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Hezbollah strikes back, grisly crime in Saida, refugee camps dismantled: Everything you need to know to start your Thursday

Here is what happened yesterday and what to expect today, Thursday, April 18.

Hezbollah strikes back, grisly crime in Saida, refugee camps dismantled: Everything you need to know to start your Thursday

Mourners carry the body of a Hezbollah member who was killed in an Israeli strike on his vehicle, in Shahabiya in south Lebanon on April 17, 2024. (Credit: AFP)

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Catch up on yesterday’s LIVE coverage of Day 194 of the Gaza war here.

Hezbollah injured 18 Israeli soldiers in a strike on a base in northern Israel retaliating against the killing of several party members in targeted drone and airstrikes on southern Lebanon the day before. Later the same day, Israel attacked Iaat in the Bekaa, injuring two people and destroying warehouses in the area. Israeli strikes on eastern Lebanon have continued since Israel’s first attack on Baalbeck since 2006 last month, retaliating to Hezbollah’s attack on one of its drones by supposedly targeting part of the party’s air defense unit.

A woman who had been missing for two months was found dismembered in Mieh w Mieh after having been killed and buried in a village garden by her husband, according to the state-run National News Agency (NNA). Security forces arrested the alleged killer on Monday after an agricultural worker found a decomposing corpse in a shallow grave while pulling weeds. The village mukhtar told L’Orient Today the woman, a US national, was reported missing to the American embassy by her children two months prior. The woman’s husband told security services that all he knew was that she had gone to the airport. The woman’s discovery follows a series of recent cases of violence against women in Lebanon. Ghida Anani, director of Abaad, an NGO focusing on women’s rights and gender equity, last August denounced “unprecedented” levels of domestic violence.

The Bar Elias and Marj Syrian refugee camps in the Bekaa were dismantled after a Lebanese Army raid to arrest the suspected killers of a sixty-year-old man in Azzounieh, found dead on Tuesday after what appeared to be a robbery. Bekaa governor Kamal Abou Jaoude claims the camps’ inhabitants fled to avoid reprisals following the raid, after a week of retaliatory violence and discriminatory measures targeting displaced Syrians, while local sources told L’Orient Today they had been evicted. The Bar Elias camp housed dozens of tents and its Marj counterpart was the site of hundreds of makeshift dwellings.

Caretaker Defense Minister Maurice Slim appealed the caretaker cabinet’s appointment of Hassan Audi as the new Army Chief of Staff in February. Slim, who has been boycotting cabinet sessions along with other Free Patriotic Movement-affiliated ministers, contended that the cabinet’s caretaker status amid the presidential vacuum prevents it from making such an assignment. Several high-ranking positions in government institutions remain vacant or occupied by interim chiefs after more than a year with no President, including the central bank and general security. Parliament exceptionally extended Lebanese Army chief Joseph Aoun’s mandate ahead of his scheduled retirement earlier this year.

At least 33,899 people have been killed in Gaza since Oct. 7, according to the latest figures from the enclave’s health ministry. Cease-fire talks between Israel and Hamas stalled again, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said yesterday. The United Nations appealed for $2.8 billion to provide humanitarian relief to Gaza yesterday, while transferring aid to the famine-struck enclave remains bound in Israeli red tape and the continued fighting exacerbating delivery. Yesterday, the UN Palestine Refugee Agency (UNRWA) said that despite Israeli vows to increase aid deliveries, no significant change in volume was achieved.

In case you missed it, here’s our must-read story from yesterday: “Lebanese in Dubai face familiar power cuts, ‘barely functioning’ transport after record rains

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 194 of the Gaza war here.Hezbollah injured 18 Israeli soldiers in a strike on a base in northern Israel retaliating against the killing of several party members in targeted drone and airstrikes on southern Lebanon the day before. Later the same day, Israel attacked Iaat in the Bekaa,...