This photograph taken on Jan. 5, 2024 from the southern Lebanese village of Dhayra along the Israeli border, shows buildings in the Lebanese town of Tayr Harfa as smoke billows over northern Israel, amid ongoing cross-border tensions as fighting continues between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. (Credit: AFP)


Intense exchanges of fire at Lebanon-Israel border following Nasrallah speech; Blinken begins regional tour: Day 91 of the Hamas-Israel war

What you need to know

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah says that the party has conducted 670 operations in three months in southern Lebanon against Israel and that "the response to what happened in the southern suburbs of Beirut is inevitable," referring to the assassination of Saleh al-Arouri on Tuesday.

Nasrallah says "The war is not only for Palestine; it is also for Lebanon and its south."

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking a 'fundamental change' on the Lebanese border.

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is expected today in Israel, the West Bank and five Arab countries.

According to the “post-war” plan in the Gaza Strip presented by the Israeli Minister of Defense, there would be “neither Hamas” nor “Israeli civil administration” in place in the Palestinian territory at the end of the fighting.

22:46 Beirut Time

Thank you for following our LIVE coverage from day 91 of the Hamas-Israel war.

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

22:44 Beirut Time

The head of the Houthi Supreme Revolutionary Committee, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, says that any country to involve itself with the United States-led Red Sea coalition will lose its maritime security and be targeted, Reuters reports, citing the interview with BBC during which al-Houthi made these comments.

The United States launched "Operation Prosperity Guardian" in December 2023. The Pentagon says the force is a defensive coalition of more than 20 nations to ensure billions of dollars' worth of commerce can flow freely through a vital shipping passage in Red Sea waters off Yemen.

Countries involved include the United Kingdom, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Italy, and Spain.

But, as Reuters reported last week, it appears that several of America's allies in this coalition are reluctant to contribute or even be associated with it.

22:18 Beirut Time

A woman holds a child as she inspects the damage following Israeli bombardment in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip on Jan. 5, 2024, (Credit: AFP)

22:17 Beirut Time

The Gaza Strip has "quite simply become uninhabitable," the United Nations humanitarian affairs coordinator warns, according to a report from AFP.

"Three months after the atrocious attacks of Oct. 7, Gaza has become a place of death and despair" and its inhabitants "face daily threats before the eyes of the world," said Martin Griffiths in a statement.

21:29 Beirut Time

"Earlier today, an [Israeli] warplane raided a Hezbollah operational command headquarters in the village of Blida [Marjayoun district], south of Lebanon," wrote Avichay Adraee, the Israeli army's Arabic-speaking spokesperson in a post on X.

Security sources told L'Orient Today earlier that a site in Blida was targeted twice by Israel in the past two hours, with two drone strikes and an air raid.

20:45 Beirut Time

An update from the Lebanon-Israel border:

• According to residents, an Israeli airstrike targeted an uninhabited, under-construction house in the area of Birket al-Tiri in the town of Hula, Nabatieh district.

• Hezbollah announced it targeted the Israeli site of Birkat Risha, facing the Lebanese villages of Bustan and Marwahine located in Sour district, at 7:40 p.m.

• An Israeli air raid targeted Blida, Marjayoun district, at the same location where four Israeli drone strikes hit a short while ago, a security source told L'Orient Today.

20:38 Beirut Time

France and Jordan teamed up to airdrop seven tonnes of aid to civilians and aid workers in Gaza, AFP reports, citing French President Emmanuel Macron.

Each nation sent a C-130 transport plane with mixed French-Jordanian crews, bringing a total of seven tonnes of "humanitarian and health" aid, the presidency said.

The supplies dropped by the two countries, whose militaries have close ties, were equipped with systems that remotely guided them to a Jordanian field hospital operating in the territory

👉 Read more here.

20:32 Beirut Time

For the third time since Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah's speech earlier this afternoon, a barrage of rockets were launched from southern Lebanon towards Israeli sites, a security source told our correspondent in the south, Muntasser Abdallah.

🔴 According to Abdallah, who has been reporting on the cross-border fighting between Hezbollah and Israel since it began on Oct. 8, Israeli strikes on southern Lebanon intensified significantly today, following Nasrallah's speech, especially in the Marjayoun and Hasbaya districts.

20:20 Beirut Time

An Israeli drone targeted the western side of the southern Lebanese town of Blida in the Marjayoun district, with four missile strikes, a security source told L'Orient Today.

20:16 Beirut Time

The head of Hamas' political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, calls on US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who landed in Turkey today to "focus his visit on ending the onslaught on the Palestinian people, on the path to ending the occupation.

Haniyeh also urged leaders of the countries meeting with Blinken to emphasize that the stability in the region depends on the Palestinian issue. "The violence and destruction won't achieve security and stability as long as the Palestinian people haven't attained their freedom and an independent state," Haniyah said.

Blinken will visit Turkey, Greece, Jordan, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza according to the US State Department.

In a matter of weeks, the US has approved the sale of tens of thousands of rounds of artillery ammunition to Israel. The US already provides Israel with around $3.3 billion per year, even prior to the war that erupted on Oct.7.

20:02 Beirut Time

In the latest barrage of rockets fired from southern Lebanon towards the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona, four rockets were intercepted and four fell in open areas, Haaretz reports, citing the Israeli army. Kiryat Shmona is located opposite the Lebanese town of Hula, Nabatieh district.

19:46 Beirut Time

For the first time since Oct. 8, Israeli artillery targeted the town of Arnoun, Nabatieh district, hitting its outskirts with three shells, local residents tell L'Orient Today's correspondent in the south.

19:34 Beirut Time

Here's what has happened in southern Lebanon in the last 15 minutes:

• An Israeli drone strike targeted the outskirts of Khiam, and Israeli artillery targeted the outskirts of Dibbin. Both towns are located in the Marjayoun district.

• A security source told L'Orient Today that a barrage of rockets were fired from Lebanon into northern Israel.

• There is continued shelling of several towns in the Marjayoun district.

• Israeli artillery fired four rockets towards the outskirts of Rashaya al-Foukhar, Hasbaya district, according to local residents.

19:16 Beirut Time

Outgoing Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikat stressed the "need for the international community to act immediately to put an end to Israeli violations of international law," during a telephone call with his Qatari counterpart, Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdulrahman al-Thani.

Mikati also warned against "the danger of attempts to drag Lebanon into a regional war," saying that "the spread of violence and the circle of conflicts in the region will have serious consequences, particularly for Lebanon and neighboring countries."

19:12 Beirut Time

"You are welcome to the region if the purpose of your visit is tourism only," former director of Lebanon's General Security Abbas Ibrahim said in a post on X, addressing US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken as the top US diplomat tours in the region, but does not visit Lebanon.

"If the goal is to prevent escalation, your first stop should be Beirut, as former Secretary of State Warren Christopher did in 1996. It's time to be on both sides of the front," Abbas said.

The US State Department had said in a statement that Blinken's visit is aimed at deescalating the conflict in the region. In 1996, during Israel's occupation of southern Lebanon, Warren visited Beirut at an attempt to secure an American plan for a cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah.

19:03 Beirut Time

Massive crowds are gathered in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, and other cities in a demonstration of solidarity with Palestinians.

Al Masirah TV, the state television channel run by Yemen's Houthi rebels, says that two million Yemenis participated in the “Blood of the Free People … on the Road to Victory” march.

Live footage from the Al-Sabeen Square in Sanaa showed an endless sea of demonstrators, many carrying Palestinian flags. Houthi officials addressed the crowds.

A rally statement said the Yemenis are ready to fight the US, and commemorated their 10 fighters killed by the US last week, condemned al-Arouri’s assassination in Lebanon, and urged an Arab boycott of Israeli and US goods and products.

Pictured is a protest held yesterday in the Red Sea port city of Hodeida (Credit: AFP)

18:26 Beirut Time

Israeli artillery shelling targeted the outskirts of Kfar Kila, the outskirts of Deir Mimas, the al-Hamames hill — south of the town of Khiam — and the outskirts of Khiam, all located in the Marjayoun district, security sources told L'Orient Today's correspondent, noting that nine shells have fallen in this area today.

Israeli shelling also targeted the outskirts of the town of Hula, Nabatieh district, and three shells struck near the hill of al-Khazan in the town of Adaisseh, Marjayoun district, according to local residents there speaking with our correspondent in the south.

18:19 Beirut Time

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock says that more needs to be done to protect the citizens in Gaza and that there cannot be any occupation after the war, Reuters reports.

She added that Israel's protection cannot be questioned, but additional humanitarian pauses are required. Bearbock also added that Germany is monitoring the tensions on the northern border and that "there should not be a widening of conflict in the Middle East."

(Credit: John Macdougall/AFP)

17:58 Beirut Time

Israeli artillery shelled Wadi al-Dalafah, on the outskirts of the southern Lebanese town of Hula, Nabatieh district, and the outskirts of the town of Adaisseh, Marjayoun district, security sources tell L'Orient Today's correspondent in the south.

Hezbollah announces it targeted the Israeli site of Birkat Risha, facing the southern Lebanese border town of Boustane, at 3:45 p.m. and the Dhaira Israeli site, facing the Lebanese town of Naqoura, both located in Sour district, at 4:15 p.m.

17:54 Beirut Time

A woman stands in her damaged house in Rafah, on the southern Gaza Strip earlier today, following an Israeli bombardment. (Credit: AFP)

17:47 Beirut Time

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) released a statement saying it is “appalled” by the ongoing Israeli shelling of al-Amal Hospital and the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) headquarters in Khan Younis.

“These strikes have led to the loss of innocent civilian lives, including a five-day-old infant, and displaced thousands who were taking shelter at the hospital,” the statement said.

Al-Amal Hospital, one of the few still functioning in the south, is marked by the Red Crescent emblem. Along with the Red Cross and Red Crystal emblems, the marks “symbolize neutral and independent humanitarian assistance at all times and guarantee protection in times of conflict and disaster around the world,” the organization said.

At least four members of the PRCS emergency medical services have been killed, and 27 others wounded, the IFRC said.

17:41 Beirut Time

The Palestinian government has indicated it is not open to a post-war plan for Gaza outlined by Israel’s defense minister to turn governance of the enclave over to unnamed “Palestinian bodies” while granting Israel security control.

In a statement cited by the Palestinian news agency Wafa, the presidency said it is committed to seeing an end to Israel’s occupation and to a future Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, under the framework of the Arab Peace Initiative.

The Palestinian Authority, led by President Mahmoud Abbas “unequivocally [rejects] any plans that go beyond these parameters” it said, according to the Wafa report.

17:14 Beirut Time

Five key points from this afternoon's speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah:

• New figures — Nasrallah claims that Hezbollah is fighting across a stretch of more than 100 km, "carrying out 670 operations in three months, averaging six to seven operations per day."

• Two goals regarding southern border strikes — the first, to "exert pressure" on Israel to stop the war in Gaza, and the second, to "ease the pressure on the resistance in Gaza."

• Tuesday's assassination of Hamas deputy political leader, Saleh al-Arouri — "A response to what happened in the southern suburbs of Beirut is inevitable"

• No negotiations between Hezbollah and Israel until the war in Gaza is over.

• The war in Gaza is "not just for Palestine" but also for southern Lebanon. Nasrallah says he wants "to liberate the rest of its territory, starting from point B1, passing through Ghajar, and the villages of Kfar Shuba and Shebaa."

17:06 Beirut Time

Hamas buried one of its members killed on Tuesday in the attack that claimed the life of the group's deputy political leader, Saleh al-Arouri, in the southern suburbs of Beirut, at a ceremony in the Rashidieh camp, in Sour district, southern Lebanon.

Israeli reconnaissance aircraft flew over the camp during the funeral, which was attended by Hamas officials, reports the state-run National News Agency (NNA).

(Photo credit: NNA)

17:03 Beirut Time

Following the close of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah's speech, a number of rockets were launched from southern Lebanon towards Israeli sites, security sources told L'Orient Today.

16:55 Beirut Time

Updates on the situation along Lebanon's southern border over the last two hours:

• Israeli artillery targeted the al-Tarash area, southwest of the town of Mais al-Jabal, Marjayoun district, residents of the town told L'Orient Today's correspondent in the south, Muntasser Abdallah.

• Artillery shells fell on the outskirts of Rashaya Fawqar and Freidis, both in Hasbaya district, and the town of Rashaya, in the district of Rashaya, residents there told our correspondent.

• Two Israeli drone raids targeted the outskirts of Mhaibib, Marjayoun district, and another drone struck a house in the town of Blida, also Marjeyoun district.

• Missiles were fired at the Israeli site of al-Dhayra, which is located opposite to the Lebanese town of Dhayra, Sour district, a security source told Abdallah.

16:39 Beirut Time

Hassan Nasrallah's speech has ended.

16:37 Beirut Time

Nasrallah: "Our fighters from all regions of Lebanon are in the south. We constitute one homeland, one blood. We salute these fighters."

16:37 Beirut Time

Nasrallah: "To our residents in the south, if, God forbid, the enemy prevails against the residents of Gaza, the enemy will come to the south to break your will, you who had defeated it in the past."

"The war today is not only for Palestine; it is also for Lebanon and its south, particularly the region of Litani."

16:31 Beirut Time

Nasrallah: "To the families of the martyrs [in Lebanon], I say to you that we are proud of you."

 "Personally, if the security circumstances were different, I would have asked God to allow me to visit your homes to shake your hands and kiss your foreheads."

16:30 Beirut Time

Nasrallah: "In Yemen, you Americans, you are not facing the Houthis ... you are facing millions of Yemenis. This is what Joe Biden must understand. America, which claims not to want an escalation of the conflict in the region, is causing this."

16:23 Beirut Time

Nasrallah: "Lebanon will be able to, God willing, after the end of the war in Gaza, liberate the rest of its territory, starting from point B1, passing through Ghajar, and the villages of Kfar Shuba and Shebaa."

There are 13 disputed points along the Blue Line, a UN border drawn in 2000 between Israeli and Lebanese territory. Among the 13 are, notably, those in Ghajar, Kfar Shuba, and the Shebaa farms, three occupied villages.

The B1 point is the closest to the sea, located in Ras Naqoura. Lebanon claims B1 as the starting point of its southern land border.

A retired Lebanese Army general, speaking to L'Orient Today last July, explained that some of the points are "more disputed than others," Khalifeh said. "We can’t know exactly why they are more disputed but Israel has more interest in them and crossed over and took them."

👉 Read more about the disputed Lebanon-Israel border here.

16:22 Beirut Time

Nasrallah : "A response to what happened in the southern suburbs of Beirut is inevitable, and the decision depends on the situation in the field. The ground does not wait. I will not say 'at the right time and place.'"

16:19 Beirut Time

The leader of Hezbollah discusses the consequences of the war in Gaza on Yemen, asserting that these have "beneficial" consequences for his Houthi allies.

16:03 Beirut Time

Nasrallah: "The battle in the south [of Lebanon] aims to strengthen the balance of deterrence."

16:02 Beirut Time

Nasrallah: "Today, I say to the settlers who cry every day and who have the right to be afraid, asking their government for a war with Lebanon: this is a bad choice, and you will be the first to pay the price for this bad choice in northern Israel."

"The solution is for the settlers in the north of Palestine to ask their government to stop its aggression against Gaza."

16:01 Beirut Time

A group of men listen to the speech of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Jan. 5, 2024, in a cafe in the southern suburbs of Beirut. (Credit:Mohammad Yassine/L'Orient Today)

15:56 Beirut Time

Nasrallah: "To those who ask why we are fighting on the front [in southern Lebanon], we are obligated to respond. There are two goals for this front: to exert pressure on the enemy [Israel] and its government to stop the aggression against Gaza. The goal of all fronts is to cease this aggression."

"The second goal is to ease the pressure on the resistance in Gaza."

15:51 Beirut Time

Nasrallah: "Organizations in Israel claim that nearly 12,000 Israeli soldiers have sustained disabling injuries."

"During the last period, we targeted military objectives and not civilians. If we targeted residences, it was in response to the targeting of civilians on our side."

15:46 Beirut Time

Nasrallah: "The enemy [Israel] does not acknowledge the losses and injuries within its ranks. This is part of its strategy. Lately, it has started to do so, but the figures it presents are not accurate."

15:44 Beirut Time

The leader of Hezbollah asserted that it is "conceivable" for the party to "occupy" Israeli military positions.

Hassan Nasrallah has been giving a summary of Hezbollah's military operations against the Israeli army since Oct. 8th.

15:40 Beirut Time

Nasrallah: "The resistance has carried out 670 operations in three months, averaging six to seven operations per day."

15:39 Beirut Time

Nasrallah: "Since Oct. 8, we have entered into a war with the enemy on the southern front. We have already explained the motivations for this."

"We are fighting across a stretch of more than 100 km, and up to this day, over 90 days later. We have targeted all border positions and a large number of more distant enemy positions and 'settlements.'"

15:37 Beirut Time

Speaking in a steady, solemn tone, Nasrallah spends the first part of his speech paying homage to Mohammad Hassan Yaghi who he says he worked alongside for 40 years.

He also praised him for his efforts in keeping a unity among Hezbollah supporters in the Bekaa, in Lebanon, during difficult moments - including fighting the so-called Islamic State group in Syria.

No word yet on Hezbollah's campaign in southern Lebanon, the war in Gaza, or the assassination of Hamas deputy, Saleh al-Arouri in Beirut's southern suburbs.

15:25 Beirut Time

The leader of Hezbollah starts his speech by talking about his journey working alongside Mohammad Hassan Yaghi since 1978.

15:20 Beirut Time

Nasrallah: "I will speak about the front in southern Lebanon and the developments in the region, as well as a word to the fighters, the families of the martyrs, and the audience of the resistance in Lebanon."

15:19 Beirut Time

Nasrallah: "I extend my condolences to everyone, to our brothers in the Bekaa, our sons in the resistance and its supporters, and especially to the family of the deceased."

15:17 Beirut Time

IMPORTANT: The leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, has started his speech, the second in 48 hours since the assassination of Saleh al-Arouri, Hamas' deputy political leader, in an airstrike attributed to Israel in the southern suburbs of Beirut on Tuesday.

More updates to follow...

15:15 Beirut Time

Since Hezbollah started exchanging fire with the Israeli army on Oct. 8, the day after the start of the Hamas-Israel war, 147 of its fighters have died.

Today, there have not been any announcements of Hezbollah casualties, while strikes by the Israeli army in southern Lebanon continue.

15:05 Beirut Time

The son of one of Hezbollah's founders, Mohammad Hassan Yaghi, is now speaking at the memorial.

At the same time we can see LIVE footage on Al-Manar of people gathering at the funeral of Hassan Daqiq — a Hezbollah fighter who the party announced died on Wednesday.

14:59 Beirut Time

A video is being broadcast on the Al-Manar LIVE stream, paying homage to Muhammad Hassan Yaghi - one of Hezbollah's founders.

They praise his work as a MP, "advancing the cause of the resistance." They also explain his involvement in the establishment of Al-Manar TV channel, and other Hezbollah channels.

He is also described as "the father of unity between sects," in the video.

14:49 Beirut Time

While we wait for Nasrallah to start his speech, here is a reminder of what he said on Wednesday.

👉 Click here

14:47 Beirut Time

Lebanon's national anthem now playing as a pro-Hezbollah procession is shown on the screen of Al-Manar TV in Basra in Iraq; Sana'a in Yemen, and Kfar Roummane in southern Lebanon.

14:43 Beirut Time

We want to give you some context about today's upcoming speech by Hassan Nasrallah.

Today marks one week since one of Hezbollah's founders, Muhammad Hassan Yaghi, died from a long illness. Known as Abu Salim, he was Nasrallah's executive assistant. He had previously served in the Lebanese Parliament.

A memorial ceremony is being held right now in the Hussainiya Shrine of Sayyida Khawla, daughter of Imam Hussein, in Baalbek, Lebanon.

Nasrallah will speak soon.

14:30 Beirut Time

You'll remember that in Nasrallah's Wednesday speech, the Hezbollah leader denounced what he called "a blatant Israeli attack" against the southern suburbs of Beirut, following the assassination of Saleh al-Arouri, the deputy leader of Hamas' political wing, Tuesday evening.

At the end of this speech, he added that this "will not go unpunished." Nasrallah said that he would speak about "current subjects" in more detail during his speech today — without specifying further.

14:21 Beirut Time

In 10 minutes, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah will give his second speech in 48 hours, amid rising tensions in the region.

We will have LIVE coverage of his speech, in English, right here. More updates to follow.

14:19 Beirut Time

An Israeli drone fired a missile on the outskirts of Umm al-Tout (Sour) near Marwahin, residents of the town told our correspondent in southern Lebanon.

Simultaneously, an Israeli artillery shell fell on the same area.

Residents told L'Orient Today that there are no casualties.

13:40 Beirut Time

All Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) vessels due to transit the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden will instead be diverted south around Africa's Cape of Good Hope for the foreseeable future, the Danish company said in a statement, according to Reuters.

"The situation is constantly evolving and remains highly volatile, and all available intelligence at hand confirms that the security risk continues to be at a significantly elevated level," Maersk said.

"We have therefore decided that all Maersk vessels due to transit the Red Sea (and) Gulf of Aden will be diverted south around the Cape of Good Hope for the foreseeable future," it added.

13:39 Beirut Time

Gaza's health ministry announced that the death toll in the besieged enclave rose to at least 22,600, AFP reports.

The ministry added that the number of people injured has also risen to 57,910 with 162 people having been killed in the last 24 hours.

13:34 Beirut Time

People mourn over the shrouded bodies of loved ones killed during Israeli bombardment as they lie at al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Jan. 5, 2024 amid continuing battles between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. (Credit: AFP)

13:16 Beirut Time

Israeli authorities secretly detained thousands of workers in Gaza for several weeks after the Oct. 7 attacks, subjecting some of them to inhumane and degrading conditions, Human Rights Watch (HRW) revealed in a report published on Wednesday. Thousands more remain stranded in the occupied West Bank, without valid legal status and vulnerable to arrest, the NGO continues.

Read the full report here.

12:21 Beirut Time

Israeli artillery shelling has targeted the outskirts of Alma al-Shaab and Dhaira (Sour), residents in Alma al-Shaab told our correspondent in southern Lebanon.

11:55 Beirut Time

Caretaker Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib instructed Lebanon's permanent representative to the United Nations to submit a complaint to the UN Security Council following Israel's attack on a residential area in the Southern suburbs of Beirut on Tuesday.

On Tuesday evening, the deputy political chief of Hamas was killed in a strike attributed to Israel in the southern suburbs of Beirut, along with six other members of Hamas and Jamaa Islamiya.

"This attack represents the most dangerous chapter in the series of attacks, as it constituted an escalation, the first of its kind since 2006, as this time it affected a very crowded residential area in the suburb of the capital, Beirut, and a blatant 'Israeli' violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty and safety," the complaint reads.

11:54 Beirut Time

Israeli warplanes attacked the southern Lebanese towns of Aita al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil district) and Majdal Zoun (Sour), Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari announced on X.

"In the course of this attack, a number of infrastructures of the Hezbollah terrorist organization were destroyed, as well as a position and a military site where the terrorists were operating," he said.

11:37 Beirut Time

Israeli artillery shelling has targeted the western outskirts of Tayr Harfa (Sour) and an area between Yarine and Jibbain (Sour), residents told our correspondent in southern Lebanon.

10:44 Beirut Time

Commenting on the assassination of Hamas senior leader Saleh Arouri in the southern suburbs of Beirut three days ago, Hezbollah MP Ali Fayyad said that the need to deter the Israeli threat is increasing.

Fayyad made his comments in a ceremony held in the city of Kafr Remen (South Lebanon) for three Hezbollah members who were killed in the fighting with Israel.

Fayyad also pointed out that Hezbollah has "the absolute right to use all available means to protect national security and Lebanese sovereignty" while facing Israel.

10:34 Beirut Time

The Israeli army fired three shells at the outskirts of Houla (Marjayoun), according to our correspondent.

10:29 Beirut Time

Israeli fighter jets fired two missiles at the outskirts of Majdel Zoun (Sour), according to local residents quoted by our correspondent.

Israeli strikes also targeted the area of Aita al-Shaab and Ramieh (Bint Jbeil), a security source assured our correspondent.

The Israeli army also struck a road linking Yaroun, Maroun al-Ras and Bint Jbeil (Bint Jbeil caza) the previous night.

10:18 Beirut Time

Commenting on the regional events that happened since Oct. 7, Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said that "the general situation in Lebanon is very ambiguous and unstable, considering that all possibilities are possible," according to state-run National News Agency.

Regarding the assassination of Hamas's number two Saleh Arouri three days ago in Beirut, Geagea said that Hezbollah has been providing protection for Arouri since his presence in Lebanon and the targeting took place in an area that belongs to the party.

10:11 Beirut Time

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell will be in Lebanon today until Sunday to discuss the situation on the Israeli-Lebanese border and the importance of avoiding regional escalation, said the EU in a statement on Friday.

“Mr Borrell will again emphasize the need to advance diplomatic efforts with regional leaders," the statement read. 

09:42 Beirut Time

During a meeting with American envoy Amos Hochstein, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "made it clear that Israel is committed to bringing about a fundamental change on its border with Lebanon, so residents of the north will return to their homes and live in safety and security," according to a statement published by Netanyahu's office on X.

"The Prime Minister emphasized that we will not stop until this goal has been achieved, whether diplomatically, which Israel prefers, or in some other way," the statement adds.

09:12 Beirut Time

The situation in Southern Lebanon was generally calm last night. However, Israeli artillery shelling targeted Wadi Saluki and the outskirts of Houla (Marjayoun) at midnight, a security source told our correspondent in the South.

09:01 Beirut Time

In case you have been out of the loop on what has been happening lately, here is the Morning Brief to catch you up to speed.

Morning Brief

Arouri funeral, another Nasrallah speech, BDL foreign currency reserves up: Everything you need to know to start your Friday

09:00 Beirut Time

Good morning.

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