On Saturday, Hezbollah launched numerous rockets from Lebanon towards northern Israel, stating that it was their first reaction to the targeted assassination of a high-ranking Hamas member in Lebanon’s capital, which is believed to have been carried out by Israel earlier this week.
Hassan Nasrallah said that the group would retaliate against any Israeli aggression.
The rocket strike occurred one day following a statement from Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah declaring that the organization would respond to any acts of aggression from Israel.
The speaker stated that his organization is obligated to respond to the death of Saleh Arouri, the deputy leader of their ally Hamas, who was killed in a Hezbollah-controlled area in southern Beirut. He argued that if Hezbollah does not retaliate, Lebanon as a whole would be at risk of being attacked by Israel. It seems that the speaker is trying to justify a reaction to the Lebanese people, even if it means intensifying the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel while the war between Israel and Hamas continues.
The militant group Hezbollah claimed responsibility for firing 62 rockets at a military base on Mount Meron, resulting in direct hits. They also reported hitting two army posts near the border. The Israeli military confirmed that approximately 40 rockets were launched at Meron and that a base was targeted, but did not mention any hits on the base. They stated that they retaliated by targeting the Hezbollah cell responsible for the attack.
The conflict between Israel and Hamas began three months ago following a violent attack by Hamas in southern Israel. The attack resulted in the deaths of approximately 1,200 individuals, mostly innocent civilians, and the abduction of approximately 250 people.
Recently, Israel has reduced its military attack in the northern part of Gaza and has intensified its aggressive campaign in the southern region, with the goal of defeating Hamas. In the south, the majority of Gaza’s 2.3 million inhabitants are facing a dire situation as they are forced into smaller spaces, while also enduring continuous Israeli airstrikes.
The Health Ministry in Gaza, controlled by Hamas, reported on Saturday that 122 Palestinians were killed in the last day. This brings the total number of casualties to 22,722 since the war began. The count does not distinguish between soldiers and civilians. The ministry also stated that the majority of those killed were women or children. The total number of injured rose to 58,166, according to the ministry.
According to records from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al-Balah, at least 46 individuals were brought in overnight. The majority of the deceased were males who appeared to have been shot, as violence between Israeli forces and militants continued in the area. Among the casualties were also five members of a family who lost their lives in an airstrike.
The most recent leaflets dropped by Israel have advised Palestinians residing in certain areas near the hospital to leave, stating concerns of “dangerous conflict.”
In the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza, the European Hospital received the remains of 18 individuals who died in a nighttime bombing on a residence in the Maan neighborhood. Saleh al-Hamms, leader of the hospital’s nursing department, stated that according to witnesses, over 30 people had sought refuge in the house, including those who had been displaced.
Hamas has been held accountable by Israel for the harm to civilians, as they have intentionally positioned themselves among Gaza’s non-combatant structures. However, there has been an increase in global disapproval of Israel’s actions in the conflict due to the growing number of civilian casualties. The US has advised Israel to take greater measures to protect innocent civilians, but at the same time continues to supply weapons and ammunition while shielding their close ally from international condemnation.
Thinks that Turkey and other countries have the power to control the situation and calm concerns about a potential conflict in the region, especially with regards to Iran and its allies. These worries have intensified in the past few days due to events in the Red Sea, Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran.
During discussions with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, Blinken requested Turkish assistance for potential post-war Gaza initiatives. This could involve financial or material aid for reconstruction efforts and potential involvement in a proposed multinational force that would operate in or near the area.
I was journeying to Greece, a rival and fellow member of NATO, to visit Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at his residence on the island of Crete. Mitsotakis and his administration have shown support for the U.S.’s efforts to contain the Israel-Hamas conflict and have indicated their readiness to provide aid if the situation worsens.
During the trip, there will also be visits to Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia on Sunday and Monday. After that, Blinken will continue to Israel and the West Bank next week, and conclude the trip with a visit to Egypt.
During a trip to Beirut, the foreign policy leader of the European Union stated his goal to kickstart an initiative between Europe and Arab nations in order to revive a peace process that would lead to a two-state resolution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Josep Borrell also announced plans to travel to Saudi Arabia on Sunday.