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Family killed, US demands end to Hamas financing, new plan to elect a president: Everything you need to know to start your Monday

Here is what happened over the weekend and what to expect today, Monday, March 11.

Family killed, US demands end to Hamas financing, new plan to elect a president: Everything you need to know to start your Monday

This picture taken from a position in northern Israel shows Israel's Iron Dome missile defence system intercepting rockets fired from south Lebanon over the Har Dove area on March 10, 2024, amid increasing cross-border tensions between Lebanon's Hezbollah and Israel as fighting continues with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. (Credit: Jalaa Marey/AFP)

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Catch up on our LIVE coverage of Day 154, Day 155 and Day 156 of the Gaza war.

An Israeli attack on a house in Khirbet Slim on Saturday killed a pregnant woman, her husband and her two sons, all three of whom were Hezbollah members while injuring nine others, L’Orient Today’s correspondent in the area reported. The injured included two 15-year-old girls, two 20-year-old women and five older women. Hezbollah announced the deaths of three fighters on Friday, raising the number of party members killed since Oct. 8 to 241 by L’Orient Today’s count. Israeli strikes damaged and destroyed several other houses in southern Lebanon between Friday and Sunday, causing several injuries. Hezbollah over the weekend claimed several strikes targeting Israeli military targets. Three members of the Lebanese branch of the Islamic Group’s al-Fajr forces were killed in southern Lebanon on Sunday evening.

Small arms fire on Saturday struck a Lebanese Army vehicle near Aita al-Shaab, United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon spokesperson Andrea Tenenti told L'Orient Today. The attack from “south of the Blue Line” hit the vicinity of a joint UNIFIL-Lebanese Army convoy, prompting an investigation into “whether the patrol was targeted,” Tenenti said. UNIFIL has repeatedly come under fire since Oct. 8 injuring at least two peacekeepers in separate incidents. Israeli shelling in December killed a Lebanese Army soldier and injured three others after striking one of the national military’s outposts.

The Associated Press reported that senior US Treasury official Jesse Baker urged Lebanese authorities during meetings Thursday and Friday to stop Lebanon from being a transit point for Hamas financing. A treasury source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Baker called for “proactive” measures from Lebanese officials to stop the transfer of funds to Hamas from Lebanon and the regional redistribution of Iranian funds sent to Hezbollah. US sanctions have repeatedly targeted dealings with alleged Hezbollah financiers and members, and recently have attempted to cut Hamas’s cash flow by targeting assets in the group’s investment portfolio and agents abetting its evasion from sanctions, Reuters reported in October. At the time, analysts noted that Hamas in Gaza, despite the war and attempts to stymie its funding, remained “financially solid.”

Around a hundred people on Friday held a sit-in outside the UN Women headquarters in solidarity with Gaza to commemorate International Women’s Day. One demonstrator told L’Orient Today the protest was opposing the “silence of the UN” while “women are being killed in Gaza.” According to the Gaza Health Ministry’s estimate, the majority of the more than 31,000 people killed in the enclave since Oct. 7 have been women and children. The Gaza Health Ministry’s commemorative statement said the dehydration and malnutrition widespread in the enclave affected 60,000 pregnant women and that thousands of women have given birth monthly in “harsh, insecure, and unhealthy conditions,” Reuters reported.

Miss Lebanon 2022 Yasmina Zeytoun was elected on Saturday first runner-up to Miss World 2023. Elected Miss Lebanon on July 24, 2022, Zaytoun is an ambassador for the Lebanese Food Bank and the Children's Cancer Center in Lebanon. “Living in Lebanon, I've learned to always get back up,” Zaytoun said after coming second to Czech Krystyna Pyszková.

The National Moderation Parliamentary bloc, after what one MP told L’Orient Today was a “positive” Saturday meeting with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, is preparing a written proposal to start on Tuesday a new round of meetings aiming to break the presidential election deadlock. The former Future Movement MPs held talks with various political groups to propose consultations within Parliament to be followed by open-ended presidential election sessions. Berri’s reported support of the initiative follows the parliamentary chief’s comments on Tuesday in Al-Joumhouriya in which he was quoted to have found the proposal “bizarre.” Berri previously endeavored to join parliamentarians for a dialogue though was met with rejection from several political groups. The first dozen voting sessions lost quorum after MP walkouts caused a loss of quorum following a first round of ballot casting during which candidates need two-thirds of votes to win rather than the simple majority necessary in subsequent rounds.

At least 31,045 people have been killed since Oct. 7, according to the latest figures from the enclave’s health ministry. Unrelenting Israeli strikes on Gaza left more than 100 people dead over the past three days while attempts to broker a cease-fire stalled, with new meetings set to take place this week. Mediators previously expressed hopes to reach an agreement before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins today, while Israel and Hamas. Maha, a mother of five sheltering in Rafah, told Reuters her family “made no preparations to welcome Ramadan because [they] have been fasting for five months now,” citing prohibitively expensive food prices and shortages that have prompted warnings from international organizations of a looming famine in the enclave. A parachute failed to open on an aid shipment being airdropped into Gaza, crushing five people to death and injuring 10 others. At least 23 people have died of malnutrition and dehydration, according to enclave health ministry figures cited by AFP. Air dropping aid into Gaza has spurred international criticism, with one relief worker telling Reuters earlier this month it was a “policy failure” and an ineffective workaround to straightforward aid delivery exacerbated by the ongoing fighting and strict Israeli controls. An attempt to funnel aid by sea to Gaza through Cyprus was set to begin with a 200-ton food shipment this weekend, though as of Sunday evening, the relief ship remained docked in a Cypriot port.

In case you missed it, here’s our must-read story from over the weekend: “Women-led peacebuilding creates bridges across rival Tripoli neighborhoods

Compiled by Abbas Mahfouz

Want to get the Morning Brief by email? Click here to sign up.Catch up on our LIVE coverage of Day 154, Day 155 and Day 156 of the Gaza war.An Israeli attack on a house in Khirbet Slim on Saturday killed a pregnant woman, her husband and her two sons, all three of whom were Hezbollah members while injuring nine others, L’Orient Today’s correspondent in the area reported. The injured included...