Israeli military vehicles maneuver inside the Gaza Strip, June 10, 2024. (Credits: Reuters/Amir Cohen)


Hezbollah shoots down Israeli 'Hermes 900' drone, Israeli army confirms incident: Day 248 of the Gaza war

What you need to know

Israel's two war cabinet ministers, Benny Gantz and Gadi Eizenkot, resigned on Sunday.

Antony Blinken is expected in the region on Monday to pursue peace efforts, with a first stop in Cairo.

Over the weekend, the US military announced the resumption of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

21:24 Beirut Time

That's it for today's coverage of the Gaza war and the parallel fighting in South Lebanon. We'll be back tomorrow with the latest news and analyses.

Good night!

21:19 Beirut Time

The World Food Programme, responsible for delivering aid to Gaza via the temporary American pier, has suspended its operations there to assess the security situation, according to a UN spokesperson.

"Our colleagues at the World Food Programme tell us that we are temporarily suspending operations at the floating pier until a security assessment is conducted to ensure the safety of our staff and partners," said Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN secretary-general.

When asked about the reasons for this suspension, he mentioned the Israeli operation on Saturday to free four hostages in Nusseirat, which, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, resulted in 274 deaths and 698 injuries.

"I think it is normal after such an operation, which caused so many casualties, that our humanitarian colleagues take a pause to review the situation," he added, expressing hope that operations could resume "as soon as possible on our side."

21:09 Beirut Time

Update on the situation on the Lebanese-Israeli border:

Israeli artillery fire targeted Aita el-Shaab (Bint Jbeil district), residents told our correspondent in South Lebanon.

Hezbollah claimed to have successfully targeted a building used by Israeli soldiers in the settlement of Even Menahem, in response to Israeli strikes that targeted the villages of Aitaroun and Aita el-Shaab (Bint Jbeil district).

21:02 Beirut Time

Update on the security situation in South Lebanon:

- At 5:25 p.m., Hezbollah targeted the Israeli site of "Bayad Blida," located opposite the Lebanese town of Blida, in Marjayoun district. It also claimed to have targeted a building used by Israeli soldiers in the Shtula settlement, causing a fire and resulting in casualties.

- An Israeli drone conducted a raid on the area between Aita al-Jabal and Beit Yahoun, in Bint Jbeil district, according to a security source.

- Israeli artillery fire targeted the area between Kawzah and Ramaya, also in Bint Jbeil district, according to residents.

20:10 Beirut Time

The U.S. Pentagon denied that Israel conducted part of its hostage rescue operations on the U.S. military's floating pier off Gaza. Major General Patrick Ryder, a spokesperson for the Pentagon, clarified that no U.S. personnel were involved, Reuters reported.

However, Ryder acknowledged the presence of Israeli helicopter operations "near" the pier, which was designated by U.S. President Joe Biden to facilitate much-needed humanitarian aid to Palestinians.

"While it was nearby, I believe it was incidental. The pier, its equipment, and the personnel aiding the humanitarian effort were entirely unrelated to the Israeli army rescue operation," Ryder stated.

19:23 Beirut Time

Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir called Benny Gantz's resignation from the war Cabinet "a great opportunity," during a meeting of the Religious Zionist party, Haaretz reported.

Ben-Gvir and party chairman Bezalel Smotrich seized upon the resignation, framing it as a pivotal moment for their political and military agendas.

“In many cases, he and Eisenkot got in the way of leading the war,” Ben-Gvir said. “Whoever demands to bomb Gaza and stop the entry of Palestinian workers should be a member of the war cabinet. This is a great opportunity to step up and bring victory.”

Smotrich criticized the resignation calling it "the least [responsible] act that exists." He also claimed that Gantz chose personal and political considerations over national considerations.

Smotrich added that Gantz's resignation from the government — due to its unwillingness to present a plan for the day after the war in Gaza — indicates that "we succeeded in thwarting Gantz's demand for the establishment of a Palestinian state.” He expressed hope that "the departure of Gantz and Eisenkot from the government will allow us to act in a much more decisive and determined manner against the Palestinian Authority."

18:54 Beirut Time

Here are the latest developments on the Lebanese-Israeli border:

Israeli warplanes struck the village of Aita el-Shaab (Bint Jbeil district), a security source told our correspondent in South Lebanon. Several people were slightly injured and treated on-site.

The Israeli army carried out two raids on Aitaroun (Bint Jbeil district), causing a fire to break out. Firefighters affiliated with the village's municipality are attempting to extinguish the blaze. No information on injuries has yet been released.

Rockets were fired from southern Lebanon in the direction of Galilee and the occupied Golan Heights, according to a security source. Alarm sirens sounded in northern Israel, according to Haaretz.

Hezbollah announced that it carried out an "air attack with a squadron of drones on the headquarters of the Golan division 210 Sha'el, targeting officers' positions and inflicting confirmed injuries.” Hezbollah stated that part of the headquarters was destroyed and set on fire.

Hezbollah said that it shot down an Israeli “Hermes 900” drone. The Israeli army confirmed the incident, according to Haaretz.

• An Israeli army spokesperson reported that two hostile aircraft fell in the occupied Golan Heights after interception failed and started a brush fire, according to Haaretz.

18:03 Beirut Time

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Israel to push for an agreement on a truce in Gaza, an AFP journalist traveling with him reported.

Blinken, who is making his eighth visit to the region, landed in Tel Aviv from where he will travel to Jerusalem to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to the AFP journalist.

17:56 Beirut Time

The Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements said today that they were sticking to their conditions for accepting any cease-fire proposal, Reuters reported.

The conditions include an end to the war with Israel and a full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.

17:00 Beirut Time

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said today that he was urging leaders in the region to press Hamas to say yes to a cease-fire proposal.

Blinken said Hamas was the only outlier in not accepting the proposal for the three-phase deal involving the release of hostages and talks toward an end to the fighting — to which he said Israel had agreed, Reuters reported. 

16:50 Beirut Time

Here are the updates on the situation on the Lebanese-Israeli border:

Interceptor missile explosions were heard over Bint Jbeil and Maroun al-Ras, both in the Bint Jbeil district, and the Israeli settlement of Metula, reported L'Orient Today's correspondent in South Lebanon.

Alarm sirens sounded in northern Israel due to a suspected infiltration of 'hostile aircraft,' Haaretz reported.

Hezbollah says it attached an Israeli military outpost in annexed-Golan with a 'squadron of drones.'

14:47 Beirut Time

New update on the situation in southern Lebanon:

Hezbollah issued four statements for as many attacks launched since late morning.

The first, carried out by a dive-bombing drone, took place at 10:30 a.m. on the Israeli site of Bayad Blida, opposite the Lebanese town of Blida (Marjayoun).

A second was launched at 11 a.m. to target surveillance equipment in the Ramim barracks opposite Houla (Marjayoun) with “appropriate weapons.”

A third, whose time was not given, targetedwith a squadron of drones” the new headquarters of the Israeli 146th brigade east of the coastal town of Nahariya. The party points out that this headquarters had already been moved following a previous attack, which was launched in retaliation for Israeli bombardments that killed at least two Hezbollah fighters on Saturday in Markaba (Marjeyoun) and Aïtaroun (Bint Jbeil).

Finally, the fourth attack, also without details at the time, targeted Israeli radar deployed in the disputed Shebaa territory, with artillery shells.

14:13 Beirut Time

Photo provided by L'Orient Today's correspondent Michel Hallak

Demonstrators in Bireh, Akkar (North Lebanon) raised the Palestinian flag on a truck distributing Pepsi brand products and asked the driver to leave the locality. According to L'Orient Today's correspondent in North Lebanon, this gesture was part of a boycott of the American brand's products and the demonstrators' support for the Palestinian cause.

13:03 Beirut Time

Biden administration officials have discussed the possibility of negotiating a unilateral deal with Hamas to secure the release of five Americans held hostage in Gaza if current cease-fire talks with Israel fail, according to two current and two former senior US officials contacted by NBC.

These negotiations would not include Israel and would be conducted through Qatari interlocutors, as is the case with current talks, said the officials, who were all briefed on the discussions.

White House officials declined to comment, according to NBC.

12:58 Beirut Time

More than 37,124 Palestinians have been killed and 84,712 wounded in Israel's military offensive on Gaza since Oct. 7, Gaza's Ministry of Health said in a statement on Monday.

Some 40 Palestinians have been killed and 218 wounded in the last 24 hours, the ministry added.

12:49 Beirut Time

New update on the situation on the Israeli-Lebanese border:

- In response to Israeli attacks on the Lebanese village of Houla (Marjayoun) and the disputed Shebaa Farms (Hasbaya), Hezbollah announced that it targeted three buildings used by Israeli soldiers in the villages of Manara and Yir'on. Hezbollah added that it had killed and wounded the soldiers inside these buildings.

Meanwhile, Haaretz reported that a rocket launched from Lebanon had caused a house in Manara to catch fire. Quoting the Upper Galilee Regional Council, the Israeli media added that an anti-tank missile had hit “agricultural land” near the village of Yir'on.

- In response to the Israeli attack on the village of Aitaroun (Bint Jbeil), Hezbollah also said that it targeted a building used by Israeli soldiers in the village of Avivim.

- Israeli artillery targeted the village of Markaba and its outskirts (Marjeyoun), as well as the outskirts of Yaroun (Bint Jbeil), residents told L'Orient Today's correspondent.

11:49 Beirut Time

A senior Hamas official, Sami Abou Zouhri, urged the United States to put pressure on Israel to end the war in Gaza, Reuters reports.

“We call on the US administration to put pressure on the occupation to end the war on Gaza, and the Hamas movement is ready to respond positively to any initiative to end the war,” he said.

10:21 Beirut Time

“In the past 24 hours, Iranian-backed Houthis launched two anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBMs) into the Gulf of Aden from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen,” the U.S. Middle East Military Command (CENTCOM) reported on X on Sunday.

"One of the ASBMs hit the M/V Tavvishi, a Liberian-flagged container ship owned and operated by Swiss nationals. The M/V Tavvishi was damaged but continued on its way. The second ASBM was destroyed by a coalition vessel. No injuries were reported by U.S., coalition or merchant vessels,” continued CENTCOM.

It further reports that the Houthis launched an ASBM and an anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) in the Gulf of Aden. Both missiles hit the M/V Norderney, a German cargo ship flying the flag of Antigua and Barbados, which suffered damage but no injuries or fatalities.

Lastly, CENTCOM claims to have destroyed an unmanned aerial system (UAS) over the Gulf of Aden, as well as two land-attack cruise missiles (LACM) and a missile launcher in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.

10:19 Beirut Time

Also in southern Lebanon, on Sunday night:

- After 8 p.m., Israeli warplanes attacked a house and a building in the village of Markaba (Marjayoun).

- After 8:30 p.m., Israeli warplanes attacked the Shebaa Valley (near the disputed territory of the same name). They also fired two missiles at Aitaroun (Bint Jbeil), one of which failed to explode.

- After 10:30 p.m., Israeli artillery intermittently shelled the outskirts of Maroun al-Ras and Yaroun (Bint Jbeil). A total of six shells were fired. Finally, Israeli aircraft targeted the outskirts of Wadi Hounine, between Houla and Markaba (Marjayoun).

10:17 Beirut Time

The Lebanese-Israeli border last night:

Some residents of the village of Bazouriyeh (Sour) received, around 2 a.m., an alert message on their cell phones asking them to evacuate their homes immediately before a military action targeting a building in the town.

The residents evacuated the building in question when they received the message, as did the inhabitants of neighboring houses. The town's private and public schools closed their doors, and students received messages from their principals urging them not to attend school as a precautionary measure.

“I sent letters to parents asking them not to send their children to school because of the situation ... because I can't predict what might happen,” the principal of one of the schools told L'Orient Today on condition of anonymity.

10:15 Beirut Time

Benny Gantz's resignation is unlikely to cause any major political upheaval in the immediate future. Netanyahu's coalition government still has a majority in Parliament, with the support of far-right parties. And Saturday's release of the four hostages reinforces Netanyahu's military strategy.

On Sunday, Israeli army operations continued in Gaza. A strike on a house in Gaza City killed five people, including a woman eight months pregnant, on Sunday night, a spokesperson for the Palestinian civil security services told AFP.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, the U.S. military announced the resumption of humanitarian aid drops, with 10 tons of rations dropped in the north of the Gaza Strip – a paltry amount for the 2.4 million inhabitants at risk of starvation.

10:13 Beirut Time

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected in the region on Monday to pursue peace efforts, but with no guarantees given the divisions within Benyamin Netanyahu's Israeli cabinet and the silence of Hamas.

He will first be received in Cairo by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, before meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

These talks come a day after the resignation of two Israeli war cabinet ministers, Benny Gantz and Gadi Eizenkot.

The announcement by Benny Gantz, a rival of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, came after Israeli special forces clashed with Palestinian fighters in the Nousseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on Saturday. They successfully freed four hostages and killed over 200 Palestinians, according to Hamas.

10:12 Beirut Time

On Monday, the United States stepped up pressure for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, where bombardments continue, with a request for a vote in the Security Council calling on Israel and Hamas to silence their weapons, and by sending Secretary of State Antony Blinken to the region.

According to diplomatic sources, the vote on this text supporting the plan unveiled at the end of May by U.S. President Joe Biden is scheduled for Monday, but has not been confirmed by the South Korean presidency of the Council.

According to the third version seen by AFP, the text provides for a first phase with an “immediate and complete” cease-fire, release of hostages taken by Hamas and “exchange” of Palestinian prisoners, withdrawal of the Israeli army from “populated areas of Gaza,” and entry of humanitarian aid.

If this phase takes longer than six weeks, the ceasefire will be maintained “as long as negotiations continue.”

10:11 Beirut Time

Be sure to read the Morning Brief so you are caught up with what happened over the weekend and what to expect today.

Morning Brief

Three killed in southern Lebanon and over 37,000 killed in Gaza: Everything you need to know to start your Monday

10:10 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.