A Palestinian child salvages belongings from the rubble of a house hit by overnight Israeli bombing in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on April 20, 2024. (Credit: AFP)


Hezbollah announces 3 deaths among its fighters following reportedly deadly strike in Jibbayn: Gaza war, day 197

What you need to know

Nine people, including six children, killed in an Israeli bombardment in Rafah.

Erdogan meets with Haniyeh and calls for "Palestinian unity."

The Israeli army carries out deadly raids in the occupied West Bank.

19:50 Beirut Time

Thank you for following our live coverage today.

We will continue our live updates tomorrow morning.

19:29 Beirut Time

A 50-year-old ambulance driver has been shot dead while evacuating wounded people during a clash between Palestinians and settlers in As-Sawiya, south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry says, according to a report carried by Haaretz.

The Israeli news outlet adds that, according to the Red Crescent, two other people were evacuated from the area after being wounded by live fire. It cites a security source as saying that settlers threw stones at Palestinian cars near the town, and Israeli army troops later arrived in the area and opened fire.

It is currently unknown who shot the ambulance driver, it adds.

19:10 Beirut Time

Hezbollah has announced the deaths of three of its fighters: Ali Reza Harb, born in 1973 in the town of Mansouri in southern Lebanon; Hussein Ali Dagman, born in 1994 in the town of Kfar Tebnit in the Nabatieh district; and Mubarak Ali Hamieh, born in 1982 in the town of Tariya in the Sour district and residing in the town of al-Bazzali in the Bekaa.

According to information obtained by L'Orient Today's correspondent, the three fighters were killed in the strike on a house in Jibbayn.

According to our count, 285 Hezbollah members have been killed in Israeli strikes in Lebanon and Syria since Oct. 8.

19:09 Beirut Time

Here's an update on the security situation in southern Lebanon and northern Israel:

* Israeli artillery shelling targeted the Houch area, with six shells, near Burj al-Moulouk in the Marjayoun district and around the Hammames hill south of the town of Khiam, residents reported.

* Hezbollah stated that in response to recent attacks in Aita al-Shaab, Kfar Kila, and Jibbayn, it targeted the northern Israeli town of Shlomi, facing Labbouneh (Sour) at 5:45 p.m.. A security source told L’Orient Today that rockets were launched from southern Lebanon toward Israeli sites in the Western Galilee. Haaretz also reported hearing sirens in northern Israel.

* Hezbollah said it targeted surveillance equipment at the "Hanita" site, facing Alma al-Shaab (Sour), at 4:05 p.m.

* Hezbollah announced the death of fighter Ali Reza Harb, born in 1973 in the town of Mansouri in southern Lebanon. He "attained martyrdom on the path to Jerusalem." Harb was killed in the strike on Jibbayn, according to security sources. A source close to Hezbollah told AFP that three Hezbollah fighters died in that strike, but the party has so far only announced one death.

* Hezbollah said that in response to the Israeli strikes on Aita al-Shaab, Kfar Kila, and Jibbayn, its fighters targeted two buildings used by Israeli soldiers in the Israeli town of Metula, facing Khiam in the Marjayoun district, at 6:10 p.m.

18:36 Beirut Time

The condition of the seven-year-old girl seriously injured in the Iranian missile attack on Israel last weekend has improved, Haaretz reports, citing Soroka Hospital in southern Israel, which added that her condition remains serious but that she is breathing on her own.

The Bedouin girl was wounded in the head by shrapnel that hit her house, Israeli media outlets reported.

17:58 Beirut Time

In addition to the strike in Jibbayn — which left at least one person dead, according to a security source — several exchanges of strikes were recorded along the border between Lebanon and Israel.

* Israeli artillery fire targeted Dhairah (Sour) and the outskirts of Kfar Shuba (Hasbaya).

* Hezbollah claimed responsibility for two strikes: the first at 2 p.m. used artillery shells to target the "Rouaissat al-Alam" site in the disputed Kfar Shuba hills and soldiers deployed in the vicinity of this position. The second, five minutes later, was carried out with missiles, at 2.05 p.m., against a "deployment of Israeli soldiers east of the settlement of Even Menachem," opposite Ramaya, in the Bint Jbeil district.

The Israeli army, quoted by Haaretz, reported that warning sirens sounded in northern Israel several times during the afternoon and said that one rocket fell in open area following latest rocket barrage into Israel's north.

17:55 Beirut Time

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged Palestinians to unite amid Israel's war in Gaza, following hourslong talks with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh in Istanbul today, his office said, AFP reports.

"It is vital that Palestinians act with unity in this process. The strongest response to Israel and the path to victory lie in unity and integrity," Erdogan said according to a Turkish presidency statement.

17:11 Beirut Time

The Palestinian Authority is reconsidering its bilateral relations with the US after it vetoed a UN Security Council vote on a Palestinian bid for full UN membership, according to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Reuters reports.

16:38 Beirut Time

Gaza's civil defense agency says an overnight Israeli strike killed nine members of a Palestinian family, including six children, in the southern city Rafah, AFP reports.

Five children aged one to seven and a 16-year-old girl were among the dead, along with two women and a man, according to the city's al-Najjar hospital. ➡️ More details here.

16:24 Beirut Time

⚡ An Israeli airstrike on Jibbayn (Sour district) has injured three people and killed an unconfirmed number of others, a security source and local residents tell L'Orient Today.

The attack targeted a house in the center of the town, a security source and local residents said.

An ambulance headed towards the targeted house, according to a security source.

15:50 Beirut Time

The meeting between Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan began shortly after 2.30 p.m. local time at the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul, Turkish media reported quoted by AFP.

The Palestinian official had arrived shortly after 2 p.m. local time (11 a.m. GMT), according to CNN Türk, confirmed by several pro-government media outlets, including NTV, the DHA agency and the daily newspapers Hürriyet and Milliyet.

14:59 Beirut Time

The Israeli army says its security forces killed 10 militants in an ongoing raid around Nur Shams, a refugee camp in the north of the occupied West Bank, AFP reports.

"Security forces eliminated 10 terrorists during encounters" over more than 40 hours, the army said in a statement.

14:40 Beirut Time

The situation at the border between Israel and Lebanon has been rather quiet since the two strikes reported this morning.

No further Israeli strikes have been reported, but Hezbollah has claimed two attacks on Israeli positions.

* The first one at 10:20 a.m. was aimed at a deployment of Israeli soldiers in "Jabal Adather," facing the Lebanese town of Rmeish (Marjayoun district).

* The second one, at 1:10 p.m., hit "surveillance equipment at the the Israeli Raheb site," facing the southern Lebanese border town of Aita al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil).

13:59 Beirut Time

Hudhaifa Mahmoud Abu Eita, a volunteer paramedic with the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), has been missing for more than 120 days after being taken into Israeli custody from northern Gaza, the group says. .

He is one of six PRCS members whose whereabouts are unknown after being arrested by Israeli forces during the Gaza war, the organization adds.

Twenty-seven PRCS staff members have been killed in Israeli attacks during the war, including 17 while on the job, according to PRCS, which says its ambulances have repeatedly been fired upon while trying to reach injured Palestinians.

13:47 Beirut Time

 Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has urged both Iran and Israel to exercise restraint amid high tensions in the Middle East, Reuters reports.

Separately, Shoukry said Egypt would host a Turkish delegation to prepare for a visit by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi to Turkey in the near future. 

13:07 Beirut Time

After two Palestinians were killed in the West Bank during raids by the Israeli army, Israeli operations appear to be ongoing in Tulkarem refugee camp, as reported by Al Jazeera's correspondent on site, Nida Ibrahim.

"Israeli forces continue to engage in a raid on the camp, where they are reportedly using drones and bombs, causing significant destruction and endangering the lives of those living in the camp," Ibrahim says. The Tulkarem Battalion has released a statement indicating that it will continue to engage in armed confrontations with the Israeli forces.

"The Israeli forces are said to be moving from one home to another, potentially turning them into detention centers and carrying out mass detentions. This has left residents at risk of beatings or arrests, making the situation very dangerous for civilians in the camp," Ibrahim adds.

Image: An Israeli military vehicle makes its way, during an Israeli raid, at Nur Shams camp, in Tulkarem (Credit: Raneen Sawafta/Reuters)

12:51 Beirut Time

The political wing of Hamas is reportedly seeking to leave its current base in Qatar, against a backdrop of complicated negotiations led in particular by the Gulf state between the Palestinian group and Israel aimed at declaring a truce in Gaza and an exchange of hostages, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The information was released as US lawmakers pressured Doha to try to achieve results in the talks. According to the US newspaper, such a relocation of Hamas's political offices could "jeopardize these delicate negotiations" and "make it more difficult for Israel and the United States to convey messages to a group designated by Washington as a terrorist organization."

Where might Hamas relocate its political wing? Read more here.

12:33 Beirut Time

According to local residents, a man was injured when an Israeli strike hit house in Kfar Kila, south Lebanon, earlier.

12:29 Beirut Time

Nabil Kaouk, a member of Hezbollah's central council, says that Israel "thought it could put pressure on the axis of resistance by targeting the Iranian consulate in Damascus, but Iran's strong and courageous response surprised the enemy." Kaouk made the statement at a ceremony in honor of two party members killed in Israeli strikes.

A week ago, Iran sent hundreds of drones and missiles in the direction of Israel, in response to the strike on its consulate in Damascus. Iran's retaliation caused no deaths.

12:29 Beirut Time

Nabil Kaouk, a member of Hezbollah's central council, says that Israel "thought it could put pressure on the axis of resistance by targeting the Iranian consulate in Damascus, but Iran's strong and courageous response surprised the enemy." Kaouk made the statement at a ceremony in honor of two party members killed in Israeli strikes.

A week ago, Iran sent hundreds of drones and missiles in the direction of Israel, in response to the strike on its consulate in Damascus. Iran's retaliation caused no deaths.

12:08 Beirut Time

Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces say that the explosion which took place at its command post at Kalso military base was the result of an attack, Reuters reports.

11:39 Beirut Time

Gaza casualty toll update: The Gaza Strip's Health Ministry has announced a new death toll of 34,049 people killed in the Gaza Strip since the start of the war between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement on Oct. 7.

Over the past 24 hours, at least 37 more deaths were recorded, according to a statement from the Ministry, which says 76,901 have been wounded in more than six months of war.

11:37 Beirut Time

Since early morning, the Israeli army has carried out two air raids in south Lebanon, according to local residents.

* The first targeted a house in Aita al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil), but so far no injuries have been reported.

* The second targeted Kfar Kila (Marjayoun).

Hezbollah, meanwhile, announced it struck the Israeli position of "Hadab Yarin," opposite the Lebanese village of Yarin (Sour), at 7.30 a.m.

11:36 Beirut Time

On the border between Lebanon and Israel, the night was relatively calm, according to security sources contacted by our correspondent.

* At around 10 p.m., automatic weapons fire from Metula targeted Kfar Kila (Marjayoun district), with no injuries reported.

* Last night, Hezbollah claimed responsibility for a strike carried out at 6.50 p.m. against "a Hummer vehicle around which soldiers had gathered" in Metula. The strike, which used a "guided missile," destroyed the Hummer and caused casualties, according to the party.

11:34 Beirut Time

In Iraq, a blast, the origins of which remain unknown, caused casualties at a base housing army troops and former pro-Iran paramilitaries from the Hashd al-Shaabi coalition, security sources reported overnight.

➡️ More details here.

11:32 Beirut Time

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh arrived in Turkey last night and is due to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Haniyeh's visit comes at a time when Qatar says it wants to "reassess" its role as mediator in the Gaza conflict.

Qata is threatening to pull out of truce negotiations between Hamas and Israel as it comes under criticism from Israel and some US Democrats. Turkey, however, which has relations with both Israel and Hamas, could take advantage of the situation to try to resume mediation.

To find out more about what's at stake during Haniyeh's visit to Turkey, click here.

11:30 Beirut Time

As tensions soar in the region, airstrikes continue in various sectors of the Gaza Strip.

Since Oct. 7, the Israeli offensive in Gaza has claimed 34,012 lives, most of them civilians, according to the enclave's Health Ministry.

11:29 Beirut Time

In the aftermath of a retaliatory attack against Iran that has been attributed to Israel, and against a backdrop of escalation in the Middle East since Israel launched its war in Gaza more than six months ago, the international community continues to call for restraint.

11:28 Beirut Time


This is the 197th day of the war in the Gaza Strip, and the 196th day since the opening of a front in southern Lebanon between Hezbollah and the Israeli army.

Follow our LIVE coverage of events across the region here throughout the day.