• It is the 128th day of the war: over 28 thousand people killed in Gaza. In Israel, 1,200 died in the October 7 attack.
• Israel announced that it had freed two hostages in the city of Rafah in an operation conducted by the army and Shin Bet.
• Hamas announces the death of 3 hostages “after Israeli bombings”
• Israel denies entry to UN correspondent Francesca Albanese, she: «Their atrocities reach a new level». USA, Germany and France condemn the UN envoy: “She uses anti-Semitic clichés”
05.48 am – 3 Israeli soldiers dead in Gaza, total victims 232
The Israeli armed forces announced the deaths of three soldiers killed yesterday during fighting in the southern Gaza Strip. They are three reservists, including a senior officer, aged 36, 30 and 27. This brings the toll of Israeli soldiers killed in the ground offensive against Hamas to 232. Two other soldiers from the 630 Battalion were seriously injured in the same battle, the Israel Defense Forces said.
05.15 am – Israel, Hezbollah infrastructure hit in southern Lebanon
The Israeli Air Force struck Hezbollah’s “terrorist infrastructure” in the Tallouseh area in southern Lebanon last night: the army announced this on Telegram. Yesterday morning, Israeli Defense Force fighter jets hit a military complex in the Blida area and a Hezbollah observation post in the Khiam area was hit with artillery fire, the message concludes.
04.13 am – Houthi attacks hit merchant ship bound for Iran
The Houthis launched two missiles at a merchant ship bound for Iran, a supporter country of the Yemeni rebel group, causing minor damage and no injuries. The US military authorities reported this, according to the Times of Israel. The attack, which occurred at dawn, is the first against a ship bound for Iran since the Houthis began attacks on international ships in solidarity with the Palestinians over the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. “Iran-backed Houthi militants launched two missiles from their controlled areas of Yemen towards Bab al-Mandeb,” US Central Command says on X. “Both missiles were launched towards the MV Star Iris, a Greek-owned Marshall Islands-flagged merchant vessel transiting the Red Sea carrying corn from Brazil.” “The vessel is reported to be seaworthy with minor damage and no injuries to the crew,” CentCom officials say on X. “Of note, the destination of the MV Star Iris is Bandar Iman Khomeini, Iran.”
00:20 – Biden, USA are working on an agreement that will lead to a six-week pause in fighting
The United States is working on a deal that could include a six-week pause in fighting in Gaza. US President Joe Biden stated this at a press conference in Washington with King Abdullah II of Jordan. The two met at the White House to discuss the situation of the Israel-Gaza conflict. Biden explained that bringing home the hostages still held by Hamas is a “top priority” for the US, and that the country is “actively working” on an agreement that could lead to a period of calm in Gaza for at least six weeks.
«I have received requests from (Israeli) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the leaders of Egypt and Qatar to continue this project. The key elements of the agreement are on the table,” the president said, but added that some gaps remain. “The United States will do everything possible to make this happen,” he continued. The truce in question should be part of a broader agreement that also includes the release of the Israeli hostages kidnapped by Hamas on October 7, Biden continued. Regarding Israel’s offensive against Rafah, the US president reiterated how civilians on site must be “protected”. Abdullah in turn highlighted how “a lasting ceasefire is needed now” in Gaza.