Israeli forces shell Gaza Strip from the border area in southern Israel on Dec. 12, 2023 amid ongoing battles with the Palestinian Hamas movement. Israel pressed on with its bombing of Gaza on Dec. 12 after saying its campaign to destroy Hamas has left the Palestinian militant group on the "the verge of dissolution." (Credit: Jack Guez/AFP)


'Israel is losing international support; Netanyahu should change his government,' Biden: Day 67 of Hamas-Israel war

What you need to know

Gaza "will be neither Hamas nor Fateh territory," says Benjamin Netanyahu.

Pieces of an Israeli missile fall near a school in Yater, southern Lebanon.

Less than a third of Gaza's hospitals are still operational.

The United Nations General Assembly is expected to vote today for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

'Israel and the US will never be able to eliminate Hamas,' says Iran's diplomatic chief.

21:26 Beirut Time

Thank you for following our LIVE coverage of day 67 of the Hamas-Israel war. We will be back tomorrow with more news updates.

21:25 Beirut Time

Israel’s military has begun to pump seawater into Hamas’s vast complex of tunnels in Gaza, according to US officials briefed on Israeli military’s operations, reports the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

The move to flood the tunnels with water from the Mediterranean, which is in an early stage, is just one of several techniques Israel is using to try to clear the tunnels and destroy them, explains the WSJ.

According to the journal, a spokesperson for the Israeli defense minister declined to comment, saying the tunnel operations are classified.

21:24 Beirut Time

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) voiced concern today about a reported raid at Kamal Adwan hospital in Gaza after several days of siege, and said the facility should be protected, according to Reuters.

"I'm extremely worried about reports of a raid at Kamal Adwan Hospital in Gaza after several days of siege," Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO director general, wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

"WHO urgently calls for the protection of all persons inside the hospital. WHO further calls for an immediate ceasefire and for sustained humanitarian access to health facilities across the Gaza Strip," he added.

Tedros said the hospital, located in northern Gaza, an area largely deprived of humanitarian aid since the war broke out in October, was only minimally functional even prior to the siege due to shortages of water, fuel and supplies.

Citing the local Ministry of Health, Tedros said there were 65 patients, including several needing intensive care, and 45 medical staff at the hospital.

WHO said earlier today that only 11 of Gaza's 36 hospitals were partially functional, one in the north and 10 in the south of the enclave.

20:45 Beirut Time

A dozen demonstrators, responding to a call from a group calling itself "Vegans for Palestine," went to City Center shopping mall in Beirut's southeastern suburbs in the evening to call for a boycott of certain brands said to support Israel, according to our reporter on the scene Stephanie Bechara.

The protesters distributed leaflets listing the brands available in the mall which they claimed supported Israel, before being asked to leave by a security guard.

"The boycott won't change anything. It will only hurt Lebanese distributors," commented one bystander near the supermarket opposite City Center. Some shoppers at the mall supported the protesters.

(Credit: Joao Sousa/L'Orient Today)

20:11 Beirut Time

Nearly 40,000 buildings or about 18% of all pre-conflict structures have been damaged or destroyed in the Gaza Strip since the Israel-Hamas war began on Oct. 7, a UN assessment showed today, according to Reuters.

In this image, people searched through the rubble of damaged buildings following an Israeli air strike on Palestinian houses, amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Dec. 12, 2023. 

(Photo credit: Fadi Shana/Reuters)

19:57 Beirut Time

US President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that Israel is starting to lose support from the international community with its indiscriminate bombing of Gaza that has killed thousands of Palestinian civilians.

"They're starting to lose that support," Biden told a campaign fundraising event in Washington. Biden also said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should change his hardline government.

19:14 Beirut Time

The Israel-Hamas war in Gaza is having a severe impact on the Palestinian economy, according to the World Bank, which now estimates sharp economic contraction this year and next, according to AFP.

19:02 Beirut Time

Israeli army announces recovery of bodies of two hostages, according to AFP.

18:46 Beirut Time

Zara withdraws an advertisement accused of resembling images of Gaza. Read more here.

(Photo credit: Albert Gea/Reuters)

17:34 Beirut Time

Palestinian Foreign Minister accused Israel of using starvation as a weapon of war against around one million people in Gaza and condemned the "international failure" to respect Palestinians' rights at a UN meeting in Geneva, reports Reuters.

"As we speak, at least one million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, half of them children, are starving, not because of a natural disaster or because of lack of generous assistance waiting at the border," Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told a UN event to mark the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

"No, they are starving because of Israel's deliberate use of starvation as a weapon of war against the people it occupied," he said.

"Rather than insisting on respecting the Palestinian people's basic right to eat and drink water, we are living through this dystopian reality that excludes Palestinians from the basic, most basic rights afforded to all human beings," he said, describing it as an "utter international failure" to protect Palestinians.

17:19 Beirut Time

The World Bank has announced $20 million in new financing dedicated to provide emergency relief for affected people of Gaza, reports Reuters. 

The aid includes $10 million for food vouchers and parcels, and will reach an estimated 377,000 people. It is part of a larger $35 million Gaza relief package, the bank said in a statement.

An initial $15 million in emergency relief was already delivered, the statement added.

17:19 Beirut Time

Israel is shelling an area around the south Lebanese border village Naqoura, residents of the area told L'Orient-Le Jour.

17:18 Beirut Time

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian stated that Israel and the US "will never be able to eliminate Hamas," reports Reuters.

He added that "Israel cannot secure the freedom of hostages through war."

"A political solution" is the only viable approach, he said.

17:16 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announces that it targeted at 3:35 p.m. an Israeli position facing the south Lebanese border village Blida and said they "directly hit the target."

17:06 Beirut Time

Israel enjoys US support for its goals of destroying Hamas and recovering hostages held by the Palestinian militants, but the allies differ about what might follow the Gaza war, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

Reiterating his past refusal to countenance a return to Gaza rule of the Western-backed Palestinian Authority under President Mahmoud Abbas, Netanyahu said in a statement that Gaza "will be neither Hamas-stan nor 'Fatah-stan." Fatah is Abbas's faction.

17:02 Beirut Time

An Israeli drone struck a house in southern Lebanese village Blida without casualties, a resident of the village told L'Orient-Le Jour.

15:29 Beirut Time

A recap on what has been happening in Gaza today:

- Israel is continuing to bombard the southern city of Khan Younis. Hamas officials say 22 people have been killed following Israeli airstrikes in Rafah near the Egyptian border.

- Less than one-third of Gaza's hospitals are functioning – and only partly so, says the World Health Organization.

- The head of the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, says people in Gaza are living through "hell on earth," during a visit to the enclave. He raised concerns about the lack of aid reaching people in need.

15:22 Beirut Time

Rocket sirens were activated in the Israeli village of Bar'am, close to the border with Lebanon, according to Haaretz.

The Israeli army is attacking sources of fire with artillery, Haaretz added.

14:50 Beirut Time

Update on exchanges of fire along the Israeli-Lebanon border this afternoon:

- Late this morning fragments of an Israeli missile struck a car near the public school of Yater, while pupils were in class.

- Three shells have fallen on the outskirts of Labouneh and Alma al-Shaab (Sour district), a security source told our correspondent Muntasser Abdallah.

- Ten Israeli artillery shells have fallen on the region of Kfar Shouba, residents told our correspondent Muntasser Abdallah.

- At 1:30 Hezbollah says it directly hit Israeli artillery positions at the site of Khirbet Maar. Additionally, it also claims to have hit deployment points of Israeli soldiers in the vicinity of Jal al-Alam

14:48 Beirut Time

A French ship patrolling the Red Sea shot down a drone threatening a Norwegian-flagged oil tanker attacked by Houthi rebels in Yemen on Monday, the French Ministry of the Armed Forces announced on Tuesday, according to AFP.

The multi-mission frigate (FREMM) Languedoc "intercepted and destroyed a drone directly threatening the Strinda" and then "positioned itself in protection of the affected vessel, preventing the attempted hijacking of the ship," the ministry statement added.

14:36 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announced that it directly hit Israeli artillery positions at the site of Khirbet Maar at 1:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, ten Israeli artillery shells have fallen on the region of Kfar Shouba, residents told our correspondent Muntasser Abdallah.

14:20 Beirut Time

Following a visit to Gaza, the head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) described the situation that Palestinian civilians are living in as "hell on earth," AFP reports.

In a post on X (formally Twitter), UNRWA head Philippe Lazzarini said that the situation in the enclave is an "endless deepening tragedy" where people "live in the street" and "need everything." He added that UNRWA was facing an "impossible situation" when it comes to administering aid.

13:31 Beirut Time

In the last 15 minutes rocket sirens have been activated in Shlomi and Acre, in northern Israel, Haaretz is reporting.

13:13 Beirut Time

Parts of an Israeli interceptor missile have fallen close to a school in southern Lebanon, while students were in class, in Southern Lebanon, our correspondent Muntasser Abdallah reports.

As the missile exploded over the village of Yater, parts of its fragments fell, hitting the car belonging to the principal of Yater Public School, according to the mayor of the town, Khalil Kourani. Residents added that it happened just a few minutes after she got out of it. A photo shows the roof of the vehicle with a large hole in it.

He added that there was "terror" among the teachers and students when it happened and that they have been evacuated for safety.

12:52 Beirut Time

The Israeli army claimed to have "identified and intercepted a suspicious target from Lebanon," according to Haaretz.

12:45 Beirut Time

Update on the situation in Gaza:

Ground fighting accompanied by air strikes is raging between Israeli soldiers and Islamist fighters in the area of Khan Younis, the large city in the south, where hundreds of thousands of civilians had taken refuge after fleeing the war in the north of the Palestinian territory, reports AFP.

Forced to flee again, tens of thousands of people are now sheltering in makeshift camps in the nearby town of Rafah, on the border with Egypt, where food is scarce despite limited distributions of humanitarian aid.

This morning in Rafah, survivors were searching the ruins with their bare hands in the Zorob district after a night-time strike, according to AFP images.

11:56 Beirut Time

Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed responsibility on Tuesday for a missile strike in the Red Sea that hit a Norwegian-flagged oil tanker the previous day.

Read more here.

11:50 Beirut Time

The Gazan Ministry of Health has accused the Israeli army of launching an assault on a hospital in the northern Gaza Strip, which had been "besieged and bombed" for several days.

Israeli forces "launched the assault on Kamal Adwan Hospital after besieging and bombarding it for several days," said ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra, according to AFP. "They are gathering the men, including the medical staff, in the hospital courtyard and we fear that the medical staff will be arrested or killed," he added.

11:48 Beirut Time

The Israeli army says it is "attacking the sources of fire" after two rocket launches were detected from Lebanon towards the Malkia area in the north of the country.

Israeli army spokesperson, Daniel Hagari said on X, that the rockets landed in an open area.

11:43 Beirut Time

World Health Organization (WHO) head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expresses concern over medical staff who have been detained in Gaza in a post on X (formerly Twitter) and after a patient died in a convoy that was held up at checkpoints.

The WHO chief made these comments after a WHO-led mission was stopped twice at checkpoints in Gaza while on their way to al-Ahli Hospital in the northern part of Gaza. During both occasions, members of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society that were accompanying them were detained.

"We are deeply concerned about prolonged checks and detention of health workers that put lives of already fragile patients at risk," Tedros said.

Check out the full report here.

11:41 Beirut Time

The Israeli army announced on Monday evening that it would set up an additional inspection point for humanitarian aid before it enters the Gaza Strip via Rafah, claiming that this would "double" the amount of assistance entering the Palestinian territory.

No new access would be opened, but Israel's closed Nitzana and Kerem Shalom crossings would be used to carry out checks before trucks pass through Rafah, Israel announced. "This measure will double the amount of humanitarian aid entering the Gaza Strip," said the Israeli army on X (formerly Twitter).

Read the full story here.

11:01 Beirut Time

Hezbollah took credit for attacking an Israeli position at Malkia at 10 a.m., using "suitable weapons." 

Following the attack, Israel began shelling the outskirts of Aitaroun as previously reported by our correspondent in southern Lebanon.

10:38 Beirut Time

The eastern outskirts of the town of Aitaroun are being subjected to Israeli artillery shelling, residents told our correspondent Muntasser Abdallah.

10:29 Beirut Time

Some 1,645 Israeli soldiers have been injured since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, the Jerusalem Post reported this morning, citing the Israeli army.

Some 434 soldiers have also been killed since the start of hostilities.

09:51 Beirut Time

We just received more details about the Israeli drone attack on a house in the vicinity of the Khiam detention center yesterday, in southern Lebanon, at around 9:30 p.m.

Sheikh Mohammad Abdallah, who lives in this house, told our correspondent Muntasser Abdallah that a solar panel on the house's roof was destroyed and two water tanks and the walls were pierced by shrapnel. Luckily he was not there at the time.

"The [house] is civilian, there is no military activity inside it and it is not a military zone. We are several families inhabiting it. The goal of the Israeli enemy in bombing safe civilian homes is to try to pressure and intimidate civilians to leave their homes."

(Photo: Sheikh Mohammad Abdallah)

09:16 Beirut Time

There is relative calm this morning in southern Lebanon, security sources told our correspondent in the South Muntasser Abdallah.

It comes after a night of bombardments – here’s what happened:

At 9:30 p.m., an Israeli shell hit an uninhabited house in the town of Khiam (Marjayoun district) causing a fire to break out in it, according to residents. Civil defense teams rushed to the scene and extinguished the fire, which caused material damage.

Around the same time, an Israeli drone targeted the courtyard of another house in the vicinity of the Khiam detention center. The house was damaged, and shrapnel flew into neighboring houses.

After 10 p.m., Israel's artillery shelled the outskirts of Odaisseh (Marjayoun), Yaroun (Bint Jbeil) and Umm al-Tout.

An Israeli drone also fired a missile at a house under construction in the town of Odaisseh.

After 11 p.m., three shells fell on the outskirts of Naqoura (Sour district).

09:00 Beirut Time

Before getting started, make sure to read the Morning Brief so that you are caught up with what has been happening.

Morning Brief

Taybeh mukhtar killed, legislative session Thursday, Gaza updated death toll: Everything you need to know to start your Tuesday

08:59 Beirut Time

Good morning!

Thank you for joining us for our live coverage of day 67 of the ongoing war between Hamas and Israel in Gaza.