A member of the Lebanese intelligence service stands at the site of an Israeli strike on a vehicle in the Adloun plain area, between Lebanon's southern cities of Sidon and Tyre, on April 23, 2024. (Credit: Mahmoud Zayyat/AFP)


Woman and child killed, 4 children and grandparents injured in Israeli strike on south Lebanon: Day 200 of the Gaza war

What you need to know

UN report says that Israel did not provide evidence of "terrorists" in UNRWA ranks. The EU and Norway are urging countries to start funding the organization again.

A Hezbollah drone strike targeted an Israeli military site 15 km into Israel, near the coastal city of Akka, significantly farther south than usual.

34,183 people killed in Gaza since Oct. 7, according to the Gaza health ministry.

Israel says that recent strikes on southern Lebanon killed two members of Hezbollah's "aerial unit."

21:50 Beirut Time

That's it for today's live coverage of the Gaza war and its repercussions in the region, notably in southern Lebanon. Thanks for following along — we'll be back tomorrow with more news updates and analysis. Good night!

21:43 Beirut Time

⚡ Israeli strikes on southern Lebanon today killed a woman, her young niece, and a Hezbollah fighter, while Hezbollah launched drones 15 kilometers into Israeli territory — a significant distance compared to its usual targets — targeting two army headquarters.

👉 Read a summary of today's events here.

20:37 Beirut Time

Mourners carry the casket of Amal Movement commander Wassim Moussa, who was killed in an Israeli airstrike on April 20, during his funeral in the southern Lebanese village of Kfar Kila on April 23, 2024. (Credit: Rabih Daher/AFP)

20:31 Beirut Time

Norway, which heads the group of donors for Palestine (AHLC), urged donors to resume their aid to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA today, AFP reports.

The call came the day after an independent review group said that while it had found some "neutrality-related issues" in its much-anticipated report on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, it noted that "Israel has yet to provide supporting evidence" for its claim that UNRWA employs more than 400 "terrorists."

"I am very pleased that countries like Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Japan, and Sweden have already reversed their decisions and resumed funding to UNRWA," Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said in a statement.

"I would now like to call on countries that have still frozen their contributions to UNRWA to resume funding," he said.

Norway is one of the few major donors that maintained its funding to UNRWA despite allegations by Israel in January that some UNRWA staff may have participated in the Oct. 7 Hamas attack.

The United States said it wants to "see real progress" within UNRWA before resuming its funding, said National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby, on Friday evening, cited by AFP.

20:04 Beirut Time

An update on the Israeli strike on Tayr Harfa:

Our correspondent has given us further information, citing a security source, indicating that three people were wounded in the strike, one of them critically — up from the initial count of one.

19:56 Beirut Time

Over the span of less than 30 minutes, Haaretz reported rocket sirens sounding in four locations across northern Israel, alerting of incoming rockets launched from southern Lebanon toward Kiryat Shmona, Manara, Zarit, and Shomera.

19:52 Beirut Time

The Israeli air force struck a house in Tayr Harfa, in Sour district, a little over half an hour ago, and a wounded man was transported to a nearby hospital by the emergency services, our correspondent in the South reports.

19:34 Beirut Time

🔴 The death toll from an Israeli airstrike on a house in Hanine has risen to two. Mariam Kashakesh, whose death was announced earlier, and her niece Sarah Kashakesh, the 10-year-old girl who was initially reported injured in critical condition, according to a security source. Six others — four children and their grandparents — were also injured.

19:14 Beirut Time

Rescue workers clear the rubble of a two-story house that was destroyed by an Israeli strike on the southern Lebanese town of Hanine, in Bint Jbeil district. The strike killed a woman and injured her nieces and nephews and the children's grandparents.

19:01 Beirut Time

🔴 The Israeli strike on Hanin, Bint Jbeil district, has killed a woman and injured three of her nieces and nephews, including a 10-year-old girl who is in critical condition.

The children’s grandfather and grandmother were also injured, security sources reported. The children’s mother was not at home during the raid.

18:49 Beirut Time

People and health workers unearth bodies found at Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on April 23, 2024. (Credit: AFP)

The Civil Defense Emergency Service in Gaza announced today that an additional 35 bodies had been recovered from a mass grave in the courtyard of Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, Reuters reports. This brings the total of bodies found to 310.

The Israeli army withdrew from Nasser Hospital one month ago, after having first laid siege and then stormed the medical facility. An estimated 700 people are unaccounted for, following the military’s operation, according to the Gaza government media office.

👉Read more here.

18:33 Beirut Time

Here are the latest updates from the Lebanese-Israeli border:

• In Hanine, Bint Jbeil district, five people, including a 10-year-old girl, were injured in an Israeli airstrike and transported to a nearby hospital. The military had targeted a two-story house, completely destroying it, according to a security source. Rescue teams are still working to clear the rubble to ensure there are no victims trapped underneath, our correspondent in the South reports.

• Hezbollah announced that it targeted the Israeli site of “Rwaisat al-Alam” in the disputed Kfar Shuba heights, at 4:20 p.m.

18:29 Beirut Time

Israel bombarded northern Gaza overnight in some of the heaviest shelling in weeks, panicking residents and flattening neighborhoods in an area where the Israeli army had previously drawn down its troops, residents say, cited by Reuters.

Tanks made a new incursion east of Beit Hanoun on the northern edge of the Gaza Strip, though they did not penetrate far into the city, residents and Hamas media said. Gunfire reached some schools where displaced residents were sheltering.

In Israel, where government offices and businesses were shut to celebrate the Jewish Passover holiday, incoming rocket alerts sounded in southern border towns, although no casualties were reported.

👉 Read the full report here.

18:12 Beirut Time

A poster of Abu Obeida hanging in Beirut on Jan. 19, 2024. (Credit: Joa Sousa/L'Orient Today/File photo)

In a televised address, Hamas military wing spokesperson Abu Obeida called for West Bank residents to increase their "resistance" to Israel, naming the area "the most significant front."

He criticized Israel's actions in Gaza, stating that "after 200 days of conflict, Israel has only brought death and destruction," is "struggling to recover its reputation, and is mired in Gaza."

Abu Obeida pledged "ongoing resistance until the occupation ends," emphasizing that reports of "resistance factions' elimination are false." Hamas reiterated demands for Israel's withdrawal, lifting the Gaza blockade, and the return of displaced persons.

Regarding captives, Abo Obeida urged "action from Israel's allies" and warned of "limited time." Hamas has vowed to persist despite Israel's expanded military operations and thanked supporters in Lebanon, Yemen, and Iraq. He also acknowledged ongoing pro-Palestine protests in Jordan and urged broader support for "the Resistance."

18:01 Beirut Time

The Israeli army is planning an evacuation operation of Rafah, lasting two to three weeks, which would be carried out with coordination from the US, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, according to a report published today by the Wall Street Journal, which cites unnamed Egyptian officials allegedly briefed on the plan.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that the Israeli military plans to move Palestinians in Gaza to "humanitarian enclaves" to be constructed within the Gaza Strip, which would include food, water, shelter, and medical services, according to the WSJ.

“One, it’s going to happen. Two, we’re going to have a very tight operational plan because it’s very complex there. Three, there’s a humanitarian response that’s happening at the same time,” an Israeli security official told the American newspaper.

An estimated 2 million Palestinians are sheltering in Rafah, having been displaced from their homes by the Israeli offensive. Plans for an invasion of the area have been on the table for months now, facing global criticism, including by the UN and the US.

👉 Read more here.

17:35 Beirut Time

Following its attack on a military site near Akka, significantly farther south into Israel than usual, Hezbollah claimed responsibility for three new attacks on Israeli positions:

• The first against the "Radar site" in the disputed Shebaa Farms, using missiles, was launched at 4:10 p.m., according to the party.

• The second, five minutes later, targeted Israeli soldiers "in Ramim wood," opposite the Lebanese village of Houla, in Marjayoun district, with artillery shells.

• The third, at 4:20 p.m., also using artillery, targeted Israeli soldiers deployed at "Tallet al-Karantina," located opposite the Yaroun, in Bint Jbeil district.

17:29 Beirut Time

Several Israeli bombardments have hit southern Lebanon this afternoon, according to local residents:

• Houla, Marjayoun district, was bombed by Israeli aircraft and targeted by artillery fire.

• Aita al-Shaab, in Bint Jbeil, was also targeted by artillery fire and Israeli air raids.

• Hanine, also in Bint Jbeil district, was targeted with artillery shells.

• A house in Blida, Marjayoun district, was bombed by Israeli aircraft. Ambulances were dispatched to the scene, but there are no reports of casualties yet.

• The outskirts of Shebaa and Rashaya al-Fawqar, in Hasbaya district, were targeted by Israeli artillery.

The Israeli army, via a message posted on X by its Arabic-speaking spokesperson, claimed responsibility for several of these aerial bombardments, claiming to have hit "buildings in which terrorists and other Hezbollah targets were located," notably in Aita al-Shaab, Blida and Markaba.

16:29 Beirut Time

Despite Israeli officials’ promise to “flood” Gaza with aid this month, there has been “very little significant change,” says the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, in a post on X.

In April, Gaza received an average of 186 aid trucks per day — a far cry from UNRWA’s “minimum target of 500 trucks." Discrepancies arose between Israeli and UN figures earlier this month when it was revealed that Israel was counting half-full trucks in its tally, meaning that when trucks were reloaded inside the Gaza border, the number of trucks was halved.

16:26 Beirut Time

Hezbollah said that in response to Israeli strikes on the Lebanese town of Adloun and the assassination of one of the party's fighters, it launched, at 1:40 p.m., "a composite aerial attack with drones targeting the headquarters of the Golan Brigade and the headquarters of Unit 621 in the Sharegba barracks" north the coastal Israeli city of Akka.

A map published by Hezbollah shows the target of the strike located just north of the city, next to the town of Regba, approximately 15 kilometers south of the Lebanese-Israeli border. This is the first time since Oct. 8 that Hezbollah has targeted this area, which is significantly further south than the majority of Hezbollah strikes.

Avichay Adraee, the Israeli army's Arabic-speaking spokesperson, said on X that Israel's "air defense fighters recently intercepted two suspicious air targets over the maritime space in the north of the country."

Rocket alarm sirens were activated "for fear of falling shrapnel as a result of the interception operation," Adraee wrote. "The event has ended."

Haaretz reported that one rocket was intercepted over the city of Akka, citing the Israeli army.

14:40 Beirut Time

The European Union has called on donors to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) to continue their support, a day after the publication of a report suggesting problems of "political neutrality" within the agency.

"I call on donors to support UNRWA, which is vital for Palestinian refugees," said European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid Janez Lenarcic on X on Tuesday. The EU is the biggest donor to UNRWA, accused by Israel of employing over "400 terrorists" in Gaza.

14:22 Beirut Time

Hamas says that its political leadership is willing to stay in the Qatari capital of Doha throughout the cease-fire negotiations if it is beneficial for the talks, the Qatari foreign ministry spokesperson stated according to AFP.

"As long as their presence here in Doha, as we have always said, is useful and positive in this mediation effort, they will remain here," the spokesperson said, adding that Qatar, which has played a leading mediating role in the negotiations, is continuing to reassess its role as mediator in the talks.

These statements echo those of Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan who, after ending his recent trip to Iraq, said that he did not believe that the Palestinian group would leave the Qatari capital.

“What is important is not where Hamas’s leaders are, but the situation in Gaza,” Erdogan said, according to a text of the in-flight interview published by his office.

“The sincerity they [Qatar] have towards them [Hamas], their stance toward them, has always been like a member of the family. In the coming period, I absolutely do not think it is possible for them to change this approach.”

14:22 Beirut Time

Here is an update on the situation in southern Lebanon:

Israeli artillery shelling targeted the outskirts of the towns of Alma al-Shaab and Naqoura (both located in the Sour district), local residents reported.

13:48 Beirut Time

The US State Department said that there is no way to safely evacuate hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from Rafah as the Israeli army prepares for a ground invasion.

“We don’t want to see Palestinians evacuated from Rafah unless it is to return to their homes. And we have made that quite clear to the government of Israel,” said spokesman Matthew Miller, according to the US government State Department's website.

“We don’t think there’s any effective way to evacuate 1.4 million Palestinians. There’s no way to conduct an operation in Rafah that would not lead to inordinate civilian harm and would severely hamper the delivery of humanitarian assistance. And that’s the point that we continue to make to them.”

13:43 Beirut Time

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani continues to work on de-escalating regional tensions and bringing an end to Israel’s devastating war on Gaza, foreign ministry Majed al-Ansari spokesman says, cited by Al Jazeera.

“Qatar is committed to playing a role in mediation between Hamas and Israel. But we need to see some success and seriousness from everyone involved,” said al-Ansari.

“There are some statements by ministers in the Netanayahu government who spoke negatively about Qatar’s mediation. They are telling false information about our role. They cannot say this. So we continue to re-evaluate our efforts at this time.” Last week,

Qatar said it is reconsidering its role as cease-fire broker between Israel and Hamas, expressing concerns that Doha’s mediation has been subject to “political exploitation.”

In a statement, Al Thani had “lamented the political exploitation by some politicians with narrow interests, marketing their electoral campaigns through the defamation of Qatar’s role.”

13:41 Beirut Time

UN rights chief Volker Turk says he’s “horrified” by the destruction of the Nasser and al-Shifa medical facilities in Gaza and reports of mass graves discovered there, Reuters reported.

Turk, addressing a UN briefing via a spokesperson, also decried Israeli strikes on Gaza in recent days, which he noted killed mostly women and children, according to Reuters.

He also repeated a warning against a full-scale incursion on Rafah, saying this could lead to “further atrocity crimes.”

13:27 Beirut Time

Additionally, the Israeli army announced that overnight, they killed "Sajed Sarafand, a significant terrorist of the Radwan Forces' Aerial Unit" in Hezbollah. According to them, the man was "eliminated in the area of Arzoun."

"In his role, Sarafand led and promoted terrorist attacks against Israel."

Yesterday, we reported a strike "between Srifa and Dardghaya," where Arzoun is located.

And during the night, Hezbollah had announced the death of one of its members, Mohammed Attieh, whose nickname is "Sajed" and who lived in Sarafand. It was not immediately clear if he was the same name referred to by the Israeli army.

13:25 Beirut Time

After the targeted strike north of Sour, in South Lebanon, Hezbollah announced the death of one of its members Hussein Ali Azqoul, born in 1981 in the southern town of Qallawiyah (Bint Jbeil) and a resident of the town of Adloun (Saida) in southern Lebanon, "who ascended as a martyr on the path to Jerusalem."

The strike had targeted a car in an area called "Abou al-Aswad," a few kilometers north of Adloun.

In a statement, the Israeli army announced that Azqoul was the man targeted in Abou al-Aswad. According to the army, he was "a significant terrorist operative in Hezbollah's Aerial Defense Unit in southern Lebanon." "Azqoul was heavily involved in the planning and execution of terrorist attacks against Israel and was involved in the Hezbollah's Aerial unit's routine activities. His elimination significantly harms the capabilities of Hezbollah's Aerial Unit," the statement added. Earlier, the Saudi state-owned al-Arabia news channel and Sky News Arabia channel reported that the killed is a "senior member of Hezbollah's air defense array."

12:02 Beirut Time

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron called, in a post on X, on Hamas to '"send the [Israeli] hostages home."

"200 days ago, Hamas perpetrated the deadliest attack on the Jewish people since the Holocaust. 200 days later, the hostages are still in captivity and their loved ones continue to endure unimaginable suffering. Today, we appeal again to Hamas: send the hostages home," wrote Cameron.

12:01 Beirut Time

Ireland's Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Micheal Martin, accused Israel of intentionally undermining the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in an effort to nullify "the right to return" for Palestinians. Martin stated that Israel's aim in attempting to "remove UNRWA" was to essentially eliminate the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland, as outlined in UN Resolution 194, according to The Irish Times, and the Irish independent newspapers.

During his visit to Egypt, where he plans to visit the Gaza border crossing at Rafah, Martin emphasized that Ireland's decision to increase funding to UNRWA, despite Israeli allegations of involvement by 12 staff members in an attack on Oct. 7, has now been validated, the two Irish media outlets reported. He remarked, "We took an opposite view to most countries, we actually increased our aid at that time, and I’m hoping now as a result of the publication of this report that some countries who have paused their support will now allow their support."

11:49 Beirut Time

The Gazan health ministry has announced a new death toll of 34,183 in the Gaza Strip since the start of the war between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement on Oct. 7.

In the space of 24 hours, at least 32 more deaths were recorded, according to a statement from the ministry, which also reported 77,143 wounded in 200 days of war.

10:45 Beirut Time

Last night in Israel, during the traditional Seder meal for Passover, demonstrators set up a huge table with empty chairs and plates in front of the Israeli Prime Minister's home. They also set fire to another table. Hostage families had called for a chair to be left empty around the table, as a symbol of hope for the hostages' return. 

10:33 Beirut Time

In Israel, the head of military intelligence resigned, accepting his "responsibility" for the bloody Hamas attack that sparked off the war between Israel and the group in the Gaza Strip, the army announced, quoted by AFP.

General Aharon Haliva is the first political or military figure to resign since the unprecedented attack on Oct. 7, carried out by commandos from Hamas infiltrated from Gaza. "On Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas carried out a deadly surprise attack against the State of Israel ... the intelligence service under my command did not fulfill the mission entrusted to us," wrote General Haliva, who has 38 years of military career behind him, in his letter of resignation published by the army.

09:54 Beirut Time

During the night, Hezbollah announced the death of one of its members who was "martyred on the road to Jerusalem." Mohammed Khalil Attieh, born in 1994, was originally from Qana and a resident of Sarafand in southern Lebanon.

According to information from security sources, he was killed in one of the strikes yesterday, although it was not immediately clear where. The source added that Attieh had previously been wounded in a strike, was treated and returned to duty, before being killed on Monday.

In total, 286 Hezbollah members have been killed in Syria and Lebanon since Oct. 8, according to L'Orient Today's count. 

09:52 Beirut Time

Prior to the strike on the "Abu al-Aswad" area, the night had been marked by Israeli fire and strikes on southern Lebanon, according to security sources.

Between 11 p.m. and midnight, artillery fire targeted the outskirts of Beit Lif and Aita al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil).

Between midnight and 1 a.m., automatic weapons fire targeted Kfar Kila (Marjayoun). Israeli aircraft fired several missiles at Yaroun (Bint Jbeil).

Shortly after 1 a.m., missile fire was reported from southern Lebanon towards Israeli positions. Until now, no one has claimed responsibility for these shots.

At the same time, the Israeli air force repeatedly bombed "Jabal Abou Rached," in the Jabbour Heights in the Jezzine district. This area had already been hit several times the previous day.

09:13 Beirut Time

This 199th day of fighting in Lebanon between Hezbollah and Israel began, according to security sources, with a drone strike on a car in an area north of Sour.

According to these sources, the car was on the coastal road north of Sour, in an area called "Abou al-Aswad," when it was targeted. One person inside, whose identity is not yet known, was killed, according to a security source. After the shooting, an Israeli drone continued to monitor the area.

This is the first time that this region north of Sour has been targeted, according to our local correspondent.

08:57 Beirut Time
08:56 Beirut Time

Good morning!

Thank you for joining us for our live coverage of the Gaza war and its regional and global impacts.