Smoke billows from the site of an Israeli airstrike that targeted the southern Lebanese village of Khiam near the border with Israel on May 29, 2024. (Credit: Rabih Daher/AFP)


Israeli strike on house in Houla, south Lebanon, kills two, wounds two others: Day 237 of the Gaza war

What you need to know

Sissi calls for any displacement of Palestinians from Gaza to be prevented "by force."

Israel claims to have taken control of the buffer zone between Gaza and Egypt.

Relative quiet prevails today in southern Lebanon.

22:36 Beirut Time

That's it for today's live coverage of the war on Gaza and the ongoing fighting between Israel and Hezbollah across the southern Lebanese border. Thanks for joining us. We'll be back tomorrow morning with more news updates and analysis — Goodnight!

21:27 Beirut Time

Hamas says they informed cease-fire mediators that they are ready to reach a "complete agreement" including a comprehensive hostages and prisoners exchange deal so long as Israel "stops its war and aggression against people in Gaza," Reuters reports, citing a statement released by Hamas.

21:17 Beirut Time

⚡️ Two people were killed in the Israeli attack on a house in Houla, reported roughly three hours ago. A security source told our correspondent in the region that in addition to the deaths, two people were also wounded. The source did not confirm the victims' identities. 

Al-Risala Scouts, the Amal Movement's medical association, told our correspondent that their emergency response teams had carried out a rescue operation at the scene of the strike to extract one of the wounded from underneath the rubble.

19:31 Beirut Time

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz says he hopes Slovenian lawmakers reject recognizing a Palestinian state, saying a yes vote next week would be a "reward" to Hamas, AFP reports.

"The Slovenian government's decision to recommend that the Slovenian parliament recognize a Palestinian state rewards Hamas … I hope the Slovenian parliament rejects this recommendation," Katz said on X.

Slovenian lawmakers are to vote Tuesday on whether to recognize the state of Palestine, days after Spain, Norway and Ireland recognized it in a coordinated decision.

19:01 Beirut Time

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has warned Hezbollah that its attacks on Israel are dragging Lebanon into a "harsh reality" that will have repercussions for the Lebanese, the Times of Israel reports today.

During a visit to the Israeli army's northern command, Gallant also "presented photos and details of the senior Hezbollah commanders Israel has killed" during the past eight months of cross-border strikes between Israel and the party, according to the Israeli newspaper.

"Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is dragging Lebanon into a harsh reality," Gallant said. "Those who will pay the price will be the people of Lebanon and Hezbollah terrorists," he added. "More than 320 terrorists have been killed, including high-ranking terrorists. If you continue, we will intensify our operations," he warned.

18:38 Beirut Time

Displaced Palestinians gather near a displacement camp in the area of Tel al-Sultan in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 30, 2024. (Credit: Eyad Baba/AFP)

18:38 Beirut Time

Palestinian children use a hazmat suit to transport belongings as they flee the area of Tel al-Sultan in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 30, 2024. (Credit: Eyad Baba/AFP)

18:29 Beirut Time

In the wake of the publication of a joint investigation by the Guardian and two Israeli magazines that revealed how Israel spied on and threatened senior members of the ICC, Haaretz has shared its own experience investigating the topic, revealing that senior Israeli security officials threatened one of the newspaper’s reporters should he share his findings.

“One of the investigation's key findings would have been known to readers of Haaretz a long time ago if Israel was the democratic state it claims to be,” wrote Gur Megiddo in an article published today. “In May 2022, Haaretz had hoped to publish this exact headline: that Israel acted to extort the prosecutor, through the Mossad, as part of an operation directed and personally lead by [former Mossad chief Yossi] Cohen.”

18:22 Beirut Time

Updates from southern Lebanon:

Israeli artillery targeted the villages of Alma al-Shaab and Naqoura, both in Sour district, and Aita al-Shaab, Nabatieh, a security source told our correspondent.

The Israeli air force bombed the outskirts of Houla, in Marjayoun district, another security source reported to our correspondent.

17:28 Beirut Time

Israeli war Cabinet minister Benny Gantz’ National Unity party has submitted a bill to dissolve Parliament, Israeli media reports.

“Oct. 7 is a disaster that requires us to go back and receive the people’s trust to establish a broad and stable unity government that can lead us safely in the face of the enormous challenges in security, the economy and above all — in Israeli society,” reads a statement from National Unity MP Pnina Tamano-Shata, who submitted the bill on the party’s behalf.

On April 3, Gantz called September elections, as Netanyahu’s government faced growing dissatisfaction domestically and criticism internationally, over his war with Hamas — notably his failure to bring home the remaining more than 100 hostages.

About six weeks later, Gantz threatened to withdraw from the coalition unless Netanyahu committed to an agreed-upon plan for the ongoing war by June 8.

17:10 Beirut Time

The situation in southern Lebanon since early afternoon, after a very quiet morning:

• Israeli artillery fire hit a house in Hanine, Bint Jbeil district, and two large-caliber shells fell elsewhere in the village, causing an explosion on the scale of an aerial bombardment, according to a security source. Ambulances rushed to the scene, but it was not immediately clear whether there were any casualties.

• A fighter jet fired a missile at Maroun al-Ras, but it did not explode.

• When an Israeli fighter jet broke the sound barrier in the early afternoon, it broke windows in a school in Arnoun, Nabatieh district. It caused panic among the students but no one was injured.

• Hezbollah claimed responsibility for an artillery strike on Israeli soldiers "near the Adather site,” located opposite Rmeish, in the Bint Jbeil district.

17:05 Beirut Time

War-torn southern Lebanon faces a high risk of wildfires this summer due to the remains of Israeli munitions, including incendiary white phosphorus and flare bombs, in what experts describe as an "environmental massacre."

Israeli white phosphorus bombs led to 134 forest fires and over 100 civilian injuries in southern Lebanon in October, according to AUB. Experts warn that if Israel continues to use incendiary munitions, this year could be even worse.

On Tuesday, fierce wildfires erupted in the southern villages of Shaqra, Aitaroun, Mais al-Jabal, Ainata, Maroun al-Ras, Yaroun, Debel, Rmeish, Aita al-Shaab, Blida, Taybeh, following artillery shelling and white phosphorus, Hasan Fakih, head of the Nabatieh civil defense center, told L'Orient Today. "The last fire we put out was at 3 a.m.," he added.

Read Sally Abou AlJoud’s piece about how Israel’s bombardment of southern Lebanon is taking its toll on an already strained environment here. 👈

16:09 Beirut Time

The security team at Meta Platforms removed a network of fake accounts from Facebook and Instagram that were linked to an Israeli technology firm, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

More than 500 Facebook accounts and 32 Instagram accounts linked to the Israeli firm left AI-generated comments that praised Israel and criticized pro-Palestine protests on campuses. The comments were made on pages belonging to media organizations as well as political and public figures, including US lawmakers, a statement from Meta said.

Meta said the digital marketing firm it linked to the network was a Tel Aviv-based company called STOIC. Meta said it has banned the firm from its platform. 

14:26 Beirut Time

Gaza's Health Ministry announced a new death toll of 36,224 in the Gaza Strip since the start of the war between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement more than seven months ago.

At least 53 people have been killed in the last 24 hours, the ministry said in a statement, adding that 81,777 people have been injured since Oct. 7.

13:38 Beirut Time

An update on the situation in southern Lebanon:

The only incident reported since the morning was an Israeli fighter jet breaking the sound barrier over southern Lebanon and the Bekaa.

The Israeli army, quoted by Haaretz, reported “an intercepted target coming from Lebanon” since the morning, and false alarms triggered warning sirens in northern Israel.

13:30 Beirut Time

Residents of Rafah reported artillery shelling and intense gunfire in the western and central sectors of this city in the south of the Gaza Strip. Strikes also hit the Tel Zareb area in the west of the city.

In the northern city of Gaza, artillery shelling struck Zeitoun, in the southeast, according to AFP journalists. Still in the north of the territory, the army targeted the Jabalia camp and the town of Beit Lahia, even further north. Witnesses reported that smoke was rising over these areas.

09:59 Beirut Time

While Israel carried out air strikes on Homs, in central Syria, and Banyas, on the Syrian coast, a Syrian air defense interceptor missile fell in the Bekaa, in an area between Raouda and Majdel Anjar, according to information obtained by L'Orient Today's correspondent. The missile caused no casualties.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the official Syrian news agency SANA, the two strikes in Syria killed three Hezbollah members in Homs, although this is yet to be confirmed, and a young girl in Banyas.

09:57 Beirut Time

In southern Lebanon, last night, at around midnight Israeli artillery fire targeted at Aitaroun and Wadi Slouqi (Bint Jbeil).

09:56 Beirut Time

Despite international outrage at Sunday's deadly bombardment of a camp for displaced persons in Rafah, the Israeli army is continuing its offensive in the overcrowded southern Gaza Strip town to eliminate what it claims are the last remaining Hamas battalions. Yesterday, street fighting and shelling rocked Rafah, the day after Israeli tanks entered the city center.

In the space of three weeks, some one million Palestinians, according to the UN, have fled Rafah, most of them displaced persons forced into a new exodus to already overcrowded areas of the besieged territory.

09:55 Beirut Time

In Gaza, the Israeli army claimed to have discovered “around twenty tunnels” in the border area, which it suspects are used to smuggle contraband for armed groups in the Palestinian territory.

Egypt denied the existence of any tunnels under the border, claiming that Israel was seeking to justify its Rafah offensive against the Palestinian Islamist movement.

09:55 Beirut Time

During the night, the Palestinian Red Crescent denounced the death of two of its rescue workers in a “direct strike” by the Israeli army against one of its ambulances in the western sector of Rafah.

09:54 Beirut Time

Yesterday evening, the Israeli army claimed to have taken control of a strategic buffer zone between the Gaza Strip and Egypt near Rafah, in the south of the Palestinian enclave. Speaking with Xi Jinping, the Egyptian president made no comment on the buffer zone.

“The Philadelphi corridor served as Hamas's oxygen pipe, through which it regularly transited weapons to the Gaza Strip,” said Israeli army spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari. He added that the army had “discovered a sophisticated underground terrorist infrastructure to the east of Rafah, one and a half kilometers long and a hundred meters from the crossing” between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

09:53 Beirut Time

In Beijing for a China-Arab countries forum, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi called for the prevention of any displacement of Gazansby force.” Chinese President Xi Jinping called for a “broad peace conference” to end the conflict, saying that justice should “not be absent forever.”

09:02 Beirut Time
09:02 Beirut Time

Good morning!

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