An Israeli soldier carries an injured comrade after projectiles were fired from Lebanon towards Israel, amid cross-border hostilities between Hezbollah and Israeli forces, in Hurfeish, a Druze Arab village in northern Israel, June 5, 2024. (Credit: Avi Ohayon/Reuters)


Washington does not want an escalation of the conflict in Lebanon': Day 243 of the Gaza war

What you need to know

At least seven wounded in a Hezbollah drone attack in northern Israel.

Netanyahu says Israel is “ready” for a “very intense” operation on the Lebanese border.

The Israeli war cabinet wants guarantees to continue the war against Hamas if the cease-fire agreement is not respected.

21:55 Beirut Time

Thank you for joining us for our live coverage of the war in Gaza. Be sure to come back tomorrow for the latest updates.


21:48 Beirut Time

A security source tells L'Orient Today's correspondent that the recent Israeli strike on Dhaira (Sour) wounded a civilian.

21:20 Beirut Time

Latest developments in southern Lebanon:

- The Israeli air force struck the village of Aita al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil) at around 8:15 p.m., according to reports to L'Orient Today's correspondent from local residents.

- Shortly before 9 p.m., Israeli aircraft again bombed the village of Dhaira (Sour).

- Residents of Khiam (Marjayoun) also reported jubilant young men in the streets celebrating the Hezbollah operation in northern Israel near the town of Hurfeish, which left at least seven people wounded.

- Al-Rissala Scouts' civil defense team continues to extinguish flames after what they say were white phosphorus bombardments near Markaba, Aitaroun, Houla and Kfar Kila.

20:56 Beirut Time

The United States warned against “escalation” in Lebanon, stressing that this would jeopardize Israel's security, in reaction to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's comments that Israel is “ready for a very intense operation” on its northern border.

“We do not want an escalation of the conflict that would only lead to further loss of life, both Israeli and Lebanese, and would significantly damage Israel's security and stability in the region,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters.

20:49 Beirut Time

Qatar's prime minister, Mohammed ben Abdulrahman al-Thani, and Egypt's intelligence chief, Abbas Kamel, met Hamas members in Doha on Wednesday to discuss a truce in Gaza, a source close to the negotiations told AFP.

CIA Director Bill Burns was also due to visit Qatar to continue his work with mediators to reach an agreement on a cessation of hostilities.

19:56 Beirut Time

The Israeli army says at least seven people have been injured after “projectiles” were fired near the northern Israeli town of Hurfeish from southern Lebanon, Reuters reports. One of the people is in critical condition, according to doctors.

Witnesses reported that a soccer field was hit in the strike. The identity of the victims was not immediately known. Television images showed army vehicles and smoke on the ground.

Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the attack. The attack was carried out by one-way drones on Elkoch, a town next to Hurfeich. The Israeli army said that it had not sounded the sirens ordering people to take cover and that it was “investigating the incident.”

19:51 Beirut Time

At around 7:30 p.m., the Israeli army fired heavy machine guns from the Hadab Yarine position on the villages of Dhaira, Yarine and Boustan (Sour), and shelled Dhaira and Alma al-Shaab.

Israeli bombardments also hit the area around the villages of Naqoura, Jibbain and Shihine (Sour).

19:36 Beirut Time

Hezbollah claimed responsibility for an airstrike carried out by one-way drones against “a renovated site south of Elkoch,” an Israeli town opposite the Lebanese village of Aita al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil). The party said it had “targeted enemy officer and soldier positions” and claimed to have caused casualties among their ranks.

It added that the attack was carried out “in response to enemy aggression and assassinations, particularly yesterday in Naqoura.”

19:35 Beirut Time

The European Union sent an invitation to Israel to meet as part of their association agreement, nearly eight months after the start of the war in Gaza, reports AFP.

A formal invitation was sent on Wednesday to Israel's Foreign Minister, Israel Katz, European diplomacy chief Josep Borrell said on the social network X. On May 27, Borrell announced the decision to convene the EU-Israel Association Council, saying that the “situation in Gaza” and “respect for human rightswould be discussed.

19:04 Beirut Time

Hezbollah stated that it targeted Israeli soldiers at 5:53 p.m. near Horsh Baram, facing the southern Lebanese town of Houla (Marjayoun).

18:43 Beirut Time

Hamas “will take into consideration any agreement based on a complete cessation of the war” in Gaza and an Israeli withdrawal from the enclave “in a serious and positive manner,” said the leader of the Palestinian movement Ismail Haniyeh, quoted by Reuters.

18:05 Beirut Time

Hezbollah said it targeted a deployment of Israeli soldiers in the vicinity of the Israeli Zebdine site in the disputed Shebaa Farms "with a missile barrage."

18:02 Beirut Time

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Wednesday, cited by Haaretz, that "all negotiations with Hamas will be conducted under fire." He made this remark after flying over Gaza and the Lebanese border with an air force plane and then added that the Israeli army "attacks are visible on all the fronts. We will keep going and wear down the enemy."

18:01 Beirut Time

Israeli right-wing activists gather with Israeli national flags outside the Damascus Gate of the old city of Jerusalem on June 5, 2024, during the so-called Jerusalem Day flag march which commemorates the Israeli army's capture in the 1967 Arab-Israe

Thousands of mostly ultranationalist Israelis are participating in the annual “Jerusalem Day” march through a dense Palestinian neighborhood in Jerusalem, with some stoking wartime tensions and chantingDeath to Arabs," according to Al Jazeera.

The annual event marks Israel’s occupation of east Jerusalem, including the Old City and its holy sites sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, in 1967.

17:47 Beirut Time

Hezbollah claims responsibility for an attack on a troop of Israeli soldiers near Malkia, an Israeli site opposite Houla (Marjeyoun).

17:24 Beirut Time

16:46 Beirut Time

The latest developments in northern Israel:

- Hezbollah claims to have targeted Israel's Iron Dome air defense system at Ramot Naftali with a guided missile at 2 p.m., “hitting it directly and causing its destruction.” Reuters adds that “in Jerusalem, the Israeli army spokesman's office had no immediate comment on the incident.”

- The party claimed responsibility for another attack carried out at 3:45 p.m. on the Samaka site in the disputed Kfar Shouba Hills, as well as for an airstrike on Israeli soldiers stationed at the Baghdadi site, which faces Aita al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil), “causing confirmed casualties in their ranks,” according to the text.

16:32 Beirut Time

Here’s an update on the situation in southern Lebanon:

- Members of the civil defense of al-Risala Scouts participated in firefighting operations following the Israeli shelling with incendiary phosphorus shells on the town of Markaba (Marjayoun), al Risala said in a statement.

- Local residents reported phosphorus and illuminating shelling in the skies of the disputed Shebaa Farm and the hills of Kfar Shouba. Large fires also broke out in the towns of Aitaroun and Maroun al-Ras (Bint Jbeil) due to the incendiary shells being fired by Israel onto the area.

- Residents reported shelling on the outskirts of Naqoura (Sour) twice, and on the town of Rashaya al-Foukhar (Hasbaya)

14:16 Beirut Time

The Health Ministry in Gaza has announced a new death toll of 36,586, killed by Israel since the start of the war almost eight months ago. Thousands more are missing and thought to be buried under the rubble.

At least 40 people have been killed in the last 24 hours, the ministry said in a statement, adding that 83,074 people have been injured in the Palestinian territory since Oct. 7.

14:14 Beirut Time

Far-right Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has announced his Otzma Yehudit party will not vote with Netanyahu’s coalition in the Knesset until the prime minister reveals details of an Israeli ceasefire-hostage deal proposal, The Times of Israel reports.

“As long as the prime minister continues to hide the details of the deal, Otzma Yehudit will disrupt his coalition,” Ben-Gvir wrote in a post on X.

Ben-Gvir and other far-right lawmakers have made it clear they will not agree to a deal with Hamas that ends the war in exchange for the release of hostages. Near-daily protests calling for the release of hostages have been growing in popularity among Israelis.

On Monday, Ben-Gvir said that Netanyahu had promised to show him the draft proposal on Saturday night, but that he went back on his promise and the document, which includes details not mentioned by Biden in his Friday speech, still hasn't been shared.

14:05 Beirut Time

Israel’s Channel 12 news says that Israel has an “interim plan” for dealing with the situation at the Lebanese-Israeli border so that it remains “below the threshold of war,” according to the report.

Despite aggressive rhetoric from Israel’s far-right ministers over the last several days, the news report claims there is “almost complete agreement” regarding regulating the front with Hezbollah.

“For reasons of censorship,” the news outlet was not able to disclose the details of the plan, only to mention that “these plans include the use of great power, but in such a way that will still leave the front below the threshold of total war.”

Channel 12 claims that the army’s main concern is to ensure the move is limited, avoiding a situation in which it delivers “one too many hits” leading to a “sudden and rapid escalation.”

13:41 Beirut Time

An update from southern Lebanon:

• A large fire broke out at around 11 a.m. on the outskirts of the southern border town of al-Bustan, in Sour district. “Civil defense teams, with the support of the Lebanese Army, rushed to extinguish it," a source at the Civil Defense told L'Orient Today. Firefighting teams managed to contain the fire after two hours.

• According to local residents, Israeli drones targeted the hilltop overlooking the southern neighborhood of Khiam, in Marjayoun district, with two rockets.

13:18 Beirut Time

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona near the Lebanese border this morning. The city and its surrounding areas were set ablaze over the last few days as a result of Hezbollah rockets and interceptions.

"Yesterday, the ground was set alight here, but it was also set alight in Lebanon," Netanyahu said during the visit, cited by Haaretz. "We are prepared for very powerful action in the north."

13:06 Beirut Time

Following several announcements from the Israeli army yesterday, the total number of hostages presumed or confirmed dead is now more than a third of the approximately 250 taken captive during the Oct. 7 attack.

According to the Israeli government, 120 people remain in captivity, 43 of whom have been declared dead, meaning around 80 hostages are still alive in Gaza.

Israelis regularly block roads and hold sit-ins outside politician’s homes demanding the government prioritize freeing the remaining hostages. Protests have increasingly called for Netanyahu’s government to cease its war on Gaza and agree to a truce deal that would see the hostages freed.

12:52 Beirut Time

The decision by the Israeli government to raise the number of reservists the army is authorized to call up from 300,000 to 350,000 has nothing to do with fighting at the Lebanese border with Hezbollah, the military has clarified, cited in a Times of Israel report.

The reason for increasing the cap, the army claims, is in response to the operation in southern Gaza’s Rafah taking more personnel than initially planned.

The Israeli army has called up a total of 287,000 reservists to fight in Gaza, the news report says, although many of them have already been released from duty. It marked the largest-ever call-up of reservists in Israel’s history.

The cap was initially set at 300,000, before being raised to 360,000 in the early weeks of the war. It was then dropped back to 300,000, and is now being expanded to 350,000.

12:05 Beirut Time

Here's what's been happening at the Lebanese-Israeli border this morning:

• Hezbollah announced that its fighters fired rockets on a group of Israeli soldiers in the vicinity of the Israeli site of "Birkat Risha," facing the Lebanese border village of Houla, in Marjayoun district, at 9 a.m.

• Sirens in northern Israel were activated by a "suspected hostile aircraft intrusion and rockets" in Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel, according to Haaretz. Rocket sirens also sounded in the village of Misgav Am.

11:21 Beirut Time

Further updates from overnight at the Lebanese-Israeli border:

• Hezbollah announced that it fired rockets at a deployment of Israeli soldiers in the vicinity of the "Zebdine barracks" in the disputed Shebaa farms at 8 p.m.

• Hezbollah said that it "ambushed" a group of Israeli soldiers as they were entering the Israeli site of Malikiyah, facing the village of Aitaroun. The party said that it fired artillery shells on the group at 12:10 a.m. after monitoring it.

• At 2 a.m., Israel combed the woods surrounding the village of Kfar Shuba, in Hasbaya district, with heavy machine gunfire.

• At 3 a.m., Israeli warplanes struck the village of Blida, Marjayoun district.

11:19 Beirut Time

The situation in southern Lebanon continued…

• Between 12 a.m. and 2 a.m.: The village of Aitaroun, in Bint Jbeil district, was subjected to Israeli artillery shelling. Israeli flares were also dropped over the same area.

• Interceptor missiles exploded over Mais al-Jabal, in Marjayoun district, and the town of Bint Jbeil.

11:16 Beirut Time

Here's what happened at the Lebanese-Israeli border last night, according to security sources and residents' testimonies relayed by our correspondent in the South:

• Between 9:30 and 10 p.m.: Seven Israeli mortar shells fell near a Lebanese Army post near the farm of Bastra in Halta, Hasbaya district. No casualties have been reported.

• Between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m.: Israeli warplanes carried out three raids on the village of Aita al-Shaab, in Bint Jbeil district. In the second raid, the missile launched by the warplanes did not explode.

• An Israeli drone targeted the area between the villages of Yater, in Bint Jbeil district, and Zibqin, in Sour district.

• Israeli warplanes struck a house in Markaba and the area between the villages of Kfar Kila and Odaisseh, in Marjayoun district.

09:51 Beirut Time

Qatar confirmed yesterday that it had delivered an Israeli proposal to Hamas that reflected the positions stated by U.S. President Joe Biden, adding that the paper was now much closer to the positions of both sides. However, senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan told al-Jazeera that Israel's positions regarding the hostage deal are not in line with Biden's speech.

CIA director Bill Burns and Brett McGurk, President Biden's top Middle East adviser, are traveling to the region to push for a Gaza hostage and cease-fire deal, according to a U.S. official and two other sources with direct knowledge of the matter who spoke with Axios. Burns is expected to land in Qatar today and McGurk in Cairo tomorrow.

09:18 Beirut Time

On Monday evening, Israel's Channel 14 said that "the images of the North on fire could be a decisive turning point" in the war. Thousands of acres on the Israeli side large swaths of land on the Lebanese side were devoured by flames as a result of cross-border fighting over the last several days.

Haaretz reported that scale of the fires in northern Israel could be due in large part to the interceptions by Israel’s Iron Dome short-range missile defense system, which has been activated at a significantly high rate over the last week as Hezbollah sends barrages of missiles over the borders.

The interceptions scatter large quantities of flammable fragments of ammunition, meaning several fires can be ignited across a wide area simultaneously. A blaze in Biriya Forest yesterday was burning at ten separate locations following missile interceptions, according to Haaretz.

👉 Read about yesterday's fires here.

09:10 Beirut Time

Good morning, welcome to today's live coverage of the war on Gaza, and the parallel fighting between Hezbollah and Israel along Lebanon's southern border, where rockets, missile interceptions, and Israel's use of white phosphorus shells have resulted in fierce fires on both sides.

🌞 You can read today's Morning Brief here. 👈

🔴 You can catch up on yesterday's live blog here. 👈