People inspect the destruction outside a charred building hit by an Israeli air strike in the southern Lebanese town of Wadi Jilo, east of Sour, on June 6, 2024. (Credit: Mahmoud Zayyat/AFP)


Hezbollah claims to have repelled an Israeli fighter jet with ground-to-air missiles for the first time: Day 244 of the Gaza war

What you need to know

An Israeli soldier was killed in northern Israel following a Hezbollah attack and an Israeli strike killed a Hezbollah member in Aitaroun.

The Israeli army claimed responsibility for a strike on a UNRWA school in Gaza that killed at least 37 people.

Senior Hamas officials say the cease-fire proposal handed to the group does not reflect what was laid out by US President Biden on Friday.

22:19 Beirut Time

Thanks for following our live coverage of the war on Gaza and its parallel war along the Lebanese-Israeli border. We'll be back tomorrow with more news updates and analysis. Goodnight!

22:18 Beirut Time

An ISF officer inspecting damage caused by an Israeli strike on a building in Wadi Jilo, east of Sour, on June 6, 2024. (Credit: Mahmoud Al-Zayyat/AFP)

As increasingly aggressive rhetoric regarding the potential for an “all-out war” between Hezbollah and Israel spreads across outlets in both countries, the Israeli army has targeted, for the first time since the start of the fighting, the southern Lebanese village of Wadi Jilo.

The Israeli airforce carried out multiple raids overnight into Thursday morning, striking almost a dozen different towns. The attack on Wadi Jiro stands out not just for being unprecedented, and not only for the scale of the damage caused by the strike — it also stands out because of what happened in the moments leading up to it.

Minutes before the three-story building housing a Jaber company warehouse was completely destroyed, along with neighboring houses, several residents of Wadi Jilo received warning messages on their phones.

👉 Read the full report here.

22:02 Beirut Time

A Palestinian boy stands in a destroyed room a UN-school housing displaced people that was hit during Israeli bombardment in Nuseirat, in the central Gaza Strip, on June 6, 2024. (Credit: Bashar Taleb/AFP)

21:54 Beirut Time

Israeli army spokesperson Daniel Hagari said that militants who entered the Israeli-controlled and internationally condemned buffer zone along the Israel-Gaza border and were killed by Israeli army fire earlier today came out of a tunnel about 200 meters from the Gaza-Israel border. Hagari said the group was attempting to enter Israel from Rafah and was armed with RPG launchers and Kalashnikov rifles, Haaretz reports.

"At 4 a.m., under heavy fog, the group was recognized by military spotters who called for the Bedouin patrolling battalion," Hagari said, adding that the battalion engaged in a short-range exchange of fire. Three members of the group died by drone and tank fire within five minutes, and the fourth escaped back to Rafah, according to the spokesperson.

One soldier was killed in an exchange of fire when the group was first discovered, the Times of Israel reports.

21:15 Beirut Time

In his first response to the truce proposal introduced by US President Biden, Hamas’ leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, told mediators that he would accept the deal only if Israel commits to a permanent cease-fire, Wall Street Journal reports.

“Hamas will not surrender its guns or sign a proposal that asks for that,” Qatari and Egyptian mediators said Sinwar told them in a brief message they received today.

Both sides have said that the terms set out by Biden don’t accurately reflect what has been offered by Israel to Hamas. Osama Hamdan, a Hamas official based in Beirut, told AFP: "There is no proposal — they are just words said by Biden in a speech."

"So far, the Americans have not presented anything documented or written that commits them to what Biden said in his speech," he said.

👉 Read the full report here.

21:07 Beirut Time

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fouad Hussein (right) and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Muhammad Mustafa (left) at a press conference in Baghdad, June 6, 2024. (Credit: Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP)

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Mustafa says that the Palestinian Authority is ready to re-establish "unified" Palestinian leadership after the Gaza war.

The Palestinian leadership has been split since 2007, with the PA, led by Mahmud Abbas, holding limited authority in the occupied West Bank, while Hamas controls the Gaza Strip.

"We are ready, as Palestinians, to assume our responsibilities from the day after [the Gaza war ends] in order to help... restore the unity of the Palestinian people and leadership," Mustafa said during a news conference with Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein in Baghdad, cited by AFP.

"We also need to be well prepared for the creation of a [Palestinian] state and the responsibilities that this entails," he added. Mustafa was speaking days after Spain, Ireland, Norway and Slovenia recognized a Palestinian state. The PA's role post-war is uncertain, due in part to its limited influence in Gaza and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's opposition to a Palestinian state.

21:01 Beirut Time

Earlier, Hezbollah announced that it had "launched surface-to-air missiles toward Israeli warplanes that were violating Lebanese airspace.

Hezbollah's press office indicated that this was the first time the party's fighters had launched missiles against Israeli warplanes, although it has previously used surface-to-air missiles against Israeli drones. "The distance of warplanes, their size and speed is different from that of drones. So obviously we're talking about different missiles than those launched against drones," a Hezbollah spokesperson said.

20:01 Beirut Time

This picture taken from an elevated position shows a cloud of smoke billowing during an Israeli army raid in Jenin in the occupied West Bank on June 6, 2024. (Credit: Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP)

In the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces have raided Jenin refugee camp, shooting and killing three Palestinians and injuring at least 13 others, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent and the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The raid is ongoing, according to reports from Al Jazeera, adding that al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad said in a statement that its fighters were engaged in “violet clashes” near the camp.

Earlier, Al Jazeera’s correspondent reported that Israeli soldiers had closed all the entrances to Jenin camp at the start of its raid. The Palestine Red Crescent Society has often reported the Israeli army preventing its paramedics from tending to those wounded by army operations, leading to cases where the injured succumb to their wounds.

19:13 Beirut Time

Updates from southern Lebanon:

• Hezbollah announced that it launched surface-to-air missiles at Israeli warplanes “that were violating Lebanon's skies” and breaking the sound barrier “in an attempt to terrify the children.” Its missiles “force [the fighter jets] to retreat beyond the borders," the party said in a statement. The sounds of missile explosions were heard in many areas in the south and in the skies of Saida, our correspondent in the region reports.

• Hezbollah said that at 6:05 p.m., its fighters targeted Israeli surveillance equipment in the Israeli town of Metula, which faces Khiam, in Marjayoun district.

18:14 Beirut Time

"Since Oct. 7, the World Health Organization has recorded 464 attacks on health care in the Gaza Strip," the World Health Organization announced on X. The Israeli army has attacked 101 health facilities, causing 727 deaths and 933 injuries.

"Two-fifths (37 percent) of the attacks took place in Gaza City, almost a quarter (23 percent) in northern Gaza and more than a quarter (28 percent) in Khan Younis," the statement says. "Healthcare is not a target. WHO calls for respect for international law and active protection of civilians and health care."

Last week, the Israeli army shelled a refugee camp in al-Mawasi, in southern Gaza, killing around 20 people. The Palestine Red Crescent Society was forced to evacuate its field hospital there due to the attacks, demonstrating in just one recent example, how healthcare facilities are pushed out of civilian areas by the Israeli offensive.

18:07 Beirut Time

The Houthis announced that they launched two joint military operations using "multiple drones" along with the Iraqi Islamic Resistance against ships at the port of Haifa, in northern Israel.

"The first targeted two ships carrying military equipment in the port of Haifa, while the second targeted a ship that violated the decision to ban entry to the port," Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Saree said in a video statement.

Shaan Shaikh, from the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, says he is skeptical that Houthi missiles have a range that could reach from northern Yemen to Haifa and still accurately strike Israeli ships.

“One-way drone attacks at that distance are difficult but not impossible,” he told L’Orient Today. “But it would mean getting past a lot of Saudi and Israeli radars.”

17:30 Beirut Time

Here’s an update on the security situation in southern Lebanon and northern Israel:

• Hezbollah said that it targeted Israeli surveillance equipment at 3:35 p.m. at the Israeli site of "Raheb," facing the Lebanese village of Aita al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil).

• Israeli artillery shelling targeted the outskirts of the town of Rmeish (Bint Jbeil) causing a fire to break out, as reported by residents. Locals added that when civil defense teams arrived at the scene to extinguish the fire, an Israeli shell struck nearby, prompting the teams to withdraw.

• Security sources reported that an Israeli drone strike targeted a Rapid-type car on the road between the towns of Bint Jbeil and Aitaroun, both in Bint Jbeil district. Initial reports indicate that the missile missed the Rapid and caused minor injuries to a civilian.

16:49 Beirut Time

The chief of the Israeli army’s Northern Command says his troops have completed preparations for an attack along the border with Lebanon, Haaretz reports.

"We are prepared and ready and when we command so, the enemy will meet an army that is strong and ready," said Ori Gordin in a ceremony marking 18 years since the second Lebanon war.

Addressing residents of northern Israel — tens of thousands of them who have been evacuated and are living in hotels further south — Gordin said the army’s goals are to “change the security reality so we can return you to your homes as soon as possible.”

16:44 Beirut Time

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in the U.S. has called on President Joe Biden to "indefinitely" halt all weapons deliveries to Israel and pressure the U.S. ally to end its war in the Gaza Strip, sending a reminder that his support for Israel could hurt him among Black voters in November's election.

According to a Reuters report, the statement by the 115-year-old civil rights group is a rare instance of the influential civil rights organization taking a position on U.S. foreign policy towards a country without a significant Black population. It appeared likely to deepen the Democratic president's election-year challenges as he tries to back a key ally abroad and temper unrest among his supporters at home.

The NAACP urged Hamas to return the hostages and "stop all terrorist activity." It also urged Israel to "commit to an offensive strategy that is aligned with international and humanitarian laws." Israel is on trial at the International Court of Justice under charges of genocide.

The NAACP, which has advocated for racial justice and rights for Black Americans, said the U.S. must use its influence with Israel to bring a permanent ceasefire to Gaza.

14:38 Beirut Time

The Gaza government's Ministry of Health has announced a new death toll of 36,654 in the Palestinian territory since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas nearly eight months ago.

At least 68 people have been killed in the last 24 hours, the statement from local authorities said, adding that 83,309 people had been wounded in the Gaza Strip since the start of the war triggered by the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7. 

14:37 Beirut Time

Spain will join the genocide complaint filed by South Africa with the International Court of Justice against Israel's actions in Gaza, said its foreign minister, Jose Manuel Albares, quoted by Reuters. Spain is the first European country to join the case, which has also been joined by Chile and Mexico.

14:36 Beirut Time

A senior Hamas official, Sami Abou Zuhri, told Reuters that while the group welcomed what he called “Biden's ideas,” the U.S. draft resolution at the UN Security Council depended on an Israeli cease-fire proposal that Hamas had seen and rejected. “The [American] document does not mention an end to aggression or Israeli withdrawal” from Gaza, he said.

"The Israeli documents speak of open-ended negotiations, with no deadline, and refer to a phase during which the occupation recovers its hostages and resumes the war. We told the mediators that such a document was not acceptable to us," said Abu Zuhri.

14:35 Beirut Time

Talks between Qatari, Egyptian and US mediators aimed at reaching a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza war are still underway, but have shown no sign of a breakthrough, two Egyptian security sources told Reuters.

14:20 Beirut Time

The United States and 16 other countries released a joint statement today calling on Israel and Hamas to agree to the most recent cease-fire proposal, CNN reports.

The United States, Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Thailand and the United Kingdom signed the joint statement. These 17 countries have citizens who were taken hostage on Oct. 7.

The statement says, “It is time for the war to end … At this decisive moment, we call on the leaders of Israel as well as Hamas to make whatever final compromises are necessary to close this deal and bring relief to the families of our hostages, as well as those on both sides of this terrible conflict, including the civilian populations.”

14:07 Beirut Time

Following an Israeli attack on an UNRWA school in Nuseirat which killed at least 40 people this morning, Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib has called for a cease-fire in a post made on X.

“The devastating airstrike on a #UNRWA school in #Gaza is an appalling and unacceptable act of violence,” she wrote.

She adds, “All parties must respect civilian infrastructure … This tragedy reminds us of the urgency to end the violence.”

13:10 Beirut Time

UNWRA warns of a potential cholera outbreak in Gaza amid “deteriorating inhumane living conditions.

“With minimal access to clean water in Gaza Strip & harsh summer heat continuing, there’s a risk of disease outbreaks and dehydration,” UNRWA said in a post on X.

In the same post, UNWRA reiterated its call for a cease-fire.

12:50 Beirut Time

The aftermath of the Israeli strikes on Aitaroun. (Photo courtesy of L'Orient Today's correspondent Muntasser Abdallah)

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

-One was killed and another injured after an Israeli drone targeted a motorcycle with a missile in the town of Aitaroun (Bint Jbeil). Ambulances headed to the location and transported the two casualties, according to a medical source and residents who spoke to L’Orient Today. A three-story building was also targeted in the strike on Aitaroun and completely destroyed.

Hezbollah announced the death of its member Hussein Hourani, born in 1988 in the city of Bint Jbeil in southern Lebanon. According to L'Orient Today's correspondent in the area,  Hourani was killed in the Aitaroun strike. 331 Hezbollah members have been killed in Lebanon and Syria since the war began on Oct. 8.

-Hezbollah retaliated by targeting “the command headquarters of [the Israeli] Brigade 91 in the Biranit barracks and the positions of the soldiers around it with Falaq 1 missiles, directly hitting it," resulting in its partial destruction. The Biranit barracks are located in front of Rmaish (Bint Jbeil).

11:55 Beirut Time

The Jaber company, owner of warehouses in Wadi Gilo, southern Lebanon, which were destroyed in an Israeli strike overnight, lamented in a statement the loss of “hundreds of thousands of dollars” worth of products in the bombing. These included “electrical and household appliances,” according to the company, which imports German brands. The statement also praised the work of the rescue and ambulance crews who extinguished the fire and cleared the rubble. 

10:56 Beirut Time

Following the Israeli strike on a UNRWA school in the Nousseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, a Gazan hospital reported at least 36 dead

10:55 Beirut Time

Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the fighting in Gaza as “total destruction of the civilian population,” while proposing that Moscow could be a useful mediator in ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "What is happening now in Gaza in response to the terrorist attack on Israel does not look like a war. It is a kind of total destruction of the civilian population,” Putin told representatives of foreign media, including AFP.

In other remarks, he said that Moscow saw the situation as the result of a “total failure” by the United States, but that there was hope for the creation of a Palestinian state. Russia is trying to contribute to the search for peace, as is the United States, but countries in the region, including Turkey, should play a key role, Putin suggested.

10:55 Beirut Time

According to a source close to the negotiations, a meeting took place yesterday in Doha “between the Qatari Prime Minister, the Egyptian intelligence chief and Hamas, to discuss an agreement for a truce in Gaza and an exchange of hostages and prisoners.”

The conflicting demands of the two sides leave little hope that the plan announced by Biden will materialize.

10:54 Beirut Time

After eight months of war, Egypt, the United States and Qatar, which are acting as mediators, are continuing their efforts to bring about a cease-fire, a few days after the announcement by U.S. President Joe Biden of a roadmap proposed by Israel. The first phase of the roadmap calls for a six-week cease-fire, accompanied by an Israeli withdrawal from densely populated areas of Gaza, the release of some of the hostages abducted during the Hamas attack and Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

10:53 Beirut Time

Prior to this strike, this hospital had already received since Tuesday “at least 70 dead and more than 300 wounded, mostly women and children, as a result of Israeli strikes on the central areas of the Gaza Strip” according to Doctors Without Borders.

"The smell of blood in the emergency room this morning was unbearable. There are people lying everywhere, on the ground, outside. Bodies were being brought in in plastic bags. The situation is unbearable," said Karin Huster, MSF's Gaza coordinator, on X.

10:52 Beirut Time

The Gaza government's media office reported at least 27 dead and many wounded in the strike on the Nousseirat camp in the central Gaza Strip. “A considerable number of martyrs and wounded continue to pour into the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital,” located in the town of Deir al-Balah, near Nousseirat, the media office said, accusing the Israeli army of having committed a “horrible massacre.”

Earlier in the night, the hospital had reported the “failure of one of its electric generators,” which could complicate the treatment of vulnerable patients and cause “a humanitarian catastrophe.”

10:44 Beirut Time

In Gaza, the Israeli army claimed responsibility early this morning for an airstrike against a school belonging to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), which it said housed “a Hamas base,” killing at least 27 people, according to the Islamist movement.

“Army warplanes ... carried out a precise strike on a Hamas base located inside an Unrwa school in the Nousseirat region,” the Israeli army said in a statement, reporting that “several terrorists were killed.” "Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists belonging to the Nukhba forces who took part in the deadly attack on communities in southern Israel on Oct. 7 were operating in this compound. The terrorists directed their terror campaign from the area of the school while exploiting it and using it as a shelter," the army assured.

09:53 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announced shortly after midnight that it had launched a “missilestrike against the IsraeliRamtasite in the disputed Kfar Shouba heights. 

09:41 Beirut Time

Around 3 a.m.

- An empty house located between Jibsheet and Adchit was targeted (Nabatieh) and three people nearby were slightly injured.

- The village of Wadi Gilo (Sour) was bombed. Israeli aircraft targeted a three-story house, which was totally destroyed. Nearby homes were also severely damaged and caught fire, including a building housing a cleaning products factory. Four injured people were evacuated from the building. During fire extinguishing operations in Wadi Gilo, two Lebanese Civil Defense rescue workers were injured.

09:38 Beirut Time

Between midnight and 2 a.m.:

- Israeli machine-gun fire targeted residential areas of Adaisseh and the outskirts of the village, causing fires.

- Rockets were launched from southern Lebanon towards Israeli positions, triggering fire from Iron Dome interceptor missiles.

- Kounin (Bint Jbeil) was bombed by Israeli aircraft, as was Adaisseh (Marjayoun). In this village, Israel targeted a telecommunications tower belonging to the Alfa cell phone company, setting fire to the nearby fuel tank.

- Beit Yahoun (Bint Jbeil) was also targeted twice by Israeli strikes. Following this strike, successive explosions were heard and fire broke out at the strike site and in nearby businesses. According to security sources and the Amal-linked Civil Defense, seven people were wounded in the bombardment and hospitalized.

- An uninhabited house in Siddiqine was bombed. A Syrian woman who was standing near the target was wounded by shards of glass and taken to hospital.

09:35 Beirut Time

The night began with Israel firing flares over the outskirts of Kfar Shouba (Hasbaya) and low-altitude fly-overs.

- At around 9 p.m., artillery fire targeted the outskirts of Rmaish (Bint Jbeil).

- At 11 p.m., artillery targeted the Tell Ismail area on the outskirts of Dhaira (Sour).

- Israeli aircraft flew over Zahrani, launched thermal balloons over Ghazieh, south of Saida, and broke the sound barrier over Nabatieh and Iqlim al-Tuffah.

- At the same time, machine-gun fire targeted the area around Wazzani.

09:33 Beirut Time

On the southern Lebanon front, which has escalated in recent days, both in bellicose declarations on either side of the border and on the ground, the night was particularly violent.

This escalation comes after a drone attack carried out by Hezbollah in Hurfeish, northern Israel, left at least seven people injured, according to the Israeli army.

09:00 Beirut Time

Make sure to read the Morning Brief so that you are caught up with what has been happening.

Morning Brief

U.S. embassy shooting and seven injured in Hezbollah attack: Everything you need to know to start your Thursday

08:59 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.