A Palestinian man walks past a destroyed building in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 26, 2024. (Credit: Eyad Baba/AFP)


At least 7 dead in Israeli strikes on southern Lebanon: Gaza war, day 233

What you need to know

One Hezbollah member killed in a targeted Israeli strike in Naqoura; two civilians killed in a similar strike in Aita al-Shaab, two other people killed in Houla, and two more in Yaroun.

Hezbollah launched multiple retaliations against Israel: around 100 rockets were fired in the late afternoon.

The armed wing of Hamas claims to have targeted Tel Aviv with "a large barrage of rockets."

19:28 Beirut Time

Thank you for following our updates today. We'll leave you for now and be back with all the latest developments in the morning.

19:15 Beirut Time

Several sources tell our correspondent in the south that two people were indeed killed in the Israeli strikes on Yaroun (Bint Jbeil caza).

This brings to seven the number of people killed today by Israeli strikes in southern Lebanon.

19:09 Beirut Time

In response to the Israeli attack on the village of Houla that killed two people earlier today, Hezbollah says it fired Katyusha and Falaq rockets at the city of Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel.

19:02 Beirut Time

Hezbollah has announced another rocket barrage against Israel, this time at the headquarters of the Hboushit barracks battalion, opposite the disputed Shebaa farms, at 6 p.m.

18:53 Beirut Time

More updates from the Lebanon-Israel border: 

* More than 100 rockets have been launched from southern Lebanon towards Israeli sites, a security source told our correspondent in the south. According to the source, rockets from several directions have been fired towards Israeli positions, and interceptor Israeli missiles have exploded simultaneously.

* Rocket sirens have been activated in villages in northern Israel, including Margaliot, Kiryat Shmona, Tel Hai, Misgav Am and Kfar Giladi, Haaretz reports.

* Six Israeli artillery shells have fallen on the village of Kfar Hammam (Hasbaya district), according to residents.

18:48 Beirut Time

Here are the latest updates from South Lebanon:

* The villages of Odaisseh, Houla and the outskirts of Markaba and Bani Haiyyan (Marjayoun district) were subjected to Israeli artillery shelling, a security source told our correspondent in the south.

Missiles were fired from southern Lebanon at Israeli sites, a security source told L'Orient Today..

* Israeli interceptor missiles exploded over the villages of Arqoub (Hasbaya), the same source added.

* Israeli artillery targeted the outskirts of Kfar Shuba, according to reports from the inhabitants of this village in the Hasbaya district.

17:46 Beirut Time

Houla's mayor, Shakib Koteich, confirmed to L'Orient-Le Jour that two people were killed in the Israeli drone attack on a motorcycle near a Husseiniyeh in the village. Two others are in critical condition.

The victims' identities have not yet been reported. 

17:32 Beirut Time

Local residents tell our correspondent in south Lebanon that the Israeli attack on a motorcycle in Houla (Marjayoun district) left three people dead; others say that two people were also killed in the strikes on Yaroun.

We have not yet confirmed the reports of these fatalities.

17:30 Beirut Time

Hezbollah has announced five more attacks against Israel:

* In response to the attack on Aita al-Shaab that killed two civilians earlier today, Hezbollah said that it targeted buildings used by Israeli soldiers in the Israeli villages of Avivim and Margaliot.

* In a second statement, Hezbollah said that it targeted a building used by Israeli soldiers in the village of Smir, opposite the Lebanese village of Kfar Shuba, in response to an Israeli attack on Aitaroun. Israel targeted a house in Aitaroun yesterday evening, killing two Hezbollah members.

* In response to the Israeli airstrike that killed a Hezbollah member in Naqoura, the party said that it fired rockets on an Israeli battalion headquarters in the Liman barracks, facing Naqoura.

* Lastly, Hezbollah said that it fired rockets on the Israeli sites of "Zebdine" and "Ramtha" in the disputed Shebaa farms and the Kfar Shuba hills,  respectively, at 3:30 p.m.

17:28 Beirut Time

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has reacted to a video in which an Israeli army reserve soldier calls for mass insubordination of soldiers if they are ordered to withdraw from Gaza without subduing Hamas, Haaretz reports.

Gallant said that "the IDF has one authority, that is the authority of the commander. There are no partisan parties, and no authorities that speak for them. This is the law and that's how it will work."

During a visit to Rafah, Gallant met Israeli soldiers and told them that their job was to "eliminate Hamas and win the campaign, and our job is to take it and move it to the next level in the Gaza Strip and the entire Middle East, and this is something that is interconnected."

17:08 Beirut Time

⚡ An Israeli drone has targeted a motorcycle near a Husseiniyeh (a Shiite congregation hall) in the center of the village of Houla (Marjayoun district), injuring four people, local residents tell our correspondent in the south.

The injured have been taken to hospitals in the area.

This is the third Israeli strike on a motorcycle today: the first strike this morning killed a member of Hezbollah in Naqoura; the second killed two civilians in Aita al-Shaab.

16:57 Beirut Time

A "strong" Palestinian Authority is needed to bring peace in the Middle East, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said today alongside Palestinian prime minister Mohammed Mustafa, AFP reports.

"A functional Palestinian Authority is in Israel's interest too, because in order to make peace, we need a strong Palestinian Authority, not a weaker one," Borrell said, just before talks with Mustafa on how the Palestinian administration can be built up to take over Gaza rule from Hamas.

16:35 Beirut Time

Image: The outskirts of Aitaroun (Bint Jbeil) in flames after Israeli bombardments in southern Lebanon on May 26, 2024. (Credit: Photo sent by local sources to our correspondent in the region)

16:11 Beirut Time

Here are the latest developments from south Lebanon:

* Heavy Israeli shelling targeted the areas around Aitaroun, Maroun al-Ras and surrounding localities (Bint Jbeil caza), according to a security source quoted by our correspondent. At least five shells were fired.

* In the same district, the town of Yaroun was targeted by a missile launched by an Israeli drone. Ambulances are on their way to the scene.

* Residents report that the area around Rashaya al-Foukhar (Hasbaya) has been bombed.

15:55 Beirut Time

Mohammad Srour, president of the Aita al-Shaab municipality, names victims of an Israeli strike earlier today and tells L'Orient-Le Jour:

"Israel killed two civilians by targeting a motorcycle on a village street. They were Rafik Qassem, a car electrician, and Hussein Saleh, a car parts blacksmith."

"They never left the village. Hussein Saleh looked after the animals here, he fed them. They never touched a weapon. I'm really sad for them, as I am for all the martyrs."

15:44 Beirut Time

Recognition of the state of Palestine is only "justice" for the Palestinian people, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said in Brussels today.

"The Palestinians have the right to a state, just as the Israelis have this right," added the Minister, speaking at a press conference alongside Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Mustafa, who called Madrid's decision to recognize the state of Palestine "a major boost" for peace and stability in the region.

15:36 Beirut Time

Hezbollah claimed responsibility for an attack carried out at 1:50 p.m. on the Israeli site of Malkiya and on a group of Israeli soldiers close to this site. In its statement, Hezbollah claims to have caused "direct casualties."

The Malkiya site is located opposite the Lebanese town of Aitaroun (Bint Jbeil).

15:12 Beirut Time

Hezbollah has just announced the death of one of its fighters: Mohammad Baidoun, born in 1989 and originally from Bint Jbeil. According to security sources speaking to our correspondent in the south, Baidoun was killed in the Israeli attack on a motorcycle in Naqoura (Sour) this morning. As is usual, Hezbollah did not specify in its announcement where or when Baidoun was killed.

14:59 Beirut Time

⚡ We received a new update regarding the Israeli drone strike that targeted a motorcycle in the village of Aita al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil district) more than an hour ago:

* One of the two people injured in the attack has succumbed to his wounds, a security source told our correspondent in the south.

14:34 Beirut Time

We have received more details on the Israeli drone strike that targeted the village of Aita al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil district) around 45 minutes ago:

* According to a security source speaking to our correspondent in the south, the airstrike targeted a motorcycle, and two people have been critically injured.

14:33 Beirut Time

Hamas' armed wing launched a "big missile" attack on Tel Aviv in response to what it called "Zionist massacres against civilians," Reuters reports, quoting a statement the group's Telegram channel.

One person has been lightly wounded by shrapnel in the Israeli city of Herzliya, Haaretz reports, citing the Magen David Adom rescue service.

14:21 Beirut Time

Rocket sirens blared today in Tel Aviv for the first time in months, with at least three blasts reported across central Israel, AFP reports, citing its correspondents.

The Israeli military said sirens had been activated over central Israel as fighting raged in Gaza, including in the far-southern city of Rafah. The Israeli army also said at least eight rockets had been fired towards central Israel from Rafah.

14:09 Beirut Time

Cease-fire and hostage release negotiations between Israel and Hamas are set to resume on Tuesday, an Egyptian official familiar with the matter told CNN today.

The Egyptian official added that the talks would take place in Cairo, according to CNN.

An Israeli official familiar with the matter also told CNN that talks would resume next week, but did not specify where they would take place.

14:01 Beirut Time

Here's what's been happening at the Lebanese-Israeli border in the past hour:

* Israeli drones carried out two raids on Jabal Blat and a raid on the village of Aita al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil district), a security source told our correspondent in the south.

* Sirens sounded near the Israeli village of Adamit over a "suspected hostile aircraft intrusion," according to Haaretz.

13:22 Beirut Time

"If certain Israeli leaders continue to threaten Lebanon, we say to them: we know your situation precisely, we know what you're doing, and we're waiting for you," said the head of Hezbollah's parliamentary group, Mohammad Raad, at a ceremony paying tribute a deceased member of the party in Nabatieh in southern Lebanon.

"We are confronting the enemy and its plans in Gaza … in order to push it back and make it feel its weakness," he added.

Image:  (Photo provided by the Hezbollah press office)

13:08 Beirut Time

In response to the Israeli drone strike in Naqoura (Sour) that killed one person and injured another earlier today, Hezbollah said that it fired rockets and artillery shells on the "Jal al-Alam" Israeli site, facing the area of Labbouneh (Sour). The party added that it hit a deployment of Israeli soldiers around the same site, causing "confirmed losses." Hezbollah did not state the exact time of the attack.

Hezbollah also claimed, in its statement, that the Naqoura strike casualties are civilians. L'Orient Today could not independently confirm this claim.

13:00 Beirut Time

A meeting of Israel's war cabinet is scheduled for this evening to discuss efforts to secure the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip, a senior Israeli official told AFP.

"The war cabinet is expected to meet in Jerusalem tonight at 21:00 (18:00 GMT) to discuss a hostage release agreement," said the Israeli official, without giving further details, as efforts to secure a cease-fire in the Palestinian territory resume after more than seven months of a devastating war waged by Israel in the Gaza Strip.

12:50 Beirut Time

Israeli army spokesperson Avichay Adraee said on X that Israeli warplanes last night struck infrastructure and military buildings that belong to Hezbollah in Khiam (Marjayoun) and Aita al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil).

He added that Israeli artillery shelling targeted the villages of Khiam, Houla, Markaba and Kfar Kila (Marjayoun).

12:47 Beirut Time

At least 35,984 Palestinians have been killed and 80,643 wounded in Israel's military offensive on Gaza since Oct. 7, Gaza's Health Ministry said in a statement, quoted by Reuters.

In the past 24 hours, at least 81 more deaths were recorded, according to a statement from the ministry.

12:23 Beirut Time

Hezbollah has announced that this morning it destroyed "technical systems" at the "Abad" Israeli site, facing the Lebanese village of Houla. The party did not state the exact time of the attack.

12:08 Beirut Time

Here are the latest developments in south Lebanon, in addition to the deadly strike on a motorcycle in Naqoura:

* Israeli artillery fire targeted the area around the towns of Shihine, Jibbayn and Naqoura (Sour), residents told our correspondent in the south.

* Rockets were fired from southern Lebanon at Israeli sites in the western Galilee, a security source told our correspondent in the south.

* Sirens sounded in the Israeli villages of Yir'on, Rosh Hanikra, Shlomi and Hanita in northern Israel, according to Haaretz.

11:54 Beirut Time

⚡ One person has been killed and another seriously injured in an Israeli drone strike that targeted a motorcycle near an OMT store in the village of Naqoura (Sour district), a security source and residents told our correspondent in the south.

The identities of the two people affected are not yet known.

Image: Screenshot of a video sent by local residents to our correspondent

11:30 Beirut Time

Hezbollah has announced the deaths of two of its fighters: Bilal Mrad from the village of Aitaroun (Bint Jbeil) and Hussein Fawaz from Tibnin (Bint Jbeil).

They were both killed in an Israeli airstrike on a house in Aitaroun yesterday evening.

According to our count, 317 Hezbollah members have been killed in Lebanon and Syria since cross-border fighting began in October.

11:25 Beirut Time

The armed wing of Hamas claims to have taken Israeli soldiers "prisoner" during an ambush yesterday in the Jabalia camp in the Gaza Strip, AFP reports, adding that the Israeli army denies the claim.

The Israeli forces targeted were in a tunnel in the Jabalia camp and "all their members were killed, wounded or taken prisoner." The Hamas men "seized their military equipment" before "blowing up the tunnel," said Abu Obeida, spokesman for the armed wing of the Palestinian movement.

Hamas also broadcast images of a soldier being dragged along the ground and presented as a captured Israeli soldier. AFP could not be immediately authenticate these images. The Israeli army was keen to "clarify that there was no incident in which a soldier was abducted,"  without providing details of any soldiers killed or wounded.

11:22 Beirut Time

Here's what happened in south Lebanon last night, according to security sources relayed by our correspondent in the area:

* Between 11 p.m. and 12 a.m., Israeli warplanes targeted the village of Aita al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil district) and carried out four raids on Khiam (Marjayoun).

* After 12 a.m., the Israeli army launched heavy machine gun fire towards the village of Kfar Kila (Marjayoun).

Image: Four houses were destroyed in the Israeli airstrikes on the village of Khiam (Marjayoun district) last night. (Credit: Photo sent by residents of the village to our correspondent in the south)

11:18 Beirut Time

The Israeli army is continuing its bombardment of Rafah today, despite an order from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to immediately halt its operations in this southern Gaza Strip town from which hundreds of thousands of people have fled.

At the same time, international efforts were relaunched to secure a truce and the release of over 100 hostages held in the Palestinian territory. An Israeli official said yesterday that the government intended to relaunch the stalled negotiations "this week."

11:15 Beirut Time

Aid trucks from Egypt began entering the Gaza Strip today via the Israeli Kerem Shalom crossing, according to Al-Qahera News, a media outlet close to Egyptian intelligence services quoted by AFP.

A total of "200 trucks" left the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing, access to the southern Gaza Strip closed since Israel took control of the terminal on the Palestinian side, heading for Kerem Shalom. Al-Qahera News did not specify how many trucks had passed through the controls, but said that "four fuel trucks" had already crossed and were on their way to hospitals.

11:15 Beirut Time

Good morning, 

We'll be here all day with live updates from Gaza, south Lebanon and the wider region.