In Ghobeiry, in Beirut's southern suburbs, Palestinian flags are waved to mark Jerusalem Day. (Credit: Mohammed Yassine/L'Orient Today)


Israel considering the possibility of a 'war in Lebanon'; 'Resistance leaders speak for Jerusalem Day: Day 180 of the Gaza war

What you need to know

UN denounces "contempt for international law" after strike on World Central Kitchen employees.

The Israeli delegation left Cairo yesterday, leaving behind a new draft cease-fire and hostage exchange proposal for Hamas to read.

Israel fired 15 phosphorous shells on Bint Jbeil district last night and combed Mais al-Jabal with gunfire.

21:28 Beirut Time

This concludes our liver coverage for today. Be sure to come back tomorrow for all of the latest news on the Gaza war.


20:58 Beirut Time

Here is an update on the situation in southern Lebanon:

- Israeli artillery shelling targeted the outskirts of the town of Wazzani and Hamams Hill (both located in the Hasbaya district) according to local residents.

- Israel targeted the town of Houla (Marjayoun district) according to local residents.

20:16 Beirut Time

The United Nations has suspended overnight travel in Gaza for at least 48 hours to assess security concerns following the deaths of seven World Central Kitchen aid workers in an Israeli strike, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced, Reuters reports.

20:01 Beirut Time

Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg condemned the death of seven people working for World Central Kitchen (WCK) in an Israeli strike in Gaza.

"What we are seeing today in Gaza is a humanitarian catastrophe. We see suffering. We see civilians being killed, and we have also seen the attack on humanitarian workers, and I condemn this attack," said Stoltenberg at a press conference in Brussels. 

19:56 Beirut Time

Israel's telecoms ministry asked cell phone companies to provide backup power for antennas in northern Israel, allocating NIS 40 million (US$10.5 million), the Jerusalem Post reported.

Israel's telecoms minister, Shlomo Karhi, stressed the importance of improving energy capacity "for operational continuity in the event of an emergency, with plans to extend this initiative to the whole country."

19:51 Beirut Time

The government press office in Gaza has announced that two Palestinian journalists have been killed in attacks by Israeli forces in the enclave.

This brings the total number of journalists and media representatives killed since Oct. 7 to 140.

18:54 Beirut Time

Here is an update on the situation in southern Lebanon and northern Israel:

- According to a security source speaking to L'Orient Today, Israel targeted the hills of the southern towns of Hebbarieh and Kfar Hammam, both situated in the Hasbaya district.

- Hezbollah said it targeted a gathering of Israeli soldiers at 3:55 p.m. as they were fortifying the Israeli Marj site in the Hounin Valley, opposite the town of Markaba (Marjayoun).

- Local residents reported Israeli artillery targeting the town of Blida (Marjayoun).

18:52 Beirut Time

The United States does not expect the Israeli strikes that killed seven World Central Kitchen employees in Gaza to have an impact on cease-fire negotiations between Israel and Hamas and the release of hostages and prisoners, the White House said.

"The ceasefire and hostage negotiations continue," White House national security spokesman John Kirby told a news briefing. "I don't expect Monday's strike to have any particular impact on those discussions.

Kirby added that the United States had "no intention" of conducting its own independent investigation into the strike.

"We don't hide the fact that we have doubts about the way things are going. Nor do we hide the fact that Israel will continue to benefit from American support in its fight to eliminate the threat of Hamas," he continued.

18:39 Beirut Time

(Mohammad Abdul Aziz al-Rantisi, a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Lebanon. Credit: Islamic Jihad)

A fighter of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement, 32-year-old Mohammad Abdul Aziz al-Rantisi, was killed "on the borders of occupied Palestine in southern Lebanon during the Battle of the Aqsa Flood while performing his combat duty," the faction said in a statement.

It was not immediately clear where al-Rantisi was killed.

18:24 Beirut Time

Hassan Nasrallah did not go into detail at the Ghobeiry ceremony about the front against the Israeli army in southern Lebanon. He is expected to do so in much greater detail in a speech scheduled for Friday, the last Friday of Ramadan, the date on which "Jerusalem Day" is traditionally celebrated.

18:22 Beirut Time

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said that Hamas is sticking to its conditions for a deal which includes the Israeli army pulling out of Gaza.

“We are committed to our demands: The permanent cease-fire, comprehensive and complete withdrawal of the enemy out of the Gaza Strip, the return of all displaced people to their homes, allowing all aid needed for our people in Gaza, rebuilding the strip, lifting the blockade and achieving an honorable prisoner exchange deal,” Haniyeh said in a televised speech broadcast during the same ceremony marking Jerusalem Day in which Hassan Nasrallah also spoke.

18:20 Beirut Time

"The Israeli enemy does not listen to the cease-fire resolutions issued by the UN Security Council, nor to the appeals of all the countries of the world or the overwhelming majority of countries of the world, nor to the international community, and it continues in the line of its crimes and brutality," Hassan Nasrallah continues.

On March 25, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, but this has so far failed to put an end to the Israeli offensive in Gaza.

17:49 Beirut Time

Israel's Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said, "Israel doesn't want a Lebanon war, but must take its possibility into account," speaking after an exercise to examine the functioning of the Home Front Command in Haifa, Haaretz reported.

Gallant has said that Israel is preparing "for every scenario – from threats near and far."

Gallant stated that the government "does not wish for a war in Lebanon." According to him, "Such a war would be a difficult challenge for the State of Israel."

Still, Gallant emphasized that this is a scenario that may materialize. "We have to be prepared for this issue and understand that it can happen," he said.

17:46 Beirut Time

"We thank the support front in Iran, which faces many threats. Iran and its leaders remain a clear and decisive supporter of the Palestinian cause and resistance movements in the region," Hassan Nasrallah stressed.

17:46 Beirut Time

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah speaks at a ceremony in honor of Jerusalem Day, traditionally celebrated on the last Friday of Ramadan, mainly by the Axis of Resistance groups. The ceremony was held in the southern Beirut suburb of Ghobeiry.

Several leaders of these groups spoke at the ceremony, including Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.

"When we talk today about al-Aqsa Flood [the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7], I can say that it is a question of the existence or annihilation of Israel," stressed Nasrallah. "We hope that the Flood will increase, grow and strengthen over time." The resistance front, in Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq, is under pressure and continues its work, without leaving the field," he added.

16:57 Beirut Time

Latest developments on the Lebanese-Israeli border:

- Hezbollah announced that it had fired rockets at a "new secret command position behind the Biranit barracks" opposite the Lebanese village of Rmeich at 9.50 a.m.

- It also targeted "a gathering of Israeli enemy soldiers in Khallet Wardeh," opposite Aita al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil) with "appropriate weapons" at 11 a.m.

- At 3:05 p.m., Hezbollah targeted the Rouaissat al-Alam site on the disputed Kfar Shouba heights.

- The village of Kfar Kila (Marjayoun) was the target of machine-gun fire from Israeli positions in Metula, residents told our correspondent in South Lebanon.

14:37 Beirut Time

On Friday, the UN Human Rights Council will consider a draft resolution calling for an arms embargo on Israel, citing "the plausible risk of genocide in Gaza."

The text condemns "Israel's use of wide-area explosive weapons" in populated areas of the Gaza Strip, and calls on Israel to "respect its legal responsibility to prevent genocide."

If the draft resolution is adopted, it will be the first position taken by the UN's human rights body on the conflict raging in Gaza. The text was submitted by Pakistan, on behalf of 55 of the 56 UN member countries belonging to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the exception being Albania.

14:35 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announced the death of one of its fighters; Hassan Aloul from the southern Lebanese village of Saksakiyeh.  The statement did not clarify where or when Aloul was killed.

267 Hezbollah members have been killed in Lebanon and Syria since the beginning of fighting between Israel and the party on Oct. 8.

13:02 Beirut Time

Israel has accused Hezbollah of being behind the explosion that injured three members of UNIFIL on Saturday as they patrolled the Blue Line between Israel and Lebanon.

The Israeli army's Arabic-speaking spokesperson claimed in a post on X: "The explosion that took place ... in Rmeish, which resulted in the injury of a number of UNIFIL personnel, was caused by the detonation of an explosive device that Hezbollah had previously planted in this area."

The spokesperson did not specify how the army had reached this conclusion and did not provide any evidence to suport the claim.

👉 Read the full report here.

12:13 Beirut Time

At least 32,975 Palestinians have been killed and 75,577 have been injured in Israel's war on Gaza since Oct. 7, Reuters reported, citing the Gaza Health Ministry.

Some 59 Palestinians were killed and 83 injured in the past 24 hours, the ministry added.

12:13 Beirut Time

Latest updates from the Lebanese-Israeli border:

• Hezbollah announced that it targeted the Israeli site of "Raheb," facing the Lebanese village of Aita al-Shaab, and a deployment of Israeli soldiers in the vicinity of the same site, using missile weapons, at 8:50 a.m.

• Cited by Haaretz, the Israeli army said that seven rockets launched from Lebanon fell near the village of Mattat in northern Israel. Mattat faces the Lebanese village of Rmeish and is also close to Aita al-Shaab.

11:15 Beirut Time

Deep divides between the US and Israel over the latter's planned operation in Rafah were evident during a virtual meeting between senior officials from both countries held on Monday, three sources with direct knowledge of the meeting told Axios.

Despite that, following the meeting, the White House said that Israel will take "into account" US concerns over its planned offensive in the crowded city of Rafah, where more than a million people are sheltering from fighting in Gaza.

👉 Read more about the meeting here.

10:11 Beirut Time

Russia circulated a draft statement to the UN Security Council that denounces the Israeli strike on the Iranian embassy in Syria that killed seven Revolutionary Guard members, including two top generals, and a member of Hezbollah, Al Jazeera reports.

The proposal was tabled during an emergency meeting held yesterday in response to Israel's attack on Monday.

Russian official Dmitry Polyansky wrote in his Telegram channel that Western UNSC members need to take action. “What if the diplomatic mission of another country came under attack? A member of the Security Council? A Western state?” Polyanksy said.

“[We] emphasized in the event of further escalation of the situation, responsibility for this will fall on the United States, Great Britain and France, which have never found the strength to condemn Israeli attacks.”

10:10 Beirut Time

Hamas is likely to give its response to the latest proposal for a hostage deal within two days, Haaretz reported, citing sources involved in Israel's indirect talks with the team of mediators, led by Qatari, Egyptian and US officials.

A source involved in the talks said the "nature of this response will determine whether a deal can be finalized quickly", but warned that so far, the gaps between the sides' positions have been "dramatic." Israel's negotiating team returned from Cairo yesterday afternoon after concluding the latest round of discussions.

10:09 Beirut Time

Israeli army Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi made a preliminary statement regarding the killing of seven aid workers in Gaza on Monday night.

"I want to be very clear," Halevi told reporters. "The strike was not carried out with the intention of harming WCK aid workers. It was a mistake that followed a misidentification, at night during a war in very complex conditions. It shouldn't have happened."

The aid convoy was hit multiple times. A New York Times analysis of imagery from the strike shows three destroyed vehicles, with the northernmost and southernmost vehicles nearly a mile and a half apart.

Halevi said that an "independent body" will investigate the incident "thoroughly" — to be completed "in the next coming days."

09:48 Beirut Time

Anti-government protesters stage a four-day sit-in Jerusalem on April 2, 2024 calling for the dissolution of the Israeli government and the return of Israelis held hostage in Gaza. (Credit: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

Thousands of Israelis have been protesting against the government for the last five days in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. These are the largest anti-government protests in Israel since Oct. 7.

Immediately following the Hamas-led attack, Israel was relatively united, but from January 2023, until Oct. 7, Netanyahu's government had been facing widespread criticism. More than 700 people had been arrested during mass protests against a proposed overhaul of the judicial system that would have limited the Supreme Court's jurisdiction and handed more power over to the government.

The demonstrations happening today are calling not only for Netanyahu and the Knesset members to step down, but also for increased efforts to bring home the remaining 134 hostages being held in Gaza. According to reporting from Haaretz, protestors are calling for a cease-fire in order to facilitate the safe delivery of the hostages.

09:21 Beirut Time

Israel is facing serious backlash from the international community after its army targeted a convoy of international aid workers as they left a food storage warehouse, killing seven.

The team, which included citizens of Australia, Poland, England, the US and Canada, belonged to the US-based organization World Central Kitchen, started by celebrity Chef Jose Andres in 2010.

WCK, the first entity to use a maritime port to deliver food aid to Gaza in 10 years, announced it was suspending operations, as did Anera, another organization that is running the second largest humanitarian operation in Gaza after UNRWA.

Saying “This happens in wartime,” Netanyahu admitted the army was responsible for the strike, and described it as “a tragic case of our forces unintentionally hitting innocent people in the Gaza Strip.”

👉 Read more here.

09:16 Beirut Time

Here's what's been happening at the Lebanese-Israeli border this morning so far:

• Israel fired more than 15 phosphorus shells on the villages of Ramieh and Aita al-Shaab, in Bint Jbeil district, according to our correspondent in the South, Muntasser Abdallah, citing security sources.

• Rocket sirens have been activated in several villages in northern Israel, according to Haaretz.

09:13 Beirut Time

Here's what happened at the Lebanese-Israeli border last night, according to security sources relayed by our correspondent in the South:

• Between 9:00 and 10:30 p.m., Israeli warplanes fired three missiles on houses in the village of Blida, Marjayoun district. One of the missiles did not explode. Israel fired flares over the village of Hula, also in Marjayoun district.

• Between 10:30 p.m. and 12:00 a.m., Israeli warplanes raided the outskirts of the village of Ainata, in Bint Jbeil district, targeting agricultural land between houses. The raid caused damage to some cars and houses, but no casualties were reported.

• Around 12:00 a.m., Israel combed the village of Mais al-Jabal, Marjayoun district, with heavy machine gun fire.

09:09 Beirut Time

Good morning, welcome to today's live coverage of the war on Gaza and its impact in the region — notably in southern Lebanon, Syria, and the Red Sea.

🗞️ You can catch up on yesterday's news here.

☕ You can read today's Morning Brief here.