Smoke billows from fires ignited by Israeli shelling on the forested areas of the southern Lebanese village of Deir Mimas on June 15, 2024. (Credit: Rabih Daher/AFP)


Risk 'very real' of miscalculation leading to wider conflict in south Lebanon, UNIFIL warns: Gaza war, day 254

What you need to know

Israel is "determined to change the security situation in the north," according to Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari.

The Israeli army has announced a daily "tactical pause" in the south of the Gaza Strip.

Relative calm prevailed this morning in south Lebanon, on the first day of Eid al-Adha. However, a woman wounded in an Israeli strike on Tuesday died.

19:11 Beirut Time

Thank you for following our live coverage of the war between Hamas and Israel.

We will continue our coverage of the conflict tomorrow morning.

19:01 Beirut Time

An Israeli drone fired two missiles at the outskirts of Shaqra (Bint Jbeil), local residents tell our correspondent in south Lebanon.

18:49 Beirut Time

Here are the most recent developments in south Lebanon, according to a security source quoted by our correspondent:

* Fires broke out after Israeli strikes near Wadi Hamoul (Sour district).

* The surrounding villages of Yarin, Zalloutieh, Jibbayn and Alma al-Shaab (Sour) were also hit by Israeli artillery.

* The Kfar Shuba heights were hit by four Israeli shells, and the area around Kfar Kila (Marjayoun), by three shells.

18:03 Beirut Time

17:51 Beirut Time

This afternoon, the Israeli army shelled the area around Kfar Kila (Marjayoun) and Naqoura (Sour), according to our correspondent in south Lebanon and the state-run National News Agency.

16:48 Beirut Time

Gaza casualty toll update: At least 37,337 Palestinians have been killed and 85,299 injured in Israel's military offensive on Gaza since Oct. 7, Reuters reports, citing the Gaza Health Ministry  

15:06 Beirut Time

The U.N. has welcomed an Israeli decision to "pause" fighting around a south Gaza route daily for aid deliveries, but urged more "concrete measures" to unblock the humanitarian response, AFP reports.

"We welcome this announcement," U.N. aid agency OCHA's spokesman Jens Laerke reportedly said in an email to AFP, noting however that "this has yet to translate into more aid reaching people in need." ➡️ More details here.

14:31 Beirut Time

Here's the latest from the Lebanese-Israeli border:

* Israeli aircraft targeted the village of Yaroun (Bint Jbeil), local residents told our correspondent.

* The Israeli army said that a "suspicious aerial target" had been intercepted "opposite Nahariya beach" in northern Israel, according to Haaretz. On the Lebanese side, residents reported seeing an interceptor missile explode over Naqoura, which faces Nahariya.

13:21 Beirut Time

After a relatively calm morning in southern Lebanon, Israeli artillery has targeted the area around Kfar Shuba and Halta (Hasbaya district), local residents tell our correspondent.

13:06 Beirut Time

⚡️ "In northern Israel, we are fighting a defensive and offensive battle against Hezbollah, and we take our decisions wisely and responsibly," said Israeli Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, quoted by Arabic-speaking Israeli army spokesman Avichay Adraee on X.

"We are determined to change the security situation in the north, and we will not allow a return to a situation similar to the one before Oct. 7," he warned.

12:40 Beirut Time

"As communities in Lebanon and around the world celebrate the Adha holiday, the UN family reiterates its call to all actors along the Blue Line to lay down their weapons and commit to the path of peace," UNIFIL, the United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon, said in a statement released yesterday evening.

"Since October, we have seen too many lives lost, families uprooted, and neighborhoods destroyed. We are deeply concerned about the escalation we have seen recently. The danger of miscalculation leading to a sudden and wider conflict is very real, and we continue to engage with the parties and urge all actors to cease their fire and commit to working toward a political and diplomatic solution — which is the only lasting solution," continues the text, a joint statement signed by UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert and UNIFIL Commander-in-Chief Aroldo Lazaro.

12:10 Beirut Time

Ismail Haniyeh, head of Hamas's political wing, says that Hamas's response to the latest cease-fire proposal in the Gaza Strip is "in line" with the principles put forward by U.S. President Joe Biden's plan. Haniyeh's comments came in a televised speech to mark the Eid a-Adha holiday, which begins today, Reuters reports.

"Hamas and the [Palestinian] groups are ready for a comprehensive deal which entails a cease-fire, withdrawal from the strip, the reconstruction of what was destroyed and a comprehensive swap deal," Haniyeh said, referring to the exchange of Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners.

On May 31, Biden laid out what he called a "three-phase" Israeli proposal that would include negotiations for a permanent cease-fire in Gaza as well as phased exchanges of Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners held in Israel.

Egypt and Qatar — which along with the United States have been mediating between Hamas and Israel — said on June 11 that they had received a response from the Palestinian groups to the U.S. plan, without giving further details. While Israel said Hamas rejected key elements of the U.S. plan, a senior Hamas leader told Reuters that the changes the group requested were "not significant."

11:53 Beirut Time

⚡ Ghada Abadi, a civilian who was also an Amal Movement member, has succumbed to wounds sustained in an Israeli attack, according to a medical source and residents' testimonies relayed by our correspondent in south Lebanon. Abadi was wounded when an Israeli drone attack struck her and her two children in the village of Kafra (Bint Jbeil district) on Tuesday.

The strike happened while the three were picking wild thyme.

In a statement, the Amal Movement announced Abadi's death, calling her the "martyr of the homeland and livelihood." The party added that she was the wife of Ali Sbiti, who is also an Amal Movement member, and announced that her funeral  would take place at 5 p.m. today in Kafra.

11:48 Beirut Time

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

* Between 9:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.: An Israeli drone fired three missiles at the village of Aitaroun (Bint Jbeil district) without causing casualties. The strikes caused a fire, which firefighters are working to extinguish. 

* After 11 p.m.: Israeli warplanes targeted the village of Aita al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil), meanwhile, Wadi Hamoul and the outskirts of Naqoura (Sour district) were subjected to Israeli artillery shelling.

11:30 Beirut Time

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant will soon travel to Washington for talks with his American counterpart on the war between Israel and Hamas, the Pentagon announced yesterday.

In a phone call Tuesday with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Gallant accepted an invitation to visit the U.S., Pentagon spokesman Gen. Patrick Ryder said. The date of his visit has not yet been set, but the purpose of the meeting is to "further discuss ongoing security developments in the Middle East," Ryder added on X.

11:27 Beirut Time

Since aid trucks began entering Gaza from Egypt through Kerem Shalom, a "trickle" of aid has arrived, said Matthew Hollingworth, director for the Palestinian Territories of the World Food Program (WFP) recently.

"But this must turn into a river of aid if we are to ensure that the most acute forms of hunger do not become more common," he added, calling for "the corridors to the south to be fully opened."

While elsewhere in the world, Muslims are celebrating Adha, Palestinians in Gaza are lamenting the multiple shortages of basic necessities.

11:25 Beirut Time

The Israeli army today announced its intention to observe a "pause" in its operations in an area of southern Gaza until further notice to allow more humanitarian aid into the Palestinian territory, which has been devastated by more than eight months of war and is threatened by famine.

This decision was made public the day after 11 Israeli soldiers died — eight of them in a single explosion in southern Gaza. 

The pause "will be observed from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (05:00 to 16:00 GMT) every day until further notice," in the area from Kerem Shalom, a crossing into the southern part of the strip from Israel, to the Salah al-Dine road, which runs north-south through the territory, the army said.

11:20 Beirut Time

Good morning, 

Welcome back to our live updates on the Gaza war and related developments in Lebanon and across the Middle East.