Israel kills the leader of Hezbollah's elite forces. Islamic Jihad releases video of hostage in Gaza

Israel achieves another strategic goal in the war: the destruction of Hamas and the weakening of its Shiite allies. The location of the operation is once again Lebanon: After the murder of the number two in the Palestinian movement, Saleh Arouri, in the capital, one of the commanders of Hezbollah's elite troops was eliminated in a raid in the south of the country. “Beirut can become like Gaza,” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warned in response to attacks north of the border, while the army in the Gaza Strip announced the start of the “third phase” of the offensive, less intense and more targeted attacks. Hezbollah commander Wissam Hassan Tawil was hit in the same way as Arouri. A missile fired from a drone at the car in which he was in a village about ten kilometers from the border with Israel. There was at least one other member of the armed group on board who was seriously injured. According to Lebanese sources, Tawil “played a leading role in directing military operations in the south,” and in the images released by the pro-Iran movement he is seen alongside Hassan Nasrallah and Iranian Pasdaran chief Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by the US 4 years. The attack on Tawil began after a Hezbollah attack on an Israeli air defense center on Mount Meron in the Galilee, which caused damage. The Kornet supermissiles were fired at the target capable of escaping the Iron Dome: a leap in quality for the Lebanese militias that pushed the Jewish state to launch an investigation to “do better in the future.” An airship capable of detecting cruise missiles and ballistic missiles was recently tested. A Hezbollah parliamentary leader, Muhammad Raad, said his movement “does not want the conflict to expand unless Israel stops its attacks,” but the Netanyahu government was unwilling to show weakness. “We will do everything necessary to restore security here in the north,” the Prime Minister assured during an inspection near the border. Minister Gallant was clearer, warning the Lebanese authorities in an interview with the Wall Street Journal: Without an agreement allowing Upper Galilee residents to return to their homes (bombed by Hezbollah), “we have the opportunity to make a copy “Linking Gaza to Beirut”. In the evening, the army announced that it had also killed Hassan Akasha, a Hamas member responsible for rocket fires from Syria. And the containment of the northern front comes with a new phase of the war in Gaza. Gallant and military spokesman Daniel Hagari announced that from now on there would be less use of ground troops and air strikes in order to concentrate on “various types of special operations.” To free all hostages (Islamic Jihad has released a new video of a prisoner ) and “destroy Hamas,” warned Gallant, who had already predicted a conflict throughout 2024. The hottest front is now in the south and one remains. Local sources say the death toll in Gaza is over 23,000, while the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has called for an investigation to shed light on the “high number” of Palestinian journalists killed: 102 so far. The US is hoping for one Transition to a less intense phase of fighting in order to protect civilians as best as possible. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, denouncing a “catastrophic situation” in Gaza, made stops in the Emirates and Saudi Arabia on his fourth mission to the Middle East since October 7, where he met Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman (and EU High Representative Josep Borrell) met). With the aim of involving regional partners in the mediation. Washington remains committed to Gaza's future, starting with a government that brings the PNA back into play despite Netanyahu's opposition. Blinken also described the hypotheses about a mass withdrawal of the population from the Gaza Strip put forward by the ultra-right ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir as “irresponsible” and “seditious.” All sensitive issues that the head of American diplomacy, who has moved to Tel Aviv after Riyadh, will discuss with the Israeli authorities.

Islamic Jihad released a video on social media of hostage Elad Katzir, 47, who was kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7. His mother Hanna, who was also kidnapped, was later released. Elad's brother Rami was killed in the attack on October 7th. In the video – which the family has requested not to be released in Israel – Katzir refers to events of the last few days, according to media.

A few dozen protesters from the Changing Direction movement and the Elections Now coalition blocked the main entrance to the Knesset in Jerusalem this morning, demanding early elections and the immediate replacement of the government by expelling extremists from the executive branch.

Israel and Hamas, responsible for rocket fires from Syria, were killed

The IDF has announced that it has eliminated a Hamas member in Syria who was responsible for firing rockets toward northern Israel in recent weeks. The local media reported about it. Hassan Akasha was killed in the southern Syrian city of Beit Jinn, the army said without further information. “We will not allow terrorism from Syrian territory,” the IDF warned.

Israeli army: “A new phase of the war has begun”

Israel has entered a “new phase” in the war against Hamas in Gaza. Military spokesman Daniel Hagari told the New York Times. “A new, less intense phase of fighting has begun,” characterized by a reduced use of ground troops and air strikes, Hagari said a few hours after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Israel.

Hezbollah, we do not want the conflict to expand

Hezbollah faction leader Muhammad Raad said the pro-Iranian Lebanese movement does not want the conflict to expand but wants Israel to stop its attacks. Addressing a crowd at the funeral of a Hezbollah fighter killed in southern Lebanon, Raad said the Party of God “does not want the war to expand, but for the (Israeli) aggression to end.” “But it is certain that we will to the end if Israel wants to expand the conflict and attack our country. We are not afraid of their threats,” said Raad, who lost one of his sons killed in an Israeli raid in November.

UN fears murder of journalists in Gaza, investigation

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said he was “very concerned” about the “large number” of Palestinian journalists killed in the Gaza Strip. “The murders of all journalists,” including Hamza Waël Dahdouh and Moustafa Thuraya, victims of an Israeli army raid yesterday, “must be the subject of a thorough and independent investigation to ensure strict compliance with international law and violators must be prosecuted.” , emphasized the High Commissioner in a message on

Blinken, those who want the Palestinians to leave Gaza are irresponsible

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has criticized “irresponsible” and “inflammatory” statements by Israeli far-right ministers calling for the resettlement of Palestinians outside the Gaza Strip. CNN reports on it. Blinken said Palestinian civilians must be allowed to “return home as soon as conditions permit.” “You cannot and must not be forced to leave Gaza,” he said at a news conference alongside Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.

Hamas says the death toll in Gaza rises to 23,084

The death toll in Gaza has risen to 23,084. This was announced by the Hamas-run Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip.

Car hit by rocket in Rafah, 3 dead

A Hyundai jeep with three people on board was hit by a rocket today in the western sector of Rafah, near the tents of displaced people in the Moassi area. Witnesses at the scene reported that the passengers were killed. According to initial information – which has not yet been officially confirmed – two of them are said to be members of the Dahdouh family clan.
According to Israel, another member of this clan, Hamza, was killed yesterday in a similar attack on the coastal road between Rafah and Khan Yunis. Hamza was a journalist by profession and the eldest son of Al-Jazeera's Gaza bureau chief, Wael Dahdouh.

Gallant, Israel is moving into the special operations phase

Ahead of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit to Israel, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said in an interview with the WSJ that Israeli forces are moving from what he called the “intensive maneuver phase of war” to “various types of special operations.” . ”
However, Gallant warned that Phase 3 of the conflict “will take longer” and stressed that Israel will not give up its goal of destroying Hamas, ending its control over Gaza and releasing hostages that remain in Hamas's hands.

The Pope, ceasefire and release of hostages in Gaza

“I renew my appeal to all those involved to demand a ceasefire on all fronts, including Lebanon, and the immediate release of all hostages in Gaza,” said the Pope to the diplomatic corps on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “I ask that the Palestinian population receive humanitarian assistance and that hospitals, schools and places of worship receive the necessary protection,” he said. “I hope that the international community will resolutely pursue the solution of two states, one Israeli and one Palestinian, as well as an internationally guaranteed special status for the city of Jerusalem, so that Israelis and Palestinians can finally live in peace and security,” he added Pontifex added.

“Modern wars no longer only take place on isolated battlefields and do not only affect soldiers. In a context in which the distinction between military and civilian objectives no longer seems to be respected, there is no conflict that does not end in some way “indiscriminately attacking the civilian population,” denounced Pope Francis in the audience of the Diplomatic Corps.
“The events in Ukraine and Gaza are clear evidence of this,” he continued, “we must not forget that serious violations of international humanitarian law are war crimes and that it is not enough to expose them, but that it is necessary to prevent them.” Therefore, there is a need for greater commitment from the international community to the protection and implementation of humanitarian law, which in war situations seems to be the only way to protect human dignity.” And “also when it comes to the exercise of law “When it comes to self-defense, it is essential to ensure that the use of force is proportionate.”

The Pope said: “Perhaps we do not realize that civilian casualties are not 'collateral damage.' It is men and women with first and last names who lose their lives. These are children who remain orphans and are deprived of their future. They are people.” who suffer from hunger, thirst and cold, or remain maimed by the power of modern weapons.” “If we were able to look each of them in the eye, call them by name and evoke their personal story “,” he warned, “we would see the war for what it is: nothing more than a great tragedy and a 'useless massacre,' which affects the dignity of every human being on this earth.”

“Night of intense fighting in Gaza and with Hezbollah.”

According to the Israel Defense Forces, heavy fighting broke out in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip overnight, with the air force launching strikes on around 30 “significant” Hamas targets in the area.
Targets included underground sites, weapons depots and other infrastructure. The fighting continues this morning. The IDF announced on X that it had also “attacked numerous Hezbollah targets in Lebanon” during the night. The IDF previously confirmed that Hezbollah rocket fire had damaged a strategic air base in northern Israel on Saturday.

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