Smoke billows following Israeli military shelling that swept over the fields near the village of Shebaa, close to the southern Lebanese border with Israel on June 14, 2024. (Credit: Rabih Daher/AFP)

Live Gaza war

Gallant rejects French initiative for peace on the Israeli-Lebanese border: Day 252 of the Gaza war

What you need to know

"If Hezbollah doesn't stop its attacks, Lebanon will be burned," threatened Benny Gantz.

The Israeli strike in Jenata killed two women and wounded 19 people, including children.

"No turning back" possible after the assassination of a Hezbollah commander, said Nabil Kaouk. 

21:21 Beirut Time

Continued updates on the latest developments in South Lebanon:

Israeli airstrikes continue to bombard Bint Jbeil district, targeting:

- Abu Tawil mountain near Aita-al-Shaab, residents reported to our correspondent.

- An area between the villages of Ramya and Kaouzak.

- Aitaroun with two consecutive airstrikes.

20:29 Beirut Time

(Credit: Civil Defense Scouts of al-Rissala)

The Civil Defense Scouts of al-Rissala, affiliated with the Amal movement, informed our correspondent that they extinguished fires caused by an Israeli white phosphorus bombardment in Taybeh, Mais al-Jabal, Houla, and Bani Hayane — all in Marjayoun district.

20:22 Beirut Time

Here are the latest developments from the southern Lebanese border:

- An Israeli drone fired three missiles at Aitaroun (Bint Jbeil district) causing two minor injuries, residents report to our correspondent. 

- Hezbollah claimed it attacked "a troop of Israeli soldiers" near Karantina, opposite Yaroun (Bint Jbeil) at 6:10 p.m.

- Hezbollah conducted another attack at the same time on Israeli soldiers in Khallet Warda, opposite the Lebanese village of Aita Al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil)

- Hezbollah claimed responsibility for a missile attack at 7:25 p.m. on the Israeli barracks in Ramim, opposite Markaba and Houla (Marjayoun).

20:11 Beirut Time

Biden's envoy Amos Hochstein is set to arrive in Israel on Monday, an Axios reporter posted on X. 

19:59 Beirut Time

⚡️ Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant rejected a new French initiative to contain tensions on the Lebanese-Israeli border, accusing Paris of "hostility" towards Israel, AFP reports.

"While we are waging a just war in defense of our people, France has adopted a policy of hostility towards Israel. In doing so, France disregards the atrocities committed by Hamas," Gallant wrote in a message posted on X. "Israel will not be part of the trilateral framework proposed by France."

On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that France, the United States, and Israel would work in a "trilateral" format on a French roadmap presented earlier this year to contain tensions on the Lebanese-Israeli border.

In the past week, clashes have been escalating between the Israeli army and Hezbollah since the war started on Oct. 7.

18:40 Beirut Time

Today, the U.S. imposed sanctions on an Israeli group that attacked a humanitarian aid convoy bound for starving civilians in Gaza, a U.S. official told Reuters. 

The sanctions target Tsav 9, a group with ties to Israeli army reservists and Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, "over activities including blocking, harassing and damaging aid shipments," Reuters reported. 

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on June 12 that people in Gaza are facing "catastrophic hunger and famine-like conditions."

The financial sanctions will be imposed under an executive order on West Bank violence Biden signed in February.

Tsav 9 was listed as sanctioned on the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control website today. 

18:03 Beirut Time

Here are the latest updates from southern Lebanon: 

- Hezbollah said it targeted and destroyed an Israeli technical system at the Metulla site at 12:50 p.m. It did not specify what the system was.

Hezbollah announced it targeted and directly hit Israeli soldiers near Horsh Baraam, opposite Houla (Marjayoun), with missiles at 3:17 p.m.

- Israeli warplanes shelled al-Marj neighborhood in Houla (Marjeyoun), locals told our correspondent.

- Hezbollah stated it targeted buildings used by Israeli soldiers in the Margaliot and Misgav Am settlement with Katyusha rockets.

17:54 Beirut Time

G7 leaders said that UN agencies must be allowed to work unhindered in Gaza in the draft of an end-of-summit statement, reported AFP. 

"We agree it is critical that UNRWA and other UN organizations and agencies’ distribution networks be fully able to deliver aid to those who need it most, fulfilling their mandate effectively," the Group of Seven nations wrote.

17:28 Beirut Time

Hamas' armed wing Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades announced on Telegram today that two Israeli hostages were killed in an Israeli airstrike on Rafah a few days ago, Reuters reports.

The Israeli army has not responded to al-Qassam's statement yet. 

Following the Israeli army's operation in Nuseirat refugee camp in Gaza, where four hostages were rescued and nearly 250 Palestinians killed, it is believed 116 hostages remain in Gaza. This includes 41 the Israeli army believes are dead —excluding the two recently announced by al-Qassam.

16:41 Beirut Time

More updates from the southern Lebanese-Israeli border: 

35 rockets were launched from Lebanon at the northern Israeli towns of Kiryat Shmona and Kfar Szold at 11 a.m., reported Haaretz.

A number of the missiles were intercepted, while others caused fires in Kfar Szold, reported Avichay Adraee — the Israeli army's Arabic-speaking spokesperson — on X 

Israeli army airstrikes targetted Hezbollah infrastructure in the towns of Odaisseh and Kfar Kila, both in the Marjayoun district, Adraee reported on X. 

16:34 Beirut Time

Here are the latest updates from the southern Lebanese border:

- Hezbollah announced that it targeted and destroyed Israeli spying equipment in the Jal al-Deir outpost at 2 p.m.

- At 2:15 p.m., Hezbollah said it targeted Israeli soldiers near Ramtha outpost in the occupied Lebanese Kfarshouba hills.

- Israel shelled the outskirts of Houla (Marjayoun) with four white phosphorus munitions, causing fires in the area, locals told our correspondent.

- Firefighters — from the Lebanese Civil Defense, Islamic Risala Scouts Association affiliated with the Amal Movement, and the Islamic Health Authority affiliated with Hezbollah — extinguished flames triggered by Israeli shelling in the Dabbaka area, northeast of the town of Mais al-Jabal in Khiam district. They prevented the fires from reaching nearby houses.

15:25 Beirut Time

The injured baby's aunt holds up a picture of her niece in the hospital. (Credits: Matthieu Karam/OLJ)

At the Jabal Amel hospital in Abbasieh, L’Orient Today’s reporters have gathered testimonies from the relatives of those injured in yesterday’s blast.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the aunt of an eight-month-old baby whose mother was injured in the explosion confirms that the infant is doing well.

"His mother is still in intensive care but her condition is stable. She was taken to hospital overnight. Her pelvis and back are fractured. Her sister was right next to Sally [one of the victims killed]. They were smoking hookah at the time of the strike," says the aunt. “The baby and her mother were thrown by the impact of the explosion.

15:19 Beirut Time

Dalal Ezzedine's 17-year-old daughter has been released from the hospital, according to L'Orient Today's reporters who are at the scene of the Jenata blast. Ezzedine is one of the victims who were killed by last night's blast.

“She's traumatized, she can't speak,” explained her uncle over the phone.

14:45 Beirut Time

- Israeli warplanes shelled the town of Kfar Kila, targeting a house and destroying it. An ambulance was dispatched to the location.

Residents told L’Orient Today’s correspondent that two people in the town were hospitalized due to “suffocation” from breathing in the smoke of nearby fires. The patients were taken to the hospital in Marjayoun.

- At 1:20 p.m., Hezbollah targeted the Israeli Army’s espionage systems at the Misgav Am site, facing the Lebanese border town of Odaisseh (Marjayoun district) destroying them.

14:43 Beirut Time

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant criticized France for “ignoring the atrocities committed by Hamas,” stating that “Israel will not participate in the [international] committee tasked with defusing tensions on Israel's northern border if France participates,” in a post on his X account.

Gallant is responding to comments made by French President Emmanuel Macron at the G7 summit in Italy, where he told reporters that the U.S., France and Israel had agreed to work together to intensify efforts to “advance a roadmap” presented by Paris earlier this year to neutralize escalating tensions between Hezbollah and Israel.

14:14 Beirut Time

Hezbollah said its Secretary-General, Hassan Nasrallah, will speak next Wednesday at 5 p.m. during a memorial ceremony held for Hezbollah’s commander Taleb Sami Abdallah (Abu Taleb), in the hall of the Imam al-Mujtaba complex in Beirut’s southern suburbs.

Nasrallah's speech follows a week of escalations along the southern border and marks his first address mourning a killed party member since Wissam Tawil's assassination in January.

Abdallah was killed on Tuesday by an Israeli strike and is the most senior commander of Hezbollah killed since fighting began on Oct.8.

13:37 Beirut Time

Hezbollah central council member Nabil Kaouk said today that Hezbollah has “expanded its level of fighting in terms of targets, depth, and intensity of fire, and there is no turning back,” following Israel’s assassination of Hezbollah commander Taleb Abdallah on Tuesday.

He added that Abdallah’s assassination “will not change the fact that Israel is defeated.” His remarks came during a graduation ceremony at the Islamic Educational Foundation “Al-Mahdi Secondary School.”

Kaouk also said that “unless the war in Gaza stops, the shooting will not stop on the support fronts,” refering to the fighting in southern Lebanon.

13:31 Beirut Time

At Hiram Hospital, near Sour, hospital director Salman Aidibi told L’Orient Today’s reporters that nine people were injured in yesterday's strike on Jenata.

Among them, two are in intensive care but in stable condition. The others are in the emergency department to get their injuries treated. 

13:28 Beirut Time

Last night, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who resigned last week, told Israel's Channel 12 that “Lebanon would have to be burned” if Hezbollah did not cease its attacks on Israel.

13:07 Beirut Time

The Washington Post reports that after the Hamas attacks on Israel on Oct. 7, the U.S. Army's Joint Special Operations Command and the CIA had planned to send U.S. special forces to rescue the American hostages held in Gaza. The report adds that the project was postponed due to difficulties in locating the hostages.

A senior Israeli official told the Washington Post that in the weeks following Oct.7, the U.S. had provided Israel with “very detailed satellite imagery” that Israel didn't have access to.

13:03 Beirut Time

Screenshot from a video sent by a relative of Dalal Ezzedine, who was killed in her home near Jenata, southern Lebanon, by an Israeli strike on June 14, 2024. Photo shows the view from inside her living room, where a hole was blown through the wall from the force of the explosion.

13:01 Beirut Time

Screenshot from a video sent by a relative of Dalal Ezzedine, who was killed in her home near Jenata, southern Lebanon, by an Israeli strike on June 14, 2024. Photo shows the living room, covered in rubble from the wall that was blown out by the force of the explosion.

12:52 Beirut Time

In a series of statements, Hezbollah announced its latest attacks targeting Israeli settlements in response to the Israeli attack on the town of Jenata yesterday, which killed two women and wounded 20 people, including children.

- Hezbollah said it shelled Kiryat Shmona and Kfar Szold settlements with dozens of Katyusha and al-Falaq rockets.

- The party also said it targeted buildings used by Israeli soldiers in the Metula settlements, causing several injuries.

12:13 Beirut Time

At the start of the Cabinet meeting at the Grand Serail today, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati described the Israeli attacks on southern Lebanon as “destructive and terrorist aggressions that the international community must put an end to.”

His statements come after a strike yesterday night on Jenata and Deir Qanoun el-Nahr in the Sour district left two dead.

Mikati said that Lebanon “intends to defer to the relevant international institutions,”  reiterating “Lebanon's commitment to the implementation of Resolution 1701” which was adopted in 2006 by the UN Security Council to put an end to Israel’s war against Lebanon, and which stipulates, among other things, that Hezbollah must withdraw its troops north of the Litani River.

He also "hopes" that UN Security Council Resolution 2732 (voted on May 31, 2024), which includes a cease-fire plan for the Gaza war, “will be implemented as soon as possible to avoid a generalized war in the region.”

12:06 Beirut Time

Nabih Skaili, another resident of Deir Qanoun el-Nahr, says he expected what happened. Remembering Dalal Ezzeddine, the second victim of the strike, he says she was “scared.”

"It had been two years since she had seen two of her children, who live in Abidjan,” in Cote d'Ivoire, he said.

12:05 Beirut Time

Dalal Ezzeddine's cousin, Nasser el-Zaher, who also attended the funeral in Deir Qanoun el-Nahr, said that Dalal was flying today to Abidjan to see her two children who work there. Dalal was a mother of five and has been a widow for three years.

“She had said goodbye to everyone and packed up all her belongings,” Zaher said. He adds that Dalal's 17-year-old daughter, the only one still in Lebanon, was injured in the strike and is still in hospital.

11:45 Beirut Time

The Israeli army fired artillery shells at Kfar Kila, Deir Mimas and Khiam in the Marjayoun district, and at Mais al-Jabal in the Bint Jbeil district.

11:42 Beirut Time

In the morning, Hezbollah claimed responsibility for four strikes on Israeli positions. According to a series of statements issued by the party, none of these attacks were in retaliation for last night's deadly strike.

- At 8.50 a.m., Hezbollah attacked the town of Metoula.

- At 8.55 a.m., Hezbollah fighters targeted “with missiles” an Israeli army position in “Khallet Warda,” opposite the Lebanese village of Aita el-Shaab in the Bint Jbeil district.

- At 9.30 a.m., Hezbollah artillery hit “with missiles” the “Ramta post” on the disputed Kfar Shuba hills.

- At 9:45 a.m., Hezbollah targeted the Kfar Shuba hills a second time.

11:32 Beirut Time

(Credits: Matthieu Karam/OLJ)

Sally's cousin Mohammad describes witnessing a “massacre” when he arrived on the scene after the strike. There's “a lot of anger” in the village, “We didn't think anything like this would happen here,” he says. He expects a “strong response” against Israel, which he considers “logical when innocent people are dying.”

11:31 Beirut Time

(Credits: Matthieu Karam/OLJ)

At Sally Skaiky's funeral, her friend Tarwada Salloum calls her “the rose of Deir Qanoun.”

“I was on the phone with her just five minutes before the strike. She had asked me to come and sleep over at her house because she was afraid of the detonations when the Israeli planes passed the sound barrier. She was an angel.”

Sally's grandmother, at whose home the funeral is being held, said that Sally, who was only in her early twenties, was both a beautician and a paramedic, “She was gentle, respectable, beautiful and intelligent.”

Her colleague Abir Haidar, who worked with her in the Amal movement's civil defense department, affirms that “Sally loved life and everyone loved her.”

“She was helpful, and always the first one to go to the scene of the strikes.”

11:14 Beirut Time

Hussein Diab, in his thirties, claims to have been the first person at the scene of the strike, "I was at home when we heard the strike and ran there immediately. We helped evacuate people. There were women and children and everything was in flames.

He says that downstairs in the targeted building was “a carpentry shop” and that the smell coming from the ruins was very strong. “Everyone was crying and screaming in fear. There were people trapped under the rubble,” he continues. According to him, the two victims “were blown up by the explosion.”

"Dear God, may there be nothing left of Israel. May they be done with us and may we be done with them," he declares.

11:06 Beirut Time

A member of the Hezbollah security committee present at the scene explained that “civilians were evacuated within 30 minutes of the strike, then search operations continued until 3 a.m.” This includes rescue workers from the Islamic Mission Scouts al-Risala (Amal), the Islamic Health Committee (Hezbollah), the Lebanese military and firefighters from the Civil Defense.

He also confirms that the targeted building belonged to Hezbollah, but that he “can't say” what it was used for.

Nearby, an engineer is reviewing the condition of the buildings in the area. 

10:54 Beirut Time

"There was only one strike, and it was an Israeli warplane strike, not a drone strike. A single missile,” a Hezbollah member who asked to remain anonymous told our reporter on the scene.

"There were only civilians in the building near the targeted home. Among them were people displaced from southern villages, Syrians too," he added.

10:46 Beirut Time

Interviewed on the scene, a resident explained that he had returned from Germany for a three-week vacation in Lebanon when the strike occurred, "I was at home in Deir Qanoun when we heard the strike... We're used to it, we lived through the 2006 war," he told L’Orient Today.

When it hit, “at first we thought it was a plane breaking the sound barrier, but then we understood,” he added.

“We haven't forgotten Qana and the 2006 war, anything is possible with Israel,” he declares.

10:43 Beirut Time

According to a source from Hezbollah's Islamic Health Committee, who was present at the scene, two of the 20 people injured are in critical condition.

The children affected have only minor injuries. Everyone has been transferred to three hospitals in the region.

10:40 Beirut Time

(Credit: Matthieu Karam / OLJ)

The two victims in Jenata were spending the evening in a residential building near the strike, according to local sources. Another residential building near the one targeted was also heavily damaged.

A Hezbollah member told L’Orient Today’s reporter on the scene that the building was not a “military target.” Earlier in the day, a spokeswoman for the party had denied rumors that the strike had targeted Hezbollah officials.

10:03 Beirut Time

In Jerusalem, students brandishing photos of Israelis kidnapped during Hamas' Oct. 7 attack held a demonstration in front of the Parliament to call on Benjamin Netanyahu's government to stop the war and repatriate the hostages, according to AFP.

Netanyahu has repeatedly stated his determination to continue the war until Hamas, who has been in power in Gaza since 2007, is defeated.

10:01 Beirut Time

For its part, Hezbollah announced a new artillery strike yesterday evening, at 9:05 p.m., against “a deployment of soldiers at the Horch Adamit site”, opposite Alma el-Shaab (Sour District).

The Israeli army fired automatic weapons in the direction of Aitaroun (in the Bint Jbeil district) at around 2:30 am. 

09:58 Beirut Time

The strike killed two women: Sally Skaiky, a paramedic with the Islamic Mission Scouts Civil Defense Association, affiliated with the Amal movement, and Dalal Ezzeddine. It also wounded 19 people, including several children, making it the strike with the highest number of casualties since the fighting began on Oct. 8. 

09:57 Beirut Time

In southern Lebanon, the night was marked by a violent Israeli strike in the Sour district, which targeted a three-story building on the Jenata and Deir Qanoun al-Nahr road.

09:55 Beirut Time

In the early hours of the day, witnesses reported Israeli strikes in various sectors of the Gaza Strip, particularly in the center of the enclave.

09:54 Beirut Time

Last night, a senior Hamas official told CNN that “nobody has any idea” how many Israeli hostages are still alive in the Gaza Strip.

Beirut-based Hamas spokesman and political bureau member Osama Hamdane said any deal to free them must include guarantees of a permanent ceasefire and the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip. Hamdane told CNN that Hamas needed “a clear position from Israel to accept the ceasefire, a complete withdrawal from Gaza, and let the Palestinians determine their own future, reconstruction, lifting the siege... and we are ready to discuss a fair deal on prisoner exchange”.

09:51 Beirut Time

Good morning! Thank you for joining us for today's live coverage of the Gaza war and its regional and global impacts.