Displaced families struggling under heavy rain in Gaza Palestinian boys stand in their makeshift tent at a camp set up on a schoolyard in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip where most civilians have taken refuge, on Dec. 13, 2023, as battles continue between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. (Credit: Mohammed Abed/AFP)


Netanyahu says 'nothing will stop us,' as international pressure mounts; two Hezbollah deaths in southern Lebanon: Day 68 of the Hamas-Israel war

What you need to know

Hezbollah announced two more fighters killed since fighting began on the Lebanese-Israeli border on Oct. 8, raising the toll to 103.

The UN General Assembly called Tuesday evening for a “humanitarian cease-fire” in Gaza.

US President Joe Biden criticized the Israeli government in an unprecedented manner on Tuesday evening.

23:10 Beirut Time

Thank you for following our LIVE coverage from day 68 of the Hamas-Israel war.

You can read a summary of today's events here.

We'll be back tomorrow with more news updates and analysis, right here at L'Orient Today.

21:07 Beirut Time

An Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank that lasted more than a day left at least seven Palestinians dead, the Palestinian Health Ministry says, raising an earlier toll, according to a report from AFP.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society said its medics treated multiple others wounded in the military raid on Jenin, including a 27-year-old woman shot in the chest in the city's refugee camp.

The Israeli military said forces "confiscated approximately 30 weapons, ammunition, military equipment and weapon parts," without commenting on those killed.

Four soldiers were wounded by friendly fire or during "controlled explosions," the military added.

Read more here.

20:35 Beirut Time

The head of Hamas' political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, says in a televised speech that any bet on arrangements in Gaza without Hamas and the rest of the factions there is "an illusion and a mirage," according to reports from several media outlets.

20:08 Beirut Time

🔴 BREAKING: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says "nothing will stop" Israel from continuing the war in the Gaza Strip until it achieves victory against Hamas militants, AFP reports.

"We will continue until the end. There is no question at all. I say this in light of great pain, but also in light of international pressure. Nothing will stop us. We are going until the end, until victory, nothing less than that," Netanyahu said in a video statement released by his office.

20:06 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announced the death of two of its fighters, Saleh Moustafa Moustafa and Ali Moussa Barakat.

L'Orient Today previously reported that an Israeli strike killed two Hezbollah members today in the town of Yater, Bint Jbeil district, in southern Lebanon.

According to our count, 103 Hezbollah members have been killed since the beginning of the clashes between the party and Israel on Oct. 8.

19:39 Beirut Time

Israel's artillery fired six shells on the outskirts of the town of Aitaroun half an hour ago, residents of the town told L'Orient Today's correspondent in the south.

19:25 Beirut Time

Palestinian children play in their makeshift shelter at a camp set up on a schoolyard in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip where most civilians have taken refuge as the fighting inches further southward. (Credit: Mohammed Abed/AFP)

19:19 Beirut Time

More information is coming in regarding an airstrike on a house in Yater reported by L'Orient Today around two hours ago.

The strike killed two people who were sitting inside a parked car, a Renault Rapid, when a nearby house was targeted, collapsing on the vehicle and killing its passengers, the town’s mayor Khalil Kourani tells our correspondent in the south, Muntasser Abdallah.

A Hezbollah source has just confirmed with L'Orient Today that the two dead are Hezbollah fighters.

19:12 Beirut Time

Conditions for displaced Palestinians in Gaza are worsened by heavy rainfall in the Strip, AFP and Reuters report. Sheltering in tents insufficient for the rough weather conditions, families are huddled together among and sometimes in puddles of pooled water that permeate everything. Poor sanitary conditions also cause concern for run-off water contaminated by waste of all kinds.

Read testimonies from southern Gaza here.

18:52 Beirut Time

Israel is facing pressure from the international community, as several countries join in on voicing their concerns about the war's toll on Gazan civilians. In a rare joint statement, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, who voted in favor of the UN cease-fire resolution, said they were "alarmed at the diminishing safe space for civilians in Gaza," AFP reports.

US President Joe Biden told a campaign event that Israel had "most of the world supporting it" immediately after the Oct. 7 attack, but that "they're starting to lose that support by the indiscriminate bombing that takes place."

Read more here.

18:46 Beirut Time

A picture taken earlier today shows a makeshift toilet at a camp for displaced people in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip where most civilians have taken refuge, as battles continue between Israel and Hamas. Israel came under pressure today from its allies over its war in Gaza, with key backer the United States criticizing its bombing in response to the Oct 7 attacks as "indiscriminate." (Credit: Mahmud Hams/AFP)

17:40 Beirut Time

Israeli foreign minister: Gaza war to continue "with or without international support."

17:34 Beirut Time

The Israeli army said that rockets fired from Lebanon toward Israel fell near the Israeli northern village of Yiftah but no victims or damage were reported, according to Haaretz.

17:31 Beirut Time

Israeli drones struck the outskirts of Maroun al-Ras (Bint Jbeil district), residents told L'Orient Today's correspondent in the South.

Moreover, an Israeli drone fired five missiles at targets in Yaroun, according to a resident.

17:17 Beirut Time

An Israeli drone struck a house in the town of Yaroun (Bint Jbeil district), residents told L'Orient Today.

Shelling also targeted the town of Rab El Thalathine (Marjeyoun) earlier in the day. The town mukhtar, Mhammad Hammoud, told L'Orient Today that one of the two artillery shells that fell in the town targeted a car wash, causing damage. According to Hammoud, the same shell wounded a woman in a nearby house, causing minor injuries.

16:58 Beirut Time

Israeli warplanes targeted a house on the outskirts of Yater in southern Lebanon, residents of the town told L'Orient Today.

Khalil Kourani, mayor of Yater, told L'Orient Today that the house was destroyed by the strike and no one has yet been able to inspect the damage to check if there are any victims.

16:51 Beirut Time

Two Israeli artillery shells fall in the vicinity of a stone factory on the outskirts of the town of Sarda (Marjeyoun district), a security source told L'Orient Today.

Two other Israeli shells fell on the outskirts of Rab El Thalathine (Marjeyoun) according to residents and another shell on the outskirts of Labouneh (Sour), eyewitnesses in the town of Naqoura told L'Orient Today.

Meanwhile, an Israeli army spokesperson said several rockets were launched from Lebanon toward Israel but dropped inside Lebanese territory, according to Haaretz.

15:55 Beirut Time

Left-wing Israeli organizations submitted a letter to US President Joe Biden yesterday asking that he encourage Israel to discontinue military actions in the Gaza Strip and continue administering aid, according to The Jerusalem Post.

The letter accuses Israel of not complying with the US instructions to act in self-defense, per international law.

The organizations argue that “Israel’s policy has driven the humanitarian crisis in Gaza to the point of catastrophe." They told Biden he has "the power to influence [the Israeli] government to change its policy and allow humanitarian aid into Gaza."

15:45 Beirut Time

US National Security Advisor Sullivan will travel to Israel Thursday, says the White House.

15:36 Beirut Time

Gaza Health Ministry: War death toll hits 18,608

15:26 Beirut Time

The outskirts of Yarin, Dhayra, Jibbain (Sour district) and Aita al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil) are being subjected to Israeli artillery shelling, witnesses in Dhayra told L'Orient Today's correspondent in the area.

15:25 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announced that it hit the Malikiyah site with a Burkan missile at 1:45 p.m., the Ramiyah site at 1:50 p.m., the Shoumira barracks at 2 p.m. and the naval site at 2:12 p.m.

14:21 Beirut Time

In the last 30 minutes:

- The Israeli army struck the outskirts of the south Lebanon border village of Naqoura and shelled a house in the south Lebanon border village of Mhaibib, residents of the village told L'Orient Today.

- The Israeli army also shelled the outskirts of the south Lebanon border villages of Aita al-Shaab, Rmaish, and Maroun al-Ras, a security source told L'Orient Today.

- The Israeli army bombed the outskirts of the south Lebanon border village of Kfar Shouba, a resident of the village told L'Orient Today.

- An area around the border village of Fardis in the Hasbaya district was shelled, a resident of the village told L'Orient Today.

- The Israeli army struck an area around the south Lebanon border villages of Aita al-Shaab and Ramieh, a security source told L'Orient Today.

- The outskirts of Khiam (Marjayoun) were also struck by shelling according to our correspondent in southern Lebanon.

- According to local residents, an Israeli airstrike hit the outskirts of Marwahin.

13:26 Beirut Time

Russia calls for an international conference to solve the conflict between Palestine and Israel "forever," according to AFP.

The call came from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who urged UN Secretary-General to organize the meeting.

"The only way for this problem to be solved forever, and to be solved in a just way, is to hold an international conference with all five permanent members of the UN Security Council," Lavrov says, adding that the UN should play a leading role in the talks.

Read the full story here

13:06 Beirut Time

The Gazan health ministry says that it has run out of children's medicine as the medical situation in the embattled enclave continues to deteriorate, AFP reports.

The ministry did not specify which vaccines had been exhausted. World Health Organization head Tedros Ghebreyesus has previously warned that Gaza's health system is "on its knees and collapsing."

Read the full report here.

12:42 Beirut Time

European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen voiced her support for European sanctions against "extremist" settlers in the West Bank, AFP reports.

In comments made at the European Parliament in Brussels, von der Leyen said that the "escalation of violence by extremist settlers is causing immense suffering to Palestinians" and that it "jeopardizes the chances of lasting peace and could further worsen regional instability."

12:10 Beirut Time

Under mounting US pressure, the Israeli government will "likely" soon reopen the Kerem Shalom border between Israel and southern Gaza to allow aid trucks to enter the enclave, senior Israeli officials told Axios on Tuesday. According to the website, if Israel reopens the crossing, it will represent a significant shift in its policy which has been to refuse to allow any aid to enter Gaza through its territory since the Oct. 7 attack. Instead, aid trucks have entered the enclave via the Rafah crossing on the Gaza-Egypt border.

11:54 Beirut Time

In a move that could simultaneously dismantle militant infrastructure and pose an environmental risk, Israel has reportedly begun pumping seawater through a system of large pumps, in an attempt to flood the extensive Hamas tunnel network underneath the Gaza Strip, American officials told The Wall Street Journal.

Read more about it here.

11:17 Beirut Time

Young Palestinians rest under a makeshift tent at a camp for displaced people in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip where most civilians have taken refuge, on Dec. 13, 2023, as battles continue between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. (Credit: Mahmud Hams/AFP)

11:02 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announces the killing of one of their fighters Mohamad Sheet who is from the southern Lebanese border village of Kafr Kila.

Last night, a man was killed in an Israeli bombing in his house in Kafr Kila, local sources told L'Orient Today. The head of the municipality of Kafr Kila had told L'Orient Today that the man, who died in his house is a member of Hezbollah. Hezbollah's death toll has now risen to 101 since the beginning of the conflict.

10:41 Beirut Time

Israel announced the deaths of 10 soldiers, the largest single-day loss of life for the military since the start of the ground incursion on Oct. 27.

A total of 115 Israeli soldiers have been killed so far in Israel's offensive in Gaza.

10:03 Beirut Time

In the last hour, the UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) has reported an incident in the Red Sea, where shipping has previously come under attack from Houthi rebels based in Yemen, The Guardian reports.

A Houthi official recently issued a warning to cargo ships traveling through the Red Sea. You can read more about the warning here.

09:56 Beirut Time

The Israeli army opened fire on an area around the south Lebanon border area of Blida, a resident of the area told L'Orient Today.

09:37 Beirut Time

A man was killed in an Israeli bombing around 11:30 p.m. at his two-floor house in the southern Lebanese border village of Kafr Kila, the head of municipal of the village and a security source confirmed to L'Orient Today. The head of the municipality Hassan Sheet told L'Orient Today that the man who was killed was a Hezbollah member. When contacted by our publication, Hezbollah could not immediately comment on the matter.

09:13 Beirut Time

Seven people have been killed in the West Bank area of Jenin after Israeli forces reportedly raided the Jenin refugee camp and carried out drone strikes yesterday, the BBC is reporting.

Palestinian officials confirmed that a 13-year-old boy is among the dead.

09:04 Beirut Time

In case you are not caught up with what has been going on, we have the Morning Brief to make sure that you stay updated.

Morning Brief

Israeli missile lands near school, Beirut’s airport floods, City Center protest: Everything you need to know to start your Wednesday

09:02 Beirut Time

Good morning!

Thank you for joining us for our coverage of day 68 of the war between Hamas and Israel in Gaza.