A Palestinian man who was wounded in Israeli fire while waiting for aid, according to health officials, lies on a bed at al-Shifa hospital, in Gaza City, March 1, 2024. (Credit: Kosay Al Nemer/Reuters)


Hamas says 7 hostages killed during Israeli bombardments in Gaza: Gaza war, day 147

What you need to know

Egypt hopes to reach a truce and an exchange of hostages before Ramadan.

Hamas and Fatah "thanked" Russia for its support for the Palestinian cause.

Strikes continue between Hezbollah and Israel in southern Lebanon.

21:23 Beirut Time

Thank you for following our live updates from the Gaza war today. We'll be back tomorrow morning to continue bring you the latest news from Gaza, south Lebanon and the rest of the region.

20:50 Beirut Time

British maritime security firm Ambrey says it has received multiple reports of another incident involving the Rubymar cargo ship yesterday, Reuters reports. A number of Yemenis were reportedly harmed during the incident.

The Lebanese-operated bulk carrier was abandoned in the southern Red Sea after being targeted by Yemen's Houthis on Feb. 18. It was approximately 16 nautical miles west of Yemen's Mokha at the time of the second incident, Ambrey said in an advisory note. The bulk carrier contained more than 20,000 tons of combustible fertilizer, according to the CEO of the Lebanese operating company, Blue Feet.

➡️ Click here for more about the Rubymar.

Image: The Rubymar cargo ship sinking off the Yemeni coast on Feb. 26, 2024 following a Houthi missile attack. (Credit: AL-Joumhouriya TV/AFP)

20:35 Beirut Time

Four more children have died of "malnutrition and dehydration" in a hospital in the north of the Gaza Strip, AFP reports, citing the Health Ministry in the Hamas-run enclave.

The deaths occurred at Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza, ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra said in a statement, noting that the number of child "malnutrition and dehydration" deaths now totals 10.

➡️ More details here.

18:57 Beirut Time

Seven Israeli hostages held in Gaza were killed after the Israeli army shelled the enclave, Reuters cites Abu Obeida, spokesperson for the armed wing of Hamas, the Ezzedine al-Qassam brigades, as saying.

The date of death of the seven people was not specified. The al-Qassam brigades have confirmed that the number of hostages killed as a result of Israeli military operations in Gaza now exceeds 70, added Abu Obeida in a statement relayed on Telegram.

During a weeklong truce at the end of November, Hamas released more than 100 Israeli and foreign hostages in exchange for Israel releasing around 240 Palestinian prisoners.

18:13 Beirut Time

The latest developments in southern Lebanon:

* The Israeli army said it struck a "Hezbollah military building" near the village of Aita al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil), as well as another building and infrastructure near the Jabal al-Blat area. It added that several shots fired from Lebanon into Israeli territory were identified and that they had fallen in an open area.

* Hezbollah claims to have targeted a group of Israeli soldiers at 1.55 p.m. with rockets in the vicinity of the Ramim barracks, opposite the Lebanese village of Markaba, and the Israeli site of Baghdadi, opposite Meis al-Jabal (Marjayoun). At 2 p.m., Hezbollah targeted "a Zionist force" at the Israeli site of Manara, claiming to have caused deaths and injuries. And at 1.07 p.m., it claimed to have targeted a group of Israeli soldiers in Ma'ayan Baruch, an Israeli town opposite Ghajar, a village which has been partly annexed by Israel. This latest attack was a drone strike, Hezbollah said.

* A security source told our correspondent that the area around Ramieh (Bint Jbeil) was hit by several Israeli missiles. Residents added that ambulances went to the site of the strike.

17:23 Beirut Time

For the second time in 24 hours, a US publication has warned that a war between Hezbollah and Israel in Lebanon is "likely.” In an opinion piece published by Foreign Policy, Steven Cook, a senior fellow at the American think tank the Council on Foreign Relations, suggests that “if the Israelis claim victory in Gaza, they will turn their attention to fixing their security problem in the north.”

An estimated 80,000 people are currently unable to return to their homes in northern Israel, after being evacuated by the Israeli army as a precaution in case the conflict escalates. “Israeli sovereignty there is now uncertain. That is simply not tolerable for the government… requiring a forceful response,” says Cook.

If Israel succeeds with its publicized goal of destroying Hamas and its leadership, Cook suggests that Iran could “lift whatever constraints under which Nasrallah’s forces have been operating rather than accept Hamas’s defeat.”

“That day seems to be approaching,” he adds. Since Oct. 8 the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel has been relatively contained, though in recent weeks Israeli strikes have deepened, hitting Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley and just south of Saida.

17:12 Beirut Time

Representatives of Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Fatah, "thanked Russia for its position of constant support for the Palestinian cause," in a statement issued by Hamas after a meeting in Moscow attended by these representatives.

The text states that during the meeting the attendees discussed "resisting and thwarting attempts to exile our people from their land and homeland of Palestine" and "ending the barbaric blockade" against Gaza and the occupied West Bank. The text also affirms the desire to "confront the enemy's ongoing violations against the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque" in Jerusalem. Israel has announced measures restricting worshippers' access to Al-Aqsa.

In recent years, Moscow has endeavored to maintain good relations with all the players in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including Fatah and Hamas, but relations have recently become strained with Israel due to its offensive in Gaza and its open rejection of a Palestinian state.

16:45 Beirut Time

A round-up of the situation in southern Lebanon this afternoon:

* In the last hour: The Israeli army said its fighter jets struck a Hezbollah military building near the village of Aita al-Shaab in southern Lebanon, as well as another building and infrastructure near the area of Jabal al-Blat. The Israeli army also stated that several missiles had been launched from Lebanon into Israeli territory over the last hour, adding that these fell in an open area.

* Earlier, at 13:55 p.m., Hezbollah says it targeted a group of Israeli soldiers with rockets in the vicinity of the Ramim barracks, opposite the Lebanese village of Markaba, and the Israeli site of Baghdadi, opposite Mais al-Jabal (Marjayoun).

16:23 Beirut Time

Hussein Hamdan and his wife, Manar Abadi, who were killed on Wednesday evening in an Israeli strike in Kafra, were laid to rest today.

Hundreds of people gathered in Kafra to accompany the victims' coffins in a procession through the streets of the village.

Speaking at the funerals, Hezbollah MP Hassan Ezzeddine said that the party is "fighting a real war in a limited geographical area" and that this "confrontation is evolving according to the enemy's aggressions and attacks."

If Israel "no longer confines itself to this battlefield, we will resist with everything in our power to dissuade them from continuing," he added. Israel earlier this week struck the Baalbeck area in an attack.

16:17 Beirut Time

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Friday that his country is hopeful that talks initiated by Qatar can agree a cessation of hostilities in Gaza before the start of the upcoming fasting month of Ramadan.

"We are hopeful that we can reach a cessation of hostilities and exchange of hostages. Everyone recognizes that we have a time limit to be successful before the start of Ramadan," Shoukry said at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Turkey.

15:23 Beirut Time

Here is a wrap-up of the situation in southern Lebanon:

- Hezbollah announced that it shot down a small Israeli drone last night at midnight over the valley of Aaziyyeh (Sour).

- The party also said that it targeted with rockets a group of Israeli soldiers in the vicinity of the Ramim barracks, facing the Lebanese village of Markaba, and the Israeli site of Baghdadi, facing Mais al-Jabal (Marjeyoun), at 1:55 p.m. this afternoon.

- Israeli jets carried out three airstrikes targeting Aita al-Shaab, Jabal al-Blat, and the outskirts of Ramieh (all located in the Bint Jbeil district.) A drone also launched a guided missile at the town of Aita al-Shaab, targeting a house and no injuries were reported, according to a security source.

- Israeli artillery shelled the outskirts of Wazzani, close to Houla (Marjayoun) and the Hamames hill, south of the town of Khiam (Majayoun,) a security source told L’Orient Today.

14:36 Beirut Time

People participating in a march in Ain al-Hilweh in support of the "resistance" in Gaza. (Photo courtessy of Muntasser Abdallah/L'Orient Today)

Dozens of Palestinians from the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp staged a march today, starting from the camp's mosques after Friday prayers, "in condemnation of the massacres taking place in Gaza," our correspondent in the south reported. Participants waved Palestinian flags and held banners, including ones that read "Oct. 7, the beginning of liberation" and "Arab rulers are killing our people in Gaza." The march celebrated "the resistance in Gaza and hailed the youth of Sanaa," in Yemen. The procession traversed various streets and alleys of the Ain al-Hilweh camp, with additional participants joining along the way. In the Bourj al-Shamali camp, east of the city of Sour, Hamas organized a march, attended by dozens, titled "in condemnation of the genocide war against Palestinians in Gaza."

14:23 Beirut Time

The European Commission has announced that the EU will release 50 million euros in aid to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) "early next week," with a further 32 million to be released at a later date, reports AFP.

At the end of January, the EU had called for an audit of UNRWA's operations, following accusations of the possible involvement of some of its employees in the Oct. 7 attack in Israel. On Friday, Brussels "welcomed" the UN inquiry and said it had "reached an agreement" with the UN agency.

13:46 Beirut Time

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she was "deeply disturbed by the images" of Israeli fire on an aid convoy in Gaza, while European Council President Charles Michel said he was "shocked and outraged by the murder of innocent civilians."

13:29 Beirut Time

At least one member of a pro-Iranian group was killed by an airstrike attributed to Israel targeting, for the first time, the Syrian coastal town of Banias, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported.

"Three violent explosions sounded at dawn on Friday, resulting from a likely Israeli air strike, on a villa in Banyas, housing an Iran-affiliated group," the NGO added.

12:51 Beirut Time

The Gazan health ministry reported that 30,228 people have been killed in the besieged enclave since the start of fighting on Oct. 7.

The ministry added that 193  people had been killed in the last 24 hours and that 71,377 have been injured since the start of the war.

12:43 Beirut Time

Since the start of clashes between Hezbollah and the Israeli army, mainly in southern Lebanon, 91,288 people have been forced to flee the bombardments, according to new figures from the International Organization for Migration, published in a new report on Feb. 29.

The overwhelming majority of the displaced are from the caza of Bint Jbeil, with 47,359, and Marjeyoun, with 30,154. Most have taken refuge in Sour, where 30,154 individuals have been accommodated.

79 percent of the displaced have taken refuge with host families, while 19 percent are living in overcrowded conditions. 15 percent have rented accommodation, while 4 percent have relocated to their second home. 2 percent are scattered in the 18 collective shelters located in Sour, Hasbaya, Nabatieh, Rachaya and Saida.

10:55 Beirut Time

Lebanon's foreign ministry strongly condemned Israel's "deliberate killing of dozens of Palestinian civilians [who were collecting food aid] and the wounding of hundreds" in Gaza.

In a statement published on X, the ministry considered that what happened is related to the "[Israeli] policy of starving the Palestinian people and exterminating them in masse ... which weakens the chances of a just and comprehensive peace."

The ministry finally called for the "establishment of an international investigation committee to determine responsibilities and to prevent the party responsible for this crime from escaping accountability."

10:46 Beirut Time

Demonstration near the Egyptian embassy in Beirut, March 1, 2024. (Credit: Emmanuel Haddad)

At the call of a collective of several pro-Palestinian associations and movements, demonstrators are gathering near the Egyptian embassy in Beirut for the third time this month to "lay siege" to the embassy, as they put it, reports our local journalist Emmanuel Haddad.

Around fifty demonstrators are preparing to march in front of the embassy, while the police have blocked access with barbed wire and fences. "We demand the immediate opening of the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt to allow humanitarian aid through at a time when famine is setting in. If Israel is primarily responsible for the ongoing genocide in Gaza, Egypt is an accomplice by refusing to open the crossing," asserted one demonstrator. "Sissi takes part in the siege," shout the demonstrators. "Arab governments of shame, the children of Gaza are dying of hunger and fear."

10:28 Beirut Time

Three people were killed in the bombing of a school in Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip, according to Al Jazeera Arabic's reporters on the ground. Israeli bombing of a school housing displaced people in Hamad Town, a residential complex in Khan Younis, has killed at least three people and wounded 10, according to Al Jazeera.

The victims were taken to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah.

Fierce clashes are also reported to be taking place between Palestinian groups and the Israeli army around the town of al-Qarara, north of Khan Younis.

10:25 Beirut Time

More than 30 international media outlets, including the world's leading news agencies, last night expressed their solidarity with Palestinian journalists working in extremely difficult conditions in Gaza, and called on the Israeli authorities to "protect" them as civilians.

10:13 Beirut Time

Amnesty International last night called for an "urgent investigation into the horrific reports that dozens of Palestinians have been killed and injured while trying to receive food aid in northern Gaza." "Amnesty is investigating the matter," the organization added on X.

09:53 Beirut Time

While mediation efforts to reach a cease-fire continue, representatives of Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Fateh, are meeting in Moscow for "inter-Palestinian" talks to discuss the formation of a unified government, according to Al-Jazeera.

Speaking to Al-Jazeera from the Russian capital, the Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative, Mustafa Barghouti, said the talks were marked by a general sense of "responsibility." "I've never seen an atmosphere as close to unity as today," he said. "I think this is mainly due to the fact that people feel responsible for all the massacres our people have suffered."

09:52 Beirut Time

The war has also led to an upsurge in violence in the West Bank, a Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967.

The Israeli army killed two brothers yesterday near Hebron, reported the Palestinian agency Wafa.

Two Israelis were also shot dead in an attack near a settlement, attributed by the army to "a terrorist" who was shot dead.

09:51 Beirut Time

Following yesterday's massacre at a humanitarian aid distribution in Gaza City, in the north of the enclave, during which Israeli soldiers opened fire, international condemnation continued to pour in from France, the EU, Qatar and even Colombia announcing an end to an upcoming arms purchase from Israel.

Read the full report here.

09:11 Beirut Time

Here is what happened in southern Lebanon last night:

- Hezbollah announced the death of two of its members, Thursday night, Ali Abdel Rahman Jomah, born in 2001 from Kfar Kila (Marjayoun) and Abdullah Hassan Asal, born in 1986, from Debaal (Bint Jbeil). They were killed in an Israeli strike in Blida.

- After 10 p.m., Israeli jets launched several missiles toward the outskirts of Labbouneh, on the outskirts of the town of Naqoura (Sour) according to a security source.

- Israeli jets carried out two airstrikes after 10 p.m., one between Ramieh and Beit Lif (both located in the Bint Jbeil district) and the second on the outskirts of Aita al-Shaab (Marjayoun)

09:09 Beirut Time

A statement from US President Joe Biden has urged House Republicans to pass a foreign aid bill in order to “help ensure that Israel can defend itself against Hamas and other threats.”

Biden said the bipartisan national security supplemental package, which House Republicans are refusing to hold a vote on, will also provide “critical humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people.”

“Because the truth is, the aid flowing into Gaza is nowhere near enough, and nowhere fast enough. Innocent lives are on the line,” the statement said.

Biden’s call comes as Israeli soldiers opened fire on a crowd of hungry Palestinians waiting for food aid in Gaza City, killing more than 100 people and causing a stampede.

09:06 Beirut Time

Good morning!

Thank you for joining us for our live coverage of the ongoing Israeli offensive in Gaza following Hamas's Oct. 7 attack and the regional impact of the war.