Fighting intensifies in parts of Gaza as regional tensions rise. Here’s what you need to know to start the day
Fierce fighting is ongoing in parts of Gaza, including the southern city of Khan Younis, although some areas have calmed down following the withdrawal of some Israeli units, according to sources in the Israeli military and the Strip.
The death toll in Gaza has surpassed 22,300 since October 7, according to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry.
Meanwhile, fears of a wider regional conflict were underscored after Iranian officials blamed Israel for two deadly explosions in Iran and threatened retaliation.
The explosions near the grave of military commander Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a US bombing, came on the fourth anniversary of his death, threatening to escalate tensions in the region since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
Here’s what you should know:
Hezbollah Warning: The leader of Hezbollah, the powerful Iran-backed Islamic militant group based in Lebanon, warned that if Israel went to war with Lebanon, the response would be “limitless”. Hassan Nasrallah also said Tuesday’s killing of a senior Hamas leader in Beirut “will not go unpunished.” Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri was killed by Israel, a US official told CNN. Israel has not claimed responsibility for the attack.
Transboundary fires: The Israel Defense Forces said they responded to the attack from inside Lebanon on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Lebanon’s foreign minister told CNN that the government is working to persuade Hezbollah not to go to war with Israel.
On the ground: An unspecified number of people were killed Wednesday after an artillery strike near a hospital in southern Gaza, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, which runs the facility. In northern Gaza, video from the Jabalya refugee camp showed the aftermath of a large explosion that killed several civilians. The Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry said “dozens” of people were “killed and wounded” when a family’s home was attacked in Jablya. CNN has reached out to the IDF for comment.
Repaired pipe: Water has been restored to some parts of central Gaza, the Deir al-Balah municipality said, adding that a key pipeline had been out of service for several days, causing “sewage to overflow into the streets.” UN agencies and NGOs have warned that the lack of clean water in many areas of Gaza risks spreading skin diseases and other illnesses such as diarrhoea.
Hearing in The Hague: The International Court of Justice said it will hold a public hearing next week on South Africa’s genocide charges against Israel in its war against Hamas. An Israeli government spokesman said on Tuesday that Israel would appear before the ICJ “to remove South Africa’s absurd blood libel.”
Tunnel Video: Israel’s military has released a video it says demolishes a tunnel it accuses Hamas of digging under Al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest medical complex. Israel has accused Hamas of developing a tunnel system under the hospital to carry out “terrorist operations”, which Hamas has repeatedly denied.