People check the damage following Israeli bombardment in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Feb. 3, 2024. (Credit: Mohammed Abed/AFP)


Series of strikes by Hezbollah in southern Lebanon; Hamas 'open to discussion': Israel-Hamas war, day 120

What you need to know

Hezbollah carried out a series of strikes this afternoon on several Israeli positions.

Hamas's representative in Beirut, Osama Hamdane, indicated that his party is "open to any discussion" concerning a cessation of hostilities in Gaza.

The head of Hamas's political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, discussed the situation in Gaza and a ceasefire at a meeting with the head of Turkish intelligence.

21:04 Beirut Time

Thank you for following our LIVE coverage of day 120 of the Israel-Hamas war. We will be back tomorrow with more news updates.

20:59 Beirut Time

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, based in Qatar, is expected in Egypt to discuss a proposed truce with CIA chief William Burns and Egyptian, Israeli and Qatari officials, according to AFP.

According to a Hamas source, the first phase provides for a six-week truce, during which Israel must release 200 to 300 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for 35 to 40 hostages still held in Gaza, and allow 200 to 300 trucks of aid into the small besieged territory every day.

20:33 Beirut Time

Hezbollah claimed responsibility for a series of attacks on Israeli positions this evening.

A first attack targeted the locality of Even Menachem at 5:35 p.m., "in response to Israeli strikes on villages and homes, notably in Aita al-Shaab and Yaroun recently," explains the party in a statement.

A second strike targeted an Israeli army position in the locality of Yiron at 5:35 p.m., "in response to an Israeli strike on Friday evening on the [Lebanese] village of Blida."

At 6:10 p.m., Hezbollah attacked for the second time the Israeli site of Sammaka in Shebaa farms.

A fourth attack was carried out by the party at 6:40 p.m. on the Israeli site of Tallet el-Kobra.

In addition, an earlier Israeli strike on the locality of Taybeh targeted a house and killed two people, according to residents quoted by our correspondent.

19:49 Beirut Time

Hamas's representative in Beirut, Oussama Hamdane, declared today that his party was "open to any discussion that could put an end to Israeli hostilities" in the Gaza Strip, at a press conference held in the Lebanese capital.

"We have received the proposals put forward in Paris" at a recent meeting of mediators calling for a new truce in Gaza, said Oussama Hamdan, who also thanked Qatar and Egypt for their efforts to achieve a ceasefire.

He also called for "a complete cessation of hostilities, a full withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza ... and a serious agreement for an exchange of hostages and prisoners."

Hamdan also called on the international community "to press for humanitarian and medical aid to be delivered to Gaza."

18:59 Beirut Time

Hezbollah issued statements claiming responsibility for two attacks on Israeli sites in Shebaa Farms.

The first was carried out at 5:10 p.m. against the Sammaka site, while the second targeted the Ramta site at 5:15 p.m., according to party statements.

In addition, Israeli strikes hit the locality of Taybeh (Marjayoun district), according to residents quoted by our correspondent. Israeli fighter jets also flew over the eastern sector of south Lebanon.

An attack from Lebanon also hit the Israeli site of Birket Richa, according to security sources contacted by our correspondent. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Earlier, during a strike on Yaroun (Bint Jbeil district), the Israeli army targeted a dwelling in the village, according to our correspondent. No casualties have been reported.

18:57 Beirut Time

The head of Hamas's political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, discussed the situation in Gaza today, as well as ways of implementing a ceasefire, during a meeting with the head of Turkish intelligence, according to a statement published by the Islamist group's Telegram channel.

The two officials also discussed the humanitarian needs of the enclave's inhabitants, as well as the latest developments regarding the exchange of hostages and prisoners with Israel.

18:00 Beirut Time

Latest developments in south Lebanon (past hour)

Several rockets have been fired from south Lebanon towards the Israeli eastern sector, our correspondent reports, citing a security source. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

Israeli drones also fired two missiles in the direction of Yaroun (Bint Jbeil district), according to residents quoted by our correspondent. Ambulances were dispatched to the scene.

Israeli artillery also hit the outskirts of Dhaira and Alma Shaab (Sour district), as well as the outskirts of Kfar Hammam and Kfar Shuba (Hasbaya district), and the locality of Naqoura (Sour district).

The outskirts of Markaba (Marjayoun district) were also hit by three shells, according to local residents.

17:37 Beirut Time

The US announced on Saturday that the previous day it had destroyed eight drones off the coast of Yemen and four on the ground, in order to "protect freedom of navigation" from the Houthi rebels' attacks on maritime traffic, which have multiplied in recent weeks, according to AFP.

These operations come against a backdrop of regional turmoil linked to the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, which is in the throes of a major humanitarian crisis.

On Friday, the strikes targeted one drone over the Gulf of Aden, seven in the Red Sea and four on the ground in "areas of Yemen controlled by the Houthis," an Iranian-backed movement, the US Middle East Command (Centcom) said in a statement.

However, Centcom did not specify the origin of the drones destroyed off the coast of Yemen.

15:57 Beirut Time

Israeli army spokesman Avichay Adraee announced around an hour ago on X (formerly Twitter) that the Israeli army raided earlier today a "military command headquarters in Yaroun [Bint Jbeil district] ... where Hezbollah members were working" and "two observation sites in Marwahine [Sour district] and Aita al-Shaab [Bint Jbeil]."

L'Orient Today reported earlier that Israel carried out several raids targeting the vicinities of Jabal Blat, Shihine (Sour) and the outskirts of Yaroun (Bint Jbeil) and Aita al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil).

Adraee added that "a launch site used to fire rocket shells" towards Israel was also targeted, without specifying where this platform was located.

The Israeli spokesman also said that "three shells [fired from Lebanon] fell in open areas in the villages of Bar'am and Zar'it without causing casualties."

Earlier, Hezbollah had claimed a strike on a position located to the west Zar'it, facing the Lebanese town of Boustan (Sour). No strike has yet been claimed by the groups active on the Lebanese border towards the area of Bar'am, a village facing the Lebanese towns of Rmaish and Yaroun (Bint Jbeil).

14:55 Beirut Time

An Israeli airstrike targeted the outskirts of Aita al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil district), residents told our correspondent in the south around an hour ago.

No other incidents were reported along the Lebanon-Israel border during the past hour.

14:19 Beirut Time

Hamas has condemned the US's overnight airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, saying Washington had poured "oil on the fire" in the Middle East, AFP reports. More details here.

14:08 Beirut Time

Here's what's been happening at the Lebanon-Israel border during the past 45 minutes:

* Hezbollah announced that it targeted the Israeli base of "Khirbet Maar" opposite the Lebanese border town of Boustan (Sour district) at 10:50 a.m.

* According a security source relayed by our correspondent in the south, Israel carried out two raids on the vicinities of Jabal Blat and Chihine (Sour district).

* Israeli warplanes carried out a third raid on the outskirts of Yaroun (Bint Jbeil), residents told L'Orient Today. They added that ambulances have headed to the targeted area.

13:04 Beirut Time

Image: A young boy carries empty jerricans in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Feb. 3, 2024. (Credit: Mohammed Abed/AFP)

12:52 Beirut Time

US strikes in the west of Iraq against armed pro-Iran groups killed at least 16 people, including civilians, and wounded 23, Iraqi government spokesman Bassem al-Awadi says, AFP reports. More details here.

12:24 Beirut Time

The situation is relatively calm in south Lebanon this morning. In the last hour, Israeli artillery shelling has targeted the outskirts of Rashaya al-Foukhar (Hasbaya district), residents tell our correspondent in the south.

12:13 Beirut Time

Gaza toll update: At least 27,238 Palestinians have been killed and 66,452 others injured in Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7, the enclave's Health Ministry says, Reuters reports.

Israeli forces have killed at least 107 Palestinians and injured 165 over the past 24 hours, it adds.

11:37 Beirut Time

Following last night's announcement by the Amal movement of the death of two of its fighters in Blida, read or re-read Zeina Antonios' explanation about the various warring groups involved on the South Lebanon front.

Besides Hezbollah, who’s firing at Israel from southern Lebanon?

Besides Hezbollah, who’s firing at Israel from southern Lebanon?

10:54 Beirut Time

Islamic Resistance in Iraq militants have targeted the al-Harir air base hosting US forces in northern Iraq, the group said hours after the US carried out retaliatory strikes in Iraq and Syria against Iran-linked targets, Reuters reports.

10:52 Beirut Time

The Polish foreign minister says US retaliatory strikes on Iran-linked targets in Iraq and Syria are the result of Iranian proxies "playing with fire," Reuters reports.

"Iran's proxies have played with fire for months and years, and it's now burning them," the news agency cites Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski as telling reporters as he arrived for a meeting with his EU counterparts in Brussels.

10:50 Beirut Time

Al-Jazeera correspondents in Gaza are this morning reporting "fierce clashes between Palestinian armed groups and the Israeli military west of Gaza City during air and artillery strikes."

Khan Younis, in the south of the strip, is also the scene of armed clashes and strikes, according to Al-Jazeera

10:49 Beirut Time

Internal divisions within Hamas's top leadership are preventing the militant group from signing off on a US-backed proposal to pause fighting in Gaza and free more Israeli hostages, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing officials familiar with the negotiations.

According to the report, Hamas’s military leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, and others say they are ready to accept the proposal for an initial six-week halt to the fighting, while the organization’s exiled political leaders continue to demand more concessions and want to negotiate a permanent cease-fire.

The WSJ also cites the officials as saying that Israeli negotiators are demanding a full list of all hostages, alive and dead, and assurance from Hamas that they would all be released in the potential deal, but Hamas officials have argued that they would need more time to locate all the hostages, especially those who might have died due to Israeli strikes on Gaza.

The paper adds that Hamas declined to comment on the divisions within the group’s leadership and added that the group has not made a final decision on the truce agreement. The WSJ also points out that Israel’s war cabinet too hasn’t rendered a decision on the agreement.

10:17 Beirut Time

The United Arab Emirates has allocated $5 million to support the work of UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinians, in Gaza, Reuters reports, citing the UAE's state news agency.

Major donors to the UN agency last week suspended their funding after allegations emerged that around 12 of UNRWA's tens of thousands of Palestinian employees were suspected of involvement in the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

10:07 Beirut Time

The Syrian military says "the occupation of parts of Syrian territory by US forces cannot continue" in a statement issued following last night's deadly US strikes against Iran-linked militia targets in the country in retaliation for a drone attack that killed three US soldiers in Jordan, AFP reports.

The overnight strikes killed "a number of civilians and soldiers, wounded others and caused significant damage to public and private property," the Syrian military said, adding: "The occupation of parts of Syrian territory by US forces cannot continue." 

09:51 Beirut Time

Three Israeli artillery shells fell on the outskirts of Dhairah (Sour district) this morning, local residents told our correspondent in the south at around 8:25 a.m.

09:40 Beirut Time

The Israeli strike on a house in Blida (Marjayoun) last night killed two Amal Movement members and wounded a third, security sources tell our correspondent in south Lebanon.

The Amal Movement, Hezbollah's closest ally in Lebanon, released two statements at 1 a.m. announcing the deaths of Ali Mohammad, aged 40, and Moustafa Daher, born in 1991. Both men were born in the village of Blida.

Three Amal Movement members have been killed since the beginning of the hostilities across the Lebanon-Israel border on Oct. 8, according to figures compiled by L'Orient Today.

09:36 Beirut Time

Here's what happened at the Lebanon-Israel border last night, according to security sources cited by our correspondent in south Lebanon:

* Between 9 and 9:30 p.m.: Israel combed the village of Kfar Kila (Marjayoun) with heavy machine-gun fire. Israel also fired flares over Alma al-Shaab, Dhairah, Jabal Blat, Marwahin and Labbouneh (Sour district).

* Between 9:30 and 10 p.m.: Israeli warplanes targeted the Salamiya farm in the village of Halta (Hasbaya) and a house in Blida (Marjayoun). Israeli artillery shelling also targeted an area between Alma al-Shaab and Dhairah (Sour) and the outskirts of Yarine and Tayr Harfa (Sour).

* Between 10 and 11 p.m.: Israel shelled the outskirts of Dhairah, Yarine, Jibbayn, Alma al-Shaab and Tayr Harfa (Sour).

Meanwhile, missiles were fired from southern Lebanon towards Israeli positions. The strikes have not yet been claimed. The Israeli army hasn't mentioned any strikes on northern Israel.

09:22 Beirut Time

The Gaza Health Ministry reports that Israeli strikes killed 14 people in the southern Gaza city of Rafah overnight, AFP reports.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians displaced from elsewhere in the enclave have sought shelter in Rafah, which the UN's humanitarian agency, OCHA, now describes as "a pressure cooker of despair." Click here for more.

09:17 Beirut Time

The US last night carried out retaliatory airstrikes in Iraq and Syria against more than 85 targets linked to Iran's Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) and the militias it backs, the US military said. The strikes follow a deadly attack in Jordan that killed three US troops and injured 40 others. Click here for more details.

09:14 Beirut Time

Good morning, 

We are back with you today with live updates from Gaza, Israel, south Lebanon and the wider region on day 120 of the Israel-Hamas war.