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Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah speaks on June 19, 2024. Screenshot.

Live Gaza war

'We will consider ourselves in a state of war with Cyprus' if it opens its airports to Israel to target Lebanon, warns Nasrallah: Day 257 of the Gaza war

What you need to know

Hezbollah claimed responsibility for several attacks since last night, including one on a factory manufacturing armored vehicles.

U.S. forces announce that they have destroyed eight drones belonging to Houthi rebels.

Israel has “what it needs to defend itself”, according to Blinken, after a controversy over arms deliveries.


21:22 Beirut Time

More updates from the southern Lebanese-Israeli border: 


Hezbollah claimed responsibility for two attacks:

- An exploding drone targeted the Israeli site of Baghdadi, opposite Aita al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil district).


- The second struck the Raheb site, opposite the same village, and targeted "a troop of Israeli soldiers, causing certain losses." 

20:50 Beirut Time

An Israeli strike killed nine Palestinian citizens and merchants in the southern Gaza Strip as they waited for convoys of aid trucks through the Kerem Shalom crossing, medical sources told Reuters. 


This increases the death toll which was released earlier today by the Gaza Health Ministry to 37,405. 


20:05 Beirut Time

- Israeli army chief Herzl Halevi stated Wednesday that the Israeli army has identified the asset Hezbollah used to film footage of Haifa's port — following the group's release of a video on Tuesday claiming to have used a drone for the footage.


"We are preparing and building solutions to deal with such capabilities as well as other capacities that, in time, will be deployed when needed," Halevi said, adding that the Israeli army possesses "infinitely more powerful capabilities."

20:01 Beirut Time

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

- An Israeli airstrike targeted an area between the towns of Aita al-Shaab, Qouzah and Dibil — all in Bint Jbeil district  reported our correspondent in South Lebanon, quoting residents.


- “Around 16 projectiles" were fired at the village of Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel, damaging one property, Haaretz reported — citing the village's municipality. 


19:54 Beirut Time

"Hezbollah is hiding the truth from the Lebanese people, and Nasrallah is leading the country down a dangerous path," said Daniel Hagari, spokesperson for the Israeli army, in his remarks aired on al-Arabiya channel and relayed by Avichay Adraee, Arabic-speaking spokesperson for the Israeli army, on X.

19:35 Beirut Time

- Brussels has deemed it "impossible" to host the soccer match between Belgium and Israel scheduled for September 6 in the Nations League due to tensions linked to the war in Gaza.


- According to a statement issued by the municipality, "holding such a match in our capital, at this particularly troubled time, will undoubtedly provoke major demonstrations and counter-demonstrations, thus compromising the safety of spectators, players, Brussels residents and our police forces".

19:15 Beirut Time

Supporters and members of Hezbollah listening to Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah's speech in the southern suburbs of Beirut. (Credit: Muntasser Abdallah/L'Orient Today)


19:12 Beirut Time

Hassan Nasrallah concluded his speech by saying:


- "I address the families of the martyrs, the displaced, those who hear the bombs every day. We are fighting the greatest battle since 1948. It's a battle that promises new horizons for the entire region. It will be a significant step towards victory."


- "The Smotriches, the Ben Gvirs and the Netanyahus are leading the enemy into the abyss. We have the military, human and material capacity to defeat the enemy."

- "If Israel continues to have the power it currently has, we will witness many more massacres against civilians."

- "[The Lebanese] front is going with strong and precise steps towards victory against Israel."

19:07 Beirut Time

Hassan Nasrallah added in his speech: 

- "The enemy wants to intimidate us with war, but they're the ones who should be afraid. Even the United States is afraid for the enemy."

- "You noticed that after the Israeli threats, the US State Department and the Pentagon communicated that a war was not good for Israel."


- "We will continue to support Gaza, and we are ready for anything. We are not afraid."

- "The conditions are clear. A ceasefire in Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen requires one thing: an end to the war in Gaza!"


- "We want a permanent ceasefire this is what all the Palestinian factions want and Netanyahu insists that a permanent ceasefire is not possible."


*On May 31, Joe Biden announced a plan for an initial six-week ceasefire, accompanied by an Israeli withdrawal from densely populated areas of the Gaza Strip, the release of certain hostages and the release of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel. The United States is urging Israel and Hamas to formally accept the plan — which was approved by the UN Security Council last week.

19:02 Beirut Time

Nasrallah added in his speech that Hezbollah has "information that Israel is conducting training in Cyprus and Cypriots airports. We relayed it to Lebanese officials to discuss with the President of Cyprus who was in Lebanon a few weeks ago. If Israel uses [the Cypriot] airbases to strike Lebanon [Cyprus] will get dragged to the war."

18:59 Beirut Time

On the possibility of a full-on war with Lebanon, Nasrallah threatened Israel stating: 



- "Let the enemy know once again that should open war be declared against Lebanon, we will wage it without limits.



- "There will not be a spot in the Zionist entity that will escape our strikes if a greater war unleashes. We will target precisely and yesterday’s drone is proof that we have the capabilities, and Israel knows this."


- "Let Israel wait for us by land, air, and sea in case of a greater war."


- "If the war is imposed in Lebanon, the resistance will go in full force with no limits and rules."

18:54 Beirut Time

Commenting on Hezbollah's supporters, Nasrallah stated: 



"Our populist base is strong — both those that are steadfast in their land and those who were displaced from their villages in the south."

"Is our populist base pressuring us? No, our people are steadfast, patient, supportive, and loud in their support of Gaza."

18:50 Beirut Time

On Hezbollah's weapons and military abilities, Nasrallah stated: 


- "We use new weapons gradually, and we have other new weapons for future days to protect our people, country, and sovereignty."



- "We make our own drones, so we have money. We also make some of our own rockets in Lebanon."



- "We have more than 100,000 fighters ready ... We have a surplus of fighters even in the worst-case scenario of the war."


18:47 Beirut Time

Adding on the Lebanese front, Nasrallah stated: 


- Hezbollah has "a lot of information. The nine-minute video is taken out of long hours of surveillance over Haifa." 


- Contradicting the Israeli narrative, he added that Israel "lied" and claimed it has allowed the Hezbollah drone to fly over its skies to avoid scaring the people in Haifa.  


- Hezbollah has many more drones flying "before Haifa, in Haifa, and after it." 

 


- "It has been our ambition to hit the targets we are hitting today."



- "In 2006, our ambition was to bomb the Israeli base at Meron. Today, all we have to do is tell the fighters to do it, and they do it immediately."

*Meron Base is located in northern Israel, near the town of Safed. It plays a strategic role due to its geographical position, offering an important surveillance point on the Lebanese border.




18:39 Beirut Time

Speaking about the Lebanese front, Nasrallah added: 

- "Since October 8, the enemy has understood that certain places would be targeted. They know that we have information on these places, as well as on the forces present there."


- "But I want you to know that the places we are bombing are not completely evacuated. The soldiers don't come out because they're very scared, they know we're watching them."


- "Deep inside Israeli territory, there are Israeli troop bases and headquarters. They have had to evacuate some and renovate others, trying to hide them ... Fortunately, our "Houdhoud" [a type of drone] tells us everything there is to know." 


*Hassan Nasrallah discussed the Haifa images released by his party yesterday. To read our article "Hezbollah releases drone footage of Haifa," click here. 👈

18:35 Beirut Time

Commenting on Gaza, Nasrallah stated: 

- While the Israeli army insists that they are the strongest in the region, they had to use their full force to control Rafah, which has been besieged for the past eight months. "

"They had to use aircraft, bombs and artillery because they were being fought by the brave fighters of the Palestinian resistance." 


- The leaders of the opposition in Israel are stating that they are unable to achieve victory in Gaza



- "Netanyahu is not able to convince Israelis of the fake victories he claims to be achieving in Gaza, so how does he expect us to believe him?”

18:25 Beirut Time

Hassan Nasrallah stated: 

- "The outcome of this pressure from the Lebanese front as well as from the Yemeni, Iraqi, ... fronts translates into influence in the indirect negotiations between the Palestinian authorities and the enemy"


- The Pentagon and even the British acknowledge their failure on the Yemeni front.

"They have used all possible means: intelligence, warships, ammunition, ... And yet, they have still failed."

18:22 Beirut Time

On the possibility of a full-out war between Lebanon and Israel, Nasrallah stated: 



- "Whether we want total war or not, the enemy must be prepared."


- "We do not want total war because our struggle is a support front."

18:14 Beirut Time

Hassan Nasrallah stated that 


- One of Israel's top leaders admitted that if the Lebanese front hadn't been there, it would have enabled the Israeli army to avoid heavy losses in its operations in Gaza.


- "Israel is hiding its casualties for its own reasons." 


- They "can't hide tens of thousands of people who had to flee northern settlements."


- "Sometimes Israeli settlers help us and film our operations from their side."


- 40 northern settlements have been emptied 


- Hezbollah strikes have affected the industrial, tourism and agricultural sectors in northern Israel. 

18:10 Beirut Time

Hassan Nasrallah on what he describes as the "supportive southern Lebanese front": 

- The southern Lebanese front " is affecting our enemy psychologically, technically, and militarily."


- The "strength" of this front is evident from the effects of Hezbollah's strikes on northern settlements. 


- He added that the importance of this front can be seen due to the "interference to separate the southern front and Gaza


- "There has been "a propaganda media machine since Oct.7 to demean the actions of the resistance making them seem as unimportant.

17:51 Beirut Time

Photo provided by our correspondent in southern Lebanon Mountasser Abdallah.

- Coinciding with Nasrallah's speech, Israeli artillery shelling, reportedly with white phosphorus, targeted the towns of Odaisseh and Kfar Kila in Marjayoun district and the outskirts of Wazzani in Hasbaya district, according to local residents.

- Israeli warplanes bombed the town of Aita al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil district) with two rockets, a security source told L'Orient Today.



17:45 Beirut Time

Hezbollah's leader started his speech by "congratulating" the families of the "four Hezbollah martyrs that were killed today."


"I congratulate the family of the martyr Hajj Abu Taleb and the families of the martyrs that were killed along with him and reached the highest honorary level."


“I have known him personally and closely since he was a soldier,” Nasrallah added about Abu Taleb.

“He was one of the key people on the ground responsible for opening the southern Lebanese front on Oct.8.”


To read more about who is Taleb Abdallah, press here 👇

Who is Taleb Abdallah, the Hezbollah commander assassinated in Jwaya?

Who is Taleb Abdallah, the Hezbollah commander assassinated in Jwaya?

17:30 Beirut Time

The ceremony in memory of Hezbollah commander Taleb Sami Abdallah, who was killed last week, has begun. Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah is currently giving a speech.

16:33 Beirut Time

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

- Around 15 projectiles were launched from Lebanon at the northern Israeli city of Kiryat Shmona, facing the Lebanese town Houla, some of which were intercepted, stated the Israeli army.


- The Israeli army reported that over 10 projectiles were launched at northern Israel's Upper Galilee region prompting sirens to sound in the afternoon, Haaretz reported.


- "The police reported that damage was sustained by infrastructures as a result of the hits, and the fire and rescue service said that firefighting teams are battling several blazes that broke out in the city," according to Haaretz. 

15:19 Beirut Time

Mufti Ahmad Kabalan, head of Lebanon's highest Shiite religious council and closely associated with Hezbollah and the Amal Movement, said that "the national interest of Christians is paramount above all considerations, and that the events unfolding on the southern front contribute to their survival," according to the state-run National News Agency.

The head of the Maronite church Bechara al-Rai has repeatedly called for greater efforts to prevent Lebanon from "being dragged into war," as Hezbollah and Israel are engaged in deadly fighting on the Lebanese-Israeli border.

Head of the Free Patriotic Movement Gebran Bassil had also urged several times against Lebanon being involved in the conflict. In April he said that “anyone who thinks he can control the Lebanese and defeat Israel is deluding himself."

14:50 Beirut Time

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


*Hezbollah stated that in response to the "aggressions of the Israeli enemy" targeting the towns of Yaroun (in the Bint Jbeil district) and Khiam (in the Marjayoun district), its fighters "bombarded the headquarters of Eastern Brigade 769 (affiliated with Division 91) at Kiryat Shmona barracks with dozens of Katyusha rockets and artillery shells."

At least one person has been killed in the Israeli airstrike on Khiam (Marjayoun district) earlier today, as reported by a security source to L'Orient Today.


*An Israeli airstrike targeted the town of Mais al-Jabal (Marjayoun District) with two rockets, residents reported.


*Israeli artillery shelling targeted the outskirts of the town of Rashaya al-Foukhar (Hasbaya district), and the towns of Houla, Taybeh, and the Awaidah hill near Odaisseh (all situated in the Marjayoun district), causing fires to erupt on the outskirts of Houla, according to local residents.

13:13 Beirut Time

(Photo sent by the Islamic Scouts Association to L'Orient Today)

Civil Defense personnel, from the Islamic Scouts Association, participated in rescue operations following the airstrike on the town of Borgholiyeh (Sour district). One injury has been transferred to a local hospital in the area, the Association said in a statement.

13:11 Beirut Time

Gaza’s Health Ministry has announced a new death toll of 37,396 since the start of the war more than eight months ago.

At least 24 people have been killed in the last 24 hours, it said in a statement, adding that 85,523 people had been wounded in the Palestinian territory since the start of the war.

13:01 Beirut Time

Street fighting and Israeli bombardments resumed today in the south of the Gaza Strip, after three days of relative calm. Israeli bombardments targeted Rafah and several areas in the center of the territory, according to witnesses and the Civil Defense.

Seven people were killed overnight, according to rescue workers, by drone strikes on tents in the Al-Mawasi area on the outskirts of Rafah, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have taken refuge. Israeli soldiers and Palestinian fighters clashed in the Saoudien district of western Rafah, under shelling and artillery fire, according to the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian armed group allied to Hamas.

Witnesses also reported that several military vehicles had entered the Saoudien neighborhood, supported by drone and tank fire.

In the north, witnesses reported artillery fire in Zeitoun, a district of Gaza City, while a bombardment near the Nousseirat camp in the center left three people dead.

The Israeli army had initially announced a pause in fighting in Rafah to allow aid to enter the area.

12:57 Beirut Time

Hezbollah announced the death of its member Hassan al-Mujtaba Ahmed, born in the town of Rachaf (Bint Jbeil district) and a resident of the town of Aitit (Sour district). According to our correspondent, he was killed earlier today in the strike that targeted Yaroun (Bint Jbeil district.) Three Hezbollah members in total have been killed in this strike.

12:12 Beirut Time

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

*Local residents reported that Israeli warplanes launched two missiles on a three-story building located in the orchards of the town of Borgholiyeh (Sour district), near the sea. Ambulances are headed to the site of the strike. The town has been repeatedly targeted yesterday and earlier this morning.

*Hezbollah announced the death of its member Ahmad Hayek, born in 1999 in the town of Aadshit (Marjayoun district) in southern Lebanon. According to our correspondent in the area, Hayek was killed in the Israeli strike earlier this morning in Yaroun (Bint Jbeil district), along with another Hezbollah member, Hassan Saab. This raises the total number of Hezbollah members killed since Oct. 8 to 347.

Hayek's wedding ceremony was set to take place a few days later, some of his friends told L'Orient Today's correspondent in the south.


*Ahmad Mohammad, the head of the municipality of Wazzani in the Hasbaya district, informed L'Orient Today that an Israeli aircraft targeted a parked car in one of the orchards on the outskirts of the town this morning. No injuries have been reported so far. Mohammad stated that the raid caused panic among the farmers working in the fields, prompting some to abandon their work and seek safety in secure locations.

12:00 Beirut Time

Residents in northern Gaza are facing a lack of water as the Israeli forces “have destroyed all wells,” according to the Northern Gaza Emergency Committee, as reported by Al Jazeera.

Trucks loaded with water are now being brought in from Gaza City in an attempt to provide residents with the basic necessities.

11:36 Beirut Time

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

*Israeli military aircraft reportedly attacked the town of Khiam (Marjayoun district) twice after this morning’s initial strike. One of the strikes targeted the town center, according to residents.

*Hezbollah announced the death of Hassan Saab, a member born in the southern town of Yaroun (Bint Jbeil district), without providing further details. According to L'Orient Today's correspondent in the area, Saab was killed in the Israeli strike earlier this morning in his hometown.

Following the strike on Yaroun, the Israeli army claimed, in a message posted on X by its Arabic-speaking spokesman Avichay Adraee, to have bombed a “military building used as a weapons depot” in which “Hezbollah terrorists” were stationed.

11:26 Beirut Time

In the Gaza Strip, bombardments and fighting have been relatively quiet since the army announced a humanitarian pause in Rafah, in southern Gaza, on Sunday, coinciding with Eid al-Adha.


Despite these claims, at least seven people were killed and fires broke out as Israeli forces bombed tents in Gaza’s al-Mawasi "humanitarian zone," according to Al Jazeera.

11:11 Beirut Time

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah will speak today at 5 p.m. at a memorial for senior commander Taleb Sami Abdullah “Hajj Abu Taleb,” broadcast from the Mujtaba Complex in Beirut’s southern suburbs.


Abu Taleb, the highest-ranking Hezbollah commander killed since fighting began on Oct. 8, died in an Israeli strike on Jwayya last week.


Nasrallah's speech follows a week of escalations along the southern border, including a strike on Jenata that killed two and injured 19, the highest casualty count since Oct. 8. The week also saw increasing threats from Israeli officials, including a warning from Israeli Minister Israel Kantz to destroy Hezbollah in a "total war."

10:50 Beirut Time

The United States expressed disbelief after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's statements yesterday when he stated he found it “inconceivable” that the Biden administration could delay the delivery of weapons to Israel for its war on Gaza.


“We really don't know what he's talking about,” said White House spokeswoman Karine Jean Pierre. Except for “a particular shipment of ammunition,” “there are no other interruptions. None,” she told reporters.


U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said earlier yesterday that the U.S. is “continuing to review” a shipment of bombs to Israel that had been suspended over fears they might be used at Rafah, but is making sure Israel has “what it needs to defend itself.”

10:35 Beirut Time

The UN raised “serious concerns” about the Israeli army's compliance with the laws of war, in an investigation into six “emblematic” bombings in the Gaza Strip last year that left at least 218 people dead.

“The obligation to choose means and methods of warfare that avoid, or at least minimize to the greatest extent possible, harm to civilians appears to have been systematically violated during Israel's bombing campaign,” said High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk.

10:15 Beirut Time

Since this morning, Israel has also targeted residential areas in Khiam (Marjayoun district) with artillery fire. Fighter jets have bombed Yaroun, injuring several residents.


Hezbollah retaliated once again to the strike on Borgholiyeh, launching “an air attack, with a squadron of drones," on an Israeli army site in Metoula

10:06 Beirut Time

For its part, Hezbollah claimed responsibility for two late-night strikes, in response to the deadly strike on Borgholiyeh :


- The party said it had launched “Katyusha rockets” against the Beit Hillel barracks east of Houla (Marjayoun district).


- The second strike targeted the Plasan factory in the Sasa settlement, using Falaq missiles. According to the company's website, Plasan specializes in the design, development and manufacture of armored vehicles. According to Hezbollah, the company works for the Israeli army.

Sasa, where the factory is located, lies opposite the Lebanese village of Rmeich (Bint Jbeil district).

09:53 Beirut Time

- At 10 p.m., Israeli artillery fire targeted Naqoura (Sour district).


- At 11 p.m., the outskirts of Kfar Shuba and Halta (Hasbaya district) were targeted by mortar shells, as were the outskirts of Dhaira (Sour district) and Ramiyeh (Marjayoun district).


- At around 12:30 a.m., an Israeli bombardment targeted a house in Baraachit (Bint Jbeil district). The building caught fire. 

09:49 Beirut Time

- Artillery fire targeted the town of Houla (Marjayoun district) at around 9 p.m.


- At the same time, Israeli aircraft bombed Borgholiyeh (Sour district) which had already been targeted the previous day. 


The afternoon strike on Borgholiyeh killed one civilian, who succumbed to his injuries in the evening, according to a security source. The victim was a Palestinian civilian, Mohammad Youssef Ramadan, who lived in the Qasmiye camp just south of Borgholiyeh, where he owned a garage. 

09:39 Beirut Time

Last night was marked by a series of exchanges of strikes between Hezbollah and the Israeli army:


- At around 7 p.m. last night, Israeli aircraft bombed Yaroun (Bint Jbeil district), according to residents.


- At 8 p.m., Israeli artillery fire targeted an area between Kfar Kila and Deir Mimas (Marjayoun district), as well as Khiam, according to residents and a security source. Kfar Kila was also the target of machine-gun fire. 

09:35 Beirut Time

The Israeli army announced last night that it had approved operational plans for an “offensive in Lebanon,” after days of escalation with Hezbollah along the border.


These plans were “approved and validated,” during a meeting between generals devoted to an “assessment of the situation,” according to the army. 


Israel's head of diplomacy, Israel Katz, had recently threatened Hezbollah with destruction at the end of a “total war.”

09:31 Beirut Time

Make sure to read today's Morning Brief to stay up to date on today's upcoming events.

Read here 👉 Morning Brief

09:29 Beirut Time

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