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Two killed in southern Lebanon, Syrian man tied to pole, Gaza cease-fire talks continue: Everything you need to know to start your Thursday

Here is what happened yesterday and what to expect today, Thursday, Feb. 22.

Two killed in southern Lebanon, Syrian man tied to pole, Gaza cease-fire talks continue: Everything you need to know to start your Thursday

Palestinian children look on at a cemetery in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip on Feb. 21, 2024, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the militant Hamas movement. (Credit: Said Khatib/AFP)

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Catch up on yesterday’s LIVE coverage of Day 138 of the Israel-Hamas war here.

An Israeli airstrike on Majdal Zoun killed a five-year-old girl and a woman, a medical source confirmed to L’Orient Today. The girl died in the hospital after suffering severe injuries caused by shattered glass shards inside her house. The target of the strike remains unclear. Hezbollah announced several cross-border strikes, including rockets fired on a town in northern Israel expressly retaliating for Israeli attacks on civilians. On Monday, Israeli shelling injured at least 20 civilians after striking an industrial area in Ghazieh, near Saida, allegedly targeting a Hezbollah weapons depot. Last Wednesday, an Israeli airstrike killed at least 10 people, including three children, in what Israel claimed was a retaliation for the killing of a soldier in a cross-border attack.

Former administrative director of L’Orient-Le Jour Camille Menassa died from illness at the age of 88, his family announced yesterday. Menassa began his career as a journalist in 1957 at L'Orient, 14 years before it merged with Le Jour. Among other things, he announced to the Lebanese public the deaths of John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1963 and Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1970, as well as the Apollo 11 moon landing in July 1969.

Videos circulated on social media purporting to show Taalabaya residents tying a Syrian national to a pole accusing him of attempting to incite sectarian strife, which he purportedly confesses to have done for the promise of $150 and facilitated migration to Europe. A security source told L’Orient Today the man in question has been arrested by State Security while no members of the mob have been detained. The video that incited the attack shows the man claiming to have converted from Islam to Christianity in a manner that residents, as heard in the video of the attack, found to be an insult to both religions. Last month, the Ghobeiri municipality sued a private security company after its guards tied an alleged thief to a pole.

At least 29,313 people have been killed in Gaza since Oct. 7, according to the latest figures from the enclave’s health ministry.

Israel’s looming invasion of Rafah, crowded to sixfold its pre-war population with displaced Palestinians, continued compounding international concern over the humanitarian situation across Gaza where famine and disease following months of Israeli onslaught have transformed the enclave into a “death zone,” by the World Health Organization’s appellation. Attempts to broker a ceasefire in Cairo continued with US Middle East envoy Brett McGurk joining a Hamas delegation.

In case you missed it, here’s our must-read story from yesterday: “Ghazieh strikes: Not indicative of all-out war in Lebanon, but sent a clear message

Compiled by Abbas Mahfouz

Want to get the Morning Brief by email? Click here to sign up.Catch up on yesterday’s LIVE coverage of Day 138 of the Israel-Hamas war here.An Israeli airstrike on Majdal Zoun killed a five-year-old girl and a woman, a medical source confirmed to L’Orient Today. The girl died in the hospital after suffering severe injuries caused by shattered glass shards inside her house. The target of the...