Search
Search

Morning brief

Amal fighter killed, Lebanon second unhappiest country, Gaza cease-fire talks: Everything you need to know to start your Thursday

Here is what happened yesterday and what to expect today, Thursday, March 21.

Amal fighter killed, Lebanon second unhappiest country, Gaza cease-fire talks: Everything you need to know to start your Thursday

Smoke plumes billow after Israeli bombardment over Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on March 20, 2024, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. (Credit: Said Khatib/AFP)

Want to get the Morning Brief by email? Click here to sign up.

Catch up on yesterday’s LIVE coverage of Day 166 of the Gaza war here.

An Israeli strike on a house in Al-Qantara (Marjayoun) killed one person and injured another, residents told L’Orient Today’s correspondent. The Amal Movement announced the death of one of its fighters in the strike, raising the number of party members killed since Oct. 8 to 12, according to L’Orient Today’s count. An Israeli airstrike on Houla (Marjayoun) destroyed a house and several businesses, without causing injuries, local residents said. Hezbollah continued to announce cross-border strikes on Israeli military sites. Ten people were hospitalized for Injuries from Israeli strikes in southern Lebanon over the past week, the health ministry’s latest figures showed. The report released Wednesday included a new category of injuries, accounting for people wounded after having been “shot at “ by Israel. Israeli gunfire targeted shepherds in Wazzani (Hasbaya) yesterday, injuring livestock, while other incidents of cross-border shooting have been reported forcing farmers to flee their fields.

For the third year in a row, Lebanon is the second unhappiest country in the world, according to the latest World Happiness Report. The report found Afghanistan to be the world’s least happy country while Finland retained the top position for a seventh consecutive year. The report relies on people’s self-reported happiness while factoring in countries’ social support, income, health, freedom, generosity and absence of corruption. Lebanon slipped from 111th happiest to 123rd happiest between 2020 and 2021 and has been the second least happy country in the ranking since then.

The Lebanese Army yesterday announced the arrest of 31 people accused of involvement in armed clashes in North Lebanon after sprees of violence in the region. The army raided homes and set up checkpoints following Monday’s armed clashes in Tripoli resulting from a dispute between two families. Similarly-motivated clashes over the past weeks also resulted in escalating violence. Disputes have repeatedly escalated into deadly violence, spurred by a rampant presence of unlicensed firearms across the country.

At least 31,923 people have been killed in Gaza since Oct. 7, according to the latest figures from the enclave’s health ministry. Hamas received a “generally negative” response to its latest ceasefire proposal, the groups’ representative in Beirut, Osama Hamdan, said, as US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken arrived in Saudi Arabia for the first stop of his sixth regional tour since October to broker a ceasefire with fellow mediators. Israel has conducted 410 attacks on healthcare facilities in Gaza since Oct. 7, according to World Health Organization figures released yesterday, killing at least 685 people. Gaza government media said the 90 people Israel reported killing in the al-Shifa hospital on Monday were patients and displaced people. Israeli Army Chief of Staff Herzl Halev yesterday said the hospital raid was partly aiming to pressure negotiations, claiming the hospital was being used for military goals by Hamas. Saudi Arabia announced a $40 million donation to the UN’s Palestinian Refugee Agency (UNRWA) which last month lost major donors after Israel alleged some of its members were involved in Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack. Delivering aid to Gaza’s population as a famine looms increasingly inevitable continues to face Israeli obstacles in its entry to the enclave while its transportation is exacerbated by unceasing fighting. In the West Bank, three Palestinians were killed in an Israeli airstrike on Jenin. According to the Israeli army, the three men were members of Islamic Jihad. At least 435 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers in the West Bank since the start of the war in Gaza on Oct. 7.

In case you missed it, here’s our must-read story from yesterday: “Who was Marwan Issa, al-Qassam Brigades’ ‘shadow man’?

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 166 of the Gaza war here.An Israeli strike on a house in Al-Qantara (Marjayoun) killed one person and injured another, residents told L’Orient Today’s correspondent. The Amal Movement announced the death of one of its fighters in the strike, raising the number of party members killed...