Hamas: strikes in southern Lebanon leave at least nine dead – L’Express

Hamas strikes in southern Lebanon leave at least nine dead

Israel promised Wednesday to carry out a “powerful” operation in Rafah, despite growing international pressure to try to avoid a potentially devastating offensive in this overpopulated town in the south of the Gaza Strip.

“We will fight until complete victory, which implies powerful action in Rafah and this, after allowing the civilian population to leave the combat zones,” declared Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his Telegram account. In Rafah, hundreds of thousands of civilians, massed against the closed border with Egypt, live in fear of a land offensive, announced several days ago by Benjamin Netanyahu who wants to drive the Islamist movement from its “last bastion” .

Today’s news

⇒ Israel launched strikes in southern Lebanon that left at least nine dead

⇒ France judges the situation in Lebanon “serious” but “not irreversible”

⇒ Three countries warn Israel against “catastrophic” operation in Rafah

Lebanon: Israeli strikes kill at least nine people

Israel carried out air raids on neighboring Lebanon on Wednesday which left at least nine dead according to Lebanese sources, after a rocket attack in which an Israeli soldier was killed. An initial report communicated by a Lebanese security source reported three civilians killed in an Israeli strike on a residential building in the town of Nabatiyeh, in southern Lebanon. During the day, a rocket attack on northern Israel from Lebanon then retaliatory Israeli raids in the south of the country left five people dead.

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There are daily exchanges of fire on the border between Israel and the Lebanese Islamist movement Hezbollah, an ally of Palestinian Hamas, in the context of the war in the Gaza Strip, but the strikes are being carried out further and further away on each side of the border. .

The spokesperson for the UN Secretary General Stéphane Dujarric affirmed that the “escalation” of violence in the border area “is dangerous and must stop”, while Washington called for favoring the “diplomatic path”. to reduce tension. Israeli Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, visiting the north of the country, threatened a “very offensive campaign” in Lebanon, after four months of exchanges of fire between the Israeli army and Shiite Hezbollah Lebanese, supported by Iran.

France considers the situation in Lebanon “serious” but “not irreversible”

The situation in Lebanon is “serious but it is not irreversible”, said the head of French diplomacy on Wednesday. “France is involved in the resolution of the conflict and above all to avoid escalation and a new war in Lebanon,” declared Stéphane Séjourné during a hearing at the National Assembly.

The situation “is serious but it is not irreversible”, observed the head of French diplomacy, who, during his recent trip to Israel and Lebanon, had presented “proposals” to avoid open conflict. This plan provides, according to diplomatic sources, for an end to violence on both sides and a withdrawal of Hezbollah fighters ten to twelve kilometers north of the border.

Three countries warn Israel against ‘catastrophic’ operation in Rafah

The leaders of Washington’s allies Australia, Canada and New Zealand on Thursday warned Israel of a “catastrophic” ground operation in the city of Rafah. Urging Benjamin Netanyahu’s government “not to go down this path”, the three Commonwealth countries issued a joint statement, a rare initiative, expressing their deep and growing concern about Israel’s continuation of a protracted war for many months.

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“Approximately 1.5 million Palestinians have sought refuge in the area, including many of our citizens and their families,” said the group of leaders from countries allied with the United States. “An expanded military operation would be devastating. We urge the Israeli government not to go down this path. There is simply nowhere for civilians to go.” Despite growing international pressure and a Palestinian death toll which now exceeds 28,000, according to the Gaza authorities, Benjamin Netanyahu is determined to continue the armed offensive against Hamas.

FBI chief makes surprise trip to Israel

Christopher Wray, the head of the United States federal police, made a surprise trip to Israel on Wednesday, where he met with members of law enforcement and intelligence, according to an FBI press release. Christopher Wray spoke of the “current and future” threats facing Israel and the United States, the statement said.

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The director also met with an FBI official based in Tel Aviv and “stressed the importance of the work done by FBI personnel alongside their Israeli partners to combat threats posed by Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and others”. “The FBI has been and will be responsive to requests from the Government of Israel to support them in their ongoing efforts to keep their citizens safe in the face of threats and acts of terrorism,” the statement continued. According to the New York Times, this trip constitutes Christopher Wray’s first to Israel since the Hamas attacks on October 7. The FBI director is now expected in Germany for the Munich Security Conference, which takes place from February 15 to 17.

Families of Israeli hostages call on ICC to prosecute Hamas

Relatives of Israeli hostages still held in the Gaza Strip intend to ask the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague for prosecution for “crimes against humanity” against the leaders of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas.

Hundreds of them, from Israel, gathered in front of the ICC on Wednesday, where they were joined by demonstrators, many carrying Israeli flags and photos of hostages, and chanting “Bring them back now!” “.

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Images of the October 7 attacks on Israeli territory were projected on screens, and relatives of hostages spoke out to recount the day during which armed Palestinian militants killed more than a thousand people and took 250 hostages . “They entered our homes, beat us, raped us, killed us,” said Yamit Ashkenaz, whose sister Doron Steinbrecher was taken hostage. “They took my sister from her bed, where she was supposed to be safest,” she added. Hostages were released, but Israeli authorities believe that 130 of them are still being held in Gaza, of whom 29 are believed to be dead.

Israel authorizes Starlink on its territory

The Israeli government announced on Wednesday that it had authorized the use of the Starlink satellite Internet access service, owned by Elon Musk, on its territory, as well as for a field hospital managed by the United Arab Emirates in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi “authorized Starlink operations in Israel,” according to a statement from his services. Last November, Shlomo Karhi announced an agreement in principle on the use of Starlink in Israel and Gaza.

“The minister and representatives of Starlink also reached agreements regarding access to Starlink in the Gaza Strip,” according to the statement. “Today (Wednesday) Israeli security services authorized Starlink access to the UAE field hospital operating in Rafah,” the ministry added, saying this would allow the facility to communicate with other others and perform remote diagnostics.