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Four Hezbollah deaths, Mieh w Mieh murder arrest, resident permit fee hike: Everything you need to know to start your Monday

Here is what happened over the weekend and what to expect today, Monday, April 22.

Four Hezbollah deaths, Mieh w Mieh murder arrest, resident permit fee hike: Everything you need to know to start your Monday

Smoke billows from the site of an Israeli airstrike on the village of Majdal Zoun near Lebanon’s southern border on April 21, 2024. (Credit: Kawnat Haju/AFP)

Catch up on yesterday’s LIVE coverage of Day 198 of the Gaza war here.

Israeli airstrikes on homes in Aita al-Shaab on Friday and Jibbain on Saturday killed four Hezbollah fighters as the party continued to announce cross-border strikes while reiterating it does not want a “full-scale war,” deputy chief Naim Qassem told American broadcaster NBC. At least 285 Hezbollah members have been killed in Lebanon and Syria since Oct. 8, by L’Orient Today’s count. On Sunday evening, Israel announced that an Israeli soldier succumbed to their wounds after they were injured in Hezbollah's attack on Arab al-Aramshe. 11 Israeli soldiers have been killed since Oct. 8 according to official announcements by the Israeli military with another either civilians killed. Also on Sunday evening, following a strike on Kfar Kila, the Amal Movement announced the death of one of its members. Israeli airstrikes, shelling and gunfire ripped across southern Lebanon, witnessed by area residents and security sources speaking to L’Orient Today’s correspondent. Meanwhile, Hezbollah’s announcements claimed to inflict damage on Israeli soldiers, encampments and equipment. Such strikes, Qassem told the US broadcaster, partly intend to force “rules of engagement” on Israel, as clashes modulated since Friday after a week of escalation — beginning with an unprecedented Iranian strike on Israel, a new scale of Israeli shelling on southern Lebanon and Hezbollah’s most injurious cross-border strike to date. Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz, quoted by Israeli media yesterday, vowed his government would return displaced residents of northern Israel “even before the start of the new school year.”

The Internal Security Forces’ initial findings on the murder and mutilation of a woman in Mieh w Mieh, uncovered from a shallow garden grave on Monday, accuse the woman’s husband of shooting her dead in February after an argument, a statement published Saturday read. The ISF’s accounting of the murder, according to a purported confession by the husband, claims that he used a pistol already in the house. Two days later, the statement continued, the alleged perpetrator conned workmen into digging holes in his garden, dismembered then buried the woman’s remains, and proceeded to lie to her children, residing in the US, about her whereabouts for the following months. The US Embassy in Lebanon, expressing the US State Department’s utmost priority of the “safety of Americans abroad” after reports emerged of the US citizen’s killing, offered its condolences to the family. Earlier reports of the crime claimed that security services had questioned the husband earlier, at the instigation of the US Embassy after having been contacted by her children. The woman’s husband told security services that all he knew was that she had gone to the airport. Ghida Anani, director of Abaad, an NGO focusing on women’s rights and gender equity, last August denounced “unprecedented” levels of domestic violence. The proliferation of unlicensed weapons, meanwhile, has repeatedly turned disputes bloody.

Resident permit fees rose upwards of 45 times their previous lira values, matching the local currency’s parallel market value (LL89,500 to the US dollar), General Security announced Saturday. First, second, third and fourth category work permits rose to LL 82 million (45.5x), LL 55 million (45.8x), LL 18 million(x45) and LL 13 million (pre-crisis rate varied) respectively. Guarantor transfers and expedited processing will be charged at LL 2 million and LL 4.9 million, respectively.

At least 34,097 people have been killed in Gaza since Oct. 7, according to the latest figures from the enclave’s Health Ministry. While more than 1.5 million people crowded in Gaza’s southernmost city — successively displaced by the Israeli onslaught and facing the looming threat of an invasion — Israel again bombed Rafah overnight into Sunday killing 14 people. Israel’s overnight bombardment the day before killed nine people, including five children aged one to seven and a 16-year-old girl. Gaza’s civil defense Sunday said it uncovered mass graves in the courtyard of the Nasser Medical Complex where at least 50 people had been buried, left in the wake of an Israeli raid on the hospital. Friday’s reported Israeli attack on Isfahan in Iran led to international calls for regional de-escalation — already resounding after the first-ever direct Iranian attack on Israel last Saturday, retaliating for the reported Israeli bombing in Damascus on one of its diplomatic missions. With cease-fire talks stalling, the US cited the deadlock for its veto against full UN membership for the Palestinian state. A day later, the US House of Representatives approved $26 billion of aid to Israel, in a $95 billion package also supporting Ukraine and Taiwan. Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh in Istanbul Saturday as the group considers relocating its political office out of Qatar — which on Wednesday announced doubts over continuing its active mediation of negotiations with Israel. On Saturday, settlers rampaged again through the occupied West Bank town of al-Mughayyer, where an Israeli teenager was found dead earlier this month, torching homes and leaving at least 45 residents suffering from gunshot wounds. Since Oct. 7, Israeli army raids and settler attacks exacerbated a spike in violence targeting Palestinians in the occupied West Bank — who by March 2023 already faced their deadliest year in more than a decade, according to the UN.

In case you missed it, here’s our must-read story from over the weekend: “Hezbollah, Amal claim fighters killed, locals insist they were civilians: How accurate are the numbers?”

Compiled by Abbas Mahfouz

Catch up on yesterday’s LIVE coverage of Day 198 of the Gaza war here.Israeli airstrikes on homes in Aita al-Shaab on Friday and Jibbain on Saturday killed four Hezbollah fighters as the party continued to announce cross-border strikes while reiterating it does not want a “full-scale war,” deputy chief Naim Qassem told American broadcaster NBC. At least 285 Hezbollah members have been...