The sun rises over destroyed buildings in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip on June 22, 2024. (Credit: Bashar Taleb/AFP)


Israel fires 2 missiles at eastern edge of Saida: Gaza war, day 260

What you need to know

Israeli drone strike kills two, including Jamaa Islamiyeh member, in western Bekaa.

At least 37,551 dead and 85,911 wounded in Gaza since Oct. 7, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

Kuwait urges its citizens to leave Lebanon "as soon as possible."

20:13 Beirut Time

Thank you for following our live coverage of the Gaza war.

We will continue our coverage of the conflict tomorrow morning.

19:30 Beirut Time

Two missiles launched from an Israeli drone have struck the eastern edge of the city of Saida, near the 4B Sporting Club, a security source tells our correspondent in south Lebanon.

The strikes created two craters upon impact. No injuries have been reported.

This is the first time Saida has been directly targeted since the beginning of the war in south Lebanon on Oct. 8, according to our correspondent.

19:06 Beirut Time

Hezbollah has claimed responsibility for three more attacks:

Hezbollah has claimed responsibility for an attack on "buildings used by the Israeli army" in the locality of Metula
(opposite the Lebanese village of Kfar Kira, in the Marjayoun district). In a statement, the party claimed it "targeted enemy soldiers and caused a fire" with an attack that came in response to strikes on villages in south Lebanon, particularly Khiam.

In a second statement, the party claimed responsibility for another "attack on the Israeli position of Zebdine, in the occupied Lebanese Shebaa farms."

Lastly, Hezbollah announced that it "targeted and aimed missiles directly at the Israeli position of Ramta in the occupied Lebanese Kfar Shuba hills."

18:52 Beirut Time

Jamaa Islamiya's al-Fajr forces "warmly congratulated" in a statement "the martyrs of the Islamic group, Commander Ayman Hachem Ghotme (Abu Omar) and his companion, killed on the road to Jerusalem" during an Israeli raid on a West Bekaa road, at the junction in the locality of Khiara.

The two men were returning from a mission "to inspect the front lines," said the statement, which referred to "an attack that comes after the failure and deep crisis that the enemy suffered on the northern support front" and saluted "the sacrifice made by the axis of resistance for the people of Gaza."

18:07 Beirut Time

The EU's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, has called for an investigation into the deadly shootings near the ICRC in Gaza.

"The EU condemns the shelling which damaged the ICRC building in Gaza and led to dozens of casualties," he posted on his X account. "An independent investigation is needed and those responsible must be held accountable," he added.

Borrell also noted that "the ICRC must be able to carry out all its tasks under the Geneva Conventions in complete safety, including humanitarian protection, assistance to victims and access to prisoners". "All parties to a conflict are bound by this convention", he concluded.

15:37 Beirut Time

The Israeli army's Arabic-speaking spokesman Avichay Adraee says Israel has eliminated Ayman Ghotme, who he described as "a senior Hamas and Jamaa Islamiya official in Lebanon."

Earlier today our correspondent in the Bekaa reported Ghotme had been killed in an targeted Israeli attack on the vehicle in which he was traveling. However, our correspondent reports that Ghotme was a fighter with the Jamaa Islamiya's al-Fajr forces.

"In an airstrike in the Bekaa, the Israeli army attacked and killed Ayman Ghotme, a high-ranking terrorist operative responsible for supplying weapons to Hamas and Jamaa Islamiya in Lebanon and promoting terrorist cells in the region," Avichay Adraee wrote on X.

According to him, the victim was eliminated "because of his involvement in promoting an imminent terrorist attack against Israel and his involvement in promoting terrorist activities against Israel's home front."

14:48 Beirut Time

More details about the strike that targeted a vehicle in the Bekaa:

According to our correspondent, Ayman Ghotme, a member of Jamaa Islamiya's al-Fajr forces, was killed.

The second victim killed in the strike has still not been identified.

14:30 Beirut Time

At least 42 people were killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza's al-Tuffah and al-Shati districts, Reuters reports, citing Ismail al-Thawabta, the director of the Hamas-run government media office. 

14:29 Beirut Time

Israeli strikes have targeted the villages of Yaroun, Ramaya and Aita al-Shaab (Bint Jbeil), residents tell our correspondent in south Lebanon.

13:49 Beirut Time

Gunfire broke out early today between Palestinian fighters and Israeli forces in Gaza City, according to an AFP journalist. In the Zeitoun district, witnesses saw Israeli helicopters firing on Palestinian fighters.

The Israeli army claimed its troops "eliminated" "several terrorists" in the central Gaza Strip and the Rafah region in the south the previous day.

13:46 Beirut Time

Photo provided by our correspondent Sarah Abdallah.

⚡ An Israeli strike has targeted a car in the western Bekaa, on the "Gaza road" at the Khiara fork, our correspondent in the region Sarah Abdallah reports. The strike killed two people.

Civil Defense teams have been dispatched to the scene to extinguish the fire caused by the strike.

According to our correspondent, the targeted vehicle belongs to Ayman Ghotme, a member of Jamaa al-Islamiya. It remains unclear whether he or not he was in the vehicle at the time of the strike.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post incorrectly named the owner of the vehicle as Ayman Hachem al-Azama. 

13:36 Beirut Time

Men walk past the rubble of a building destroyed by an Israeli bombardment in the village of Yaroun, in southern Lebanon, on 21 June 2024. (Credit: AFP)

Kuwait has urged its citizens to leave Lebanon "as soon as possible," while Canada says it is preparing for the potential evacuation of 45,000 of its citizens, amid growing fears of a wider conflict between Hezbollah and Israel. ➡️ More details here.

12:39 Beirut Time

Gaza casualty toll update: Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip has killed at least 37,551 Palestinians and wounded 85,911 since Oct. 7, Reuters reports, citing Gaza's Health Ministry.

A total of 101 Palestinians have been killed and 169 wounded in the past 24 hours, the ministry added in a statement.

12:29 Beirut Time

Hezbollah has claimed responsibility for an attack on a building used by Israeli soldiers in the locality of Manara (opposite the Lebanese village of Mais al-Jabal). According to a statement, the party's fighters used "appropriate weapons" and "directly hit" their target.

This attack comes "in response to the Israeli enemy's attacks on southern villages and refuges, particularly in the town of Mais al-Jabal," the statement adds.

12:02 Beirut Time

Explosions have been reported near a ship east of the Yemeni port city of Aden, the U.K. Maritime Safety Agency UKMTO reports. The agency, which did not identify the vessel, said the explosions occurred "in the vicinity" of the ship. It added that the vessel was able to continue on its way and that the crew was "safe and sound," AFP reports.

A day prior, the U.S. military announced that it had "destroyed" four Houthi unmanned craft and two drones, and Washington called on the Yemeni rebels to release aid workers arrested earlier this month. ➡️ More details here.

11:57 Beirut Time

After a relatively quiet night and morning in southern Lebanon, Israeli strikes have resumed, targeting the village of Khiam and the outskirts of Deir Mimas and Kfar Kila (Marjayoun district), our correspondent in the region reports.

11:55 Beirut Time

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned that "no place" in Israel would be spared his party's missiles after the Israeli army announced that "operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon" had been "validated."

Yesterday, Hezbollah said it launched explosive drones at a military position on Israel's northern border and carried out rocket and drone attacks against other military targets on the border. Israeli bombardments also targeted several localities in southern Lebanon.

11:51 Beirut Time

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is waging "a war for its existence" in Gaza and needs American weapons, after accusing the United States, Israel's main military supporter, of "withholding" arms deliveries on Tuesday.

 John Kirby, spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council, described Netanyahu's comments as "disappointing" and "offensive" when, he claims, "no other country is doing more to help Israel defend itself against the threat of Hamas."

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who met Israeli officials in Washington on Thursday, also stressed "the importance of avoiding further escalation in Lebanon."

11:49 Beirut Time

Lebanon must not become "another Gaza," warned U.N. chief Antonio Guterres, highlighting fears of a regional conflagration as strikes on the Lebanese-Israeli border intensify and threats escalate from both Israel and Hezbollah.

11:46 Beirut Time

Twenty-two people were killed and 45 injured when shelling targeted near the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Gaza, which is surrounded by hundreds of displaced people, the organization said yesterday evening.

The new violence comes as the Israeli army stepped up its strikes on the Gaza Strip, in which at least 30 Palestinians were killed on Friday according to medics, and exchanged new cross-border fire with Hezbollah. ➡️ More details here.

11:34 Beirut Time

Good morning, 

We'll be here all day with live updates from the war in Gaza and the cross-border exchange of strikes between Israel and Hezbollah in south Lebanon, as well as related news from around the region.