Israeli Strike Kills Hamas Member In Lebanon


An Israeli drone strike Wednesday in southern Lebanon killed two people, including a member of the Hamas militant group.

The strike hit a car outside the city of Tyre, near the Mediterranean coast. Lebanese state media identified the Hamas members as being from the Rashidieh refugee camp, an area where the militant group has a notable presence.

Israel’s military also reported Wednesday carrying out airstrikes in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis and ground operations in central Gaza as they pursue Israel’s goal of eliminating Hamas.

The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza reported Wednesday 88 more Palestinians killed in Israel’s offensive during the past day. Since the war began in early October, the total number of Palestinians killed is at least 31,272, with another 73,000 injured, according to the ministry.

Israeli forces late Tuesday shot dead two Palestinians in the village of al-Jib, near Jerusalem, after Israeli police said a group of five Palestinians were hurling firebombs at a highway.

In a separate incident, Israeli forces shot dead a 12-year-old boy during clashes at a refugee camp on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

Relief efforts

A Spanish charity ship carrying more than 200 metric tons of humanitarian food aid set sail from Cyprus to Gaza on Tuesday, the latest effort to feed tens of thousands of starving Palestinians.

The food, gathered by World Central Kitchen, the charity founded by celebrity chef Jose Andres, was on a barge being towed by a ship belonging to the Spanish aid group Open Arms and headed to an undisclosed location on the Gaza coast. The 400-kilometer voyage was expected to take two to three days.

A second vessel was being loaded in Cyprus to soon make the same trip to help besieged Palestinians, Cypriot Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos told state radio.

Speaking later in Beirut, Kombos said, “We are working towards the safe arrival of the first shipment and then the safe distribution.”

“If all goes according to plan … we have already put in place the mechanism for a second and much bigger cargo, and then we’ll be working toward making this a more systematic exercise with increased volumes,” he said.

The U.S. military has dispatched a ship to the Mediterranean to build a temporary pier on the Gaza shoreline to provide passage for more aid trucks but says the dock may take two months to be completed.

No cease-fire

The United States, Qatar and Egypt had hoped to broker a cease-fire before the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan began Monday that would have included the release of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners and a greater flow of aid into Gaza. The talks stalled last week.

The United States is encouraging Israel to “stay engaged,” said national security adviser Jake Sullivan during a news briefing Tuesday. “We believe that there still is scope for this deal to get done, notwithstanding the fact that we have entered the Ramadan period,” Sullivan added.

Sullivan declined to confirm reporting that the administration is considering placing conditions on U.S. military aid to Israel should it continue with plans to invade Rafah without adequate plans to protect civilians. More than 1 million Palestinians are seeking safety there, Gaza’s southernmost area close to the Egyptian border.

“I’m not going to comment on hypotheticals,” he said, reiterating the administration’s talking points that the U.S. does not support a military operation in Rafah that “cuts off the main arteries of humanitarian assistance, and then places enormous pressure on the Israel-Egypt border.”

American Israeli hostage death

President Joe Biden said Tuesday he was “devastated” to learn that 19-year-old American Israeli soldier, Itay Chen, had been killed. Chen was previously believed to have been taken hostage by Hamas, but the Israeli military announced this week that he was killed during the October 7 attack.

“I reaffirm my pledge to all the families of those still held hostage: we are with you. We will never stop working to bring your loved ones home,” Biden said in a statement released by the White House.

Chen’s family has been prominent in pushing Israeli and American officials to secure the release of the 100 or so hostages still held by Hamas. His father, Ruby Chen, has made repeated media appearances and met with top U.S. officials.

Sullivan underscored the grim fate of other hostages held by Hamas, saying that the United States cannot ascertain “whether they are still alive.”

Israel began its military campaign to wipe out Hamas after the group’s October 7 terror attack on Israel that killed about 1,200 people and led to the capture of about 250 hostages.

White House Bureau Chief Patsy Widakuswara contributed to this article. 


The VOA is the Voice of America

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