in southern Lebanon and said they "directly hit the target."

12:56 Beirut Time

The Israeli army is currently bombing an area around the village of Aitaroun (Bint Jbeil district), on the Lebanese-Israeli border, a local resident told our correspondent in the region.

12:43 Beirut Time

The Israeli army announced the deaths of seven soldiers on Monday, including six killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip and one killed in the crash of an army car, according to information reported by Haaretz.

According to the military, 1,593 Israeli soldiers were wounded in the Hamas attack on Oct. 7 and the ensuing war, including 559 since the start of the ground incursion into Gaza.

According to the Israeli army, 286 soldiers died on Oct. 7 and 8, while 134 soldiers have lost their lives since the start of the operation in Gaza.

12:31 Beirut Time

The Israeli army shelled the village of Kfar Hamam, in the Rashaya district on the border between South Lebanon and Israel, with more than 10 artillery shells.

One of them fell near a residential area and damaged a few houses, without causing any casualties, a local resident told our correspondent in the region, Mountasser Abdallah.

12:28 Beirut Time

The Israeli association Magen David Adom reports the explosion of a rocket in Holon, an Israeli town in the southern suburbs of Tel Aviv, according to Haaretz.

Sirens also sounded in central Israel.

12:24 Beirut Time

After the failure on Friday of the UN Security Council to vote for an "immediate humanitarian cease-fire" due to the American veto, the General Assembly will meet on Tuesday to discuss the conflict in Gaza, reports AFP.

The draft text seen by AFP largely repeats the resolution rejected on Friday by demanding "an immediate humanitarian cease-fire" and the "immediate and unconditional" of all the hostages.

12:09 Beirut Time

The Israeli army strikes an area around the non-border village of Rihan (Jizzine), residents of the area told L'Orient Today.

Israel has struck further north than the border villages on several occasions prior to this one.

12:07 Beirut Time

Stores and schools in East Jerusalem, including those run by the municipality, are also closed this Monday in solidarity with Gaza, according to Haaretz. Palestinian activists reported that most people did not go to work and that, in some neighborhoods, barriers were even set up to prevent them from leaving. So far, no clashes have been reported.

The strike is part of a global campaign, under the slogan #StrikeForGaza, which has resulted in the closure of stores, government offices and public institutions in the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Bosnia, among others.

12:05 Beirut Time

Italy, France and Germany have called on the European Union to impose ad hoc sanctions against Hamas and its supporters, the foreign ministers of the three countries wrote in a joint letter to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

"The swift adoption of this sanctions regime will enable us to send a strong political message about the European Union's commitment against Hamas and our solidarity with Israel," says the letter consulted by Reuters.

In parallel, Belgium will submit to its EU partners today a proposal to ban Israeli settlers who have engaged in violence against Palestinians from entering the Schengen area, Belgian authorities said on Friday.

12:04 Beirut Time

Italy, France and Germany have called on the European Union to impose ad hoc sanctions against Hamas and its supporters, the foreign ministers of the three countries wrote in a joint letter to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

"The swift adoption of this sanctions regime will enable us to send a strong political message about the European Union's commitment against Hamas and our solidarity with Israel," says the letter consulted by Reuters.

In parallel, Belgium will submit to its EU partners today a proposal to ban Israeli settlers who have engaged in violence against Palestinians from entering the Schengen area, Belgian authorities said on Friday.

11:39 Beirut Time

Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, announced on Telegram that it had "hit several Israeli brigades infiltrating al-Mahatta area" in the town of Khan Younis, in the south of the Gaza Strip, using mortar shells.

Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian Jihad, for their part, announced on Hezbollah's Telegram account that they had shelled enemy concentrations around al-Zilal mosque in the Al-Taqadum axis, east of Khan Younis, with a number of mortar shells.

11:21 Beirut Time

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's spokesperson reiterated on Sunday that Israel does not have the intention to move the Palestinian population out of the Gaza Strip, calling these claims "scandalous and false accusations," reports Haaretz.

Eylon Levy made the remarks during an interview with foreign media, during which he was asked about the remarks made by Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi earlier today.

"What we are seeing in Gaza is not simply the killing of innocent people and the destruction of their livelihoods [by Israel], but a systematic effort to empty Gaza of its population," Mr. Safadi said during a conference in Doha.

11:10 Beirut Time

The Israeli army bombed the south Lebanon border village of Hebbarieh (Hasbaya district) with five missiles, residents of the village told L'Orient Today.

11:00 Beirut Time

Two Syrian security agents and two Lebanese Hezbollah fighters were killed in overnight Israeli strikes on targets near Damascus, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Monday.

According to the SOHR, they died at a Hezbollah site targeted by the raids. Hezbollah, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Hamas, has claimed several attacks against northern Israel from southern Lebanon since the war between Israel and Hamas began on Oct. 7.

10:36 Beirut Time

The Israeli army bombed the southern Lebanese border village of Aitaroun (Bint Jbeil) with three missiles, residents told L'Orient Today.

10:35 Beirut Time

A picture shows shuttered shops during a general strike in solidarity with Gaza, in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, on Dec. 11, 2023, amid continuing battles between Israel and the militant group Hamas. (Credit: Hazem Bader/AFP)

09:56 Beirut Time

On Monday, Hezbollah announced the killing of two of its fighters, Abbas Hassan Arzouni and Ali Lotfi Farran, from the southern Lebanese town of Tayr Felsay and Nabatieh respectively, without giving further details on the date and place of the killing. 100 Hezbollah fighters have died so far since the beginning of the conflict according to our count.

09:55 Beirut Time

Sunday evening was particularly turbulent in South Lebanon. According to security sources quoted by our correspondent Muntasser Abdallah, artillery fire hit the outskirts of the towns of Rmaish, Aita al-Shaab, Yaroun and Khiam after 9 p.m. Drones also bombed the village of Marwahine. The outskirts of Mais al-Jabal and Houla were also targeted. At the same time, flares were dropped over the Israeli town of Manara, opposite the Lebanese town of Mais al-Jabal.

At around 10 p.m., artillery fire hit the Blida and Mhaibib areas, as well as the Hamamis region, south of Khiam, and the so-called Chalets area. At 11 p.m., four Israeli missiles hit the locality of Fardis (Hasbaya district). And at around 1 a.m., Israeli aircraft overflew the Nabaitieh and Zahrani areas.

According to security sources quoted by our correspondent, Israeli artillery targeted more than 30 localities in southern Lebanon on Sunday. Israeli aircraft also carried out a series of raids on a residential area in the border village of Aitaroun, destroying a large number of homes.

Eight attacks were also carried out from Lebanon on Sunday by the "Islamic Resistance" but neither Hezbollah nor any other group has yet claimed responsibility for these strikes, according to our correspondent. The most important was the attack on the Zibdine and Ruwaissat al-Alam areas in the Kfar Shouba Heights, using Burkan-type missiles. The "Islamic Resistance" also carried out a drone attack on an Israeli command zone south of the Yaara barracks.

09:28 Beirut Time

A series of missiles were fired from Lebanon towards Israel this morning, according to witnesses, reports our correspondent in South Lebanon, Muntasser Abdallah. The shots were intercepted by the Israeli army before they hit their targets, witnesses said.

According to these same witnesses, the sound of bombings resound in the western sector, without being identified for the moment. Israeli planes are also heard flying over the border area and are clearly heard by residents as far north as the town of Saida.

According to security sources, around fifteen Israeli shells have already targeted the regions of Naqoura, Zibqine, Yarine, Marwahine, Jibbain and Shihine.

09:26 Beirut Time

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu postponed his government's vote on a decision to once again allow Palestinian workers living in the occupied West Bank to enter Israel.

According to Haaretz, the issue was discussed during a meeting of the Israeli executive on Sunday without any decision being taken due to lack of a majority.

Israel has banned the entry of Palestinian workers since Oct. 7, but, according to Haaretz, the authorities fear that this ban will increase tensions in the occupied West Bank.

The possibility of transferring to the Palestinian Authority the tax revenue intended for Gaza was also not put to the vote also to a lack of a majority.

09:19 Beirut Time

The Israeli army announced that it detected eight rockets coming from Lebanon this morning, as sirens sounded in northern Israel, according to Haaretz. The military said that it intercepted six and two fell in open areas.

09:17 Beirut Time

The morning is already tense in southern Lebanon.

According to our correspondent in the region, Muntasser Abdallah, Israeli artillery targets the surroundings of the town of Naqoura as well as Shihine, Jibbain, Marwahine, Yarine, Zibqine and al-Kassar. A total of 15 shells fell in these areas this morning.

On the Israeli side, the sirens sounded in the north of the country around 7 a.m., according to Haaretz.

09:09 Beirut Time

Be sure to read today's edition of the Morning Brief to ensure that you are caught up with what has been happening.

Morning Brief

Unprecedented damage in southern Lebanon, general strike, Parliament bureau meeting: Everything you need to know to start your Monday

09:06 Beirut Time

Good morning! 

Thank you for joining us for day 66 of our live coverage of the ongoing Hamas-Israel war in Gaza.